All Black Everything: A Night of Elegance and Excellence at the 10th Annual Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 Event

Photo Credit: Monica Morgan

In a breathtaking celebration of talent, determination, and the unyielding spirit of Black excellence, the Michigan Chronicle marked its 10th Annual 40 Under 40 event Thursday evening. This year’s soirée, drenched in the theme “All Black Everything with Gold Accents,” transcended expectations and essentially illuminated the golden gems within the true essence of Black excellence. Hosted by the charismatic duo of Andre Ash and Lynzee Mychael from Michigan Chronicle’s Finally Friday, the night was a triumph for the city of Detroit and its vibrant community of young black professionals.

The evening sparkled with a golden promise as we celebrated remarkable individuals from various walks of life. Among the honorees were the brilliant and visionary co-founders of Detroit Hives, Nicole Lindsey and Timothy Paul Jackson. Their work has not only changed the landscape of beekeeping but also exemplified the transformative impact Black professionals can have on their communities.

“Together we have created a social, environmental, and financial impact through bees,” expressed Jackson. Lindsey followed that sentiment with, “It is through our local partnerships and collaborative efforts that we exist in over 28 plus locations managing the health of 4.5 million honeybees – humbly speaking our movement has inspired others locally, nationally, and even internationally to take on similar missions.”

Detroit Hives, a pioneering organization founded by Lindsey and Jackson, harnesses the power of urban beekeeping to revitalize neighborhoods in the Motor City. Their initiative not only addresses critical issues like environmental conservation but also provides valuable education and employment opportunities to Black Detroiters. The symbolism of Black beekeepers revitalizing their city is a powerful testament to the resilience and ingenuity of our community.

As the night unfolded, we had the privilege of honoring other outstanding individuals, each carving their own path to success. Clement Fame Brown, the creative mind behind Three Thirteen Detroit’s Brand Name, received the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Brown’s commitment to empowering the city through fashion and entrepreneurship has left an indelible mark.

“Entrepreneur of the year – that’s a big deal,” said Brown. “It’s always an honor to be honored and it’s always a blessing to be in a room full of so many talented, accomplished, and popular people that look like me. I’m geeked. I started making and selling clothes as a kid and I always knew that I would have a business, but I never knew it would be Detroit’s brand name business, so I take a lot of pride in the fact that our business represents our city’s pride.”

Taking home the Corporate Excellence Award was Dannis Mitchell, Director of Community Engagement at Barton Malow. “It is so important to recognize that there are young leaders across the country, many that are born here in Detroit. I represent our city nationally and I tell people, ‘Yea I’m a D-girl I’m from the west-side of Detroit,’” Mitchell expressed. “But more importantly, I’ve been able to have experiences within an industry that not many of us, specifically women of color, have the opportunity to engage in and I’ve been the youngest person in the room, the only Black person in the room, and the only Sistah in the room, and I really had to articulate the importance of showing up, giving chances when others won’t, and being persistent.” As a trailblazing Black woman thriving in a predominantly male-dominated industry, her unwavering commitment to fortifying the connections between businesses and Detroit’s communities is undeniably commendable.

Amidst the glitz and glamour, the event also showcased the diversity of talent within our community. From Paris T. Prichard, a forensic scientist pushing the boundaries of her field, to math wizards like Donna Laster, who contributes her brilliance to the army’s mission, and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Anesha Birchett-Moody, every honoree embodied the spirit of achievement.

President of Real Times Media, Cathy Nedd, delivered corporate remarks, emphasizing the critical role of media in highlighting, and amplifying the achievements of Black professionals. Michigan Chronicle Executive Editor Jeremy Allen, with grace and eloquence, presented the well-deserved awards to our honorees, each clad in elegant black attire, surrounded by their friends and family.

The Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 event serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration, illuminating the path for future generations of Black professionals. With each passing year, this celebration of excellence reaffirms our commitment to nurturing and honoring those who are truly making a dynamic impact in the city of Detroit. As we continue to uplift and celebrate these remarkable individuals, we’re reminded that the golden essence of Black excellence shines brightly within us all.

The Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 event isn’t just an award ceremony; it’s a vibrant tapestry woven with the threads of ambition, resilience, and achievement. For a decade, it has served as a lighthouse guiding us through the often-turbulent waters of the professional world. It’s a platform where the spotlight is cast upon those whose journeys defy convention, whose stories inspire us to dream bigger, and whose impact ripples far beyond the boundaries of their chosen fields.

At its core, this annual celebration is about recognizing that greatness knows no age or background. It acknowledges the relentless pursuit of excellence, reminding us that the city of Detroit is a melting pot of innovation and talent. From the laboratory to the stage, from the boardroom to the community, the Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 event magnifies the kaleidoscope of talents that shape our city’s future.

This event embodies the essence of empowerment, as it showcases young Black professionals who’ve shattered barriers, paved new avenues, and demonstrated that success is not an exclusive club. It’s a testament to the unwavering spirit of Detroit’s Black community and their collective commitment to pushing boundaries, breaking molds, and changing lives. It’s a beacon of hope for the generations that will follow, showing them that they too can rise to greatness.

As the Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 continues to celebrate and honor those who are making an indelible mark on our city, it does more than recognize achievement; it perpetuates a legacy of aspiration. It tells the world that Detroit is not just a city of cars and music but a place where brilliance thrives, where determination knows no bounds, and where Black excellence shines brightly, like a diamond in the heart of the city.

Maya Angelou’s timeless wisdom, encapsulated in the words “Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” reverberates through the essence of the Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 event. Here, we witness individuals who have not only embraced life with fervor but have also invested their passion, dedication, and boundless love into their pursuits. The honorees, much like Angelou’s wise counsel, have poured their hearts into their endeavors, and Thursday evening, we witnessed life reciprocating that love by honoring them for their remarkable contributions. In this celebration of excellence, we see that life, when met with unwavering devotion, truly gives back, often many times over, in the form of extraordinary achievements and the enduring legacy of change.

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