My Sista’s Business….

When Her Husband Stunned Her by Filing For Divorce, This Woman Did Something Amazing

Tracy Saelinger
February 4, 2016

From Woman’s Day

After 20 years of marriage, at the age of 43, Yvonne Anderson-Thomas found herself in free fall: Her husband filed for divorce and she hadn’t completed her nursing degree. To make ends meet, she started selling baked goods at food festivals near her in Boise, Idaho, drawing on her experience running a bakery. However, at the festivals, she realized customers would pass her by, with vague promises of saving room for dessert.

“I realized, shoot, the savory food people were making all the money!” she says. So Yvonne decided to sell smoked turkey legs, an old family favorite. After seeing her initial success, a generous friend loaned her several thousand dollars to buy a truck. Soon enough, Brown Shuga was up and running, and Yvonne was working three events in a day with the help of her son Daniel, a college student, some seasonal workers and friends who’d volunteer for free food.

Running a food truck isn’t cheap. Aside from licensing, fees and the truck itself, there was a lot to buy: a fridge, freezer, smoker, food warmers, prep tables, straws, lids, cups, napkins, serving boats, parchment-not to mention all the ingredients. Luckily, a local women’s shelter allowed Yvonne to park her vehicle in its lot, and she repaid the kindness by donating her tips and extra food.

To keep up with Brown Shuga’s growing demand, Yvonne soon added a second truck, and today both trucks are known for on her popular soul-food recipes. “It’s Southern cuisine in the African-American tradition, the kind of food we’d have at Grandma’s for Sunday dinner,” she says. “I want to bring people that kind of memory.”

On her proudest moment:

After initially opening up shop, “It felt like, ‘When will my customers come?” Yvonne remembers. Now, five years later, she has collected a host of awards, including one for best food truck. “Finally, when I say, ‘Brown Shuga Soul Food,’ people know the name, and it makes me feel so good,” she says.

On overcoming setbacks:

The truck’s pipes burst two winters in a row, so Yvonne now operates May through October and works as a culinary instructor to fill in the gaps. “I had some struggles, but I keep at it everyday,” she says. “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way no matter what obstacles come at you.”

On the unexpected joy of starting over:

A decade ago, Yvonne never imagined that she’d be running a food truck. Looking back, the move makes sense: As a military spouse, she had always loved cooking and baking for functions on base. She credits much of her success to the resourcefulness she gained in those years of frequent moves and long deployments, and still draws on that strength today: “I feel like I have succeeded in letting people know who I am.”

On the pursuit of perfection:

To get her cornbread just right, Yvonne tried 20 recipes. And she spent years tweaking her ribs until she hit on her magic combo of ingredients. “When I tried them,” she says, “I instantly fell in love.” It’s no wonder customers keep coming back for more.

Get the recipe for Yvonne’s famous barbecue chicken below. (Tip: Just a touch of liquid smoke makes the sauce irresistible. Look for brands with only two ingredients: water and smoke.)

Yvonnes Brown Shuga Soul Food Food Truck

Yvonnes Brown Shuga Soul Food Food Truck

Brown Shuga’s Smoked Chicken Legs


1 tbsp. garlic powder1 tbsp. paprikaKosher saltPepper6 chicken legs¼ c. apple cider vinegar¼ c. water¼ c. brown sugar2 tbsp. ketchup1 tsp. molasses1 tsp. liquid smoke1 clove garlic3 c. wood chips


  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Rub all over the chicken and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  2. Place the wood chips in the smoker according to manufacturer’s instructions and heat to 225 degrees F, then place the chicken on the racks bone-side down and cook, turning halfway through, until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F, 2 to 3 hours.
  3. If you do not have a smoker: Remove the grill grates from one side of a gas grill and heat over medium-high heat. Tear 4 pieces of heavy-duty foil. Divide the chips between two pieces of foil, then sandwich with the other pieces. Fold over all of the edges to seal. Use a fork to poke holes in the top piece of foil. Place one foil package directly on the burner and let cook until the package begins to smoke, about 5 minutes. Let smoke for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low (the package should still be smoking).
  4. Place the chicken on the other side of the grill opposite the foil package, bone-side down (the chicken is on the grill grates over the burners not in use). Cover the grill and cook, turning the chicken halfway through, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, 2 to 3 hours (if your grill has a temperature gauge, try to maintain 225 degrees F to 235 degrees F with the burners not directly under the chicken). If the foil packet stops smoking, replace with the second one, increasing the heat to get it smoking and reducing heat after it has started.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, ketchup, molasses, liquid smoke, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Brush over the cooked chicken. Or, if desired, before serving, increase grill to medium-high and grill the chicken, turning and basting with the sauce, until the skin is beginning to char, about 5 minutes.



