Episode 28 – Michael Singleton

If you frequent the Farmer’s Market under the JFX or in Waverly, you’ve had to maneuver your way around some long lines. The longest line usually belongs to Blacksauce Kitchen. Their handmade biscuits are buttery and flaky, and when they make them into sandwiches with stuff like applewood smoked pork, onion jam and a farm fresh egg well…speaking from personal experience, it’s a good way to start your weekend. In this interview I talked to Michael Singleton, sous chef at Blacksauce.  Born and raised on the westside, Michael’s parents made sure he got the best education money could buy in Baltimore. He talks about his experiences at Gilman, going to school in the Midwest, and why “everybody gets a turn” on the cultural appropriation ride. Blacksauce is on Facebook and IG. Search Blacksauce Kitchen on FB for menu updates!

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2016 Brioxy Innovation Summit – Day 2

brioxy-horiz-med-fdcd9fa2fc6442a20e873060b6400bb1The 2016 Brioxy Innovation Summit was a four day excursion into the hearts and minds of the “Ready Generation”; minority millennials (with some Gen Xers and Baby Boomers) who want to own their future. The second day was at The Loft at 600 F in the nation’s capital, where discussions about knowledge of self and Black Girl Magic were paramount. We also partied; can’t stay woke and forget to turn up! Special thanks to Cole and Brioxy, Andrés Reyes of California Endowment, and Tim St. Clair. Day 3 coming soon!

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Episode 31 – D. Watkins

I feel like I interviewed D. Watkins at the perfect time. His newest book and memoir, The Cook Up was just featured in the holiest of black scriptures, Oprah Magazine. Although an amazing achievement, D. is a very down to earth guy with no plans to leave anytime soon. Coming from a place where the price for many things was death, D was able to take his love of storytelling and fear of “missing something” to give back to the city of Baltimore. Listen as he talks about his four point plan to increase youth literacy, what a bad day looks like where he’s from, and what it’s like to be fame-ish. Follow D. on social media, @dwatkinsworld. If you’re in Station North this Saturday (6/26), D. will be there reading selected passages from The Cook Up. He’s also teamed up with Taharka Brothers Ice Cream for a new ice cream flavor inspired by book, which you can sample at the event!

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Episode 27 – Kondwani Fidel

For a man in his early twenties, Kondwani is incredibly driven. Before the age of 25 he’s traveled around the nation giving lectures and performing spoken word pieces at various schools, and when he has the time, subs at City College, his alma mater. A graduate of Virginia State University, Kondwani  grew up in East Baltimore and channeled the restless energy of inner city youth into his words and writing. I sat down with him to talk about his work, the good and bad of attending an HBCU, and how despite being proud of his debut (and self published) book of poems “Asperous Artistry”, it’s not indicative of the 2016 Kondwani Fidel. Check him out at kondwanifidel.com, or find him on social media: @kondwanifidel.

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2016 Brioxy Innovation Summit – Day 1

brioxy-horiz-med-fdcd9fa2fc6442a20e873060b6400bb1The 2016 Brioxy Innovation Summit was a four day excursion into the hearts and minds of the “Ready Generation”; minority millennials (with some Gen Xers and Baby Boomers) who want to own their future. The first day was at Baltimore’s Exit the Apple Artspace, where discussions about innovation, economics and race were paramount. Special thanks to Cole and Brioxy, Miguel Bibianco, Tony Matthews, Lilia Ramirez and Tim St. Clair.

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Episode 26 – Kyle Pompey

20160402_160423I didn’t meet Kyle until 2016, but I’ve known his uncle Harold Pompey since 2013. I learned a bit about audio editing from Harold when I started working at iHeartMedia. I didn’t spend a lot of time watching Harold work, but what he did show me had a lasting impact, and some of the stuff he showed me I still do today. As for Kyle, Jermaine of Impact Hub (listen to his episode here) introduced us after an event. We got to talking about what we want to do with our art, and the result (of my art at least) is this episode here. Kyle takes amazing photos of the city we live in, check him on IG: @niceshotkyle

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Episode 25 – Myrtis Bedolla

20160326_153820Fox’s Empire has been a smash hit since it premiered two years ago. Some say it’s a modern day telling of Shakespeare’s King Lear. I don’t really like Shakespeare and don’t have cable, so I’ll have to take their word for it. An aspect the show is constantly praised for is its Afrocentric art. Where’s all that art sourced from? Well, it comes from Baltimore. Particularly from the lavish Galerie Myrtis. I met Myrtis (the gallery’s owner and director) after attending a panel discussion at the gallery, “Food as a Paradox”. I thanked her for the discussion and was taken aback when she agreed to do the interview. The interview itself is an amazing one, probably my top 3 favorite since starting the podcast. Myrtis’s life sounds like one from a work of fiction, and one I feel honored to catalog.  Click here to look at the gallery’s page, and look at upcoming events! Galerie Myrtis is open to the public as well!

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Episode 24 – Andre Mazelin

As the Creative Alliance’s Operations Director for almost ten years, Andre’s seen and done it all. Organized events, rent out venue space, and even had to deal with a performer having a stroke on stage. Andre’s life is an interesting one, with beginnings in Jamaica and travels to the U.S. by way of Miami. Listen as he talks about his “Coming to America” moment and the culture shock, his time at school with Ziggy Marley, and his hopes for The Room, his soon to be open cafe in the heart of Mt. Vernon. Follow @theroom800 on Instagram and follow its journey from idea to reality!

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Episode 23 – Wendy Wolock

20160319_144039What started as an innocuous post on Reddit’s (relax) Baltimore board turned into me checking out MissionFit Baltimore’s spacious and lofty work out area. I met with MFB’s trainer Geoff Blake, who taught me a new way to do squats (Bulgarian Split Squats) and alked about MissionFit’s vision. After our conversation I got to meet the nonprofit’s founder, Wendy Wolock. We talked for a bit and decided she’d be a great guest for the podcast. A self described “suburban white woman”, Wendy combined her desire to give back to the community with her fitness background to give Baltimore kids a safe space to work out and be surrounded by positive vibes. The initial spark for MissionFit was a teacher that taught Wendy in her childhood. The result is a gym space in Remington where kids and adults can come and do better. If you’re interested in getting involved, head over to missionfit.org to learn more. If you’re REALLY interested, just drop in at the gym! 2720 Sisson St, Baltimore, MD 21211. If you’re REALLY REALLY interested, run there from your house right now!

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Episode 22 – Rob Simmons

I met Rob last year at an Impact Hub event organized by Jermaine Bell (listen to his episode here) and hosted by Edgar Reyes (listen to HIS episode here). It was about how Blacks and Latinos could benefit from organizing and grouping together to create change. The message resonated with both Rob and I, and we got talking about how we can be the change we want to see in our city. After talking and meeting at the wildly popular Dovecote Café (listen to THAT episode here! I’m on fire!) Rob agreed to come on the podcast and talk about his life and work.  It was a great conversation, and I see him doing great things in Charm City. Rob posts on IG a lot,  stalk him! @scholarsimmons.

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