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Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.
But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.
To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.
Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.
A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.
In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.
To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:
The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.
These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.
We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.
Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.
We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.
In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.
The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.
Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.
Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.
To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.
The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.
To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.
We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.
For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.
In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.
Featured image by Shutterstock
In xoNecole's Our First Year series, we take an in-depth look at love and relationships between couples with an emphasis on what their first year of marriage was like.
It was a cold winter night in Chicago, more than a year ago. Your girl was scrolling through the fifty-eleven million options on Netflix to find something interesting to watch. I spotted this new show, The Circle, and have not looked away since. Produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group, it premiered in January 2020 and has become my new favorite type of game show. Hosted by Michelle Buteau, The Circle is about contestants who are isolated in their own apartments and can only communicate with others via an online social media platform.
On season 2 of The Circle, the world fell in love with DeLeesa, the contestant who would eventually be crowned winner of the cash prize. She won the game by playing as a single dad named Trevor, who is actually her husband. As a true fan of the series, I figured it was only right to sit down with DeLeesa and Trevor to get the deets on how marriage has been for them IRL. So, let me take y'all back into time real quick, to the beginning of their love story.
It was 2007, and DeLeesa was starting her first day of school as a college freshman. She was getting adjusted to her new dorm and was introduced to her new resident assistant, *drum roll please* Trevor St. Agathe. They quickly became friends and Trevor helped DeLeesa find different activities around campus. After a year, they decided to take things to the next level.
Now, 14 years and two beautiful children later, the married couple have been focusing on doing whatever it takes to create the best life for their children. Since college, the power of commitment and open communication is what has kept DeLeesa and Trevor by each other's side.
One thing that we can all learn from The Circle and social media in general is that everything is not what it seems. When I connected with the couple, DeLeesa wanted to get the story straight about her and Trevor's love story. "I feel like people look at couples on social media and they think that things are perfect when that's not true. We went through stuff, too. We just figured out how to overcome it and move together as a unit."
In this installment of xoNecole's Our First Year, Deleesa and Trevor share how marriage is about work, navigating through the ups and downs, and prioritizing family. Here's their story:
DeLeesa: I got to school early because I was starting [college] a semester late. I met him, we became friends, and I developed a little crush on him. One day, we were hanging out in his room and he just didn't want me to leave (laughs). So we were messing around for about a year. Exactly one year later, I told Trevor that I am not going to keep doing this unless he becomes my man. If he didn't make me his girl, then we were done. (Laughs)
Trevor: I tried to ride it out as long as I could (laughs). At the time, I was thinking, since I'm still in college, I shouldn't be tied down. But I knew that if I didn't make it official, she was going to leave. So, she was right, and we took it to the next level.
Trevor: I thought she was absolutely beautiful. She was pretty and the new girl on campus. So I knew she was going to get lots of attention. But I didn't want to be on that with her, so I continued to just be a stand-up guy. At first, it was the normal student-and-RA relationship. She would ask me what activities she could do on campus and I gave her a few suggestions. For a few days, we continued to hang out and I started to realize the chemistry we had between us.
DeLeesa: When I first met Trevor, I wasn't even thinking about going that [relationship] route with him. I was new to the school and I just wanted to be his friend. But because we shared bathrooms in the dorm, this man would just walk around in his towel sometimes. I couldn't help but notice him more after that. I just thought 'He is fine!' (Laughs) He was so nice and he never pressured me into anything, but, he knew what he was doing.
DeLeesa: I love that he has unconditional love for me. I feel like that no matter what I do or no matter how mad he gets, he is still always going to be by my side for anything that I need. We have been together for a long time. Even though we had breaks in between, he has always been there for me.
Trevor: It's not just one thing for me, but I can sum it up: DeLeesa is everything that I wish I was. She is very much not afraid of what other people think and she is very determined to go after what she wants. She has that go-getter mentality and it is so attractive to me.
Trevor: On our wedding day, I was crying like a baby when I finally saw her. That is my fondest memory of that day: seeing my wife-to-be from a distance and instant water works. (Laughs)
DeLeesa: I really enjoyed our first dance. Our wedding was pretty big, and I planned the whole thing. I was very hands-on and it was hard for me to just have a moment and be present. But when we had our first dance, that was our time to just be with each other and not worry about anything else. It really hit me that we were married at that point.
