“Becoming Michelle Obama”: 7 Real-Life Moments to Which Every Black Woman Can Relate

There were two big revelations from First Lady Michelle Obama’s new memoir, Becoming Michelle Obama (Crown; $ 19.48). First, is her revealing her miscarriage. The second is her daughters, Sasha and Malia, were conceived by IVF (in-vitro fertilization).

It’s this candor that makes Michelle Obama so beloved and such an inspiring figure particularly for women of color. Throughout the book, Obama shares insights of a life of pomp and circumstance as a first lady, yet one also filled with the everyday worries, anxieties, and self-doubts of so many women who hold it down as mothers and working professionals face. Obama’s balancing acts are just as commonplace and practical as many women charged with managing both worlds and realities.

From her new memoir, here are seven ‘real-life’ moments Obama shares to which so many black women can relate:

Her husband’s great idea didn’t seem so great to her as a wife – which speaks to the pragmatism of many black women.

When the opportunity arose for Barack Obama to run for Illinois Senate, she “didn’t think it was a great idea,” and thought her affable husband would “get eaten alive” by the political world. “But maybe I can do some good,” he said with a “bemused shrug.”

Barack Obama, perhaps as many wives and partners complain, was reluctant to try couples’ counseling after his entry into politics began to take a toll on their marriage.

“He was accustomed to throwing his mind at complicated problems and reasoning them out on his own…[]..Sitting down in front of a stranger struck him as uncomfortable, if not a tad dramatic.”

She felt uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings as a black woman.

In the book Obama writes Washington was confusing “with its decorous traditions and sober real-regard, its whiteness and maleness, its ladies having lunch off to one side.”

She wasn’t an instant cheerleader for her partners ambitions, but rather, a cautious pessimist.

Black women often show reserved caution toward loved ones’ ambitions, knowing how hard the world is on people of color. She thought Obama would not win the presidency. “Barack was a black man in America, after all. I didn’t really think he could win.”

As do many women, she placed blame on herself, even when not actually warranted.

For instance, she blamed herself for the ‘First time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country’ controversy. “In trying to speak casually, I’d forgotten how weighted each little phrase could be. Unwittingly, I’d given the haters a fourteen-word feast.”

She, as so many black women, had to deal with the “angry, black woman” stereotype.

“I was female, black, and strong, which to certain people, maintaining a certain mind-set, translated only to ‘angry.’..[]…I was now starting to actually feel a bit angry, which then made me feel worse, as if I were fulfilling some prophecy laid out for me by haters…”

She needed to stay connected with her sisterhood tribe.

On occasional retreats with her old girlfriends from her Chicago hood: “They gave me a lift anytime I felt down or frustrated or had les access to Barack. They grounded me when I felt the pressures of being judged, having everything from my nail-polish color to the size of my hips dissected and discussed publicly.”

 

 

The post “Becoming Michelle Obama”: 7 Real-Life Moments to Which Every Black Woman Can Relate appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Woman allegedly staged deaths of sister, mom as murder-suicide

A Virginia woman is accused of staging the double-slayings of her sister and mother in 2017 to look like a murder-suicide, officials said. Megan Hargan, 34, was arrested Friday in Monongalia County, West Virginia, for allegedly killing her mother, 63-year-old Pamela Hargan, and her sister, 23-year-old Helen Hargan, in a jealous rage, news station WUSA…
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Kitty O’Neil, deaf Hollywood stuntwoman who worked on ‘Wonder Woman,’ dies at 72

Kitty O’Neil, a longtime Hollywood stuntwoman whose illustrious career included setting numerous records for speed and performing action sequences in place of Lynda Carter for “Wonder Woman,” has died at 72.

She passed away in South Dakota last Friday from pneumonia, The Washington Post reported.

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Asia Bibi, Christian Woman Acquitted of Blasphemy in Pakistan, May Find Refuge in Anti-Mafia Safehouse in Italy

Asia Bibi was desperately thirsty when she took a cup of water from an open well while working as a laborer in a fruit tree grove in rural Pakistan in 2009. The illiterate mother of five was one of only a few Christians working in a predominately Muslim labor force who were frequently subjected to discrimination for their beliefs. When Bibi dipped her cup back into the well for another drink of water, the Muslim workers chastised her for contaminating the water meant for Muslims only, according to her memoir Blasphemy: Sentenced To Death Over A Cup of Water as told to French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet who co-authored the book. An argument ensued and someone cried “blasphemy,” accusing Bibi of “defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed.”

She was beaten, arrested and sentenced to death by hanging. Nine years later, after global outrage and pleas for her release from presidents, prime ministers and popes, a Pakistani court acquitted her of the crime, citing lack of evidence that she actually said anything about the prophet. The court quoted Shakespeare’s King Lear in its belief that Bibi had “been more sinned against than sinning.”

