"Finding out that the U.S. Army regulations seemed to be geared towards eliminating Black females with natural hair was heartbreaking for me... It pains me to know that an organization that I have sacrificed so much for doesn't accept me in my natural, yet professional state."
One of the reasons I created GLAM4GOOD was so I could harness the positive aspects of fashion and beauty to celebrate courage and perseverance in the face of great difficulty, tragedy and pain. Nayanda was right, GLAM4GOOD is more than just a makeover -- often it's about honoring and acknowledging everyday heroism and bravery.
When it comes to rape culture and manifestations of sexual violence against women, as people of color, we find ourselves at the forefront of this plague.
What will happen 30 years from now when the litigation my colleagues and I devoted ourselves to has faded from collective memory? Despite reforms, this place remains a prison for children.
Like many military members who survive a sexual assault, the process of reporting the rape and seeking some justice was a long, despairing and ultimately fruitless effort.
If I could speak to the person who killed Angela, I would tell them that I don't have the words to say just how sad I am. I would say, "Look what has happened to us."
We're coming up on one of my favorite times of the year: that time, just after spring breaks out but before summer begins, in which thousands of college graduates are released into the world. And as they go forth we give them lots of advice. The advice varies, sometimes conflicts, but the general idea is: Here is what you need to know in order to succeed in the world. This year my book tour is taking me to a lot of colleges, and my first piece of advice is to start by defining success for yourself -- by being clear about what you want, what you value and what you are about. But to do that, we need to abandon, or at least mitigate, some of the worst practices of the adult world that students are already mired in: burnout, sleep deprivation, stress and anxiety. This is all the more important because this generation is starting out their adult lives burdened with multiple deficits.
The question is not who is in charge. Rather, it is how well is the university doing in fulfilling its mission.
Near the commencement of Outkast's hour-and-a-half long performance at Coachella this past weekend, the lauded duo reciprocally encircled the table while simultaneously reciting their seminal lyrics, walking a circular path reminiscent of spiritual pilgrims walking a labyrinth.
The media just love anniversaries. But I'm wondering how many mass media outlets will pick up on a confluence of two such commemorations this coming week -- a 50th and a 20th -- which mark separate major events in the long life of a recently departed global giant.
Before this past January, I hadn't cried since 1999 and the Denzel movie The Hurricane.
Saving up your hard-earned cash to stash away an emergency fund? Well, it can be a hard sell. Spare cash can be hard to come by, and, after all, taking a vacation is a heck of a lot more fun. Or at least a lot of us seem to think so.
With the costs of basic necessities rising and wages stagnating, minimizing unnecessary and wasteful spending is more important than ever.
Why am I writing this? As a single mother, raising two black young men and surrounded by the death of so many young men, I am constantly in search of positive influences that will inspire them, motivate them and keep them on the right path.
Rather than using the Mimi and Nikko sex tape as a teachable moment about privacy, permanence and the longevity of Internet decisions, Harvey can't resist transforming that moment into a diatribe about shame and God's plan for women's bodies.
In her 2005 memoir, 'Life Is Not a Fairytale,' and her Lifetime television network biopic of the same name, Fantasia let it be known that she's experienced her share of hard times.
The North Carolina-native was raped by a classmate and shortly thereafter became a single mother -- all before dropping out of high school. This left Fantasia a victim of low self-esteem. To say that she shares a few things with 'The Color Purple's' main character would be an understatement.
If you were fortunate enough to witness this one-name musical powerhouse take over the Broadway role of Celie Johnson from Tony Award-winning actress LaChanze, there is no doubt you knew this casting was genius.
The 'American Idol' winner starred in the musical adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel from April 2007 to January 2008. And with every emotional song she sang on stage, it became more difficult to gauge if there really was a Grammy Award-nominated singer beneath that dowdy outfit and nappy pigtails.
But on July 1, Fantasia reprised her role in the Washington, D.C., production of the Oprah Winfrey-produced musical.
Though health problems caused the 'American Idol' winner to miss about 50 performances during her nine-month Broadway run, this time around, Fantasia said she's in a different place in her life than her first go 'round.
"It's been a journey," she shared with BV Newswire during the opening-night celebration earlier this week at the Kennedy Center. "In New York, I had a lot of stuff going on...a lot of dead weight, a lot of baggage, and I took that into the role."
"I dealt with all of that, and it helped me to survive a lot of things that I was going through," she continued. "It was a touchy situation, but the story, I can relate."
This made the singer a bit hesitant to return to the stage.
"It's a lot of stuff going on in the world," she said, adding, "I don't want to say that I wanted to come back, but I had to just to touch people's lives."
Another highlight of the Kennedy Center production comes in the form of two very special reunions for Fantasia: her former 'American Idol' competitor LaToya London is playing the role of Nettie and Tony Award- nominated powerhouse Felicia P. Fields, who originated the role of Sophia, which Winfrey made famous in the 1985 Academy Award-nominated film, is also part of the cast.
'It's been really great every time I try to do this show," Fields offered. "It has a metamorphosis with Fantasia coming in. It's been more exciting, and we've searched out new things to do. That's the beauty of live theater."
And like her character, Fields isn't biting her tongue about what motivated her to come back. Like Fantasia, she's hoping that her character's story touches the hearts of theater-goers.
"It's been really great, but the piece is so powerful. I enjoy the message and the opportunity to minister to ladies who have been abused and say, 'Hell no.'"
Director Gary Griffin is back at the show's helm, too. For the musical's original ringmaster, Fantasia's return and the new venue are a perfect match. "We all said when we arrived here that it doesn't feel huge [and] there is something warm and embracing about it," Griffin said. "'The Color Purple' evolved with time, and I would say that Fantasia is two years older, and I think her wisdom, her talent, and her artistry have evolved."
After its Washington, D.C., run ends on Aug. 9 at the Kennedy Center's Opera House, 'Color Purple' will play in Atlanta for two weeks, from Sept. 2 -13, ending its national run in Chicago, from Sept.15-27.
After her three-month commitment to the play, the J Records singer plans to focus on her album, which she told BV Newswire she's taking her time to complete. "While I'm doing 'The Color Purple,' nothing should come between this. It takes a lot of dedication."
As previously reported by BV Buzz, Fantasia is also filming a reality show.The Color Purple musical
Fantasia said Celie's message to her is simple: "Beauty is in the inside. Love your eyes, love your wide nose, big ears and whatever God has given you. She finds that at the end."
And so does the actress who plays her.