Tag Archives black girl magic

Black History Month First: Donna Summers

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CNN and many others say that the legendary Donna Summers defined the disco moment. Born LaDonna Adrian Grimes, the late Summers is an American singer, songwriter, and painter. Her hits included “Love To Love You Baby” and “I Feel Love”, and she was the first African American woman to have her music video in heavy rotation on MTV. Her hits helped bring disco into the mainstream and took it to a national level.

Summers got her start in a psychedelic rock band named Crow. She toured with the musical Hair and lived in New York City and Europe during her early years in the industry. While in Europe she met music producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. Hits like “Last Dance, MacArthur Park, “heaven knows”, Hot Stuff, “Bad Girls, “Dim All “The Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” (duet with Barbra Streisand), and “On The Radio” were produced. These hits led to even more success and Summers was crowned as the “Queen of Disco”.

Summers had 32 singles on the U.S Billboard Hot 100, and 14 of those reached the top 10. With five grammies under her belt, Summers was a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. Summers passed away from lung cancer on May 17, 2012, but her legacy continues to live on to this day. Her style and voice have influenced many of your favorite artists, like Lady Gaga. Take a moment and listen to “Born This Way” by Gaga and you will hear the disco rhythm and vibe that was birthed by Summers. That joyful, feel good, prideful, rock star essence.

We celebrate Donna Summers during black history month because she broke barriers as an African American woman in music. She was not only just the first but she was consistent in her craft and paved the way for many female musicians of color. Donna Summers was fearless during a time when fear felt like the only option for some African American women.


Black History Month First: Tamron Hall

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Tamron Hall is an award winning multimedia journalist everyone should know. The reporter currently hosts Deadline Crime and has a journalism resume that hosts a plethora of notable work. Hall who formerly anchored NBC News has made career advancements to inspire anyone.

The Texas born journalist got her start at Temple University where she recieved her Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism. Hall began her career with WFLD, a Chicago station where she covered breaking news, general assignments and hosted a three-hour segment Fox News In The Morning.  From there, Tamron Hall joined MSNBC and NBC news in 2007.

Tamron Hall’s notable work with the MSNBC and NBC networks include landing an interview with Barack Obama before he announced his presidential campaign in 2008.  While at MSNBC, Hall anchored in place of Keith Olbermann on Countdown With Keith Olbermann and her platform began to rise.

Hall continued to host, taking lead on NewsNation With Tamron Hall, which debuted in 2010. The news broadcast program reported on international and national news, entertainment news and featured many prolific interviews.  Tamron Hall used this show as well as social media platforms to provoke important dialogue on impactful news stories.

Tamron Hall proceeded to work her way to the top when in 2014, she joined the Today show and became the first Black woman to co-host the popular datytime show.  Hall brought a vibrant energy to Today’s Take with Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Willie Geist. On February 1 2017,  Hall announced that with an expiring contract with MSNBC and NBC,  she would not be returning to the program.

Currently, Hall is said working on her own show, Tamron’s Hall Pass set to stream on Hulu in 2018. Her excellence in journalism is recognized as well as her vocal campaign against domestic violence. Hall in 2004 lost her sister to domestic violence and since then has worked endlessly with the “Shine A Light” campaign to raise funds to end homelessness, hunger and abuse.




Beauty Vlogger Nyma Tang To Design Custom Lipstick Shade With M.A.C Cosmetics For Darker Skin Tones

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We are all aware of the beauty industry is super late in acknowledging and recognizing women of color but thankfully times are changing. Fenty launched with a variety of products that cater to women of darker skin and now the game has been changed for eternity.

By the looks of it, major companies are getting it together and hopping on board. Nyma Tang who is a beauty vlogger who has been advocating for this change is apart of this movement. The blogger announced via Instagram that she will be creating her own custom lipstick shade with M.A.C Cosmetics.

“I created my dream red lipstick and I can’t wait to share it with you guys,” Tang wrote in an Instagram post.

Tang launched a new YouTube series called “The Darkest Shade” in 2017. This series involves Tang taking the darkest color of foundations and cancelers and matching it to her own complexion to see if it is a good for her skin tone. Her channel challenges beauty standards and brands and showcases the truth about what is available for women of darker skin tone. We’re looking forward to this lipstick drop.

Continue being an inspiration to beautiful black girls Tang!



Yara Shahidi Will Be Making Her Directional Debut Soon

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Yara Shahidi continues to make us proud, with the recent success of Grown-ish and now our girl can add director to her resume!

