Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels

Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

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!
    0 0

    Iyanla on 'Fix My Life' 
    By Brenda Alexander 

    Iyanla has returned beloveds and one person who wasn’t here for her fixing her life was Kamiyah Mobley. Ms. Vanzant tried to help the 19-year-old, who made national news after it was discovered that a woman posing as a hospital employee abducted the infant from a Jacksonville, FL hospital and raised her as her own. Stuck with the reality of her new life and torn between loving the woman she’s known as mom and trying to build a bond with her biological family who suffered for almost two decades, things came to an explosive end after Kamiyah blew up on Iyanla and crew following a misunderstanding over an assignment Iyanla gave. It was an uncomfortable episode to watch. Kamiyah often appeared disinterested, defensive and even rarely made eye contact. Let’s take a look at 3 of the revelations that transpired on the Season 5 premiere of Iyanla Fix My Life!


    Kamiyah & biological Mom
    1. Kamiyah’s Birth Mother is MIA...Despite Orchestrating the “Fix”
    While giving the backstory of Kamiyah’s abduction and discovery, Iyanla explains in the beginning of the episode that Kamiyah’s birth mother initiated contact between her family and production to sort through their issues. A few days before taping however, she backed out for reasons which weren’t made clear. Disappointed and feeling neglected, Kamiyah sits with Iyanla and expresses that she in fact wanted her mother to be part of the process but isn’t surprised by her jumping ship. Apparently, she and her birth mom have a strained relationship as Kamiyah remains in contact with her abductor; something her birth mother struggles with accepting. The two go long periods of time without communicating, often engaging in tit for tat battle on social media whenever they piss each other off. Without her birth mother present, Iyanla attempts to continue with the support of Kamiyah’s birth father, step mother and boyfriend. But, her birth mother’s absence sets the tone for the remainder of the episode with Kamiyah being guarded and unwilling to fully submit to the process.

    2. Kamiyah’s Birth Father Has Trouble Asserting Himself as Her Parent
    In a scene where Iyanla speaks to Kamiyah’s birth father, step mother and boyfriend, she urges them all to play a more active role in her healing moving forward; specifically her father, who takes a passive approach to parenting Kamiyah out of fear that he will lose her again. He also does not feel as if he can be an authoritative figure due to how much time was lost. Although understandable, Iyanla insists that his role has to change from a friend figure to a parent. Through conversations with Kamiyah, it’s clear that she is experiencing an internal battle between her former and present lives. Instead of working through her emotions, she tries to merge both to make everyone happy. Hence her trying to form a relationship with her birth family and keep a relationship with the mother who raised her, despite knowing what was done to her was a horrible act. Iyanla forewarns Kamiyah’s family of what’s to come if action is not taken, referring to Kamiyah’s lack of ability to express herself as recipe for disaster, a “ticking time bomb” to be exact. She explains that pacifying the situation as opposed to confronting it head-on can lead Kamiyah to a disastrous outcome in the long run. Iyanla even warns her family that she would have to trigger Kamiyah and it would cause her to be emotional or pissed. Boy, was she right.

    Kamiyah & Iyanla 
    3. Kamiyah Snaps
    This seemed bound to happen. Kamiyah remained firm with Iyanla in what her boundaries were, such as referring to the woman who raised her as a liar and refusing to verbally say that she was abducted. I actually found Iyanla to be more delicate with Kamiyah than other guests who she’s pushed to the brink and she seemed to have respected her wishes. There seemed to be a moment where Kamiyah was actually beginning to let her guard down with even agreeing to Iyanla's invitation to stay overnight at the “safe house” so that they could continue to work together. That all changed abruptly when Iyanla informed Kamiyah that not only would she stay in the “safe house” by herself, but that her family would not respond to any phone calls or texts. Insults were hurled at Iyanla, items were thrown and Kamiyah’s rage was in full swing. In the end, she and her family leave and abort filming, not even returning for the second day in which Iyanla arranged a surprise meeting between Kamiyah and Carlina White, another kidnapping victim who suffered the same fate as Kamiyah.

    The episode left me saddened. There are no winners in this scenario as all who are involved have and are suffering in some way. I wonder if Kamiyah’s birth mother had showed, would the outcome have been different. Her reneging seemed to be the beginning of the end. Regardless, I hope Kamiyah gets the help she will need. It’s only been a little over a year since her story was made public and it may have been just too soon for televised therapy.

    What do you think? Was appearing on the show too much too soon for this family?

    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

    0 0

    Sugaring paste
    By Jashima Wadehra

    Ladies, Ladies, Ladies!

    However you prefer to keep your bikini area is your discretion, I prefer to engage in hair removal. Through my late teens my razor and I made do until I realized that it was simply much too much effort and lets be honest…………. The itch is REAL. Between the upkeep, discomfort and general thought of sharp blades on sensitive skin, shaving is a hell naaaah for me.
    For the past few years I’ve been an avid waxer, it's quick, on time and does the job (all while reducing my hair growth overall). But recently, I had a dinner date with a friend and she told me about SUGARING. What's that you say?

    Like… a sugar-ring? (I think I'm funny), no but seriously, sugaring is a new popular hair removal treatment based on the old method of mixing sugar, honey and lemon into a paste. All hands no- strips. As opposed to traditional waxing practices where one applies hot wax to skin in the direction of hair growth and rips it off with a strip, sugaring consists of a room temperature paste being hand applied and removed. The concept is meant to be a better alternative primarily because Sugaring targets the hair and follicle itself, it's too mild to adhere to skin cells since it does not contain resins, therefore you forgo potential burns, rashes and reactions. No hair and No skin damage.

    It sounded too good to be true, so when I checked in on yelp and saw that I could get my armpits done for free, I decided to give it a try and made an appointment on the Sugaring website.

    The Sugaring locations are a bit like a girly girl paradise, everything is pink and plush. Upon entry you feel an overwhelming calm and the professionals are fantastic. I checked in, changed and hopped up on the table. The lovely staff confirmed my comfort level several times, made sure the wax was neither too hot nortoo tacky and began the process.

    Aside from the pleasant conversation and aesthetically pleasing set up, the actual hair removal was much less painful than traditional waxing and really quick, I was out of there in less than 15 minutes yalll! Granted I went in trimmed up but either way, I reckon it'll be snippety quick for you too.

    I didn't see return hair growth for about two weeks and am currently in week 6 and still have minimal growth. Of course results are contingent on your individual body type and hair growth but Lord knows I'm not maddddddd!

    The price tag for a brazilian came out to about $60 give or take and as a NYC resident, this is pretty average across the board. Sugaring offers specials and monthly memberships as well.

    Needless to say, you could catch me on the sweet side, Sugaring has a new regular.

    Would you give sugaring a try?
    Jashima Wadehra is a writer, dancer, entrepreneur, and lover of people based in NYC.  She can be found blogging at overpriced coffee shops or on a plane heading to a new place to write about.  Follow her on instagram at @TheChatterboxlifeEnthusiast and check out her new blog
    Tell me how you feel! Do you have a preferred hair removal method?

    0 0

    Glam Body Coffee Scrubs
    Hey Ladies,

    It's Wednesday Win Day! We asked you to comment on all articles this past week for a chance to win a Coconut Coffee and Mandarin Coffee scrub from Glam Body, and you showed up! Here are this week's 5 winners! Also, be sure to keep commenting on articles because soon we will be announcing some spontaneous pop-up winners!


