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With the best articles on caring for natural hair, Curly Nikki is your source for inspiration and advice. Find out about the latest styles and trends today!

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    Written by Sharee Silerio

    Ebony, the magazine that has been a staple in black homes, beauty salons and businesses, is experiencing major changes.

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    Last week, the Chicago Tribune reported that the lifestyle publication laid off about 10 of its 35 employees, including its editor-in-chief Kyra Kyles. Ebony’s headquarters will move from Chicago to Los Angeles in an effort to consolidate editorial operations with its sister publication Jet, which is currently in LA.

    Tracey Ferguson, who became the Los Angeles-based editor of Jet in February, will be responsible for both magazines going forward.

    Ebony will maintain a smaller office in Chicago, where it was launched in 1945 during the Jim Crow era.

    The magazine has captured countless historical moments, offering a trustworthy platform for the African-American community to share their minds, experiences and hearts. Ebony and Jet have been pivotal in the black community’s fights against racism, sexism, segregation and other social injustices.

    Since the company was sold to Texas-based private equity firm Clear View Group last May, it has hit a few rough patches, including delayed delivery of subscriptions and overdue payments for contributor articles.

    Last month, Ebony made headlines after several freelance writers took to Twitter with the hashtag #EbonyOwes to complain about not being paid for work they completed.

    Ebony fans have been concerned about its ability to remain the “No. 1 source for an authoritative perspective on the Black community” and sustain its print operations.

    If the magazine is unable to withstand and overcome its challenges, then genuine, empowering and uplifting black owned-content, which has been a part of the black community for almost a century, is at stake. In the current political and social climate, black stories and voices from a black perspective are more important than ever.

    A promising development is that Ebony and Jet signed with WME talent agency last week, which will help them expand their “current print and digital footprint, enhance the brand and utilize the magazines' over 70 years of archival content,” according to Hollywood Reporter.

    Vice Chairman of Ebony Media parent CVG, Willard Jackson said of the deal, “At the heart of publishing is the curation and telling of great stories. This concept is as relevant today as it was 70 years ago when our iconic magazines were founded. Our partnership with WME aligns with the growth plans and transformation CVG envision for Ebony Media Operations.”

    Hopefully, this is the beginning of a new era of media, storytelling and history-making for Ebony and Jet.
    What do you think the future holds for Ebony and Jet?
    *************************
    Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for SincerelySharee.com, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at ShareeSilerio.com then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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    PHOTOGRAPH BY BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / GETTY
    Written by Alma Hill

    Remember back in the day when Phaedra Parks and Kandi Burruss were friends on RHOA? It was a necessary part of the plot but tolerable. Then, Phaedra’s shady side started to show. The cast and crew weren’t the only ones who started giving her a suspicious side-eye.

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    Still, Bravo the rest of the Housewives gave Phaedra the benefit of the doubt and allowed her to continue her showboating. That is until shit hit the fan in the reunion, and the extent of her ill intent was revealed.

    So what do Phaedra and the cast of RHOA have to do with HBCU’s?

    Let’s think. Is there anyone in recent memory who may have expressed their support for HBCU’s publicly, used them as a platform to elevate his reputation with black voters, who then turned around and suggested that educational funding to institutions that are rooted in race is unconstitutional?

    Remind me, but wasn’t there a certain someone who agreed to meet with the heads of these prestigious institutions to discuss the ways their future with the administration, only to release them, after cutting their time short with little to no productive conversation? (but don’t forget the photo op!)

    President Trump (henceforth referred to as 45) is HBCU’s Phaedra Parks and his shady is starting to show.

    Admittedly, the HBCU’s did not have the best relationship with the Obama administration, but their eagerness to partner with 45 and his cronies is not only misguided, it’s more than a little concerning.

    In February, HBCU students around the nation expressed dismay when a photo of 45 with dozens of representatives from HBCU administrations began making the rounds on the internet. Their outrage was justified in part when it was revealed that the photo was impromptu, and cut short a meeting which had been scheduled to help the White House better understand the importance of HBCU’s.

    “In general, the meetings were a troubling beginning to what must be a productive relationship,” Morehouse College President John Wilson Jr. said.

    In recent news, students of Bethune-Cookman University have expressed outrage at the invitation of Education Secretary Betsy Devos to be the Commencement speaker for their Spring 2017 Graduation Ceremony. This is the same woman who ignorantly compared HBCU’s to “examples of school-choice” in a sad attempt to push her own agenda, and conveniently forgetting, you know, institutionalized racism.

    Bethune-Cookman students have told several news outlets that they feel “betrayed” and like “their legacy is being sold” ever since the announcement was made on Monday. As of the publication of this article, an online petition has garnered more than 8,000 signatures to disinvite Ms. Devos. A student hand-delivered a petition claiming to have 60,000 signatures to the president yesterday.

    Despite their outcry, the President of Bethune Cookman is refusing to rescind the invitation, ignoring his students pleas.

    He is in the same boat as the HBCU leaders who “aren’t worried” about Trumps “unwavering support of HBCU’s” despite his actions suggesting that their funding is unconstitutional. Admittedly, 45 did try to take it back, but the smoke is in the air.

    How much shade needs to be thrown before the HBCU presidents understand that 45 is not to be trusted? How many students need to express their distaste for this administration in it’s entirety before their administrators do something radical… like, LISTEN.

