Black History Month is a time for Americans to reflect on the central figures and events that shaped African Americans in U.S. history. On Saturday, February 13th, Macy’s in Aventura Mall hosted notable celebrity ambassadors including actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell, actor Taye Diggs and illustrator Shane Evans. The ambassadors for The Black Doll affair were also in attendance.
Diggs and Evans, longtime friends from high school, embarked on a national book tour to promote their book series, “Chocolate Me” and “Mixed Me.” For Diggs, the inspiration to write the books stemmed after encouragement from Evans to work together.
“Shane inspired me to write my experience as an African American male. It was through these books we realized we wanted to work together and teach children about self-esteem, self-love, appreciation and anti-bullying,” said Diggs. “We are growing now,” he said.
The duo has made it a point to act as influencers and ambassadors for the next generation seeking identification and culture appreciation. “With Mixed Me and Chocolate Me, we are pushing the idea on focusing how we are more similar as opposed to what divides us,” said Evans.
For Smollett-Bell, her heritage has played a major role in shaping who she is and her career. “I grew up hearing these amazing stories about the civil rights movements and I come from activists,” said Smollett-Bell. “I am so proud that this activist spirit runs in my blood,” she said.
All three notable figures participated in a panel discussion, with topics ranging from inspiration and success to heritage and black figures in the entertainment sector. As a special treat, Smollett-Bell presented the official trailer for her upcoming TV project, “Underground” produced by John Legend. Additionally, Diggs read excerpts from “Chocolate Me” while Evans crooned a sweet lullaby with the help of the audience. Customers who made a $75 or more purchase during the event had the opportunity to meet the panelists and receive a signed copy of “Chocolate Me.”