Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Capricorn!

When it comes to professionalism and traditional values, Capricorn wins hands-down. This practical sign loves to tackle life in the most conventional of ways, leaving no stone unturned. Considered the most serious-minded of the signs, the Capricorn possesses an independence that allows for considerable progress both personally and on the job.

Friends and Family

Combining a strong wit and a love of humor, the Capricorn makes terrific company for those they choose as friends. They will surround themselves with people who are honest, loyal, and like-minded when it comes to working values. They cherish loved ones and will go any distance to help a friend or family member. Traditional by nature, the Capricorn loves nothing more than holidays, such as Christmas, that bring people together with a variety of activities. Although a Capricorn isn't apt to have a large social circle, those included in this sign's life will find someone who is steadfast and true. Emotional displays are not common for a Capricorn. They would rather show how they feel through deeds than expression with words.

Work and Money

Ambition is the key word for this sign. The key phrase for Capricorn is I use. The Capricorn possesses a real knack for finding the right tool for the job and getting down to it. Starting at the bottom of the ladder and working their way to the top doesn't scare the Capricorn off. They will go the distance once a goal is set.

In addition to setting high standards for themselves, honesty, perseverance, and a dedication to duty make the Capricorn an excellent manager. Loyalty and a willingness to work as hard as necessary are qualities that this sign values greatly within themselves and in those around them. Careers in management, finance, teaching, and real estate are excellent choices.

Capricorns are resourceful and manage their time and money well. Every now and then, the urge to spend some hard-earned cash can see this sign packing some large shopping bags with fun and frivolous items out of the store. But as a rule, caution goes hand in hand with the Capricorn making practical purchases more likely than anything else. Multifunctional items are definitely favored.

The Capricorn prefers to take things slow and steady. You won't see this sign jumping into anything head-first. Taking relationships one step at a time is the way of the Capricorn. Words can be few with this personality, yet actions speak volumes. The Capricorn values deeds and will go to great lengths to express their affections through them. They're great gift givers and don't bat an eye at the cost of spending a fantastic night out. Genuine and sincere, you can take what few words a Capricorn does say to the bank.


The color of choice for Capricorn is brown. In fact, most dark colors do well for this sign.

Capricorn's star stone is the black onyx.

Lucky Numbers
Capricorn's lucky numbers are 6, 8, and 9.

Capricorns are most compatible with Taurus and Virgo.

Opposite Sign
The opposite sign for Capricorn is Cancer.

The Perfect Gift
Practical, dark-colored, well-made clothing and high-tech gadgets

Family, tradition, quality craftsmanship, understated status, music

Almost everything at some point

Famous Capricorns
Michelle Obama, Mary J. Blige, Nicolas Cage, Tiger Woods, Jon Voight, Denzel Washington, Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali

Best Travel Destination
Mexico, Cuba, India, Delphi, Oxford

Responsible, good managers, disciplined, self-control, dark sense of humor

Know-it-all, unforgiving, condescending, expecting the worst

Best environment
Positive work situation, urban environments with culture and style, anyplace to be in charge

New Music: The OMG Girlz

Tiny and Toya's daughter's have a new group called the OMG Girlz. Check out their new song, "Ain't Nobody."

Friday, December 11, 2009

U.S. teens ignore laws against texting while driving

Karen Cordova, a 17-year-old high school student and part-time supermarket cashier, admits she sometimes texts friends while driving home from work late at night, lonely and bored.

The Arizona teenager knows it's illegal in Phoenix and dangerous. She once almost drifted into oncoming traffic while looking at her phone.

But would a nationwide ban stop Cordova and her friends from texting in their cars? No way, she said.
"Nobody is going to listen," Cordova said.

The number of text messages is up tenfold in the past three years and Americans sent an estimated 1 trillion in 2009.
Some police agencies, while strongly in favor of such mandates, say its tough for officers to enforce them.

"But with the texting it's a little bit more of a challenge to catch them in the act, because we have to see it and if they are holding it down in their lap it's going to be harder for us to see."

Already 19 states and the District of Columbia ban texting by all drivers, while 9 others prohibit it by young drivers.

In July, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, citing a study that found texting drivers were 23 times more likely to be in an accident, introduced a bill requiring states to prohibit the practice or risk losing federal highway funds.

The problem is not unique to the United States. In Britain, a public service announcement on texting while driving drew worldwide attention for its extremely graphic imagery.

Cordova's classmate, 17-year-old Anna Hauer, says she often texts her boyfriend when she drives and doubts she or her friends would stop because of new legislation.

"By the time they pull you over, the chances are you are going to be done with your text anyway so they can't exactly prove that you were texting," she said.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Are the new Barbie's "black" enough?

Some Parents are saying Mattel's new "So in Style" Black dolls made with wider noses and fuller lips in an array of skin tones are not Black enough, according to "Wall Street Journal". Parents are not too pleased with the straight, long hair and blue or green eye color that some of the dolls have. The dolls also feature the waif-like figure of Barbie dolls, not an accurate depiction of most women in general, much less Black women.

"I thought it was unfortunate that once again we're given a doll with hair that is so unlike the vast majority of black women," one mom said.

"If they had given the dolls short, kinky hair or an Afro, people might have complained that it was too Afro-centric... We're so hard and picky," another mother commented, reported "WSJ".

Mattel consulted a number of high profile Black women, including Cookie Johnson, Magic Johnson's wife, when creating their new line of dolls, created by designer Stacey McBride-Irby who sought to make a dolls that her daughter could identify with. McBride-Irby was a little shocked by the negative comments about the dolls.

The toy company plans to grow the line in 2010 adding more dolls to represent the differences in Black women, including one with an Afro. Mattel also plans to release a Black male "So In Style" doll named Darren.

So....what do you think? Check out the new line here

Ethnic pride key to black teen mental health

Ethnic pride may be as important as self-esteem to the mental health of young African-American adolescents, according to a new study in the Nov/Dec issue of the journal Child Development.

In their study, the researchers viewed self-esteem as the way adolescents feel about themselves as individuals, and ethnic pride as the way they feel about their ethnic group. Previous research generally has considered racial identity a proxy or sub-set of self-esteem.

