Black to the Future: A Vibrant Celebration of Afrofuturism

April 22, 2024 | By

Sabrina Little, Rada Mills, Nutishia Lee

On Thursday, February 29th, The BWSF-Durham team curated an electrifying event that embraced the spirit of Afrofuturism. Held at Provident1898 in Durham, Black to the Future was a celebration of Black businesses and entrepreneurs, showcasing innovation and creativity.

The evening kicked off with a warm welcome from BWSF-Durham Ecosystem Builder-in-Residence (EBIR) and event host, Justin Minott, who shared his vision for fostering equitable opportunities for Black businesses in Durham. Carl Webb, co-founder of Provident1898, and Fay Horwitt, President & CEO of Forward Cities, joined Justin on stage to deliver powerful messages of support, emphasizing the importance of community-driven initiatives like Black Wall Street Forward in creating a more inclusive and equitable future.

A group of men and women standing in a line and smiling
On Thursday, February 29th, The BWSF-Durham team hosted the Black to the Future event at Provident1898, which featured a pitch contest.

Guests were greeted by a truly remarkable ambiance that transported them into the realm of the future. Futuristic decor adorned the space, paying homage to the Black Wall Street pillars through interactive stations designed to spark conversations about the future of entrepreneurship in Durham.

Two women standing behind a colorful painting.

Kyndall Owens, the artist and painter behind Kreativityyy, held a live painting session during the Black to the Future event.

Throughout the evening, guests connected and socialized while enjoying hors d'oeuvres and vibing to the beats of DJ Big Fella. Kyndall Owens, the artist and painter behind Kreativityyy, added an additional creative touch to the event as she captured the energy and excitement of the evening on canvas during a live painting session.

The highlight of the night was undoubtedly the pitch contest, which featured three exceptional Black women-owned businesses vying for the top prize. 

  • Chaundra Turner, founder of Chatham Natural Skin Care, natural skincare solutions for eczema relief and atopic dermatitis with a commitment to holistic wellness and sustainability.
  • Phylicia Jeffreys, founder of More to Learn Academy, an innovative approach to online preschool and K-12 tutoring programs with a focus on personalized learning and academic excellence.
  • Miriam Johnson, owner of Sorta Juicy, a premium fresh-pressed juice company promoting healthy lifestyles.

Following three impressive pitches and careful deliberation of the judges, Miriam Johnson, owner of Sorta Juicy, was named the winner of the Black to the Future Pitch Contest. 

From thought-provoking discussions and connectivity to inspiring presentations, Black to the Future was a great example of the power of community and collaboration in shaping a brighter tomorrow. In Durham and so many other communities, events like these serve as beacons of hope and inspiration, reminding us of the potential in each of us to create positive change.

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The Black Wall Street Forward initiative aims to reshape narratives, engage community leaders and entrepreneurs, and foster sustainable, equitably invested, Black-centric entrepreneurial communities.

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