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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

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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