    HBCU’s have a responsibility to their legacy and their student bodies to support the will of their students. Now, this is not to say that all HBCU leaders are in bed with Big Orange. In fact, many of them seem to have retained their common sense. The one’s who are choosing to collude and offer “unwavering support” of this administration are not wrong per se but should tread with caution.

    What are your thoughts? Share in the comments?
    Alma Hill is a freelance journalist, actress, and mother living in Orlando, FL. A frequent contributor to online and print media publications, she believes that the words from our mouths will change the world. Born in Charlotte, NC, she's a millennial with an old soul who appreciates a good meme as much as a Miles Davis album. Brave souls can follow her on Twitter @_mynameissoul, but you have been warned.  

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    Closed mouths don’t get fed! Nicki Minaj put that phrase to good use recently when she paid over a dozen college students’ tuition, fees and more! And the whole thing happened over Twitter!

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    That’s right, folks, it’s not “just” Twitter. It all started when Nicki took to Twitter to confirm that she was down for her fans -- newly named “The Kingdom,” -- in a myriad of ways: even offering to fly some out to any country in the world for an international contest she was holding. The contest winner would get to spend time with her at the upcoming Billboard music awards in Las Vegas.



    One member of The Kingdom, @cjbydesign seemingly attempted to jokingly call out her bluff by asking if she would pay for his tuition:



    Much to everyone’s surprise, Nicki took the bait. And she took it very seriously:



    The rules were simple: Show Nicki proof (namely, an official transcript) of “straight A’s” or a G.P.A. of 4.0 for the semester that she could verify with the respective school and she’d pay up on tuition. As hours went by, she even included things such as books and other school supplies.







    An array of fans forwarded her screenshots of their grades and transcripts, hoping to be the lucky one that Nicki replied to. Overall, she helped a total of 30 students with their tuition, student loans and other educational fees. After a while of generously promising funds to many fans, Nicki called it a night… for now.



    As you can see from her tweet, this is only the beginning of her generosity. What a dope way to pay it forward! “Ask and ye shall receive,” indeed! It’s always inspiring when those who are in a place of privilege share their wealth with those in need for the greater good. I, for one, surely respect Nicki for this endeavor and I look forward to hearing more stories like this!

    As for you excellent students out there, make sure to follow Nicki on Twitter as you never know when she’ll announce another call similar to this one!

    What do you think sparked Nicki Minaj to do this?
    *************************
    Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.

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    Written by Nikki Igbo of NikIgbo.com

    According to the United States Department of Education, more than 85% of American black male students in the fourth grade are not proficient in reading. This statistic is especially alarming since the educational transition between third grade and fourth grade involves going from learning to read to reading to learn.

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    Literacy proficiency by the fourth grade therefore leads to greater success in higher grade levels, lowered chances of dropping out and improved chances of moving on to higher education beyond secondary schooling. With this in mind, comedian Alvin Irby founded Barbershop Books in 2013 specifically to take the issue of literacy among African American youth head-on.

    Working as a first-grade teacher in the Bronx several years back, Irby told DNA Info that he first got the idea for Barbershop Books when he noticed one of his students at a local barbershop. The child sat idle as he waited for his turn to get a haircut and Irby recalled, “I was just thinking at the time that he should be practicing his reading right now.”

    Hence Barbershop Books, the debut program of the Reading Holiday Project 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, targets African American boys ages 4-8 simply by placing child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops thus leveraging the cultural significance of barbershops to build interest in reading and increase out-of-school reading time. It is especially important that the program also helps youth to identify reading as a fun and typical part of the Black male experience by providing age-appropriate, culturally relevant books in an environment frequented by Black men.
    Alvin Irby, founder of Barbershop Books
    The program is currently active in 50 barbershops throughout the nation including 13 locations in New York, 11 locations in Ohio, 9 locations in Florida, and other locations in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas and Washington DC. Per the program’s website, the ultimate goal is to deliver children’s books to every Black barbershop in America. Irby plans to next create several spaces at barbershops in his home state of Arkansas.

    Additionally, the Barbershop Books’ website features a blog with invaluable information on continuing the mission of improving literacy and reading outcomes among Black youth. Tips include promoting books that feature diversity in characters as well as representation of those characters; recognizing individual learning styles in children; understanding the importance of reading aloud; and building interest in reading with books with humorous and/or silly storylines. Visitors to the site can also access book recommendations for the children in their lives.

    In addition to receiving a $10,000 grant which accompanied the recent award of the Innovations in Reading Prize from the National Book Foundation, the program accepts donation through its website. Interested individuals and organizations can also get involved by recommending a children’s book for inclusion in the reading spaces, recommending a barbershop for participation, volunteering and/or sponsoring a space at a local barbershop.

    Sponsorship of a Barbershop Books reading space doesn’t take much either. For a mere $175, an individual sponsor can furnish 1-4 barbershop locations with 15 curated titles, 15 replacement books, a colorful bookshelf, a window decal and 40 “I’m a reader” stickers.

    What do you think about this initiative? What type of impact can it have on young Black boys lives?
    *****************************
    Nikki Igbo is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and political junkie. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Political Science from California State University at Fullerton and a Masters in Fine Arts of Writing at Savannah College of Art and Design. When not staring in disbelief at the antics unfolding on CSPAN, she enjoys philosophical arguments with her husband, 70's era music and any excuse to craft with glitter. Feel free to check out her freelance services at nikigbo.com and stalk her on twitter @nikigbo or Instagram at @nikigbo.

