‘Since when were women only allowed to have female friends?’


Love Island is back and while we’ve all been loving the return of drama to our weekday evenings, it arguably went a bit far this week.

The past few episodes have seen the islanders shun 21-year-old Lucie Donlan for not putting her female friendships over her male friendships.

Lucie Donlan and Tommy Fury. Credit: REX

Fellow islander Amy Hart was the first to take issue with Lucie’s preference to spend time with the boys, with Lucie’s Love Island partner Joe Garratt following suit.

The girls labelled Lucie as ‘unfriendly’, while Joe – accused of being emotionally abusive – told her it was weird to spend more time with boys than girls and asked her to make more of an effort with the women in the villa.

Joe Garratt. Credit: REX

Yes, Lucie has been attacked from all angles for simply being herself, something that has certainly taken its toll, with the Cornish surfer seeming to spend most nights crying alone on the terrace.

‘I can’t take it anymore’ she cried in one of the most recent episodes. ‘Why should I have to change who I am? No one gets me.’

Amy Hart and Lucie Donlan. Credit: REX

Watching the events unfold, I was furious – and after scouring my Twitter feed, I saw that I wasn’t alone.

There were calls for Amy Hart’s exit after her ‘unfair’ and ‘bullying’ treatment of Lucie and Women’s Aid were even using Joe as an example of mental abuse, but the most common complaint was the belief that men and women can’t be friends, or that women should prioritise their friendships with the same sex over men.

Lucie Donlan. Credit: REX

I am a woman. My best friend is a man. And while I do have a close circle of female friends around me, my male friendships are incredibly important.

I’m not saying boys are better friends than girls or that I value my female friendships over my male friendships. My best friends’ roles in my life have nothing to do with their gender – they have all earned their places for having my best interests at heart, supporting me and genuinely caring.

Lucie Donlan and Tommy Fury. Credit: REX

For someone to be bullied for naturally gravitating towards men rather than women is ridiculous, and even discussing this subject in my opinion, takes us back a long way.

One of the only people to check if Lucie was ok was her friend Tommy, with their friendship being the one that everyone took issue with in the first place. The irony.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be tuning into Love Island, but I am very disappointed in the short-sighted views of the current contestants.

It’s 2019 and no one’s gender should pressure them into having certain friends.

The post ‘Since when were women only allowed to have female friends?’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire


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Film ‘Legacy Lives On’ Premieres At ABFF, Follows Financial Journey of Three Black Women

Prudential, in partnership with Urban One, screened Legacy Lives On at the American Black Film Festival on June 15 in Miami, and it will air publicly on TV One at 9 p.m. ET on June 19, and again on CLEO TV on June 20, 2019. The 45-minute film follows the financial journey of three black women and highlights the relationship African Americans have with money, particularly when debt, financial literacy, and systematic challenges are at play.

African American households lag sorely in wealth compared to white households. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), black households receive an underwhelming 61.6% of the yearly income earned by an average white household. This disparity is due in part to the racial income gap in which black employees bring home 82.5 cents for every dollar white workers earn; substantially contributing to black poverty. It should come as no surprise, then, that the most recent data suggests black people are more than twice as likely to experience poverty than whites. Therefore, the timing of such a documentary is ideal.

Legacy—this type of film talks about all the things we don’t talk about,” Salene Hitchcock-Gear told BLACK ENTERPRISE. Hitchcock-Gear, the president of Prudential Individual Life Insurance, continued: “For women, especially women who are trying to move forward, we don’t have a lot of good tools to start with. It’s not normal to talk to people about savings, investments, how to get financing for anything, or just deal with budgets, or getting out of debt. This effort starts to put language in people’s hands and try to break through that environment where we don’t talk.”

Talking candidly to an entire nation about the state of their finances and the history of how they each handled money wasn’t an easy thing to do for Onikah Asamoa-Caesar, Jewel Burks-Solomon, and Audrey Hurst. However, doing so proved to be beneficial for each woman who participated in the film.

Legacy Lives On: One Solution and Prudential Documentary Highlights New Pathways to Financial Freedom and Financial Wellness for Black Americans, Private screening and VIP reception at Regal Cinema South Beach on Saturday, June 15, 2019 in Miami. (Jesus Aranguren/AP Images for Prudential Financial, Inc.)

“My experience was very interesting because it gave me an opportunity to reflect about the legacy I want to build,” Burks-Solomon shared with BE. “I had a chance to have a conversation with my mother and talk about the things she instilled in me at an early age and thank her for the things she taught me along the way and have that dialogue we haven’t had before.”

Hurst expressed her initial hesitation on disclosing her financial secrets: “I was definitely scared for people to know what I was going through financially because we don’t have those conversations as black people, but I had someone in my ear telling me to step out on faith so that’s what I did and said, ‘I’m gonna tell my story.”‘

A documentary like Legacy Lives On would not be complete without Tiffany Aliche, “The Budgetnista’s” two cents—which is nothing short of the financial wisdom she is known to impart. “It’s important to teach black women about money,” Aliche stated. “Prudential had a study where they show that black women make up to 70% of the financial decisions in the household.”

Aliche added: “That means if you want to shift the black family, community, and culture forward, then you have to do it through black women. We are essential. Without us, there would be no strong community, family, or culture. We have been left out of the conversation for too long. You see that in Legacy Lives On.”

Actor Laz Alonzo contributed to the conversation, addressing generational poverty that affects people of color: “Black and brown people are learning their worth,” Alonzo told BE. “Up until now, everyone knew our worth except us. We have the talent, we have the ability to bring crowds, and have a community to support us and bring their dollars, but where was the money going? Now we see a lot of artists buying back their materials, their intellectual property, their block—and they’re also diversifying [their earning potential]. There are so many ways to make money. It was important for Prudential to be on the leading end of that conversation.”

legacy lives on

(Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., Salene Hitchcock-Gear, Laz Alonso, Tiffany Aliche; Edelman)

Other contributors include Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, motivational speaker Lisa Nichols, Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., producer Ma’at Zachary, and Prudential’s vice president of Corporate Giving Shané Harris. And while a film initiative on dialogue about money and finance may seem unlikely to screen at ABFF, it’s actually more aligned with the event than not.

“For Prudential as a financial institution, we don’t always have the right connects, through the community to actually get the message out,” Hitchcock-Gears said. “This particular festival is so much grassroots, people on the ground, that we feel like that’s the audience we’re trying to reach; the very group that needs to hear this. It includes the people here at this event. When you think about it, so many creative people don’t have consistent income. So you have to think about ‘how do I deal with that as a creative person? How do I continue my craft, but take care of myself financially?’ This is for the attendees and the creators. We think [ABFF] is a real home run and a great place for us to showcase.”

Alonzo agreed, stating “To have that film here is where a lot of people need it the most because they are the ones actually self-financing their dreams. They’re the ones trying to figure out ‘I want to make this happen, but I got a 9-to-5. How can I juggle this?’ This movie is the movie that will show you others who have done it and inspire you to not waste any more time and want to do it.”

Legacy Lives On: One Solution and Prudential Documentary Highlights New Pathways to Financial Freedom and Financial Wellness for Black Americans, Private screening and VIP reception at Regal Cinema South Beach on Saturday, June 15, 2019 in Miami. (Jesus Aranguren/AP Images for Prudential Financial, Inc.)

American Black Film Festival was founded by Jeff Friday to provide a platform for black filmmakers to showcase their work. In its 23rd year, the festival continues to amplify black creative talent. Learn more about the ABFF legacy, at abff.com and catch ’em on social:

Twitter: @ABFF
Facebook: American Black Film Festival
Instagram: @AmericanBlackFilmFestival
YouTube: American Black Film Festival
Hashtags: #ABFF19, #WeAreABFF

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


“I Want To Help Women & They Want To Attack Me” Andrea Kelly Says Women Have Attacked Her For Speaking Out Against R. Kelly

Lifetime / NeueHouse NY Luminaries Present 'Surviving R. Kelly' With Civil Rights Activists And Survivors

Source: Chance Yeh / Getty

Anytime a woman decides to speak up and share her truth at the expense of a man, she takes a risk. The risk is heightened when that man is Black, famous and beloved. And while there have been dozens of women who have spoken out against singer R. Kelly and his sexual perversion and physical abuse, for one reason or another, people are attacking Andrea Kelly, the singer’s ex-wife and mother of his three children.

Andrea discussed the backlash she’s received in the last few months since going public with her story on tonight’s episode of “Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta.”

Talking to Deb Antney, Andrea said that just when she thinks her life is regaining a level of normalcy, another headline surfaces and she often learns of her husband’s latest indiscretion with the rest of the world.

In her confessional interview, Kelly said, “These past few months have been a roller coaster of emotion. When I think about the ways that I have been abused by Robert, from being hogtied, having both of my shoulders dislocated, to being slapped, pushed, having things thrown at me, the sexual abuse, the mental abuse, words can’t even describe. There’s some things that I don’t even speak anymore. I feel like once you give it to God, you better leave it with God. Because if I don’t leave it with God, I’m definitely going to be somewhere with my hands on the glass, visiting my children.”

Later, talking to Deb she thanked her for the support she’s extended to her over the years.

“I wish more women had somebody like you. You really know the sh*t I have been through. And this sh*t I been going through lately with Robert all in the press…Man, if I didn’t have women like you, I think I would be done with females because they have attacked me in such a way. And here I am putting myself in a position because I want to help women and they want to attack me!”

You can watch the clip of Andrea speaking with Deb and detailing her abuse, here.

“Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on WE tv.



The 411 On Hobosexuals: Men Who Have Sex With Women Just To Find A Place To Live

Wow, I'm so strong to be carrying all of these!

Source: Dean Mitchell / Getty

The term “hobosexual” was first introduced into my vocabulary when my dear colleague was playfully speaking of men who prey on single women who live alone so they can have a place to stay rent free.

“I wasn’t letting him stay over for more than one night, you know how these hobosexuals are,” she said in passing. My brain gobbled up the phrase and light bulbs went off. Hobo, crudely meaning homeless, and sexual. Brilliant.

Finally, there was language to be used to describe the predatory practice some men employ to live off of women.

But it appears this term was coined by a Twitter user in reference to “Insecure’s” notorious Lawrence character, who began sleeping around post Issa breakup after he moved out.

While the idea of a “hobosexual” may be comical in idea, in practice, it can be very insidious. A lot of women get so swept up in the initial waves of love, that they bypass all the red flags that indicate they are being used.

I’m no expert but by the experience of my peers, I’ve identified some key signs you should look out for to see if your new boo is in love, or if he’s just looking to live rent free.

He Love Bombs You

I heard this phrase from a psychology study, but basically love bombing is when someone comes on super strong promising you the world, their heart and their time. While that may seem romantic, healthy relationships evolve over time. Men know they can love bomb you and get you so caught up in the feelings of adoration that you miss all their dirty tricks. Don’t be too impressed when someone says they want to marry you or have kids early on. They may even go as far as boldly saying, “We should move in together, I just want to be around you all the time.” No he doesn’t sis. He wants a place to sleep.

He Lives With His Parents/Doesn’t Have His Own Place

This one is pretty straight forward but yes, hobosexuals have to be…well homeless. If he starts leaving clothes, toothbrushes, towels and other belongings in your apartment without having a conversation with you, clearly he’s trying to get a little too cozy. He may even tell you a sob story about his living situation or his ex, explaining why his place of living isn’t comfortable. Guess what? In early dating, this is NOT your problem. He should be asking other friends and family members for a spot to stay in that case, not the new girl he JUST started sleeping with.

He’s Unemployed

Now, this isn’t a sure sign, but it’s telling. Men like to tell you they “fell on a hard time,” but seriously, who hasn’t? And work doesn’t mean it has to be some high-profile gig, but there should be something daily he is doing reach his goals or to help pay the bills during unemployed time. If he has more excuses than tangible actions, he may be looking to pull one over on you. Plus, moving someone unemployed in your space of living only means more bills and another mouth to feed. Are you his lover or his mama?

You Always Have To Ask Him To Leave

Ever dealt with a guy who never seemed to have anywhere to go? Red flag! You may be leaving for work and he’s just sitting on your couch twiddling his thumbs, don’t ignore that. If you always have to say, “Hey, I’m heading out, you should too…” every time he stays the night, most likely he has no goals, purpose or endeavors. And don’t get too wooed by his offers to cook you dinner or run a few errands. It may come off romantic at first, but unless he’s signing up to be a full time house-hubby, he’s most likely taking advantage of you.



‘Know Your Girls’ Spokesperson Dr. Rubina Smith Explains Why Black Women Need To Be Extra Vigilant About Checking For Breast Cancer

Dr. Rubina Smith

Source: Courtesy of Dr Rubina Smith / Courtesy of Dr Rubina Smith

National Cancer Survivor’s Day just passed June 2nd, but the urgency to ensure Black women are aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer is an ongoing challenge/ Advocates like Dr. Robina Smith, help to spread awareness through her partnership with Ad Council’s, “Know Your Girls” campaign. Dr. Smith is a fellowship-trained breast cancer surgeon with over ten years of experience in the field. We spoke to Smith about how Black women can become more aware of their risks, so we can decrease the disproportionately high mortality rates for Black women with breast cancer.

MN: In the past few years, we have been made aware of how breast cancer disproportionately kills Black women even though our white counterparts are more frequently diagnosed. Why is that the case that Black women are disproportionately affected?

Dr. Smith: Breast Cancer affects all populations in the world. However, Black women are disproportionately affected with higher breast cancer deaths, due to advanced stages when discovered (diagnosis), younger age when identified, poor access to and receipt of quality healthcare, more aggressive types of breast cancer (Triple Negative), refusal to adhere to the treatment plans outlined by the Oncologist and higher uncontrolled or poorly controlled personal medical problems (such as Diabetes and High Blood Pressure).  All of these factors significantly affect the survival rates of breast cancer and are prevalent in minority women with Black women being the most severely affected.

MN: What can Black women do in order to help ourselves and each other bridge the survival gap?

Dr. Smith: Since there isn’t any way to prevent breast cancer from forming, for women who are at average to moderate risk, the best way Black women can help themselves and each other is to become active participants in their own health breast health and screening process. Adhere to the screening recommendations […] (annual Mammograms at the appropriate age determined by your doctor, annual clinical breast exams with your doctor and routine evaluation of your own breast for any new or changing findings). Know your family history and ask if there are any cancers on both your mother and father’s side of the family.

