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Black Entertainment, Money, Style and Beauty Blogs - Black Voices

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    Kerry Washington is set to take on the starring role in 'Grey's Anatomy' creator Shonda Rhimes upcoming new show, 'Scandal'.

    The Washington D.C.-set show is based on real-life crisis manager and public relations guru Judy Smith, whose resume includes advising Monica Lewinsky during the Clinton scandal, and playing a key role in the Iran-Contra investigation as well as the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Smith also served as White House deputy press secretary for Pres. George H. W. Bush.

    Expect a lot of drama in this new series, as 'Scandal' is said to "revolve around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff.' Washington leads the "gladiators in suits" as Olivia Pope, a former media relations consultant to the President. Although Pope has opened up her own firm, she can't seem to cut ties with her past "professionally and personally," according the show's official synopsis.

    Washington's Pope is described as "stylish but weary, too smart for her own good, something of a legend, formidable, driven, insightful, intuitive and fearless; heads up a team of crack legal experts." The official premiere date is TBD, but we're excited to see what the talented Washington will do with this starring role in a show developed by the equally talented Rhimes.

     

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  • 05/23/11--06:48: I Was Born a Boy
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    The flight to Bangkok's Don Muang Airport felt far longer than I'd imagined. It was Christmas break during my freshman year at the University of Hawaii, and I was 18, anxious, and alone. After high school graduation, many of my classmates were throwing big graduation parties and buying new cars. Those kids went looking for good times and great memories, but I was desperately searching for one thing only: a chance to be in the right body for the first time in my entire life. I had traveled more than 6,000 miles to have gender reassignment surgery - a sex change.
    At the arrival gate, I was greeted by two smiling nurses who assured me that everything was going to be OK. But I already knew that. I was the one who had lived with the sheer torment of inhabiting a body that never matched who I was inside, the one devastated by the quirk of fate that had consigned me to a life of masked misery. By the time I set foot in Thailand, I knew there could be nothing worse than living another day with a penis dangling between my legs.

    Counting backward as the anesthesia took hold, I surrendered to what I believed with certainty would be a better future. And then, just like that, I was awake again. The sound of Muslim prayers rang through the air, echoing in my brightly lit hospital room. Even though I'd spent the last three hours on the operating table - I could already feel the first tinges of pain in my lower body - I felt completely reborn. Though I had been born a boy to my native Hawaiian mother and African-American father, I would never be a man. It was the birth of my choosing this time. And now it was official: Charles had died so that Janet could live.

    Once, when I was 5-years-old, a little girl who lived next door to my grandmother dared me to put on a muumuu and run across a nearby parking lot. So I did. I threw it on, hiked it up in one hand, and ran like hell. It felt amazing to be in a dress. But suddenly my grandmother appeared, a look of horror on her face. I knew immediately that I had crossed some kind of line. After yelling at me, she banished me to our patio, where I played quietly with my sumo action figures for a while. I loved them because they had long hair, and they were the only "dolls" OK for me, a boy, to play with.

    It didn't take very long before the social cues got louder and clearer. My parents started scolding me over the way I walked and held my hands. I learned to hide aspects of my personality. Playing with girls was fine, for example, but playing with their Barbies was something I could do only behind closed doors. After my parents split, my mom said my younger brother and I needed a strong male role model and sent us to live with our dad in Oakland, California. Stern and critical, my father couldn't accept how feminine and dainty I was in comparison to my rough-and-tumble brother.

    "Get outside and play!" he would bark. One time, I pretended to be a girl named Keisha - I wasn't dressed like a girl, but in my baggy jeans and colorful top and with my longish hair, I easily passed for one. A boy who didn't know me told my cousin Mechelle that he thought I was pretty. "Isn't she?" Mechelle said, playing along. She. It spoke to my soul.

    Read more here.

     

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    From USA Today:

    Herman Cain has run a pizza chain, hosted a talk radio show and sparred with Bill Clinton over health care. He's never held elected office.

    Now the tea party favorite wants to be president.

