‘Black Space Matters’ exhibit changes asphalt lot to garden

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A local activist transformed a vacant lot outside the Institute for Contemporary Art in Richmond to highlight issues of food security and the importance of Black and brown community spaces.

The “Commonwealth” exhibit at Virginia Commonwealth University’s ICA features work from 10 artists including an outdoor installation created by activist and community farmer Duron Chavis who builds gardens throughout Richmond. The full exhibit seeks to examine how common resources influence the wealth and well-being of communities.

Chavis proposed the resiliency garden exhibit in 2019 during a public forum at the ICA. The resiliency garden—food grown to weather the tough times and to have food independence— is installed in an asphalt lot at Grace and Belvidere streets next to the ICA and features 30 raised beds of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

An extension of the garden exhibit is the “Black Space Matters” mural by Southside artist Silly Genius. A wall in the lot is painted, with fruit making the word Black and beneath the garden in big, yellow letters is “Space Matters.” The garden beds have historic quotes from civil rights leaders Kwame Ture and Malcolm X, among other activists.

“Black Space Matters means that Black people need space,” Chavis said. “We need space that is explicitly designed, planned, and implemented by Black and brown people.”

Chavis, along with a crew of volunteers, started building the garden on Aug. 10 while the ICA temporarily closed to install other exhibits.

“We invited him to think with us about how to activate a vacant lot next to the ICA,” said Stephanie Smith, ICA chief curator. “You could think about what it means to take a space and institutional resources, then give them over to an activist.”

Chavis seeks to address lack of food access through his activism. Food insecurity, defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food,” is an issue in Richmond’s low-income neighborhoods. The city had over 35,000 food insecure people in 2018, according to Feeding America, a network of more than 200 food banks.

“In a conversation about food justice, Black people are predominately impacted by lack of food access,” Chavis said. “We need space to address that issue.”

Low income communities need access to resources and necessary skills to solve food wealth issues on their own, he said.

“We do not need anybody to come into our community to drop off food,” Chavis said.

He’s been doing work like this since 2012 and doesn’t have a hard count of how many garden beds have been built.

“Dozens, oh god, it’s all across the city,” he said.

Chavis amplified his efforts this year because of the pandemic. He fundraised and received a grant, according to a VPM report, to build over 200 resiliency gardens with the help of volunteers.

Quilian Riano, an architect at New York studio DSGN AGNC, designed the concept drawing for the ICA garden, which was envisioned as

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Salter Kitchen Scales Black Friday Deals 2020

Salter kitchen scales are a must-have in the kitchen, especially if you consider yourself a home baker. They’ve been the UK’s leading food weighing scales for over 260 years (yes, really), and have since been developed and improved to ensure total accuracy in the kitchen. Which is exactly why they appear on many people’s wish lists (including ours).

But as much as we love their affordable pricing, we’re always on the lookout for bargains. So, with Black Friday around the corner, we’re taking a deep dive into what might be on offer this year.

Black Friday originates from America, and it marks the start of the post-Thanksgiving sales. Amazon brought the concept over to the UK in 2010 and it has since developed into the biggest shopping event of the year. Most retailers offer discounts of at least 20% over the majority of the weekend.

When Is Black Friday?

This year Black Friday lands on Friday 27 November.

Salter Kitchen Scales

Types Of Salter Kitchen Scales:


    Where To Get Salter Kitchen Scales Black Friday Deals

    Asides from the official Salter website, various scales are stocked amongst several retailers including John Lewis, Currys, Amazon, Lakeland and more.

    What To Expect This Year

    We’re unsure what to expect this year, but with retailers like John Lewis, Lakeland and Amazon promising huge price-cuts across a range of kitchen products, we’re anticipating some reasonable deals on Salter Kitchen Scales.

    We’ll be updating this piece as soon as we spot any deals.

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    Kitchen of the Week: Former barrister chambers becomes apartment with award-winning black kitchen

    This black kitchen, designed by Nicola Manning of Auckland, won the Outstanding Renovation Kitchen award in this year's NKBA national awards.


    This black kitchen, designed by Nicola Manning of Auckland, won the Outstanding Renovation Kitchen award in this year’s NKBA national awards.

    It’s hard to believe this kitchen is in an apartment that was previously a commercial office space.

    Kitchen designer Nicola Manning of Nicola Manning Design says the space was the client’s inner-city barrister chambers for 20 years: “As he was approaching retirement, he and his wife decided to convert the ‘office space’ into an apartment that would have a New York loft feel.”

    The kitchen Manning designed has just won the Outstanding Kitchen Renovation award in the national NKBA awards, with the judges calling it “an inspired transformation”.

    Kitchen designer Nicola Manning.


    Kitchen designer Nicola Manning.

    Manning says the client’s brief was to transform the staff lunchroom and storage space into the kitchen, which was to be the heart of the new apartment. “It needed to have a slight industrial edge.”

    Not surprisingly, there were several challenges with the conversion, including the fact that the kitchen space is triangular with tight corners. And services to the floors above ran through the main “back wall” of the kitchen, which limited the depth of the cabinetry that could be placed there.

    To gain more space, a wall was removed to open up the kitchen to the central hallway through the apartment.

    “The steel window joinery throughout the apartment was an inspiration for the predominantly black colour palette,” Manning says. “This contrasts beautifully with the light oak herringbone floors.

    The triangular island is the central feature of the kitchen, echoing the shape of the space. “I created vertical steel fins at each end to complete the triangular lines without making the ends too solid, and to provide texture,” Manning says.

    A deep steel clashing around the benchtop helps to anchor the island in the open space, and defines the boundary of the kitchen.

    Removing the wall between the former office kitchen and main hallway has opened up the space to create a gathering space for the family.


    Removing the wall between the former office kitchen and main hallway has opened up the space to create a gathering space for the family.

    The island features an industrial Dekton Trillion benchtop that adds texture and warmth. Rounding off the corners of the island for safety reasons also helps to soften the look.

    The sink and Miele cooktop are positioned on the main benchtop that runs beneath the window. “The benchtop is a bead-blasted stainless steel with a shark nose edge that creates a floating effect and provides a strong contrast with the solid steel-clashed island.

    Manning chose textured tiles with a “butterflied treatment” for the wall above the main bench.

    To achieve the required tall storage to house the ovens, fridge and pantry, a compromise had to be made with the position of the fridge.

    Manning says the only position that worked for the fridge was at the right-hand end of the tall wall area. However, the central area of this ‘back wall’ was very shallow due to the services housed behind.

    To utilise this space the designer created large shallow cupboards and used a sliding door

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    2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label Interior Driveway Test

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    It seems safe to say that Lincoln has finally managed to brush of its “fancy Ford” reputation. Nothing illustrates this better than Black Label, Lincoln’s range-topping trim level that elevates its various models’ style, status and, of course, price. We recently found ourselves with a 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring (the plug-in hybrid) in Black Label trim, and decided it was time for a deeper look at what this trim gives you in Lincoln’s three-row crossover.

    In case you’re new to Black Label, you’ll need to know that Lincoln organizes the options into “themes.” For the Aviator, you have the choice of Flight (tan and black), Destination (a deep red featured in our Black Label Interior Tour video), and the Chalet (brown and cream) theme fitted to our test car. Here’s how Lincoln describes it: “Chalet offers Espresso and Alpine Savannah leathers and deep Silverwood appliqués, with touches designed to awaken the senses.”

    The colors and trims used are supposed to remind of long weekends in the Swiss Alps. It’s all a bit colorful and over the top, but Black Label is supposed to be exactly that. Despite being festooned with modern tech and features, the Aviator is remarkably old world in styling. Lincoln isn’t trying to be a sporty American BMW like Cadillac has. Instead, Lincoln created its own identity and brand of American luxury, differentiating itself from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus and others in doing so.

    Lincoln put together an interior layout that makes sense and doesn’t alienate older, less tech-inclined buyers (you know, the demographic who not only typically buy Lincolns, but high-priced luxury cars in general). Sure, there’s a big 10-inch touchscreen perched above the air vents, but there are also physical buttons for all your climate controls and audio controls. You can adjust these systems through the screen, as well, but we think easy and safe toggles like these still deserve a place in cars. They’re especially welcome when surrounded by expensive-feeling trim and backed by the pretty Silverwood. 