#BlackGirlMagic: 8-Year-Old Lauren Laray Makes Wigs For Cancer Patients

By Zon D’Amour

Where can we make an appointment to get our hair done by 8-year-old Lauren Laray? The 3rd grader has a remarkable talent for doing hair and she’s putting her skills towards an excellent cause.

After learning that her best friend’s little sister had cancer and was losing her hair to chemotherapy, Lauren decided to make her a wig. She now wants to help even more little girls feel beautiful while they fight to overcome one of the most difficult times in their lives.

Initially, Lauren was going to make 10 wigs but by the summer, she hopes to finish 30 wigs that will be donated to the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.

“Some of them will be blonde; some of them will be redheaded for redheaded little girls. I’ll have a whole bunch because other girls have other styles for their hair”, said Lauren.

Lauren has launched a GoFundMe page where she’s already exceeded the $900 needed to make the 30 wigs which costs $30 per head for supplies. The Las Vegas native uses a crochet needle, weave cap, two packs of hair and a bow.

“I won’t need a thank you, I’ll just see a smile on their face and I’ll be happy,” said Lauren.

We are so proud of you Lauren! Keep up the great work!

Black History Month Series 2/4

 Cathy Hughes, Radio One: From Teen Mom To Media Mogul

Cathy Huges

When Cathy Hughes got pregnant at age 16, her friends said her life was over. Her mother kicked her out of the house. Hughes said she “was in shock.”

But pregnancy “was the beginning,” Hughes said. The birth of her son, Alfred Liggins, as “an impetus to achieve,” Hughes told The Huffington Post. “It was the reason I took my life seriously for the first time as a teenager and made a promise to myself, my son and God that he would not become a black statistic.”

Hughes did end up becoming a statistic: She started the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the U.S. and became the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded company. Her Washington, D.C.-based Radio One has 53 radio stations in 16 urban markets, with projected 2012 revenues of $433 million. As CEO, Liggins has expanded Radio One into TV and online ventures.

Hughes’ rise from teen mom to media mogul didn’t come easily. Working her way up at the Howard University radio station in the 1970s, she had the opportunity in 1979 to buy a radio station with her husband. When they separated within a year, the business tumbled. She lost her home but refused to give up her company. She and her son slept on the floor of the radio station until she finally turned the business around.

HuffPost Small Business talked to Hughes about her passion for radio, growing up poor and what it was like to raise a child without a home.

How did your love of radio start?

When I was 8, my mother gave me a transistor radio for Christmas, and I became obsessed with radio. We were living in the projects in Omaha, Neb., six of us with one bathroom, and I would lock myself in the bathroom and use my toothbrush as a microphone, looking in the mirror, doing the commercials and news. People were always pounding on the door, telling me to get out, but I was preparing for my future life.

Did you believe that life was over after getting pregnant?

Everyone in my world thought I should have an abortion, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t penalize another human being with the mistake I made, even though I realized I didn’t have the education and financial resources I needed. Having that baby forced me to put someone else ahead of my own selfish desires.

I became an entrepreneur because of him. One day, he had a fever and my employer said “if you walk out that door, don’t come back.” That’s when I decided I needed to be in control of my professional environment so I could be there for my child.

What was the most important lesson you learned as a teen mom that translated to running a business?

Focus. An elderly woman who provided child care told me the secret to successful parenting was to keep your attention focused on your children. And one of the key characteristics of an effective manager is to not have your attention distracted from your employees, goals and objectives. You have to keep your eye on the prize, whether that’s running a business or rearing a child.

