Best Accounting Firm: Kedra Flowers CPA
Kedra A. Flowers has been working in tax services since 1996 and in that time, has built a team that offers expert guidance for taxpayers. As a business consultant, they create winning strategies for tax optimization and profitability.
“What I Love Most Is Making A Difference In The Lives Of Others. My Goal Is To Use My Gifts And Knowledge To Make Life Just A Bit Less Stressful”- Kedra Flowers CPA
Best Barber: Jarvis White
A Barber at 1 UP Barber and Beauty Lounge in Arlington, Jarvis White coins himself a “master barber,” skilled with hair cuts, shaves and beard trims.
Best Brunch: Kitchen + Kocktails
Kitchen + Kocktails was created by Kevin Kelley to offer quality food, drinks and vibes. Kitchen + Kocktails focuses on comfort food, such as shrimp and grits, lobster tails, oxtails, black eyed peas and more.
Best CBD Store-The Weed Spot Deep Ellum
The Weed Spot-Deep Ellum is a coffee shop that offers cannabis products such as edibles, tinctures and hemp products. They also carry pet products, and bath & body products.They pick their products based on effectiveness and purity. They also offer consultations to determine a customer’s individual needs.
Best Coffee: Soiree Coffee
Located at Trinity Grove, Soiree Coffee Bar is a small business that refers to itself as “the ultimate hubspot for black excellence”. Soiree Coffee bar holds a host of black owned art, coffee and spirits, as well as a variety of high quality dishes [Cajun fish n gouda grits, Soiree sunrise platter, All that jazz avocado toast and more].
“We make it a point to consistently use black vendors for many of our delectable food and beverage options-” Soiree Coffee
Best Community Leader: Tiffaney Dale Hunter
Tiffany Dale Hunter is an award-winning speaker, author, leader and philanthropist with over 20 years’ experience in marketing and business strategies for Fortune 500 companies and high-profile clients. Hunter has hosted committees for several non-profits including the Girl Scouts of North Central Texas, Ronald McDonald House, the Children’s Defense Fund and many more. Hunter currently lives in Dallas and is a member of the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship church.
Best Dental Practice: Indigo Dentistry
Indigo Dentistry, a comprehensive service dental provider in Cedar Hill, was founded by Dr. Kera Collier in February 2020. Dr. Collier is an Oak Cliff native who received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Florida A&M and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Baylor’s College of Dentistry. Dr. Collier offers personalized treatments for patients in order to offer the best solutions for long term dental health.
Best Event Planner: Swan 7 Productions
Relaunched in 2018 by Shawana “Swan” Lee, Swan 7 Productions is a comprehensive event planning group that provides a variety of needs to help elevate their clients. Their goal is to create unique events that your audience will speak about forever. They have developed their business model into seven points of service: Weddings, Private Parties, Corporate Events, Non-Profit events, Show Production, Entertainment Brand Management and Event Business Consulting. Swan 7 productions is a first time Best of Black Dallas winner.
Best Funeral Home: Golden Gate Funeral Home
Golden Gate funeral home was founded by John Beckwith in 1980, and currently spans across three states, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Golden Gate funeral home is currently ran by his son John Beckwith Jr.
Best Gym: Savage Gym
Savage Fitness is a Fort Worth fitness center that offers group fitness and personal training. Their mission is to motivate people to understand the importance of being dedicated to health and fitness. Savage gym offers fitness, meal and workout plans, as well as custom workouts.
Best Hairstylist: Vanna Collins
Vanna Collins is a Dallas native with over 20 years’ experience in hair styling, with a clientele that ranges from Grammy Award winning rapper Wale and Soul Train Music Award Winner Summer Walker. Collins is also the owner of Tuff Baby’s Organic Essentials, which offers an array of natural products from essential oils to sage products. Collins is also a yoga instructor. Her products are also available to purchase at Walmart.
Best Hip Hop Artist: Jayson Lyric
Jayson Lyric is an Oak Cliff native musician who has garnered support from celebrities such as Jazmine Sullivan, Meagan Good, La La Anthony and more. Lyric has been making music since 2015, starting with his Brick x Brick series, a collective of four projects [the latest one was released in 2020]. Lyric also has his own production team, NHouse Productions. He has three albums and 2 eps.
Best House of Worship: Friendship West Baptist Church
Led by Dr. Rev. Frederick Haynes III, Friendship West Baptist Church opened its present location in 2006 on Wheatland Road. Dr. Haynes became senior pastor of Friendship West in 1983, and under his leadership Friendship West has moved three times as it continues to grow. Dr. Haynes also serves as a member of the board of trustees for Paul Quinn college.
