Monday, January 02, 2017


When Tonya Brigham opened her Smoothie King franchise in the Bowie Town Center two years ago, the corporate parent told her it would be a slog just to sell $360,000 worth of the juice drinks the first year.

She finished $19 shy of $700,000.

“We did well,” said the ­46-year-old mother of two, who opened the store as a way to control her schedule after working 80-hour weeks as a meeting planner.

Brigham’s store is the No. 1 Smoothie King in greater Washington and the Northeast. Its sales are among the top 15 of the 743 Smoothie Kings in the United States, which makes her a member of the company’s elite “King’s Club.”

You might call her the queen of Smoothie King.
During the summer months, we have done up to 300 guests per day,” she said. She has already served more than 100,000 guests in 2016.

Brigham’s company isn’t big, but it delivers a healthy paycheck (she won’t say how much, but it’s six figures), requires no travel and affords her the flexibility to spend time with her husband and children. It’s the classic case of a career parent who wanted to rekindle the connection with family while preserving a paycheck.

Brigham said she owes it all to soccer moms.

“This is soccer mom heaven,” Brigham said of her Bowie store. The number one guest of Smoothie King is a soccer mom, the mother who has 100 balls up in the air at the same time. She is tired, stretched, but cares what she puts in her kids’ bodies and cares about what she puts in her body.”

Part of the reason for the success is location and promotion. Across the parking lot is an L.A. Fitness gym.

“These folks are my 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. crowd,” Brigham said. “We really see them in the evening after their workout when they are not interested in going home to cook but grabbing a meal-replacement smoothie for dinner.”

Smoothies are not a panacea for losing weight. Many nutritionists will tell you that eating whole fresh fruit or vegetables is better for you than the blended version. But it is better than a banana split or that Philly cheesesteak covered with melted cheese.

“It doesn’t have to be fried or greasy” is Brigham’s motto.

Her drinks range from $3.50 for a kid-size smoothie to $8.99 for an adult portion made with fresh vegetables. Prices in between vary, depending on ingredients. Those may include strawberries, bananas, blueberries, Greek yogurt, apples, kiwi or kale. There is also a vegan smoothie.

With the sprawling parking lot surrounded by a Safeway, sandwich stores and services, the spillover effect goes beyond the gym crowd. Brigham also has a budding catering business and sells to nonprofits for fundraisers.

Brigham is an ambassador of smoothies, promoting her product to all corners of her community. She routinely sells at health fairs and schools. Pharmaceutical salesmen stop in to buy a dozen smoothies to distribute on their sales rounds. (Brigham is planning a second store near a hospital.) She gives out gift certificates to schools and honor roll students. The kids bring a parent or another child, which usually means more smoothie sales.

One key source of patrons is the 10,000-plus congregants of First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover, Md.

After the pastor mentioned her by name in a sermon one Sunday, 300 people showed up at her Smoothie King. When they replayed his sermon on the radio, even more streamed in.
“It helps to know folks who are influential,” she said.

During the summer, Brigham pays it back when she blends a cooler full of smoothies and delivers them to the church parking lot attendants on Sunday mornings.

She said the key is keeping the store spotless, treating customers with respect and making suggestions when customers need assistance with flavors.

Most of her 15 or so employees work part time and hourly. There are no benefits; anyone older than 18 earns at least $10.75 per hour, the minimum wage in Prince George’s County. Workers also keep tips.

Brigham has mentored several of her employees. The lessons cut both ways. “I have given second and third chances to some who should have been let go long before situations got bad. I had to learn to cut the apron strings and hold my team accountable for the high standard set in our store.”

Brigham, who grew up in rural North Carolina, was raised by her grandparents.

“It was small-town people, church every Sunday, work, go to school, and do what’s right. Being raised in that environment has had a big influence on my life,” she said.

She majored in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She enjoyed working with hospitalized psychiatric patients, including Alzheimer’s patients and teenagers who had been

She moved to Washington, where she worked at Children’s National Medical Center. She enjoyed it but eventually needed a break, so she became a flight attendant with US Airways, traveling between Philadelphia and European cities such as Rome, Paris and Madrid.

