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black women

Spotlight: Kelah McKee is Polishing Some Bricks

Kelah McKee (Photo Credit:

A college junior, an entrepreneur, and creator and founder of her own non-profit organization at 19 years young is definitely a feat. But for this young lady, it is just the beginning.

Majoring in communication with emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in African American studies, Kelah Chanice McKee has a bright future ahead of her, with aspirations to become an advice columnist for Essence magazine and turning her non-profit organization, PolishedBricks into a Fortune 500 company.
PolishedBricks is an exclusive platform that gives African Americans the opportunity to share their stories, highlight the work being done in their communities and provides an overall positive light on the lives of African American.
When asked how PolishedBricks came to be Ms. McKee remembers being asked a simple question, one that made her think clearly about what direction she wanted to go with her life.
“On July 18th, 2014, I asked myself how I was being accredit to my race and [that is when] I found that African Americans needed to be heard and showed in a positive light,” McKee said.
“PolishedBricks is targeted towards African Americans who have an interest in building the African American community in a positive way by sharing the stories, networking to work with one another, and [being] heard,” she said.
In creating this type of space it was important to McKee that the organization be exclusive to African Americans. “Many organizations are diverse, but their primary focus is to incorporate all races,” she said, “[and often times] the needs of African Americans [are left hanging in the balance].”

Polished Bricks Logo  (Photo Credit:
Polished Bricks Logo
(Photo Credit:

As for the name she credits a friend for giving her the idea. “A friend took a picture of me behind a brick building and [ever since then] I have been fascinated by the solid foundation that it gives,” she said. “Finally, I figured that if anyone could make a brick shine, it was [the individual] themselves.”
Mckee plans to continue the evolving of PolishedBricks and hopes to see many African Americans share their “bricks” with the world. She’s also expecting PolishedBricks to spread throughout the United Sates.
Accomplishing so many things at such a young age, she remains humble by divine power as well the obstacles that strengthen her and gives her the authority to walk through doors unbothered.
“I would like to thank the Heavenly Father up above for allowing me to do all things under his rule. Secondly, I would like thank the experiences that showed me I could grow beyond my comfort zone.”
However, it is a dear family member that she holds dear to her heart. “I thank my Aunt Alice for believ[ing] in me, even when I was of broken faith. [I also thank] the African American community [at my university], who inspires me to see beyond the media’s view of us and the ones who have a passion about building the African American community.”
Anyone wanting to share their experiences or ‘polished bricks’ can contact Kelah McKee by email at or Also, like her facebook page: PolishedBricks.
Keep polishing those bricks and stay FIERCE!

Re-Cap: 2012 Black Girls Rock — My Top 5 Favorite Moments

Black. Girls. Rock.

If you missed the premiere of BET‘s 2012 Black Girl’s Rock, you missed out big time.

From Alicia Key’s opening of the Top 10 Billboard hit, Girl on Fire to the SWV’s old school medley, I couldn’t help but be glad that I am a black girl that rocks! Here are five of the most memorable moments of the night.

  1. For the first time, men took the Black Girls Rock stage to show that they appreciate the presence and the power of women.

Thunderous applause roared throughout the Paradise Theater as everyone’s favorite British, Emmy award-winner, Idris Elba declared his support for all black girls around the world. “I’m thrilled to be here to pay tribute to your brilliance, beauty and fortitude,” the actor said. He introduced Luke James, Anthony Hamilton, and Eric Benet who serenaded all women with the rendition of Wildflower the ‘70s-era band New Birth. With the way they sang, I would say they have an extended invitation to come back.

luke james

  1. The living legend award this year went to the original R&B diva, Dionne Warwick.

Despite the death of her cousin, Whitney Houston, earlier this year, Warwick was in high spirits as she delivered an uplifting message to the women all around the world. She was thrilled that she is considered a role model for both new and old musicians alike, but the bottom line is she’s still a work in progress. “I am a legend in the making,” she said. My favorite part, just before she left the mic, her award in tow, “I am no longer a girl, I’m a woman. Not only do black girls rock, but black women rock, too,” she declared.

  1. Former editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine (1981-2000), writer, and journalist Susan Taylor was awarded the Inspiration Award.

“Lips aren’t enough, hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.”

Being awarded the Inspiration award she didn’t fail to make everyone, including me, light up inside and say, ‘I’m proud to be a black girl.’ She let everyone know that the night was to celebrate the divine feminine of who we are. “It’s a privilege to be black and a female in the now time. When you and we can choose to live our lives through the authority of our own soul,” she proclaimed proudly. She challenged everyone in the room to get involved in mentoring (someone). “Let us not fail our children, the vulnerable ones that are hoping that we awaken…we are (National Cares Mentoring Movement) only asking that you give one hour a week of your time to save a life. They Holy Spirit is asking more than just say the word…Lips aren’t enough, hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.”

  1. Janelle Monae sheds tears as she accepts the Young, Gifted, and Black award

The Grammy-nominated musician thanked BET for honoring her, and then she honored her own parents. “My mother was a proud janitor, my stepfather who raised me like his very own, worked at the post office, and my father was a trash man. They all wore uniforms and that’s why I stand here today in my black and white (her signature look) and I wear my uniform to honor them.”

  1. The witty, sexy combination of hosts: Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross

Last, but certainly not least, the witty, talented actresses Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King returned to the Black Girls Rock stage as they shared laughs, and words of encouragement to everyone at Paradise Theater in the Bronx and everyone at home watching. These two women really rocked us out of seats!

it was a great time for Black women. What were your favorite moments for the 2012 Black Girls Rock Awards Show?

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