MN:  What made you enter this field of work? Are there any women in your life who have gone through this?

Dr. Smith:  Black women have the highest mortality rates of any race – even in the early, potentially curable stages. Being a black woman, I wanted to make a difference in my community and within my race because it is personal to me.

MN: Who is considered high risk?

Dr. Smith: Risks for developing breast cancer are based on the knowledge and evidence that there are controllable and uncontrollable factors which can cause mutations or changes in the normal cells that make up the structures of the breast[…]. These changes or mutations in the cells within the breast are called cancerous changes or carcinoma.

The two biggest uncontrollable risk factors for developing these cancerous changes are 1) being a woman with breasts and 2) getting older.

Breast cancer originates in the breast and the longer we live we are exposed to different controllable risk factors such as chemicals, radiation, hormones, medications, alcohol, smoking etc. The average lifetime risk for any woman to develop breast cancer in her lifetime is 10-12% depending on ethnicity. If you are a woman and you live to an average lifespan to 85 this is your basic risk.

Some women will have other risk factors that can increase their lifetime risk to 15-40%, such as a personal history or breast cancer, years of exposure to estrogen for postmenopausal women, high risk lesion (precancerous) within the breast seen on biopsies, or positive family history of two or more first-degree relatives [like a parent] with premenopausal breast cancer.

Women who are considered to be high risk for breast cancer have an increased lifetime risk of at least 60-80% such as those with Inherited Genetic Mutations (BRCA1/2, PALB, TP53) passed down through the family with a strong history of cancers on the mother and/or father’s side.

MN: We know a lot of Black women are victims of medical neglect. If you have a lump that your doctor isn’t taking seriously, what should you do?

Dr. Smith: Black women must be proactive and be an active participant in their healthcare. It is important to communicate your concerns to your doctor. If he/she isn’t taking your concerns seriously then seek a second opinion from another doctor. If it is necessary, find a different clinic or medical office for that second opinion.

MN:How can we all be better allies for women who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer or are undergoing treatment?

Dr. Smith: Help spread the word about breast cancer, the risks associated with the Black women and screening guidelines. Education and awareness about Black women and breast cancer can help change our statistics and our story.

MN:  Why was it important for you to get involved with Know Your Girls?

Dr. Smith: The Know Your Girls campaign is a valuable resource to help with the education and awareness that Black women need in order to make changes in their lives and be inspired to take charge of their breast health.



This Is the Most Anticipated Women’s World Cup Ever. But Corruption and Abuse Still Block Women From Soccer

The biggest women’s sports tournament of 2019 will begin in Paris on Friday. The top 24 teams in the world will be descending on France to compete for the title of World Champions at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The next six weeks will be ripe with anticipation and and we can prepare ourselves for the joy and heartbreak that comes with the beautiful game. The media hype and marketing around this event reaffirms that this might be the most popular and widely watched iteration of the World Cup since the tournament began (unofficially) in 1970. But the road here hasn’t been easy.

Fans of women’s sport have invested emotionally and financially in these great women athletes. We have witnessed their struggles against systemic sexism (Argentina), their fight for equal pay (U.S.), and their continued commitment to improving society (Canada). The most celebrated women’s player of the year, UEFA Champion and Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg of Norway is not attending the World Cup because of what she considers inequality in her country. She will forgo the tournament and stepped away from the national team in 2017, after a poor result at the Euros. Despite the fact that Norway was the first football federation in the world to offer pay parity for men’s and women’s teams, Hegerberg maintains that it is not only about money. There are federations, there are clubs, there are men in high positions who have that responsibility to put the women in the right place and that’s where I think, I feel, and I know, we have a long way to go,” she has explained.

USA v Japan: Final - FIFA Women's World Cup 2015
Kevin C. Cox—Getty ImagesAbby Wambach #20 and Christie Rampone #3 of the United States celebrates after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 5-2 against Japan at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada.

In May 2019, UEFA Champions League launched a women’s soccer development and strategy initiative that seeks to double the amount of women and girl players in Europe by 2024. The initiative recognizes the need for support, financial backing or programs, but also the involvement and positions of women in soccer — perhaps a recognition of the sheer inaction thus far. The fact that teams in Europe struggle with sexism at the core of their experiences is a reminder that misogyny is not reserved for the Global South.

But if the most successful and popular women’s teams in the world are fighting for their dues, imagine the obstacles of those who don’t have the platforms, who don’t have the safety and who are simply trying to keep their teams afloat. The ones whose federations are marred with corruption and abuse. The ones whose freedom and identity is tightly connected to soccer, but whose chances of ever developing and realizing a World Cup dream lies in a dark abyss. The ones whose futures and possibilities are not valued by the men who control the sport and reign from thrones of privilege and impunity.

Eight of the 10 top-ranked women’s teams are in North America and Europe. Japan is 7th and Brazil is 10th. There are three African nations attending (Nigeria, Cameroon and South Africa) this year but there are no Arab or Middle Eastern, Central Asian or South Asian teams in the tournament. As we watch, cheer and embrace the fandom that the women’s game truly deserves, it is equally important to remember the girls and women who did not make it to the world’s stage. We must think more about how to include those players in this experience of the World Cup.

In late 2018, players from the Afghanistan women’s national team disclosed horrific sexual abuse by the head of the Afghanistan Football Federation — the same body that is charged with advocating and supporting their development. The investigations and any response in this case by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) are ongoing (read: pathetically slow and unencouraging).

Several Middle Eastern countries are rife with civil unrest, suffer the destruction of facilities, and like the example of Palestine, suffer constant pressure under occupation. In some regions, there seems to be little time for soccer except for places like refugee camps where sport is used as a tool of development and rehabilitation for survivors of displacement and war.

Freedom Fields is a film by Naziha Arebi about the Libyan women’s soccer program in Tripoli. For five years, Arebi has chronicled their struggles, their journey and their joys on and off the pitch. We see them fight with administrators, fight clerics, and empower themselves as a team in order to play in a tournament in Lebanon.

We see their bravery and their drive. It is unmistakably familiar.

Aref Karimi—AFP/Getty ImagesAfghan female football players from Afghan team celebrate with the trophy after their women’s football tournament final match against Isteghlal in Kabul on December 6, 2013.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan women’s national team has been stagnant for over five years due to complete mismanagement and disinterest in the women’s team from federation executives. In 2017 The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) was suspended by FIFA for “third-party interference” — tantamount to improper financial practices. The women’s team have not competed in any regional tournaments, or held training camps since 2014. “Some teams worry about winning,” team captain Hajra Khan said in February. “We just want a chance to play.” The president of PFF, Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, has ties to Senior Vice President of FIFA, Sheikh Salman who is head of Bahrain’s Football federation, another country with little development of a women’s program. Hayat has been in power in Pakistan since 2003 and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Meanwhile, last week, news spread that there were allegations of rape of Gabon’s Under 20 players. The story was barely touched by mainstream sports media outlets. According to the Women’s Media Centre, the TIDES (The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport) 2018 report gave American sports media a grade of D+ for gender and racial hiring practices. If the people reporting on sport are largely white men, it’s unsurprising that their stories regularly fail to represent women, particularly women of colour.

The player’s objections and concerns fall on deaf ears when FIFA and AFC continue tosupport the political players at these shady federations, who refuse to prioritize the women’s teams. The majority of federations are controlled by men, and men are in charge of the allocation of finances. Shaima Mohamed is head of women’s soccer development at the Somali Football Federation and is desperately trying to amplify the women’s sport. She told The Guardian: “I have no idea where the money goes.”

Perhaps it is a lack of community support, or cultural pressure to suppress the advancement of women in society. It could be a lack of sincere commitment to women’s sport. Or it could be a complete failure on the part of men to advocate and bolster women athletes. All of the above are parts of systems of sexism and misogyny that exist in soccer, all over the world.

Many might not be aware that France, the host of this World Cup, is the only country in the world in which the governing body of soccer still refuses to allow women to play, coach or actively participate in the game if they choose to wear a hijab. FIFA struck down this ban in 2014 but the Fédération Française de Football (FFF) continues to hold it in place. This blatant injustice should not be tolerated or forgiven just because they are hosting a grand tournament that selectively supports women soccer players.

There are rays of hope. The Jordanian Football Federation (JFF) with leadership from Prince Ali bin Hussein began to invest in training and development programs, and created a non-profit organization Association Football Development Programme Global (AFDP) dedicated to the growth of the sport and advocacy for women in soccer. In 2016, the JFF hosted the first FIFA-sanctioned tournament in the Middle East. And although Iranian women continue to lobby FIFA for basic access to sports, Saudi Arabia began to let women into stadiums in 2018 and there are murmurings and tries to support a women’s team.

As FIFA celebrates a wonderful tournament, it is important that they remain accountable to all players. And we must remember those on the frontlines, and those brutally excluded from the pitches. We must make sure that their stories are heard, and their struggles are not in vain. We must demand equal pay and safety for all players.

It is imperative to find a balance between supporting women’s soccer and still speaking up about the injustices against women in soccer. Uncritical celebrations render this tournament shallow at a time when disruption is required. The sport deserves better — and so do the millions of women and girls who love it. Soccer is for all of us.

Sports – TIME


The Richest Self-Made Black Women

In addition to being the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, black women are securing the bag and stacking their coins like never before. Several women of color were named on America’s Richest Self-Made Women list, recently published by Forbes. Here’s a look at the black women who made the list.




At just 31 years old, Rihanna is officially the wealthiest female musician on the planet, according to ForbesThe publication estimates her net worth at $ 600 million, trumping the wealth of fellow music superstars Madonna ($ 570 million), Celine Dion ($ 450 million), and Beyoncé ($ 400 million).

A large part of the singer’s wealth has been generated through her cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty, which launched in collaboration with luxury giant LVMH in September 2017. Noted for its inclusive range of 40 shades of foundation, Fenty reportedly racked up $ 100 million in sales within weeks due to the Bajan artist’s mass appeal and social media following. Since then, sales for the beauty brand have continued to soar.

“Fenty Beauty generated an estimated $ 570 million in revenue last year, after only 15 months in business. The entire operation is worth, conservatively, more than $ 3 billion. Forbes estimates that LVMH owns an estimated 50% of it, while Rihanna has about 15%, a figure a spokesperson for the artist disputed but wouldn’t clarify further,” writes Forbes.

In May, LVMH announced that it was opening a fashion house under Fenty name. This makes the style icon the first black woman to head a major luxury fashion house. Her new clothing line with LVMH, which includes high-end clothes, shoes, accessories, and jewelry, launched in Paris on May 24. In addition, the pop star co-owns the Savage X Fenty lingerie line with TechStyle Fashion Group.

Janice Bryant Howroyd

Janice Bryant Howroyd

Act-1 Group Founder and CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd (Image: Courtesy of Black Enterprise Business Report)

Janice Bryant Howroyd is the founder and CEO of ACT-1 Group and the first African American woman to run a billion-dollar business. Her company, which provides workforce solutions such as temporary staffing, raked in a whopping $ 2.8 billion in revenues in 2017 and placed as No. 2 on BLACK ENTERPRISE’S annual BE 100s list of the nation’s largest black businesses.

Bryant Howroyd launched the business back in 1978 with just $ 1,500, a $ 900 loan from her mother, a fax machine, and a phone. Today, the agency has over 17,000 clients and 2,600 employees in 19 different countries.

Sheila Johnson


Sheila Johnson

Sheila Johnson is a business titan most known for co-founding Black Entertainment Television (BET) with then-husband Robert Johnson and selling it to Viacom for roughly $ 3 billion in 2000. Following their divorce in 2002, Johnson launched the Salamander Resort & Spa in 2005. The luxury hotel company owns two properties and manages five others around the Southeastern region of the United States. Its growth strategy has resulted in an impressive 24% jump in revenues, from $ 170 million in 2016 to $ 210 million in 2017.

Today, Johnson’s net worth is estimated at about $ 820 million while her resort company was recognized as the 2018 BE 100s Company of the Year.  



(Image: ABC/Rick Rowell via Flickr.com/photos/disneyabc)

With a net worth of a $ 2.5 billion, Oprah Winfrey is ranked as no.10 on the Forbes’s list and is one of just five black billionaires in the country. The “Queen of All Media” accumulated her staggering wealth thanks in large part to her partnership with Weight Watchers. Back in 2015, Winfrey bought a 10% stake and became an ambassador for the company. By June 2018, her stake was estimated at $ 427 million.

Winfrey also generates revenue through several other business endeavors, like her cable channel OWN. “Her 25.5% of the network is worth about $ 75 million,” reports Forbes. Last year, she inked a multi-year content partnership deal with Apple to create original content that will include a book club, documentaries, and TV series.



(Image: Instagram/Beyonce)

Although married to the first hip hop billionaire, Beyonce Knowles Carter is a business mogul who earns her own money and an unsurprising spot on the list. According to Forbes, the superstar is worth $ 400 million. Earlier this year, she announced a new partnership with Adidas to relaunch her activewear line, Ivy Park. She also stars in Disney’s 2019 Lion King remake.

Beyonce’s On The Run II stadium tour with husband Jay-Z grossed more than $ 250 million. The superstar singer also signed a deal with Netflix reportedly worth $ 60 million to release Homecoming, a live album and special documenting her groundbreaking 2018 performance at Coachella.

Furthermore, it is rumored that Beyonce scored big money when Uber went public last month. People magazine reports that Queen Bey received $ 6 million in restricted stock units (RSUs) from Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick to perform at an event. With the IPO, speculations abound that she made $ 300 million from her shares.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Serena Williams (Wikimedia Commons)

Serena Williams is known for her prowess on and off the tennis court. The 23-time Grand Slam winner has made a number of boss business moves. She launched Serena Ventures, an investment firm focused on companies founded by women and minorities, which has invested in 34 startups in a portfolio worth at least $ 10 million.

In 2018, the tennis champ launched a self-funded clothing line called S by Serena. She also owns stakes in the Miami Dolphins and UFC and has signed multiple endorsement deals with major brands throughout her career, including Gatorade, Delta Air Lines, Aston Martin, Pepsi, and Beats by Dre.