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    Written by Sharee Silerio

    Vacation season is right around the corner, as summer is the perfect time for many to take a break from life’s routine with family road trips, beach escapes and sightseeing tours.

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    If you would love to get away with your girls but it isn’t going to happen in summer ‘17, don’t stress. You can live through Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish. How, though?

    Well, these ladies are bringing their beauty and humor to the movie Girls Trip, the black girl version of The Hangover, which will be released in theaters nationwide on Friday, July 21st.

    Focused on four lifelong friends who reconnect after several years, the Universal Pictures film is produced by Will Packer of Almost Christmas and the Think Like a Man and Ride Along franchises. The comedy is directed by Malcolm D. Lee, director and producer of The Best Man, The Best Man Holiday and Barbershop: The Next Cut; and the screenplay is by Black-ish creator-writer Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver, writer on The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and Survivor’s Remorse.

    According to the film’s website, the besties travel to New Orleans for the Essence Festival, where “sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.”
    The official trailer for the film was released this morning, confirming that it has the potential to be epic.



    Larenz Tate, Kate Walsh (13 Reasons Why), Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Kofi Siriboe (Queen Sugar) also co-star in the flick, which is fitting for a memorable ladies night out.

    Based on the movie’s all-star cast, top notch creatives and storyline, I’m excited to spend $11 on a ticket.
    What do you think about the trailer? Do you plan on seeing Girls Trip in theaters during its premiere?
    ***************************
    Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for SincerelySharee.com, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at ShareeSilerio.com then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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    Photo courtesy of Florida A&M University Facebook page

    Written by Nikki Igbo of NikIgbo.com

    Last week, before news headlines became consumed by Sally Yates’ stellar testimony and James Comey’s dismissal, Donald Trump issued a signing statement on the $1.1 trillion omnibus government spending bill. In this statement, Trump singled out the Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program as a funding bill provision that “allocates benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender.” The statement suggested that Trump, the guy responsible for the travel ban and appointing Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, views such funding as discriminatory.

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    Trump (much like Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos) lacks an awareness of the history of HBCUs and the enormous contributions these esteemed institutions make to the nation. Of course, this is not surprising considering the prior statements he’s made on the state of Black American communities and his Black History Month remarks on Frederick Douglass and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. If he’d simply read ( or have someone read to him) the U.S Department of Education’s pamphlet on HBCU history, then he’d surely benefit from understanding the following facts about HBCUs.

    1. The first structured higher education system for Black students, the Institute for Colored Youth, was founded in Cheyney, Pennsylvania in 1837 because law and public policy prohibited the education of Blacks in various parts of the nation.

    2. Following the Civil War, racial segregation denied entry of Blacks to traditionally White institutions. The Second Morrill Act of 1890 provided a land-grant institution for black students whenever a land-grant institution was established and restricted for white students and such public land-grant institutions specifically for blacks were established in each of the southern and border states.

    3. In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Plessy v. Ferguson decision established a “separate but equal” doctrine in public education thus validating racial segregation in education and making the existence of HBCUs integral to the higher educational needs of Blacks.

    4. Although HBCUs exist because of America’s history of racial segregation, these institutions are open and accessible to all students regardless of race, color or ethnicity. Today, HBCUs are more racially desegregated in regard to staff and enrollment than traditionally White institutions.

    5. By 1953, such institutions as Hampton Institute, Howard University, Meharry Medical College, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Fisk University and Tuskegee Institute were primarily responsible for educating teachers, ministers, lawyers, doctors and other pillars of the Black community in a racially segregated society.

    6. Today, HBCUs award nearly half of baccalaureate degrees earned by Black college students.

    7. HBCUs lead the pack in terms of the segment of graduates who go onto pursue and finish graduate degrees and professional training programs.

    8. Currently, 75% of Blacks with doctorate degrees, 75% of Black officers in the armed forces and 80% of Black federal judges can credit their undergraduate education to HBCUs. In fact, Omarosa Manigault, the director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison for the Trump administration, received her undergraduate degree from Central State University and her graduate degree from Howard University—both of which are HBCUs.

    9. The leading institutions for awarding bachelor’s degrees in scientific, mathematical and engineering concentrations are HBCUs. One great example is Lonnie George Johnson, a Black scholar who invented the Super Soaker and made enormous contributions to the U.S. Air Force Weapons Laboratory, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and the development of solid state batteries. He was educated at Tuskegee University, an HBCU.

    10. HBCUs also benefit traditionally White research universities because half of the Black faculty employed at these institutions received their bachelor’s degrees at an HBCU.

    Did you attend an HBCU? Share your experience and school history in the comments section.
    ********************************
    Nikki Igbo is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and political junkie. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Political Science from California State University at Fullerton and a Masters in Fine Arts of Writing at Savannah College of Art and Design. When not staring in disbelief at the antics unfolding on CSPAN, she enjoys philosophical arguments with her husband, 70's era music and any excuse to craft with glitter. Feel free to check out her freelance services at nikigbo.com and stalk her on twitter @nikigbo or Instagram at @nikigbo.

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    Written by Sharee Silerio

    A few days ago, an extended sneak peek of All Eyez On Me, the biographical film about rapper, activist, actor, artist and poet Tupac Shakur was released.

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    In it, Tupac and Jada Pinkett Smith share a tender moment as best friends.

