Archive for the ‘Missouri Tattoo’

Dressing-room Row, Tattoo Bet And Cheat Claims Which Led To Paul Vs Woodley – Todayuknews – Todayuknews09.04.21

Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley will finally square off tomorrow night after months of build-up that has included a dressing room dust-up, bets and claims of cheating.

Paul is 3-0 as a professional boxer and is already eyeing up future bouts with the likes of Conor McGregor, Tommy Fury and eventually Canelo Alvarez.

But first he must earn his fourth win on the big stage, and he faces far and away his most difficult fight in the guise of former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

Woodley is a decorated former MMA fighter, with five wins in UFC title fights during a reign that ended just two years ago at the hands of arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today; Kamaru Usman.

Since losing the belt, its been a tough road for the Missouri native, losing his subsequent bouts to Gilbert Burns, Colby Covington and Vicente Luque before being cut from the promotion.

But none of those three men would fear the challenge of Paul, and Woodley has been angling for the fight with his YouTuber rival since an altercation at Pauls last bout with Ben Askren.

Woodley was once friendly with Jakes older brother Logan, appearing on his Impaulsive podcast before his final title defence, but the relationship was never too close with Jake.


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And it soured significantly in the hours before Paul stepped into the ring with Askren.

As Paul was having his hands wrapped in the changing room before the fight, Woodley came in to check on the gloves and make sure Askrens team, which he was a part of, was satisfied, as is customary in boxing.

But Paul, never one to avoid a confrontation, decided to pick a fight with the former MMA fighter, imploring him to bet on his friend Askren if he was so confident.

The row escalated when when one of Pauls coaches and former boxer JLeon Love mocked Woodley for his lack of boxing knowledge.

After the fight, which Paul easily won in the first round, Woodley went straight to the media to demand a bout with the YouTuber, which he was surprised to be granted.

He had just been released by the UFC and so the fight was quickly agreed and then announced at the start of the summer, just in time for Pauls brother Logans fight week with Floyd Mayweather.

Paul was also discussing potential fights with long-time rival Dillon Danis, and a number of MMA fighters while picking rows with UFC greats Kamaru Usman and Daniel Cormier.

Woodley and Paul first came face-to-face as opponents in Miami at the Fifth Street Gym with the boxing media all in town to cover Logans exhibition bout with boxing legend Mayweather.

The duo then headed back to training camp before an official date was announced for August 29, with both men meeting for a set of press conferences in Los Angeles and the host city of Cleveland to promote the fight.

It was in LA that Woodley was confronted with the prospect of a bet, having turned down the chance to put his purse on the line at their Miami meeting.

Paul instead offered a more light-hearted wager, where the loser of the fight would have to get a tattoo declaring their love for the winner after the bout.

Woodley first asked the crowd of journalists in attendance, before agreeing to the wager, which has now been set in stone with the news that there will be a tattoo artist ringside to ink the loser.

Paul has been training for the bout with his coaching team of Love, BJ Flores and Jacob Chavez, while Woodley has been working with Gerald Tucker, Pedro Diaz and Eric Brown.

The former UFC champion even enlisted the help of Mayweather briefly in his Florida training base, although that was only for a solitary session.

And there has been suspicion of foul play from Paul, by top MMA coach Firas Zahabi who claimed Paul was using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

Thats one of my number one factors [that could affect the outcome of the bout], Zahabi, who coached Georges St-Pierre, said in a YouTube video.

I think Jake Pauls corner, theyre going to be on all sorts of substances., I dont think they test, maybe the week of the fight, theres no USADA.

And I think thats- I didnt want to say it but I think thats a major factor.

Jake Paul is bigger and stronger and hes more athletic but I think hes basically be on PEDs. I hate to say it, but I definitely think Jake Pauls gonna be on PEDs.

Paul has denied the claims, saying that its an embarrassing allegation, and joking that when he heard the report, he had to google what PEDs stood for.

The feud finally came to a head this week at the pre-fight press conference when the opposing camps rowed over an incident involving Woodleys mother.