    "In case you accidentally listen to a skeptic or doubting Thomas out there, just to be clear ... I'm running for president of the United States, and I'm not running for second," he told a crowd at Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday. Chants of "Herman" erupted from the crowd of thousands in downtown Atlanta.

    The announcement by the businessman, author and talk radio show host that he was joining the expanding Republican field came after months of traveling around the country to introduce himself to voters.

    Now the 65-year-old will see if he can use that grass-roots enthusiasm to turn a long-shot campaign into a credible bid.

    Cain supports a strong national defense, opposes abortion, backs replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax and favors a return to the gold standard. He said President Barack Obama "threw Israel under the bus" because he sought to base Mideast border talks partly on the pre-1967 war lines, and criticized the Justice Department for challenging Arizona's tough crackdown on illegal immigration.

    "We shouldn't be suing Arizona," he said to cheers. "We ought to send them a prize."

    Read more here.

     

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    Michelle Obama in Ireland

    From The Guardian UK
    : Welcome back to this side of the Atlantic! I'm so glad you're here, and not just because it means the Queen might get another hug. No, I'm excited because I admire you. You do a difficult job - a difficult non-job, let's face it - with style, aplomb and humour. I'm guessing you realised back on the campaign trail how difficult the role of first lady would be, what with all that rubbish about you and Barack exchanging "terrorist fist jabs", the suggestions you were unpatriotic, and the digging up of your college essays. (Imagine! What would they have made of my thesis on penis metaphors in Hemingway?) To exist under that kind of scrutiny must be punishing.

    It's a scrutiny that precludes you from having a day job - there would be constant suggestions that you were exploiting your position, the circling threat of trumped-up scandal - and it doesn't allow you to get too involved with government either. You've been described as Barack's closest adviser, but you've distanced yourself from that tag, with good reason. Hillary Clinton was heavily criticised for her work in her husband's administration, and while she has turned out to be a brilliant elected politician, some of that was probably warranted. I would love there to be more women in government - the numbers here and in the US are disgraceful - but if it turned out Sam Cam was directing foreign policy I'd be . . . how should I put this? I'd be concerned.

    So you're walking a tightrope, but you make it look easy. I'm sure having to cheerlead for your husband sometimes rankles, but you manage it without looking subservient or surrendered. I would love us to have reached a point in history where a first lady could say or do whatever she wanted, could be tattooed, or sweary, or slovenly, or - get this - highly ambitious; could admit to hating the role at times, could say she'd rather pursue her own career, could basically rebel, but we're not there yet (certainly not with Fox News around), and you know your husband is a good man, doing his best as president, and that if you kicked up your heels and said something even mildly controversial it would open a window for the prospective 2012 Republican candidates, whom nobody with an ounce of sense would trust with a tombola, let alone a fading superpower.

    So you've taken on a role that's packed with pitfalls and made it your own. You've advocated great causes - the rights of working parents, child health, women's empowerment. Your position is defined specifically by your husband's job, but you've remained distinctively your own person. Michelle Obama, we love you. Let me count the ways.

    Read all the reasons why Michelle Obama is loved in the UK at The Guardian

     

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    Twitter

    From The Root: Apparently black folks are terribly interesting.

    I mean, everything we do is fascinating. The way we vote. The way we dance. The way we apparently don't say "muthaf---er" when we're asking for a glass of iced tea. We're just so fascinating. So when black Americans started using the social media service Twitter, a slew of articles came down the pike. Everyone was just so intrigued by #BlackTwitter's magic and its members' tweets and interactions with one another. Articles on the subject took on the feel of an anthropological study of an alien species:

    "She's a Christian, but isn't afraid of sex. She seems to have some problems trusting men, but she's not afraid of them, either. She's very proud of her fiscal responsibility. She looks lovely in her faux modeling shots, although I am surprised how much her style aligns with what I consider mall fashion when she's a grown woman in her twenties. Her home is Detroit and she's finding the process of buying a new car totally frustrating. She spends an embarrassing amount of time tweeting responses to the Kardashian family."
    --"Why I Stalk a Sexy Black Woman on Twitter," Gizmodo

    That's a real article.

    Read more and share in the collective annoyance at The Root

     

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    Queen Latifah
    has evolved from Afrocentric rapper to A-list actor and now she can add fashion designer to her evolutionary reaches, as the Queen recently announced she has partnered with shopping giant HSN to launch a line of apparel and accessories for women of all sizes.

    Clothing items will be offered at prices under $100, with leather outerwear and bags between $170-$300. The line, which is set to debut August 27, will also feature a variety of other products including leggings, jeans and clip-on hair extensions.

    "I wanted to make something size two and up. The truth is, we all would like to wear the same clothes. We all want to wear beautiful, fly clothes no matter what size you are, and so for me it was important to match with a company that understood and respected that ideal," Latifah told WWD.

    The term plus-size will not be used in the line and Latifah says she waited specifically for the right partner that would allow her to reach a broader range of women. "I felt the marketplace didn't respect [larger women] in the way it should. I was not going to step out with a clothing line that didn't respect a fuller-figured woman or a curvaceous woman, and really all women."

     

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    Following the birth of their first child, Daniel Hiram Gibson, Jr., on March 2, Keyshia Cole and Cleveland Cavaliers player, Daniel Gibson have tied the knot.

    The couple confirmed and professed their love for one another on Sunday via Twitter, naturally: "It's OFFICIAL!!!!! #Done & #TrulyBlessed.. Mr. & Mrs. Gibson. We appreciate all the Well Wishes," Gibson wrote while Cole replied "...Yeees" in response to her husband's tweet.

    The two began their romantic bliss in 2009 and eventually became engaged in January 2010. As for adapting to motherhood, the platinum-selling singer stated that it has given her a "stronger foundation" in life.

    "Having my son didn't really change much, but it definitely gave me a foundation - a stronger foundation, rather, and it made everything make sense in perspective," she told 'MTV News' while promoting her latest album, 'Calling All Hearts.' "Love and making sure I know my focus in life is foremost before anything."

    The exact time and place of the wedding were not made public, although folks have speculated based on photographs in the media that the couple traded nuptials in Las Vegas.

     

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    From the CNN:

    For 25 years, Oprah Winfrey has had a plethora of people on her show for makeovers, intense interviews, surprise visits and encouraging stories. We have gotten to know and love -- or hate -- quite a few guests over the years.

    But there are some who have reached celebrity status due to Oprah's influence. Here are 10 people we wouldn't have met if the queen of talk shows hadn't introduced audiences to them:

    1. "Dr. Phil" McGraw and Dr. Mehmet Oz

    Both became regular staples on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and currently have their own television shows produced by Harpo Studios.

    McGraw and Oprah met in 1995. She hired his consulting firm for her "mad cow" Amarillo, Texas, beef trial. She enjoyed him so much that she asked him to become a recurring guest speaker on the show in 1998, giving advice as the "Relationship and Life Strategy Expert." Four years later, he had his own show and had become a household name.

    Oz became Oprah's resident M.D. for the show in 2004, where he would talk about a wide array of topics, from diabetes to masturbation to Botox. Since gaining immense popularity, he has spoken on "Good Morning America," the "Today" show and "Larry King Live" -- just to name a few. In addition to Harpo Studios' "The Dr. Oz Show," he hosts a daily radio show on Oprah Radio.


    Read more here.

     

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    From the Root:

    Times Live is reporting that former South African President Nelson "Madiba" Mandela made a surprise visit to his home in Transkei on Sunday. Mandela, who usually notifies the airport in Transkei of his arrival days in advance, arrived with little notice to the Mthatha Airport.

    Speculation that the human rights activist is gravely ill has followed him since his unexpected hospitalization in January for an acute respiratory infection. He had not been seen publicly since being hospitalized until last Monday, when he cast a special vote in the local government elections.

    Read more here.

     

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    From Coco & Creme

    We've all heard the saying "Long hair, don't care," but if you really want your healthiest, longest locks, they need a little TLC. Read on to learn why your hair's growth is at a standstill and how to get results.

    1. It's dirty.

    This may seem like common sense, but dirty hair is not healthy hair. Our scalp is an extension of our skin. Imagine what your face would look like if you went 2 weeks without washing it! Hair needs to be treated to a good cleansing at least once every 7-10 days.

    2. Heat Damage

    Heat damage is no fun, whether it occurs on relaxed or natural hair. For natural hair using a high temperature of heat can give the same permanently bone-straight results as relaxing your hair. And, relaxed hair becomes brittle, dry and breaks easily.

    "For breakage issues it's best to see your stylist to get a trim. Severe damage may warrant a little more cutting to re-grow the hair," says Sharrell Dorsey a natural hair expert and licensed esthetician. "Combat heat styling issues by getting regular protein treatments and deep conditioning treatments to make the hair healthier and stronger."

    3. It's dry.

    To prevent hair loss and drying, both the hair and scalp need to be moisturized. A lack of moisture causes hair to be brittle and prone to breakage. Instead of using petroleum-based products because they can clog pores, use natural oils, Dorsey says.

    "Turn to nature's best oils like olive, Vitamin E, jojoba, coconut and monoi oils that naturally hydrate the scalp, hair and even body," she suggests.

    4. It's being pulled too tight.

    Pulling hair too tightly can result in permanent hair loss such as traction alopecia, which occurs around the temple and near the ears. It can also result in acne or sores to the scalp, and that's just not a good look. We already lose about 100 hairs daily, so there's no need to double this number from irresponsible styling.

    5. Overprocessing

    Relaxers, hair dye and hair curlers, oh my! Doing too much to your hair at once is dangerous. It's damaging to hair's overall health and can result with immediate consequences such as chunks of hair falling out. Be sure to read instructions carefully and to do your research before trying multiple treatments at once and for proper maintenance over the long run.


    Read here for the remaining reasons.

     

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    From the Huffington:


    The national media's focus, rightly, heads now to Joplin, Missouri, to survey and dispatch from the scene of a devastating killer tornado. It's already been declared a state of emergency, with federal relief on its way, but if a recent pattern is any indication, the attention will be fleeting. And if that does end up being the case, perhaps Spike Lee has his next movie project.


    Lee received a Peabody Award on Monday for his second documentary series on the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, this one titled "If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise." A companion piece to his first HBO-aired look at the weather-beaten city, "When the Levees Broke Right: A Requiem in Four Acts," this new documentary explores the fledgling rebuilding effort undertaken by the city's citizens. Yet Lee isn't just looking forward -- he had sharp words for former President George W. Bush, who was in office when the hurricane crashed through the already crumbling levees.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Irish Times
    :

    As diverse cultures, we struggled as migrants. That struggle led us both to the White House, writes Martin O'Malley.


    As Barack Obama visits Ireland for the first time as president, I am reminded of a simple gesture of kindness that altered the course of American history.

    In October 1960, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was roused from bed in the middle of the night on trivial charges stemming from his protests against racial segregation. King was denied bail and sentenced to four months of hard labour in a Georgia prison camp, which many feared he might not survive, either by lynching or by a convenient "accident". This was not, on the turbulent surface of the times, John Fitzgerald Kennedy's problem. The Massachusetts senator was locked in a close race for the White House. If he had any chance to win, he needed to keep the support of white Southern Democrats - Southern Democrats who, for the most part, hated everything that Martin Luther King stood for.

    Yet JFK, without a flicker of cynicism, picked up the phone and called King's pregnant wife, Coretta, offering her comfort and his help. When Kennedy's campaign managers found out, they were livid and figured it a thoughtless act that could well cost the election.

    Read more here.

     

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  • 05/24/11--04:14: Using Chalkboard Paint
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    Time to repaint those tired walls? Consider doing a little more than just picking a new shade of neutrals. Chalkboard paint is in, and it's fun. A wall with purpose can serve the creative and organizational needs for your child Cezanne and yourself (we know you have own personal Picasso in there!)



    While chalkboard paint has traditionally only come in black and green, Hudson Paint offers a variety of different shades, from oranges to baby blues. A brightly colored chalkboard accent wall in the living room would be perfect to entertain your kids or for your own friends who haven't let loose creatively in a while. What better party activity than Pictionary on the actual wall?

    If you're feeling particularly crafty, our sister site DIY Life has explained how you can make your own.


    Chalkboard walls can be functional in addition to fun. Imagine always having your recipe in front of you while at the stove!



    You can even update your refrigerator so that you'll always know when you're out of milk - post-its are so passé.


    And why stop there? By painting your dresser drawers (remember to remove them from the unit first!) you will never have to think of what goes where again.

    Queen of decoration Martha Stewart shows that chalkboard walls can alleviate the clutter in your busy schedule on top of the clutter around your house. A six-week chalkboard wall calendar will definitely get you and your family on the same page - and if that stops working, you can even use the individual squares to make a patchwork of wall art.


    Repurposing walls can give you a new sense of purpose as well.

    If you like the chalkboard, you should also take a look at magnetic paint that you can buy from your local Home Depot.

     

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    From HelloBeautiful.com:

    Black stereotypes. They plague both the men and women of our community. We've already covered 9 Stereotypes Of Black Women That Aren't Always True, but now, men, it's your turn to prove (some of) these rumors wrong.

    1. All Black Men Are Well-Endowed
    This one is bound to start some discussion. Upon googling 'Black men big penis true?', you'll find a range of references to an unemployed white man from Brooklyn named John Falcon, who's apparently the owner of the world's largest.

    Research however will tell you that there is in fact no truth to the debate about differences in size across the races. It is certainly not a guarantee that the next black man you meet will outdo John Falcon in the size department but in terms of a continued discussion about this myth, we'll leave it with you.

    2. They Don't Like To Work
    While Black men suffer from some of the highest rates of unemployment in America, psychologists will confirm that this is in no way related to choice. Men in general are hardwired to want to provide for their families and so will pursue any means possible to achieve that goal. 'Not wanting to work' is a negative stereotype of black men that is certainly not true in the grand majority of cases of unemployment.

    3. Black Men Are Extremely Sexually Virile
    Can we keep this one as it is? What do you think?

    4. Black Men Are Great Athletes
    Any major sporting event features an array of muscular, testosterone-filled black men. But, 'Look at them! Now look at your man! And back to them! Now look at your man!'

    Read the rest here.

     

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    From Bloomberg Businessweek:

    In 1988, Oprah Winfrey made a decision that would change her life-and eventually the future of television. Her talk show was already getting better ratings than kingpin Phil Donahue and aired in 198 markets. When she renegotiated her contract with King World Productions, which syndicated her show, and with ABC (DIS), which produced it, Winfrey demanded control and got it.

    Winfrey's Harpo Productions assumed the show's production costs, but it also collected licensing fees from local stations, estimated at $100 million in 1988. Plus, Harpo earned money from a few lucrative moments of advertising each day. "I never wanted to be in a position again in life where I was meant to do something but couldn't do it because somebody was telling me I couldn't," Winfrey later told writers of a Harvard Business School case study.

    The impulse to take control of her life-and then enjoy it-resonated with her viewers over a 25-year span that will end on May 25, when she airs her finale on broadcast television and turns her attention to her new cable channel. Over that time, Oprah became a singular brand born of her own personal history. Winfrey's story of childhood poverty and sexual abuse, her struggle with her weight, and her striving and charisma made her the near-perfect peddler of a relentless optimism.

    She was more than a celebrity: She stood for self-improvement, doing good, and controlling your own destiny. Her motto, "Live your best life," was invoked on her show, in her magazine, and on her website.

    Read more here.

     

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  • 05/24/11--07:23: House of Hope in Harlem

  • HARLEM - When Sandy Perez* was 9 years old, her mother's brother raped her. Afterwards she ran down to a local bar to tell her mother and instead of opening her arms her mother closed her fists and gave her a beating.
    Perez spent the next month and a half in the hospital.

    By 11, she was a runaway in the hands of pimps and pedophiles, selling her body on the streets of New York City. At 15, she was a drug addict supporting two heroin addictions: hers and her pimps. That's the same age she started going to jail, eventually racking up more than 60 arrests, mostly for prostitution.

    Latoya Payne's* story started differently but ended much the same - on Riker's Island.

    Two days after Christmas in 2005, Payne smoked crack-cocaine for the first time. Her addiction quickly became a monster, gobbling up everything she cared about. She lost a good job with the gas company, as well as her apartment and custody of her two daughters, and ended up getting raped by a "friend" she got high with. He nearly choked her to death for putting up a fight.

    The attack didn't stop her from using. Instead, she further alienated herself from her family and ended up getting arrested several times.

    Those were the bad old days.

    Today, Perez and Payne are turning the corner on their addictions and their dark pasts. These women are two of the newest residents of Kandake House, a recently opened $15 million state of the art residential facility in East Harlem for formerly incarcerated women with substance abuse issues. While drug-treatment programs are as common in Harlem as street corner bodegas - a ubiquitous reminder of the neighborhood's lingering battle with drugs and addiction - Kandake House is one of just a few that cater only to women and women with children.


    While the standard in-patient services such as drug and alcohol counseling and domestic violence prevention programs are offered, clients at Kandake House are also provided with vocational training and classes in holistic therapies such as Reiki, Yoga and massage. They even have culinary arts classes taught by a chef who works in the facility's five-star commercial kitchen. The building is also green-friendly, with gas fire boilers, plenty of natural sun and paint and carpets that contain no volatile chemicals. There's also a greenhouse on the 8th floor roof and garden space.

    The goal of the facility, located at 435 East 119th Street, is to provide the most vulnerable women with a safe place to wean themselves from their addictions and to heal the emotional wounds that so often fuel the cycle of self-destruction and addiction. Kandake, which is an ancient Nubian word that means queen or warrior woman, is also a place of last resort. It works with the criminal, drug and family courts to offer convicts an alternative to prison.

    "These women have suffered so many traumas," said Anne Elliott (pictured above with Rep. Charlie Rangel at the Kandake House opening), the executive director of Greenhope Services, which runs Kandake House. "So we unapologetically put their care first. They can't take care of themselves if they are too busy trying to take care of others. They are often dealing with angry kids and shame."

    So there are no men treated here. Too much of a distraction and too often the relationships these women have had with men are at the source of so much of their pain. Elliott, who doubles as executive and sometimes "house mother," said about 90 percent of the clients were sexually abused or raped. About 20 percent of them are HIV positive. All have been through the criminal justice system.

    "This is life or death for her," Elliott said of the women who come through Kandake's doors.

    Until last month Greenhope, which was founded 35 years ago, operated a treatment program inside the convent of The Holy Rosary Church across the street from Kandake House. It was a much smaller operation, serving about 40 women. The new facility can serve up to 72 single women and 28 women with children. It also offers out-patient services to anyone who needs them.

    On Monday, as rain fell outside the building and clouds muted any hint of sunshine, Perez, 43, spoke of her hardscrabble upbringing, of being a child prostitute and drug addict most of her life. But she also spoke of redemption and growth. Before coming to the facility a little more than three months ago, she was on Riker's Island.

    A judge ordered her to Kandake House. She has been clean for four months, the longest she's been clean since a stint in 1985.


    "Really, since I've been here I can already feel my strength growing a lot," said Perez. "I've always been a people pleaser. I never had a voice. But I have one right now. I'm learning how to live with my feelings and not medicate them away the way I did for so many years. I'm learning to feel the guilt, feel the shame. It's not a very nice feeling but I know that I don't have to medicate. Before I had to be numb."

