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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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    PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH ROGERS/THE DAILY BEAST

    By Britni Danielle

    His raspy voice first boomed through my headphones on the Wake Up Show anthem back in 1994, changing my life forever. I remember sitting up in bed when he began spitting his intricate rhymes, wondering who the hell he was and how I could hear more. At the time, I was shy and quiet, and spent most of my time trying to make sense of my parents’ tenuous relationship, which wobbled on the precipice of divorce. Just when I needed it most, the kid who’d dubbed himself "the corrupt novelist Nas" invaded my ears, giving me something else to obsess over than the demise of my family.

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    Kevin Winter/Getty Images
    By Erickka Sy Savané

    If there was any doubt that Oprah Winfrey is still the queen of television, make no mistake, she is the undisputed champ. After pulling her OWN network from the ashes following a slow start, to the highest rated network for African American women, Oprah is taking it up a notch by signing a multi-year, estimated 1 billion dollar deal with Apple to create original programming. Yes, you heard that right, 1 billion dollars.

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    Photo Getty Images
    Of the deal, Apple released this statement, 
    “Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world. Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.”
    We all know that the 64-year-old's reach is worldwide. At the height of her Oprah Winfrey talk show it was airing in 149 countries and dubbed in a zillion languages.

    With tech companies breaking their necks for our eyeballs- Barack and Michelle Obama recently signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to create a diverse mix of content, signing Oprah is like signing LeBron. But don't worry about the fate of OWN and fav shows like Queen Sugar, Greenleaf and Iyanla Fix My Life. Oprah will stay on as chief executive of OWN, which she launched in 2011. In fact, in December Oprah extended her contract with OWN through 2025. Talk about a boss moves. Congrats Auntie O! 

    Are you excited about Oprah's new deal with Apple?

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    IG @marihsantosss
    By Brenda Alexander

    I’ve always loved braids because they were easy and convenient. But, I would get bored after a few weeks of having them because they were one dimensional. I started working as a teenager and in some places of employment, they were even considered unprofessional. And now that I look back, regardless of how insensitive that perception could be, I can see how it may have appeared that way.

    With the styles available now, there’s no need to stress over a lack of choices or looking like a misfit in any setting. And, with summer in full effect, now is the perfect time for protective styling and hair that’s durable yet fashionable at the same time. Here are the top braiding options to keep your hair (and body) on guard from the heat while also slaying.

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    IG @marihsantosss (left) google images (right)

    1. Ombré Box Braids
    Giving your traditional individuals a twist, they are easy to maintain, can last long depending on treatment and adding a pop of color gives it some pizazz. With the added bonus of crochet box braids, they can look natural too!

    IG @lashonte (left) google images (right)

    2. Lemonade Braids
    Thanks to Beyoncé’s take no mess anthem album and conjoining video, this gives you length and funk with the design. Add in some beaded jewels or even creative parts and you’re good to go!

    IG: @narahairbraiding
    3. Double Cornrows
    Many young brown girls remember sitting in between their mama’s legs to give them “two braids.” It was quick, simple and stylish. With the double cornrows, it adds a trendy look, summer-ish appeal and can be worn to work with a floral maxi or to your Saturday bbq with booty shorts!


    IG: @nikkifagbemi (left) & IG: @geminitwinshauwny (right)

    4. Feed in Braids
    Giving your “straight backs” a more modern feel, the feed in braids combines large, medium and smaller braids cornrowed in a pattern. Light weighted and can even be done at home with a YouTube tutorial, the feed in braids also gives you leeway to add some spunk to it; if you’re stuck between two styles, braids or lose hair, combine both by doing a feed in braided style with virgin (or human) hair hanging from the ends. Who says Wakanda can’t meet Diana Ross in the middle? 

    IG: @nnescorner 

    5. Fulani Braids
    The Black Panther Party would be proud of this updated look. Straight backs, feed ins and individuals all mixed in with a classic “Crooklyn” bead added results in the Fulani braided bead look. It makes a perfect look for festivals and kickbacks.



    IG: @fancy_claws 

    6. Mohawk Braids
    This style has made a resurgence. With all of the colors and braid sizes to integrate, your stylist could come up with something magical fit for everyday or a special occasion.



    IG: @being_zeni/ 

    7. Ghana Braids
    I love larger braids. To me, the older they get, the more natural they look. They also fit pretty much any shaped head and face. And despite their thickness and length, they are relatively light on your head. The Ghana braids add a professional flare. They look good cornrowed, up in a bun or installed individually.

    What are some of your fav braid styles for summer?

    Brenda is a Philadelphia native with a love for Marketing, Creative writing, wine and Jesus. Her work has been featured on Mayvenn’s Real Beautiful blog and she is the co-author of the book Christmas 364: Be Merry and Bright Beyond Christmas Night (available for purchase on amazon). Follow her on IG @trulybrenda_ and trulybrenda.wordpress.com

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    By Chantal Kai-Lewis

    Last week, Malia Obama was spotted out and about in NYC sporting box braids. That "event" made it to a Harper's Bazaar headline.

    The blog and media flurry surrounding Malia's departure from her straight hairstyles brought me back to a conversation I had several summers ago on a balmy late-July day in the bustling café of my local Wegmann's. That day, I had a lunch meeting - not unlike many others I've had in recent years.

    It was with a newly minted college graduate seeking career advice. In walks Lindsay, an incredibly bright, poised and (I soon learned) ambitious young lady. We talked about the ups and downs of college, our similar upbringings and, of course, plans for the future.

    Roughly an hour had passed when Lindsay took a glance at my wind-strewn wash-and-go curls and after a brief pause said:
    "Okay, so…this is my last question for you: How do you deal with wearing your natural hair at work?"
    Admittedly, and with a tinge of embarrassment, I came to the realization that I was not qualified to answer. I never wore my natural hair to work.

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    Rapper T.I. 
    By Brenda Alexander

    I tend to ignore the opinions of black men who coin themselves the embodiment of a standup guy yet they have such minute views on women, relationships and marriage. As my good girlfriend Amanda Seales recently said in her interview with The Breakfast Club, “Everyone is not a thought leader.” We’ve all had to deal with these new norms from public figures over the past few years giving their opinions on black women as it relates to their value, how they should carry themselves, what they need to do to get and keep a man and so on and so forth. Tyrese has become famous for this, Steve Harvey credits himself as a “relationship expert” and T.I. inserts himself often.

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    T.I. has been sharing his thoughts on the non-necessity of marriage ever since Tiny filed for divorce in late 2016 after putting up with his shenanigans for years. According to him, marriage has served as a distraction, upon other things. A distraction from who or what exactly, I can’t wrap my mind around. I let that one slide however. But after his recent social media tangent where he shared an excerpt from a woman’s book or essay stating that men benefit nothing from marriage, I had enough.

    T.I.’s social media post on men not benefiting from marriage
    Let’s analyze how Tiny has benefited: she met TIP at the height of her success with Xscape when T.I. was an unknown rapper from the A with little star power who as their relationship and his career progressed, coerced her into playing a stay-at-home-girlfriend to tend to their blended families (she had one child from a previous relationship, he had two or three). Turning down business opportunities to play second fiddle to a man she was not married to for several years, instead of living up to her destiny at the time as a singer and songwriter. Meanwhile, TIP was out philandering whenever he pleased, getting into legal trouble that eventually landed him incarcerated for multiple years on more than one occasion while she held things down at home. After years of on-and-off mess, Tiny began to want more and a life independent of her roles as mother and wife (they married in 2010 post one of his releases from prison) much to TIP’s dismay. He felt that Tiny belonged in the home or building businesses outside of the spotlight UNLESS it was a joint effort between the two...enter Tiny and T.I.’s family hustle. He had input in every reality show and business venture that was brought to Tiny’s table and viewers witnessed that she almost always took his suggestions, despite the objections of many of her loved ones. After too much public embarrassment with TIP and his extramarital affairs, public squabbles and some sort of fling with Mayweather that sent TIP all the way over the edge, she filed for divorce, moved out of their marital home and finally made a musical resurgence. TIP seems bitter, continuing to make headlines for hanging out with internet thots and disrespecting the institution of marriage with his chauvinistic comments. So TIP, please explain to us how the woman, particularly your woman, has benefited in your marriage?

    I’ll wait….


    T.I. and Tiny

    From everything that I just broke down, Tiny is the one who lost. She lost money by taking over a decade hiatus from touring and recording to be your superwoman. She probably lost friends because they did not agree with her choice of being a ride-or-die chick for you in a non-reciprocal relationship. And, in terms of men’s “masculinity dying” as a result of a marriage, yours seems to be, and has always been in tact, as you are ever the boastful and proud one. But, it wasn’t until your wife decided to do her thing that you felt challenged. It’s not a good feeling when those tables turn is it?

    T.I. is the classic fuck boy of a husband; one that is controlling, builds up his wealth and showers his wife with material things that he believes will keep her suited while he sticks his hotdog in any bun moving. And, when the wife has reached her breaking point, he attempts reversed psychology and places blame on everything but him.

    I will never forget the scene on their VH1 reality show where he and Tiny had a tense conversation about his multiple infidelities, including one with her employee, that he defended and deflected by comparing hers to the alleged fling she had with Mayweather, and the fact that he was “at odds” with him. Tiny shot back by saying that nothing physical ever took place but insinuated that he courted her by treating her like a lady, with T.I. countering, “I’ve spent millions on you!” Oh T.I., you really don’t get it, nor care to.

    And I don’t even want to hear the bs that he’s a good father and has been a good provider. It takes more from a man than financial security. You also don’t get a gold star for doing your job as a parent. Moreover, a good father also respects and holds the mother of his children (and in this case, his wife) to the highest pedestal. So miss me with the rest. Furthermore, for T.I. to talk so much about not allowing anyone to disrespect his family, he doesn’t walk the walk.

    But good work on your participation in the Black Lives Matter movement...
    I see you.
    Would you date or marry a man like T.I.?
    Brenda is a Philadelphia native with a love for Marketing, Creative writing, wine and Jesus. Her work has been featured on Mayvenn’s Real Beautiful blog and she is the co-author of the book Christmas 364: Be Merry and Bright Beyond Christmas Night (available for purchase on amazon). Follow her on IG @trulybrenda_ and trulybrenda.wordpress.com

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    Tupac Shakur
    By Ta-ning Connai

    June 16 was Tupac Shakur’s birthday. And if he was still alive today, he would have been 47 years old. Often hailed as the greatest rapper of all time, he was Passion Manifested! Whether spitting prose like a modern Gil Scott-Heron, making gangsterish threats to a dope beat or dropping knowledge like the late Malcolm X...when he spoke, the brother made time stand still. And even while performing on the silver screen, he made the fictitious seem soooooo real. Like when Bishop killed poor Raheem and then went after Q in Juice...chiiiiile, I was so scurred, I wanted to jump off that ledge myself! The rapper turned actor deserved an Oscar for that piece and there was more great work to come.

