Connect with us

Fashion & Style

Black Homeownership Gets a Boost in Los Angeles: We’ll “Rebuild Black Wall Street”



Music manager Daniel Carter started Buy Back the Block to fight gentrification and help South L.A. residents move from renting to buying as novel coronavirus and recession disproportionately affect Black neighborhoods.

“Homeownership is very difficult in Los Angeles because of pricing and lack of inventory, particularly for a group of people trying to get over the social hurdles we are trying to get over,” says Daniel Carter, founder of Buy Back the Block L.A., an organization that educates South Los Angeles residents on how to buy property and fight gentrification. “Communities that were traditionally Black like Inglewood are starting to become not Black,” says Carter. “We are watching the walls closing in from all sides.”

Carter — who runs the music management company Pray and Floss (producer Dem Jointz is a client) while also investing in real estate — has operated Buy Back for a year, launching it in the wake of Nipsey Hussle’s death to continue the rapper’s mission of increasing Black ownership. It hosts monthly meetings (now virtual), bringing in brokers, house flippers and loan officers to educate attendees on raising credit scores, securing loans and more.

In the past decade, out of 15 L.A. neighborhoods where home values increased the most, 11 were in South L.A., with median sales prices jumping up to 184 percent, according to Property Shark. Across Los Angeles, the Black homeownership rate has hovered at just over 30 percent, compared with about 56 percent for white residents. Black neighborhoods also have been hit particularly hard by the novel coronavirus and its economic impact. For example, South L.A.’s View Park-Windsor Hills — sometimes called the Black Beverly Hills for its stately homes (where many affluent Black residents moved after racially restrictive housing deeds were declared unconstitutional) — has an unemployment rate of 32.2 percent, the highest in all of urban L.A. Devaluation is yet another issue, with the Brookings Institute in 2018 finding that homes in Black neighborhoods are devalued by $156 billion in the U.S.

Such are the lessons Carter imparts to his group, with a “larger mission to … rebuild Black Wall Street,” referring to Greenwood, the Tulsa, Oklahoma, district that was one of the country’s wealthiest Black neighborhoods before a white mob destroyed it. An estimated 150 to 300 people were killed in the violence.

Buy Back the Block L.A. has some Hollywood members, including actors LaToya Tonodeo (The Oath) and Arlen Escarpeta (TNT’s I Am the Night). The couple participated in meetings for the past year as they began the process of buying a home in South L.A., where, Tonodeo says, they have become “well-versed in the right loans and knowing when to say no.” Adds Escarpeta, “There’s so many layers to Black Lives Matter-ing. It’s about reform, it’s about justice, it’s about generational wealth, it’s about fair wages, it goes across the board.”

The couple also commend HBO’s Insecure for its depiction of Black Los Angeles. The show has been heralded for its loving depiction of areas like View Park and Inglewood and spotlighting its businesses. “People that don’t know about these places watch the show and are like, ‘I’m going to go check that place out, I’m going to try that place,’ ” Escarpeta says. “Product placement counts.”

Buy Back the Block L.A. is not the only organization tackling South L.A.’s real estate challenges, as opportunity zone real estate investment group SoLA Impact recently launched its “I CAN Be a Homeowner” pilot program that readies participants to be able to qualify for and afford a home in two years through money management training, down payment assistance and reduced broker fees.

In her 2018 book City of Segregation: One Hundred Years of Struggle for Housing in Los Angeles, author Andrea Gibbons looked at how racist policies including redlining shaped the metropolitan area, leaving South L.A. with a lack of resources and lower quality of life. Says Gibbons: “L.A. is structured so that whites in the suburbs can move through and above poor neighborhoods at speed and can go their whole lives not seeing anything of what is happening there. Ultimately, this has driven the enormous gap in wealth and assets between whites and others, and the handing down of real estate wealth will shape privilege for generations to come.”

This story first appeared in the June 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fashion & Style

Smarter and attractive in an instant- Here is why owning a Patek Philippe watch, Chanel dress or a Bentley car can instantly change the way people see you : Luxurylaunches




Dior’s short dress with three-quarter sleeves has an asking price of US$8,700; a Chanel dress from the spring/summer collection 2020 will cost you around US$6,000; Audemars Piguet’s Sapphire Oribe wristwatch is priced a little shy of US$1 million; and to take Bentley’s flashy new Continental GT home, you’ll need around US$300,000 on hand if you want to add a few personal touches to the car.