DeLeesa: Well, the thing with Trevor and I is that we broke up a lot. We reached nine years of being on and off. By that time, we said to each other that this would be the last time we were going to break up. We were going to try our best to do everything that we could to stay together. And if we didn't work out, we were going to go our separate ways. For me, I really wanted us to work because I did see him as my future husband and my children's father. So it was the conversation we had to not break up that was my "you are the one for me" moment.
Trevor: It was something that I always knew. Young Trevor would say, "If I had to get married, this is who I want to marry." When I knew it was time to take things more seriously with her, it was after we had that conversation. Another confirmation that DeLeesa was the one was when we had to move to Canada from New York. I thought to myself that this woman must really love me to pack up and move to another country for me. This woman trusts me so much and she is my forever.
Trevor: The questions that popped into my head were, "Can I do it?"; "Can I be a good husband to her?"; or "Was I truly husband material?" You can't take a test for that or study to get those answers. You have to just do it, apply your morals and values, and do the best you can. What has helped me with this is continuing to reaffirm how we feel about one another—affirmations that let me know that she is happy and I am doing a good job. Marriage isn't that much different from what we have already been doing this entire time. We just wear rings.
DeLeesa: My biggest fear [is related to the fact that] I am a very independent person, [so] if I do not like something, I can be out, quick! So with me, I questioned if I could stay put and fight through the bad times within a marriage. I would question if it is worth sticking it out since this is a lifelong commitment. What has helped me get through that is reminding myself that I can still be independent within my own marriage. I can still do things on my own and still share my life with someone I really care about.
DeLeesa: I feel like I have been really good at keeping my relationship with my friends balanced with my partnership with Trevor. So when we first got married, my personal challenge was me trying to juggle between being a good wife and still making time for my girls. I really didn't want to lose sight of who I was in the process of marriage.
Trevor: My work at the time forced me to travel a lot. So when you are in that honeymoon phase, it's important to have quality time together. It was hard with my job to enjoy life together as a married couple in the beginning. Yes, we have been together for a long time. But this was different. Not being around my wife as much as I wanted to was really hard for me and the both of us. Our communication started slacking and we definitely struggled during that time.
Trevor: There's two lessons that I have. One lesson is that I am a husband first. I have spent a lot of time not being a husband so it can be easy for me or anyone to continue to behave that way. But my wife always has to come first, no matter what is going on in life. When you're married, you have to reinforce that. My second lesson that has helped in our marriage is making sure I do things in order to make her life easier. It can be the simplest thing, but for me, it is a huge priority.
DeLeesa: My biggest lesson is being able to learn from each other. For example, if he is doing simple things to make life easier for me, I am learning from him how to show up for him to make him happy. It can be easy to just receive everything he is putting forth, but it has to be give and take for us.
Trevor: To do everything in our power to ensure that our girls have the best possible life. Everything that we do at this point is for them. Before children, I may have moved slower working toward certain things, but there is definitely an added fire on how we approach things because of them.
DeLeesa: I agree. The number one goal is to be the best parents we can be. We want to set up generational wealth and we want them to be culturally aware. We want them to grow up and be proud of everything we have done for them.
DeLeesa: My advice would be don't go looking for advice, honestly. A lot of people are going to have an opinion about your life and sometimes that may not be the best for you. People can have different intentions and may give you the wrong advice. So I feel that if you need to vent, then yes, have someone to confide in. But don't take their word as facts. Try to figure out your marriage for yourself. Stick to your intuition and what you want to do, no matter if you are being judged for it.
Trevor: The things that matter are to be patient, listen close, choose to be happy, and love hard. I also think when people come to terms with the fact that marriage is work, then it is more possible for people. There are honestly more things to be happy about with the person that you marry. You have to keep all the things that you love about that person at the forefront to get you through. Once you do that, you will be fine.
Featured image via Instagram/Leesaunique
Since 2000, Black buying power has increased a whopping 114 percent. According to Business of Fashion, we brandish $1.3 trillion in annual spending power. It's also no secret that Black women move culture like no other, making us one of the largest assets to the U.S. economy. However, for some odd but obvious reason, society tends to question Black women when they level up and revel in luxury.
