Picture this: you're an entrepreneur, at home working hard, grinding out, and trying to build your business. You feel yourself tiring out, and decide to find a stopping point. You make the choice to lay down and get some rest, and cleanse yourself of the day. The world collectively cheers for you and you're proud of yourself, as you've given yourself a little grace. And then after your shower, you hop in bed, only to scroll social media. And while scrolling, you see it, the one thing that can give any woman/business owner/mom/aspiring superwoman the peak of anxiety: a meme.
And not just any meme, one that hits you riiiiight where it hurts.
"You have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce."Giphy
Damn. You sit your phone down, sulk in overworked millennial culture, and get back up to get more work finished.
It's a vicious cycle--a cycle of constantly being reminded that if you want to be as successful as Queen Bey, that you have to compare and align your journey with hers. Right? Well....wrong. Wrong AF, actually.
In fact, Beyonce wants you to know that she can't do it all by herself either, by basically letting us know, 'this motivation is cute, sis, but it's far from true.'
To explain, in a resurfaced clip, while getting her hair wanded by stylist Neal Farinah, she opened up about her work and work ethic. And in her usual poised demeanor, she says, "Producers and studios and the networks are all panicking and hyper and over-stressed and I'm just like...press record." The interviewer then boastfully asks if she now realizes that all she needs is herself, to which she responds:
"Well, I don't. It's not true. All I need is 'not me.' Because...I can't do it by myself."
Whew, poetry snaps. Alllllllll the poetry snaps. But ladies, listen, it's true. We can't do it all by ourselves. Some (most) of the most successful women in the world, need help. And Queen Bey has lots of it. In fact, it reminded me of sex and intimacy expert Shan Boody's take on the subject:
And sis spoke all the facts, because we don't have Beyonce's time, schedule, or high-profile knowledge. She has nannies, chefs, assistants, production staff, general staff, and so much more in order for her well-oiled machine to operate. So, in knowing this, it made me wonder: why the comparisons, why do we put this amount of pressure on ourselves?
We all get 24 hours, sure, but powerful people do have more control over the way they spend them, which is a key difference. Add money into the equation, and we absolutely are not on the same level.
A CEO can cancel a meeting or hire staff for their personal needs, whereas an entry-level employee doesn't have that option. Hell, many of us don't have that option.
Additionally, you don't have a staff of allegedly 80 people on your payroll, meaning you likely don't have a nanny, a home chef, and someone to run your errands for you, or make sure you have the proper elements in place to fill your day with being the best person that you can be at your clothing lines or various other business ventures.
Beyonce has famously thanked her staff, husband, mother, and sister for their constant contribution to her success. She told Elle in 2019:
"I think the most stressful thing for me is balancing work and life. Making sure I am present for my kids — dropping Blue off at school, taking Rumi and Sir to their activities, making time for date nights with my husband, and being home in time to have dinner with my family — all while running a company can be challenging."
In other words, I-have-a-full-staff-that-helps-me-in-my-day-to-day-and-I'm-STILL-stressed-about-it.
So, if you haven't figured it out by now, me and Beyonce are asking you to give yourself grace. You may not have the same hours in a day as Beyonce, or Mariah Carey, or any other famous star in the world, but you've got this.
Watch the clip below of Beyonce telling us what we need to hear!
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Featured image by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney
Ring the alarm! The Queen has done it again. Beyonce has dropped yet another IVY PARK promo and broke her own internet. This go-round the collection is all about the rodeo. When you think about it, it's only fitting that this Houstonian pay homage to Black cowboys and the way America has glossed over their contributions and legacy. Staying true to her roots, the IVY PARK CEO continues her Black Parade by featuring stars like Tobe Nwigwe and Fat, Snoh Aalegra, and rising rap star, Monaleo.
Donning some of the drippiest pieces we have ever seen, they help pen her cultural love letter to Black women and men. No one does this better than actor Glynn Turman. We know him from hit shows like A Different World, The Wire and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom but he is also a champion for Black cowboys and the rodeo. Alongside him, you find his granddaughter, Melinda Siegel, who was influenced by Turman to ride horses at a very young age.
