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Spotlight: Kelah McKee is Polishing Some Bricks

Kelah McKee (Photo Credit: http://www.facebook.com/polishedbricks)

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: www.facebook.com/polishedbricks)
Polished Bricks Logo
(Photo Credit: http://www.facebook.com/polishedbricks)

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 polishedb@gmail.com or polishedbricks.com. Also, like her facebook page: PolishedBricks.
Keep polishing those bricks and stay FIERCE!

Being Black: Knowing Beauty

IMG_2187
Photo Credit: Jonnae Chantele (Me!)

I dig the skin I’m in. I love how my face glistens when I wash my face. I love how (some days) I wake up and feel like I don’t need make-up on to enhance my beauty. I love my wide nose, and high cheek bones. The melanin that runs through my veins gives me the confidence to walk with my head held high, gradually proving to everyone just how ba-ad* I am and cannot be limited to the negative portrayals of me on a daily basis.

I enjoy seeing my brothers and sisters, all shades of brown, walk with such pride as they come to realize who they are, whose they are, and where they are going. I love the resiliency of my people. I can see the impact we have (and are having) on the world. We have the most emulated culture there is (I don’t have to prove this**, history does).

We are creative. We are talented. (And no we aren’t just athletes, singers and dancers, though we exceed greatly at each of these.) We are innovators. We are the matriarchs and the patriarchs of our households. We are royalty, Kings & Queens, as one of my dear friends says.

When we learn our history, when we find out things about ourselves that we didn’t know before, we begin to act accordingly. When we begin to see how rich our culture is, we can’t help look in the mirror and see that in our own selves.

Speak with some authority. Speak as if all that you want to accomplish is already written out in plain view…because it is.

My Black skin is what give me the confidence to go after opportunities that I know I deserve just as much as my White counterparts. That light shines within me because I have firm knowledge of who I come from and my purpose while I’m here on this beautiful earth.

“I Am Black

I Am Beautiful…

& Even in My Errors

I Am Hip”

– Nikki Giovanni

*Ba-ad: (adj.) as in being hella dope, not just good, but great; FIERCE

**At a later date, I will be, what some say, “dropping that knowledge” on that history/herstory.

Live Abudantly,

Laugh Some More & (if You Can Stand It…)

Love With ALL of Your Heart

 

 

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