    Glam Body Coffee Scrubs
    Glam Body is a vegan and organic coffee scrub that fights eczema, stretch marks and the appearance of cellulite originated in the Ivory Coast, West Africa

    Niki Pickens
    Loyal Royal 
    Please email with your full name and address using Glam Body Winner in the subject line. Enjoy your scrubs and stay tuned for our next giveaway!

    0 0

    By Veronica Wells

    Early last week, I stumbled across a clip of singer Ashanti taking time out during one of her concerts to speak to her audience about her personal life. In a video from the concert, she said:

    “See, I just want to make sure y’all really understand what I’m saying. I’ve been betrayed before, publicly at that"

    Someone from the audience yells, “F*ck Nelly!”

    To which Ashanti responds, “Word.”


    When I heard it, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. I get Nelly broke Ashanti’s heart. Like she said, we all saw it. And while it was years ago, I can understand that it might still make her feel some type of way. But with everything that Nelly has going on right now, I would think it was the betrayal that blessed her. (I wish I could take credit for that but that was a line from Tiny when she and T.I. were in the midst of their divorce.)

    I think we’ve all read the headlines. Nelly has been accused of raping at least three different women, in two different countries. And while none of us can speak definitively about the validity of the accusations, we do know that Nelly has denied the claims, saying he engaged in consensual sex and not rape. At the same time, homeboy has also been in a long term relationship. So at the very most, he’s raping women. And at the very least, he’s still cheating on his girlfriend...betraying her publicly.

    By most people’s accounts, Ashanti won.

    The man has not changed. He has not grown. And her insistence on resurrecting him in front of audiences speaks to the absolute, overdue necessity of Ashanti moving on.

    I use Ashanti and Nelly as a jumping off point for behavior I’ve witnessed and maybe even exhibited entirely too often. Women will break up with men who they know, without a shadow of a doubt, are no good. Still, at any given opportunity, they start speaking about their breakups in terms of burdens instead of blessings. In all fairness, it takes some time, maturity and perspective to realize that the wrong people leaving your life, opens it up to so much more abundance. I was talking to my sister about the concept and in the middle of our conversation, I realized that this too is a conversation about self worth. From a spiritual perspective, if we view ourselves as God’s children, worthy of respect and kindness, anyone who doesn’t treat us accordingly will have to pay, in one way or another. You don’t even have to believe in God to get that, it’s just karma. The way of the universe. You get what you put out.

    I have a dear friend who has a problem investing her time, resources and talent into men who don’t deserve even half of what she gives them. And while the process of giving, helping and encouraging them often leaves her drained, when they misuse or abuse the gifts she’s given them, it’s always the men, and not her, who are worse off afterward.

    I think men view their mistreatment of women on a very surface and shallow level, instead of recognizing the spiritual ramifications. If you piss on God’s creation and the God-given gifts that God has given her, God is going to have a problem with that. Beyoncé said it, “When you hurt me, you hurt yourself.” And it’s true.

    Our jobs, once we’ve awakened to the reality of the situation, is to run. The karma, the aftermath, the big payback is coming. And personally, I don’t want to be anywhere near it, offering tired explanations for your behavior on Instagram, when it comes down.

    So many of us have watched and memorized The Color Purple. Still, we don’t take one of its pivotal scenes to heart. When Whoopi Goldberg, as Celie, points her curved fingers in Mister’s direction and says, “Until you do right by me, everything you think about is gonna crumble! Until you do right by me, everything you even think about gonna fail." It was more than some powerful words. It’s a spiritual principle. So instead of pining, whining and complaining about “love” lost, thank God, the universe or your guardian angels for getting you out of harm’s way.

    Do you spend time talking about ex's you know aren't good for you?
    Veronica Wells is the culture editor at 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.

    0 0

    Photo of Essie & Nana Brew-Hammond via Exit 14
    By Brook Bobb

    A love of clothing runs in Nana Brew-Hammond’s family. Before her grandmother started one of Ghana’s first and only female-run advertising agencies, she was a seamstress, and Nana’s mother, Delphine, grew up helping with measurements, sewing, and cutting fabrics. Nana’s sister, Essie Hammond, was also born in Ghana, but the entire family moved to LeFrak City in Queens, New York, when Nana was young. Delphine traveled back to her home country with the girls many times over the years, always stopping to buy custom-tailored garments made with the finest, most vibrant and colorful Ghanian textiles. “Getting bespoke clothing made is common there,” Nana says. “I was always interested in fashion as a kid, but when I went to Ghana at 12-years-old and had some outfits made for me, it changed the way I looked at clothing.” And so this week, on Ghana’s Independence Day, the self-taught Hammond clan—including Nana, her mother, and her sister—launched their very own line of made-in-Ghana coats and jackets called
    Exit 14.


    0 0

    Aisha Badru
    By Sharee Silerio

    Singer and Yonkers, New York native Aisha Badru was three years into college when she realized that she’d had enough. The daughter of Nigerian educators was living a life that she didn’t choose and it was taking its toll. So after much contemplation, she did what would seem crazy to many and she quit.


    Mind On Fire (Official Video)  

    “I didn't leave school with the notion in my head, ‘I'm going to become a singer.’ I honestly just dropped out because I was miserable. I started pushing myself to do things that made me feel more fulfilled, and that happened to be writing, music, playing the guitar and sharing my songs with people,” says Aisha.

    Choosing a life that she would love freed Aisha to express herself in various ways – from the music she writes to the way she wears her hair. 

    “Before, I was wearing a lot of extensions and braids. I almost felt like I was hiding behind them, like my natural hair wasn't good enough. I knew that my music was building a platform for me to be a role model or someone who inspired other people, so I wanted that to come from a place of authenticity, and I wasn't being authentic if I wasn’t being my truest self. It felt so natural to cut my hair. And then, of course, I colored it because I like to make my family freak out, like, ‘What did you do?!’”
    One step at a time, Badru walked the path that honored her happiness, gifts and who she hoped to become. She overcame her fear of speaking in front of people, ceased her concern with what people were thinking about her, and consistently did what was best for her. In liberating herself from her fears, what she’s “supposed” to do (go to school, get a job, etc.), look like, think, feel, and become, she’s discovered what it means to love herself.

    Photo of Aisha Badru vi IG
    “Self-love is the journey that I am on now, and it started with making the decision to leave school. I followed that up with cutting my hair, and being more authentic to myself. Now, I'm at a point where I'm trying to eat better, be more active. I'm getting into yoga. I'm letting go of relationships that are toxic. There are a lot of people who glorify makeup, weave, and butt injections. We need more authentic role models who truly represent what it means to love and accept yourself.” 
    Badru’s music wraps you in her world, heart, soul and mind, offering a glimpse into some of the most difficult moments of her life. From her lyrics, you get to know her pain and sense that her ascend is inevitable. Through her songs, you get to know who she was, and is. 

    “I pull from so many places when I write [music], so you can't really put it in one category. It’s a little pop. It’s a little soul. It’s a little folk. It's a little electronic. It's a little bit of everything. And that represents me as a person because I'm not someone who can be put in a box either. Growing up in a low income neighborhood, we were automatically stamped with a sticker telling the world who we're supposed to be. I feel like I obliterated all the stereotypes that were put on me, and that’s what I want to do with my music, too.”
    Aisha’s songs have a combined total of over 20 million streams on Spotify. Her debut album, “Pendulum”, will be released on April 27th. Make sure you connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, because she’s changing the world, one melody at a time.