Money | Black Enterprise


Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Ladies’ Night: HOT 97’s Summer Jam Was Dominated By The Women Of Hip-Hop, And It Was Lit

Summer Jam 2019

Source: Nicholas Hunt / Getty

Even if you live outside of the New York/New Jersey metro area, if you know Hip-Hop, then you know about HOT 97’s Summer Jam. The biggest stars in the genre take the festival and main stage to showcase their biggest hits. And though most of the acts prominently featured are often men (including stars Meek Mill, Migos and Tory Lanez), we noticed that this year, women were front and center as some of the biggest acts. Cardi B was the main female headliner, while there was also Yung Miami of City Girls, along with Megan Thee Stallion, Kash Doll, Saweetie and more ladies who took the stage. We were pretty impressed, so we compiled photos of all the women doing their thing at the MetLife Stadium in Jersey. Hit the flip to see the familiar femme faces who put on during their electric sets and/or showed up to support the performers.

Summer Jam 2019

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

Megan Thee Stallion



Drug extends life of younger women with advanced breast cancer

Younger women suffering from a common form of advanced breast cancer have experienced significantly improved survival rates when treated with a drug that targets cancer cells, according to the findings of an international clinical trial.

CNN.com – RSS Channel – Health


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5 Vitamins Black Women Should Take

Source: Tashi-Delek / Getty

Just like one diet doesn’t fit all, one supplement regimen doesn’t either. Vitamins should be based on lifestyle, age, gender, health goals, stress levels, sleep patterns, dietary restrictions, medical conditions and the medications you are taking, to name a few. Personalized vitamins reduce the risk of nutrient deficiencies while preventing a buildup of excess vitamins in your body. For instance, if you’re already getting plenty of calcium in your diet, it can be harmful to take calcium supplements long term.

For all populations, nutrients and nutrient levels shift throughout life’s stages. For instance, if you’re in your childbearing years, it is important to get enough omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, since it is a building block of the brain. In addition, folic acid (vitamin B9) is crucial to support healthy neural tube development in the growing fetus.

  • Vitamin D deficiency is very common among people of color, primarily since pigmentation reduces vitamin D production in the skin. Vitamin D helps to protect against chronic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, all of which are more prevalent in Black people.
  • Magnesium is an important mineral that African-American women often don’t get enough of in a standard diet, where low magnesium levels are often associated with high blood pressure.
  • Omega-3s, Blood Sugar Support (benfotiamine), CoQ10, and Garlic are some other nutritional supplements that can help support heart health, especially given that African-Americans can experience an increased incidence of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Hair, Skin, & Nails is a must for Black women who need to support hair growth and maintain moisture in the skin.

If you’re not sure what you should be taking, Persona Nutrition creates a robust nutritional assessment to curate a customized pack of vitamins and nutrients for each individual, organizing supplements by time of day to take personalization one-step further. Certain nutrients should be taken at various times of the day to optimize health results. For instance, you don’t want to take an energy-promoting nutrient right before bedtime. Persona vitamin packs are clearly marked by time of day to make daily nutrition is truly personalized.






Life & Style – Black America Web


Kamala Harris Vows to Fine Companies That Pay Women Workers Less Than Men

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris unveiled her plan to close the gender pay gap by fining companies that pay women employees less than men for equal work. The U.S. senator announced the proposal during a campaign stop in California on May 19, noting that white women working full-time make 80 cents for every dollar a white man is paid, while women of color earn even less.

“In America today, women for the same work – for the equal work, on average, make 80 cents on the dollar,” said Harris, reports CBS News. “Black women make 61 cents on the dollar. Latinas make 53 cents on the dollar and this has got to end.”

Under Harris’ proposal, corporations with over 100 employees would have to obtain an “Equal Pay Certification” from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within a certain timeframe. Companies would also be required to prove existing pay gaps are not based on gender, but merit, performance, or seniority. Companies that don’t meet the standard to become certified would be fined 1% of their daily profits for every 1% of the wage gap allowed to persist.

“Companies that fail to receive this certification will face a fine for every day they discriminate against their workers,” explained a senior campaign official in an email to BLACK ENTERPRISE. “Harris’ plan will force corporations to be accountable and transparent.”

Over the next decade, Harris’ campaign projects that the fines would generate $ 180 billion, which would then be used to help fund paid family and medical leave. The proposal aims to eliminate pay disparities between men and women on corporations by placing the responsibility on companies rather than on employees, who, under current law, must file lawsuits if and when they find they’re not being compensated fairly. According to Politico, Harris’ plan also mandates companies to report the percentage of women in leadership positions and how many are among the highest paid employees at the company.

The Harris campaign added that if Congress fails to pass the proposal, she would use executive power to force companies that apply for federal contracts to comply.

Earlier this month, Harris introduced legislation to help students from underrepresented communities gain access to educational materials, mentorships, and work experience related to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Under the 21st Century STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities Act, $ 40 million would be authorized to fund a competitive grant program for school districts to improve participation in STEM education among girls, students of color, LGBTQ students, disabled students, and kids from low-income neighborhoods.


Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Much More Than a Blow-Dry: Women Reveal How They Really Feel About Their Hair

Courtesy Rohina Hoffman

Neurologist-turned-photographer Rohina Hoffman knows the power of a hairdo.

At 7, her hair was chopped to a short “boy’s haircut,” and she was devastated. “The trauma of losing control of my identity has stayed with me my entire life,” Hoffman writes in the introduction to her book, Hair Stories.

In photographing and interviewing dozens of women about their own experiences with their hair, Hoffman discovered the seemingly endless roles hair plays—as a cloak of comfort, a statement of creativity, a link to faith, or a badge of honor.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast — Books


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Abortion Bans Are a Health Crisis. For Black Women, They Mean Devastation

As President Trump promised during the 2016 campaign, he would make overturning Roe v. Wade—the landmark court case giving women the constitutional right to have an abortion—part of his mission. Six states thus far, have passed or are trying to pass draconian laws banning abortions. Abortion ban is bad for all women and a crisis for black women.

It’s well-established that there is inequity in healthcare. “The sexual and reproductive health of African American women has been compromised due to multiple experiences of racism, including discriminatory healthcare practices from slavery through the post-Civil Rights era,” writes researchers in the report Racism, African American Women, and Their Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Review of Historical and Contemporary Evidence and Implications for Health Equity.

Those discriminatory practices exist today. Black women, many with limited resources, often have unequal access to quality healthcare. For example, the above study found that black women often are subjected to unnecessary hysterectomies. Infant mortality, pregnancy complications, and access to vital prenatal care are all issues affecting black women’s reproductive health.

And it doesn’t matter if you are a rich and famous black woman as we discovered when Serena Williams opened up about her life-threatening pregnancy complications. In fact, black woman’s reproductive health status is at such a red alert that Sen. Kamala Harris introduced legislation to address the black maternal mortality crisis.

What the anti-choice advocates conveniently leave out of their hateful, misogynistic narrative is that the same facilities that provide abortions are also safe havens for women to receive prenatal care, sexual education, and pregnancy care. These facilities are particularly crucial to low-income black women and those in rural areas.

Yet, the states with high populations of black women—and some with the worst records on black women’s healthcare—are the ones pushing hardest for abortion bans: Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, and Georgia. As a result, many of these states are closing facilities that not only provide abortions but other critical women’s health services. Currently, only one abortion clinic remains in Missouri; three in Alabama; and one in Mississippi.

Missouri, Alabama, Ohio are ranked among the worst states for black infant mortality rates in the aforementioned study. From that report, “Mississippi has the largest proportion of babies born with low birth weight among Black women as well as all women (16.1% and 11.5%,  respectively). The states with the next largest proportions of babies born with low birth weight to Black women are Louisiana, West Virginia, Colorado, and Alabama.”

What is the impetus to place women’s reproductive freedom back 50 years? Anti-choicers cite their religious beliefs as justification—bestowing personhood onto fetuses.

But perhaps the underlying reasons are even more sinister. America is becoming browner. With the influx of immigrants from Latin America, and more people open to the idea of interracial relationships, millennials and Gen Z are the most diverse generations ever.

It stands to reason that the powers that be, the network of old white boys, are panicking over the darkened hue of the American populace; and over the demands for economic and political diversity and equity. And there is power in numbers. Force more white women to have white babies and make America white again…perhaps?

Of course, that is speculation. What isn’t: Abortion bans do not stop women from having abortions. These bans only make it more dangerous and expensive for women to terminate pregnancies. These bans shut down healthcare facilities that provide reproductive services and support that extends far beyond abortions. These bans, while detrimental to all women, will be devastating to the well-being of black women, as we still struggle to gain equal footing in a world that is so quick to hate us.

The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author’s and not necessarily the opinion of Black Enterprise.

The post Abortion Bans Are a Health Crisis. For Black Women, They Mean Devastation appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Ways Women Soften Their Behavior For Male Colleagues (And Shouldn’t)

being a woman in the workplace

Source: skynesher / Getty

I’m guilty of doing it myself: softening my behavior to make the people I work with feel more comfortable. It’s not like my true inclination is to be a raging b*tch or an overly assertive, bossy type. The way I really want to do and say things falls more in the firm but fair region. However, I believe that, for some reason (let’s say, centuries of misogyny) when a woman is just firm and straightforward, others can interpret that as her being mean. And, to give many of the progressive men in my life some credit, not everyone feels that way—but a lot of people do. I’ve experienced it too many times. A man I work with asks me a question, I give a simple, emotionless answer, and he asks, “Are you okay?” or “Is something wrong?” The mere fact that I didn’t add some nicety to my response—that I didn’t put some sugar on top—made the guy think something must be wrong. That’s why I adjust my behavior, even if I don’t want to. Maybe many of us do. Here are ways women soften their behavior to make male colleagues comfortable (but shouldn’t).



“If it’s not too much trouble”

Why do I say this? Why do I add this comment when giving an instruction or directive to someone? Whether or not it’s a lot of trouble shouldn’t concern me if it’s the person’s job. It’s not like, if he were to say, “It actually is too much trouble” that I’d say, “Oh okay. Then just don’t do it.”



Man Charged In Deaths Of 6 More Dallas-Area Elderly Women

DALLAS (AP) — Authorities say a Dallas man previously arrested in the death of an 81-year-old woman killed at least six other elderly women whose jewelry and other valuables he stole.

Kim Leach, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney’s office, says 46-year-old Billy Chemirmir (CHEH-meer-meer) was indicted Tuesday on six more counts of capital murder.

Chemirmir has been in custody since March 2018 in the death of the 81-year-old. Police said at the time that investigators were reviewing about 750 unattended deaths of elderly women for possible links.

Authorities say he posed as a health care provider or maintenance worker to gain access to the women’s apartments and rob them.

His attorney, Phillip Hayes, says this week’s charges were a surprise and he hasn’t had time to review them.

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Black America Web


I was one of the smartest women in the country — then a stroke hit

Debra Meyerson was on her way to a vacation in Lake Tahoe eight-and-a-half years ago when she felt a tingling in her right leg. The Stanford University professor chalked it up to sitting in a car for four hours, but then she developed a bad headache. Both turned out to be early symptoms of a…
Living | New York Post


While the World Welcomes Meghan’s Royal Baby: Here Are 6 More Royal Black Women Around the World

It’s a boy! Meghan Markle has delivered a baby boy, according to several news reports. Markle, whose official title is Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex since her marriage to Prince Harry, has been a daily topic in media and among royal family watchers.

According to CNN “the baby will be seventh in line to the British throne behind Prince Charles, Prince William, and his three children and Prince Harry.”

Markle is the product of a white father and black mother—a social worker who lives in the mostly African American L.A. suburb of View Park-Windsor Hills (incidentally, one of the wealthiest black suburbs in the country).

It’s been a constant source of buzz—the first woman of color to become part of the British royal family. Yet, there are other black women royalnistas around the globe:


Princess Angela of Liechtenstein

black royalty

Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein and Princess Angela of Liechtenstein (Pinterest)

Princess Angela (born Angela Gisela Brown) was a standout graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York and worked as a fashion director for Adrienne Vittadini, before marrying Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein in January 2000. This Afro-Panamanian beauty also started her own line, A. Brown, which she headed for three years. The couple wed at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in New York, after reportedly meeting a few years earlier at a reception in the city. The princess wore a white dress which she designed and the same Kinsky royal-jeweled tiara that Princess Tatjana of Liechtenstein wore when she married Philipp von Lattorff in June 1999.



Baroness Cecile de Massy of Monaco

black royalty

Baroness Cecile de Massy of Monaco and Christian Louis Baron de Massy (Facebook)

de Massy is married to Christian Louis Baron de Massy who is Prince Rainier of Monaco’s nephew. The fashionable beauty of Caribbean descent is a prominent fixture among the who’s who of Monaco’s social scene and is also involved in philanthropy, serving as president of Ladies Lunch Monte-Carlo, a charitable organization in Monaco.


Princess Sikhanyiso of Swaziland

black royalty


The first of 30 children of King Mswati III of Swaziland, this princess is more than a pretty face, speaking out to raise awareness on issues such as AIDS and poverty that affect her country. With interests in the arts, this 30-year-old studied drama at the University of Biola in California and was featured in publications as one of the top hottest young royals.



Princess Keisha Omilana of Nigeria

black royalty


A former model, spokesperson, and actress, Omilana adds brains to beauty as a businesswoman. The Inglewood, California, native started Wonderful Brand, a multifaceted business incorporating fashion, television, and web, with her husband, Kunle, a Nigerian prince. Known as the “Pantene Girl,” Omilana is cited as the first African American woman to be featured in three consecutive commercials.


Countess Mary Von Habsburg of Austria


black royalty

Ferdinand Leopold Joseph Count von Habsburg and Countess Mary Von Habsburg (Pinterest)

Habsburg, a native of Sudan, is the wife of Ferdinand Leopold Joseph Count von Habsburg of Austria. The couple wed in August 1999, hosting their ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, and have three children, all born in Nairobi. Their marriage was seen as controversial among the public and in royal circles, because of her class as a commoner and her ethnic background; but the head of the Habsburg royal family, Dr. Otto von Habsburg, reportedly declared all Habsburg marriages “equal.”


