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For Black girls and boys alike, the quest to find stories that reflect their everyday experiences starts as early as the flames of self-awareness begin to flicker. Ayana Gray — The New York Times best-selling author of the YA fantasy novel, Beasts of Prey — embarked on a similar journey when Black characters that reflected her as a young girl were few and far between. She’s made it her mission to tell the stories that position Black youth at the center of fantastical adventures ever since.

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Before the world was introduced to Serayah’s coquettish on-screen persona Tiana Brown on Fox’s megahit show, Empire, the actress/R&B singer was at a crossroads. She and her mother (now manager) experienced a season of homelessness that served as the precipice of her realizing her dreams. “You can get weary and feel like giving up, but I had no lower to go,” Serayah tells xoNecole exclusively. “I could only go up [from there]. I decided within myself that this was not going to be [my] life anymore.”

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What if I told you, "Black people get sunburned too?" On the surface, the statement could come off as offensively obvious or even controversial depending on which end of the belief spectrum you stand on. Among the plethora of misconceptions surrounding melanated skin, the latter comes as one of the greatest fallacies to combat since much of the conversation surrounding it has been, quite literally, black and white.

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Black Woman Owned is a limited series highlighting Black woman business owners who are change-makers and risk-takers in their respective realms. As founders, these women dare to be bold, have courage in being the change they wish to see in the world and are unapologetic when it comes to their vision. These Black women aren't waiting for a seat, they are owning the table.

With hyperpigmentation being one of the most talked-about concerns for melanin-rich skin, it almost comes as a surprise that something as revolutionary as Hyper Skin took the beauty industry by storm only two years ago. The star product of the brand, Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum, is a zealous vitamin C serum designed to brighten skin and tackle dark marks and hyperpigmentation. What sets this buzzworthy serum apart from the sea of products on the market, is that at its core, Hyper Skin was created to be more than a band-aid for hyperpigmentation, it was formulated to be a solution. And we can thank its founder, Desiree Verdejo, for that.

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For the leading fellas of Freeform’s college comedy-drama, grown-ish, graduation season is quickly approaching, forcing Aaron (Trevor Jackson), Doug (Diggy Simmons), Vivek (Jordan Buhat), and Luca (Luka Sabbat) to come to grips with what life after Cal-U will have in store. As the beaus find themselves crossed between self-induced drama and campus tea, the forthcoming season will bring the cohort of lads closer to the reality of the end of one chapter and the start of something new.

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Class is back in session for the grown-ish cast as the series makes its return for the second half of its senior-year saga. Freeform’s hit show premieres Thursday, Jan. 27 picking things up where they left off, amid a heated quarrel between the two ends of a love triangle with Aaron (Trevor Jackson), Luca (Luka Sabbat), — and Zoey, Yara Shahidi’s character, at the center of the beef. And whether you’re right at the peak of your college experience, or a few years removed, complicated dating entanglements, break-ups, and make-ups are realities we can all identify with.

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