Quantcast

8 Black Boss Besties We All Love & Admire

'Cause my best friend finna, she finna... Ooh, go best friend!

Workin' Girl

Best friends are a gift from God. For many of us, they are the mirrors that keep us empowered and get us together when we need it. Misty Copeland said, "Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you." When you add Black women to the mix, you better believe whimsical things are to come. There's no doubt in our minds that best friends are also our soulmates. Some of our favorite Black boss besties believe that to be true. The love they have for one another can be felt through any medium.

Keep scrolling for some of the friendships we absolutely adore.

1.The Pretty Hustlers - Karen Civil & Ming Lee

Karen Civil and Ming Lee exude authentic Black Girl Magic. The way they both show up as their full selves has not only opened doors for them, but it has also made them super-relatable. The marketing guru and beauty maven are building their own empires and have recently teamed up for their unapologetic podcast, Girl I Guess to talk all things business and sisterhood. From letting go of the victim mindset to normalizing Black women living in luxury to $50K giveaways, this podcast is set to break chains and truly advance Black women in the podcast space.

2.The OGs - Gayle King & Oprah Winfrey

Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey are what a 40+ year friendship looks like. Respect and regard have been the pillars of their friendship which has supported longevity. Oprah told O, The Oprah Magazine:

"For years, people have marveled at our friendship—and sometimes misunderstood it. But anyone who has a soulful bond with a friend, a friend who would do anything for you, who revels in your happiness and is there to comfort you in your sadness, gets it exactly."

That's what we all want – someone who gets it and sees us for us. Gayle continues to kill it on CBS This Morning with stirring interviews much like her bestie, Oprah, recently did with her sit down with Meghan Markle. If you need boss interviewers, these are your girls!

Oprah still holds the record as the richest Black woman in America with over five businesses raking in nearly $3 billion. And Gayle, three-time Emmy winner, is booked and busy too with ventures like leading her show, Gayle King In the House on SiriusXM.

3.Destiny’s Children - Kelly Rowland & Beyonce

Beyonce doesn't play about a few things: her fifty-leven children, her husband, Mama Tina, Sis Solange and her forever bestie, Kelly Rowland. And the same can be said about Kelly and her devotion to Beyonce. The way they love and support each other proves why women say you're the Kelly to my Beyonce. Kelly's new collaboration with JustFAB is everything your closet needs, and in true Kelendria fashion, it was inspired by confident women. This was Kelly's first fashion collaboration and her 11-shoe collection gave what it needed to give because we want to get dolled up for no reason. Meanwhile, Kelly's bestie is out here constantly adding to her net alleged $500 million worth with her coveted Ivy Park clothing line that is known to sell out in 48 hours or less. There's a reason why she's known as the diva aka the female version of a hustler.

4.The Founders Of Mented Cosmetics Created A Makeup Brand For All Of Us

These Mented Cosmetics founders also happen to be best friends. They created their non-toxic, vegan beauty kingdom after Amanda and KJ discussed their issues with beauty. Myths say that you shouldn't go into business with your friends but KJ and Amanda negate those fables every day. In a podcast episode of The Partnership, KJ said, "At the end of the day, I want Amanda to be happy. Amanda wants me to be happy. Even when we fundamentally disagree, I really, genuinely believe we'll be at the end of it." Rooting for your friend and partner's happiness no matter what is such a high vibration.

5.The Mommy Moguls - LaLa & Ciara

During TV One's Uncensored, La La spilled the tea on her friendship with Ciara. The actress said, "Me and Ciara have been really close for as long as I can remember. We have a lot of the same values, we believe in family, we believe in God, we just bond over so many different things and we're just fun together! I can't think about my life without her."

Ciara's newest addition to her star-studded resume is the launch of House of Love Respect & Care which she co-founded with her hubby, Russell Wilson, and ex-Lululemon CEO, Christine Day. House of LR&C is not only sustainable but also gives 3 percent of each purchase to Russell Wilson's Why Not You Foundation, which promotes children's health, education access, and poverty reduction.

