Change in the Old South: Gwinnett County Gets First Black Woman Democratic Party Chair

The South will rise again—but this time in a definite shade of blue rather than Confederate grey. At least that is the goal of newly-elected Democrats in Georgia. The midterm election was an exclamation point, underscoring a process of change that has been quietly underway for some time. Nationally, eyes are on Georgia, particularly Gwinnett County and the first black woman to chair the county’s Democratic party.

With a Bachelor of Political Science from Spelman College, Bianca Keaton has earned her spot at the political table. Upon graduation, she went to Washington, D.C., and served as an aide and adviser to U.S. Congressmen Robert Brady and Cedric Richmond for a combined six years. Keaton is well-versed in legislative policy, administration, and strategic planning. Her most recent political position before being voted in as Gwinnett County Democratic Chair has been assistant to Cobb County Commissioner Lisa Cupid where she served for nearly three years.

Keaton’s position is significant for a number of reasons. Gwinnett County has been a Republican stronghold for at least the last 30 years. It’s the second-most populous county in Georgia, and prior to 2016, had not voted for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter.

However, this all began to change in 2016, when Hillary Clinton won a majority of the county’s votes. Last year, two Democrats were elected to the County Commission and the county’s legislative delegation in the state capitol shifted from being majority Republican to majority Democratic.

Gwinnett County is located in the northeast quadrant of the greater Atlanta area. With population just shy of 1 million people, it is often hailed as one of the most diverse counties in the southeast.

The most common foreign languages in Gwinnett County are Spanish (144,073 speakers), Korean (19,938 speakers), and Vietnamese (15,614 speakers), compared to other places, Gwinnett has a relatively high number of Korean (19,938 speakers), Serbo-Croatian (3,767 speakers), and Gujarati (4,802 speakers). – DataUSA.com

However, this diversity was not reflected in the county’s political leadership — prior to 2018, the  Gwinnett County Commission was all white and all Republican. Keaton, at 35-years-old, is set to play a critical role as the county’s political shift.

Change is not a scary word to Keaton. Growing up in Chicago, she struggled against poverty and uncertainty on a daily basis. She once went to 10 different schools in one year. Now, she is on a path to move Gwinnett from red to completely blue by the time of the 2020 elections.

Some of the key issues she is focused on include:

  • Fair elections – It’s no secret Gwinnett County had issues on election night with their precincts and ballot access. These issues could have been avoided with better planning and oversight. Absentee Ballots were thrown out and not enough voting machines were made available for the high voter turnout. This is a priority to fix for Keaton.

 

  • Making room for new voices and creating an expanded Democratic footprint throughout Gwinnett – At one time, the Democratic Party in Gwinnett was all but defunct. Keaton and her executive team are taking the reins and moving things forward, especially for groups that have been historically marginalized in the county.

 

  • Modernized operations – Keaton says it’s time to bring party operations into the 21st century. She has a clear idea on how she wants to achieve this. It’s more than just building a new website she says–it’s about brand and messaging as well as policy and procedures. She embraces technology and wants to utilize it to streamline the functions and work of the party.

 

The post Change in the Old South: Gwinnett County Gets First Black Woman Democratic Party Chair appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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This Woman Was Always the Bridesmaid, So She Decided to Start a Business

“This one’s Michigan, this one’s California, this one’s Florida, this one’s also Florida, this one’s New Jersey, this one’s New York, this one was Florida, and this one was in Long Island…”

Jen Glantz is rattling off states with perfect recall as she thumbs through a closet full of satin, charmeuse and chiffon — most in various shades of pastel. Each bridesmaid dress is well worn, from deodorant stains to tattered hems. Each carries a story.

Sure, plenty of us have at least one or two bridesmaid dresses shoved in the back of the closet, never to be worn again. Glantz has enough to rival a bridal boutique.

And no, it’s not just because she has a lot of recently wed friends — although that is a factor in her story. Glantz is up to her ears in dresses because she makes a living as a professional bridesmaid.

From Bridesmaid to Bridesmaid for Hire

How does one find herself in the business of being a professional bridesmaid? Let’s back up to 2014, when Glantz was 26 years old — or as I like to affectionately call it, “Fridge is Covered in Save the Dates” years old.

One day towards the end of June, Glantz received not one but two phone calls with hopeful brides-to-be on the other end, bearing the same question: “Will you be my bridesmaid?”

In that year alone, Glantz found herself taking on the mantle of bridesmaid four times.

She was so well versed in the art of bachelorette parties, rounding up unruly bridesmaids and holding up poofy wedding dresses that she was practically a professional. And throughout it all, she noticed a common trend in the wedding industry.

“There was nobody there whose job it was to help the bride,” says Glantz. “If the bride had a wedding planner, she was so busy setting up the wedding. If she had bridesmaids like myself, we were very distracted, and we didn’t know how to help her.”

