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About the Founder. 

Thank you so much for giving some of your energy to this platform. I created this site as a way to empower genuine black people to contribute to the conversations taking place about, in and around the black community. I also created it to shine a light on all the wonderful people of color doing amazing things in the world. The content you see here is meant to entertain, inform, uplift, inspire, and simply be a form of expression for individuals with something to say.

The idea behind “Young, Black&” is that people of color are united by the spirit and undertones of what it means to be black and brown in a very white world, but beyond that, we are a group of diverse people, each with our own thoughts, interests and opinions. Some of us are Young, Black& Creative, while others may be Young, Black& Professional. A lot of us may simply be Young, Black& Living and trying to make sense of the world. There’s no limit to the number of adjectives that can follow “Young, Black&” and that’s the point. Each of us is our own kind of great, with our own stories to tell, jokes to share, opinions to give, and legacies to create.

So what about me? I’m from Plymouth, a small impoverished rural town in North Carolina, and I spent every summer of my childhood in Harlem. I went to an all-black high school and transitioned to one of the largest predominantly white institutions in the state. I prefer sneakers over heels, sauvignon blanc over moscato, steak (ribeye cooked medium-rare with a side of melted butter, please) over chicken, and pit bulls over little “foo foo” dogs, as I refer to them. Two of my favorite shows are Martin and Seinfeld, and my two favorite Pandora stations are “The Gap Band” and “Junior M.A.F.I.A.” Needless to say, I’m a little all over the place and find myself able to see things from a number of perspectives, and not necessarily tied to a single experience, particularly as it relates to blackness or being a millennial. As far as paper credentials go, I have an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Advertising (right brain) and will soon have an MBA (left brain).

I love to write, I love to be creative, I love to strategize, and I love to build up shine-worthy people, brands, organizations and causes. All that said, as YB&’s editor-in-chief, much of the content you’ll see from me will relate to providing tips for black business owners, shouting out people of color doing the damn thing in some way, shape or form, and giving my opinions and thoughts on whatever I feel like at the moment.

 

About the brand.

YB& serves to explore various topics and interests from the points of view of young, black people in hopes that others will have access to content that is helpful, relatable and genuine. Beyond content creation, it is my goal for YB& to also one day engage the young black community through the following:

Offering support

YB& will support the young black community by posting job opportunities, and by hosting workshops, webinars and panels that offer guidance across various verticals, including education, professional development, creative expression, health and fitness, and more.

Encouraging growth

YB& will grow the young black community by facilitating opportunities to “reach back” and contribute to the continued development and expression of young black people.

Facilitating positive connections

YB& will connect like-minded members of the young black community through a series of social and networking events.

 

Sound like your cup of tea? We can’t do it alone. 

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To be young, gifted and black,
Oh what a lovely precious dream
To be young, gifted and black,
Open your heart to what I mean In the whole world you know
There are billion boys and girls
Who are young, gifted and black, And that’s a fact!
Young, gifted and black
We must begin to tell our young
There’s a world waiting for you
This is a quest that’s just begun
When you feel really low
Yeah, there’s a great truth you should know
When you’re young, gifted and black
Your soul’s intact
Young, gifted and black
How I long to know the truth
There are times when I look back
And I am haunted by my youth
Oh but my joy of today
Is that we can all be proud to say
To be young, gifted and black
Is where it’s at

-Weldon Irvine