    We’re less fond of the button gear shifter, but at least it’s not confusing and is something anybody could learn to live with. It also does a decent job of staying out of the way and leaving more space for storage. Lincoln gives you plenty of that in this crossover, too. A couple premium pull doors in the center console open to reveal USB ports, cupholders and a place to slot your phone. Pop open the padded and comfy armrest, and you’ll find a wireless phone charger and plenty of room for miscellaneous items. Hidden under the leather-covered bridge is another sneaky storage bin. This one is covered in grippy rubber that’s been pressed into the shape of Lincoln logos. It’s a nice touch in an interior full of thoughtful additions. 

    Springing for the Black Label gets you all of the supple leather, pretty stitching, piping and miles of premium trim you can see in the photos, but it also makes sure

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    Statue of Black anti-slavery heroine to be erected in Paris garden

    “Solitude” became a symbol of the resistance of slaves in Guadeloupe.

    Paris — Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo inaugurated the Solitude Garden on Saturday, a city garden dedicated to a Black woman and anti-slavery heroine from the former French colony Guadeloupe. It will be the first statue of a Black woman in Paris, which does not represent an allegory but is truly the celebration of an exemplary figure.

    According to the Paris city hall, the move is a continuation of the mayor’s push for more representation of women in public spaces.

    Born around 1772, Solitude was the daughter of an African slave and a white sailor who became a symbol of the resistance of slaves in Guadeloupe. When a French expedition landed in the colony on the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte to reestablish slavery, which had been abolished in 1794, former slaves rebelled. Among them, many women, including Solitude, who was a few months pregnant, joined the fighting. After the insurgents were defeated, Solitude was arrested and condemned to death.

    On Nov. 29, 1802, the day after she gave birth, Solitude was executed by hanging. The Black citizens of Guadeloupe once again became slaves, but Solitude, through her sacrifice, remains the symbol of Guadeloupe’s resistance to slavery.

    The small garden in the 17th arrondissement of the French capital was chosen on purpose. It is where nearly 80 years ago a sculpture of General Alexandre Dumas, one of the highest ranking men of African descent to lead a European army, stood and was melted by Nazis when they occupied Paris.

    The Black Lives Matter protests which followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have had deep echoes across the pond in recent months, inviting large demonstrations against police brutality in France and elsewhere in Europe. Protesters in Paris used slogans and chants from the U.S. and in Bristol, protesters pulled down a 17th century slave-trader’s statue of Edward Colston.

    French President Emmanuel Macron had expressed his disapproval, and has been vocal in his refusal to unbolt statues in France.

    For Jacques Martial, this is a different way to deal with the issue of controversial statues and how to tell history differently. The statue of Solitude will help “repair an oversight and something that history has forgotten,” he said. “The issue is not to unbolt the statues but to know the history in its positive aspects as well as its shadows. Rather than breaking or unbolting, add presences in public spaces that tell history.”

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    Rare cheese plant stolen from New Zealand botanical garden ‘could fetch thousands on black market’

    A rare indoor plant has been stolen from the Christchurch Botanic Gardens amid a boom in the houseplant industry.

    The variegated monstera is hard to come by in New Zealand due to biosecurity laws, making it prized among Kiwi houseplant lovers.

    Christchurch plant enthusiast Bridget Rennie told Stuff that even a cutting of the plant could fetch NZ$3,000 (£1,500).

    She added: “The leaves are like fingerprints, no two are the same. It’s a very rare, very slow-growing plant. I only know of two people who own that plant.

    “I’m angry, I’m disappointed, I’m really sad, every emotion you can imagine.”

    Wolfgang Bopp, director of the Botanic Gardens told Stuff that the thief must have been “quite athletic” as they had to have scaled a high safety glass wall to reach the prized plant.

    The gardens had begun installing security cameras at the time of the theft, but they were not operational when the daylight theft took place on September 19.

    He said that the plant possessed “particularly nice” vegetation.

    Mr Bopp added: “The thing I find sad is due to the selfishness of one or two individuals we can no longer share this plant with the public. It was there to be enjoyed.”