When you don't see Ciara's gal pal, La La, on Lena Waithe's hit series, The Chi, the mogul mommy is showcasing the stories of Black women on their entrepreneurial journey on her new show, "Funded in America." According to Forbes, this six-part web series was the brainchild of digital media company SoulPancake. It was produced in partnership with crowdfunding website Indiegogo and T-Mobile for Business.

6.Set It Off Sisters - Queen Latifah & Jada Pinkett-Smith

We have been stanning these two boss besties since Set It Off. Over the decades, they have continued to lift each other up behind the scenes. Through all of life's ups and downs, they still remain true friends. Queen Latifah told People, "Jada and I can have whole conversations where we haven't really said anything, but we've said a lot." And that is the personification of friendship. While Queen Latifah is kicking ass in The Equalizer in a prime time spot on CBS, Jada is continuing to have riveting conversations around the coveted red table.

Fun fact: Jada and her hubby, Will, created Westbrook Inc., a studio and holding company in 2018 to serve as a studio for subsidiary companies like Overbrook Entertainment and Red Table Talk Enterprises. Then there's the Queen, whose Flavor Unit Entertainment was the first partner on The Essence Creators and Makers Fund dedicated to creating and financing film, television, digital and documentary-style content that reflects the lives and experiences of women of color, according to Deadline.

7.The Creative Duo - Melina Matsoukas & Shiona Turini

If you follow either of these creative geniuses on Instagram, you know they can't get enough of each other in the best ways. This friendship is full of fashion, fun and so much love. The thing that is enviable (the mentally healthy envy) is the way they empower one another. From putting each other on to new projects to singing along to musicals together, they aren't the buzzword type of women empowerment, they really mean it. Melina and Shiona are the poster women for holding the door open for other women. For example, in her role as director, Melina made sure to include Shiona in two of her major projects, Queen & Slim and Insecure, as the costume designer. Not just because they are soul sisters but because she knows that Shiona is going to slay any job put in front of her.

8.The Glow Up Gals - Tania Cascilla & Shay Ingleton Smith

For Tania and Shay, it's about changing the stereotypes that haunt Black women. The two mega-influencers authenticate the truth that we can have a sisterhood and we can share the wealth so that we all win. When creating The Glow Up, that was the goal. And that is now the reality. These women have nurtured a genuine tribe of women who root for each other like never before. In the private FaceBook group, you'll find Tania and Shay giving advice around negotiating rates, offering paid opportunities and how to increase engagement.

Since birthing The Glow Up, Shay has taken on more stock in the influencer realm with her boutique agency, Kensington Grey, which is rooted in diversity. The brand bio says, "We specialize in influencer marketing, casting, talent, strategy and campaign management." This agency garners big name brands from American Express to Sephora. Tania is also racking in major deals with Vaseline and eBay proving what she told us back in 2019, "This is still a new profession, a lot of people don't realize this is work for me, it's not all about taking pretty pics...we grind!"

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Jess Baumung, courtesy of Tania and Shay

Last year, Meagan Good experienced two major transformations in her life. She returned to the small screen starring in the Amazon Prime series Harlem, which has been renewed for a second season and she announced her divorce from her longtime partner DeVon Franklin.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Mental health awareness is at an all-time high with many of us seeking self-improvement and healing with the support of therapists. Tucked away in cozy offices, or in the comfort of our own homes, millions of women receive the tools needed to navigate our emotions, relate to those around us, or simply exist in a judgment-free space.

Keep reading...Show less

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

To be or not to be, that’s the big question regarding relationships these days – and whether or not to remain monogamous. Especially as we walk into this new awakening of what it means to be in an ethically or consensual nonmonogamous relationship. By no means are the concepts of nonmonogamy new, so when I say 'new awakening,' I simply mean in a “what comes around, goes around” way, people are realizing that the options are limitless. And, based on our personal needs in relationships they can, in fact, be customized to meet those needs.

Keep reading...Show less

Lizzo has never been the one to shy away from being her authentic self whether anyone likes it or not. But at the end of the day, she is human. The “Juice” singer has faced a lot of pushback for her body positivity social media posts but in the same vein has been celebrated for it. Like her social media posts, her music is also often related to women’s empowerment and honoring the inner bad bitch.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts