UCC- Impacting the community | By: Tamara Dotson


The United Community Center also known as UCC is a multi-service, intergenerational community-based organization that provides services and support to residents of East New York, Brooklyn. UCC provides first-rate services that meet the needs of everyone, whether young or old to learn about and resolve community problems.

They have joined community residents from various backgrounds to participate in exciting and diverse cultural and educational activities and provide services in response to people’s needs. There are hard-pressed, low and lower-middle income communities. UCC recognizes that, and has a long history of community organizing which involves programs that provide an opportunity to discuss community issues, promote activism, and develop strategies to address community needs. From saving the local library and park from violence and drugs, to stopping the construction of a wood-burning incinerator in the community, UCC has been committed to grass-roots organizing efforts.

Black Magazine got the chance to interview one of UCC’s Fundraisers, Rachel Bishop.

Black: What do you do for UCC?

Rachel: I am a development director so I discuss grants given to the organization, I do event planning and I do the fundraising.

B: Are there any challenges you face?

R: Yes, it can be pretty challenging but it is important to look for money from various places and people such as the government and people from the community. We are always working on more events that will help to get others to support us however they can.

B: Are there any current events or programs?

Rachel: We have lots of events and programs. One is the East NY Farms, it is one of our biggest projects where we have a farmers market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We also hold many workshops and block parties.

Black: How would you say the organization is doing?

R: For sure the organization is going good! 
Check out http://www.eastnewyorkfarms.org for more information and updates on their program called East New York Farms Project which is organized by youth and adults to address food justice in our community by promoting local sustainable agriculture and community-led economic development.


To contribute to their general fund, which covers UCC operating costs, contact them to find out how you can help support a program directly through donations of money, resources, or time. You can also mail a contribution to United Community Centers 613 New Lots Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11207.


CurlyNikki.com: Fight the Frizz | By: Tamara Dotson

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CurlyNikki.com is an online hair therapy session for anyone who is struggling or just wants to know how to care for, love and embrace their naturally curly hair. On this site you can be educated but also share your experiences, frustrations, and success of being Naturally Glamorous! One article of interest was how to fix frizzy roots in hair. Many people have really hectic lives and are so busy doing things that they forget one element, taking care of themselves, especially their hair. Here are some tips from curlynikki.com on how to fix frizzy roots:

  1. Apply Products from Root to Tip. Dehydrated or dry hair causes frizz because water is being drawn. Our roots and ends both need moisturizing. When applying product try to get closer to your scalp so that your hair is moisturized from root to tip. Deep conditioners should be mixed with water in a bowl and applied to your hair using an applicator brush section by section from root to tip. In doing so you will ensure that the entire length of your hair is moisturized!
  2. Use Gel To Smooth Frizz.
    When styling our hair, many feel that it will be hard to use gel. But while a hard hold gel may leave you with crunchy hair if used on your length, applying a little near your roots will help to tame the hair there and keep it laid down. You can also seal and smooth the hair with a silicone serum.
  3. Remove Product Build Up
    Layering heavy products like shea butter and gel onto our hair is a no-no if we don’t use sulfate shampoos to wash it all out after. Co-washing will not do the trick so try using a sulfate shampoo or a deep cleansing natural shampoo to remove all of the product will. Some daily products that are good to use are hydrolyzed proteins like hydrolyzed silk, soy and wheat protein that can penetrate the hairs cuticle and make hair smooth.
    Try a few of the tips and see how they work out for you and even leave at comment on curlynikki.com


A Documentation Of The Misunderstood Through Camera Lens | By: Zainab Floyd


Muhammad Floyd is a young freelance photographer based in Mount Vernon, New York. He grew up surrounded by different culture from all around world and uses influences of creativity that haunt him. His love for photography began when he attended the after-school photography club during his senior year of high school.   At the time he didn’t have an exact aesthetic, but he knew that he loved capturing the movement of the everyday rowdy life in his High School.   During his senior year many of his classmates and the members of the club looked up to him, their eyes would sparkle when they’d speak of his work. He knew that he had fallen in love with two things, photography and skateboarding.