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    Atlanta activist spent $200G in Black Lives Matter donations on house, personal expenses: FBI

    The FBI has arrested the founder of a Black Lives Matter group in Atlanta on fraud and money laundering charges.

    Atlanta activist spent $200G in Black Lives Matter donations on house, personal expenses: FBI

    What to watch next



    Sir Maejor Page, 32, was accused Friday of misappropriating $200,000 in donations he solicited through Facebook on behalf of Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, Fox 5 Atlanta reported Friday.

    Page was released on bond after appearing before a judge via video. He did not immediately return messages Saturday from Fox News.


    The FBI opened an investigation last year after a cooperating witness submitted a fraud complaint against Page, whose real name is Tyree Conyers-Page, FBI agent Matthew Desorbo said in the complaint.

    Page founded Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta in 2016 and this year took in more than $466,000 in donations in June, July and August, Desorbo said.

    “In sum, Page has spent over $200,000 on personal items generated from

    donations received through BLMGA Facebook page with no identifiable purchase or expenditure

    for social or racial justice,” he said.

    The FBI said Page pledged to use those donations “for George Floyd” but instead used the money make purchases related to food, dining, entertainment, clothing, furniture, a home security system, tailored suits and accessories.

    According to the bureau, Page also used $112,000 of the donated money to purchase a house for himself in Toledo, Ohio. The transaction took place last month.

    Black Lives Matter

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    Election 2020 live updates: Biden makes appeal to Black voters in N.C. as Trump stages White House events

    Speaking in Charlotte, on Wednesday, Biden focused on the economic vulnerability of African Americans, outlining his previous proposals for racial equity while pledging to elevate the Civil Rights Division if he is elected.

    At what was billed as a “Black Economic Summit,” he addressed the growing racial unrest around the country and the potential to spur change in public policy.

    “Average people have gone, ‘My lord, holy mackerel. I didn’t know it was this bad,’” Biden said.

    During his remarks, a grand jury in Jefferson County, Ky., indicted a former police officer on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor during a drug raid in March. Biden did not mention the case directly.

    Biden talked about infusing more money into historically Black colleges and universities, and touted a plan that would allow anyone from a family making less than $125,000 to go to a public college for free.

    At one point, he stopped and said he kept a list of his major funding proposals and how he’d pay for them, pulling a notecard out of his pocket. He argued for tax code changes that would raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy — but he also tried to make clear he wasn’t going as far, politically or rhetorically, as his former Democratic primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

    “You think I’m making it like, you know … Bernie Sanders, ‘Billionaires are bad.’ That’s not the problem,” Biden said, casting his proposal as a more modest increase in the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans to 39.4 percent. “I’m not trying to punish anybody. It’s time everybody pay their fair share.”

    At the end, Biden said he would allow one more question, saying with a laugh, “I could really do yes or no if you ask me an easy question.” The question was about how the Department of Justice would operate differently under him.

    “This has been the most corrupt administration to modern American history,” Biden said. “The Justice Department’s turned into the president’s private law firm.”

    On cases and prosecutions, Biden said, “the Justice Department will be totally independent of me.” But he said that the Civil Rights division would be elevated and would have “a direct office within the White House.”

    “I’d make sure there’s a combination of the Civil Rights Division having more direct authority inside the Justice Department and be able to investigate, than in fact it has now,” Biden said.

    “But I get asked the following question, ‘If in fact you get elected, would you prosecute Trump?’” Biden added. “The answer is I’m not going to pursue prosecuting anybody. I’m going to do what the Justice Department says should be done.”

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    Why black dots on kitchen tiles means something sinister

    Warmer months in Australia can only mean one thing … spiders. And if you have noticed random tiny blobs appearing in your house around this time of year, it turns out there’s a perfectly logical explanation.

    One woman desperate for answers about the sinister black dots on her kitchen tiles turned to the internet for help stating at first she thought nothing of them.

    But when more popped up, she took to a popular Facebook group asking for advice.

    “Does anyone have any idea what these marks could be?” she asked members of the UK group, Mrs Hinch’s Cleaning Tips, alongside a photo.

