Black Genius: Thought Leaders and Task Makers
BLACK GENIUS—Thought-leaders and task makers connect in Brooklyn, NY
Dj Benhameen’s eyes were glued to his computer. His head bopped up and down and his long locks touched his back creating a crown fit for a black king. His shirt which read ‘Black Genius,’ was the perfect piece to describe the talent that he displayed while spinning some of the greatest hip-hop, house, afro-beats and R&B songs of our generation.
Guests ran up to the bar sliding their golden coins, provided by the Black Genius collective, over to the two bartenders of the night. The men accepted the coins as the first 'on the house' cocktail. The signature frozen drink made with sorrel was a hit. It could cool down anyone who had just walked in from the humidity gifted to them by New York City summers.
For the month of August, Black Genius highlighted multiple brands and gave them the platform to share information about their genius ideas. We were one of them--founder and co-founder of Black Girl Fly Mag., Nick Alder and Courtney Danielle, received this honor.
Shantae J. Edwards, communications consultant and empowerment speaker, held down the hosting of the event. She led the crowd in multiple mini networking activities which allowed the entire room to connect. One activity encouraged the crowd to mingle and introduce themselves to three strangers and connect with them.
Bed-vyne Cocktail, one of three of a chain of black owned night-life options in Brooklyn, New York, was filled with #BlackExcellence last Thursday. Black Genius, a startup created to shed light on individuals, thought-leaders and task makers, came together for their second event. Once a month, founder Anitra Michelle and co-founder JT, highlight black individuals who are pushing the culture forward through media, technology, fashion, music and art.
The soft spoken, Ope Majek--creative visionary and stylist, touched the crowd through her love for fashion which was similar to another black genius, Jocelyn Jacobs. Jacobs expressed her passion for styling and also shared her passion for beauty consultation. Not only can Jacobs tell you what to wear, she can tell you the perfect lipstick, blouse or jeans that match your skin tone and body shape .
Other black genius’ from the night were, Washington Roberts: Creative Director and Designer, Aina Fadina, model, Alley Olivier, Managing Editor of BrooklynButtah.com and our platform Black Girl Fly Magazine.
Lastly, Jocelyn Goode took the floor. Goode is an artist and Community Advocate. She is also the head Muralist of the Hip-Hop Legacy in Queens. She shared her passion for art and the way she transforms canvas from painted walls to painted bodies.
The Black Genius crowd was filled with writers, poets, bloggers, community leaders, architects, fashion designers and tech consultants. Everyone from every field was represented in the room. And, the room could not stop buzzing with chatter and laughs. It was filled with awe.
“Society cuts his wings and asks him to soar! Another black boy dead but nobody saw,” he said. No mic in hand, his voice shook the room for its attention. The line came from the voice of poet and writer, Keenan The Muse.
In that moment, the importance of this event radiated throughout the crowd. Black Genius is a revolution. It is a space for creatives to come together and defy all stereotypes. Black Genius is the safe haven for black kings and queens to stay connected. It is a place to celebrate #BlackJoy and soar beyond our societies disproportion. Black Genius is the mecca, the center light, the fly community linking black masterminds from all parts of the country.
Christina Dunn is an alumna of the University at Buffalo with a double degree in Sociology and Communication. At the magazine she serves as a social media curator and a contributing writer. Christina also volunteers at POWER 105.1 in NYC following her dream to become a music journalist and radio personality. She has varying interest: social justice reform, journalism and reporting, research, sports (basketball junkie), music and contemporary art. Find her on Instagram: @christinadunn___.