*Killer Mike is a Grammy-winning rapper, who has excelled as a songwriter, actor, activist, and entrepreneur. As of Thursday, Oct. 9, he can add banker to his portfolio of titles.
Killer Mike, whose real name is Michael Render, is co-founder of the new Greenwood Bank. He shares ownership of Greenwood with civil rights icon and former mayor of Atlanta, Andrew J. Young and Ryan Glover, founder of Bounce TV Network.
According to Killer Mike, who was born, raised, and still lives in Atlanta, Greenwood is a “FinTech Neobank,” which means it will function as an online bank/digital bank. Greenwood will offer full-service banking, to include savings and spending accounts, peer-to-peer money transfers, mobile deposits, Apple & Android Pay, Global ATM Networks, community reinvestments, two-day early pay, no hidden fees, and more. All deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
“Greenwood is the Black bank of the future,” said Killer Mike. “When I was called by Ryan Glover about partnering with him and Andrew Young to start Greenwood, I was interested because the bank, besides it being a savings, deposit, and investment institution, is looking at getting in the game of adding capital to small and medium businesses, and creating Black and Latinx businesses looking to grow.”
“It’s no secret that traditional banks have failed the Black and Latinx community,” said Glover in a statement. “We needed to create a new financial platform that understands our history and our needs going forward, a banking platform built by us and for us, a platform that helps us build a stronger future for our communities.”
Greenwood Bank takes its name from “Black Wall Street,” which was part of the historic Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was a center of African American enterprise, entertainment, wealth, and an investment capital. At its apex, it was said the dollar in this elite financial Black sector of Tulsa circulated 36 times and stayed up to a year in the Black community before leaving.
The Greenwood District was destroyed in 1921, when mobs of white people torched and destroyed it. By many estimates, up to 10,000 African Americans were left homeless, with approximately 300 Black people killed.
The new Greenwood Bank, according to Killer Mike, wants to duplicate the longevity of the Black dollar that once circulated in the Black community of Tulsa. He said today, a dollar circulates for 20 days in the white community, but only six hours in the Black community.
“Greenwood will be banking in the palm of your hand,” said Killer Mike. “Many things are going digital for African Americans. African Americans use their phones for banking, paying bills and other things more than other groups of people. Greenwood is perfect and fit for the time in terms of how we move around and bank. As brick and mortar banks are pulling out of our community, Black people still need access to banking as an alternative to check cashing places. Greenwood is the alternative. It’s perfect for our community.”
While the Greenwood Bank is interested in serving all age groups, Killer Mike wants a big presence from Black and Latinx in Generation X (individuals born between 1961 and 1981) and Generation Y or Millennials (individuals born between 1982 and 2004).
“I’m personally taking the challenge to get young people,” Killer Mike said. “My belief is that young people should be flocking to Greenwood the same way that our grandparents flocked to Black banks. Whether people live in Chicago, Detroit, D.C., Los Angeles, or Compton, I believe that we can do it in all those places. Greenwood gives them the ability to do their banking with the phones right in our hands. This is our time to take back control of our lives and our financial future.”
While Greenwood won’t open officially until January 2021, the bank, since launching its website on Oct. 9, has amassed a sizable list of individuals wanting to open a Greenwood Bank account.
Opening an account will have other beneficial factors to impact Black and Latinx communities. According to Greenwood’s website, for every customer that signs up, the bank will provide five free meals to a family in need. With each swipe of a Greenwood debit card, it will prompt a donation to UNCF for education, or the NAACP to support civil rights initiatives. And every month, Greenwood will provide a $10,000 grant to a Black or Latinx small business owner that is a Greenwood customer.
“The work that we did in the civil rights movement wasn’t just about being able to sit at the counter. It was also about being able to own the restaurant,” said Young. “Killer Mike, Ryan and I are launching Greenwood to continue this work of empowering Black and Brown people to have economic opportunity.”
To sign up for a Greenwood account or learn more about the bank, log on to www.bankgreenwood.com.