The new study speaks to the importance of ethnic pride separate and apart from self-esteem. "Psychologists have been theorizing about this for years," Psychologist Jelani Mandara said. "Our empirical evidence indicates that we'll see African-American teens with fewer depressive symptoms if we pay more attention to building ethnic pride."

It's easier to build ethnic pride than it is to influence self-esteem, he added.

Using standard self-report measures, the authors assessed 259 African-American youths from six Chicago public schools when they were in the seventh grade and again a year later in the eighth grade.

In measuring racial identity, they focused on issues of ethnic pride and replaced phrases such as "I have a lot of pride in my ethnic group" with "I have a lot of pride in Black people." They did not address issues of culture or of "public regard" -- how others look at race -- in assessing ethnic identity.

The researchers found that both male and female students showed fewer depressive symptoms if their feelings of ethnic pride rose between seventh and eighth grade whether or not their self-esteem increased.

"The importance of self-esteem to adolescent mental health is well known and accepted," Mandara said. "But it is not uncommon for individuals to have high self-esteem and at the same time exhibit depressive symptoms. Research has long shown that African-American girls have higher self-esteem compared to other girls but also have more depressive symptoms."

The study found that the higher girls' self-esteem was, the more likely they were to report depressive symptoms. Mandara suggested that could be because African American girls often are charged with adult family responsibilities that make them feel competent but also cause them stress.

Determined Divas try to break the cycle of inner city life

Young women sit in a circle at the Danforth Community Center on West Avenue.

In the middle of the formation, Beverly Jackson, a city youth worker, paces.

“You’re all works in progress,” Jackson tells the 25 members of the group known as the Determined Divas, an organization she formed to redirect young women who are either gang members or associates of gangs.

At Jackson’s words, the Divas nod in agreement.

At some time or another, most of them have been suspended from school for fighting or for not showing up for classes. Many have troubled home lives. Some are, or have been, homeless.

They are, for sure, a challenge, a possibly lost generation of young women doomed to bleak futures by circumstances and their own anger. Beyond that, the resources to help them are in short supply.

But a group like the Determined Divas can save these girls and also lower the violence in Rochester, says Renee Turner, the vice principal of I’m Ready, a City School District program for students on long-term suspension from district schools.

“This is the start of something that could turn things around in this city for kids who need help,” Turner says. “…Taken to another level, this could be a national program.”

If it should become that, it will be a tribute to Jackson’s ability to convince young women that many of the things they have heard about themselves are wrong. They are not doomed to fail and to fight; they can change; they do have reason to believe.

“I don’t deal with hopeless chicks,” Jackson tells the girls in the circle, using her best drill sergeant voice. “You have to empower yourselves.”

The Divas were created earlier this year, after Turner asked Jackson to help address the fact that many of the young women in the I’m Ready program got there because of acts of violence. Girl violence has been a “hidden secret” in Rochester, Turner notes, overshadowed by violence among boys in gangs. But the violence among girls is persistent and dangerous, she adds, especially because knives are the “weapon of choice.”

The Divas included young women who had fought with each other, a possible obstacle to success. But the sessions focused on nonviolent ways to resolve conflict and on other coping skills. Jackson and others were there to listen, to advise, but not to judge.

Jackie Campbell, the director of the city’s Bureau of Youth Services, says that the group offered the young women a chance “to be in an environment where the boundaries are in place.”

Inspired by the girls’ enthusiasm for the gatherings, Jackson kept the meetings going over the summer and into the fall, the sessions taking place at the Danforth center. The membership has expanded beyond the original group as the word has gotten out.

Narasonda Gibbs, 17, is an original Diva, someone who was, in Turner’s words, “determined to fight no matter what.”

Gibbs carries reminders of that person on the back of her right hand where “Nonny” is tattooed in cursive. It’s her nickname, her street name, her alter ego.

“This is the angry person,” she says, moving her hand in a video interview with the Democrat and Chronicle. “This is the person who did mistakes in the past.”

When she knows she has her life together, Gibbs plans on having her real name, “Narasonda” tattooed on her left hand.

She’ll know it’s the right time when she has graduated from high school, when she has a steady job, when things are going well between her and her parents.

By her own account, Gibbs started fighting with other girls when she was 13. Before that, she loved school, got good grades and was happy.

Then something happened; anger took over and she got in a fight with another girl over a boy.

She was suspended from school. When she came back she got in another fight and got suspended again. What she calls a “constant pattern” had begun.

Gibbs, who has a gang’s brand on one arm, was squaring off against another girl early this year.

She thought she had been punched in the face, but actually she had been cut. Her blood was everywhere, and she was taken to an emergency room.

“I was scared; I was nervous,” she says. “When I got to the hospital, everything came out. I was crying; I was in pain.”

It took 26 stitches to close the wound, and she has been left with the scar, a reminder of what can go wrong when she loses control.

Life has been better this fall, she says.

“I feel like I’m living up to my expectations for myself,” says Gibbs, who attends Dr. Freddie Thomas High School. “To be a Diva, I have to keep my reputation up. If I hadn’t met Bev (Jackson), I don’t think I would have made it.”

Reasons for anger

Lizz Jackson, 14, a Determined Diva who is not related to Bev Jackson, quickly explains why it is that girls fight. “The gossip, the boys, the jealousy,” she says, going through a mental checklist.

Then there are other reasons. “I get mad at all kinds of stuff,” she says.

For sure, all of the Divas have reasons to be mad, to believe they have been short-changed by life.

In the video, one talks of her father being killed by a gunshot when she was 4; later she sees her mother abused. Others talk of fathers in jail or on their way to jail.

None of them speaks of stable lives.

Tonesha Jackson, who is 18 and not related to Beverly or Lizz Jackson, says that when she was little she moved a lot, and then she ticks off the elementary schools she attended: Schools 9, 22, 14, 7.

Then there was Charlotte High School and some time in a Muslim school. Throughout all of this relocation, she found herself uninterested in school.

For this, she blames no one but herself.

“It was my fault,” she says. “I was just young and dumb.”

