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28 Oct, 8 tweets, 3 min read
Black culture and influence made 'athleisure' a phenomenon, but only a handful of Black retail owners are benefitting from the trend. #NBCNewsThreads (1/8)

The guest bedroom in Earl West’s home in suburban Atlanta looks more like a sneaker warehouse. From floor to ceiling, covering the entire space, there are nearly 900 pairs of sneakers valued in West’s estimation at more than $100,000. (2/8)
West, a self-described “sneaker head” started collecting in 1982. He is among thousands of people in America, especially Black males, who are fixated on sneakers, so much so that they are the drivers of a market that pulled in $70B in 2020. (3/8)
While Black culture has made sneakers an invaluable element to any wardrobe and Black consumers are at the heart of that financial tide, Black retailers of the coveted items are hard to find.

Only 5% of sneaker retailers in America are Black. (4/8)
“Saying that this is a consumer-based economy does not mean that consumers actually have power,” says Jared Ball, professor of African American/African Diaspora Studies at Morgan State University. (5/8)
“It’s a white boys’ club, like most things,” says James Whitner, a Black man who has carved out a successful niche with boutique apparel and sneakers stores in several cities.

“There are people aware of it, but their privilege doesn’t force them to have to change it.” (6/8)
Darius Billings, who has worked in the sneakers industry, launched the Strategic African American Retail Track or StAART program, to address the racial inequities and create pathways for Black entrepreneurs to become retail store owners. (7/8)
“Change isn’t going to happen overnight. But the work is being done every day” Billings says.

“This is an opportunity for us to own our ideas.” (8/8)

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More from @NBCNews

27 Oct
Sec. Cardona is urging Congress to approve $103B in discretionary budget authority for the Dept. of Education.

This funding could mean a huge change in federal control over local schools.

Reporting by @hechingerreport.

#NBCNewsThreads (1/10) nbcnews.com/news/us-news/c…
@hechingerreport By bringing the nation’s classrooms into the public’s homes, the pandemic offered a close-up of the system’s failures.

Yet, thousands of teachers, principals and other school staff have been going to heroic lengths to help students struggling emotionally and academically. (2/10)
At Witch Hazel Elementary, which has a student poverty rate of 95%, adults are proud of how well they’ve survived a difficult year.

“I’m always excited for innovation,” Principal Christy Walters says. “I’m not too tired for that. That is energizing.” (3/10)
Read 10 tweets
26 Oct
Next week, Minneapolis residents will vote on whether to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with an agency that provides a "comprehensive public health approach" to public safety.

Reporting by @janellefiona.
(1/6) #NBCNewsThreads
The ballot measure says the new department "could include" police officers "if necessary."

According to JaNaé Bates, a spokeswoman for the coalition that petitioned for the initiative, passage would not "abolish" the police or lead to the firings of any officers. (2/6)
Supporters of the proposal say it would bolster public safety to include not just police officers but also mental health and substance abuse experts, violence interrupters and others better suited to handle situations that armed police officers ordinarily face. (3/6)
Read 6 tweets
21 Oct
Pro-China social media accounts are pushing a new thread of propaganda about the origins of the pandemic, claiming that Covid was imported to Wuhan from the U.S. through a batch of Maine lobsters, the University of Oxford found. #NBCNewsThreads (1/6)
Marcel Schliebs, a disinformation researcher at the university, uncovered more than 550 Twitter accounts spreading a nearly identical message. Translated into multiple languages, the message was sent at similar times each day between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. China Standard Time. (2/6)
“This is the third or fourth major different redirection Chinese officials have gone in to try and somehow pin the Covid outbreak on the U.S.,” said Bret Schafer, the head of the information manipulation team at the Alliance for Securing Democracy. (3/6)
Read 6 tweets
21 Oct
Americans are leaving their jobs in record numbers for new ventures, whether it's because of a change of heart or a need to survive.

We asked people to share their stories. Here's what they said.

Read 6 tweets
20 Oct
How a trip to buy farmland ended with police taking all his cash.

A pair of New Mexico businessmen were driving along Interstate 40 in Oklahoma late one night in April when a sheriff’s deputy pulled over their BMW sedan. (1/8)

#NBCNewsThreads nbcnews.com/news/us-news/h…
The two men, Nang Thai and Weichuan Liu, were on their way to a hotel in Oklahoma City, where they planned to sleep before heading out in the morning to close on a 10-acre plot of farmland they’d agreed to buy for $100,000. (2/8)
A Canadian County sheriff’s deputy peered into their car, and after being interrogated for hours, the two men were released without being charged or even issued a traffic ticket.

But the Canadian Co. Sheriff’s Office refused to return the $100,000 of cash seized. (3/8)
Read 8 tweets
20 Oct
After Hurricane Ida ripped through New York City, 11 people died in flooded basements. Nearly all of the deaths were Asian residents—which experts say is the result of a lack of affordable housing, the pandemic and climate injustice. #NBCNewsThreads (1/11) nbcnews.com/news/asian-ame…
Hongsheng Leng used to sell art in Times Square and work odd jobs under a visitor’s visa he was granted in 1995.

He retired with medical issues, and his family mostly relied on welfare. He was largely confined to his home — a small basement apartment in Queens. (2/11)
It was a plight that would prove fatal.

Leng was found dead in his flooded basement apartment at noon on Sept. 2. The bodies of his wife and daughter were discovered later that same day. (3/11)
Read 11 tweets

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