Dr. Fredrick Jacobs, CEO of Celebrity’s Soul Food Talks Launch of Franchise
*Celebrity’s Soul Food, “The fastest growing soul food chain,” is making its mark. Dr. Fredrick Jacobs, the Chief Executive Officer and mastermind behind this ingenious concept is giving “soul food,” its due credit nationally as they make history. Celebrity’s Soul Food and their new franchisees have become the new catalyst of soul food to the world.
Dr. Jacobs (known as Dr. J, The Counselor), the exceptional CEO of Celebrity’s Soul Food® shares about the launch of the first national and fastest growing soul food franchise in America, multitasking, and his passion for food.
The Celebrity’s Soul Food menu spotlights local flavors and specialties, serving up soul food prepared from scratch and utilizing high-quality ingredients. Dishes vary from classic favorites such as Fried Chicken, Shrimp & Grits, Cornmeal-Dusted Catfish, and Braised Oxtails to innovative twists such as Gold-Dusted Chicken Wings, Jerked Jackfruit Pineapple Bowls, Barbeque Glazed Alligator Ribs, and Red Velvet Chicken & Waffles.
We were able to catch up with Dr. Jacobs who spearheads one of the most talked about new soul food chains on the rise. He shared his thoughts on Celebrity’s Soul Food model and more.
Q: On the launch of the first national and fastest growing soul food franchise in America?
FJ: “Celebrity’s Soul Food is currently in an expansion phase in North America. In partnership with United Franchise Group, they set a 200-location rollout goal. To date, more than 24 franchisee partners have signed on to grow brand presence across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. More than 30 units are actively under development.”
Q: On Your Passion for Food?
FJ:” My passion for food came from my grandmother and my mother, at early age, probably around four or five, being with them all the time in the kitchen, where everyone was outside playing. I was in the kitchen with them. Since that early age, I saw that food and cooking always brought our families together.”
Q: On Spices?
FJ: “With my African American, and Indian descent on my mother’s side, I also know spices. I traveled all around the world, studying under some of the best chefs and cooks around the world that taught me. That was the best education I could ever get! It’s these chefs, as well as those grandmas who took me in their kitchens and shared with me their generational recipes who taught me. For that, I am grateful.”
Q: On Multitasking?
FJ: “For me, there is no such thing multi-tasking. There’s just focusing on one thing and then shifting—quickly—to the next. And if there is only one thing, I focus on in any one day it’s my power customer. So many concepts are always chasing those infrequent users. I want to focus on the ones who put bread on my table. They are my stars. My celebrities. And you better believe I treat them that way!”
When asked to share about Celebrity’s infrastructure, Dr. Jacobs stated, “The Celebrity’s Soul Food experience operates like a start up with the infrastructure of an established brand.” He adds, “We have a complete management team, from development to vendor relations and even a sustainability officer.”
Taja Jacobs, Celebrity’s Soul Food Sustainability Officer says, “We built a test kitchen and employed Chef David, our fulltime culinary genius, to help bring the taste of our brand to life in a way that allows our franchisees to make a profit and our celebrity guests to believe they just ate the best meal of their life at an unbelievably affordable rate. But more than roles, we employ a diversity of perspectives. I love meat but not everyone does, so we also have vegetarian selections available.”
Celebrity’s Soul Food serves up soul food at its finest and pairs it with high-level customer service that aims to make every guest feel like a VIP.
“Celebrity’s Soul Food has had the fortune of serving a broad range of customers, including numerous celebrities through our executive catering service,” says Dr. Fredrick Jacobs. “We wanted to combine the elevated culinary experience of fine dining with the convenience and ease of casual dining. Guests have the opportunity to enjoy high quality soul food and great service without breaking the bank or breaking out their formal wear.”
