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100 WOKE WOMEN HOW WE RISE UP, SPEAK OUT AND PUSH THE MOVEMENT FORWARD

VISIT ESSENCE.COM MAY 2017


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of Beauty Pantene assembled a team of expert scientists, stylists and dermatologists who drew from their personal experiences as women of color as well as their scientific backgrounds to create a revolutionary hair care line, the Pantene Gold Series, which meets the unique needs of relaxed, natural, or transitioning hair.

DR. ROLANDA WILKERSON,

Pantene Scientist “The technology behind the shampoo is changing the game. It detangles thick, naturally curly hair so you can run your fingers through it—not common at all for women of color.”

DR. LASHAUNDA MCNEIL, Pantene Scientist

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DR. RUKEYSER THOMPSON, Pantene Scientist

“I love what we did for the Gold Series. We came up with hair care products specifically designed for the unique needs for African Ancestry hair.” TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PANTENE GOLD SERIES VISIT ESSENCE.COM


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STRENGTH TO STYLE Wash Shampooing can strip your hair of essential moisture. Pantene’s Moisture Boost Shampoo provides superior cleansing and moisturization for relaxed and natural hair, leaving it feeling soft and silky.

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2017

MAY VOLUME 48 | NUMBER R1

CONTEN NTS S

92

WE STAY WOKE

ESSENCE shines the spotlight on those who use their voice and their platform to battle injustice and infractions to our civil rights, dignity and basic humanity. Meet 12 influencers and activists (#Woke100) By Cori Murray and Lauren N. Williams

98 WOKE WOMEN Introducing a sisterhood that has intrigued and challenged us all to be vigilant and remain active in our fight for respect and equality By Michael Arceneaux, Tanya A. Christian, Vanessa K. De Luca, Regina R. Robertson, Tanisha Sykes and Lauren N. Williams

YACHIN PARHAM

110 THE WILD LIFE Cover Photography by Warwick Saint For all styling information and clothing details, see Where to Buy.

Actress Amandla Stenberg’s ability to decipher the headlines and call out nonsense has made her an unabashed spokesperson for her generation, not to mention a fashionable trendsetter By Christina Coleman

MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 9


Looking good in selfies? I’ve mastered it. Maybelline.com


Correct. Conceal. Highlight. Now, flaunt the insta-perfect canvas in 3 easy steps. COLOR CORRECT/ yellow brightens orange reduces discoloration

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CONTENTS Style 23 | REWORKED SHIRTS Uniquely draped tops

26 | TRENDS In a nod to the 1970’s, name-dropping threads

28 | DOPE STUFF ON MY DESK Spring finds that will show off your artistic side

30 | STREET STYLE Poet Alex Elle moves us with her wise words and expressive fashion

33 | DESIGNER TO WATCH Italian clothier Stella Jean uses her Haitian heritage to fuel her creativity

Beauty&Hair 35 | BEST IN BLACK BEAUTY Our 2017 award winners

46 | MASK MANUAL

110

Amandla Stenberg swings into gear. On Stenberg: Rosie Assoulin top and skirt, Holly Dyment earrings and rings, Alex Woo necklace and Michael Kors Collection runway sandals.

A guide to pampering facial treatments

48 | THE COMPACT

Goodies from the world of pretty

66 | ENTERTAINMENT

90 | I DID IT MY WAY

70 | PATRIK’S PICKS

117 | YOUR MAN’S OTHER

Iconic film director John Singleton has now set his sights on taking over television

This law, real estate and marketing ace is just getting started

Sex&Love

50 | A DAY IN HER BEAUTIFUL LIFE Showbiz veteran Nicole Ari Parker lets us take a peek into her daily routine

Tomes on the complexities of love, loyalty, lust and loss

WOMEN How to get along with your partner’s family and friends

71 | BOOKS 55 | TINY TRESSES

Popular Insta-kids model delightful pint-size dos

65 | STAGE RIGHT

Like his 24: Legacy alter ego, actor Corey Hawkins is going nonstop

Healthy&Happy 121 | LET GO TO LIVE

Iyanla Vanzant details her recovery from a medical crisis

Issues 75 | TEN THINGS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

78 | YOUNG PHENOM An African

124 | HOME Tips for a smooth move 126 | SPIRITUALITY

Instructions from the Bible (Proverbs 31)

refugee finds hope in the U.S., as well as the drive to help other immigrants

35

Check out the brands we crowned champs in color match.

12 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

Money&Power 87 | TEN WAYS YOU’RE SABOTAGING YOUR CAREER Subtle actions that may be holding you back professionally

In Every Issue 14 20 128 132 136

| | | | |

Let’s Talk What’s on Your Mind Where to Buy Horoscope Final Thoughts Rev. Al Sharpton praises the mothers of the movement

STEN B ERG , B ENJO ARWAS . STI LLS , B RIAN H EN N .

Scene

An examination of the economic boom and moral bust of slavery


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LET’S TALK : A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

CALLING THE SISTER CIRCLE

F

14 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

The experience reaffirmed for me just how powerful we as women of color are when we show up in the spirit of As you solidarity.” read our cover story, I hope that you will also feel a kindred spirit with these inspiring ladies. And I hope that you will come away energized and ready to activate your own “wokeness” wherever and however you can—whether that’s running for local office, volunteering with a community group or leveraging your social media platforms to spark important conversations where our voices should and must be heard. Write and tell me which of the women on the list’s actions most resonated with you, and how you try to “stay woke” in your daily life. Stay in touch,

MORE WAYS TO ENJOY ESSENCE ESSENCE PODCAST We’re marrying two things we love: podcasts and interviews with bold, brilliant, beautiful women of color. ESSENCE’s new podcast is an audio gabfest with celebs and influencers, hosted by staffers Cori Murray and Yolanda Sangweni, with advice from sex and relationship guru Charli Penn. Subscribe on iTunes.

ESSENCE FESTIVAL The stars will be out both day and night at the twenty-third Essence Festival, from June 29 to July 2, 2017, in New Orleans. Diana Ross, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Solange, Chance the Rapper and more will rock the main stage. Lalah Hathaway, Teyana Taylor, Yuna, Doug E. Fresh and others will perform in the Superlounges. Go to EssenceFestival.com for tickets.

COLLECTOR’S EDITION! VANESSA K. DE LUCA Editor-in-Chief Twitter: @Vanessa_KDeLuca Instagram: @vanessa_kdeluca E-mail: Vanessa@essence.com

LOOK FOR THESE ICONS TO DISCOVER OUR DIGITAL CONTENT:

Can’t get enough of the former First Family? We’re thrilled to share The Obamas: The White House Years (Essence Books, $11.99), on sale now. You can order it at amazon.com.

ESSENCE.COM

VIDEO

DE LUC A , MICHAEL ROWE. YES , GIRL! STILL, TEN EILLE CR AIG .

or this month’s anniversary cover story, we decided to summon a sisterhood of outspoken “woke” women in the public eye whose voices we respect, need and admire. The 12 ladies featured in this special collector’s edition—and the 88 more we recognize inside—have a clear-eyed commitment to our community. They comprise all fields—academia, media, science, technology, politics, law, health, education and the arts—yet all share a common desire to ensure our issues are raised and our best interests are represented. While our story is by no means exhaustive (certainly we could have included thousands more), we decided to focus our lens on those women who over the past year sparked all our imaginations with bold moves that made an impact. Sister circles, by definition, allow us to foster and build on the kinship and sense of community we feel when we come together to support one another. Circles encourage us to share, listen to and learn from one another, with each participant contributing equally. In summoning the women on our cover, we were able to witness this sacred ritual in action. At our photo shoot, the energy in the air was palpable. Some of them were meeting for the first time; others used the moment as an opportunity to reconnect as sisters in the struggle. All embraced each other warmly, celebrating their determination and offering up wisdom, laughter and strength for the long journey ahead. The experience reaffirmed for me just how powerful we as women of color are when we show up in the spirit of solidarity.


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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Vanessa K. De Luca

FIND YOUR FIT WITH

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jacklyn Monk DIGITAL CONTENT DIRECTOR Yolanda Sangweni EDITORIAL PROJECTS DIRECTOR Patrik Henry Bass

BEAUTY & STYLE FASHION & BEAUTY DIRECTOR Julee Wilson BEAUTY EDITOR Nykia Spradley FASHION EDITOR Joiee Thorpe ASSISTANT BEAUTY EDITOR Andrea Jordan CONTRIBUTING FASHION ASSISTANT Avon Dorsey

Find the fit that’s right for you based on your flow and panty size.

DEPARTMENTS ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTOR Cori Murray FEATURES EDITOR Lauren N. Williams SENIOR EDITOR, LIFESTYLE & RELATIONSHIPS Charreah K. Jackson WEST COAST EDITOR Regina R. Robertson ASSISTANT EDITOR Tanya A. Christian

CONTRIBUTOR

FLOW LIGHT

XS

PANTY SIZE

S M

MODERATE

HEAVY

EDITOR-AT-LARGE Mikki Taylor MODERATE

1

CONTRIBUTING WRITER Al Sharpton

HEAVY

ART & PHOTO

4

2

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ronda Thompson ART DIRECTOR Rashida Morgan-Brown CONTRIBUTING ART DIRECTOR Elsa Mehary PHOTO EDITOR Tracey Woods CREATIVE ASSISTANT Tierra Taylor CONTRIBUTING PHOTO EDITOR Judyth Watson

L XL

5

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EDITORIAL PRODUCTION PRODUCTION MANAGER Carina A. Rosario EDITORIAL BUSINESS MANAGER Rorna Richards Dinnoo

COPY & RESEARCH GREAT FOR DAY

GREAT FOR NIGHT

COPY CHIEF Grace White RESEARCH CHIEF Akkida McDowell

ESSENCE.COM SENIOR EDITOR, RELATIONSHIPS & LIFESTYLE Charli Penn SENIOR EDITOR, NEWS & CULTURE Christina Coleman SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Brahaani Mamo ART DIRECTOR Teneille Craig SENIOR VIDEO PRODUCER Keisha Lamothe ASSOCIATE EDITOR, BEAUTY & HAIR Nikki Brown ASSISTANT FASHION EDITOR Dominique Hobdy-Olibrice SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Mandy Bowman

© Procter & Gamble, 2017

ASSISTANT EDITORS Lauren J.S. Porter, Sydney Scott EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Mariya Moseley CONTENT PRODUCERS Whitney Gaspard, Marissa A. Lewis, Priscilla Ward CONTENT CONTRIBUTOR Rachaell Davis

GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY SERVICES SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT Kurt Rao VICE-PRESIDENTS Adam Days, Amanda Hanes, Hugues Hervouet, Dan Lo, Keith O’Sullivan, Ben Ramadan, Rajeshwari Ramamoorthy, Ashis Roy, Pradip Tripathy

TIME INC. CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER Alan Murray EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jess Cagle PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

16 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017


60% OF WOMEN WEAR THE WRONG SIZE PAD. 100% OF THEM CAN CHANGE THAT. Introducing Always My Fit™ - a range of pads for every shape and flow. Look on the top of any Always pack to find your fit with My Fit.

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REPAIR. REHYDRATE. REVIVE.

PRESIDENT Michelle Ebanks

GENERAL MANAGER Joy A. Profet VICE-PRESIDENT, FINANCE Keith Strohmeier VICE-PRESIDENT, BRAND COMMUNICATIONS Dana Baxter

LIVE EVENTS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, SPONSORSHIPS SALES Anika D. Grant SENIOR SPONSORSHIP ACTIVATION MANAGER Tanya Gunther ASSOCIATE MANAGER, TALENT & EVENTS Ihaku Emilie Ngokwey

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Arleen O’Brien PRODUCTION MANAGER Sandra Volino AD PRODUCTION SPECIALIST Maria Sherpa PREMEDIA ASSISTANT MANAGER Rosalie Khan PREMEDIA DIGITAL MAGAZINE SENIOR ASSOCIATE Sabrina Italiano

CONSUMER MARKETING & REVENUE SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT Beth Gorry VICE-PRESIDENTS, CONSUMER MARKETING Ann Marie Doherty, Melissa Mahoney, Allison Musmond, Karan Simoneau VICE-PRESIDENT, RETAIL MARKETING Eric Szegda DIRECTORS Christine Austin, Laurie Krzymdzinski, Tricia Williams SENIOR MANAGERS Caroline Baron, Heather Christianson, Tanja Walker MANAGERS Kathleen Cordero, Ashley Farrow, Shirley Klose, Melissa Kross, Katie Pisano ASSISTANT MANAGER Christine Symecko

ADMINISTRATION SENIOR MANAGER, BRAND COMMUNICATIONS Sheila Harris PUBLICIST, BRAND COMMUNICATIONS Bradford Bridgers VP, HUMAN RESOURCES Stacie Sullivan LEGAL COUNSEL Jane Halpern EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT Lynda Peterson

ESSENCE.COM SENIOR MANAGER, DIGITAL SALES DEVELOPMENT Whitney Headen MANAGER, DIGITAL SALES PLANNING Samantha Schwartz ASSOCIATE MANAGER, DIGITAL MARKETING Courtney Carter SALES PLANNER Rafaela Sevilla PROJECT MANAGER Steven Psyllos

BUSINESS OFFICE DIRECTORS Dave Hooks, Sherry Wolfe ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS Brad Scharff, Kerry Winn MANAGERS Catherine Kuo, Mei Lo, Kyle Paxman ANALYST Kevin Benitez

TIME INC. PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Rich Battista CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Sue D’Emic EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENTS Jeff Bairstow, Leslie Dukker Doty, Brad Elders, Mark Ford, Greg Giangrande, Lauren Ezrol Klein, Jennifer L. Wong BRAND GENERAL MANAGER, CELEBRITY/ENTERTAINMENT Bruce Gersh

ADVERTISING SALES GROUP PRESIDENTS Karen Kovacs, Greg Schumann DIGITAL STRATEGY Andrew Reedman, Thu Phan Rodriguez

BRAND SALES SVP, ENTERTAINMENT, STYLE & MULTICULTURAL Cece Ryan VP & BRAND SALES DIRECTOR Staci Hallmon-Bazzani WESTERN SALES DIRECTOR Haydn Wright MIDWEST SALES DIRECTOR Paul Johnson ACCOUNT DIRECTORS Danielle M. Brown, Cristina Kruger, Colette Yorrick-Womack SALES ASSISTANTS Naajiah Cole, Kiera L. Richardson

CATEGORY SALES BEAUTY Lauren Newman ENTERTAINMENT Ellie Duque FINANCE Mike Schneider HEALTH CARE Heidi Anderson HOME Alex Desanctis FASHION & RETAIL Matt Rice INDUSTRY/GOVERNMENT/TOBACCO/GOLF Nate Stamos TECHNOLOGY/TELECOMMUNICATIONS Scott Kelliher TRAVEL Joe Messer

SALES OPERATIONS CHIEF BUSINESS & SALES OPERATIONS OFFICER Pearl Collings VP, DIGITAL REVENUE STRATEGY & OPERATIONS Kavata Mbondo VP, BRAND LEAD Amy Thind VP, STRATEGY & INSIGHTS Caryn Klein

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SVP, ADVERTISING & BRAND MARKETING Susan Parkes VP, CLIENT SOLUTIONS Cassandre Charles SENIOR DIRECTOR, EVENT MARKETING Candace Purdie Montgomery CREATIVE DIRECTOR Allyson Brown ART DIRECTOR Anna Yakhnich ASSOCIATE SPECIAL EVENTS DIRECTOR Jovanca Maitland-Shelton SENIOR MANAGER, INTEGRATED MARKETING Rondel Holder MANAGER, INTEGRATED MARKETING Cara Walker

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WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND

WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU! KEEP SENDING US YOUR FEEDBACK ON ALL THINGS ESSENCE VIA FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, TWITTER, E-MAIL, A LETTER IN THE MAIL OR ESSENCE.COM

THE TWITTERVERSE ON OUR MARCH ISSUE: “Spying Haitian Girl Magic [‘Yamiche Alcindor,’ Voices of the New America] while enjoying the magazine. I am so inspired by @Yamiche.” —@carinejocelyn1

“Been seeing some chatter about women exploring celibacy for a litany of reasons. ‘The Lust Lockdown’ was a great article on that.”

MOTIVATING SHOT CALLERS Our Black Women in Hollywood nod included “13 Power Players.” Shonda Rhimes ruled in the Twitter poll on our picks of the most inspiring go-getters.

“I really loved @KristalZook’s piece [‘Queen Ava’] on @ava! Ms. DuVernay doing what she adores is how you make that magic work!”

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—@nstntvntage

—@ssscorvus Shonda Rhimes

Cathy Hughes

BEING YOUR BEST

We picked some favorites from the posts you shared on Instagram using our hashtags #ESSENCEStyle, #ESSENCETravels and #ESSENCEEats

#ESSENCEStyle: Modern Houston mom in springtime —@newtexacaligal

THE MOST LIKED QUOTE ON OUR INSTAGRAM PAGE

#ESSENCETravels: Heaven on Earth? It’s Chiang Rai, Thailand —@Iamianthia

#ESSENCEEats: Za’atar life via Oakland & The Bronx —@foodheavenshow

JOIN US! Share your habits and thoughts on events, culture, style and new products. Become an Insider at ESSENCEINSIDERS.COM

Tell us what you think about this issue. E-mail us at letters@essence.com

20 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

The editor’s letter reminded me to reconnect truthfully. My takeaway from “Simple Pleasures” is simply to remember to live in my moment, focusing on what really matters. So many times we disconnect from what we love, what inspires us and what pushes us in order to survive in this thing called life. Well, just surviving is no longer an option. I’m determined to live in “thrive mode” daily and do what soothes my soul. Reconnecting to the you that you need is liberating! —Venus Royster-Walker, Beckley, West Virginia

RHIM ES , MICHAEL LOCCISANO/G E T T Y IMAG ES . LEE, GARY G ERSHOFF/ WIREIMAG E. H UG H ES , SHAN NON FIN N E Y/G E T T Y IMAG ES . INSTAG R AM PHOTOS , FROM LEF T: MARION HAYES/@ B RUT TALYB LON DE; FARRENO FERGUSON/@ F. DOT242 COU RTESY OF @ IAMIANTHIA; WEN DY LOPEZ /@ FOODH E AVENSHOW.

HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU

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REWORKED SHIRTS PAIR THESE CLEVERLY CRAFTED TOPS WITH YOUR GO-TO JEANS

MAKEU P, VICTOR USING CHAN EL LES BEIGES/KEN BARBOZ A .COM . HAIR , NOEL REID - KILLINGS/KENBARBOZ A .COM . MANICU RE, SANDR A HOPP/J U M P MANAG EM ENT.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY YACHIN PARHAM FASHION EDITOR: JOIEE THORPE MSGM seersucker openshoulder tie blouse, $378, shopbop.com. Levi’s “501 Ragged Lands” jeans, $198, levi.com. On left hand (from left): The 9th Muse “Olivier” ring, $185, the9thmuse.com. Rosena Sammi “Chamak Triangle” ring, $35, rosena sammi.com. The 9th Muse “Faye” ring, $88, “Harper Pearl” ring, $118, and “Aya” stackable rings, $198 for set, all at the9thmuse.com. On right hand (from top): Adore Jewelry “Allure Beaded Crossing” ring, $54, adorejewelry.com. The 9th Muse “Kay” ring, $125, the9th muse.com. Adore Jewelry “Baguette Bar” ring, $39, and “3 Row Fixed” ring, $74, adorejewelry.com. The 9th Muse “Aya” stackable rings, $198 for set, the9thmuse.com.

STYLE MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 23


STYLE : HOT TOPS PETERSYN “Astor” blouse, $210, shopbop .com. LEVI’S “501 Ragged Lands” jeans, $198, levi.com.

TOPSHOP cotton gingham blouse, $65, similar styles available at us.topshop.com.

BOOHOO.COM “Ava Pleated Peplum” shirt, $26, us.boohoo.com.

CF. GOLDMAN “Off the Shoulder Corset” shirt, $550, cfgoldman.com for stores. KENDALL + KYLIE “Sleeve Wrap” top, $150, kendall-kylie.com.

