The mainstream arts industry is controlled and manipulated by a myriad of gatekeepers who keep the vast majority of Black artists off the fringes of career-expanding opportunities. Gatekeepers control access to "who’s hot and who’s not" in the art world.

Celebrity over credibility fuels this industry, where everything boils down to a small percentage of our artists being selected to represent an entire collective. How is that possible?

The same names rotate from art fair to art fair and museum to museum. It is similar to watching the same movies produced by the same production teams and featuring the same actors and actresses, but the movie is just shown in different theaters.

A small hand-picked group who receive one opportunity after another is far from an authentic representation of who we are as Black people. But the time for change and redefining inclusivity starts now, and Okeeba Jubalo is the man spearheading the challenge of shifting the narrative of how Black artists will dominate art conversations.

Taking a new and unapologetic approach to reimagining the art scene in America, Jubalo is building an authentic cultural experience within the city of North Charleston, South Carolina, with the Charleston & Friends Exhibition.

After serving as an arts advocate and pioneer within Atlanta’s arts community for nearly thirty years, Jubalo is now focused on making his hometown of North Charleston the epicenter of authentic African-American culture.

A true speaker to power and never one to back down from a fight on behalf of artists who are represented by his fine art gallery and creative agency, Jubalo has made it clear that he means business.

As the Founder and Executive Creative Director of the Atlanta & Friends Exhibition, Jubalo has decided to shift his focus completely to Charleston after hosting the seventh and final yearly installment of #ATLANTAFAE in Atlanta in January 2023.

“It was an honor to be a part of the Atlanta & Friends Exhibition and to be in the same space with so many amazing artists,” said Ty Davis, an exhibiting artist at the Atlanta & Friends Exhibition. “Seeing so many beautiful Black faces enjoying and appreciating Black artists brought me so much joy!”

"Atlanta and Friends Exhibition was breathtaking. It's rare to see people of all ages experience the same amazement in a single setting. It was such a memorable experience. I'm excited for what's to come," said Katrina Crawford, Charleston based photographer and #ATLANTAFAE parter.

With nearly 400 guests in attendance for this farewell to Atlanta exhibit, Jubalo also used this as a chance to welcome his audience to visit him and his team in North Charleston.

“The Atlanta & Friends Exhibition illustrated the impact NobelSol has on Atlanta,” said Tony Bell, Producer and CEO of Bell Digital Media. “A show of this magnitude in North Charleston will be unprecedented, and most welcomed.”


Jubalo has curated numerous premier fine art exhibitions for over 20 years, both solo and group exhibits. However, his most recent brainchild, the Charleston & Friends Exhibition, has become an organic and personal evolution.

“The Atlanta & Friends Exhibition was an amalgamation of excellence, ingenuity, and artistry at its finest,” said Stephanie Hale, actress, vocalist, and Brand Ambassador for the Charleston & Friends Exhibition. “It left me with an insatiable desire for more.”

The inaugural exhibit will be hosted on Saturday, June 3, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Okeeba Jubalo Fine Art Gallery in North Charleston, South Carolina. Artists specializing in several disciplines and from all regions will be featured in this rekindling of the low country area.

“It is important to give my Charleston community a cultural experience that is true to who we are as a people. Our movement has grown organically, strategically, and honestly within the City of North Charleston without any support from the local government agencies. Our culture is our responsibility, not anyone else’s. I am willing to work with government agencies that respect my vision as an advocate for my people,” said Jubalo regarding his purpose for shifting the exhibition location from Atlanta to Charleston.

“This is different in comparison to what I accomplished in Atlanta. Charleston is my home, not only for myself but for so many other Blacks in America. I am calling everyone home, regardless of where you are in America or the world. Come home,” said Jubalo. “North Charleston will be our destination for authenticity and respect. If it is not funded by us or built by us, it is not truly for us.”

A plethora of disciplines will be exhibited for attendees–from film, music, fine art, spoken word poetry, cigar education to authentic Gullah Geechee cuisine. There will be 24 artists from South Carolina and Atlanta bringing their narratives to life with their powerful works of art.


“Okeeba’s shows are always full of energy. Both the artists and guests of all backgrounds and ages come together to celebrate fine art. What a fabulous way to celebrate each other!” said Renee Fleuranges-Valdes, a textile artist, lecturer, and author from North Charleston who will display her artwork at the Charleston & Friends Exhibition.

