Summer is coming to an end, and it's officially time to start the fall activities. And with the start of a new season comes new movies and shows. One, in particular, is the final season of Netflix's Dear White People, airing September 22. A great thing about this show is that it sparks healthy conversation. Past seasons have explored topics like double consciousness, sexuality, and the Me Too Movement, but it's done it in a way that still allows the show to feel relatable and fun.
However, in my opinion, one of the best things about it is the characters. They are complex, OK? Just when you think you've kind of figured them out, it's like no, there's another layer. My friends and I have this weird habit of connecting ourselves with characters from different shows. You know what I mean, "I'm Joan Clayton mixed with a little bit of Lynn (Girlfriends)," or "I'm Issa with Molly tendencies (Insecure)." But, with this show, I still haven't quite figured it out. Check out the snapshot of the characters below to see which ones you connect most with.
And don't forget to check out the final season of Dear White People on Netflix (September 22), because we all could use a good TV binge.
Samantha White (played by Logan Browning)
Samantha White is such a Renaissance woman. She's dynamic, fueled by her beliefs and passion, and loves hard. As a biracial person who is also pro-Black, she struggles sometimes navigating between two identities and a question looms of whether or not her activism and wokeness are rooted in overcompensation. But is it? Because her morals and values are such an important part of who she is, it can sometimes lead to conflict in her personal life.
Reggie Green (played by Marque Richardson)
Reggie is a good guy and a fervid activist. He also has a sometimes-y will they or won't they love thing with both Samantha and Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins' character, Joelle. He's trying to do right and move past the trauma and hurt that he faced in earlier seasons (no spoilers). But in doing that, he sometimes loses his way which causes him to be disconnected from others.
Joelle (played by Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins)
First of all, honorable mention about actress Ashley Blaine's wedding photos. They're absolutely beautiful. But, back to Joelle. Her character has a complicated relationship with best friend Samantha, tells it like it is, she's kind-hearted, zealous, and is always there for everyone, but sometimes it's to a fault.
Lionel Higgins (played by DeRon Horton)
Lionel Higgins was a somewhat shy and insecure guy who is growing into himself, especially when it comes to owning his sexuality. Although he still loves writing and being the comedic relief, he's become a much more confident man who yearns to make a difference.
Colandrea “Coco” Conners (played by Antoinette Robertson)
Coco is ambitious, stylish, and a bit of a mean girl. However, she started as someone who was desperate to fit in with her white counterparts, and has grown into a woman determined to create her own path.
Gabe Mitchell (played by John Patrick Amedori)
Gabe cares a lot. Like literally about his relationship with Samantha, the causes he cares about, and his work. It's a good quality but sometimes it can cause him to seem pretty stressed and even oblivious to bigger issues.
Troy Fairbanks (played by Brandon P. Bell)
Now, while this actor has remained fine, the character has changed dramatically. Troy started as a basically a rich playboy. But, he's now someone who is finding his own voice and discovering more about himself and his peers.
The 90s musical-inspired final season of Dear White People is now streaming on Netflix.
Dear White People: Vol. 4 | Official Trailer | Netflix
Featured image courtesy of Netflix
By now I'm sure you've heard about the viral story surrounding digital marketing and media strategist Karen Civil and comedian, influencer, and media personality Jessie Woo. If not, I'll give you a quick recap.
Things got tense when Jessie Woo claimed that Karen Civil "pretended" to book her for an event in order to "obtain personal information" and serve her with "an extortion case for the sum of three million dollars at the fake booking and had it recorded it order to pass the video around the industry with the goal to embarrass and intimidate" her. Then, things began to spiral even more into a frenzy when Karen Civil responded via the Clubhouse app, stating that Jessie is just looking for attention and has been publicly defaming her for months, which was her reasoning for the defamation suit. During this conversation, an artist and popular media personality also weighed in sharing that Karen had committed wrongful acts toward them as well.
During this conversation, an artist and popular media personality also weighed in sharing that Karen had committed wrongful acts toward them as well.
To be honest, when this story initially dropped I was hoping it was released in error. Karen Civil has worked with notable artists, politicians, and more. She's someone I've followed for years, and dare I say, even looked up to. And although I was introduced to Jessie Woo more recently, I've grown to truly enjoy her content and music. In case you didn't know, sis can SING.
Karen Civil lost a lawsuit to Jessie Woo & owes her a more than a few bags 💰💰💰 after trying to extort Jessie & hinder future developments and earning in the industry. Good for her ass!! Talking all that Haitian empowerment crap when behind the scenes you the opposite.— 🇭🇹👑 Pash (@AlwaysPash) September 16, 2021
It's truly unfortunate to see two Haitian, talented, and creative women at odds so publically, yet here we are. While I'm still not sure who is right or wrong in this situation, I can say, the whole debacle has taught me a few things.