Shahidi will be directing a short film through Refinery29’s Shatterbox Anthology. The series is full of shorts directed by women in order to provide a platform to tell better stories.

The series began in 2016 with Gabourey Sidibe’s directional debut, The Tale of Four which starred Jussie Smollet, Ledisi, and Aisha Hinds. Kristen Stewart and Chloe Savigny were also apart of this greatness with short films that screened at Sundance and Cannes.

Shahids’s film and others will screen across TNT social, digital and television channels. Shahidi wrote the script with Grown-ish writer Jordan Reddout. The film is inspired by her own experiences and the 1956 French film The Red Balloon, the podcast “99% Invisible.”

This film is super special for a multiple of reasons but our favorite reason is the fact that Shaidi’s mother, Keri Shahidi is the executive producer and her father, Afshin Shahidi was the director of photography! A family affair.

“The story centers around one character who we have aptly titled ‘X,’ and it’s X’s journey through L.A. — a day in the life — but also a larger commentary on what it’s like to maneuver through a space that you don’t own or have ownership of,” Shahidi told The Los Angeles Times.

She continued, “Being somebody who’d been in California for most of her life, I’ve benefited from how diverse it is, how open it is, how liberal it is,” she continued. “This really stemmed from us wanting to dive further into that … and still discuss the universality of what it’s like to be an unprotected class of any kind, whether you’re a person of color, whether you’re an immigrant, whether you’re a woman, whether you’re differently abled — whatever it is. Directing really makes you stick to your voice and have the ability to back it up, saying, ‘This is how I want to do it.’ Of course, you have to make compromises here and there, but it really did remind me to not be so willing to (make compromises), and to feel empowered to execute my vision.”

The short film is expected to be released later this year. We can not wait to see this beautiful piece of art! Go YARA!

Watch The Trailer For The Simone Biles Story: Courage To Soar

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Lifetime has released the trailer for the highly anticipated upcoming biopic on Olympic gold medalist, gymnast Simone Biles. The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar stars Julius Tennon, Tisha Campbell-Martin and introduced a new actress, Jeante Godlock. The film is executively produced by Simone Biles and based on her book, Courage to soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in balance. The story follows Simone Biles through her journey to winning 19 Olympic and World Championship medals.

Further description: “After a field trip to a gymnastics training center when Simone was six years old, she caught the eye of a local coach who recognized that Simone had a remarkable gift for the sport. But pursuing her dream of becoming an elite gymnast also meant giving up high school football games, prom or starting college at UCLA. With her parents Ron (Tennon) and Nellie Biles (Campbell-Martin) and younger sister Adria (Raven Bowens) supporting her every step of the way, Simone’s journey from foster care to the Olympic podium – with all of its triumphs and heartbreaks – can serve as an inspiration for every little girl with a dream.”

The cast also includes Kathleen Rose Perkins as Aimee Boorman, Kelsey Scott as Shanon, Marilyn Norry as Martha Karolyi and Sakai Takawira as Young Simone.

Check out the trailer below and be on the lookout for the debut o February 3.

‘Flexin My Complexion’ Founder Kheris Rogers Stars In Nike Ad

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Kheris Rogers made internet waves when her older sister revealed that she was bullied for her darker complexion by other children at school.  At 11 years old, Rogers made the choice to embrace her beauty and not succumb to the teasing and taunting. Rogers created her own fashion line, showed at New York Fashion Week and began flexing her complexion, inspiring many of all ages across the country.

Today, Kheris Rogers remains diligent to her mission of promoting self-love, and anti-bullying.  Rogers kicked 2018 off by sharing her first Nike ad.

“Let’s all make 2018 the year of ‘doing.’ In less than a year, I went from feeling bad about myself because I was being bullied for how I looked to loving myself completely and following my dreams. I encourage you all to ‘do’ what makes you happy and believe in yourself that you can make your dream a reality!” writes Kheris Rogers in her Instagram caption.


While this is the first Nike ad Rogers appears in, it is sure to not be the last. The young queen has a promising future in fashion, business and continues to leave an essence of black girl magic wherever she goes.


Aisha Mohamed Adds Black Girl Magic To Classic Van Gogh Paintings

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London artist Aisha Mohamed takes classic art and envisions them with black women instead of the European silhouettes originally painted. The 22 year old digital artist tweeted images of her interpretations and they were a hit to people across the world.


During an interview with Buzzfeed, Mohamed explains the concept and the importance of the artwork.