    Are you living the life that you want or trying to please others?

    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, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Read her work at & connect w/her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    0 0

    Nikki Walton
    Think of something you’ve been trying to manifest... something you want BAD. See it in your mind’s eye. Now, think of a thing or experience you used to want, but now have. See it in your mind’s eye.

    Now go back and forth between the two— the thing wanted and the thing you have. You should be able to detect a slight difference in the way they’re pictured internally or more important, in the way they feel. Everyone is unique, so I can’t tell you how that difference will manifest for you, but I can tell you that the new thing or experience will find you ONLY when you find a way to feel about it the way you feel about the thing or experience you now have. Does that make sense? You have to bridge that gap to #BeHerNow .

    HINT — you want the stuff you want because you ‘feel’ like you’re lacking it. It can’t come ‘til you feel like you HAVE it. ‘Having’ feels like a quiet mind (cause you are no longer seeking it), peace, relaxation and natural appreciation. ‘Wanting’ feels like mind-reeling-trying-to-make-something-happen, worry, doubt, tension, etc. You’re visualizing, vision boarding, thinking about it constantly, doing the most. So how to bridge the gap? Well, when you re-discover and re-connect with the power that you really are, you are WHOLE... you are everything and lack nothing. And the stuff you ‘thought’ you were lacking, rushes into your experience as a side-effect of this alignment. So find the inner stillness/silence/peace and don’t lose sight of it. Stay with it. Make it primary. It’s your key to freedom. #DontDismissThis And when thoughts come doubting your progress or looking for the thing you want, smile and say, ‘it’s already mine.’ 

    0 0

    Photo via Dolledaze
    By Winnie Gaturu

    What would you do if you had a collection of more than 5,000 dolls? Open a museum, maybe? Well, that's exactly what sisters Felicia Walker, Celeste Cotton and Debra Britt did with the black dolls they’d been collecting for more than 50 years. They would carry the dolls and take them to different venues to educate people about black history and culture, but eventually grew tired of packing and unpacking their huge collection, plus, they were running out of space so they decided to get them a proper home. This wasn't easy. It took 5 years to find a good location, a 3,500 square feet property in Mansfield, Massachusetts. And that's how the National Black Doll Museum, the largest in the world, came to be. 

    So, what really inspired them to collect all these dolls? It's more of a passion they have. They all love collecting dolls and have been doing it since they were young. Their grandmother collected black dolls too, and when they were kids, their uncle, who was in Vietnam, would send them a doll from every country he visited. As they grew older, their love and interest in collecting dolls increased and thus their huge collection that they are now sharing with the world.

    The museum has many different exhibits which showcase different aspects of African-American history. You'll find a dimly lit room representing a slave ship with more than 700 wrap dolls which represent those who survived the voyage and even a star room containing dolls of famous black actors like Wesley Snipes and Will Smith. The doll collection also contains a few unique pieces like a Marley doll which is made out of Bob Marley's real hair and clothes, and the first black barbie from as early as 1979. There are also dolls of black people who made extraordinary achievements like Martin Luther King Junior and dolls of ordinary people whose contributions have been undervalued.  Each doll in the museum is unique in its own way and tells a story. It could be a joyful one, a sad one, a witty one or a historically rich one. The bottom line is, every piece in the museum showcases the richness of African-American culture.

    Photo via Dolleddaze
    For the sisters, the dolls remind them of the past, both good and bad. They are a great way to teach people, especially children, about African-American culture and the people who shaped our present. As part of their initiative, the three sisters also take part in a bullying prevention program where they travel across the country teaching children how to make wrap dolls. They encourage the kids to put their fears and worries as well as their hopes and dreams into the dolls they make. By using scraps of fabric, yarn and other recycled materials, the kids are taught that they can make something out of nothing and hence motivate them to create the best out of themselves.

    If you ever find yourself in the Mansfield, Massachusetts area, be sure to visit the National black doll museum. You'll definitely get to learn a lot about African-American culture and maybe even make a wrap doll yourself! 

     Do you collect black dolls? Would you visit this museum?
    Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on

    0 0

    Mo'Nique & Husband Sidney
    By Brenda Alexander

    It’s sad when true talent is reduced to a social media gif, meme and trending topic. There’s no denying that Mo’Nique is phenomenal. After years as a comedian, she won an Oscar for her ability to transcend the idea that comics couldn’t handle dramatic roles for her work in Precious. Almost Christmas would have been bland without her. I just knew it would be Mo’Nique’s comeback from years of her negating rumors that she was “difficult to work with” and the assumption that she was blackballed for not playing the game of Hollywood chess. But alas, she remains a pawn in this industry. Her desire to prove she’s right in her stance against the inequalities in the entertainment business has forced her to degrade others along the way. I stand with Mo’Nique in her cry for fair pay and opportunities for blacks. What I don’t stand with is despite signs pointing to the fact that Mo’Nique’s current lack of success is a repercussion of her reputation, cognitive dissonance tells her otherwise. Here are the top three reasons why I cannot support Mo’Niques continued tirade.

    She Wants “Yes Men” as Friends
    Image result for mo'nique and oprah tyler perry lee daniel charlamagne

    For Mo’Nique to talk this righteous “we must stick together my brothers, my sisters…” she doesn’t walk the walk. Since her fallout with Lee Daniels over the director informing his friend that she was “blackballed,” she’s attempted to drag all down with her. For me, this is her most contradicting and disappointing character flaw. How can she beg her peers to support her fight against disparities and in the same breath liken them to Uncle Toms because of their difference of opinion? She’s condemned peers larger paydays despite them working just as hard for their financial success. There was no need for her to criticize, or call into question Netflix giving Chris Rock, Amy Schumer and Dave Chappelle more money for their comedy specials. Instead, she could’ve received negotiation tips from her “brothers and sisters” before putting their bank accounts on blast for public consumption. This is the same Mo’Nique who hosted Charm School, where she taught etiquette to reality stars for their chaotic personas. On that platform, she berated them for sexual behaviors she deemed promiscuous, only to reveal years later that she and Sidney are in an open relationship, which many consider lack of decorum. She scolded the cast for verbally and physically attacking one another while she preached to them the importance of unity and respect amongst black women, only for her to turn around and compare her colleagues to the the upper echelon of white Hollywood who lowball black actors and professed that if she had male genitalia, she’d tell them to suck your d**k. You Mo’Nique have become a replica of the downtrodden black reality star.

    Her “Daddy” (Husband/Manager)

    Sometimes being in business with your spouse is a disaster. But, never have I witnessed a couple conduct business quite like Mo’Nique and Sidney. Mo’Nique rarely conducts interviews without him. Isn’t the manager supposed to handle business BEHIND the scenes? Yes, there’s an occasional joint two-minute interview with your manager; but, they seldom sit side-by-side or three-way call into radio interviews to tell “their” story. Whenever anyone talks to Mo’Nique privately about her manager, she resorts to pillow talk and then they discuss it publically on their podcast. Confidential emails are leaked while she takes video interviews of crew members she works with who praise her so that she can use on mad day. It’s too much. Their pet names are baffling. Referring to your husband as your “daddy” because you claim he’s “raising you” is appalling. Considering you’re championing for the oppressed black woman whose ancestors once called their masters “mom” and “dad.” Sidney’s intentions are questionable. They've burned so many bridges that all they seem to have are each other. Firing him as her manager and keeping him employed solely as her husband is not an option for her, obviously. But my sis, everyone who is with you, ain’t for you.

    She’s Selfish

    Mo’Nique claims this boycott is for all, but her pursuits are contradictory. She complains when it affects her. In one of her many interviews where she and her husband outed others to save face, they mentioned helping Gabby Sidibe with makeup and wardrobe while promotion for Precious was in gear because studio execs wouldn’t. Lovely. However, it was revealed out of spite as backlash towards Mo’Nique and co. persisted. I have yet to see Mo’Nique fighting for the civil rights of others as loudly as she does for herself. Where’s the balance? If people saw more community involvement from her, they’d be more inclined to support. Where’s the podcast episode on Mo'Nique and Sidney’s Open Relationship where they raise money for underprivileged students to attend college? Or, their social media video where they ask undiscovered black actors to submit audition tapes for a free acting course that she’s hosting? Show us more than you championing for you.

    I want Mo’Nique to win, but I don’t foresee a happy ending as long as she keeps this up. 

    Do you support Mo'Nique?
    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

    0 0

     Cast of 'From the Bottom Up' Season 3
     By Mwabi Kaira

    The court of public opinion is tough. One misleading headline or wrong information can change a person’s whole life and there’s no convincing anyone of the truth once the untruth is out there. Our judicial system is even worse, you can serve your time but forever have the label follow you. We talk redemption but barely allow it. We are quick to throw people away instead of rehabilitating them and welcoming them back to society with no judgement.

    BET Her’s From the Bottom Up takes black women who have been to the bottom and are making their way back to the top. In the Season 3 opener we meet new cast members Brandi Davis, Angela Stanton and Tamika Wright. Brandi and Angela served time in prison and are navigating their lives as convicted felons now that they are back home.

    'From the Bottom Up' Season 3 Trailer 

    Brandi served 7 and a half years for conspiracy to distribute drugs and is dealing with trust issues as she raises her teenage son. Angela served 2 and a half years for white collar fraud and is dealing with her teenage son who is getting in trouble at school and in need of therapy. Tamika reveals that she found out that her husband might have fathered a child outside their marriage right before his sentencing for illegally cashing WIC checks.

    From The Bottom Up is an 8 episode docu-series that will follow these women including Danielle Jones and Iesha Jeng as they work on themselves while they rise above the adversity and the scrutiny they have encountered in the public eye. They will learn how to communicate with their kids and most importantly they will learn the significance that the support from other women is and how it is vital to healing and redemption. 

    Nicci Gilbert & the cast of 'From the Bottom Up' Season 3 chat with SiriusXM host Karen Hunter

    Nicci Gilbert created the show from her own lowest moment. She explains,
    “I wanted to create a show about women who achieved success then hit rock bottom in the public eye just like I had and show how they built their lives back up. I wanted a show where women could turn their mess into a message and their test into their testimony.”
    The show has had 2 successful seasons where previous cast members Stacii Jae Johnson (Atlanta political fundraiser pulled over for DUI), Christine Beatty (Chief of Staff for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick caught up in a sex scandal), Sara Stokes (former member of Diddy’s Making The Band 2 with domestic violence charges), Kim Smeadly (administered illegal butt injections to women across the US), and Chrystale Wilson (known from her role in the movie The Players Club) have all found their footing and are far from their bottoms.
    Are you watching 'From the Bottom Up?'
    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 at

    0 0

    By Jennifer Ford

    Spring is the time to try a bold new hairstyle. Between bedazzled braids and Rapunzel tresses in colors unimaginable, the menu of edgy hairstyles to try this season is super appetizing and it just got even better.

    Creative undercuts are the latest addition to the buffet of styling options, and we’re completely enamored with the buzzy look.


    0 0

    Tiffany Haddish & Maya Rudolph (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
    By Veronica Wells

    There are plenty of Black women America loves that I care for just a little bit less. And while a few close friends and family might know how I feel, I try not to express those sentiments publicly because there are no shortage of people who talk sh*t about Black women. The practice itself is quite profitable, actually.

    And while Tiffany Haddish has been America’s new darling for a solid year, there is a sect of Black people who now believe she is “doing too much.” And a few of these people are not afraid to speak up about it.

    One woman tweeted this:
    I mean...there are already holes in her argument so we can take it with a grain of salt. Girls Trip was pretty great. Haddish didn’t flop on SNL. Her special on Showtime was funny. And she’s far from D list. Just because she hasn’t had name recognition for long doesn’t mean she’s insignificant in the industry. The term breakout star exists for a reason, because of people like Tiffany. But I’ve already spent too much time on a hater.

    There are other people with more “weighty” criticisms of her.


     All of a sudden she’s embarrassing the race. They don’t like the volume in her speech, they shutter at the fact she doesn’t know how to pronounce every name in Hollywood, that she, like many of us, wears an outfit more than once, that she didn’t let a velvet rope keep her from speaking to Meryl Streep. I can stop there. When you examine Tiffany’s ascent, you’ll find that one, it’s not different from anything she’s been doing since she first hit the scene. But now that her star has risen enough so that it hovers in the vicinity of White folks, all of a sudden she’s an embarrassment.

    Respectability politics.

    And really, it’s internalized racism. Forget what White people think! They’re not the leaders of refinement and class. And there have been more than a few White celebrities, men and women alike, who have been known to break societal norms, to be a little or a lot extra. The only difference is, while their communities celebrate them for daring to be different, for making it despite their authenticity. We look at our stars and wonder what White folks might think of them, and as an extension, all the rest of us.

    And if we want to talk about true embarrassment, there are other places and other [male] celebrities with much higher profiles that we can start with. I wasn’t going to call names but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that R. Kelly, Bill Cosby, Floyd Mayweather and a few other Black men have been “doing the most” for decades and I’ve never heard them referred to as embarrassments to the race. In fact, more often than not people go out of their way to defend them.

    TIffany Haddish sticks her tongue out, does the nae-nae and all of a sudden folks can’t handle it. So it’s not just considering what White folks think, it’s also our ideals about womanhood and Black womanhood particularly.

    Someone on Twitter encapsulated my feelings about the matter perfectly when they shared this:

    And yet here Tiffany is, shining and winning. What I find so comical about the whole thing is that when we’re growing up, everyone gives you the same cliche, but profound advice, “be yourself.” Sadly, there’s a caveat for little Black girls. “Be yourself...but not in front of White people.”

    Thankfully, Tiffany was smart enough to stop listening after the first part.

    Do we unfairly criticize each other based on what white people will think?
     Veronica Wells is the culture editor at 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.

    0 0

    Crystal Renay, son & Ne-Yo
    By Brenda Alexander

    In a time where mom’s are becoming moguls from sharing their children’s hair routine to their thousands of mommy subscribers on Youtube and Instagram, I so thought we were beyond the era of coined terms like “Hawaiian silky,” “good,” and anything else in that word family to describe our kid’s hair in its natural state. That was until Neyo’s wife Crystal Renay Smith shared this photo begging her 363k followers for tips on taming her son’s mane as a last resort because according to her, he wasn’t “blessed with mommy’s Hawaiian silky” texture. My oh my how far she’s set our Wakandan pride back.

    Via Crystal Renay's IG
    The problem is not that she asks for product suggestions for her son’s hair but rather that instead of asking for help on upkeep and moisturizing techniques as she includes in the post, throwing in the contrast of textures and referring to his lack of "blessing" with silky hair as her’s is the condemnation of it all. This is larger than a celebrity’s ignorance of proper terminology. It’s an issue of self-love and acceptance of our blackness in all forms that something as minuscule as defining your child’s hair as less than manageable because of it’s kinky state serves as a key ingredient in our little one’s esteem.

