Connect with us

#NNPA BlackPress

Meet Micah Lewis, Founder of Vibestreet Studios

BIRMINGHAM TIMES — Micah Lewis, 24, is founder of Vibestreet Photography and Rental Studios, a rental space near Five Points South that opened this year and hosts a broad range of photo shoots, videography, art shows, meetings, and even served as a site for a local reality show. He recently spoke to The Birmingham Times about the multipurpose location for creatives in the Magic City.

Published

on

Micha Lewis (Photo by: birminghamtimes.com)

By Ameera Steward

Micah Lewis, 24, is founder of Vibestreet Photography and Rental Studios, a rental space near Five Points South that opened this year and hosts a broad range of photo shoots, videography, art shows, meetings, and even served as a site for a local reality show. He recently spoke to The Birmingham Times about the multipurpose location for creatives in the Magic City.

Birmingham Times: What do you like most about Birmingham?

Lewis: I love that Birmingham is a happy medium between small towns and big cities. We have a large university here, but also a lot of small businesses and restaurants that aren’t available in other cities. Places like Atlanta can be overwhelming for extended amounts of time with the huge population and constant traffic. Also, my roots are here, and there’s nothing better than giving back to a community that gave me so much.

If you had someone visit from out of town, what’s the one place you have to take them?

Aside from places like Vulcan [Park and Museum] and the Civil Rights Institute, it’s important to see other places in the city that truly capture the essence of Birmingham. First, we’d stop by Bayles, a black-owned restaurant in Woodlawn that opened recently and has the best waffles I’ve tasted in a long time. Next, we’d head to Third Avenue North, where there’s an assortment of amazing businesses. Starting at Don’s Hair Care Center, I’d make sure they get a fresh fade from one of the best barbers in Birmingham, Donnie. Then we’d get them some air-purifying plants from the Botanical Gardens, a cup of coffee from Revelator Coffee, and end the visit with the McWane Center.

What’s your favorite movie?

My top three of all time would be “Training Day,” “White Men Can’t Jump,” and “She’s Out of Your League.” I’m a fan of movies that have issues that aren’t too big. Our real lives can be very stressful so I’m not into movies or shows where someone has to save the world from ending. In movies like these, people are put in situations where they’re probably supposed to lose, but they find a way through despite their flaws.

Who’s your favorite musical artist?

I’m not sure if I’ll ever have a number-one favorite artist but, but right now my favorites are YBN Cordae, Sam Cooke, and the great Nipsey Hussle. Cordae is a newer artist, but it’s so refreshing to hear someone actually rapping in a time of hip-hop that is so heavily diluted with people focusing on money instead of the art itself. I believe you can be considered a great artist when you have one truly perfect song, and Sam Cooke has at least three, which is amazing. Aside from his extensive discography and constant growth within his music, Nipsey Hussle gave knowledge and resources to his community in abundance, which is something I think about daily.

What’s a food dish that you can never get tired of?

The super double burger from Pop’s Neighborhood Grill on the Southside is amazing. There’s just something about that restaurant, where you can literally taste the love. With places like that open here in Birmingham, I rarely go to the chain fast food restaurants.

What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally?

Professionally, I care about growing Vibestreet organically and keeping our focus on being a resource to the young people coming up behind us. In the past, I’ve been so focused on changing people’s perception of Vibestreet, I ended up reaching for things that were not in the best interest of the brand, [such as paying people they didn’t know personally to promote the brand.] In those cases, people did the bare minimum or only what they were contractually obligated to do. Customers can tell it’s just someone being paid and not that they personally believe in Vibestreet but looked good on social media. Now, due to those hard lessons I understand that our victory is not in comparison to others but knowing that we did our best and still remained ourselves in that. Personally, I strive to be a better man every day and gain more patience and understanding of the world around me.

Who is someone you admire, and why?

My cousin, Ronald Jackson, is someone I draw strength from regularly. His childhood situations were more than any one person should have to endure, but he’s one of the most kind and pleasant people walking the earth. I’ve had issues with forgiveness and patience, but it seems he’s been endowed with those traits his entire life. I regularly think to myself, “If Ronnie could make it through all that, I can keep going as well.”

What are three pet peeves?

Being late, unprepared/uninformed, or stagnant would be my biggest pet peeves. I like to get where I’m going at least 10 minutes early, just in case an issue arises. Additionally, I know I value my time, so I wouldn’t want to waste anyone else’s. Being on time goes hand in hand with being prepared and informed. For events we curate for Vibestreet, as a team we organize everything three months in advance so we can be thorough and precise with our finished products. And finally, without growth there is no life itself.

How do you want to be remembered?

As a flawed man who took his vision farther than he was equipped to. The very heritage of black Americans is being dealt an unfair hand and still coming away with a victory. I’d like to continue that legacy and leave more resources behind, therefore passing the baton on to the next generation so maybe they can simply live better lives instead of having to fight for one. I know we’re far from the goal of full civil equality, but if we were the last generation to have to go to war and die for it, that’d be great.

