All Posts By Pennie Anassi

Issa Rae To Host Rihanna’s 2018 Diamond Ball

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Rihanna dropped some amazing news today as if the season 3 premiere of Insecure HBO wasn’t enough for all of Issa Rae’s stans! Today, Rihanna announced that her sis Issa Rae will be hosting this years #DiamondBall. Donald Glover will also be closing out the night with a special performance. The Diamond Ball will be held on September 13th in New York City and we are sure it is going to be a night to remember.

The Diamond Ball benefits Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation which was named after her grandparents Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. The foundation supports underprivileged communities in health, education, and art.

It’s amazing to see dope women working together for a great cause!

Mya Launches Her Very Own Vegan Wine

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Grammy award-winning recording artist Mya has always looked absolutely amazing. One of her secrets to her all natural glow is her vegan diet. Many wine manufacturers are still using animal-based fining agents and there are only a select few vegan options when it comes to choosing a good wine. Mya has decided to launch her own vegan wine, The Planet 9 Fine Wine by Mya.

The product is now available on her online shop for shipping to select US states.

Planet 9 has a red cabernet sauvignon with plum infusions. Planet 9 and many other vineyards and wineries are beginning to switch over to plant-based fining agents due to increased consumer awareness and the mistrust of animal products.

Mya hopes that her wine promotes the vegan message specifically to fans who aren’t too familiar with the lifestyle. Hopefully, her consumers begin to do their own research on the vegan lifestyle and its benefits after seeing how its impacted her life.

Mya told The Root,  “Some of the pros of veganism? Let’s start with clarity in the mental space, even spiritual connection with the rest of the world, environmentalism, it takes about 25,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.”  She created an online vegan transition guide for people who are unsure of switching over.

“[Veganism is] a lifestyle, it’s not just about diet, it’s about your home décor, your fashion, what you are driving, what you are wearing, all kinds of things. Everything that you already are used to and love, there is a vegan version. Or you can organize your meals, it’s a beautiful thing.”  – Mya

So, who’s trying to get fine like wine with Mya?

Send your thoughts on veganism and let us know some of your favorite vegan brands and alternatives!

These Awesome Black Women Bodied Their Essence Festival 2018 Looks

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The 2018 Essence Music Festival has finally come to an end and per usual the #BLACKGIRLMAGIC sprinkled all over the great city that is New Orleans, Louisiana. Every July, thousands of black women and men round up their posse and take a trip down south to New Orleans to enjoy great networking, shopping, music, food, drinks, events, and panels. The festival is curated especially for us by Essence, and it always feels like the ultimate black celebration of life, love, and success.

If you’ve ever attended the Essence Music Festival you are aware that it is always filled to the brim with smart, beautiful, talented, and successful women. Women of color from all over the world show up and show out with their natural beauty, aesthetic, and style. I mean, how else are we supposed to show up? That is what we do, we slay.

To nobodies surprise, this years festival was another one for the books. As I scrolled through social media this past weekend I began to get major Essence Music Festival FOMO. Every time I logged on I instantly started to crave Po’ boys and daiquiris. I also envisioned myself dancing and singing my ass off with my fellow beautiful black folks at Mary J. Bilge’s and Janet Jacksons epic performances. Lastly, I could not get over the super bomb outfits that were worked by the attendees. Festival goers did not disappoint when it came to showcasing their personal styles and personalities.

Issa Rae killed it in her mustard yellow jumpsuit and Yvonne Orji played no games in her gorgeous navy blue form-fitting dress at HBO’s Insecure Live Wine Down at Essence Festival event. Those ladies along with many others had our social media feed on fire, including the founder of Live Civil herself Karen Civilwho hosted a couple of events throughout the weekend.

Everyone looked absolutely stunning. Some of our favorite looks came from a couple of up and coming talents, hosts, producers, and social influencers. These awesome black women bodied their 2018 Essence Festival looks oh-so effortlessly. Get into their fits, get into their brands, and get inspired, check these #CivilChicks out below:

Dope & Darling w/ Christina Bright


Cozy & Cool w/ Reginae Carter


Turnt’ Up & Tribal w/ Danielle Young


Pretty & Pink w/ Noelle Bellingham


Modern & Memorable w/ Gia Peppers


Earthy & Everything w/ Makho Ndlovu


Metallic & Majestic w/Kéla Walker



Serena Williams Says Domestic Violence Abuse Education Should Be Taught To Young Boys

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According to the Associated Press, Serena Williams says that men should be more included in conversations about ending domestic violence abuse. The new mother believes that the conversation should surrounding domestic abuse education should start when boys are young. Do you guys agree?

“I think expanding the conversation to men and expanding the conversation to young boys, it’s so important,” Williams said on Wednesday. “This is a human rights issue. We should all be treated the same. We should be treated equal. With domestic abuse, it doesn’t care what color you are, what background you’re from.”

Williams is actively doing the work to stop domestic abuse. She currently serves as an ambassador for the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse initiative which helps put an end to domestic violence by starting the conversation with the new generation of kids.

Being a mother has made this issue even more prevalent and relatable to her and she plans to continue being an advocate for domestic abuse education.


#HappyFathersDay: Precious Father Moments From Our Favorites in Hip-Hop & Entertainment

Father’s day is here and we couldn’t be more excited to share our appreciation for all of the wonderful men out there who love and care for their children. Fathers day is very important because year-round mothers are usually the ones getting all of the appreciation and attention. Sometimes we forget how important fathers and father figures are to society and today we want to shed light on some of our favorite fathers.

Over the years we have been able to witness special father moments through social media from fathers in entertainment and hip-hop. Seeing our favorite entertainers be vulnerable with their children always fills our heart with joy and love. It is important that we stray away from the narrative that fathers are missing from the picture in the African American community. There are tons of fathers who are going above and beyond for their little ones and here are some of our favorites!

Will Smith

Will Smith shared this beautiful video of him taking Willow to her first ballet class. Willow was very nervous and didn’t want to go because of fear but Will pushed her into her potential. Willow learned that if you’re ever afraid to do something you should “just do it”. All good things are on the opposite side of fear.


Schoolboy Q

Schoolboy Q and his daughter Joy were father-daughter goals with this epic rap battle. Hip-hop has always been a male-dominated field and it is always refreshing to see young women spitting bars alongside the boys.

Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx and his daughter are the perfect co-hosting duo on Fox’s newest hit game show Beat Shazam. Corinne Foxx has obviously inherited her father’s star power and is killing it as a co-host on season two. A family that gets the back together, stays together. This is epic and beautiful.


Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper and his baby girl Kensli are always living their best life. Can you imagine your dad shouting you out on Sesame Street?


Dave East

Dave East and his daughter Kairi Chanel Brewster make our heart melt over time they come across our social media feed. Check out this image of East putting Kairi’s hair into a cute ponytail. How adorable is this?

You Make Life So Dope!!! 😍😍😍😍😍

A post shared by Freaky Forever Mugga 🌎 FTD HMC (@daveeast) on


DJ Khaled

Dj Khaled wins the best father of the decade award when it comes to his parenting skills with Ashad Khaled. Ashad produced his first album at the tender age of 4 months old thanks to his amazing father. We love seeing the Khaled’s on our feed. They are always spreading love and light.

Iman Shumpert 

Iman Shumpert always introduces himself as the husband to Teyana Taylor and father to Junie. His outward love and appreciation for his family go unmatched. We loved seeing him teach Junie how to swim on their reality show Teyana & Iman on VH1.


YG and his daughter went on the perfect father-daughter date to Kitson Kids for a shopping spree. YG is absolutely in love with his baby girl. He told Billboard that he is such an amazing father because of his own mother and father who sacrificed everything for him.

Spent some BANK on my daughter 😍😍😍😍😍 DAD

A post shared by YG (@yg) on

2 Chainz

2 Chainz took his kids to his restaurant in Atlanta for a family day. This is #BlackExcellence at its finest. 2 Chainz lost his own father at a very young age. The death of his father is what fuels him to be a great dad to his little ones. He told Fuse that music has helped him keep his mind off of his father, music is his personal therapy.


A post shared by 2 Chainz Aka Tity Boi (@2chainz) on

Saint Heron Partners Up With Ikea To Create Architectural & Design Objects With Multifunctional Use

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Who remembers when Virgil Abloh partnered up with Ikea to create some ‘fire’ furniture? Well, our good sis Solange Knowles and the Saint Heron team have just announced their upcoming creative collaboration with Ikea. The line will explore architectural and design objects with multifunctional use.

We couldn’t be more excited about this decor collaboration. Solange is known for her unique aesthetic and style, especially when it comes to her stage sets. The masterpieces that have been created through the Saint Heron team over the years have always been uniquely theirs and now we get a chance to have a little piece of the greatness in our homes and office spaces.

If you aren’t aware of the history behind Saint Heron, we’ve got you covered. The multidisciplinary cultural hub was founded in 2018 with a focus on  “building the community that we wish to see exist” through music, visual art, and performance art mediums.

“The hub has been centered on artist and artisan collaborations with previous works with Mickalene Thomas, Jacolby Satterwhite, Kenesha Sneed, and Phlemuns to name a few. Their founder, contemporary artist Solange Knowles and the company’s co-curator artist Armina Mussa have partnered to create original multimedia installations that creatively reflect on intersectional art and culture themes, foster thoughtful fellowship, and push the conversations of our communities to the forefront. With their help, Saint Heron immediately outgrew normalcy’s insular web of creative collaboration by hosting pop-up events in various cities, collaborating with popular festivals like FORM Arcosanti, AfroPunk Fest, and Pitchfork Music Festival – and even offering curatorial music contributions to The Met and The Whitney Museum’s annual member’s parties.” – via Saint Heron

They plan to further push their vision and boundaries further with the collaboration.

Who’s copping?

Alice Johnson Speaks About Her Freedom On Good Morning America

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Today, Alice Johnson, the exonerated great-grandmother who was wrongfully served life in prison due to non-violent drug charges appeared on “Good Morning America”. She shared her thoughts and gratitude for Kim Kardashian West and President Trump and talked about the work that still needs to be done regarding prison reform.

Johnson, who was incarcerated for 22 years was facing life in prison when Kim Kardashian West stumbled upon her story while scrolling through social media. Her story touched Mrs. West which led her to fight for Johnson’s freedom by using her resourced and her platform to get a clemency from President Trump. After a year of advocation, Kim and her attorney were able to get President Trump to grant clemency for Johnson on June 6, 2018.

On her new freedom, Johnson said, “It’s an amazing feeling. Especially just being with my family again. [Seeing her family yersterday] it was the most exhilarating feelings I’ve ever had. I wanted to jump into their arms.”

She went on to talk about why she believes Kim Kardashian took on her case, “From the very first when Kim heard about my story and we connected, we truly had a heart connection with this. She told me that she knew that it was meant to be. When I just popped up on her phone, she knew it was a moment, this is the person she needs to do something.”

Mellody Hobson Will Be Named The Vice Chairman of Starbucks

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Mellody Hobson, president of Chicago-based investment firm Ariel Investments will be named the vice chairman of Starbucks following the departure of Executive Chairman Howard Schultz on June 26.

Hobson is a Chicago native who has worked her way up after joining Ariel as a college intern in the 90’s. She went on to become the company’s vice president of marketing, then a senior vice president to eventually being the president of the entire firm. She has been a member of Starbucks’ board of directors since 20015 and has served on the boards of Estee Lauder, DreamWorks Animation, and Groupon.

Financial literacy has been the main focus of Hobsons community outreach. She also serves as chair on the board of directors of The Economic Club of Chicago and the After School Matters program.

Mellody Hobsons story is inspiring because it shows that you can work your way up and get a seat at the table.

Congrats Mellody Hobson!

More Students Are Deciding To Attend HBCU’s For The 2018-2019 School Year

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The graduation hype is settling and the 2018-2019 academic year is on its way. Students are making their big decision on which college they are going to attend and it’s looking like more of them are turning to historically black college, especially in the metro area of Atlanta.

Last year, Clark Atlanta said it saw nearly 18,000 applications with only 8,075 admitted and 914 enrolled. Spelman saw more than 9,100 students apply for the upcoming school year which was a 9 percent increase from the previous year. Morehouse College saw their number of application rise by 40 percent.

Outside of the numbers advisors saw through essays written for admission that students desired to attend HBSU’s because of the political and social issues involved race. From police brutality to racial profiling on campuses with a majority of white students.

“I think that with the political climate today, students are interested in being in an environment where they understand that they’re nurtured, appreciated, and that they’re in an environment where they won’t be marginalized,” Darryl Isom the Morehouse Director of Admissions and Recruitment said.

Warren Hawkins III who is a proud student at Clark Atlanta University told said that those are the main reasons why he decided to attend an HBCU along with the extra push from his mother.

“If I’m surrounded by those who look like me, who are succeeding, who are doing great things, where I’m drowned in black excellence then she knew that the best would come out of me,” Hawkins said.

We love to see this black magic happen and want to wish all of the graduate’s luck in their future educational endeavors.

“If I’m surrounded by those who look like me, who are succeeding, who are doing great things, where I’m drowned in black excellence then she knew that the best would come out of me,” Hawkins said.

We love to see this black magic happen and want to wish all of the graduates luck on their future educational endevours.

Is Your Therapist Right For You? This Is How You Know When It’s Time To Find A New One

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Therapy is one of the best things that anyone can do for themselves. It’s confusing to hear negative opinions about therapy. Why would you not want to better their life? Why would you not want an anonymous bestie to tell all of their tea to? Why would you not want to heal from negative past experiences and live their best life?

We know that getting a therapist is not the easiest thing to do, especially if you don’t have insurance or money. Thankfully, there are resources available to people who are seeking therapy without insurance. When finding a therapist weather its through your insurance provider or a free clinic it is important to make sure that you are seeing the right one. Some people leave therapy without feeling as though they got the help that they needed. Just like there are good people and bad people in this world, there are also good therapists and bad therapists. That’s just the way the world works and in order for therapy to be 100% beneficial to you, you need find a good one.

