Ebook or Hard Copy ink on paper?

DID you know?…

collateral damage

According to a new report on book reading published by the Pew Research Center, not only did 73 percent of U.S. adults read a book in the past 12 months, but the vast majority did so using actual ink on paper. Compare the 65 percent of Americans who read a print book to the 28 percent who read an e-book during the same period

I love a good book in hand!
I appreciate the Ebook version only when traveling in car and listening to it via Bluetooth
at the gym while on the bike

That’s about it. I love the touch and feel of a good read and I love the way books smell. Weird enough? Books ignite my senses and I learn oodles.

All the best and cheers to good book reads- whatever your preference.


Did you know that International Students add substantial $ to the US economy?

international students

According to the Wall Street Journal…

During the 2014-15 academic year, they contributed over $30 billion to the U.S. economy.
Statista …



Amazing Georgetown University steps up and recognizes the evil of slavery and offers amends

This live stream from Georgetown University shook me to my core.

Please watch.


All the best,

Want Venture Capital? VC

venture capital

Well you’d better look at what’s trending…

Please note:

Have your business plan ready for inspection and by all means WRITE your own business plan with the guidance of industry experts…don’t take short cuts.
Understand the market and your competition
Know who your clients/customers will be
Understand market trends, how your company will trend in the market place and be able to forecast your numbers…
Have a Clear and Concise EXIT Strategy
Know when and how to take risks and how to properly mitigate your risks
Have a communication strategy

This is what you are expected to know (confidently) when seeking or dealing with a VC.

VC’s are not in business to Lose money and they aren’t into liking people personally albeit you have to be able to get in the door and not be a jerk!

#1 Goal of VC= ROI in the timeframe they project.

All the best,

So how is Apple’s Tim Cook performing?

apple share

I would say his performance is on point!

The only thing the company lacks at this time is…’The Next Big Thing’.
In my opinion, Apple needed the rest in light of gearing up for that next big ‘it’ thing- innovation.

People were growing weary of generational products e.g. iPhone, iPhone (all numbers) generations through 6plus.
Apple was smart to let Samsung take the lead and have people grow weary until they introduced the next ‘It’ thing. I probably can say with more than 55% confidence it won’t be an iPhone.

Let’s be clear, Apple is no Blackberry!tim cook

The Apple Company has lots more Innovation in them.

If I were a betting girl, I’d put money on APPLE.
In fact, I just became a new user…a real convert.
The ease of use and freshness in look made me a believer!

Cheers to Tim Cook and APPLE!

All my best,

So, what happens after one graduates from tertiary education ?

europes tertiary graduates

Looks like higher education pays off in most countries in the EU, especially Germany. Germany is one of the most successful industrialized countries in all of Europe! I do hope it catches on in the States soon.
Post tertiary degrees are seemingly undervalued in the States these days.

Additionally, those in diverse settings are receiving a ‘whole other’ tertiary education that forces potential candidates for employment to Innovate and be Creative in extraordinary ways- In short: It pays to take a look at candidates from underserved areas as well.

Come on…we are missing the boat on valued skill set(s)! We are looking in all the wrong places and achieving the same results- flat employees.

Think out of the box and put a task force together to find the ‘whole other’ tertiary educatees and formally trained tertiary candidates.

Innovate! Innovate!

Cheers to success,

Today’s Youth…

Keep your eyes on our nation’s Youth and Abysmal Unemployment Rates

The simple truth is Unemployment Rates matter a great deal. Currently, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics-Youth ages 16-24 year olds

Youth Unemployment is:
11.5% with an employment population ration of 53.2%- July 2016
Just a year earlier the national unemployment rate was 12.2% and in 2009/2010 the rate teetered around 19-20%!
A good unemployment rate is 5-6%.
The statistical exchange between labor bureaus and consultative agencies pool and pull data that is relevant to statistical norms, standards and deviations.


