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A Place where we can

be our authentic selves.

exchange in our quest to be great!

entertain ourselves & others who choose to enjoy the experience.

Available On

Download on App Store Badge Download on Google Play Store Badge

Our Mission

To be clear, BLAKLĪF is about improving our communities - we can’t improve our communities without having a place to engage with others in our community.

We have many assets within our communities; the idea is to perpetually re-invest our assets within our communities, thereby enhancing our position within the broader society.

BLAKLĪF mission is to help make the world become a better place, by starting within.


How it works

In the Moment

represents your timeline of what is occurring, which is noteworthy for the day... Meetings with business partners, new ideas, progress, challenges? Post a pic here, with a description and share with the BLAKLĪF community.

Inspire & Motivate

is our section for video links - we’re about continuing to uplift our communities, so share uplifting videos, here. Share your YouTube video links or those of others, to promote healthy ideas. And share with the community a brief description or what inspires you about the share:)

BUSINESS CARDS

section eliminates the need to ever hold on to a bunch of paper business cards. Take a photo, then crop it, before uploading it into the app. Enter the details. Once done, you’ll be able to call directly from the app, share the card with contacts, visit the website, or even send an email right from there! Yay! Basic business life is getting easier every day!!


About Us

The story behind BLAKLĪF began a few years back in Italy... During one of our dinners there, Kalpana, my wife, asked “so really, what is American food?”

We considered several dishes; hamburgers, hotdogs, apple pie, Buffalo wings...? Being born in America, none of those things really satisfied me, as an acceptable answer to her innocent, somewhat rhetorical question; and I was kind of embarrassed at the too-long-of-pause which occurred - quite frankly, I had never really thought about it.

But, the one type of dish, which did seem to represent America, meaning you could definitely find it in America, yet would be hard pressed to find it outside of America was soul food!! Somewhat surprised at, what I came to believe was the answer, I couldn’t wait, to call my brother, to ask him this same question!! Haha!!

I can imagine he was surprised I’d call from Italy to ask him this simple question, but he played along... After a while, he replied in a somewhat awkward manner, “I guess soul food...?” Haha!!! Who tf knew!?!?! But that was a few years ago...

Couple weeks back, I had a taste for fried chicken and just happened to mention aloud. “I can learn to fry chicken,” Kalpana replied in her problem-solving, spirited tenor. I expressed appreciation; then suggested we find a place where it’s was served, that she’d have more an idea of the outcome desired ....

Then another week went by; now 10 days... “What happened to the fried chicken?” she asked. Problem was I wasn’t sure, where I could find any of what I grew up eating, but had weaned out of my diet, for health reasons.

Finally, out of desperation, we went to Church’s - we got there at 6:05PM, but they closed at 6:00PM. “Our coronavirus hours are Finally, out of desperation, we went to Church’s - we got there at 6:05PM, but they closed at 6:00PM. “Our coronavirus hours are different than the website,” the attendant answered, through the speaker in her beautiful Philippine accent. “Awww....,” we gasped... But, ok - what were we gonna do?! It occurred to me, that just a half-block away, even within clear sight, there was a Popeye’s- “let’s go there,” I offered.

You see, we were in Lawnside, a traditionally African-American, New Jersey town - there was bound to be more than one place where we could get the main course of authentic soul food - fried chicken!

Welp, long-story shortened, we did have fried chicken that night... But, it left me hungrier and more determined to not only experience, but also establish outlets for real life African-American expression... Like, I’m sure I know personally, probably 400 people, who can fry chicken, yet we don’t have a well-known, local place, that I could depend on for yams and/or potato salad, with greens.

Then, finally earlier today, we went to “the Indian store,” a place my wife likes to go and get spices, she can’t get from any of the other supermarkets. While there, we got lychee, guava, and several other items I’ve eaten, enjoyed, but am still learning to pronounce. Having been to India, I really enjoy going into “the Indian store,” because the sites, sounds, and the people give me the feeling I’ve had, while being in India - a routine visit to a local store turns into a cultural experience!!! To be honest, the store is not as modern, as some of the other stores - they just recently got Apple Pay; and some of their shopping carts are a little wobbly, but who cares?! The people who come there are able to get what they need...

That’s what BLAKLĪF is about; it’s about having a place, where we can enjoy and create authentic African-American expression, exchange (in our quest to be great), enrich and entertain ourselves and all who seek what we naturally offer. We may have some wobbly carts, at first, but with continued support, we will fix them. And we will pledge ourselves to keep this a safe place positivity, nourishment, and support.