Glantz decided to capitalize on this gap in the industry and put her finely honed bridesmaid skills to work. She posted a Craigslist ad: Professional Bridesmaid – wfw – 26 (NYC).

Let me be there for you, she implores future brides with not-so-great options in the bridal party department. Let her “make sure bridesmaid #4 buys her dress on time and doesn’t show up three hours late.” Let her fill a spot if “you don’t have any other girlfriends except your third cousin, twice removed.”

Within two days, Glantz had received over 250 responses.

Clearly, there was a demand for a service that offers the chance of a stress-free wedding. So Glantz decided to start her own business, Bridesmaid for Hire.

Living In a Perpetual Wedding Season

In the four years since that fateful Craigslist ad, Glantz has worked with more than100 clients all over the country.

She has expanded her services and become the ultimate bridesmaid boss, offering various levels of bridal-related help and working with five to 15 clients a month.

For the bride-to-be who just needs a bit of a nudge in the right direction, she offers one-on-one coaching for $ 179. Someone thinking of hiring a wedding planner can turn to Glantz instead for day-of coordinating services, which range from $ 850 to $ 1,350.

Then there’s the ultimate package: A full-fledged bridesmaid for hire, which can cost upwards of $ 4,000.

But this package doesn’t mean Glantz will simply show up on the day of the wedding, ready to walk down the aisle. She works with brides for anywhere from three months to a full year before the wedding date, helping all along the way.

“During that time, we get to know each other… I’m there for all of the big milestones,” says Glantz. “One thing I’m super proud of is that I help people save money, so I’ll look at vendor contracts and say, ‘They’re ripping you off, you can save money here.’”

And it’s not just the brides that Glantz offers her expertise to. Maids of Honor who are a bit unsure how to move forward can get a crash-course coaching session for $ 99. Or maybe the MOH just doesn’t have a way with words. Lucky for her, Glantz offers speech-writing packages ranging from $ 200 to $ 375.

That way, the MOH can avoid the dreaded awkward silence after an inappropriate inside joke falls flat. #blessed

It’s Not All Wedding Cake and Bouquet Tosses

You might be thinking something along the lines of “I could totally do this job,” but keep in mind just how many services Glantz offers.

In reality, this gig is nothing that like that movie “The Wedding Ringer.” Glantz isn’t just attending party after party, dancing the night away and munching on wedding cake — although we can all agree that wedding cake is definitely a perk.

Glantz is a personal assistant, planner, coordinator, coach, shoulder to lean on, speech-giver, peacekeeper and situation-diffuser all wrapped up in one — usually in some version of chiffon.

One wedding, she might be “Jen Smith” and makes sure that a bachelorette party actually gets planned when the maid of honor drops the ball. At another, she’s known as “Jen Cohen” and saves the day with her emergency pack full of Band-Aids and stain-remover sticks.

Along with the pseudonym, she’ll have a different backstory explaining how she knows the bride, since most don’t particularly care to explain that they hired a bridesmaid. To some, the idea of assuming a new identity and attending a stranger’s wedding might sound strange, but Glantz insists that it all feels very natural and authentic to her.

“I’ve always thought to myself ‘This is what I’m meant to do,’ and I know that sounds crazy because who thinks they’re meant to be a professional bridesmaid?” says Glantz.

Recalling the first wedding she ever worked, she says she got off the plane in Minnesota and thought to herself “Jen, what are you doing?”

But everything went off without a hitch, and she finally felt like she was doing something she was meant for. Glantz says she’s always had the skills that make her so good at this, such as dealing with challenging or dramatic situations.

And everyone knows that weddings are rife with drama, right?

Always the Bridesmaid Entrepreneur

Glantz’s experiences as a professional bridesmaid and CEO have led to other opportunities. She freelance writes for major publications, speaks at conferences and has written two books, “When You Least Expect It” and “All My Friends are Engaged.”

Between Bridesmaid For Hire and her other endeavors, Glantz says she earns tens of thousands a year.

Always looking ahead, she’s expanding her services with Bridesmaid for Hire. She recently started offering packages for mothers-of-the-bride, who need their own type of support but often get forgotten.

She’s hired a few people along the way, including another professional bridesmaid, but has decided to offer another service to hopeful employees instead of hiring them.

“I always have people who want to work this job, so I started a franchising program where people can come learn exactly how this business works and then start this business for themselves wherever they live in the world,” she says.

For $ 249, you can learn the tricks of the trade, such as the ins and outs of the wedding industry, how to brand your business and how to secure clients.

One can hope that future bridesmaids-for-hire share Glantz’s sentimental feelings about the business.

“I feel very lucky with this job because I get to be present at one of the best and happiest moments of a person’s life,” she says. “It’s taught me a ton about love, it’s taught me a ton about weddings, and it’s really shaped how I feel about relationships.”

And if they’re anything like Glantz, maybe they’ll end up with a closet full of bridesmaid dresses of their own, unwilling to part with them and the memories they carry.

Kaitlyn Blount is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She is currently planning her own wedding, a maid of honor in another… and a bridesmaid in another. Maybe she could use some of Glantz’s professional help.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Meet Anne Reid, the Black Woman Tapped As Elizabeth Warren’s Chief of Staff

In addition to taking another step toward launching a presidential run in 2020, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has named Anne Reid as her new chief of staff, making Reid one of the few African Americans to lead a U.S. Senator’s staff. Reid is also the only black woman serving as chief of staff for a Democratic senator.

“Anne is a gifted leader and committed public servant,” Warren said in a statement released Dec. 27. “Anne’s experience serving our country and working to improve the health and well-being of millions of Americans will be invaluable as we continue our fights to level the playing field.”

The announcement that Warren tapped Reid for the position is being praised as a progressive step toward diversity by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. “Black women play a critical role in our democracy, and Senator Warren’s appointment of a talented staffer like Anne Reid recognizes that Americans from all backgrounds can serve in a leadership role at the highest levels of government,” said Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center.

“As we have seen so far during this hiring season, the face of senior staff in the House and Senate is changing because of members who recognize that it is not enough to have diversity in electoral coalitions. Diversity and inclusion must be the centerpiece of policymaking. It starts with staff,” added Don Bell, the director of the Black Talent Initiative at the Joint Center.

The move could be part of Warren’s effort to court black voters should she decided to challenge President Donald Trump in a bid for the White House next year. As for now, the Massachusetts senator has created an exploratory committee to test the waters before her potential run.

Here are five facts about Anne Reid.

She was hired and promoted by Warren within two months

Reid began serving as Sen. Warren’s Senior Advisor in Oct. 2018, just a couple of months before she was named as the senator’s new Chief of Staff.

She worked for the Obama administration

Reid began her work in D.C. politics back in 2008, working as a congressional staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives under the Obama administration.

During this time, Reid served as a staff member and legislative analyst for the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee and the Oversight & Government Reform Committee for Democrat Rep. Henry A. Waxman. In her final year on the Energy and Commerce staff, she was the lead Democratic staffer covering public health agencies and issues.

Later, she went on to work as a counselor to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, where she was a member of the senior leadership team during Barack Obama’s last years in office.

Reid previously served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Christopher A. Coons.

She co-founded a Public Health & Policy Think Tank

Following President Trump’s inauguration, Reid left government and teamed up with former Obama administration staffer Bobby Clark to create Concordis: Strategy and Analytics in June 2017. The group researches public health issues, develops policy ideas, and proposes solutions to improve health and well-being.

She has worked in the nonprofit sector

In Oct. 2017, Reid was named as the chief strategy officer at Vision To Learn, an organization that offers free eye exams and glasses to children in low-income communities.

She obtained a B.A. from Harvard and a Master’s from Chapel Hill

Reid holds a B.A. from Harvard University, where she majored in Hispanic Studies. She also holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The post Meet Anne Reid, the Black Woman Tapped As Elizabeth Warren’s Chief of Staff appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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How This Woman Cut Her Mortgage Payment in Half and Saved $525/Month

In 2005, Melinda Smieja was spiraling into credit card debt. With a 13-year-old daughter undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, an 8-year-old daughter at home and her only income from disability, she relied on plastic to cover everyday costs.

“I used [a credit card] for dinners; I used it for food,” she says. “For a place to stay. It got to the point where all of my credit cards were maxed out.”

By the time she thought to check, her credit score had plummeted to 480, and she had somewhere between $ 20,000 and $ 40,000 in debt on 11 credit cards.

Though she was living much of the time in Seattle to be near her daughter in treatment, Smieja still paid $ 1,200 a month — including 6.5% interest — toward a mortgage on her Seabeck, Washington, home.

“I knew that if I could get it [the interest rate] down, then that would help me out,” she says.

When she was denied twice for refinancing because of poor credit, it really struck her how much of a hole she was in.

How She Cut Her Mortgage Payment in Half

Smieja finally realized, “I knew that I could only go for so long the way that I was going. I was going to crash and burn.”

Nearing 40 in 2010, she knew it was time to grow up and get a handle on her finances. But she had no idea how to do it.

“I was struggling. It was stressful,” she says. “I would cry every night, because I didn’t know how I was gonna pay these bills.”

Then an email campaign led her to Credit Sesame, a company offering an easier way to monitor your credit history and see how to improve your credit.

Most consumers like Smieja won’t put in the work to request a free credit report from the major bureaus, she pointed out, even though we’re entitled to them every 12 months. It seems like a hassle, so most of us steer clear.

Smieja signed up with Credit Sesame to receive her free “credit report card,” which revealed her credit score, along with everything that went into it. She could see exactly what was hurting her score — and keeping her interest rates high — and how to fix it.

