This feel-good story out of Indiana is sure to brighten your moods for today! An unexpected meeting between strangers resulted in a gift that 15-year-old Demarco Bailey will never forget! Earl Davis rode past Bailey on his way to work when he saw the teenager on the side of the road.
“I was on my way to a job interview and I rode past him,” Earl Davis told ABC. He said that the first time he met Demarco, he was working out on the side of the road with tires chained around his waist for strength training.
Demarco told Earl that he had to make this homemade equipment because his family could not afford real equipment, and he wanted to make the football team at his high school as a sophomore.
“He’s so small and he looks about the same age as my kids that I coach. So I saw him and I was like, ‘Wow.’ My two boys play football and they were home asleep. They work hard, I can’t say that they don’t, but I wanted to take his picture to come home to show them his dedication," said Davis.
Davis posted Bailey's photo to Facebook to inspire others. The post reads in part: "I gave him my name and number so he can work out with my boys, told him we have sleds, parachutes, resistant bands, weights, etc. He was geeked up. Best part of all, the whole conversation took place while he was still jogging. He said, ‘Sorry to be rude coach but you gotta drive while I jog. I gotta stay moving.'"
Once many people began commenting wanting to help Demarco out, Davis started a GoFundMe to help him fund Demarco's equipment. The campaign has raised already raised more than its $5,000 goal!
Davis talked about the humbleness of Demarco and his family, saying that the young teen wants to use the money to help others. "I talked to his dad a couple times. On Sunday we all went out to Dairy Queen. They are so humble. It’s a fight to get Marco to even spend the money that was donated for him. He doesn’t want to spend it. He doesn’t feel like he worked for it. He wants to take the stuff that was donated to him and get some equipment, but then donate the rest to others," said Davis.
Davis has purchased some new gear for Demarco with a portion of the funds, and he has been training out with his sons. “I can’t really believe it. Demarco is so calm about everything. You never meet a kid like that. He doesn’t like the attention, he just wants to keep working out.”
According to Davis, Demarco's family was hesitant of him trying out for football his freshman year because he previously had two concussions from football in middle school. "She said that he is super aggressive on the football field, but he’s never been trained to play the proper way, so that’s where the concussions came from. With the proper training, she’s willing to try it again," he said.
While the Bailey family is unsure of what school Demarco will attend next year because they are looking for new housing, wherever he ends up at, Demarco is ready and well-prepared!
What an awesome story! You never know what may come out of a chance meeting!
Want more feel-good stories? Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss a...
Last week, a group of black ballet dancers from Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center went viral after video of them dancing to Jason Derulo's "Aint It Love" was posted on Facebook. Monday morning, they appeared on Good Morning America, where they performed the viral dance. Their instructor, Homer Bryant also spoke about fusing traditional ballerina with rap and hip hop.
The real treat, however, was watching them teach Michael Strahan how to do hiplet. Watch the video above!
Share this video with your friends on Facebook or Twitter below!
READ NEXT: The En Pointe Dance Studio just slayed everyone with this...
Here's something to file under #BlackExcellence for the week. Meet the Holmes sisters, high-ranking New York police officers. Juanita, Janice, Estella, Selena and Bernie Holmes sat down for an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America to discuss what it's like to be a law enforcement family.
Ranging in high-ranking roles from captain, deputy chief, and sergeant, all of the sisters have been making major moves at the department. Juanita happens to be one of the highest-ranking women within the New York City police overseeing the domestic violence unit. Meanwhile, Janice is the first commanding officer of her precinct.
The sisters grew up in Queens with 13 siblings in all. In total, more than half of the family has a career in law enforcement. "We always had a very good relationship but now that we're all cops we can relate to each other, like the stress on a job, what goes on in a job, and things like that," said Estella.
The family will continue their legacy in law enforcement for at least one more generation, as Juanita's son William is set to graduate from the police academy this summer. “I think it is a good thing when you can leave a legacy of positive role models who the children and people in general in our environment that we were raised in can view and say, ‘You know, they were no different than me and look what they achieved.' It's a mindset. If you think big, you can be big. If you think small, you can be small," said Selena.
You go, Holmes sisters!
Like this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter below!