Queen Sylvia Nagginda of Buganda (Uganda)

black royalty



Born in the United Kingdom and raised in Uganda, this regal woman married King Kabaka Mutebi II in 1999, after a career working in various U.S. sectors including public relations, international nonprofits, and healthcare and human services. A graduate of New York University and New York Institute of Technology, the queen also advocates for public service, having worked as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund, and has worked as a consultant to bring resources to Uganda’s entrepreneurs and the business community.

—Editors’ Note: This article has been updated from its original publish date of April 28, 2011

The post While the World Welcomes Meghan’s Royal Baby: Here Are 6 More Royal Black Women Around the World appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Today in Movie Culture: The Women Who Inspired ‘Poms,’ ‘Detective Pikachu’ Director Commentary and More

Today in Movie Culture: The Women Who Inspired ‘Poms,’ ‘Detective Pikachu’ Director Commentary and More

Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:


True Story of the Day:

Poms, a new comedy starring Diane Keaton as woman who starts a cheerleading squad in her new retirement community, is now in theaters. It’s also based on a true story. Meet the real ladies of Sun City Poms, a squad from Sun City, Arizona, in this brief report from Inside Edition:


Director Commentary of the Day:

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is now…

Read More

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Fandango Movie News


Mayra Ocampo, Art Director at Koch, on How Women Millennials of Color Can Move Up in Their Careers

Mayra Ocampo, art director for Koch Communications Marketing, spoke at the 2019 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit. During her panel session, “They Got Now: What it Takes to Level Up Early,” the young corporate leader spoke about her journey as a millennial of color making her way in her career and having the “ganas,” [Spanish for ‘desire’] to make it. Take a look at the video:

The post Mayra Ocampo, Art Director at Koch, on How Women Millennials of Color Can Move Up in Their Careers appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


Wendy Williams Sounds Off, Says ‘There’s a Hot Place in Hell’ for Women Who Sleep with Married Men [Video]

Wendy Williams shared her thoughts on Ayesha Curry’s comments about being frustrated with women who try and get too comfortable with her husband, Steph Curry, and kept it real.

While she didn’t directly address her own estranged husband’s cheating scandal, it’s clear that her commentary came from a personal place — and rightfully so.

via Page Six:

“There are a lot of women with no respect for a marriage,” Williams said, before pausing. “You know what I’m saying? A lot of women who know your man is married and will have the nerve to be right up under him, right under your nose.”

After Williams aired a clip of Ayesha talking to Jada Pinkett Smith on “Red Table Talk” about a woman who flirted with Steph and proceeded to tell Ayesha, “Oh, honey, you know what you signed up for,” Williams threw barbs.

“For you lonely girls who can’t keep their hands off other people’s men, there’s a hot place in hell for you,” the daytime host said.

Watch the clip below.

The post Wendy Williams Sounds Off, Says ‘There’s a Hot Place in Hell’ for Women Who Sleep with Married Men [Video] appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

lovebscott – celebrity news


New Study Shows Married Women Do More Housework Than Single Moms

Raising a responsible daughter.

Source: kate_sept2004 / Getty

One might assume having some assistance around the house may help moms have more time for work, rest or leisure, but unfortunately having a partner does not mean you have an extra set of hands to assist with chores.

A new study from sociologists at the University of Maryland, University of Texas, and University of Southern California found that married women end up doing more housework than single moms, Fortune reports.

Why? Put simply, men aren’t helping.

“Married mothers increase housework in part to meet expectations about home-cooked meals, clean clothes, and well-kept houses—behavior integral to contemporary definitions of appropriate behavior for wives and mothers,” authors Joanna Pepin, Liana C. Sayer, and Lynne M. Casper wrote in the study.

Even though people preach equality professionally, that sense of equal stake in the household hasn’t translated into our personal lives.

“Marriage remains a gendered institution that ratchets up the demand for housework and childcare through essentialist beliefs that women are naturally focused on home and hearth,” the authors write, leaving women drowning in housework over rest or sleep.

“The research is really showing that men are not necessarily contributing in ways that are bringing about equality in the home,” author Pepin of UT-Austin told Fortune.

It’s important to point out that sharing chores actually increases the sex lives and health of a couple’s relationship. A 2002 study found that “a division of household labor perceived to be fair ensures that partners feel respected while carrying out the tasks of daily life,” family ecology professor at the University of Alberta, Matt Johnson, explained in the research.

“Completing housework may or may not be enjoyable, but knowing that a partner is pulling his weight prevents anger and bitterness, creating more fertile ground in which a (satisfying) sexual encounter may occur.”

So it’s not just about who is in the house, it’s the contributions of that partner that help to create a healthy family environment, otherwise, your mate is just another person to take care of.

“Our findings suggest that it is not just an additional pair of hands that is important,” the authors write, “To whom those hands belong also matters.”



For The First Time Ever, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA And Miss America Are All Black Women!

Celebrities Visit Hallmark's "Home & Family"

Source: Paul Archuleta / Getty

Last night, North Carolina’s Chelsie Kryst made history when she was announced as Miss USA. Not only was she the latest Black woman to wear the crown, she helped pull off a historic trifecta.

For the first time ever, three Black women are currently wearing crowns as the 2019 Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America.

Kryst joined pageant winners 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin (pictured) and recently crowned 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris.

Kryst is a civil litigation attorney who received her law degree and MBA from Wake Forest University. During the pageant, fans of Kryst noticed that she wore her natural hair and unlike prior contests, she joined Garris in bypassing the need to straighten their hair in favor of their natural look.

Garris spoke to Refinery21 about her decision saying, “There were a few naysayers saying, ‘You look better with straight hair,’ or ‘You should put in extensions and straighten your natural hair. As Miss Connecticut Teen USA, there are girls who would look at me in awe because they’ve always had the image of straight hair in pageants. Being able to spread the message of diversity, being yourself, and being confident in your curly, natural hair is something that I’m really looking forward to with my new national title.”

The closest Black women had to completing the trifecta before last night was in 2012 when Black women simultaneously wore crowns as Miss Teen USA and Miss USA.

Congrats ladies!

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Life & Style – Black America Web


From Sorrow to Strategy: 7 Black Women Who’ve Turned Their Agony Into Activism

Lora King is keeping the legacy of her father, the late Rodney King, alive almost three decades after he survived a notorious police beating that triggered L.A. Riots.

Back in 1991, four white LAPD officers were charged with tasering and viciously beating Rodney King with their batons and boots during a police stop. Despite video evidence of the attack, an all-white jury acquitted the cops, sparking public outrage, the onset of rioting, and a nationwide call to end police violence against the African American community.

Now, at 35 years old, Lora King launched a scholarship program to honor her father, who passed away in 2012, and uplift other black dads, according to The L.A. Times.  The goal of her “I am a King” scholarship is to encourage black fathers to play a more active role in their children’s lives by sponsoring special events for dads and their kids. The program will provide grants on a rolling basis that will fund a range of events, from a family dinner to a trip to Disneyland. In addition, in 2016 she launched the Rodney King Foundation to advance social justice and human rights causes.

Lora King

Lora D. King, daughter of Rodney King (Facebook.com/dene.king)

King is part of a long list of black women who have used the tragedy of a loved one victimized by racialized violence as motivation to affect change. Some of the most notable women are the “Mothers of the Movement,” who joined forces to advocate for police, criminal justice, and gun reform following the deaths of their unarmed African American children by law enforcement or gun violence.

Here are six other black women who’ve turned their agony into activism by pushing for institutional and structural change, fighting for social justice, and raising awareness around the disproportionate rates of violence against black Americans.

Lucy McBath

Lucy McBath

U.S. Rep Lucy McBath (Wikimedia)

In 2012, Lucy McBath’s 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed by a white man at a Florida gas station over an argument about loud music. When the killer invoked Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law as a defense, McBath asserted herself onto the frontlines of the fight for gun control and justice. She retired from a 30-year career with Delta Airlines to become the national spokesperson for both Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Eventually, McBath’s son’s killer was sentenced to life in prison, but that did not stop her activism around gun reform. In 2018, she launched a successful campaign for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. Now, as a U.S. representative, McBath has co-sponsored gun control legislation that would require universal background checks for those seeking to purchase armed weapons.

Sybrina Fulton

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and father, Tracy Martin (Twitter.com/SybrinaFulton)

Since Sybrina Fulton’s son Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by white vigilante George Zimmerman in Florida, Fulton has been working to expand voting rights in the state and has become one of the most visible members of the “Mothers of the Movement.” She also helped found the Trayvon Martin Foundation, an organization that seeks to find solutions for youth, help parents who have been victimized by senseless violence, provide scholarships to inner-city youth, and strengthen a positive self-image within the community.

Gwen Carr

Mothers of the Movement

Gwen Carr (Twitter.com/GwenCarrEric)

Gwen Carr said that the death of her son, Eric Garner, who died in 2014 after being placed in a police chokehold, was her political awakening. In an editorial published on NBC News’ Think column in October, Carr talked about how the tragedy has encouraged her to become more civically engaged.

Me, I don’t like to write. So instead, I go up to Albany, and I get in the faces of our politicians. I try to emphasize what I want from our government, and what I need elected officials to do. For instance, I went to Albany with a group of other New York mothers in 2015, and got Governor Cuomo to sign an executive order that allowed a special prosecutor from the state attorney general’s office to investigate all police killings of unarmed people for a year. (He’s since extended it.) And what this does is that, when these senseless killings take place, the cases are taken it out of the hands of the local district attorney and put in the hands of the state attorney general

Lesley McSpadden

Lesley McSpadden

Michael Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden on stage at the St. Louis Peace Fest the day before burying her son. (Photo: Brett Myers/Youth Radio via Flickr)

The shooting death of the unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 sparked nationwide protests and fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. A grand jury chose not to indict the white officer who fatally shot Brown while his hands were in the air. Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, however, has taken up the cause, running for a seat in the 2019 Ferguson city council. Although she did not win that race, McSpadden revealed that she is open to running again in 2020.

“I did this because we were all devastated over what we saw almost five years ago,” McSpadden told CNN last month. “I was personally devastated because that’s my son. My children witnessed the devastation.” She added, “After watching Ferguson over these years, I’ve looked for progress and I haven’t seen anything. My candidacy is the first step of building towards justice for my son and building towards a part of his legacy to make sure that my son did not die in vain.”

Tiffany Crutcher

black women

Tiffany Crutcher (Twitter.com/TiffanyCrutcher)

The death of Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old unarmed black man who was fatally shot by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, while his hands were in the air, shook the nation in 2016. The incident occurred when Crutcher’s SUV broke down in the middle of the road. But, instead of receiving car assistance, he was met by several police officers who drew their weapons and typecasted him as a “bad dude.” Video footage shows the officers walked closely behind Crutcher while his hands were up. He then stood beside his car moments before he was tasered and a white female officer opened fire and killed him, arguing that Crutcher failed to adhere to police commands and was reaching inside of the driver side window for a weapon. Crutcher’s attorneys, however, insist that his car window was rolled up.

Following his tragic death, his sister, Tiffany, quit her job as a healthcare provider and became a full-time political activist. In addition to working as a field organizer for Doug Jones’ senatorial campaign in Alabama, she has been involved in several judicial races in the state. “The death of my twin brother forced me to get involved [in politics],” she said, according to The Root. She also launched a national Campaign Against Bad Cops, which seeks to abolish the immunity that protects government officials from being sued for discriminatory actions performed within their official capacity. Furthermore, she and her family are fighting to lower the legal standard an officer has to meet so that they can be more easily indicted for biased killings.

Geneva Reed-Veal

Geneva Reed-Veal

Geneva Reed-Veal (Facebook.com/geneva.reedveal.3)

Geneva Reed-Veal loss her daughter, Sandra Bland, in 2015 in an unexplained hanging death inside of a Texas jail cell, following an unlawful traffic stop. Since then, Reed-Veal has used her voice to speak out against police brutality and state-sponsored abuse by law enforcement. She, along with the eight other “Mothers of the Movement,” also delivered a powerful speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention where she endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

The post From Sorrow to Strategy: 7 Black Women Who’ve Turned Their Agony Into Activism appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Why Melinda Gates Thinks Access to Contraception is Key to Empowering Women | SuperSoul Sunday | OWN



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These Queer Women Don’t Care That Pete Buttigieg Is Gay—They Want a Female President

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty

He makes jokes about Grindr. He embraces his husband in public. He talks about coming out. It’s no surprise that Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic candidate running to be the first openly gay U.S. president, has earned support from across the LGBTQ spectrum. But for some queer women, the primary star is just another white man running for president.

With a record-breaking six women running in 2020, and Hillary Clinton’s bitter defeat still fresh on their tongues, a number of LGBTQ women told The Daily Beast they would simply prefer a female candidate.

“For me, being queer or lesbian, nominating a young, inexperienced white gay man is not my priority,” Duke University professor Ara Wilson told The Daily Beast. “The fact that we have not had women in that high office is, to me, much more marked, much more dramatic, and much more moving.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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7 Black Women Share What No One Told Them About Motherhood

First time mothers can all agree, there were things they were told and other things they simply had to learn. For Black Maternity Health Week (April 11-17), we spoke to seven Black mothers who opened up about their experience with motherhood.

Jasmine Ramnarine, 30, Vlogger 

Source: Jasmine Ramnarine / Jasmine Ramnarine

Once you deliver your baby, your body and mood can completely change. Your hormones do a complete 180. My legs and feet became extremely swollen to the point it hurt to walk. I also still looked and felt 10 months pregnant after birth. It took about a week and half for all the swelling to go down.

My tummy took several months to return to its normal complexion and shrink down. My postpartum stage was so much worse than actually carrying my child. I suffered from postpartum depression for several weeks constantly crying, blaming myself for everything and worrying about my baby.

But with the help from my husband and family I was able to get back to feeling like myself again. Becoming a mother is a huge adjustment for your mind, body and spirit but I am so proud to be a mother to my daughters, I wouldn’t change my experiences for anything in the world!

Ty Alexander, 42, Best Selling Author/ Founder Of Destination Heal

Source: Ty Alexander / Ty Alexander

No one tells you how bad it hurts for obviously reasons. After 24 years, I think about how if I were educated about childbirth back then it wouldn’t have been so painful. I wouldn’t have declined that big needle in my spine. My doctor saw a 19-year-old kid, not a woman giving birth. So I wasn’t given options. I think generations behind me who are blessed with the Internet have an abundance of information. Research how you’d like your child birthing experience to be. It will make all the difference.

