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Tiffany Haddish’s #SheReady Foundation Brings Kids Better Opportunities & Resources

During this weeks episode of ‘Hollywood Unlocked Uncensored,” actress Tiffany Haddish joins Jason Lee and DJ Damage for an interview full of non stop laughter.

She shares some funny moments, including the time she took an ‘L’ at her New Year’s Eve Miami appearance. And even talks about the time she had sex on her period —  apparently she was trying to make the guy feel better about himself.

Despite her found success, Tiffany continues to remain humble and look out for the community. #SheReady, a foundation Tiffany started, not only benefits foster kids (as she was once herself), but seeks to provide kids with better opportunities and resources.

During the interview, Tiffany also discusses what it was like growing up and why this new foundation is so close to her heart.

Watch the Full Interview 

Chewing Gum’s Michaela Coel: “We Deserve To Add Our Portrait To The Gallery of Life”

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Michaela Coel is the creator, writer, and star of British sitcom Chewing Gum,  which revolves around Tracey Gordon, an evangelical Christian, Beyonce-crazed virgin who’s stuck in the middle of navigating a world of sexual discovery, interracial dating, and identity crises. After two successful season of the series, Michaela has decided to take a break in order to focus on other projects. In the mean time, she did an interview with Elle Canada about the importance of black women writing their own narratives and sharing their stories early on.

Chewing Gum and Issa Rae’s HBO show Insecure are compared all the time. Do you see the similarities? How do you feel about the comparisons?

I love Issa Rae. I adore her. I’ve hung out with her in LA and we clearly have a kinship and not only her but also Yvonne [Orji] who plays her best friend in the show. And Danielle Brooks from Orange is the New Black. I think that there is some kind of weird thread running through a lot of us black women on TV and that’s something I’m proud to stand in the middle of beside Issa Rae and be like, ‘yas Queen.’ I have nothing to say but extreme excitement. The thing I noticed [about the similarities] is that in Insecure season one Drake is referenced loads and in Chewing Gum, I reference Drake all the time. It was really weird. Like, yoooo, why are we both referencing Drake so much? Drake doesn’t give a shit about us. Why do we keep referencing him? [laughs] It’s an awkward black girl thing!

What is the “weird thread” running through black women on TV that you mentioned?

You know what, I don’t know whether it’s to do with [the fact that] no matter what continent you’re on, there’s some kind of thing as someone who is born both black and with a vagina, there is something that we all seem to… I don’t know what it is. Like Lena Waithe [Master of None], for example. I love her. It’s like an organic magnet. I can’t explain what it is. Maybe there is some kind of very vague, very small common experience [that] has to do with having the double situation of being born without the penis and without the Anglo-Saxon skin that somehow makes you have a similar experience and tone of your life. I do think there is something there – something peaceful.

You wrote every word of Chewing Gum. Why is it important to have black women write for black women?

I think it depends on what kind of black girl you’re talking about because right now I’m doing a show that isn’t written by a black woman but it’s about a black woman. This black woman is just very different to me. However, I think the idea is very similar to the fact that women should write women’s stories. It doesn’t mean that only women should write women’s stories so I don’t think that only black women can write about black women. I will say that. But I think there are hardly any black female writers and the black female experience on every continent – you know whichever that person comes from- does not exist on TV. Especially in Britain. I don’t see the experience of the black woman on TV. In order to write that, you have to understand it and I think it’s really hard to understand what it is to be a black woman unless you’re a black woman. It’s really hard. When I say black, I’m talking black, my dark– darker than paper bag skin. To live this life and for me, a working class, black female’s life, you can’t write that story unless you live that story. I think that we deserve to add our portrait to the gallery of life, to the gallery of television and we want that portrait to be accurate. In order for that to happen, we have to write those stories ourselves.

What still needs to be done to have black women fully represented on TV?