What do you want to do before you die?

I want to ensure that I convey a message that happiness is more accessible than what we are taught. Life is not worth living only because you have an expensive sports car and a mansion. The greatest luxury in this life is time spent with people who matter to you. A cousin of mine was murdered recently [June 2019] here in Birmingham, and I would give everything I have for him to have made it home safely that night. We’re often in heaven but get too preoccupied looking out the window at something else. Many of our young people are systematically being led astray by being told that they need material things—often depreciating liabilities—to be successful, when instead they need to be taught the importance of financial stability and building a foundation that can help them for the rest of their lives.

What publications or websites do you regularly read?

Aside from reading The Birmingham Times regularly, I’m not as much of a reader as I’d like to be. I usually get my breaking news from Twitter, and I watch a lot of interviews from people that inspire me. I actually listen to the same interviews a lot so I can fully digest messages from people.

What is your personal motto?

From the late great Nipsey Hussle: “The marathon continues.” We’ve been working on Vibestreet for four years now, and I still feel like we’ve barely begun. Earlier on I was concerned with the sprint and trying to be the biggest thing in the world by tomorrow, but that isn’t possible. The slow growth, hard lessons, and struggles along the way are what make the journey worth it.

Click here to read about Vibestreet’s chief financial officer, Josh Echols. 

Click here to read about Vibestreet’s operations coordinator, Jerrod Dukes. 

This article originally appeared in The Birmingham Times.

#NNPA BlackPress

Brittney Griner Sentenced to More than 9 years in Russian Prison

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision. “We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

Published

on

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

WNBA Superstar Brittney Griner has been sentenced to more than 9 years in a Russian prison following her conviction on drug charges.

Her lawyers called the verdict a disappointment and vowed to appeal.

The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision.

“We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

“The court completely ignored all the evidence of the defense, and most importantly, the guilty plea. This contradicts the existing legal practice.

“Taking into account the amount of the substance (not to mention the defects of the expertise) and the plea, the verdict is absolutely unreasonable. We will certainly file an appeal,” they added.

Russian officials contended that Griner committed the crime on purpose. They also levied a fine totaling about $16,400 American dollars on the basketball star.

Authorities arrested Griner on Feb. 17 at an airport in Moscow after finding less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

She has been detained since then.

Recently, American officials revealed that the Biden-Harris administration had offered notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for the release of Griner and Paul Whelan.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” President Biden said.

“It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

Report: Human Rights Violations in Prisons Throughout Southern United States Cause Disparate and Lasting Harm in Black Communities  

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Published

on

NNPA Newswire

NEW YORK – The Southern Prisons Coalition, a group of civil and human rights organizations, submitted a new report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on the devastating consequences of incarceration on Black people throughout the southern United States.

With the long-term goal of eliminating all forms of racial discrimination in the criminal legal system, including the carceral system, the report describes the widespread, disparate harms resulting from the arrests, harsh prison sentences, and incarceration on Black communities.

The report also cites the devastating impacts of solitary confinement, prison labor, the school to prison pipeline, and incarceration of parents on Black families.

On August 8, 2022, the UN will review the United States’ compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination for the first time since 2014.

Among the ongoing stark racial disparities throughout prisons in the southern United States, Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated in state prisons.

In states like Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, where Black communities comprise 38% of the total population, Black individuals account for as much as 67% of the total incarcerated population.

While incarcerated, Black people are more than eight times more likely to be placed in solitary confinement, and they are 10 times more likely to be held there for exceedingly long periods of time.

By submitting the report to the United Nations, the Southern Prisons Coalition hopes to solicit concrete recommendations from the UN Committee as well as commitments from the United States delegation about their plans to address systemic issues in the United States prison system, particularly in the South.

According to the report, several states in the United States have also failed to meet several of the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of incarcerated people, including:

  • Work should help to prepare incarcerated people for their release from prison, including life and job skills;
  • Safety measures and labor protections for incarcerated workers should be the same as those that cover workers who are not incarcerated;
  • Incarcerated workers should receive equitable pay, be able to send money home to their families, and have a portion of their wages set aside to be given to them upon release.

“The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“We hope the Committee will help to shine a light on these very dark truths and prompt the U.S. to take its obligation to make significant improvements more seriously.”

“The abuses of forced labor are inextricably tied to racial discrimination in our nation,” said Jamila Johnson, Deputy Director at the Promise of Justice Initiative.

“In Louisiana, for instance, people are still sent into the fields to labor by hand in dangerously high heat indexes, for little to no compensation, and with brutal enforcement reminiscent of slavery and the era of ‘convict leasing’.”

“This report reveals the suffering of Black people in southern U.S. prisons, whose stories of marginalization and discrimination echo the racial subjugation of slavery and convict leasing during our country’s most shameful past,” said Antonio L. Ingram II, Assistant Counsel at the Legal Defense Fund.