    The film, directed by Benny Boom, features first-time actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac, Kat Graham as Jada, Jamal Woolard as Notorious B.I.G. and more.

    Tupac is one of my favorite music artists. His raw lyrics, storytelling skills and passion are unmatched. It will be sad to watch his great rise and the end of his life in a matter of two hours.

    From his early days in New York City to his evolution to stardom, legal troubles and powerful voice, it will be interesting to see the beginning and middle of the cultural icon’s life.

    Hopefully the film accurately grasps his legacy, while adding to its impact.

    Based on this extended clip, which was presented at the MTV Movie Awards, it appears that Shipp and the writers took care to embody Shakur’s presence and creative skill. Take a look below.



    All Eyez On Me opens in theaters on Friday, June 16.

    Are you a Tupac fan? Do you plan to see AEOM next month?
    *************************
    Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for SincerelySharee.com, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at ShareeSilerio.com then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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    Photo Courtesy of Melanin Goddess/Khoudia Diop

    by Mary Wolff

    Hair growth is a complicated subject. It isn’t a result of just one factor. However, an agreed upon fact is that what you eat directly impacts your hair health which in turns plays a role in generating hair growth. Here are a few of the best fruits and veggies that help hair growth.

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    1. Spinach 
    This green superfood is great for hair growth because it is full of nutrients. With high levels of vitamins B, C, and E, as well as iron and potassium, this leafy green helps keep your scalp healthy and offers improved circulation. A healthy scalp and proper blood flow are the bedrock of hair growth.

    2. Sweet Potatoes
    This cousin to the French fry potato is packed with nutrients that help hair grow. Vitamin A is an important part of keeping the scalp healthy with proper circulation and the production of natural oils. Sweet potatoes are one of the foods with the highest source of this essential nutrient! It also has biotin which can help with hair thinning for an added bonus.

    3. Avocado
    Packed with vitamins A and E, this superfood is a favorite in the hair world. You can eat it or apply it to your hair for great results. The best way to use it for hair growth is by adding it to your diet. It’s a great healthy fat for your cardiovascular health that gives health benefits beyond just hair growth.

    4. Papaya
    Vitamin C helps your body produce collagen which helps with hair growth. Collagen helps to stimulate the scalp and the hair follicle thereby promoting growth. Papaya has one of the highest concentrations of this vitamin which makes it a must-have in your diet for great hair.

    5. Swiss Chard
    Another leafy green on the list, this veggie packs a punch. It is full of lots of stuff your hair needs like iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, and biotin. As if all that wasn’t enough, it also has methylsulfonylmethane which is hard to find. Also called MSM, this little element helps with the production of keratin and collagen. Collagen helps hair grow while keratin makes it strong so it is a win-win situation.

    Your hair health is made in the kitchen. With these fruits and veggies that help hair growth, get healthy and get great hair at the same time!

    Let us know if you've seen any improvements from trying some of the recommendations above. 

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    Photo: Sariane Leigh

    by Mary Wolff

    Working out is a part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether you work out religiously or sporadically, you want to find the best hairstyle for your routine and hair type. If you have type 4 hair, keep your hair looking great during any sweat session with these picks for best exercise hairstyles for type 4 hair. When it comes to the best exercise hairstyles for type 4 hair, let’s take a look at your typical workout style.

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    Gym Wife 
    You are a gym wife if you are practically married to the gym. Your commitment is strong and you go to the gym at least 5 times a week to get in strenuous, heavy sweating types of workouts. If this is your style, your hair will require a washing or co-washing routine to get all that sweat and oil buildup out of the way. This means your hair needs to be careful about taking on extra damage. Protective styles are your friend! The best go-to for your gym wife status is twists and braids. You want to keep hair in a style that allows for the easiest routine. If you intend to sweat it up on the regular, washing all your hair can become time-consuming and potentially damaging, but with a protective style such as braids, you won’t have to spend as much time washing.

    Here is a cute style that is great for intense workouts. It uses bigger sections to avoid adding strain to your edges which is always a good bonus!



    The In and Out 
    Your workouts are quick and relatively pain-free. You like to pop into the gym for a quick 30 minute or so low-to-medium intensity workout. If you like to exercise without the intense cardio and sweat, your style can be a little more relaxed since you won’t need to wash as often. A quick rinse or spritzing will probably be enough for your low-intensity workout style.

    Don’t think because you aren’t tackling a serious sweat session that your hair is off the hook! You still need to put it up a little to get you workout ready. It is also a good way to avoid taking on buildup if you plan on doing a slightly more intense low-intensity gym session. Here are a few cute ideas that are also fast and easy.



    The Inner Glow Queen 
    If your workouts consist mostly of lighter exercises like Pilates or yoga, sweat may hardly be an issue for your hair during a workout. While you may not be doing high-intensity sweat sessions, you still need to keep your hair up and out of your way to fully focus on your poses or moves. Here are a few cute styles to bring out your inner yogi goddess in style.


    Looking cute at the gym might not be a priority for you, but protecting your hair should be! With these styles tailored to your routine or the level of intensity, keep your strands in their best shape.


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    Written by Nikki Igbo of NikIgbo.com

    Carson Huey-You is a name we should commit to memory now because it’s highly likely we can expect great things from him in the future. At the tender age of 14, Huey-You will be graduating from Texas Christian University (TCU) this Saturday after having majored in Physics and double minored in Math and Chinese. He will become the youngest person to ever graduate from TCU.