Slowly but surely, she used her credit report card and suggestions from Credit Sesame to pay down her credit card debt. In 2015, her credit score hit 680 — up 200 points and, for the first time, crossing the line of what lenders consider “good credit.”

She applied again to refinance her mortgage, this time with a company Credit Sesame recommended and was finally approved, more than a decade after her first attempt. With the interest rate reduced to 4.1%, her monthly payment dropped to $ 675.

With so much of her monthly budget freed up, she was able to pay off credit cards faster and apply for new ones with better interest rates. That way she could keep her credit limit up but her balance low — maintaining a healthy credit utilization, great for your credit score.

And, she told us, “It’s so much easier. Oh, my God the stress. It was so nice to have that stress gone.”

Dana Sitar is a writer and editor at The Penny Hoarder. Say hi and tell her a good joke on Twitter @danasitar.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Next 3 DC Superhero Movies: ‘Shazam!,’ ‘Birds of Prey,’ ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

Next 3 DC Superhero Movies: 'Shazam!,' 'Birds of Prey,' 'Wonder Woman 1984'

James Wan's highly-anticipated Aquaman has exceeded all expectations, establishing Jason Momoa as a superhero on both land and sea. The action-adventure has a light heart while dealing with serious issues, bolstered by spectacular visual effects and strong performances by Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe and Nicole Kidman.

Now that Aquaman has launched successful into theaters, what's next for DC Films? We take a closer look at three of their upcoming productions.
 …

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In the latest from Karyn Kusama (“Girlfight”), a corrupt female cop searches for a killer and possible redemption in the land of sunshine and noir.
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The Deadly Stress of Being a Black Woman in America

The evidence is irrefutable: Racism is getting away with murder as the leading cause of maternal and infant deaths and premature births among Black women.

Such is the conclusion of two major reports released this year in 2018. The first is a collaboration between the University of California San Francisco and California Department of Public Health: “California’s Maternal and Infant Health Assessment,” presented in July to First 5 California, a state-wide commission aimed at improving the lives of women and children. The second, “Fighting at Birth: Eradicating the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap,” is based on research by Duke University’s Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and Insight Center for Community Development.

It was once thought that the most significant factors in deaths among pregnant women or the cause of premature births were so-called “risky behaviors.” The most obvious adverse behaviors included smoking, alcohol abuse and drug use. Long-term studies showed that a reduction in risky behavior and increasing women’s access to education and employment opportunities shifted maternal and infant outcomes. It was proven that if women received more education and enjoyed economic security through employment, they were less likely to engage in behaviors that placed them and their unborn child at risk.

That is no longer the case. Both of these reports blow that thesis out of the water.

What the studies revealed was that assumption of positive health outcomes for mothers and infants through a reduction in risky behaviors and improved socio-economic status was certainly true—but only for white women. The Duke study made crystal clear that Black women with higher education and more economic success were at an even greater risk of early death for them and their infants during pregnancy and were more likely to deliver prematurely.

Serena Williams and the premature delivery of her first child illustrates the major findings of both reports. At the time of her pregnancy, Williams was an athlete in great physical condition; she had no evidence of “risky behaviors” and had access to the best medical services. What then caused her to give birth premature? Was it just a fluke, or did her premature delivery prove the case that these studies are making? Was racism—and the accumulated stress of being publicly denigrated, a recipient of unequal treatment—responsible?

It is rare for a scientific study to make such a provocative declaration that racism is the primary cause of maternal and infant deaths and premature births for Black women, and even rarer for researchers grounded in data to declare unconditionally, and with emphasis, that “there is no safe age for Black women to have children.”

That is such an all-encompassing pronouncement it leaves little room for misunderstanding.

Racism. Without any hesitation, both of these studies point clear and definitive fingers, supported by data, at racism as the primary cause of Black women maternal and infant deaths. Regardless of age and socioeconomic circumstances, Black women have the highest maternal and infant deaths and premature birth rates among any other group in America. “For Black women,” they report, “exposure to discrimination and racialized stress throughout the lifespan can negatively impact birth outcomes.”

While such a conclusion seems counterintuitive, it points to the everyday reality of professional Black women. While working in high profile professions or in leadership positions may improve their socio-economic status, a side-effect is that, more often than not, they find themselves working in hostile work environments that contribute high levels of stress to their lives. Additional stress may emanate from the fact that professional women often live in predominantly white communities, where they may not experience community support and acceptance. At work and at home, Black women are in direct contact with high levels of micro-aggression, targeting, exclusionary behavior and overt racism.

We witnessed this with Serena Williams. Although she is the reigning tennis queen, Williams has had her fair share of stress brought on by racism. She has been booed by predominately white audiences when she won tennis competitions. Her most recent encounter with unequal treatment were the challenges of her tennis attire being judged inappropriate, and the penalty she received for challenging comments made by a judge. (The public, and other white tennis professionals, agreed that Serena was in the right—and pointed out that white players, men and women, have made similar challenges and comments and none were penalized nor reprimanded in any way.)