    When I was younger, there weren’t many products suitable for little girls to cultivate their natural tresses. I grew up in a time where the only options were processing my hair, whether that be my mom putting a Just For Me kiddie perm in my hair every 6-8 weeks to keep my ponytails “straight” or her sending me to the salon every two weeks where I’d be subjected to the burns of a good ole fashioned hot comb and a press and curl. There were protective styles such as braids but because extension braids normally lasted longer, I started rocking thick micro braids as early as 6. Unfortunately, just as there weren’t many helpful non-chemical products, there wasn’t a safer extension, such as the crotchet option we have now, so even braids caused damage if they were too tight. The lengths my mom and other parents of my friends went through to keep our hair looking as straight and presentable as possible is baffling to me now when I see how free kids are running with their beautiful afros. Afterall, no one wanted to send their little boy or girl to school with “nappy” hair. Long before Tia Mowry was both praised and ridiculed online for letting her son Cree rock his natural fro and even style his hair in man-buns, braids and mohawks, little boys were forced to get haircuts as early as 1 years old because having hair was deemed “girly” by society. As a result, I along with many others grew up with my self-esteem being closely attached to how my hair looked.

    I yearned for hair that was straight, I even recall coming home with my hair a mess everyday because I tried to mimic my Asian friend’s hair in first grade. As I grew older and natural hair started to boom a little, I was still forced to get relaxers because I was told I didn’t have “that type of hair.” I’m sure my family didn’t mean to affect my self esteem, they just didn’t have the tools or resources to figure out how to work with my hair as is. School didn’t help, girls were teased for their “buckshots” while others were praised for their “long and pretty” hair. It got so bad that in between perms, I would try and straighten my hair and comb it myself. I hated my mom washing my hair because she could never get it as straight as a hairstylist. I refused to go out with my hair undone and when I did, I felt extremely insecure.

    My close cousin had a similar experience, saying:
    “My mom’s side of the family had a looser curl pattern than mine as my maternal grandmother was Caucasian. Their hair texture was more ideal and seemed so much easier and appeared prettier. I grew up thinking I had “bad hair.” I tried everything to change it because I longed to fit in. When I was older I refused to wear my natural hair, go without a relaxer and I was obsessed with straight barbie doll-like weaves. I never even wore braids again until I was in my 30’s. It all stemmed from what I experienced as a girl.”
    This is why I took offense to Crystal Renay’s analogy. While I don’t think her comments were malicious, they were hurtful and regressive. Even my cousin said reading her “silky hair” comment took her back to her maternal side of the family comparing her hair texture to her “dad’s side of the family,” making her feel like the little girl who thought it was a bad thing to have kinkier hair. That’s where the damage lies. We have to be mindful of what we speak to, about and around our children as we mold their minds and future dialogue.

    Do you find Crystal Renay's comments regressive? 

    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

    0 0

    The Real Housewives of Atlanta Cast
    By Brenda Alexander

    It’s season 10 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and the first where I haven’t seen weekly headlines or recaps. What started off as a raw and fascinating depiction of the elite black women of Atlanta has transformed into a show of forced story lines and soured friendships. Here’s what we are left with...

    After being accused of hiring boyfriends, Kenya Moore is married now and refuses to showcase her new marriage out of fear that her husband will be subjected to public scrutiny.
    Marlo still doesn’t have an official peach despite her being more intriguing than most of the housewives.

    Porsha’s “best friend” Shamea Morton, who the producers have been testing before bringing her on full time, is doing the most vying for that housewife title.

    Kim Zolciak is back part time and still comfortable af greeting her black co-stars with a “hey bitch.”

    America’s Next Top Model Eva Marcille is new and was introduced when she decided to bring the only castmate who minds her business, Cynthia, to tears after telling the ladies that the man she was fixated on had a girlfriend.

    Cynthia is single and divorced from the financial stress she claims strained her marriage but is desperate to keep the Jamaican coffee bean Peter Thomas as her BFF while she embarks on a journey to find her 50 shades by serial dating for the first time while she’s still got it.

    Sheree’s in a full-blown committed relationship with a man incarcerated for a Ponzi scheme yet just last season, she was dating cross eyed ex, Bob.

    Kandi’s still understandably pissed with Porsha for the Bill Cosby related allegations she and Phaedra let live last season.

    And with the revolving door of “friends of the show,” it’s hard to keep up with what everyone else is doing.

    So where can we go from here?

    I’m tired of the frivolous fighting. A few behind the scenes clips of the girls in full effect when the camera is turned off has been leaked. These scenes are more entertaining and genuine. To see them tipsy and twerking is more fulfilling than them arguing and spilling each other’s tea.

    There’s always been drama in reality tv. But, there was more balance in the first few seasons when the women had real friendships and believable beefs. Now, we’ve resorted to cast members teenage daughters purposefully (and immature and inappropriate if I may add) live streaming water bugs crawling on someone’s bathroom floor. I just yearn for more. But, it’s not their fault...solely.

    Production plays a big role. They are responsible for what’s edited and what airs right? However, These are GROWN ASS WOMEN. There must be a balance of love and war shown. They have businesses and careers. Show them on tour, in meetings picking out designs for their brands. Hell, two of the women are in their 50s and I’m sure are dealing with some aging issues. Show them going through menopause (if they are) to bring more reality to what’s supposed to be reality TV. It’ll make it more relatable.

    And please, STOP with introducing “friends of show” to stir the pot. It comes off as contrived. At this point, fans are on to the formula and over it. We’ve been with these women from the beginning so to us, they are family.

    If Kenya’s not going to show her marriage, then recast her. It’s not fair to the viewers who want to see her new reality or the rest of the cast who are exposing the good, bad and ugly of their lives.

    Cynthia, date more than one man. Show women in their 50s getting their groove back like Stella, being comfortable at “starting over” when they may have more years behind them than in front of them. There’s power in that story.

    Kandi is the queen of entrepreneurship and more than the other ladies, her businesses are always highlighted, which I appreciate. Instead of focusing so much on her disgust with Porsha, it would have been amazing to see her journey from housewife to broadway star with her new role as Mama Morton in Chicago.

    My favorite scene from this season was during their girls trip to Barcelona where Cynthia took them to a beach and attempted a spiritual rebirth with them all by lighting candles and making them say kind words about a castmate they were assigned to. Beautiful right? Even that was semi-ruined when Eva decided to shade Shamea for an earlier disagreement, although she cleaned it up in the end. Y’all can’t even keep it together in the name of a higher power?

    Black women are all for that black girl magic and camaraderie nowadays. I don’t think the show has to end, I just believe fans are eager for substance.

     What are your thoughts about The Real Housewives of Atlanta?
    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

    0 0

    Via Black Chyna's IG
    By Ta-ning Connai

    Blac Chyna had a mini meltdown on Instagram last week and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why. Unless you've been living under a rock, we all know about the Kardashian catastrophe that was doomed right from the start. The relationship with Rob was a no-no. To put it on air was a no-no. But to then try and sue Kris Jenner and her entire K-Klan? Now that's an absolute OH NO! And then when you think things can't get worse...a scandalous sex tape AND the resurgence of the meme “you can't turn a ho into a housewife,” which now has her face on it. And although she appears to be a victim of her own circumstance, it doesn't mean she should be viewed as the least likely to change.

    "You can't turn a ho into a housewife," was a commonly used lyric in Hip Hop, stretching back as far as the 1990's. From T.I. to Tupac to Biggie to Lil matter how original these rappers strived to be, this is that one line they all have in common. Over the years, the phrase has taken on a life of its on. It's been embraced by popular culture and it's matter of fact message has been engraved into the minds of both males and females everywhere. It's one of those statements that tend to have us thinking that, if we hear something enough, it certainly must be true. But is it?

    It's always been culturally acceptable to verbally taunt and ostracize women who fit a certain sexual prowess either by appearance or behavior. "Slut Shaming" is a modern day term, but it's core premise goes as far back as the Bible days. 

    As I've read the story about the adulteress woman over and over again (John 8: 1-11), there's one thing that always irked my nerves...Where the heck is the man she got caught sleeping with??? Last I heard, it took TWO to tango! So how the nosey neighbors gonna drag her out the house, throw her at the feet of Jesus and leave her trifling boyfriend behind? So there's a law to stone adulterous women, but the men can go scott free??? Hmmm, I wonder who put that law into place?

    There was some double standard bullcrap going on, and Jesus was ready to peep their game. In essence, He said that their sins were just as bad, and they walked away really pissed off. But check out what He said to the woman they left laying on the ground, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more." Wow! Caught in the act, with witnesses and all, and this is what He says! Now, if I could get into Jesus' head to see what else He was thinking about this woman, I bet He was thinking this, "It's not your fault." And so it goes for the modern day females they disgracefully call THOT (That Ho Over There).

    No woman could get to such a place all on her own. And there's only two things that could push her there: #1Desperation for intimacy. #2 Retaliation for the lack thereof. Fathers were supposed to be the first to lovingly fulfill that role. But some left the home, while others never even walked through the doors. Some dads were there, but maybe never knew how to really care. So every male figure was to take their father's place. Inflated self confidence covers up the psychological scars and shattered ideals. Promiscuity becomes the norm and the "somebody's gonna pay" mentality often becomes a driving force.

    But women who've become that way don't have to stay that way. Can a women who has been tossed up and passed around (even with her permission) become a woman of virtue, of dignity, of respect? GOD CAN. Can her honor be restored, her purpose be fulfilled? GOD CAN. God can renew her mind to the fact that HE is her Father, and she doesn't have to perform in order to get what she needs from Him. God can look past her past indiscretions and see her as beautiful and brand new as the day she was born.

    Rahab was the neighborhood prostitute (Joshua 2). When the children of Israel came through to take over the land God promised them, she could've used her seductive ways to gain favor with the men for sure. The dollar bills from just one lap dance would've had her paid in full! But she perceived they were men of God. She accepted their God as her own, and offered to hide them in her house. They promised to spare her entire household because of what she'd done.

    And so it was, the entire city got wiped out, except Rahab and her fam. But the story gets better than that. Not only did Rahab become a housewife, the Bible notes her as part of the genealogy of Jesus Christ! She's one of only a handful of women who made The Who Begat Who List! God looked upon her as royalty, He made her name great, and now uses her to teach us this important lesson...There's nothing God can't do. God can change us, God can help us, God can use us, because He loves us! So don't underestimate God's willingness to eventually choose the least likely to be chosen. He can do ANYTHING and no one can stop Him (Job 42:2)

    Do you believe God can restore anyone?
    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. She taught in ministry for several years, but always felt the tug to "go beyond"... TA-NING'S TELL IT TUESDAY is a weekly column (originally launched on Facebook) that uses doses of pop culture to change the face of Christianity, and present it's message in a lively way. Ta-ning resides in Santa Monica (by way of Brooklyn), is obsessed with dogs, and is an old school Hip-Hop junkie!

    0 0

    The discomfort is the shift. It’s your miracle in disguise.


    I listened to a great talk by @EckhartTolle the other day. He said that the closer a caterpillar gets to the end of its lifespan, the more difficult things get for it. Its very existence becomes dysfunctional— the things that used to work, like crawling, suddenly don’t work anymore. And if the caterpillar was like us, it would be stressed out and desperately trying to hold it together— reading books on how to become better at crawling or techniques on crawling faster and faster. But instead, the caterpillar LETS GO and leaps to a new dimension entirely. It leaves crawling behind, transcends all past limitations and emerges as a new being — one that it always had the potential to be. #BeHerNow

    0 0

    Christabel via Bye_Wig
    By Mary Wolff

    Deep conditioning natural, multi-ethnic hair is one of the most effective ways to achieve one’s hair goals. Deep conditioning makes the hair softer, more pliable, and shinier than a regular conditioning session. If I took a before and after picture of my deep conditioning session, you would immediately understand what I am speaking about. However, how many of us have an effective process to deep condition our hair? Quickly slathering on your favorite conditioner doesn’t always yield the maximum benefits of a deep conditioning session. Here are my tips for getting a deep conditioning session:

    Please Pre-Poo
    For those of you unfamiliar with the term, pre-pooing is a process in which naturals use an oil and/or conditioner on their hair before washing it. This process is supposed to minimize shedding and breaking during the washing and styling sessions. The more lubricated your hair is, the easier it will be to work through your strands and the less breakage you’ll have while applying your conditioner of choice.

    Apply Heat
    This step is important because it helps open the cuticle of the strand. This is especially pertinent to naturals with low porosity hair since their cuticles are tightly bound. By opening the cuticles, the strands of the hair receive the conditioner and reap the full benefits. You can use a steamer which is a great way of opening up those cuticles but less expensive options includes heating up your deep conditioner or using a plastic cap formulated for deep conditioning. Not to mention, you can get a little body heat from doing housework or taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

    Do Section Your Hair
    I know some of you naturals are dead set against any type of hair tool but sectioning clips are some kind of wonderful for me. They help me figure out where I am and where I am about to go. Generally, I use three to four clips for my deep conditioning session. Afterwards, I bunch up the section of hair that I am planning to condition and apply conditioner to the ends and entire hair shaft. Once I am done, I twist the hair in at least 12 to 15 sections.

    Finger Detangle First
    Out of all the tips I am going to give you, finger detangling is one of the most important. I have seen my hair shedding and breakage cut down in half when I implement finger detangling in my deep conditioning sessions. Using my fingers, and in particular my thumb fingers have saved my precious strands. Even if you want to use a tool then do so. However, my recommendation is using it after your deep conditioning session. Your hair will be more pliable and by taking it a step further and using a leave-in, less hair will be loss.

    Wait It Out
    If you slab on some conditioner and only let it sit for 5 minutes then I am afraid you are not really deep conditioning your hair. Generally, deep conditioning sessions are at least 15-30 minutes, and I believe that is if you have a nice amount of heat to open the cuticles. If not, make your session at least an hour. Your hair will thank you for leaving it on a little longer than what the directions say. Just make sure you rinse your hair thoroughly when you’re done.

    It took me about a year to really figure out how to effectively deep condition my hair. I also realized the importance of not performing any shortcuts when doing these sessions because it made a big difference with how my hair looked and felt afterwards. Deep conditioning your hair is a delicate dance which means time and patience are vital. Regardless, your hair will thrive because of it.

    0 0

    Love Coach & Healer Kamali Minter
    By Kamali Minter

    There are many reasons we may not be having as much sex as we want, AND there are many benefits to engaging our sexual energy on a regular basis. The good news is there are simple mind-body practices, that can open up a whole new experience of your sexuality, that can make engaging it something to look forward to.

    Find out:
    * Reasons we're not engaging sexually
    * How we can invite more quality lovemaking into our lives when we’re not really feeling it
    * The impact of not engaging our sexual energy regularly
    * What we can do today to feel more sensual

    0 0

    Mickey “Memphitz” Wright
    By Brenda Alexander

    Say what you want about Iyanla Vanzant and what many consider her style of life coaching to be unconventional and exploitative; but, one thing she’s never wrong about is the hindrance unresolved traumas will have on your life. Case in point: Mickey “Memphitz” Wright.

    When I saw the preview for Memphitz appearance on the show, I thought to myself: He’s about to act a damn fool. Thankfully, I was wrong...

    Memphitz and ex-wife Toya Wright
    Memphitz is known more for his romantic life and antics than career success. Until he mentioned he played a hand in discovering T. Pain and Nicki Minaj as an A&R Executive, I knew him as Toya Wright’s crazy ex-husband who taunted both she and his ex-girlfriend K. Michelle occasionally, the latter of which alleged him to be the second coming of Ike Turner. Crazy thing is, K. Michelle never uttered his name when she told her abuse story on Love & Hip Hop, Memphitz and friends outed himself, trying to defend himself, and all hell waged from then on. Public outbursts, twitter beefs, gag orders and other embarrassing moments soon followed like a domino effect and before long, Memphitz was a bitter divorcee and drug addict turned criminal. It was a messy and sad downfall. Little did I know his trouble and lack of control over his emotions and erratic behavior started long before, with the tragic murder of his father igniting it all.

    In one of K. Michelle’s interviews with The Breakfast Club, she carelessly told the world that Memphitz’ dad was killed by the KKK. Her exact words were, “The KKK killed his daddy…” She went on to explain how not many people knew because Memphitz kept it secret, so it’s hard to understand why she felt it was her right to even tell it. It was said in such a lackadaisical tone that I dismissed it. But hearing the details of what happened on Saturday’s episode exposed how devastating it was.

    At 46, Mickey Wright Sr. was shot, body parts dismembered and scattered around neighboring junkyards in 2001. His family reported him missing and the truth wasn't found until three long years later. His remains were sadly never recovered and a proper funeral wasn't an option so the family settled on a memorial. The Klan member responsible is now serving life in prison. All of this took place when Memphitz was only 19. He left Memphis, TN for NYC to escape the pain, never revealing what happened to anyone. Having a parent taken because of racism and never being able to properly send him off is a lot heavier to process than your average loss, even having lost a sibling to senseless gun violence myself. Imagine what that said to him as a black man trying to navigate his own path moving forward. The weight of such a secret weighed heavily on him.

    Memphitz was living full-speed in the entertainment industry when the memorial took place, and although he attended, he didn't, however, attend the trial of his father’s killer. Never reconciling an ordeal so massive, no wonder he can’t handle things that others consider silly, such as public perception or loss of a job. We’ve all lost a “dream” job before. We pick ourselves back up and plot our comeback. But for Memphitz, losing anything is reminiscent of him losing his father. He admitted through tears that his career was a substitute for his father's absence, feeling cheated he's no longer here.

    Even the roles he has played in relationships seem related to his unreconciled feelings about his dad’s murder. Both he and K. Michelle claim he “saved” her and gave her the dream of superstardom. I wonder if him acting as a savior is because he felt he couldn't “save” his own father.

    Regardless of his experiences, he had trouble accepting any responsibility. He, and his family, insists that his career standstill is because of K. Michelle’s allegations (later proven truthful to some extent). Iyanla pointed out that couldn’t be true, comparing it to Chris Brown and Rihanna, explaining although Brown’s personal persona was under heat, his career thrives. Why not the same for Memphitz? Simply put, he doesn’t casts blame elsewhere.

    What was also interesting is that he comes from a supportive tribe of women. His mother, sister and cousin were present to help, but no men. According to them, Memphitz is hard headed and shuts men out, another example of fear of letting anyone else take his dad’s place. His sister even broke down on the show after years of suppression, showing how deep their loss manifests.

    Memphitz Cousin, Mother and sister (left to right) speaking with Iyanla Vanzant

    In the end, both Memphitz and his sister band together and allow themselves to release the hurt and start their grieving process. Iyanla offers Memphitz rehab, which he accepts. Unfortunately, it was revealed that he didn't enter into treatment and as we all know, you can’t force someone to get clean from substances. It’s a personal choice, one that I hope he chooses soon to continue his healing process. We wish him the best.

    Watch the full episode 

    Have you had to heal from past trauma?
    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

    0 0

    Hey Ladies,

    In this video, your girl Zara shares some practical tips on how to “glow up!"

    She says, "A lot of young men and women attempt to reach rather unattainable standards (by mimicking what they see on social media). I’m here to remind people that, it’s not difficult to be popping as long as you are working on being your best self."

    And we might add that both pics- the before & after- are beautiful!


    0 0

    Shay via @ShayGlam00
    By Joce Blake

    Coco Chanel said, "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life."

    Muva was speaking the truth because a hair cut provides liberation and freedom for so many women. It is especially hard for women of color to choose to embrace that freedom because our culture romanticizes long, thick hair. The moment you tell your mom, aunt, or play cousin that you plan to cut your hair, they will act as if someone died. For decades, it has been instilled in us that our hair represents our crowns. This means cutting your hair signifies being stripped of your glory. Well, that is over and done because it's a new year, and we have the right to decide what our crowns bespeak. From rocking 4c kinky hair to donning a buzz cut, the choice is yours.

    0 0

    Photo via Fabrice Moneiro
    By Nikki Igbo

    A Southern Poverty Law Center report based on a national study conducted in 2017 has revealed a sad truth about how American slavery is taught and learned. Plain and simply, American kids don’t know much about it and teachers are ill-equipped to provide students with information on the key concepts surrounding slavery. How bad is the problem? Only 8% of high school seniors know that slavery was the central cause of the Civil War. 68% of high school seniors don’t know that it took a constitutional amendment to end slavery. America’s youth don't know that white supremacy sustained and protected slavery. The vast majority of textbooks present a sanitized, downright nostalgic version of the institution. Slavery was not just a fragment of American history; it was the foundation.

    To misunderstand the realities and impact of slavery, and the way it was protected, all but assures the nation’s failure to solve deep-seated issues of racism, wealth disparity and social inequality. The classroom, however, is not the only place kids of all ages can learn about American slavery. And learning about slavery does not have to be an exercise in emotional self-torture. Here are four ways to learn about slavery in American history and feel empowered and inspired while doing so.

    Madam C. J. Walker
    1. Do a Black History Month Deep Dive. For the past 11 years, I have picked an industry (such as technology, filmmaking and hair care ) or a particular interest (such as music, politics and the arts) and challenged myself to learn the life story of a minimum of 28 figures in African-American history (past and present) who have made an impact in each category. Each February, I am consistently awed by how many more figures there really are in each field—particularly those who persevered in their calling despite their status as slaves and second class citizens. The internet, like no other time in history, has made discovering the truth about the indelible spirit of our ancestors extraordinarily accessible. When learned in concert with the horrors of slavery and the seemingly insurmountable laws and statutes that were established to protect slavery, the stories of those figures are all the more inspiring and truly heroic. (Hint: there’s no need to wait until February.)