“These girls are really trying to change,” Jackson says of her works in progress, her determined and hopeful Divas.

find full story here

Nicki Minaj explains the "Barbie Movement"

The newest female MC takes a moment to explain a new style she's introduced...The Barbie Movement. Check out the nameplate!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Princess Tiara toys are flying off store shelves!

More than 45,000 dolls have sold in less than a month with 17,000 selling last week alone. At one major retailer, The Princess and the Frog bedding has sold nearly triple the amount of regular Disney Princess bedding. At Disney Store locations nationwide and DisneyStore.com, the Princess Tiana role-play dresses are selling above all other Disney Princess characters.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! Just Keepin' It Real

The Pilgrims are said to have had the "first" thanksgiving feast in the New World in the autumn of 1621. Isn't that what you were taught in school? Nothing could be further from the truth!

People have given thanks for the bountiful harvests for thousands of years all over the earth. Historical records exist of the ancient Egyptians giving thanks to their gods for the Nile River floods that provided needed irrigation for their crops. The Chinese gave thanks to their gods and honored their ancestors. The Romans and Greeks celebrated with feasts, pageants, and revelry. Across Europe, India, Africa, North America and South America, and the rest of the earth over the millenia, there have been commemorations and feasts of thanksgiving.

The inhabitants of the North American continent were no different than other cultures. They worshipped the Earth Mother who provided the great herds for hunting, the aquatic creatures for fishing, and for bountiful crops of corn and other provisions. While the ceremonies differed from tribe to tribe across the continent, depending on their geographical location and their circumstances, a common thread weaves all mankind together. There is a common belief that some superior being(s) exist that are responsible for satisfying the need for sustenance and the perpetuation of the cyclical order of nature.

Prior to the Pilgrims' arrival in 1620, the Native Americans in the eastern shore of the North American continent had encountered other English and Spanish explorers. European visitors inadvertantly introduced smallpox to the Native American population in 1617. The subsequent plague decimated the population, with nearly half of the Native Americans succumbing to the virulent disease.

One hundred and two Pilgrim emigrants departed England on the Mayflower. During the voyage, one person was lost overboard and a child was born onboard. Of the 102 people who arrived at Plymouth Rock in December of 1620, only 50 survived the first winter in the New World. Cold and starvation killed many. Without the generosity of the Native Americans who provided food, many more would probably have died. The Pilgrims had much for which to be thankful.

According to the first newspaper published in America, Publick Occurrences, published on 25 September 1690 by Benjamin Harris, a group of Christianized Native Americans selected the date and place for the celebration of the first thanksgiving with the Pilgrims.

In the Fall of 1621, the thanksgiving commemoration took place. We know that it lasted for three days and included a period of fasting, prayer, religious services, and finally a shared meal. There were 90 Native Americans involved in this affair. While this celebration was never repeated, it has become the model for what most U.S. citizens celebrate today as Thanksgiving. This "first thanksgiving" marked a tranquil moment in time before tensions escalated and tempers flared.

The Pilgrims viewed the Native Americans as savages requiring the salvation of Christianity. They failed to recognize the deeply spiritual nature of the Native American people and their bond with the gods of nature. The Pilgrims aggressively tried to recruit the "savages." Those who accepted Christianity found themselves ostracized by their tribes and accepted by the Pilgrims as mere disciples. The Pilgrims' tampering with the beliefs of the natives greatly offended the tribal leaders.

The Pilgrims were not adept at farming in their new homeland. Whereas the Native Americans were experts at growing maize, the Pilgrims were slow to learn. Their harvests of 1621 and 1622 were meager, and the Native Americans offered to exchange some of their harvest for beads and other materials. The Pilgrims eagerly responded but, in time, demonstrated bad faith by failing to fulfill their side of the bargain. The Native American leaders, proud men of their word, were insulted by the rude way in which they were treated. Tempers flared and, in time, open hostilities broke out.

History chonicles the subsequent colonialization, the infringement of colonists on Native American lands, the violation of the Native Americans' sacred beliefs and burial sites, and the forcing of the Native Americans farther and farther west. Treaties, massacres, seizure of lands, relocations, formation of reservations -- all of these represent a poor return for the Native Americans' investment of generosity.

Nevertheless, the commemoration of the "First Thanksgiving" that most U.S. citizens know is really not a celebration of bounties of the land. It should, instead, be a time to consider what might have been -- an honorable, mutually beneficial collaboration between two disparate peoples from different parts of the world.

In the meantime, remember that the celebration of thankfulness for the bounties of the land, the oceans, the streams, and of those things that make life wonderful did not begin with the Pilgrims. The Native Americans were commemorating these bounties long before the Pilgrims arrived. The customs still survive, more beautiful and meaningful today because of their fragile and spiritual nature.

Learn more about Native American thanksgiving culture in the article about the Celebration of Green Corn.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Movie: Precious

Make sure you go check out the movie "Precious" this weekend! Check out this all-star line up:
Mariah Carey, Monique, Paula Patton and even Lenny Kravitz and financially backed by Oprah and Tyler Perry...

This one better be good...from the hype, I'm sure it is!

Chris Brown leaks his new album cover/Rihanna's leaking tracks everywhere!

Have we forgiven him yet? If so....

Check out these images from Chris Brown’s upcoming music video “CRAWL” featuring a special appearance by singer/model Cassie. Directed by Joseph Kahn, the upcoming video was shot in Los Angeles. This is the second single from Chris’ third album, Graffiti, hitting stores on December 15th.

If not....

Since the release of her fourth studio album, Rated R is drawing closer, news, music, photos and more have been all over the place for Rihanna. Check out the latest new track, “Hard,” featuring ATL native, Young Jeezy.

Rihanna is also set to debut her Anthony Mandler-directed video for “Wait Your Turn (the Wait Is Ova)” on RIHANNANOW.COM Tuesday, November 3rd. Her lead single “Russian Roulette” will also hit iTunes on Tuesday. The video for it debuts Friday, November 13th, on 20/20, where Rihanna finally breaks her silence.

The album, titled "Rated R" is set to be released November 23rd.

New Music: Beyonce will release new video for "Video Phone" ft. Lady Gaga!