24 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

STILL LIFES , COU RTESY OF B R AN DS

STORETS “Vivian” ruched-sleeve top, $68, storets.com.

YYIGAL embroidered cold-shoulder top, $99, macys.com.


©2017 L’Oréal USA, Inc.


STYLE : TRENDS The Inspiration

LOGO CRAZY THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH FLOSSING YOUR DESIGNER FAVES! S S! FASHION EDITOR: JOIEE THORPE SAINT LAURENT gold-tone brooch, $395, net-a-porter.com. A L ANEL CHA VINTAGE N NTAGE oversize e CC li button clip-on earrings, $645, farfetch.com.

ESSENCE June 1975

DIOR “Dior J’Adior” sunglasses, $710, select Dior boutiques.

BALMAIN button-embellished top, $265, net-a-porter.com.

GUCCI “Princetown” slippers, $695, farfetch.com.

LOVE MOSCHINO tote bag, $275, bloomingdales.com.

26 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

GAP hoodie, $45, gap.com.

TOP RIG HT, COU RTESY OF ESSENCE ARCHIVES . PRODUCTS , COU RTESY OF B R AN DS .

MCM WORLDWIDE “Rabbit Mirror” charm, $175, mcmworldwide.com.

VETEMENTS + CHAMPION track pants, $635, net-a-porter.com.


©2017 L’Oréal USA, Inc.


STYLE : MY FAVES

Try this!

The rosy hue is classic, while the leather packaging adds some edge.

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Must-have!

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People might mistake you for a superhero. A very fabulous one!

Check out the Dope Stuff on My Desk video series at ESSENCE.com.

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Why I love... This beautifully subtle scent brings calm to a hectic day.

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THESE CHIC ITEMS ARE AWESOME AND DESERVE TO BE PUT ON FULL DISPLAY BY JULEE WILSON 1. SORRELLI “Flower Navette Cuff” ring, $50, and cocktail ring, $80, sorrelli.com.

3. BAREMINERALS Blemish Remedy Acne Clearing Treatment Serum, $42, bareminerals.com.

5. BRIOGEO Rosarco Milk Reparative Conditioning Spray, $20, 5 oz, sephora.com.

2. ALIMA PURE Liquid Silk Foundation, $42, credobeauty .com.

4. GIVENCHY Le Rouge-À-Porter Lipstick in Red Gypsophila, $36, barneys.com.

6. ELIZABETH ARDEN White Tea Eau de Toilette Spray, $49, 3.3 oz, elizabetharden.com.

28 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

7. SEPHORA COLLECTION Coconut Water Cleansing and Exfoliating Wipes, $8, sephora.com. 8. ADMK JEWELRY sculpted cuff, $55, admkjewelry.com.

9. LILAH B. Tinted Lip Balm in b. demure and b. cheeky, $36 each, lilahbeauty.com. 10. FARMACY Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, $34, farmacybeauty.com.

PHOTOG R APHY, CH RISTIN E B L ACKBU RN E. PROP ST YLIST, CH RISTOPH ER STON E.

DOPE STUFF ON MY DESK


STYLE : STREET STYLE

It Girl

ALEX ELLE

The author and beauty entrepreneur resides near Washington, D.C.

THIS 27-YEAR-OLD IS KNOWN FOR HER INSPIRING WORDS, BUT HER FASHION SENSE AND BEAUTY ARE JUST AS CAPTIVATING

HACKWITH DESIGN HOUSE “Swing Split Hem” tank, $180, hackwith designhouse.com.

BY JULEE WILSON EASY DOES IT: “I would describe my style as cozy, comfy and casual.” THE CHOSEN ONES: “I love Madewell, Imogene + Willie, Hackwith Design House, Lauren Winter, Black Crane, Elizabeth Suzann—and, more recently, vintage goods. These clothiers hold a special place in my wardrobe.” A BEAUTIFUL BEGINNING: “I created the beauty brand Balm & Co. for my daughter’s love of lip balm and my love of herbalism, holistic healing and natural, plant-based skin care.” MOTHER KNOWS BEST: “Instilling confidence and pride in my daughter is about letting her be free, making room for mistakes and uplifting her along the way.”

9-year-old

Sbisitist faccae vendellam, que que voluptasin prerae doloreh endit, cor

daughter, BRIGHT FUTURE: “In Charlie five years I hope I’ll be living in California with my family and owning a bookshop and café. A nice, slow and easy life with the ones I love most.”

WE ARE NEVER ALONE IN OUR STRUGGLE, AND THAT’S WHAT I WANT MY WORK TO SHOWCASE. 30 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

BALM & CO. Botanical Clay Cleanser, $32, Honeysuckle Turmeric Brightening Toner, $22, and Sky Serum, $72, all at shopthebalm.co. ELIZABETH SUZANN “The Sandstone” mules, $360, elizabethsuzann.com.

ELLE, RYAN SPE ARMAN (3). PRODUCTS , COU RTESY OF B R AN DS .

HAIR MUST-HAVES: “Bekura Beauty’s Y.A.M. Nectar conditioner and Tonga Mousse hair cream, Oyin Handmade’s Honey Hemp conditioner and The Mane Choice’s detangling shampoo.” Elle and her

Check out Elle’s latest book, Neon Soul: A Collection of Poetry & Prose (Andrews McMeel; $16.99, andrewsmcmeel.com).


Free shipping online with $99 purchase & free returns. Exclusions apply; see macys.com/freereturns Advertised merchandise may not be carried at your local Macy’s and selection may vary by store. 7030023.

THE MIXING ROOM Bomber jackets from Fever. Misses. $60 WebID 4561203

WANT THE PERFECT GIFT FOR MOM? SPEAK WITH THE PROS AT MY STYLIST @ MACY’S THE SERVICE IS FUN, FAST & FREE! Call 1-800-343-0121 to make an appointment or visit macys.com/mystylist

celebrate MOTHER S DAY IS MAY 14


©2017 P&G


STYLE : DESIGNER TO WATCH

STELLA JEAN THIS ROME-BASED FASHION STAR OPENS UP ABOUT HER HAITIAN ROOTS AND HOW CLOTHES CAN BE A CULTURAL CONNECTOR BY Y BRIDGE BRIDGETTE ETTE BARTLETT BA ARTL RTLETT E ET ROYAL ROYALL YALL L

Stella Jean

E SSENCE: What inspires your creations? yo S TELLA T JEAN: My own story—my st roots and background g have always inspired my m work. I’m half-Haitian and an half-Italian. Haiti influences en my creativity. The sociocultural so fusion I bring in my collections is perfectly represented re by a country llik ke Haiti and in line with my fundamental fu need to convey a new concept of multiculturalism. Fashion can be a cultural translator; we can reestablish the proportion among symbols, stories and different worlds through style. ESSENCE: How would you describe the Stella Jean woman? S.J.: Women who are confident, curious, audacious, not afraid to experiment and who cherish family memories, plus have a pinch of irony— all of which makes every look personal a and nd unique.

J E AN , ANDRE A B ENEDET TI . FALL / WINTER COLLEC TION , TRISTAN FEWINGS/ G ET T Y IMAG ES . NECKL ACE AND RU NWAY MODEL S , COU RTESY OF STELL A J E AN . PRODUC TS , COU RTESY OF B R ANDS .

Stella J

/ Win ean Fall

ter 2017

Statement necklace from Jean’s signature line.

MODEL BEHAVIOR 2017 Jean’s Spring/Summer 2 collection was a hit..

Check out more Stella Jean at stellajean.it.

ESSENCE: Who are your E ffavorite designers? S.J.: Dries Van Noten, who S m mixes different cultures in a tasteful and respectful way. way y And A Etro, who sums up a blen nd of tradition and innovation. ESS ENCE: What are your go-to b ea uty products? bea S J.: Kreyòl Essence 100% S.J. na atural Haitian black MAC c astor oil, pure COSMETICS organic moringa oil In Extreme Dimension (ffrom the southern Lash Mascara, co oast of Haiti) by $23 23, mac $23, Ay yiti N ativess cosm co metics .co co o .com. an nd MA AC’ C’ss In E Extre me Dim ensio on masscara.

KREYÒL KR L ES ENCE ESS Org O ganic Haitia t an Black ck k H Casttor Oil,, Cas C $15, kreyoll $ essen ess ssen e n s. s. e ence.us

MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 33


It’s What

YOUR KISS HAS BEEN CRAVING! Mary Kay ® Gel Semi-Matte Lipstick

Cushiony, feel-good formula. Intense, stay-true shades.

Finding your perfect shade is easy when you contact your Independent Beauty Consultant. Need to connect with one? Visit marykay.com.

/ © 2017 Mary Kay Inc.

Poppy Please


2017

Best in Black Beauty It’s that time again! We’ve rounded up outstanding products and people making their mark in the beauty game PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN HENN

MUST-HAVE DAILY INDULGENCE...

Fragrance

PROP ST YLIST, MAI TR AN

Clockwise from far left: Byredo Bibliothèque Eau de Parfum ($255, byredo.com); Memo Paris Eau de Memo ($275, Neiman Marcus); Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum ($115, 2.7 oz, Macy’s); Marc Jacobs Mod Noir Eau de Parfum ($90, 1.7 oz, Sephora).

BEAUTY MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 35


BEAUTY Y : AWA AWARDS 2017

MASCARAS THAT TRULY PERFORM...

Lancôme & CoverGirl The magic is in the wand. No matter your budget, if you’re looking for impressive lashes in a swipe, these don’tt disappoint.

BEST VIRAL HAIR MOMENT...

Reaction to Solange’s album In late September 2016, the singer blessed the world with standout dos, crafted by hairstylist Nikki Nelms, in celebration of her third studio effort, A Seat at the Table. From wearing Patrice Rushen–inspired braids to the duckbill-clipped locks everyone tried to re-create, Knowles delivered music and mane moments we’ll never forget.

DARK SPOT BUSTER...

Gone are the days when dark spots were a roadblock to an even complexion. We can’t get enough of these tone correctors that lessen pigment issues for women of color.

Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Cleansing Bar ($28, urban skinrx.com); SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum ($154, skin medica.com for locations).

ARTISTS OF THE YEAR... LACY REDWAY & SIR JOHN Lacy Redway

Sir John

These pros are responsible for the looks of some of the hottest celebs on the scene. From Sir John’s flawless makeup for Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland to Redway’s perfected tresses for Alicia Keys, Uzo Aduba and Solange, the two gurus make sure the stars always shine brightly on the red carpet.

36 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

Bioré Charcoal Acne Scrub ($7, Target).

BLEMISH FIGHTER...

Bioré A combo of powerhouse ingredients—charcoal and salicylic acid—helps this scrub clear up acne while sloughing away dead skin.

MOST COVETED TOOLS...

GAME-CHANGING GADGETS Technology is taking over our beauty regimens and among our treasured finds are a fiber-woven flat iron, an oscillating makeup brush, a cellulite-busting massager, an ultra-luxe electric toothbrush and a skin-firming face massager. Clockwise from top left: InStyler CeraSilk Styling Iron ($115, Ulta); Michael Todd Beauty Sonicblend Makeup Brush ($79, michaeltoddbeauty.com); FasciaBlaster Massager ($89, fasciablaster.com); Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush ($220, target.com); Clarisonic Smart Profile Uplift ($349, clarisonic.com).

»

SOL ANG E, C ARLOTA GU ERRO (2). REDWAY, RYAN MICHAEL KELLY. SIR JOH N , COU RTESY OF SU B J ECT.

Urban Skin Rx & SkinMedica IT’S A TIE!

Lanc côme G Gran ndiôse Extrême ($32, l comelanc usa.c com); Cove erGirl So Lashy! L BlastPro Bla Ma ascara (($9, CVS). C


BEAUTY : AWARDS 2017

BRAND ON THE RISE...

Flawless by Gabrielle Union Her hair is always laid and slayed, so we’re thrilled the actress has debuted a signature hair care collection. All ten products are filled with a blend of marula, argan and avocado oils, and under $30 each! Flawless by Gabrielle Union Collection ($19–$29, Ulta).

CELEB OF THE YEAR...

CLEAN & GREEN BEAUTY PICKS...

Alicia Keys This fearless songstress made a major statement by going makeup-free and we love it. Keys encourages women to “do you” when it comes to rocking cosmetics, and she isn’t afraid to reveal her true beauty to the world. Whether you choose to pile it on or to push your makeup bag aside, her #NoMakeup movement inspires us all.

Farmhouse Fresh, Made Beautiful & Clove + Hallow Those who prefer to keep things clean, natural or organic, need look no further than to these makeup, hair and skin options that are infused with botanicals and eco-friendly ingredients.

BEST EXTENSIONS...

Indique Hair If you want curly or straight dos, wigs or weaves, this brand has it. Using its 100 percent virgin human hair, you can get a natural look without any fuss.

SOCIAL MEDIA CULT FAVORITE... PAT

MCGRATH LABS

((Pictured) Pat (P Mc M McGrath Labs Me eta almorphosis 005 E Ev Everything Kit.

BEST HIGHLIGHTER...

Jay Manuel Beauty On a quest for an illuminator that won’t leave your brown skin looking ashy? This gold-tinted powder is pure perfection for even the deepest of skin tones. Jay Manuel Beauty Filter Finish 3D Illuminator in Paparazzi ($30, hsn.com).

BEST AT-HOME HAIR COLOR...

Clairol & Dark and Lovely IT’S A TIE!

When you’re ready to jazz things up by going blond, purple or somewhere in between, try one of these for a fabulous payoff. Clairol Professional Flare Me ($6, Sally Beauty); Dark and Lovely Color-Gloss Ultra Radiant nt Color Crème ($6, Walmart).

NEW SKIN CARE TREND...

Antipollution n Products If you’re a resident in a major city, you can now get more help to o protect your skin from m harsh polluted air. Elizabeth Arden Prevag ge City Smart SPF 50 ($68 8, elizabetharden.com).

»

KE YS , FREDERICK M . B ROWN/G E T T Y IMAG ES

The clever strategy of dropping a limited number of awe-inducing shadows had us in a frenzy to get these sparkling pigments, created by glam goddess McGrath, before they were sold out.

38 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

Farmhouse Fresh Sunflower Honey-Butter ($30, farmhousefreshgoods.com); Made Beautiful PUREifying Rinse ($10, Sally Beauty); Clove + Hallow Lip Glaze ($13 each, cloveandhallow.com).


Lash like a boss. Big shot volume, root to tip. The fully loaded lash is here. NEW

the COLOSSAL

BIG SHOT

BEFORE: AFTER: Lashes without Just 1 coat for Big Shot volume. fully loaded lashes.

BIG SHOT BRISTLES HOLD MORE FOR FULLY LOADED LASHES. BIG SHOT VOLUME. VS. ORIGINAL COLOSSAL.

Like a boss? It’s the only way. SIMULATION OF ACTUAL PRODUCT RESULTS ON LASHES ENHANCED WITH LASH INSERTS. Maybelline.com ©2017 Maybelline LLC.

#BIGSHOTMASCARA


BEAUTY : AWARDS 2017 2 0117 0 017 17

BEST SHADES FOR US... IT’S A TIE! BLACK OPAL & MAKE UP FOR EVER

With formulas that would satisfy even picky pros and colors that work on the milkiest to the darkest of chocolates, these two lines are clear winners. Black Opal True Color Ultra Matte Foundation Powder ($11, Rite Aid); Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation ($43, sephora.com).

MUST-HAVE INGREDIENT FOR MOISTURE...

Not only do we give this starlet major props for staying woke, but we also salute how amazing she looks while doing so. From wash-and-gos to braids and buns, she isn’t afraid to rock a new style and own it. We adore her dare-to-be-different attitude and can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeve next.

Tom Ford, Kérastase & Sunday Riley

This lubricant is your key to increased skin hydration. It is packed with moisture, has huge plumping properties and is available at all price points.

BEST SYSTEM FOR STRAIGHT HAIR... If you like having options when it comes to your mane, here’s the solution you’ve been searching for. Created for natural girls who occasionally like going straight, this botanical-filled three-step system makes blowouts and heat styling a breeze. And you don’t have to worry about ruining your curl pattern. KeraCare Thermal Wonder Collection ($3–$13, select Sally Beauty stores).

These luxury finds are pretty to look at and get the job done—they can perfect your pout with gorgeous color, smooth flyaways, nourish dry strands and hydrate dry skin day and night. You’ll be glad you invested in these treats.

BEST EDGE TAMER...

Creme of Nature Creme of Nature With Argan Oil From Morocco Perfect Edges Black ($5, Walmart). Tom om Ford Shade & Illuminate Lips in Nikita ($60 each, tomford.com); Kérastase Aura Botanica Essentiel ($58, Concentre Essent kerastase usa kerastase-u usa.com); u com); S d y Rile iley O Sunday ey yC C.E.O. C O C+E antiO OXIDANT M z ($ Moisturiz zer ($65, S ph Sep phora).

»

SHAHIDI , FROM LEF T: J. COU NTESS/G E T T Y IMAG ES; KE VIN MA ZU R /G E T T Y IMAG ES; DAVID LIVINGSTON/G E T T Y IMAG ES .

KeraCare

40 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

Yara Shahidi

WORTH THE SPLURGE...

Hyaluronic Acid

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum ($65, peterthomasroth.com); Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum ($108, rodanandfields .com); Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream ($20, Walgreens).

NATURAL HAIR CRUSH...


Fashioned for flash, from gilded glints to major metals. Dare to go nude. NEW

PALETTE

#24KNUDES

When I dare to go nude, it’s pure gold. Maybelline.com Herieth is wearing New The 24K Nudes Palette. ©2017 Maybelline LLC.


BEAUTY : AWARDS 2017 0 7

BARGAIN GOODIES...

Not Your Mother’s, Nubian Heritage & L’Oréal Paris Keep your wallet happy with budget-friendly brands that offer major payoff.

AGELESS WONDER...

Not Your Mother’s Kinky Moves Curl Detangler ($7, Ulta); Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Facial Wash ($13, nubianheritage .com); L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Liquid Eyeliner ($10, CVS). L i e Almond Milk Conce L’Occitane ce entr ntrate ate ($50 at ate ($50, ($ 50 50 0, us u a l ); J l d nS l .loccitane.com); Jo Malone London Star Magnolia H $ h l Hair Mist ($50, jomalone.com); T Too Cooll For School D $ Sephora).. Dinoplatz Lip Balm in Spilled Wine ($15,

Angela Bassett Though years have passed since we first met this enchantress, her beauty has stood the test of time. We applaud you, Ms. Bassett, for being a solid example of “Black don’t crack.”

FAVORITE FOREIGN IMPORTS...

L’Occitane, Jo Malone London & Too Cool For School

@melaniin.goddess Senegalese-born model Khoudia Diop took Instagram by storm after participating in the viral diversity campaign The “Colored” Girl Project. Now we can’t keep our eyes off her deep mocha complexion.

MUST-WEAR MANI TREND...

Chrome Nail Polish The salon-applied chrome polish that started the craze goes on like magic. Fortunately, these metallic versions are equally as captivating and come at just a fraction of the cost. Sally Hansen Color Therapy ($7 each, Walmart); Essie Mirror Metalics ($9 each, essie.com).

42 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

BEST CURL DEFINER...

Carol’s Daughter When it comes to styling curls and coils, definition is a top concern. Carol’s Daughter products are often the go-to for many naturalistas, and this Pracaxi Nectar collection is no different. It keeps hair in place without weighing down your spirals. Carol’s Daughter Pracaxi Nectar Curl Twisting Custard ($14, carolsdaughter.com).

BEST ANTIAGING LINE...

Olay & Dermalogica IT’S A TIE!

When you want to banish wrinkles, one of these two brands should be your first choice. No matter your sign of aging, you’re bound to find a formula that will help you retain that youthful glow.

FAVE BLACKOWNED BRAND...

Briogeo Our love affair began when we first saw this Black-owned line in Sephora, but the impeccable formulas are what keep us loyal. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment ($32, Sephora).