In Britain, we need to start presenting the option of being a writer in front of black women. We need to present the idea of being a writer into poorer communities because the majority of black people in this country are working class. We need to let working class people know that their voices are important. We need to encourage black women to know that they are authors of their own destiny, that they have important stories to tell and that they are capable, so magically capable, of writing them and creating important pieces of work that will live forever in history. We are never taught that. For me, this was never an option. I found myself here by complete and utter mistake. Imagine if I knew from when I was young I was going to be a writer? Imagine the shit I would be writing. How old was I when I started writing TV? 25? 26? Once we plant the seed into the heads of young black women and young poor people then we will start to see our stories more prevalent on screen.

You tweeted a while ago that as a black writer that you get criticism from black women about Tracey and the character and how she should act. Tell me more about that and how that has affected you and your writing.

I don’t know what it’s like in America or Canada but here, we are still very much – our parents are first generation immigrants. We are the first generation of black people born really in this country so we’re carrying a lot of stuff on our shoulders. This is our parents telling us that we should never have sex, we should never mention anything to do with sex. “Don’t come here talking about boys, don’t bring any boys back here. Don’t look at boys. Do your studies, do your studies, do your studies! Go to church, go to church, go to church!” This is what we know. It’s not cool to be sexual. All of this is just oppression. I think Chewing Gum is like a mockery of that entire thing. I think people struggle with the idea of black women being sexual. I had someone come up to me and say, “why do you think it’s OK to write a story about a 23-year old girl who just wants to have sex? I’m 25 and I’m still a virgin. I kept my virginity.” Keeping your virginity is like keeping a plastic bag after you go to Costco. It’s like, so what? It’s all bullshit. Tracey is so free and so unoppressed and so unaware of everything and I think it’s very uncomfortable for some women to watch. Her sex scenes are not sexy. This is a comedy. Her sex scenes are embarrassing. It’s the kind of embarrassing that everyone has gone through once and they don’t want to remember it. So when they see it on screen, it’s like “no no no  no no shut that shit down.” [laughs]

Exclusive Interview: UFC Star Tyron Woodley Talks The Importance Of Activism & Making A Difference in His Hometown of Ferguson, Missouri

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Last month MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter Tyron Woodley successfully defended his Welterweight title in UFC 209, and hasn’t slowed down since.

From his acting career, full time training and being a father of four, to working on his next move up the UFC totem pole, Woodley, one of the top-ranking African American fighters, is running at full speed.

The Welterweight champion got his start wrestling for the University of Missouri in 2000. Getting to know many fighters already involved in MMA, he made sure to assert himself into what he refers to as “the right place at the right time.”

After winning his first three professional fights in 2009, Woodley had garnered enough attention to be offered his first deal.

Fast forward to 2017, and Woodley currently has 17 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw under his title belt, along with a number of movie roles including, “Straight Outta Compton” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

However impressive his accomplishments in the Octagon may be, Woodley has found that his most rewarding fight is the one outside the ring. It might not receive the bold font in headlines, but Woodley has been fighting for his city, his community, and his culture for years and years.

It all started on August 9th, 2014 when the Ferguson, Missouri native found his city in the national spotlight after Michael Brown was wrongfully and fatally shot by police causing widespread protesting, and leaving a country in mourning.

Woodley, frustrated with how his town was being depicted, decided to take action, using his voice for those who needed to be heard and using his platform to help educate and empower the small town community that he calls home.

“Ferguson is a very small city,” Woodley tells us in our exclusive interview. “There are patches in every city where you can find a lot of crime and violence, but it’s crazy [to me] that something would happen at that apartment [in particular]. I live within walking distance of where Canfield apartments is, so it’s really close to me.”

One of the first steps Woodley took in his new found role as an activist, was reaching out to Ferguson’s youth. From high schools to middle schools, Woodley spoke to over 40 different groups of students in the community.

“You have to talk to the kids, give them hope, inspire them, teach them a different way; a positive avenue,” Tyron says. “That’s where I think I can make an impact. Grab the graduating high schoolers to try and change their mindset because they are going to be the next ones up to lead our country.”

