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Exclusive: Kandi Burruss Talks Motherhood, Her New Movie & How She Practices Self-Care

BOSS UP

Being an entrepreneur, reality star, wife, and recording artist may be too much to handle for some women, but Kandi Burruss is one bad mother-of-two that makes it look like a piece of cake.


Kandi sang her way into our hearts in the 90's and has continued to solidify her legacy over the years, in both business and entertainment. Now the mommy mogul is forging her own path in a new lane. It was recently announced that the RHOA star will be featured in the upcoming faith-based film, Never Heard, alongside David Banner, Romeo Miller, Robin Givens, and Karrueche Tran.

Elton Anderson

I was somewhat nervous to sit down and talk to the esteemed entrepreneur, but through her warm conversation, I soon found that conversing with her was like catching up with an old friend. Kandi and I chatted about her latest role, motherhood, and how she practices self-care.

In Never Heard, Kandi, who was raised by a once-single mother, and was a single mother herself, plays Tara, a drug-addicted single mother of two troublesome drug dealing sons. Although the character is pretty much the complete opposite of the Atlanta-based socialite in reality, Kandi jumped at the chance to play the role. "It was an amazing thing because I always wanted to get a part where I can really show my skills as an actress, because when you're a music artist or whatever, or you're on reality TV, people tend to want to typecast you in roles, or either they just want you to come on and play yourself or something. I really wanted something that I could show people my skills and when this part came to my agent and he was like, 'You can do this.' And I was like, oh my God. I couldn't wait to do it."

IMDBNever Heard (2018)

"I couldn't wait for them to turn me and transform me into someone totally different than what people were expecting to see."

Although this role called for a major transformation, Kandi shared that there were actually some ways that she could relate to the character. Although she has never personally had a problem with substance abuse, the former Xscape singer shared that she grew up with friends and family that weren't as fortunate. The role was one that was easy to master because she's a witness to how large of an impact a single-parent household can have on the entire community. "The whole point of the movie is trying to show how not having the child's father in their lives, how it can affect things, and how it's a reaction on everybody."

"The mother, raising the kids alone, she had nobody else helping her raise those boys. And just that whole story is like, we've seen it many, many times in a lot of different families and in communities that we know. And so, it was easy for me to reach into people that I have known growing up and kind of like pull from them and just kind of just put it into the character."

Kandi explained that like many of the characters in the film, she's had to rely on her faith to get her through some tough times. She shared that one of the most important values she tries to instill in her daughter is a consistent faith in God.

Alex Martinez/Bravo

Kandi said that since she's been so blessed in her life, it's important that her children know she didn't do it all alone. She explained, "I feel like it's definitely God's favor in my life that has allowed me to accomplish so many things and be able to push through adversity and just stay focused in life and take situations that may not have been always the best and make it better and that comes with faith."

When it comes to motherhood, she pointed out that faith in God and communication are key components in mastering effective parenting. When asked about the most important lesson about motherhood that she's learned over the years, Kandi had this to say: "Just having great communication with your kid. I feel like my daughter, and I have to use her as an example, obviously Ace is too small. Kayla, she's grown, she's 22. Riley is 16, Ace is 2. And I just feel like communication is just the best is the thing."

"Especially when you have daughters, and plus we have a blended family. It's all about education and making sure everybody is heard."

The singer continued, "We sit down, we talk, we make it make sense. I'm a realist, so I feel like, I try to not to deal with situations in a way that I feel like it should be, but in the way life really is. That's all I can really, you know, preach to people - just really communicate with your kids. And don't let them learn things from their friends on the street. They have [to] have real conversations with you."

As a mother, entrepreneur, recording artist, and now actress, it's hard to imagine how Kandi finds some alone time. Kandi expressed that like most entrepreneurs, she's definitely a member of #TeamNoSleep. Although she's constantly juggling a multitude of personal and professional projects, there are a few hours out of the month delegated for self-care that are non-negotiable for the entertainer.

Along with regularly scheduled trips to the nail salon, the Kandi Koated Nights host shared that even moguls need to unwind with a little Netflix & Chill every now and then. She told xoNecole, "My 'woosah' moment is catching up on my favorite shows. It's just simple stuff like, I have DVR on my favorite TV shows and sometimes I just have to have a moment where I just chill and just watch and just chill. That's it. It's nothing extra about it, it's no special thing. It's maybe not a big deal for anybody else, or anything somebody else would want to do, but it's just like my moment to myself where I just get to chill."

Kandi reminds us all that self-care doesn't necessarily have to mean an expensive spa day or hours of meditation. #KandiTaughtMe that sometimes true alignment can come from putting my phone on DND, binge-watching this season of Grey's Anatomy, and not feeling guilty about it one bit.

To keep up with Kandi, be sure to follow her on Instagram. Check out the trailer for Kandi's new movie, Never Heard below!

Official Trailer - "NEVER HEARD" Starring David Banner, Romeo Miller, Karrueche Tran, Robin Given.. www.youtube.com

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

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.

What is Systemic Racism?

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.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

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:

Voting Rights

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.

Student Debt

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.

Postal Banking

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.

Fair Housing

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.

Broadband Access

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.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

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.

Reparations

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.

The Long View

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.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

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.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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