How Sisters Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad Built on Their Family's Artistic Dynasty

On a Sunday afternoon, Debbie Allen mills around the spacious kitchen of her Santa Monica home, holding her first grandchild, six-month-old Shiloh, in her arms. Framed posters of the Broadway shows in which she has starred line a wall, reminders that the Tony- and Emmy-winning choreographer, actress, dancer, and director is no ordinary mother but part of a groundbreaking artistic dynasty that includes her sister, actress Phylicia Rashad, and their daughters Vivian Nixon (mother of Shiloh) and Condola Rashad. After five decades in show business, neither Debbie nor Phylicia is slowing down. They are reaping the rewards of a golden age for women and people of color in entertainment—an era they

Poet Sonia Sanchez Wins Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award

Sonia Sanchez's work as a groundbreaking poet will be honored in Cleveland Thursday night with the lifetime achievement honor from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. The prize was created in 1938 to celebrate literature that explores issues of race and diversity. Past winners have included such notables as playwright August Wilson, novelist Toni Morrison and civil rights leader Rev Martin Luther King, Jr. Sanchez first won national acclaim a half century ago for using African-American vernacular speech in her verse and short stories. This was a controversial thing to do in the 1960s, and it put her in the forefront of the Black Arts Movement, a group of writers, painters and other black artists

Top 8 Black-Owned Handbag Brands That You Should Support

American women spend as much as $160 on a handbag and own an average of about 11 handbags. Ten percent of women have more than 20 bags in their closet, 20 percent spend over $200 on a handbag, 8 percent spend over $400. Check out these Black-owned hand bag brands black designers: #1 - Minku: Minku is considered the Hermes of Africa when it comes to handbags. They are all handmade and can take up to 50 hours to complete and are lined with repurposed items of Yoruba ceremonial dress. The Nigerian company was started by founder Kunmi in 2011 and is a family-run business. #2 - ZAAF: ZAAF offers handcrafted luxury leather handbags made in Ethiopia. They are crafted with the finest materials an

The Founders Of The Black Girls’ Book Club On Staging Their First Literary Festival

As a concept, the book club has been well and truly revitalised. Its parochial, fuddy-duddy connotations, while not wholly dismissed, have been added to significantly. In the 1990s, Oprah Winfrey did much to champion authors and diversify the American woman’s bookshelf with her book club. More recently, actor, producer and Instagram favourite Reese Witherspoon has impacted many a writer's career – be that by spearheading a big budget screen adaptation (think: Wild, Big Little Lies), or simply boosting sales by including their tome in her book club picks. In 2014, the Pew Research Centre released data that revealed the person most likely to read a book was a black woman with a degree. For dia

Black Entrepreneur Develops First Ever Hybrid Beauty Product For Women With Darker Skin

Nationwide — Dibawssette is expanding the reach of its already-acclaimed Queendom Cushion Foundation, a hybrid foundation, after its successful launch last year. Created by Faridath Dibousse, the Instagram-famous makeup artist behind @makeupbydibawssette and @dibabydibawssette, the product is inspired by Korean beauty products and developed to help black women nourish their skin and apply flawless makeup at the same time. The shades and ingredients were perfected to supply a market for high-quality, affordable, need-specific beauty products. From her own history dealing with oily, acne-prone and hyper-pigmented skin, Dibawssette adjusted her core ingredients to suit sensitive skin and highli

Lupita Nyong'o Wrote a Book For Girls of Color to "See More Dark Skin in a Beautiful Light&

Lupita Nyong'o is now a published author, and her children's picture book Sulwe — which means star in her native language Luo — sends a powerful and much-needed message to girls of color. The 48-page book, to be released on Oct. 15, focuses on the heartwarming and whimsical story of a young girl named Sulwe who goes on a journey to discover her own unique beauty. "Sulwe has skin the color of midnight," the summary reads. "She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything." "As a little girl reading, I had all

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