She later got married, tried graduate school and settled back in Washington, where she worked as a meeting planner while she and her husband built a family.

“I traveled a lot. It was very painful to hear my children say, ‘Mommy, don’t go,’ and I’m heading out for eight days. It became very difficult.”

She quit to become a stay-at-home mom for three years while she pondered her next move.
I thought, ‘How do I stay here and take care of my children and make money?’ ”

She discovered Smoothie King, which began in New Orleans in 1973, on the Internet.

“I felt God put a spotlight on it,” she said. “The more I read about this company . . . the more enthusiastic I became.”

Brigham persuaded her husband to take the risk, and after several turndowns, they received a bank loan and had a location already picked out.

They paid $15,000 for the rights to the store. She found a builder in Atlanta who saved her thousands building it out. She spent about $250,000 and opened just before Thanksgiving in 2014.
By January, she was the sales leader in the D.C. market.

“Prince George’s is the most underserved county. Folks were tired of going to Anne Arundel, tired of going to Alexandria, tired of going to D.C. Folks were tired of traveling and saw me as an African American business owner.”

Brigham said she expects to gross almost $900,000 this year.
She pays 9 percent of her gross sales to the corporate office for advertising and royalties. The rest she keeps. She won the 2016 Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award.

The best part is the time she has for her two teenage children and her husband.

“I am here for dinner. I drop the kids off at school, and I work from home. But I still work from morning to night.”
By Thomas Heath (Reporter)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

BOBBEE BEE: Corporate Democrats Stir Uo War Fever Against Russia to Turn Election

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

People are looking for Russians, but what we had is a real Jim Crow election.”

Like a gyroscope gone out of whack, the destabilized U.S. duopoly system is spinning out of control on a course to self-destruction. In a breathtaking rush to they-know-not-where, the Democrats have deliberately whipped up an anti-Russian war hysteria not experienced in three generations.

The Russians, however, have virtually nothing to do with the crisis, which is very soon likely to degenerate into something resembling civil war at home.

The ruling class is undoing itself. Refusing to accept Electoral College defeat, the bipartisan War Party that coagulated in Hillary Clinton’s big campaign tent in terror of Donald Trump’s “softness” on Russia and his heresies regarding the unfettered flow of capital, now stacks dynamite under the very system that has kept the rich in power throughout the history of the Republic. They hope to create a crisis that might -- at maximum -- reverse the election outcome. At minimum, they seek to force the new administration to abandon any notions of peaceful coexistence with those states that present obstacles to U.S. global domination.

However, in their frenzy to abort the Trump presidency, the Clintonites and their bipartisan national security establishment allies are showing the world just how fragile the U.S. political system really is when faced with serious contradictions between ruling elites. The duopoly arrangement, through which the bourgeoisie control both major parties, is the glue that stabilizes the system. There is no magic to the American structure of government that automatically sustains the hegemony of the rich.

If the ruling elites fail to uphold the gentlemen’s agreement that is the heart of the duopoly, then the system can fall apart. Radicals are not expected to be protectors of the duopoly system, but when the bourgeoisie behave so recklessly it is a sign of crisis in the ruling class.

“They hope to create a crisis that might -- at maximum -- reverse the election outcome.”

Donald Trump violated the agreement when he signaled a desire for a thaw with Russia, an end to the regime change offensive, and opposition to so-called “free” trade -- and then took a wrecking ball to the Republican Party establishment. The GOP fat cats fled, to the extent that they could, to Hillary Clinton’s Big Tent, hoping to return to their old turf after The Donald was crushed by the expected Clinton landslide. With their desertion, the GOP-Dem duopoly became dangerously lopsided, unbalanced -- an instability made even more complex by the Democrats’ Bernie Sanders insurgency.

