Happy Birthday Frida!

“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”
—Frida Kahlo, July 6, 1907-July 13, 1954

The Two Fridas
Painting by Frida Kahlo, 1939

The Two Fridas is an oil painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The painting was the first large-scale work done by Kahlo and is considered one of her most notable paintings.

Happy Mother’s Day

Whether you are a mother biologically, matrimonially, or inspirationally, I pray that you are pouring into a child instead of taking out. I may only have one biological mother, but I was blessed to be given a second mother early in life. In addition, I had my grandmothers, aunts, godmothers, cousins, and many other great women who molded me into the lady who I became today. Whether near or far, I know it was their actions and prayers that got me to this point in life. The greatest legacy that we can leave is by positively inspiring and impacting the next generation. I pray that we all are helping our legacies. 

The Miscalculation of the Black Woman

Her Own Beat’s Note: I wrote this article the night that Simone Manuel won her Olympic gold medal. I wanted to post this immediately, but I had submitted for publication  so I had to wait. It has been more than two weeks, but I believe that essence of this article still rings true.


As a purveyor of all things epitomizing #BlackGirlMagic, I am surrounded by greatness—in reality and virtually. In fact, I believe that women like First Lady Michelle Obama, Shonda Rhimes, Amandla Stenberg, Ava DuVernay, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are all my girls.

While watching the Rio 2016 Olympics this week, I have been blessed with my shared of #BlackGirlMagic on Team USA with members such as Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Lia Neal, and Simone Manuel. All of these women have made history within their individual sports, but their coverage has not been equal. Unfortunately, for one, there was a major miscalculation that so many black women experience—the underestimation of our skill and talent.

As I was watching NBC Olympics before the women’s 100-meter freestyle, NBC Olympics decided to air a package about the Campbell Sisters from Australia. Interesting…sure. If you blinked, however, you may not have realized that there was a woman from Team USA swimming. Manuel is a black woman and a two-time NCAA women’s swimming champion. Did I mention that she broke the American record at the 2015 NCAA championship? Yet, it seemed like NBC Olympics was more concerned about showing baby pictures of Cate and Bronte Campbell and trying to figure out if they would get the gold and silver. The USA’s own, Manuel, seemed like an afterthought.

Sometimes, however, being an afterthought is the best way to win. Neither Campbell Sister placed, but Manuel made history. She was the first African-American woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming. The commentators may have been in shock, but Manuel’s joy was overwhelming when she realized that she had tied for gold. I cried with her as she ran and hugged her coach. I cried again as that single tear could not stop streaming down her cheek as our national anthem played during the medal ceremony.

For NBC, unfortunately, it seems like Simone Manuel was more of a non-factor. She was treated like just another black woman. Yet, Manuel, like so many black women showed her #BlackGirlMagic. She swam the race of her life with poise and power; style and strength; grace and greatness. Black women are not some complex area of mathematics where an underestimation is probable. We are not a calculus problem in which you compute our limits…for we are limitless.

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Viola Davis & Kerry Washington Launch Independent Production Companies, Partner with ABC

When the opportunities aren’t there, you have to go and create your own. I am so proud that Viola Davis and Kerry Washington are creating their own spaces and places. Davis and Washington are breaking through the glass ceilings within the entertainment industry, which will benefit generations for decades to come. Keep marching to your own beat and create your own opportunities. 

Reposted from Not Just a Girl In a Dress:

The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” – Voila Davis

It looks like Viola Davis isn’t waiting for her chance to help the next generation of actresses. The “How To Get Away with Murder” star recently entered her production company – JuVee Productions – into a deal with ABC Studios to create projects for digital, streaming, broadcast and cable content.

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The company which Davis launched with her husband Julius Tennon is headed by Andrew Wang. Wang is the former vice president of scripted television development and production at Bravo and responsible for the network’s first scripted series, comedy “Odd Mom Out,” and the drama “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce”.

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Davis shared with Variety, “We started JuVee because we wanted to see narratives that reflected our multi-ethnic and multi-faceted culture. We wanted to be a part of classic storytelling, and we didn’t want to wait.”

2016-05-02_8-33-09The Emmy Award winner isn’t the only one making power moves to behind the camera. “Scandal” star Kerry Washington also announced her newly launched production company Simpson Street has also inked a deal to create projects for ABC Studios and ABC Signature.

2016-05-02_8-29-15Named for the street where her mom grew up in the Bronx, the company has already seen strong success from its first project – the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas HBO movie Confirmation.

