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Penda Diakité is a mixed-media artist, filmmaker and creator of clothing brand named PendaWear. She grew up between Mali, West Africa, and Oregon. During her childhood in Mali, Penda soaked up a great deal of the artistic culture which she now channels through her art. The Malian culture is rich in storytelling, music and visual arts, so it was almost a no-brainer that she would become an artist of some sort. In the year 2010 she graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Film/Video and a minor in cultural studies. 

Penda’s mixed media artwork often comments on popular Media’s portrayal of people of color, as well as her experiences as a woman of color in the USA. She also constantly works with the concept of reflection: For an example how we would look as a product of our thoughts, experiences, and stereotypes. When asking Penda to explain more she replied “As beings, we are constantly carrying around memories and feelings, how would we look to each other if we could actually see our true reflections”.

Along with mixed-media work, Penda also works on experimental and documentary film. Her latest experimental film 'Words From A Silence' is very much like her mixed-media work, as it is a short abstract montage of her thoughts, feelings, and experiences as a bi-cultural female of color in the U.S. and Mali, West Africa.  'Words from a Silence' screened in many different festivals throughout the world from Brooklyn, NY to São Paulo, Brazil to more recently Kassel, Germany.

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Despite Ashley witnessing her mom being on drugs her mother exposed her to a lot of different music before she was taken away and placed in foster care. After two years went by Ashley’s grandmother adopted her and that’s when she found a permanent home in Miami. This was a time when Ashley started to discover her true self. She was introduced to hard rap by her cousin such as Hot Boyz, Trick Daddy, and Pastor Troy.

Due to Ashley gaining a love for music she knew that she wanted to do something within the music industry but she didn’t know where to start. Ashley also stated that she has a voice during our interview “I’m very talented but shy, I use to put together musicals with my cousins and put on a show for our family, we loved making our own costumes to look like Destiny Child”.


Blogger Ashley is one gifted human being that specializes in music, fashion and lifestyle blogging. Ashley encountered a rough upbringing growing up but that didn’t stop her from chasing her dreams and becoming the best person she could be. She witnessed her mom on drugs and a father who was in and out of jail for selling drugs. Music was something that Ashley grew to love and what she turned to often when she had no one to talk to.


Alice stay up-to-date by reading  magazines, attending fashion week, spending time around other style savvy people, and following other bloggers and stylists. Fashion week is a must for Alice she love seeing the new trends and sometimes even finding out she was already ahead of the trend. During our interview she stated “Ha that’s the best feeling ever! Fashion week is literally the epitome of inspiration. I didn't really understand it when I was younger like, “why would anyone ever wear that out? But now I understand what inspiration really means. Fashion week isn't about the specific pieces (yes the designers want you to buy their stuff) but for a stylist or blogger it’s more so for inspiration”.

Her dream job would be to style shoots for her own brand and also style other people. Notnecessarily celebrities but regular people. She feels like it is so easy for celebrities to find stylists which is why she want to be an outlet for the regular girl to feel inspired. Alice wants everyone to feel like they can be stylish no matter what their budget, age, location, race, size, or status is. Alice would love to eventually have her own brand  that she can one day have available for her followers to enjoy and feel confident in.

Alice enjoys styling herself for shoots however she love exploring and trying new things she told us about the time she worked with her friend Joselyne. “The reason why she is one of my favorites because Joselyne does not often wear makeup or get dressed up. From the time I met her she had very long dull un-even hair, braces, and did not get dressed up unless it was for a special event. I always told her I wanted to give her a fun makeover and how
amazing she could look. Finally she gave in and let me after she got her braces removed and finally got  drastic haircut. The transformation was un-real! She was stunning. She told me she thought she would never look that good and I definitely proved her wrong. It was such a fulfilling feeling to see her be so happy and see the beauty in herself. I did her hair, makeup, and picked out an outfit to create a whole look for her. It honestly made me just as happy as it made her”.

When asking Alice the question whose work has influenced her most? She replied “Some people that have inspired me immensely are Coco Chanel, Negin Mirsalehi (@negin_mirsalehi), Ann Wynn (@ann.wynn), Marianna Hewitt (@Marianna_Hewitt), Sazan Hendrix (@sazan). As for these bloggers/stylists they have inspired me because they all have a different sense of style and all very different lives and looks but they all give me ideas and inspiration for looks I want to do. Coco Chanel literally became a symbol and timeless icon for fashion and women, Negin travels the world for fashion, Marianna gives advice and gives back to her followers, Sazan built her empire from the bottom and has stayed humble through it all, and Ann Wynn is in the beginning stages of building her brand and helping empower women around her. They are all doing great things that I want to be a part of. I have met some of them and worked with some of them (which I feel extremely blessed to say) and meeting them has only made me even more influenced by them”.


