All Articles Tagged "2012"

Resolutions Every Black Girl Should Make: No More Excuses

January 4th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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I had a friend in college who would walk around spouting this one quote over and over again. He was a little extra in life, so initially I didn’t pay much attention to him. But eventually I started to listen and I realized what he was saying actually made a whole lot of sense. The quote, by Stephen Grayhm, goes something like this: “Excuses are tools of the incompetent used to build monuments of nothingness.” It goes on to say, “Those who use them seldom amount to anything.” I don’t remember him reciting that last part, probably because it’s a bit far-fetched. We’ve all made excuses at one point or another.

I can’t go to the gym because it’s too cold outside.

I can’t go to school because I don’t have enough money.

I can’t quit this job and apply for another because I’m too tired after work.

I don’t have the right qualifications.

They might not like what I have to say or offer.

We’ve gotten so good at making excuses that oftentimes we don’t even recognize when our reasoning is valid and when we’ve made them up to hide our own fear or insecurities. While I won’t argue that people who make excuses will never amount to anything, I will say that we miss out on what God has for our lives when we rationalize our way out of opportunities.

Earlier this week, at my church’s New Year’s/Watch Night service my childhood pastor encouraged the whole congregation and especially me by saying that if God has shown you something, or revealed something to you, He will be there with you as you go about the business of achieving it.

He said, if you have a vision or dream to be somewhere, you have to believe that God, if you believe, and…the universe if you don’t, will provide the provision to see that dream through. If you look at any success stories, you’ll notice that there’s almost always a level of sacrifice and a period of struggle before these individuals got to where they dreamed of being.

So in 2013, if you’re not a fan of resolutions, start paying more attention to your own mental chatter. What are you saying to yourself? Are the reasons why you can’t do something, real legit hurdles or are they ways to keep yourself from admitting that you’re scared to step out there, put yourself out there or take the risk of investing in yourself.

Everything might not go perfectly, it might not always go smoothly but instead of making yet another excuse, start where you are, use what you’ve got, do what you can.

The Top 10 Business Tips of 2012 from Madame Noire Biz

December 19th, 2012 - By Blair Bedford
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This year has been a great year to learn more about your own finances, how to start your own business, manage your finances and be savvy while doing so, according to Madame Noire Business. From small business tips on how to create your own mobile app as a small business to tips on preparing for the next tax season, MN Biz has informed, introduced and changed the way we see the business and financial part of our lives. Yesterday, we took a look at the big issues we covered over the past six months. Today, we look back on some of the best business advice from Madame Noire in 2012.

Top Of The Charts in 2012: Drake, Nicki Minaj Ruled R&B, Hip Hop

December 19th, 2012 - By Ann Brown
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Anita Baker, surprisingly, makes the top of the Billboard list this year. via AP Images

Anita Baker, surprisingly, makes the top of the Billboard list this year. via AP Images

It is that time of the year, when the lists of 2012’s bests get released. Columnist Gail Mitchell over at Billboard has rounded up the top artists in R&B and Hip Hop music. What’s surprising is the names not only included the obvious (Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Rihanna and Chris Brown), but newcomers as well, she writes.

There was a mix of established and young acts, such as Frank Ocean, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Miguel, Anita Baker, Brandy, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, Tyrese and Tamia.

At the top of the R&B/Hip Hop Artist list was the Young Money/Cash Money (YMCM) crew with help from Drake. Drake ended 2012 at number one on the year-end R&B/Hip-Hop Artists recap, due to his 2011 sophomore studio album, Take Care. It didn’t stop there for Drake. He was also the top male artist on the all-genre Top Artists tally. And he was king of the year-end recaps Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (with Take Care) and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Artists.

YMCM continued its reign on the female artist side, as Nicki Minaj rose to number three on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. The American Idol judge also landed in the top three on the R&B/Hip-Hop Artists and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Artists. Just above her was Rihanna, who with her sixth album, Talk That Talk the singer finished at number two on the overall R&B/hip-hop artists recap.

Never count out Kanye West. His Cruel Summer came in number 15 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums recap. Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Nas, Flo Rida, Young Jeezy, among others also charted in the high numbers.

Jumping over to R&B, Ms. B ruled — again. Beyoncé  took the  number one slot on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs with “Love on Top.” And, her 2011 album, 4 leveled off at number 13 on the year-end R&B/Hip-Hop Albums recap. Trey Songz made a strong return with Chapter V, which included the number seven R&B/Hip-Hop Songs hit, “Heart Attack.” Chris Brown, Tyrese, Estelle, Brandy and John Legend with Ludacris also had strong chart presence.