    There was one overwhelming response from many claiming it was spider poo (yes spider poo). But were the claims true?

    RELATED: Australia’s ‘spider rain’ explained

    Ecologist and University of Sydney professor Dieter Hochuli has confirmed to news.com.au the black dots are in fact spider droppings.

    “Spider and fly droppings look similar – and those small blobs are liquid nitrogen-rich poo,” Prof Hochuli told news.com.au

    “To be honest, I have seem them around my house too.”

    He said the dots are common in Australian households around this time, given warmer weather is approaching, but it’s nothing to worry about.

    “There is no public health risk about them,” Prof Hochuli said, adding “we live surrounded by hundreds of spiders in our day-to-day lives”.

    Online, the reaction to the dots was huge after the original poster said she had noticed the dots appearing in “random little patches” around her home.

    “This morning this was on the top of the pc we have in the kitchen,” she wrote alongside a photo of her tiles.

    RELATED: Trick to get rid of spiders

    Many were quick to respond that the splotches were spider droppings, but “wash off with no effort”.

    “Defo spider poo got on door due to light outside,” one member of the group wrote.

    “Look above and you will probably see a web/spider,” another suggested.

    However, not everyone agreed, with others saying the black dots were perhaps from flies.

    “Definitely fly poop!” one person wrote.

    “It happens a lot this time of year, spiders pooing everywhere, Dettox spray is good for it,” another declared.

    RELATED: How to cure spider fear in five minutes

    Last September, another woman shared pictures of a similar cluster of black dots that too appeared on her skirting boards and walls.

    Prof Hochuli said people often mistake the droppings for coffee grounds, particularly if they’re on kitchen benches.

    But if you look in the corners, you will most likely spot a spider hiding in nooks and crannies.

    To get rid of the spider poop just use a stock standard sponge and wipe it clean.

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    Cleaning fan asks what the black dots which have mysteriously appeared in her kitchen are & is horrified by the answer

    A WOMAN was left horrified after asking the internet about the black dots that mysteriously appeared in her kitchen. 

    The woman uploaded a photo of the dark round marks on her tiles, but was not prepared to learn that they are actually “spider droppings”. 

    A woman was left horrified after discovering the black dots that mysteriously appeared in her kitchen were spider droppings


    A woman was left horrified after discovering the black dots that mysteriously appeared in her kitchen were spider droppingsCredit: Facebook

    She wrote on the Facebook group Mrs Hinch’s Cleaning Tips: “Does anyone have any idea what these marks could be? 

    “They started appearing on the tiles in the kitchen in random little patches, then this morning this was on the top of the pc we have in the kitchen.”

    Internet users were quick to chime in, with users adamant that the splodges were spider poo.

    One said: “Spider poo. It washes off with no effort.”

    Previously, another mum was also shocked to discover the marks were spider poo
    Previously, another mum was also shocked to discover the marks were spider poo
    The strange marks had been reappearing on skirting boards and walls
    The strange marks had been reappearing on skirting boards and walls

    Another added: “Defo spider poo got on door due to light outside.”

    And one wrote: “Look above and you will probably see a web / spider.”

    However, other users said that the black dots were from flies, with one writing: “Definitely fly poop!”

    Another cleaning fanatic also took to Facebook to ask for advice
    Another cleaning fanatic also took to Facebook to ask for advice

    According to advice website Pest Guidance, spiders “don’t leave solid droppings; instead, their droppings are thick and liquid” and resemble dark ink stains, often appearing on walls and surfaces.

    “Their faeces look like splats or drips in the shades of black, brown, white or grey,” the website reads.

    “The colour or type of faeces depends on the species, but in most of the cases, you can expect dark splats or drips.

    “These droppings are the combination of food and the other waste materials that are released from the spider’s body.”

    In other news, we told you how one mum felt ‘sick to her stomach’ after ‘finding live maggots in her new B&M rug’.

    We also revealed how one mum transformed her cupboards and hid clutter with £16 wallpaper hack.

    And we showed you one woman credits £1 Elbow Grease spray with getting stubborn stains off her dining room chair.

    Stacey Solomon in hysterics as son Zach mocks her baking skills by calling her cakes ‘poo muffins’

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