Fashion stylist and blogger Alice Joy was born in New Brunswick, NJ.  She grew up in Roselle Park, NJ in a single parent household with a determined mother doing all she can to support her and making sure she never went without. Alice Joy is the only child and she has a very close relationship with her mom. Alice Joy started her college career at a community college and later transferred to University of Maryland Baltimore County where she is currently finishing her last year. Her mom wanted her to pursue nursing so Alice respected her mother’s wishes and finished her prerequisites and applied to nursing schools. This wasn’t exactly what Alice wanted and decided to choose another path that she knew would fulfill her happiness. Her mom wasn’t the happiest about her decision but she still supported her, like always. This is when Alice started blogging, her mom seen her passion for helping other women with blogging and styling and started to understand Alice’s vision. Alice Joy went from 300 to 3000 followers under one year. Every time she had a chance to style new looks she showcased it. She answered every question; DM, phone call, or text that she received that was related to her topics. Fashion Styling has become something Alice is obsessed with and also something she truly loves.

Alice has been fascinated with fashion ever since she was a little girl. She was very fascinated in creating things. She likes to draw, take photos, put outfits together, do makeup looks, basically she loves putting together full looks.  She never realized that the fashion industry was a place where she could take all the things that she love and bundle them  together! She even use to make jewelry as a little girl and sell them to her family.  Alice made a binder where she saved pictures from magazines of looks she liked., at that point she realized she was different from other little girls, she wasn't fascinated by the items themselves (whatever the ad was selling) but instead the look as a whole. She wanted to look at how the picture was put together and how it made her feel. Like anyone else who has a passion for fashion it made her want to shop too but it really made me feel inspired more than anything.

Alice explains that the career of a stylist can be intimidating. She feels that it is thoroughly saturated and can also make you feel very small at times. She questioned why would anyone care about her vision and her style when there are already so many established people in the business? Being a fashion stylist doesn’t come easy ,jobs are limited, and creations can be nonexistent sometimes. Alice is special , unique and creative which makes people fall in love with her work. Things that she think are normal, other girls learn from. They take her advice and sometimes she doesn’t even realize it was advice. Although she started her journey about two years ago, she is a completely different person then she was then. Alice was not at all confident in her ability or herself. Alice just knew she had a gift and some knowledge to share.  She quickly learned that the one thing you can do to prepare for any career or position in this industry is to BE CONFIDENT IN YOURSELF. You bring things to the table that other people cannot so whatever that is, own it!


Sharifa had just came back from studying fashion marketing in London and Paris, and she was living at home with her mom. This was after college. She was going on job interviews, meeting with people in marketing and branding all over NYC and she kept getting the same feedback. Her degree in Film Directing and Minor in Psychology wasn't really what they were looking for. They wanted someone with more experience. Which frustrated her because she wondered, "how am I going to get more experience if you not going to give me the experience." Nonetheless, Sharifa was really depressed and she finally asked herself this question, which she feels like all aspiring actors should do before they embark on this journey: "what job or career would I want to have, if I couldn't make not one cent for the rest of my life / what would I be happy doing regardless of the financial profit?” and Sharifa said acting. So she found an acting school in NY and she started there.

Theater is the basis of all acting, and Sharifa believes that all actors should get experience in acting on the stage. Theater allows for you to think on your toes, improv, and it also forces you to be in the moment. Sharifa explains: "You cannot fake your feelings on that stage because everyone will and can see it. Film acting is different. There are a lot of technical aspects that come with film acting. Along with being in the moment, which is not always necessary, you have to do numerous shots of the same thing, so your stamina has to be on 100 all the time. You do different takes from different angles all day. Sometimes 1 day of shooting can be just 1 scene, because the director wants different angles, close ups, etc. Your energy has to be on 100 all day; it is draining. With a play you do it once, for the day, and it’s done, on to the next day where you can rest up and do it again. Filming can sometimes be, you saying the same line 50 different times, for 3 hours."

Sharifa's improv skills and on camera audition skills are things that she is continually working on. She is looking forward to get back into classes, but this time with more direction of the exact classes she wants to take.

As an actress, Sharifa Oliver likes to make sure that she gets the call sheet at least two days in advance so she knows what her call time is, and what she has to prepare (wardrobe, script, etc.) the night before. 

Sharifa is in the process of writing her own web series and short film. She definitely will be keeping us updated on the production of these projects in the upcoming days.

Acting has allowed Sharifa to deal with a lot of her demons and past traumatic experiences. She always finds herself in the characters and roles that she plays. Sharifa believes that acting is not becoming someone else, but it is exploring other facets of yourself in the midst of telling another story. There are certain roles that she has played that she has not actually experienced herself, however she knows that she can bring forth pain, or anxiety, or joy because she's experienced that, thus finding herself in the role. 

The business of acting has also taught Sharifa that she has to have a strong backbone. She's from New York so she always thought that she was the baddest of the bad, and she could spot dishonesty from a mile away. She gives the credit for that to her city, but being on the business end she also realizes that she is a business and she has to conduct herself as such. Sharifa has to be strict about the things that she will and will not do, no compromising, no matter what the cost. 

The Biggest thing Sharifa has learned is how to say no, in the most professional manner possible, as well as keeping all her acting business relationships as professional.


Mariana Badia is a fashion designer and owner of Badia Fashion LLC, She moved to the United States 2 years ago. She’s originally from Republic of Moldova, a small Eastern European country. She has had the opportunity to work in the fashion industry for more than 5 years. While living in Moldova she used to work as a Manager of Foreign Relations which is a big company, that is one of the biggest producers for Barbour, Moncler, Cerruti, Max Mara. 




Patrice Mills is a wife, mother, Founder of PerfectXI online boutique, passionate photographer, lifestyle and fashion blogger who lives through her motto to "Inspire to be Better." It is through this motto that Patrice feels that by doing what you love you truly inspire and even awaken the hearts of others. A Maryland native, who as a child grew up in a South Carolina, Patrice credits the South as a foundation stone for her faith, love, and her character. After graduating high school, Patrice moved back to Maryland to pursue her college education. 



“I rarely had anybody ever tell me they don’t like my work but I would say the first time I ever got discouraged was in the beginning.  Basically one of the people who helped throw the annual fashion show at Georgia state gave me his opinion on the first skull caps I ever made and I remember him saying “the idea is cool but nobody is going to really want to walk around with a hat that says  F*ck on it, and you can’t market that” Devon explained. This was back in 2013 and a few months or a year or so later Devon saw a post on complex magazines website with rapper Young Thug wearing one of his hats that he had gave him a few months prior with the caption saying “Young thug declares F*ck Ya Fashion” this was a spectacular moment for Devon. This was when Devon started to really get motivated and serious about his brand.

He realized he wanted to be a designer after going shopping over and over not seeing anything that represents his individuality. It felt like every store had exactly what he saw in the last store. It’s very hard to find pieces that stand out.  Devon feels like out of most things fashion is one of the main things a person can have it basically expresses who they are.

The most rewarding part about being a designer for Devon would be seeing people wear the product that was created. A lot of people may think that the creating or design process is quick but these things take time. No matter how simple the design may look one small thing could throw off the whole image. The feeling that Devon gets from seeing people wear his clothes is way more rewarding than anything he could have thought of in the past; especially knowing that people are willing to pay him for it.

A designer role model for Devon is different from the usual. He’s never been influenced by  Louis Vuitton or Gucci.  He gets inspired by brands like Slowbucks and Rocawear; even some of his friends inspire him. He takes a liking to people who he can relate to especially anyone who looks like him and started from the bottom. 


Devon Burrowes, CEO and designer of F*ck Your Fashion was born in the Bronx, NY. He represents Flatbush, Brooklyn and Atlanta mainly because that’s where he grew up most of his life. As a child he grew up indulging in sports and all things dealing with fashion. He was the type of football player who was always being disciplined because every summer he would skip practice to go to the city to run around and use his earned money to purchase clothes or whatever that was in style. He always did this in order to be fashion forward for the upcoming school year. The perk of being in NY was that he could always get the latest fashions ahead of everyone else. Brooklyn is where he molded himself into the person he is today from experiences growing up. Also that’s where he got the idea to start a clothing line. Although the whole clothing line thing came later on in his life he would definitely say a lot of the stuff he went through brought him to this point in his life.

Devon’s creative process is him just following his eye and trying to produce a product that he would want to see if he was out shopping. Whether its men or women’s clothing he would basically just think about what he would want to see people wear and how he would  imagine them wearing it. 

The one mistake Devon thinks a lot of designers make is forgetting to build a relationship with their clientele. “If you have a relationship with the people who buy your product you have a stronger support system as well as people who could let you know when you’re really doing something that’s dope or even letting you know when you’re falling off of your game” Devon stated.  It’s very important because when you’re trying to build a brand you rarely have people that will tell you the truth about your brand or product.



BLKTC: Describe for someone who has never heard of it what spoken word poetry is. 