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    The young scholar’s proud mother Claretta Kimp shared with NBC 5 Dallas/Fort Worth that Huey-You’s interest in math began at the age of three.

    “He asked me if he could learn calculus and I thought, ‘hmmm, OK,’ ” Kimp explained. Kimp soon learned that her toddler’s comprehension of math was comparable to that of an eighth grader. Hence, the gifted child graduated from high school at the age of 10 and began matriculating at Texas Christian University at the age of 11.

    “The first day of class, I was very nervous about what I was walking into, going from a small private school and then to this big campus,” Huey-You said in a video posted to TCU’s Instagram page. “After the first day of class and once I sort of got used to the overall TCU feel, I was very comfortable. TCU is where I’ve grown up. I feel very comfortable here. And it’s home.”


    There’s no doubt that Huey-You will make himself at home in any and every mathematical endeavor he pursues. Congratulations to him and his family!
    **************************
    Nikki Igbo is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and political junkie. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Political Science from California State University at Fullerton and a Masters in Fine Arts of Writing at Savannah College of Art and Design. When not staring in disbelief at the antics unfolding on CSPAN, she enjoys philosophical arguments with her husband, 70's era music and any excuse to craft with glitter. Feel free to check out her freelance services at nikigbo.com and stalk her on twitter @nikigbo or Instagram at @nikigbo.

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    Photo courtesy of Starz Website

    By Sharee Silerio

    I cut the cord about a year ago. No cable. No more expensive bills. Television on my terms. You might be wondering while I’m telling you this.

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    Well, since I don’t have cable, don’t have a Starz subscription, and haven’t taken the time to get a friend or family member’s login information, I have never watched one episode of the hit television series Power.

    Horrible, I know. It looks like a really good show, and since I already pay for Hulu and Netflix, the cost is not that bad. But it’s still $8.99 a month so I can watch one. show. Okay, maybe two, if I include Survivor’s Remorse.

    So, I might be one of few who have not seen the show, but exciting news is in store for those who love it! The official trailer for season four was just released!

    It looks like loyalty will be tested, truth hidden or revealed and plenty of dramatic, intense moments.

    Take a look at the almost two-minute sneak peek here.



    Based on fan feedback, the trailer verifies that the new season is going to be “lit”, “amazing” and “madness”. It really sounds like my kind of show.

    Power returns to Starz on June 25 at 9 p.m. ET.

    Have you watched Power yet? Will you be tuning in next month?
    **************************
    Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for SincerelySharee.com, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at ShareeSilerio.com then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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  • 05/13/17--07:38: What's In My Diaper Bag?!

  • Hola Chicas,

    So y'all know this ain't my first rodeo.  Our daughter, Gia, is 6 years old now and the trial and error of new mommyhood prepped me for this current situation-- Baby August Maxwell! He's an easy baby-- sleeps through the night, doesn't cry unless he's wet or hungry and is easily entertained by Big Sis.  He smiles all day and is an absolute joy-- perfect new recruit for our little fam (hopefully he flies well too!).  In partnership with Beech-Nut, I unloaded my diaper bag to show y'all what I tote around. 

    1. Pampers- Both Gia/Boogie and Max have super sensitive skin and Boogie was prone to diaper rashes.  They seemed to flare with certain popular brand diapers, but she'd always do extremely well with Pampers brand.  Because of that history, I turned to Pampers again and Max is chillin'! As an aside, I also use dye and fragrance free detergent (we've been using it for 6 years now!) and both of their skin is in tip top shape!

    2. ComoTomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle-- I am still a milk factory and now that I've got Max's tongue tie resolved, his latch has improved.  He's super greedy tho, and he can get to the milk faster when it's coming out of a bottle, so to keep him happy, I still pump pretty much around the clock.  I love ComoTomo bottles because of the slow flow nipple, boob shape and soft feel.  He has a touch of reflux (so much spit up), so these bottles really help to pace him and reduce gas.  

    3. Wardrobe Change- Y'all know how that goes. One blow-out can change the course of your day.  I get most of his onesies from Children's Place, including the one photographed (it also glows in the dark!). 

    4.  Blinged out Wipes Case- I love all things shiny and absolutely needed this gorgeous, bedazzled wipes holder from Etsy. Might as well wipe asses in style! 

    5. Bananas! I'm always hungry, even when I'm not making 6-12 oz of milk every 3 hours.  So right now, I stay snacking! Bananas are portable and if I eat them with Effie's Oatcakes it's like I'm making banana pudding in my mouth.  

    6. Beech-Nut Real Food for Babies- When Boogie hit 4 months we loved Beech-Nut's Organic Multigrain Baby Cereal, especially the convenient 'on-the-go' pouches.  I'll definitely be stocking up when Max is of age.  I'm  also excited to see the Beech-Nut brand growing and will most certainly keep their new Organic Cereal Puffs and Fruit and Veggie Melties on deck as Max grows older!  Thanks Beech-Nut for the free goodies!



    Deets from the brand--

    "Beech-Nut baby food is a complete line of classic, natural and organic real food for babies™ and toddlers, including purée jars, pouches, cereals, snacks and more. It is closest to homemade with just real, simple ingredients. Nothing artificial is added. Plus, discover baby and toddler recipes, advice, tips and more."

    What's in your diaper bag?!