When Trump was declared the winner, Clinton’s Big Tent -- the de facto headquarters of the “truer and more fully explicit ruling class party” -- panicked. The gyro went whacky. For multinational capital, the quest for worldwide full spectrum dominance is an existential issue; they must achieve it, or die.  What they have shown over the past several weeks is that they are willing, and even eager, to bring down the whole edifice of U.S. social and political “checks and balances” -- freedom of speech and other civil liberties -- to sustain the momentum of their neoliberal offensive in the world.

The true hegemony of the ruling class consists of more than simply control of the “commanding heights” of the economy and positions of governmental power, but also of the authoritative political narrative.

The “fake news” bugaboo is a Trojan Horse for speech and thought control, a ruse to reestablish the imperial narrative in all its domestic and international dimensions. It ain’t about “pizza-gate” -- it’s about corporate global power. The mass of folks that are repelled and frightened by Donald Trump and his gang of generalissimos and billionaires may think that they are in a common struggle alongside Clinton and Jill Stein and much of Black leadership against “fascism” in the person of Trump, but the forces in Clinton’s Big Tent are fascists, too, of the global corporate, endless war and deepening austerity kind, who are now drawing up lists of who can speak and what subjects can properly be discussed.

The same people that brought us the Mass Black Incarceration State and preventive detention without charge or trial, too big to jail, systematic Black urban displacement, Kill Lists, proxy jihadist wars and universal surveillance of humanity. The Democrats are emphatically not waging a fight against “fascism.” Instead, they have unleashed a war hysteria.

“The ‘fake news’ bugaboo is a Trojan Horse for speech and thought control, a ruse to reestablish the imperial narrative in all its domestic and international dimensions.”in 2007 – but Putin continued to pursue good relations with the U.S.)

There is nothing “grassroots” about this orchestration of hearings, investigations and legislation aimed at implicating Russia in some conjured aggression against the United States electoral system -- actions that not only did not happen, but should have no legal implications for Americans even if what is alleged to have occurred -- that the Russians selectively released hacked (factual) documents to embarrass Democrats -- did happen.

What is most shocking about the whole affair is that the orchestrators of this War Hysteria/Dump Trump campaign seem to be oblivious to the effect it will have on the people that voted for Trump, representing roughly half of the country. A recount is one thing, but Trump’s supporters will surely not accept the negation of their vote by Hamilton Electors or other machinations. The U.S. criminal justice (and now “Homeland Security”) systems were designed to contain, control and incarcerate the “Others” of society, mainly Black and brown people. If the whites of that political space called “Middle America” decide to burn the house down, there will be no stopping them. Most of the “first responders” are Trump people.

“A recount is one thing, but Trump’s supporters will surely not accept the negation of their vote by Hamilton Electors or other machinations.”

Are the orchestrators deliberately provoking a civil war, or have they lost their minds over the prospect of better relations with the Russians? I think it’s clearly the latter; they haven’t even begun to consider the mass blowback from Trumpland. But, December 19, the date for certification of the electoral vote, is almost upon us.

The election was, of course, stolen – in the usual manner, by Republican Americans. As investigative reporter Greg Palast told Democracy Now!:

Well, you know, people are looking for Russians, but what we had is a real Jim Crow election. Trump, for example, in Michigan, won by less than 11,000 votes. It looks like we had about 55,000 voters, mostly minorities, removed by this racist system called Crosscheck. In addition, you had a stoppage—even before the courts ordered the complete stop of the vote in Michigan, you had the Republican state officials completely sabotage the recount. They said, in Detroit, where there were 75,335 supposedly blank ballots for president—75,000—they said you can’t count 59 percent of the precincts, where most of the votes were missing. There were 87 machines in Detroit that were—that didn’t function. They were supposed to count about a thousand ballots each. You’re talking about a massive blockade of the black vote in Detroit and Flint, enough votes, undoubtedly, to overturn that election.”

