It is officially Gemini SZN and ya girl just celebrated her 27th birthday. While in the past, I may have wished for shoes or a pair of AirPods or money or some other frivolous thing, this year, I realize that it's a gift just to be alive.
It's a gift that George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor were unable to receive today. The thought of what their lives could have and should have been is sobering and quite frankly, I am not okay. I've cried so many tears over the past two weeks that my ducts are literally exhausted and it's safe to say that a mental health check-in is much-needed.
During this turbulent time, understand that there is a time to protest and a time to recover and one of the best ways to do that is setting aside a few hours to do absolutely nothing. Self-care isn't selfish, sis, and if you need some binge-worthy content to inspire you to sit down and recharge, as always, xoNecole is coming thru with the come thru.
Here's a list of Black AF titles you can stream right now:
Clueless (June 1)
Before Stacey Dash voluntarily traded in her Black card, she was Dionne Marie Davenport, a wealthy fashionista from Beverly Hills whose wardrobe showed no mercy. Starring a young Alicia Silverstone, Donald Faison, and Brittany Murphy, this nostalgic classic is available for streaming right now.
Cook Off (June 1)
This Zimbabwean rom-com tells the story of a struggling single mother with a passion for culinary arts who enters a cooking competition that leads her to love. The film, which was originally filmed in 2017, was shot with only a budget of $8,000 but has won a number of international awards since its release.
Juwanna Mann (June 1)
Featuring an all-star cast of Black celebrity icons like Lil' Kim, Ginuwine, Vivica A. Fox, Jenifer Lewis, Kim Wayans, and Miguel A. Núñez Jr., this 2002 comedy is the throwback dose of laughter we didn't know we needed this month.
The Help (June 1)
If 2020 was a food, it would be sh*t pie, and Netflix just came through with the 2011 historical drama, The Help, that reminds us that more than 60 years after the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, not much has changed.
Inside Man (June 1)
Denzel Washington can do no wrong and his 2006 Spike Lee-directed bank heist crime thriller, Inside Man is no exception.
Hannibal (June 5)Hannibal - Season 3
Based on the character from the 1991 psychological horror film, Silence of the Lambs, all three seasons of the NBC television series, Hannibal will be available to stream June 5.
Queer Eye: Season 5 (June 5)
The Fab Five are finally back and after watching the trailer, I just need to know who is cutting onions in here. For season five, the crew heads to Philly to help a gay priest, single mother, and a Black woman who struggles with her height get their look and their self-esteem all the way together and I have my box of tissues ready, honey.
Pose: Season 2 (June 11)
Two years ago, Ryan Murphy teamed up with entertainers like Billy Porter, MJ Rodriguez, and Indya Moore to release an LGBTQ+-led series that went viral. Today, these stars are still slaying the internet one episode at a time. The second season of the series, which picks up in the early 1990s as the crew finds their footing in the mainstream world, will be available on Netflix on June 11.
Dating Around: Season 2 (June 12)
It seems like Netflix debuts a new dating show that helps people from all walks of life find love every other week––meanwhile, my DMs are full of chain messages from my 35+ and up Facebook family. Luckily, we can ditch the dating apps and live vicariously through a group of optimistic strangers on season two of Netflix's reality show, Dating Around.
Da 5 Bloods (June 12)
If you or someone you love is feeling Black as f*ck these days, Netflix has all the tools you need to Spike Lee and chill. From School Daze and Malcolm X to his first original film with the streaming platform, Da 5 Bloods, which tells the story of five Black Vietnam veterans and the trauma that the war inflicted on their lives at home, you can create the perfect Black AF playlist to get you through this time.
How to Get Away with Murder: Season 6 (June 13)
It's so hard to say goodbye to Annalise Keating, but the time has come and I'm not crying, you are. You can see how it all ends when How to Get Away with Murder's sixth and final season begins streaming on June 13.
Baby Mama (June 16)
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Name a better duo… I'll wait.
OK, I may be exaggerating but you're truly cold if you can sit through this entire movie without cracking a smile. While this movie may not be Black AF and includes a lot of white people white-peopling, Romany Malco is in it and you deserve the laugh.
Crazy Delicious (June 24)
Starring Tennesse-born chef Carla Hall, Crazy Delicious is a British Netflix original competition show that challenges chefs to make extraordinary creations out of everyday dishes.
Featured image by The Help.
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Halle Bailey Says She Appreciates That Everyone Wants To Protect Her, But She's Got This
Halle Bailey and her boyfriend of over a year, rapper DDG, are young and in love. We learned the two were dating in January 2022 after they were spotted together at Usher's residency concert in Vegas. DDG later confirmed the romance that March when he made it all IG official with a birthday shoutout to his bae. And since then, they've been seemingly inseparable, attending public events together, most recently, for the Vanity Fair Oscar party as Halle prepares for the premiere of her career-defining role in The Little Mermaid.
While there, DDG gave flowers to his bae, telling PEOPLE, "I'm very proud of her. And I'm just happy to see it. I feel like sometimes I'm even more excited than anybody else. Just seeing it and seeing everything that she dreamed of coming to life, it's really dope."
It's the support for me, m'kay?!
And listen, Halle loves her 'some him' too, showing that she pulls up for his music career by starring in the music video for his single, "If I Want You." "Everyone go watch 'if i want you' by @ddg it's out now ❣️you might see a familiar face 🤭💗," she wrote on an Instagram post. She doubled down on her support, revealing to ESSENCE that she had been "a fan" even before they met, adding to the cocktail of their romance that has captured the hearts of many by simply being two young lovebirds navigating their journey of fame, loyalty, and love for the world to see (and dissect).
Well, that was until a little drama, or ex (his), showed up on their doorstep and publicly tested whether the couple's relationship is what they say it is. And after the dust settled (and a little PR work), Halle hopped on IG Live to basically tell us what's understood between the two of them, does not--and will not--be explained. In fact, after sending comment sections into a frenzy for weeks because the culture was coming to her defense, she let us know that, yeah, she appreciates the love, but she's got this.
When speaking about the new music she's recording she said, "This music that I'm making right now, is a lot about the time, how I felt, when I was filming. I was very independent and on my own but also felt isolated and it's also about what happened when I got back home and being in love and all of that..."
"I just think it's so funny, people getting to see me, you know, being in love, in a relationship...I think because I've grown up in the public eye since I was younger, people just feel like this sort of protective energy that they feel like they have to have with me, which honestly I think is sweet, but it's funny."
Halle also wrote on Twitter in a now-deleted tweet, "the devil is working ♥️ lol please don’t feed into the lies, especially from a third party 💕✨stay blessed everyone."
In other words, it's giving 'nothing-to-see-here-but-I-ain't-the-one-and-he-knows-that-so-we're-not-even-going-to-entertain-this.' And as grateful as Halle is for the continued support she has received, she admits is in the process of setting boundaries surrounding matters outside of her craft.
She touched on the subject again, telling Yahoo!'sThe Unwind, "They still see me as that 13-year-old girl that they first discovered and I understand how if you've been supporting somebody for a long time you get invested in their personal lives," she says.
"It's definitely been a learning experience for me. And the beautiful people that have supported me and stuck with me for a very long time, can continue to support what I do publicly in my business affairs, and I really appreciate that, but everything else is my business. And I have to make that priority."
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic