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Divorced? 5 Ways to Get Your Life Back

 As seen on ChicagoNow.com, May 15 2015

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Photo by Jasmine Browley

Peytyn Willborn, celebrity hair dresser (key stylist to Academy Award winning actress Mo’Nique among others) turned serial entrepreneur, has been officially divorced from popular Chicago comedian George Willborn (The Michael Baisden Show, The Doug Banks Show) for more than a few years now.

Married for more than 15 years, the coupling was filled with infidelity, and career envy among other things, and that ultimately led to the separation, according to Peytyn Willborn.

I recently sat down with Peytyn to discuss the tumultuous marriage, how it changed her outlook on business, and her advice for surviving life post-divorce. Here are a few of the gems I took away from our conversation.

1. Leave the “pity party.”

Everyone knows that divorce is some bullsh*t. Most divorcees will agree that it’s undoubtedly one of the worst times in their lives. But, and I say this with the most empathy as possible, so what?

Peytyn said that she set a statute of limitations on feeling sorry for herself, even when she was still clashing with her ex-husband.

“I just kept telling myself that ‘I’ve overcome worse circumstances–this too shall pass.’”

She stressed that the first year should be your throwaway; that it’s normal to vent about the loss, grieve the relationship, and to talk to loved ones about every minute detail. But after that, it’s imperative to make a deliberate effort to stop victimizing yourself. Regardless of what your spouse has done–is still doing or will do–you CANNOT make the pain and embarrassment of your split become your identity.

2. Accept your new financial climate

Peytyn said that this was one of the most important revelations she had during the divorce. Although she has been financially independent all of her adult life, Peytyn realized that she had to reaffirm her priorities and be prepared to spend money as a single person.

“I refused to rely on my ex-husband as my long-term financial solution, nor did I EVER allow myself to think that ‘finding another man’ will affect my finances in a positive way,” she said.

Although the self-made millionaire did receive emotional support from her ex during the beginning stages of building one of her three 24-hour daycare centers a few years ago, she still credits her independent streak as the catalyst for her success post-divorce.

“Although I lived my married days with the mindset of ‘forever,’ I didn’t treat my purse like that,” she said. “I ALWAYS made sure I had my own, and made sure I kept my own once we parted because I knew that I needed to maintain the life I became accustomed to.”

This notion, along with Peytyn’s business savvy, led her to launch her latest business venture, an upscale Italian restaurant on Chicago’s south side.

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George and Peytyn Willborn

3. Don’t blame yourself

“No good marriage ends in divorce.” -Louis C.K.

Peytyn said that one of the biggest lessons she learned during her divorce was not taking her ex’s missteps personally.

“I know that I was a good partner, not perfect by any means, but nothing I did or didn’t do should have garnered the type of treatment I received,” she said.

During the divorce, she said she learned to pick her battles, to let go of issues that don’t really matter or can’t be changed and to accept with grace and maturity the general pain of an ongoing end of a marriage — acknowledging this just makes life a little bit easier.

4. Allow happy to happen

Peytyn said she could remember a time when she was often in the shadows while working with her ex-husband.

“As George’s manager, he often told me that I was too bashful to do certain things, and sometimes would laugh at me when I tried to step out of my shell–for a long time, I believed him,” she said. “Now that that period of my life is over, it’s all about Peytyn and the ones that love me.”

5. One last thing: Post-divorce, #PeytynSays said that she learned to channel her energies into evaluating her life, her dreams and how to move forward. Also, although jumping into another serious relationship too soon is ill-advised, there is “nothing wrong with having companionship, and not feeling guilty about it,” she said.
Relish in your joys.

And remember, everything will be okay.

 

 


 

Homeless Teens Find Hope in House of Primma Donnas

For much of her life, Deiondre Perry just existed.

When the 20-year-old aged out of the Illinois foster care system a few years ago, she was forced to live with her reluctant aunt and uncle because she had no other place to call home.

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Deiondre Perry, Donna Rogers (founder of House of Prima Donnas) and I talk about the teen homelessness epidemic in Chicago.

“Even though I know they care, I never really felt like they wanted me at their house,” Perry said.

With no formal education past high school, skills or a job, Perry said she felt utterly hopeless.

She wasn’t alone. With more than 34% of the US’s homeless population being under the age of 24, the majority of these young people turn to the streets after being removed from foster care at 18.

“I got tired of not having anything to look forward to in my life,” Perry said.

That all changed when she was introduced to Donna Rogers.

As the founder of House of Prima Donnas (HOPD), Rogers has helped place dozens of homeless young women in permanent housing, as well as provide them with the resources necessary to keep them there.

“When we met, I immediately knew that this girl was destined for greater things,” said Rogers, founder of House of Prima Donnas.

Since being in the program, Deiondre has enrolled in Olive Harvey College and is well on her way to obtaining her degree.

“I went through a lot to get here,” Perry said.

“We have had young women in the program that managed to save more than $10,000 just to end up homeless again in less than two years,” Rogers said.