The Democrats never mount a challenge when Jim Crow steals presidential elections. Denying Black people the franchise is kosher, under the gentlemen’s duopoly rules. But, when it comes to improving relations with Russians, the folks in Clinton’s Big Tent go Black Lives Matter on the election process: “Shut It Down!” they scream, “Shut It Down.”
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at


GIVE ME THE CROWN:-(Mark 9:23) "Jesus said unto him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
Here are some common misconceptions about success: (1) We think success is impossible, so we criticize it. We want to believe life should be easy, so we assume anything difficult must be impossible. Then when success eludes us we throw in the towel and say, "Who needs it anyway? And ...if someone we consider less deserving than ourselves is successful, we get really upset. (2) We think success is mythical, so we search for it.

Author/entrepreneur Seth Godin says: "We need to stop shopping for lightening bolts. You don't win an Olympic medal with a few weeks of intensive training. There's no such thing as an overnight opera sensation. Great companies (churches, schools, teams) don't spring up overnight...every great thing has been built in exactly the same way: bit by bit, step by step, little by little." There are no shortcuts; you must be willing to pay the price.

(3) We think success comes by chance, so we hope for it. We say, "Oh, he or she just happened to be in the right place at the right time." The chances of that happening are about as good as chances of winning the lottery-18 million to one. If you're serious about succeeding, you'll concur with the small-business owner who posted this sign in his store: "The 57 Rules of Success:Rule one: Deliver the goods. Rule two: The other 56 don't matter!- "You Should Crown Me" from the album The Evolution of an MC: Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems Vol. 2 by Eric D.Graham

Monday, December 19, 2016


According to David Abioye, storms are real. Storms are inevitable. Storms are vital elements of life. Storms are necessary..and they will come whether you are prepared for them or not.

So, do not try to fight them. Don't react to them. Rather respond to them.

Take advantage of them.

Do not see them as your enemies but as companions to your destiny.

Therefore, we must sail above them with grace and control.

Why? Because, there are some things we learn on stormy seas that we never learn on calm smooth waters. We don't look for storms but they will surely find us. The "God of the Storm" has something to teach us, and His love always drives His actions.”(Danny L. Deaube')

As a result, always remember the scripture from The Book of Mark: Chapter 4-verse 39, when you find yourself weathering the storms in life, which said-And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. -The Evolution of an MC-Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems Vol.2 

Sunday, December 18, 2016


When it comes to seeing ourselves clearly, we all have blind spots. So we need people who'll tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

When someone really loves you, they'll feel compelled to point out the shortcomings in your life, the sinfulness, and areas that need improvement. You may be tempted to dismiss them, but you need to get be...yond the sting of their words and listen for the truth in their message.

The writer of Proverbs tells us"Wounds from a sincere friends are better than many kisses from an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6).

The truth sometimes hurts.

But you must have faith that the encouragers in your life really have your best interests at heart. If you've ever to experience a sense of accomplishment in this life you need someone you can trust; someone who sees where you are, and where the path you're on is leading.

If you want to really know yourself and how you come across to others, you need a trustworthy mirror committed to reflecting the truth back at you instead of what you want to hear.

And if you find yourself resenting the very input you need, think about the Scripture: "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice." (Proverbs 12:15)

"Pride....breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice." (Proverbs 13:10). "Plans fails for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." (Proverbs 15:22).

So here's the question: "Who tells you the truth? That person is your real friend! (Source: The Word For Today)-The Evolution of an MC: Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems Vol.2


(REAL OR FAKE): After the tragic shooting death in Cleveland, Ohio, which involved a 12 year old Tamir Rice, who was playing with a realistic-looking fake handgun in a public recreation area by an officer of the Cleveland Police Department in 2014, Magnolia's Police Chief Donald Hall is encouraging parents of Magnolia not to purchase these realistic toy guns for their children to play with during the summer while they are ...out of school.

"It's very difficult for police officers to determine if these toy guns are real or not (with the red tips removed) in a split-second, especially after arriving on a potential crime scene..." Hall explained.

"And, no officer wants to be involved in an incident where a child is shot."