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    Astrid Stawiarz/Andy Lyons, Getty Images (2)
    When it comes to money and the NCAA league, there’s already a mass debate as to whether the players should be paid for their efforts, similar to NBA players. The argument is that -- though they aren’t technically professional players -- the surrounding pressures and the money made off of them are just as high.

    Continue Reading


    Well, one player -- UCLA player Lonzo Ball -- has decided to create his own empire with Big Baller Band. Further, the popular point guard released a signature shoe (the ZO2) through the brand costing nearly $500! Of course, this lead to plenty criticizing a college player asking such a hefty price for a non-pro shoe.

    “All Eyez” rapper The Game; however, feels differently. Not only has he decided to invest nearly $2K into Ball’s business for his 13-year-old son and his friends, but he had some choice words for the critics, essentially calling them hypocrites. has supportively taken to the steep price with his wallet and some choice words for the sneakerheads that he’s dubbed hypocritical for snubbing the UCLA player.

    In an Instagram post, he explains that since he spends so much on Nike, Jordan and other lead-brand sneakers, he believes he owes the growing brands a fair chance, as well. The Game went on to check critics and accused them of hypocrisy since they also never hesitate to shell out lots of money for more established brands.

    “Funny how n**gas will go and buy Gucci flops for $300-$400 with no complaints, but then complain [and] b**ch when a kid [and] his family is making a name for themselves [and] trying to grow their own brand,” he stated. “I also think about all these $500 duplicated Jordan n**gas out here going broke [and] dying over just trying to keep up with Jones’s.”

    While The Game paid homage to the legacy of Michael Jordan, he went on to explain that Jordan has made a cash-killing off of rebranding and reselling his retro tennis shoes and overcharging parents for his elite youth sports camps.

    “MJ is MJ, but today I chose to support [Lonzo and] his family.... f**k how anybody feel about it... keep making memes if that's all [your] broke hatin’ a** can do... maybe sometimes, people need to delete the meme app off they phone & start creating their own legacy instead of picking apart someone else's.”

    The rapper then brought it all home and put his own money where his mouth is by announcing that he’d be making 10 more purchases of the sneaker to gift 10 kids whose parents aren’t able to afford them via his Robin Hood Project charity.

    Check out The Game’s Instagram rant below!
    Just bought my son @hvrlemtaylor & a few of his friends the "Lonzo @zo Ball's" #Z02 kicks just on the pure fact that I've spent over a million dollars, shit probably more on Nike's, Jordan's & other big name sneaker brands in my lifetime so why not support a family brand & a rising stars shoe..... Funny how niggas will go & buy Gucci flip flops for $300-400 with no complaints but then complain & bitch when a kid & his family is making a name for themselves & trying to grow their own brand..... I also think about all these $500 duplicate Jordans niggas out here going broke & dying over just trying to keep up with Jones's.... While MJ, as much as I love & support him & his legacy ain't really ever did much for the black community other then tax our mothafuckin' ass for the same shoes over & over as well as charge these kids parents hella money to get in these camps. & again, no hate... MJ is MJ but today I chose to support @Zo & his family.... fuck how anybody feel about it... keep making memes if that's all yo broke hatin ass can do..... maybe sometimes, people need to delete the meme app off they phone & start creating their own legacy instead of picking apart someone else's..... I will also be buying 10 more pair of @Zo's kicks for 10 kids who's parents can't afford them..... on behalf of myself & @therobinhoodproject #DatWay #TheRobinHoodProject #BigBallerBrand #itAintTrickinIfYouGotIt
    A post shared by The Game (@losangelesconfidential) on


    What do you think about Ball charging so much for basketball shoes before he even becomes pro? Is this considered “supporting a small businesses?” Sound off in the comments!
    ***************************
    Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.

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    Louis McDowell gives a young customer a high top fade in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1994. Via the Library of Congress.

    You and your boo have a fun date night planned, but he's in desperate need of a shape up, so he heads to the barber shop. Hours later, your dinner reservations have been canceled, your freak 'em dress is wrinkled, and you don't even feel like going anymore.

    There's an app for that.

    Continue Reading


    Three Howard University grads have come up with the Uber of men's grooming: Haus Call​. Morgan Winbush, Killian Lewis, and Crystal Allen-Washington came up with the idea after seeing too many fellas spend their Saturdays at the shop.

    “It’s homecoming at Howard. Every guy we know is trying to feel and look like Diddy,” Haus Call's Chief Marketing Officer told VIBE. “If you’re running or coming into town really late, and you had to go to #1000Bottles or whatever party is happening on Friday night, but you didn’t have enough time, you could use HausCall and a barber would come wherever you are to cut your hair and make sure you looked great.”

    Chief Technology Officer Crystal J. Allen-Washington left her advertising gig to learn the skills she needed to create the app. For up to 13 hours a day, the Atlanta based wife and mom spent time in a coding bootcamp at The Iron Yard​, a coding academy.

    "That was one of the challenges that we were facing throughout our first three years: not having a technical founder...It was important for at least one of us to have that experience and that skill,” she says.

    After four long years of coding and raising capital, Haus Call was born. The app lets you book a service through their peer evaluated barbers and facilitate pay and tips right from your smartphone's screen. Track your barber through the app's GPS, and within 30 minutes, your man (or you!) will have a fresh fade.

    Haus Call gives back, too. “I think the first step is hiring men of color to be those barbers. A large portion of the money from each service goes back into their own pockets,” co-founder Morgan Winbush explains. “In the future, we have a lot of plans to work with brands like Bevel​ [https://getbevel.com/]​ and to also work with men who were incarcerated and have trouble finding jobs to get them back on their feet.”