1. "There’s No Friends In the Industry"
Nah, I have to disagree with Drake on that one. I have a few friends in the industry. But, what I mean by that is, it's important not to confuse business and networking relationships with true friendship. If these women had genuine camaraderie, a conversation would have occurred before things escalated to this level. Remember, just because you share similar interests with someone, that does not always equate to friendship.
2. Your Reputation Will Always Follow You
Cam'ron, Jessie Woo and other people have been warning people about Karen Civil for years, but because she aligned herself up with people like the game and Nicki Minaj or people just didnt like some of her accusers she got off easy. Now Joyner Lucas and Jason Lee speaking...😳 pic.twitter.com/UeKr8pQEca— Tae Tae (@4everTae) September 18, 2021
One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes says, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." We're all going to make mistakes and maybe even do or say things we shouldn't. But, when actions are taken that cause others to question your integrity, that is when situations become more complicated. Even when stuff is falling apart, make sure your character remains intact.
3. People Can’t Take Away Your Work
No matter anyone's personal feelings toward you, one thing people can't take away is your work ethic. By not putting your best foot forth professionally, you leave yourself open to business and personal scrutiny. But, when you put time and effort into your skill, your work will continue to thrive even through personal adversity and shortcomings.
I hope both women are able to resolve their issues or at least keep it off the internet. To learn more about the Karen Civil and Jessie Woo debacle, check out The Grio.
Featured image via Getty Images
When it comes to money, many of us are behind in ways to provide passive income strategies for our families. Particularly, something that many of us in the culture don't do enough of, is investing. It's simple, to the point, a way to make sure your family is comfortable without putting much effort into doing so.
Well, the celebrities of today does lots of it. In fact, many of their careers take a backseat to the opportunities they have to build their portfolios and create generational wealth for years to come. Now, celebs do more than just sing, act, play a sport, or secure a few little endorsement deals. Additionally, now, they push the limits on those contracts, or with building that business, or capitalizing on their brands. And I ain't mad at them. In fact, I celebrate and welcome them. So, join me as we do just that.
Here's a list of the leading Black celebrity investors in the world:
Note: Data is complied from money.co.uk. They were surveyed on five factors: net worth, number of investments (personal and partner investments), highest investment sum, estimated total amount of funding and average investment sum.
Jay Z + Beyonce
Rapper turned billionaire entrepreneur, a.k.a. Jay Z, obviously topped the list as the celebrity with the most investments. He has made stacks from his album sales and tours, sure, but most of his coins come from his business moves, which include music, tech, art, and luxury alcohol brands. Jay is very well aware of his influence and uses it to his advantage. Buying art for a small(ish) price, rapping about said artist in multiple songs to increase the value, and sitting back and watching it collect prestige, is what he does. And now, the rest of his portfolio, according to money.co.uk, has at least 11 personal and partner investments with a total investment sum of $983M--tech and champagne being his biggest investment areas.
This means that the once kid from Marcy projects, is now worth a cool $1.2 billion.
As far as Bey, she recently announced that she was investing in a hemp farm to obtain her own CBD. She also has a partnership with Adidas, as well as many upcoming business ventures on the way (you know she doesn't give too much away until she's ready).
Up next is Oprah Winfrey--also a billionaire, but that has found huge success in media with a career that spans well over 20 years. From here, she pivoted her talk show into a business, and her brand into an empire.
Oprah has a 25.5% stake in her created cable channel OWN. She also has a 10% stake in Weight Watchers. Her other investments includes Maven clinic, Oatly, Apeel Sciences, True Food Kitchen and Waywire.
The one and only Compton doctor, Dr. Dre came in next. Dr. Dre is the epitome of what a music producer is and has held this title in a way that no other has. His entrepreneurial journey began in 1996 when he created The Aftermath, shortly after leaving Death Row records that March. And as we all know, he eventually founded Beats by Dre, and sold it to Apple for $3 billion. He still has 20% stake in the company. #whew
The greatest athlete of all time, Ms. Serena Williams, through her Serena Ventures, has invested in 34 startups over the past five years, with 60% of the investments focused on companies founded by women and minorities. OK, I'm going to say that again: The greatest athlete of all time, Ms. Serena Williams, through her Serena Ventures, has invested in 34 startups over the past five years, with 60% of the investments focused on companies founded by women and minorities.
She launched a self-funded, direct-to-consumer clothing line, S by Serena, in 2018. She also owns stakes in the NFL's Miami Dolphins and Dana White's UFC. Flex on the people, sis!