Paul has refused to apologise as the scene was set for an explosive ending tomorrow night.

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Disappearance of Christina Whittaker investigated on Relentless on ID – Monsters and Critics07.09.21

Christina Whittaker from Hamilton, Missouri, has been missing since 2009. Pic credit: Family pic from The Charley Project

Relentless on ID is documenting filmmaker Christina Fontana in her search for the missing Christina Whittaker, who disappeared from her hometown of Hamilton, Missouri, in 2009.

On November 13, 2009, Christina visited a bar in central Hamilton while on a night out, but she was asked to leave after she got too drunk and began harassing other patrons. She left the bar alone and began calling friends, asking for a ride home.

Sadly, shes not been seen since. Her cellphone was discovered lying on the ground a few blocks away from the bar, but otherwise, not a trace of Christina has been found. The 21-year-old mother left a 6-month infant behind.

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The Hamilton Police have made zero arrests, and they have not named any suspects. They have conducted over 200 interviews and placed the familys DNA on the national database, just in case any evidence turns up elsewhere. The cops have also enlisted the help of 45 other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, but so far, it has been in vain.

Christinas mother, Cindy Young, has expressed concern that her daughter suffers from mental illness, which may have played a part in her disappearance. Young stated that Christinas medication made her naive and susceptible to manipulation.

There were reported sightings of her in Peoria, Illinois, and Young believes her daughter may have been the victim of human trafficking. She told the press: Shes still out there. Shes still missing, and were still looking for her. The family has hired a private investigator to help with the search.

Christina is 5 foot 5 or 6 inches and was weighing between 120 and 130 pounds when she vanished. She has red hair and brown eyes. On her back, she has a tattoo of an angel holding up their middle finger and on the inside of her ankle a Care Bear with a marijuana leaf.

Anyone with any information on Christinas whereabouts is asked to contact the Hannibal Police Department on 573-221-0987.

Follow the links to read about more crimes examined on ID.

When Helen Wilson of Beatrice, Nebraska, was brutally raped and murdered the cops picked six people from the town who they thought might fit the bill as the murderers. Using psychologists, the cops convinced this vulnerable six that they had committed the crime but suppressed the memory. All the while, the real killer got away with murder.

Shane Young shot dead Ken Hortonand held four women from four different generations of the Mann family hostage when he went looking for his ex-girlfriend. He wounded his hostages and two officers before he was taken into custody.

Relentless airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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Missouri man with ‘body count’ tattoo sentenced to 25 years in prison – Fox News06.12.21

A Missouri man with a "body count" tattoo on his face to allegedly mark the number of murders he committed was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a 2019 slaying, officials said Friday.

Jonathan Lowrey, 27, a Blue Springs resident, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in February for the March 28, 2019 shooting death of Joseph Corum in Kansas City. He was also sentenced to 20 years for armed criminal action and seven years each for tampering and burglary, the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office said.

All sentences will run concurrently, prosecutors said.

Jonathan Lowrey, 27, has a tattoo of 6 tally marks near his right eye, which a witness said the 25-year-old stated was a "body count." He was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a 2019 murder, officials said. (Jackson County Detention Center)

A witness told authorities she heard Corum yelling at someone outside from inside her home before hearing "a loud vehicle" and a gunshot. She heard another gunshot and the vehicle drove away, officials said.

Another witness said he heard arguing and saw a man identified as Lowrey take a long gun out from a vehicle and shoot Corum three times before driving away.

Investigators obtained video surveillance from another witness showing Lowrey sitting in the vehicle. The witness said he had five tally marks under his right eye. Lowrey allegedly stated the marks were a "body count."


He was arrested a few weeks after the slaying. A detective stated Lowrey had six marks on his face when he was questioned by police.

DNA evidence taken from shell casings recovered from the crime scene matched Lowrey's, police said.

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What Is Required to Become a Tattoo Artist in Missouri …05.31.21

You need a Missouri tattoo license to become a tattoo artist or to open a tattoo parlor. Tattoos, body piercing and branding all fall under the jurisdiction of Missouri's Office of Tattooing, Body Piercing and Branding. There are several paths to acquiring a state tattoo license.