With that said, a concern citizen of Magnolia, Eric Graham, is demanding that all Dollar General Stores, in the area, to remove all replica handguns from their store shelves in order to prevent other incidents like the one involved in Cleveland from reoccurring--Contact Richard Dreiling CEO of Dollar General 1-(615) 855-4000 and let him know you want these toy guns removed from his stores.-The Evolution of an MC-Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems Vol.2

Monday, December 12, 2016


"You are only good as your last haircut-Fran Lebowitz-

by Eric D. Graham

For 41 years Becton's Barber Shop in Magnolia has been the place where Black men have gathered to get their hair cut and their beards trimmed. But it has also been the meeting place where they could openly and honestly debate and argue about race and politics, God and religion, and even women and sports.

Becton's Barber Shop, in fact, is simply a place where you can "lie a little" and laugh a whole lot.

And still get a good hair cut.

"In order to run a successful barber shop, you must have entertainment," said owner Rudolph Becton of Magnolia. "Over the years, we have had some wonderful characters come through that door. Customers like 'Mr. Woody Pearsall, Marvin Lee, George Henry Lee and Ernest Price, who would come almost every day to make everybody laugh. With their conversation and insight, time would go by so fast."

Becton, 78, who occasionally still cuts hair on Friday and Saturday, is in excellent health and spirit, and can be seen riding his bicycle along the highway from Magnolia to Wallace any day of the week for exercise.

Becton stated that the key to living a long and prosperous life is to treat people right and treat yourself better by not smoking, drinking, and staying out too late at night.

Even though many people think he was born in Magnolia, Becton was actually born in Wayne County in a small town called Eureka, where he was the fourth in a line of 13 children (five girls and eight boys.)

"Yes, I was born in Eureka, North Carolina, before moving to a place called Shine's Crossroad out on Highway 13 in Snow Hill in 1950," he explained. "Later, my father, who was a sharecropper, migrated back to Sampson County to work on another farm."

After the Civil War and during the Reconstruction period of the United States, sharecropping became a system of agricultural production in which a landowner allowed a sharecropper  to use the land in return for a share of the crop produced on the land.

Around the age of 14, however, Becton, after working from "can't see morning to can't see night" for six days a week, realized that farming was not for him.

"I remember kneeling down at my father's bedside and saying this white man is going to kill us and we won't have nothing to show for it," laughed Becton.

Through back-breaking labor as a sharecropper's son, Becton began developing his entrepreneurial spirit that would lead him to become one of the most successful Black businessmen in the history of Magnolia.

"I told myself if I can make $1 for another man then I could make $2 for myself," said Becton.

With that type of revolutionary thinking, Becton migrated "up north" to improve his quality of life
like many Blacks during that time.

"Honestly, I never wanted  to go "up North"  but no one here would loan me any money to start a business and nobody would sell me any land," confessed Becton. "Therefore, I moved up north..."

After moving to Arlington, Va., in 1956, Becton obtained success as a barber but still had a desire to return back home and work for himself.

"I felt that if I could come back to North Carolina and make $55-70 a week....then  my wife (Annie) and I could make it and then elevate ourselves from there," he commented.

Ann Becton, Becton's wife of 49 years, however, was not too thrilled about his decision to move back to NC, especially not the "little" town of Magnolia.

"I remember my wife saying to me: "'If  we go back home, we will go hungry'," reminisced Becton.

Becton, however, finally convinced his wife to migrate back to the south to NC in 1967, where they were warmly embraced by the community of Magnolia.

Neighbors like Bruce Dixon, Hattie Carr, Florence Ross, Phoebe Moore, Tom Hussey and Ethel Robinson, as well as many more, made sure the Becton family did not go hungry as once feared by Ann, Becton's wife.

"Good Lord!!! There were really some good people here in Magnolia at that time," Becton said with a smile on his face. "I mean, these people didn't know us but yet they would leave bags of vegetables and collards on our doorsteps. And Mrs. Ethel Robinson would cook us dinner every Saturday..."

Despite being embraced by his community, Becton also faced opposition, intimidation, and racism when he started building his barber shop.

"When I purchased this land on 310 S.Monk St. on Highway 117, I had a little difficulty with a particular white family, who would refer to me as a boy in conversation even though I was a 35 year old man at the time," he explained.

