The tech industry is more than just men in hoodies glued to their desks in Silicon Valley. There are also beautiful Black women cracking the code every single day - and slaying while doing it. Each of the Black women included in the list below have created an app, a platform or a community based upon a need that they've identified or a hole that they sought out to fill with their relatability and brilliance. From food and science to self-love and mental health, Black women in tech are setting positive examples in the STEM field that encourages the confidence of other tech entrepreneurs on the rise.
xoNecole had a chance to speak with these leading Black girl bosses who are sprinkling their #BlackGirlMagic all over the tech industry. Here's what they had to say about their online communities and the importance of diversity and representation in the world of technology.
Carina Glover, CEO of HerHeadquarters
Courtesy of Carina Glover
The platform she created: "HerHeadquarters is a brand partnership platform exclusive to women entrepreneurs. Female founders and entrepreneurs all over the country use HerHeadquarters to quickly secure valuable brand partnerships with other women-owned brands. The platform currently houses 400+ women-owned brands from the fashion, beauty, entertainment, events, and PR industries."
The importance of Black women in tech: "We are the key to creating the products that will positively impact the lives of Black people and women. Until we create the solution, we (and everyone else who falls within the demographic) will continue to live in the problem. Our experiences, perspectives, and culture are unlike those who currently dominate the tech world. They can't develop products that solve problems they've never experienced because they can't relate, therefore they don't see the need for the products. Black women in tech are not a luxury, we're a necessity."
Advice for budding tech entreprenueHERs: "Don't be afraid to take up space. You don't have to be an expert in every area, but learn as much as you can, even outside of your area of focus. Find someone that can mentor you, someone who sees your potential and wants to help water the seed in you."
"Don't be afraid to take up space. You don't have to be an expert in every area, but learn as much as you can, even outside of your area of focus. Find someone that can mentor you, someone who sees your potential and wants to help water the seed in you."
Riana Lynn, Founder of Journey Foods
Courtesy of Riana Lynn
The platform she created: "Journey Foods solves food science and supply chain inefficiencies with software in order to help companies feed eight billion people better. [We do this through] technology that improves product management and development for CPG companies, ingredient suppliers, and manufacturers. In addition to helping food manufacturers create better products, we also use the power of our data to create experimental snacks that help us test our AI called Journey Bites. They're nutrient dense, micro foods that we release for sale online and Amazon."
The inspiration behind her platform: "Globally, consumers spend three trillion [dollars] on packaged foods every year. This number is set to eclipse jump from 700-900 billion in the US by the end of the year. These products, packaged and manufactured foods, account for over 70 percent of our daily caloric intake. At the same time, there's clear evidence that much of the food we eat is related to the increase in chronic diseases - cancer, diabetes, and poor mental health."
The importance of Black women in tech: "As a black woman, I want to continue to solve problems for myself, family, friends, and communities across the globe. Even though black women are one of the fastest growing sectors in entrepreneurship, it is a challenging road for the most impactful industries in the world which happen to be dominated by old heads: agriculture and tech. I want to continue to breakthrough on growth, servant leadership, and impact that will help inspire the next crop of black women that can solve the world's greatest challenges."
Joy Ofodu, Coordinator of #ShareBlackStories
Courtesy of Joy Ofodu
The community for which she leads the brand effort: "#ShareBlackStories, Instagram's first multi-channel program, call to action, and campaign to support and inspire our Black community. Since launching in the U.S. in Feb 2019, #ShareBlackStories has also taken root in the U.K. and Brazil."
The inspiration behind her community: "The U.S. Black community is so active and vibrant on Instagram. We share a sense of pride, perseverance and promote a shared cultural identity that is emulated by so many others. In February 2019, our Black employees were inspired by this and knew it was important to create a space within the app for Black people to fearlessly express themselves. I helped to create a unifying brand identity across our existing efforts, brainstorm new applications and stepped up to coordinate the efforts of over 11 teams including Editorial, Product, Partnerships, Design and Policy. Since 2019, we've partnered with hundreds of creators, businesses and public figures to bring #ShareBlackStories to life online and in-person, including Jackie Aina, Jidenna, Ruth Carter, Overbrook Productions and Afropunk."
The importance of Black women in tech: "When people envision a tech wiz or hacker, they envision a white man from the Silicon Valley. They forget that Black women are expert hackers by nature, some of the most creative problem solvers. Even though Black women make up less than 5% of most major tech company workforces, we play such vital roles in these organizations, both in STEM roles and non-STEM roles, serving as inspiration to other girls. Our presence helps to validate that yes, we are brilliant and deserving of the opportunity to serve a global user base. Sometimes we can't be what we can't see. Finally, when we are represented at the table, we can help make our companies more empathetic to and supportive of Black users."