That said, when discourse takes place relative to manipulations of unemployment numbers- I tend to fact check the numbers. More often than not naysayers are incorrect in their opinions of numbers manipulation games.
Further, in disenfranchised and underserved areas the unemployment rates are as high as 53%! More often than not, people of color are disproportionately affected. One can be a bit more certain of numbers by driving the streets in underserved areas. One can gain clarity of the high unemployment rates in a literal sense.

Let’s be clear:
Unemployment is not a joking matter nor should the raw data be construed as a statistical manipulation or joke.
Those who are actively seeking work and cannot find gainful employment are in uncomfortable situations and circumstances.
The Youth population –especially millennials are looking for gainful employment that will pay a wage and hopefully ignite their passion and or skill set.

Often times what becomes paramount to youth is having a pay check to be used for living expenses and purchasing goods and services relevant to their lifestyles. Thus, millennials will take a job that is available in the markets versus matching skill set or passion to said job in order to live their lives.

There are many unfortunate circumstances that impact underserved areas high unemployment rates- some of which include discrimination, corporations abandoning areas, lack of job opportunity and lack of access to areas where jobs exist and high crime rates. It is difficult to mitigate a company’s high risk and liability relative to crime in said areas. However, with ‘right fit’ partnerships in the public and private sectors and proper programming; unemployment can be curtailed to a number on par with the national trend-given a good national trend rate.

Getting to know today’s youth

For the most part, today’s youth are pretty simple. I have found through many conversations and youth forums and summits:
Today’s youth are more alike than different. They listen to a good cross section of music, they are open to having associates and friends that cross cultural differences, they are actively engaged in technology, and they consume information in diverse formats.

Youth don’t like formal anything including but not limited to suits, shirts and ties
Youth like free time that is unencumbered from bureaucracy
Youth find confining rigid atmospheres off-putting
Youth especially like being heard
Youth are innovative and creative
Youth will work hard for organizations that are inclusive, diverse and smaller in size and scope
However, youth will take a job in a mundane environment until something better comes along- which could be a start up with less pay.

Today’s youth are very smart (hyper intelligent), engaged and very innovative.

Note to large corporations as it relates to company culture and dated hiring practices:
This isn’t your great grandfather’s company anymore. The old company had an exclusionary dynamic where the culture was- do as I say- shut up and go home. Youth will do as they are told but if the culture is not a good fit, the talent will leave with haste. What’s sad?- said company and leadership will have missed developing the next big ‘it thing’ because of layers of dated policy and lack of reform embedded so deep within said organizations. Thus, it is a wise decision to be in tuned and pay attention to today’s millennial generation and create inclusionary policy.
I would further implore said companies to start hiring folks that don’t all look like you. In doing so- you will find some of the brightest people on the planet as valuable net add assets (valuable human capital). I especially implore you to look at youth in underserved areas who constantly have to think out of the box and are forced to assimilate across cultures in order to survive. Further, they are willing to work in environments of inclusion that are outside of their norm.

At the end of the day
Most everyone including youth that have been written off dysfunctional, irrational, inhuman beings want to live dignified lives where a wage of pay is earned and they can exchange said pay for a lot of savings, and other goods and services that make life and living worthwhile. If you do not believe me, arrange a panel discussion and interview them.
There is something to be said for second chances.

For more information contact:
Chatman Lewis Flaggs Enterprises
or The Economic Growth Initiative-EGI

Thank you for staying engaged.
All my best,

Who does this? – Flint Michigan Water Crisis


I took this picture while visiting Flint Michigan Earlier this year 2016.

According to the Associated Press:

APRIL 2014: In an effort to save money, Flint begins drawing its water from the Flint River instead of relying on water from Detroit. The move is considered temporary while the city waits to connect to a new regional water system. Residents immediately complain about the smell, taste and appearance of the water, and raise health concerns, reporting rashes, hair loss and other problems.

OCTOBER 2014: A General Motors engine plant stops using Flint water, saying it rusts parts.

JANUARY 2015: Detroit offers to reconnect Flint to its water system, but Flint leaders insist the water is safe.

MARCH: Flint promises to spend $2.24 million on immediate improvements to its water supply. Later in the month, city officials say water quality has improved and meets all state and federal standards for safety.

