*Tara L. Paige of Dallas created a virtual haven for Black women to find inspiration for their patios, balconies, and outdoor spaces during the pandemic… but the community of 200,000 has become so much more.
Paige is the brainchild behind a new popular Facebook group, Black Women Who Love Outdoor Living Spaces. She’s encouraging women to “make their outside a beautiful living space together.” After creating the group in April, its membership has already reached as far as Thailand, South Africa, and beyond.
She says, fun and sharing those beautiful outdoor spaces was the original intent of the group, but Paige created the space for much more than that — with Black women in mind.
“It is it is a place of healing,” Paige added. “A space where we can support one another and love one another, inspire and empower each other just to move on to the next day to deal with it again.”
Watch her story below:
27 More Black Ex-Franchisees Join Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against McDonald’s
*MIAMI – Twenty-seven new plaintiffs, all former Black McDonald’s franchisees, joined an ongoing federal lawsuit against the fast-food chain claiming the company engaged in systemic discrimination and denied them the same opportunities as White franchisees.
The new amended complaint now has 77 named plaintiffs in the lawsuit originally filed by 52 Black former franchisees on Sept. 1, 2020.
The claims now include nearly 300 stores with compensatory damages that average between
$4 million and $5 million per store, exclusive of punitive damages.
The plaintiffs allege McDonald’s sold itself as a recruiter and developer of Black talent, profited from its Black consumer base and maintained a two-tier system that pigeonholed unsuspecting Black owners and assigned them horrible locations guaranteed to fail.
This suit comes on the heels of a federal class action lawsuit filed October 29 by current Black franchisees.
“McDonald’s is now fighting a four-front legal war. They are being sued by current and former Black operators, Black employees and senior executives,” said James L. Ferraro, the lead attorney for both the current and former franchisee lawsuits. “As the pool of plaintiffs grow, there will be more pressure on the company to dispense with the public relations ploys and focus on how it can help its Black employees and franchisees.”
At the same time there are calls for state pension funds to drop McDonald’s stock. States like New York, California, Ohio and Florida have massive investments in McDonald’s. In Tennessee, Rep. Joe Towns has requested Treasurer David H. Lillard to divest the state’s holdings and reallocate the money toward companies “practicing good corporate citizenship.”
Ferraro said all these challenges are coming together because the company has turned a blind eye to obvious racial problems while promoting its public image.
McDonald’s once boasted a high of 377 Black franchisees in 1998. That number now stands at 186 even though McDonald’s has increased its stores from 15,086 to 36,059. The cash flow gap for Black franchisees more than tripled from 2010 to 2019, per National Black McDonald’s
Operators Association (“NBMOA”) data.
Plaintiffs’ average annual sales of $2 million was more than $700,000 under McDonald’s national average of $2.7 million between 2011 and 2016 and $900,000 under the national average of $2.9 million in 2019.
The lawsuit claims McDonald’s was ruthless in steering Black operators toward the oldest, most decrepit stores in the toughest neighborhoods routinely rejected by Whites franchisees. This severely limited opportunities for expansion and growth, and far too often set in place a chain of events – low cash flow, decreased equity, debt and bankruptcy – that led to financial ruin.
The plaintiffs argue McDonald’s violated federal civil rights laws by:
- Excluding Black franchisees from the same growth opportunities found at safer, higher- volume, lower-cost stores offered to Whites.
- Retaliating against Black franchisees for rejecting strong-arm offers to continue operations in crime-ridden
- Denying Black franchisees meaningful assistance during financial hardships while White franchisees were routinely given such
- Failing to provide any legitimate business reasons for repeated denials of franchise opportunities over many
- Unfairly grading the operations of Black restaurants, which resulted in poor internal reviews, effectively pushing Black franchisees out of the McDonald’s system by denying them the eligibility for growth and favorable franchise
- Providing misleading projections which induced Black franchisees to purchase undesirable franchises.
The amended complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division. To download the complaint, click here.
Duchess Meghan Opens Up About Miscarriage: ‘I Tried to Imagine How We’d Heal’
*Meghan, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, revealed in an essay published in the New York Times on Wednesday that she suffered a miscarriage in July.
The former actress and wife of Prince Harry said the moment occurred while she was caring for her son Archie.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” Meghan wrote, describing how she felt a sharp cramp, and dropped to the floor while holding her son.
“Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears,” she wrote. “Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”
Meghan added: “Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, “Are you OK?”
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” Meghan Markle writes about her miscarriage. Today, we are sharing an essay by the Duchess of Sussex about the loss that she and Prince Harry suffered earlier this year. https://t.co/xCJbgPgufq
— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) November 25, 2020
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she wrote.
“In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning,” Meghan continued.
The duchess is receiving an outpouring of love on social media, with author Elizabeth Day writing on Twitter: “Chrissy Teigen and the Duchess of Sussex speaking openly about something that historically has given women so much pain, shame and trauma, is a game-changing step.
“I, and countless others, am so grateful to them. Beyond that, I simply want to tell them: I am so, so sorry.”
Prince Harry reportedly told the royal family about his wife’s miscarriage in the summer and they were “very supportive,” a royal expert says, Newsweek reports.
‘What Have You Done for Black People?’ Obama Sits Down in Person With The Breakfast Club (Watch)
*President Obama’s jam-packed book tour for “A Promised Land” stopped by The Breakfast Club Wednesday morning for a wide-ranging interview, including the ongoing question by that one Black person in your orbit who keeps asking, “What has Obama done for Black people?”
DJ Envy asked Obama how he takes it when people question what he’s done for people of color, or say that he hasn’t done enough.
“I understand it because when I got elected, there was so much excitement and hope… And I also think we generally viewed the presidency as almost like a monarchy.In the sense of, ‘once the President is there he can just do whatever he needs to get done and if he’s not doing it then it must be because he didn’t want to do,’” Obama said.
He then pointed out that the current president appears to be able to “do what he wants” because he “breaks the law.” But Obama said he was very confident in what he had done for “Black folks” during his time in office “because I had the statistics to prove it.”
He said that among his accomplishments for African Americans, 3 million more Black people had health insurance who didn’t have it before, the number of Black folks in prison dropped for the first time in years, 30 percent fewer people were in the juvenile correction system, Black poverty dropped to its lowest level since 1968, Black businesses and income rose, and data shows that “millions of Black folks were better off by the time I left office.”
After Charlamagne Tha God pressed him to be more specific about his policies that aided Black people, rather than the “rising tide lifts all boats” answer, Obama conceded, “There is no way in eight years to make up for 200 years.”
Here’s Obama’s full interview with DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God.
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