Tag Archives #BlackGirlMagic

Vanessa Williams Honored By The Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce With A Lifetime Achievement Award

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Vanessa Williams has been honored by The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Williams was given the award on Thursday at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City, Calif. The event was founded in 2000 to 2000 to “recognize celebrities who’ve made a difference in Hollywood.”

“I ended up doing musical theater in high school and some theater in college and Broadway was the tangible goal for me,” Williams said as she accepted her award. “Hollywood was never on the radar because it was one of those things that were unattainable.”

Williams did more than just make a name for herself in Hollywood, the actress was the first Black Miss America in 1983 and 1984. She also has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and has been in many films and television shows.

“Even though I feel like an outsider because this is all a dream, the fact that I can look at my life and see my achievements and know that Hollywood was such an integral part of what made me and what’s helped my career, I thank you.”

Here’s A List All Of The Pilots That Will Be Directed By Women This Coming Season

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Inclusion and diversity on TV are happening guys, slowly but surely it is happening on and off of the screen. We tend to cape for diversity when it comes to story lines, actors, and actresses but we must not forget about the writers, producer, show runners, and directors that play a huge role in the making of TV and film.

This year we have something to look forward to because women are finally being recognized and called on to be directors. Directing was always seen as a man’s position, even though we all know that anything a man can do a woman can do as well, if not even better! Here is a list of the leading women who will be directing comedy and drama pilots this season:

Drama Pilots

  1. Larysa Kondracki (ABC’s The Fix)
  2. Liz Friedlander (ABC’s The Rookie)
  3. Uta Briesewitz (ABC’s Salvage)
  4. Regina King (ABC’s Untitled Holmes Sisters)
  5. Rosemary Rodriguez (CBS’ Cagney & Lacey)
  6. Zetna Fuentes (CBS’ Chiefs)
  7. Victoria Mahoney (CBS’ Red Line)
  8. Sanaa Hamri (Fox’s Untitled Ilene Chaiken/Melissa Scrivner Love)
  9. Patricia Riggen (Fox’s Untitled David Elliott/Danny Strong)
  10. Kate Dennis (NBC’s Untitled Schulner/Horton)
  11. Charlotte Sieling (NBC’s In Between Lives)
  12. Minkie Spiro (NBC’s The Village)
  13. Rachel Lee Goldenberg (The CW’s Playing Dead)
  14. Julie Plec (The CW’s Roswell).

Comedy Pilots 

  1. Pam Fryman (CBS’ History of Them, ABC’s Most Likely To, NBC’s Abby’s and Friends In Law)
  2. Julie Anne Robinson (NBC’s Aseem Batra)
  3. Gail Mancuso (NBC’s So Close)
  4. Christine Gernon (ABC’s The Greatest American Hero)
  5. Kat Coiro (Fox’s Daddy Issues)
  6. Lake Bell (Bless This Mess, which will film off-cycle).

Source: Deadline.com

Sade Creates Original Song For Ava Duvernay’s ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Film

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According to Ava Duvernay‘s most recent post, it looks like we will be getting new music from soul-stress Sade. Ava took to Twitter to share the amazing news that Sade will be creating an original song for the upcoming film, ‘A Wrinkle In Time’.

Fans are in awe because Sade hasn’t released a song or an album since the beloved “Solider of Love” project back in 2010. The song will be on the “Wrinkle In Time” soundtrack and it is called “Flower of the Universe”.

The highly anticipated film is directed by Ava DuVernay and stars Oprah Winfrey and Storm Reid. It is an adaptation of  Madeleine L’Engle’s novel and it can be described as this generation’s Wizard of Oz. Who will be heading to the theaters and downloading the soundtrack?

Amanda Seales Delivers #BlackGirlMagic Spoken Word During ‘BET Social Awards’

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The first ever social media awards aired live on BET and featured popular internet famous comedians, vloggers, musicians and more displaying their talents on a larger stage. Amanda Seales, commedian, actress and woman of many talents took the stage and performed an empowering spoken word about black girl magic.


Amanda Seales has used her social media platforms to clap-back at racism and sexism, share comedic stories, drop some stylish outfits and express her passionate opinions on a variety of subjects. Her voice aligns perfectly with many social media superstars who never shy away from sharing what they deem important and do so on their own terms.

Seale’s who most recent appearances include starring as the bad and bougie Tiffany DuBiois on HBO’s Insecure performs this original work without hesistance.  While performing, Seales stood solely on a BET stage with minimal lighting, only the tag #blackgirlmagic lit up in her background. The spoken word wonderfully uses African American Vernacular English, pop culture and historical references and an unapologetic vibe.