Since 2014 Woodley has continued to be vocal on the topics of police brutality and racial discrimination, continuing outside of Ferguson to his second home, the UFC.

Tyro says, “I’m just pointing out specific things that are happening in our sport, and just in any sport in general. These are things that are not always blatant sometimes, rather they are indirect.” He continues, “Sometimes when you say things like a fighter is athletic, it can sound like you are taking away the fact that he’s a hard worker, or that he has a great work ethic or a great skill set. it’s like an indirect or subliminal stab that I’m speaking on. People don’t even realize they are doing it and at the end of the day as a hard working, skilled, dedicated athlete I take offense to it.”

As one of the top-ranking fighters in the UFC, Woodley is well respected, however, sports analysts seem to hint that the fighter’s future growth hinges on his ability to become more of an entertainer rather than athlete or activist.

The reference is made to the fast rise of fellow MMA fighter Conner McGregor, who is known for his glorified trash talking which admittedly is entertaining. That said, how come something as important as activism is not as engaging or encouraged? Shouldn’t having the bravery to stand for something be a trait which garners far more support?

Perhaps this also raises the much larger question that could be asked in the realms of not only sports but also journalism and music: does the ability to be entertained, supersede actual talent and ethics?

Regardless of what that answer might be or it’s effect on his MMA career, Woodley continues on fighting for the values he believes in and for the people in his community.

“I remember watching Muhammed Ali and at that time [when he refused army induction] he was standing on stage nobody loved Muhammed Ali. They hated him at that moment, but he did it because it was right. He gave up four years of competition during his prime and I’m pretty sure he lost money on the fights from sponsors and endorsements. But he made such a huge impact outside of the ring that he is someone we will always talk about, and my goal is not to be always spoken of, but if I have the opportunity to use mixed martial arts as a platform, I will.”

Kelly Hite

Rashaan Everett’s Quest to Support Black Owned Businesses with ‘The Greenwood Project’

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Howard University graduate Rashaan Everett took advantage of his educational experience to bring knowledge and financial support to black-owned business owners across the country.

In a world where there is no hiding the disadvantage minorities face, The Greenwood Project is the investment game-changer that many have been waiting for. By starting the company, Rashaan has created the much needed step in building the Black market: finding investors. The GoFundMe –styled organization gives aspiring business owners the ability to earn the financial boost needed to form their independent startup company. Not only does the savy self-starter take pride in being able to help his community monetarily, but he also enjoys knowing he can help their self confidence as entrepreneurs.

Take a look at how The Greenwood Project came about and how Rashaan plans to boost both your self-esteem and wallets!

Common Interviews Serena Williams About Her Legacy On ESPN’s ‘The Undefeated In-Depth’

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Last night (December 18), ESPN’s “The Undefeated” presented an incredible interview special from two icons in their given field.

The interviewer was legendary emcee Common, who had the pleasure of sitting down with the world’s greatest women’s tennis star, and one of the best athletes the sports world has ever seen, Serena Williams. The two had an important discussion about race, gender, fame, sports & how to deal with it all.

Both of these two have been staples in the African American community for decades and both have faced turmoil and stress on their journeys. During this interview, they touch on that ideology and speak on how race, gender and fame played a significant role in their respective careers.

Acknowledging the disadvantages women athletes have in the eyes of the spectator, Serena feels things would be different if she was a male athlete. “I think if I was a man, I would have been in that conversation a long time ago, like six or seven years ago,” she says.

However, Serena is as humble as it comes for someone many deem as the greatest to do it. Being humble has kept her grounded, and while many others say she’s number 1, Serena says, “You will never hear me say ‘I’m the greatest’.”

As a young girl, Serena says her father helped her understand the concept of “racism” and prepared her for what was destined to come as she continued to rise to fame. Having that knowledge as a young girl helped the tennis star, and she credits her father tenfold for that.