MTV will exclusively world premiere Beyonce’s music video for “Video Phone” (this version ft. Lady Gaga) on-air and online on Thursday, November 5. It’s going to be blasted in the US on MTV and MTV.com at 5:30 PM/EST while MTV channels worldwide will premiere the music video after the MTV Europe Music Awards from Berlin.

Serena debuts her new book "Queen of the Court"

Tennis champion Serena Williams poses with her new book ‘Queen of the Court’ during a book signing at Harrods department store on Monday, November 2nd in London, England.

Friday, October 30, 2009

New Music: Cymphonique

12 year-old Cymphonique Miller is a triple threat: she can sing, dance, and act. In addition, she is an Honor roll student! Although she is the daughter of rapper/entrepreneur Master P a.k.a Percy Miller, Cymphonique prefers “to make a name for herself.” Visit www.cymphonique.com to learn more about the young star.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hater by Maya Angelou


By Maya Angelou

A hater is someone who is jealous and envious and spends all their time trying to make you look small so they can look tall.
They are very negative people to say the least. Nothing is ever good enough!
When you make your mark, you will always attract some haters...
That's why you have to be careful with whom you share your blessings and your dreams, because some folk can't handle seeing you blessed...
It's dangerous to be like somebody else... If God wanted you to be like somebody else, He would have given you what He gave them! Right?
You never know what people have gone through to get what they have...
The problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but they don't know my story...
If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, you can rest assured that the water bill is higher there too!
We've all got some haters among us!
Some people envy you because you can:
a) Have a relationship with God
b) Light up a room when you walk in
c) Start your own business
d) Tell a man / woman to hit the curb (if he / she isn't about the right thing)
e) Raise your children without both parents being in the home

Haters can't stand to see you happy.
Haters will never want to see you succeed.
Most of our haters are people who are supposed to be on our side.
How do you handle your undercover haters?

You can handle these haters by:
1. Knowing who you are & who your true friends are *(VERY IMPORTANT!!)

2. Having a purpose to your life: Purpose does not mean having a job. You can have a job and still be unfulfilled. A purpose is having a clear sense of what God has called you to be. Your purpose is not defined by what others think about you.

3. By remembering what you have is by divine prerogative and not human manipulation.

Fulfill your dreams! You only have one life to live...when its your time to leave this earth, you 'want' to be able to say, 'I've lived my life and fulfilled 'my' dreams,... Now I'm ready to go HOME!

When God gives you favor, you can tell your haters, 'Don't look at me...Look at Who is in charge of me...'

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ok Rio...get your party on!

Congratulations to Brazil for landing the 2016 Olympic Games! It's about time! I don't think any country in South America has ever hosted the Olympic games! Although its like 6-7 years away, I know they'll be putting on a great show for the rest of the world.

Cover Girl: Serena Williams

Common’s girl Serena Williams is showing alllll her ass-ets on the new cover of ESPN magazine.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Twin Alert: Fefe Dobson and Christina Millian

Waddaya think?

Fashion Statement: Bald is Beautiful

While many women spend huge amounts of their hard-earned money in weaves and wigs, some famous female celebrities are breaking out the razors and going either fully or partially bald.

What do you think... would you shave it all off?

Products for Lil' Black Princesses

From the minute Disney announced the first African American princess movie, 'The Princess and the Frog,' the buzz has been building.
For super special 'The Princess and The Frog' merchandise, Disney's teamed with one of my favorite brands, Carol's Daughter for a truly magical beauty collection.

The Carol's Daughter products for The Princess and The Frog are beauty staples Princess Tiana would most likely use. "The Beauty Within" shampoo includes aloe leaf juice, "Inner Shine" conditioner uses sunflower seed, olive, and sweet almond oils. The "Dream Big" hair detangler includes glycerine, aloe, and castor oil.

Click here for the full review-courtesy of www.blackvoices.com

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

The New New: Laced Nails

Lacie nails is a new, up and coming trend that is actually kind of cute. The lace is applied on the nail with a brush-on adhesive and then sealed with that same adhesive. According to Glamour magazine, the nails are then sprayed with a quick-dry glue, filed, then encased in gels and finally, cuticles are moisturized.

Can a Mixed-Race Contestant Become a Chinese Idol?

In many ways, Lou Jing is a typical young woman from Shanghai. Pretty and confident, she speaks Mandarin heavily accented with the lilting tones of the Shanghai dialect and browses the malls of this huge city for the latest fashions.

But there is one thing that distinguishes this 20-year-old from her peers, something that has made her the unwitting focus of an intense public debate about what exactly it means to be Chinese: the color of her skin. Born to a Chinese mother and an African-American father whom she has never met, the theater student rocketed into the public consciousness last month when she took part in an American Idol–esque TV show, Go! Oriental Angel.

The marketing gurus for the series could hardly have dreamed of a better promotional gimmick when they started to investigate the backgrounds of the dozens of pop-star wannabes to root out the competitors' mushy stories of triumph over adversity that are a well-worn staple of the genre. Here was a tale guaranteed to attract eyeballs: a girl of mixed race, brought up by a single Chinese mother, struggling to gain acceptance in a deeply conservative, some would say racist, society.

The strategy worked — perhaps too well. In August, Lou's appearance on the show not only boosted viewer numbers but also sparked an intense nationwide debate about the essential meaning of being Chinese. Over the past month on Internet chat rooms, where modern China's sensitive issues are thrashed out by netizens long before they reach the heavily censored mainstream media, Lou's ethnicity has been the subject of a relentless barrage of criticism, some of it crudely racist.

Many think she should not have been allowed to compete on a Chinese show, or at least not selected to represent Shanghai in the national competition. She doesn't have fair skin, which is one of the most important factors for Chinese beauty. What's more, her mother and her biological father were never married; morally, the argument goes, this kind of behavior shouldn't be publicized, so she shouldn't have been put on TV as a young "idol."

These kinds of posts on the most popular chat rooms have attracted thousands of comments. A few have been supportive of Lou, but the rest range from expressions of fear and ignorance to outright racism. One of the most popular posts about Lou Jing on the KDS Life forum asked in mock seriousness, "Is it possible that she is Obama's daughter?"

Another poster said, "I can't believe she's so shameless that she would go on TV." Most of the critics are agreed on one point: that this black woman cannot be regarded as a "real" Chinese.

As recently as the 1970s, foreigners were largely barred from living in China, let alone marrying a local. China does not easily accept mixed-race children as true-blooded Chinese: as soon as a child is born, the parents are required to register with the authorities as to which of the 56 government-approved ethnic groups their child belongs; there are no mixed-race categories. Lou feels she is very much Chinese. "When I meet somebody for the first time, they'd often ask me how I can speak Chinese so well, and I tell them, 'Because I'm a Chinese — of course I can speak my mother tongue well,' " Lou says defiantly. "I don't like to be treated differently."

As for Lou, she found the whole experience more than a little disturbing. She did well in the show, ranking in the top 30 contestants before she was eliminated. Now she's back to her normal life as a college junior — with a little new insight into her home. "Through this competition, it's really scary to find out how the color of my skin can cause such a big controversy."

Read the entire article here:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Outfit of the Week

Black Large Patent Orb Tote by Vivienne Westwood Accessories, Zip back latex legging, Mega Glitz Bangle, Dolce & Gabbana - The One Eau De Parfum Spray 30ml/1oz, Yves Saint Laurent - Rouge Pure Shine Sheer Lipstick No. 05 Blazing Brown, Proenza Schouler Paillette embellished top, KG Studded Strappy Sandals, Marc by Marc Jacobs Logo Band Ring,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All-black model line-up hits London Fashion Week

It seems that so far London Fashion Week has been more about the controversial model casting than the clothes. PPQ cast the first ever all-black show in the capital.

"During our castings for this show one gorgeous black girl after the other turned up and they just looked so amazing, we decided to snap up all of the best black girls for the show," Amy Molyneaux said.

"All the models today have been so great, calm, no tantrums, no hissy fits, it's been totally chilled." Percy Parker concurred. "It’s not something we really considered. We just wanted to find the most beautiful models and those were the best ones."

But if the design duo didn’t think it was a big deal, the watching crowd certainly did. There were those that thought the casting was anything other than nonchalant and just a chance for PPQ to get a few extra column inches and those that celebrated the diversity. Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams, perched on the front row, was one of the latter.

"I don’t want to turn this into a race issue but I know this is what people are going to talk about. And it’s great that it’s happened here. I thought they were really regal."

New Movie: Ciara stars in 'Mama I Want to Sing'

Presented by BET Networks, the musical, 'Mama, I Want To Sing' starring singer Ciara and actress Lynn Whitfield will screen on Sept. 26. According to AOL BLACK VOICES, the movie isn’t completely finished but will still screen during the Film Festival. Peep the trailer above.

Life in Prison at 16

When Sara met G.G., the 31-year-old man who would become her pimp, she was 11. Sara's mom struggled with drug addiction, so when G.G. would drive Sara and her friends to the roller skating rink or the mall, it felt like having a real parent around. He gave Sara presents and told her she was special- so special, that she should never give sex away for free. He convinced her she was a product.

G.G. groomed Sara like this for two years before he raped her. By then, his control was complete and he forced her into prostitution. Sara and the other girls who G.G. exploited were out on the streets from 6pm to 6am, every night. Twelve hours a night, seven days a week, for three years, Sara was raped by strangers so G.G. could profit. After three years, she snapped, and she killed him.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wanna smell like Beyonce?

Beyonce is set to launch her own brand of perfume next year under Coty Inc.:

“For me, fragrance reflects a woman’s attitude and unique sense of style,” said Beyonce. “While I love various perfumes, I haven’t found a scent that truly personifies me as a woman. Working with Coty, I was able to turn my ideal fragrance into a reality by creating an alluring and sophisticated fragrance; one that’s reflective of my inner power. It’s a true privilege to be working with Coty and I can’t wait to share this personal side of me with fans all across the world.”

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Trailer: Good Hair

When Chris Rock’s daughter, Lola, came up to him crying and asked, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” the bewildered comic committed himself to search the ends of the earth and the depths of black culture to find out who had put that question into his little girl's head.

Rock visits hair salons and styling battles, scientific laboratories, and Indian temples to explore the way black hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships, and self-esteem of black people.

Celebrities such as Ice-T, Kerry Washington, Nia Long, Paul Mooney, Raven SymonĂ©, Maya Angelou, and Reverend Al Sharpton all candidly offer their stories and observations to Rock while he struggles with the task of figuring out how to respond to his daughter’s question.

What he discovers is that black hair is a big business that doesn’t always benefit the black community and little Lola’s question might well be bigger than his ability to convince her that the stuff on top of her head is nowhere near as important as what is inside.

Don't let texting become harrassment!

This year, three teenage girls, students at Greensburg Salem High School in Greensburg, Pa., were charged with disseminating child pornography.

They had sent nude pictures of themselves by cellphone to their teenage boyfriends, who were charged with possessing child pornography.

The legal consequences in this case may have been unique, but the behavior is not. About 20 percent of teenagers have posted or sent nude cellphone pictures of themselves, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a nonprofit group.

Sending nude pictures, whether it is done under pressure or not, is part of a pattern of teenage behavior that the Family Violence Prevention Fund, a nonprofit domestic violence awareness group based in San Francisco, has labeled digital dating violence. The digital violence can include sending nonstop text messages or posting cruel comments on a boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s Facebook or MySpace page. The behaviors can be a warning sign that a teenager may become a perpetrator or a victim of domestic violence, according to the group.

Almost one in 10 high school students has been physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research. And one-quarter of teenagers in relationships say they have been called names or harassed by their partner through cellphones and text messages, according to a study commissioned by the clothing company Liz Claiborne, which sponsors antiviolence programs.

About 39 percent of teenagers have sent sexual e-mail messages or instant messages, according to a 2008 study from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com.

A recent campaign was created to address this problem. The campaign and its Web site, ThatsNotCool.com, encourage teenagers to set their own boundaries. It is intended to appeal to all teenagers, not just those with serious problems.