But Bibi has not yet been set free out of fear for her safety and continued protests by Pakistan’s Tehreek-e Labbaik Islamist movement, which has called for Pakistan’s supreme court to review the acquittal. Days of rage and death threats ensued in Islamabad and Lahore, sending Bibi’s husband and children into hiding. Even her lawyer Saiful Mulook fled the country to escape death threats. He is now in the Netherlands pending an asylum request in that country.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Concerned woman calls 911, saves German hiker

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

‘Charlie’s Angels’ Reboot Moves to Vacated ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Slot

Sony is moving its “Charlie’s Angels” reboot back five weeks to Nov. 1, 2019, to fill the slot vacated by “Wonder Woman 1984.” Sony made the announcement Monday night, a few hours after Warner Bros. decided it would move Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman 1984” to June 6, 2020, with the explanation that the original “Wonder […]

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‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Trailer Introduces the Terrifying “Weeping Woman”; Here’s Everything We Know

'The Curse of La Llorona' Trailer Introduces the Terrifying

Between the Saw series, the Insidious movies and The Conjuring Universe, James Wan has become one of history's greatest horror franchise producers. Now he's shepherding another to theaters, if The Curse of La Llorona proves as successful as all his other brands. There's already been enough confidence in the upcoming feature for Wan to pluck its director for The Conjuring 3. 

The first teaser trailer for La Llorona further promises something to look forward to, especially for…

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Sharifa Murdock On Being A Black Woman Fashion Designer and Mentoring

Having worked in retail since age 16, Sharifa Murdock understands the business of fashion and rightfully so: She’s enjoyed a successful career in men’s fashion and is one of the powerhouses behind several fashion market shows. This black woman fashion designer dynamo connects with buyers, editors, stylists, fashion enthusiasts, bloggers, and influencers, proving she is leading the pack for women to thrive in the fashion world, which remains predominately led by male designers.

Murdock also has a mentoring program, The Brooklyn Intern as well as the newly minted ENVSN Festival.

For a deeper understanding of her journey, Black Enterprise interviewed the designer about emerging and established brands, her daily work life, and why ‘paying it forward’ is always in vogue.

Black Enterprise: How does it feel being an African American woman in a mostly white, male-dominated retail field?

Sharifa Murdock: Honestly, it wasn’t until I got older that I noticed a difference, and the short answer—I’m proud. I have been so fortunate throughout the years to work alongside someone, even at a young age, who never saw color or differences in races and this is the person who helped me become the businesswoman I am today. For the majority of my career, my work environment has been filled with people from all different backgrounds and filled with understanding and acceptance of different cultures. To that point, as I grew older in the fashion industry I realized how segregated the rest of the industry is and how hard it has been for the majority of African American women in this space. We’re surrounded by an industry that, on the surface, wants to promote “multi-centralism” but sometimes comes off in-genuine and insensitive. It’s those things that wake you up and make me appreciate the journey I’ve had and really empowers me to uplift other African American women in the industry.

Explain your introduction to the retail field.

I was young and hungry and just wanted to be part of the cool-kids-club. When I was 16 years old, there was a store called Atrium, down on Bleecker Street. It was the hottest store where every athlete, rapper, rock star was shopping and I just HAD to be part of it. I started off as a sales associate on the floor and worked my way up over the years to senior management. From there I ventured off working in-store and corporate for Louis Vuitton; change of pace to say the least. But it gave me the experience to work in a different setting and understand two different sides of the retail game. Ultimately, I ended up back at Atrium, which led me to launch tradeshows.

black woman fashion designer

You juggle a lot of ventures including Liberty Fairs [an annual fashion tradeshow in New York]. You make it look effortless but I am sure it is demanding. How do you handle the stress of such a full workload?

It sounds cliché but if you do what you love, it’s not work. It’s honestly how I feel. Every day I get to have meetings with people I have the pleasure of calling my friends and meet new designers to discuss how we can help each other grow within the industry. There’s no normal schedule—it’s running around and making things up on the fly, always! With the ever-changing landscape of the retail industry you never know what you’re going to need to do next; one day I’m selling tradeshow booths, the next I’m planning a networking dinner to host at home with my chef husband: ‘Dinner with the Murdocks’ has become a specialty of ours.

This year we have seen a great number of African American female power movers and shakers: Essence Magazine’s return to 100% black ownership, Harlem Fashion Row’s shoe collaboration with LeBron James and Nike, and your involvement with the Cabana show [ a trade event focusing on swim, resort, and year-round travel lifestyle]. How have those moves changed the direction of the black buying market?