SEPT. 24: A group of doctors urges Flint to stop using the Flint River for water after finding high levels of lead in the blood of children. State regulators insist the water is safe.

SEPT. 29: Gov. Rick Snyder pledges to take action in response to the lead levels _ the first acknowledgment by the state that lead is a problem.

Now here comes the fall out of the sheer and utter lack of regard for HUMAN LIFE. Absolutely OUTRAGEOUS behavior and the two year response to rectify the situation is at the very least Criminal, Irresponsible and Appalling.


God help us. If it were not for celebrity bringing this topic two years after the crisis began- and pressing for media coverage, I’m afraid a people in Flint would be in dire perilous health situations by the mass number. Some celebrities that stepped up and hit the media circuit were Cher, Diddy, Snoop Dog, Big Sean, Michael Moore and Rainbow Push Coalition. Thank you.

It took two years to bring this situation to light 2014-2016 and begin to seek justice?

Thank God, people use their celebrity for a greater good.
Todays indictments is just the beginning of the fallout. Public Service is just that. When personal service is entangled with Public Service there is an improper imbalance and that imbalance will lead to a very slippery criminal slope. This was/is the case with the Flint Michigan’s water crisis and all those who were egregiously involved.

Who does this?!

I pray and hope for all the best to Flint Michigan and all its 99,700 plus residents.


‘The Souls of Many’ – Documentary and Non-Fiction Book

EXCERPT and links
my uncle charley

When I was a little girl growing up in a home full of love surrounded by loved ones, ten siblings to be exact and a mother and father that worked hard and listened to music on Saturday’s.- I thought we were very wealthy. I had an older brother who would visit occasionally. He made a career of serving his country and would show up at home in his Military Suit. I was so proud of him. He was a little like royalty to his younger siblings. My sister was in college and working, my brother was in college and working and eventually we were all in school/college working and paying it forward. In addition to that, I thought our house was a little short of a mansion. The canisters in our kitchen were pretty, our furniture was traditionally stately, nice and comfortable, our holiday celebrations were larger than life, we had a station wagon, my dad owned (an older Cadillac- wings and all) and our house was ALWAYS clean. I remember my dad submitting the last house payment to Ms. Teddy ( as he was unable to secure a bank loan to live on 16th street- most blacks that lived in Maywood lived with the Jews between 10th avenue and 14th street) when I was in the eighth grade. I was in the kitchen and my Mom smiled one of her finest and biggest and kissed my dad. He sat in a chair at the kitchen table as though he were in disbelief holding the deed to our home. I could only imagine (with ten kids) he never thought he’d see the day.

Our house was super small but it was ours! Our home was built as a Garlow (part of history in the Chicagoland area- a garage turned into a single story bungalow). I grew up in Maywood, Illinois- born in that very house. Delivered at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, first baby of the New Year and my mother heard her doctor say (after just given birth to a beautiful child), ‘just another nigger’. Yet she smiled for the newspapers and held me as though she had given birth to a real live princess. There I was in the newspaper as the first baby born in the Chicagoland area. My mother seemed excited, I know I was! Hello World. I was the last of my siblings birthed from my mother #10. Five girls and five boys…whew… In hindsight, I guess we were wealthy in so many ways (maybe not monetarily). All of our needs and some of our wants were met. We got to see true love in action every day. I have another sister and a brother of my father’s blessings. I guess that means there are six brothers and six sisters in all. Talk about rounding out the numbers! None the less, I love all my brothers and sisters and I know for sure, My Mom and Dad were truly in love. They danced together and always looked at each other adoringly and made an amazing team. In this very small ranch style home (garlow), I had come to know God, love, diversity, how to dress and articulate properly and how to speak ‘our’ unique language (known today as Ebonics). I am perfectly proficient in commanding the King James Version of the English language as well as my native tongue, famously coined ‘Ebonics’. Oh the fun we had and still have.