“I couldn’t help but notice that I never saw myself reflected in any of my favourite pieces. It was an isolating feeling. In a way, this piece was about reclaiming this very white space and saying, ‘We’re here and we’re beautiful.” she says.


Her first piece was an image of Aya Jones and after it was finished, Mohamed was still unsure about the entire project.

“It was the first one I did, and at the time I was still very unsure about the concept and where I was going with it…After making it, I knew I had to make a collection. There was something so striking about it and I wanted to recapture it as many times as I could.”


Mohamed who now sells her artwork continues to create art where black women are featured as beautiful.  Keep up with with the artist on Twitter . 

#LiveCivilInterview: Ryan Destiny Talks STAR, Colorism, Gabrielle Union, & The Secret To Her Glowing Skin

If you’re a fan of EMPIRE and STAR Wednesdays like we are over here at Live Civil than you are very familiar with Ryan Destiny. Ryan plays Alexandra Crane, an aspiring singer/songwriter/dancer who left her lavish life with her celebrity parents played by the legendary Lenny Kravitz and Naomi Campbell to thug it out in Atlanta with her super talented girl group in hopes to “make it big”.

Before her role on Empire and Star, Ryan was apart of Russell Simmon’s All Def label’s R&B girl group Love DollHouse. She has been compared to the likes of actress and author, Gabrielle Union. Union says in her book “We’re going to need more wine” that not only can Ryan act but, “she can sing and dance!”.

Ryan Destiny is just getting started, outside of STAR she is planning to release a solo EP and has signed with Capitol Records. We wanted to get to know the beautiful brown skin girl that immediately caught our eyeso we decided to catch up with her and indulge in some girl talk.

In this interview, we discuss the struggles and revelations of being a woman of darker skin, the main components that every musical girl group needs to truly survive, her relationship with Gabrielle Union, her up and coming EP, and of course BOYS, and more. Grab a glass of wine or cup of tea and a notepad because sis is about to drop some serious gems!


For those who don’t know…who is Ryan Destiny?

I am somebody that want’s to make a mark as somebody that just loves people and broke boundaries and was just themselves all the time. That is me in a nutshell.

Most people know you from Empire and Star on FOX, how did the role of Star come about after things ended for you with Empire?

The role came from the casting director Leah Daniels, she was just such a big believer in me thankfully and supporter. So when things in Empire fell through she really wanted me to audition for STAR and at first I wasn’t really about it because it was about a girl group and I had just gotten out of a real girl group a few months before. So, I was just like yea, I don’t really think that this is for me but I did it anyway. I auditioned for it and I got it, and now I’m here.

What do you love/respect most about Lee Daniels and his work?

The thing I respect the most about him is that he is very vulnerable with his work and telling stories. He is living his truth in his work and the way that he tells stories is really based off of the things that he has gone through. I really respect that about him because that’s not easy to do, it’s not easy to let people into your life that much even if it is a movie or a show. It is important to do and I think it speaks volumes and really opens people’s minds. If the topic or story being highlighted is something that people are not used to or don’t necessarily know too much about Lee Daniels is really big on showing a whole different perspective on that certain topic. I love that about him and his work.

What new dynamic does Star bring to television and entertainment, why should everybody be tuning in?

STAR is so dynamic to me, it really is a rich show. I’m somebody who is very honest with my work and stuff that I do. If it’s trash and I’m on it, I’m going to say that it is trash but I really think that it is something that is not on television right now. We are singing and dancing and it’s so many beautiful types of people in this cast that are so different. We have a transgender (Amiyah Scott) and the group is made up of 3 different girls that come from different places (Jude Demorest, Brittany O’ Grady, and Ryan Destiny), and are white, mixed, and black.

I just think that is very different, simply, it’s a very different show than anything else that’s on right now. It’s very cool for people to watch and learn different things too because it touches on a lot of hard topics.

The diversity of the girl group in the show truly stands out to viewers, it highlights the differences in women from personality to style and even to skin tone. Growing up with darker skin and as a brown skin girl, did you experience any colorism? 

I have definitely experienced it in my personal life while growing up and in the industry, it’s just in the society period. Different things that I would go through would just be simply people not thinking that I am beautiful. People literally not liking me, whether it be a guy that I like or just anybody not liking me because of my skin color, being embarrassed by it and you know, not thinking it’s beautiful because they see a lighter skin tone on television being praised or they hear it in a song by one of their favorite rappers. It’s just always been a thing that even I at a certain point thought was right. I would think, “Oh yeah, you’re right. I’m not beautiful because I’m this color like I want to be lighter”, that would literally go through my mind. That’s a terrible space to be in, especially when you don’t even realize it. When I finally did realize it, and it finally clicked for me, it really truly was a complete shift in my life and it was a genuine shift.

When I realized it, it wasn’t in a time when social media was in this great space where we are showing so much love to one another and so much support of all of our skin tones and diversity. Being loved now I think more than ever really still has such a far way to go because it’s still such a huge issue that’s happening. When I realized it, it’s something that I literally had to pull from myself, I was like, “WOAH! It clicked like I am so beautiful and my skin color is so great and grand and I should not feel like I want to have my skin lightened.”. It also wasn’t a thing where I felt like I had to put down a lighter skin girl, I feel like that’s another huge issue that we have to. Because of jealousy and the way people are brought up, they like to put down a lighter skin person and I think a lot of times is happening to now where darker skin girls are being praised so much, now people are kind of going down this other road where they don’t really like light skin girls, and it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

It’s almost a trend now and I feel like now some dark skin girls aren’t truly loving themselves, they’re loving themselves because it’s what’s hot right now. It should not matter if it’s hot or not, you should love yourself regardless. I just want to really express that and let people know how real that is, and how important it is to really mentally have a shift in your mind. Screw society, screw what is in front of me right now, I am beautiful regardless and I’m going to do this and succeed in this regardless. It’s very important to me and it’s definitely something that I am forever going to speak on because it’s very very real.

As a platform that highlights everything that deals with black women and their magic, we have been dying to find out what your skin care regimen is. What foundation do you use because we all know that Fenty beauty just came out with the perfect matches for all of us. You’re known for glowing and having that melanin poppin’ skin, what’s been your secret? 

Honestly, I went through a whole thing with my skin where I was breaking out really bad, so it’s just crazy now how people are like, “What do you do with your skin?!” and I’m just like, “wow this has been a long time comin'”.

I use a lot of products that don’t have a lot of extra stuff in there. Vanicreme is one of the products that I use, but mainly their face washes because it’s very simple. Some of the stuff that I used to use had a lot of acid and extra chemicals that would dry my skin out and that would not help me at all, I would actually break out even more. So, gentle and simple products are very helpful and aloe vera gel has been the best to me ever!

Whenever I do break out, because I still do, I want people to know that I use a product by Mario Badescu. It’s a spa treatment that you use it’s in a little pink bottle and it’s drying lotion, that I’m telling you will save your life when you’re breaking out I promise!

As far as cosmetics, I use Giorgio Armani, that foundation goes on like silk and it’s not very heavy and that’s the best part. It is important to not use heavy makeup, that’s very crucial to skin care period. Now as far as how long that list is of darker colors, they need to step that up because Fenty just blew everybody out the water for that. Another brand that’s good with skin color for darker women to is AJ Crimson, they truly have a variety as well.

You’ve been compared to the likes of actresses like Gabrielle Union. In her book, “We’re Going To Need More Wine”, she talks about competition and how when she first met you she thought to herself:

“Bitch, fuck you. You want me to mentor you? The press is literally calling you the next Gabrielle Union….”except she can sing and dance!”

How do you feel about the statement that was made and what is your relationship like with her now?  

That was very weird to me, weird in a good way because I didn’t expect her to put me in her book period. I remember the time that we did meet, which is the situation she was addressing in her book and she was very nice. I wouldn’t have known that she was thinking any of the stuff that she said she was thinking in her head at all. It’s interesting because she was just talking to me and we were just chopping it up about what I was filming at the time and I was just struggling mentally with stuff within the show because there is always some drama and she was just being supportive of that and she told me to push through it.

Our relationship is great right now, we’re very supportive of each other. She’s supportive of me, thankfully and I appreciate her vulnerability in the book and how she expressed how she felt truly about it all and overcoming certain things within that. So it’s cool, and I really do think that there is room for all of us and she’s Gabrielle Union so I think she definitely is so good on me and I am no threat. I think that we have a great future ahead as far as our relationship and what could happen because doing a movie with her would be amazing or any type of project would be really cool.

You’re a triple threat, you dance, sing, and act. Star has given you the opportunity to do all of that on what platform. Can you talk to us more about your musical career outside of Star?

Yes, I’ve been recording my own solo music for the past 2 years now. I am in the process of putting out an EP, entitled On One’s Own and I’m really excited about it because it will really just be me. People will really see the difference between the songs on the show vs. who I actually am and what I can create and what I make. I take a lot of different elements but for this project, you can say that it is R&B based and it’s just chill. I’m a dancer too so it’s going to be a lot of that as well, it’s going to be fun, I’m excited.

