Monthly Archives: December 2013

PHOTOS GALORE: BAW’s Top 10 Galleries of 2013

Black America Web

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for BlackAmericaWeb readers, photos are worth millions of clicks!

Check out the top 10 most clicked photo galleries of 2013. Which is your favorite?


Celebrities React to the Zimmerman Verdict Via Twitter
The world, including many well-known celebrities took to social media to voice their reactions to the “not guilty” verdict of George Zimmerman.

On Stage At "Chime For Change: The Sound Of Change Live" Concert

The Carter Family
Love ’em or hate ’em, no one can resist a sneak peek into the lives of power couple, Jay-Z and Beyonce.


Getting Better with Time
It’s true that black don’t crack! Check these celebs who are aging gracefully.

Samsung Hope for Children 2012 - Arrivals

Shrinking Celebrities
Celebrity transformations were a big hit on BAW this year. From Jennifer Hudson to Al Roker, check out these shrinking celebs.


#TomJoynerCruise: Fantastic Voyage Photos Via Social Media
The 2013 Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage was a huge hit and cruisers lit up their…

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JET Magazine Honors Nelson Mandela With Commemorative Issue


Former South African president, Nelson Mandela, and other Fort Hare University alumni received special honourary rings from the university. Madiba enjoyed his 88th birthday today.

The world lost a selfless hero and visionary leader on December 5th, and now JET magazine is honoring his legacy.

According to a press release, a special commemorative issue for Nelson Mandela is available on newsstands now. The collectors item includes “exclusive images of Mandela, including photos of him with notable figures such as Whitney Houston, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jackson; a timeline of key moments in Mandela’s life and career; and an outline of unsung heroes and corporations who supported Mandela and took a stand to end apartheid in South Africa.”

MUST READ: Nelson Mandela Tribute Series: Celebs & Dignitaries Inspired By Mandela [VIDEOS]

MUST READ: Idris Elba & Naomi Harris Grace The Cover of Jet & Talk ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’

“The magazine will pay homage to Mandela through a unique collection of stories and photographs dedicated to memorializing an individual who changed the course of history,”…

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Pot, Guns and Paparazzi: New Laws Run Gamut in US

Black America Web

The new year is bringing a host of new laws taking effect in January or thereabouts. A look at some state and local laws that are making news:



COLORADO, MAINE AND WASHINGTON: Colorado pot stores open Jan. 1 as retailers usher in the nation’s first legal recreational pot industry. Sales in Washington, which also legalized recreational marijuana, are expected to start later in the year. The laws still fly in the face of federal drug rules, but the federal government has said it’s not going to fight to shut down pot shops for now. A law legalizing recreational marijuana went into effect in early December in Portland, Maine, but it’s largely symbolic because the state has said it will continue to enforce its own ban.

ILLINOIS: It becomes the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana in a pilot project with some of the strictest standards in…

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We Posted, You Double-Tapped! See Our 13 Most-Liked Instagrams of 2013

The PR Girl Toolbox….

10 Most Inspiring PR Woman Posts Of 2013

This year is coming to a close and in honor of its conclusion, I’ve compiled a list of posts I believe will inspire you to take those risks you’ve been meaning to take.

The PR Woman Posts

1. Worrying serves no purpose. Chase your dreams! Be Fearless:

2. Interview those who inspire you! Interview – NYC PR Girls:

3. Build connections wherever you go! Social media is no exception. Four Steps To Building a Twitter Following:

4. Things don’t always go as planned…and that’s okay. Learning To Let Go:

5. Embrace yourself and your career choices. Invite the person you’re with to do the same. 10 Signs You’re Dating  A PR: Woman:

6. Contemplate moving to a different state (or country) and don’t be afraid to change your mind. Moving To California Or Not:

7. Travel and take the time you need to reflect. Reflecting In London:

8. Get rid of what holds you back. Say goodbye to your comfort zone! The Demolition Of My Comfort Zone:

9. Acknowledge to the pull of your dreams. The Day I Quit My Job:

10. Create your own path. Do more of what makes you happy. Creating My Dream Job:



Motivational Monday 12/30

*I decided to repost an old motivational writing because I feel this is very relevant to my life now and hopefully it can help one of my readers* Originally posted January 4, 2010

Self-Discipline-noun- Training and control of oneself and one’s conduct, usually for personal improvement

I know many of us set goals or resolutions for the new year, and by February we have become less motivated or we have taken our eyes of our target. Well today, the first Monday of 2010 I encourage all of you to exercise self-discipline. Jesse Owens said “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort” In order for use to achieve our goals for the new year and for life in general we need to be disciplined. Too often we fall off of the wagon and take our eyes off the “prize” and we never get what we want or accomplish any of our goals. As a result, we can sometimes feel like a failure or empty. Many of us fall off of this “wagon” because of the lack of self-discipline.

We say we want to get healthier or in shape, but we do not change our poor eating habits or CONSISTENTLY exercise. We say want to save more money and stick to our “budget,” but we spend frivolously or we buy breakfast and lunch everyday or buy the pair of shoes that are not a necessity at the moment. We say we want to become closer to God and have a better relationship, but we do not spend time with Him daily by praying to Him, meditating, or reading His word.

In order for us to really see a change in our lives and feel accomplished, first we need to set REALISTIC GOALS. Our goals must be attainable and we have to set DEADLINES!!! Giving yourself deadlines and sticking to them will help you become more disciplined. So start off small with a simple to do list. What goals do you want to accomplish for the day, week, month, and year. Once you have set your goals stick to it!!! Self-discipline is crucial especially when it comes to improving your self-esteem, job at work, relationships with a family member, friend, co-worker, or spouse.

We need to change our habits and routines. Everything we do should be working towards one of our goals. Developing good habits and routinesare the first two steps in self-discipline. Say no to McDonald’s (I struggle with this and Burger King lol). If your friends want to go out to eat save money by eating before you go and just ordering maybe one drink and an appetizer instead of an entree. Getting in the habit of clipping coupons or looking for deals on line instead of just splurging and impulsive buying or leave the credit cards and debit cards home and put yourself on an allowance (I’ve started this already).

One thing that I struggle with is being TOO SOCIAL and PROCRASTINATING.I am always in somebody’s classroom talking or someone is always in my classroom talking and I procrastinate with grading, reading, or planning. I need to be more disciplined and keep my mouth shut because every Sunday I am always grading and it is stressful. I need to stop procrastinating and get the work done and I need to become more disciplined in that to make my life easier.

If you are comfortable where you are at this moment, that I great, but self-reflect and examine your life and see what areas in your life you need to be more disciplined. We can ALWAYS become better people.

Jim Rohn said “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment”

I would rather suffer the pain of discipline to reach my desired goals then to be disappointed in myself and have regrets because I was not disciplined enough to accomplish anything. Which do you choose?

Love Life. Do Good.Live Well

The PR Girl Toolbox….

What are your (PR) resolutions?

What will 2013 bring? What will change in my life this year – for the good or bad? What new and fantastic things will come my way in the next 12 months?
 It is always exciting to move forward and see what new things might come into – or leave – your life, and the change those events can will bring. But, a lot of the time you can guide the changes in your life to make many different parts better, and more positive. I suppose this is where “new year resolutions” come in? 😉
I don’t like to make the cliché resolutions such as: quitting smoking, working out more often, eating better blah, blah, blah. I figure those changes should be things I am willing to work on making any day of the year; if and when they become important to me to change – not just in the beginning of a new year. But, that’s just me! 🙂
So, with that said, some goals I have been working on (and will continue to do so) are:
1. Wake up when my alarm goes off – no more snooze button eight times!
2. Read more – probably more news and books because I do get my fill of magazine and blogs. Gotta get back to that long reading list on my Kindle!
3. Learn to knit (well) on the looms my mom got me for Christmas.4. Actually go tanning. There is no reason I should look like a sick ghost if I’m paying for this membership! 😉

(some of) The PR/professional goals I have are:
1. Network and engage more. I will be checking out Eventbrite and Meetup more often and getting to the Young Professionals of Twin Cities events (each?) month.
2. Instagram more. And, spend more time on LinkedIn. (Apparently it is the new Facebook. 6 PR and Social Media Predictions for 2013 – PR Daily.)
3. Wake up when my alarm goes off – no more snooze button eight times!
4. Work on my pitching skills.
5. Find my “big-girl-career” job.
When setting your goals or resolutions for the new year, make sure they are attainable, realistic and measurable. If you stick with your new goals they will eventually become habit – so stay dedicated and ambitious. Be specific and set milestones if you have larger goals that seem overwhelming in the beginning.
What are you resolutions?? How will you stick to them??
 Love Life. Do Good.Live Well

The Best of 2013….

Man Of The Year




New Home Products

Music Mixx….Tupac (circa 1993)

SoulBounce’s Class Of 1993: 2Pac ‘Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.’

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Rappers are often considered the street poets of modern society. One of hip-hop’s most prolific street poets was Tupac Shakur who painted colorful and, sometimes, dark images of urban life through hardcore wordplay that spoke to and for his generation as 2Pac. This persona was mainly established through when he released Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. on February 16, 1993.

Most remember 2Pac for his tumultuous and deadly “thug life” that ultimately lead to his murder in 1996. I recall a Tupac whose introduction to hip hop was a balance between youthful enjoyment and socio-political awareness. Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. was an album that embodied his life as a 21-year-old rap star caught in the whirlwind of the industry’s hedonistic rewards, while holding on to the harsh realities of his fans and his own past. Tupac’s poetry resonated in the souls of young, black youth, hence the album’s double-platinum status.

The first song from the album, “Holla If You Hear Me,” was 2Pac’s autobiographical outburst of rebellion, frustration and oppression. His flow marched forcefully through a battleground of poverty, injustice, police brutality and attacks on the black family. More importantly, this introductory rhyme fest was an open invitation to join the movement as 2Pac spoke “truth to ya youth” against a backdrop of beats reminiscent of Public Enemy‘s “Rebel Without a Pause.”

Any true hip-hop head keeps the classic “I Get Around” single in their party playlist. Produced by Digital Underground‘s Shock G, this joint still goes hard with its ’90s-esque beat, jazzy piano and sampled head nod to Roger Troutman aka pre-Auto-Tune. Despite the sexy vibe and guest verses from Shock G and Money B on this club banger, Pac’s lyrics are the highlight as he further ascends to the heights of a braggadocio solo artist who was still “down with the underground.”

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. offered another exemplary rap classic in “Keep Ya Head Up.” The beat borrows from Troutman’s “Be Alright” with a Dave Hollister-delivered hook paying homage to “O-o-h Child” by The Five Stairsteps. The hit single was dedicated to Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old girl who was unlawfully killed by a Los Angeles storeowner. 2Pac sought to uplift his community with lyrics of encouragement and understanding thus demonstrating his life was not fixated on debauchery. He used this hit single, which sold more than five million copies, to inspire better treatment of people of color while encouraging the less fortunate to keep their head up amidst a world that is often harsh and unforgiving.

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. was more than 2Pac’s breakout album that would be the foundation of his legacy. This album underscored his poetic genius, self-awareness and compassion that glistened in the shadows of his latter works (that are more angry and narcissistic). 2Pac demonstrated that he was more than a thug. His light shined brighter than being part of a party-theme rap collective. 2Pac was a poet who loved his people, his culture and his life. He was engrossed in creating poetry that resonated in the souls of his people, while the rest of the world went along for the ride. Make no mistake, the heart of Tupac Shakur’s purpose and poetry was strictly for…well, you know.

My Sista’s Business….Melissa Hibbert

Entrepreneur: Melissa Hibbert

In Her Shoes

Melissa Hibbert is relatively new to the beauty scene but is quickly changing the face of the industry with a cosmetics line that delivers flattering and wearable hues for women of color. From a successful career in Corporate Marketing to becoming one of the industry’s “go-to” makeup artists, Melissa dishes on what it took to launch the beloved SHEEQ Cosmetics line, her commitment to healthy beauty, and building a brand that reflects her personal style:

In Her Shoes: What career path were you on prior to launching Sheeq Cosmetics and what inspired your transition?

Melissa: Prior to launching SHEEQ Cosmetics and even before working as a beauty professional full-time, I worked in Corporate Marketing for 14 years with some of the biggest brands in the country. I have an MBA and enjoyed a very robust career, however, I was not fulfilled and I knew I had a different purpose, so I walked away from corporate to pursue my passion for Beauty. I was inspired to launch SHEEQ Cosmetics after working in the industry as a professional makeup artist and saw a need to provided quality, luxury, makeup and skincare products that are also healthy for women of color. My products are paraben-free, hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic. Far too often, we use products that are harmful to our skin and bodies, but we continue to consume them because they are accessible or because a “celebrity” is endorsing the product. I meet countless women with skin issues and they know instinctively that it’s because they have been using a particular brand, but continued to do so, because it was their only alternative, until they got a taste of SHEEQ Cosmetics.

In Her Shoes: Once you decided to launch Sheeq Cosmetics, how long did it take to get the business off the ground?

Melissa: It took me about seven months to officially launch SHEEQ Cosmetics, but I had been using the products and testing it on my clients long before the launch. I had done the research and met with the manufacturers and put together my plan etc., so once it got off the ground, it really took off. I can truly attribute my education, business and marketing to the early and continued success of SHEEQ. It all became clear to my why I had to take the corporate path, it was preparation for this very moment.

In Her Shoes: What is a day like in your shoes?

Melissa: A day in my shoes is quite multi-faceted.  I start the day with my usual gratitude prayer, then I check and reply to emails and process any orders from the SHEEQ Cosmetics website.  I read news feeds and check out some of my favorite blogs for the latest info.  I usually post to my social media sites before 10am consistently.  Next, I am off to set, either for a television show or photo shoot.  There are days where I might travel with one of my celebrity clients for events and appearances.  And finally, I end my day enjoying a lovely dinner with the love my life.

In Her Shoes: At what point did you realize you were on to something  and that you were doing the right thing?

Melissa: The moment I decided to walk away from my corporate job, I was clear and I knew that changing the world through beauty was largely a part of my purpose. One month into working as a professional makeup artist, I started to book TV shows and celebrity clients and people started to take notice of my work and passion. Doors started to fly open and that’s when I realized, this is what I am suppose to do. Once I launched SHEEQ Cosmetics and I started to see the support, response in purchases and interest, it was exciting. To be an online store with no physical store front, our business is doing extremely well and I am grateful to our customers.

In Her Shoes: What does Sheeq Cosmetics stand for in the beauty industry?

Melissa: SHEEQ Cosmetics’ purpose is to let every woman of color know that “she’s exquisite”. Her beauty is unique, her individual beauty is enough and by all means, it should be celebrated. We emphasize wearing bold lip colors in our collection because far too often, women of color have been told that bold colors don’t look good on brown skin. It’s a lie! We stand by our customers in their choices to step out of their comfort zone, we encourage healthy skin, and we honor their desire reveal their beauty.

In Her Shoes: Do you feel like the brand is a reflection of your personal style?

Melissa: Yes, the brand is a reflection of my personal style. It is important to me to personify my brand, to be inspirational and aspirational. The SHEEQ woman is powerful, bold, confident and exquisite – she knows who she is and celebrates her beauty. I am very much this woman! Most people know that I love fashion, my style is contemporary glamour,and is reflected in my wardrobe choice, my hair and makeup.

In Her Shoes: What goes into the process of creating a Sheeq Cosmetics color?

Melissa: I am truly proud of our colors, both in the face products (liquid and powder foundation), as well as our lipstick and lipgloss collection. I am extremely fortunate to have found a manufacturer I trust and is easy to work with. When I decided I wanted to focus on a niche market – women of color, it was imperative to find a manufacturing partner that has a history of delivering quality, high performance products that are also good for you. It made the process and selection seamless, because they have a proven track record. So, once I decided to “go bold” with the lip collection, I had countless colors to choose from in reds, plums, magentas etc. but I focused squarely on the undertones that would be most complimentary to women of color. Everything in life and in business starts with a great partner!

In Her Shoes: What challenges have you faced being an indie brand?

Melissa: Whenever you enter a crowded marketplace with an indie brand that’s targeting women of color, seemingly competing against the giants who spend billions of dollars marketing products to the same audience, it’s challenging getting the attention of media and  of the customers who have been loyal to a particular brand for a long time. However, with challenges comes opportunity and we have been able to build our brand and reputation through hard work and consistency. With SHEEQ, our intention is never to compete, it’s simply to provide an option and alternative. When women of color decide to make their purchases, our aim is that they consider us – and they have.

In Her Shoes: Do you have any new and upcoming projects for Sheeq Cosmetics we need to look out for?

Melissa: Yes, March 2014 is our one year nniversary and we do plan on launching new products and unveiling new projects that we hope will excite and engage our core customers even more. We will also have some partnerships and retail store visibility in 2014. And finally, SHEEQ Cosmetics will be on the screen, we are going to be doing some strategic branding and marketing in new TV shows where the product will be visible. There is plenty on the horizon so stay tuned!

To learn more about Melissa Hibbert and SHEEQ Cosmetics visit

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