Black ‘Present’ Month celebrates today

Typically, Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by pioneering Black Americans from the past, often leaving out current movers and shakers who are making a difference in the community today.

Two local millennial entrepreneurs, Jarren Small, founder and CEO of Legends Do Live, and Warren Luckett, COO at Branwar Wine Distributing Co., set out to change this fact. Together they teamed up to launch Black Present Month in honor of Black “present-day” trailblazers.

“Having [Black History Month] confined to just 28 days and only touching on past history is tiring because history is happening right now in our communities,” Small said.

“Black Present Month is all about highlighting present history. The concept pays forward the current entrepreneurs’ [rise] in the Black community and millennials creating change and challenging the status quo.”

To commemorate the month, Small and Luckett are hosting a social gathering on Monday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m. at the Houston Museum of African American Culture, 4807 Caroline.

It will showcase four presenters: Andremica Scott, executive chef, Sweet Cayenne Catering and founder of Feisty to Feed; Ange Hills, visual paint artist; Lanny & Kirbi Smith, CEO/founders, Active Faith Christian premium sports apparel; and Joy Sewing, fashion journalist, Houston Chronicle.

The first session is open to 50 high school students from Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center, where they will have the opportunity to engage and learn from the entrepreneurs.  The second session is open to adults.

“The pop-up is open to students so they can get a chance to not only learn from entrepreneurs thriving in business, but from millennials they can relate to as opposed to historical figures they learn about in history class,” Luckett said.

Small said it’s important for youth to not only follow their dreams but also to “think creatively and ambitiously.”

“We’re ultimately dispelling the myth that millennials are lazy and entitled,” Small said. “We are creative and innovative and students will get a chance to witness that firsthand.”

In addition, students will have the chance to write an essay on their career goals and what they’ve learned at the pop-up.

“The lucky winner of the essay contest will have it published in a publication and will be given a passport,” Luckett said.

“Travel is key in education. It offers a variety of educational experiences and it gives youth an even greater idea of what is really going on in the world they live in.”

Small said the quest to show students and the public that “legends do live” will continue.

“This is something Luckett and I plan on doing annually on any given month with a different theme, to consistently highlight present day entrepreneurs,” he said.

For tickets visit www.eventbrite.com/e/black-present-month-a-interactive-pop-up-museum-tickets-29329118182.