Best Interior Designer: Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Mansfield based business Mirror Mirror on the Wall is owned by twin sisters, focused on changing spaces while working within their clients desired budget and catering to their styles.
Best Journalist: Tashara Parker
Founder of the Bun Ministry, Loud Women Lead, journalist and storyteller Tashara Parker is an Emmy award winning reporter for WFAA who has been recognized as the first Black woman to anchor CBS affiliate KYTX primetime evening newscasts. Parker is also the host of the Rooted ABC series, which addressed the issue of Black hair and professionalism, and was met with praise. Parker uses her platform to volunteer to organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club and Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Parker has continued to work to bring the DFW and community storytelling to the forefront.
Best Lash Extension: Aatiyah Henry
Owner and founder of LasheddOut, Aatiyah Henry began her journey in college when she gained certification via courses paid for by her mother, a hairstylist. She officially launched LasheddOut as a sophomore and college, balancing her career ambitions and a college workload. Henry currently works out of three states: Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. Henry wants to start her own product line and offer lash application classes to help clients and future lash techs alike. Henry also hopes to open a business with her sister, a hairstylist.
Best Law Firm: Law Office of L.D. Thomas
Attorney Levar Demahn ‘L. D. Thomas’ Thomas graduated from the University of North Texas at Dallas in 2018, gaining his law license in 2019. Thomas’ law firm specializes in will, estate planning, probate, and small business formation. Thomas is skilled in contract review, compliance training, sales, public speaking, curriculum development and many more.
Best Local Band: Original Soul
Inspired by the likes of Common, The Roots and Talib Kweli, Original soul is a four time Best of Black Dallas winner who has over 13 albums under his belt and has received numerous positive reviews from Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star Telegram critics. He describes his brand as one free from gimmick, flash, or ego. Original Soul’s music touches on topics that may not be covered by the mainstream, such as a song centered around homelessness. Original Soul’s most recent album Music Therapy was released on December 13.
Best Makeup Artist: Glam by Cham
Chamonique Short of Glam by Cham is a self-taught makeup artist and director of the Glamour School Virtual makeup school. Short holds 12 years experience in salon and editorial makeup proficiency. Short is a mother of three.
“Being a mom has been the greatest asset in helping me grow as an entrepreneur. It has taught me to have grace for myself, how to be compassionate, and to see the beauty in all the lessons life has to offer”- Short said.
Best Nail Salon: True Nails
True Nails salon was started by Amber Spellous, a certified award winning nail technician and pedicurist. With True Nails she works to offer a special service to those in need.
“My goal for True Nails is to offer safe nail treatments to our clients, and to our community, that utilize sterile conditions, from pedicure liners, to sterilized instruments, the best products and everything in between”- Amber Spellous
Best Neighborhood Store: Pan African Connection
The Pan African Connection bookstore was founded in 1989 by Bandele Tyehimba, eventually being taken over by Akwete Tyehimba. Pan African Connection was created in order to provide Dallas with a high quality, rare bookstore. Tyehimba was introduced to African culture at a young age by her father, being taken on her first trip to Ghana in middle school. While in Africa, they would purchase art, jewelry, clothing and shea butter, and she credits her father with teaching her about buying, negotiating and the value of good customer service. In 2013 after college, she returned to Dallas and began running Pan African Connection with her mother. Pan African Connection carries an assortment of books, African art, clothing and jewelry.
Best Non-Profit: For Oak Cliff
For Oak Cliff got its start in 2014 by teacher Taylor Toynes and his fourth grade class. Toynes was a teacher at Bushman Elementary in South Oak Cliff. When he observed that a majority of students didn’t have school supplies due to extreme poverty in the area. In 2015, Toynes held the first “Back to School,” festival offering supplies, resources and service providers. Recently, For Oak Cliff purchased a 20,000 sq ft building, which was previously Moorland YMCA.
Best Personal Trainer: Chris Polk
Polkfit was started in 2016 by Chris Polk, when he was a student at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Polk has long had a passion for fitness and helping others. After graduating in May 2017, he came back to Dallas and began building his brand. He took on a job at Domino’s, eventually quitting to take on training full time, raising his clientele from 5 to 15 in just a week’s time. Polk has been featured in numerous outlets including WFAA, Voyage Dallas and Cosign Magazine. Polk is also the recipient of 2018’s Cosign Award for Fitness Trainer of the Year.
Best Photographer: Benjamin Bullock
Benjamin Bullock got his start as a production assistant for ESPN in 2010, which allowed him to learn about video production. Bullock attended Delaware State University in 2006, where he majored in Sports management, later obtaining a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2016, he worked as a sports information graduate assistant. He worked as a Digital Media Producer for the Dallas Cowboys and has worked as a content producer for Concord Church. Due to his extensive experience in public relations, social media strategy and photography he considers himself an “all in one product.”