    2. Have Lunch with a Grandparent…and Listen. There is a Tswana proverb that says, “the Young Bird does not crow until he hears the old ones.” While it is likely that your grandparent (or a grandparent you happen to know) was not a slave, their shorter generational distance from the institution is likely to reveal a great deal. The best part about hearing history from an elder seated across the table from you is the ability to ask questions and receive nuanced answers.

    3. Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
    There’s a reason why tickets to this 2016 addition to the Smithsonian Institution are so hard to come by; this museum is EVERYTHING. Established by an Act of Congress in 2003, and curated over decades, this jewel of an African-American historical treasury contains more than 36,000 artifacts and an almost overwhelming amount of knowledge dating back to the 15th century. When I visited, I expected to cry, and I did. But I was also filled with an astounding sense of pride. What African-Americans have endured—and all that we have created in spite of it—has boosted my sense of self in ways I would have never imagined before.

    4. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. History books aren’t the only sources of history on American Slavery. All throughout U.S. history, there have been African-American writers who have given both biographical and fictionalized accounts of the truth of slavery and its legacy. Yes, the stories can be raw. But while history books give an often dispassionate account of the way of things, these African-American tales reveal depths of emotion and establishes a connection to the past and its implications in a unique and powerful way. Here is a list of authors to start with.

    Birth of a Nation
    5. Watch the Story Unfold on Screen.
    Along with outstanding books, many excellent films have been made to articulate the terrors, oddities, and realizations of the American slave trade. All of the films on this list are available to rent and/or stream in the comfort of your own home. Pop popcorn. Keep both your favorite beverage and a box of tissues nearby. Watch with a friend or two. Don't be afraid to pause to discuss as the story progresses.

    How do you educate your kids about slavery?
    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 and stalk her on twitter @nikigbo or Instagram at @nikigbo

    0 0

    Struggle no more with what to do with an old twist out because CurlyGaisha has 3 super easy hairstyles that will give it new life! There's only one catch, if you like, please share, comment and/or subscribe to her channel! 

    0 0

    Taneica of Tea with Taneica 
    It's Friday so you already know that Taneica of Tea With Taneica has got your 5 minutes of Fashion Fodder!  Tune in as she gives us the best & worst looks from the red carpet this week. And if you like, please comment, share and subscribe to her channel!


    0 0

    Dorothy 'Serenity' Hall
    By Roseann V. Warren

    Returning to some level of normalcy after incarceration is difficult, especially when the system is designed to perpetuate a disadvantaged state of living. Dorothy Hall, an Augusta, Georgia-based author, dispelled the stigma of being prescribed to poverty and crime when she discovered her calling to write and assist others in getting their stories heard.

    Incarceration and the Black community became abundantly clear to me as I began to attend book and motivational networking events hosted by people of color. The more I saw people on platform stages sharing their struggles and personal redemptions, the more I realized just how embedded incarceration is within the Black American experience.

    African Americans represent only 13% of the U.S. population, yet make up 38% of the 2.2 million incarcerated in America, making it no surprise that repercussions of incarceration would seep into other areas of public life.

    While in prison, Hall would write her mother long letters, and during one of their phone calls, her mother questioned whether Hall had actually written the letters herself. “I write from the heart and would pour my feelings into my letters, especially when writing to my mom. She urged me to write books,” remembers Hall.

    Some might fall prey to hopelessness and become embittered, but for Hall, she spent her free time reading urban literature, as these stories mirrored the life she led before being incarcerated. The works of Wahida Clark, an author and publisher who has appeared on New York Times and Essence best-sellers lists with her Thug Love fiction, interested her. Just like Hall, Wahida Clark began her publishing career – within prison walls.

    From the 1970s to the mid-80s, U.S. incarceration rates were at 300 people per 100,000. It is now over 700 people per 100,000, with government administrations averting attention to a ‘War on Drugs,’ focusing more on punishment than rehabilitation, and establishing the profitable prison industrial complex, leaving many like Hall to languish in long sentences for non-violent crimes.

    “If we do something wrong like a drug crime, don’t give us a life sentence for selling drugs. Don’t think that we can’t come back and change our lives for the better. I don’t think they should count us out like that,” says Hall reflecting on how the system confines rather than gives them a chance to reform. The difficulty in finding a work, much less rent a home in their own names is impossible for felons.

    Hall began to write her first novel about a young girl from the South who lives in poverty where crime is a form of survival and unrequited love leads to destruction. Once the novel was finished, Hall sent queries to various publishers including Wahida Clark. “Wahida emailed me back and asked me to send the manuscript,” Hall says.
    “After a few months, she wrote back and said I was accepted. I was so excited. It didn’t feel real. Being incarcerated, the door has been closed on you and everybody outside has forgotten you. To get something good in your life, that you did, and it not be illegally done... In that moment, I felt liberated.”
    A year after her release, Hall published her debut novel, Feenin’ under the pseudonym Sereniti Hall in 2010. Describing the themes in her books, Hall says, “I try to show the detriment of it all in my stories. Young girls get hooked up with these older men like it’s all glamorous until hearts get broken. Whether it be drugs or promiscuity, they take that baggage over into a good relationship later. I try to incorporate that stuff into my novels." Writing the sequel, Still Feenin’ in 2013 through Wahida Clark’s publishing, Hall started to connect with other incarcerated writers and launched her own publishing company, 7 Figure Publications. She has published two additional books and represents a roster of authors.

    A friend of her sister’s, who is incarcerated, told an inmate about Hall and her publishing company. That inmate so happened to be Falicia Blakely, a woman serving a life sentence for multiple murders. Her story was recently adapted into the TV One movie 'When Love Kills,' starring Niatia ‘Lil Mama’ Kirkland and Lance Gross. Blakely contacted Hall for assistance in getting her full story out, as the production company that produced the film barely consulted Blakely. “We had a lot of similarities, not in terms of murder, but when it came to looking for love in the wrong places, and what comes with being with older men. It’s a story a lot of young African American women fall into,” Hall explains of why she agreed to the task. Last September, Hall penned and published, A Treacherous Hustle: Hitting a Lick for the Love of a Pimp, the real Falicia Blakely story. The hope is to reach more people with the intent to help save young women’s lives.

    As a publisher, Hall’s main objective when looking for authors is to find ‘a good story’. “I communicate with my authors instead of shutting down their dreams,” she laments. “With my first novel, I thought my editor hated my book. The bashing she gave me – that’s what I called it – was the best thing that happened to me. It taught me how to be better in storytelling and to pay better attention to my writing. The author/editor relationship is really important.”

    Ten years out of prison, Dorothy Hall’s hustle is an empowering one. From hustling on the streets, she now resides with her husband and three daughters, manages a hotel, runs her own successful publishing company, and serves as a life coach to her authors. “I like to keep a close bond with my authors. Their people on the outside have counted them out. I try to encourage them. It doesn’t matter if they’ve got one year or a life sentence, they still have a life to live.” Dorothy Hall is a true testament to turning one's life around, living a dream, and helping others to achieve the same success!

    For more on Dorothy 'Serenity' Hall and her authors visit:
    Have you read any books by formerly incarcerated or incarcerated women?
    Roseann V. Warren is the founder and editorial director of, and a developmental book editor based in Brooklyn, NY. She proudly calls herself a Prince head, and believes Hersey's chocolate is a crime. Follow her on: Twitter | InstagramFacebook |