You are in a girl group on the set of Star and have actually been in one in real life, Doll House. What do you believe are the main components that every girl group needs to thrive and be successfully happy has a group and as individuals?

It’s a very difficult thing and I think the main downfall that I had in my experience was simply and truly be friends. There is a lot of people in the industry that think that you can throw girls together and they think that you can just say, “Okay, be friends now” and it will be fake at that point, it’s very forced and that will never resonate. Sometimes it happens that way and thank God it can, but it will only happen if they truly connect. If they don’t and they are like faking it in interviews and faking it in the public, it will always end badly. Somebody is going to leave, somebody is going to be replaced. People are able to see that, and that’s not what girls want to see, they want to see girls that are true friends and once they see that they are not, it’s like, “Oh, this is going to end”. So I think that is a huge part of being a girl group, you really have to love each other.

Individually it’s the same thing, you’re going to have to be your authentic self with anything. Whether you’re in a group or not so as long as you keep those things in mind and you know what audience you’re speaking to and why you’re doing it, then that can really help along the way.

You’re dating a fine young man by the name of Keith Powers. What do you look for in a guy and what is your outtake on dating as a millennial and especially in the industry?

What I look for in a guy is everything that Keith is. It’s very very hard to please me, especially now because I’ve seen a lot of different people and it’s hard to get me and it’s hard to play me. It’s just tricky, especially in the space that I’m in, I’m very career based and that’s always first for me. So to be in the industry it’s very tricky and as long as you both realize where you’re at in life and you realize that certain things are going to have to be sacrificed but you still respect them and love them and you guys have an understanding then things will be easier. It helps me having somebody who is in the industry because you guys understand each other on a different level. You’re busy, they’re busy so that helps and I know people think that it may be a thing like we don’t get to talk as much or there’s no time but it helps because we’re young, we’re living our lives. The number one thing that’s been important to me not having any pressure, there’s no pressure on it things go a lot smoother. When you feel like there’s something weighing down on you and you feel like you have to please them or please everybody else. Being in the public eye in a relationship can get tough too which is why we’re pretty low key but a lot of opinions can come into play and that’s pressure within itself, so you really have to keep that out. The pressure sucks.

Out of all of your female peers in the industry who is inspiring you the most right now and why?

I have always been influenced especially by entertainers, people like Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, and Prince. I’m huge on singers like Brandy, Lauryn Hill, and India Arie. As far as acting goes, ugh it’s always so hard choosing people because I love my people so anybody that’s going hard right now really. It’s so many young aspiring actors that are really killing it and I’m just a fan, I’m a fan of all of us right now that are just pushing these boundaries and going in these different directions that people don’t usually see us in, whether black or another race. I really do love every actor that’s coming up right now and I think we’re really doing different things with how much we can do too, we’re not just actors and we’re not just singers we can do a lot more and we can make a change in the industry and the world.

What’s next for Ryan Destiny and what do you want the world to know about you?

I will just say, you will see. I am always and forever evolving and my journey I feel like is going to be a long one. I’m definitely always going to keep people updated but there are a lot of things that people don’t know and I’m excited about the future and I just want everybody to know that I’m a lover and an entertainer.

Beverly Bond Set To Release New Book “Black Girls Rock: Owning Our Magic. Rocking Our Truth”

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Beverly Bond, the creator of the impeccable BET awards show, Black Girls Rock has a great surprise for all of us black girls. On February 28th, “Black Girls Rock: Owning Our Magic. Rocking Our Truth“, will be hitting the bookshelves!

The book can be described as a tribute to the achievements and contributions of Black women around the world. Some of our favorite women have contributed to the work.

“Moguls Cathy Hughes, Suzanne Shank and Serena Williams recount stories of steadfastness, determination, diligence, dedication and the will to win. Erykah Badu, Toshi Reagon, Mickalane Thomas, Solange Knowles-Ferguson, and Rihanna offer insights on creativity and how they use it to stay in tune with their magic. Pioneering writers Rebecca Walker, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Joan Morgan speak on modern-day black feminist thought. Lupita Nyong’o, Susan Taylor, and Bethann Hardison affirm the true essence of holistic beauty. And Iyanla Vanzant reinforces Black Girl Magic in her powerful pledge. Through these and dozens of other unforgettable testimonies, Black Girls Rock! is an ode to black girl ambition, self-love, empowerment, and healing.”

The book is filled with essays, affirmations, and beautiful photos that tell the story of black women who rock!