On the site, teenagers can send one of 35 “callout cards” — brightly colored messages they can send by e-mail, post to their Facebook or MySpace accounts or download — that are meant to tell someone they have crossed a line.

Another great website is safeandrespectul.org. Check out their PSA above.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Artist: Vistoso Bosses

You may not be familiar with the name Vistoso Bosses, but you will be soon. Their hit “Delirious”, featuring Soulja Boy Tellem, is blowing up Myspace and YouTube.

Vistoso Bosses are 16-year-old childhood friends Taylah P. and Kelci, two chocolate brown cuties out of Atlanta with a unique style and sound all their own. I like the song and the video...its really cute and fun! They look like they had a lot of fun making this one and I'm really feeling the colors and clothes! check it out!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Spotted: Kelly Rowland @ 2010 Madden Football Game Celebrity Match Up

Barbie adds a new group of African-American girls to the family!

Mattel will be releasing a new line of Barbies that catering to Black girls! The new line is called "So in Style" and they have a really cute story behind it. They even have little sisters!

Smart, talented and stylish too, the big sister dolls are best friends that love to share their favorite activities with their 'little sisters' too! You can choose from three big sister/little sister doll combinations, with their flair for fashion and favorite classes: science & cheerleading, math & music or journalism & art. Each doll comes with fun accessories included. Stacey McBride is the designer of the dolls featured in the video.

She's beautiful. She's black. She's Barbie in Vogue Italia!

This July, black Barbie is spectacularly showcased in Vogue Italia's special issue, seen above.

In July 2008, Vogue Italia created the first Black Issue sending a strong message about the importance of diversity to the fashion world. And now the magazine has replicated the Black Issue with a special, collector Barbie supplement that pays tribute to Barbie through artistic photography and fashion.

It's similar to the larger Vogue Italia book entirely dedicated to beautiful models including Naomi Campbell, Lyia Kebede, Sessilee Lopez and Jourdan Dunn. The Vogue Italia Black Issue was conceived by Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia, who decided to dedicate a full issue to black models that have reached successes in the influential areas of fashion and art. It was her vision to extend the edition this year to include images of Barbie.

Sozzani said: "Barbie has been an icon for whole generations which is why I really wanted to give a strong sign in step with the times, and dedicate the anniversary issue to Black Barbie"

The first black doll from Barbie was introduced in 1967 as Black Francie, and the first Black Barbie doll introduced in 1980.


Monday, July 20, 2009

L.A. teen flew single-engine plane across the country...alone!

A 15-year-old Los Angeles girl who navigated a single-engine Cessna through thunderstorms in Texas and took in breathtaking aerial views of Arizona's sunsets landed her plane to cheering crowds at Compton Woodley Airport on Saturday. She is believed to be the youngest African American female pilot to fly solo across the country.

Kimberly Anyadike took off from Compton 13 days ago with an adult safety pilot and Levi Thornhill, an 87-year-old who served with the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. They flew to Newport News, Va., making about a dozen stops along the way.

Anyadike learned to fly a plane and helicopter when she was 12 with the Compton-based Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum, which offers aviation lessons to at-risk youth and economically disadvantaged students through an after-school program. The organization owns the small plane Anyadike flew.

Anyadike said she loved the feeling of streaking across the sky. She told her mother that it was like a wild ride at Magic Mountain.

To read the full article, click here:

BET is turning up the heat!

Cooking class at Philadelphia's Frankford High School is all about composing salads, sculpting vegetables and weathering teacher Wilma Stephenson, who occasionally boils over. "Get your brain upscale!" Stephenson commands her students, whom she harangues and harasses in the present so they just might have a future.

Stephenson is the irascible star -- there's no way around it -- of "Pressure Cooker," a year-in-the-life documentary about the kids of Frankford's culinary arts class and their teacher, who runs the program the way Rommel ran his desert campaign. Gordon Ramsay? The abusive TV chef would be reduced to an unhappy puddle of butter by the imperious Stephenson, although in the end she'd probably wipe his nose and buy him a new spatula.

The film, directed by Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker, follows Stephenson's class a semester after her students have won more than $750,000 in scholarships -- at a school where 40 percent of students don't make it to their senior year. Consistently successful in getting her graduates out of the inner city and into such culinary cooking colleges as the Art Institute of Atlanta, the Culinary Institute of America and Monroe College in New Rochelle, N.Y., she is no-nonsense, all business. Her manner may be brusque, but her students are responsive. And what you see in the course of the movie is what every educational trash-talker in America says schools should be doing, usually without providing any means to do it.

As good as she is to her kids, Stephenson admits she was "horrible" to her directors. "We stayed away from her as much as possible in the kitchen," Grausman said, laughing. "When I first went to her to make the film, she signed on, but she didn't really understand what we were going to do. We kept trying to explain it to her, but I don't think she ever really got it. She thought we were going to be there for a couple of days of shooting. Not a couple of days a week for a year."

read the full article here:

Chris Brown apologizes for assaulting Rihanna

So it's been more than 5 months after the infamous Pre-Grammy incident, Chris Brown finally released a public video apologizing for assaulting pop star Rihanna earlier this year in California.

In the video, the star apologizes for his behavior that February night and states that he “spent a lot time soul searching, and trying to understand what happened and why”. Here's the full video above.

Documentary: HBO's Prom Night in Mississippi

Check out this preview of the documentary Prom Night In Mississippi, a documentary based on a high school that, up until a year ago had two separate proms, one for the white kids and the other for the blacks!

In 1997, Morgan Freeman offered to pay for the senior prom at Charleston High School under one condition: the prom had to be racially integrated. After that offer was ignored, Freeman returned eleven years later and the school board accepted. Charleston High School had its first-ever integrated prom in 2008 (until then, blacks and whites had separate proms).

The documentary follows students, teachers, and parents as they lead up to the big day - which, doesn’t come without much opposition in a town where deep rooted racism is still planted. This should be really interesting to watch! Prom Night in Mississippi premieres @ 9PM ET/PT on Monday, July 20th on HBO.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Most Dangerous Sport: Cheerleading!?

