Black Pearl ‘intimate discussions’ give voice to the plight of Black men

Black Pearl, LLC kicked off its first “An Intimate Discussion with Black Men” gathering on February 15, with the goal of dissecting the current experiences and history of Black men in America.

Established in 2016 by local power couple Marques Armstrong, president and CEO of Hope & Healing Counseling Services, and Civil Rights Attorney Nekima Levy-Pounds, Black Pearl aims to serve as “a catalyst for racial, social, and economic justice” according to the organization’s website.

(l-r) Pastor Brian Herron, Teto Wilson, Nekima Levy-Pounds, Marques Armstrong (with 7-month-old daughter Assata) and Ricky Kinchen. (Dalia Taha/MSR News)

In addition to Armstrong and Levy-Pounds, the panel included Pastor Brian Herron of Zion Baptist Church, Teto Wilson of Wilson’s Image Barber Shop and Ricky Kinchen, a member of the Grammy Award-winning group Mint Condition.

“’An Intimate Discussion with Black Men’ focused on empowerment,” Levy-Pounds told the MSR after the event. The discussion included people of multi-cultures, religions, ethnicities and backgrounds. Levy-Pounds predicted that the series of discussions will “break down the walls” and provide a platform to dig deeper into issues.

The prime topic of the discussion was the need for change in policing — specifically shedding light on the killing of Jamar Clark by the Minneapolis Police Department in 2015. Wilson was a witness to the shooting, yet his account wasn’t used during prosecution.

Black Pearl hopes to continue these candid discussions and welcomes anyone of any ethnicity who may be looking for the company’s services, which include training and workshops, consultations and more. The date for the second discussion has yet to be announced.


Black Pearl is located at 1011 W Broadway Suite 105 in Minneapolis. Check for updates and more information.

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