"Our presence helps to validate that yes, we are brilliant and deserving of the opportunity to serve a global user base. Sometimes we can't be what we can't see. Finally, when we are represented at the table, we can help make our companies more empathetic to and supportive of Black users."
OlanikeeOsi, CEO/Founder of SelfishBabe
Courtesy of OlanikeeOsi
The app she created: "The SelfishBabe App is my self-love app that sends women a daily affirmation and self-love reminder. SelfishBabe is about women selfishly and authentically loving themselves. Choosing themselves and creating a life they enjoy. It puts self-love at the forefront, really themselves, when usually many women would put themselves at the backseat and put others first."
The inspiration behind her app: "I wanted there to be one place where you could have personal development. A few years back I was big into personal development, learning about spirituality, the law of attraction, crystals, and the power of our words. I had already seen and been inspired by BossBabe and ManifestationBabe. I wanted to change the way we viewed the word selfish. When one thinks of being selfish they usually think about someone who is mean and greedy. With SelfishBabe I just want women to think about them putting themselves first because honestly when it comes to self-love, you are placing yourself first and you're not thinking of anyone else but you, so it is SELFISH but not in the negative way people usually think about it. Being selfish actually helps humanity. Imagine if more women were selfish with themselves where the world would be right now."
Advice for budding tech entreprenueHERs: "My advice would be to be patient, have your vision of what you want your tech to do, how you want it to impact the world and have a way that it will make money eventually. Have patience because at least in my experience, tech is a long haul thing. You have to build up visibility about what you have and why it's important and you probably spend a good penny on developing it, without immediate return. This can be frustrating if you don't know this in the beginning and may make you want to quit. Don't quit if you really have the vision for it."
Amanda Spann, Founder of The App Accelerator
Courtesy of Amanda Spann
The community she created: "The App Accelerator is an online program and community that provides a framework for non-technical and aspiring entrepreneurs to build their first app. We pair our robust curriculum with group and 1:1 coaching and add an additional layer of support with our resource repository to provide you with every asset you need to make your app business a reality."
The inspiration behind her community: "Creating my first app was a long, hard and lonely process. I blew thousands of dollars and wasted countless hours aimlessly trying to navigate the path from idea to app. Building any product is difficult, but it can be a particularly challenging task when you're non-technical. It can feel like a never-ending trail of Google searches, technical jargon and a good ol' boys club that you don't necessarily have a membership to. As I was building and some of my apps rose in popularity, I started to receive hundreds of emails from nearly every continent from people who had similar stories, 'Amanda, I have an app idea but I don't know where to start.'
"The App Accelerator was my own 'reply-all' of sorts to each and everyone of those messages. I wanted to let people know that everyone has to start somewhere and it's OK to not know what you don't know. Your ideas still hold value and you are capable of building them from anywhere, at nearly any budget. The App Accelerator is my roadmap for making your app ideas happen."
Advice for budding tech entreprenueHERs: "If nothing else, have the audacity to continually show up for yourself, even on the days you don't feel capable, confident or worthy. Give yourself the patience to make mistakes and the grace to keep going."
"If nothing else, have the audacity to continually show up for yourself, even on the days you don't feel capable, confident or worthy. Give yourself the patience to make mistakes and the grace to keep going."
Quincy K. Brown, Ph. D., Co-Founder of blackcomputeHER
Courtesy of Quincy K. Brown, Ph. D.
The inspiration behind her community: "blackcomputHER.org was born out of the lived experiences of the three co-founders. We each have Ph.Ds in Computer Science and met as graduate students. Throughout our years in graduate school and early in our post-PhD careers, we would see each other at conferences and remark about the small number of Black women with visible roles, e.g. presenters, keynote speakers, committee chairs, etc., in the community. We would often have these conversations at night after the day's conference programming ended. These became known as the 'Conference after the Conference'. At some point we realized that our community was dope enough such that for us, the 'Conference after the Conference' really was the conference that we all needed to sustain ourselves, to learn and grow from our experiences and to be the support for each other that we need.
"We started the conference as a means of organizing the community of Black women in computing and tech by developing an agenda that we can implement and scale. We created the annual #blackcomputeHER conference to be a safe space for us to gather. A time when we can be ourselves, turn off our guards, and have the frank conversations that we know we need. The conference is a gathering for us, not about us, and a time unlike any other when we can speak about our technical expertise and the other topics of importance to us. The organization grew out of this effort as a structure to enable us to do the work."
The importance of Black women in tech: "Representation matters because we matter. Black women in the computing [and] tech world matter. We contribute, we innovate, we create, and we lead at every level. The research literature about Black women and girls in computing [and] tech is scant. The narrative about Black women in tech, who we are, where we come from, what our interests are, what works for us, etc. has not been created by us. The representation of Black women that is based on 'our' truth is important because it allows us to be free of other people's perceptions of what we can or cannot, should or should not, do or be. The freedom of 'dropping the mask' and just being who we are is not afforded to us, generally, and even less so in tech. Having visible representation that highlights the breadth and depth of who we are and our accomplishments allows us to see ourselves in the space that we have contributed to and created."
Davinia Tomlinson, Founder of rainchq
Photo Credit: Simeon Thaw
Courtesy of Davinia Tomlinson
The platform she created: "rainchq is a membership platform created to help women take control of their financial futures. 'Rainmakers' gain access to financial education, qualified and regulated financial advice from female financial advisers and events focused on all aspects of holistic well-being – all delivered digitally."
The inspiration behind her platform: "As someone who has spent my entire career in the world of investment management, it was obvious that women are chronically underrepresented, not just in terms of visibility in senior leadership roles within the industry, but also in terms of the client base. There are a number of different financial challenges women face which have become more prominent in recent years, from the gender pay gap, to the gender investing gap, all of which have the potential to cripple us in later life. rainchq was set up to provide practical solutions to help address this gloomy picture through education, advice and online community in a mutually supportive and ultimately enriching environment. My ambition is to build a global community of rainmakers who are smashing it, not just professionally but financially too."
The importance of Black women in tech: "I live by the mantra 'if you can't see it, you can't be it', which has become even more important to me as a mother of two young daughters. Black women are trailblazers in whichever field we choose to pursue, however the importance of role models in helping us recognize our capabilities and importantly see what the possibilities are for women who look like us is invaluable."
"Black women are trailblazers in whichever field we choose to pursue, however the importance of role models in helping us recognize our capabilities and importantly see what the possibilities are for women who look like us is invaluable."
Nichelle McCall Browne, Co-Founder of Bramework
Courtesy of Nichelle McCall Browne
The platform she created: "Bramework is my second tech Startup. I started BOLD Guidance in 2013 to help students apply to college and raised $1/2 million in a year as a non-technical founder (putting me in the .02% of black women to raise venture capital for a tech company). Now I'm working on my second startup, Bramework, helping small businesses create high quality blog posts in minutes. Bramework is a marketing department in your pocket. Helping small businesses that can't afford to hire a specialized team produce blog content regularly so their customers can find them online. When you produce quality content regularly on your website, Google starts to index more pages, which can help you rank higher in search engines. We've found that digital marketing strategists and entrepreneurs love Bramework because they can produce more quality content faster, especially in this current COVID-19 environment where more businesses need to be found online but have limited resources."
The importance of Black women in tech: "Black women bring their own experiences and perspectives, so we see problems, opportunities, and solutions differently. We tap into markets that may be a barrier of entry for others because they don't understand the nuisances of the customer's problems, needs or how to connect with them. If it wasn't for Black women, there would be no Miss Jessie's, Carol's Daughter or NaturAll Club. If it wasn't for black women in tech, there would be no digitalundivided, Blavity, or Travel Noire. Exposure lets other women see what's possible for them, while being a voice at the table opens up the way for more Black women. It's like when Kimberly Bryant created Black Girls CODE – once women and girls started to see people who look like them and had someone open the doors to opportunities in tech, we saw a huge increase of black girls being interested in tech. We must continue to open the doors and support each other along the way. We do better when we come up together."
Advice for budding tech entreprenueHERs: "When building your tech company, focus on finding your right paying customer and generating revenue. This is the number one thing I teach entrepreneurs in my courses. Make sure all your milestones and activities point to revenue generating goals. Don't put too much focus on raising money and what the stats say about Black women raising venture capital. When your number one concern is creating a product that solves your customer's biggest challenge, it's easier to sell it and the money will come. It's always easier to raise money when you have money. But even if it takes longer to raise money, your business is OK because you're making the money that can help you to grow. Plus, you give up less equity when your company is making more."
Featured image courtesy of Joy Ofodu
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Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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xoNecole's New Visual Hair Story "The Root Of It" Is Here
For Black women, hair isn't just hair. It's our mouthpiece and our magic.
xoNecole is proud to introduce "The Root Of It," a visual hair story in partnership with SheaMoisture. For this cozy and no-frills experience, we tasked world-renowned hairstylist Ursula Stephen with creating hair transformations on three of our favorite influencers: Jasmine Moses (@slimreshae), Mel Mitchell (@itsmelmitch) and Tiffany Renee (@iam.tiffany.renee). Hosted by former beauty editor turned content creator Blake Newby, "The Root Of It" takes us on a journey of hair as the ultimate expression. We pay homage to the innovators in Black hair that have birthed a generation of styles. Most importantly, we get a little scalp education, learning the basics of how to care for our crowns by focusing first on the scalp.
Watch episode one of "The Root Of It" now, and stay tuned for episodes two and three!