Unconscious bias creeps in as we scroll through social media and it automatically fills in the blanks as we question why influencers have luxury items. No one gets it worse than Black women. Black girls and women deserve better. And now more than ever, Black women are taking up all the space luxuriously. Despite all that we face, we still showcase our magic for the world to see because being a Black woman is pure power.
A wise woman once said, "Behind every successful woman is a fabulous handbag!" Ahead, find some of our favorite style heavy-hitters sharing their favorite luxury bag, how it makes them feel, and why Black women deserve luxury.
Photo Courtesy of Beverly Beal
Location: Atlanta, GA
Beverly's Favorite Luxury Bag: Hermès Birkin
"My mother purchased it for my 31st birthday. I'll never forget how proud she was of me. I feel unstoppable when I wear it. It fuels my day doesn't matter what I'm doing. I'm grateful for what I've accomplished and fearless of pursuing future accomplishments. Black women make the world go round, luxury is the least of what we deserve."
Photo Courtesy of Monica O. Awe-Etuk
Title: Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger/Content Creator
Location: Atlanta, GA
Monica's Favorite Luxury Bag: Bvlgari X Mary Katrantzou Top-handle bag
"Before I purchase a bag, I have to be moved by it. This particular bag did just that. It puts a smile on my face every time as the color is vibrant and bright. I also love the versatility of the bag and the fact that I can wear it as a top handle or a crossbody with its serpentine top handle and gold link long strap."
Photo Courtesy of Claire Sulmers
Title: CEO and Founder of Fashion Bomb Daily
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Claire's Favorite Luxury Bag: Black Hermes Birkin Bag 35 with rose gold hardware
"I purchased my bag to commemorate a milestone in my life and a turning point in my career. It's classic, fabulous, and serves as a reminder that anything is possible with faith and hard work. Luxury items are visible symbols of success--they're a cue to the world that you're accomplished and also have good taste.
Photo Courtesy of Derria Underwood
Title: Stylist and Content Creator
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Derria's Favorite Luxury Bag: Louis Vuitton Palm Springs Mini
"It's tiny but packs a lot of punch. I can fit just about everything in it. It is also easy to travel with and perfect with every fit. Black women deserve luxury because it's our birthright. Generations before us struggled. All the hard work and perseverance is literally just a fraction of why we deserve luxury."
Photo Courtesy of Chinyere Adogu
Title: Content Creator/Style Influencer
Location: New York, NY
Chi's Favorite Luxury Bag: Pink YSL Sac De Jour handbag
"It is one of my favorite handbags. Pink is my favorite color and I love the size and shape of the bag. It's classy, chic, and perfect for traveling. It gives all my outfits a polished finished look. This bag was one of my first luxury bag purchases of color and it's a beautiful reminder of my achievements and how far I've come in my career and in my choice of style. I believe Black women deserve luxury because for a long time luxury and Black women were rarely in the same sentence. Society has told the Black woman to be OK with the bare minimum and I'm happy to see more and more Black women embracing luxury, embodying luxury and inspiring luxury!"
Photo Courtesy of Jenee Naylor
Title: Content Creator (Blogger, YouTuber, Influencer)
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Jenee's Favorite Luxury Bag: Chanel 19 Large
"It has recently become a classic for Chanel and it's the perfect mix of edgy and elegant which really speaks to my personal style. It's a no-fuss bag, easy to carry and maintain but still feels really unique. I prefer the non-leather options, I think they show less wear and tear and feel a little more special. Accessories are truly the icing on the cake for me, so when I'm choosing a bag to complete an outfit I truly enjoy it. It's the styling and creativity that bring me joy and handbags allow me to flex my creative muscle and bring my ideas to life!"
"I think it's important for Black women to know that they can have whatever their hearts desire, I never imagined I would be where I am currently in life but seeing other women achieve a certain level of success and enjoy the fruits of their labor showed me what was possible and that it was OK to want nice things. Black women have been put in a box for so long that when we try to enjoy nice things we are questioned and second-guessed on whether we can afford it if we deserve it, or who bought it. We deserve luxury and a whole lot more and I will keep sharing my journey for the women who need to know it's possible."
