I’m a huge Shonda Rhimes fan. Shonda Rhimes is the new Oprah. She’s a great writer, inspirational speaker and her story is one that will leave you in awe. Yes, she’s also super successful; but, she’s also a very real and down to earth person. I feel like if know her personally – can you tell? I’ve read her book, “Year of Yes” once and I’m planning to read it again, very soon! I follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I try to read everything she writes. I ♥ Shonda.
Shonda recently released a Ted talk that I highly suggest you listen to – on your commute to work, while you brush your teeth, wash dishes or whatever mundane task you have next on your schedule. Listen and enjoy.
Work doesn’t work without play. I said yes to less work and more play and somehow I still run my world. My brain is still global, my campfire still burns.
I’m calling September 2015 the month of the black woman. Incredible things have happened. Not just in terms of what black women have accomplished – that has been happening for many years – but in terms of ACKNOWLEDGEMENT by the media. This is a hot topic that has been talked about in The Huffington Post, The New York Times and others news/media outlets. I’m summarizing a few of the awesome news stories / articles you can read up on at your leisure, complete with pictures, videos and tweets from social media.
The Emmy’s: How to Get Away with Murder’s Viola Davis became the the first African-American to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. Viola is amazing and her speech was perfect – she came out rocking her natural hair and did not shy away from the significance of the moment, quoting Harriet Tubman. Also, Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba won Best Supporting Actress Drama category and American Crime‘s Regina King as Supporting Actress in a Limited Series Or Movie — a record for diversity in the top categories. (Deadspin).
TV and Advertising: Shonda Rimes had an amazing spotlight in Essence magazine, called ShondaLand, featuring her hit shows on ABC: Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal. You should definitely buy this issue – all the covers are fabulous. It was also just announced that the hit show Empire on Fox, produce by Lee Daniels, starring Emmy nominee Taraji P. Henson, is getting Getting Half a Million Dollars for 30 Seconds of Ad Time – that’s as much as it costs in some top-tier NFL programming. #score
Movies. The Perfect Guy, starring Sanaa Lathan, won the box office its opening weekend with a gross of nearly $26 million.
Magazine Covers: We’re talking majors here. Vogue (Beyonce), New York (Serena Williams), Self (Kerry Washington), Essence (Misty Copeland), i-D (Willow), Dazed (Amandla Stenberg), Shape (Ciara), Variety (Queen Latifah) – all in the month of September. This is definitely first. Buy one or all of them. Check out Black Enterprise for more great shots. When black women are on the cover of major magazines, we should support it with our dollars by purchasing a copy of the magazine.
Music: Last night during The Emmy’s, Apple released a new ad featuring Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson promoting Apple Music. You can watch it here. Beyonce also headlined Jay Z’s Made In America fest in Philadelphia and brought the house down! #wishiwasthere You can watch her full performance here.
Sports: Serena Williams is #1 tennis player in the world. She is also the first person since Stephie Graff (1988) to play for a chance to complete a Calendar year Grand Slam. She also launched a new campaign with Chase. (This is a happy post so I won’t talk about her pay discrepancy or endorsement deals, you can read more about that in The Atlantic).
Politics. Loretta Lynch was recently photographed for Vogue Magazine and recently spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus (transcript here). She has an even more magnificent spread in the October issue of Essence. President Obama also paid homage to Amelia Boynton Robinson who died last month at age 104 and other female civil rights leaders. “Even if they weren’t allowed to run the civil rights organizations on paper, behind the scenes they were the thinkers and the doers making things happen each and every day, doing the work that no one else wanted to do.” At this conference Essence and BWR also release the results from its survey, “The Power of the Sister Vote.” The results are not alarming. #wevote Read the results here.
Fashion and Beauty.Janelle Monae is the Face of COVERGIRL’s Star Wars Collaboration and Samira Wiley will hit the runway for Christian Siriano.
The very essence of this post alone shows that the country is showing the positive faces of many Black Americans in an array of fields.The many faces of Black American Women. And I’m almost sure I missed something we should feel good about. These features should make us all proud, they certainly make me smile. And while our individual efforts may not be showcased to the general public, the question I have for you is, “What are you doing to continue to display and embody these positive messages and themes?” #BeTheChange #readAnything
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone is opportunity,” Viola Davis
Apple completely missed the boat with the launch of if it’s Health Kit app in iOS8 by ignoring women’s health issues, namely Aunt Flo. Now, in iOS9 (release date is September 16th), Apple is revisiting this monthly activity and will be integrating data from a popular Period Tracking app with Health Kit, allowing women everywhere to track their cycles.
The app is called Clue and I’ve told you about it before. From The Verge, “… for people who already use Clue, that change means that they’ll soon be able to see their period and fertility tracking information alongside their other health and fitness data.” The app is very simple to ue and works just like any other period tracking app. It shows dates for PMS, Period and your fertile window. Clue is available for iOS and Android. You can go ahead and download it now and enter your LMP data to get a head start.
Did you know you’re Flawless? Of course you did – Beyonce said so! This song has become quite popular, along with the idea that, “I woke up like this”!! Meaning little to no effort is required to display your awesomeness! We don’t need fancy makeup or high heels to make us something we already are!
Consistent with this #girlpower #alwaysfabuluous and #flawless theme, Carol’s Daughter launched a new campaign to promote beauty and positive messages about body image among girls and women, called #BornAndMade. The campaign is quite simple to participate in: make an image of yourself with your name, where you’re from, a quality that you’re “made with” and share it on social media. I included a few ideas from the campaign’s website in case you need a little inspiration. bornandmade.com
You can and should also watch Chmamanda’s full TED Talk – it’s her voice you hear in Beyonce’s song talking about Feminism (the belief in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes). The talk is substantive, thought provoking and very entertaining – definitely worth your time! If you can’t devote the time to watch it now, save it for later.
I forgot how much I loved magazines. While trying to be somewhat/a bit more cost-conscious, I cancelled my NextIssue subscription. The premium package costs peanuts at $14.99 a month so it certainly wasn’t because of the money. For some reason I just did it. But now I have it back and I’m loving it just as much, if not more than before!
Today while reading InStyle’s September Issues, I ran across an article by Sarah Jessica Parker (aka Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City) titled, “How to Free Your Inner Boss“. Don’t we all need this?! I certainly do! In the article, SJP lists 7 tips to find your girl boss. My favorite? KNOW WHEN TO PASS. Don’t you just love that concept? If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. If you don’t want to go somewhere, don’t go. If you don’t want to give, don’t give. If you don’t want to work somewhere, don’t work there! If you don’t want to participate in something, don’t participate. If you prefer not to be around certain people or in certain situations, don’t! You don’t owe anyone an explanation, period. But there is one catch, as SJP mentions – if you sign up, no complaining!
Here’s the complete list of tips from SJP:
Be ready to learn.
Know when to pass. [my personal fav]
Don’t be too proud to apologize – even down the road.