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Washington told Deadline, “I believe strongly in the importance of having a seat at the table, which makes starting this production company thrilling for me. It’s an honor to be at a point in my career when I can help generate projects that that are exciting, necessary and truly reflect the world around us.”

Based in LA the company “aims to become the go-to creative hub where the next generation of filmmakers and artists have the space to craft dynamic stories spanning the broad spectrum of humanity.”

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The fact that both Viola Davis & Kerry Washington launched independent production companies and partnered with ABC is huge news. These women are total Bosses. Bravo to them for stepping into their power and helping to create more opportunities for women of color and also for working to create stories that are as diverse as the world we live in. Continue reading here.

#SheWoke: Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls

I don’t know how I missed this last month, but I’m so glad to hear about this historic caucus. It definitely touched my heart and soul to see my Soror,  U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, formed part of this historical coalition. In the wake of Amy Joyner-Francis’ death, we need a caucus to protect our girls and each other. I would love to find out how to become part of this caucus. 

From Black Voices on The Huffington Post:

Three black women in congress made history on Tuesday when they announced the formation of the first and only Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls.

U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) confirmed the news in a press release issued by the U.S. House of Representatives. The release described the caucus as a group devoted to creating public policy that “eliminates significant barriers and disparities experienced by black women.” 

Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

Image from Phat Girl Fresh

Repost from Phat Girl Fresh:

Guess what ladies, the world doesn’t end because you have haters and naysayers. You will never be everyone’s cup of tea and the truth is, this shouldn’t bother you if you aren’t offering them a sip! #phatgirlfresh #ijs #curvyconfidence #goldenconfidence #fatgirlsbewinning #phatgirlbouteeque #phatgirlgear

Dresses…Really?

Why are you concerned about Hillary Clinton’s clothes? She could be the first female president, and you are more concerned about when she will wear a dress. Sometimes, we are our greatest enemies. Why defend ourselves against conservative misogynists if we are going to continue to make comments like this? If you’re not going to discuss the ties (or the lack of) of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz, then let’s get back to the important issues at hand. 

5 TED talks that will change the way you think about Africa

From the One.org Blog:

5 TED talks that will change the way you think about Africa

We’ve chosen five thought-provoking TED talks that will change the way you think about Africa in just one hour.

From the dangers of stereotyped perceptions of the continent, to entrepreneurship and business, to health and education, these five inspiring speakers have got you covered. Check them out:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – The danger of a single story

Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanise. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.

Continue reading

Dear Bethenny…

Dear Bethenny,

I would like to thank you for taking the opportunity for pushing women back, particularly black women, at least 30 years. I thought we were past the age of needing to sleep our way to the top, or at least having to give a little Lewinsky every now and then (sorry Monica). Darn it…those dry cleaning bills are going to rise again as women will need to remove the evidence of those infamous stains. In the same week that we nationally fight to close the gender wage gap, we discover that you still believe the key to success is through a man. How do you expect women to get equal pay by laying on our backs?

You were given this amazingly empowering opportunity to be the keynote speaker at Project Entrepeneur, a women’s entrepreneurial summit. How could you tell black women to hire white men to represent their businesses? Do you realize how racist and sexist that is? One of the attendees, Mary Pryor, tried to call your attention to your faux pas, but she was silenced.

Thankfully, she and other attendees did not remain silent. And I will not either. As a black woman and an entrepreneur, I stopped having other people representing me the day I stopped working in corporate America. The face of my business is me, with my caramel skin, natural hair, and thick thighs. If per chance, you cannot guesstimate that I am a not a minority by my name, then I also have my picture on my website. I have never slept my way to the top, and I’m sure enough not going to start be somebody’s Sally Hemmings to get a contract. I have my God-given talent, creativity, and intelligence for that. And what I lack, networking will fill in.

For many years, women, whether they consider themselves feminists or not, have been cracking those glass ceilings, and a select few have been fortunate enough to break them. Yet, with your one incredulous appearance last weekend, you have filled those cracks with Gorilla Glue and superglued the broken pieces back together. I have always been interested in time travel, but this is not what I was thinking. Next time, Bethenny, do us all a favor. Stay on Real Housewives where your lines are scripted, and you can feel free to lay up with whomever you please. Just stop messing with the lives of self-made women like me.

Smooches,

Aronya

Here’s the impact of having two Latinas run for Congress in the D.C. suburbs

The impact of having two Latinas run for Congress in the D.C. suburbs #Elections2016 #Politics #LatinoTwitter http://ow.ly/4mI7v4