Photo via Instagram / @piaget

The question is: why? Why do people pay the enormous price premiums for luxury brands? It turns out that research on the topic is extremely scarce. A decade ago, when you wanted to understand why people buy luxury, the standard answer was, that “it is about status” – to impress others. Still today, most people perceive luxury as exactly this: over-expensive and mainly bought to signal power. But what if this answer is too simple? What if there are other hidden reasons?

Photo via Instagram / @louisvuitton

I decided early in my career to decode luxury and uncover the drivers of luxury consumption. I was convinced that understanding them would open dramatic, new opportunities to manage luxury brands in a much more profitable, precise and successful way. This was much needed, as very few luxury brands are successful over time. Many of them struggle to balance growth, exclusivity and profitability, leading to catastrophic mistakes in managing brands.

One of the most common illusions is following the easy growth trap, where companies initially launch as a luxury brand, and then rapidly introduce cheaper products at much higher quantities. They hope that they can trickle down the brand equity and sell high volumes of “affordable luxury” items. The reality is grim: many of these brands become one-hit wonders, live for a few years and then die.

The main shortcoming: they confuse “expensive” and “status” with luxury and don’t understand that consumers only pay high price points if the brands generate extreme value in a consistent way. Shifting efforts to affordability, they compromise on extreme value creation, and soon are out of business. The list of brands that self-eliminate is endless.

So how do brands create extreme value? Let’s look at a study I conducted to dissect the hidden drivers of luxury. We asked study participants to evaluate a person in a luxury setting compared to one in a “normal” setting. As an example, a woman was wearing a dress. Half of the respondents were told that the dress is from Chanel, the other half told it was from H&M. We Photoshopped another woman into both a Bentley and into a Volkswagen. A man was wearing a Patek Philippe in one setting and a Swatch in another. Study participants were told to evaluate the person against a set of descriptors.

Photo via Instagram / @bentleymotors

The answers were mind-blowing. The luxury context was always dramatically more positive than the normal context. Among other results, two dimensions stood out: attractiveness and expertise. The same woman was seen as significantly more beautiful, even as a head-turner, when she was in the Bentley, while she was just moderately attractive in the Volkswagen. When respondents were told that the woman was dressed in Chanel, they assumed that she was much smarter, including the ability to play the piano or the assumption of higher education. She was also more attractive. Likewise the woman in the Bentley was perceived as having a much higher level of expertise. The results were similar for the man wearing the Patek.

The study indicated that people have a fine antenna for luxury. When they place someone (including themselves) into a luxury setting, they perceive the person as smarter and more beautiful. We found both dimensions to be among the most significant value drivers for luxury purchases, even if they are only intuitively understood. In other words, the extreme value of a luxury brand is not in the products and its features, but in the ability to make people feel more attractive and smarter, to highlight two of the hidden factors of luxury. This explains why people pay several thousand dollars for a dress and several hundred thousand for a watch or a car. A luxury handbag can indeed be a substitute for plastic surgery or a PhD – at least in people’s perception. And this creates extreme value. Something to think about next time when you consider buying a luxury good.

Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.

Continue Reading

Fashion & Style

Celebrity MasterChef fans are left disgusted as NONE of the stars wear hairnets




‘Nobody wants a hair choking them!’ Celebrity MasterChef fans are left disgusted as NONE of the stars wear hairnets during ‘unhygienic’ show

  • Food Safety regulations state that when working in a kitchen long hair must be tied back, but the use of a hairnet is not enforced

Celebrity Masterchef fans couldn’t hide their upset as they accused the show of failing to maintain hygiene standards.

Viewers took to Twitter to question why some of the stars weren’t wearing hairnets, despite being in a professional kitchen setting for the latest episode of the tense cooking show.

Friday’s episode of Celebrity Masterchef saw both Karen Gibson and Dom Littlewood eliminated after failing to impress Gregg Wallace and John Torode.

What's going on? Celebrity Masterchef fans couldn't hide their upset as they questioned why stars failed to wear hairnets

What’s going on? Celebrity Masterchef fans couldn’t hide their upset as they questioned why stars failed to wear hairnets

This week fans saw Olympic hockey star Sam Quek, EastEnders’ Phil Daniels and and Karen try to conjure up cuisine to impress the judges. 

Fans were quick to point out that they should be wearing hairnets in a kitchen, claiming it flouted health and safety rules.

One fan tweeted: ‘Why don’t those with long hair wear a hair net in line with food hygiene standards.’

Another posted: ‘Long hair in the kitchen and no hairnet – Grrr!’

Bizarre: Viewers took to Twitter to question why some of the stars weren't wearing hairnets, despite being in a professional kitchen setting

Bizarre: Viewers took to Twitter to question why some of the stars weren’t wearing hairnets, despite being in a professional kitchen setting

Annoyed: Many took to social media to share their outrage. Current food safety regulations state the use of a hairnet  cannot be enforced

Annoyed: Many took to social media to share their outrage. Current food safety regulations state the use of a hairnet  cannot be enforced

A third also tweeted: ‘Why did last night Celebrity Masterchef contestants not have nets on their hair while cooking? That would not happen in a professional kitchen. Hair in your food. No no.’

One also posted: ‘I wish they were wearing hair nets though… nobody wants a hair choking them as they eat their lunch -gag gag.’

Food Safety regulations state that when working in a kitchen long hair must be tied back, which in Sam’s case it was, but the use of a hairnet is not enforced. 

MailOnline has contacted a representative for Celebrity Masterchef for comment. 

In the clear: Dom Littlewood was the only star free of critique, due to his bald head

In the clear: Dom Littlewood was the only star free of critique, due to his bald head

Dominic Littlewood was the only star free of critique, due to his bald head. 

Friday’s show saw fans both Karen and Dom eliminated from the show after failing to win over the panel with the dishes.

Karen was forced to serve her duck undercooked after running out of time, while Dom dished up soggy carrot bhajis and a prawn curry.

Sam and Phil advanced to the second round, with a new group of stars set to complete in the famous kitchen next week.

Celebrity Masterchef continues on Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One. 

Tragic: Friday's show saw Dom and Karen Gibson (pictured) after failing to impress the judges with their dishes

Tragic: Friday’s show saw Dom and Karen Gibson (pictured) after failing to impress the judges with their dishes

Continue Reading

Fashion & Style

Coronavirus outbreak: Surat jewellery store sells face masks adorned with diamonds worth Rs 4 lakh




You might have read about the man from Pune, who got a gold face mask made for himself for Rs 2.89 lakh, to protect himself from the novel coronavirus. If that news left you stupefied, wait till you hear the latest update. A jewellery store in Surat is selling face masks adorned with diamonds worth Rs 4 lakh.

The store in Surat has been manufacturing face masks made of gold, silver, diamonds and even American diamonds, since the past month. The masks are layered with lines of jewels in several patterns.

Deepak Choksi , owner of the jewellery store, said that he got the idea of making diamond masks after a customer placed an order for it.

“A customer came to our showroom recently and bought jewellery for his wedding that is scheduled in the near future. He also asked us to make a mask for him that he will wear during the ceremony at the mandap. We discussed the plan with our designer and he selected a mask, and also purchased it after we customised it for him,” Deepak Choksi said.

Masks made of gold, adorned with American diamonds, are sold for Rs 1.5 lakh each. Gold and white gold masks that are set with diamonds, are sold for Rs 4 lakh each.

Deepak Choksi also said that the jewels from the masks can be reused later to make necklaces and bracelets.

“We have gold and American diamond masks that are sold for Rs 1.5 lakh each. The highest range is of white and yellow gold masks, studded with diamonds, that are sold for Rs 4 lakh each. N-95 masks have been used to make it. Masks are washable. People should look at it like an investment. In the future, you can make a necklace, and other jewellery with the jewels from the masks. You can reuse it,” he added.

Customers are pretty much interested in purchasing such jeweled masks. Devanshi, a teenage customer, said that she bought a diamond mask that was matching with her outfit she is supposed to wear to a family wedding soon.

“I came to buy gold earrings. I saw diamond masks are being sold here and those seemed more attractive than other jewellery. There is a wedding in my family soon and I need a mask to match with my outfit. So, this mask goes with my outfit, and hence, I bought it so that I look unique,” Devanshi said.

Watch the video here:

In India, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has crossed eight lakh. Gujarat’s Covid-19 case count has crossed 32,000 with over 1,800 deaths.

ALSO READ: Pune man wears gold mask worth Rs 2.89 lakh to protect himself from coronavirus

ALSO WATCH: Coronavirus outbreak: Most popular myths busted

Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from

  • Andriod App
  • IOS App

Continue Reading