Beyonce more than understood the assignment and this is why we stan. She does nothing without intention. The collection: 58 women's and unisex pieces, tons of accessories, and five footwear selections. Ranging from $45 to $200, there's something in this treasury for everyone. In a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar, Beyonce touched on the inspiration behind the forthcoming IVY PARK rodeo drop:
"One of my inspirations came from the overlooked history of the American Black cowboy... We were inspired by the culture and swag of the Houston rodeo. We combined classic elements with the athleticwear of IVY PARK x adidas, adding our own spin, monogrammed denim, chaps, and cowhide."
In the teaser promo, we were instantly drawn to the pieces below so we can't wait to see what else is in store when the collection drops next week.
Beyonce has us roped in! It's all going down Thursday, August 19th so set your alarms now.
For more information on the collection, head over to IVY PARK.
Featured Image IVY Park's Rodeo collection teaser Credit: YouTube/IVY Park
Say her name, say her name. There is no question that Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is a living, breathing icon, one of the last this generation has been blessed with. The multi-hyphenate pours her blood, sweat, and tears into everything she touches and not surprisingly, most all of it in her decades-spanning career has turned gold. Queen Bey has cemented her legacy by being true to herself first and foremost, a theme that has taken center stage in the latter part of her career.
To be able to take full control of the creative reins of your endeavors is something many artists aspire to and Beyonce has done it. She has shaken the industry to its core by showing up as unapolgetically herself through commercially successful projects like I Am... Sasha Fierce and ground-breaking and culturally defining bodies of works like her self-titled album and accompanying visuals, Lemonade, and the most recent work, Black Is King. Throughout her career, Beyonce has made it clear, she does what moves her. And at the heels of 40, Beyonce is taking the time to acknowledge her evolution, the lessons she has learned, and her monumental moments of reinvention in her latest cover story.
The notoriously private artist recently graced Harper's Bazaar Icon Issue (while rocking the latest drip from her IVY Park x adidas collection) for what proved to be a transparent and profoundly intimate interview where Ms. Carter dropped a plethora of gems. These were our favorites.
Beyonce on how her childhood dreams were the foundation of her life's blueprint:
"The first decade of my life was dedicated to dreaming. Because I was an introvert, I didn't speak very much as a child. I spent a lot of time in my head building my imagination. I am now grateful for those shy years of silence. Being shy taught me empathy and gave me the ability to connect and relate to people. I'm no longer shy, but I'm not sure I would dream as big as I dream today if it were not for those awkward years in my head."
On growing up fast and sacrificing a lot to make her vision of success a reality:
"I grew up hearing this particular scripture from James 2:17, 'Faith without work is dead.' Vision and intention weren't enough; I had to put in the work. I committed to always being a student and always being open to growth. No one in my school knew that I could sing because I barely spoke. My energy went into Destiny's Child and the dream of us getting a record deal and becoming musicians.
"If something wasn't helping me reach my goal, I decided to invest no time in it. I didn't feel like I had time to 'kiki' or hang out. I sacrificed a lot of things and ran from any possible distraction. I felt as a young Black woman that I couldn't mess up. I felt the pressure from the outside and their eyes watching for me to trip or fail. I couldn't let my family down after all the sacrifices they made for me and the girls. That meant I was the most careful, professional teenager and I grew up fast."
"I wanted to break all of the stereotypes of the Black superstar, whether falling victim to drugs or alcohol or the absurd misconception that Black women were angry. I knew I was given this amazing opportunity and felt like I had one shot. I refused to mess it up, but I had to give up a lot."
On taking back her indepence and learning the power of saying "no":
"My 20s were about building a strong foundation for my career and establishing my legacy. I was focused on commercial success and number ones and being a visionary no matter how many barriers I had to break through. I was pushed to my limits. I learned the power of saying no. I took control of my independence at 27 and started Parkwood Entertainment. At the time, there wasn't a company that did what I needed it to do or ran the way I wanted it run. So, I created this multipurpose badass conglomerate that was a creative agency, record label, production company, and management company to produce and work on projects that meant the most to me. I wanted to manage myself and have a company that put art and creativity first."
On her 30s being about building a life:
"My 30s were about starting my family and my life becoming more than my career. I worked to heal generational trauma and turned my broken heart into art that would help move culture forward and hopefully live far beyond me. My 30s were about digging deeper...
"I've spent so many years trying to better myself and improve whatever I've done that I'm at a point where I no longer need to compete with myself. I have no interest in searching backwards. The past is the past. I feel many aspects of that younger, less evolved Beyoncé could never f*** with the woman I am today. Haaa!"
Beyonce on protecting herself in a world where people feel entitled to so much:
"We live in a world with few boundaries and a lot of access... I'm grateful I have the ability to choose what I want to share. One day I decided I wanted to be like Sade and Prince. I wanted the focus to be on my music, because if my art isn't strong enough or meaningful enough to keep people interested and inspired, then I'm in the wrong business. My music, my films, my art, my message—that should be enough."
On the intentionality of setting boundaries:
"Throughout my career, I've been intentional about setting boundaries between my stage persona and my personal life. My family and friends often forget the side of me that is the beast in stilettos until they are watching me perform. It can be easy to lose yourself very quickly in this industry. It takes your spirit and light, then spits you out. I've seen it countless times, not only with celebrities but also producers, directors, executives, etc. It's not for everyone. Before I started, I decided that I'd only pursue this career if my self-worth was dependent on more than celebrity success.
"I've surrounded myself with honest people who I admire, who have their own lives and dreams and are not dependent on me. People I can grow and learn from and vice versa. In this business, so much of your life does not belong to you unless you fight for it. I've fought to protect my sanity and my privacy because the quality of my life depended on it. A lot of who I am is reserved for the people I love and trust. Those who don't know me and have never met me might interpret that as being closed off. Trust, the reason those folks don't see certain things about me is because my Virgo ass does not want them to see it....It's not because it doesn't exist!"
On the power of her circle and the women around her:
"My mother has always been my Queen and still is. She has always been so strong and is filled with humanity. She worked 18 hours a day with calloused hands and swollen feet. No matter how tired she was, she was always professional, loving, and nurturing. I try to handle my work and run my company in the same way."
"My closest friends are brilliant women who run companies, are entrepreneurs, mothers, wives, and close family. Kelly [Rowland] and Michelle [Williams] are still my best friends. I gravitate toward strong, grounded women like my incredible sister, Solange. She is full of wisdom, and she is the dopest person I know."
Beyonce on learning to take care of self and breaking habits of neglect:
"I think like many women, I have felt the pressure of being the backbone of my family and my company and didn't realize how much that takes a toll on my mental and physical well-being. I have not always made myself a priority. I've personally struggled with insomnia from touring for more than half of my life. Years of wear and tear on my muscles from dancing in heels. The stress on my hair and skin, from sprays and dyes to the heat of a curling iron and wearing heavy makeup while sweating on stage. I've picked up many secrets and techniques over the years to look my best for every show. But I know that to give the best of me, I have to take care of myself and listen to my body.
"In the past, I spent too much time on diets, with the misconception that self-care meant exercising and being overly conscious of my body. My health, the way I feel when I wake up in the morning, my peace of mind, the number of times I smile, what I'm feeding my mind and my body—those are the things that I've been focusing on. Mental health is self-care too. I'm learning to break the cycle of poor health and neglect, focusing my energy on my body and taking note of the subtle signs that it gives me. Your body tells you everything you need to know, but I've had to learn to listen. It's a process to change habits and look past the bag of chips and the chaos everywhere!"