    Sadly, the thug life Tupac portrayed so well didn't end when the director said, “Cut!” The same passion that fueled his gifts fueled his anger too, ‘til one day he reached the point of no return.

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    It's been almost 22 years since Tupac’s premature demise. Some say he had it coming and I would never admit it's true. He was as equally hated as he was beloved; both sides riddled with provocation. Yeah, Tupac had a big mouth, but he had a big heart too. Yeah, he was known to start mad mess, but he started trends and movements and revolutions too. Maybe he would have one day grown out of his wilin’ out stage. Maybe being an advocate for social justice would've become a regular thing. But all hope is now gone, his killer is still unknown and justice has yet to be served.

    Tupac is not the first unsolved mystery and he definitely won't be the last. Murders dominate newsfeeds and airwaves, many of which go unpunished or the punishment just doesn’t seem like it’s ever enough. And it's always the innocent falling victim to such senseless crimes. It’s the kinda thing that tempts my Christian tenets of mercy to go swirling down the drain. One minute I’m talking about Jesus and His forgiveness and suddenly the news has me hoping the devil takes all these killers right on out. Makes you wonder if God is even watching...BUT HE IS. And that's precisely the reason why the Lord says, “Vengeance is Mine.”

    The story of Cain and Abel is a perfect example of someone trying to get away with murder (Genesis 4). It would be bad enough trying to hide from God in this day and age, but at least there are MILLIONS of people to bob and weave through. But back then, Cain was sticking out like a sore thumb. And yet he STILL tried to act like he ain't got a clue where Abel was, knowing full well he just left his poor brother dying in his own blood.

    When God said to Cain, “What have you done?” that was just a rhetorical question; He knew EXACTLY what went down. And as a punishment, God cursed Cain from the earth and declared that he would never live another day without striving to survive. It would've been more merciful for God to just strike him dead, but God preferred to make him live with what he'd done. And to make matters worse, God marked Cain with a sign that identified him as a murderer everywhere he went.

    “You can run but you can’t hide."

    I have a funny feeling God coined that phrase. Verse 16 says that Cain left the presence of God, and that right there is the worse existence EVER.

    God is the Ultimate Judge. He's seated in a Higher Court and wears both a robe AND a crown. He’s appointed to a timeless place called Eternity and He rules over Heaven and Hell. He is a defender of the innocent and vindicates all who have been done wrong. No crime will EVER go unpunished and no hurt will EVER go unhealed. We may not get to witness every arraignment, but every outcome is the right one. And although we’re unable to approach the bench, it can only go one of two ways...The innocent will live in the midst of God’s glory, the guilty will live in utter torment. On earth, we may not always get the end we expected, but one day there WILL be an expected end.

    So when real life horror stories take our minds to the ugly places they shouldn't go, remember the places where it all gets sorted out. Justice will be served and there will be justice for ALL. Sometimes life can be so bad, but God’s judgement is ALWAYS so good!
    “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” - John 5:28-29
    How do you stay sane when you feel people aren't being held accountable?
    TA-NING is a former model and clothing designer who one day got the "call" to leave the fab world of fashion behind. While in Bible College, she discovered her knack for mixing her quirky style of writing with her gift to teach. TA-NING'S TELL IT TUESDAY is a weekly column that uses doses of pop culture to tear down the walls of churchy tradition, change the face of Christianity, and present it's message in a lively way. Ta-ning resides in Santa Monica (by way of BK), is obsessed with dogs, and is an old school Hip-Hop junkie!

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     24 Shades of Business Coloring Book
    We asked you to comment on articles on the site and you ladies showed up, blessing us with your insight, hilarity and wisdom! And to show our appreciation, 7 awesome women will receive a 24 Shades of Business Adult Coloring book, delivered right to your door! Color yourselves silly and share the love with your friends. They make perfect gifts and you'll be supporting a black-owned business and you know how we love that. So without further ado, the winners are...

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    1) Sahara Abrams
    2) Felecia
    3) tee
    4) Lorieluv
    5) TyaD
    6) Kyra
    7) Sady

    Congrats Winners! You have 1 week to claim your prize. Please email nikki@curlynikki.com with your full name and address using 24 Shades of Business Coloring Book Winner in the subject line. Thanks to Latoya Nicole, creator of 24 SOB, for sponsoring this giveaway, and we hope you enjoy the books!

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    By TJ

    “Are you going to cum?” asks my dude of some months, breaking the momentum of going down on me to rub his neck once again.
    “Yea. I’m close.”
    “You said that 15 mins ago.”
    Sigh.
    “You can’t have me down here all day.”
    “Ok. So what’s the cutoff time?” I ask.
    “Hunh?”
    “What’s a decent amount of time that you feel comfortable?" I repeat.
    “15 no more than 30 mins.”
    “That’s plenty!”
    “But you already used up 30," he says.
    “That can’t be right," I frown.
    “You do it all the time.”