My early childhood fascinations was with the beauty of my three older sisters. One was brown skinned and had the most beautiful skin, facial features and legs. My next to the oldest sister was a Carmel complexion with the most amazing big brown eyes and wavy hair. My third oldest sister looks like she is Puerto Rican. She is super fashion conscious, pretty with hazelish green eyes and has a very sharp tongue. My sister that is closest to me in age was super tall, long hair very peaceful and pretty- all the neighborhood boys liked her. I was fascinated by them because I found a little piece of me in all of them.

My brothers are smart, musically inclined. They are hardworking and only two are married. One of my brothers is really funny he too resembles a Puerto Rican with eyes that change from Green to Hazel brown in an instant, and a super clean freak. I have an autistic brother who is chocolate brown with chiseled features that would put a Hollywood movie star to shame, I have Carmel brown skinned brothers that are smooth and cool, hardworking, college educated, have served our country, good chefs and interior designers. One of my brothers was also Gay (he passed some years ago). Think that’s diverse? Our hair: Our hair textures vary from very long course tightly curled coif to wavy hair that has never seen a perm. Thin hair that would fall out if a perm got near it and hair that looks as though it would be hard to the touch but is very soft, like nice combed cotton. As for me I can wear a permed style or wash and go (natural curl that definitely needs product!). It’s all good, because we can wear so many different hairstyles and we’ve always liked that!
Of all my siblings, I was and am (to a certain degree) probably the most stubborn, strong willed, hardworking, tom-boy with the tenacity of a pit-bull. Not your typical baby of the family. Growing up, I was equally fascinated with God, music, dancing and creating/writing poems, school and studying history. More specifically ‘Black History’. I have never understood my fascinations or obsessions with such subject matter until now.

I have always known God, family, community and who I was (conceptually and profoundly) and who I was to become- even after hearing that my mother’s doctor called me, ‘just another nigger’. Was he serious? Me, just another nigger? Hardly. I don’t think he was a very bright man even as a Doctor of OBGyn. Now, I am certain of my unique identity and my purpose in life and my heart rejoices with new song and new speak. My musicality is no mistake either, rhythm is in my bones and my dance is a rhythmic culmination of a desire to express my innermost emotion and passion with a sassy release. I’ve always taken a stance for what is right and will take a stand for others. I have taken on Giants that have discriminated against me and others without regret. I’ve fiercely fought for policy change and creating paths of access where resources are scarce and limited. Humanity is in my bones right down to the marrow and I love hard and make no apologies in doing so.

What I am absolutely grateful for is my family’s fortitude and determination to make something of ourselves no matter the obstacles and odds- and there were and are plenty still. Knowing who my people are makes me feel good and my soul shouts a joyous melody despite the ugliness of hate, contention and restlessness in this world.

I am part African, Native American, Swedish and English. My paternal grandparents were both three quarters Cherokee Indian, part African and a small part English. My Maternal grandparents were African and Swedish and a small part Native American. We are from the Mississippi Delta. I am African-American as it relates to my definitive American defined ethnicity. But really, I know who I am and I always have. I am proud of my entire family!

OUR Short History and Musicality…
As slaves we were a musically inclined family. Oh yes, we were field hands SLAVES (don’t get anything twisted here) yet we were summoned as the fiddle players, dancers and singers in the Big House and at various other festivals about town. Great grandfather Henderson Chatmon (born around 1850) was taught how to play the fiddle by a white handler Robert Lacey and the children were mostly self-taught and trained by watching and by ear. After slavery, we made our way to own land and handle cotton crops, have a chicken and produce farm and a restaurant believe it or not. We were not wealthy by American standards at that time. However, we were an entrepreneurial family that knew how to survive.

