50 Shades of Black & I Love Ancestry Announce New Partnership.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

50 Shades of Black and I Love Ancestry are proud to announce a new partnership.

January 3, 2014 - With a mission of building an online movement that empowers people to seek knowledge of ancestral heritage, I Love Ancestry works to “build intergenerational relationships between communities, particularly American Indians and Black Americans”.

 “I believe strongly in the mission of I Love Ancestry and feel that it is an extraordinarily valuable resource for scholars and everyday people alike to learn more about history and culture from perspectives and with voices that often to go unheard.  By bridging the narratives of American Indians and Black Americans, I Love Ancestry, also enhances our mission of broadening the often narrowly held understandings of diversity and culture as well as the narrow understanding of blackness.” –Carlton Mackey (Creator of 50 Shades of Black)

As part of this new partnership, 50 Shades of Black will offer a weekly column curated by the creator of I Love Ancestry, Adrien Heckstall, which will highlight the history of an American Indian, Black American, or an Afro Native ancestor and historical alliances between both communities.  50 Shades of Black creator, Carlton Mackey will also curate a weekly column on I Love Ancestry called Bridging the Gap that will highlight contemporary stories of individuals across the globe and share how their individual experiences of race and sexuality give rise to the formation of their unique and complex identities. The two will also partner for an Open Photo Shoot to be held in Miami in Spring 2014.

The two will also work together specifically to collect contemporary stories and artwork of Natives and Afro Natives to be featured in an art exhibit at the end of the year and in the next published volume of the 50 Shades of Black coffee table book series.  Right now the two are designing educational materials and a new series of custom apparel to be released by the end of this month.

“50 Shades of Black is who I am which is why I completely relate to this project and its mission. I am grateful for this partnership opportunity between I Love Ancestry and 50 Shades of Black as I feel both projects complete each other on so many levels in a very unique way by engaging people in sharing their stories about race and skin tone while learning about heritage and diversity." –Adrien Heckstall (Creator of I Love Ancestry)

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About 50 Shades of Black

50 Shades of Black is a multi-faceted platform for creating an interactive global dialogue around issues of race, skin tone, sexuality and identity. Exploring these themes through visual art, literature, curated blogs, educational curriculums, and workshops, 50 Shades of Black aims to explore the ways in which our individual experiences of race and sexuality give rise to the formation of our unique and complex identities. For more information, please visit: www.50shadesofblack.com

 About I Love Ancestry

I Love Ancestry is a community driven platform that bridges our past and future, engages people and reinforces cultural diversity. We share stories of unsung heroes and heroines who shaped American history and the struggle for freedom. We explore the historical alliances between American Indians and Black Americans and their contributions to history. We promote inspiring people and organizations who are making a difference in our world.

At I Love Ancestry, we envision a world where people embrace their own and each other’s roots, celebrate diversity and advocate for indigenous cultures. We exist to empower people to seek knowledge of ancestral heritage, preserve historical truth, and unite like-minded people.

For more information, please visit: http://www.iloveancestry.com

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