Watch the entire spoken word below:

View this post on Instagram

(Feel free to repost) #BlackGirlMagic By: Amanda Seales First of all We make this look easy Us black girls with all kindsa curls Smellin a cocoa butter Out here every damn day savin the world. Time and time again We find the ways and means Between packing lunches, planning launches, and *act out* patting weaves To get information And stay in FORMATION, “Girl you heard what they’re sayin?” “Ain’t no games to be playin”. So we show up And show out And Turn up And, “turn this motha out” And flip it And Yasssss biiihhhh Throw sideyes Gather Get folks all the way together With edges still in place Skin defying time and space They call it magic cuz ain’t no way to explain our *sing* “amazing grace” How sweet the sound Of a black girl’s point of a view Knowing that nobody does it like we do, boo Pride in our power Strength in our strides You can attempt to imitate But soul you cannot buy. We work twice as hard And must be twice as perfect, Purveyors of potent truths We deliver in small doses Cuz folks is, shook when she’s movin “OH NO, IT’S ANOTHER ANGRY BLACK WOMAN!” Bump that We’re not hostile, We’re passionate; Clappin back is our way of declaring (claps) we aint havin it They go low, we go high They say no, we defy They didn’t want us to read Kept us out of libraries they built Now we are the biggest buyers of books So, we can read you for filth!!! Our magic is in our love and tears Our fears and our flyness Our sistahoods and insecurities Our ride or, don’t even try it. We are not the one, And still we rise, This is for colored girls who’ve considered gettin your life and are RECLAIMING OUR TIME Copywrite DivaWorks Inc 2018

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Four Judges Of Delta Sigma Theta And Alpha Kappa Alpha Come Together To Fight The Prison Pipeline

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Have you ever seen AKA’s and Delta’s come together for the greater good? Well, these four Dallas judges are truly defining sisterhood with their newest endeavor. Amber Givens-Davis, Lisa Green, Shequitta Kelly, and Stephenie Mitchell have created a program called “Pipelines to Possibilities”. The program is committed to educating youth on various aspects of the justice system and inspiring youth to become leaders in society. The program aims to teach students more about the issues of society and the criminal justice system and how they can avoid becoming a statistic.

These ladies are apart of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Pipeline to Possibilities consists of four sessions: Introduction to the Criminal Justice System, Presentation, and Appearance, Changing Mindsets, and College Explosion & Bridging Law Enforcement and Neighborhoods In Dallas.

During these sessions, students will be taught how to tie ties, apply makeup, and how to present themselves with poise and respect both in person and on social media. Students will get to learn more about the criminal justice system and how to fight back and make good choices. They will also learn about different career paths, college, and of course black greek life!

Shout out to these sorors for creating a beautiful movement.


Shariah Harris Becomes First Black Woman To Ride In U.S Polo’s Highest League

Polo is a sport known to be dominated by white rich males and 19-year-old Shariah Harris from Philadelphia became the first black woman to play high-goal polo. Harris is a sophomore at Cornell University and is excited about this barrier-breaking opportunity.


“It’s great. Everything’s going by really fast, actually so it’s been great. This is something I’ve always wished I could do but never thought would happen. It’s pretty amazing.” – Shariah Harris via Huffpost

Harris started playing polo around 9 years old after her mom took a detour while driving. The wrong turn led them to an area where other black children were riding horses. Harris and her mom were interested and found out that the stables were run by a non-profit called Work to Ride. This program allows inner-city underprivileged kids to work in the stables and care for the horses, in return, the kids are taught about horsemanship and equine sports.

“As a mother of three children on a single income, I saw it as an opportunity to make their lives better,” her mom, Sharmell Harris, told the Hartford Courant. “Instead of a soccer mom, I became a barn mom.”

Harris began working at the stables, she arrived early in the morning to feed the horses, clean the barns, do maintenance work and other tasks. She admits to not being that good at riding, but said she found a special comfort being on the horses.

At 12 years old she found her passion for polo and joined the organization’s team. She sharpened up her polo skills by watching videos of the best players in the world. She would incorporate some of their moves into her sport and aspired to play at that level.


Her practice continued into college and she became a star player on Cornell’s polo team.  In 2016 Harris was named the Polo Training Foundation’s 2016 national interscholastic player of the year. She credits much of her success to where it all started at Work to Ride. Through this amazing non-profit organization, Harris was able to travel to play in different cities in the country and out of the country to Nigeria and Argentina.

“I’m impressed by her guts and determination. She has the talent and the attitude to make it in any kind of polo, she got a great opportunity to jump on a top organization and she is grabbing this opportunity by the horns and guide it and enjoying it like no many players have done it before.” – Mariano Aguerre, Museum of Polo’s Hall of Fame inductee

Harris is ecstatic to play and she hasn’t yet grasped the fact that she is currently making history.

