Category Archives: Black Business

San Francisco Bay View » Children’s author Akua Agusi and her Afrikan-Centered Books


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Turn Down…For What?

“Turn Down…For What?”

…A Lyric or Quote Many Youth say in 2015.

In many ways that only applies to Sports & Entertainment in the Adult World.

In Sports & Entertainment you can let it all out.

But “Being a Thinker”, “Being Inventive”, “Being Productive” is Frowned Upon, Not Supported, Not given a Serious Look or Ear.

Big Media Advertising gives Great Attention to Sport & Play of Black People. Therefore, Black People gives it Great Attention. Sports, Comedy & Play are Great Money Makers for the Already Rich, so they Invest in It In Large Ways.

2 Basketball Gyms…Side by Side. One playing A Big Regional Playoff Game. The Other A Big Regional Spelling Bee/Science Competition/–or Math Competition. You lucky if the Spelling Bee/Math Competition/Science Competion even fills the first two rows.

Big Money…Lights, Camera Action….Lifestyles of The Rich & Famous…”My Son Gon Make D Pros”…”He Sho Nuff Good”…

Millions of Youth play High School Sports, only a Small Percentage Make the Pros…but there is Always that hope of Youth Making The Pros & The Family Gon Be Wealthy.

Who Supports & Motivates Thinkers? Doctors save lives. Architects build. Inventors invent. Film Makers make Films. Song Writers write songs. Playwrites write plays. Poets write & perform Poems/Spoken Word. Authors write books. Scientists explore. Veternarians take care animals. Doctors take care the sick & get them well.

3:15 am


Men, Women, Youth should have Trades. Develop ways, at least of providing services for people that are needed.

A man should not seek out a woman on beauty alone, just as a woman should not seek out a man on just money alone.

How well do they communicate together?

Do they both have passions toward things, so when one mate is busy, the other can keep themselves busy & not be miserable based upon the other focused in on their work/passions in life.

Neither man nor woman should ever stop learning. Learning goes way beyond the four corners of a classroom.

7:39 pm

History Gives Us Wings (Inspiration) to Fly in Present & Future


I got my Middle name Keith from an Uncle way back in the day name Hezikah Keith Hill. He was a very wealthy & influntial Preacher from Orlando, FL. He & his wife, Viola T. Hill, raised my Grandmother Mary & helped Bessie Coleman to get her 1st plane.


Bessie spent time with them whenever she was in FL. She stayed with them on her Florida visits. My Grandmother stayed with them during this time. She was a little girl at the time and saw Bessie right there in the house with her.

Later, Bessie Coleman was in a very bad plane crash that pretty much crippled her. Some said she would never walk again, let alone fly again. Bessie was not going to be kept out the air. She was determined to fly again. Yet, she did not have a plane to do her stunts in any more. The Hills were major backers in her getting another plane.

Later, Bessie had another Plane Crash, & she her mechanic died. The Hills had her body shipped to Orlando. They gave her a big funeral. Then, rode with her body to Chicago where another Big Funeral was held.

My Grandmother Mary grew from a little girl with Inspiration from her childhood & became good friends with Mrs. Mary McCleod Bethune, Founder of Bethune Cookman College. Mrs. Bethune brought Army barracks and used them as some of the 1st building on Bethune Cookman’s Campus.

* My Grandmother Mary (left) & Aunt Mary (right) at My Father’s Graduation from Bethune Cookman College–August 1951. My Aunt Mary, his Sister, Graduated Spring of 1951 from Bethune Cookman College.


* Aunt Mary Turner, Deltas & Mrs. Bethune (Aunt Mary is on the bottom row—2nd from left). Daddy and Aunt Mary grew up playing on BCC campus. The Daytona Black Community was very close, and looked out for each other. Aunt Mary was part of the Charter Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.

My Grandmother brought some old Army Barracks like Mrs Mary McCleod Bethune & built up the Daytona Black Business Community…off 2nd Ave. They had 7 successful businesses. Motel, Restaurant, Shoe shine business, schools, etc.

Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Jackie Robinson & his wife Rachael & many other Big Time Entertainers, Sports Stars, & Actors ate there. Local Community people ate their too. Prices were good. Food Good. Hospitality Good. They stayed at the Motels too. Because they could not eat or stay at motels on the other side of town. During that time, Black people wanted to patronize their own businesses. We were not sad & depressed about not eating at white people places. We wanted Soul Food. Not Hospital/bland tasting food.


Keyana Neal Simmons/–Artist on Many Levels




If you want your Nails to Look Real Nice Like, Hit my niece Keyana Neal Simmons up in her Facebook Inbox/–(Facebook–blue link of her name)/–or her email: if you in the North Florida/South Georgia Area. She is A Great Artist. Has been drawing since she was a little girl.

She was drawing Micky Mouse, Donald Duck, Super Action Heroes and all since a little girl.

Oh, I can’t leave this out, jokers knew not to get in a Joking Contest with Keyana. After while, she might stop Clowning/Joking on a joker and go get her sketch pad & pencil. It was over then. They was “Gon Learn Today”…even back in the Day. It boiled down to whatever kind of weapon she wanted to fight a joker wt.

When she went to go get the Sketch Pad & Pencil, It was Over. Jokers Ran for the Border, because Keyana came out blasting on her adversaries. They always ran for cover. She was coming for the take down as soon as she started putting the pencil to the sketch pad…she was going to draw you looking real jacked up.

You still laying it down Keyana, but in a different form. 

Majestic Nails.

11:26 am

Back in The Day–Family Memoir–1920’s–1950’s


My Grandparents, my father’s parents, were college sweethearts. They sung in the choir together in college. My Grandmother, Mary Turner sung & played the piano. Grandfather, John Turner, played the trombone & trumpet.

My grandfather went on to be a professional Jazz/trumpet/trombone player. He played all over Daytona & Florida. He also played the music at intermission at the Black Theatres.

They got married in 1923 and had one of the biggest black weddings in Orlando, FL. 

In 1925, they had my father. 1927 my Aunt.

Depression Times rolled around a few years later…getting harder and harder going on toward 1929. The hardest year in America hit 1929.

My grandfather, sometimes took his children to the theatres to see him play and watch the movies. Both my dad & aunt told me many times, how proud they were watching their Father play on stage. Say he had a trumpet of fire. After the show, he would take his children backstage to hangout, meet other performers, and just chill with their daddy.

But times were getting harder. My grandfather was a mechanic by day. But jazz musician by night.

Grandfather & Grandmother started having disagreements as times got harder. She felt like he should have gotten a second job that paid more. But he was not going to give up his passion. He had been in music since a very small boy. I have a very old photo of my grandfather in a sharp suit with his trombone at 13 years old.

My grandmother washed white people clothes, cleaned their houses, & cooked at their restaurants. The children stayed with my Great Grandmother, Carrie B. Turner while they both worked. She taught them to read before they started school.

One day in 1931, my grandfather played in a parade. His children & wife were there. He was on back of a float, just playing his trumpet like it was on fire. Had the crowd doing the latest dances of the day

In that thick crowd, on this Sunny Day in Daytona, FL…Something happened that would change everyone in the family’s life until this very day. Grandmother, my dad at 6 years old & aunt at 4 thought he was on going on the beachside, the other side of the river to play in some of the clubs over there. He was so good, white clubs would have him play very late some nights. Other night, he played in black clubs. The only black people that had any entrance to white places were musicians & entertainers. But they had to come in the back door.

Well, he was not on the way to the beachside. He was playing on back of a medicine show float that travel across the country selling medicine. They played in parades and advertised their product to towns across the country. He was on the way to California. My father told me many times,he could never get that image out his head of his father playing on that parade float. He would not see his father again, until he came back from fighing in WW II for 18 straight months in Italy, North Africa & the Phillipines. He was injured twice & won 2 purple hearts. Infantry/airborne/92 Div. Buffalo Soldiers/366th.

It was already hard times. Depression Times. It got even harder now. So hard my grandmother had to work day and night now. Husband gone. It got so hard, my aunt says she remember it used to be so cold in the winter. My grandmother used to hand wash white people clothes outside and her hands would be so cold, she could see them shaking. My daddy, as little boy had to walk the railroad tracks, picking coal off the tracks to come put in the heater & sold can & bottles he picked up in his little red wagon. Grandmother had to wind up selling the wedding ring to a old white man that went around buying jewelry. She pulled the ring off her finger with tears in her eyes. Hard Times.

One Night my grandmother went out with one of her friends to a party. She met this Tall, dark & handsome Man. Ben. He had just moved in town from Atlanta, GA. He sold insurance with Atlanta Life before moving. Went to Morehouse College. 

They started dating. They got married in 1936. By this time, Mary decided she wanted to make other moves in her life. She and Ben opened a Restaurant. She had enough experience cooking and cleaning and washing for white folks. Now, it’s time to do it for herself. She and Ben did just that. They place was the talk of the town. Good eats. In the 1940’s she brought the Army barracks. Opened a Motel.

She & Ben had businesses in the 1930-1950’s in Daytona Beach, FL. 

She was good friends with Mrs. Mary McCleod Bethune. Founder of Bethune Cookman College. Mrs. Bethune brought Army barracks and used them as some of the 1st building on Bethune Cookman’s Campus.

My grandmother did the same thing. Brought some. And built up the Daytona Black Business Community…off 2nd Ave. They had 7 successful businesses. Motel, Restaurant, Shoe shine business, schools, etc.

Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Jackie Robinson & his wife Rachael & many other Big Time Entertainers, Sports Stars, & Actors ate there. Local Community people ate their too. Prices were good. Food Good. Hospitality Good. They stayed at the Motels too. Because they could not eat or stay at motels on the other side of town. During that time, Black people wanted to patronize their own businesses. We were not sad & depressed about not eating at white people places. We wanted Soul Food. Not Hospital/bland tasting food.

My Aunt graduated in the Spring 1951. She was Charter Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. 

A whole lot more to this story. Will tell more as time go on. Working on a Book & Screenplay. 

My Grandfather John Turner went on to California as stated earlier. He & grandmother kept going at it about his music. He was not going to give it up. He had good nights & bad nights. Life of musician, in many ways. Remember, we talking in the 1920’s & 30’s. He went on to California. He already played at Theatres. He played in Big Time White Clubs in Daytona on the Beachside too . So he figured the Medicine Show was his only chance to get to the other side of the country to play out in Hollywood. Free Ride, plus work across the country. He could not take his family. He knew his wife would not want to move. Felt it was to big of a risk.

They already were having disagreements about his music already. 

He was no dead beat dad. He loved his family. A whole lot. But they went back and forth on that music.

A whole lot to this story. This is just a window into a much larger work. Can take it back to Grandmother & Grandfathers childhood, on back to 1870. 

My grandmother was adopted & Raised by Rev. Hezikah Keith Tillinghast & his wife. That’s where I get the name Keith. He & his wife helped Bessie Coleman buy her plane after she got her license in France. The country was to racist to even let her in the school back in the early 1900’s. Abbot, founder of The Chicago Defender, helped her get to Paris to learn to fly. When she got back, she needed a plane. They helped her get it. They were one of the wealthiest black families in Orlando, FL.

Bessie Coleman came back to America and was a Star for Black People A Black Woman Aviator. The Tillinghast were one of her major backers and friends. 

She did stunts in the planes & everything. Well one day, she crashed. Broke a lot of bones. Pretty much crippled. But she was tough. Lost her plane. No plane. They helped her get another plane. 

Bessie Coleman gave many lectures of her experiences all over the country and when she was in the South, she stayed with them.

Unfortunately, Bessie had another crash, she and her co-pilot got killed. Bessie’s funeral was going to be in Chicago. But the Tillinghast family wanted give her a funeral in Orlando, FL. They had it in Orlando. Thousands of black people came to the funeral. Then they rode a train with her body to Chicago, and had and even bigger funeral in Chicago. 

This thing can go way back. Come forward like Roots that Alex Haley wrote. Got many hours of audio from interviewing the elders that go all the way back to the 1870 to present. Trust me. Hours and hours of audio from interviewing for years. I been on this since 1994.


Practical Knowledge For Our Youth

Everyone is not going to college. Might not have the means or time to do so. But there are other ways to learn trades, skills, crafts, etc….A few ways:

*Hook up with an older person in the community that has mastered a certain trade, craft, skill. Try to get them to take the young person under their wings. Mentorship/Apprentceship.

*Buy books for the young people so they can read up on trades, crafts, skills (How-to books). Something they might be interested in. Something they like or lean toward.

*Take the young people to craft & hobby stores or take them to workshops on trades.

We have to take an active approach for the development of our young people.

* Get them use to reading articles & magazines in various trades and things they might be interested in.

A good Plumber, Clothing Designer, Carpenter, Mechanic, Graphic Artist, Audio Engineer, Tile Layer, Barber, AC & Heating Repair, Hairdresser, Brick Mason, etc…has great value in our communities.


Strive For a Useful Education

Many people think because they finish high school–they good to go on the education. But really, graduation day is just the first step of a much longer learning journey.

We have to make school really work for us. Get as much out of it as we can.

Instead of taking a lot of off the wall classes that don’t amount to much as electives, we have to take classes we have a passion for and we can use in the real world.

As much as possible, one must equip themselves with as much technical skills as possible while the education is still free.


Message To Parents…”Youth & Goals”—Part 1

As parents, we must teach our children the value of money and to how properly get the best out of it as it relates to saving and investing. But more importantly, we must teach our children the value of having a skill/trade to make a living for their family. Many parents never sit down to tell their kids of the value of having skills/trades. Our skills/talents all spring from the burning desire or passion we all have as children. Some children are very artistic. Some children are very mechanically inclined. Other children have great leadership skills, and their peers look to them for ideas and direction. If we as parents look hard enough and pay close enough attention to the youth, we can tap into something great.

There is nothing more important than the youth and the elderly in society. The youth are our tomorrow—our hopes and dreams. They are really an extension of us–The Parents. The children have the mother and father’s make up—genetics, and their own talents all wrapped up into one little neat package. This is why the Ankh is so important to African people. This symbol is our symbol in the world. The bottom, the vertical part is the male principle. The top, the circle/womb is the female principle. And the middle—the line between the two is the child/future.

Never let your child’s God-given talents go to sleep. Stroke that fire in your children’s bellies. Go to the electronic store, pet store, hobby store, whatever store you need to dear parents. Instead of buying so many toys, buy those things that enhance the child’s God-given gifts. Talents turn to hobbies/trades, then Businesses. Once that happens, you will see your children running factories, shopping malls, sending semi-trucks across the country, ships across the open seas—All with goods that came from that fire/talents in your child. Be what God wanted you to be on earth parents—A protector/guide/disciplinarian for your children. Children are our future. Lay the base and they will make you proud.

5:20 pm

Watch “John Henrik Clarke – “A Great and Mighty Walk”

Watch “John Henrik Clarke – “A Great and Mighty Walk” | Jewels4dmind’s / Blog