Women's History Month continues, and we're getting all the feels for empowerment, sister tribes, and career wins. And within all of that, many of us are seeking a much-needed escape from what's happening the world. (Politics and pandemic, anyone?) Maybe you're trying to get some knowledge to pour into your spiritual and intellectual self. Well, a dive into a great read always does the trick. Here are 10 great books for Black women—written for us, by us—that will definitely spark bigger and better boss moves this year.
Alice Walker's 1983 book The Color Purple is clearly a classic that will remain on top book lists until the end of time. (And the book indeed is better than the film—word to Celie.) Books about the process or journey of things always inspire me when I feel like I've hit a roadblock in completing a project, so this one intrigues. It includes details on Walker's research and interviews with women who were part of the journey in expanding the story's reach including queen boss Oprah herself.
Harvard-trained and Detroit-bred, Chris-Tia Donaldson is a survivor in more ways than one. As CEO and founder of haircare line TGIN (Thank God It's Natural), she not only empowers women to take charge of every aspect of their lives including their own version of beauty, she continues to thrive in her lane. This book focuses in on her path in overcoming breast cancer and what the whole ride taught her about faith, love and business.
This fiction work has awesome themes about finding community when you're the "only one" in a predominately white work environment. It centers on two women who work in New York's publishing world and is written by an editor who's worked in the industry. Micro-aggressions, upward mobility, office politics, and betrayal—it's all there and then some.
Blay is a film and culture writer born in Ghana and based in New York, and she brings the soul and savvy of both to this book. It includes a collection of essays that explore the lives and achievements of our favorite Black women. (Think Janet "Aunt Viv" Hubert, Cardi B, and Josephine Baker). She made the hashtag "carefreeblackgirls" popular on Twitter, and hits on points about misogyny, bigotry and gender stereotypes in this book in a way only Blay can.
A Hollywood legend and icon who lived more than nine decades and actively worked as an actress for six of them, Cicely Tyson definitely has some major jewels to drop about life, confidence, career, and motivation. She talks about how she chooses to say yes to roles, the resilience of Black women, and thriving through major historical moments, from Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination to former President Barack Obama's inauguration.
What's great about this book is that it offers historical context and background before getting into the business tips. It's good to have research to provide a platform for a plan of action in reaching your business goals. Thomas, an entrepreneur and consultant who has etched a lane in the CBD industry, gives us all the things and more with this one.
She's a teen entrepreneur whose been named among Time magazine's top 30 young business leaders, and her story of turning fear into advocacy and profit can inspire adults and kids alike. Her flaxseed-infused lemonade business started as a way to support bee conservation and has expanded into a multi-million-dollar brand sold in stores nationwide. She even got a deal on Shark Tank as a pre-teen. Whether you're a parent or simply want a story of ingenuity to light a fire in your tail, get into this.
A veteran PR professional and strategist, Farmer gives the goods on monetizing what you're good at and owning your talents. She emphasizes that the book is "not about how to get or keep a job," but how to "heal yourself so you can sustain yourself." She takes a holistic approach to coaching one through the journey of overcoming traumas, maintaining hope and finding the courage to sometimes stand alone in embracing one's power.
'Get Over 'I Got It': How to Stop Playing Superwoman, Get Support, and Remember That Having It All Doesn’t Mean Doing It All Alone' by Elayne Fluker
Elayne Fluker has been riding for women's empowerment since her days as an editor at some of our favorite publications, from Martha Stewart Living and Conde Nast Digital to Essence and Vibe Vixen. Now as founder and CEO of Chic Rebellion Media, where she hosts the Support is Sexy podcast, highlighting the stories of women entrepreneurs, she continues building her own legacy. Her latest book gets into the nitty-gritty of the isolating superwoman complex many of us struggle with and digs into how to build strong networks of support for long-term success.
