I love reading stories of resilience, especially the ones that highlight a person’s troubled past. It’s a story that many can relate to, but through the lens of a black man from the inner city, it’s a different level of compelling. Having seen firsthand so many of my friends grow up with one foot in the streets and the other in the classroom, these are stories that I relate toTo see people overcome immeasurable odds throughout their lives and come out on top is inspirational. Civil rights attorney and activist, S. Lee Merritt, is one of those people whose triumphant story needs to be told. 

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Last month I was scheduled to attend an Art Show and hopefully get an interview or just a few moments to chop it up with artist and sculptor Alfred Conteh here in Chicago. I’m sure by now you’ve seen that our mayor is not having any of it, and unfortunately the show was canceled. So although I was unable to attend, and Conteh was unable to give us a show in person, he did give the public a view of his workspace. On May 7th, Conteh was live on Instagram for Virtual Visits with Art Noir. There he showcased some of his paintings while fielding questions as the viewers posted them. 

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For many of us, it got real this past weekend. Clubs and bars were forced to close, as groups of more than 10 people or more were seen as high-risk when it comes to contracting COVID-19. Some people were taking it more seriously than others. DJ D-Nice was at the forefront and he devised a plan to help people who normally would be out in the clubs looking to have a good time, to still be able to do so from the comfort of their own home. DJ D-Nice live-streamed an Instagram party during the week, and by the weekend he maxed out at over 100,000 live viewers. 

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Let’s face it, NASCAR is one sport where diversity hasn’t been the focal point. From the drivers to the owners, and even the fans, dating back to its 1948 inception, The National Association for Stock Car Racing has had very few professionals of color. Historically there were hardly any pit crew members, even fewer drivers, and until recently there were no black-owned NASCAR racing teams.

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According to Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, he certainly remembers what sparked his interest in pursuing music, and in great detail at that. He never forgets where it came from, and this humbleness is a testament to his character. His ascension as one of the most recognizable names and faces in classical music comes from his hard work, his personality, and of course what some would call luck, but I call it maximizing his opportunities. 

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