"During quarantine, I went from overindulgences to creating positive rituals drawing from past generations and putting my own spin on things. I discovered CBD on my last tour, and I've experienced its benefits for soreness and inflammation. It helped with my restless nights and the agitation that comes from not being able to fall asleep. I found healing properties in honey that benefit me and my children. And now I'm building a hemp and a honey farm. I've even got hives on my roof! And I'm so happy that my daughters will have the example of those rituals from me. One of my most satisfying moments as a mom is when I found Blue one day soaking in the bath with her eyes closed, using blends I created and taking time for herself to decompress and be at peace."
On her theme for her 40s being enjoying life:
"I've done so much in 40 years that I just want to enjoy my life. It's hard going against the grain, but being a small part of some of the overdue shifts happening in the world feels very rewarding. I want to continue to work to dismantle systemic imbalances. I want to continue to turn these industries upside down. I plan to create businesses outside of music. I have learned that I have to keep on dreaming. One of my favorite quotes is from the inventor Charles Kettering. It goes 'Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future.'
"I want to show that you can have fun and have purpose, be respectful and speak your mind. You can be both elegant and a provocateur. You can be curvy and still be a fashion icon. I wish this freedom for every person. I have paid my dues and followed every rule for decades, so now I can break the rules that need to be broken. My wish for the future is to continue to do everything everyone thinks I can't do."
To read the interview in full, click here.
Featured image by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TIDAL
Yara Shahidi is growing up and doing grown-ish things, like taking a page out of the Book of Beyoncé with an Adidas collaboration. The 21-year-old actress's emerald green and mustard yellow heavy line just released a second drop that's flying off shelves, but her athleisure venture is more than just another drop. The mixed starlet found ways to intricately weave her Black and Iranian roots into the very heart of the collection.
"My first instinct was how do we honor the past in a way that also pays homage to the future," Shahidi told BAZAAR.
"The one thing that I wanted people to take away was even though a lot of these details are specific to my own growing up and the things that impacted me, the entire campaign is about how we re-create our heritage. I'm constantly figuring out what it means to me to be Black and Iranian—it's ever-changing."
She did this with bold detailing such as embroidered Farsi script on varsity jackets, global colorways, and 1960s-inspired silhouettes. And when it came time to the overall aesthetic of the collection, Yara created dozens of mood boards featuring earthy yellows—a color that she found integral in both her cultures and the cultures of so many. "I'm a big mood boarder," she explains. "During that process, I really identified what were the colors that kind of were resonant—there was something about that particular mustard that felt globally resonant. And I found it in almost every one of my images that I pulled."
Think: Jumpsuits and track pants with matching track jackets that feature Adidas' signature three-stripes but with an old-school feel and hint of culture. She's not the only one shaking things up at Adidas either. In fact, her friend Beyoncé, who has dropped previous collections of her Ivy Park line in conjunction with the sportswear giant is releasing a swimwear collection under the umbrella brand. An eye-catching hue also takes center place here in the form of neon-orange.
"Flex Park" is the follow-up to Bey's successful Icy Park campaign in February. This time the superstar is asking fans, "How do you flex?" for summer. "FLEX, by definition: A boastful statement or display," reads the Flex Park press release. A sneak peek at some campaign images doesn't disappoint either with the models ranging in size, skin tones, and genders.
You can look forward to statement-making separates to mix and match poolside that are made for a variety of bodies (available in sizes XS-4X). When it drops, you can also shop poolside accessories like slides, beach cover-ups, tees, a bucket hat, a tote bag, a towel, and a water bottle.
Yara Shahidi's Adidas collab is available now at Adidas.com and in select retailers. Beyoncé's Flex Park drop launches on July 22 online and in select stores globally on July 23.
Featured image via Gif
As we all know, March has been designated as Women's History Month. And all month long, businesses, social media, blogs, and all the in between, have highlighted women's contribution to society in beautiful ways.
For example, Hershey rolled out the hashtag #CelebrateSHE and changed their name is HerSHEy to raise awareness. Secret Deodorant released a docuseries titled, Secret Superhero Moms, and pledged $1 million to support more than 100,000 women and their families with childcare, workforce development and barrier reduction. And although we celebrate women every day, we've also highlighted ground-breaking women who have risen to the occasion of excellence.