My grandmother Vienna Chatman made the BEST Root beer Soda and pecan pies on the Planet! I can still taste the sweet pecans in the pies… and the suds on the root beer was something to behold and indulge. I didn’t know my grandfather, he passed away before I was born. He seemed to be well liked and boy was he handsome- his nick name was ‘touch’. Granddaddy Touch used to hum tunes (as I’ve been told by my father) and whistle tunes to melodic perfection. As such, so did my dad. He had a beautiful voice and would sing especially at Christmas time. He would sing Christmas Carols to us kids and have us all mesmerized, hanging on every note as our Christmas tree glistened in the backdrop… and yes he was very handsome. I always wanted to marry a man who looked like my dad, worked like my dad, and had that classic swag like my dad and kiss me on my cheek ever so gentle like my dad. My mother would prepare three meals every day for our family and expected everyone to eat at the same time (that’s right, all 10 kids at home). She loved her family and was crazy about all her children. Folks from everywhere used to visit our home, it was a warm place where there was always plenty of food and nice music playing when she entertained. My mom, Maebell was born Mary and changed her entire name when she married my dad. I suppose a new beginning for her. She taught us how to dance and how to be refined in our presentation. She would say, ‘when you do anything, make sure you are neat, clean, tidy and presentable’. That statement was meant for most everything we engaged- to include but not limited to- cooking, listening to music or dancing. And she meant it. If she caught one of us out of line singing inappropriate song, she’d probably pop us in the mouth. If she caught one of us moving/dancing provocatively, she’d brush up against you with an elbow- nothing had to be said, ever. Decorum was in our pedigree.

My great grandfather, Henderson Chatmon (yes, Chatmon not Chatman- long story tell you later) was a field hand married to my Great Grandmother Eliza. He used to remark, the slave master- ‘Old Man Chatmon was alright to my kids and Liza’. Henderson had plenty of whelp marks on his back from the flogging hands of the overseer on the plantation. My dad used to tell us stories of his grandfather being an old man and having to bath him. He would ask grandfather what happened to his back. He always received a short story, ‘Slavery son, slavery.’

Henderson’s Children
Many of Henderson’s children were undistinguishable from white children. Henderson tended cotton crops and was fairly successful in those days. He was also rumored to be a bit of a philanderer. All in all the children such as my great Uncle’s Bo, Sam, Charley and Bunchie went on to define BLUES in the South! My Great-grandfather’s “outside son” son Charley Patton is revered in the South and inspired the likes of Muddy Waters and B.B. King. My Uncle Sam Chatmon is an amazing figure in Pop Blues Culture. Artists like Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard and Dean Martin have all re-recorded our family songs- One in particular, ‘Corrina Corrina’.
I have worked tirelessly on a documentary and a non-fiction book that tells the story of The Real African American Experience as told by the generations of many Souls. If you look at the media- ‘Us’ Black Folks are depicted as unattractive, lazy criminals. I know better. This is the reason, I’ve decided to set the record straight. This Documentary and Non-Fiction Book is one of my best works …ever. It is dignified, inspiring, beautiful and authentic to the extent it touches the SOUL as told by ‘The Souls of Many’. This is just a bit of my story that I share with you today as I know it.

These are my people….
Psss… Many men in our family changed the Chatmon name to Chatman- especially after their service in the World War. My Dad said goodbye to the slave name while he served in the Airforce and was elated to have changed the name to Chatman. He left the air force as a new man in many ways. Thus, I am a Chatmon and Chatman.

‘Corrina Corrina’- Sam Chatmon

‘I’ve got the whole world in my hands’- Bo Carter Bo Chatman (Armenter Chatmon)

Stay tuned for the complete book and documentary 2016/2017

I hope you enjoy.

All the best,
Bridgette Chatman-Lewis
Bridgette Bio Pic

Where the jobs are…

According to The BLS:
The latest Economics Daily article is available here: http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/retail-salespersons-and-cashiers-were-occupations-with-highest-employment-in-may-2015.htm. Highlights are below.

Retail salespersons and cashiers were occupations with highest employment in May 2015


Retail salespersons (4.6 million) and cashiers (3.5 million) were the occupations with the highest employment in May 2015. Combined, these two occupations made up nearly 6 percent of total U.S. employment. Annual mean wages were $26,340 for retail salespersons and $20,990 for cashiers. Office and administrative support was the largest occupational group, making up nearly 16 percent of total U.S. employment. Annual mean wages for workers in this group were $36,330.

It looks like Youth may have a shot at derailing the atrocious youth unemployment number! Let’s start filling out those retail and office administration applications.

To greater success