KONDWANI: It is a tool that is used to convey real life experiences, political views, and other various thoughts in a creative way.

BLKTC: What’s your life story?  

KONDWANI: I was born and raised in East Baltimore by my grandmother. My parents were both in and out of prison, battling drug addiction and crime

BLKTC: How were you introduced to spoken word poetry?

KONDWANI: I was introduced to spoken word poetry in 2011, my freshman year at Virginia State University. I started reading for the first time ever, and it exposed me to other writers.

BLKTC: What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?            

KONDWANI: I always start with my firmest belief: No matter what obstacles you face in life. Always pursue your passion. Never have a plan "B" because it only distracts you from your plan "A."

BLKTC: How long have you taken part?  

KONDWANI: I have been performing spoken word since 2013

BLKTC: What obstacles has spoken word helped you overcome? 

KONDWANI: Spoken word has helped me understand my lie purpose. It has helped me help other people, and in doing so, it has created a healthier life for me.

BLKTC: What does it take to be a spoken word poet?           

KONDWANI: Reading every day. Writing every day. Take the craft serious.

BLKTC: Tell us about your first time performing.                                

KONDWANI: My first time was February 10, 2013 at Virginia State University. I performed in front of a crowd of 200+ people. I got a standing ovation. I told myself "you can only get better." The next day I went to Gandy Hall, and changed my major from Sports Management to English

BLKTC: What would you say to someone wanting to get involved?                                         

KONDWANI: It takes a lot of reading and writing. If you don't want to take on that challenge, or believe that it is too much, then it's not for you. For the people who do accept the challenge; always stay true to yourself and dedicated to the craft. TO READ FULL INTERVIEW AND ARTICLE CLICK MORE!!

"Being an explorer in a city of 8 million people excites me" says Joshua, better known as Tom Bruise. Bruise loves bending the rules for views and sights that people pay money to see. He does it for fun and to relax his mind. He believes that being up 900ft in the air is better than being on the ground.

Bruise picked up photography in his Junior year of high school. He started off with  a Nikon D90, but he never really discovered a passion for it until 2015, when he started making skate films and uploading them on YouTube. 

Tom Bruise started exploring because, "he was tired of doing the same shit". Bruise didn't have the best equipment to make a good skate film. He started off shooting with a DSLR and a kit lens, but he still wanted to do something that would 'wow' a crowd. So Tom Bruise and his friend Vic and decided to climb the Manhattan bridge during the Blizzard that happened in NYC 2016. It was described as an intense, breath-taking moment and yet so beautiful. Some people may not get what he means, so he tells people to "picture yourself flying, and that's how it feels..."
Tom never really had a mentor, nor a teacher. He basically learned on his own. Besides teachers or mentors, he has his friends, Emil and Vic, that push him to get better. They inspire Tom to do more; so in that right, his friends are his teachers.

Bruise believes that every story has its own type of truth to it. He says, "My images are my truths to my story. More people will tell their story. As they go down their feeds, some will get inspired to do what I do."

Tom doesn't have a lot people that he looks up to. His role models are mostly his friends. He wants to give a huge shout-out to Emil, Vic, and SKATERSANDTHIEVES. 

Exploring makes Bruise a very happy person. He's found something that he loves, which clears his head and allows him to understand life more. Bruise encourages others to, "Just live life to the fullest extent is what I say.

To Read Full Article Click: GLOBAL SCOPE !!

Photos by chad Lawson @yourfavshooter 

When Leeuh J does makeup she gets the same adrenaline rush that an athlete might get before a game or before a big play. Even though she's been doing makeup for years, every new client that she works with, her hands are always shaking in the beginning. She already knows that it’s the adrenaline pumping. And she's always more excited rather than nervous.

Carlia Jackson was born December 3, 1992 to her beautiful mother Jeanette and her handsome father Carl, in Washington, D.C.. She is 100% a military brat. Shes been to all 50 states in the US and had the pleasure of living in Seoul, South Korea for two years when she was younger, which was an experience that she still remembers to this day. She was primarily raised between Maryland, New Jersey, and Georgia. New Jersey is where her heart is. Leeuh J gave birth to her beautiful, now 4 years old, daughter Audrina. 

Being home-bound for a month and a half straight after delivering Audrina, gave Leeuh J enough free time to pick back up her love for makeup, which she has been doing since she was 13. While she knew that she didn’t need makeup to make her feel beautiful, it gave her a way to express herself. Leeuh started seeing the improvement in her skills and realized that she could definitely turn it into money. At that moment, 3 years ago, Leeuh J started freelancing and she has been at it ever since. Shes excited to see what else she can add to her repertoire in the next 5 years.