Just like in health, a double standard for Williams was at play. Did the stress Williams encounter over the course of her tennis career play a significant role in the premature birth of her daughter? Is she the poster woman for how racism is getting away with murder?

One Black OB-GYN physician thought so. In a piece for Vice, Sanithia L. Williams, MD, asserts that, based on the information already presented, it’s highly likely that racism played a part in Williams’ difficult birthing experience—and that the world is lucky she did not die. Too many other Black women have.

The adverse, and sometimes deadly, outcome of coping with racism as a Black woman in America is not accidental. The concept of “murder” requires a level of premeditation—in this instance, rooted in the ongoing discrimination and structural forces of racism that deliberately sets forth barriers to the progress of Blacks. Even successful individual Black women such as Williams are subjected to unequal and unjust treatment and public disparagement as they make their way in the world.

The lives of Black people in America have been shaped by living under a system of oppression that harkens back to slavery. While the institution of slavery may have been dismantled, it was replaced with structural oppression that manifests itself in the form of socioeconomic and political inequality that lead to systemic disparate treatment in health care, personal and public disparagement (“angry Black woman,” “hoes and bitches”), cumulative acts of microaggression and daily exposure to stressful and hostile work environments and living environments.

The results of these studies are not new—but in truth, conditions that seem to adversely impact Blacks as a group do not receive the same medical priority attention. The adverse impact of living while Black under racism has been taking its toll on the health of Black Americans for generations. We have the highest incidence of hypertension and diabetes than any other group in America, except possibly Native Americans (also a highly oppressed group). And while all people of African descent live with the stress of racism, Black women face intersecting systems of oppression that include gender alongside race.

“Racism and sexism are inextricably intertwined, combining into one hybrid force that is founded in the devaluing of (Black) women and racist perceptions of gender roles,” one group of scholars said in reporting research supported by the National Institute of Health. “Throughout history, essentializing and contradictory images of African American women have pervaded U.S. culture.”

There is virtually no safe place for Black women. It is our hope as a group that the genius and technology we have contributed to the shaping of American culture, despite the barriers constructed by racism, become permanently inscribed in America’s history. We are very much a part of the cultural and political DNA of this country, and have made significant contributions to America’s reputation as a world leader. We have kept this country on a path of moral righteousness that lives out the principles of its Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

We too sing: “America, we are its people.” We are contributors to this country’s genius. We are part of “we the people.” And we must stand strong against racism getting away with the murder of our Black mothers and infants.

This essay originally appeared in two parts on Insight News. Read them here and here. Republished with author permission.

Irma McClaurin is an award-winning columnist, activist anthropologist and consultant. She was associate vice president and founding executive director of the University of Minnesota’s first Urban Research and Outreach Engagement Center from 2007-2010 and president of Shaw University from 2010-2011. 

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Big Booby Benevolence: Woman Launches $100K Bra GoFundme To Help Other Women In Need

Stephanie Nelson AKA Persephanii

Source: Stephanie Nelson / Instagram

With a bust size of 34S, Stephanie Nelson knows a little bit about the struggles of finding a bra that fits and supports her situation properly. Ms. Nelson has launched a $ 100,000 GoFundMe effort to support other women in the journey of locating bras that both look and feel good in an overall bid to promote breast health.

Some readers might remember Nelson as one of our Baes and Baddies entries under the name persephanii, and as we noted then, her curvaceous frame is without a doubt a head-turner. However, she’s noticed the plight of women of her busty ilk in noting that many of them are wearing ill-fitting bras and how that could be contributing to their back pain and the like.

From GoFundMe:

I am a size 34S and I have no pain associated with my back and shoulders from having large breasts! It was not always like that. I wore poor suppprting bras thatugged on my back and shoulders to the point of me considering having a breast reduction.

Breast health is extremely important. Finding the right size is even more important. Many women walk around with pain in their back, shoulder and chest because they cannot find the right size. As a breast healthy woman I fear there could be a correlation to breast diseases and wearing poor supporting bras. I would like to raise money to not only purchase new bras for myself but also do give aways and events and help other women with large breasts find bras that fit well, improve their posture and help get rid of pain.

With all of that being said. BRA’S are expensive. Please donate if you’d love to see a reduction in pain and more confident breast healthy women near you!

Nelson kept it a stack in saying she wants to cop new wears for herself, but the larger goal of helping others is really the best part in all of this. Salute to her.

If folks would like to support Stephanie Nelson’s bra fund, click here.

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California woman faces charges for fake ‘firefighter husband’ wildfire donation scam

A California woman faces charges for allegedly lying about the existence of a firefighter husband to raise money she claimed would go toward crews battling record-breaking wildfires, officials said. Ashley Bemis, of San Clemente, was arrested Tuesday in connection to social media scam in which she allegedly swindled $ 11,000 worth of cash and gift donations…
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British Parliamentary Meltdown After Jeremy Corbyn Appears to Call Theresa May a ‘Stupid Woman‘

Reuters / Phil Noble

Jeremy Corbyn has sparked absolute fury in the British parliament after appearing to dismiss Theresa May as a “stupid woman” during their weekly prime minister’s questions session in the Palace of Westminster.

The leader of the opposition took up his usual position in the House of Commons Wednesday afternoon to grill the prime minister about the latest developments in the ongoing and worsening Brexit debacle.

But it’s the final few seconds of their exchanges which have made headlines this week as, after May mocked him for lacking the confidence of his party, he appeared to mutter “stupid woman” under his breath.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Breaking: Adam Pascal Will Fill In for Andy Karl in PRETTY WOMAN This January

Producer Paula Wagner announced today that PRETTY WOMAN THE MUSICAL will welcome Broadway superstar, and Tony Award nominee Adam Pascal to Hollywood Boulevard for one week only. Adam Pascal will play Edward Lewis from Tuesday, January 15, through Sunday, January 20, 2019, during Andy Karl’s time off.
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Buying Black This Holiday? Consider Empower Spirits, Founded By A Black Woman

Tiffany Hall was a lawyer working for Pernod a huge spirits company Pernod Ricard, parent company to spirits like Jameson and Absolut and wines like Jacob’s Creek and Kenwood. While there, she noticed a voice in the spirits market – spirits weren’t created to appeal specifically to women, despite a growing market for female consumers. Hall’s entrepreneurial instincts kicked in and she set about creating one.

The result is Empower Cocktails, a ready-to-pour vodka that can be consumed straight or with other mixers to create different drink options. We caught up with Tiffany to find out what made her feel that she could compete in the lucrative – but crowded – spirits market and how she made it happen.

Tell us something about you and your history.

I was born in Detroit, grew up in Washington, D.C. and aspired to be an attorney and an entrepreneur. Despite this goal, while in college, I developed an interest in exploring professional roles in creative industries. After college graduation, I moved to New York City, pursued a career in marketing and worked in the music industry, the fine arts sector as well as an ad agency. Each experience was educational, thrilling and provided exposure to vastly different target consumer bases from the mass market to the highly affluent.

Then, I attended law school and subsequently was a marketing attorney at one of the largest global wine and spirits companies managing legal issues related to marketing campaigns, promotion initiatives and sponsorships.

Currently, I practice law full-time in the payments/ finance industry. I have also focused on pursuing interests beyond my career such as serving as a past Chair of the New York Public Radio’s Community Advisory Board. Now, I serve on Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy’s Alumni Council and Co-Chair the National Democratic Institute’s New York Advisory Council.

What was the impetus to get into the spirits industry as a creator?

The first cocktail, the Empower Cosmopolitan Martini, launched in NYC and Connecticut in late 2015. It has been an incredible journey. After working at one of the largest global wine and spirits companies, I realized that creating a spirits brand is a great business opportunity and my skills as a marketer and lawyer are directly applicable to the highly regulated space.

What were some of the biggest obstacles?

One of the biggest obstacles was securing all of the components needed to place a finished product on the shelf — liquid, bottles, caps, labels, etc. I did not have experience in manufacturing so I had to learn about that process and find vendors who could help.

How does one go about creating a spirit? What steps did you have to take?

It is a long process. Each spirit is different – certain spirits must be aged or come from a particular region. I created a cocktail that is vodka based. Vodka can be produced relatively quickly and there are no restrictions such as specific production locale, aging requirements, etc.

First, I worked with industry professionals to develop and test recipes for the cosmopolitan cocktail. Once the recipe was set, I had to find the vodka and was able to locate a licensed distillery on a sweet potato farm in Northern California. Once I confirmed that the vodka worked well with the cocktail recipe, we were ready for production.

However, prior to production, there are certain government approvals and licenses that one must obtain. That process should be built into your timeline. One would also need to secure elements from various vendors such as bottles, caps, labels, safety seals and cartons that work best for your product.

What did you feel was the void in the industry and how did you think you could fill it?

There are numerous alcohol beverage products in the market. However, the majority of those products, except for wine, mainly targeted men. My goal was to create a product that targeted women and give them one more choice while shopping in the spirit stores. I thought I could fill that void by researching which cocktail is popular among women and incorporate elements in the product that would appeal to them – beautiful packaging, a different spin on a traditional cocktail and ensure it had a delicious taste. Empower Cocktails is proud to have male enthusiasts as well.

How do you get financing for an endeavor like this?

I financed this venture myself.

Would you encourage other Black women to start a spirits business? Is there room for more Black female entrepreneurs in the industry?