This sobering fact is precisely what fuels Rogers’s passion. Although she has never been homeless herself, she said this is what she was put on earth to do.

“I led a comfortable life working a good government job and owned a real estate company, but I was so empty,” Rogers said.

Founder of House of Primma Donnas
Founder of House of Primma Donnas, Donna Rogers.

Four years ago, HOPD was the result of Rogers going the extra mile for a troubled young lady that lacked the support necessary to better her circumstances.

“I kept asking God what He wanted me to do, not realizing that I was already doing His will by helping the young lady with even the most minute tasks of her life,” Rogers said.

Since then, Rogers has secured partnerships with landlords around the city that are willing to provide affordable housing for members of HOPD.

“I hope to have every girl that walks through my doors walk right back out with a place to live and the resources needed to foster true independence,” Rogers said.

It seems like the organization is well on its way to doing just that with Deiondre leading the charge.

“I owe my life to them.”

For more information on House of Prima Donnas, please visithttp://www.houseofprimadonnas.org/.

 

 

 


 

Bronzeville gets First Black Owned Italian Restaurant

As seen in the Chicago Defender newspaper , June 2015
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From huge pasta shells stuffed with gorgonzola to braised lamb shank with creamy polenta, Peytyn Willborn promises her new American/Italian restaurant will offer both creative and healthy cuisine not normally found in Bronzeville.
Truth Restaurant , 56 E. Pershing Rd, opened to the public last month. Willborn, who also owns three 24-hour daycare centers and formerly a hair stylist to Monique’ among other celebs, said she wanted to give the community an alternative to the food chains that are spread throughout Bronzeville.
“Only the freshest of the fresh is served from our kitchen,” Willborn said, referring to the home grown ingredients all three of her chefs use to prepare Truth’s dishes.
Willborn, a Bronzeville resident, knows firsthand how challenging it is to find fresh and healthy food options in the community. When she found herself starting to travel up to 40 minutes away from home to find a meal to fit within her vegetarian lifestyle, she decided to do something about it.
“Being a vegetarian for more than 20 years, I was tired of having to eat mediocre food when dining out on the south side of Chicago,” Willborn said.
Although Truth is not solely vegetarian, it has options that satisfy all palettes.  The restaurant’s menu include sandwiches with grilled chicken and appetizers including roasted tomatoes and goat cheese. There are salads that are made up of nutrient rich, marinated kale instead and eggplant parmesan. You can also substitute whole wheat pasta for the white.
 Willborn said although she wants southsiders to feel at home, she wanted to keep her menu as authentically Italian as possible to offer her patrons a dining experience outside of what they’re used to.
“I’ve had customers come in that have visited Italy and praised my food for closely resembling what they had there, and other customers that have never even heard of bruschetta,” Willborn.
This neighborhood, until fairly recently, has been known as a food desert, where healthy and affordable healthy food options are few and far between.
“A lot of the things you’re stuck with getting within minutes of your home around here are chicken wings and McDoubles,” Willborn said.
The former hair stylist to the stars said she wanted to offer the Bronzeville neighborhood the LA treatment.
“While I was working on the set of The Parkers, the craft services table would be filled with food from local restaurants that served multi-ethnic cuisine and would be located right in the backyard,” Willborn said.  “I wanted that for my city,” Willborn said.
Willborn said she became fed up of not having the same options as most north and central Chicago residents when dining.
“I am humbled to know that I am  the black ONLY owner of an Italian restaurant on the south side that could rival those that are located in the parts of Chicago that usually ‘matter,’” Willborn said, referring to the heavily favored north and central sides of the Windy City.
The serial entrepreneur said she plans to turn the restaurant into a chain with locations dotting more southside neighborhoods like Englewood and Auburn Gresham.
Although she is vehement about the locations of the restaurants, she has been met with reservations from friends and concerned family members due to the neighborhoods’ violent history.
“Chicago is no media darling, let’s be clear about that,” WIllborn said. “The entire country is afraid to come to our neck of the woods because of the reportings of violence, but I don’t care about that.”
Willborn said that despite the rampant violence, there are more people willing to improve the communities than destroy them. She said she believes those same people will patronize her business.
“I want Truth to be a household name when they think of healthy, accessible and delicious food,” Willborn.
Truth is well on its way to becoming a popular destination with visits from such celebs as Judge Greg Mathis and Kenny Lattimore.
“I want to bring out the best of Chicago–no, the best of the country, to enjoy what Truth has to offer.”

Visit TruthItalian.com for more details.

 


Beverly Johnson’s 5 Real Life Networking Tips

As seen on Six Brown Chicks

 

 

“You have to know what you want–touch it–speak to it and before you know it, you have it.” Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 6.06.15 PM

On Tuesday, my life was changed. Or at least I think it was. Cameka Smith, founder of The Boss Network, an online membership group for professional women, held its 5th year celebration. The  event hosted a  panel of bosses,Amy Hilliard, Erika Summers, Doris Boulrece and Teneya Gholston with supermodel  Beverly Johnson as the guest of honor.