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    The next morning I'm running the numbers through my head. On one hand, 15 minutes for my guy to go down on me seems like a lot. But what about the times when it takes 15 just to get warmed up? Am I supposed to throw in the towel because I've hit the 15-minute mark? Even if I push it the extra 15 I still might not cum because of the pressure. Uh oh. Did I make a bum deal? What if I never cum again? The only way to know if this is going to work is by finding out the average cutoff time. For this, I rely on my trusted friends.
    I text Girlfriend #1: Hey, how long you like a guy to go down on you?
    Girlfriend: Anything more than 10 minutes is a waste.
    Me: A waste?
    Girlfriend: Yea, by then I probably already came no less than 3 times so I’mma be ready for some D.
     GoodGodInHeaven! Who cums 3 times in 10 minutes? Who cums in ten minutes? 
    Girlfriend #2: 10 minutes is all I need. My man knows my body so well.
    When I tell her that I’ve been known to go 30, sometimes an hour, she starts laughing.
    Girlfriend #2: Well, if you can hold it that long. I know I can’t.
    It’s funny because my man’s biggest complaint going down on me is that I hold it. But isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? I could cum in 10 minutes too if I really wanted, but why would I? The way I see it, when a guy goes down, that’s my time to kick back and relax. Of course, I wanna cum, but I ain’t sprinting to the finish line.
    Male BFF: Oh, so you’re that greedy chick that don’t care that her man’s tongue is about to fall off. I get the job done in less than 10 mins every time. (He brags)
    Me: 10 minutes?
    He explains that it’s not just him, a lot of women aren’t much into oral sex after that. Some aren’t into it at all. He thinks expecting a woman to want you down there forever is the same as thinking she wants to get banged for hours. You agree with him on that. Banging for hours is so young. Who stays wet that long? Plus it's tiring. But what about the fact that some dudes LOVE going down? Is that a myth too?

    For that answer I go to my buddy from back in the day that I know LOVES to go down. At least, that's all he used to talk about. If he says his limit is 10 minutes too I'm done. He shoots me back a text…
    Old Homie: I don’t have a timer as long as we both in sync. That’s when it’s perfect.
    I KNEW it! A man with no time constraints!
    2nd text...But a good rule of thumb is that after 10-15 minutes you’ll know if success can be reached or you need to stop.
    Okay, SO EVEN HE HAS A CUTOFF. What have I learned? I seriously need to get it together because ain't nobody, not even my man, gonna eat the coot like it's his job. In fact, he's been saying that he'd rather not have sex with me at all then have to go down on me after. I thought he was just lazy. In light of this new info. I'm going to take the '15-30-minute deal' that my guy offered me and run like hell because it's a steal!

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    The seeming process is actually a moment to moment decision to either stay stuck in fear, or to move forward in love, to be the old you, or to be HER— and this decision can only be made now... and now... and now... So stay asking yourself who you’re being, and act accordingly. #Rebirth #EveryInstant

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    How do you know when you’re choosing HER? Tell me in the comments below, and find my response there, too!️ #BeHerNow 
    Nikki Walton

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    NapsAreTheNewBlack
    Let's face it, there's nothing like a great protective style for the summer, especially if you're active. When this video surfaced by NapsAreTheNewBlack we clapped our hands because it's everything she said: "Super easy, super cheap, and super adorable!" Plus you don't have to be an expert to install. So do yourself a favor and peep this tutorial because it's less than five minutes! Also, leave a comment, like her page, and if you really like this video subscribe to her channel!

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    By Angela Perry


    He quit. For anyone who read part 1 of this story you know that things were getting bumpier than the Democrat’s road to take back the Senate. But he quit. It took basically alienating myself from him and ultimately deciding that I was just going to leave him alone. Meaning, I wasn’t going to get mad at him anymore for smoking. I came up with that because I felt that I was only hurting myself every time I got mad, while he continued on. Now it didn’t mean that I was going to smoke myself, because I quit. It also didn’t mean that I was going to sit with him while he smoked. I had shit to do. But he stopped; and while I'd like to think that it had something to do with me, I can't take that credit. So how did he quit?
    It may sound like the cliche of all cliches, but he started praying. Let me say that I believe in God though I don’t regularly attend church and neither does he. But he started praying. A lot. Even asking for God’s help to quit and now it’s been well over a month. I know that’s not a long time, but it’s a start. It also feels different than the many times he’s quit in the past. It seems like God has somehow inserted himself in the space where the weed was. Now I’m not saying that things have fallen magically in place. Actually, things have at times been more hectic than ever because when you smoke around the clock the sky could be falling, but weed will make you feel like it’s okay. Now all the things that were swept under the rug have come bubbling to the surface...the months, and in some cases years, spent hiding from family and friends because when you ain’t living right you don’t call people back, the painful reality that you had chances to make a career but you chose mediocrity instead, and just the money you owe people. Sometimes he was just plain irritable because like any addict who is withdrawing from a drug you get nasty towards the people closest to you. “Good morning,” could be interpreted any number of a different ways. So sometimes I just chose silence over niceties. I also chose to keep going with my own work and with the kids, making sure that no matter what, I wasn’t going to make his issue mine. I know, sounds kinda crazy and a contradiction because you’re married to someone and yet you’re separating in your head. The truth was that I was separating in my head, choosing to know that I could actually walk if things got too bad because maybe it was the smoke keeping us together, bonding us in a make-believe world. Could we make it in reality?

    I’m glad I’ve stuck it out. Through the bumps have come some miraculous connections as a couple and a family. We now talk about where we were, grateful to be clean and clear, and although not fully knowing the future, leaning on God every step of the way. One thing this whole addiction thing has taught us is that we know nothing. Not even why he or I would ever become clean. The other day I saw two crack heads walking somewhere fast- probably to get more drugs, which is usually the case. I saw him and I in those two. The happiness of lighting up. The years spent. The fast talk. The future that only promises more of the same. Our kids growing up and out and us still sitting in the same spot, and I had to ask, why us God and not them? Because really, we are no better. Addiction is addiction whether it’s weed, crack, heroin or food. If it’s stopping you from living your best life then it’s a problem. The only thing that came to me was God’s grace, and for that do we ever really know the reason? I don't know if that couple will ever come out of the cloud. I've seen people addicted their whole lives. Ruined. As if destiny placed them there. All I know is that he saved us, and me, and for that I am eternally grateful. And even if, God forbid, my husband should fall back into the clutches, I’m forging ahead. Because once you truly experience freedom and the grace that comes with it you can’t take it for granted. Who knows if you'll ever get another chance. 


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    Comment ‘Yes’ if you’re going to try this for the next 3 days!

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    To ‘say nothing negative’ means to catch yourself not only talking poorly about yourself, but thinking negatively as well. I’d like to throw gossiping in too, because what you think and how you feel about others is a reflection of the judgments you have about yourself.

    When you catch yourself, don’t try to artificially replace the struggly thought with a positive one, and don’t beat yourself up (that’s just more negative thoughts lol!)... just notice it. Your awareness of these once unconscious, automatic thoughts, is the transcendence, and change happens naturally from here! Miracles, too. ️ #BeHerNow
    Nikki Walton

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    By Michelby Coco-Whitehead

    There’s nothing like your favorite pair of jeans ripping in the thigh area to let you know it’s time to back away from the table and bust a sweat in the gym. If you’re serious about shedding pounds, you’ve got to be able to distinguish fitness facts from fiction. This is where Dani Taylor comes in.

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    Nutritionist & Trainer Dani Taylor
    As a nutritionist and personal trainer, she helps women with busy lifestyles implement the correct strategies to maintain their new physique. A North Carolina Central grad, Dani works with clients across the U.S. and provides them with fitness plans and nutrition info specifically for their body goals.

    “The important thing is to remember that everyone’s body is different.” says Dani. I had a client lose 95 pounds in l0 months; that’s not attainable for everyone—body fat distribution and genetics play a huge role. But regardless of these variables, there are some constants that women must be aware of if they want to have their best bodies this summer,” she says.

    If you’re ready to improve your overall health, you’re in for a treat. Here, Dani weighs in on 7 myths that keep women from reaching their ideal body.

    Weight loss equals fat loss
    Just because you’re losing weight does not always mean you’re losing fat. When the number on the scale drops, you'll probably be excited to lose fat so quickly. Unfortunately, you could be losing muscle mass or, more commonly, water weight. If you've increased the sodium lately you might be holding on to some extra water. Cut back on the salty foods and drink plenty of water so your body doesn't have to hold on to it.

    You can get rid of your belly fat only
    Contrary to popular belief you can't target belly fat, or any other trouble spots for that matter. There's no way to pick and choose where it leaves from. Crunches will only tone the muscle that lies beneath the fat on your stomach.

    You can eat whatever you want if you exercise
    Here's the thing, you can't outwork a bad diet. So, if you're thinking about hitting the gym until it closes and ordering pizza, that's not how this works! You absolutely must change your eating habits to see real results.

    You can sweat off fat
    The latest craze is sweat suits and hitting the sauna to drop weight in a short amount of time. Doing this you're more than likely losing water weight. All it takes is a glass of wine or a little too much sodium and the pounds will be added right back on.

    If you lose weight fast, you'll gain it back fast
    Just to be clear the speed at which you lose weight has no bearing on how long it stays off. The only thing that almost guarantees weight will come back is going back to the terrible eating habits. With the proper lifestyle changes, you can keep the weight off.

    Cheat days are the way to stay on track
    By far one of the best ways to sabotage your goals is to set aside a whole day to eat all the junk you've been avoiding so carefully the past week. You can completely delay your amazing results. It's better to find a balance that allows you to have foods you wouldn't usually have once or twice a week, instead of binge eating it in one day.

    Is fitness on your list this summer?
    A woman of the bayou pimping my pen because I'm scared of a day job. You can find me somewhere telling stories like Nas and Terry McMillan on April Fool's day. Writing is life so follow me on IG @cococurator 

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    Janicza Bravo (left) & Aziah Wells King (right)
    By Sharee Silerio


    Have you ever read a story so tantalizing, mysterious and real that you couldn’t stop reading it? Have you found a Twitter thread so interesting that you had to follow it from beginning to end? If not, then your chance to experience both lies in “Zola” a viral Twitter story written by Aziah Wells King that will soon become a movie.



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    Recently, it was announcedthat Janicza Bravo, director of film ‘Lemon,’ the Juneteenth episode of Atlanta; and the Dear White People season two episodeChapter IX (road trip),will direct the film based on Wells’ account for entertainment company A24, who has produced films such as Moonlight and Hereditary.


    In the fall of 2015, by way of 140 or so tweets, Wells, an exotic dancer, tells us about the time she, aka Zola, went on a road trip to Florida with her friend Jessica, and soon learns that the people she’s relying on to get her back home safe are really an oblivious prostitute; a clueless boyfriend; and an angry internet pimp named “Z.”


    The tale not only captured our five senses, but our favs like Missy Elliott, Ava Duvernay, KeKe Palmer and Solange, too.


    The movie script will be written by Andrew Neel and Mike Roberts and will be based on Rolling Stone’s 2015 article Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted, which reveals that the real-life “Z” was charged with sexual assault, sex trafficking and battery charges among others.


    Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa will produce the tale for Killer Films, James Franco and Vince Jolivette will produce for Rabbit Bandini Productions and Gia Walsh and Kara Baker will produce for Gigi Productions.


    Bravo directing the film is great news, because it was originally reported that Franco (127 Hours, The Disaster Artist) would do so. It’s not only refreshing to see a black woman bringing a story by and about a black woman to life, but earlier this year, allegationsthat Franco sexually exploited multiple women make his involvement with any project focused on women problematic.


    I’m sure that Bravo will do an amazing job, using her experience and knack for storytelling to not only bring Wells’ words to life, but express the realities of sex trafficking in America, including how it can happen. There are a few lessons in Zola’s story, but one thing is for sure: We should never be afraid to speak (or write) our truth.


    Are you excited for this movie?!
    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MblxtY6vhN4/WabW_0OC8RI/AAAAAAAA-zU/OdaRoqTAo4YRgGmDf1F00tiUxqzqYinMACLcBGAs/s1600/Sharee%2BSilerio.jpg
    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 Facebook, Instagram andTwitter.

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    By Veronica Wells

    My fiancé loves to say things to get a reaction out of me. And a couple of weeks ago, it was “Steve Harvey gave some good relationship advice the other day.” As much as I try not to respond to these outlandish statements of his, I immediately rolled my eyes. But turns out he was serious. And I had to agree that Harvey’s advice in this particular situation was quite...compassionate.

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    On Steve Harvey’s morning radio show a woman called in complaining about her husband’s ex. The ex-wife and the husband share three children together. Recently, the ex-wife has fallen on times so hard that she and her children were likely facing eviction- and she asked her ex-husband if he could help her financially. The problem here is layered. Not only is she asking another woman’s husband for money, this is not the first time she’s done so. He’s had to help her out before.

    Fed up with her, the wife suggested to her husband that they take his children in, but let her fend for herself.



    The letter was written to Shirley Strawberry, Harvey’s co-host, and she agreed with the current wife: take the kids, let the ex figure it out.

    And this is where Steve Harvey stepped in. He suggested that since this woman’s husband seems to be in the position to help his ex-wife, he should do so. He claimed that doing for the children but neglecting her would ultimately end up having a negative impact on his children psychologically as they’re concerned with the welfare and well-being of their mother. He said separating them from her would cause them heartache as well. Not for nothing, he also mentioned that since his ex-wife seemed to have primary custody of their children and had been a good mother to them, the least he could do was ensure that she has a place to lay her head at night.

    I couldn’t do anything but raise my eyebrows and nod my head. While none of us may like the idea of our husbands supporting another woman, there has to be some level of respect for the fact that he created life with this person. They’ll always be family, regardless of their relationship status. And what are you teaching your children by turning your back not only on family when you’re clearly in a position to help. If he weren’t, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. True, it’s unfortunate that he’s had to take care of a grown woman and he doesn’t want to breed dependency; but maybe a part of their agreement can include her speaking with a financial planner to see if there’s something she could be doing differently. And to make sure she’s actually in the financial straits that she claims to be.

    This is the very reason why when people used to ask me if I would date a man with children my answer was no. Kids aren’t the problem. I could love another person’s child. (Maybe not as much as my own--but that’s not why we’re here.) The issue with being with a man who has children is that you’ll always be second. His priority should be his children. And honestly, you don’t want a man who’s not going to do everything in his power to advocate for them. As this letter showed, there are instances when taking care of their mother, honoring her for her role in their life and yours means that a romantic relationship may have to take a backseat. And as the new lady in his life, you’ll just have to deal.

    But that’s just my opinion on the situation. I know there are women out there who would and could never. (I’ve heard too many stories about the new woman complaining about the old one fighting for increased child support.) Still, I would love to hear the rationale and reasons why a man should not support his ex if she is still raising his children.

    Share your thoughts!
    Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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    These women hold the reins of power in the municipal criminal justice system of South Fulton, Georgia. Foreground, from left, LaDawn Jones, Lakesiya Cofield, Viveca Famber Powell, interim Police Chief Sheila Rogers. Background, from left, clerk Kerry Stephens, Chief Judge Tiffany Carter Sellers, clerk Ramona Howard, clerk Tiffany Kinslow
    By Doug Criss

    When LaDawn "LBJ" Jones walked into a meeting at work a couple of months ago, she was hit with a serious case of "black girl magic."

    Jones, the city solicitor in South Fulton, Georgia, was meeting for the first time with the city's municipal court staff. As she entered the room, she realized she was looking at something she'd never before seen in her legal career. Everyone in the room looked like her.

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    Blackwomenarepoppin IG
    By Erickka Sy Savané

    With so much negativity on social media today anytime a video can inspire some positivity it's time to share! This video stuck out because this young lady is living her life, commanding center stage, not letting anything hold her back. How many times have we told ourselves that we couldn't do something because maybe we didn't fit the stereotype? Though we can't go back in time to become a high school cheerleader we can take that solo trip to Rome, go back to school, or just try a cartwheel for Chrisstakes...Just go for it!!!

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    A post shared by BLACKWOMENAREPOPPIN.com (@blackwomenarepoppin) on

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    Fox News commentator Rachel Campos-Duffy 
    By Brenda Alexander

    White Hollywood is apparently enraged with their employer, 21st Century FOX, over FOX News coverage of #45’s controversial border policies, which over the past few weeks have held immigrant children separated from their families and detained in unfamiliar (and horrible) territory. If you’re not familiar with 21st Century FOX as a company, it is Rupert Murdoch’s parent company of all FOX run content, including 20th Century FOX, FOX Sports, FOX Television Stations and of course FOX News - home to FOX & Friends and any other right-wing panel style show in which white journalists give their take on politics, social issues and entertainment that skews towards prejudice and racist commentary on any minority group. Not that FOX News has never done this before, they are known for it; but, I guess seeing images and videos of young children held in monstrous conditions was too much for the world, and white society, to take in. 

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    Seth MacFarlane, Judd Apatow and other big time Hollywood hotshots have called for a boycott of FOX News and Murdoch as a result of their continuous coverage and support of the Donald in reference to his stance on immigration. I agree that it’s time for serious action to be taken against FOX News, but at the same time, am disappointed that it took this instance to cause such outrage as over the past few years alone, we have witnessed FOX demean the Obama family, call into question the relevance of the Black Lives Matter Movement, degrade the LGBTQAI community and support George Zimmerman in his self-defense claim in the murder of Trayvon Martin.

    There’s no doubt that FOX News is racist, but they are the only subsidiary that’s as bold with their beliefs. The larger issue is the underlying use of minorities across all of FOX platforms and the immediate need to hold them accountable for racist practices generally. FOX has built their programming off of the backs of black talent and a black audience; but, when ratings were high enough and major advertising dollars came into play, they jumped ship. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane for a quick refresher.


    In her book Color By Fox, author Kristal Brent Zook examines how FOX Television found its niche by producing and airing black TV shows after network executives extensive research revealed that African-American viewers were a major makeup of the TV audience, thus positioning themselves as “urban” with an attempt to establish their network as hip and different. Beginning with Keenan Ivory Wayans's In Living Color in 1990, FOX quickly aligned themselves with shows featuring full black casts. Living Single, Martin and New York Undercover were major ratings draws for the network and brought in large sums of money. The issue: black writers' and producers' efforts to include race-relevant issues in storylines were often stymied by white executives who prefered straightforwardness that appealed to both whites and blacks. It caused friction between talent and seniority, and we all know what happens when black folk decide to speak up at work. Shows featuring more white casts, such as Ally McBeal, were given better budgets, marketing and promotions and soon enough, our shows dissolved and were not even given proper story closings and character development (just watch Season 5 of Living Single).

    Fantasia Barrino and Diana Degarmo (AI Season 3)
     
    (Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard (AI Season 2)

    Over the next decade plus, FOX struggled to achieve similar success as they had in the 90s. In the absence of diverse content, FOX ran subpar tv and competition shows like Masterchef and American Idol. But even with Idol producing some of the best talent, black and white, the music industry has ever seen, the way in which they advertised their black contestants versus their white counterparts was showing. Remember Fantasia was marketed as a rags to riches tale as an unwed teenage mother with minimal education? And, Ruben Studdard was a fluffy, church going soul food eater from the deep south and an unlikely star who just so happened to have a nice voice? All the while, their competition like Diana Degarmo was marketed as the girl next door with a sweet voice (although the judges preferred Fantasia) and Clay Aiken as the phenomenon compared to Ruben who America swore would win. Regardless, both Fantasia and Ruben turned out to be the bigger stars with more longevity.

    Despite millions on rebranding and turnover of new hosts, Idol eventually died, along with other FOX shows who couldn’t sustain an audience. Outside of sports, FOX needed a push. Enter Empire and the network was revitalized. Once again, blacks saved the day. Now with Empire, Star and before it was cancelled, Rosewood, starring Morris Chestnut, FOX is once again a major competitor and black folks are once again tuned in.

    Ryan Destiny & Jussie Smollett
    Guys, we have to emerge from this sunken place. Because even while we are “winning” on these shows, we are still mistreated behind the scenes by the same execs we generate billions for. Star's Ryan Destiny and Empire's Jussie Smollett have spoken openly about being confined to their television contracts for 9-10 months out of the year, unable to release any original music, perform the show’s music outside of their characters or tour to make a name for themselves outside of their shows. And, the storylines are tired: sex, abuse, promiscuity, family discord etc...all of which plague the black community and give off a marginalized representation of who we are. 

    So as you can see, FOX ain’t new to this, they’ve been true to it. It’s just that FOX News takes the fall while the masters behind the madness continue to work us like puppets. It’s time for 21st Century FOX as a whole to be held accountable.