How did you end up living on the floor of your radio station?

The radio station was a financial disaster for seven years. But I stayed focused on not losing my company, and that’s why I moved into the station and did whatever it took. I was willing to let everything go except my son and my business, in that order.

Did you ever think about giving up while sleeping on the floor?

Never, never, never. I was determined that my son and I would build a successful business. I’d tell lenders, “Do you think I’m going to let this fail when I’m sleeping in a sleeping bag, washing up in a public bathroom? I’m giving it my all.”

What was it like raising a son while living in the radio station?

I never saw him as deprived. He graduated from the best high school in D.C., went to UCLA and participated in all the things regular kids do. It wasn’t until I was about 55, when someone said to me “you were homeless,” that it hit me. I was down to 14 employees running a 24/7 business. I was glad we were in the radio station, because sometimes in middle of the night I’d have to get up and do something.

What was the turnaround?

At year 7, my accountant sent me the monthly financial statement, and I said “you forgot to put the brackets in red ink.” I was so focused, I didn’t know I was coming out of the hole.

What has building the company with your son meant to you?

It was my son’s idea to diversify. When he got his MBA from Wharton, he said, “We’re not going to be a mom and son operation anymore. We’re going public.” This all started from being a family, and even as a public corporation, we operate as a family business. Too much of American industry is focused on the bottom line and not enough is focused on the front lines.

Entrepreneur Spotlight

Name: Cathy Hughes
Company: Radio One
Age: 65
Location: Washington, D.C. area
Started: On the air in 1980
Employees: about 1,500
2012 Projected Revenues: $433.5 million


Community Corner…. Activist and Filmmaker Bree Newsome

Thanks to Ahmed Mitiche for sharing this info with us!  Please read the message below a complete listing of events!
SAVE THE DATE! –  Take note that Activist and Filmmaker Bree Newsome (the young sister who scaled the metal pole to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capitol last summer) will be speaking on February 17th!!! – 


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Ahmed Mitiche

Below are the events UIndy Black Student Association is hosting- all in the Schwitzer Student Center at the University of Indianapolis. Of special note is that Activist and Filmmaker Bree Newsome, who scaled a metal pole to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol last summer, will be speaking on the 17th.

Calendar of Events:  Sponsored by Black Student Association, Campus Program Board, Professional Edge Center, and Student Affairs:

February 3rd – Black History Month Movie “Higher Learning” – 9pm – UIndy Hall A – Sponsored by BSA


February 10th – Anti-Valentines Day – 9pm – Trustee’s Dining Room – Sponsored by BSA


February 12th – South Calvary Church Praise and Worship – 9pm – UIndy Hall A – Sponsored by BSA

February 16th – Comedian Josh Johnson – 9pm – UIndy Hall A – Sponsored by Campus Program Board

February 17th – Bree Newsome – “Tearing Hate from the Sky” – 9pm – UIndy Hall A – Sponsored by Diversity Lecture & Student Affairs – L/P Credit

*Bree Newsome has always been sensitive to the essential role that art and symbols play in shaping culture and consciousness.  As she watched the funeral of one of the 9 people slaughtered in the name of white supremacy at the Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, SC, she sclaed the 30 ft. flagpole in front of the statehouse and removed the “stars and bars” declaring “this flag comes down today.”

February 19th –  (Boys and Girls Club)- Community Service Event- Boys and Girls Club- Black Heritage Festival 3:30 pm – Sponsored by BSA

February 22nd – BSA’s African American Ancestry event 9pm – UIndy Hall A – Sponsored by BSA

February 23rd – Patricia Russell-McCloud – “It’s Not Just You Anymore: Working in a Global Society” – 9pm – UIndy Hall A – L/P Credit

*Russell-McCloud is a “visual speaking experience.” With more than 20 years speaking, she is categorized as being one of the nation’s best. Her speaking style is engaging, highly substantive, well researched, and entertaining.

February 24th – Spoken Word Crystal Valentine,  9pm – Atrium – Sponsored by BSA

*Please Join BSA in showing appreciation for the contributions African Americans have given to our country throughout history and wear these colors on theses days during Black History Month. 