You can become a tattooist in Missouri by apprenticing yourself to a licensed tattoo artist, putting in 300 hours of work and training and at least 50 procedures. Alternative paths include attending tattoo school, a statement from a former supervisor or having a license from another state.

You can't legally work as a tattoo artist or open a tattoo studio until you acquire a Missouri tattoo license. The Missouri Office of Tattooing, Body Piercing and Branding says there are four paths to qualifying for a license:

In all four categories, you must also complete a first-aid and CPR course and provide proof with the application. You must also complete a bloodborne pathogen training program that includes infectious disease control, waste disposal, hand-washing techniques and use of sterilization equipment. Although there's no minimum legal age to get a tattoo in Missouri, minors cannot work as tattoo artists.

Currently, the cost of your license is $100 or $120 if you also want to be licensed in body piercing and body branding. Microblading, which can etch fuller eyebrows onto your face with permanent ink, is not currently regulated by the department.

To earn your Missouri tattoo license through apprenticeship, a licensed tattooist must take you under his wing. Your mentor must register you as his apprentice within 10 days of the start of your training. You can apply for a license when you've completed 300 hours of work and at least 50 procedures.

Your trainer must have a Missouri tattoo license himself or be licensed in a state with roughly similar licensing standards.

If you've worked at least three years as a tattooist in the past seven years, you can submit a supervisor's statement or other evidence proving your experience. Alternative evidence could include tax returns stating your occupational status.

To qualify through a course of study, you need at least 300 hours of instruction or training. That has to include classes in sanitation, equipment handling, disease control, skin treatment, tattoo design and artistry and clinical practice. You must submit your transcript along with proof that you've had practical experience in at least 25 completed procedures.

You don't need to attend tattoo school in Missouri; tattoo classes in NYC or tattoo school in Atlanta, for example, will work just as well if it's a school licensed or accredited by any state or the federal government.

The final path is reciprocity. If you're licensed in another state with equivalent requirements, you can present the office of tattooing with a copy of your license and a verification letter.

The application for a Missouri tattoo license includes several questions to which the state prefers you answer "no". If you answer "yes," you'll have to provide an acceptable explanation if you want your license. Among the questions are:

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Tattoo the Lou – St. Louis Missouri Tattoo Convention May …05.31.21

Welcome to the Third annual Tattoo The Lou Convention held in Historic Downtown St Louis! A collection of internationally renowned artists and hometown heroes right here in the Show Me State!

St Louis, The Gateway to the West, is rich in tattoo history, being one of Bert Grimms original shop sites. Its pivotal location made it ideal for tattooing because it was a destination for soldiers who were stationed at the army base in Lemay Ferry as well as Riverboat Sailors on both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

Tattoo The Lou is a cross-section of the best in the tattoo industry. All styles, from Traditional, Realism, Script, Black and Gray, and New School artists all tattooing under one roof; with 100 booths and more than 200 artists attending, this is an event that is not to be missed! Our convention had over 1,800 attendees last year and we are gearing up for an even bigger year in 2021!

After years of traveling and meeting thousands of artists around the world, LT Woods, a native Missourian, wanted to give back to his home and to enrich his city with some of the world renowned artists he met along the way. This is a local show with talent from all over! Our mission is to bring the highest standards in the tattooing together to give you an opportunity to experience tattoo culture at its finest.

Our sponsors deserve a lot of credit for making 2019 go so smoothly. Thank you all for helping support and promote this event! Our Artist Lounge sponsors, Barrel Brands, far surpassed all expectations and for that we couldnt be more grateful. Finally, a deep debt of gratitude is owed to LTs family and friends who traveled from all over to volunteer their time and efforts to make Tattoo The Lou the incredible success that it was!

Come to the 2021 Tattoo The Lou to get tattooed, take part in activities, and enjoy some incredible entertainment with us! If you see any of the attending artists you would like to get tattooed by, its a good idea to book with your artist in advance, you can do that by clicking the attending artists studio link. Be sure to reserve your room at the beautiful Union Station Hotel to take advantage of room rate discounts, discount availability is limited!

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Bedford Has a Year-Round All-Horror Shop – Dallas Observer02.04.21


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Eric Dallof has been selling the stuff he collects since he was a kid.

"I was 8 years old and I had a baseball card business," Dallof says. "My stepdad got business cards made and I went around my neighborhood and didn't know this but I put them in my neighbors' mailboxes and put the flag up because I thought that means you had mail."

Dallof spent most of his childhood helping out with his parents' chain of Thrift Town stores and selling the stuff he collected with his grandfather at swap meets in Fort Worth's Cattle Barn Flea Market.

"I was born into the junk business," he says with a laugh.

Dallof's childhood collection of horror memorabilia got so big that he still has an impressive collection of toys, magazines, movies and other weird collectibles. He's turned his scary collection into a thriving business called Horror Freak, a horror fan collectible shop in Bedford's Retro Plaza. The shop is thriving even during pandemic times of reduced foot traffic and tight budgets.

"Horror's a passion of mine," Dallof says. "That's my life."

It shows. The space (at 1424 Brown Trail) drips with horror through its black walls and floors, coffin-shaped movie shelves and grisly decorations hanging in the window and over the counter. A hearse sits out front and Dallof occasionally drives it around to attract attention to his place.

"I was like if I'm gonna do this, I gotta have one," he says. "I want the aesthetic to be all horror."

Dallof's dream of owning a horror store has been in the dark recesses of his mind for a long time. He worked as a mechanic for 12 years and all the while he told himself, "Once I paid off my house and truck, I'd do this full time."

In 2017, he took a chance on his store concept in a tiny space in Hurst not far from his current location. It was more "hidden" than his current spot, but he was planning on making a big move.

"I never looked back and never thought this wasn't gonna work," he says. "I knew this was part of it."

The next year, he saw a chance to move into an empty space in the popular Retro Plaza center of vintage toys, clothes and collectible shops. He built a dedicated following on social media by posting the most interesting things on sale: rare toys and collectibles, VHS and Laserdiscs of classic and cult horror movies which he calls "dead media" and even bizarre curios like preserved bat skulls and creepy specimens in jars. Dallof says he once had an authentic shrunken head in his collection.

Horror Freak in Bedford offers customers a chance to own a bat specimen preserved behind glass.

Danny Gallagher

"I've always been into weird stuff," he says. 'I'm a big collector, period. I love antiques and anything that's weird, I have to have it."

Thanks to his social following and unique knack for promotion, Dallof's scaring up lots of regular customers. He sells store T-shirts drawn by local artists, and he says they sell out before he has a chance to issue new ones. Dallof says a woman from Missouri took a flight to his store just to get her hands on the newest shirt, drawn by Dallas tattoo artist Jamie "El Watch" English.

"I go through stuff so quick," he says. 'I don't hold on to product for very long. It's in and out."

Germaine McGowan, a frequent customer who stopped in the shop to pick up a shirt and a couple of movies to add to her collection, says she goes to the place three to four times a month with her daughter Kyla to see what Dallof has for them.

"When I walk in, I feel like family," she says. "There's no judgment here. We love it here."

The secret to Dallof's avid clientele lies in his seasonal sales. Halloween is actually his slowest time of year because of pop-up stores that only stay open during the spooky season. He also makes it clear that he's a horror fan, so you're not going to get a weird face from him when buying something grisly and dark.

"My Instagram really blew up quick because there aren't many horror stores," Dallof says. "There's a big horror community in DFW."

The Horror Freak store holds an impressive collection of creepy toys, art, masks and movies like Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn starring Bruce Campbell.

Danny Gallagher

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.

