Written By Etu Evans
It’s no secret that I generally write articles focused on the likes of iconic fashion heroes of the melanated variety such as the gospel according to Andre Leon Talley, who I now imagine is up in the celestial realm redesigning the garb of angles into chiffon caftans. However, I recently began to look at design differently after being retained to design the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Conference (NBSCL) and Gala in Atlanta by the dynamic CEO of Titus Enterprises Yolanda Caldwell, who is known for minting impressions of treasured memories with her in-demand events company.
I had the Etumous pleasure to stylize an event of change agents with jaw-dropping florals, lighted props, palm trees, and contemporary furniture of capeless, but committed everyday freedom fighters.
I know during Black History month we tend to celebrate the worthy contributions of those usual household names such as Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey, who have gone on to be with the ancestors.
I thought it would be a nice twist to celebrate those individuals in this historical organization and give them to smell their proverbial flowers while they are still alive and get into the kind of “Good Trouble” coined by legendary civil rights ambassador Rep. John Lewis.
Everywhere I looked, I was surrounded by a sea of elected officials who not only influenced legislation but have dedicated their lives to stitching a silhouette of eternal equality. After all, is there anything more stylish to wear than the cloak freedom? Injustice and Enslavement have been woven into the identity of our constitution since its creation.
They have become the political Covid of our society that has made racism an infectious disease in this country. It is no secret that our modern police department was spun into existence from the slave patrol badge. The practice of injustice against people of color was legal and profitable for centuries. It continues to raise it’s blond tresses today through institutional practices, voter suppression, housing discrimination, and policing practices in the case of George Floyd.
We are still being dragged like Emmett Till, while they mock us yet they still purchase everything that we naturally embody. Hence suntans for darker pseudo melanin skin, butt and lip injections for plumper assets, the gravity-defying architecture of our hairstyles, urban street fashions to appear cool, the swagger of our vernacular, seasoning of our culinary dishes and soul-inspired music and dances.
Related: Check out more Etu’s World.
It is no surprise why they would want to control us…We are powerful, productive, and proud of our culture. Our reality nonetheless is that our freedom is still under attack in America and we are still marching to prove Black Lives Matter and fighting for a seat at the table in the White House built by Black hands.
Without the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, many more of us would be saying the words of Mr. Floyd, “I can’t breathe.’ They stand up to the system and magnify the heart of our concerns. For too long it’s been Just-Us versus justice for all.
The National Black Caucus of State Legislators has been a catalyst for change, providing a voice for constituents since 1977. It has more than 700 legislators representing 50 states. Not to mention, having 42 annual legislative conferences under its belt, no pun intended.
The NBCSL monitors federal and state activity, while disseminating this information through policy symposiums and conferences alike.
It was also nice to witness the history of the organizations’ new Executive Director Ms. Paula J. Hoisington, a statuesque, witty, pointed as her stiletto toe box polished professional, who brought the visual excitement for a fashion connoisseur like myself. Hands down I haven’t seen any women out dress her in a pantsuit. Paula knows how to masterfully whisk the perfect blend of education, entertainment, and riveting topics with consummate professionals in tow to ensure an impactful program.
I project her reign will be legendary in the archives of the NBCSL with the support of Joseph Grant by her side. I had the pleasure of meeting the charismatic President Billy Mitchell and gregarious taskmaster Joseph Grant, who is also my fellow fraternity brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
You will always find an Omega man in any organization exuding excellence and community uplift. Besides tackling legislative issues, the conference provided an array of edutainment featuring talented artists such as Tamar Braxton, Anthony Hamilton, and KeKe Wyatt just to name a few. We were even invited to a presidential reception at the visionary studios of Tyler Perry.
The annual conference had it all. Even the President of Ghana was in the building alongside my colleagues Dee Dawkins Haigler, a political commentator and former officer in Georgia, Doreen Carter, GA State Representative was delighted to meet as well as Dr. Kwesi Ewoodzie, the Director of Culture Beyond Borders, LLC, and future leader to watch Keon Brown.
The stellar event ended with a spectacular awards gala put on by Kimberly Singletary, Chief Creative Officer at Conceptual Geniuses. Leaders were fashionably dressed and indulged with great food, talent and empowering reflections from members.
At the end of the gala, I stood at the exit and gifted the ladies with white roses as people headed to crystalize the night at the 360 photo booth in the reception lobby. In short, The National Black Caucus of State legislators Annual Conference was all that.
To book Etu Evans and the Evans Guild to design your florals, props or to provide interior designs services contact email@example.com or find him on Instagram @EtuEvans or visit www.titus-enterprises.com for conference production services.
Etu Evans is a Celebrity Shoe and Lifestyle Designer, Media Content Developer, and Founder of the Solesville Foundation. His designs have been worn by Beyoncé, Tyra Banks, Halle Berry, Michael B. Johnson, Queen Latifah, Eric Benet, and Erykah Badu just to name a few. He considers interior design to be his mistress and has left his design footprints on residences, corporate spaces, and commemorative events. He is a 4.0 graduate of Columbia University and a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @Etu Evans.
Photo credit: 1) NBCSL display. 2) Etu Evans. 3) Yolanda Caldwell. 4) Billy Mitchell President of NBCSL and Etu. 5) Paula J. Hoisington. 6) Political Commentator Dee Dawkins Haigler with President of Ghana. 7) Dr. Kwesi Ewoodzie. 8) Etu and Assembly Member Desmond Meeks from Rochester, New York. 9) Kimberly Singletary.10) Doreen Carter, Georgia State Representative, and Etu. 11) Rep. Calvin Smyre and Etu. 12) Friends. 13) Ken Ford, Violinist. 14) Etu Floral Designs.
Harlem Cultural Archives is a donor and foundation-supported Historical Society, Its mission is to create, maintain and grow a remotely accessible, online, interactive repository of audio-visual materials documenting Harlem’s remarkable and varied multicultural legacies, including its storied past as well as its continuing contributions to the City and State of New York, the nation, and the world. Support Harlem Cultural Archives and click here to get more Harlem History, Thank you.