    Haus Call is slated for a soft launch in June 2017 in D.C. with plans to expand to New York City, Atlanta and Charlotte by 2019.


    What are your thoughts? Would you use this app?
    **********************
    Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.

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    I haven't worked a 9-to-5 since 2010. 

    Stop. 

    Take a breath.

    Continue!>>>
    Okay, now read this article as the person you’re striving to become. Read this message not as your current self with all of your hopes and dreams, but as the woman who has already achieved ALL.OF.THAT.  Read these words as the leveled up individual— the one who effortlessly walks in appreciation for life, the one who has already landed the promotion, the one who has already achieved financial freedom, the one who is healthy and feels good in her body.  How does it feel?  How does your posture change? How do your thoughts change? Are you smiling?

    Now stay there. 

    Changes everything doesn’t it?

    Later Gators,
    Nik

    p.s. You don't get what you want. You get what you are.  You become what you are, already.  If you want to see success, you have to be it, FIRST! If you want to be happy, BE HAPPY!  It's simple but we make it difficult.  

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    Remember when, two years ago, Mo’Nique (Blackbird) accused Lee Daniels (Empire) of blackballing her after her 2010 Oscars win? She had claimed that because she didn’t shout him out during her Best Supporting Actress winning acceptance speech as well as failing to campaign for the film, Precious, properly. Her subsequent absence from the limelight post-win was squarely blamed on Daniels, causing a public spat between the two.

    Continue Reading


    Well, cut to today because she’s not only standing by her claims, she’s doubling down with a little more panache.

    This past Saturday Mo’Nique called out Lee Daniels once again during her Pre-Mother’s Day Comedy Special at The Apollo Theater in Harlem. But Daniels wasn’t alone, the comedienne threw in Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey for good measure.

    “No, I was not blackballed,” Mo’Nique quipped during her comedy stint. “I was whiteballed by some black d***s who had no balls. Thank you, Mr. Lee Daniels. Thank you, Mr. Tyler Perry. Thank you, Ms. Oprah Winfrey. No, baby, I wasn’t blackballed. I was f****d up by some n****rs who had no balls.”

    Mo’Nique definitely takes having guts seriously as she stated in an interview with That Grape Juice two years ago. “What I’m hoping that people would take away is be to unafraid of saying “no” when it doesn’t makes sense. Be more afraid of being silent because then become part of the problem.”

    “And see, I know they like to say, ‘Mo’Nique, you talk too motherf*****g much.’ It would kill me not to say the real s***,” she continued.

    She then dropped the mic with, “You are not treating me fairly, so y’all can suck my d*** if I had one.”

    Check on the full video below via @yeahimfamous’ Instagram account!



    What do you think about Mo’Nique’s controversial comments?
    ***********************
    Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.


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    #CNWorldWide #India

    Try this--

    Continue!>>>
    Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

    Again... in your nose, out your mouth.

    Now, smile.  The kind where your top row of teeth are visible.

    Keep breathing (in your nose, out your mouth) while holding the smile... breathing out through that beautiful smile.

    You should feel a substantial and palpable shift of energy.  Peace, satisfaction, joy and love should be welling up from inside of you... localized in the chest area.  STAY THERE. 

    Now, get this-- not only are you feeling better right now, you've shifted realties! Shifted. Worlds.

    This is exactly how 'You Version2.0' feels-- the you that already has the freedom, the success, the fame, the new car, the happy marriage, the vacations, the healthy baby, the sprawling estate, the penthouse loft, the racks on racks, etc.

    You are feeling exactly how she feels, right here, right now!  You're already everything you want to be, living all of the experiences you want to experience and the only proof you need is the good feels you're feeling right now. Every time you feel it, you shift.  Stay there. It's the bridge to 'You Version2.0'.

    Love,
    Nikki

    p.s. the more you rest in the good feels, the faster your outer reality will change, dissolving long standing issues and reflecting circumstances that'll cause you to smile even bigger.   Choose the good feels (the new reality), in every moment, no matter the circumstances.  That's the key.

    And when you lose it (and you will, repeatedly), go right back to it. Return your attention to the good feels that are always there, waiting for you to stop overlooking them (it's actually a reflection of who you really are at a deeper level).  They're your birthright. 

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    by Mary Wolff

    Exercise is a fact of life. If you want to be healthy and happy, hitting the gym a few times a week is an absolute must. Many curlies experience the annoyance and discomfort of post-workout scalp itch. When it comes to relieving itchy scalp after working out, there are a few tried and true remedies worth knowing.

    Continue Reading


    What Causes It? 
    When you work out and get sweaty, your scalp takes on sweat that mixes with your natural oils. Sweat is full of salt. When the salt in your sweat mixes with the naturally occurring fungi on the surface of the scalp, it can lead to that itchy feeling of discomfort. Since salt naturally opens up pores, it makes the itching even worse.

    How Can I Get Rid of It? 
    There are a few great ways of relieving itchy scalp after working out. Here are a few of the best tips for dealing with this common issue.