    Do you feel it's time to boycott the whole Fox umbrella?
    Brenda is a Philadelphia native with a love for Marketing, Creative writing, wine and Jesus. Her work has been featured on Mayvenn’s Real Beautiful blog and she is the co-author of the book Christmas 364: Be Merry and Bright Beyond Christmas Night (available for purchase on amazon). Follow her on IG @trulybrenda_ and trulybrenda.wordpress.com

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    Algee Smith & Amandla Stenberg
    By Sharee Silerio

    The novel that led to a bidding war that first-time authors dream of is officially a feature length film, and now we can take a first look at the story from book to script to screen! 
    The first trailer for 'The Hate U Give' premiered at the BET Awards, and has collected almost two million views.

    The movie is based on Angie Thomas’ debut novel of the same name, a New York Times bestseller that explores police violence, racial justice, activism and code-switching all while humanizing the black struggle; cries of protestors; and the reality of being black, and woman, in America. Its title stems from Tupac Shakur’s THUG LIFE philosophy, which stands for “The Hate U Give Little Infants F**ks Everybody.” In other words, what society instills in its youth, including how society treats them, will return to it in full force, affecting us all.

    A synopsis of the film directed by George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food, Notorious) and written by Audrey Wells (The Game Plan, George of the Jungle, Under the Tuscan Sun) reads:

    Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right...


    Amandla Stenberg

    Inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it echoes the deaths of #TrayvonMartin, #EricGarner and #MikeBrown, among countless others, including the political, social and (lack of) legal action that followed.

    The long-awaited project stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr, with Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common and Anthony Mackie and will be in theaters October 19. Watch the trailer below:




    *******

    Have you read T.H.U.G.? What do you think about the trailer? Are you going to go see the movie this fall?


    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 Facebook, Instagram andTwitter.

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    By Mwabi Kaira

    I have been blessed in the derrière area and fill my jeans out quite nicely. I feel like it is pretty large as is and can’t imagine trying to make it bigger. Making it smaller would be of more interest to me. Even when I was 35 lbs lighter and in a size 8, I lost much of everything else but this derrière was still right here so it’s not going anywhere. I’ve come to terms with it. When Drake was recently photographed with a woman with a derrière twice the size of mine, I wondered how she could function with it. Also, along with the rest of the internet, we wondered when this butt implant trend would end because some of these jobs don’t look quite right as far as proportions go.

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    Photo of Drake and Zmeenaorr
    Butt enhancements were a secretive thing a decade-and-a-half ago. It was all about speculation when we watched video vixens in rap videos. And then there were mumblings about illegal silicone injections and fix-a-flat, cement and super glue horrors. Then the arrests came. Oneal Ron Morris was sentenced to 10 years in prison for injecting a combination of silicone, mineral oil, Fix-a-Flat tire sealant, cement and Super Glue to women to give them shapelier backsides. Shatarka Nuby, 31, died after receiving as many as 10 injections from Morris between 2007 and 2010. In 2015 Anivia Cruz-Dilworth appeared on Iyanla Vanzant’s Fix My Life to discuss how she ruined her body and life by getting black market injections to enhance her butt.

    Butt enhancements have become so much a part of pop culture today that they made it to Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It. Shemekka gets an enhancement that doesn’t go so right. Having a big butt has become the Kim Kardashian standard of beauty and people are going to see their plastic surgeons so they too can fit this new false standard. Open up instagram and your eyes will be assaulted by booty after booty from these IG models. Natural bodies are frowned upon and this build-your-body mentality has become the standard. Having high self-esteem and self-love are vital in this new world we are living in.
    Singer K. Michelle 
    Yet there are documented cases of butt enhancements causing major health crisis. The most notable and outspoken being R&B singer K. Michelle. The singer got butt implants and achieved a booty that served her image well, making her a household name. The implants began to affect her health over time causing her to be extremely fatigued. She said, “My butt is so big that my legs are not holding it.” She decided to have her implants removed last year and the process has not been an easy one. She has taken to her instagram to document the surgeries and the complications that have come with them since January. Her first surgery went well until her body started shutting down. It was discovered that the silicone had spread and a second surgery was needed to remove it. The second surgery lasted 6 hours and blood transfusions were needed. Her recovery has been long and slow but she is on the mend.

    Another notable woman documenting her journey is fitness-preneur Jenelle Salazar Butler, known as @GetBodiedByJ to her 714K followers who opted for a similar surgery after getting illegal butt shots back in 2010. The wife and now mom of three runs a successful business where she promotes self-love and a healthy lifestyle. The silicone she had injected all those years ago seemed like a thing of the past until it started to creep back into her life and began affecting her health after having her son. Like K. Michelle, she decided to get them removed and share it and like K. Michelle her journey has not been an easy one. Her removal surgery bill was footed by The Doctors but would have cost a total of $20,000 to $25,000. Within the first 24 hours after surgery she blacked out three times and had to be rushed to the emergency room for three blood transfusions. Jenelle says, "I’m trying to be that voice and that person for those women out there that are contemplating going the back alley way, because they don’t have enough money to go get a fat transfer.”

    Lets face it, enhancing our bodies has become a part of the norm and will likely not stop. In 2016, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons announced that butt implants were the fastest growing type of plastic surgery. However, with accessibility comes a lot of knowledge that will hopefully inspire women to research the procedures and doctors before getting surgery. That way, at least they’ll be going about it in a safer way.

    Do you think butt implants are trending up or out?
    Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world.  She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993.  Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy.  She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon.  Keep up with her athttp://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com

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