Culturally, the term "boy" was used by Southern whites at that time to demean Black men and make them feel inferior and less of a man.

"Boy, you are doing the wrong thing .....he told me," emphasized Becton. "I simply replied, 'I own this land'."

Stereotypically, the white family that kept harassing Becton thought he was building a "juke joint" instead of a barber shop. A juke joint was a Southern expression for a club, which specialized in dancing, drinking and gambling.

After several face-to-face verbal altercations, the white family continued to give Becton problems
until he threatened them with legal action.

After several other encounters, Becton finally had his barber shop built but every Monday morning he would find broken whiskey bottles and beer cans outside of his shop.

"I didn't get angry. I just threw the beer cans and broken bottles in the trash can...and eventually they stopped," he said.

Even though some tried to break Becton's spirit of owning his own business, he endured but admitted it was a struggle in the beginning.

"In the beginning, business was not great at the barber shop. I, in fact, worked night and day. I actually took a job at Duplin General Hospital (DGH) as an orderly from 11 to 7," explained Becton. "I would get off work at 7 a.m. in the morning and my wife would have breakfast for me. I would eat and then go to the barber shop to cut hair."

" I would actually hide in the rest room in a law chair in the shower area and lay down there until someone came in the shop and my wife would call me and I would wake up......and people would think I was coming out of the rest room," he added.

At the time, Becton said he was earning only 98 cents an hour at the hospital while charging $1.25 for haircuts at his barber shop, but his business continued to grow.

In 1970, Becton eventually quit working for DGH after adopting a little girl that he and his wife named Karen.

Becton said his daughter Karen gave his family lots of love and enjoyment and as time went by, his clientele
increased. As a result, he went from one chair to two chairs then three chairs to four chairs. All of sudden, the legacy of Becton's Barber Shop was born.

As customers walk into Becton's Barber Shop today, they notice hundreds of photographs of children of the past that have had their first haircut in Becton's chair.

Many of those children have grown up to have children of their own but they bring them back to Becton's Barber Shop just to meet Becton and pay honor to him.

Becton said he is extremely thankful for his customers because it was through them that he was able to provide for  his family  throughout the years.

After 41 years of cutting hair, Becton said the keys to a successful business are having a nice personality, which makes people feel like they are amongst friends, and producing a clean atmosphere for them to sit in.

"Some people say you must treat everybody the same but I don't agree with that," Becton explained.

"You can't treat everybody the same but you can treat everybody fairly because I don't care if he has been working in a ditch all day-he is just as important as a doctor while in Becton's Barber Shop."

Eric D. Graham,  a former reporter for the Warsaw-Faison & Wallace Enterprise newspaper, who is now a reporter at the Black Athlete Sports Network utilized this article that he wrote in 2008 about hometown Hero Rudolph Becton and transformed it into a documentary called BECTON THE BARBER, which he wrote and directed as well as providing the soundtrack for the film


By Eric D. Graham-

North Carolina-(BASN)-CONGRATULATIONS!!! to former, James Kenan High School running back Marcelias Sutton, who finished his high school career with 4,370 yards. on 562 carries and 46 touchdowns, while leading the Tigers to 15-0 record and a 1-A State Championship in 2014, for signing a scholarship with the Oklahoma Sooners next season.

Sutton, a two star recruit, known for his speed, who originally was committed to attend North Carolina State coming out of high school in 2014, had... a change of heart while attending Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania and decided to join the Sooners.

Sutton, however, won't be alone because OU signed two linebackers from Pennsylvania’s Lackawanna College — Karpi Doucet and Emmanuel Beal along with offensive linemen Ashton Julious.

When Sooners Head coach Bob Stoops, the Big 12 Coach of the Year, was asked why he recruited so heavily from an relatively unknown Jr. College like Lackawanna, he simply said:-“They’re a really good football team and love the way they’re coached....Love the way they play. The physical presence they all play with. They fit us. It just worked.
Eric D.Graham, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television, with a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies, is currently a Sports Report & Columnist at the Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles appear daily along with his controversial cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at or go to

Thursday, December 08, 2016


 by Eric D.Graham

In the world full of fast food restaurants, where McDonald’s signs cloud the skyline, it’s refreshing to have some “real” soul food being cooked with the same love that our grandmothers had, when the entire family would come together after church on Sunday in order to have dinner.

Well, Joseph & Marcella McClarin have brought that feeling back to the “small town” of Magnolia with the opening of their “NEW” restaurant-simply named Marcella’s.

“I have been cooking since I was 14 years old…” Mrs. McClarin confessed.

I learnt how to cook by simply watching my mother in the kitchen when I was growing up.”

Marcella said her passion for cooking gives her peace of mind and brings her “JOY” seeing other people “ENJOY” her food.

That “JOY” could be seen on the familiar faces who eagerly returned to the restaurant at 109 North Railroad Street that Friday afternoon as they prepared for another meal at the Soul Food restaurant.
They all comfortably walked in “shouting out” their orders, sharing bottles of hot sauce, while sprinkling it on their fried fish before requesting that their favorite dishes, which include the fish stew, Catfish and Barbeque chicken to be placed on tomorrow’s menu.

“I will have some fish stew tomorrow…” Marcella tells a disappointed customer.

“But, Baby, them hushpuppies are good!!!”

From the outside looking in, it seems as if Mrs. McClarin is doing everything by herself. But, she has the loving support of her husband (Joseph) along with her aunts, cousins and faithful friends, who have all pitched in to help her business to become lucrative.

“My husband, who was a truck driver dropped everything to back my idea.” Marcella said with a smile.

“Plus, on opening day, during Sundays, after church, my friends have helped me by taking orders, pouring tea and waiting on tables even without pay just to see me get this restaurant off the ground.”

Marcella, with the hard-working spirit of her father and the business savvy of her mother, who once owned her own restaurant in Pink Hill, gets up every morning around 2:00 am, where she heads to Magnolia to prepare breakfast for her loyal breakfast club, who have fallen in love with her Omelets, French toast, and grits.

After breakfast, however, Marcella’s day doesn’t slow down.

Matter of fact, it intensifies.

As a result, you will probably find her multi-tasking as she leaves the kitchen, preparing take-out plates for lunch, while “pleasantly” answering the phone and taking more orders.

When asked, “How does she balance operating a restaurant, cooking, and maintaining a happy marriage?” She simply says “I give it to God.”

“I prepare, pray each day and He makes the way…” she confessed.

Despite that, she said she still had a few “haters,” who have questioned where she got the money to start a restaurant, while preparing for her Grand Opening.

“You know, honestly, when people ask me that…Where I got the money to do this?” she says.

“I say, ‘I don’t know’..I simply prayed and fasted and walked on Faith.”

The power of her Faith and hard work can be seen as the lines continue to grow inside and outside the restaurant, as people of all colors patiently wait for an opportunity to taste her “Soul Food,” which includes her famous Southern Fried Chicken, potato salad and her “classic” Million-Dollar pound cake.

With that said, the town of Magnolia won’t be eating any fast food for a long time. Especially, with Marcella cooking in the kitchen.

Eric D.Graham, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television, with a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies, is currently the Managing Editor of Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles appear daily along with his controversial cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at or go to

Thursday, December 01, 2016

BOBBEE BEE: JUST "STATE-ING" THE FACTS (Native American Origin of State Names)

 Alabama-Alabama is the name of an Indian tribe native to the state. This tribal name may have come from the word albina, which means "campsite" in their own language, or from the words alba amo, which mean "clearing brush."
2. Alaska-Alaxsxix, which is a name from the Aleut language. This name means "place the sea crashes against."
3. Arizona-Arizonac, which is a Spanish corruption of a local Indian name-- possibly the Tohono O'odham word alishonag, which means "little spring."