    • Wash your hair. While most people take a shower after the gym, they don’t always wash their hair. If you are dealing with itchy scalp and not washing your hair, you are doing more harm than good. 
    • While washing is the most important part of solving this problem, conditioning is also crucial. If you are experiencing a lot of dryness and itching, having the right conditioner routine in place can make your scalp much healthier. 
    • Use antiseptic products. When you use an antiseptic, or a clarifying shampoo, you remove that sweat, buildup, and fungus to relieve that itchy feeling. Don't use these too frequently. You can upset the balance of your scalp. 
    • Lemon juice is also a great way to treat itchy scalp. With just a few drops massaged into the scalp, you can start to feel some relief. 
    • Wipe sweat as you go. When working out, it wouldn’t hurt to occasionally soak up as much sweat as you can from the scalp using a towel. This won’t make the problem completely vanish, but it will lessen it a little. 
    • Check yourself. Some people may sweat excessively from the scalp during a workout due to an underlying reaction to certain foods in their diet. If you feel you are experiencing more scalp sweat than usual, consider consulting your doctor. 
    When it comes to dealing with itchy scalp from working out, making a few small changes can make a big impact. Try these tips out after your next gym session and see for yourself!


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    by Mary Wolff

    Lots of curlies worry about their edges. After all, this area of your hair is pretty noticeable when things just aren’t right. From thinning edges to total hair loss, it is important to protect your edges. Here are a few of my favorite tips on how to protect your edges so you can rock your beautiful curls in all their glory.

    Continue Reading
    1. Go Easy On Protective Styling
    Protective styles are great for protecting your strands, but not so great for your edges. When you constantly wear your hair in nothing but protective styles, your edges will become weaker over time from the tension and strain it puts on them. Remember, edges are delicate and need to be treated with care! The key here is to make sure your protective style isn’t too tight to where it is tugging on your hair.

    2. Create Bigger Sections 
    Even with looser protective styles, edges are still receiving some amount of tension. A good way to help eliminate more of this tension is by creating bigger sections near the hair line. This will let you have your chosen style without adding too much tension to your edges. The goal is to eliminate as much as tension on these delicate strands as possible.

    3. Smooth Product On the Right Way
    Avoid using a brush to apply products. Edges need to be handled with care and a brush is simply too rough for this area of hair. Always use your fingers to apply products and work through edges. The goal is to choose products that are easy to spread on with your hands that will glide over edges without needing a brush. It is okay to brush edges every once in a while, but it shouldn’t be a daily routine if you are trying to reduce thinning or breakage.

    4. Choose Low Manipulation Styles
    Avoiding styles that pull your hair too tight will help lessen the stress put on your edges. You can style your hair without wearing it tight! Here are a few cute low manipulation styles.



    5. Don’t Skimp On Product
    When applying product to edges, lots of curlies skimp on this area to avoid weighing hair down which can lead to breakage. While you don’t want to overload your strands, you do want to make sure you are giving them enough of what they do need to stay strong. Try different amounts over time to find the right balance for your hair needs. 

    6. Use Oils 
    Oil is a great way to make sure your scalp stays hydrated and healthy, especially where your edges are. You want to use oils like coconut, jojoba, or olive which are rich in hydration and can help stimulate growth. Use them weekly to give your hair the care it deserves. You can simply warm them up slightly and massage them through your scalp, paying special attention to the hairline.

    7. Don’t Keep Protective Styles Too Long
    This can’t be stressed enough for the sake of your edges! Anything past 8 weeks is just asking for trouble with most protective styles. Keeping styles in for too long can wreak havoc on your edges.
    The health of your hair is made up of several different factors. Since your edges are part of that equation, make sure you give them the TLC and protection they deserve to look their best!

    What's worked for you? Share in the comments! 

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    Stand up! No need to be humble!

    Continue Reading
    Recent college graduate Nahla Ward pushed all humility to the side when she chose Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA” as the muse for her rapping about the transformative power of higher education on Instagram this past Monday.

    In the video, the 21-year-old Temple University grad spits bars about her college accomplishments, decked out in full graduation attire.

    A post shared by Nahla V. (Lion King) 😘 (@nahlabee) on

    The Connecticut native and Zeta Phi Beta sorority member kicks it off with the song’s most noteworthy verse, “I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA”, before putting her own spin onto the remixed track.

    “I just graduated college, bachelor’s in CLA, studied Spanish and CJ, see my God, he makes a way,” she raps.

    Then, in an epic beat-drop moment she hits us with, “GPA over 3.5, that’s right, I came to slay.”

    Ward noted that she was very intentional in using “DNA” as the rap’s beat.

    “The song highlights different pieces of what made him, him,” she told HuffPost on Tuesday in reference to Lamar. “I wanted to share how my experience in college has helped mold me into a young woman.”

    And what an exceptional experience it was! Ward, who studied Spanish and criminal justice, won the Temple’s Diamond Award for exceptional students and the 2017 Criminal Justice Faculty Award. She was also crowned Ms. Temple Africa and the Pi Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Miss Black and Gold 2016. Like she said, she “...got honors and awards flowing in my DNA.”

    What’s next for Ward? Per her chat with Temple Now, she plans to pursue a music career. This makes sense because Ward was chosen by the singer Monica as the winner of the viral #SoGoneChallenge this past August. So, Ward isn’t new to this; she’s true to this!

    “Even though music is a form of entertainment, to me personally, through my music, I want to educate, inspire and encourage,” Ward told Temple Now. “To me, if there’s no message, it doesn’t make sense.”

    Word! Shout-out to the super talented Nahla Ward! Whatever her path leads her, we know she will slay, because well… it’s in her DNA.
    **********************************
    Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.

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