“All this came popping up, like ‘you’re the first African American female to do this,’ and I’m like, ’Oh. Well that’s great, too, but I just wanted to go out there and play. It’s kinda great that I’m making history as well.” – Shariah Harris

We’re rooting for you Ms.Harris! #BlackGirlMagic

Source: huffpost.com

The Cast Of “Girls Trip” Covers The 2017 Issue Of Essence

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Girls-only trips are very necessary. A time to sit back relax and enjoy feminine energy is exactly what some of us need when the world and men are driving us crazy! We get to let our hair down, express ourselves without judgment, and solve our life issues with our trusted girlfriends. Malcolm D’s new film is all about the ultimate Girls Trip.

The chick flick/comedy stars some of our favorite girls, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish. The comedy follows the girls as they take a group trip to New Orleans for ESSENCE FESTIVAL.

If you have ever been to ESSENCE FEST with your girls you know it is a good and unexpected time filled with amazing energy and tons of black girl magic! The cast has the time of their lives from getting their hands on edibles to nightclubs to hitting Bourbon Street and making out with heartthrob Kofi Siriboe.

“Because of our history in this country and how we’ve been labeled, I think we, as Black women, tend to be a little hard on ourselves.“That feeling of always having to be on point has prevented us from being expansive in how we see ourselves and how we allow ourselves to be entertained, but I think we’re getting to a place where we’re afforded the opportunity to kind of cut loose and see all the wonderful colors of who we are. In this film we are flawed, funny, vulnerable and out of our minds! We go way over the top, just to remind people that it’s comedy.”  – Jada Pinkett-Smith told ESSENCE about letting go and having fun in the July 2017 issue.

Check out the beautiful cast in their cover photos below:

 Regina R. Robertson, ESSENCE’s West Cost editor notes, along with the numerous gut-busting bits and ridiculously sticky situations, the tender moments that round out Girls Trip prove that the bond of friendship is as important as its maintenance.
 “Even though this group of women gets too wild out together, they’ve also been holding on to some things that have made their friendship feel inauthentic. Having to put all that stuff on the table is a part of growing, which is true for any relationship.”” – Jada Pinkett-Smith

The Live Civil team heavily advise all of our ladies to go and check out Girls Trip which will be in theaters on July 21st, and if you’re interested in attending this year’s ESSENCE Festival single-night tickets and ticket packages are on sale now!

For more info and the latest news, visit their Festival page here.

Source: Essence.com

Carmen Ambar Becomes The First African-American President Of Oberlin College

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The #blackgirlmagic continues to sprinkle upon us. Oberlin College was the first college in the United States to begin admitting students of color in 1833 and this week they elected their first African-American president, Carmen Ambar. The history-making icon previously served as president of Cedar Crest College and with her new role, she will become the college’s 15th president. Here’s what she had to say:

“Oberlin is a singular institution in American higher education, with a historic commitment to social justice, academic and musical excellence, and the liberal arts. I look forward to my work with Oberlin’s faculty, staff, students, board, and alumni to think creatively and collaboratively together. I am humbled to be joining this institution and excited about the opportunity to lead it into its next era.” – Carmen Ambar

Chris Canavan, Chair-Elect of Oberlin’s Board of Trustees and ’84 graduate of the school is incredibly excited to work alongside Carmen Ambar.

“Her life story, her academic achievements, her devotion to the liberal arts and her love of music make her the very embodiment of Oberlin. Under her leadership, I’m confident that Oberlin can advance with the times without losing sight of who we are.” – Chris Canavan

We wish Carmen Ambar a great run as president, continue to be great!


10-Year-Old Girl Bullied About Her Dark Skin Launches a T-Shirt Line

Colorism has been a part of the African-American culture since the beginning of time. Dark skin is often frowned upon while lighter skin is glamorized. Thankfully we are entering a new day and age where beautiful dark and brown skin is being appreciated more.

10-year-old Kheris Rodgers experienced colorism when she was bullied at school for her dark skin tone. Many times Rodgers was teased by her classmates and teachers.

She told BuzzFeed News that during a class exercise years ago in grade school her teacher asked students to draw themselves, then handed her a black crayon.

Rodgers response was, “I’m not that dark….I’m brown”. Rodgers mom thankfully took her out of that school but the bullying persisted no matter what school she attended.

In efforts to lift up her little sister’s spirits, Rodgers older sister Taylor took matters into her own hands in late march by styling and dressing Rodgers for a Wiz-inspired fashion show. She shared photos on Twitter, writing: “My sister is only 10, but already royalty,” with hashtag #FlexinInHerComplexion.

The tweet went viral with over 30,000 RT’s!

Taylor showed her little sister all of the comments with strangers calling her “beautiful” and saying that her skin was “gorgeous”, Rodgers couldn’t believe it!

Now Rodgers is coming for anyone who ever bullied her with success!