But now that the month is winding down, the final infinity stone has been collected, signifying the completion of the celebration as one of the most powerfully decorated women in history decided to highlight a few women of her own.
And that woman issss—let's say it all together now—Beyonce.
Up first, Thanos, herself, took to her website to recognize a handful of entertainers, rule-breakers and truth-sayers, across various industries. Of the entertainers, she says:
"Their passion and brilliance shone on courts, Zoom stages, streaming services, television, books, dance and song. They gave us joy and provided escapism in the midst of an overwhelming year. For Women's History Month, we honor the women entertainers (and sports greats) who rose to the occasion in delivering stand out feats that made us all shine."
These women include: Adele, Andra Day, Allyson Felix, Cardi B, Catherine O'Hara, Chloe x Halle, Cynthia Erivo, Hallie Mossett, Issa Rae, Kelly Rowland, Megan Thee Stallion, Michelle Williams, Mariah Carey, Michaela Coel, Misty Copeland, Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Solange Knowles, Taraji P. Henson, and Viola Davis.
Next, were women who are "creating their own way to tell their stories, finding other avenues to get to the destinations, and breaking every rule in the process."
On this list was: Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, Jane Fonda, Bozoma Saint John, Thasunda Brown Duckett, Meghan Markle, Amina J. Mohammed, Maxine Waters, Rosalind "Roz" Brewer, Stacey Abrams, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Elsa Majimbo
And in her last group of women, Bey spotlighted several truth-sayers, wishing that "grace continue to lie at their feet," and that "every girl walk in their footsteps."
These women were none other than: Amanda Gorman, Tamron Hall, Tamika Mallory, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Michelle Obama, Cleo Wade, Oprah Winfrey, Tarana Burke, Lena Waithe, Gayle King, Luvvie Ajayi Jones and Angela Rye.
OK, can I just say, I am here for this? Likeeeeee, front-of-the-class-mark-me-present-attending-every-event-I-need-to-attend, here. Not only is Beyonce highlighting women on her platform who have put it all on the line, she comprehensively did so in a way where she took a step back from her power, and relinquished it to others.
Taraji has been openly vulnerable for the benefit of the culture for all of 2020, in a lane where so many of us are unfamiliar or struggling (mental health). Luvvie has pioneered a lane of highly clever, highly intelligible women who aren't afraid of speaking with impact. Serena is the greatest athlete of all time and for some reason, has to continue to have to explain *why* when the trophies. speak. for. themselves. And Stacey Abrams. Well, she has single-handedly redefined what it means to outsmart, and play, the very game put in place by everyone that ultimately tried to stop you.
These. Are. A. Flex.
So, thank you to these Black women. We are lit. Society doesn't want you to remember that. But...we do.
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Featured image by Beyonce.com
When we think about history, oftentimes it brings to mind olden times, ancestral boss moves, or back-in-the-day memories. And that's all good. I mean, you really can't know where you're going until you know where you've been. As Women's History Month continues, it's also good to remember the new-school pioneers who are making an impact today, while still paying homage to those who laid the groundwork for them to even do so.
Here are 10 black women making history—along with the 10 queens who paved the way:
Then: Maya AngelouGiphy
Auntie Maya Angelou is a fav among any literature lover, and if you don't have at least one of her best-selling books in your collection, can you truly call yourself an avid reader? Nah, sis. Angelou wrote more than 35 books and hundreds of poems in five decades, expanding the stories of the Black female experience around the world. She was a multi-hyphenate phenom, serving as a professor of American studies at Wakeforest Univesity, a TV and film producer, a playwright, an actress, and a singer. She's recited her works at former U.S. president Bill Clinton's inauguration, for the United Nation's 50th anniversary, and in honor of former South African president Nelson Mandela. (That elegy was commissioned by the U.S. State Department. Talk about a big deal!) In 2011, Obama honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Now: Amanda Gorman
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock
Amanda Gorman wowed us all when she recited her poetry at the 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, making history as the youngest poet ever to get such an honor. She's also serving as our nation's first Youth Poet Laureate, so she's the official poet of the U.S. She's performed for the likes of other political and entertainment who's who including Hillary Clinton, Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator of "Hamilton"), Al Gore, and Malala Yousafzai (Nobel Prize laurete and activist). She's had poems commissioned by "CBS in the Morning" and has been in front of audiences at prestigious venues including the Library of Congress and Lincoln Center.
Then: Mae Jemison
It's no secret that Black women have contributed significantly in the area of science. (Hidden Figures, anyone?) Mae Jemison, an engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut, set her mark in history when she became the first Black woman to be admitted into NASA's astronaut training program and later explore space in 1992. (Yep, it took that long.) She served as a science mission specialist, conducting groundbreaking crew-related experiments. She's also been a member of the American Medical Association, the American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Now: Jeanette Epps
Jeanette Epps holds a doctorate degree in aerospace engineering and worked in technical intelligence for the CIA before becoming the first Black woman to join an International Space Station (ISS) crew for a long-term mission last year. This woman is bad, OK! She'll start a six-month trek into space this year, her first ever, giving all of us---especially those of us who are science and solar system geeks---major life and inspiring women and girls around the world to continue to dream beyond Earth's limits.
Then: Ella Fitzgerald
The first Grammy Awards took place in 1958. (Wow, can you believe that?) Ella Fitzgerald, a native of Newport News, Va., was the jazz singer of the time, touring with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie (the original "Ambassador of Jazz" and the king of bebop). She was famous for popularizing the music and taking it pop, selling out theaters and concert centers, appearing in TV commercials for major brands, and slaying stages as a plus-sized singer way before Lizzo, Jill Scott, or Jennifer Holliday hit the scene. She sold more than 30 million records in her lifetime. Fitzgerald also made history as the first female to win multiple Grammy awards and would take home more than a dozen by the end of her career.
Beyonce was all over headlines when she took home her 28th Grammy on March 14, breaking the record for the most awards of the kind won by a woman and any singer—male or female. But this isn't the first time she's blown the whole industry out of the water. In 2016, her visual album Lemonade debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts after just one week, marking the sixth time her solo works had done so. Queen Bey also held the record for highest-selling album on iTunes and been the highest-paid Black artist of all time.
Then: Lisa Leslie
In college, this basketball star led the University of Southern California in a record four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. By the time she ended her career in WNBA, Lisa Leslie led the Los Angeles Sparks to two Finals, been named an MVP, and become an eight-time first team All-WNBA player, four-time second team All-WNBA, seven-time WNBA All-Star, and two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year. She's also won four Olympic Gold medals. Whew, chile! Who said women can't ball? She continues to rally women around sports with her more than 260,000 followers on IG, and she's served as a leading coach for the Big3, a pro 3-on-3 league of basketball legends founded by Ice Cube.
Now: Allisha Gray
As a college student, Allisha Gray played ball for the North Carolina Tarheels and the South Carolina Gamecocks, and during that time, she excelled, becoming 2nd on the team in double-figures scoring games, a key player in the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament, and a leader in the Gamecocks' NCAA championship win. She left college to join the draft and was selected by the Dallas Wings in 2017. She was also selected as Rookie of the Year, ranked first among rookies in points scored per game, and took home Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Sports Award for Favorite Newcomer in 2018. Today, the 26-year-old is among the younger players making lists of top promising 2021 WNBA players. Her usage rate and efficiency on the court make her one amazing player to look out for in the coming seasons.
Then: Shirley Chisholm
"Unbought and unbossed" was the mantra Shirley Chisholm made famous, and her run for the U.S. presidency in 1972 made her the first woman and African-American to seek the nomination from a major political party. Before that, she was a pioneer in her role as the first African-American woman in Congress in 1968 (again, it took that long?) and held that seat for 14 years, introducing more than 50 pieces of legislation and advocating for racial and gender equality. Though she did not win the nomination for the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in '72, her journey opened doors for taking the possibility of a woman on a major ticket seriously. She'd later teach at Mount Holyoke College, co-found the National Political Congress of Black Women, and be offered the role of U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica.