READ NEXT: BET CEO Debra Lee joins Twitter corporate team with a huge...
Last Sunday, it was announced that Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan were winners of the Daytime Emmy Award for best entertainment talk show host. This comes on the heels of Strahan's announcement that he would be leaving Live with Kelly and Michael to become a full-time anchor at Good Morning America. Since the announcement, the witty banter and on-air chemistry that led to a hefty increase in ratings has been replaced with tense jabs and not-so-sneaky disses.
Nearly four years ago, Strahan was selected to replace Regis Philbin as co-host on the successful ABC franchise. Having garnered popularity as Ripa's sidekick on Live, Strahan reportedly parlayed his mainstream marketability into an 8-figure salary as a full-time anchor on GMA. For ABC network executives, it was imperative to keep news of Strahan’s move quiet and, as such, Kelly wasn't notified until an hour before the press release was made public. Upset about the news of Strahan's sudden exit, Ripa took several days off from Live.
Ripa, who reportedly garnered an increase to her current $20 million annual pay as a result of the scandal, still seems to be upset about the ordeal as is evidenced by continued on-air tension including Ripa's recent digs at Strahan's two failed marriages on last Friday's show. Given the icy dynamic between the two, it has also been revealed that Strahan's exit has been pushed up from September to May, allegedly to give more time to find his replacement.
Although I can definitely empathize that it must have been incredibly disorienting for Ripa and the producers at Live to be blindsided by a shift of this magnitude, given what we know, this frustration seems to be misdirected. ABC owns both Live and Good Morning America, and given the networks stipulation of confidentiality regarding his impending move, Strahan didn't have the option of providing his co-host or producers any advanced notice. Although a conversation about respect in the workplace definitely needs to be had, I think it should be directed toward the head honchos at ABC not at Michael Strahan.
After four years of co-hosting Live, Strahan made a personal career decision to move on. In addition to a significant pay increase, Good Morning America will provide him with a larger audience and an opportunity to expand his resume. Seems like a reasonable decision to me. In today's competitive market, the average American will change jobs 5-7 times in the span of a career. Just as employers have the option to eliminate jobs at-will, everyone has the autonomy to direct their careers as they see fit. So where's the controversy?
So what do you think? Did Michael Strahan owe Kelly Ripa an explanation? Is this a non-controversy? Sound off in the comments!
READ NEXT: New 'Power Rangers' movie photo stirs conversation about costume upgrade and...
When international pop icon Beyoncé Knowles-Carter revealed her vegan weight-loss secrets on ABC’s Good Morning America she received an unprecedented backlash from her otherwise loyal fans. While the star’s latest announcement might not be a hit with her main fan base, embracing a lifestyle free of animal products and processed foods may have both health benefits and economic effects that could appeal to followers of the #blacklivesmatter movement.
To make her vegan debut to the world, Beyoncé took a change of course from her usual surprise announcement strategy and coordinated the exclusive release of her diet secrets with Good Morning America, the leading morning talk show with nearly 5 million viewers. The pre-recorded segment featured the “***Flawless” star recalling her personal weight-loss struggles and cited the benefits of vegan-style cooking for people with diet-related chronic diseases.
The A.M. news slot was a plug for Mrs. Carter and her longtime trainer Marco Borges’ new diet plan and health-food delivery service, The 22-Day Revolution. But the fans weren’t interested and they let the world know it. Botched product launch aside, there is merit to the entertainer’s message and Black people stand to benefit the most.
If there were a competition for the demographic with the highest percentage of hypertension, diabetes or obesity, Blacks would lead the way as a statistical frontrunner.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Non-Hispanic Blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8 percent) followed by Hispanics (42.5 percent), non-Hispanic Whites (32.6 percent), and non-Hispanic Asians (10.8 percent).
The graph below traces the incremental rise in diabetes rates since 1980. While all races are affected by the high-carb, high-protein, high-sugar western diet, Blacks are disproportionately affected by the disease.
The CDC’s statistics on blood pressure levels support the trend.
Diabetes, hypertension and obesity are known as comorbidities, or chronic diseases that occur simultaneously. These ailments are precursors for more serious conditions such as kidney failure, heart attack, aneurysm, stroke, vision loss, amputations, gallstones and breathing problems. Reading this list might cause you to think twice about health problems you or your family members might be familiar with. I know I am.