I managed to wipe enough drool from my jaw and have a conversation with the trailblazer about journey from model to mogul. Here’s a few of the gems she dropped on me.

1. Always have an endgame in mind.

As we all know, Beverly said that a career in modeling is usually a short lived one, a fact that she realized at the young age of 21. “I was on magazine covers thinking to myself, I have to find a way out of this–I have to be able to take care of myself when they don’t want me anymore,” she said.  She decided that she would turn her name into a brand and she branched out to other business ventures, including her latest, hair extensions.

2. Own it.

Before launching her latest line of hair extensions and pieces, Beverly said she was under contract with a company that required her to exclude Black-owned stores.

“I couldn’t even, in good faith, be the face of the brand anymore because I was not ALLOWED to sell to my fellow business owners,” she said. “So I stepped out on faith and did it my own way.”

3.  Be the dumbest person on your team.

Ok maybe she didn’t use those semantics, but you get the point. Surround yourself with experts in their prospective fields.  “It is so much easier to focus on what you want to accomplish when everyone around you really knows what they’re doing,’’ Beverly said.

4. Keep your day job.

“One day I was a student, the very next I was model–just like that,” Beverly said, “but I knew that I needed to support myself if the modeling thing didn’t work out–I’m STILL like that.” If your dream has not come to fruition, it is okay to still fund it with the day job in the meantime. If you step out on faith, be sure that you have a plan, or be prepared to have some challenges.

5. Embrace your past.

Beverly mentioned that she is in midst  of releasing a memoir with Simon and Schuster, revealing  some of the most pivotal moments in her life.

“While writing my book, I remembered things that I forgot happened,” she said. When speaking about the romantic chapter in the memoir, she joked “I kept asking myself, ‘dang girl, you did him too?’” She spoke on the fact that although there were some questionable moments, she wouldn’t trade them.

 


 

 

Lawmakers Call for More Trauma Centers in City’s Most Violent Communities

As seen on ChicagoTalks.com , November 20 2013

 

 

Two Illinois lawmakers on Wednesday called for more trauma centers on Chicago’s South and West Sides, saying a key new study shows that if ambulance rides are more than five miles away, victims are more likely to die.

“No one should die because of their zip codes,” said state Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago). She attended a special subcommittee hearing of the Illinois Senate Public Health Committee held indowntown Chicago.

Racial discrimination and preconceived notions about impoverished blacks have lead to the “trauma center desert” in certain parts of the city, Flowers said.

See our related feature: How do Trauma Deserts affect young people?

State Sen. Mattie Hunter, chair of the subcommittee on special issues, said the city should have addressed the needs of the communities a long time ago.

A recent study at the Finberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University showed that of 11,744 gunshot woundpatient, 4,782 were shot more than five miles from a trauma center. The average transport time and unadjusted mortality were higher for these patients. Victims suffering from gunshot wounds for more than five miles from a trauma center were associated with an increased risk of death.

“Trauma centers that are easily accessible ultimately help save more lives,” said Dr. Marie L. Crandall of the Feinberg School, who works closely with trauma patients.

The city currently has six trauma centers. Trauma centers are highly specialized medical facilities equipped with the resources and staff needed to treat life-threatening injuries. Without a trauma center in close proximity to the victim, they have a greater chance of dying.

Trauma centers are categorized in two ways. Level I centers have 24-hour, on-site trauma surgeons and the appropriate medicine needed to treat the patients. Level II centers have the medicines available with fewer trauma surgeons on the premises.

“My friend was shot right under the 47th Street Green Line train station and was taken across town to Stroger Hospital as opposed to one that was closer, and died because of it,” said Michael Dunn, a 19-year-old Harold Washington College student.

Veronica Moore has lived on the South Side for more than 21 years and has seen an increase in violence within her community. Morris said the lack of trauma centers on the city’s South Side reflects discrimination and social injustice.

“This is a direct attack on poor people,” said Moore, who is a member of Fearless Leading by the Youth, an advocacy group that is pushing for more trauma facilities in undeserved areas of the city.

Crandall and her associates at Northwestern said the study’s findings show that there is a great need for the centers.

“The study doesn’t negate the costliness of the centers, which could be between $5 – $40 million,” she said. “Approximately seven to eight more lives would be saved if trauma centers proximity didn’t exceed five miles.”

However, the need for trauma centers within close range to individuals most susceptible to traumatic incidents is very high.

Flowers equated the need for trauma centers in the most violent areas of the South Side to those in battlefields used by military personnel.

“When soldiers are in the battlefield, they have trauma centers in the trenches,” said Flowers. “That’s why our troops are able to come home.”

Dr. Philip Verhoef, 38, is a physician at the University of Chicago Intensive Care Unit and said everyone deserves that level of care. He has held this position for four and a half years. He works in the adult and pediatric intensive care units.

He said this is not only a gun violence issue, but also a public health issue.

“If the patient is more than five miles from a trauma center, they are 21 percent more likely to die,” Verhoef said.


Chrisette Michele Talks ‘The Lyricist’s Opus,’ ‘R&B Divas’ Drama & Black Women On TV

As seen on UptownMagazine.com, March 4 2014

 

 

Singer and natural hair maven Chrisette Michele, 31, is no stranger to adapting to change. Her style has evolved in the past few years, she’s dropped major weight and signed on for reality stardom. And we can’t forget how much of an impact her natural hair has made on herself and fans alike.

“I just always liked my hair–I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about wearing your own, it’s so freeing,” Chrisette told CurlyNikki in February 2013. uptown-chrisette-michelle

The “Better” singer sat down with UPTOWN during the first anniversary celebration of beauty blog Natural Hair Bride in Chicago last week. Chrisette shared some intimate details about her new album, The Lyricist’s Opus; trying not to slap any of the “R&B Divas” and her impression of Black women on TV. Founder of Natural Hair Bride Ro’Shunda Russell also shared her thoughts on the freeing experience natural hair affords most women.

“I don’t know what it is [either] but I just know that natural hair is not a trend–it is here to stay,” Russell said.

Chrisette isn’t only concerned with her outer appearance, as you can’t have healthy hair without a healthy body. She revealed that she switched up her eating habits after she watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which explores the effects of an unhealthy diet. Her healthy eating has helped her vocal talent.

“I have five new notes [in my vocal range] that I didn’t have before, which is very strange, but I think it’s because of ridding myself from dairy,” she said.

When asked about how she got along with her new cast mates of the TVOne reality show “R&B Divas: LA,” Chrisette said that she was pleasantly surprised.

Catch up with the singer on the upcoming season of “R&B Divas: LA” this fall.


 

Chrisette Michele Talks ‘The Lyricist’s Opus,’ ‘R&B Divas’ Drama & Black Women On TV

As seen on UptownMagazine.com , March 4 2014

 

 

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Photo by Jasmine Browley

“I actually like them,” she said. “I was very afraid, because I would be the one to smack somebody.”

She says she even urged the other singers (Leela James, Chante Moore, Lil’ Mo, Claudette Ortiz, and Michel’le Toussaint) to seek counseling with her.

“I took them to get therapy, because I was like ‘if we are going to be in this place together, we need to see a therapist,’” Chrisette said.

She also talked about why she decided to support Russell with Natural Hair Bride.

“I have to support any of my sisters that I see out doing something positive with their life,” Chrisette explained.

Russell also mentioned that it was a dream come true to have the singer partake in the blog’s celebration.

“I spoke this into existence over a year ago that I wanted Chrisette to be here,” said Russell, when speaking about the bridal fashion show that featured models with various natural hair styles, during the blog anniversary.

The singer also let us know some exclusive details about her new self-funded album, The Lyricist’s Opus, which will include live instrumentation and ballet performances to accompany Chrisette’s sublime vocals.

“It’s in production right now, and it is the most excitement I have had so far,” she gushed. “This is the first time that I am getting able to compose with arrangers and composers.”

Although Chrisette is on reality TV, the popular scripted shows “Scandal” and “Being Mary Jane” are on her radar. And she takes no issue with their depiction of Black women, saying that it’s all entertainment.

“I have such a hard time with the phrase ‘a good depiction of Black women’ because we are all so different,” she said. “On one end, I’m happy to see my sistas on television, but on the other hand, the shows are freakin’ awesome, so that’s a dichotomy that I live with.”

Check out video of the interview with Chrisette Michele here. And catch Chrisette while on tour, and pick up her hit album Better in stores now.


 

Life Lessons From Nelson Mandela, 1918 – 2013

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As seen on UptownMagazine.com, December 5, 2013

 

 

 

On December 5, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma released a statement indicating that anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela has passed on.  The 95 year old activist had been in and out of the hospital throughout 2013.  He died at his home.

Zuma says “we’ve lost our greatest son.”

Mandela not only offered his South African citizens governmental guidance, but also provided his global admirers and supporters with unparalleled wisdom. As the world reflects on his lifetime of achievements and celebrates his life, we’re taking a look at some of Nelson Mandela’s best quotes for inspiration on how to lead our best lives:

1. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Translation: Do not allow your minute or mega failures to dictate your future–keep going.

Best Life Tip: After every failure, think about every possible factor that led up to you not succeeding and do the opposite. For example, if a particular interview garnered a rejection, think about what methods of preparation you did not take, and implement them in your next interview.

2. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Translation: There is absolutely no excuse nowadays to not be informed about as much as you possibly can. With mini intelligence centers disguised as phones at our fingertips, there is no reason to not know about the world outside your sphere.

Best Life Tip: In your downtime, try picking up a book about a subject that is out of your comfort zone, yet completely informative. For example, I have absolutely no interest in beingmarried at this point in my fabulous, young life, but I found myself stepping outside of my norm, and picking up You Can Be Right, OR You Can Be Married by Dana Adams Shapiro. The texttaught me lessons on acknowledging my full-self, nurturing my assets, and embracing my flaws. Ah-ha moment indeed.

3. “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

Translation: Part of being a self-actualized individual is being able to express coherent and inspiring notions with others, thus aiding in their self-actualization as well. In layman’s terms, being able to be well-spoken/well-written is a beautiful thing.

Best Life Tip: Start a journal. This enables all of those fleeting thoughts to be forever chronicled, and ultimately, better organized–and its cathartic. Then read them aloud. Gage how fluent your words are, and practice speaking that way while conversing with others.

4. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

Translation: Don’t be a hater. Whether it’s making a snarky, unsolicited comment about that person you’re secretly jealous of, or holding a long standing grudge against that one friend that still owes you money. I recall a powerful tidbit that Oprah shared on “The Oprah Show,” in which she discussed a decade-long grudge against a woman she once considered a friend–after seeing her out, laughing and smiling, Oprah realized “that laughing and smiling woman wasn’t thinking about me at all.”

Best Life Tip: Actively work on letting it go. Think about the Oprah incident. The person that you are allowing to get you upset, is more than likely not giving you a second thought. Sounds cliché, but think about all of the blessings you’ve received, and how trivial your resentment really is compared to them.

5. “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Translation: Don’t settle

Best Life Tip: Don’t settle


 

The Best Memes of Maya Angelou Spitting Wisdom

As seen on UptownMagazine.com, May 29 2014

8th January 1993: Headshot portrait of African-American author Maya Angelou wearing black sweater with a pearl necklace, smiling and holding flowers in one hand. (Photo by Stephen Matteson Jr/New York Times Co./Getty Images)
8th January 1993: Headshot portrait of African-American author Maya Angelou wearing black sweater with a pearl necklace, smiling and holding flowers in one hand. (Photo by Stephen Matteson Jr/New York Times Co./Getty Images)

 

With words that both shook and caressed, Maya Angelou was one of the world’s most belovedliterary figures. Yesterday morning, we all felt the blow that the 86 year old’s passing dealt. Most took to Instagram to express their gratitude for the poet’s wisdom, brilliance, candor, and her ability to just “be.”

Here are the six best memes of Maya Angelou spitting wisdom.


 

6 Things I learned from R&B Diva Chrisette Michele

As seen on Six Brown Chicks

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While attending the first anniversary celebration of beauty/bridal blo gNatrualHairBride.com, I was able to interview Grammy nominated singer Chrisette Michele, who was surprisingly warm and open about anything from her “naps” in her head to her learning to feel worthy of love again.

Here are 5 things I learned from my chat with Chrisette.

  1. Don’t be afraid to try something new

When asked what prompted her bout with juicing and subsequent vegan diet, she said that initially she was afraid to try it.

“I was in the studio with Ruben Studdard and fellow musician Howard Lily, when he offered me some of this thick, green juice,” she said. “The only thing that’s usually offered in the studio is either weed or money, so I wasn’t into it.”

However, she tried a hand at juice fast for 30 days after setting aside her fears–and that turned into 60.

“I wanted to continue past the 60 days, but I didn’t feel right eating the things that I ate before the fast–so I made a change.”

  1. Re-invent yourself

Chrisette kept her fans pleased with back-to-back hits and successful albums, she said her hair cut  truly left her feeling the most joyful.

“I don’t know what it is, but it’s just something about rocking your natural hair,” she said. “It’s just beautiful.”

She also said that her recent performance in Jamaica reaffirmed that her closely cropped textured look was the way to go.

“My performance in Jamaica was insane because all of my family is from there–so it was like a homecoming/a sea of all of these beautiful brown people with all of these different beautiful hair textures.”

  1.  Let yourself know that you’re worthy of love

When speaking about her latest hit, A Couple of Forevers,  she said that she was inspired by the fact that she felt like love was available to her again.

“I wanted to open myself to love and let ‘me’ know that I am worthy of good love,” she said.

She also revealed that she has a beau that helped her realize that.

“Yeah he’s been around for awhile and I still like him, so that’s always a good sign,” she joked.

  1. Support sisterhood

NaturalHairBride.com  founder Ro’Shunda Russell revealed that she prayed for Chrisette to join her at the blog’s first year anniversary celebration long before it came to fruition. She also stressed her gratitude, because she had doubts that the songstress would feel compelled to support.

Chrisette quickly replied, “I had to come because whenever I see another young sister doing something positive, I have to help.”

She also mentioned that she doesn’t agree with the backlash that the “side chick” characters from hit shows Scandal and Being Mary Janehave received due to their depiction of black women.

“I have such an issue with the phrase ‘good depiction of black women,’ because we all come in different flavors, shapes and do so many different things,” she said.

She also said that although it is difficult to choose a stance on the issue, it’s all entertainment.

“On the one hand, I’m just glad to see my sisters on primetime television,” she said. “But on the other hand, the shows are freakin’ awesome–it’s my dichotomy as an entertainer….”

  1. Invest in yourself–think of yourself as a small business.

The “Better”  singer said that as a musician, she is a walking billboard for her worth.

“I always have thought of myself as a small business,” she said. “I spend hours in the morning daily in front of my computer doing research on how to better myself.” She says that she is humble enough to acknowledge that she needs bright minds to help her expand, just like Fortune 500 companies. “I think the hardest part of running a small business is to feel comfortable to ask others for advice and actually apply it,” she said.

  1. Seek therapy when needed

The new reality tv star talked about her rapport with her fellow cast mates on the upcoming season of the hit TVOne show, R&B Divas:LA, and how she was able to refrain from slapping them.

“I actually like them,” she said. “But at first I was really afraid because I would be the one to slap one of them–so I told them, ‘if we are going to be doing this together, we need to seek therapy.”

She said that filming has gone really well, and the ladies are currently in Puerto Rico taping.

Check out Chrisette Michelle’s hit album  Better, in stores now!

 


Saudi Arabian Princess Arrested for Slavery in the US

As seen on UptownMagazine.com

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Saudi Arabian Princess Meshael Alayban has been arrested for slavery in Orange County, Calif. because Alayban allegedly held a Kenyan woman, who was in her employ, against her will.

“It’s been 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation, so slavery has been illegal in the United States and certainly in California all this time,” said Orange County District AttorneyTony Rackauckas. “It’s disappointing to see it in use here,” he added.

Alayban, who is a wife of Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, allegedly held a 30-year-old Kenyan woman captive as a domestic servant against her will under false pretenses. The servant was promised, under contract, to be compensated approximately $1,600 per month for eight hours of work, five days out of the week. According to her claim, she workedupwards of 16 hours per day, seven days a week for $250 a month. The servant also claims that Alayban confiscated her passport, and she was prohibited to venture outside of the mansion wall without permission.

The Kenyan woman was only able to escape after flagging down a California bus driver and informing him of her predicament and pending escape plan. After contacting authorities, 42-year-old Alayban was arrested last Wednesday and held on $5 million-bond; her bail was posted on July 13th, subsequently releasing her. As a result, the princess is required to wear aGPS tracking system because she is considered a flight risk. Alayban faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted of the human trafficking charges.

So what I really want to know is, was this just a gross breach of contract, or modern day slaving?

 


Woosah: 8 Instances of Random Celebrity Violence 

As seen on UptownMagazine.com , May 15 2013 

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We have all had those moments where a deep breath, a prayer to your maker, and a step back prevents a bout of anger from turning into one really detrimental situation. Well, these individualstook none of the aforementioned steps, and let their anger get the best of them. Word of advice: Do the exact opposite of everything mentioned below, and save yourself a world of trouble.

 


 

7 Famously Dysfunctional Families

As seen on UptownMagazine.com 

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We all have that one uncle that we diligently hide the spirits from at all family gatherings, as aresult of his inconveniently-timed rants, disguised as walks down memory lane right? Fortunately for many for us, our families’ misgivings normally aren’t flashing headlines. On the contrary, these celebrities have not been so lucky. Take a look at some of the most dysfunctional celebrity families in Hollyweird.


5 To-Do’s Before You Say I Do

As seen on Six Brown Chicks , November 12 2013

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Last month, we were all inundated with the news of singer Ciara’s engagement to chart topping rapper, Future.

Along with their happy announcement of future (pun intended) wedded bliss, came the rumblings of less than flattering coverage of Future’sbaby mama drama.

The rapper has three young children (an 11, 4, and 1 year old) allegedly mothered by three different women but has managed to reconcile his differences with them–so much so, that his wife-to-be was seen on her Instagram account posing it up with two of the young women during her fiancee’s most recent ‘Would You Like a Tour?’ performance, headlined by fellow rapper Drake.

This, my friends, is how you are supposed to do it.

I have never been one to readily compliment Ciara on anything, but I have to give her the utmost kudos for her stellar maturity. She and her beau get it. Marriage is the ultimate merging of two separate lives, and all that they entail, including the messy exes.

Building a positive relationship with an open line of communication is a must not only between your future life partner, but also between the people that will always be in their life: family, best friends and even messy ‘baby mamas and daddies.’

On that note, here are five things that should be taken care of before jumping the broom:

1. If there are children involved, get to know them: This should go without saying, but Ill say it anyway, children are supposed to come before anyone else when it comes to a parent. Therefore, it would behoove you to meet the kids, and try to build a relationship before going into a marriage. Usually, one of the tests that  a single parent has for their potential soul mate is whether or not their children will mesh well with them. Act accordingly.

2. If there are children involved, meet their father/mother: The person who helped create your mate’s children will forever be an extension of your life by default. That is just how it is. Take Ciara’s lead and meet them bearing a smile void of malicious intent, and look fabulous while doing it.

3. Understand your partner’s religion–and determine if you’re equally yoked:When in love, it is a given that compromises will be made about virtually everything–except whom you worship. More often than not, when there are differing religious practices in a marriage, it brings about quite a few difficulties that could have been addressed during the courting stage if the lovebirds were paying attention.  Know what higher being (if any) your partner serves before agreeing to holy matrimony.

4.  Meet the Parents: Granted, meeting the matriarch and/or patriarch of your boo’s life can be a nerve-wrecking experience, but it is necessary. We all have roots, some are strong and well grounded, others are rotten and easily removable. Either way, you have to investigate those roots yourself.

5. Know their financial status and work out a plan on how assets are to be allocated throughout the marriage:  No one wants a scrub; especially one for a spouse. Have a serious talk, no scratch that, have a SERIES of serious talks with your mate about their current financial situation, their plans for the future and their current spending and earning habits. Please do not think that this makes you shallow. It makes you prepared.


 

Relationships: 5 Things Ms. Independent Should Know

As seen on Six Brown Chicks, September 11 2013

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Earlier this week, The Singer’s Room ran a story touting the headline “Keyshia Cole Recording Next Album, Themed Around the “Fight for a Good Man.”’  

The upcoming project is to be a “woman’s guide to keeping a good man.” I guess. Besides the obvious eye roll  that the aforementioned statement garners due to not only the well publicized romantic hardships she has had with her husband Daniel Gibson but also because of the the fact that she has made a career of singing about perpetual heartache and “male-bashery.”

Ironically though, I can see why she would feel like she has a proverbial soapbox to stand on seeing that at the end of the day, she does still have a ring on her finger and a beautiful son  to call her own. So how did she make the transition from the independent-I should’ve cheated- daughter of Frankie to Mrs.-I’s married now-Gibson? I came up with a few ideas of what themes Keyshia will include on her album, her version of “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.”

1. Be confident no matter what.

Be sure to carry yourself the same way you would a Birkin bag–with extreme care and pride. No man wants to have the tedious and impossible task of building a woman’s self-esteem. With confidence, security is ushered into the relationship, therefore, you will have no problem with–dare I utter it–submissiveness. Now hear me out! This merely means that  you  will have no qualms about catering to your mate, because you know that he can and WILL do the same for you.

2. Humble Yourself (a little).

There is a fine line between confidence and condescension. Be sure to treat this man how you would want to be treated. Nix the unnecessary judgement and unhelpful nagging–yes nagging. Also, know that there is no weakness in apologies. If anything, when needed, an apology strengthens the foundation of the union, and fosters a healthier environment for the both of you.

But don’t go overboard on the Humble Train. Stand your ground when you must.

3. Be supportive.

In relationships, men need support even more than we do. Lend a shoulder, ear or hand when he needs it, because a little encouragement from his love goes a long way.

4. Be sensitive to his needs:  Listen. Don’t talk. Just listen.

5. Reciprocate the respect.

We all know that what Aunt Re-Re taught us was the God’s honest truth. A little respect makes a world of a difference in every aspect of life, especially in matters of the heart. Often, independent women become desensitized to certain chivalrous acts (sometimes without being cognizant of it) and we rebuff his show of appreciation–simply because we are used to being able to do for ourselves.

Take the time to think about what you desire in a loving relationship, demand respect and kindly return the favor.

Real love takes time and it takes two.


6 Entertainers that Made Big Money Performing for Corrupt Leaders

As seen on UptownMagazine.com, July 26, 2013

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Lord knows Hollyweird is full of morally-corrupt individuals who will sell most of anything for fame and fortune. This statement is especially true when it comes to entertainers who made big money performing for corrupt leaders. Take a look at some of the most notoriously infamous incidents in which an entertainer found themselves smack dab in the middle of a stage performing for some of the world’s most hated leaders.

 


 

6 Songs Inspired by Real Life Drama {Videos} 

As seen on UptownMagazine.com  

Kelly Rowland aired her dirty laundry when she released the aptly titled single, “Dirty Laundry,” which was produced by The Dream. The song laid all her burdens bare when she alluded to being jealous of her “sister,” best friend, and fellow Destiny’s Child member Beyoncé, as well as being the victim of an abusive relationship that would make even K.Michelle squeamish. Just like Kelly, the following six artists felt the need to let their circumstances be heard loud and clear … in rhythmic form of course and they allowed their art to imitate their lives.

 

 

 

Alicia Keys – “Unthinkable”

Alicia has caught all types of hell for the supposed home wrecking she displayed while in pursuit of happiness with her producer husband, Swizz Beatz. Their courtship started when the producer was still very married to singer Mashonda, who even went on to write an open letter in which she explained her efforts to keep her marriage intact and asked Ms. Keys to step aside. Welp, shortly after, Alicia sang about her difficult circumstances with her lover man in the song “Im Ready (Unthinkable),” which was penned by Drake:

“I was wondering baby
Could I make you my baby
If we do the unthinkable would it make us look crazy?
If you ask me I’m ready”

Never the less, Swizz and Alicia’s relationship survived — thrived even — with a beautiful son and perhaps another child on the way.