And lastly, you are a mom forever. It doesn’t stop at 18. This is a precious human being that you’re responsible for. Know that as humans we fail. You will fail your child. But all know that the love you give is what they will remember (and need) the most.

Christina Brown, Speaker & Digital Marketing Consultant

Source: Rae Faith Photography / Rae Faith Photography

Until I became pregnant, it didn’t occur to me that pregnancy is the ultimate 9-month preparation course for motherhood. The moment your child takes over your body, you are no longer living for just you. Every single decision you make from the food you eat, to the mood you’re in, has an effect on the child. And once the baby is born, those same decisions affect your baby

Chevonne Tingle, 38, Motivational Speaker 

Source: Chevonne Tingle / Chevonne Tingle

I had my first child at 19, a baby boy. I didn’t know much then about pregnancy and birth but I’ve learned so much in 19 years. I learned about the benefits of having a Lotus birth which is where you leave your child placenta and umbilical cord attached and allow it to naturally separate from the baby. I’ve also learned that standing while giving birth is the best and most natural position to be in. If you lying down, you’re going against gravity.

Ravelle Worthington, 32, Founder of Mommy Brain

Source: Aleah Clark / Aleah Clark

I was 27 when I became pregnant with our first child and while I had done the usual research on pregnancy and delivery, it never really occurred to me that I could question what my doctor was telling me during our check-ups. My son ended up being delivered at 34-weeks by emergency c-section when the ultrasound tech noticed what looked like a blockage in the umbilical cord. It all happened so fast.\

One moment my doctor was telling me I would need to have surgery right then and the next I was in a wheelchair being taken to the operating room. After delivery and further inspection of the cord, it turned out to be a gelatinous section and not a blockage after all, but we were erring on the side of caution.
Two kids and two c-sections later (the last one was planned at 39 weeks because my kids are 14 months apart and my new doctor — we had since moved out-of-state — didn’t want to risk a uterine rupture). Now, I’m currently pregnant with my third. What I’ve learned between these pregnancies is how to advocate for myself and that you do have choices.
This time around I’ve decided to try for a vaginal birth after c-section. I was already going to be at the hospital, so if I ended up needing another c-section I would be in the right place. Then I thought about it and realized I had options. I knew there were several doctors at Cedars who allowed for a VBA2C, so I asked for her list of recommendations and set up meetings with the ones I thought would be the best fit.

I now have a doctor who is on board with me trying (I’ll be monitored the whole time) and I’ve hired a doula to be there with my husband and I through the process. It’s so important to have a supportive team on hand.

Arielle Ryan, 26, co-host of The MillenniHER Podcast

Source: Olive Nwosu / Olive Nwosu

One thing I discovered as a new mother, one of twins at that, is how to really be conscious of the signs for postpartum depression and how to navigate through it. Being depressed for up to a year after giving birth was hard and being a young mother with very few friends that were mothers as well, I felt alone. I was moody, agitated, would have episodes of non-stop crying, panic attacks and found myself using other forms of soothing tactics to relieve the pain.\

If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have waited over a year to seek professional help, or see a physician for a diagnosis. I would have trusted that my friends and family would have supported me in my struggle as opposed to assuming that they’d pass judgment.

Destiny Rodriguez, Forever 21 aka … 30

Source: Destiny Rodriguez / Destiny Rodriguez

Have a baby for you and nobody else. Not to fix anything, and not to make someone happy, nope. Won’t work. Having a child is a lifelong, bittersweet commitment. Make sure that’s the core/ foundation. Mental health is so important. So many people may say things like “Forget about you, it’s not about you, you can’t have a life “ etc… but please remember, it’s definitely about you. You can not give your child the best and you are not mentally at your best. Make time for you, buy yourself things, go out, do regular errands without kids or just be alone with yourself. Just because you have a kid, your life shouldn’t stop.

Black Maternal Health week (April 11-17), founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance.


Life & Style – Black America Web


Link Love: Two Women on Going Grey

Alyson Walsh of That’s Not My Age has been documenting her process of transitioning to grey hair for a while now. I particularly liked what she said in her latest blog post on the subject:

“Part of the fear of going grey when you’re over-50, is that the change (of hair colour) will make you look older. I know I look my age and I’m happy with that. With age, comes self-acceptance and increased confidence. Admittedly, there are times when my hair is tied back and I catch my make-up-less-self in the mirror and get a bit of a shock. But I can always usher in the blusher. The reality of this grey-naissance is that I don’t feel older. I feel authentic. I feel better.”

Emma Beddington, who has alopecia universalis (an auto-immune condition where the body views hair as an intruder), switched out her usual auburn wig for a silver grey one, and found that going grey stirred up unexpected emotions:

“I thought this grey business would be a lark, but it wasn’t, actually. It poked at spots I didn’t know were tender and awoke a desire to look nice I had long squashed down. I was sceptical of the much-documented drama of hair ‘transition’ I explored online, silently judging the ‘brave’ and ‘not for the faint-hearted’ narrative grey positivity seems to inspire. This week has taught me I was wrong. Confronting the reality of a physical self you hide or ignore is big stuff, it transpires, and oddly exposing. Theresa has forced me to accept that I am not just a disembodied brain in a padded gilet. But now what? Grey is anything but giving up: it’s hopeful but it’s also challenging.”

Fab Links from Our Members

Robin Givhan’s point about the perjorative use of ‘old lady’ to describe unflattering clothes completely resonated with Shevia: “Indeed, for each silver-haired model with sharp cheekbones and a long, lean body that designers put on the runway or venerate in an advertising campaign or on the red carpet, they articulate countless cautions against ‘old lady’ style, or ensembles looking too ‘mother-of-the-bride’ or ‘mumsy’ — all of which land like a thousand paper cuts.”

UmmLila wanted to share this article about public figures receiving advice on how to be appropriately dressed for the occasions they appear at.

Runcarla thinks it’s pretty cool when celebrities ‘thrift’, and particularly interesting that vintage maternity wear from the late ’50s and ’60s seems apropos.

Following our recent conversation about leggings, kkards thinks Vanessa Friedman has done a great job of laying out the leggings debate as a generation shift. This paragraph in particular spoke to her: “The truth is, it’s possible leggings may be simply standing in for those other issues. One of the great gotchas of fashion is that what may appear superficial or unimportant (leggings!) is, in fact, representative of a more complicated, harder to express reality (identity). This is what gives clothes their power.”

Thinking about identity, Vildy enjoyed this article on leather jackets for guys who aren’t sure about leather jackets.

Recently unfrumped has been feeling inspired by Jamie-Lee of Mademoiselle and Alyssa Beltempo of msbeltempo: “Both actually for buying less. I am continuing my very slow wardrobe editing and I need repeated reminders for focus and versatility (non- imaginary). Most of it relates to my work wardrobe because that gets over expanded as I feel ‘justified’, but in general having things that aren’t getting enough wear for the space they occupy.”

NOTE: Some rich content in this post was omitted because it isn’t supported by the feed. Please visit the post on youlookfab.com to see the additional content.



Anita Hill at The DVF Awards: ‘Stand With Women Who Need and Deserve to Be Heard, and Have The Right To Be Heard’

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Last night at the Brooklyn Museum, Anita Hill waited patiently to take a group photo with Katy Perry, Gloria Steinem, Arianna Huffington, and Allison Williams. That sentence could have come straight from Mad Libs’ 2018 Feminism Edition; instead, it was the scene at the 10th annual Diane von Furstenberg Awards.

All were gathered inside the museum’s regal Beaux-Arts-Court, lounging on white leather love seats underneath a large brass chandelier, to fête the night’s award winners. Some of them, like Hill and Perry, were household names.

But the three main honorees—Susan Burton, who advocates for women reentering society after incarceration, Nadia Murad, an Iraqi activist and survivor of ISIS’ genocidal campaign, and Hadeel Mustafa Anabtawi, who runs an empowerment center for girls in Jordanian refugee camp and villages, are lesser-known.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast — Fashion


How this café owner is creating space for Black women in the coffee business

How this café owner is creating space for Black women in the coffee business

How this café owner is creating space for Black women in the coffee business

In “Doing The Work,” a four-part series from HG contributor Tiffany Lashai Curtis, four Black women who work in different industries tell us their stories. During Black Women’s History Month, we hope this series uplifts and amplifies the work of Black women in spaces where they are underrepresented or rendered invisible.

Coffee has solidified its role in many of our lives. In fact, a 2018 study commissioned by the National Coffee Association found that Americans are enjoying more coffee on a daily basis now than in previous years. An entire culture exists around coffee, whether you’re quietly preparing and drinking coffee at home as a small act of self-care, meeting up with a friend at a local coffee joint, or showing your face at Starbucks so much that the baristas know your daily order by heart.

And while a steaming cup of instant Folgers at home is fine (and cost-effective), sometimes the lure of a $ 5 oat milk latte is enough to make us head over to a café. While national coffee chains are convenient, independently owned coffee businesses can offer a more unique experience.

I had one such experience at Bushwick Grind, a Black-owned, full-service café located in Brooklyn, New York. I was looking for somewhere to try my first iced dirty chai on my last day in East Williamsburg. Not only did I end up having a bomb French Toast Benedict and latte, I ended up chatting with the cafe’s co-owner, Kymme Williams-Davis, who owns the establishment with her husband, Raymond Davis.

We ended up talking briefly about her experiences as a Black woman in the coffee industry, and by the time our conversation ended, I felt like I had just spoken with a long-time friend. I began considering how we never really see or even think of Black people when we envision coffee culture. I knew Kymme’s story needed to be told.

For the second profile in this series, I spoke with Kymme about the highs and lows of co-owning a cafe, and the work she is doing to transform the relationship between Black people and coffee. Get into our conversation below.

Photograph of Kymme Williams-Davis and Raymond Davis in front of Bushwick Grind
Courtesy of Kymme Williams-Davis

HelloGiggles (HG): You’re a coffee brewer who is trained in “third-wave coffee.” How long have you been a coffee brewer, and can you explain what “third-wave” means for folks who may be coffee novices?

Kymme Williams-Davis (KWD):  So, first-wave coffee references a time when people (in the U.S.) mostly got their coffee from grocery stores, flea markets…the big box names were Folgers, etc. Second-wave is what really made coffee popular in the U.S. with stores like Peet’s Coffee and Starbucks making coffee a social activity. Third-wave refers to smaller independent cafes like mine who purchase coffee from sustainable sources—usually directly from farmers (direct trade) or a coalition/collective of farmers (fair trade), which ensures that the people who grow, harvest, and process green coffee get a fair wage.

HG: You’re also a café owner. How long have you been running your own business, and what do you feel Bushwick Grind offers that mainstream coffee shops don’t?

KWD: Yes, my husband Raymond Davis and I are the proud owners.  We started three years ago as a coffee shop but we have evolved into a full café in that we have a full kitchen offering healthy breakfast, lunch, and brunch. Nowadays, great food and beverage is “table stakes”—anyone can offer that. Our market differentiator is our service delivery; it is of utmost importance that we get to know our guests. We say that we don’t have customers, we have guests—guests who just happen to have to pay before leaving.  

When guests pay, they are not just paying for their food, they are paying for our time. Even if that is just a warm smile or full ‘counter therapy.’ Also, we are one of the few shops in the area offering healthier food options with organic, farm-to-table ingredients. Our vendors (we like to consider them partners) are mostly farmers or distributors of farmers.  So our produce purchases are actually helping the New York farmers in a small way. Last, we are very community-oriented. We try our best and do our part to donate time and resources locally when we can. As we grow, we hope to do more and/or start a nonprofit arm of the business to help support our community children.

HG: Coffee culture has rarely been associated with Black people. Between the cost of specialty coffee and the overwhelming whiteness of many coffee establishments, sipping and learning about coffee can be inaccessible to us. How do you think your work as a coffee professional has helped to shift the way Black people relate to coffee?

KWD: That is a very true statement. I had two sisters of color tell me, inside our shop, “This place isn’t for ‘us.’” They didn’t realize my husband and I were the owners. We are in Bushwick, which is historically a Brooklyn community of Black and brown people, but 80% of our guests are not people of color. Now that we have a full kitchen, we are seeing an increase in people of color clientele, but still not so much for the coffee. In terms of cost, coffee is a very manual process, whereby a farmer is picking a fruit from a tree to get to the seed, then process it—which is a “process” in itself. This is done in most countries with people of color, and speciality coffee shops help ensure those people are given a fair wage for the work they do.

I think if more people of color truly understood the supply chain of coffee, they would feel more attached to it and would feel more aligned with the culture—even the “Americanized” version of it.

HG: Why does it matter that we have Black women in the coffee brewing industry and Black women-owned cafés?

KWD:  I think, like in every industry, diversity is important. Exclusion is absence and creates a void. Black women’s talents and experiences in coffee can help fill voids, as well as lend to the advancement of the industry. Black Girl Magic is impactful.

HG: What highs and lows have you experienced as a Black woman working with coffee? 

KWD: Opening this shop with my husband has been the joy of my life. The highs, hands down, include the community we have built. Our guests truly give us life.  We have met and engaged with people from all over the world, people  local to Brooklyn, and people traveling or working in the area. Their stories, conversations, and vibes fuel each of us. Everyone on the team, except our newest team member, has been with us since the day we opened three years ago, so they are family.

The lows, without a doubt, are the costs to run this business. With workers’ comp insurance, licensing fees, professional services fees, N.Y.C. rate utilities, private sanitation, etc. and the rising lease cost, it is so expensive to operate a retail store. Revenue does not equal profit if you cannot decrease expenses. We have to hustle seriously hard and find creative ways to generate multiple revenue streams for the business to be profitable, like catering services, hosting events, pop-up concessions, etc.

HG: How would you like to see more Black women flourish in the coffee industry?

KWD: When we started our research about five years ago, we listed about 15 coffee roasters who we wanted to interview as a potential source to buy our coffee from. So many said we were the first people to do that. Anyway, in visiting the big popular roasters to the smaller ones, we discovered there were little to no people of color in the back of the house.  Black women should know that there is an extensive career path in the profession and science of coffee. There are positions as coffee trainers, equipment repair persons, salespersons, Q-Graders, buyers, etc. But I almost NEVER see Black women [in this industry], and if there are one or two, they are typically not American Black women—they are from a coffee-producing country and likely grew up with coffee their entire lives.

There are two very well known sistas in the U.S. with national notoriety and respect in the coffee industry; they are at every Coffee Fest and SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) and BGA (Barista Guild of America) event and other noteworthy coffee event. They are always making a case for more women of color to join this industry.  

HG: Why is it important that Black people have spaces that feel like home—even when we’re doing something as mundane as drinking coffee?

KWD: Our core values are written on an easel right near the door when you walk in the shop. It has been there since the day we opened, so our team as well as our guests are reminded of our purpose for the day. In short, it says that we strive to make our guests leave a little better than how they came. That is what is important about us having spaces. When we walk into a room, we add to the energy and vibe of that space. When we leave, we take some of that energy and vibe with us. If you are sitting in a space for five minutes or two hours, you must feel welcomed, at home, and comfortable to be yourself.

HG: What’s next for you and coffee?

KWD: We have invested in advanced paid training for one of our baristas who is a woman of color. She is a few course hours away from earning a highly recognized coffee industry certification. She will be one of the very few baristas on the east coast who is certified. This will ‘socially legitimize’ our shop as one that is serious about speciality coffee practices. The vision is to have the Bushwick Grind team out at latte art competitions and coffee festivals and cuppings.  My husband and I will focus on running the business, and our team will grow in their skill, talents, and knowledge, which will help elevate our brand. In short, we are contributing to more Black women working and being respected in the industry.

Kymme Williams-Davis at Bushwick Grind
Courtesy of Kymme Williams-Davis

HG: Who is another Black woman in this industry that we should know about?

KWD: The two women I referred to earlier, one is Michelle Jonson, known as the Chocolate Barista. I have been following her for a few years now. Her work focuses on the promotion of racial diversity and inclusion in the specialty coffee industry. In fact, there is a huge, if not the biggest, coffee event this week in Boston hosted by the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) that I will be attending. She partnered with big-name sponsors to host a mixer for the limited people of color at this event so they will not feel isolated and excluded. She does a ton for the advancement in coffee industry; she is def Google worthy.  

The post How this café owner is creating space for Black women in the coffee business appeared first on HelloGiggles.



Bill Cosby settles defamation lawsuit brought by seven women

Convicted sex offender Bill Cosby on Friday settled a federal defamation lawsuit brought by seven women who said the former actor and comedian sexually assaulted them and wrongly called them liars when they went public with their charges years later.
Reuters: People News


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Gigi Hadid, Variety's Power of WomenGigi Hadid, sister Bella Hadid, Taraji P. Henson and attended Variety’s annual Power of Women luncheon in New York on Friday.
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How this sex educator is helping Black women embrace pleasure and heal from trauma

How this sex educator is helping Black women embrace pleasure and heal from trauma

How this sex educator is helping Black women embrace pleasure and heal from trauma

In “Doing The Work,” a four-part series from HG contributor Tiffany Lashai Curtis, four Black women who work in different industries tell us their stories. During Black Women’s History Month, we hope this series uplifts and amplifies the work of Black women in spaces where they are underrepresented or rendered invisible.

The sex and wellness industry has expanded in recent years as more and more conversations take place highlighting women’s pleasure and undoing sex-negative messages. But as in other industries, the work of Black women in the realm of sex and wellness isn’t always highlighted or celebrated.

Historically, Black women have had a tumultuous relationship with sexual pleasure. As we continue to reclaim our bodies and our sexuality, we are still forced to navigate centuries-old stereotypes of either being hypersexualized deviants (the “jezebel”) or homely figures devoid of sex lives (the “mammy”).

So when it comes to our sexual health and pleasure, the conversation extends beyond trying a new sex toy or exploring a kink. It’s about healing and finding bodily autonomy as Black women and their bodies continue to be disproportionately subjected to violence and scrutiny.

That’s why the work of Black woman sex educators, therapists, and wellness practitioners is so important, and Jimanekia Eborn is a Black woman sex educator, trauma specialist, and podcaster who is out here doing the work to help Black women and femmes achieve sexual liberation. One example of this is Eborn’s recent collaboration with The KinkKit, a sexual wellness and education company founded by Candice Smith, on a pleasure-positive healing kit for survivors of sexual assault.

Jimanekia Eborn
Mark Dektor

For the first profile in this series, I spoke with Eborn about her work around pleasure and trauma, as well as the importance of Black women in the sex education and wellness space. Read our conversation below.

HelloGiggles (HG): You’ve been doing work around mental health for the last 10 years. What moved you to begin incorporating sex ed and sexual trauma support into your work?

Jimanekia Eborn (JE): Funny you ask that. I actually started focusing on sexual trauma pretty early on. After I was assaulted during my third year of college and [my experience was] dismissed, the first thing I did was become a rape crisis counselor and open an online vintage clothing store. I am a Gemini with a Cancer Stellium—when I say that, it suddenly makes sense to folks. I was drawn to helping and supporting survivors, which for me just felt natural and easy.

As for the combination of sex ed and trauma, working in the intensity of mental health was a lot. I wanted to work in a space that was ever evolving and never boring. I told my mom one day, ‘I think I wanna work in sex.’ Her response was ‘Oh, hell.’ I don’t know about you,, but when I tell my momma stuff, it is official for me. When I started really exploring sexual education, I realized that not a lot of people were talking about trauma… So many of us are connected to trauma and need to deal with the trauma to get to the pleasure aspect. So when I realized that most weren’t, I started to [explore that]. I found my niche in sex ed doing something that I truly loved and was really good at: supporting survivors.

HG: How has your identity impacted your work in the sex education and wellness space?

JE: I have many identities that I think have been helpful in many ways. I’m queer and polyamorous. A lot of people in sex ed are as well, or just understand these identities, so that has been cool—although there is only one [identity] that is visible. Being a Black woman is interesting in any space. I still feel like I have to fight and break doors down. I’m constantly calling people out. As for being queer and polyamorous, those aren’t things you have to fight for as much in these particular spaces. But the more I evolve in the field, the more comfortable I am; I’ve become louder when calling people out and holding them accountable.

Jimanekia Eborn
Mark Dektor

HG: Whose voices do you think are centered the most in the sex education and wellness space? Whose stories need to be amplified?

JE: I mean, any voice without melanin is centered. I will be honest; sex ed is no different from any other field. There are levels to this game, and at the top is white men, down to white women, then the rest of [us]. As long as I grew up hearing about sex ed, it was never from the voice or work of those who had melanin within their skin. I will say that within the last two years, things have been changing quickly and aggressively, and it’s somewhat beautiful. Sadly, the voices that need to be amplified are having to show up and show out to get their voices heard—which are POC folks, trans folks, and folks with disabilities. But we are tired of being pushed to the side. So we are amplifying each other and calling others out. We are quick to back each other because other folks have not.

HG: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. What are some ways that the sex and wellness industry can better support survivors of sexual assault, especially those who are people of color?

JE: That is easy. The same thing that I tell anyone that asks how they can support survivors: Listen to them and ask them what they need! It is so exhausting constantly reminding people that they do not know better than the survivor. Ask them what they need versus telling them what they need. Listen to hear them, do not listen to respond. It is not helpful to either party.

HG: How can sex ed curriculums do better at addressing topics like consent and sexual trauma?

JE: I am still wrestling with the fear that people have about talking about consent and sexual trauma. Like, do they think if they do not talk about it, it will stop or go away? These are things that we are all affected by. We all have known someone that has had their consent [violated] or has had some sexual trauma. The only way that we can evolve to safer spaces is to actually talk about them. Be honest about what is going on in the world. I think we need to start talking to kids pretty young. If we give them the tools while they’re young, I believe it can help them to better navigate the world.

Jimanekia Eborn, Trauma Queen podcast
Art by Zoie Loves

HG: Your podcast Trauma Queen aims to normalize talking about assault and healing. Season 3 of Trauma Queen is specifically focused on the experiences of Black femmes. Why is it important that Black femmes be given the opportunity to tell their own experiences of surviving and healing from trauma of all kinds?

JE: For me, Black femmes are everything. We carry the world on our shoulders and no one gives a damn about us. Honestly, Black femmes raise themselves, their kids, their partners, and other people, and other people’s damn kids. Yet we are constantly overlooked and thrown under the bus. I wanted to recognize different types of femmes as well; that was really important to me. Because there is no one way that a Black femme looks. I wanted someone to hear a story that resonated within them, that they could say, “Chile, me too.” I also really and truly believe that there is so much healing in storytelling, which is something that is very important and strong in Black culture in general.  I also think this season was healthy for me to spend time emerged in the energy of Black femmes. I am so thankful.

HG: Black women have historically never held autonomy over their own bodies or sexuality. How can pleasure positive experiences help us to collectively heal and reclaim our bodies?

JE: Sadly, this is so real! There is something about being told that you matter. We as Black women do not get told that outside of from other women. And even then, there are some women who do not support others. That is a whole ‘nother conversation. But having pleasure positive experiences strengthens us. And teaches and reminds us that we are so much more than what others have pushed upon us or attempted to force us to believe. There is strength in numbers; there is strength within beautiful and positive experiences. I have been and will continue to say, this is our year! This is not temporary; this is the START of the breakdown because as Black women, we are tired and taking what is already ours back.

Jimanekia Eborn
Mark Dektor

HG: Why is having Black women as practitioners and experts in the sex education and wellness space essential?

JE: Black women to me are traditionally natural healers. It is just embedded within us and passed down through us. We have a way of reading you down and also picking you up in the same breath. Making you feel seen and supported, knowing that we mean business. We are a force to be reckoned with and I honestly think it makes people nervous and keeps them on their toes. I believe that is why we are also held back, because we are truly walking beings of magic. Black women are also not just focused on themselves as some others may be—we are about uplifting and doing things together, unlike others.

HG: Black women are chronically underrepresented, undervalued, and under-recognized across many industries. What’s one thing you want people to know about the work of Black women in the sex ed and wellness industry?

JE: Whew chile, one thing? We have been doing this work in our own communities and homes for years. Why are you so afraid to share the space, and give us our roses now?  GIVE US OUR ROSES WHEN WE ARE STILL HERE!

The post How this sex educator is helping Black women embrace pleasure and heal from trauma appeared first on HelloGiggles.



Black Women Can’t Wait 106 Years for Equal Pay

Today is National Equal Pay Day and it is only right to address the fact that black women work twice as hard as their counterparts, if not harder, yet still earn less. According to research conducted by the Institute for Women’s Research Policy, if trends in the pay gap persist like they have over the last 30 years, black women will have to continue to work hard until 2124 just to receive equal pay.

We spoke with Teresa C. Younger, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation, about closing the pay gap and how women can persevere as they work toward receiving equal pay.

What does closing the pay gap mean for women beyond the dollar signs?

The pay gap is really about how we value women. And in this country, we have continually under-valued women. Particularly women of color and particularly black women. So for us, and as a black woman, this is how we place value on who we are and what we bring into our society.

It’s not “just” about the dollars and cents.

Although, it is about the dollars and cents because if you can pay your bills, put some money in the bank, and transfer that wealth to the next generation then that’s critical and that helps to build what our society could look like. If we can start making sure that our women are paid for their worth in our society, it will show and reflect their value. And help them uphold a level of self-confidence they will carry into other aspects of their lives.

How can women be more involved in being a part of the change they want to see?

There is so much going on in life that feels completely overwhelming. And we often ask ourselves, ‘what can any one person do?’ and ‘what can I do because this feels like so much?’

Whether you’re registered to vote; whether you’re able to talk to your manager or supervisor; how you’re able to ask a question; or whether you’re able to mentor somebody, we want women to walk out of this room today knowing that there is something that they can do. And if everyone does something that adds up to a whole lot of things and that’s how we create the momentum for change.

What advice do you have for women as they fight to close the pay gap?

There are a couple of things that we have to come to terms with when we recognize that we’re going to be about making change happen:

  1. It does not happen overnight.
  2. We do not get to be tired. We have a responsibility to those shoulders that we stand on and those generations that come behind us. We have to step in, fight wholeheartedly, and do it with full honesty and integrity to who we are. And, we have to hold other people accountable.
  3. We have to engage with people one on one. We can’t just stand outside and scream at the air—we actually have to start talking with people.

When I think about this fight for pay equity, it is about at this moment in time us finally placing value on women of color. At this moment in time, it is about holding those [people in high places] accountable. This moment in time, it’s about opening the doors so that others can come in behind us and come in strong.


The post Black Women Can’t Wait 106 Years for Equal Pay appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


This new bra promises comfort for women fighting breast cancer

Breast cancer survivors frequently complain about the comfort of their lingerie after having had surgery. Now a New York startup medical wear company for people with disabilities promises to change that with a new, specialized bra for women who have undergone mastectomies and reconstructive breast surgeries. The $ 65 Care + Wear Recovery Bra’s key feature…
Fashion News, Photos, and Video | New York Post


Stevie Nicks and Janet Jackson Enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Calling for More Women Inductees

(NEW YORK) — Stevie Nicks, who became the first woman inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Janet Jackson, the latest member of the Jackson clan to enter the hall, called for other women to join them in music immortality on a night they were honored with five all-male British bands.

Jackson issued her challenge just before leaving the stage of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” she said, “in 2020, induct more women.”

Neither Jackson or Nicks were around at the end of the evening when another Brit, Ian Hunter, led an all-star jam at the end to “All the Young Dudes.” The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs was the only woman onstage.

During the five-hour ceremony, Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music thanked multiple bass players and album cover designers, the Cure’s Robert Smith proudly wore his mascara and red lipstick a month shy of his 60th birthday and two of Radiohead’s five members showed up for trophies.

During Def Leppard’s induction, Rick Allen was moved to tears by the audience’s standing ovation when singer Joe Elliott recalled the drummer’s perseverance following a 1985 accident that cost him an arm.

Jackson followed her brothers Michael and the Jackson 5 as inductees. She said she wanted to go to college and become a lawyer growing up, but her late father Joe had other ideas for her.

“As the youngest in my family, I was determined to make it on my own,” she said. “I was determined to stand on my own two feet. But never in a million years did I expect to follow in their footsteps.”

She encouraged Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, producers of her breakthrough “Control” album and most of her vast catalog, to stand in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for recognition, as well as booster Questlove. She thanked Dick Clark of “American Bandstand” and Don Cornelius of “Soul Train,” along with her choreographers including Paula Abdul.

There was some potential for awkward vibes Friday, since the event was being filmed to air on HBO on April 27. HBO angered the Jackson family this winter for showing the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” about two men who alleged Michael Jackson abused them when they were boys. Jackson never mentioned Michael specifically in her remarks but thanked her brothers, and he was shown on screen with the rest of the family.

Jackson was inducted by an enthusiastic Janelle Monae, whose black hat and black leather recalled some of her hero’s past stage looks. She said Jackson had been her phone’s screen-saver for years as a reminder to be focused and fearless in how she approached art.

Nicks was the night’s first induction. She is already a member of the hall as a member of Fleetwood Mac, but only the first woman to join 22 men — including all four Beatles members — to have been honored twice by the rock hall for the different stages of their career.

Nicks offered women a blueprint for success, telling them her trepidation in first recording a solo album while a member of Fleetwood Mac and encouraging others to match her feat.

“I know there is somebody out there who will be able to do it,” she said, promising to talk often of how she built her solo career. “What I am doing is opening up the door for other women.”

During her four-song set, she brought onstage a cape she bought in 1983 to prove to her “very frugal” late mother that it was still in good shape, and worth its $ 3,000 price tag. Don Henley joined her to sing “Leather and Lace,” while Harry Styles filled in for the late Tom Petty on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”

David Byrne inducted Radiohead, noting he was flattered the band named itself after one of his songs. He said their album “Kid A” was the one that really hooked him, and he was impressed Radiohead could be experimental in both their music and how they conduct business.

“They’re creative and smart in both areas, which was kind of a rare combination for artists, not just now but anytime,” he said.

With only drummer Philip Selway and guitarist Ed O’Brien on hand, Radiohead didn’t perform; there was a question of whether any of them would show up given the group’s past ambivalence about the hall. But both men spoke highly of the honor.

“This is such a beautifully surreal evening for us,” said O’Brien. “It’s a big (expletive) deal and it feels like it. … I wish the others could be here because they would be feeling it.”

The Cure’s Smith has been a constant in a band of shifting personnel, and he stood onstage for induction Friday with 11 past and current members. Despite their goth look, the Cure has a legacy of pop hits, and performed three of them at Barclays, “I Will Always Love You,” ”Just Like Heaven” and “Boys Don’t Cry.”

Visibly nervous, Smith called his induction a “very nice surprise” and shyly acknowledged the crowd’s cheers.

“It’s been a fantastic thing, it really has,” he said. “We love you, too.”

His inductee, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, recalled ridiculing the rock hall in past years because he couldn’t believe the Cure wasn’t in. When he got the call that the band was in, he said “I was never so happy eating my words as I was that day.”

Def Leppard sold tons of records, back when musicians used to do that, with a heavy metal sound sheened to pop perfection on songs like “Photograph” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” They performed them in a set that climaxed the annual ceremony.

Singer Joe Elliott stressed the band’s working-class roots, thanking his parents and recalling how his father gave them 150 pounds to make their first recording in 1978.

Besides Allen’s accident, the band survived the 1991 death of guitarist Steve Clark. Elliott said there always seemed to be a looming sense of tragedy around the corner for the band, but “we wouldn’t let it in.”

“If alcoholism, car crashes and cancer couldn’t kill us, the ’90s had no (expletive) chance,” said Elliott, referring to his band mates as the closest thing to brothers that an only child could have.

Roxy Music, led by the stylish Ferry, performed a five-song set that included hits “Love is the Drug,” ”More Than This” and “Avalon.” (Brian Eno didn’t show for the event).

Simon LeBon and John Taylor of Duran Duran inducted them, with Taylor saying that hearing Roxy Music in concert at age 14 showed him what he wanted to do with his life.

“Without Roxy Music, there really would be no Duran Duran,” he said.

The soft-spoken Ferry thanked everyone from a succession of bass players to album cover designers. “We’d like to thank everyone for this unexpected honor,” he said.

The Zombies, from rock ‘n’ roll’s original British invasion, were the veterans of the night. They made it despite being passed over in the past, but were gracious in their thanks of the rock hall. They performed hits “Time of the Season,” ”Tell Her No” and “She’s Not There.”

Zombies lead singer Rod Argent noted that the group had been eligible for the hall for 30 years but the honor had eluded them.

“To have finally passed the winning post this time — fantastic!”

Entertainment – TIME


6 Black women freelancers share what it takes to protect their mental health in the gig economy

6 Black women freelancers share what it takes to protect their mental health in the gig economy

6 Black women freelancers share what it takes to protect their mental health in the gig economy

In “I Rise,” a series from HelloGiggles, Black women writers examine Black women’s mental health from every angle—from what it takes to access treatment, to the exchange of trauma across generations. We hope this series arms women with information and power, and opens up more space for this important conversation to take place.

It’s no secret that we live in a gig economy and that more industries have started to rely on freelancers heavily, if not entirely, to keep organizations afloat. According to the Freelancing in America 2018 study, 56.7 million Americans are freelancers, and 64% of freelance work is being done online.

Freelancers are afforded a certain level of control over their schedules and projects, certainly more than traditional employees. But with that also comes instability, since freelancers are treated as independent contractors without the same protections as salaried employees. In fact, freelancers frequently struggle to secure affordable health care and enough work to make a decent living, and many have to follow up repeatedly with clients to be paid on time, if at all.

The uncertainty that comes with living the freelance life can be stressful at best and negatively impact your mental health at worst, even more so if you’re a marginalized writer. Black women and femme freelance writers have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to culture, but so often get tapped merely to comment on or react to instances of trauma and oppression. In addition to having to perform that kind of emotional labor, Black women and femme freelance writers never see the same rates of pay as their white counterparts.

To help Black freelancers lay the groundwork for better emotional and mental health, HelloGiggles spoke to six Black women writers about how freelancing has impacted their mental health and self-care, what it’s like to tell their most difficult stories, and how the media industry can be more supportive. 

“I’m thinking of finding other work because of the way working as a freelancer has affected me. Working as a writer has made me more anxious, and I’m annoyingly glued to my phone and computer. I’ve been having trouble being present and connected to my surroundings. 

[For self-care,] sometimes I don’t write a single word for days. It feels like I’m being lazy, but I know that’s necessary for me. I don’t like when the days and stories run together; I try to approach each one with a fresh mind, new ideas, and details. I also do small things, like wake up and immediately shower, instead of sitting on my phone for 30 minutes. It helps.

I would like for us to be paid more. I also would like for everyone to be given more freedom. Sometimes stories are cyclical and contrived, because editors know they’ll get clicks or because they don’t know what kinds of pieces are really important to Black audiences. It’s not right.”

Brooklyn White, freelance writer and artist

“[Freelancing is] exhausting. I’ve been moving nonstop and think about work all times of the day. Basically, my work-life balance is non-existent.

I need to be more proactive about [my mental health]. But I’m afraid if I stop to think of myself, I’ll miss out on work.

My most difficult stories relate to the fears I have about raising Black children in the midwest. They aren’t hypothetical concepts, like many of the other topics I cover. They are everyday struggles.

I don’t want to be a ‘go-to’ for stories exclusively during ‘Black times’ of the year. I’m a multi-dynamic individual with a wide range of views. My Black identity is just one of many aspects of what I can cover.”

— Ambreia Meadows-Fernandez, health care journalist and content strategist

“Freelancing has had a massive impact on my mental health. The fluctuation of it, the constant hustling—this can all be detrimental to my mental health. As such, it’s taught me to make tending to my mental health much more of a priority than it would be if I had a ‘traditional’ job.

Radical self-care and tending to my mental health looks like many things. Day to day, it means staying on top of my to-do lists for tasks, tracking my budgeting/spending/invoicing daily, and limiting my social media time. I tend to do best with having set rules regarding my social media at the beginning and end of the day (I try not to take my phone off airplane mode for the first hour I’m awake, and get off social media by 10 p.m. to give me time for my nighttime routine). But self-care also means prioritizing time to take care of my body: stretching, drinking water, doing non-work/hustle-related things that get me reconnected back to myself after a long week.

I’ve recently begun talking more about my chronic pain, and I still find it challenging to intellectualize what I’m experiencing and my relationship to it because, well, I’m still sorting through it all. I want to honor the space that I need to sit with things for myself first before sharing them with the world, and I try not to let myself get too caught up in that pressure [to write about my personal life].

Above all else, I want us to be paid what we are worth from the jump. Too many Black women and femme writers expend so much energy to be paid, and most of the time, we end up getting a fraction of what white writers in our fields [receive]. I provide a lot of labor in my work as a freelance writer and sex educator, and many people will only count a fraction of that work as ‘billable.’ But that needs to change. I want Black women and femme writers to have their rates respected, and be paid what we deserve from the beginning instead of having to fight so hard for it.”

Cameron Glover, freelance writer, podcaster, and sex educator

“Being a freelance writer is rewarding because I get to write from a place of passion as opposed to being shoved a topic/beat and expected to write well about something I couldn’t care less about or have no connection to. I get to craft something that’s near and dear to my heart and share it with the world. However, digital spaces are increasingly click-centered, so the pressure to pull millions of hits can be draining. It can be defeating to not meet a click goal or see/hear ANY response to something you poured yourself into. This has caused me a bit of anxiety and I’ve procrastinated with some of my work, fearing not being able to do a good job. And isn’t that wild? A good job is now defined by the tap of a finger, not the depth, breadth, vulnerability, research necessary to the craft.

Lately I’m starting my days free of internet, social media, or contact with anyone outside of my house. I used to check my emails and social media as soon as I woke up at 6:30 a.m. As a Black woman, that learned lack of boundaries to try to be all things to all people made me feel as though I was always treading water, just about to drown. Now, I’m practicing waking up with a prayer, a scripture, my journal, and some tea. I value what I do, but I’m not a brain surgeon. No one will die if I don’t respond to emails before 10 a.m. Letting my ego take her rest has been the most radical form of self-care. It frees me to be grateful, calm, and increasingly creative.

I felt compelled to write about getting fired from a job that just wasn’t right for me. We talk about vulnerability and authenticity a lot these days, but only a handful of us are really willing to be honest about the less-than-ideal slices of our lives. I didn’t want to be seen as a failure. Again, my ego popped up, terrified of taking that kind of hit. But in actuality, it was the most satisfying thing. It highlighted the uselessness of shame and gifted me the opportunity to build community with incredible people. It got a great dialogue going about what it means to follow the path that’s meant for you instead of trying to fold and mold yourself into a box that makes everyone else comfortable with you.

Black women’s experiences are varied, our expertise and interests are vast. It’s crazy to me that we must keep reminding the world of this. We embody a spectrum that too few care to call to the table. They want the monolith that gets clicks and sells papers and makes for edgy headlines and neat little obligation-filling-yet-ineffective diversity campaigns. I’m interested and invested in our invitation to actual conversations and not just the commodification of our ideas and creative expression.”

Ashley Hobbs, freelance writer, director, and creative producer

“I was a freelancer for two years. In the 24-hour news cycle, it was a constant churn and burn of competing headlines and chasing late payments. I had to take time off indefinitely.

During my hiatus, I discovered yoga and wellness. I got certified as a teacher and use my Instagram as my creative outlet.

As a freelance writer, it often felt like the only way to get greenlit was to share a really deeply racialized trauma story. This was often tied to a current event, so it was like always reopening a fresh wound.

It is my hope that Black women will be able to write about whatever they want and all of our stories will be heard. Equal treatment can only come from sharing more of our stories unrelated to trauma or to at least offer more agency in the stories we choose to share.”

Jagger Blaec, freelance writer and yoga instructor

“Being a freelancer is unstable, particularly financially. This impacts my mental health because if my pitch isn’t picked up, I don’t get paid, therefore I cannot seek out the care that I need around my mental health.

I don’t tend to my mental health enough. I put my job and getting paid first, and if I have the time and resources, then I will practice self-care and tend to my mental health. Though I can write about and acknowledge how necessary it is to our communities, it is difficult for me to put into practice, mostly due to lack of stability as a freelancer.

One of the most difficult stories to tell was one I wrote about my relationship with my mother, who is white, and the labor that I have to perform to educate her as her Black daughter. I was fearful of this story painting her in a negative light, and how I could tell it without feeling like I was exposing all of her faults, while still being honest to myself and telling my truth.

I want to see us holding editor positions, creative director, editor-in-chief, etc., not just freelance positions. Publications are quick to ask for our stories, but never want us holding the positions of power. They want our labor and creativity to get them revenue, but will never pay us what we deserve. I want to see us at every level in the journalism industry.”

Dominique Norman, freelance writer, fashion activist, higher education professional

The post 6 Black women freelancers share what it takes to protect their mental health in the gig economy appeared first on HelloGiggles.



Harsh Reality for Hot Women: Co-Workers Think You’re a Liar

Reuters / Eric Vidal

Attractive businesswomen are considered less trustworthy, less truthful and more deserving of being fired than men and less attractive women. That’s according to a new study from researchers who have dubbed the persistent sexist phenomenon as the “femme fatale effect.”

The research shows that both men and women judge attractive women differently from less attractive women because of feelings of sexual insecurity, jealousy and fear. The effect has been shown by the academic research to have persisted despite decades of feminism and more awareness of the damaging consequences of gender stereotyping.

“Highly attractive women can be perceived as dangerous and that matters when we are assessing things like how much we trust them and whether we believe that what they are saying is truthful,” Leah Sheppard from the WSU Carson College of Business, who was the lead author of the paper, said in a release published by the Eurekalert science news website.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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20 Must-Listen to Black Women Podcasts for 2019

Podcasting is a big business and one that is expected to keep growing. According to Podcast Insights, there are currently over 660,000 podcasts and over 28 million episodes as of last month. Convince&Convert states podcast listening by women has increased 14% in one year. Yet, podcasting remains a genre mostly used and created by white people. In fact, The Columbia Journalism Review asked recently, “Why are #PodcastsSoWhite?” Even major podcast platforms including Spotify and Google are holding competitions in an effort to increase podcast diversity. There is anecdotal evidence, though, that more black people–and black women in particular–are turning to podcasting as a way to amplify their voices. With that in mind, here is a round-up of 20 podcasts by black women that are sure to inspire, spark joy, and give you a few giggles.