Williams Adams, a.k.a. the brainchild of popular eclectic group, Black Eyed Peas, is quite the entrepreneur. He invested in (and acquired) a $4.6 million stake in app-only bank Atom in 2017, and he has also dabbled in tech in the last few years, putting his money in startups such as the app 'Knock Knock', and he's even launched his own line of headphones.
Will.i.am is even international with his investments, as he's invested £5m ($6m) in Music Messenger's Series A round, followed by a further investment of £5m in Shellanoo Group and £3m investment in Honest Dollar.
Nasir Jones has quietly established himself as one of the most prolific investors in the world. In April, Yahoo News reported that he could be $100 million richer following his 2013 investment in Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange expected to reach over $100 billion in valuation once going public. He's also the founder of QueensBridge Venture Partners, which has reportedly invested in more than 40 start-ups across a range of sectors like financial technology, health care, and music production.
Additionally, Nas has invested in Lyft, Dropbox, Tradesy, and LANDR, a start-up that uses big data and artificial intelligence to produce music.
According to Crunchbase, Will Smith has made 21 investments across multiple industries. He has invested in companies such as Superhuman, Titan, Sundae, Sandbox VR, Flockjay among others. He also happens to have one of the best pages on the 'gram.
We're never going to get anymore music from Rihanna with the way she collects the bag elsewhere. Sis is making billions from her side hustles! Rihanna is the richest female musician in the world with a net worth of $1.7 billion. Her investment portfolio includes a 50% stake in Fenty Beauty which accounts for $1.4 billion of her worth. The rest of her worth comes from her stake in her lingerie company, Savage x Fenty, worth an estimated $270 million, and her earnings from music and acting. She's even venturing into the perfume business, because, why not?
Outside of music, 50 Cent famously invested in Vitamin Water, which was sold to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion. His other ventures include footwear, headphones, Casper mattresses, Le Chemin du Roi Champagne and Branson Cognac.
Tyra has been lowkey these days, but that doesn't mean that sis hasn't been quietly getting those coins too! We know her as an actress, author, television personality, supermodel, and founder of TZONE. But she's also an investor in TheSkimm, Videogram, The Muse and Shop Tap Industries.
Featured image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for ABA
If you haven't heard by now, Yahya Abdul Mateen II is the 'it guy' in Hollywood. He currently stars in Nia DaCosta's adaptation of the cult thriller Candyman, and he hasn't slowed down since. His appeal? His unwavering charm, his statuesque gladiator silhouette, and unfamiliar name that commands the room. But he's much more than that.
He's actually an 'Emmy-winning' those things.
Additionally, he's an 'Emmy-winning' those things that has the ladies lining up at the door to shoot their inevitable shot (because when you're beautiful, you already know it's coming your way). The actor joined Buzzfeed for their 'Thirst Tweets' segment, a segment where celebrities read tweets hilariously lusty tweets about said celebrity, that are found on the internet. And listennnnn, the ladies did not disappoint.
The video opens with him introducing himself and saying:
"I'm a little bit afraid of what these are going to say because my timeline be off the hook. Let me see what y'all got."
The tweets started out simple and complimentary:
"That's tame, that's very tame. I'll take it."
He then goes on to say that he loves his beard and he loves to cook! Ladies, he cooks! He loves to wear his grill too, which he proudly claims that ladies that love that will 'mess around and get snatched up.'
But then the ladies started asking what we all wanted to know:
Well, we're on count 52, but I have all night to keep going. #kanyeshrug
"You should tweet me compliments more often. If you tweet me, I'll read them in the morning. I'll make a calendar of all your tweets, or just for every month, it'll be a different tweet, and I'll just read it. Keep my confidence high. I like that."
And slowly started getting to the point:
After getting a good laugh, at the thought of women doing kegels on sight, he says:
I'm confused...you didn't know this was normal, sir? *stares in collective Black woman confusion*
The whole entire, and CLEAR, point:
"Alright, you better holler at me. I appreciate the respectfully, because respectfully is important. But getting your back broke like a glow stick is important too."
He ends the video reading a few more tweets and even shared a quickly story about the life affirmations his grandmother would speak into him.
Watch the full hilarious clip below:
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Featured image by Brian Ach/Getty Images for TAG Heuer
Back in July of 2017, the spin-off heard around the world hit our televisions in the name of the hit show Raven's Home. The show was a continuation of its original, That's So Raven, both starring the super talented Raven-Symone. The show centers around Raven Baxter, who is now a divorced mother of two, who still catches glimpses of the future, but now she uses those powers to help her be a better mother, friend, and fashion designer. Her son has also inherited her psychic ability to look forward, causing mischief from time to time.
But as the saying goes, what happens on the show, stays on the show, and Raven means that literally.