»

BASSE T T, J EFFRE Y MAYER /G E T T Y IMAG ES . DIOP, JOE Y ROSADO/ISL AN D BOI PHOTOG R APHY.

BREAKOUT BEAUTY STAR...

These global brands are gaining lots of fans stateside with their luxurious ingredients and genius formulas that yield fantastic results. They’re certainly welcome here.


Ultra-smooth gel pencil with 16-hour hold. Now, eyes go bold with intense hues.

LASTING DRAMA ®

Waterproof Gel Pencil

My boldness? It never fades.

10 bold colors.

#MNYLINER Maybelline.com ©2017 Maybelline LLC.


Transform your lip look.

BEAUTY : AWARDS S 2017

Kevyn Aucoin The Molten Metals Lipstick ($30 each, Sephora).

NEW

SHAPING LIP LINER Makes lipstick last. Stops feathering and smudging.

Define: outline, fill in with lip color.

BEST METALLIC LIPS...

KEVYN AUCOIN We’re totally willing to give up our matte lip obsession for this lineup of wearable iridescent hues. Whether you’re looking for a bronze to keep things neutral or a deep purple to make a statement, this brand’s got you covered.

KID-FRIENDLY FAVORI TE....

Baby Dove There’s no doubt that Dove is embraced by the entire family. y. And its new line for baby will keep your precious little one’s skin nourished. Baby Dove Rich Moisture Top to Toe e Wash ($6, 13 oz, Walmart).

Contrast: line + fill with contrasting shades.

BlOGGER WE CAN’T STOP WATCHING...

Ellarie She has more than 1 million followers on Instagram, so it’s obvious you love her just as much as we do. Vibrant blue lipstick? Check. Perfected winged liner? Check. She does it all, and we’re so here for it.

HEAD-TO-TOE SAVIOR...

SheaMoisture From hair to skin to makeup, SheaMoisture is the ultimate multitasker and keeps women of color at the top of its list!

Volumize: draw vertical lines, fill in corners. Add lip color.

GAME-CHANGING PRODUCTS...

Cantu, Cover FX, Curls, Colgate & DevaCurl

14 creamy new shades.

Cantu Refresh Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Co-Wash ($5, Walmart); Cover FX Clear Cover Invisible Sunscreen SPF 30 ($45, Sephora); Curls Blueberry Bliss Hair Growth Oil ($12, select Target stores); Colgate Optic White Radiant Toothpaste ($7, Walgreens); DevaCurl Buildup Buster ($28, devacurl.com).

44 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

Palmer’s & DJ Khaled It’s no secret that celebrity partnerships are a hot topic and even hotter sellers. When DJ Khaled joined forces with this ash-buster favoritte,, we knew it was going to be a hit. Palmer’s DJ Khaled x Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion ($7, 8.5 oz, palmers.com).

ELL ARIE, COU RTESY OF SU B J ECT

Launches of the past year were all about innovative formulas, and these picks certainly fit the bill. Our faves include a dry cowash that conditions and refreshes, an invisible gel sunscreen, a hair oil that promotes hair growth, a teeth whitener that brightens beyond the surface and a micellar water cleanser that rids scalp of gunky buildup for weightless curls.

BRAND/CELEB COLLAB...


Color your mood sensational. Rock our most iconic reds.

with sumptuous honey nectar

Crisper color. Creamier feel.

My current mood: it’s passionate/spicy/bold. Find your perfect shade.

Maybelline.com/colorsensational To get lipcolor similar to Jourdan’s, try Color Sensational® in Deepest Cherry. ©2017 Maybelline LLC.


BEAUTY : BEAUTY SCHOOL

8 The New Sheet

Updated Techstile technology makes this the first dry sheet mask. Its dry print is infused with 87 percent active ingredients that micro-penetrate the epidermis as you move and your body temperature rises. Nannette de Gaspé Techstile Face Masque ($120, barneys.com).

1 Splash

Don’t expect to slather this liquid all over. “Splash it on and let it absorb,” as it says on the label. “This [system] is best for those who are busy and don’t have time to let a mask sit,” says Chilukuri. More like a serum, “a splash mask typically contains higher concentrations of lactic acid, glycerin and antioxidants.” Boscia Tsubaki Splash Mask ($38, Sephora).

PLAY IT SAFE

MASK MANUAL

FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON THE PACKAGING CAREFULLY TO HELP PREVENT IRRITATION AND CHEMICAL BURNS.

COMBAT COMPLEXION WOES WITH THESE SKIN SAVERS BY ANDREA JORDAN

2

Hydrogel

3 Peel

This mask cleans out the pores. “As it dries, it removes oil and dirt below the skin’s surface. The peel is most effective in eliminating blackheads or minimizing enlarged pores,” says Chilukuri. Bliss Mask a-‘Peel’ Radiance Revealing Rubberizing Mask ($30, ulta.com).

46 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

4 Bubble

Apply a thin layer of this gel and watch it fizz. Bubble masks react with oxygen in the air and help clear away dirt and oil from deep within the pores. e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask ($14, elfcosmetics.com).

5 Compression

Similar in makeup to a basic sheet mask, which is soaked in a serum, this lace version employs compression technology for great results. The added pressure can reduce congestion as it rids your skin of impurities. Dermovia Lace A Peel Mask ($55 for 5-pack, Nordstrom).

7 Molding

Primarily an in-office or spa treatment, this gel and powder duo moisturizes and rejuvenates the skin. The combo creates a paste that conforms to the structure of your face. Once the paste dries, lift it off for a refreshed complexion. Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask ($46 for 4 treatments, Sephora).

6 Magnet

This creamy mask, which is made of metallic, ironlike particles, is removed with a magnet. Says Chilukuri, “The magnetic removal improves microcirculation while rehydrating and brightening the skin.” dr. brandt Magnetight AgeDefier Skin Recharging Magnet Mask ($75, drbrandtskincare.com).

PHOTOG R APHY, B RIAN H EN N . PROP ST YLIST, CH RISTOPH ER STON E /HALLE Y RESOU RCES .

Hydrogel is—you guessed it— water in a gel. In the past it was used for healing wounds because of its punch of moisture and soothing properties. The hydrating salve is also safe for sensitive skin. Erno Laszlo Hydrogel Mask ($16, ernolaszlo.com).

The mask market can be a bit overwhelming. With so many kinds available, how do you know which one to choose? We asked Suneel Chilukuri, M.D., of Refresh Dermatology in Houston, to break down the different varieties to help you select what’s best for you. The first step? Hone in on your skin issue, then look for a product with ingredients that target it. “Salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory agent that helps improve blackheads and whiteheads. Dry or sensitive skin types should use masks with ingredients like lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, cucumber and papaya,” says the cosmetic and dermatologic surgeon. “If you’re looking for general skin health and antiaging benefits, find masks that contain alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid and vitamins C and E.” Next determine the right mask formula. We’ve picked eight types and got the scoop on how they work.


BEAUTY : NEWS

the COMPACT FIVE FRESH PICKS ON OUR RADAR THIS MONTH BY NYKIA SPRADLEY

3

BODY BOOST

Golden Arches

Need a little pick-me-up? Slip these groundbreaking sheet masks into your underpinnings and within a few weeks, ingredients like marine collagen and hyaluronic acid will absorb into your skin to fill, plump and contour saggy areas.

Benefit is on a mission to make achieving perfect brows easier than ever. Its BrowBars will now offer a menu of four styles to match your mood or makeup. So if you want to learn how to master a feathered brow, try the straight brow trend, go bold and angular or search for something more natural, the Benefit pros will show you exactly how to work it. Check out our video of the four sleek designs at ESSENCE.com.

Shimmery iridescents can add magic ic, b but eate them the cool, silvery tones used to creat m can be tricky against our skin kin. Cover FX X ek S Selby global ambassador Derek y suggests swiping on sparingly ly: “Illuminate yourr cheekbones by da dabbing the Cover FX X ancer Drops on top of y your Custom Enhan makeup. This w will give your skin a glowing uc can also create violet shade. You oc e e an ombré o é he color in the center lip by applying the n] feather[ing] of the lips and [then] g out.”

Cover FX Custom Enhancerr Drops ps ($42 each, sephora.com).

48 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

4

1 2

CLEANSE CULTURE

This scrub looks like a green juice but works from the outside in. Packed with the same superfoods found in FYTT cleanses—kale, spinach, spiruHitRestart lina, cucumber, flaxseed—it Detoxifying Body Scrub pumps in potent antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to make ($54, fytt beauty.com). skin more radiant.

ESSENCE SALON DIRECTORY

5

Swivel Be eauty’s (swivelbeauty.com) salon pick p k of the month: Mahogany Hair H Revolution. L Looking g for a g good place to have y your box braids, s, havana twists or faux locs done? Tr Try this L.A. shop, where e e owner o e Ka Kari Williams is a board-cert ertified ert trichologist.

Follow ESSENCE Beauty Editor Nykia Spradley @NYKSPRADS.

L ARG E PHOTO, VICTOR VIRGILE /GAM MA- R APHO VIA G E T T Y IMAG ES . WOMAN AT TOP, ANTONIO DE MORES BARROS FILHO/ WIREIMAG E. WOMAN WITH B R AIDS , T YREE VANCE /ADVANCED IMAG E. STILLS , COU RTESY OF B R AN DS .

THE LOOK: MERMAID MAKEUP P

NANNETTE DE GASPÉ Uplift Revealed Plumping & Lifting Techstile Infusers ($315 for set, net-a-porter.com).


Beauty for everyone. Especially you.

TM

IF YOU’VE GOT IT FLAUNT IT IF YOU DON’T FAKE IT We’ve got 800 cosmetics under $8, and a Lash and Brow Studio you’ll love. Even better? Getting those pretty peepers and that perfect pout is all backed by our Love It or Return It Guarantee.

TAI IS A BEAUTY AND STYLE EXPERT @TheTaiLIfe

Try Tai’s new secrets & save: Ardell Lashes & Brow Defining Kit

BUY 2 GET 1 FREE use code 888355 good through May 31

Visit us at one of our 3,000 locations or at sallybeauty.com.

The thing I like about this brow powder, as opposed to pencil, is that you are able to create very soft strokes that mimic and look like hair.”


BEAUTY : A DAY IN HER BEAUTIFUL LIFE

Nicole Ari Parker GRATITUDE (AND A HOT HUBBY) HELPS THIS AGELESS BEAUTY JUGGLE MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD AND A NEARLY 25-YEAR CAREER ON BOTH COASTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY BORIS KODJOE

A

50 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

D MASTER ACTRESS | WIFE | MOM | VEGAN SALA Astrological sign: Libra Projects: Rosewood and Time After Time

7:00 A.M. After the morning rush and her “one cup of coffee,” Parker often takes a walk on the beach with Max, the family dog, a shepherd who, like Kodjoe, is “Black and German,” she says with a laugh.

9:00 A.M. Every day Parker checks in with her team at GymWrap, which is available in more than 1,100 Sally Beauty and Walmart stores.

HAIR , PHATAR A CHAVIS . MAKEU P, ASTRID RE YES . INSTAG R AM PHOTOS , COU RTESY OF SU B J ECTS .

week before the premiere of her new ABC series, Time After Time, Nicole Ari Parker is getting pretty in her dressing room at The Real. It’s midafternoon in Los Angeles (3 P.M., to be exact), and she’s up next for a segment on the daytime gabfest. With the soothing sounds of singer Sara Tavares billowing in the background, Parker gazes at the mirror as her hairstylist brushes her honey-hued strands into a high bun. Between laughs, and while waiting for her makeup artist to settle on the just-right lip color, she gives a rundown of her day—which, for the record, began at 6 A.M. with a kiss for her husband, actor and photographer Boris Kodjoe. Then, she adds, “I prayed, got the kids off to school, exercised, ate and left for acting class.” And that was all before 10 A . M . The star’s film, stage and small-screen credits span more than two decades and include movies like Boogie Nights and Brown Sugar, Broadway’s A Streetcar Named Desire and the TV series Soul Food and Rosewood. As with her performances, Parker’s real-life roles—wife, mom to Sophie, 12, and Nicolas, 10, and creator of the ever-popular save-your-hair-while-working-out GymWrap— require her to be front and center. But when work calls, the balancing act can get a bit tricky, especially when the job is across the country. “I love New York, but it’s tough to be away,” she says of her new show, which films back East. “The great thing about being part of an ensemble cast is that you don’t shoot every day. So if I’m off on a Thursday and Friday, I run to the airport and make it a four-day weekend.” Once at home, Parker immediately slips back in step with her family’s rhythm. And on the next day and the day after, she does it all over again, with a grateful heart, always: “We have a nice, simple life. I’m blessed.” —Regina R. Robertson


HER INSTA-LIFE 12:30 P.M. Parker studies with acting teacher Tony Greco, whom she’s known for nearly 30 years. She says, “Learning to live truthfully, in imaginary circumstances, is a never-ending process.”

Getting snatched and pulled together at a wardrobe fitting

Taking a breather and deepconditioning her tresses

9:00 P.M. “Nicolas and Sophie still love to read with me,” Parker says. “They don’t have cell phones yet, so I’m really holding on to these moments.”

Kodjoe and the kids, for whom “he makes a full breakfast every day”

Bonding at the beach with Soul Food sisters Vanessa Williams and Malinda Williams

Enjoying couple time (and looking forward to celebrating their twelfth wedding anniversary this month)

MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 51


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MOMENTS FOR ME Award-winning actress and singer Renée Elise Goldsberry balances her busy life as a mother of two with a demanding work schedule. We talked with the Broadway and TV star about her favorite ways to recharge, refresh, and feel great in her own skin. TIPS FROM RENÉE Blissful Slumber Renée feels her best when she’s had a good night’s sleep, but that’s not always possible with a show that lets out at midnight and a family on the go. “Self-care is essential,” she says, “so that I can be present for both myself and the people in my life.” To make sure she’s well rested, she shuts down all electronics and reads before going to bed. (She’s also mastered the art of napping!)

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Tiny Tresses These adorable social media stars show us the coolest kid dos of the season, with the help of New York City hairstylist Olubunkola Ojeifo BY NYKIA SPRADLEY PHOTOGRAPHY BY YACHIN PARHAM

MADISON

HAIR, OLUBUNKOLA OJEIFO. MAKEUP, VICTOR AMOS/KENBARBOZA.C O M . M A N I C U R E , S A N D R A H O P P/ J U M P M A N AG E M E N T. FA S H I O N EDITOR, JOIEE THORPE. FOR CLOTHING DETAILS, SEE WHERE TO BUY.

@redlilmissy With a personality as fiery as her red strands, Madison rocks an updated take on classic pigtails. After a light blow-dry to smooth the hair, Ojeifo parted the hair down the middle, then sectioned off one inch on each side of the part. On the right side, starting a few inches back, she cornrowed a small braid toward and then along the hairline. She then did the same on the left. Afterward, she secured the braids into each pigtail, and then using tiny rubber bands, she created small puff balls down each side. Ojeifo added a few braid rings to finish the look.

HAIR MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 55


HAIR : KIDDIE DOS

SUMMER @_callmesparkle This charming little lady has a strong sense of style. For this twisted hawk, Ojeifo did a light blowout to stretch the strands. She then parted the hair across the center and braided one cornrow toward the crown on each side. Using an alcohol-free gel and edge control, she neatly slicked the remaining hair back into two ponytails (one near the crown, the other close to the nape of the neck). For more volume and length, Ojeifo loosely twisted in additional hair and secured all of the strands with a rubber band. She placed twists around the crown and held them in with pins. She left the twists from the bottom ponytail loose to produce the tail.

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56 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017


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HAIR : KIDDIE DOS

AVA AND ALEXIS @mccluretwins We can seriously watch this double dose of cuteness and their viral videos all day. Ojeifo crafted two styles that reflect their similarities and individuality. Using Bantu knots as the common thread, she parted the hair from ear to ear, and with a lightweight oil and an alcohol-free gel, she made the knots in the front. For Ava (left), Ojeifo used a curl definer in the back, gently working in the product with her hands to enhance the curls. After letting the hair air-dry, she fluffed with a pick. Once Alexis’s Bantus were set, Ojeifo drew a part up the back, then cornrowed two sections from the nape of the neck upward, tucking the ends of the braids into each other and holding in place with pins.

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HAIR : KIDDIE DOS

HEAVEN @heavenkingdances At age 6 and already possessing the poise and posture of a pro dancer, Heaven has dainty in her DNA. For this modern spin on a ballerina bun, Ojeifo ďŹ rst parted the hair down the middle. Using an alcohol-free gel and edge control, she slicked the strands back into low pigtails. Ojeifo neatly braided the hair, then crisscrossed the plaits and gathered them at the nape of the neck, anchoring with bobby pins.

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Wash-Day Tips W Shampoo locks in sections. “Part the hair and make four separate twists. Wet the scalp, and shampoo and condition the hair by section,” says Ojeifo. Doing this prevents tangles, which cause the most pain for kids when their hair is combed through. To detangle: Smooth each part with a wide-tooth comb and a conditioner with a lot of slip.

New York City provides great inspiration and a perfect backdrop for fashion and portrait photographer Yachin Parham (@yachinparhamstudio), whose images evoke a sense of effortless style. 62 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

TxturePRO by Wet Brush Wave Comb ($5, Sally Beauty). Live Clean Hydrating Conditioner and Shampoo ($6 each, target .com). Taliah Waajid Shea Coco Natural Hair Style Cream ($12, amazon.com). Renpure Viva Curl Whipped Coconut Lite Defining Gel ($10, CVS). Mielle Organics Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk ($16, Target). Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil ($14, Target).

STILLS , COU RTESY OF B R AN DS

MINI MANE MARVELS When it comes to products, it all depends on your child’s curl pattern and texture. Stick with kid-friendly formulas, which tend to be gentler. Ojeifo suggests steering clear of items with sulfates or parabens, which can irritate tiny (and big) scalps.


STAGE RIGHT STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON’S COREY HAWKINS STEERS HIS CAREER TO BROADWAY BY TAIIA SMART YOUNG

E

ERIC HOB BS

ver since Corey Hawkins’s überbelievable portrayal of Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton, fans have been eager to see what’s next for the Washington, D.C., native. Don’t worry. The self-proclaimed “artist and citizen” is busy. Hawkins’s schedule is so packed that he has that good tired—the kind of fatigue associated with prepping for the Broadway revival of Six Degrees of Separation (opening April 25 for a limited run), after he led Fox’s reboot 24: Legacy and costarred in the action–thriller Kong: Skull Island. Still, Hawkins, 29, knows not to get a big head when it comes to Hollywood’s flattering buzzwords and catchphrases about his burgeoning career. Instead, the Juilliard-trained thespian focuses on character and performance. “I always knew the kind of actor I wanted to be: respected and one that instills respect,” he says. For us, Hawkins has already won it.

SCENE MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 65


SCENE : ENTERTAINMENT

FRESH START DIRECTOR JOHN SINGLETON FINDS A NEW HOME IN TELEVISION BY MEKEISHA MADDEN TOBY PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL ROWE

J

»

66 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

GROOMER, RED/KENBARBOZA.COM. STYLING, AVON DORSEY. FO R C LOT H I N G D E TA I L S , S EE W H ER E TO B U Y.

ohn Singleton is on the phone. He’s been texting and gabbing with one of his daughters about her day. As the father of six smiles and talks into one of his two smartphones at a downtown L.A. photo studio, he’s on the other, devoting time to his “seventh” offspring: work. While his seminal 1991 debut, Boyz n the Hood, catapulted him into becoming the first African-American director and the youngest director ever to be nominated for an Oscar (he was 24), Singleton has recently made an enjoyable foray into television. He’s directed episodes of Fox’s Empire and Showtime’s Billions and earned an Emmy nod for 2016’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX). Now the 49-year-old is executiveproducing two new series: the well-received Rebel (BET) and the upcoming Snowfall (FX), a ten-episode drama about 1983 Los Angeles during the infancy of the crack cocaine epidemic. Just before Snowfall makes its grand entrance this summer, the man behind the movies Rosewood, Baby Boy and Shaft sat down with ESSENCE to chat about why television is the future, his love for stories set in California and the importance of authentic entertainment.


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SCENE : ENTERTAINMENT EN NTERT TERT TE R AI AINM NM NM

“If my name is on [a project], I want people to say, ‘I have not seen this before.’ I want them to question what the hell I’m doing now,” says Singleton.

ESSENCE: Rebel follows a newly retired female police detective who becomes a private eye and battles bad guys and dirty cops in Oakland. Was it a passion project? JOHN SINGLETON: My friend Dallas Jackson, who’s my producing partner on this, and his wife had the original idea for Rebel. We went to BET, and they gave us a little bit of money and we shot a couple of scenes. We showed it at the upfronts for BET before we had even done the whole show. That was last year and the advertisers just went crazy for it.

ESSENCE: Why did you make the switch from film to TV? SINGLETON: I get to make a “movie” weekly, and with film you’re lucky if you get to make one every year or two years. With TV, you’re on the floor every week—seeing stuff happen, working with the scripts and working with actors—and it’s great. [Also with

ESSENCE: Let’s talk about Snowfall. Whereas Rebel is very Oakland, Snowfall is very South Central L.A. Was that important to you? SINGLETON: Yeah, both are totally different but both series are a part of my brand. I want people who didn’t grow up in the 1980’s to look at Snowfall as a new kind of gangster story and people who lived it to learn some things too and say, “Whoa.” ESSENCE: You’ve been telling stories for more than 26 years. That’s amazing. Does it seems as if it’s been that long? SINGLETON: It does and I’m not finished. I’m going to keep hitting them from all sides. I have a feeling this is going to be a good year for me. Mekeisha Madden Toby (@mekeishamadto) is a Los Angeles writer.

BEYOND BOYZ N THE HOOD JOHN SINGLETON’S FIRST FILM WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF A BRILLIANT CAREER

For BET’s Rebel, Singleton was influenced by cinema of yesteryear. “I was inspired by the movies of the forties and fifties—you know, film noir,” he says.

68 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

This summer the director’s FX series, Snowfall, looks at the beginning of L.A.’s crack cocaine epidemic. It stars newcomer Damson Idris (above right).

Singleton (above, with Cuba Gooding, Jr.) earned his first Emmy nomination for directing the fifth episode of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

2 Fast 2 Furious (with, above from left, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson and Eva Mendes) is the highest-grossing film Singleton has directed. The action flick earned $127 million domestically.

CLOCK WISE FROM TOP: R AY MICKSHAW/F X COU RTESY OF N E AL PE TERS COLLECTION; R AY MICKSHAW/F X(2); PR ASHANT GU PTA /B E T.

ESSENCE: Why do you think the reaction to the show was so positive? SINGLETON: Because of what was happening in the country last year with the police and Black men and the need

for an outlet. The shooting death in Rebel makes it personal to her journey and there’s a timeliness. We have these brothers getting killed, but so often it’s objectified or made into a hashtag. We all want more than a hashtag. So we made it personal. [The lead character, Rebecca “Rebel” Knight, played by Danielle Monè Truitt] is strong but she’s vulnerable. She’s something. I’m hoping Rebel becomes an icon for our times.

TV] viewers don’t want the okie-doke anymore. They want that authenticity. Atlanta and Insecure were two of last year’s best programs and they don’t pull punches. The Black people behind the shows and writing them are the real deal. For too long, there were people in the writers’ rooms who weren’t people of color. They were interested in Black culture, but they were afraid to go there because it could be considered racist. Black people don’t have cultural filters. The hardest thing to do as a Black person is to shock other Black people. I’ve always thought that if we shock other Black people, then everybody will love it.


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SCENE : PATRIK’S PICKS

WOMEN IN LOVE & TROUBLE FIVE READS THAT WILL TAKE YOU ON MEMORABLE LITERARY RIDES BY PATRIK HENRY BASS

CIRCLE OF LOVE Marita Golden’s latest, The Wide Circumference of Love (Arcade Publishing, $24.99), introduces us to Diane Tate, who watches her husband, Gregory, fade away as Alzheimer’s disease steals his abilities, his memory and the very Marita spirit of who Golden he is. After his diagnosis, Gregory’s family, pals and colleagues support him in moving ways that feel achingly real, although this is a work of fiction.

70 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

THE STORYTELLER Readers of The New Yorker will recognize Lesley Nneka Arimah’s name, as “Who Lesley Nneka Will Greet You at Arimah Home,” one of her pieces, was nominated for a National Magazine Award. Now, in her first book of short stories, What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky (Riverhead, $26), the talented author will deservedly reach a wider audience. Prepare yourself for one of the best collections so far. AMERICAN DREAMERS Stephanie Powell Watts makes an arresting debut with her novel, No One Is Coming to Save Us (Ecco, $26.99). In this multigenerational saga, JJ Ferguson comes back to his hometown, Pinewood, North Carolina, where factories lie abandoned and Jim Crow lingers. He aims to build a mansion and regain the affections of his high school sweetheart, Ava, but he’s Stephanie surprised at Powell the changes Watts he finds. Follow ESSENCE Editorial Projects Director Patrik Henry Bass on Twitter @PATRIKSPICKS.

BASS , SE AN BU RROWES . CLOCK WISE FROM TOP RIG HT: J. COU NTESS/G E T T Y IMAG ES; EMILY BA X TER; CH RISTA N EU; C AROL CL AY TON; E ARL G IBSON III/G E T T Y IMAG ES . BOOK STILLS , JON PATERSON .

MOTHER, MAY I? In At Mama’s Knee (Rowman & Littlefield, $24.95), veteran White House correspondent April Ryan looks at race and race relations through the lessons that moms pass along to their children. With each news story on the subject, Ryan, an AfricanAmerican single parent in Baltimore, has April Ryan struggled to find the words to impart the right teaching to her daughters. To better understand how mothers convey their wisdom on race, she reached out to others like Hillary Clinton and Valerie Jarrett.

SEVEN DEADLY SINS Victoria Victoria Christopher Christopher Murray Murray gives antiheroine Jasmine Larson Bush a rest. With Lust (Touchstone, $15), she kicks off a new series based on the seven vices. Under the strict guidance of her pastor grandfather and grandmother, Tiffanie has lived a sheltered life. But when she meets Damon, an entertainment mogul with a drug-dealing past, she falls for him. And, people, this is only the beginning of a topsy-turvy tale of passion on steroids.


B ERRY, SHAYN E JAM ES . BOO K STILL , C H RISTI N E B L ACK B U RN E.

SCENE : BOOKS

The Shame of a Nation I

A HISTORIAN’S NEW BOOK REVISITS THE TRUE COST OF AMERICA’S GREATNESS

n “The Case for Reparations,” Subtitled “The Value of the Enslaved, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s June 2014 From Womb to Grave, in the Building of a manifesto in The Atlantic, the writer Nation,” this is an eye-opening look at shed much-needed light on the profits what it felt like to be property and the derived from several generations of Black extreme measures the owners would go folks’ enslavement. In Toni Morrison’s 1987 to maximize profits and protect their masterpiece Beloved (Alfred A. Knopf), investments. Where does one begin? Via readers went to emotional spaces few Berry’s ten-year search through life scribes have taken us to understand the insurance policies, ledgers, slave trading psychological impact of records, cemetery notes and that “curious institution.” diaries, we understand how Now in The Price for Their high the financial stakes were in Pound of Flesh (Beacon owning Black bodies. Anyone Press, $27.95) by Daina familiar with Harriet A. WashRamey Berry, we learn the ington’s groundbreaking 2006 economic and emotional Medical Apartheid (Doubleday) impact of enslavement. This is aware of “ghost values,” or Author is a watershed book that the selling of dead slaves’ Daina Ramey Berry isn’t afraid to go there. bodies to medical schools for

cures that were not meant for the treatment of those of African blood. You may recognize Berry from her 2010 appearance on the season finale of Who Do You Think You Are? where she guided Spike Lee to find his ancestors. With The Price for Their Pound of Flesh, Berry is now seen as a breakthrough writer who completed the herculean task of filling in the blanks of one of the darkest episodes in American history. —P.H.B.

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A special collector’s edition celebrating His Royal Badness • Essays and remembrances of Prince from Patti LaBelle, Lalah Hathaway, Misty Copeland and more • • Classic and rarely seen photographs that showcase his singular style and flair • • Prince in his own words and much more • ©2017 Time Inc. Books. ESSENCE is a trademark of Essence Communications Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.


10

THINGS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

BY TANYA A. CHRISTIAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRANKLIN THOMPSON

1. TELLING OUR STORIES Ida B. Wells was a pioneering investigative reporter and champion for civil rights. In the spirit of her activism, a group of journalists recently launched the Ida B. Wells Society—an organization that provides intensive training and workshops nationwide for current and aspiring African-American investigative reporters. Of the group, cofounder and The New York Times Magazine staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones tells ESSENCE, “There is no reporting more important right now than investigative reporting. Reporting that is going to follow the money, that is going to hold power accountable, that is going to speak for vulnerable people.” To become a member, visit idabwellssociety.org.

ISSUES MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 75


ISSUES : TRENDING TOPICS 2.

3.

4.

FROM INMATE TO ADVOCATE

KNOW YOUR WORTH

STARTING EARLY

Susan Burton spent 20 years in and out of prison before she got sober and founded A New Way of Life Re-entry Project, a South Los Angeles nonprofit that helps women battle recidivism. In her debut memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton (The New Press), she examines the impact of incarceration on women and recounts her road to rehabilitation.

The tech world still has a long way to go toward pay equity between Whites and people of color. A new study by Hired, a start-up that helps pair tech hopefuls with employers, found that Black software engineering candidates ask for $13,000 less than their White peers and are paid $10,000 less for the same jobs in New York City and San Francisco.

Marley Dias is a girl with a plan. After starting #1000BlackGirlBooks, a social media campaign in which she collected and donated more than 9,000 books with Black female main characters, the 12-year-old entered into a deal with Scholastic to write a book on activism for kids ages 10 and up. It’s slated for release in spring 2018.

NARROWING THE PROSPECTS HBCU HUB, an app by 21-year-old Grambling State student Jonathan Swindell, provides college applicants with comprehensive information on every HBCU, such as student–teacher ratios and preferred ACT and SAT score ranges. App users can also browse scholarships, internships and entry-level jobs.

5.

6.

7.

We’re not here as a menace to society. We’re here as equal contributors to the economy, to education, to health care. We are involved in every aspect of society.

—Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American state lawmaker, in response to the White House’s travel ban during an interview with BuzzFeed

THE FUTURE OF CODING Code.org’s mission is to get more women and underrepresented minorities interested in computer science. This year, the nonprofit had more than 18,600 high school students enroll in its computer science course—almost half of these students are people of color.

6

4

8.

9.

10.

BUILDING FUTURE MOGULS

LEADERSHIP SHIFTS

LESSONS FROM A PRO

Le’Chic Academy is a Columbia, Maryland–based nonprofit that focuses on educating boys and girls. This June its founder, Marlene Jackson, is expanding its reach by hosting a young entrepreneurs event that includes a Shark Tank–style competition. She hopes to empower the next generation of business leaders. For more information, go to lechicacademy.com.

Fortune 500 companies are mixing things up at the top. A recent study found that in 2016, women and minorities held almost one third of the board seats at these institutions, an all-time high, up more than 5 percent from 2010. From 2012 to 2016, a total of 19 Black women and 3 Black men gained board seats.

The tools to create the next hit show are now at your fingertips. E-learning platform MasterClass has teamed up with Shonda Rhimes to give a primer on how to craft a script, pitch a pilot and run a writer’s room. The $90 class offers five hours of lessons taught by Rhimes, and access to materials used on her shows. Visit masterclass.com to register.

76 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

For the latest news, follow ESSENCE Features Editor Lauren N. Williams on Twitter @LAURNWILLIAMS.

FROM LEF T: MIA M U NOZ; AN DRE A CIPRIANI M ECCHI; JONATHAN SWIN DELL; STEPH EN MATU REN/G E T T Y IMAG ES .

5

2


ISSUES : YOUNG PHENOM

“The last thing we want is to move to the other side of the world,” says Uwiringiyimana.

A REFUGEE’S STORY SANDRA UWIRINGIYIMANA’S ENTIRE LIFE WAS UPROOTED WHEN SHE WAS JUST A KID. HERE SHE TALKS TO ESSENCE ABOUT REBUILDING IN AMERICA BY ABIGAIL PESTA

W

ESSENCE: What do you wish people knew about life as a refugee in America? SANDRA UWIRINGIYIMANA: The last thing we want is to uproot our family and move to the other side of the world. But our lives depend on it. It’s a miracle to get a chance at resettlement, but nothing about it is easy. It takes years, and

78 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

ESSENCE: You were 12 when you first landed in Rochester, New York—in the middle of a blizzard. How did that feel? UWIRINGIYIMANA: I had never seen snow, except in the movies. Everything was so upside down. Kids had hair down to their butts; my sisters and I wore our hair shaved. It quickly became apparent that I was Black, because people kept telling me so. I had never thought about my skin color; everyone was Black where I came from. ESSENCE: What do you think of the current political climate for refugees in America? UWIRINGIYIMANA: I grew up when the Obamas were in the White House. He was so outspoken about the need to include people, to be tolerant, to welcome immigrants. I developed a passion for justice, a belief that everyone has the right to exist. If I were growing up as a Black refugee girl in 2017, I would be getting a much different message. It’s very hurtful for refugee kids to hear that they’re not welcome or that their religion is criminal. My 6-year-old sister got killed because of generations of people who were taught to hate people who are different. ESSENCE: How does the Jimbere Fund assist people? UWIRINGIYIMANA: Jimbere means “progress” in the language of my tribe, and we want to bring progress to the places in Congo that are extremely remote, like the village in the mountain range where I was born—people there have to walk three days to get to the city. Women spend hours pounding maize into flour by hand. They need help with the task from their daughters, so the girls are unable to attend school. We have coordinators on the ground who go to

It’s a miracle to get a chance at resettlement. these villages and ask what people need. I launched the group with one of my sisters and her husband, because I decided I couldn’t live here and prosper here while there are people suffering back home who don’t even have a road. You can get involved at jimberefund.org. ESSENCE: What do you hope to achieve with the book? UWIRINGIYIMANA: I hope my story helps refugee kids understand, Your story matters. You have a voice. I hope that my book is a step toward unity. I want it to open the hearts and minds of people, and help them realize that love is the only way to combat hatred. I hope that it saves the life of another 6-year-old.  Abigail Pesta is a journalist and the coauthor of How Dare the Sun Rise. For more #BLACKGIRLMAGIC, visit ESSENCE.COM/BLACKGIRLMAGIC.

FROM TOP: J ESSE PESTA; COU RTESY OF HARPERCOLLINS .

hen Sandra Uwiringiyimana was 10, the world as she knew it ended abruptly. Her people had been forced from their homes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo because they belonged to a minority tribe, the Banyamulenge. When they made it to a refugee camp across the border in Burundi, rebels came one night to kill. They stormed the grounds, wielding machetes, torches and guns. She saw her mother and little sister get gunned down in a hail of bullets. And then a man held a gun to her own head. As fate would have it, Uwiringiyimana got kicked to the ground in the chaos and managed to escape to safety. Three years later, in 2007, she came to the U.S. with her surviving family members through a United Nations resettlement program. Now 22, she is a student at Mercy College in New York City and cofounder of the Jimbere Fund, a nonprofit group that assists Congo’s most vulnerable communities. Her memoir, How Dare the Sun Rise (Katherine Tegen), hits shelves this month.

you get grilled about everything, including the most hurtful parts of your past: “How many people did you lose in the war?” “How old was your little sister when she died?”


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10 Ways You’re

Sabotaging Your Career YOU MAY THINK SOME OF THESE HABITS MAKE YOU STAND OUT, BUT THEY COULD BE UNDERMINING YOUR SUCCESS

PORTISH E AD1/G E T T Y IMAG ES

BY GINA ROBERTS-GREY

MONEY &

POWER MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 87


MONEY & POWER : ON THE JOB

C

ertainly behaviors such as chronic tardiness can be detrimental to your reputation and paycheck. But what are some of the less obvious ways you could be stunting your career growth or earning potential? Avoid these ten bad habits to keep your job secure and stay on the right path.

1.

YOU DON’T TOOT YOUR OWN HORN

It’s okay to talk about your accomplishments—just as long as you have the right intention. Before speaking up, ask yourself if you want to make people aware of what you’re doing or elicit jealousy, suggests Annette Y. Harris, a personal brand and executive presence coach and certified image consultant at ShowUp! in the Washington, D.C., area. “It’s good to know your value and be willing to articulate that,” says Harris. “If you don’t publicly acknowledge your results and impact on the organization, you risk being overlooked, because supervisors and decision makers won’t know what you’ve accomplished.” Furthermore, refrain from downplaying praise or congratulatory sentiments. “Don’t say, ‘It’s no big deal,’ when given a compliment,” urges Harris. “Offer a confident and collected thank-you or risk changing the perception that you’re self-assured.”

YOU HAVE MOOD SWINGS

Employers pick up on your energy and any changes to it. “If you’re typically the team cheerleader rallying everyone to meet deadlines, organizing the Friday lunch run or projecting positivity, your boss will likely pick up on any changes to that baseline persona,” says Jane Scudder, a certified coach and owner– founder of Never Settle Coaching in

88 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

Chicago. Your boss might jump to the conclusion that you’re unhappy and looking for a new job. That doesn’t mean you have to fake enthusiasm or liveliness. But Scudder suggests tuning in to the energy you project and owning it. “If you’re in a bad mood or going through a slump, it’s totally okay to pull back a bit,” she says. “Just acknowledge the change to keep it from taking over and creating problems.” Do that by casually mentioning, “I usually spearhead this stuff, but I’m just drained right now, so I have to pass.” Your boss and colleagues will appreciate the honesty, and you won’t tarnish the brand you’ve built for yourself, says Scudder.

3.

YOU FAIL TO CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY

Nothing turns people off like a sense of entitlement. And stating you “deserve” a raise or another week of vacation can have your employer tuning out of negotiations before you can even present a case for earning more moolah. Instead say, “I’d like to have a conversation with you about my performance with the company,” suggests Cheryl E. Palmer, a certified career coach and owner of Call to Career in Fayetteville, Georgia. “Explain that it’s been X time since your compensation was reviewed, and since then you’ve worked on A,

B and C projects, added X value to the organization and so on.” Same goes for trying to justify a bump in pay based on personal needs. While your child’s college tuition is pressing into your already pinched pennies, it doesn’t factor into your boss’s budgetary decisions. “Remind the company why it needs you by listing three or four ways you’ve improved or contributed to the organization since your last salary and benefit review,” adds Scudder.

4.

YOU BAD-MOUTH THE BOSS

It may seem harmless to chime in on complaints about your manager, especially when that’s the buzzing topic in the break room. However, Palmer stresses that one negative word about the supervisor uttered to someone with loose lips can be the highest form of career self-sabotage: “Even if you speak negatively about the boss to someone you trust, there is always the possibility that someone else might overhear your conversation and repeat it to further [a personal] agenda.” When you need to blow off some steam, stick to doing so outside your work circle. “Vent about your boss to a trusted friend or family member,” says Palmer.

5.

YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES DON’T SPARKLE

Even if you adjust your social media account settings to the highest privacy level, your employer might

THOMAS BARWICK /G E T T Y IMAG ES

2.

Venting about the job is okay— outside your work circle.


because you’re uncertain about saying no, offer to help find the best resource while stating your desire to tackle something else that’s more suited to your skill set and career aspirations. A raise won’t be the result of always saying yes. “Respect will come from saying no because your plate is too full or you don’t have the right skills to deliver the desired result,” says Harris.

9.

TODOR TSVE TKOV/G E T T Y IMAG ES

Show you’re a team player and attend the office party.

still stumble upon inappropriate pictures or posts online. At worst, that could result in your termination. But Palmer says it could also leave you passed over for promotions or key projects because your personal life doesn’t complement the corporation’s image. “The best advice is, ‘Don’t post anything you’d be embarrassed to show your family over a holiday dinner,’ ” says Palmer. However, if your social media accounts are already a little iffy, she suggests cleaning them up by deleting photos and posts that show you partying hard, are laced with obscenities or could be considered improper in another way. Palmer advises drowning digital indiscretions: “If you have digital dirt that you don’t want everyone to know about, add positive information to the Internet via blog posts, comments on articles or social media sites and so on, so those positive results come up first in a search.”

sabotaging yourself if you are an ‘eat at your desk’ employee who skips after-hour office events where colleagues and supervisors can get to know you in a less formal environment.”

6.

8.

YOU SKIP THE OFFICE PARTIES

Skills and qualifications play a major role in determining who receives promotions or is assigned key projects—but so does being a team player. In some organizations, supervisors and peers take it personally when you are a no-show to after-work parties and company events. “You could be viewed as not being a team player or not as committed to the team,” says Devay Campbell, a career coach and certified human resources professional in Pfafftown, North Carolina. “You are

7.

YOUR WORK SPACE IS A MESS

Even if you’re able to function amid cubicle chaos, an unkempt area can spell disaster for your reputation, says Marjorie Brody, a workplace– career executive coach in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania: “If your desk or floor is piled high with stacks of papers, folders and other clutter, this creates the perception that you’re messy or unable to pay attention to detail.” So your boss might not have confidence in your abilities or trust you to deliver when it’s crunch time. Tidy things up to avoid giving the impression you don’t care about, or focus on, details, suggests Brody.

YOU’RE AFRAID TO SAY NO

Overcommitting can lead to underdelivering. Harris cautions against agreeing to take on every task that crosses your path—it can be overwhelming and set you up for failure. “You risk not being able to competently and completely accomplish the goal to your boss’s expectations. You could also sign up for the projects that don’t showcase your talents,” says Harris. Instead of diving into a task merely

YOU ATTACH READ RECEIPTS

We get it. You’re sending that one e-mail you want—absolutely need—to make sure your boss or team reads. But attaching a read receipt to the message can go from communicating its importance to sending your boss a missive that you don’t trust him or her. Regardless of the sender’s intended tone, read receipts can be taken as intrusive, says Ellen Jovin, a principal and cofounder of Syntaxis, Inc., a New York City communication skills consultancy. “Instead of conveying a message was read, they only tell a sender that the recipient clicked on the e-mail,” she says. “It is not your business to micromanage someone else’s e-mail management, and trying to do so says, ‘I don’t trust you.’ ” Replace read receipts with a follow-up. “Put a note on your calendar X hours or days out to remind yourself to check with the e-mail recipient if you don’t receive a response,” says Jovin.

10.

YOU’RE ALWAYS THE LAST ONE TO LEAVE

Burning the midnight oil now and then may be necessary to complete a special project. But being the last lit cubicle every night in the hopes of demonstrating your professional dedication can backfire. “Chronically staying late can be perceived as though you’re disorganized and not getting work done,” says Brody. And it’s never good for the boss—or coworkers—to think you’re a suck-up. “Staying late doesn’t win you a badge when it’s habitual,” says Brody. Gina Roberts-Grey is a frequent ESSENCE contributor.

MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 89


MONEY & POWER : I DID IT MY WAY NELSON: I met so many people at the FBI with law degrees and became interested in that path. There’s a theme with me: I really enjoy being in a position where I’m a trusted adviser giving counsel to whoever needs it. ESSENCE: How did law propel you into real estate? NELSON: I had represented a number of real estate brokers who were bad apples and it disturbed me. I remember being frustrated because people had to make a lot of offers to get a house that they liked and they were overpaying. I got my real estate broker’s license and started selling property in the Bay Area at the top of the market in 2005. I designed a curriculum, a flow chart of the ideal real estate transaction, plus what to expect from an emotional perspective. Once my clients started using it, they went from making eight offers to get the house they wanted to making two to three offers.

SUCCESS without a road map TARA-NICHOLLE NELSON, AUTHOR OF THE NEW BOOK THE TRANSFORMATIONAL CONSUMER, HAS BUILT AN ENVIABLE CAREER—AND SHE’S DONE IT ALL ON HER OWN TERMS BY JIHAN THOMPSON

T

he average person may change jobs several times during the course of a career, but many of us don’t make the leap to completely different industries. Tara-Nicholle Nelson is the exception. A mom at just 16, she graduated high school early, got a master’s in psychology and a law degree, and has taken five different career paths since then. Now she runs her own marketing and research consulting firm, working with start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. How did Nelson do all that by 41? Here she takes us through her journey.

NELSON: I was about six months pregnant when I met my college mentor. In the first conversation we had, she said, “I can already tell you’ll be going to grad school.” I have a lot of people in my life that I consider “pivot people”—those who created a shift in what I knew to be possible for myself. She was one.

ESSENCE: Where did you end up next? NELSON: I turned the curriculum into a seminar, which I turned into a self-published book. Someone HER PATH from HGTV saw the book, and hired me as a digital content marketing consultant to convert my tips into hundreds of Web articles and webisodes. TEEN MOM The real estate site Trulia recruited me away from HGTV, and then MyFitnessPal called and I came on board and helped it grow from 45 FBI INTERNSHIP million to 100 million users.

ESSENCE: Did you worry that your pregnancy would derail your goals?

ESSENCE: Then you went to law school. Why the switch?

90 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

Jihan Thompson is a writer and entrepreneur based in Chicago.

NANCY ROTHSTEIN

ESSENCE: Your new book is about teaching businesses how to help people live healthier lives. How did you become interested in health? TARA-NICHOLLE NELSON: Several of my family members died from lifestyle diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure. It was so alarming to me and I was determined that I didn’t have to meet the same fate. I wanted to have an active role in helping people.

ESSENCE: In each job, you seem to create the role ESSENCE: After college, for yourself. LAW DEGREE you interned at the FBI. NELSON: One, I have a high What led you there? level of tolerance for uncerNELSON: I went to the tainty. Two, I have a very FBI Academy between deep religious faith. So many undergrad and getting my ambitious people try to learn master’s in psychology. skills, but I think they would MARKETING Silence of the Lambs had do well to develop a sense EXECUTIVE been out relatively recently of what their purpose is and and I remember being fascinated what matters most. It all comes back to that you could solve criminal issues helping people unlock levels of possibilwith psychology. ity for better living. 


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CARMEN C N PEREZ

BRITTANY Y PACKNETT T JOY-ANN O N REID

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TODAY’S AMERICA MAY FEEL AS IF IT’S IN CRISIS. BUT FOR WOMEN OF COLOR,, WE ARE CONTINUING THE WORK WE’VE BEEN DOING FOR GENERATIONS. THESE CHANGE ARE PART O OF A NEW GUARD G O .T C G AGENTS G G OF ACTIVISTS,, EDUCATORS,, JOURNALISTS,, THINKERS AND CREATORS WHO MORE THAN CO CONSCIOUS—THEY’RE EVER VIGILANT O ARE MO CO G T ABOUT O CREATING C G A NATION O IN WHICH C WE ALL HAVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE BY CORI MURRAY + LAUREN N. WILLIAMS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY WARWICK SAINT T FASHION O EDITORS: O JOIEE O THORPE O + JULEE WILSON O

A A D.. TAMIKA O Y MALLORY L A LINDA S O SARSOUR

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“STAY WOKE” T-SHIRT DESIGNED EXCLUSIVELY G C FOR O ESSENCE C BY RANDI GLOSS G O S FOR GLOSSRAGS O G O G

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SYBRINA S ON FULTON


SYBRINA

My existence as a Black woman is resistance, but it’s also empowering.” —BRITTANY PACKNETT

JANAYE

WASHINGTON, D.C. @Janaye_Ingram The politico and Women’s March head of logistics ensures that when we gather in protest, we’re gathered safely and smartly Support Is the Key: Women can empower ourselves by embracing the intersections of our advocacy and educating ourselves on the issues impacting others. When we stand united with what may superficially seem like uncommon allies, it allows us to reach further and increases our ability to shift policies and legislation. There’s a movement chant that we use that says, “The people united shall never be defeated.” That needs to be our mantra moving forward.

MIAMI @SybrinaFulton Five years ago the senseless death of her youngest son, Trayvon Martin, reverberated across the nation. Through her grief, she found the resilience to become a national voice for social justice activism and to cofound both The Trayvon Martin Foundation and Circle of Mothers Activism Through Pain: I’m very proud of the Trayvon Martin Remembrance Weekend, when we celebrate his birthday and not his death. There’s a Peace Walk for the Miami community to let young people and the world know that you have a right to walk in peace without being followed, chased, pursued, profiled or murdered. Life After Trayvon: You really don’t know how strong you are until your strength is tested. Through Circle of Mothers we try to become a coping mechanism for women who have lost a child. We empower, we laugh together, we cry together, we hug. I’ve found that togetherness—us praying for each other and lifting one another up—has helped a great deal.


ANGELA

WASHINGTON, D.C. @angela_rye Regularly calling out people for holding back marginalized communities keeps this lawyer and CNN commentator in heavy rotation Voice of Reason: There was a time when we engaged in rigorous debate on policy. Now we are in an era of gaslighting, which is dangerous—because we should all be allowed to have our own perspectives but not our own facts. I take my role very seriously. I count it as a privilege to be a voice for my people and to serve as a translator about what’s really going on.

JOY-ANN

BRITTANY

CARMEN

WASHINGTON, D.C. @MsPackyetti As a day one protestor after the death of Michael Brown, Jr., in Ferguson, Missouri, she later served on President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and now lends her passion for justice to Teach for America

NEW YORK CITY @msladyjustice1 Between leading Harry Belafonte’s The Gathering for Justice and cochairing the Women’s March, this Latina activist has had one clear goal: freedom for all Together We Are Stronger: Using the Women’s March platform has allowed us to reach new demographics in our efforts to raise awareness around immigration reform, reproductive justice rights, religious freedom and LGBTQIA rights.

Stepping Up to the Challenge: I came back from protesting the killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge [Louisiana] and was called to the White House again. It had been a year and a half since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, where citizens were subject to militarized weaponry. Not very much was different in Baton Rouge. I said that to the President and Louisiana’s governor. I had to remember to be brave and that I didn’t go there to engage in politics. I went there to engage in empowerment for the people.

BROOKLYN @JoyAnnReid In the age of so-called fake news, the veteran journalist and author gives us the real facts—coupled with a high level of consciousness—on her weekend MSNBC show, AM Joy On Being a Woke Journalist: I come from the Ida B. Wells school of journalism: I have to be fair, but I don’t think I have to be balanced, if that makes sense. When I’m reporting on dead Black children who are being killed while unarmed, [I want people to know] that it is wrong for them to die that way. I have to be fair to the authorities, get their side of the story and understand what happened. I’m not projecting my own worldview into the story but I still know it’s wrong. I think, as a mother, as a Black person, as a Black woman, I still have all of that in my reporting. That’s who I am. I’m coming at the story with that.

»

MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 95


TAMIKA SHONDA

NEW YORK CITY @TamikaDMallory When it comes to eradicating racial and social injustices, the Women’s March cochair always answers the call Seeing the Bigger Picture: Women are constantly under attack. We are being assaulted and exploited on so many levels, not just sexually but also mentally. If we look at all of this through a larger prism, it is difficult to say that one issue is more important than the other. They all become a part of our human rights struggle.

OPAL

APRIL

LOS ANGELES @ShondaRhimes Whether she’s writing about White privilege, racial microaggressions or the murder of an unarmed young Black man, the TV series creator uses her shows as a mirror to what’s wrong—and what should be right—in the world Writing While Woke: I never try to elicit a response from the audience. I always just tell a story and it never really occurs to me until later that it’s gonna have an effect on the audience. It’s really just about the world in the story and what needs to be said. Using Her Power: Being able to portray what a police beating looked like and what that felt like was really important to me. I was just angry. There was no way that we could be calling Black Lives Matters activists “terrorists.” That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. And getting to tell those stories makes a difference. Makeup artists: Cathy Highland/AIM Artists, RED/kenbarboza.com; Griselle Rosario/ kenbarboza.com; Lucky Smyler/Epiphany Artist Group; Danielle Terry. Hairstylists: Verlyn Antoine; Juliet Fisher/kenbarboza.com; David Kemp; Giselle Modeste/Epiphany Artist Group; Carla Gentry Osorio/The Only.Agency. Manicurists: Tracy Clemens/Opus Beauty; Etsuko Shimatani/Basic White Shirt. For clothing details, see Where to Buy.

96 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

BROOKLYN @opalayo

WASHINGTON, D.C. @ReignOfApril

The #BlackLivesMatter cofounder remains steadfast in her mission and now serves as the executive director for Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Angry with the lack of diversity in Hollywood, the lawyer turned managing editor started the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite—and sparked a necessary conversation about representation

Staying Hopeful: If we remain engaged we can transform our world. No one is coming to save us. It’s people like you and me who have to build a multiracial democracy embracing the fullness of our spirits and all of our experiences.

The Impact of Social Activism: There’s nothing special about what I did. I wasn’t already an insider. I was a person who was upset with the status quo and hoped to move things in a better direction.

FOR VIDEOS FROM THESE WOKE VOICES, GO TO ESSENCE.COM Keisha Lamothe (@KeishaLamothe) is the senior video producer for the ESSENCE video team at Time Inc. She produced the videos for this package as well as our docuseries Black Girl Magic, which tells the stories of extraordinary Black girls around the country.


LUVVIE LINDA BROOKLYN @lsarsour As a warrior on the front line of Islamophobia, this Women’s March cochair lends her voice to build up intersectional movements

CHICAGO @Luvvie In the beginning we came for her knee-slapping Scandal recaps. We stayed for the Nigerian-born writer’s informed and snarky indictments of racial injustice, which can be found at awesomelyluvvie.com Writing With a Purpose: I have an audience that is very diverse but I’m writing for Black women. It’s the highest compliment that I was able to do the things I love without having to compromise my Blackness.

If There’s One Silver Lining in This Political Climate: To me, this presidency has been a blessing in disguise. It has shined a bright light on issues of oppression that communities of color have been facing—some for centuries, others for decades. More people are awake, fired up and ready to act. It took this presidency to send a message to the American people that all we’ve got is each other and the time is now for visible dissent in the form of protest.  For more woke women, turn the page.


W WOMEN O K E WHEN WE SAY BLACK WOMEN WILL SAVE THE WORLD, WE’RE BEING LITERAL. ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES, ESSENCE RECOGNIZES 88 MORE SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS CHANGE MAKERS. BY THEIR EXAMPLE THEY EMPOWER ALL OF US TO TAKE ACTION. PREPARE TO BE INSPIRED!

98 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017


Kimberly Drew uses her platform to ensure that Black voices and experiences are being included in the modern art world.

C ARM EN CHAN/GALLERY STOCK

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#WOKE100

STACEY ABRAMS

ERICA JOY BAKER

GEORGIA’S HOUSE MINORITY LEADER @staceyabrams

SENIOR ENGINEER, SLACK TECHNOLOGIES @ericajoy

With her Building Leaders and Uplifting the Electorate (B.L.U.E.) Institute, Abrams—who serves as Georgia’s House minority leader and state representative—hopes to prep young people of color to engage in the political process, with the help of those who understand government’s inner workings.

A senior engineer at Slack Technologies, the Oakland-based Baker called out the tech industry for its isolation, harassment, lack of diversity and the detrimental psychological effects that can come with being the only one.

Stacey Abrams

MARIA ADAMS-LAWTON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TINDAL RECREATION CENTER @4maria

Following a 25-year career teaching math, Adams-Lawton currently serves as executive director of Detroit’s Robert Tindal Recreation Center. The newly rehabbed facility is where she also launched Healthy Kidz, Inc., a much-needed after-school program for local children focused on wellness.

CARMEN BERKLEY DIRECTOR AT AFL-CIO @carmenspindiego

As the youngest person to hold the position of director for the Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Department of the AFL-CIO, Berkley wears many hats (activist, writer, corporate trainer) in her ongoing effort to protect the rights and interests of workers nationwide. Carmen Berkley

AISHA BOWE CEO AND COFOUNDER, STEMBOARD @arbowe

AFUA ADDO

Whether fighting against human trafficking or on behalf of domestic violence victims, Addo, in her role as coordinator of Gender Justice Initiatives at The Center for Court Innovation, speaks for those who often suffer in silence. Yamiche Alcindor

YAMICHE ALCINDOR NATIONAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES @yamiche

VENIDA BROWDER

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM ACTIVIST POSTHUMOUS RECOGNITION

Alcindor’s astute journalistic skills were prominent during the 2016 political campaigns, and she continues to drill deep as the Trump administration makes its moves. The Georgetown grad isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions, and helps keep social justice and women’s equality at the forefront of the conversation.

Michelle Alexander

MICHELLE ALEXANDER

She visited her youngest child, Kalief, weekly and appeared at his court dates during the three years of his wrongful imprisonment. Sadly, he committed suicide at age 22, two years after his 2013 release. Browder told Kalief’s story and advocated for criminal justice reform until her death last October. Rest in peace, mother and son.

CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY @thenewjimcrow

JESSICA BYRD

She struck a chord with 2010’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness. Now Alexander is putting her money where her pen is, literally. The civil rights attorney plans to donate book royalties and her $250,000 Heinz Foundation Award prize to a fund dedicated to social justice.

@jessicalbyrd

100 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

PRINCIPAL, THREE POINT STRATEGIES

Jessica Byrd

Byrd is helping to elect Black women to the government’s top spots via her consulting firm, Three Point Strategies. The Ohio native is also a campaign director at Democracy in Color, a multimedia platform aimed at getting more people of color involved in the political process.

FROM TOP: KATRINA HAJAGOS; KEVIN BANATTE; NATHANIEL CLINE; MEGAN LEIGH BARNARD; ELI MEIR KAPLAN.

The CEO and the cofounder of STEMBoard and former NASA aerospace engineer is creating high-tech solutions for government and private entities while working to close the achievement gap through STEM camps, partnerships with HBCUs and career opportunities for youth.

COORDINATOR, CENTER FOR COURT INNOVATION @courtinnovation


MELANIE L. CAMPBELL

KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW PROFESSOR @sandylocks

CONVENER, BLACK WOMEN'S ROUNDTABLE @coalitionbuilder

For the UCLA professor and critical scholar on issues of race, #SayHerName is a hashtag she lives by. In 2016 Crenshaw took her campaign on the road, speaking at conferences, universities and with media to bring attention to the often forgotten Black female victims of police brutality.

As the convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable in Washington, D.C., Campbell joins forces with national civic groups to promote the Power of the Sister Vote, which combats voter suppression and ensures that millions of Black women continue to rock their vote.

Melanie L. Campbell

SHANI CROWE

ANTIONETTE CARROLL

ARTIST @crowezilla

Long before she created the crystalencrusted headpiece for Solange’s seminal Saturday Night Live performance, Crowe was making art with hair. The Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist displayed her visionary work last summer in a photo exhibit simply titled Braids.

CEO, CREATIVE REACTION LAB @acarrolldesign

A Ferguson, Missouri, native, the founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab is developing the next generation of civic leaders by galvanizing Black and Latinx populations in major cities to develop solutions that address racial injustices and inequities.

Gina Clayton

PATRISSE CULLORS C0FOUNDER, #BLACKLIVESMATTER @osopepatrisse

CHARLENE CARRUTHERS FROM TOP: NCBCP; OSC AR HALLIBU RTON; DAN STROU D; AN NAB EL CL ARK ; DANIEL ZUCH NIK /G E T T Y IMAG ES .

NATIONAL DIRECTOR, BYP100 @charlenecac

Under her leadership, the Black Youth Project 100—a national collective of young Black activists—has campaigned for racial justice in the wake of the extrajudicial killings of Black people such as Rekia Boyd and Michael Brown, and has led organizing and training efforts on LGBTQ rights issues and more.

Angie Coleman

She’s one third of the group of women who founded #BlackLivesMatter, but her community organizing began long before the hashtag galvanized people into action. Motivated by the experiences of her father and brother, Cullors created the group Dignity and Power Now to combat inmate abuse by members of law enforcement.

ANGELA Y. DAVIS

POLITICAL ACTIVIST AND EDUCATOR

GINA CLAYTON

Kimberlé Crenshaw

FOUNDER, ESSIE JUSTICE GROUP @ginalclayton

Named for her great-grandmother, the Essie Justice Group was formed by Clayton as a means to support women whose loved ones are serving time. Her larger goal? Ending mass incarceration and reenvisioning the movement for justice.

Lifelong political activist Angela Y. Davis has been woke since before the phrase came into existence. The UC Santa Cruz distinguished professor emerita has taught feminist studies and courses on mass incarceration that kept a generation of students both informed and empowered to act.

VIOLA DAVIS ACTRESS AND PRODUCER @violadavis

ANGIE COLEMAN

ENTREPRENEUR @angieidunno

She’s made it that much easier to patronize Black-owned businesses with the launch of her BuyBlack Google Chrome Extension, which helps us locate our fave Black-owned products and services online.

Viola Davis

In addition to her world-class acting, this Oscar-winning actress gives the most rousing speeches about Black womanhood, erasure and representation. She’s quoted Harriet Tubman, paid homage to August Wilson and generally tugged at our heartstrings with her passionate addresses.

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MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 101


#WOKE100

VAL DEMINGS

SIBYL EDWARDS

FLORIDA CONGRESSWOMAN @repvaldemings

COFOUNDER, TECHNICOLOR DC @saedwards

Ever dedicated to public service, Demings began her career as a social worker and later served as Orlando’s police chief. With her win in Florida’s 10th district race, she has expanded her reach on the congressional level.

The cofounder of Technicolor DC is fired up to buck the trend that only 7 percent of investor money goes to women-led start-ups. Last spring, Edwards cofounded #BFF (Black Female Founders) to help level the playing field by offering networking, business mentoring and access to funding.

Val Demings

ANNA DEAVERE SMITH PLAYWRIGHT @annadeaveres

The gifted Tony nominee’s stage play, Notes From the Field: Doing Time in Education, gives a voice to those affected by the vicious cycle of police brutality, fractured education systems and the school-to-prison pipeline.

KATHRYN FINNEY

FOUNDER, DIGITALUNDIVIDED @kathrynfinney

The founder of Digitalundivided, Finney is an OG of tech disruption. Her groundbreaking #ProjectDiane report identified that less than a mere 0.2 percent of venture capital deals from 2012 to 2014 went to Black women founders. Finney intends to change that.

Anna Deavere Smith

MARLEY DIAS

ENTREPRENEUR @iammarleydias

The 12-year-old dynamo grabbed our attention when she stated her goal to collect #1000BlackGirlBooks. Last year she landed back in the headlines as editor-in-chief of newly formed Marley Mag, an e-zine dedicated to celebrating women of color.

ASHLEY C. FORD WRITER @ismashfizzle

Kathryn Finney

KIMBERLY DREW SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER, THE MET @museummammy

Ashley C. Ford

KIM FOXX

COOK COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY

As state’s attorney for Chicago’s Cook County, Foxx works tirelessly to mend relationships between the city’s police department and its constituents.

AVA DUVERNAY FILMMAKER @ava

In 13th, the Oscar-nominated director trained her lens on African-American history by exploring how the abolition of slavery paved the way for the prison industrial complex. As the first Black woman to direct a film with a budget of $100 million, which features an ethnically diverse cast, she cements her status as a necessary champion creating art that affirms us all.

102 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

TRACY GARRAUD

COHOST, SWAY IN THE MORNING @itstracyg

Tracy Garraud

In addition to her work on Sway’s SiriusXM show, Garraud quenches millennials’ thirst for love, light and levity with audio affirmations on success during her podcast, She’s Beauty and the Beast.

FROM TOP: COU RTESY OF SU B J ECT; B RENT N . CL ARKE /G E T T Y IMAG ES; MIKE PONT/G ET T Y IMAG ES; NICK TU RNER; TOMMY TPHOTOGR APHY.

Through her work as the social media manager at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, her popularity as @museummammy on Instagram, and her Black Contemporary Art page on Tumblr, Drew documents Blackness in the post-digital age.

Harnessing the power of social media, Ford urged her followers to donate funds to their local school districts so that students with outstanding lunch debts could settle their accounts. As a result, she helped raise more than $100,000 to cover costs for in-need children.


DIMITRIOS K AM BOU RIS/G E T T Y IMAG ES

Solange’s A Seat at the Table is a sound track to Black women’s beauty, struggles and triumphs.

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#WOKE100

ALICIA GARZA

KAMALA HARRIS

COFOUNDER, #BLACKLIVESMATTER @aliciagarza

CALIFORNIA SENATOR @kamalaharris

Garza and fellow cofounders Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors woke up the world when they coined the hashtag and movement after the killing of Trayvon Martin. Since then Garza has continued her activism with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which promotes the rights of domestics nationwide.

She’s already made history as the first woman elected as San Francisco’s district attorney and California’s attorney general. By winning a Senate seat last November, Harris is now the first Black woman to reach that milestone in nearly 20 years, and is using her platform to challenge the agenda of the Trump administration.

Roxane Gay

ROXANE GAY

ELLE HEARNS

AUTHOR @rgay

ACTIVIST @soulfreedreams

With her layered, complex approach to such hot topics as feminism, racism and intersectionality, the prolific scribe is also making history as the first Black woman to write for Marvel Comics with World of Wakanda.

RANDI GLOSS

Often described as a “trans freedom fighter,” this Ohio native has shone a national spotlight on the murders of Black transgender women. Alongside the nonprofit organization, GetEqual, Hearns is laser-focused on making the world a safer place for her community.

Tamron Hall

FOUNDER, GLOSSRAGS @randigloss

MARY-PAT HECTOR ACTIVIST, ASPIRING POLITICIAN @marypathector

Kamala Harris

TAMRON HALL BROADCAST JOURNALIST @tamronhall

ZENA HOWARD

The veteran journalist and ID channel’s Deadline: Crime host partnered with Safe Horizon, one of the nation’s leading victim assistance organizations, to create The Tamron Ƅ Renate Fund. Established in honor of Hall’s late sister, the fund provides support for those harmed by domestic violence. Go to safehorizon.org for more info on how to get involved.

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE @nhannahjones

One of a team of journalists who founded the Ida B. Wells Society, an organization that supports budding investigative reporters of color, Hannah-Jones deftly tackles tough issues, such as current-day school segregation and race relations, for The New York Times Magazine.

104 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

Hector became the national youth director of National Action Network when she was just 14, and sought political office at 19. When she got pushback for being too young, the Spelman sophomore campaigned for (and won) the right to run for city council in Dekalb County, Georgia.

Elle Hearns

LEAD ARCHITECT, NMAAHC As lead architect of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., Howard helped design the ethnically rich space to showcase the impact of Black lives on America.

FOYEKEMI IKYAATOR, M.D. HEALTH CARE ADVOCATE @lifesaversertx

Foyekemi Ikyaator, M.D.

The Nigerian-born Ikyaator saw a void in Houston’s health care system and responded by opening Life Savers Emergency Room with her husband. The full-service facility offers affordable, round-the-clock care to the city’s underserved community. The best part? They strive to uphold a no-wait policy so patients can see the doctor right away.

FROM TOP: JAY GRABIEC; DESIREE NAVARRO/GETTY IMAGES; ANTHONY HARVEY/GETTY IMAGES; TIFFANY SMITH; MUYIWA.

Gloss uses fashion as political expression with Glossrags, her apparel line that promotes Black consciousness through merchandise like the “Stay Woke” tees donned by this month’s cover stars, and shirts listing the names of Black men and women who’ve been victims of police brutality. Visit glossrags.com to shop.


ABI ISHOLA

TRISH LEWIS

MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST @aishola

CEO, HERITAGE BOX @heritagebox

Ishola has earned high praise for the launch of beyondclassicallybeautiful .com, a Web site dedicated to challenging society’s beauty standards. It includes the striking photo series, Body Noire, A Celebration Of Black Female Bodies.

As CEO and cofounder of Heritage Box, Lewis is making the art of learning history a family affair, starting with the youngsters. The monthly subscription service ships age-specific books, activities and keepsakes directly to your doorstep. Michelle King

ARIELL JOHNSON

COCREATORS, SAFETY PIN BOX @lesliemac and @rissaoftheway

COMIC BOOK–STORE OWNER @wind_rider83

FROM TOP: L A U NIFIED COM M U NIC ATIONS; SADDI KHALI; SH E.WE STU DIO; DEMOS; RODIN ECKEN ROTH/G E T T Y IMAG ES .

After noticing a dearth of welcoming spaces for minorities in the comic book community, Johnson opened the Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse in Philadelphia in 2015. She is believed to be the only Black female owner of a comic book store on the East Coast.

LESLIE MAC & MARISSA JENAE JOHNSON Cocreators of Safety Pin Box, the two developed the monthly subscription box service to provide tools that help Whites become better allies in the struggle for racial equality. A portion of the monies goes toward supporting Black female activists and their agendas.

Paulette Leaphart

MICHELLE KING

DANI MCCLAIN

As superintendent of Los Angeles Unified, the nation’s second-largest school district, King is committed to reducing the inequalities in public education and reforming school entrance requirements (a practice that often prevents people of color from gaining access to certain schools).

With her work, McClain ensures that the voices of Black women are represented in the media. She covers the complexities of race, reproductive health care and government policy at a time when journalists are under attack for pushing so-called fake news.

CONTRIBUTING WRITER, THE NATION @drmcclain

SUPERINTENDENT, L.A. UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT @michellekingla

Trish Lewis

PRESIDENT, DEMOS @hmcghee

SOLANGE KNOWLES SINGER @solangeknowles

Both provocative and poignant, A Seat at the Table—Knowles’s commanding album depicting the trials, tribulations and triumphs associated with the contemporary Black female experience in America—garnered the songstress her first number one album and a Grammy Award win.

PAULETTE LEAPHART BREAST CANCER AWARENESS ADVOCATE @thescarstory

The 50-year-old breast cancer survivor intends to shift our focus from “saving the tatas” to finding a cure. Last summer, Leaphart walked topless 1,000-plus miles from Biloxi, Mississippi, to D.C., to lobby Congress about affordable treatment.

HEATHER C. McGHEE

Heather C. McGhee

Ellen McGirt

A discussion between McGhee, president of New York City–based Demos, and Garry, a White male North Carolinian, on C-Span went viral in August after he admitted he was prejudiced. She offered a lesson in our community and our history, and advocates that we unite as one .

ELLEN MCGIRT JOURNALIST @ellmcgirt

The award-winning business journalist is the author of Fortune magazine’s raceAhead, a daily e-mail newsletter focused on understanding diversity challenges in the modern workplace. McGirt taps into the lived experiences of people of color for enlightenment and solutions. Subscribe to the newsletter at fortune.com/getraceahead.

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MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 105


#WOKE100

Our former First Lady, Michelle Obama, has shown a generation of Black girls that the sky is the limit.

PAU L MORIGI/G E T T Y IMAG ES


VERONICA MORRISMOORE ACTIVIST @VeronicaBars_

ISSA RAE ACTRESS AND PRODUCER @issarae

After a friend lost his life to violence (and the inaccessibility of proper medical care), Moore rallied for an urgent care facility in her neighborhood. Last fall, construction began on the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center. Mission accomplished.

Veronica Morris-Moore

NATASHA MURPHY

BISHOP TONYIA RAWLS

DEPUTY DIRECTOR, BLACK GIRLS VOTE @blackgirlsvote

In her role as deputy director of advocacy for Black Girls Vote, Murphy worked tirelessly to make sure Black women’s voices in Baltimore were heard. Through her organization, she spearheaded a voter registration effort that signed up more than 11,000 new voters.

CLERGYWOMAN @bishoptrawls

The LGBTQ community deserves a safe space to worship. Bishop Rawls’s understands. Along with leading North Carolina’s Unity Fellowship Church, she founded The Freedom Center for Social Justice and launched the Do No Harm Campaign to promote acceptance, starting with her fellow faith leaders.

Bishop Tonyia Rawls

NINE BLACK WOMEN ELECTED ALABAMA STATE JUDGES

BRITNEY ROBBINS CEO, THE GRAY MATTER EXPERIENCE @bask_n_robbins

The Honorable Nakita Perryman Blocton, Agnes Chappell, Elisabeth French, Shera Grant, Brendette Brown Green, Tamara Harris Johnson, Javan Patton, Annetta Verin and Debra Bennett Winston, all Democrats, made history last November when they were elected as judges in the red state of Alabama.

FROM TOP: JOH N R . BOEH M; MOYE PHOTOG R APHY; KRIS CON NOR /G E T T Y IMAG ES; KU MOLU STU DIOS; Z AMZ AM SIG HT & SOU N D.

With her hit HBO show, Insecure, Rae gives a refreshingly real look at how modern Black women navigate their personal and professional worlds. She also shines a hilarious light on important narratives missing from today’s popular culture lexicon.

Issa Rae

As founder and CEO of The Gray Matter Experience, Robbins shares the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship with students ages 15 to 24. The nine-week program introduces Chicago-based youth to Black professionals and team-building activities that promote critical, expansive thinking.

LOREN ROBINSON, M.D.

MICHELLE OBAMA FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE U.S. @michelleobama

Loren Robinson, M.D.

Michelle Obama has always inspired us and our children to achieve new heights with her education initiative, Reach Higher, and her global mission, Let Girls Learn, a program that opens the doors of education to 62 million girls worldwide who are not in school.

DEPUTY SECRETARY, HEALTH PROMOTION AND DISEASE PREVENTION @docloro

Tackling high obesity rates is all in a day’s work for Robinson. The deputy secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Pennsylvania creates green spaces in Black communities for children to play in and sidewalks for them to get to after-school programs safely.

DAWN PORTER

YASHICA ROBINSON, M.D.

FILMMAKER @dawnporterm

OB-GYN

Porter’s stirring abortion rights documentary, Trapped, won a 2016 Sundance Festival Special Jury Award. She later teamed up with ESSENCE and Time to produce an award-worthy doc on Black women seeking reproductive services. Watch at ESSENCE.com/culture/ black-women-abortion-dawn-porter.

Reproductive rights are under assault, but Robinson, an ob-gyn in Huntsville, Alabama, is committed to our care as the only local physician in the state to provide abortions. She believes it’s important for the women in the community to have a choice, and thanks to her work, they do.

Yashica Robinson, M.D.

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MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 107


#WOKE100

APRIL D. RYAN

YARA SHAHIDI ACTRESS @yarashahidi

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT @aprildryan

The 17-year-old black-ish star and activist uses her celebrity to challenge the present political climate, including the Trump travel ban, and fights for a more tolerant and inclusive America, writing on Instagram, “The suppression of any person is the suppression of all people.”

The trusted journalist has covered the White House for American Urban Radio Networks for more than 20 years, and she’s pressed administrations on the issues that affect Black communities most. When she took President Trump to task about not meeting with Congressional Black Caucus members, his office set up a meeting with the CBC within weeks.

Symone Sanders

SINGER @officialwillow

Fully embracing the carefree-Blackgirl aesthetic, Smith makes the political personal. After the results of the 2016 presidential election, the Chanel brand ambassador released the ballad “November 9,” seeking to uplift the disheartened. She has also traveled to North Dakota with her brother, Jaden, to stand in solidarity with Native people and protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

SYMONE SANDERS POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN @symonedsanders

The former national press secretary for the Bernie Sanders campaign and current CNN pundit has succeeded in bringing women’s issues and the #BlackLivesMatter movement to the forefront of the current political conversation.

Attica Scott

ATTICA SCOTT

AMANDLA STENBERG

KENTUCKY STATE CONGRESSWOMAN @atticascott

ACTRESS @amandlastenberg

Tara Setmayer

BRITTANI SENSABAUGH DOCUMENTARIAN @brittsense

The Oakland-bred documentarian travels across the nation to cities like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Houston, Chicago and Detroit to shoot subjects from the African diaspora who are either misrepresented or overlooked by the media.

Yara Shahidi

Using materials such as rhinestones in her multilayered paintings, Thomas amplifies the diverse beauty of Black women. She brings multiple pieces together to create one whole image, both pushing the envelope and working against conventional beauty standards.

COMMENTATOR, CNN @tarasetmayer

108 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

MICKALENE THOMAS ARTIST @mickalenethomas

TARA SETMAYER When political discussions get heated, Setmayer maintains her cool and gets her point across. Since joining CNN as a contributor in 2014, the conservative commentator and columnist for The Daily Beast has used her voice to keep the conversation balanced.

Stenberg may be young, but The Hunger Games and Where Hands Touch actress is fearless when speaking out against misogyny and racism. She’s also driving conversation around ideas of identity: Recently Stenberg came out as nonbinary, which means she doesn’t identify as either gender, opting for the preferred pronouns “they” and “them.”

ADAKU UTAH HEALER O

Mickalene Thomas

Healer, educator and performance artist, Utah is the owner of Harriet’s Apothecary, a Brooklyn-based haven for women of color who are committed to self-care— which is especially needed during these trying times.

FROM TOP: BRAD BARKET/GETTY IMAGES FOR MTV NEWS; SOWANDE ROTONDO MALONE; PAUL MORIGI/GETTY IMAGES; JOHN SCIULLI/GETTY IMAGES; EARL GIBSON III/GETTY IMAGES.

After winning a tough primary race and defeating a long-time incumbent, Scott is the first Black woman to serve in Kentucky’s State Legislature in 20 years. She is determined to revamp outdated policies on women’s rights.

WILLOW SMITH


CLEO WADE

RAQUEL WILLIS TRANSGENDER RIGHTS ADVOCATE @raquelwillis_

POET, ACTIVIST @cleowade

The New Orleans native uses her poetry to convey themes of equality and feminism. During the tenth anniversary year of Hurricane Katrina, one of her poems was erected on a billboard in the French Quarter—its message: strength after the storm. Maxine Waters

MAXINE WATERS CALIFORNIA CONGRESSWOMAN @maxinewaters

Outspoken and on point, the veteran congresswoman has been one of the foremost critics of the Trump administration among her peers, standing up for the disenfranchised and speaking out against bigotry. (Her meme-worthy side-eyes don’t hurt, either.)

MONIQUE WOODARD

VENTURE PARTNER, 500 STARTUPS @moniquewoodard

The San Francisco–based advocate of diversity and inclusion caught our attention when she joined 500 Startups, a seed accelerator, as a venture partner, making her the first Black executive at the firm.

Destiny Watford

DESTINY WATFORD ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST @watforddestiny

Last spring, Watford, then 20, was awarded a Goldman Environmental Prize—and rightfully so. As a high school senior, she led a crusade to stop construction on an incinerator that would have emitted more than 1,000 pollutants throughout her Baltimore neighborhood every year.

FROM TOP: COU RTESY OF SU B J ECT; SAM KIT TN ER /GOLDMAN ENVIRON M ENTAL PRIZE; COU RTESY OF SU B J ECTS (2); DAVID KIDD/GOVERNING .

When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie made controversial remarks about transgender women, Willis took to her Twitter audience of more than 23,000 followers to counter the writer’s stance and educate her following on trans issues. That’s part of the work Willis does every day as communications associate at the Transgender Law Center. Her goal is to use her social platform to advocate for trans people who don’t always have a voice.

KYM WORTHY WAYNE COUNTY, MICHIGAN, PROSECUTOR @pakymworthy

Raquel Willis

DEBORAH WATTS COFOUNDER, EMMETT TILL LEGACY FOUNDATION @the _deborahwatts

Monique Woodard

Although it’s been six decades since a then 14-year-old Emmett Till was viciously murdered in Mississippi, Watts—a cousin of Till’s and cofounder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation—is dedicated to ensuring that we always remember him and the societal conditions that caused his death.