Best Physician: Dr. Jessica Shepard
Dr. Jessica Shepard is a women’s health expert, OBGYN, and founder of Her Viewpoint, a womens health platform that offers a comfortable setting for taboo topics. She gives lectures nationally and internationally on myomectomies, women’s health issues and fibroids. Dr. Shepard is on the board of the Multicultural Leadership Committee of the American Heart Association.
Best PR Firm: Creative Currency
Creative Currency was founded by Sarah Badran, a UNT graduate who majored in Strategic communications and public relations. Prior to starting Creative Currency, Badran was an intern at 97.9 doing promotional events and working in street teams, later doing events for boutique hotels. Badran has worked independently for the last nine years. Creative Currency is described by Badran as a creative marketing agency focused on public relations and brand management. Creative Currencies specialties are media relations, events, brand partnerships and endorsement deals.
Best Preacher: Dr. Tony Evans
Dr. Tony Evans is a pastor, teacher, author and speaker who currently serves at Oak Bible Fellowship. He is the founder of The Urban Alternative, a bible teaching and resource ministry, and has written over 100 books, bible studies and booklet. Dr. Evans also served as chaplain for the Dallas Mavericks for over 30 years.
Best Public Servant: Jasmine Crockett
U.S. House District 30 representative Jasmine Crockett was first elected to office in July 2020, as a 100 District representative. In her time serving District 100, she introduced Breonna’s Bill, aimed at outlawing no knock warrant and wrote legislation targeted at electoral college reform, straight ticket voting and online voter registration. Crockett took over the District 30 seat in November, taking over for longtime representative Eddie Bernice Johnson. Most recently, she sponsored bills recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness month, determining the residence of incarcerated people, and more.
Best Radio Personality: Lady Jade
Lady Jade is one of the most community involved radio personalities with her own nationally syndicated radio show. Jade produced a television series focused on black owned businesses. Jade has also played a key role in creating a nationally syndicated radio show and brand that emphasizes deep connections and the value of storytelling.
Best Radio Station: K104
K104 is the leading station in the DFW, with famed programs like DeeDee in the Morning, and familiar faces like JKruz and Dee Porter, the station began in 1947 and has continuously soared ever since.
Best Realtor Award: Tenesha Lusk
Tenesha Lusk, owner of Tenesha Lusk Realty, is a realtor with a passion for making a difference. Lusk has eleven years experience selling real estate since 2011. Lusk is the recipient of Five Star Real Estate Agent award and is an accredited real estate consultant.
“My business is about service and I am not happy until you are happy-” Tenesha Lusk
Best Skincare: Urban Hydration
Urban Hydration began in 2009 when co-founder Psyche Terry started experiencing dry flaky skin, an issue her husband had also been going through. Together, they worked to create a well-formulated, sustainable brand of hydrating products. In 2017, Urban Hydration partnered with WATERisLIFE, which gives a gallon of water to families with every product you purchase. Urban Hydration is currently sold in over 10,000 retail stores across the U.S.
Best Social Media Consultant: Dallas Social Butterfly
Dallas Social Butterfly was founded by Rosa Diana, a social media consultant who uses her work as a content creator on tiktok and instagram to bring Dallas businesses customers, brand awareness and sales. Diana developed independent social media strategies which took her instagram from 0-10,000 for 6 months. There is also a Dallas Social Butterfly app, for women looking to connect on an unrestricted, but organized platform.
Best Soul Food: Aunt Irenes
Aunt Irene’s kitchen was founded by Dresha Harrison, who within the first six months of opening was nominated for Dallas’ best restaurant. Harrison was raised by her Aunt Irene [the namesake of the restaurant] who helped her develop a passion for cooking. Harrison’s motto is: “We Don’t Just Cook For You, We Cater To You!!!”’
Best Theatre Company: Dallas Black Dance Theatre
The Dallas Black Dance Theatre was founded in 1976 by Ann Williams with the intention of creating and producing contemporary modern dance at its highest level. The Dallas Black Dance Theatre holds a diverse and multi-cultural troupe [which consists of 14 professional full-time dancers]. Their hope is to carry out their mission through performance and educational programs that bridge cultures and reach across national audiences.
Best Vegan: Sankofa Kitchen
Located on Wheatland Road, Sankofa Kitchen and Bar has been in business for over twenty years, offering a variety of fresh, healthy foods whether you’re a vegan or a meat lover.
To view a recap of Best of Black Dallas 2022: https://youtu.be/rjsJAWd9Roo