8 Black Queer & Trans Business Owners to Know

by L.G. Parker

The statistics are daunting and all around us. Because black, because queer, because trans, because gender-non-conforming, because, because, because… we are less likely to be hired, more likely to go without. Some of our loved ones might even suggest that we stop acting like a lil boy or girl, stop playing dress up, grow up and look decent and get a job. Maybe some of them are well meaning, but the fact remains that those suggestions are harmful and do not help us cope with the many ways that we already fear the way various discriminations will impact our finances and employability.

I like to consider the following business owners when I start to worry about these things.

13-year-old philanthropist, author & entrepreneur Maya Penn wows audience with TED talk



13-year-old Maya Penn is the CEO of Maya’s Ideas 4 The Planet. She sells her own knit scarves and hats online, and recently gave a TEDtalk on entrepreneurship.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast that showcases some of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference. The conference allows the world’s leading thinkers and doers to give the “talk of their lives” in 18 minutes or less. 

Jay Z responds to protest urging him to severe ties with Barney’s

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In light of two African American shoppers’ claims of racial discrimination by Barney’s & the NYPD, critics have been urging Jay Z to cancel his multi-million dollar arrangement with the department store.

The rapper and entrepreneur has been quiet on the matter, but has now finally released a statement.

From Life & Times

This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.

Meet Kellogg’s new CEO: La June Montgomery Tabron


The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has selected La June Montgomery Tabron to be the foundation’s next president and CEO. Montgomery Tabron is currently the executive vice president of operations and treasurer.

She will become the 12th leader of the 83-year-old foundation, and will replace Sterling Speirn.

From WKKF:

“After an extensive search that included outstanding candidates from both the United States and abroad, La June emerged as our new leader because of her strengths in so many areas of the foundation, and her deep and unwavering commitment to the foundation’s mission, vision and values,” said Rod Gillum, chair of the WKKF board.

Jay Z’s deal with Barney’s: should he drop it?

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Should Jay Z discontinue his partnership with Barney’s? Some folks think so.

Ever since news broke of 19-year-old Trayon Christian’s lawsuit against the department store, Jay Z has been feeling the heat.

Christian filed a lawsuit against both Barney’s and the NYPD after he was wrongfully arrested in April while purchasing a belt from the store.

A second woman, Kayla Phillips has also come forward, alleging that she was unfairly profiled by Barney’s staff and NYPD police.