All of this and more was discussed in last night’s “The Undefeated In-Depth” interview special. Watch a candid conversation between Common and Serena above. #BlackExcellence, once again.

Throwback Thursday: Karen Civil Talks #LiveCivil & Why Women Should Accept Being Different

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Happy Throwback Thursday!

Back in December of 2015, our very own Karen Civil sat down with Brandon Robinson of Scoop B Radio for an in-depth interview. Karen spoke on her powerful Live Civil brand, which we’re proud to say has grown tremendously over the last couple of years. She weighed in on her time at Beats by Dre and how she was able to elevate the brand the way she did.

Later in the interview, Karen discussed a topic she knows best — women empowerment. She explains it’s important for women to accept being different and to never shy away from chasing their dreams. Civil then gave us some insight on what she had planned in the future, which as we saw, came to fruition.

In light of #TBT, we wanted to repurpose this interview for those who may have missed it. Enjoy the full thing below, and remember to #LiveCivil.

Oprah Winfrey Praises Hillary Clinton, Says She’s “Shattering The Glass Ceiling For All Time”

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During a recent sit down with T.D. Jakes on his syndicated talk show, the iconic and legendary Oprah Winfrey praises our soon-to-be president, Hillary Clinton and had some remarkable things to say.

When asked about the several women in the world that continue to break barriers and make history, Oprah took a moment to declare her confidence in the outcome of the Presidential Election.

“I see that we’re about to have a woman President,” Oprah says to an applauding crowd. “When you can look at somebody who has done something like what Hillary is about to do, that is extraordinary.” She continues, “What it speaks to is what it is within yourself that can do the same. She will stand forever as this beacon of possibility for all women.”

The full 1-hour episode will premiere on Thursday, October 27th on T.D. Jakes. Check out some pictures and a short clip from the interview below.

Karen Civil Talks Supporting Hillary Clinton, Mental Health & Achieving Success

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Our very own Karen Civil recently sat down with the good folks at Rec Philly for an in-depth interview about a slew of topics.

With the election right around the corner, and in full swing, Civil spent time discussing her support for Hillary Clinton and why she feels she’s the right choice for this presidency. Karen spoke on why she feels it’s important for the millennials to get involved with this process as well, for the betterment of the future.

After that, Karen touched on mental health and how much it’s impacted not only herself, but the people around her. It’s essential for folks to have the conversation about mental health and Karen says we’re not currently doing enough. “Mental health is something I don’t think we engage and discuss enough, and with this digital era, so many kids are having identity issues and losing themselves quickly.”

Later in the interview, Karen discussed her own career and the immense amount of success she’s seen thus far. Acknowledging the amount of hard work and careful planning it took, Karen made sure to advise anyone listening to never limit yourself and put in the necessary work to achieve your dreams.

Enjoy the full interview below and tell us what you think.

The Rights & Wrongs For Having A Successful Job Interview

You just graduated from your beloved University or your hometown high school. Summer sixteen gave you so much life that you nearly died and now September is rolling around. Fall is approaching, and your funds are low from that last minute trip to Vegas. You say to yourself, “it is time to start adulting” and start applying to jobs.

If you got past that long applications process, congratulations — you played yourself because that was the easiest part. Anyone can fill out a written application or check off a few bubbles.

The hard part is the interview. From one-on-one interviews with the most intimidating HR lady, to the group interviews, or even more horrific a 3-on-1-panel interview where you are too nervous to remember your full name.

We have all been there, and because of that, we’re here to help. Answering interview questions is simply a skill that you must master this day and age. Here’s a helpful guide of the right and wrong ways to answer very common interview questions.

Click the pages below and be sure to utilize these in your next interview!

1) What is your greatest weakness?

Wrong Way To Answer: I don’t have any weakness, I am perfect in every way!

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(Who do you think you are fooling?)