Today, the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released its 26th annual report on the topic. The latest figures are from the 2007-2008 academic year for college and high school sports, male and female. The report defines catastrophic injuries as any severe or fatal injury incurred during participation in cheerleading!

Researchers have long known how dangerous cheerleading is, but records were poorly kept until recently. An update to the record-keeping system last year found that between 1982 and 2007, there were 103 fatal, disabling or serious injuries recorded among female high school athletes, with the vast majority (67) occurring in cheerleading. The next most dangerous sports: gymnastics (nine such injuries) and track (seven).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Congratulations Khadijah Williams!! From Homeless to Harvard

This is truly a story of inspiration...thanks to the LA Times for covering it!

Khadijah Williams never knew stability, but she also never lost her drive to succeed in school.

By Esmeralda Bermudez
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Khadijah Williams stepped into chemistry class and instantly tuned out the commotion.

She walked past students laughing, gossiping, napping and combing one another's hair. Past a cellphone blaring rap songs. And past a substitute teacher sitting in a near daze.

The 18-year-old settled into an empty table, flipped open her physics book and focused. Nothing mattered except homework.

"No wonder you're going to Harvard," a girl teased her.

Williams is known as "Harvard girl," the "smart girl" and the girl with the contagious smile who landed at Jefferson High School 18 months ago.

What students don't know is that she is also a homeless girl.

As long as she can remember, Williams has floated from shelters to motels to armories along the West Coast with her mother. She has attended 12 schools in 12 years; lived out of garbage bags among pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. Every morning, she made sure she didn't smell or look disheveled.

On the streets, she learned how to hunt for a meal, plot the next bus route and help choose a secure place to sleep, survival skills she applied to her education.

Only a few mentors and Harvard officials knew her background. She never wanted other students to know her secret, not until her plane left for the East Coast hours after her graduation Friday evening.

"I was so proud of being smart, I never wanted people to say, 'You got the easy way out because you're homeless,' " she said. "I never saw it as an excuse."

In her college essays, she wrote, "I have felt the anger at having to catch up in school ... being bullied because they knew I was poor, different, and read too much. I knew that if I wanted to become a smart, successful scholar, I should talk to other smart people."

Williams was in third grade when she realized the power of test scores, placing in the 99th percentile on a state of California exam. Her teachers marked the 9-year-old as gifted, a special category Williams, even at that age, vowed to keep.

In the years that followed, her mother, Chantwuan Williams, pulled her out of school eight more times. When shelters closed, money ran out or her mother did not feel safe, they packed what little they carried and boarded buses to find housing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ventura, San Diego, San Bernardino and Orange County, staying for months, at most, in one place.

She finished only half of fourth grade, half of fifth and skipped sixth. Seventh grade was split between Los Angeles and San Diego. Eighth grade consisted of two weeks in San Bernardino.

At every stop, Williams pushed to keep herself in each school's gifted program. She read nutrition charts, newspapers and four to five books a month, anything to transport her mind away from the chaos and the sour smell.

At school, she was the outsider. At the shelter, she was often bullied. "You ain't college-bound," the pimps barked. "You live in Skid Row!"

In 10th grade, she realized that if she wanted to succeed, she couldn't do it alone. She began to reach out to organizations and mentors: the Upward Bound Program, Higher Edge L.A., Experience Berkeley and South Central Scholars; teachers, counselors and college alumni networks. They helped her enroll in summer community-college classes, gave her access to computers and scholarship applications and taught her about networking.

When she enrolled in the fall of her junior year at Jefferson High School, about five miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, she was determined to stay put, regardless of where her mother moved. Graduation was not far off, and she needed strong college letters of recommendation from teachers who were familiar with her work.

This soon meant commuting by bus from an Orange County armory. She awoke at 4 a.m. and returned at 11 p.m., and kept her grade-point average at just below 4.0 while participating in the Academic Decathlon, the debate team and leading the school's track and field team.

"That's when I was really stressed," she said of that time.

Williams graduated Friday evening with high honors, fourth in her class. She was accepted to more than 20 universities nationwide, including Brown, Columbia, Amherst and Williams. She chose a full scholarship to Harvard and aspires to become an education attorney.

There are questions about her mother that Williams is not ready to ask, answers she is not ready to hear. How did her mother end up on the streets? How come she never found a stable home for her daughters? Why wasn't there family to turn to, no father, no grandparents? And what will become of her little sister?

"I don't know. I don't know," is often her response. Ask personal questions about her mother and the fire in her eyes turns dim. She knows when she arrives in Cambridge, Mass., she will need to seek counseling.

She knows she was born in Brooklyn to a 14-year-old mother. She thinks her mother may have tried to attend school, but the stress of a baby proved too much. When Williams was a toddler, they moved to California. A few years later, Jeanine, her younger sister, was born.

She has chosen not to criticize her mother. Instead, Williams said she inspired her to learn. "She would tell me I had a gift; she would call me Oprah."

When her college applications were due in December, James and Patricia London of South Central Scholars invited Williams to their home in Rancho Palos Verdes to help her write her essays.

When they went to return her to the shelter, her mother and sister were gone.

She accepted the Londons' invitation to spend the rest of her school year with them.

In their hilltop home, Williams learned a new set of lessons. The orthopedic doctor and nurse taught her table manners, money management and grooming.

She won't be the first homeless student to arrive at Harvard.

Julie Hilden, the Harvard interviewer who met with her to gauge whether she should be accepted, said it was clear from the start that Williams was a top candidate. But school officials had to make sure they could provide what she needed to make the transition successful.

They plan to connect her with faculty mentors and potentially, a host family to check in with every so often. She will also attend a Harvard summer program at Cornell University to take college-prep courses.

"I strongly recommended her," Hilden said.

Around strangers

Williams expected to feel more connected after nearly two years at Jefferson, to make at least one good friend.

Students flock to the smart girl for help with homework and tests and class questions. She walks through campus tenderly waving and smiling and complimenting everyone she knows.

But when prom pictures arrive, they show her posing alone. In her yearbook, hundreds of familiar faces look back, but the memories are missing.

"It's a nice, glossy, shiny, colorful yearbook," she said. "But it feels like they're all strangers. I'm nowhere in these pages."