The 10-year-old girl who got bullied for her dark skin has now created a fashion line that instills confidence in other young girls facing the same issue of colorism. “I am now a 10-year-old business owner please support! FlexinInMyComplexion.com.” – Kheris Rodgers.

Are you flexing in your complexion? Head over to her website and purchase a shirt!

Your brown is beautiful Kheris Rodgers, keep shining!

Gayle King Named One Of Variety Magazines #PowerWomenOfNY

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Every Year,  Variety  magazine spotlights five leading women who are using their platform to influence and shed light on important causes. This year Gayle King was one of the five honorees, the rest include Jessica Chastain, Chelsea Clinton, Blake Lively, Audra McDonald, and Shari Redstone.

King is being recognized for her work with SEO Scholars, a flagship that enrolls 1,500 students into a rigorous academic program. Through SEO Scholars high schoolers are able to receive instruction every Saturday and for the month of July from 9th grade all the way through graduation. The program is led by 80 instructors that break down the curriculum, taught in the Socratic method with an emphasis on critical reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and math!

Whew! Sounds like tutorials on steroids.

King was specifically drawn to this organization because of her love for education. Gayle tells Variety about her childhood, stating that she grew up in a household where it was never a question whether she was going to college. She says she could not wait to attend the University of Maryland, where she double-majored in psychology and sociology. She was ecstatic to find out who her roommates were going to be, what classes she was going to take, and the whole nine when it comes to attending college.

King was lucky to have college be a part of the conversation in her home because, for most children raised in a low economic situation, these conversations do not happen.

“A lot of people know you have to do well on your SATs or ACTs or your parents are getting you a tutor. What if you grow up in a home where nobody does any of that?” – Gayle King via Variety Magazine

Through the SEO Scholars program, kids have a space to excel academically. The SEO Scholars program exposes children to levels of academia that they would not have reached on their own based on their upbringing and community. 100% of the kids who go through the program are accepted into a four-year college.

 “Eighty-five percent will be the first in their family to earn a college degree. We see that as a way of breaking the cycle of poverty.” – William Goodloe (President and CEO of SEO)

King took the kids on a tour of her neck of the woods aka the set of “CBS This Morning”. She also had the honor of emceeing and awards dinner for SEO Scholars that raised over $4.0 million.

“They’re teaching these kids at a very early age to get ready. If you get kids early, you get kids who are really committed.” – Gayle King

Source: http://variety.com



Issa Rae Honored by L.A. City Council On Black Women’s Day

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Issa Rae never ceases to amaze us. She is coming for everything she deserves and this past Tuesday L.A. City Councilmembers honored actress Issa Rae at Tuesday’s celebration of Black Women’s Day.

From her successful award winning web series, Awkward Black Girl, to her her New York Times best-selling memoirs, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, and now her epic HBO series, Insecure, we are watching a true creative grow into more than we could have ever imagined.

“Issa Rae saw that, all too often, the picture of our neighborhoods and our people are inaccurate. She didn’t ask permission, she just created a new image of South L.A., one that was more honest about the real lives and stories she has experienced.” Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson via lalist.com

Issa Rae has changed the way people view South LA and the way South LA views itself, Harris says that by filming the show in South L.A., the series has even gone as far as providing jobs to people of color.

“For me, it was about representing the richness. It’s predominately black and Latino and Asian. It’s a balance of affluence and poverty, but the two mesh and it’s so beautiful to walk about feeling like your city is home. I want to thank you all for recognizing that.” – Issa Rae via City News Service.

Let’s celebrate Issa Rae not only for a successful television show and career but for making a true impact in her community and the world!


Meet The Youngest Female Author To Publish A Chapter Book At 9-Years-Old

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Many children have been authors of published books, but Anaya Lee Willabus — a young African American queen from Brooklyn — made history when she published her first book The Day Mohan Found His Confidence. Anaya is now the youngest female author to publish a full-length chapter book at the tender age of 9-years-old in the United States. Amazing, to say the least.

The novel is about a young boy named Mohan looking to overcome life’s challenges both at home and at school. Ultimately, the relatable main character realizes he can do anything with the help and support of family and friends, a message Anaya hopes to spread:

“It’s just so inspirational, not only for me but for younger kids and that’s good.” – Anaya Willabus via PIX11

Willabus’ parents have played a huge role in her love for books as she began reading at the age of two years old. On top of that, the Brooklyn bookworm has already read all 300 of the books in her family’s library. Although her parents had the books available it was Anaya who took it upon herself to read, and her parents applaud her for her self-motivation.

When she gets older, Anaya has plans of being a teacher and continuing her career as an author. Despite being so young, she said she wants to change the world through education and literature. The sky is the limit for 9-year-old Anaya Willabus and we hope her story inspires you too.

Via Huffington Post