When 11,341 unprocessed rape kits (some, decades-old) were discovered in her district, this Wayne County, Michigan, prosecutor immediately raised awareness and funds for testing. As a result of her efforts, 750 potential serial rapists were identified, and there have been 42 prosecutions.

ZENDAYA

ACTRESS @zendaya

One of our fave woke millennials, Zendaya is part of a new generation of young talents who aren’t afraid to speak out against inequality or clap back if you try to come for them. Earlier this year, the actress offered a modeling contract to a young woman who had been body-shamed on Twitter, silencing her naysayers. 

LAURA WEIDMAN POWERS CEO, CODE2040 @laurawp

Weidman Powers took her advocacy of equal representation of Blacks and Latinos in tech to Washington, D.C., as a senior policy adviser to the former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith.

Kym Worthy

By Michael Arceneaux, Tanya A. Christian, Vanessa K. De Luca, Regina R. Robertson, Tanisha A. Sykes and Lauren N. Williams

MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 109


110 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017


Rosie Assoulin “One Shoulder Puff Sleeve” dress. Jimmy Choo “Dillan” sandals.

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The

Wild

Lıfe

THE WOKE AS EVER AMANDLA STENBERG TALKS ACTIVISM, ART AND IDENTITY, AND HOW THEY ALIGN IN HER MOVIE EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING BY CHRISTINA COLEMAN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BENJO ARWAS | FASHION EDITOR: JOIEE THORPE


I

t’s easy to forget that Amandla Stenberg is just 18 years old when she breaks down exactly what it means to be woke: “It’s questioning the structures that are disenfranchising Black people—people of color as a whole—gay people, mentally ill people.” Or when she expertly explains Hollywood’s diversity problem: “I think it’s very important to have representations of diversity and interracial relationships and Black women without necessarily their race being the point.” The budding actress, who’s best known for playing Rue in The Hunger Games, merges her philosophy with her work when she stars in the new flick Everything, Everything, in theaters May 19. Based on the young adult novel, the film is a coming-of-age-tale that follows a sick teenager whose desire to fall in love and explore the world changes the course of her life.

I see fashion as a reflection of identity. Everything, Everything was written by a Black woman (Nicola Yoon), directed by a Black woman (Stella Meghie) and stars a teen who has made it a mission to be vocal about racial constructs, gender and systemic oppression. “The thing is, as a Black woman navigating the world, I don’t really think that the point of my life is my race. I think it’s a factor,” she says. “So it’s great to see stories that accurately represent that and represent race as the lens through which life happens.” It’s not surprising that that same thought process goes into Stenberg’s personal style. “I definitely see fashion as a reflection of identity,” says the L.A. native, whose freshly cropped hair makes her look like a vision. “I love playing around with colors and patterns. I love wearing clothes with images; it’s cool that I can wear art on my clothing. I’m really drawn to colors—color rules my world.”

112 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017


This page: Michael Kors Collection blouse, tap shorts and belt. Opposite page: Tome “Harlequin Print” shirt, mermaid skirt and belt. Michael Kors Collection “Genevieve” runway sandals.

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114 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017


This page: Emilio Pucci jumpsuit. Michael Kors Collection belt. Opposite page: Altuzarra “Corona” dress. Marc Jacobs belt. Michael Kors Collection “Genevieve” runway sandals. Hosiery, stylist’s own.  For clothing and accessories details, see Where to Buy. Hair, Larry Sims using Smooth ’N Shine/Forward Artists. Makeup, Kali Kennedy using Diorskin Nude/Art Department. Manicure, Tracy Clemens using Tom Ford/Opus Beauty. Prop Stylist, Lauren Shields.


YOUR MAN’S OTHER WOMEN You, me...and she? Navigating a successful relationship without bumping heads with the other lady in your man’s world isn’t always easy, but it is definitely doable. Black Bridal Bliss founder Bridgette Bartlett Royall shares inside intel from experts and real women like you to make that Memorial Day cookout less awkward CHALKBOARD, FLY TOSK Y 11/G E T T YIMAG ES

ILLUSTRATIONS BY NICHOLLE KOBI

SEX &

LOVE MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 117


SEX & LOVE : WOMAN TO WOMAN

A

dmit it: Whether you’re 25 or 65, or single, married, dating or divorced, at some point you’ve felt uncomfortable by something your mate’s sister, ex, homegirl, work wife or even mother has said or done. Sometimes the incident can be easily shaken off; other times it can cause someone to end up with criminal charges. (Continue reading for details on the latter!) Here’s how you can keep your love life intact without creating reality television–worthy drama with your man’s close circle of female family and friends.

‘Look, I understand you’re close to your mother. I don’t want to take that away from you. How can you also make me feel like I’m important?’ Have him be part of the problem solving.”

gap between your child[ren] and your partner. Even though you want your child to love the new person in your life the way you now love that person, it doesn’t come that easily. Any relationship takes work, whether it’s the one you’re in or the one you want someone else to have.” Now on the road to recovery, Wilkerson explains that she, her husband and her stepdaughter have benefited from group and individual therapy. “Prayer and counseling are how we have maintained our marriage,” she says.

HIS DAUGHTER

HIS MOTHER “A mom has a huge influence on a man’s romantic relationships. She raised him,” explains Deanna Brann, Ph.D., a Knoxville, Tennessee, psychotherapist and the author of Reluctantly Related Revisited: Breaking Free of the Mother-in-Law/Daughter-in-Law Conflict (Ambergris). “Moms don’t always know that they need to let go. It’s hard.” If you’re dealing with a particularly controlling mother, Brann offers some solace: “Don’t take it personally. This wanting to be in charge is not about your inabilities. That’s her personality; she does that with everybody.” Shane Perrault, Ph.D., a Greenbelt, Maryland–based psychologist and the author of The Black Manual: Less Drama, More Love—a Single Woman’s Guide to Choosing Mr. Right, explains further: “In cases of a single mom, her son is often filling a void. He’s the man she trusts the most.” Brann adds, “Sit down with him and say,

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“I have a 15-year-old stepdaughter. When my husband and I met, she was not quite 1, and in the beginning we got along great. I even helped potty-train her,” reveals LaShauna Wilkerson* of Los Angeles. But when Wilkerson married her stepdaughter’s father three years later, a downward spiral began. Things really took a nosedive after Wilkerson had her first daughter. “My stepdaughter started to resent my relationship with her father,” she continues. Fast-forward a few years and the unthinkable happened: “My stepdaughter falsely accused me of

HIS EX Seeing a man who is still in contact with an ex can get messy quickly for even the strongest of us, especially if a child is involved. “Are they hanging out? Are you invited?” Perrault asks. There should be some parameters. They could also

In cases of a single mom, her son is often filling a void. He’s the man she trusts the most. —SHANE PERRAULT, PH.D. hitting her. Her mother contacted the police and I was served papers. I had to go to court numerous times before she admitted it was all a lie. I even lost a lucrative contract due to the felony charges.” Natasha Peterson* of Chicago has personally navigated the ups and downs of her own blended family and gives this sage advice: “It’s your job as a parent to help bridge the

genuinely just be friends. Perrault, who has counseled more than 2,300 couples, adds that making his current companion—not the ex—feel at ease should be paramount for a man in this predicament. If this situation disturbs you, discuss it with your partner. *Subjects’ names and identifying details have been changed.

Follow ESSENCE Senior Editor Charreah K. Jackson on Twitter @CHARREAH.


does, would you be okay with that?’ If you help him see how it looks on the reverse side, he can see your point of view.”

TIPS TO LIVE IN HARMONY WITH HIS SPECIAL WOMEN

1

BE OKAY WITH LOSING THE BATTLE TO WIN THE WAR “In family feuds you typically get lose–lose situations. You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t,” warns psychologist Shane Perrault. “You have to find a way to create a win–win.” Do you want the blood on your hands from forcing your partner to sever all his ties with a loved one? “You may have to cut a deal,” he adds.

HIS WORK WIFE Seventy percent of business professionals have or have had a work spouse—someone they confide in on the job. That’s up from 65 percent in 2010, according to a recent Office Pulse survey. Renee Campbell* of Atlanta knows about this phenomenon all too well. “I do not get along with my husband’s business partner,” she says. “I think she liked him at one point.” But Campbell is honest about the role her hubby plays. “He’s charming, so I get it. I remind myself he married me.” Get clear with your partner on boundaries so it’s apparent when a line is crossed.

HIS SISTER She was in your wedding and babysits your toddlers at the drop of a dime. She looks up to you, especially since you give her advice on everything from men to money. This is the relationship you thought you would have with your husband’s sister, but in actuality the two of you can barely stand each other. You even find it difficult to sit across from her

I do not get along with my husband’s business partner. I remind myself he married me. —RENEE CAMPBELL

KOB I , COU RTESY OF SU B J ECT

HIS HOMEGIRL Maybe they’re college buddies or grew up together in the same hometown. “Da homie” Cheryl has known your boo longer than you and may remind you of this. Or perhaps you think she’s too touchy-feely. Your honey, however, may not realize that. Brann suggests flipping the script: “[Ask,] ‘If my friend John was doing the same thing to me as Cheryl

at Thanksgiving dinner. News flash! You two simply might not click right now and perhaps you never will. She’s not obligated to be your BFF. Being a grown-up means getting along with difficult people and humbling yourself to admit you may not deserve a Sister-in-Law of the Year Award either. But do your relationship a favor—avoid complaining about her to him. Making your significant other choose between his sister and you will always make you appear insensitive. “That resentment is ultimately going to boomerang back to you. Try to make peace,” advises Perrault. 

2

ESTABLISH HEALTHY BOUNDARIES “[Doing this] is key,” says Perrault. “Different people have different boundaries. Yours may be fundamentally different from mine.” Find out if your boundaries are complementary to those of your significant other rather than assume there’s one universal standard of what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate.

3

COMMUNICATE “Tell your partner what feels unhealthy,” says Brooklyn therapist Ella Harris. “Couples need to listen to each other while respecting the other’s point of view and trying to understand their feelings. See what kind of impact the ladies’ actions are having on your partner. Are they hurting? People teach everyone they come in contact with how they want to be treated. Say yes when you need to say yes and no when you need to say no.” Ultimately there is only one person you are dating and that person is your partner. His actions (or the lack thereof) greatly affect how his friends and family treat you. Speak up when something doesn’t feel right. Trust that the bond you have can sustain any bumps. Love conquers all.

Afro-French illustrator Nicholle Kobi (@theblakParisian) is known for her representation of Black girls. Her work has been featured in exhibitions in Paris, Madrid, Toronto and Montreal, as well as in cities in the U.K. and the U.S.

MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 119


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LET GO TO LIVE Iyanla Vanzant has been a mainstay at the Essence Festival. But during last year’s event, she was fighting to survive. As a new season of Iyanla: Fix My Life premieres on OWN and she prepares to return to the festival’s empowerment stage, in an ESSENCE exclusive, the inspirational speaker opens up about choosing life AS TOLD TO CHARREAH K. JACKSON

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DAVID LIVINGSTON/G E T T Y IMAG ES

few days before last year’s Essence Festival, I flew to Jamaica to speak at a former student’s two-day event for women. Minutes before I was to take the stage, I became critically ill, throwing up, and had cramps. I’ve been blessed to have never had a health challenge beyond a cold or having children. I thought, I have food poisoning. Let me get this out, drink tea and go do my presentation. I would not cancel the event. I finally got to where I could get on the stage.

HEALTHY &

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HEALT THY TH Y&H HA APP PPY : E EXCL EX CL CLUSIVE that doesn’t first happen in the mind, so it has probably been a Oprah Winfrey lifetime of little stresses building at her first up. We don’t know when my Essence Fest rupture happened, because of last summer the grace of my ovary. They removed 13 centimeters of my colon and the ovary, then performed a colostomy. The procedure, which connects the colon to the surface of the abdomen, provides a new path for waste and gas to leave the body. I had to wear a colostomy bag, which collects your bodily waste and you change out the bag. Vanzant takes the Essence Festival stage in 2006.

I spoke for about 20 minutes, then had a revelation that I shared. “I’m standing on this stage, telling you the importance of taking care of yourself and I’m deathly ill. I’m leaving. If you come back tomorrow, I’ll be here.” I left and they called a doctor. We all thought I had food poisoning, and they gave me medicine for it. I rested. The next day I was numb from the meds and finished speaking. I wasn’t feeling well, but it wasn’t as bad as the day before. The following day I left to return to the U.S. and get ready for the Essence Festival. The meds had worn off and all the symptoms were back: the pain, cramping, nausea and

Eliminate Your Drama When you have a colostomy bag hanging off the side of your belly, you get real clear about what you take in, knowing that you’re going to see how it comes out. I had to do it at a physical level, but it was also about the emotional, psychological and spiritual level. What are you taking in? So many of us take in stuff—what we hear, what we accept, what we accommodate and tolerate, what we entertain—and we’re not clear how it comes out. It can come out as depression, angry outbursts, the way we treat ourselves and the way we treat other people. As women, you take things in and digest it, and you have to eliminate as well. We have to draw nutrients that feed our life and our soul and then eliminate the rest. That’s where a lot of us have problems. We don’t eliminate.

Your whole life is a colon. You have to eliminate.

Shadow of Death This type of rupturing can be deadly, as toxins can seep into your bloodstream. When I got to the hospital, they had to perform surgery on me immediately. Somehow my left ovary had positioned itself to absorb the toxins that were being released from my colon. They didn’t know that until I got on the surgical table. I got ill because the ovary had become overwhelmed, and the toxins were seeping into my blood. I had septic shock, which can kill you. I had no previous symptoms. I’d had my hair and makeup done, and was getting dressed to go speak and this happens. Two weeks after I had my surgery, a very dear friend had his colon rupture while he was sleeping and he died. It’s a common condition called diverticulitis, in which the colon develops pouches. Sometimes it is from diet. My theory is that a lot of times it’s from stress. Nothing goes on in the body

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We will hold on to people, things, clothes, ideas, beliefs and behaviors longer than necessary. Then when we have these dramatic eruptions in our lives—be it a breakdown in a relationship, a loss of a job, a rift in the family—we don’t understand why. You have to look at how you digested your experiences. What are you holding on to and how are you processing things through your mind and your heart? Your whole life is a colon. You have to eliminate. I’m very clear that my experience was a warning. The lesson is, don’t hold on and don’t hold back. We hold so much energy, thoughts and emotions and have ruptures in our relationships and finances and internally with diseases. People will take their clothes to the cleaners and do their laundry, but they never clean their energy. You vacuum the rug, but you’re upset with a friend, a relative or your partner for days and never clean your energy. That is a form of holding on. When you have a breakdown or are upset with someone, the way to eliminate toxic energy from your body, mind and spirit is clearing conversations. We have to have clear, clean and complete conversations. We also have to renew and recharge our vision. Just because it’s a good idea in March, it may not still be a good idea in July if it’s not bearing fruit. In these 60 to 90 days,

FRO M LEF T: J O H N NY N U N E Z /G E T T Y I MAG ES; PAR AS G RI FFIN/G E T T Y I MAG ES .

dry heaves. I was trying to push through. In my mind I’m saying, I cannot be sick, because I have Essence in two days. By the time the plane landed in Baltimore, I was on my knees in a corner, with my face in a barf bag. They met me with an ambulance on the tarmac and took me to the hospital, where I discovered that one of the pouches in my colon had ruptured.


ask yourself, What am I doing? What is the progress I’m making? Do I need to make some additions or eliminate some things or people? I had my first summer at home in probably ten years. We have to create more me time for reflection and get off technology.

Follow Your Intuition Last year was the first time in probably 15 years that I missed the Essence Festival. In January 2016, I woke up one day and had the inkling to invite Ms. Oprah Winfrey to come to the festival. Not as Oprah Winfrey but as my guest. And she agreed. Sometimes when you reach a certain place in your profession, people separate you from the everyday community. Sometimes people try to do that to me, and I sense sometimes

It’s so important to trust and honor your intuition. I had surgery three days before I was to speak at Essence Fest. Because I had followed my intuition in January and asked Ms. Winfrey to be with me, I was able to call her and say, “You have to do this for me.” Ms. Winfrey was willing and it was already set. My grandmother always used to say, “God always has a lamb in the bush,” that when you have a great need, the Divine will provide. I followed my intuition and invited Ms. Winfrey, not knowing I wouldn’t be there.

Press On When they told me I was going to have to wear a colostomy bag, a diva such as myself was not happy about pooping in a bag on the side of my belly. I remembered

reconnected. My friend died from the same ailment. I’m sure he would have preferred to wear that bag for the rest of his life as opposed to not being here. My wearing that bag taught me not to hold on, and not to hold back. Be mindful of what you take in and no matter how uncomfortable or discouraging it may be, you can do anything for a little while. Anytime you go through an invasive procedure and remove a part of what God gave you, it’s a challenge. Since my surgeries I have been mindful of things that strengthen the digestive system. I now know that my first responsibility every morning is to make contact with the God that I serve and to get instructions on how to serve. I’m at an age in my elderhood where we’re expected to just fall apart. Growing older is a necessity, but falling apart

You can do anything for a little while. that they do that to her. I always come to Essence as a Brooklyn resident, meeting my community at the heart. I wanted to share that space with Ms. Winfrey. She said, “Let’s do it. We’re going to tag-team the presentation.” I said, “I’m not telling anybody you’re coming, because I want you to come as my sisterfriend, not as Oprah.” As a woman and as an elder, I’ve found that following your intuition is crucial. So often women are talked out of their intuition, doubt it or try to validate it by talking to others.

a very important lesson I learned when I buried my daughter, which is that you can do anything for a little while if it’s going to make you better. You can do anything for a little while if it’s going to help you grow. As Black women, we sometimes complain and fail to affirm and be grateful, because we don’t like discomfort. Understand the blessing is on the other side. Anything that takes us out of our comfort zone is often preparing us for better. I wore that bag for 111 days. In October I had it removed and my intestines

is not a requirement. I’ve lived my life faithfully each day, knowing that whatever that day brings me, it’s for a higher purpose. We aren’t in control of anything. When you get down to real matters of life and death, there’s something greater and grander than us going on. I did get a little of Essence Festival last year, traveling to New Orleans in the fall to film my cameo in Girls Trip. And I am excited to return to the festival, one year after my life was spared, and share with women I love. Ladies, we have to let go to live.

GET YOUR FIX

COU RTESY OF OWN (3)

Iyanla: Fix My Life airs on OWN, Saturdays at 9 P.M. ET. Guests this season include Michael Jackson’s nephew Taryll Jackson and reality stars Laura Govan and Neffeteria “Neffe” Pugh

“A lot of this season’s stories focus on men. Our brothers suffer silently. It’s exciting to support them,” says Vanzant.

“This work is my ministry. My job is to demonstrate to the best of my ability the presence of God,” she says.

See Iyanla Vanzant live at the 2017 Essence Festival in New Orleans this Fourth of July weekend.

MAY 2017 ESSENCE .COM 123


HEALTHY & HAPPY : HOME

The professional home organizer recommends using brick-and-mortar locations as well as online selling sites like AptDeco.

MINIMIZE THE MAYHEM In addition to planning and purging, prevent day-of delays. Empty your dresser drawers, remove china from the buffet and strip the beds of all the linens. Brooks also asserts, “When it’s move day, shut everything down and block out the whole day. Be there ready to answer any questions from your team.” Another idea: Ask for help. Gordon insists that whether it’s enlisting an extra hand for packing or getting a babysitter to watch the kids, having assistance for a major relocation is key to reducing the pressure.

MOVE OUT WITH EASE RELOCATING CAN BE ONE OF LIFE’S BIGGEST STRESSORS. WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED FOR A SMOOTH TRANSITION BY TANYA A. CHRISTIAN

PLAN AHEAD

PURGE BEFORE YOU PACK Whether it’s an amazing dress you bought on sale or a kitchen gadget you swore would make life easier, if you haven’t worn or used an item in your home in the past 12 months, it’s time to let it go. Prior to filling boxes, go through your belongings and get rid of the excess. A rule of thumb: “Let the new space be your guide,” says Gordon. Especially in the case of downsizing, only bring items that can fit. This helps you avoid spending money unnecessarily on storage and gives you the opportunity to make a little cash on things you no longer need.

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Make things less daunting with our expert-approved handy helpers Calendar Add reminders and important dates so you don’t skip a beat.

Moving Insurance In the event of damage during your relocation, rest assured you would be compensated for your valuables.

Standard-size Boxes Boxes found around the office may be too weak for the job. Go to Home Depot, U-Haul or your moving company to get the sturdiest packing solution.

Tape Measure Avoid the disappointment of your precious possessions not being able to fit by measuring everything—furniture, door frames and cupboards too.

Labels Have all your belongings marked to maximize the services and cut down on the questions. This way, folks can follow your directions and put your items exactly where you need them to be.

WOMAN , PEOPLEIMAG ES/G E T T Y IMAG ES . ALL ICONS , TH E NOU N PROJ ECT.

Preparation is essential. Far too often people underestimate the time and energy needed to go from one dwelling to the next. Denise Gordon, principal and creative director of The Organized Home by Denise Gordon, suggests that once you have made the decision to move, immediately set a goal date and work backward. To start Brian Brooks, president of E.E. Ward Moving & Storage Co., advises locking in a service at least 30 days in advance, allotting more time during peak summer months. The head of this historic Black business adds that while it may sound tempting, don’t always go with the cheapest quote: “Do your research and find a reputable mover. Look at the Better Business Bureau and online reviews to decide what service you are going to use.”

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HEALTHY & HAPPY : SPIRITUALITY

A PROVERBS WOMAN THE BIBLE’S BLUEPRINT FOR A VIRTUOUS WOMAN HAS GUIDED GENERATIONS OF SISTERS. SEE HOW TO APPLY THIS SPECIAL PASSAGE TO YOUR LIFE TODAY BY CHARREAH K. JACKSON

Proverbs 31: 10–31 As women, we are called as leaders, starting with our own families. Even if you haven’t met your spouse, you can stand in your calling as a wife and make decisions that will support your future marriage. I write letters to my future husband and write to my daughter, though I have not had children yet.

We live in an age of temptation with entertainment and escapes at our fingertips. Commit to use your time responsibly as you guide your family. Tending to your household also means placing emphasis on selfcare. As you fill your own cup, you will be better able to meet the needs of others.

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Always remember you are God’s greatest treasure. Know your worth and don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Build your legacy through owning property. Use your talents to plant seeds into future generations.

Date with intention: Seek a partner who honors our ancestors, actively pursues knowledge and gets involved in the community.

If only your actions and accomplishments spoke for you, what would they say?

PAPER , TOLGA TEZCAN/G E T T Y IMAG ES . WOOD, MARK LU N D/G E T T Y IMAG ES .

To whom much is given, much is expected. Share your blessings with the less fortunate. The more you give, the more you create space to receive.

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is yet night, and gives meat to her household and a portion to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard. She girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good; her candle does not go out by night. She lays her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff. She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: For all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, where he sits among the elders of the land. She makes fine linen and sells it, and delivers girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honor are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looks well to the ways of her household and eats not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excels above them all. Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.


DO YOUR HEART A FAVOR. QUIT SMOKING. Roosevelt, Heart attack at age 45 Virginia

Smoking causes immediate damage to your body. For Roosevelt, it caused his heart attack. Your heart attack risk drops as soon as you quit smoking. For free help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.


WHERE TO BUY

nyc.com. Sneakers, subject’s own. Page 56: Victoria Beckham for Target coat, $25, and top, $20, target.com. Little Me leggings, $36 (sold as part of set), littleme .com. Earrings, subject’s own. Page 58: On Ava: Victoria Beckham for Target dress, $20, target.com. Earrings and tights, subject’s own. On Alexis: Victoria Beckham for Target dress, $20, target .com. Mulberry & Grand bracelet, $12, mulberry-grand.com. Earrings and tights, subject’s own. Page 60: Bardot Junior dress, $90, Bloomingdale’s. Mulberry & Grand bracelets, $22 each, mulberry-grand.com. A.V. Max earrings, $20, avmaxnyc.com.

FRESH START

O THE CO ON COV OVE ER ER Photography by Warwick Saint. Stylists, Joiee Thorpe and Julee Wilson. For Luvvie Ayaji, Janaye Ingram, Tamika D. Mallory, Brittany Packnett, Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour and Opal Tometi: Hairstylists, Juliet Fisher for Ken Barboza and Giselle Modeste for Epiphany Artist Group. Makeup artists, Griselle Rosario for Ken Barboza and Lucky Smyler for Epiphany Artist Group. Manicurist, Etsuko Shimatani for Basic White Shirt. For Sybrina Fulton, April Reign and Angela Rye: Hairstylist, Carla Gentry Osorio for TheOnly. Agency. Makeup artist, Red for Ken Barboza. Manicurist, Tracy Clemens for Opus Beauty. For Joy-Ann Reid: Hairstylist, David Kemp. Makeup artist, Danielle Terry. Manicurist, Etsuko Shimatani for Basic White Shirt. For Shonda Rhimes: Hairstylist, Verlyn Antoine. Makeup artist, Cathy Highland for Aim Artists. Manicurist, Tracy Clemens for Opus Beauty.

COVER

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page 9: Mini Boden dress, $69, boden usa.com. A.V. Max earrings, $20, avmaxnyc.com. Page 12: Rosie Assoulin top, $995, and skirt, $2,495, Bal Harbour, Florida, 305-868-6544. Holly Dyment earrings and rings, prices upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. Alex Woo necklace, $678, alexwoo.com. Michael Kors Collection sandals, $750, select Michael Kors stores.

TINY TRESSES Page 55: Mini Boden dress, $69, boden usa.com. A.V. Max earrings, $20, avmax

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WE STAY WOKE Pages 92–97: See Cover for “Stay Woke” T-shirt details. On Brittany Packnett: MeharyJewel necklace, $125, meharyjewel .com. Jimmy Choo heels, $525, jimmychoo .com. Other items, subject’s own. On JoyAnn Reid: MeharyJewel necklace, $125, meharyjewel.com. Other items, subject’s own. On Janaye Ingram: Hudson jacket, $295, hudsonjeans.com. Parker Smith jeans, $156, nordstrom.com. Manolo Blahnik heels, $595, barneys.com. Other items, subject’s own. On Carmen Perez: Hudson jeans, $165, hudsonjeans.com. Other items, subject’s own. On Luvvie Ajayi: Manolo Blahnik heels, $735, saksfifthavenue.com. Other items, subject’s own. On Linda Sarsour: Cult de Jour jacket, $515, cultdejour.com. Jimmy Choo heels, $525, jimmychoo.com. Other items, subject’s own. On Tamika D. Mallory: Smythe blazer, $595, shopbop.com. Prps Goods & Co. boyfriend jeans, $275, prpsjeans.com. Other items, subject’s own. On Shonda Rhimes: Parker Smith jeans, $178, parkersmith.com. Other items, subject’s own. On Opal Tometi: Denim shirt, jeans and shoes, subject’s own. On Sybrina Fulton: Jeans, accessories and shoes, subject’s own. On April Reign: NYDJ jeans, $134, nydj.com. ShoeDazzle heels, $40, shoedazzle.com. Other items, subject’s own. On Angela Rye: Hudson jeans, $205, hudsonjeans.com. Other items, subject’s own.

THE WILD LIFE Pages 110–111: Rosie Assoulin dress, $2,595, net-a-porter.com. On left ear: Maison Miru ear cuffs, $29–$39, and hoops, $39, maisonmiru.com. Holly Dyment single stud earring, price upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. On right ear: Holly Dyment earrings, price upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. Alex Woo necklace, $678, alexwoo.com. Jimmy Choo sandals, $895, jimmychoo.com.

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BORIS KODJOE

Top row, from left: Tamika D. Mallory; Luvvie Ayaji; Joy-Ann Reid; Angela Rye. Middle row, from left: Sybrina Fulton; Linda Sarsour; Shonda Rhimes; April Reign. Bottom row, from left: Opal Tometi; Brittany Packnett; Janaye Ingram; Carmen Perez. All wear Glossrags “Stay Woke” T-shirts, designed exclusively for ESSENCE. Similar items available at glossrags.com. For more clothing details, see “We Stay Woke” below.

Page 66: Joseph Abboud suit, $695, shirt, $100, and socks, $25 for pack of 3, menswearhouse.com. Men’s Wearhouse tie, $60, and pocket square, $25, menswear house.com for similar styles. The Tie Bar polka-dot pocket square, $10, thetiebar.com. Movado watch, $795, movado.com. Bruno Magli loafers, $450, brunomagli.com.

Page 112: Tome shirt, $1,195, and skirt, $1,395, tomenyc.com. On right ear: Holly Dyment earrings, price upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. On left ear: Maison Miru ear cuffs, $29–$39, and hoops, $39, maisonmiru.com. Holly Dyment single stud earring, price upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. On right hand: Holly Dyment ring, price upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. Savannah Stranger rings, prices upon request, twistonline.com. On left hand: Holly Dyment rings, prices upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. Tome belt, similar styles available at tomenyc.com. Michael Kors Collection sandals, $750, select Michael Kors stores. Page 113: Michael Kors Collection blouse, $1,045, shorts, $795, and belt, $290 select Michael Kors stores. On right hand: Holly Dyment ring, price upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. On left hand: Holly Dyment snake ring, price upon request, and skull ring, $1,120, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. Page 114: Altuzarra dress, $1,895, barneys .com. On left ear: Maison Miru ear cuffs, $29–$39, and hoops, $39, maisonmiru.com. Holly Dyment single stud earring, price upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. Alex Woo necklace, $678, alexwoo.com. Orikami necklace, $61, orikami.net. Holly Dyment necklace, price upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. Marc Jacobs belt, price upon request, NYC, 212-343-1490. On right hand: Holly Dyment ring, price upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. On left hand: Holly Dyment snake ring, price upon request, and skull ring, $1,120, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. Michael Kors Collection sandals, $750, select Michael Kors stores. Hosiery, stylist’s own. Page 115: Emilio Pucci jumpsuit, price upon request, Emilio Pucci boutiques. Maison Miru ear cuffs, $29–$39, and hoops, $39, maisonmiru.com. Holly Dyment single stud earring, price upon request, Material Good, NYC, 212-359-9688. Alex Woo necklace, $678, alexwoo.com. Savannah Stranger necklace, price upon request, twistonline. com. Michael Kors Collection belt, $290, select Michael Kors stores. 


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HOROSCOPE

OVERVIEW How can we ignore the mystical presence of a full moon? It hovers with a majestic allure that hypnotizes even the most callous soul. On May 10, look up at the sky and prepare to be drawn into the subconscious depth of that celestial body in Scorpio. It promises to reveal emotional secrets so you can develop a better understanding of our current situation. The more you probe, the more truth that will be unearthed. So have a purposeful cry and stay away from pointless drama. When passion is instilled in the light of creation, everybody wins.

TAURUS April 20 to May 20 Your “slow and steady wins the race” mind-set garners more respect and accolades than your swift competitors’. However, May brings a slight twist in your personality, as you’re able to process information and delegate responsibilities quickly like a boss. The ease with which you manage your personal and professional life has left civilians in awe. Time to bake some cookies, serve them with a smile and offer details on how to take charge.

GEMINI May 21 to June 20 Relationships blossom when trust and understanding abound. This month you are apt to bask in the joy of social and business connections until a sudden threat is presented. “I can do bad all by myself” is not only a common thought but also a harsh reality. Find the lessons in the abrupt shifts in partnerships you hold dear. Slow down and you’ll see the big picture.

June 21 to July 22 No matter how advanced technology becomes, true friendship will never be measured by the amount of likes and

132 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

LEO July 23 to August 22 “Shining star for you to see, what your life can truly be!” should be the Earth, Wind & Fire refrain blasting from your speakers. However, as you adjust to your newfound career achievement, let a potential beau and/or your children know the time you’ll need to allot to expanding your territory. Loved ones may feel neglected, so schedule a getaway or console with a hug. No one understands the importance of attention the way you do.

VIRGO August 23 to September 22 Your earning potential has dwindled a bit, and you’re wondering what caused a glitch in the matrix. Before you go into self-critical mode, consider who has the power to make the best out of unpredictable days. It’s you! Take your mind off money and get lost in a good book, or find solace in meaningful conversations. You will gain a deeper appreciation of the godsends once they begin to roll in again.

DEB R A C ART WRIG HT

CANCER

hearts people award. Although you may feel blessed working your fingers to the bone, surprise your homegirl with a spa trip or an afternoon outing. Your maternal nature is needed somewhere close, and a good laugh will do wonders for your soul.


LIBRA September 23 to October 22 Who would think you’d develop a deeper bond by being independent? You always knew it was possible, but when it comes to a significant other you usually turn to mush. This month ushers in a period when a bold attitude makes you more desirable. Adjust your posture to expose your true self. Your charm pulls him in, but your substance makes him stay.

SCORPIO October 23 to November 21 Here’s the scenario: Your manager or spouse has become more demanding of your attention, and when you try to communicate, people think you sound like the teacher in the Peanuts cartoon. Take advantage of this temporary chaos and lose yourself in the joy of a child, or allow friends to spoil you. Being in control is often overrated. Let Calgon take you away to a blissful state of surrender until balance reenters the room.

SAGITTARIUS November 22 to December 21 Being one of the most energetic signs of the zodiac, you’re often focused on staying busy. You’ll create an errand to prevent the need to face deep-seated concerns. May is the month to put on your big-girl panties. Start by examining pressing household issues, to bring order and fun back into your home. It’s never the same when you’re gone, so concentrate on nurturing your foundation.

CAPRICORN December 22 to January 19 Your brain activity is being held hostage by a force that operates impulsively and independently. It

hardly waits for a practical assessment before shifting into problemsolving mode. This slight rebellion propels you to discover new ways to lighten your load. Enjoy the ride before it’s time to get serious again.

AQUARIUS January 20 to February 18 The family you choose is the one you’ll tolerate the most. To avoid confrontation, the Water Bearer consciously decides who to keep close. Get ready to sharpen those debating skills with relatives, and take pride in having something to say. Every disagreement doesn’t warrant an eruption. However, stating where you stand informs a person of how you want to be loved.

PISCES February 19 to March 20 Whether you call them greenbacks, dollar bills, loot or cheese, money is the prize your eyes are on these days. You’ve been building your sense of worth and you desire the rewards to prove it. Muster the courage to approach your boss or clients and ask for a raise. It’s against your sweet nature to assert yourself, but stay ready and believe it is yours. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for.

ARIES March 21 to April 19 If you wake up on Sunday and wonder where your Friday paycheck has gone, take a look at those pictures in your smartphone. Like a scene from The Hangover, a pictorial reminder would find you frequenting malls, lounge hopping with friends and hanging out at a day spa. You deserve that royal treatment. By month’s end you’ll be able to replenish your funds. 

Horoscope by astrological intuit Sonja Marie (wordlifeastrology.com). Copyright © 2017 by Essence Communications, Inc. (ISSN-0014-0880) (GST 126301159) Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40110178. ESSENCE is published monthly by Essence Communications Inc., 225 Liberty St., New York NY 10281. Return undeliverable Canada address to Postal Stn A, P.O. Box 4015, Toronto ONT M5W 2T2. Printed in the USA. All rights reserved. Cover and contents may not be reproduced in part or in whole without prior written permission. Magazine available on microfilm and CD-ROM from ProQuest Information and Learning, 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor MI 48106. ESSENCE® is the registered trademark of Essence Communications Inc. Periodicals postage paid at New York NY and additional mailing offices. U.S. subscriptions: $22 for one year. Allow six weeks for change of address. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Articles in ESSENCE are in Index to Periodical Articles by and About Blacks (G.K. Hall & Co.). POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ESSENCE, P.O. Box 62120, Tampa FL 33662-2120. Along with new address, please send old address as printed on last label. SUBSCRIBERS: Occasionally we provide our customer list to companies whose products might interest you. If you do not wish to receive these mailings, send your request and a copy of your mailing label to us at ESSENCE *Mailing Preferences,* P.O. Box 62120, Tampa FL 33662-2120. If the Post Office alerts us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within two years. Your bank may provide updates to the card information we have on file. You may opt out of this service at any time. Customer service and subscriptions: For 24/7 assistance, please visit our Web site: ESSENCE.com/customer service. You can also phone 800-274-9398 or write to ESSENCE, P.O. Box 62120, Tampa FL 33662-2120. For international licensing and syndication requests, please visit timeinc.com/syndication. It will take customers to our automated syndication form.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

LET’S PRAISE OUR MOTHERS TIRELESS POLITICAL ACTIVIST REVEREND AL SHARPTON WANTS US TO NEVER FORGET THE LIVES OF YOUTH LOST TO VIOLENCE AND THE MOTHERS FIGHTING FOR ALL OF OUR RIGHTS

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136 ESSENCE .COM MAY 2017

These mothers raised their kids and, like all parents, wanted the best for their children.” wanted the story to go national with the hope that she could obtain justice for him. I spoke with Gwen the night Eric died, and Lezley’s father called me as his grandson lay in the street for hours in Ferguson, Missouri. My organization, National Action Network, and I fought for decades on behalf of families—some cases we lost, some we won—but everything came together on a new level with these three incidents. It could not have happened without the strength, integrity and dedication of these women. Unlike some situations and instances, these mothers never left and never stopped fighting on behalf of their child and for all of our children. Each mother decided to give her son’s case to the

Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of National Action Network, is the host of PoliticsNation on MSNBC.

SMALL Z & R ASKIN D/CN BC

ovements are about those who answer the call when they hear it despite their own personal pain or loss. For three mothers—Sybrina Fulton, Gwen Carr and Lezley McSpadden—extreme tragedy, coupled with extreme injustice, drove them to leadership roles in which they devoted themselves to fighting for reform. All three lost their sons, and those responsible for their deaths have yet to be held accountable. It is a parent’s worst nightmare, but these remarkable women have somehow found the strength to keep pushing forward, hoping to prevent another mom from suffering such a horrific catastrophe. Trayvon Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old high school student who was walking when a volunteer neighborhood watch member shot and killed him but was not even arrested for weeks—his mother, Sybrina Fulton, will never have her child back. Eric Garner died after a police officer in Staten Island, New York, placed him in a choke hold as he yelled, “I can’t breathe!”—his mother, Gwen Carr, will never have her child back. And Michael Brown was an unarmed 18-year-old who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri—his mother, Lezley McSpadden, will never have her child back. All three of these mothers lived ordinary lives, raised their kids and, like all parents, wanted the best for their children. Gwen raised a son who had some bad breaks in life, but she stayed with him and never imagined that those breaks would spark a movement. The families of all three contacted me after their loved one was killed. Sybrina called two weeks after Trayvon died when she

community and to the people, and led a movement to the point where even President Obama discussed their sons. He then put together the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which solicited such recommendations like body cameras, while the Justice Department placed cities and police departments under consent decrees. It was the first time the system reacted and moved toward police reform, because these three mothers refused to be swayed. They toured, rallied, led marches and became the symbols of perseverance and extraordinary women of the movement for justice. They even addressed the Democratic National Convention because Hillary Clinton recognized their strength. Policing in this country is inching toward justice. We are not there yet, but it has flowed in that direction in part because of mothers in the movement. The Trumps of the world will not reverse “an idea whose time has come,” to put it just as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once quoted himself. For generations people will remember the mothers who refused to let their son’s death be in vain. It is the spirit of women we’ve seen throughout the struggle for freedom. Black history, women’s history, American history and world history would not be complete without mothers who bore their pain but never retreated on their mission. Movements are about those who heed the call and are never the same again. These three mothers lost their sons; I preached at each of the funerals. The women lost themselves to a cause bigger than them. History will reward mothers of today who refused to bury their conviction with the unjust killings of their children. Facing injustice head-on is not a simple thing, and Sybrina, Gwen and Lezley have sacrificed tremendously in order to do so. In the process they have fought on behalf of all of our sons and daughters. To that end we owe them the utmost respect and gratitude, and we pay homage to them, the mothers of the movement.


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