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Super Bowl LV: Celebrity fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Gallery – Wonderwall02.02.21

By Mark Gray 12:44pm PST, Feb 2, 2021

Neither Kansas City, Missouri, nor Tampa Bay, Florida, are anywhere near Hollywood, but that doesn't mean the two teams competing in Super Bowl LV are lacking support from serious big-screen names. Brad Pitt, for instance, will most definitely be in the corner of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Oscar-winning actor went to high school and college in Missouri. In fact, he briefly sported a Chiefs hat on the red carpet at the SAG Awards in January 2020 after a fan threw it to him. Keep reading to see other celebrity fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers

RELATED: Brad Pitt's most handsome on-screen moments

Gisele Bundchen's husband is Tom Brady. Tom Brady, the greatest of all time, plays quarterback for the Buccaneers. The supermodel will be cheering for the Buccaneers. 'Nuff said. Before the NFC championship game on Jan. 24, 2021, Gisele posted an Instagram photo featuring herself and their children, all of them in No. 12 Bucs jerseys. "We are already cheering here papai! We love you! Let's go@tombrady!! Let's go Bucs!!!" she captioned the shot.

RELATED: Gisele Bundchen's life in pics

Paul Rudd is one of the more notable Kansas City Chiefs fans. Although he was born in New Jersey, he grew up primarily in the Kansas City metropolitan area. He's often seen wearing clothing supportive of the both the Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals MLB team. In 2007, he narrated HBO's "Hard Knocks," which documented the Chiefs' training camp. Along with some other famous Chiefs fans, Paul hosts the annual Big Slick charity event that benefits Children's Mercy hospitals in Missouri and Kansas.

RELATED: Most memorable Super Bowl halftime performances

Hulk Hogan has been pictured at Tampa Bay Buccaneers games and practices over the years. After the Bucs won the NFC championship game on Jan. 24, 2021, the Hulkster tweeted, "Special shout out to the G.O.A.T. @TomBrady, thanks for bringing it home! You are now also a S.O.G. South of Gandy, a real Port Tampa boy!!! Brother!!! #tampabaybuccaneers."

When he's dressed down, Jason Sudeikis is commonly seen wearing a hat with the letters KC Yeah, that stands for Kansas City. "I hold this city in high regard," he said on Flatland. The "Saturday Night Live" alum, who was raised in Kansas City, is also one of the hosts of the annual Big Slick charity event that benefits Children's Mercy hospitals in Missouri and Kansas.

Nick Carter is no bandwagon fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the man has a tattoo of the Bucs' pirate ship on his shoulder. The Backstreet Boys singer has even showcased his vast array of Bucs jerseys on social media.

"Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet was born and raised in the shadow of Arrowhead Stadium, where the Kansas City Chiefs play. He often appears on football shows talking about his beloved Chiefs. In 2020, he attended Super Bowl LIV in Miami and got emotional before and after the game (which the Chiefs won). "We've waiting a long time for this," he said in a video from the field. "This is a huge day for Kansas City."

John Cena, a Boston native, seemed to switch his allegiances when he moved to Florida's west coast. Lucky for him, Tom Brady traded New England for the warmer weather too. "Tom Brady and I pretty much lead parallel lives at this point," he told Fansided in 2020. "I moved down to Tampa in 2004, but I've loved the Patriots since they started winning. I really enjoy teams that win, and it's obvious that Tom Brady came down here just so he could be closer to Tampa, I mean, just so he could be closer to the Super Bowl." (Editors note: The 2021 Super Bowl is taking place in Tampa.) He added, "He's brought that winning mystique to Tampa Bay, and me being a resident of Tampa Bay, it kind of works great for me. I really enjoyed how the Patriots handled their organization and how they went about their business, but I think a lot of that is a testament to Tom Brady."

Henry Cavill is from across the pond, but he's adopted the Kansas City Chiefs as his football team. "Spending a lot of time in America, learning to enjoy football, I realized I had to choose a team," the British "Man of Steel" star said on "The Rich Eisen Show" in 2018. "I was trying to think of something that would always stick. I figured Superman's from Kansas. I was playing Superman at the time. It just kind of made sense to me." It's not uncommon for him to refer to #ChiefsNation on social media. In 2020, before the Super Bowl (a game the Chiefs won), Henry said on Instagram, "Today is a day of days, my friends."

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model Camille Kostek has a vested interest in the Super Bowl: Her boyfriend, Rob Gronkowski, plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since her beau came out of retirement to play with Tom Brady again, Camille has posted several Instagram photos in Bucs gear.

Rob Riggle is a huge sports fan and often appears on FOX's NFL pregame show. The comedian, who's a Kansas boy, is also a huge Kansas City Chiefs supporter. Just before kickoff of every home game at Arrowhead Stadium, a person is picked to lead the crowd in a "war chant," in which they bang on a drum. Rob was picked to do the honors in 2017 and was so into it that he broke the drum stick.

Actress Brittany Snow, a Tampa native, might live in Hollywood now, but she still shows allegiance to her hometown sports teams. In an interview with, she said she cheers for the Bucs and the Florida Gators.

Melissa Etheridge was born into the Chiefs Kingdom, as her father was a huge fan of the team. She carried on the family tradition and has performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Chiefs games in the past. In January 2021, she spoke to at length about her passion, admitting she's "very obsessed" with the team. During the interview, she was actually wearing two Chiefs shirts.

ESPN legend Dick Vitale is a fan of all Tampa Bay sports teams the Rays, the Lightning and, yes, the Buccaneers. He's actually been a Bucs season ticket holder for more than two decades. In 2016, during the NFL draft, he even announced the team's fourth round draft pick. Of Tom Brady, the college basketball announcer said, "Thank you for not keeping him in New England. He's the greatest of all time, not even debatable. Let's go, Bucs! Let's Go Bucs!"

"Anchorman" star David Koechner has been a lifelong Kansas City Chiefs fan. He often posts about all things Kansas City on Twitter. In September 2020, he hawked Chiefs championship flags and donated the money to local Kansas City charities. He's also one of the hosts of the annual Big Slick charity event that benefits Children's Mercy hospitals in Missouri and Kansas. David once tweeted a video in which his friends talk about his Chiefs love. "So if you didn't get that, my favorite things are Chiefs, Chiefs, Chiefs, Archery, and then more Chiefs," he tweeted.

Bill Burr is an admittedly new Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, and it's all because of Tom Brady, whom Bill loves. The comedian, a Boston native, said he will "absolutely" cheer for Bucs. On "Pardon My Take," Bill explained, "Listen, I'm not going to lie to you. It hurts like hell that he's gone, you know, but that happens in sports I would never be upset and I would never root against that guy unless the Patriots were playing the Buccaneers. I'm a Patriots fan first. But good for him. He delayed money so many times, making sure that we had a good team, and he took us to nine Super Bowls, winning six." Bill did say that he'll stop short of buying a jersey, though thinks that's more of age thing. "I'm too old to buy a jersey," he said.

Heidi Gardner of "Saturday Night Live" fame grew up in Kansas City proper. Although she lives in the Big Apple now, the comedy star threw a Chiefs-themed party when they went to the Super Bowl in 2020. She got emotional after her beloved team won that game. "Chiefs, you blew my mind. Thank you for such an amazing season and SuperBowl. I love you!!!" she wrote on Instagram. Of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, she said, "He's more than magic. He's a cut above and we are so lucky to have him. I'm so inspired by his leadership and the fact that he never gives up."

Rapper Tech Nine was born and raised in Kansas City and even has a Chiefs song.

This one might be obvious, but Emmy-nominated actor John Amos is a Kansas City Chiefs fan. He's also a former player for the Chiefs. Granted, "The Good Times" actor never got past training camp, but was still a player for a limited time.

As a teenager, comedic actor Eddie Griffin was choreographing Kansas City Chiefs halftime shows, according to his official bio. The Kansas City native was very upset when some fans booed Chiefs players for linking arms to protest police brutality in September 2020.

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‘Our Diversity Is Our Strength’ | Oregon ArtsWatch – Oregon ArtsWatch01.27.21

A ballerina. An artist with an alter ego. Jewish refugees on a train. Kids playing at home while their mom works. A psychiatrist forced out of his homeland. Black Lives Matter marchers. A vineyard worker, a winemaker, a chef. Just people, with remarkable stories, told in a remarkable series of photographs in the collection Our Diversity Is Our Strength at Portlands Blue Sky Gallery.

The images, by a broad selection of photographers, are of immigrants and the children of immigrants part of the panoply of people who make up the large and diverse American multiculture. They are people who have brought the world with them, enriching and expanding their new homeland with everything from food to art to ideas. And they are here at a tense and crucial time.

Never has it felt more important to share photographs and stories of people who have come to this country for the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families and who have given so much to our country and communities, the shows curators, project director Paige Stoyer and Jim Lommasson, wrote in their exhibition statement.

Our Diversity Is Our Strength arrives at a time of deep national division, with fear of the Other fanning the flames. One of Joseph R. Biden, Jr.s first acts as the 46th president of the United States was to declare a moratorium on construction of The Wall, his predecessors high-profile and intensely controversial barrier across the Mexican border thats been pegged at a cost of roughly $15 billion.

The greater cost has been both symbolic and substantive. Donald Trumps demand for a border barrier played on fears in much of white America of a rising demographic tide of color. It emphatically rejected the nations aspiration to embrace newcomers, as voiced in The New Colossus, Emma Lazaruss 1883 poem etched on the base of the Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. The push for a wall was a calculated statement that outsiders were not welcome in the United States that they were interlopers, and would be forcibly blocked from entering, especially if they were not white. Soon children were being separated from their parents and detained in cages, and violence against people of color, by police and others, spiked.

Bidens moratorium suggests a rational shift from the extreme racially based isolationism that gave the Trump movement so much juice. Yet we are also only three weeks removed from a riot in the nations capital that felt very much like a failed attempt to overthrow the elected government. With the increasing hate speech we are experiencing, often against immigrants, and which dehumanizes entire groups of people, we are grateful to share these stories as an antidote, Stoyer and Lommasson continue. When we allow ourselves to stop and really see each other, to be willing to hear someones story, to see our common humanity, we understand we are not so different. It opens the door to mutual understanding and empathy.

The photographs in Our Diversity Is Our Strength stop and see. They come in a variety of styles, from carefully posed to verit captures of moments in time. They come in rich colors, and in black & white. Their framing, balance, and technical quality are excellent. And each helps tell the story of a life, offering viewers an encounter, however briefly, with a human being they had not known. In Stoyer and Lommassons words: We must find a way to first, always see the humanity in each other. It is the only way we will start to heal the deep wounds and divisions in this country.

The entire portfolio of this years Our Diversity Is Our Strength project includes 37 photographs. The exhibition is on view through February on the community wall of Blue Skys library, and additional images will be available to see in the gallerys Community Viewing Drawers through the end of 2021. (Blue Sky is open by appointment; you can schedule a visit here.) Below youll find a healthy cross-section of images from the show, each accompanied by a brief story about it from the photographer.


Heading for America, 1952. Leaving a displaced persons camp in Hanover, Germany Esther, father Max and brother Ben depart from the train station. In the early 1950s the family left Poland illegally, traveling over-land to Israel with a paid guide. Traumatized by the fighting in Israel, Max and family headed back to Germany, again traveling illegally. In Germany, we lived in a displaced persons camp until the U.S. immigration barrier for Jewish refugees was lifted in 1952. Heading for America from Germany, final destination Portland, Oregon.


My name is Claudio Eshun aka Don Claude. I was born in Accra, Ghana, in 1996, lived in Vicenza, Italy until I was 9 before moving to Worcester, MA, with my mom and two younger siblings. The opportunity to travel to 3 continents, live in an under-resourced community, endure traumatic experiences as an African immigrant with a single mother and two younger siblings have all influenced the birth of my righteous creative practice through a persona known as Don Claude. In my practice, performance for the camera links components of my life in America with memories of my African roots and my journey as an immigrant. Don Claude is an intellectual African man, raised in an American society with a goal to embrace the Afrocentric culture, share hope, confidence, and individuality through an array of styles and his creativity. Don Claude likes being the underdog due to his low-income upbringing as an immigrant. I live in the community my work represents because I fear the risk that my higher education might disconnect me from the inner-city community I was raised in. Navigating both spaces grounds me as a spectator and performer, combining my double consciousness as an African and a Black man in America.