Now: Vice President Kamala Harris
Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock
Last year, Kamala Harris made history as the first woman of color to become vice president of the United States. She previously served as San Francisco's district attorney--another first in the realm of gender and race--- and then became California's attorney general, before advancing on to become a U.S. senator.
Today, she has been part of the leadership team to swiftly execute impactful efforts including the finalization and execution of the American Rescue Plan that includes additional stimulus funds, expansion of a national COVID-19 vaccination process, extension of housing and unemployment relief and benefits, and the increase in resources for small businesses, particularly minority-owned. So far, so good, sis!
Then: Judith Jamison
Her powerful solos in some of Alvin Ailey's greatest works have etched her a space among the most prolific dancers of all time---Black or otherwise. Judith Jamison joined the troupe in 1965 and became an international star, dancing in and creating unforgettable shows all over the world in the 1970s and '80s. She's also starred in the hit Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies, and launched her own successful dance company, The Jamison Project. She would later take leadership of the American Dance Theater in 1989 as artistic director, bringing the company to new heights including a 50-city global tour for its 50th anniversary and two historic performances in South Africa. She's a top choice among everyday dance lovers and the art patron elite. Black Girls Rock! paid tribute to her in 2018, the Obama administration honored her through the White House Dance Series in 2010, and her autobiography was even edited by former U.S. first lady, Jacqueline "Jackie O" Kennedy Onassis.
Now: Amanda Morgan
Amanda Morgan holds her own as the only Black female dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) corps, one of the largest, most prestigious ballet companies in the U.S. She's held leading roles in some of their most popular performances, and has toured across the globe. She's also founder of The Seattle Project, an interdisciplinary artists' collective that provides a space for community-accessible work, in 2019. When the Black Lives Matter movement kicked off after the death of George Floyd, she used her platform to speak out against racism and advocate for inclusivity—particularly in the ballet world—and has rallied to fight police brutality. She continues activism and community work serving as a mentor for a program that connects PNB School students with seasoned dancers and a leading voice for podcasts and articles on social justice.
Then: Lisa Price
Lisa Price's another OG in the game, but this time it's all about boss moves in haircare. She started Carol's Daughter out of her Brooklyn, N.Y. home in the early '90s—well before the beauty supply shelves were saturated with natural haircare products—and got the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, and Jada Pinkett Smith to endorse her line of shampoos, conditioners, and creams. She even reaped the benefits of the "Oprah Effect" when she made an appearance on Winfrey's show and saw the demand for her products instantly skyrocket. Before you knew it, they'd take over the shelves of big-box stores like Walmart and Target and major kiosks at malls around the world. In 2014, when her company was said to be worth more than $25 million, global powerhouse L'Oreal acquired it for an undisclosed—but we're sure quite enormous and well-worth-it—amount.
Now: Courtney Adeleye
Courtney Adeleye is another self-made multi-millionaire who built her hair and bodycare empire, The Mane Choice, from the ground up. In 2013, the medically trained entrepreneur used her knowledge as a registered nurse to create a line of products that cater to all sorts of issues from hair growth to scalp dryness. She made the first products from her kitchen, built up demand, and expanded her brand presence to attract more than 350,000 followers on IG, launches in Target, Walmart and Sally Beauty and millions of dollars in sales. She's been a true rider in supporting female entrepreneurs and advocating for small businesses, so it's no surprise that her next big transition, an acquisition by MAV Beauty Brands that puts ownership of the company in corporate hands, comes at the heels of a partnership that opens funding doors for other women to the tune of $30 million.
