So while everyone has been talking about Rachel Dolezal, the now former NAACP Spokane Chapter President who was outed by her parents for misrepresenting her ethnicity, I reserved my opinions until after I heard a detailed explanation from Ms. Dolezal herself. After resigning from her position at the NAACP yesterday, Rachel broke her silence in an exclusive interview with Matt Lauer on the TODAY Show this morning.
Earlier this year we gave you the scoop on the web series, The Black Actress, created by and starring seasoned actress Andrea Lewis. The mockumentary style series follows the life of a black actress while she pursues her next big acting role. After two successful seasons, it’s no surprise that the series has been selected as a finalist in the American Black Film Festival 2015 “Web Original” category.
Every “read” isn’t vicious or mean. Actually, the best “reads” are when you don’t realize that the “read” even took place until after it’s over and you’re like ‘hold up’. lol That’s exactly the kind of read Michael B. Jordan delivered today via a piece he wrote for Entertainment Weekly addressing the detractors of his upcoming role as Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch, a role previously played by white actors, in this summer’s installment of Fantastic Four.
If you’re tired of the faces on your “dolla dolla bills” being solely male, you may be getting the change you’ve been looking for. In a recent online poll geared towards pushing President Obama to diversify the look of our hard earned cash, over 600,000 people voted to replace former President Andrew Jackson with abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman as the new face of the $20 bill. Tubman won with over 33% of the votes, beating Eleanor Roosevelt by 7,000 votes.
While the majority of mainstream media remains hell bent on crucifying the citizens of Baltimore in the wake of the riots that ensued after the death of 25 year old Freddie Gray, TIME Magazine is focusing on the root of the issues plagueing Baltimore, and many other cities across the country. In the issue to hit stands May 11th, the historical mag dives head first into the decades of systematic racism that became, in the words of President Obama “a slow-rolling crisis”.
Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath. -Proverbs 28:9
Depending on where you are in the world or what media outlets you frequent, you either think the city of Baltimore is full of fed up individuals seeking change or a bunch of savage animals taking advantage of a terrible situation. Unruly riots AND peaceful protests have ensued In the wake of the death of 25 year old Freddie Gray who died on April 19th as a result of injuries he sustained while in police custody. The citizens of Baltimore can now add their portrayal in mainstream media to their reasons to be outraged. It is very clear that there are people taking the opportunity to loot, destroy property and act out in violence. However, according to local media, those people are the minority.
Last month we gave you the inside scoop on new the book, “MISS JESSIE’S: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch — Naturally“, detailing the journey of sisters Titi and Miko Branch from Brooklyn, New York to founding a salon and the infamous Miss Jessie’s hair care line that catapulted the natural hair movement. We were able to attend the DC stop of the Miss Jessie’s book tour earlier this week and hear first hand from Miko Branch how Miss Jessie’s became one of the first and most iconic natural hair line of the millennium. But if you thought the book would be solely about natural hair and products, you are mistaken. The novel shares the story of the sisters growing up in a strict home raised by a strict African American father, Japanese American mother and wise grandmother, realizing their gifts while enduring growing pains and mistakes TOGETHER.
The recent ethnicity changes to popular film characters continues to cause controversy in Hollywood. The casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch in the next Fantastic Four movie, a character who has previously been white, is one that has ruffled the feathers of comic enthusiasts. If you saw any of the interviews where Michael B. Jordan discussed the issue after he was casted, it’s pretty clear that it’s not something he wants to focus on. He’d much rather focus on the content of the film and doing his very best to “flame on”. Jimmy Kimmell clearly didn’t get the memo. The Creed actor was on Jimmy’s couch last night and things got a bit awkward when Jimmy pushed about Michael being black and his character’s sister in the film, Sue Storm, being played by a white Kate Mara.
It’s been about a year since the mistress of former NBA exec Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano, released recordings of his racially charged rants that cost him ownership of the LA Clippers basketball team. Donald wasn’t the only one pissed at Stiviano after last April’s media circus. His wife, Shelly Sterling, filed a lawsuit against Stiviano claiming that the money her husband used to wine and dine her was community property from their marriage and therefore everything should be returned.
#BlackLivesMatter isn’t just a hashtag as most recently evidenced by the murder of Walter Scott by police officer Michael Slager which was caught on tape. The apparent mistreatment and violation of blacks by law enforcement is no longer something that can be ignored by mass media. Time Magazine has addressed “Black Lives Matter” and the murder of Walter Scott on the cover of this week’s issue. In the article “In The Line of Fire” they describe the killing of blacks by those who are meant to protect as catalyptic.
Over the weekend some photo shoot fun went all the way wrong for Kylie Jenner. The youngest member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan has been engulfed in a social media storm ever since posting the above photo and a few others from a recent photo shoot where black and neon lights were used to create this avatar-like effect. Folks are in an uproar accusing the reality star of wearing black face. She tried to clear it the air by making it clear the effect was all in the lighting.
When the news broke back in December 2014 that co-founder of Miss Jessie’s hair-care company, Titi Branch, passed away of an apparent suicide, members of the natural hair community were left in shock. So was her sister and co-founder of the Brooklyn salon turned multi-million dollar business, Miko Branch. The sisters were in the midst of preparing for the release of a memoir that would provide a genuine look into how the Branch sisters created a company that revolutionized the hair care industry. Miko is determined to move forward with the release of the memoir in celebration of the memory and legacy of her sister. “MISS JESSIE’S: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch — Naturally“, set to be released on April 14, 2015, will be a combination of touching family stories, hair care tips and business advice. The book will also showcase the resiliency, determination, and independence both Miko and Titi had when building their business from the ground up.
After Titi’s death, Miko released the following statement on the Miss Jessie social media pages.
My beloved sister, Titi Cree Branch passed away on December 4, 2014.
A private memorial service in her honor was held on December 14, 2014. Titi is now at peace.
My family and I want to thank you for your love and overwhelming
support, delivered in kind words, warm notes, lovely flowers and, of
course, in heartfelt prayer. We have received them all with gratitude
and appreciation. During this difficult time, please know that your
support provides much ease to our bereavement.
Our family and close friends are actively trying to discover and comprehend the events leading up to Titi’s death but we are hopeful that all things will come to the light.
Your love has given me the strength that I need to continue to move forward in tribute to Titi.
Titi had a special combination of personality traits, such as genuine
kindness, attentiveness, and a willingness to share her love without
I wished she would have stayed longer. Titi has gone home and it gives me comfort to know that she has reunited with our beloved grandmother, Jessie Mae Branch.
My sister touched many lives in a deeply meaningful way, and many of you have generously asked if there are additional ways in which you can be of assistance. It would be of great reassurance to me if you will help me to keep Titi’s name and legacy alive, and to spread the good word about what a great woman she was ~ a wonderful person of invention and innovation.
I’ve found happiness in putting together a short video that features
Titi as the big sister that I will always love and remember. I hope
you enjoy it too.
The Branch and Matsumoto Family
The Miss Jessie’s Family
In 2004, Miko and Titi changed the landscape of natural hair care when they created Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding for their family-owned salon, Curve, in Brooklyn, New York. Due to the success of their first product, the salon was renamed Miss Jessie’s in honor of their grandmother in 2005. The curly haired sisters went on to create an abundance of popular products including Curly Meringue, Curly Buttercreme, and Baby Buttercreme.
If you plan to be in Baltimore, Maryland this weekend, you can learn more about the memoir and all things natural hair during the Baltimore Natural Hair Care Expo 2015. Miko Branch will be conducting a Q&A Meet & Greet at the expo on March 22nd from 3pm-5pm. Click here to purchase a ticket to the expo. The book is available for pre-order at Amazon.com.
I was super excited to receive my package from No’Kyem Naturals containing this Shea Amaretto Styling Meringue. My hair texture is thick and curly, and after being natural for a year and a half, I still have a hard time finding products for styling that give my hair definition. I have tried styles like twist-outs and braid-outs and have been left frustrated with a head of frizzy hair instead of the more defined look I was going for. So I tried this product for the first time on a flat twist-out with just four chunky twists.
Today marks the 50th Anniversary of “Blood Sunday”, the day that the first march from Selma to Montgomery took place and demonstrators were attacked by police with tear gas and billy clubs. The fact that there is any semblance between March 7, 1965 and March 7, 2015 is more than unsettling. The 1965 marches were in support of voter rights and resulted in the Voter Rights Act of 1965. After so much sacrifice and loss to gain voter rights, how very disturbing it is that in 2015 those very rights are again in jeopardy.
I’m pretty sure that during the days and months immediately following the murder of her son, Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton would not have imagined that Trayvon’s killer would be a free man three years later. But that is indeed the case. Sybrina expressed her disappointment to the Associated Press that federal prosecutors recently decided not to charge George Zimmerman with a hate crime for the death of her son.