My mom and I met Shawn in late June when we were at a bluff on the banks of the Missouri River in Kansas, a prime location for sunset photos. He explained that he got the tattoo after being shot in the back and surviving it. The bullet is still lodged in his back and he is so grateful to be alive that the tattoo commemorates his gratitude. We spoke at length and as we left he said, We all need to learn to be kind to each other. Men and women need to be good to each other. My mom responded with, Can I hear an Amen?'


Immigrants throughout history have been silenced for being different. Have been killed because of others having a skewed understanding of them. We as immigrants try to use our voices to educate but have a hard time communicating facts and reasons.


Rediet is originally from Ethiopia. She moved to the United States with her family when she was very young. Her first language is Amharic. The text on the image says, I am an immigrant.'


Having immigrant parents with few resources you watch your friends go to summer camp or long camping trips during summer break. Meanwhile youre at home because mom is working and cant afford camps. In order to kill boredom, I started to get into photography. This picture of my niece and nephew represents the small advantage of owning a camera and the small advantage of living in better circumstances than the generations before me.


During a Black Lives Matter march commemorating Kings birthday, a young boy carries a sign of unity. We the People. Black Americans cannot end racism alone. While diversity is our strength, commonality is our salvation.


Baher Butti Imagine living through years of war, your life under constant threat, then losing your job and your pension, and finally leaving everything behind to start a life in a completely different culture. Not only has Dr. Baher Butti gone through all of that, but from the moment he left Iraq for the U.S. in 2007, he has devoted himself to serving the needs of other refugees. Baher approaches with the quick step of someone with a lot on his plate, but sits with total presence, speaking with gentle conviction. A psychiatrist, Baher once ran the largest mental health program in Iraq at a hospital in Baghdad. A pioneer in the field there, he instituted never-before-seen rehabilitative programs and established the Paradise for Psycho-social Humanitarian Care in 2003.


Her story begins in Somalia, a fusion of beauty and unrest. Loving parents moved her to England, where she was educated and graduated with the best. Her cultures are now intertwined, and her outlook is fresh. Without hiding her background, she shows us her color. Its what unites her old with her new. I find strength in her ability to connect with people of all lands and tongue.


A vineyard worker takes a break during grape harvest in Dundee, Oregon. Almost 100 percent of the farm working population in Oregons wine industry is from Mexico.


Bertony Faustin, winemaker and owner of Abbey Creek Winery in North Plains, is Oregons first Black winemaker.


Martin Gomez was born and raised in the Yucatan, and as the eldest of five children, felt a strong desire to provide more for his family. He was 20 years old when he came to the U.S. in 2001, to Portland, Oregon because he had an uncle who lived there. Martin struggled because he spoke no English and was uncomfortable with his lack of cultural knowledge.Martin began studying English at Portland Community College and got a job as a dishwasher, working his way up to prep cook. In 2003 he was given the opportunity to become a line cook at the newly opened Mingo restaurant.He spent many long days and nights learning how to become a chef, often on his own without pay. In 2005 he advanced to Sous Chef and began to feel a sense of purpose and vision for a push toward realizing his dream. Then in 2008, Martin was named the Head Chef at Mingo restaurant in Beaverton and says he gets a lot of joy from sharing his food with people and from traveling and continuing to learn about different cultures and cuisines.


Natalie Reyes, ballerina. I dont know anyone in a big company whos Latina. There are very few. Its my ambition to be the first and keep working hard for all those brown ballerinas. Thats why I keep going.'


Pidyon haBen is an ancient Jewish ceremony. This male child, Jonah Wald, is the first natural issue of his mothers womb. When he was thirty days old he was redeemed through the transfer of silver coins from his father, Daniel, to a descendant of the priests of old.


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