For more information about Celebrity’s Soul Food, including current and upcoming locations, visit www.celebrityssoulfoodfranchise.com or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
About Celebrity’s Soul Food®
Celebrity’s Soul Food®, the country’s fastest-growing soul food chain, provides legendary, scratch-made dishes paired with a VIP experience to every guest. As the first quality casual restaurant concept, the brand’s fresh and authentic recipes have led to the successful growth of the brand. Founded in 2014 by celebrity executive chef Dr. Fredrick Jacobs, “Dr. J,” in Beverly Hills, CA, Celebrity’s Soul Food recently partnered with United Franchise Group’s (UFG) family of brands, putting the restaurant brand on the fast-track to its 200-location rollout goal.
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Quibi is No Mo’! – $2Billion Streaming Service Shutting Down After Six Months
*(Via UrbanHolywood411.com) – Quibi, the shortform mobile-focused streaming service, is going bust just six months after it launched.
“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that today we are announcing that we are winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets,” Katzenberg and Whitman wrote in their open letter to employees, investors, and partners.
Quibi, short for quick bites, launched in April at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The streamer offered a free trial, with subscriptions costing $4.99 with ads or $7.99 without ads.
The platform was filled more than 100 original programs, including #FreeRayshawn [shown above]. The drama starring Laurence Fishburne, Stephan James and Jasmine Cephas just won two Emmy Awards.
This article continues at UrbanHollywood411.com.
Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel: It’s ‘Very Rewarding’ Being An African American NASCAR Team Owner
*“The more you know NASCAR. The more you love NASCAR,” declares Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel.
She was a recipient of the Industry Ambassador award at the recent virtual NASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards.
Satterfield-Siegel says it is “super cool” to currently be the only African American woman NASCAR race team owner. Other words came to her mind when she describes how she’s accelerated into the fast lane with her husband, Max Siegel, who is the exclusive manager of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program.
“It’s very rewarding. I love the space that we are in with helping to develop drivers for the sport. I love that,” the pediatric dentist maintains adding there is a strong support system for her race team.
Growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the over a century old Indianapolis Motor Speedway, she has fond memories of going to the city’s iconic racetrack.
“Ever since I was a little girl my family we always went to the Indy 500 every year which was Memorial (Day) weekend. So, here in Indianapolis racing it’s just who we are,” the Circle City native said. “I never thought I wanted to be a race car driver. I wasn’t interested in it on that level when I was younger. Basically the exposure happened when my husband was the president of Dale Earnhardt Inc. and then I got the bug.”
No surprise Satterfield-Siegel would catch the racing fever when her husband ran the NASCAR-related organization started by seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt. Sadly, Earnhardt’s life came to a tragic end in 2001 when in the final lap of the Daytona 500 he crashed into a retaining wall and died instantly.
She and her husband co-own and manage Rev Racing. As NASCAR continues to diversify its landscape, Satterfield-Siegel looks for ways to increase opportunities for diverse drivers and pit crew members.
They strive for excellence with their race team she says, “It’s just we’ve done our best to get the best, that includes drivers and our head of athletic performance.”
Another team that makes Satterfield-Siegel and her husband even more wildly enthusiastic is their three children. They are all on the fast track to success.
“Our oldest is a junior at (The University of) Notre Dame and he’s a football player. Then we have a son who is in L.A. and he is at the L.A. Film Academy. Then we have a daughter who is a junior in high school and she is a scholar and an amazing volleyball player,” Satterfield-Siegel said.
She jokes that she never thought any of their children would pursue a career as racecar drivers because of the size of the stock cars used by NASCAR and other professional racing leagues.
“Our kids are big. There is no way they could fit in a (stock) car,” Satterfield-Siegel admitted with a laugh. “When they were little, they would go go-karting and that kind of thing. They’re interested in the business side, the development side, but I wouldn’t say they’re those athletes who are going to go around the track.”
She offers this advice to women who want to be winners, “Go for it. I think it’s so important that we dream and that we dream big. Women don’t allow people, places or things to define them or to stifle them.”
The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards are an annual event, this year held on October 8, and were established to honor the NASCAR industry’s diversity leaders as well as recognize top achievements.
By Tené Croom
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