While speaking to the Pride podcast, Raven revealed that Disney actually offered to make the spin-off character a lesbian to accommodate Raven-Symone, who is gay in real life.
"There was a conversation before the series started, and I was asked the question, 'Would you like Raven Baxter to be a lesbian?' And I said, no. I said no."
But the reason goes deeper than you think:
"The reason I said no wasn't because I wasn't proud of who I was, or I didn't want to represent the LGBTQ+ community in any way. It was because Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter is Raven Baxter. And Raven Baxter is a character that I was proud to play, even if she is straight, cisgender — I don't mind — let her have her moment."
If you recall, Raven has quietly spoken about her sexuality in the past up until formally announcing she was gay. In fact, back in 2013, she praised the U.S. government after same-sex marriage was legalized, stating:
"I can finally get married. Yay government! So proud of you."
Three years later, she gave advice and support for LGBTQ+ youth in a It Got Better video.
"My awareness of my sexuality was prevalent to me at 12, but there was some things younger in like the… single digits."
But after years of enduring the industry and its viewpoints on out LGBTQ+ talent, Symoné is fully, and blissfully, living in her truth alongside her wife Miranda Maday. She even admitted that getting married during the height of the pandemic was the best thing she ever did.
"The Rona has put a dampener on everyone's life but, because of her, I was able to get married to the love of my life in so many ways. It helped me stop and see what was going on instead of always being pulled left and right, having to focus on everything but my happiness. I love her."
Raven secretly got married in 2020 in a small ceremony put together by their friends. Auntie Debbie Allen hosted the nuptials in her garden and even cooked for the guests (how cool!).
In the end, even though Raven is happily as gay as can be, when it comes to her work, she's protective of just that.
"If you ever see me in another character, you see Raven Baxter, and that's just what the deal is. And I think the one thing that differentiates me from her is now a lot more."
Which is exactly how she wants it.
Watch the full 'Turning The Tables' episode featuring Raven-Symone below:
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Featured image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Steph and his wife Ayesha Curry are one of those couples that you just love to love. They do mostly everything right and try not to get swept up in the trenches of fame. They are grounded and keep their morals close by as they attempt to put their influence toward the good of the culture and for the good of the world.
In fact, one of the things that I love most about them is that they often try to do all of the above in new and creative ways. For example, Steph Curry is one of the loudest sponsors for the Howard University Collegiate Golf team. And because we know that golf isn't as prevalent in the Black community as a sport such as basketball, this is what I mean when I say they find new and creative ways to be involved.
They find the holes and seek resolutions.
This is especially true in their latest efforts: the effort to eliminate food deserts in Oakland. And they're doing so with a loud and colorful school bus.
The 'Eat. Learn. Play. Bus' is a hot pink, pale blue and yellowish gold mobile bus that will roll through the streets of Oakland, in an effort to do much more than the old school ice cream trucks that we know from back in the day. Instead, this bus will feed, teach, energize and engage Black children (and other youths of color) in Oakland's stressed communities. Ayesha opened up about the vision saying:
"This idea came basically from me wanting to find a way to eradicate food deserts within the Oakland area. At first, the idea was around, 'How can we find locations where people can come and pick up fresh produce and other things for their families?' Logistically, especially with Covid, that idea started to seem far-fetched."
From here, according to reports, CEO of Eat. Learn. Play. suggested a bus and the rest goes down in we-gotta-look-after-our-communities history. Cruising Kitchens was solicited to convert the bus, and Oakland mural artists Illuminaries created the visuals on the bus that include Ayesha Curry cooking, Stephen Curry shooting a basketball, local landmarks like the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and more. So awesome!
Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Eat. Learn. Play.
One side will function as a food truck or mobile pantry to provide the community with free hot food and fresh produce to children and families. The other side is a stacked library, packed with books and ways to engage all, which is the Currys way of staying on top of Oakland's troubling literacy rate (Black children in Oakland are four times more likely to be reading many years below their grade level in comparison to white students #whew). The bus also houses flat-screen TVs, a sound system to get the kids pumped, and a bus rooftop area that can hold up to 35 children. Of the schedule, Steph says it will travel randomly to schools, community centers, and churches.
"We want mystique about it. So it may show up anywhere, take on a life of its own and has the capabilities to host an event anywhere."
"And I know a guy who plays basketball, so we added a basketball hoop for the play pillar. It turned into this bigger-than-life idea. It's not the teacher's fault. It's not the parents' fault. It's a community issue. Let's get together, give this model a try and see if we can create some excitement around reading. If we can all join together and try to fix the issue together and turn these numbers around, then I think we're doing something right."
Adore these two! Be sure to be on the lookout, Oakland!
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Featured image by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Eat. Learn. Play.