In the past six months, she saw her mother only a few times and on Thursday tried to find her. She headed to a South Los Angeles storage facility where they last stored their belongings.

She found her mother sitting on a garbage bag full of clothes.

"Khadijah's here!" her sister Jeanine yells. Her mother's face brightened.

She explained the details of her graduation, the bus route to get there and gave her mother a prom picture.

There is no talk of coming home for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Proudly, Williams modeled her graduation cap and gown and practiced switching the tassel from left to right as she would during the ceremony.

"Look at you," her mother says. "You're really going to Harvard, huh?"

"Yeah," she says, pausing. "I'm going to Harvard."

On the Set with Pleasure P and Tia Mowry

Do we see a new couple? Na.....just a new video from Pleasure P! He recently shot new video for “Under” and here’s the behind the scenes flicks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The New New: Pastry Capsule by Angela and Vanessa Simmons

We hear the Simmons Sisters are gearing up for the launch of their new clothing line Pastry Capsule! The stars of MTV’s “Daddy’s Girls,” put on a special runway show especially for Macy’s to introduce the new looks from the latest addition to the Pastry brand.

You can look forward to seeing more fashion from the new line in the upcoming season of “Daddy’s Girls,” later this year. I'm waiting in anticipation....but in the meantime, they look amazing!!!! Hopefully their new line is the same!

You Go Girl! Voguing

So, voguing has come a long way since Madonna sang about it...talk about taking it to a new level! Check out this video!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Have a great business idea? Get paid!

The FABA – Youth Empowerment Series, Inc (YES!), in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Boys & Girls Club of Miami, and the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is hosting the BOSS for at-risk Miami youth (ages 12 to 17).

BOSS has a strategic goal of demonstrating to at-risk youth how to be their own BOSS in a multi-billion dollar sports & entertainment industry and how to become future sports & entertainment business owners and executives.

BOSS is presenting a business plan competition open to South Florida youth ages 12-17 interested in entrepreneurship and careers within the sports and entertainment industries. The competition is primarily open to students living in Miami-Dade County and children of Howard University & FAMU alumni living in the state. However, students throughout the entire State of Florida.

Students will compete for scholarships of up to $2,500.

For more info, visit http://fabainc. org/content. aspx?page_ id=22&club_ id=719311& module_id= 53624

Monday, May 25, 2009

Outfit of the Week: Our picks for Prom 09!

These our some of our favs for prom. This year, prom dresses are short, colorful and creative! Make it even better with great accessories and some fierce footwear!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Be careful online: Not everyone is a true friend

By Michelle Singletary

After much hesitation, I finally set up a Facebook account.

So I wouldn't be seen as a dinosaur, I've also registered on Twitter.com. I haven't been tweeting much, but I'm now part of the throng of folks socializing with their keyboards.

My fans or critics will just have to contend with professional conversation because, in a nutshell, I'm paranoid. And you should be too if you're gabbing about your life on various online social networks. Like a pickpocket working a crowded public venue, cyber thieves may be collecting information that makes victimizing you so much easier with all the personal data you provide.

The more a criminal knows about you -- your likes and dislikes, your friends, where you grew up, your drama -- the easier it is to con you. The vast majority of perpetrators contacted complainants in the federal report either through e-mail or via Web sites.

Tweeting about your Memorial Day getaway plans?

One of your Twitter followers, some of whom might be strangers, may see it as an opportunity to burglarize your home. If you want to tweet about your vacation or holiday plans, do it after the fact.

"Not too many people are giving second thoughts to the personal information they provide, especially the more youthful users," said Peter Spicer, communications manager for Chubb Personal Insurance. "People don't realize that as they drop information someone may be building a composite of who they are."

Chubb offers these tips to help protect you from identity theft or a financial loss:

-- Birthday blackout. Never divulge your date of birth online (month, day or year). It can be used for identity theft or to answer a security question.

-- Pet privacy. The name of your pet is a common security question, so keep your pooch's name private or avoid using it as your security answer or password.

-- Trash talking. Increasingly employers are searching online for information about prospective hires. So don't trash your last employer or you might risk losing a job opportunity.

--Neighbor nastiness. You may have an incredibly bad neighbor, but be careful about posting comments about your battles. Derogatory comments can be used against you in a defamation lawsuit, Spicer said. The same goes for your children. Talk to your kid about going public with their conflicts. "The power users of these technologies are kids," Spicer said. "If they are talking about other kids, they may find themselves with their parents in a courtroom." Even if the lawsuit has no merit, there's still the cost of a defense. Personal liability coverage under your homeowner's policy can provide some protection, but the policies are limited, Spicer said.

These tips may seem like simple, common sense. And yet when I view the postings of friends and strangers, I see some of the listed mistakes. If you want to tweet or post things about your life, just remember that TMI (too much information) could cost you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

And the countdown begins.....

Disney has officially released the trailer for The Princess and the Frog. The new film will introduce the newest Disney princess, Tiana, a young African-American girl living amid the charming elegance and grandeur of the fabled French Quarter.

The White House hosts its first ever Poetry Slam

I think the Obamas are sooooooo cool for this....

Perhaps for the first time ever, the White House jammed and slammed last night.

Poets and playwrights, actors and musicians packed the ornate East Room, delivering cool jazz and glorious spoken-word poetry, sprinkling a bit of hip-hop and a bit of the heroic couplet. And through it all, the president and the first lady watched -- and applauded.

"We're here to celebrate the power of words," President Obama said. Words "help us appreciate beauty and also understand pain. They inspire us to action." He introduced the first lady as his poet.

Michelle Obama told the gathering that the event was a way to open up the White House and invite in diverse voices. "I have wanted to do this from day one," Mrs. Obama said. "The notion of standing in this room and hearing some poetry."

Some called the event the first White House poetry jam in history. Technically, it was not a "poetry slam," which is a competition among poets -- a form of contest that began in the 1980s in Obama's home town of Chicago. A slam pits poet against poet as they stand before a crowd that provides instant, not-always-supportive judgment. That, of course, would not befit proper White House decorum.

(Don't forget to check out the First Lady's look....on point as usual!)