Wanting to see a change in your community is one thing, but actually getting your hands dirty and actively being that change is extremely commendable which is why this weeks Home Town Hero is The Black Neighborhood. Tap into our most recent sit down with TBN.
Made up of six local Black men (Bryce “Int’l Hay Sús” Fluellen, Cory Elliott, Kimani Elliott, Uzo Nwadugbo, Ephraim “Dephkhan” Vives, and Royce Hughes,) The Black Neighborhood hopes to use their God-given talents – music, art, education – as a catalyst for change within the Black community. The organization was a product of the everyday inspirations that each member is surrounded by on a daily basis. “Growing up in inner-cities such as Oakland and Richmond, we have been exposed to the challenges and triumphs in the Black community. We felt obligated to be pillars of growth and positivity for Black people everywhere.”
The main goal of TBN is to inspire and motivate community members to stand up and make a difference. “Our goal is to awaken the inner consciousness of Black people in order to create a self-sufficient community. We feel that the only way we as a people can truly grow and evolve, is by first becoming aware of the systems that are designed to keep us oppressed. Once that is understood, it will be much easier for us to navigate through the world.” This year, they hope to expand The Black Neighborhood to LA and New York. They hope to continue to widen their influence and network, and also help serve the communities in need in The Bay Area, LA, and NY.
In their opinion, TBN is essential because the level of awareness and understanding that they are able to provide is unmatched and unparalleled. “In order for the youth to believe in something they need to see people that not only look like them, but have also gone through similar experiences. We have the ability to connect with and understand the youth and the larger Black community no matter their situations.”
One of the major highlights that The Black Neighborhood has experienced was during a free screening/discussion that The Black Neighborhood hosted for Justin Tippings “Kicks.” “Not only did we hold the screening at the oldest movie theater in the Bay Area, Grand Lake Theatre, but the event was also packed to capacity. To be able to host a discussion and have our peers converse and engage in meaningful dialogue is something we will never forget.”
There are many ways that you can get involved with The Black Neighborhood. You can volunteer, which is an essential element to their progress. They are always willing to hear ideas and suggestions for events, or on how they can create a greater impact and achieve goals. You can help them spread the word or make a donation. And lastly, you can support by buying merchandise which helps promote their message and also helps them financially.
Beginning in March, they will be partnering with “Aspire Youth” to create a mentoring program that will take place at Defermery Park. Every third Saturday of the month they host their “Free Farmers Market” at People’s Baptist Church on 88th and Macarthur from 11am-2pm.