4. Arkansas-Acansa, which is the name of a Quapaw Indian town. Literally the name means "southern place."
5. Connecticut-Quinnitukqut, which is the Mohegan Indian name for the Connecticut River. Literally the name means "long river."
6. Delaware -Named for Lord De La Warr, early governor of Virginia; first applied to river, then to Indian tribe (Lenni-Lenape), and the state.
7. Hawaii -Possibly derived from native word for homeland, Hawaiki or Owhyhee
8. Idaho -A coined name with an invented Indian meaning: "gem of the mountains;" originally suggested for the Pike's Peak mining territory (Colorado), then applied to the new mining territory of the Pacific Northwest. Another theory suggests Idaho may be a Kiowa Apache term for the Comanche.
9. Illinois-Illiniwek, which is the tribal name of the Illini tribe. Literally the name means "best people."
10. Indiana -Means "land of the Indians."

11. Iowa-Ayuhwa, which is one of the tribal names of the Ioway Indian tribe. Literally the name means "sleepy ones."
12. Kansas-Kansa, which is the name of the Kansa Indian tribe. Literally the name means "south" and is a shortened form of their own tribal name for themselves, People of the South Wind.
13. Kentucky-Kentake, which is an Iroquois place name meaning "meadow land."
14. Massachusetts-Massachuset, which is a Wampanoag Indian name meaning "by the range of hills."
15. Michigan-Mshigem or Misigami, which are the native names for Lake Michigan in the Potawatomi and Ojibwe languages. Both names mean "great lake."
16. Minnesota-Mnisota, which is the native name of the Minnesota River in the Dakota Sioux language. Literally the name means "cloudy water."
17. Mississippi-Misiziibi, which is the native name of the Mississippi River in the Ojibwe language. Ojibwe is not actually a native language of Mississippi state-- the language is spoken near the source of the Mississippi River in Minnesota, which is where the river got its name, and the state was later named after the river. Literally the name means "great river."

 18. Missouri-Missouria is the name of an Indian tribe native to the state. Their tribal name came from the word mihsoori, which means "big canoe people."
19. Nebraska-Nibthaska or Nibrathka, which are the native names for the Platte River in the Omaha-Ponca and Otoe languages. Both names mean "flat river."

20. New Mexico-Of course, New Mexico was named after the country of Mexico, but since Mexico itself is named after an American Indian word, the state of New Mexico is also! Mexico is a placename from the Aztec Indian language (Nahuatl.) It literally means "city of the Aztecs."
21. North Dakota-Dakota, which is the tribal name of the Dakota Sioux Indians. Literally the name means "the allies."
22. Ohio-Ohiyo, which is the name of the Ohio River in the Seneca Indian language. Literally the name means "it is beautiful."
Oklahoma-Okla Homma, which means "Red People" in the Choctaw Indian language.
23. Oregon-This was a name given by early American settlers to the Columbia River. It was probably a Native American name which the settlers brought with them from another state, since it does not resemble names from the Native American languages of Oregon. It may have meant "beautiful river" in an eastern Algonquian language.
24. South Dakota-Dakota, which is the tribal name of the Dakota Sioux Indians. Literally the name means "the allies."

 25. Tennessee-Tanasi, which was the name of a Cherokee Indian town in the region. Although "Tanasi" was recorded as the Cherokee name of this town, it does not specifically mean anything in the Cherokee language (just as many English place names are not specific words.) It may have been a shortened form of a longer Cherokee word or phrase, or it may have been named after a Cherokee person.

26. Texas-Taysha, which means "friend" in the Caddo Indian language.
27. Utah-Ute is the name of an Indian tribe native to the state. This tribal name may have come from the word nuutsiu, which means "the people" in their own language.
28. Wisconsin-Wishkonsing, which is the Ojibwe name for the Wisconsin River. However, this word does not have a specific meaning in the Ojibwe language, and none of the Ojibwe Indians in our organization knows any oral traditions about where the name came from.

29. Wyoming-Chwewamink, which means "by the big river flat" in the Lenape Indian tribe. The Lenape Indians never actually lived in Wyoming-- it was originally the name of a town in Pennsylvania, and white settlers from that area brought the name with them when they moved west. (Source: AmericanIndians)