I don’t know if it’s changing the way we buy but it is for sure finally bringing recognition from places outside our own community that African American women are just as powerful as any other person in the workforce, if not more. The past year has given our community a stronger voice throughout all industries to say ‘we’re more than just entertainers or athletes’ and we don’t have to fit in this box that society has granted the norm for African Americans. We, as females, are strong and dedicated, but we, as black women, are unbreakable and determined to make our mark.

black woman fashion designer

What are five things do you do to start your business day?

I have an actual routine: Get up early and workout; eat a healthy but tasty breakfast; pick an amazing outfit I know I’ll want to be photographed in (but with comfortable shoes, always); drive into work while FaceTiming my friends (I know that’s bad); get my daily dose of Oprah’s wisdom through her podcast

Why is the mentee/mentor relationship, especially with young women of color, so important to you?

It’s so important to me now because I never had it. I know I talk about how fortunate I’ve been in my work life throughout the years, but I actually never had someone that looks like me to guide me through the experiences I’ve had. There are times that something may happen, even something small, that makes you doubt your worth and it’s so important to have someone that you can have honest conversations with and ask, ‘Is this normal?’ or ‘Why are things this way?’ Having someone who can share their experiences with you for the good and the bad and have a little bit more of an understanding of what a controversial and crazy world we live in. Not to mention, this age of social media and what people choose to share about their lives online creates such a false expectation of success. Media, overall, also makes it seem “cool” to be in competition with the girl who is like you and encourages only one to be on top. I want to change that rhetoric; I want to help girls take the higher road and be true to themselves and help one another to be better as a whole. If we want to grow as a community, we need to break the stigma black women can’t work together. It’s so important to stop playing into this and start uplifting one another to make each of us, and us as a whole, great.

If you could give advice to burgeoning brands and even millennials about business what would it be?

Be true to you. Everyone is going to have an opinion on what’s best for you and what you need to do. Take criticism in a constructive way but trust your gut and know that you don’t have to fit into everyone else’s version of cool.

You have a heavy following on social media, specifically Instagram. How is social media important in today’s fashion and retail worlds?

It’s more important than we’d like to admit. It’s the driving channel of everything—it’s giving us access to information that, in decades past, have been impossible to come by unless you were in that very moment. It gives us access to other people’s lives, breaking news, global fashion, expectations, etc. For good or bad, it’s there and I hope that I can use mine in a positive way to showcase my story and my most genuine self.

 

The post Sharifa Murdock On Being A Black Woman Fashion Designer and Mentoring appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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French Montana Bails Woman Out Of Jail [Video]

If you don’t have bail money, French Montana may have your back. The Bronx rapper recently put up bail for a woman who wouldn’t have been able to afford it otherwise. 

Reports TMZ:

French Montana isn’t trying to fix the criminal justice system by himself, but says he still wants to do his part … which is why he bailed a woman out of jail who couldn’t afford it.

We got French Monday in NYC shortly after he posted bail for a woman in the Bronx who couldn’t put up the money. He tells us poverty isn’t a crime, and just because you can’t afford to get out of a cage doesn’t mean you should be in one.

He teamed up with Mass Bail Out, an org focused on this cause, but French told us this is very personal for him … revealing how the cash bail system has affected some of his close friends.

French said he wanted to pay it forward considering he has best friends in jail when he spoke to TMZ.

Is it too early to discuss French Montana’s boots in the pic below or nah?

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‘Twilight’ Gave Ammo to Patty Jenkins to Make ‘Wonder Woman’

It’s remarkable to think that Twilight is marking its tenth anniversary already. And yet at the same time, it feels like the whole epic saga has been around since, well, forever —  such has been its impact on pop culture. To celebrate, director of the young adult phenomenon Catherine Hardwicke took to the Main Stage at New York Comic-Con to talk about the impact the original film has had, alongside some of its stars – including Kellan Lutz, who played Emmet Cullen; Jackson Rathbone, who played Jasper; and Laurent actor Edi Gathegi.

While fans had the cast demonstrating their ability to pull off dance crazes the Floss and the Boomerang from Fortnite, Hardwicke spoke about how significant the film was for women in the industry. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, who played Bella and Edward respectively in the films, weren’t able to attend in person, but Stewart recorded a message that was played to the audience, saying that she was “super bumming that I cannot be there.” She added, “I feel like we grew up together. It’s been ten years and I love you guys. I’m totally there in spirit”.

Pattinson, meanwhile, joined the panel towards the end via Skype but technical problems meant that much of what he said was indiscernible. The audience was able to hear him say that he had little understanding of what he was getting into making the first Twilight film. He also thanked Hardwicke and everyone involved for giving him the opportunity to be part of the life-changing phenomenon, and paid tribute to the loyalty of the fans.

