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CoolxDad Brings Musicians, Entrepreneurs and Other African-American Community Leaders Together For a Unique Knights Table Dinner

Celebrating Fatherhood and Juneteenth in an Unforgettable Summit

BY // 06.29.22
photography William Issac

In honor of Juneteenth and Father’s Day, Houston-based nonprofit CoolxDad put on its second quarterly Knights Table dinner. A curated guest list of 36 — including musicians, entrepreneurs and other leaders from Houston’s African-American community — gathered at The Heights home of Terri and Troy Hamm for a chill evening of elegance and camaraderie.

Founded in March 2020, CoolxDad aims to build a community of father figures and decrease fatherlessness in American households.

Founder and director Kevin Barnett, who grew up in a single-parent household with his mother, tells PaperCity he sees CoolxDad as “a vehicle of love to encourage fathers who are in absentia to be present with their offspring.”

The Knights Table is one of CoolxDad’s community-focused initiatives, which seeks to enrich the relationships between members. 

Houston entrepreneurs and community leaders attended the Knights Table. (Photo by William Isaac)
Houston entrepreneurs and community leaders gathered for the second ever Knights Table dinner benefiting CoolxDad. (Photo by William Issac)

Guests dined al fresco at a long, elegant dinner table laid under a canopy of fairy lights in the Hamms’ ethereal backyard. The couple founded and own Kindred Stories, a bookstore in the Third Ward focusing on the works of Black authors and artisans, and their love of literature was on full display in their home’s interior. 

Chef Ope Amosu of ChòpnBlọk, a West African restaurant in the POST Houston food hall, served a four course seated dinner with Ikoyi shrimp, Roadside steak, Blọk chicken, Jollof jambalaya, Liberian rice and greens, street corn, plantain mash and Motherland curry. For dessert, guests dug into slices of the restaurant’s delicious caramel oatmeal cake. 


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The night was powered by Uncle Nearest Whiskey, which provided three signature drinks: the Morris, a cocktail named after Barnett’s father; #FromUsToYou, dedicated to CoolxDad’s belief that everyone deserves love; and the Knights Table with Uncle Nearest 1856 or 1884, neat or on the rocks.

Musician Brandon Willis, also known as the Biggest Brandon, created a mellow atmosphere of soul, R&B, hip-hop, jazz and other sounds from the Black diaspora on keyboards and synthesizers.

For Barnett, the evening was a reminder that “staying authentic and leading with intentionality is the starting point of making an impact in someone’s life.” His favorite moment? Looking across the room and seeing his wife smiling and enjoying herself. “That’s what life is all about,” he says.

Guests dined al fresco. (Photo by William Isaac)
Supporters dined al fresco at the Knights Table benefiting CoolxDad. (Photo by William Issac)

PC Seen: Lacee Jacobs-Barnett; CoolxDad board chairman Sean Richards and Kara Richards; CoolxDad board member Devon Fanfair and Danielle Fanfair; Courtney and Chasitie Lindsay; Yogi Juan and Dwan Valentine; Houston Rockets chief marketing and strategy officer Julian Duncan and Antoinette Duncan; Tio and Kenzel Fallen; president of Skinny Circle PR Evarist Akujobi; Bellator world champ Raufeon Stots and Michaela Stots; Vin Luong; and Janelle Amosu.

What’s next for this innovative Houston-grown nonprofit? This fall, CoolxDad will host its third annual Color Box holiday gift drive, supporting Project Row Houses. It is also partnering with JP Morgan Chase to launch a Small Minority Owned Business Accelerator competition.

You can learn more about CoolxDad here.

Additional reporting by Catherine D. Anspon. 

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