20 Must-Listen to Black Women Podcasts for 2019

1. Affirm 

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

This biweekly mental health podcast is for women of color who seek wholeness through affirming their worth and placing value on their mental health.

2. Balanced Black Girl

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

This self-care podcast hosted by Lestraundra Alfred is known for providing a dose of real-life wellness for women of color. She often has guests on who have candid discussions surrounding healthy lifestyle and happiness.

3. Black Girl Podcast

Having met at radio station Hot 97, hosts Scottie Beam, Gia Peppers, Sapphira, Bex, and Alysha P come together for giggle-worthy conversation on the topics of sisterhood, pop culture, love, dreams, and growth.

4. Black Women About Business

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

This entrepreneurial podcast, hosted by Demarra Gardner, MA, LPC, CAC, is fairly new to the scene, beginning in November of 2018. All episodes are under 20 minutes in length and deliver information to support black females to “intersect business, leadership, and wellness.”

5. Clever Girls Know

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

Hosted by Bola Sokunbi, this podcast is a platform for financial education that assists women to get out of debt, save, and build their wealth. If you’re looking to improve, maintain or build upon your wealth, this one is for you.

6. Courtney Sanders Show 

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

On The Courtney Sanders Show (formally known as The Think and Grow Chick Podcast), host Courtney dives into entrepreneurship, finances, spirituality, and personal growth topics that are sure to kick you in the butt to chase your goals.

7. Gettin’ Grown

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

Hosts Keia and Jade are two happy and whole 30-somethings figuring their adult lives out. On a weekly basis, they discuss all things regarding black women self-care and pet peeves sure to give the listening audience a chuckle.

8. Halfway Bougie

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

In this podcast, hosts Perri Furbert and Courtney Roberts promise to keep it “halfway bougie and all the way real.” Touching on all things pop culture, the two Millennials mix personal stories with real world problems, sparking reflection, and lots of head nods.

9. Happy Black Woman Podcast

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

If you’re an ambitious black woman who wants to have her cake and eat it too, this is the podcast for you. Host Rosetta Thurman empowers women to have it all in this personal development podcast through interviews with powerful black women who’ve created lives of happiness and freedom for themselves.

10. H.E.R. Space: Uplifting Conversations for The Black Woman

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

The H.E.R. in H.E.R space stands for healing, empowerment and resilience. In this podcast hosts Terri Lomax and Dr. Dominique Broussard are the catalysts for meaningful conversations, discussing everything from “fibroids to fake friends.”

11. Introverted Black Girl Podcast

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

This podcast touches on society biases and pop culture in a relatable way. The host of the Introverted Black Girl Podcast, who is set to reveal her identity this Spring, shares stories of her day-to-day experiences as a black introverted girl in a world that seems to be rigged for extroverts.

12. Jesus & Jollof

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

Hosted by Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Oriji, this lifestyle podcast is a random mix of talk on life happenings, success, food, and all things the hosts love. In a nutshell, it’s two Nigerian goddesses chatting it up for listener entertainment.

13. Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

This inspirational podcast’s aim is to assist listeners to “awaken, discover, and connect” to the world around them. Oprah has personally chosen the audio of interviews she has conducted with some of the world’s top movers and shakers in an effort to guide all who listen to be the best version of themselves.

14. Rants & Randomness

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

Luvvie Ajayi is known for being a NYT best-selling author and blogger at AwesomelyLuvvie.com, but she prefers to call herself a side-eye sorceress and professional troublemaker. In this hilarious podcast Luvvie rants about society and all things pop culture. Her Jan 7 episode entitled “Do Better: Social Media Etiquette” is a must-listen for all.

15. She’s Got Drive

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

This podcast, hosted by Shirley McAlpine (business consultant and executive coach) asks black women what empowers them. McAlpine strives to dive deeply into the source of guests’ success, finding how they overcame obstacles and pulling out tools and strategies that listeners can apply.

16. Side Hustle Pro

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

This entrepreneurship podcast hosted by Nicaila Matthews Okome shines the spotlight on black females who have scaled their side hustles to profitable, established businesses in an effort to assist listeners to learn actionable strategies they can apply in the infancy stages of their business.

17. Spiritpreneur School: Spiritual Business for Entrepreneurs

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

The host of this podcast, Abiola Abrams, is an empowerment superstar and author whose mission is to assist heart-based entrepreneurs succeed. She touches on all things law-of-attraction and healing to build soul-fulfilled, thriving businesses.

18. The Broomstick Podcast

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

The Broomstick Podcast hosted by Natalie Edwards shares all things weddings and marriages for women of color. If you’re getting married soon, or feel the time is near, this is a great listen to get you prepped for your walk down the aisle.

19. The Glow Up Podcast

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

This podcast hosted by Lené Hypolite is the success antidote for women. The Glow Up Podcast shares stories and takeaways to assist listeners to glow up in their career, finances and personal life.

20. Therapy for Black Girls

Black Women Podcasts for 2019

As a licensed psychologist in Atlanta, Joy Harden Bradford, PhD, provides a weekly share session on all things mental health and personal development. Dr. Bradford touches on the latest mental health news and trends, as well as provides practical tips and answers listener questions.

Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

The post 20 Must-Listen to Black Women Podcasts for 2019 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Lebanese illustrator challenges views of Arab women through art

Lebanese artist Christina Atik has produced a series of digital pictures to illustrate sentences commonly used in Arab countries to criticize women with the aim of empowering Arab women.

Reuters: Arts


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51 Women are Suing the U.S. Olympic Committee for Failing to Prevent Abuse By Larry Nassar

(DENVER) — Fifty-one women are suing the U.S. Olympic Committee, its board members and a number of former high-ranking officials for failing to prevent their abuse at the hands of imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Denver, details abuse dating to the late 1990s. One of the victims was 8 years old.

Most contend that because they were young and sexually inexperienced, they were not aware they were being abused at the time. Some became aware when other victims began telling their stories at Nassar’s 2018 sentencing hearing for child pornography and sex abuse. Others acted after the release of a report in December that detailed the USOC’s slow response to sex-abuse cases.

The lawsuit alleges the USOC violated Title IX and the constitution by not acting promptly and more forcefully.

The USOC said the federation would have no comment on pending litigation. The governing body has tried to remove itself as a defendant in a number of other similar lawsuits, contending it should not be held legally responsible for Nassar’s crimes. Those lawsuits include USA Gymnastics as defendants, but this one singles out the USOC, which is based in Colorado Springs.

The lawsuit outlines abuse by six other coaches, and the USOC’s slow response to it, though most plaintiffs say they were abused by Nassar.

Many of the plaintiffs’ claims in this lawsuit are similar to those of other victims: Often their parents were present during the examinations but Nassar positioned himself in a way that they could not see what was happening.

One plaintiff described gasping and looking over at her mother when Nassar touched her inappropriately, and Nassar responded by saying “Sorry, cold hands.”

In addition to compensation, the plaintiffs are asking for institutional reform at the USOC. Virtually all the top executives — including the chairman, CEO and sports performance director — have left voluntarily or been fired since Nassar’s sentencing in January 2018.

Sports – TIME


Link Love: Personal Style of Creative Women

Recently, I discovered the Personal Style series published on The Fold’s website, and I’m enjoying these articles because they not only show the personal style of women I wasn’t yet familiar with, but at the same time we also learn a bit more about their work and life philosophy. Here’s a look at three of them:

Fab Links from Our Members

L’Abeille got a laugh out of this, and thinks Fabbers can relate.

Runcarla reports that Toronto’s Indigenous Fashion Week is this week, and it’s sold out.

Shevia says it’s time for some pro-aging.

And had she only known, this could have been her profession: “How Fashion Forensics Are Helping Solve Crimes.”

Unfrumped enjoyed the Celine and Victoria Beckham Fall 2019 runway shows: “I never really look at designer shows or runway looks but saw these on Pinterest and was intrigued, thought they looked surprisingly wearable.”

Laura (rhubarbgirl) finds it interesting that shoe brand DSW is incorporating nail salons in their stores.

She also wanted to share this article about Seattle fashion rental startup Armoire that uses curation to change how women are buying clothes.

Finally, she came across this article reporting that the record number of retail stores closing over the last couple of years is expected to continue in 2019.

BrieN thought this was interesting: “How the Leather Jacket Became the New Power Blazer.”

Delurked wanted to share an article about how Gap and Old Navy are splitting up. She imagines they will need to split the websites, which would impact many shoppers.



Gloria Boyland, One of The Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, Drives Innovation At FedEx

BLACK ENTERPRISE recently unveiled our roster of the Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, identifying the highest-ranking female executives of the nation’s largest corporations and honoring this business elite at our 14th annual Women of Power Summit. Included among the three executives representative of this group featured on the cover of our January-March issue was Gloria Boyland, corporate VP, operations and service support for FedEx Corp., which provides millions across the globe with a range of transportation, commerce and business services.


The Savannah, Georgia native, who holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, joined FedEx in 2004 as vice president of service experience and quality in which she coordinated a range of company-wide improvement initiatives, among other areas, before rising to her current position. The following are Boyland’s responses to questions on her innovative role, career journey and advice to young professionals seeking to advance to corporate leadership:

Share with us your role as corporate vice president, operations and service support? In working with members of FedEx’s Strategic Management Committee, how do you help drive innovation and improvement throughout the organization?

As corporate vice president of operations and service support for FedEx Corporation, I am responsible for the evaluation and leadership of priority advanced operations technology initiatives, service quality improvements, customer experience improvements, and new service offerings for the company.

Technology advancements, digitalization, and the explosive growth of e-commerce require companies like FedEx to respond rapidly to rising customer expectations in a cost-effective manner. My role in the innovation space is comprised of three key parts: 1) I work closely with the members of the FedEx Strategic Management Committee to define key strategic opportunities; 2) I scan the technology space to identify optimal technology partners; and 3) I lead initiatives to achieve speed and scale, such as the recently announced FedEx SameDay Bot.

Define Quality Driven Management and how that approach is a part of the company’s DNA?

Quality Driven Management, or QDM in short, is the secret sauce to the way we work at FedEx. QDM provides a set of common principles and methods that unleashes the creativity of our worldwide team of more than 450,000 team members as we deliver on our Purple Promise to “make every FedEx experience outstanding.”  QDM is like a universal translator – no matter which global region, function or title a team member has, QDM instills in us the passion and commitment to improve customer experience and business performance.

What is it like to work with FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith? What lessons have you learned from him? How has that relationship impacted you from a professional and personal standpoint?

Mr. Smith is an amazing, transformational leader who inspires and motivates his team to perform at high levels.  He founded FedEx on a “people first” philosophy 45 years ago, and that strong corporate culture continues to be deeply embedded across the organization today. He believes that every one of our more than 450,000 team members across the globe is a vital link in the chain of success. I have learned from him how absolutely critical it is to foster loyalty, the customer’s experience and an entrepreneurial spirit with each team member.

We would like insight into your professional evolution during your formative years. What led to your interest in technology and logistics? Who and what served as your inspiration in the field? Who were your mentors?

 Over the years, I have sought and received advice and counsel from family, friends and colleagues, including my own leadership chain and the many team members who make up my organization. Research has shown that diversity of perspective is not only essential to business success, but also to personal success. I have gained perspective from the myriad of people who have mentored me throughout my career and each one was valuable in their own unique way.

 Define your management style and guiding principles.

 My direct reports are vice presidents who lead their own organizations, so I embrace a coaching management style. My team plays a vital role in the success of my overall organization – everyone matters.  At FedEx, we have adopted a new program called Coach Forward, which focuses on enhancing work performance and motivation.

I have three guiding principles: Each day, recommit to doing your best and being your best; say: do ratio must be 1:1; and, step back so others can step up. These principles ensure success and a sense of accomplishment.

BLACK ENTERPRISE has appropriately named you as one of our Most Powerful Women in Corporate America. As such, what have been some of the challenges that you faced as a woman in your career journey? How have overcoming them shaped you as a business leader?

One of my biggest personal challenges has been maintaining confidence in the midst of setbacks. It has taught me to persevere and to trust my instincts in the face of doubt from others. Persistence and patience, I have learned, are necessary as one struggles to attain and maintain relevance in the organization.  Now, as a business leader, I am confident in my decisions. I learned to find my own voice and trust in my capabilities and experience.

Provide us with your views of the state of diversity in the tech industry? How can more African American women, in particular, make gains in reaching top leadership positions in the corporate sector?

Women and minorities have a presence in the technology industry, but continue to be underrepresented as leadership roles are dominated by white and Asian men. In 2017, women made up about 26 percent of the tech industry, and black women were just 3 percent of that overall number. Leading by example, then creating opportunities for black women is the strategy for increasing our representation. We need to inspire and engage.

Leaders such as Shirley Ann Jackson at FedEx, Linda Johnson Rice at Tesla, and Debra Lee at Twitter, exemplify the importance of representation and influence through corporate board oversight and governance. Innovators like Stephanie Lampkin, founder of Blendoor, and Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, are executing the grassroots approach. Stephanie founded Blendoor to help eliminate racial bias in hiring. She is also publishing a data-driven report, BlendScore, which will rate companies on diversity and inclusion.

Maya Angelou said it well, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”  Inspiration and engagement will ignite change.

What advice do you give young professionals who aspire to achieve leadership positions in corporate America?

Be brave. Take some risk. Someone once told me never to take on a role that wasn’t fully established with a clear career path and accountabilities. I have done the exact opposite and it has served me well. We all have different paths to success. Find the path that suits you. Along the way, you’ll find people who will champion you and willingly help lift you up.


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In Paris, Nike Women Debuts National Team Soccer Kits, High-Performance Sports Bras, Footwear and Apparel

Hundreds of influencers and media professionals — plus more than 40 top female athletes — from around the world gathered at the Palais Brongniart in Paris on Monday to witness the debut of Nike Women’s upcoming releases for the summer. The main attraction? A total of 14 national team kits that will …

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