Beverly aims to affirm, elevate, and celebrate the unique narratives and rich experiences of Black women and girls around the world for generations to come. The book will be released by Atria Publishing Group imprint 37 INK.

Get your #blackgirlmagic on and pre-order your copy now here.

Happy Birthday Shirley Chisholm, The First Black Woman To Run For President

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On this day, November 30th,  in 1924, the first Black woman to run for President was Shirley Chisholm. Shirley Anita Chisholm was an American politician, educator, and author. Her political career blossomed in 1968 when she became the first black woman elected to the United State’s Congress. Chisholm represented New York’s 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983.

Chisholm is one of the first trailblazers in politics for African American’s and women. She was the first black woman to run for president, the first woman to ever run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, and the first black candidate to run for a major party’s nomination. Chisholm was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom back in 2015.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor—it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.” — President Obama

Fun Fact: Shirley Chisholm is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.

Happy Birthday to the originator of black girl magic, Shirley Chisholm!




This Brooklyn Native Created A Luxury Gift Wrap Line That Celebrates Art and Is Just Perfect For The Holidays

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Back in 2014, Ashley Fouyolle jokingly told her boyfriend that she wanted to create a gift wrapping line that featured Kim Kardashian on it. Not even a year later, the reality television mogul did it herself and Fouyolle decided she would never put off a project again.

That’s the moment her luxe gift wrap business Unwrp was born.

In 2017, the Brooklyn-based graphic designer unveiled the luxury gift wrap line, which features bold and eye-catching prints. Her goal was to create a product where art meets functionality.

Fouyolle talked to ESSENCE about the journey to creaing the brand and the hope she has to give each customer.

“I’ve always pinned the different patterns and different designs but they were all kind of the same, and it’s all like, ‘okay I’ve seen that, I’ve seen that,'” says Fouyolle. “So I definitely wanted to create something that I was looking for and that I knew my friends would be looking for.”

Fouyolle just launched her website on November 1st. The site offers nine chic designs. Bringing her company to life doesn’t end with debuting the merchandise — she’s paying it forward as well.

This cyber Monday, Fouyolle is rolling out a new collection that collaborates with millennial designers to unwrap and unveil their talents too.

“I’m partnering with five to six artists and I’ve given them creative freedom to come up with whatever they decide to extend their catalog but also offering clients gift wrapping that feels lux,” says Fouyolle.

While most wrapping paper gets tossed out on Christmas morning, with no regard for where it goes next, Fouyolle hopes that with her own designs and the creations of her collaboraters, customers will want to savor the paper, reuse it or perhaps even appreciate it for the art that it is.

“Some people do like to recycle their wrapping paper so we promote that if you don’t want to get rid of your wrapping paper you can also frame it, you can create other things with it like place mats or as little artwork around the [holiday] table,” she adds.

As an added bonus, you can customize your Unwrp gift paper experience too.

Whether you’re wonderfully woke or bursting with Black Girl Magic, Fouyolle is willing to provide a personal purshase for each client.

“In the second release, I’m going to really promote the customization because imagine receiving a gift that was custom and personalized to your aesthetic, then that makes the gift even more enjoyable,” she adds.

Meet Essynce Moore, The First Black Teen Author Who Books Are Mandatory Readings For Several School Districts

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15-year old Essynce Moore is the only African American teen author that has written three books that are mandatory readings for several school district curriculums including Hillside, NJ School District; Brooklyn, NY Charter School(s); and Orange, NJ School District. Her books are a part of a series that she created called The Middle School Chronicles.

When Essynce’s first book (6th Grade Middle School Chronicles) was released in 2015, it went on to become an Amazon Top International seller. Her second book (7th Grade Middle School Chronicles) was released in 2016, and her third book (8th Grade Middle School Chronicles) was released back in April 2017. The third book completes the series, and each of the books are available for purchase on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/1U1bkJY.

Essynce wants to have her Middle School Chronicles book sees in more schools worldwide as mandatory reading and part to the school districts curriculum. She says the books can be used to assist with self-esteem, bullying, how to handle different situations with teachers and friends, encourage younger kids to follow their dreams, and many other positive things. 


Parents can learn a lot as well from Essynce’s books. She comments, “They think they know the truth about what happens in middle school, but they have no idea!”

She has traveled across the country to inspire and empower children of all ages by speaking at different schools, conferences, workshops, and seminars. Her latest goal is to visit schools nationwide to discuss entrepreneurial education initiatives and other opportunities that are centered around children and teens.