Since she was a little girl, Leeuh has always been involved in everything fashion and beauty. She literally used to have her grandma make her outfits so that she could model them. She eventually grew out of that once she hit her pre-teen and teenage years and switched over to beauty. To Read Full Article Click Link: FOR THE LOVE OF MAKEUP



​​It's been 13 years and counting that Nerita McFarlane has been dancing.

Nerita attended Eileen's School of Dance, later renamed Elite Dance Conservatory, for 10 years. Then, she went onto Laguardia HS. While she was there, She got into summer intensives, like YoungDanceMakers Company, and started to get antiquated with people in the NY dance community and continued working and training. It definitely brought her a lot of new and great opportunities.                                       

She believes that To be a fit dancer is more about your mindset. Nerita defines herself as a dancer because she enjoys performing. The feeling she gets when shes onstage can be described as a moment where she has absorbed everything and tells her audience a story; she is continually living in that moment.

Ironically Nerita has never had rhythm and her whole family joked all the time about it, so once she got into classes, she changed that and never turned back. Nerita just recently signed to Clear Talent Agency back in June, so she's living her dream as a professional dancer. 

One of Nerita's major goals is to dance for Rihanna. No words can describe the amount of admiration and love she has for Rihanna. As she moves each day, she just wants to progress in the most organic way possible and have longevity. She believes that whatever is meant for her will come her way and she just has to enjoy her journey as She continues to do bigger and better things.

What inspires Nerita to keep dancing is her dedication to keep growing. She says, "As we get older, we don't just have one destination in our life but we reach for our goals and set new barriers to break once we achieve them ." That's how she treats her artistry. If you hinder yourself from growth, then you've already strayed away from being a better you, and for Nerita that's not an option.

Dance allows Nerita to express herself when she can't do it verbally, while it has also empowers her to use her voice. When she was younger she was all about making sure everyone liked her. But, growing up she realized that not everyone is going to like what you have to offer. There are going to be people who are going to try to knock you down and you have to find it within yourself to ignore that, just like Nerita did. Through dance, she has transformed into an outspoken woman who's not afraid of what others think, because all she needs is to believe in herself and everything else will fall into place.

When Nerita was in dance school, they would always have picture day, which consisted of taking pictures in costumes. That was always fun for her, but she also grew up watching America's Next Top Model so that inspired her to model as well.

To Read Full Article Click Link: EMBRACE THE SENSE OF FREEDOM

Photo Credit: @dioburtophoto

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Rosewood and Villa travel to New York to investigate Eddie’s death, while Slade and Hornstock team up to take down a Miami prostitution FOR MORE INFO CLICK RW
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Dedicated To Prosper | DANUSIA FRANCIS
Story By Blkticketconcept | Photo By Gwen Sullivan & Christy Linder Sharp
Danusia Francis grew up in a small town called Kenilworth, in England. She was raised by a single mother of four. She began gymnastics at age 5 with her siblings to burn off energy. From the moment she stepped into the gym, she knew that it was her calling. She was immediately in love with the sport and practiced as much as she could. Danusia quickly out grew the recreational gym that she was a member of and moved to a slightly bigger gym club, Coventry Olympic, and became part of a young development program at the national sports center. 
At age 9, Danusia's gym was to be demolished and her dreams were in jeopardy. For about six months, her mother drove her to the National training center five times a week, but this it was very time consuming and expensive, so her mom asked if she could trial at Heathrow Gymnastics Club as they had shown some interest when Danusia had done her first competition there when she was seven. The club had a scholarship system in partnership with St. David’s School, both the school and the gym were eager to have Danusia, but this would mean moving away from home and attending boarding school two hours away at the age of nine. But she was determined to achieve her dream of competing at the Olympics and knew that this was the very best option. 

From the age of nine to fifteen she attended both Heathrow and St. David’s and competed internationally for Great Britain and won national titles and made friends for life. Everything was going smoothly on my path to my Olympic dream. However, tragedy struck once more when St. David’s school became bankrupt and had to be shut down. 

This school had been exceptional and there were no other schools like it close to Heathrow. However, miracles do happen and another school, Surbiton High School, recruited the entire gymnastics team from St. David’s and matched all their scholarships. There was just one problem, they were not a boarding school. So they bought a house next door to the school and Danusia moved in and had a guardian who looked after her and the others, and took them to training. The stars were perfectly aligned and Danusia Francis quickly adapted. 

In 2011 at the World Championships Danusia helped Great Britain qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games. It must have been an incredible feeling for Danusia, seeing their name on the board in the list of teams who had qualified and knowing that she had helped get them there. To Read Full Story Click Link