The Entrepreneur

The Entertainment: Why “The Photograph” is important for the culture.


So I’m walking with my best friend and we always talk about all things: current events, politics and most of all, we have a love for all things nerdy and film-oriented. A day doesn’t go by where we share or debate the merits/demerits of political candidates, the latest social scandal or a flick hitting movie theaters.

This is where Stella Meghie’s ” The Photograph” comes in. Here’s some context: Canadian Born, Stella has what might be the most anticipated film hitting theaters on Valentine’s Day. The Photograph story occurs “When famed photographer Christina Eames dies unexpectedly, she leaves her estranged daughter, Mae, hurt, angry and full of questions. When Mae finds a photograph tucked away in a safe-deposit box, she soon finds herself delving into her mother’s early life — an investigation that leads to an unexpected romance with a rising journalist.” (SOURCE)

Why has this movie has struck a cord so much with me? I for one, cannot wait to run and see it because collectively my best friend and I couldn’t remember or place a black, romance film done in the last twenty years. What was the last one? Love Jones? (which is also available on Netflix ya’ll). With the recent addition of The Photograph, we questioned why was a pure African-American, love story missing from mainstream movies in recent years? I mean, I’m about a love story, a black love story even more so. I mean you can catch me watching Deliver Us From Eva ( High Key love Gabrielle Union) to Vivica Fox giving me assertive and got it together in Two Can Play That Game, but there was definitely a gap in trying to figure out when a movie like this had last been released. I enjoy taking in a theater released love story that’s steeped in external trauma. I love Barry Jenkins y’all so Moonlight and If Beal Street Could Talk counts for me, but they are hard pills to swallow emotionally. Even Queen and Slim, it’s a love story yes, but it is also a story wrought with looming tragedy. I could see past the stories that have deep conflict or disfunction and enjoy them just the same.

For me, The Photograph, which is poised to bring love, blackness and the always amazing Issa Rae together with a soul-searching story line, that throws in a cross generational element and I realized clearly from the teaser what I was missing in my life. I applaud the story and honestly place it somewhere special because it’s what has been missing in cinema for a quite a while now (remember I said it’s been twenty years earlier?) and that’s worth going to a theater and supporting for the message it can send to the audience, to young love.

Issae Rae spoke to and said regarding the timeless Love Jones that

“I remember seeing Nia Long, and you know, I didn’t think I looked like Nia Long, but I was like, ‘Look at this brown skin girl…she’s so gorgeous.’ And she was someone to aspire to. So the more and more images that we have like that, the more it’s a recognition of our beauty.”

I couldn’t agree more. Go see it Champs.

‘The Photograph’ Is A Visual Sanctuary Where Dark Skin Women Are Extolled As Soft, Vulnerable And Deserving Of Love
Normal love stories are our birthright, not just some fantasy.
By Keiyara Kelly

Indie Wire
‘The Photograph’ Review: Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield Sizzle in a Strangely Plotted Cross-Generational Romance
By Kate Erbland

The Atlantic
The Art of Shooting a Modern Black Romance
In The Photograph, starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield, the director Stella Meghie embraces darker lighting and story lines alike.
By Hannah Giorgis

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To Newark, With Love. From Newark, With LoveUncategorized



In Newark, I get to have these amazing moments where I discover a company that I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting before. I was invited to be a keynote for Next City Vanguard and speak about the spirit of collaboration in our city.

Newark is about equitable development for its citizens and small business owners. It is a point of pride in my career that in this city, I have found multiple ways to partner and bring hyper-local companies into projects I work on.

After such an amazing experience of speaking on collaboration, my favorite part of any engagement is afterwards! I want to meet everyone in the room, learn about their projects and services, especially when the leaders in the room are in Newark. I want to grab every card and find moments to take in their stories.

I had a moment to chat with the amazing Kraig Kalashian and Jennifer Van Blarcom of KKAD. Their boutique powerhouse Architecture & Hospitality Design Firm creates breathtaking environments and they are headquartered in a building I have been curious about since coming to Newark. They invited me to their Raymond Blvd studio for coffee and I was beyond, excited to sit with them.

So before I can even talk about how beautiful their work is, we need to understand how welcoming their space is. It was so evident that they wished to have every member of their team have an optimal work environment to execute in. It was ultimate luxury meets function.

There were so many common areas to grab the latest in design publications, create mood boards in their sample space, or even to play a good game of chess. The creative in me was instantly drawn to ever corner of the studio.

I lust after studios because they open your mind up to possibilities in executing your own projects.

Sitting in the well-appointed conference room, we discussed the beauty of Newark and our shared obsession over historic buildings waiting to be brought to life again and the neighborhoods in Newark like Vailsburg, Lincoln Park and Lower Clinton Hill where small businesses need spaces to bring those areas to life and reflect the residents. I’m excited to know that KKAD founder Kraig Kalashian is committed to building relationships with small businesses that will help them to take up space in their developments.

Over all I was so happy to visit this space and speak with the team, cannot wait to see what is next for KKAD.


Kansas City, MO – 2016

Take a moment to see this Historic project executed by KKAD.

Previously listed on the National Register for Historic Places, the recent renovation enhanced the existing architecture while repositioning the hotel for the 21st century traveler. The redesign included three new food and beverage outlets as well as a new design concept for all 217 rooms.

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The Style


STYLE STORIES. Missing those New Orleans mornings. Where the days are sweeter and the people sweeter. #nola At the head of the table. Period. #nola The look
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The Speaker

The Keynote, Next City Vanguard


If you would have told me I would be telling a room full of leaders about my passion for Newark and Multicultural leaders I wouldn’t have believed you but that is just what happened. Check out some of the experience.

When I think about all the leaders in this room and talk about innovation, I think your first collaborative project is really yourself. When I first looked at who I was and who I was becoming, I really looked at my tribe who contributed to the man I am today. See, I grew up in Brooklyn, and Brooklyn is so much culturally just like Newark. It’s a mix of black and brown voices, immigrant voices all living together.

The outcome of collaboration is that you have given me more than I’ve given you. We are changed and enhanced because we give each other the best we can in the moment. Be the best version of yourself. Don’t be afraid to allow yourself to be the project of collaboration.

I’m the biggest work in progress ever. The more we bring into our lives, the better we can be. Because every day you’re going to do the work and every day you’re going to remember your mission. Sometimes those days will change someone’s life. Then the next day it might feel as if you’re keeping pace. But understand that when you do get the win, those wins are no longer yours. The wins belonged to your collaborators. The wins belong to your city. At the end of the day, your win belongs to your village. And now you’re part of mine. Thank you.

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