Photo Courtesy of Lanatria Ellis
Title: Influencer, creative director, stylist, entrepreneur
Location: North Carolina
Lanatria's Favorite Luxury Bag: Nichol Lynel NL Lunchbox
"Not only is it fabulous, feminine, but also Black-owned.The attention to detail and quality is amazing! My NL Bag brings me joys because it's so structured, yet detailed, luxe and so ladylike…it's me if I were a purse. Black women deserve luxury because society has made us feel for years we don't deserve and we do the most! We deserve to be pampered, to be considered, celebrated, and wrapped in all the expensive fabrics. I'm just making my ancestors proud with my luxe lifestyle!"
Featured image courtesy of Lanatria Ellis
This article is in partnership with Staples.
As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.
Well, here's where Staples comes in. Sis, this is not just the spot to drop in and grab a few replacement cartridges for your printer or a pack of paper when you're in a jam. With August being National Black Business Month, you'll definitely want to check out the slew of resources and perks Staples offers.
Staples' professionals can literally serve as the team behind your team. Their tailor-made services and selection of products offered in-store will help you adapt to any issues life might throw at you, and they literally have everything you need to bring your small business dreams to life!
Here are 5 must-haves that Staples provides for your business that you just won't be able to live without. These small business solutions ensure you'll remain a leader and can always be where the money resides:
Business owners are as strong as their tribes, and Staples can help you connect with the people where you work and live via their Community Business Directory. It provides access to Staples' extensive customer base and the potential to be featured in store and via community emails (which, by the way, reach an average of 15,000 readers). Listings in the directory are also linked from Staples Connect, so you'll get the exposure you need as a small business owner. You can register your business for free at StaplesConnect.com/Small-Business/Register.
They also offer a Local Chamber Program where, as a member, you'll have access to their resources and exclusive savings of 20% off your in-store print and marketing services, as well as 10% off your in-store purchases of regularly priced items. For information on enrolling, contact your local chamber leadership.
The Staples' Resource Center offers content on how-tos including marketing strategy, taxes, and finances, entrepreneurship advice, and more. It's a hub that benefits entrepreneurs by giving them the insider knowledge for continuing to work at their best and the tools needed to do so.
Find out everything from how to optimize your online shop (to make the experience better for customers to stay on the site and buy more) to profiles on successful businesses to inspire your own glow up. Visit StaplesConnect.com/Small-Business for the jewels!
Beyond the impressive array of top quality office supplies, technology, and equipment offered at competitive prices―from paper, ink, and toner, to computers, printers, and electronics, to ergonomic furniture, facilities maintenance, and health and safety supplies. You can't beat deals on everyday staples, like shipping boxes, premium shipping supplies
(key word: premium), and 50-pack, 3-ply face masks. And the deals on top tech, especially for those constant video calls, online correspondences, and web meetings, are indeed not-to-miss, with hot items like the iPostal digital mailbox services, the Logi H800 wireless headset, and the Logi C922 Pro webcam.
With everything gone mobile or virtual, you can't miss out on the best ways to transport items. With Staples, you can pack, mail and ship all in one place―even rush orders. UPS® shipping services are available early and late, 7 days a week. You can even complete your direct mail projects, from design to targeting to delivery.
You can also bring your signage concepts to life―from sidewalk signs, window, wall and floor decals, to indoor and outdoor banners, to paper, adhesive, and foam board posters. Staples has experts who can help you create consistent, professional-quality marketing materials for your brand. Custom outdoor banners are offered at competitive prices, and you can get double-sided A-frame sidewalk signs as well.
And let's not forget those extra details and special touches that allow your business to stand out and put you at top-of-mind for customers, partners, or prospective clients, like business cards, flyers, brochures, postcards, menus, advertising labels, presentations, manuals, and letterheads. Going custom is always a good look, and Staples has in-store professionals to help you with this!
Staples' general managers are standing by to help you with your business's unique needs, so tap in! Let this be the year you rebound, refresh, and rejoice in the growth you and your business deserve.
Featured image by Getty Images
The legendary, and somehow 50-year-old Regina Hall has been on her press rounds to promote her latest project, new TV series Nine Perfect Strangers. The show is based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Liane Moriarty and filmed in Byron Bay. "We shot it in Australia, which is gorgeous. It's so pretty I thought it was CGI," Hall explained.