Yes, absolutely! The alcohol beverage industry in the US alone is valued at $ 200+ billion. There is plenty of room for more of us to make an impact in this space.

What makes your vodka unique and why should consumers make it a part of their social experience?

My ready-to-pour cocktail is unique because it is refreshing and made with sweet potato vodka. Many people have never tasted sweet potato vodka. Consumers should make it apart of their social experience because Empower Cocktails was developed to be enjoyed with friends, family and colleagues. It is simple to serve and it is delicious.

Purchases can be made online at empowercocktails.com. Empower Cosmopolitan is also sold in 5 states – NY, NJ, RI, CT and MA. Every Total Wine in CT, MA and NJ carries the Empower Cosmopolitan Martini.

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PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL Will Play Hamburg Next Fall

Producer Paula Wagner is pleased to announce the first international production of PRETTY WOMAN THE MUSICAL will begin performances in Germany, on Monday, September 23, 2019. Presented by Stage Entertainment, PRETTY WOMAN THE MUSICAL will open at Hamburg’s Stage Theater an der Elbe Sunday, September 29, 2019.
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A newly displaced Iraqi woman who fled from the city of Mosul,…

A newly displaced Iraqi woman who fled from the city of Mosul, Iraq’s
last major Islamic State (IS) group stronghold, kisses a child’s hand as
she is reunited with her relatives who came two years ago to the
refugee camp in the Khazir area, near near the Kurdish checkpoint of
Aksi Kalak, some 40 kilometres east of Arbil following their arrival on
October 26, 2016.  The United Nations Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Stephane Dujarric told reporters that almost
9,000 people are internally displaced as a result of the Mosul military
operation in Iraq. Lise Grande, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for
Iraq, said the military operations to retake Mosul could spark the
largest humanitarian crisis in 2016 as the security situation in the
area restrains aid agencies’ ability to deliver help.
BULENT KILIC / AFP

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The First Woman Soccer Player of the Year Was Asked to Twerk on Stage After Receiving Her Award

One of the most prestigious soccer awards ceremonies in the world sparked outrage Monday night when the first-ever women’s soccer player of the year was asked to twerk on stage by a male presenter.

Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg, 23, had just accepted her trophy when the presenter, Martin Solveig, a DJ and producer, asked her in French if “she could twerk”. Visibly irritated, Hegerberg declined. With an abrupt “no,” she turned and left.

Hegerberg had just been crowned the first ever recipient of the Women’s Ballon D’or – an annual soccer award that until this year only recognized the best male player in the world. Hegerberg was the leading scorer with 15 goals as her team, Lyon, won the Champions League for the third year in a row.

France Football has awarded the Ballon d’Or to a male player every year since 1956, but this is the first year there has been a women’s award.

Before Solveig’s intervention, Hegerberg thanked all who had helped her to the achievement.

“I want to say thanks to my team-mates because this would not have been possible without them, my coach or our president Jean-Michel Aulas,” Hegerberg said.

“I also want to thank France Football. This is a huge step for women’s football.”

But what should have been a celebratory and historic evening quickly descended into awkwardness and uncomfortable silence. Soccer, like many sports, has a problem with sexism. Solveig’s comments were met with stunned silence in the audience. The ceremony, which took place in Paris, appeared to be cut short after the incident.

In a video posted to Twitter shortly after, Solveig said “he [hadn’t] wanted to offend anyone,” and that the question, intended as a joke, had been misconstrued.

In an interview with the BBC later on Monday, Hegerberg sought to play down the moment.

“He came to me afterwards and was really sad that it went that way. I didn’t really think about it at the time to be honest. I didn’t really consider it a sexual harassment or anything in the moment.

“I was just happy to do the dance and win the Ballon d’Or to be honest. I will have a glass of champagne when I get back,” she said.

On the same night, Luka Modric, who lead Croatia to their first ever World Cup Final and won an unprecedented third Champions League trophy with Spanish club Real Madrid, was named the world’s best male player. Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the Ballon D’or five times – a record he shares with Barcelona striker Lionel Messi – placed a distant 5th.

It was the first time in ten years that neither player has won the award.

Sports – TIME

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NBA coach, reportedly: ‘You can’t have a hot woman [coaching] in the NBA. Guys will be trying to f— her every day’

Many want to get a woman – namely Spurs assistant Becky Hammon – hired as an NBA head coach. Instead, the focus should be on removing barriers that have nothing to do with coaching. Women, racial minorities and gay people have a harder time advancing in coaching because of those identities, not their coaching ability.

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Woman Passes Gas, Pulls Knife On Offended Man

(Broward County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

DANIA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman faces an aggravated assault charge after authorities say she passed gas in line at a dollar store and pulled a knife on a man who complained about it.

Citing a Broward Sheriff’s Office report, the Miami Herald reports 37-year-old Shanetta Yvette Wilson passed gas while waiting in line at a Dollar General Sunday night and upset a nearby customer. The report says the offended customer and Wilson then got into an argument “in reference to the defendant farting loudly.”

It says Wilson then pulled a small folding knife out of her purse and told the victim she was going to “gut” him while moving as if to attack him. Wilson was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.

It’s unclear if she has a lawyer.

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‘Venom’ just passed ‘Wonder Woman’ at the global box office

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As if to prove there’s no justice in the real world, Venom is on track to overpower two previous superhero box office titans — and possibly become one of the most profitable movies of its ilk.

After reaching $ 822 million in total global earnings over the weekend, Venom has eclipsed both Wonder Woman‘s $ 821 million and Spider-Man‘s $ 821 million. 

This might be cause for confusion and concern among superhero movie fans, since Venom received quite, uh, “mixed reviews” from critics and audiences alike.

Yet it’s still projected to become one of the most profitable big budget superhero movies yet after accounting for both its production budget and its gross earnings, according to Forbes. Read more…

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Tammy Rivera Tells ‘Couples Court’ Woman to Value Herself

Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta star Tammy Rivera will be a celebrity guest on Wednesday’s episode of Couples Court with the Cutlers, an Emmy-nominated daytime court show featuring Dana and Keith Cutler. Rivera, who is married to rapper Waka Flocka, shared words of wisdom with a Texas woman who suspected her boyfriend was cheating. “My husband is a superstar. He’s a rapper,” the reality star said in an exclusive clip obtained by EBONY.com. “I can say this, I’ve been through almost everything that a woman can go through, and I’m not ashamed to say that because where we stand today […]

The post Tammy Rivera Tells ‘Couples Court’ Woman to Value Herself appeared first on EBONY.

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From Heartbreak to Hatmaker: How This Woman Found a New Love to Make Money

In 2016, heartache led Teressa Foglia to her true passion — hatmaking.

“I went through a really hard breakup, and I just could not be in California anymore,” she says. Everything there reminded me of him, and I was just a mess, and I had to get away. I love Europe, and I’d been doing a lot of travel prior to that, so I just booked a one-way ticket.”

You could call it a sabbatical. Foglia, now 30, paid for it by working as a freelance digital marketing consultant. She started in Barcelona, Spain and then traveled to Stockholm, London, Rome, Paris and all the way down the coast to Croatia. But it was in the south of France that she fell in love again.

“I always loved hats, and I thought it would be fun to go to France for the week and see how they actually make handmade hats,” Foglia says.

She took a week-long millinery course to learn classic techniques like blocking, trimming and stiffening. Instead of a new someone, a new something had just walked into her life. And it was clear early on that others shared the same love.

“From the second that I started wearing my hats from the hat-making course, people would compliment me on this hat that I had made,” she says. “People just started asking me for them.”

The Birth of a Business

When Foglia’s visas expired, she settled down in her home state of New York with a new purpose in life. However, she knew selling hats at a higher price point was going to be challenging. Plus, she needed a place to make them. So she crowdfunded money to open her first shop in Industry City, a business park for innovators in Brooklyn, and named it Teressa Foglia. She’s been profitable ever since.

Her ethically sourced, sustainably handmade custom hats range from $ 300 to $ 1,500. They’re named after the places she’s traveled, people she’s met and her favorite musical artist, John Mayer. No two hats are the same, and no day is alike in terms of sales. So she hasn’t quit freelancing as a digital marketing consultant — yet.  

Foglia laughs as she adjusts the beaver-grade felt hat on her head. “You can spend the entire weekend in the store and maybe you might have a customer or two,” she says. “But then you’re in here on a Monday morning, just by yourself and someone [who] saw your hat somewhere just comes in and orders two custom hats. And you’re really excited about it.”

Foglia uses Instagram as a platform to market her products. With 27,000 followers, it’s working. Celebrities like Keri Russell and Jamie Chung have worn her one-of-a-kind creations.

Hat-making With a Helping Hand

Foglia has realized she can’t do it alone. As a solo entrepreneur, she relies on friends and family to help out. Recently, students have applied for fashion internships.

“[In] New York City, there are so many incredible universities, and I have… multiple emails a day from students that are looking for internships that would love to be a part of this,” she says. “I love having them. My interns, really, sometimes I consider them my boss.”

Although Foglia works seven days a week, she wouldn’t trade her new life as a hatmaker for the world. Foglia encourages anyone struggling to find their passion to take a leap — after all, you never know where it may take you.

“I definitely had a vision for something, and now we’re just living it,” she says.

Christie Post, supervising producer and host at The Penny Hoarder, is always finding ways to make stories visual. You can see the videos she produces on YouTube. Subscribe and give her a shoutout @christiepost.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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“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.

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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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

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

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‘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?

Instagram Photo

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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

The post ‘Twilight’ Gave Ammo to Patty Jenkins to Make ‘Wonder Woman’ appeared first on FANDOM.

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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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