The Charleston & Friends Exhibition will be the career-changing catalyst for artists displaying their art. Although the artist selection has ended, companies looking to become a sponsor can apply via the Okeeba Jubalo Fine Art Gallery website.

The exhibit is powered by NobleSol Art Group, an elite branding and marketing agency with creative offices in North Charleston, South Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. The RSVP date is coming to a close soon, and prospective guests are encouraged to RSVP before May 31.

The Charleston & Friends Exhibition is an annual exhibit that is anticipated to become a highly sought-after tourist destination for art enthusiasts and lovers of Black culture.

The final RSVP day is on May 31, at Okeeba Jublao Fine Art Gallery’s website. If you want to become a business sponsor, please email us here.




Maynard Eaton, multi-award-winning journalist and media communications professional, with a career spanning over five decades, died late Tuesday evening in his sleep after a brief battle with lung cancer. Eaton has left a legacy of impactful reporting and social change.

Eaton began his career in 1970 after graduating from Hampton Institute’s Mass Media Arts Program, as WVEC-TV’s first African American newsman. In 2022, Eaton came full-circle with his appointment as Endowed Professor of Journalism at Hampton University.

During his occupation, Eaton has been recognized as a broadcast journalist, political columnist, media/ public relations consultant, free-lance writer, executive editor. Eaton’s most enduring legacy will be the plethora of journalists he has trained and mentored during tenures as a professor at both Clark-Atlanta and Hampton Universities.

An EMMY Award-winning television news reporter, Eaton was in the vanguard of America’s first Black news reporters on prime time television, and was distinguished as one of the Country’s most influential media professionals.

He conducted innumerable high-profile interviews throughout his career, including heads of state, political luminaries, renowned entertainers and athletes, and Civil Rights heroes. He most recently wrote feature articles for the Spelman College Messenger, and NABJ’s Black News & Views. 

Eaton served as National Communications Director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy Organization.

SCLC President Dr. Charles Steele worked with Eaton for over a decade. “He brought his journalism skills to SCLC and an insight and expertise that is irreplaceable,” asserts Steele. “He was committed to telling the story of the Movement and I will always remember with appreciation his dedication to his craft”.

Known for his news reporting at Atlanta City Hall, as well as under the gold dome of Georgia’s Capitol, Maynard Eaton provided unprecedented news content and coverage. His television news reporting era forever endeared him to the citizens of Atlanta, and they continue to hail him in the streets of Atlanta and throughout the South.

Eaton garnered numerous awards and accolades during his illustrious career. In 2008 he was named Journalist of the Year by the Rainbow/PUSH civil rights group. From 1978 to 1986, Eaton was a multi-award winning political reporter for WXIA-TV in Atlanta. 

He won eight EMMY Awards for television news reporting/writing, while at WXIA, WPLG-TV in Miami and WVEC-TV in Hampton. He was also honored for his work as a political commentator for WTLK-TV and WATL-TV in Atlanta; a producer/reporter for World News Monitor; southeast field producer for USA Today and BET television; and writer/talent for Ebony Journal and Prime Time, two highly regarded and locally produced television magazine shows. 

In addition to honors in broadcasting, Eaton won two Atlanta Association of Black Journalist awards for his excellence in writing and reporting, including the Journalist of the Year award in 1985 from the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ) and several significant honors from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). 

He received honors from Communication Excellence to Black Audiences (CEBA), and three writing awards from the Associated Press. He landed an honor with the National Newspaper Publishers Award (NNPA) in 2007; a coveted Gannett News Service reporting award and, for many years, was named on the list of prestigious individuals with Who’s Who in Black Atlanta. Eaton also wrote cover stories for that prestigious publication on Ambassador Andrew Young, civil rights icons Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Eaton received his Master of Arts degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he was mentored by the late Fred Friendly (former president of CBS News), and holds a BA degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton Institute.

The late Maynard Eaton & wife, Robin Ligon


(The wife of Maynard Eaton)

On March 15, two months ago, Maynard found out he had stage four lung cancer during his spring break from Hampton University, where he was an endowed professor of journalism. He tried his best to take chemotherapy but it destroyed his body. His goal was to be able to return to Hampton in the fall to teach his students, who he held so dear throughout the last 30 years, even as a professor at Clark Atlanta University. Many of his students have gone on to have impactful careers in journalism. They truly represent his enduring legacy.

We are trying as a family to quickly pull together Celebrations of Life that will reflect the incredible and indelible imprint he had on Black Press, the Civil Rights Movement and on his students.

We are also faced with a lot of expenses from the cancer treatments and medical bills.

Please help us reach our goal and take Maynard home right!


By Nailah Herbert

Image by Katrina S. Crawford Photography

Kenya Dunn has improved the inner workings of companies for decades. Dunn is a successful businesswoman with more than twenty years of experience in corporate America, serving on senior leadership teams for superior companies such as T-Mobile. As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lifetagger, a tech company that enables proximity-based content delivery, Dunn uses her Senior Executive background to take the company to the next level.

“I’ve been with the organization for three years in an official leadership capacity. But I’ve been on the journey with the [founders] for about five years. It’s amazing to see the evolution of the product go through different iterations,” said Dunn. “Lifetagger was established by two Black

male founders who are first cousins. These two are the most brilliant Black men that I have had the privilege to work with.”

Dunn is committed to bringing her prowess to grow Lifetagger into one of the top tech companies nationwide. Along with building a successful tech company, she is masterfully balancing her time and efforts to serve her community with her business, The Power Tribe Community.

A flourishing entrepreneur and Executive Coach, Dunn provides relevant conversations, leadership training, and activities to help women achieve their goals, build productive relationships, leverage their strengths, and develop their professional identities.

LifeTagger panelists at the Okeeba Jubalo Gallery, facilitated by

Dr. Tonya Matthews, CEO, International African American Museum.

[The Power Tribe Community] is an extension of my brand. It’s a community that I created that was based on my own experience and the experience of women like me. I am referring to women of color who have decided to step up to the plate and be a leader,” said Dunn, who spoke about the creation of her company and the importance of women having a supportive community filled with other leaders who are women.

“Leadership doesn’t mean you are working in corporate America. You can be a leader of a non-profit, you can be a community activist and be a leader. Leadership is about influence and impact.”


By Nailah Herbert

Image by Katrina S. Crawford Photography

The Atlanta Fine Art Exhibition was nothing short of spectacular. From the featured artists and their striking artwork to the special guests in attendance. But there is a collective who makes all the difference in recognizing the value in the artists and contributing to their rising success: art collectors.

Art collectors see the advantages that artists bring to communities and society. When an art piece is purchased, it’s considered an investment to help artists continue their craft while building excitement around an artist’s oeuvre, especially for Black artists who are severely underrepresented in the art scene.

Founder and curator of the Atlanta Fine Art Exhibition, Okeeba Jubalo established the exhibit in 2009 to provide a platform for artists to showcase their talents and for art collectors to buy exclusive, one-of-one artwork.

The Atlanta Fine Art Exhibition is a nationwide mobile fine art showcase. The most recent installment was hosted at the Emma Darnell Museum and Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia, in early 2023. This year’s exhibition featured 44 artists that displayed work ranging from sculptures, mixed media pieces, collages, and paintings.

Atlanta-based art collectors and married couple Yvonne and Randall Dragon understand the need to sow their financial seed into the community of artists to help them flourish. As business owners, they acknowledge that entrepreneurs have to start somewhere, and all it takes is for someone to take a chance on them.


Atlanta-based fine art collector and patron James Jackson

“My husband and I are entrepreneurs, so we always want to support other entrepreneurs in creative fields,” said Yvonne Dragon, who, along with her husband, Randall Dragon, bought the “Mother and Child II (Never Abandoned)” artwork by Shanneil Clarke. “Collecting art is a way to express our style, make a statement and support small businesses at the same time.”

The Dragons intentionally push the Black culture forward by purchasing artwork by Black artists and business owners.

“It is vital to amplify Black artists, galleries, and patrons. Black people across the diaspora have so many stories to tell,” said Randall Dragon. “Art shows like the Atlanta Fine Art Exhibition bring like-minded individuals to elevate and celebrate art on a level that Black art deserves.”