And with the actress resurfacing happy and as hilarious as ever, with quarantine now behind her (a time where she has said she's struggled), she can finally address the top-tier birthday video she released for her 50th this year. The conversation surrounding it has followed her around everywhere she goes, a recent visit to The Ellen Show being no different.
While chatting with frequent guest-host tWitch, she opened up about the milestone.
"I am very happy because the option is death. You're either going to get older every year or you're going to die. So, I'm happy to be alive and honoring what you do gain. There's a lot of, like, wisdom and I do think it's beautiful to age."
tWitch showed the birthday celebration song Hall had released online as the two continued to discuss, eventually touching on why she used the word 'bitch' to refer to herself in the song, noting that the word can also mean a female fox or otter. To that, her reply went in the aging flex hall-of-fame:
One of the best qualities of Hall is her comedic style, which tows the line of dark humor, and just plain ole funny. This has been the same about her since the Scary Movie franchise, where she got her biggest break. And sis has been working ever since, with more projects up her sleeve. She tells ESSENCE:
"The fact that I've been able to work throughout the years, as Scary Movie celebrates 21 years, I feel like there is no greater due that someone can give you than to continue to have you working. I feel really, really blessed in that way. It's good. I'm still here. What else could I want?"
Last October, Hall secured a first-look deal with Showtime to develop projects under her own production company, Rh Negative, thus expanding her relationship with network, coming off the news that her comedy series Black Monday had been renewed for a third season. Of the deal, Hall says:
"I've wanted to produce for a second now. I find great scripts that would be wonderful for myself and really for other people. There are a lot of things and a lot of opportunities for writers and it excited me to be able to create those opportunities and to create programs and movies that people would enjoy—stories that haven't been told or perspectives of stories that haven't been told."
Can't help but to love and support her!
Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!
Featured image by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET
Here at xoNecole our "summer body" goals consist of two things: confidence and strength. The physical perks that come along with those are just added bonuses, but still, it feels good to look in the mirror and have those reflected. If you feel like you need to get on track to finding your inner and outer hot girl as Megan Thee Stallion would say, we've got the workout for you. We promise you'll be rapping, "Handle me? Who gon' handle me?" in the mirror before you know it.
Tone & Sculpt trainer Danyele Wilson is a HIIT master and specializes in creating quick, effective workouts that are more about gaining confidence than losing pounds or inches.
She designed a powerful HIIT circuit exclusively for xoNecole readers that will have you feeling like the stallion that you are before any end of the summer soirées. Follow her instructions below for a mid-summer burn and then check out the rest of her workouts on the Tone & Sculpt app.
Perform each move below for the number of given reps. Repeat the circuit 3-4 times for a quick HIIT workout that will get your heart racing!
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your upper body straight and gaze forward, step one leg backward, lowering your hips until knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle.
Keep your weight in your front heel and drive your back leg forward, bringing that knee into your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and lift your left knee to your chest. Quickly alternate and lift your right knee to your chest, then your left knee, and finally stick with your right knee to your chest. Hold for a few seconds before alternating legs to repeat the same movement.
Hold onto dumbbells and stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. With a slight bend to the knees and keeping them stationary, start lowering the dumbbells by bending at the waist and keeping the back straight.
In one swift motion, explosively extend through your hips and bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders, keeping the dumbbells as close to your body as possible the entire time. Lower the dumbbells to move into the Romanian deadlift starting position and repeat.
Stand straight with your hands by your side and your feet hip-width apart. Extend your arms back while explosively jumping forward, landing 4-6 ft. in front of your starting position. Shuffle back to the starting position and repeat.
Start in a side plank position with your hand raised. Lower your arm in and twist it under your torso, keeping the core engaged. Control your arm back up into the starting side plank position and repeat.
Editor's note: Remember, it's always best to consult your physician before making any extreme changes to your fitness routine.
Featured image by Mike Tittel courtesy of Danyele Wilson
"Meeting Issa Rae was a story of perseverance, following up, being persistent and all of the characteristics and attributes you need to be a successful writer."