Hofmann, a UK-based executive leadership coach, shifts the narrative of business from strictly transactional (aka "What can you do for me, sis?") to heart-based ("What's the intention? What can I do for you?"), a way of connection that many highly successful business women have found to be the key to success. She's all about "living more enjoyably" in all aspects of life, a refreshing retreat from the dog-eat-dog mantras of workplace politics.
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Many have wondered if one time is ever enough to see Queen Bey. Some argue yes. However, many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum, including myself, would disagree. Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" is a universal yet varying experience for everyone who attends. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, the concert is "transcendent." For millennials, we have over two decades of her catalog that has served as the soundtrack for many of our lives and painted a personal portrait of our most coveted thoughts. Her music provides mental clarity and self-expression by serving as a universal language that has united fans from all walks of life through community, fashion, self-acceptance, and healing.
With a multi-layered approach to her artistry, just as she did on that winter day in December 2013 with the infamous digital drop of her self-titled album, she changed the game again on February 1, 2023, when she announced her world tour in support of Renaissance, her seventh studio album. Her cultural impact set the internet ablaze, with everyone trying to gather their coins, barter for presale codes, and figure out which cities to attend. The group chats were lit, and the Beyhive was stressed trying to get their hands on tickets.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Unfortunately, I was in that number. As the concert dates passed by and the one in my city drawing near all roads led to disappointment. With time ticking on the day of the Miami show and less than two hours to spare, my wallet bit the bullet, and I purchased three last-minute tickets, costing roughly $700.00 a piece (including fees) for me, my 9-year-old and 16-year-old nieces in Section 121 at the Hard Rock Stadium. With 10 minutes before showtime, we eagerly awaited the Queen to take the stage. A sea of metallic fringes, cowboy hats, disco fans, and western boots were in full effect and filled the entire stadium.
As the lights dimmed, a flood of emotions instantly overtook my body. It continued with each note she belted, along with nearly 50,000 roaring fans. The reverberating sound of the music through the stadium transported me from one era of my life to the next. As a teen girl in her bedroom daydreaming about her first love to blossoming into an unapologetic Black woman who is still on a road of self-discovery while learning to lean into the power anthem of "You won't break my soul." For over two hours, and with each set, I felt joy, love, peace, and a commanderie with fellow concertgoers. It was therapeutic as I danced like no one was watching and sang as if I were alone in my bathroom mirror.
There were no bars held, and I realized at that moment, "Nobody can judge me but me." The "Renaissance World Tour" proved to be so vast, and my Black girl joy was re-invigorated. It was magnetic and liberating, and I had to attend again, but this time, I needed to be up close and personal; I needed to be on the floor. In the days that passed, I watched more social media clips in different cities and asked myself if I would really splurge again to attend another Renaissance show.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
After all, this would be my thirteenth time (maybe more because I lost count) seeing Beyoncé live, whether she was on tour with Destiny's Child, as a solo artist, or doing a live appearance. I contemplated for a while, but it worked itself out on its own. I was gifted two tickets and the next thing I knew, I was off to LA to attend another Renaissance show with floor seats at SoFi Stadium during Beyonce's 42nd birthday weekend! This time, things were different: no kids were allowed. It was adults only this go round.
Although the energy at the Miami and Los Angeles shows was empowering, infectious, and a celebration of life, happiness, and identity, they each provided their own unique experience. However, both concerts were what I needed for my well-being, leaving me with sore feet from dancing the night away, on vocal rest for the next few days from screaming at the top of my lungs, and on an indefinite high on life.
My introduction and love for Beyoncé began in 1996, while my older sister lived in Houston, TX, right before Bey hit the scene in 1998 with "No, No, No" as a budding R&B member. Her evolution twenty-seven years later as an international superstar and into womanhood has been an incredible journey to witness. As Mrs. Carter reminds each of us in the audience every night before the curtain closes, "I want you to remember this moment, where you're standing, who you came with, and take it with you. I hope you feel inspired."
I truly felt inspired, so thank you, Queen Bey. You awakened my inner child, and I will definitely remember these moments and take them with me.
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Feature image by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood