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Happy Black History Month!

In honor of Black History Month, Temple ESA wants to take the time to highlight exemplary black literature and film, as well as famous entrepreneurs of business history -- as well as our own Temple entrepreneurs with businesses to which you should give your time and money.

Historic Entrepreneur Of the Week: Franklin D Raines.

In 1999, Franklin D. Raines became the first black CEO of a Fortune 500 Company. On January 1, 1999, Franklin was named the Chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae (The Federal National Mortgage Association). During his time as CEO, Fannie Mae remained a major player in the industry. Under his leadership, the company continued to grow and invested $2 trillion for financing affordable housing for over 18 million families.

You can read more about Franklin D. Raines here:

Literature Pick of the Week: “Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance” by Nikki Grimes

In this collection of poems, Nikki Grimes gives a voice to the undervalued and underrepresented women poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Using her “Golden Shovel” poetic method, Nikki spotlights the works of prolific women of her time. This book includes a short history of the Harlem Renaissance, poet biographies, as well as a unique piece of art paired with each poem; each piece of art was created by a known African-American artist.

You can purchase this book directly from:

Movie Pick of the Week: “Homegoings” (2013) by Christine Turner

In this documentary, mortician Isaiah Owens provides insight to African-American funerals. Taking place in Harlem, N.Y., Isaiah Owens of Owen’s Funeral Home shows the beauty and grace of how these funerals are performed and how families grieve.

In response to Covid-19, this film is currently free to watch on:

Temple Student Entrepreneur of the Week: Chris Jackson

Chris’s business, Chez, is a contemporary online apparel store that ships worldwide. The website is currently closed to prepare for the fall release, but make sure to follow his social media tagged at the end of this post for updates!

“I’m starting Chez because I feel like I really have something to say in the contemporary fashion realm, particularly menswear. The brand is built around the concept of feeling at home with the subtle details of daily life that spark our emotions and trigger familiarity. It’s married to my background in street photography, as I acknowledge the beautiful aspects of various physical environments and translate them into timeless ready-to-wear apparel. My goal isn’t to create game changing clothing concepts, I want to take existing timeless pieces and refine the fit and quality to perfection.

What keeps me motivated is having faith in myself and my vision. I know what’s missing in my closet, and I truly believe that others' closets will benefit from the products that I create. In addition, the idea of working for myself and turning my passion into my career keeps me focused and determined to make that a reality.”


Chris’s personal instagram: @chezjackson

Chez Brand Instagram: @chezbrand

Throughout Black History Month, we will continue to highlight and celebrate black history. We hope you find these resources useful. Expect more in the coming weeks!

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