This question is difficult because it requires you to be real, yet vulnerable. The best way to answer this question is to know yourself and assess your greatest strengths and weaknesses prior to the interview. If you are unsure of what your weaknesses are you should ask someone you trust, to give you an honest and true answer. Although it may feel awkward to tell a future employer about the not so pleasant side of you, nobody is perfect and we are all a work in progress. With that being said, own up to your weakness and then follow up with ways you are improving on that weakness. If you are asked about your strengths/weaknesses at the same time, always start with your weakness and then move on to your strength.

Right way to answer:

One of my greatest weaknesses is that I am a perfectionist. I set unrealistic standards for myself and my work that cause me to miss deadlines and get down on myself when I don’t reach those standards. I am working on this weakness by setting specific and attainable goals when it comes to projects. I have an accountability partner let me know when I am taking too long to complete a project. I write down everything that I have completed day by day, a perfectionist tends to forget how much they have done because they are so focused on what they could have done better. My greatest strength is that I have a skill to quickly learn what people are best at, which makes me a great leader and team player. When trying to complete a project it is important to know your team and their value, this allows you to strategically place everyone in their lane and allows for a functioning and satisfied team.

Meagan & La’Myia Good Talk The Greater Good Foundation & Limited Edition #DefendGoodGirl Flannel Collection

Actress Meagan Good and her sister, La’Myia Good are all about making a difference. Especially in the era of social media and reality television influence.

Growing up in the entertainment industry for a large portion of their lives, the Good sisters are on a mission to change  with The Greater Good Foundation.

In 2014, they created the foundation with a mission to enhance the quality of life for all young women. Most recently, Meagan and La’Myia have combined their efforts to collaborate with the Defend Paris clothing line to release the #DefendGoodGirl limited edition flannel shirt online.

LivingCivil.com had the opportunity to catch up with 1/2 of the Good sisters to discuss their foundation, the work they are doing in the community, and how they are using their platform to reach young women in underprivileged areas. – Lupe Looove

Willow & Jaden Smith Have Joint Magazine Cover For ‘Interview’

The Smith’s have done it again, and this time with their first ever joint magazine cover for Interview magazine. Sitting down for a Q & A with family friend, Pharrell Williams, the siblings let loose and give us a taste of their opinions.

The two young teens open up and say how they feel misunderstood by judgmental adults. Willow, 15 says “It seems like they don’t understand our thought process. Or, like, things have happened in the past that they’re still mad about.”

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The siblings also talk about how their parents play a big role in their lives. Jaden mentions “My parents are definitely my biggest role models. And that’s where me and Willow both pull all of our inspiration from to change the world.”

Growing up, all I saw was my parents trying to be the best people they could be, and people coming to them for wisdom, coming to them for guidance, and them not putting themselves on a pedestal, but literally being face-to-face with these people and saying, ‘I’m no better than you, but the fact that you’re coming to me to reach some sort of enlightenment or to shine a light on something, that makes me feel love and gratitude for you’… What my parents have given to me is not anything that has to do with money or success or anything that society says people should be focusing on – it’s something spiritual that only certain people can grasp and accept,” Willow adds.

Check out the full interview with Willow and Jaden Smith by clicking here.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Discusses Her Rise & Conquer Of Social Media

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First Lady Michelle Obama is as “hip” to the culture as any of us. Her presence on social media has been felt for the last few years through interviews, hilarious comedy sketches, speeches, and even rap songs. FLOTUS is the cool mom we all wish we had.

Recently sitting down with The Verge, Mrs. Obama speaks on her rise to social media fame, how she became so engulfed in it, and why she thinks it’s so important.

“This platform is so unique,” the First Lady says of the White House and her use of social media. “We will never have it again. So we will spend these twelve months on every issue making sure we’re driving to the very end. We figure we want to drop the mic on some of this stuff.”

The interview was shot in a 360 degree angle, so it’s recommended to watch it on the YouTube app on a mobile device for the full experience. Either way, the video is below and we encourage you to read the full story at The Verge.