After High School, he attended CUNY tech; he worked on his studies, while perfecting his craft. During his last summer before beginning college, he interned for DKN events, where he’d capture prime moments such as weddings, holiday events, parties, and school dances. Although he enjoyed it, he preferred capturing movements of people in action such as skateboarders.   We live in a day and age where skateboarders are the new cool, and he picked up on this trend pretty fast.   He coupled up a group of friends at a skate park in Brooklyn, took out his bulky camera and shot away as they’d fly up in the sky with a tatted skateboard in hand. While he still worked at DKN, he began a startup of clients. They saw his work, and sent him their numbers, asking for specific photo-shoots. After all he couldn’t complain, people were interested in his craft, and it was source of income. He enjoyed it very much, but not as much as he did in the skate parks. Muhammad’s work is a documentation of the most misunderstood sport: skateboarding. Through each snap of the camera is a thread of a story that all began in a park without ever planning for the beauty to peer throughout the seams.

You could find his work here:




The Slang: A New Language | By: Megan Felix


Music has spoken a new language thanks to the Columbus, Ohio alternative-rock duo The Slang. Amongst releasing their self-titled EP early September and laying down pop-rock sounds for HBO, USA Network and Troma Films, lyricist, vocalist and instrumentalist, John Bobo and Bassist John Newsome have earned numerous music premier opportunities with MPMF, NXNE, and CMJ.

In their most recent single, The Slang has created a twist to one of the most unforgiving love songs, titled Feels like work. The track is made up of very straightforward and to-the-point lyrics including the most prevalent line: “Working on us feels like work,” which Bobo repeats behind an array of concrete drumming and guitars reminding the love interest that lost love becomes a tiresome need for resurrection.

As fall nears, The Slang will be gracing stages on tour in support of their new EP with the help of guitarist, Matt Thiedt and drummer, Michael Dillon, including a performance at King Avenue Five on September 26.

To receive your very own copy of EP visit: Itunes

For more information on The Slang Visit:

The Slang





Education (The Remix): Hip Hop Culture May Soon Be More Dominant in the Classroom | By: CookTP

Education (The Remix): Hip Hop Culture May Soon Be More Dominant in the Classroom | By: CookTP


Kevin Lamar Mixtape Album Artwork


When we first heard that rappers such as Lil’ Kim and Jay-Z had lecture-sized college courses founded on their lyrics, culture, and ideologies on life, we were skeptical. Let’s be honest, no one saw Wu-Tang clan member GZA lecturing at Harvard and then releasing an album focusing on quantum physics. It’s becoming clear that Hip-Hop culture has been tackling the college classroom all over this country for the past few years. Educators are saying it may become the standard.

​ This trend stretches back to 2003 when the late gangster rapper and poet Tupac Shakur’s lyrics and poetry were taught to classes at the University of Berkley and Harvard. Students were instructed to look at the rapper’s word from a literary standpoint.

More recently, Kendrick Lamar has been added to the list of rapper’s that have reached the classroom. Professor Adam Diel at Georgia Regents University observed the literature impact of Kendrick’s latest studio album in his English course “Good Kids, Mad Cities”. Students analyze Kendrick’s work through a storytelling lens.

“With Kendrick’s album, you’ve got gang violence, you’ve got child-family development in the inner city, you’ve got drug abuse and the war on drugs, you’ve got sex slavery, human trafficking– a lot of the things that are hot-button issues for today are just inherent in the world of Compton, California,” Diehl told USA Today.

Not all teachers and even students took to these classes with an open-mind. Many considered it “worthless” or “not appropriate” for the classroom. We have all thought back to the times when certain books and other literature were considered inappropriate. Automatically poet Allen Ginsberg poem “Howl” comes to mind: a controversial poem that was written in 1955 caused a stir amongst the conservative minds of the time. The publication of the poem led to a court case defining the question “how do we label obscene?” Because of this case and many others like it, artists are allowed to have the freedom of expression that we have today. Howl opened the minds of many people to outside of the box, the same as these educators are urging their students to do.