Then: Whoopi GoldbergGiphy
Her career in Hollywood spans across decades and genres, and there's no doubt that she's a legend in the game who continues to keep the bar high. She was first introduced to the world as a stand-up comic, and in 1983, she starred in a one-woman Broadway production called The Spook Show and won a Grammy for the recording of that performance, renamed Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway, in 1985. Her landmark role as Celie in The Color Purple would win her an Oscar nomination in 1986, and another as Oda Mae Brown in Ghost would land her a win. She later hosted the highly-rated awards show, becoming only the second actual winner to do so and the first solo Black woman to get the spot. She's also one of few entertainers---and among only two who are Black—to have won all four of the major entertainment honors: a Tony, Oscar, Emmy and Grammy.
Now: Tiffany Haddish
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This "She Ready" comedian has gone from playing local Los Angeles spots to starring in hit TV shows and films including Real Husbands of Hollywood, Girls Trip, The Carmichael Show, Like a Boss, and The Last O.G. Tiffany Haddish has been a spokesperson for brands including Groupon, made Time's cover as one of its "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2018, and made history the year before by becoming the first African-American female stand-up comedian to host an episode of Saturday Night Live. (She earned an Emmy Award for that gig as well.) Recently, she made history again as only the second black woman to win a Grammy for Best Comedy Album, for Black Mitzvah. We all ready, Tiff!
Then: Dolores Shockley, Ph.D.
Dr. Dolores Shockley became the first Black woman to earn a doctorate from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Purdue University in 1955, also making her the first in the nation. After earning her Ph.D., she was awarded the Fulbright Fellowship and worked in Denmark at the Pharmacology Institute in Copenhagen from 1955 to 1957. Her key research focused on studying the effects of chemical pollutants on the brain and recognizing pharmacological agents that interact with addictive drugs such as cocaine as to find solutions for recovery. In the '60s, she'd become a professor at Meharry Medical College, a top historically Black medical school that has graduated some of the most successful doctors in the U.S. She later advanced to chair of pharmacology at Meharry, becoming the first Black woman to hold the post, and she would remain at the university for more than 25 years.
Now: Kizzmekia Corbett, Ph.D.
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is one of the leading scientists from the National Institutes of Health who has been behind the search for the COVID-19 vaccine. She's been on the frontlines and has been lauded by the top U.S. immunologist leading national pandemic response efforts, Dr. Anthony Fauci, as a key member of the team making history. They've been working with Moderna, the pharmaceutical company that developed one of the two mRNA vaccines that is reportedly more than 90 percent effective. It's already received emergency use authorization from the FDA. Corbett is also spending her time volunteering to raise awareness and dispel myths about the vaccine. Sis has more than a decade of expertise studying dengue, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, and coronaviruses, and we're more than here for it!
Then: Effie Lee Morris
Effie Lee Morris was a children's librarian, activist, and pioneer in advocating for library services for minorities and the visually-impaired. After beginning her career as a public librarian at the Cleveland Public Library in 1946, she worked for the Philadelphia Public Library before moving to New York for a position at the American Library Association. She also worked for the New York Library for the Blind and served as the first female chairperson of the Library of Congress. Her career would span from multiple posts in San Francisco, and while there, she established a research collection of out-of-print children's books that showcase the diverse depictions of ethnic and culturally diverse groups throughout time. By 1971, she'd became the first African-American president of the Public Library Association. In 1978, she became an editor of children's books, and she was honored in 2009 by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called her "a visionary" in literacy and education advocacy.
Now: Marley Dias
Marley Dias sparked a viral book donation campaign hashtag 1000BlackGirlBooks back in 2015, and she was only 11, reaching her goal and then some. (More than 12,000 books have been collected to date.) Dias wanted to make books with Black girls as the main characters more readily available to her peers, after becoming frustrated with the options in her own reading journey. She decided to create the change she wanted to see. Her efforts landed her on the Forbes "30 Under 30" list and a Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Award. She'd later pen a book of her own called, Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!, and continues to advocate not only for youth literacy, but for representation that gives all African-American youth and teens a chance to see themselves in stories that change the world.
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Featured image by Giphy