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

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    design stars

    The premiere of HGTV's 'Design Star' debuts tonight at 9 p.m. on HGTV and we caught up with the three African American contestants to give you their tips to designing on a budget.

    Recycle Old Items

    Alisha "J" Allen of Chevy Chase, Maryland studied interior design at Howard University and has 11 years experience, she suggest D-I-Y designers get creative by recycling old furniture. "Think outside the box; an inexpensive table runner or place mats can make a really striking statement when mounted on a wall as art. Finding aesthetic alternatives for many inexpensive household items is my secret to keeping cost low and interest high," she said.

    Minor Fixes Make Major Impact

    Former New York news reporter who won five Emmy Awards, Cathy Hobbs, followed her passion and started an interior design and staging company. She described her experience on the show as "awesome" and according to her, the kitchen and bathroom are the spaces most people begin remodeling.

    To start your kitchen remodel on a fixed budget she suggests replacing flooring with affordable materials like linoleum and counter tops with quarts as well as switching out cabinet knobs, retiling of backsplashes and repainting. To update your bathroom she suggest making minor updates like new flooring,new sink, faucet or toilet to provide a quick change.

    Thrift Away


    "I think design has the stigma of being for the rich or the elite" but it's really for everyone, said Douglas Hines who worked as a graphic designer for top New York advertising agencies before opening an art gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. He suggests you look into thrifting if you haven't already done so. "The biggest resource that I think people underestimate is thrift stores. People think it's for lower income people or it's just people's used trash and it's absolutely not. You can find gems in thrift stores."

     

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    From Yahoo News:

    An Iowa conservative Christian group last week essentially asked presidential contenders to say black families were better off during slavery.

    Read more here.

     

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    Do booksellers still need sections dedicated to black authors and books?
    That's what Arielle Loren is wrestling with over at Clutch. When Loren was younger, she appreciated that there was a space where she could easily find the books she said reflected her interests. But now that she's a professional writer, she wonders if the black section is keeping black authors' work from getting a wider reading.

    "Why not diversify mainstream front store literature to reflect the multicultural reality of this country?" she asks. "More than black readers ought to be reading black literature."

    It's a worthy question, considering how much fewer people are buying books and how thin the connective tissue often is between the books arrayed under the black banner. A bookstore might house Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father, Octavia Butler's Kindred and Zane's The Heat Seekers --- memoir, sci-fi/fantasy, and erotica, respectively --- all on the same shelves. Having serious fiction rubbing up against street-lit and bodice-rippers could leave some writers feeling relegated to some literary ghetto. (Um, pardon the phrasing.)

    "As an author and a former bookstore employee, anything that potentially makes a book harder to find could be a concern," Danielle Evans, the author of the lauded Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, told BlackVoices. "I have on occasion walked out of a bookstore or bought something else after not finding a book that I was looking for in the lit section, and then blocks away realized I should have asked if it was in the af-am section, because it can be hard to remember which stores shelve what where, and which stores have African-American sections."

    But she was ambivalent about the prospect of scuttling them altogether. "I think we can give African American readers enough credit to think they won't stop finding or buying books just because they're mixed in with the larger book section, she said. "But I think they can still signal a 'you are welcome here,' which might be meaningful to people who are often made to feel not welcome in retail spaces? It's sad that that would be necessary, and if there is a benefit, there is certainly also a cost, but it's not something to write off completely."

    What, fair readers, do you think?

     

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    From DCentric:

    The recession from 2007 to 2009 has hit nearly all sectors and communities in the American economy, but minorities, and particularly African Americans, may have been affected the most. Jesse Washington's recent Associated Press story about how the recession reversed many of the economic gains that took the black community many years to attain contains some grim statistics: in 2009, the average black household had only 2 cents for every dollar of wealth held by the average white household, and in April 2010, black male unemployment hit its highest point since the government began tracking it in 1972.

    Read more here.

     

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    From NPR:

    On today's show, we tell the story of a secret battle that's been going on for more than a year: The fight to create the song of the summer, the music industry's holy grail.

    Read more here.

     

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    From TPMDC:

    Sure you knew Herman Cain could manage a pizza empire and run a presidential campaign, but did you know he is also a skilled gospel singer?

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Atlantic:

    Last Saturday, the Republic of South Sudan declared its independence, creating the newest nation in the world -- the 193rd nation to join the United Nations. The new country has been in the making since a referendum last January, when nearly 4 million southern Sudanese voted to secede from Sudan by a margin of more than 98 percent.

    Read more here.

     

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  • 07/12/11--03:26: Snapped: Captain Keri
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    keri hilson

    Keri Hilson hit the stage at the Gallery Nighclub in Las Vegas this weekend dressed in an edgy military inspired outfit. The singer paired a satin black bodice with a fitted olive skirt and hat and bullet accessories.





    Closeup




    Full Length
    keri hilson

     

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    Hey ladies: the next time you're feeling the sting of racism, don't try to soothe your aching spirit with a mani/pedi, candles, incense or meditation. According to a study published in "Psychology of Women Quarterly," none of the above will ease a black woman's racism-related stress in any meaningful way.
    You're kidding!

    In fact, the study suggests that these rituals and coping methods might actually make women feel worse.

    "I expected that higher use of coping efforts would reduce the severity of psychological outcomes associated with individual race-related stress," Tawanda Greer, the study's author, said in a press-release trumpeting the findings.

    "African American women are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of race-related stress, given their socially constructed identities as African Americans and as women," Greer wrote. "Thus, it is critical to the overall well-being of African American women that coping efforts are identified that assist in alleviating the psychological impacts associated with race and the intersection of race- and gender-related challenges."

    In an interview with Dr. Jan D. Yoder, editor of "Psychology of Women Quarterly, Greer suggests that a combination of venting with friends, prayer and church activities works better than more passive coping methods such as alone time, quiet sulking and fixating on crucifixes, etc.

    "Research definitely shows that distraction is not very effecting in the long run unless the person can actively or realistically avoid the stressor in totality," she said during the interview, which is available here.

    Wow, Greer's study suggests that by pretending racism doesn't exist doesn't make it go away. And, that distracting ones self with candles doesn't do the trick either.

    So, I have to ask: how do you ladies cope with the random, everyday acts of racism you encounter?

     

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    Colorado just released a host of new rules for its daycare centers, including requiring that the have dolls of at least three different races.


    The rules are part of 98-page list of regulations meant to standardize and improve the state's daycare centers. (Colorado is ranked 43rd in child care oversight, according to the National Center of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.)

    But as with any government regulations --- and especially those involving race --- some folks are not too keen on the new guidelines, saying they restrict their choices and could even force some centers out of business. Meredith Carroll at Strollerderby thinks that "requiring dolls of at least three different races seems a bit silly (why not transgender or handicapped dolls, too, while they're at it?)."

    But what, exactly, does Carroll find so "silly"about that notion? While some of the regulations might place onerous burdens on daycare centers, it's not clear what the practical objection might be to object to about the rules on multi-ethnic dolls. The attendant costs would be almost negligible compared to the larger costs of running a daycare center. But the social costs might be incalculable. We know toys play an important role in helping lay the foundation for how people understand gender and race. Five decades after the famous study in which black girls chose white dolls to play with over black ones, dolls remain the focus of subtle signalling about race, beauty and acceptability.

    Having the dolls doesn't solve all of the problems around teaching diversity --- the universe of possible cringeworthy, racefail moments boggles the mind --- but it's a good first step, and a pittance to pay to make sure some children don't feel needlessly alienated.

     

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  • 07/12/11--07:54: Rihanna's Armani
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    rihanna
    From Vogue.com

    Rihanna is set to replace Megan Fox as the new face of Armani. The singer will appear in campaigns for Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans from autumn/winter 2011-12.

    Although no images have yet been released, Armani has revealed that the shoot took place recently in New York and will launch in September. Rihanna follows in the footsteps of Fox as well as Victoria Beckham, who has also modelled underwear for the label.

    Read more here.

     

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  • 07/12/11--09:15: Celebrating Nelson Mandela
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    July 18, 2011 is Nelson Mandela's 93rd birthday. A cause for celebration, this is a day to remember and honor the world-changing work of the former President of South Africa, who was a powerful political prisoner and freedom fighter.

    In October 2006, I was part of a delegation of artists and activists who visited South Africa at the request of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to celebrate his 75th birthday. We landed in Cape Town and were given a tour of Robben Island by the politician, author and former political prisoner with Mr. Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada. My son, Salvador, opened Mandela's cell with a large metal key, and in small groups, we stood where the wise leader had been imprisoned many of the 27 years he was incarcerated.

    I was in awe looking at the thin woolen mat on the floor that he slept on each night for fourteen years before prisoners were given cots, and the small barred window high in the wall through which he viewed free citizens moving to and fro. Mandela writes of being transferred to Robben Island: "I hate being moved from one prison to another. It involves much inconvenience and degrading treatment. One is handcuffed and sometimes even manacled, and often it involves being exposed to prison officials and members of the public at each stop at different prisons en route while one is dressed in the humiliating prison outfit." ('Conversations with Myself').

    Prisoners on Robben Island endured relentlessly brutal days, and Mr. Mandela and his comrades worked in a lime quarry in blistering heat and freezing cold, or hammered stones in the courtyard for hours without a break. The light bulbs in their cells were never turned off.

    In direct contrast to Mr. Mandela's prison cell, our delegation was graced with a private meeting with the father of South Africa at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg. In groups of three or four, we sat beside the great leader and he asked us questions about America and our lives. I cherish a photo I have of Mr. Mandela, his head thrown back in laughter, me on his left side, smiling with all my heart.

    The beloved South African elders -- Mr. Mandela, Archbishop Tutu, Ahmed Kathrada, Barbara Hogan, and Mama Albertina Sisulu -- have given me powerful examples of creating dreams and goals in life without giving up or surrendering to suffering, and keeping a forward movement in resisting violence and oppression. Their work and words encourage me to keep open the doors of inspiration and strength, and allow no one authority over my heart's vision. In 'Long Walk to Freedom,' Mr. Mandela writes, "...to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

    In November 2009, the UN General Assembly formally declared July 18 to be Mandela Day. Nelson Mandela has given 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity and the Mandela Day Campaign in South Africa is reaching out to people worldwide to request that every July 18th, we give 67 minutes of our time to be of service to expand Mr. Mandela's vision. Whether it is supporting a chosen charity or serving in local communities, we are encouraged to make a contribution to the well-being of society.

    Please share with me how you give your time, and I will share how I spend my 67 minutes for my beloved Madiba.


    Deborah Santana is a philanthropist, a supporter of peace and social justice, and the author of the memoir 'Space Between The Stars: My Journey to an Open Heart.' Deborah founded Do a Little, a nonprofit whose mission is to support women in the areas of health, education, and happiness. To find out more about her life and work, read her blog on Red Room.

     

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    From Madame Noire
    : How does one not fall victim to lust at work? One too many spend the majority of their days working behind the desk and dodging what has the potential to become an office romance. But on many occasions temptation is hard to resist when you're smitten by a co-worker's intellect, personality, work ethic and dashing good looks. No matter how you may try to keep it a secret, your secret love almost always gets out. So, if both of you are unattached, here's how to successfully pull off an office romance without it unraveling at work:

    Read More here
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    From Daily Finance
    : Most Americans might not plot to kill their supervisors like the employees do in the new Jennifer Aniston movie Horrible Bosses (opening Friday), but nearly half have reason to scream bloody murder, a new survey says.

    A whopping 46% of workers have toiled under an "unreasonable boss" according to an OfficeTeam staffing poll. Of the 441 respondents, 35% said they stayed at first to deal with the issue, while 11% quit immediately.

    Find out how to deal with them.

     

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    From MTV News:

    20 years ago today writer/director John Singleton changed the movie game. As cliche as it may sound before July 12, 1991, films depicting the harsh realities of the inner-city, African American experience were underappreciated, undervalued and virtually unheard of. That was of course until the theatrical release of 'Boyz N the Hood.' Inspired by the N.W.A. song of the same name, 'Boyz N the Hood' put the struggles of the Black youth in Los Angeles on full display.

    Read more here.

     

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    From San Diego Gay & Lesbian News:

    History-making politician Simone Bell will be landing in America's Finest City to speak at the 11th annual San Diego Women's Pride Brunch on Saturday, July 16. Bell is the first African-American lesbian to serve in a U.S. state legislature and recently won re-election to her seat in the Georgia state House of Representatives.

    Read more here.

     

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    As previously reported, multi-platinum singer Beyoncé Knowles ended her management relationship with her father, Mathew Knowles and his Music World Entertainment company earlier this year. At the time both parties stated that their decision to part was "mutual." However, recent reports claim that Beyonce dismissed her father due to stolen money.

    According to Mr. Knowles, who filed court papers against tour promotion company, Live Nation Entertainment, the claim is false.

    TMZ managed to get their hands on the legal documents which outlined how the company allegedly lied on the former Xeox executive in order to helm her 2011 world tour. Knowles claims in the document that Live Nation befriended the international Pop star and told her that he "had stolen money from Beyonce on her most recent tour or otherwise taken funds that [he] was not entitled to." Adding that the 'Single Ladies' singer ordered her law firm to conduct an audit, which in fact proved that Knowles had swindled a lump sum of money for her.

    The documents also claim that following Mathew Knowles' termination Beyonce hired a replacement who previously worked as an executive at Live Nation.

    Knowles is reportedly seeking the right to take depositions of various people at Live Nation, to determine just how they concluded he was a thief.

    Shortly after she ended her professional relationship with her father, Beyonce released a statement stating that she is; "grateful for everything he has taught me. I grew up watching both he and my mother manage and own their own businesses. They were hardworking, and I will continue to follow in their footsteps."



     

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    From indieWire:

    If you plan on attending the 7-day 2011 EAA AirVenture festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin later this month (and I'm sure you all are), you'll likely be the first group of folks to see any footage from the George Lucas-produced Tuskegee Airmen actioner, 'Red Tails.'

    Read more here.

     

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    From Out Magazine:

    It was a Friday evening in Fort Lauderdale, warm and clear, like so many that 12-year-old Michael Irvin had experienced growing up in southern Florida. He was riding in a car with his father, Walter, a roofer by trade who spent what little spare time he had operating as the local Primitive Baptist minister. The two were heading home after an errand that was a regular payday ritual: Walter would drive into town to buy cigars and then drop off money with Michael's grandmother to help with her bills. It was the late 1970s, a time of strife in America, and young Michael had already seen a lot in his low-income neighborhood. But nothing prepared him for what happened next.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the New York Times:

    In 2008, when Katherine Sprowal's son, Matthew, was selected in a lottery to attend the Harlem Success Academy 3 charter school, she was thrilled. "I felt like we were getting the best private school, and we didn't have to pay for it," she recalled.

    Read more here.

     

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