    Monica Holmes, 61, a Greenhope alum, is one of the many success stories here. After decades of drug abuse, drug dealing, stints in jail and prostitution when she needed an "emergency" fix, she went through the program and has been clean for seven years. She also is an overnight counselor at Kandake House who credits the program with helping her to learn that "she can dance and sing without a drink or drug."

    Holmes is a regal, bald woman with scars that line her neck from where she would shoot drugs into her veins.

    "I see a little of myself in everybody," Holmes said. "I can reach them if I can be present and visible to let them know that I don't care who you hurt or where you've been, that they can change."

    *The names of the two women who recently entered Kandake House have been changed to protect their identities.

     

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  • 05/24/11--07:41: The Future Looks Brown
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    A recently released time-lapse map produced by PolicyLink, a national research agency dedicated to social equity, shows the decade-by-decade browning of America. The so-called Map of America's Tomorrow, shows that by the year 2042 the majority of Americans will be people of color. The map also shows the states and regions that will be most populated by people of color, including blacks, Hispanics/Latinos and Asians.

    "This map makes crystal clear just how dramatically the face of America is changing - and how quickly," said Angela Glover Blackwell, the Founder & CEO of PolicyLink. "Already, nearly half of all young people are of color, and by 2040, people of color will become our nation's majority. Clearly, this snapshot of our future has struck a chord, leaving no doubt that we must invest in and start building the foundation of tomorrow's America today. Let's start now."
    The "we" that Blackwell is referring to are those who influence policy, such as legislators and policymakers, according to PolicyLink. The group believes that the entire nation must take up the cause of advocacy on behalf of communities of color, particularly for "fair, equitable and targeted investments."

    According to the latest U.S. Census data, a growing list of major American cities have seen their native-born black populations declining at an alarming rate - including Detroit, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., and among the biggest losers Oakland and Chicago with losses of 25 percent and 17 percent, respectively - over the past 10 years.

    Many upwardly mobile African Americans have moved to the suburbs or to the South. Others still have been forced out of major cities by gentrification. Despite the shifts though, experts and data indicate that the overall number of ethnic minorities, including blacks, will in total comprise the majority of America in the relatively near future.

    PolicyLink said until now there has been no visualization of what this future will look like.

    To see the methodology behind the PolicyLink map click here.


     

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    From the Huffington Post:

    For nearly two decades, the expected life spans of black and white Americans steadily narrowed, offering a hopeful indication of both racial progress and medical success: Everyone was living longer, and the gap was closing.

    Then came 2009. For all Americans, the average life expectancy again nudged up for the year, reaching 78 years and two months according to preliminary figures from the Centers for Disease Control. But black Americans saw no improvement in life expectancy, remaining at 74 years and three months.

    Some experts construe this unanticipated widening of the black-white life expectancy gap as a product of the Great Recession. The recession extracted brutal economic costs from nearly every slice of American society, particularly from African Americans.

    Nearly two years after the recession's official end, black unemployment remains at 16.1 percent compared to the 8 percent of white Americans unable to find work. And it's the stress that can come with a job loss that some experts say may explain the new size of the life expectancy gap.

    Read more here.

     

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  • 05/24/11--09:21: Trend Alert: Florals
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    floral accessories

    Fear you'll look like a bouquet if you follow the new floral trend? Fret not. Just go with it and try on the next floral item that catches your eye. You'll see - it will add blossom to your closet and bloom to your step.


     

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    Consistently ranked as one of the richest and most powerful women in the world - even credited with giving President Obama over one million votes - Oprah Winfrey has indeed risen to heights heretofore thought unimaginable.

    As with all of humanity, though, Oprah has had one very persistent and public struggle, and that is with her weight, which has fluctuated fairly dramatically over the years. But as we chronicle her looks over a 20-year period, you'll see that Winfrey remains smart about choosing styles that compliment her figure at any size. There should be no shame in her game!

    Check out some of her notable looks through the years in our gallery below.


     

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