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Celebrating The Culture

A Black History Month Project by Naja Hall

Remember back in school when we’d all do our Black History Month projects on the same few people?! Well, I decided to take it ALL the way back to the basics and embark on an Adult Black History Month Project. I reached out to some of the MOST awesome, busy, beautiful people I know to help me bring this vision to life and I’m SO excited to share what we’ve come up with. EVERYDAY for 28 days, me and my super-friends will be #CelebratingTheCulture by presenting #BlackHistory facts that you didn’t learn in school.

What really happened to your 40 acres & a mule?

You may have heard of 40 Acres and a Mule, but do you actually know how it all went down? Naja Hall discusses who came up with the bright idea and WHY it never happened.

Bessie Coleman: The 1st Black Woman To FLY!!!!

My friend and funny woman @AminahImani is teaching us about Bessie Smith, the 1st Black Woman to earn a pilot’s license. Amina is a talented comedian and super mom from Atlanta, GA. She and I met a few years ago, and I’ve come to admire her tenacity and work ethic. She is swiftly making a name for herself, currently a host on Hulu’s ‘Up Early Tonight’ and she’s graced the Apollo’s stage as a headliner. Aminah also hosts the Wine Before Nine podcast. Visit her online at​.

The Black girl inspo behind Betty Boop

It’s Day 3 of Black History Month and my sista Maryam Basir is schooling us on the TRUE origin of the Betty Boop character. Maryam and I have been real-life friends for double-digit years now. In fact, I met her at a casting for a hair commercial. I recall our 1st time speaking, I said, Hey! You’re the girl on the hair ads!” She booked that gig, I didn’t LOL. She has been always been a working model and she has successfully transitioned into a movie star, most recently appearing on BET’s “Holiday Heartbreak”.

The Revolution WILL be Televised! Who is Gil-Scott Heron?

My friend Jared Wayne Gladly is teaching us about Gil Scott-Heron, an outspoken revolutionary and an incredible figure in the Civil Rights Movement. You may recognize his smooth voice from one of the plethora of commercials he’s lent his talents to. Jared also has quite a bit of Broadway experience under his belt, with his most recent appearance as one of the main characters in Disney’s Frozen! Please sure to follow Jared @jaredwaynegladly on IG.

Wine anyone? John June Lewis, Sr: The 1st Black Winemaker

My friend Angie McCrae is quite the wine connoisseur, so much so that she’s started an incredible brand that connects you to new tastes. Today she’s telling us about the 1st Black winemaker in the US. She is also a director and media expert with over 15 years working experience in broadcast news, television production and most recently independent film. She launched her career in television as an audio engineer in Baltimore, MD during her junior year at Morgan State University. Please visit her online at and follow her on IG @uncorkedandcultured and @angelamccrae

The stolen history of stolen people: Africa BEFORE slavery

We’re on Day 6 of our Black History Project For Grown-Ups! How are you enjoying this series so far? Today I will be delving into what Africa was actually like before the continent was colonized and invaded by the European explorers. Would you believe that monuments, records, and entire libraries were intentionally destroyed essentially erasing entire civilizations?! Check out the video to learn how it all went down.

Superbowl Sunday! The 1st Black NFL Coach

Did you know that Frederick “Fritz” Pollard was the 1st professional Black Football Head Coach back in 1920? Today, on game day, my friend and NFL alumni #ReggieHayward​ is teaching us about the beginnings of the contentious relationship between the league and Black athletes. Reggie has a great sense of humor, he’s a dedicated family man, and he’s an all-around genuine human being. Are ya ready for some football!!!??

Sergio Hudson: The Black designer behind Michelle Obama's Iconic Looks

Today my friend #DariusBrown​ is hipping us on fashion designer #SergioHudson​, the man behind #FirstLady​ #MichelleObama​ and #KamalaHarris​ 2021 Inaugural looks. Darius is an extra special human with a heart of gold. In fact, he was my inspo behind this project. Last year for BHM, he dedicated a day paying homage to all of his friends and it was so amazing to be included in a group of heavyweights! You’ve probably seen Darius because he’s a super Producer and host on ExtraTV and the host on the #BeingSeenPodcast​. Be sure to follow him @mrdariusBrown.
Justin Hart, Supervising Producer on Fox Soul and a LONG time family-friend has worked for so many amazing networks and he is swiftly making a name for himself in the entertainment industry. Today Justin is teaching us about #ChanningDungey​, the 1st Black Executive of a non-minority TV company. Please follow Justin @itsmejhart

A Piano Child Prodigy: Frank "Sugar Chile" Robinson

Today my buddy Nasir is teaching about a child prodigy that taught himself to play the piano when he was barely 2 years old! Frank “Sugar Chile” Robinson went on to record music and do movies. Nasir is a prodigy in his own right as he is at the top of his 1st-grade class and he is an avid reader. We often hang out and drink peppermint tea together.

Hattie McDaniels: The 1st Black Woman to win an Oscar Award

Day 11 of Black History Month For Grown-Ups: My good friend Chat With Bee is teaching us about Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel and her contributions to the entertainment industry.

Day 12: Black Woman Golf Pioneer Renee Powell

LJ Finney is schooling on Golf Champion Renee Powell. LJ Finney is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 20 years of experience on Wall Street and Technology and an avid golfer. Visit her at Website .

Christina Jenkins: The Black Woman behind Hair Weave

Today Aminah Imani is schooling us on the innovator behind the hair weave. Did you know that Christina Jenkins came up with the modern-day weaving technique of interlocking extension hair into braids? Check out her process!

The very 1st Black TV Sitcom: Amos and Andy

You probably have not heard of Amos and Andy but your Grandparents have! Today Naja Hall is teaching about the very 1st Black TV sitcom and why it was yanked off air.

The Tuskegee Experiment and Black distrust

Today my good girlfriend Dr. Glenna is discussing The Tuskegee Experiment and its long-term effects on the distrust between African American people in need of medical care and the American medical system. While this was not the 1st time Black people were used as test subjects, this was one of the instances where the crimes against Black humanity were exposed. Please follow her @drglennalcsw and visit her online at #therapyisalifestyle​​

The 1st C-Section was performed in Africa

Tina Derian is one of the most phenomenal moms and creative minds out there. Today she is teaching us about the TRUE origins of the cesarean section and how African doctors performed this intense surgery on expectant mothers without complex tools or anesthesia. Please follow her

Margaret Bonds a Classical Artist

Today, Dr. Malcolm J. Merriweather is teaching us about classical musician, Margeret Bonds. Malcolm is a professor and a conductor and an all-around amazing human being. Please visit him online to find out more about his upcoming endeavors at​

The 1st Black Vegas Star was Lola Falana

Today, the ever-talented, Michelle Mitchenor is presenting Lola Falana. Michelle is an actress and dancer and she is currently filming her recurring role in First Wives Club: Season 2. In fact, she so graciously recorded this video for us after she’d been on set for 14 hours! She was also series regular on Lethal Weapon. Follow her @michellemitchenor.