Here are some of the key quotes from the Twilight 10th anniversary panel.

The Cast Attended Cat Class – All Except Kellan Lutz

The vampires in Twilight almost ended up channeling felines in their performances. Except for Kellan Lutz, that is, who talked his way out of the cat class director Catherine Hardwicke had the rest of the cast attend.

Jackson Rathbone: “Catherine had us do cat class. It was cat movement. We were talking about these vampires and we wanted to have something a little bit ethereal. We didn’t quite get there in the film because it ended up being a little silly — because they were like, ‘OK, now you’re a cat, you’re moving, you’re moving…’ [does exaggerated cat-like movements]. Can you imagine if the film would have been all that?”

Kellan Lutz [to Catherine Hardwicke]: “I think you and I talked about that [cat class]. Because you were telling me that you made all the other actors do it and I said, ‘I think Emmet’s more a bear’, so I just stood there and looked really big and you were like: ‘I like that, good.’”

Nobody Believed Twilight Would Be a Hit Because it was a Film For Women


Twilight
Bella and Edward smooch.

Catherine Hardwicke: “It was a modest budget, because everybody thought: ‘Hey, a movie for women is only going to make, like, you know… Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants made $ 29 million’. They said, ‘Maybe that’s all this is going to make’. Cut to opening weekend — $ 69 million. And then, even then, they told me: ‘Hey … everybody that wants to see it saw it opening weekend’. Again, cut to $ 400 million worldwide. I think that changed the landscape. People could see that women want to go see movies about women — and guys want to see movies about …  and it didn’t hurt that there were a few hot guys in the movie. So it changed everything, in a way.”

There Were Originally Underwater Dream Sequences Planned

Hardwicke on what the film would be like if she’d had a bigger budget: “These guys were going to do a lot more action sequences that they don’t know about. We were doing underwater dream sequences. It would have been even more flashy and fabulous.”

Without Twilight, There Would Be No Hunger Games

Hardwicke on the legacy of Twilight: “I think it’s cool because all the other Twilight films were even more successful. And then we had Divergent, we had Hunger Games… gave us Jennifer Lawrence, we got Wonder Woman, you know, all kinds. So everything builds and people get excited and they’re willing to take a chance on a female-led film. So it’s really fun to see more and more films like that happening and you guys out there supporting them.”

Twilight Gave Ammo to Patty Jenkins To Make Wonder Woman

Hardwicke: “It would have been a little bit more exciting to me if they had hired female directors for all the other Twilights. That would have been cool. And for The Hunger Games, and for the Divergent [films] … you know, 50 million other movies. But I think people are opening their eyes. Change happens, like Emma Gonzalez said, a little bit at a time. So we’re moving forward. Sometimes backwards like yesterday.

I think that the fact that this movie made so much money is ammo for Patty to get to make her movie. As soon as Patty’s movie did so great, Wonder Woman, that’s ammo to hire the next female director. And Ava Duvernay, of course, did such a great job. And we’re just building on it. And now people are a little bit embarrassed if they have a female character and don’t at least try to get a female director. So I think the tide is changing. We’re all hopeful.”

Robert Pattinson Fell in Love With Kristen Stewart the First Time They Met

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BWW Album Review: From Hollywood Boulevard To The Beverly Wilshire, There Is Something About PRETTY WOMAN Cast Recording

Get ready for movie night on Broadway The latest flick to get the Broadway treatment is the 1990 hit rom-com PRETTY WOMAN. The musical is shaping up to be popular at the box office, seems to be the current standout for the 2018-2019 Broadway season so far. It joins the ranks of a bevy of musicals that have been adapted from films, like Mean Girls, Frozen, The Band’s Visit, the forthcoming KING KONG, to name a few. PRETTY WOMAN THE MUSICAL recently opened on at the Nederlander Theatre, and Atlantic Records just released the original Broadway cast recording last week. Give it a listen here
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‘Wonder Woman’ Star Gal Gadot Joins ‘Death on the Nile’; Here’s Everything We Know

'Wonder Woman' Star Gal Gadot Joins 'Death on the Nile'; Here's Everything We Know

The global success of last year's Murder on the Orient Express has led to Fox's greenlight of a sequel, which will be based on another Agatha Christie novel, Death on the Nile. This isn't much of a surprise, as the ending of Murder featured Kenneth Branagh's Detective Poirot receiving word of a new case involving a death on the Nile in Egypt. 

Similar to the previous movie, Death on the Nile is set to have a star-studded ensemble. The first of which has just been…

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