You shouldn’t feel bad for cycling through therapists. If you truly want to heal don’t be afraid to fire your therapist. It might feel like you’re breaking up with a loved one or best friend but it’s for your greater good and isn’t that why you’ve chosen to go to therapy in the first place?

When you’re new to therapy it is normal to not know the difference between a good and a bad therapist. It’s can be hard to gauge if your therapist is for you because you’ve never had one before. Here are the signs that it may be time to fire your therapist:

They’re not as smart as you

If you find yourself over explaining or dumbing down your thoughts or experiences so your therapist can understand you it’s a no go.

If they don’t seem to care about you

You should feel like your therapist cares about you just like a loved one, with your best interest at heart. If they seem forgetful, disoriented, or generally uncaring let them go.

If you feel like your therapist is attracted to you 

Sis, if your therapist is giving you the eye or emitting sexual energy you need to walk out the door. Any sexual tension will cloud their judgment and yours, resulting in a hot mess of therapy. If you are attracted to him find a new one because you should not be trying to keep it cute during therapy, that’s not the way it works sweetie.

If they just don’t get it or you

If your therapist is misdiagnosing you this can make your issues worse. If you feel unsure by a diagnosis ask for a second opinion, follow your gut. After two sessions they should have a grasp on what’s going on with you and goals should be set.

If your therapist is of a different race or culture and knows nothing about your race or culture it might be hard for them to truly get you. They haven’t walked a mile in your shoes so how do you expect them to give you sound advice? Don’t get me wrong you don’t have to get a therapist of the same race but statistics show that it can be more beneficial.

If they’re too supportive

We don’t do ‘yes’ men in our circles and we certainly don’t do ‘yes’ men as therapists. Make sure your therapist is supportive in a healthy way. They shouldn’t be enabling you and she should not be simply offering words of encouragement she should be offering advice and solutions.


Activist First, Model Second: Adwoa Aboah Talks Mental Health & Activism

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Adwoa Aboah is bringing about a new look to the modeling industry. Aboah’s shaved head, freckles, and jeweled tooth set her apart from some of the supermodels that we have seen before. After her cover debut on British Vogue, Aboah who is 25 years old has fronted campaigns for Chanel, Burberry, and Revlon. She has also won the British Fashion Council award for coveted Model of The Year, which was given to Kate Moss and other amazing supermodels. In may she stayed at the Met Gala alongside Donatella Versace and Cindy Crawford.

With this lengthy resume, Aboah says she no longer puts limits on herself. She grew up in London with a Ghanian father, she thought there was no room in the fashion industry for girls like her, but that has proven to be false!

The journey to get to where she is today has not been easy Aboah said that she lived completely in fear as a teenager. She suffered from anxiety and depression to the point where she started using drugs like ketamine to cope. overcame insecurities, anxiety, and depression. Aboah went on to pursue her career with lots of unsolved internal issues which went on to a failed suicide attempt that left her in a comma in 2015.

Aboah entered treatment and discovered the power of therapy:  “Having a frank conversation about what’s going on in your life helps you stop feeling alone.” She went on to co-found Gurls Talk, an organization that aims to create spaces for women to come together, both online and in person, to discuss mental health, body image and sexuality. “In the beginning, there were small things. Maybe it was not feeling attractive at school,” she says of her depression. “But what we concentrate on in Gurls Talk is that these small things need to be as important as the big things.”

Aboah says that her activism for mental health is more than just a trend. “Before I even decided that I wanted to model, I decided that I would take on the responsibility of activism,” she says. In a speech at the start of London Fashion Week in February, Aboah spoke out against sexual harassment and exploitation in the fashion industry. She called upon fashion insiders to “help change the system that has allowed such rampant abuse of power.” Speaking to TIME, Aboah—who has never been a victim herself—added: “If we can keep constant pressure, all of those monsters will be pushed out” she tells TIME.

Aboah calls herself an activist before a model. She plans to continue advocating for mental health and women all around the world by bringing Gurls Talk to Ghana.


There’s A Database That Let’s You Know Which Black Women Are Running For Office Around The Country

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It is the decade of the black woman. Black women are continuing to make their mark in activism, film, TV, and politics. If you are looking to vote for black women in the upcoming elections (which you should be), we’ve got you covered. There are tons of black women running for office all over the U.S and we need to take the time to research and find out who these amazing women are.

Thanks to and their diligent research they have compiled a comprehensive database to showcase over 375  women who are running for office. The database started off with only 100 black women candidates and is now growing thanks to the help of submissions from their community.

Here is a list of ACTIVE candidates who are seeking seats in the 2018 election. Make sure you vote this mid-term election. For more information on the importance of midterm elections click here.

To view the list of all candidates click here.

To browse candidates by each state click here.

To search candidates by name click here.

To submit a candidate who is not listed click here.