“Despite widespread knowledge of the longstanding racial inequalities in the criminal legal and carceral systems, the United States continues to allow egregious human rights violations to persist for Black incarcerated people in violation of international law. This report serves as a sobering reminder of how far we need to go.”

Read the full report here.

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

Celebrate your birthday with 10 free items

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

Published

on

By

By Angelina Liu, Entertainment Editor of The Trendsetter / Texas Metro News

Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

1. Chocolate Secrets

At Chocolate Secrets, located at 3926 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219, you can celebrate your birthday by getting one free piece of candy under their candy cases.

2. WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”

Head to WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”, located at 684 W Pioneer Pkwy Suite 100, Grand Prairie, Texas 75051, to claim a free small personal daiquiri on your birthday. Quench your thirst with signature flavors such as “Strawberry Shortcake” or “Bahama Mama.”

3. Sephora

Sign up for a free, Beauty Insider account and receive your choice of 250 bonus points, Laura Mercier, Amika or Tatcha sets on your birthday. The choice of powders, lipsticks and skincare is bound to make you look fabulous for your special day.

4. Starbucks

Need a quick pick-me-up on your birthday? Starbucks has it covered! Join the Starbucks Rewards Program seven days prior to your birthday and make one purchase. Starbucks will then email you a coupon for a free food or beverage item two days before your birthday. The birthday reward qualifies for anything on the menu, including any size handcrafted drink or food item.

5. Jersey Mike’s

In the mood for a sub? Head over to Jersey Mike’s and receive a free sub and drink. Make sure to sign up for the Jersey Mike’s Subs Email Club prior to your birthday to receive this reward. Nothing tastes quite like melted cheese and meat in between a toasted baguette, along with an icy cold drink.

6. The Cheesecake Factory

Celebrating with friends? Tell your server it’s your birthday and receive a free treat as well as a song. It may be mildly embarrassing, but hey, it’s free!

7. Culver’s

Need something cold and sweet to beat the Texas heat? Head to Culver’s for a free sundae when you sign up for their rewards program. The sweet creaminess will surely not disappoint.

8. IHOP

Want to indulge in a sweet breakfast before birthday festivities? Join the International Bank of Pancakes rewards program to receive a free stack of pancakes on your birthday. Pair your pancakes with a choice of chocolate chips, syrup, fresh fruit or a dollop of whipped cream.

9. McDonald’s

Need a snack before embarking on your next birthday adventure? Download the McDonald’s app and join MyMcDonald’s Rewards to receive free large fries. Mmm, the taste and smell of fresh, perfectly salted french fries.

10. Smoothie King

Want to celebrate your birthday with a healthier option? Enjoy a birthday smoothie at Smoothie King. Download the Smoothie King app to receive this offer.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

As the first-ranked and highest respected Black sportsman, Bill Russell used his status to lead the nation’s leading Black athletes which included Jim Brown, Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and many others to support Muhammad Ali’s stance against the Vietnam War.
Activism5 hours ago

IN MEMORIAM: Oakland’s Own Bill Russell, 88, Greatest Athlete/Civil Rights Activist Ever (Part 1)

Photos courtesy of Ella Baker Center, photography by Brooke Anderson
Activism5 days ago

Over 500 Attend Police-Free Event to Reimagine Safety in Oakland

Digital Issues5 days ago

Oakland Post: Week of August 3 – August 9, 2022

#NNPA BlackPress6 days ago

Brittney Griner Sentenced to More than 9 years in Russian Prison

The City Council established a task force to discuss the racial issues involved in construction and the possibility of a Project Labor Agreement. The task force included some community members, including the publisher of the Oakland Post, and was mandated to address racial discrimination first.
Activism6 days ago

OPINION: Are We About to See the Permanent Exclusion of Most Black People from Construction Jobs in Oakland?

#NNPA BlackPress6 days ago

Report: Human Rights Violations in Prisons Throughout Southern United States Cause Disparate and Lasting Harm in Black Communities  

#NNPA BlackPress6 days ago

Celebrate your birthday with 10 free items

#NNPA BlackPress6 days ago

Vice President Harris Addresses NAACP Convention; Urges Black Voter Participation

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

Biden Administration Announces Steps to Lower Electricity Bills for Residents in HUD Programs

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

Police Force and Top Officials Resign in Kenly, North Carolina After City Council Hires Black Women as Town Manager

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

Biden-Harris Administration Announce New Actions to Address Mental Health in Schools

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

Will Smith Issues Apology to Chris Rock and Family for Oscars Slap

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

Emory University Announces the first African American Studies Ph.D. Program in the U.S. Southeast

#NNPA BlackPress7 days ago

PRESS ROOM: Autism influencer Jeremiah Josey releases a new book about his experience as a Black man with autism

#NNPA BlackPress1 week ago

IN MEMORIAM: Basketball Legend Bill Russell Dies at 88

Trending