*Colors To Wear For Black History*

1st – Red

8th- Black 

22nd- Green 

29th- Black 




Community Corner….Dr. William Barber

.Y.I. Everyone!  This is a FREE event!  SPREAD THE WORD!!!

On Wednesday, February 3, Dr. William Barber will preach at the Community Chapel service at CTS, starting at 11:30 am. That evening, at 7 pm, he will present a public, free lecture in Shelton Auditorium.

Born in Indianapolis, Dr. Barber is President of the North Carolina NAACP and founder of the Moral Mondays movement, which organizes acts of non-violent civil disobedience in North Carolina. He is the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors.
Please click here for more information regarding Black History Month Events at CTS:


Community Corner….Lecture Series

Save the date! You’re invited to…
The 2016 Lecture Series!
Featuring… COMMON!
Common, FEBRUARY 22, 2016

7:00pm to 9:30pm Marriott Downtown, 350 West Maryland Street

Common’s lyrical prowess has catapulted him from one of the world’s most-respected spoken word artists into Hollywood stardom. He gained fame as an “underground” rapper, first as a solo artist, and later with the Soulquarian ensemble.  Common has received commercial success and critical acclaim, having won two Grammy Awards for his work. To hear more about Common and his rise to success, purchase your ticket below!
Purchase your Season VIP Tickets today!

Community Corner…..News from Representative Carson

From: Congressman Andre Carson
Subject: Did You Know?

News from Representative Carson

Forward to a Friend

In 2014, Indianapolis was ranked as the worst in the nation for food deserts. Is there a lack of access to healthy food resources in your neighborhood?

Click to take my survey 

Upcoming Events:

Office Hours in Your Neighborhood

Beech Grove Public Library Café
1102 Main Street 
Beech Grove, IN 46107

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016
 2-4 p.m.



February 1, 2016

Dear Friend,

Every Hoosier deserves a government that is smart, effective, and knows how to get things done. That’s why I want to make sure that you and your family are well-informed about the resources that my office can provide.  

My office includes a team of caseworkers who helped resolve more than 900 requests from Hoosiers seeking assistance with federal agencies in 2015. These requests included help with Social Security benefits, IRS tax refunds, and VA claims which helped save constituents over $71,500.00 last year.

We’re here to help you get the services you expect. If you ever need help, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.


If you don’t see the issue that you need help with, don’t worry, my office assists with many other federal agencies as well.

Please visit to learn more or, call us at 317-283-6516

Congress should be a place for service, and I’m honored to work for you.

Your Friend,

  Washington, DC Office
2453 Rayburn
House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
phone: 202-225-4011
fax: 202-225-5633
Indianapolis Office
300 E Fall Creek Pkwy. N. Dr.
Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46205
phone: 317-283-6516
fax: 317-283-6567

My Sista’s Business….Maya Chambers

Currently Crushing On: Maya Goddess Juices

By  | February 1, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 2.24.42 PM

From great skin to strong bones, fibroid shrinking and cancer prevention: juicing is a one-stop solution to getting our bodies onto a healthier track. Nature is one of the earth’s greatest medicines, and the ability to juice that powerful gift and simply drink it is a blessing for us all, especially the movers and shakers who don’t always have time to sit down for a nourishing meal. Meet wellness coach and juicing expert, Maya Chambers. As the creator of Maya’s Goddess Juices, Maya believes that juicing should be at the top of our list of daily “must-dos” alongside self-care, meditation and personal hygiene.

With a brand that started in the heart of her home (the kitchen), Maya’s mission is to encourage her clients to approach beauty and wellness from the inside out. Maya realizes that being good to your body (eliminating ingestion of processed foods and replacing it with protein, vegetables and fruits) is one of the quickest and easiest ways to fight off anxiety, depression, low energy levels and health risks.

Could the key to healthier living really be this simple? Check out Maya’s juices and meal plans on Instagram (@mayagoddessjuices) or email her directly at to find out. True beauty comes from within!

“Meet The Artist” 2016

                                                              Contact: Jon Barnes, Communications Specialist, 275-4022


For Immediate Release



Meet the Artists 2016 and Gala Reception at Central Library!

      The works of prominent local African-American artists will be on display during the 28th annual Meet the Artists exhibit, beginning Tuesday, January 26 and continuing through Saturday, March 26 throughout Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street.

      This year’s version of Meet the Artists features works by 21 artists representing a variety of mediums. The exhibit, sponsored by The Indianapolis Public Library’s African-American History Committee, has become one of the city’s premiere cultural events while providing an avenue for African-American artists to showcase their works.

      Participating artists include Kevin Johnson (mixed media); Alison Middleton (mixed media/paint); Andre Parnell (graphic art); Clayton Hamilton (sign painting); Octavius Lettsome (color pencil); Derrick Carter (sand art); Judie L. Sloan (glass); Marshall F. Lewis (acrylic, pencil, pen & ink); SheRae Parker (mixed media); Stephen & Sherian Barnes (acrylic); Darian Tucker (mixed media); Sidney Holmes (water color); Aboubakar Allal (African craft); Gaicha Boutali (African craft); Andre Edwards (jewelry); Courtney Porter (jewelry); Sharita Scott (mixed drawings); Denise Warnsby (mixed jewelry); Dennis Green (wood); Keith Bullock (metal) and Larry Vaughn (stone).

      The event also will include two youth exhibitors, eight-year-old Kynden Noelle, a student at the Butler Lab School (jewelry), and 10-year-old Christopher Arnold, a student at Avondale Meadows Academy (mixed abstracts).

      The entire community is invited to meet the artists and enjoy an evening of cultural entertainment during the Meet the Artists Gala Reception on Saturday, February 13 from 5 – 10 p.m. at Central Library. This free event will feature a variety of performers, including the Sancocho Drummers, the Rodnie Bryant Gospel Choir, poet and actor Ivory A. McDonald (“I .AM”), poet Percy Bland, Jr., comedian Ron Baker, Jr., and the Sizzlin’ Gregg Bacon Band.

      Capping the evening will be the “Elements of Art Meet Fashion” show coordinated by CoCo Cuffie. For youth, there will be workshops on face painting and mask making, a Tech Zoo, and a youth performance of “Let Me Soar Through the Sky” presented by the Brave Youth Society. Throughout the evening, notable local authors will be on hand to sign and sell copies of their works. These include Stacy Campbell, Mariah Lynn Jeanae Roberts, John F. Allen, Cynthia E. Carr and Sr. Stella Sabina.

     A special First Friday event will be on March 4 from 6 – 9 p.m. at Central Library, during which the public can attend artist demonstrations and enjoy music and refreshments. This event will include self-guided and guided tours of art displays, clothing line presentations and author book signings.

      Meet the Artists is made possible by the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

      For more information about this free event, call 275-4022.



“War Room” Is Winning….


‘War Room’ Is #1 DVD In Nation

WAR Room is winning again! The #1  movie from the filmmaking duo the Kendrick Brothers, came out on Blu-ray™ and DVD Dec. 22nd and topped both Christian charts.  Now comes word the film is conquering any film out on dvd  in the mainstream retail charts.

By far, this is teaching a valuable lesson. Good stories with wholesome messages will win.

The film is nominated in several MovieGuide award categories with winners to be announced February 5th. Additionally, Priscilla Shirer will participate in the 2016 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration February 5th. Additional events are planned throughout the year focused on the power of prayer.

The faith and family drama focuses on the transformative power of prayer.  The PG-rated film centers on a seemingly perfect family who find desperately needed help for their hidden problems from a wise, elderly widow named Miss Clara.

If you haven’t had a chance to see this film, rent it, but it, do what you must. It is 100% worth your time. If you haven’t seen it I want you to checkout this scene out think about what it means to truly pray in this scary times

WAR ROOM stars best-selling author Priscilla C. Shirer (New York Times best-selling author and Bible teacher), T.C. Stallings (Courageous), Karen Abercrombie (Rose from the Dead) and Beth Moore (New York Times best-selling author and Bible teacher) with Alex Kendrick (Courageous) and comedian Michael Jr. (The Clean Stand Up Comedy Tour).


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