However, there has been a bit of trial and a few errors with the genre reaching the classroom. Early this year, an eighth grade teacher assigned her students the lyrics to Lil’ Wayne’s song “6’7”. The students were having difficulty grasping metaphors, similes, and pun so the teacher thought it would be fun to assign student lyrics filled with figurative language. Parents didn’t enjoy this as much and were outraged. The teacher was suspended for three days because of the incident.

​ There have been hits and misses, however that’s the education system altogether. Hip-Hop has a strong presence in the classroom and it’s only growing to become more prevalent as the genre grows into the mainstream.

The Top Summer Skin Essentials | By: Sade Lewis


Summer in my opinion is the best season of them all. It’s the time when school is out, everyone is soaking up some sun, and it’s the perfect time to go on a beautiful family vacation. But even though this season may have its pros, it can also have its cons. Since the sun is out and blazing down with fiery heat, we have to protect our skin from uv rays and getting burnt. So here are some of the top must have summer skin essentials that will definitely help you get through these summer months.



Sunscreen is an absolute must for these hot summer days. It helps protect you from the uv rays of the sun, and the higher the spf, the more protected your skin will be. My favourite sunscreen of all time is the UltraSheer Dry Touch Sunscreen by Neutrogena with spf 55. It’s very light on the skin and non greasy. This product sells for $13.19.



Oil sheets will come in extremely handy with this blazing sun. Instead of carrying around a stack of napkins in your purse to wipe away sweat or oil, just use oil sheets. They absorb all the excess oil left on the face and takes away any shine. Clean and clear are the original makers, but you can always get the knock off brand which works the exact same way. The Equate brand sells for $2.40



This product is mainly for the ladies that love their makeup. Instead of wearing a thick and heavy foundation, try a bb cream, which stands for blemish balm. It gives you a nice coverage similar to a foundation, but is much lighter. Your skin will feel much softer and you won’t have to worry about your makeup running off your skin. A great bb cream is the Maybelline Dream Fresh Beauty Balm and sells at $8.50



I know, lip balm is not exactly a “SKIN essential,” but it is a definite must have. Chapped lips is a no-no, and smooth soft lips are the way to go. Some lip balms even contain spf to protect you from the sun. I recommend the EOS lip balm brand. They come in a variety of different flavours, and the most efficient one for summer is Lemon Drop with spf 15. This product sells at $4.23



After staying out partying and coming home late, you’re going to want to give your face a good wash. To get a nice deep clean before hitting the sac, would be using the Olay Pro X Advanced Cleansing System. This product is very similar to the Clearsonic, except it is much smaller, and a lot cheaper! It will get your skin squeaky clean, and feeling extremely smooth. This product sells at $29.99.


Summer time is all about having fun and just enjoying yourself. Go out with friends, enjoy the sun and take a lot of pictures, but take care of your skin at the same time. It will be thanking you in the future when winter comes around!


African Voices: The Weekly Show | By: Akeyva Gray


Although CNN (Cable News Network) is known as an American news network, the station covers the latest stories from around the word. On Friday nights at 8:30 GMT or 10:30 CET, “African Voices” airs. You can also catch the series online at African Voices. The show covers the most influential, intelligent, extraordinary people in Africa. If you choose to read the segment online, there is always an image before the article begins, thus giving the reader a face to match the article with. Wide arrays of people are featured on “African Voices.” From activist Kumi Naidoo to F.W. de Klerk, the last white president of South Africa, CNN covers a variety faces. Most recently featured is South Africa’s first black president: Nelson Mandela. Followed by a picture of the person featured that week is a summary of what that person is known for. The author also includes quotes about their personality, which helps the audience to personally identify with the person being featured. Each article is only about a page long. There is so much information packed into a couple of paragraphs.

Want to check out more? CNN.com/Africa