 

 

Usher/Jermaine Dupri – “Confessions Part II”

We all remember what an adorable couple R&B singer Usher and former TLC member Chillimade way back, but we never really knew why they went their sudden separate ways. We finally got our answer, sort of, in the wildly successful album Confessions, particularly in the song, “Confessions Part II.” In it, Usher sings of his foolish and lustful proclivities, causing the loss of his true love, and an unwanted baby by his unwanted side chick:

“Now this gon’ be the hardest thing I think I ever had to do.
Got me talkin’ to myself askin’ how I’m gon’ tell you
‘Bout that chick on part 1 I told ya’ll I was creepin’ with, creepin’ with.
Said she’s three months pregnant and she’s keepin’ it.”

After that, Chilli named infidelity as the reason for the couple’s breakup, and it was only a matter of time before we started searching for the aforementioned love child.

However, there were also rumors swirling that the song depicted Usher’s mentor Jermaine Dupri’s predicament with a pregnant stripper, causing his and then-girlfriend Janet Jackson‘s breakup.

Since then, Usher has been married, divorced, and supposedly in love again with his current girlfriend.

 

Justin Timberlake – “Cry Me a River”

In the late ’90s, our blue-eyed boyfriend (in our head) had the pop world in the palm of his hands, with chart-topping singles, fresh dance moves, and then-reigning pop queen Britney Spears as his lady.

After an abrupt breakup, with no explanation other than “we grew apart,” fans were forced to come to their own conclusions. Then, “Cry Me a River” was released:

“You don’t have to say, what you did, I already know,
I found out from him. Now there’s just no chance, for you and me,
There’ll never be. And don’t it make you sad about it?”

The Scott Storch-produced track depicted a vengeful man in love with a cheating woman; the creative visual accompaniment featured a Britney lookalike, right down to the bad hair extensions, thus causing cheating rumors to run rampant. Although the “Suit and Tie” singer denied Britney’sconnection to the thinly-veiled song at first, he later admitted it in 2012.

Since then, the talented singer has moved on to marry actress Jessica Biel.

 

Nas – “Goodbye (Bye Baby)”

Nasir Jones is never one to hold his tongue about the intricacies of his multi-layered life. His love life is no exception. His latest Grammy-nominated album, Life is Good, was basically a journal set to music, with tracks depicting his relationship with ex-wife Kelis from the honeymoon phase to divorce court. Besides “Daughters,” arguably, no other song was as personal as “Bye Baby”:

“Bye baby, I guess you know why I walked away.
When we walked to the altar that was an awesome day.
Did counseling, couldn’t force me to stay.
Something happens when you say I do, we go astray.
Why do we mess it up, we was friends we had it all.
Reason you don’t trust men, that was your daddy fault.”

Since the release of the long-awaited album in 2012, the pair have been spotted looking quitefriendly while co-parenting their adorable son. The rapper even went on to say in an interviewthat he wanted to make love to his ex “one more time.” OK, Nasty Nas!

 

Lauryn Hill – “Ex Factor”

The fiercely private singer may have had her tax troubles recently plastered all over the web, but her former relationship with fellow Fugee Wyclef Jean, who was married at the time, were subtly woven into the song “Ex Factor” years ago.

“But you’d rather make it hard.
Loving you is like a battle. And we both end up with scars.
Tell me, who I have to be? To get some reciprocity.
No one loves you more than me. And no one ever will.

Is this just a silly game.
That forces you to act this way.
Forces you to scream my name.
Then pretend that you can’t stay.
Tell me, who I have to be. To get some reciprocity.
No one loves you more than me. And no one ever will.”

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a happy ending for Lauryn and Wyclef. She hooked up with Bob Marley’s son Rohan and was left with a tribe of kids, a pile of debt, and news of Rohan’s marriage to Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana. Womp, womp.

 

Marvin Gaye – “I Want You”

Upon first listen, I Want You bore a stark contrast to Marvin’s other work. The album could easily be equated to a soundtrack for the life of a man obsessed with love, lust, and sex. Around the time of its 1976 release, a married Marvin was immersed in a longtime passionate affair with the young and beautiful Janis Harper, who later became his second wife.

While his previous work could be classified as “classic doo wop, sweet and soulful,” I Want Youcan be summed up in one word: Erotic.

The album, a direct reflection of Marvin’s mental state, depicted deeply intimate occurrences of love, obsession, passion, and fear. One of the songs, “Come Live With Me Angel,” highlights Marvin’s aspirations to please his muse:

“I wanna be your lover.
I want to understand your mood baby.
I wanna be your lover …

Let me explore all your treasures.
I’ll turn you on to all of those freakish pleasures.
Good experienced company.
Like me who knows all the ways
Is what you need baby.
Just you and me locked up for days.
After we eat breakfast in bed.
Turn on the music for our head.”

Janis was reportedly in the studio for the entire production of the sexy album.
After the project was released and met with mixed reviews, years passed and he went on to write a few more masterpieces, have two children with Janis, and eventually get divorced before his untimely death at the hands of his father, Marvin Gay, Sr.