The leading causes of death amongst the Black American population are heart disease, cancer and stroke. Studies have shown a correlation between disparaging health and diets low in fresh fruits and vegetables. The Department of Agriculture estimates that 23.5 million people live in food deserts. Food deserts occur in low income places with low access to affordable, healthy food choices. Black people are more likely to live in such areas.
In addition to limited food options, Blacks (and Latinos) also receive a higher rate of junk food advertising on a day-to-day basis. In November 2014, The Washington Post reported about a team of researchers who found that kids in black neighborhoods were targeted with 60 percent more junk food ads than kids in White neighborhoods:
“Fast food restaurants blanket the country, but they are especially ubiquitous in the country's poorer communities. This reality, which has been called 'food oppression,' is a crucial component of a growing systemic problem in the United States, whereby America's richer communities are eating better, while its poorer communities are eating worse.”
A change in the way we eat could save hundreds of thousands of Black lives a year, simply by eating less processed foods. In an experiment, African Americans who ate a South African diet for two weeks decreased their precancerous colon growths.
Could Beyoncé’s plan save the day? Maybe. Some took to Twitter to question the feasibility of the plan given the expense of healthy food. Others bombarded her Instagram account with meat-laden emoticons. Granted, if you have a spare $945 to spend, the 22-day meal plan might be for you. But if you live in a neighborhood where artificially colored sugar juice is cheaper than a bottle of Poland Spring, then you probably won’t be clamoring to sign up for the service.
There are other options. Simply reducing meat intake to a few times a week can make a big difference.
Ricah Norman, a Brooklyn-based chef, enjoys cooking vegan meals for herself and clients. She recently catered a #Sanaa party in Bed-Stuy and her all-veggie dishes sold out before nights end. For Norman, pursuing plant-based nourishment doesn’t come at the cost of taste. “If anyone believes they have to give up comfort food in order to be vegan, they have never had my cooking, especially my peach cobbler,” she shared.
She admits people living in poverty might feel limited by their pockets, but remains steadfast in her vegan-friendly eating style. “We suffer from an abundance of shitty options,” she states in an email exchange with Blavity. “If we take control and stop letting everything be dictated to us by those who have some type of monetary stake hold in what we do, we’ll be alright,” says Norman.
It is hard to take Beyoncé seriously when she is clearly promoting a product that piggy-backs off of her diet revelations.
It would be truly revolutionary if the Queen’s so called “22-Day Revolution” actually sparked 22 days of social change. There might be a way. For a moment during the GMA segment could be mistaken for a cunning boycott of the American food industry. “For the average person to go on a vegan diet, DO NOT shop the center isles of the grocery store, that’s where all your packaged and processed foods are going to be.”
Kraft, General Mills, Dole, Nestlé and Pepsico make nearly all the food Americans eat, but Black people fare the worst. Fast food chains do the Black community no better. A large percentage of McDonald’s customers are Black, proving that the company profits at the expense of Black bodies. Does McDonald’s care about Black lives? What about Nestle?
Is Beyoncé covertly telling us to boycott the multi-billion dollar food industry? The Carter’s have allegedly paid the bail of a number of activists. Should we brace ourselves for a politically outspoken B? Probably not.
But what would the wholesale adaptation of a plant-based lifestyle change mean for the companies that produce junk? If #blackoutblackfriday was any indicator, there is power in the purse and our collective pocket is $1 trillion strong. No justice, no profit and along the way, better health. They say self-love is a revolutionary act. What could be greater than taking care of oneself?
Hopefully by now the Beyhive will have forgiven Beyoncé. Maybe they will thank her too. If this young mother can get millions more people to eat their vegetables, she will have succeeded where many have failed and would truly prove herself to be an influential Queen after all. No GMA needed.
Melissa B. Elian, better known as Bunni, is a Haitian-American multimedia journalist based in New York City. She specializes in documentary and news photography/video. Her work has been published by the Daily Beast, Global Post, New York Daily News and Afropunk.
Follow her musings about current events on Twitter: @bunnisays or her snapshots on Instagram: @hellobunni
Want more content like this? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter below.