Among the unexpected, however was “the left-of-center, critically acclaimed vibrant R&B personified by Frank Ocean and Miguel,” reports Billboard. Channel Orange, Ocean’s debut ranked  No. 12 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. And Miguel showed up twice on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs recap: “His guest spot on Wale’s ‘Lotus Flower Bomb’ puts him at No. 3 and ‘Adorn,’ from sophomore set Kaleidoscope Dream (ByStorm/Black Ice/RCA) is No. 6,” according to the magazine.

This year, Billboard revamped its charting methods. Among the changes: A new R&B chart was launched. But “because the revamped data formula is only 6 weeks old, the 2012 year-end charts were compiled using the earlier methodology,” explains Billboard.

Congrats Are In Order! Barack Obama Named TIME’s 2012 Person Of The Year

December 19th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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The year 2012 is like 2008 all over again for Barack Obama who this year celebrated re-election as President of the United States and is also being honored as TIME’s “Person of the Year” for the second time. Obama was granted the title back in 2008 for obvious reasons, but in TIME’s elegant write-up of their 2012 selection, it’s clear this honor means that much more the second time around.

Ever since the campaign computers started raising the odds of victory from near even to something like surefire, Obama had been thinking a lot about what it meant to win without the lightning-in-a-bottle quality of that first national campaign. The Obama effect was not ephemeral anymore, no longer reducible to what had once been mocked as “that hopey-changey stuff.” It could be measured — in wars stopped and started; industries saved, restructured or reregulated; tax cuts extended; debt levels inflated; terrorists killed; the health-insurance system reimagined; and gay service members who could walk in uniform with their partners. It could be seen in the new faces who waited hours to vote and in the new ways campaigns are run. America debated and decided this year: history would not record Obama’s presidency as a fluke.

Breaking down just how glorious President Obama’s reelection was, TIME noted that when it comes to the votes he earned, he got “71% of Latinos, 93% of blacks, 73% of Asians and 60% of those under 30.” When he takes oath January 20, he will also become the first Democrat in more than 75 years to get a majority of the popular vote twice.  It was also noted that only five other Presidents in U.S. history have done that. Nearly 66 million people gave President Obama their vote this November, but as far as he was concerned he’s just the agent for the change the American people are fighting for. He told the news magazine:

“The choice that they made was less about me and more about them, more about who they saw themselves to be.”

Check out the entire “Person of the Year” write-up here. Congratulations President Obama!

Tech Talk: YouTube’s Top Videos of 2012

December 18th, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP

Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP

Everyone is taking a look back at the year that was, including YouTube, which made a mash up/remix of the top 11 videos from around the globe for the year. Of course, Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is the crux of the video as it’s not only the most watched of the year, but the most watched ever, overtaking Justin Bieber during the Thanksgiving holiday. It has more than 976 million views as of lunchtime today.

We have the mash up below and you can watch each of the viral videos here (h/t @VitroAgency). Which one did you like the best?

Twitter also released its top lists of things that happened on that social network, including top tweets (We heart the Obamas) and the “gold medal” events that had us talking (take a guess). Check that out here.


MN Year In Review: The Biggest Celebrity Successes Of 2012

December 14th, 2012 - By Kendra Koger
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In MN’s Year In Review, we’re counting down our top stories as well as the biggest moments in television, music, movies, and news.

celebrity success

Sometimes we’re so bombarded with sad news and negativity about celebrities that it gets a little draining, so instead of talking about the bad stuff, we decided to try to find 9 successes from celebrities that occurred in 2012. We’re not going to lie, it was hard, but we think we found some good ones to make you smile, so let’s get to it!

Today Is a Good Day! Organizations Reaping Rewards from 12.12.12

December 12th, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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A mass wedding in Malaysia. AP Photo/Vincent Thian

If you’re feeling a little lucky today, it might be because it’s December 12, 2012, or 12.12.12. The special day has couples racing to the altar, hoping to secure a little wedded bliss from all the good vibrations that are floating around.

According to USA Today, this could be a particularly good day for Las Vegas. The city has seen its revenue from quickie weddings drop by a third since 2004. They hope to capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime date to drive their faltering business. The story says newlyweds are an $800 million per year business for the city.

“Chapels from the rundown courthouse area to the ritzy Strip are jumping at the chance to sell 12-12-12 packages at three times the normal price for weekday ceremonies during the wedding offseason, from November to April,” the article says. Companies offering wedding specials are relying on Chinese numerology (the numbers one and two are yin and yang) to sell the date.

Today could also be a good day for giving. The 121212 Concert is taking place today to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Alicia Keys, Kanye West, and Bruce Springsteen will be among the talent taking the Madison Square Garden stage tonight to raise money for the Robin Hood Relief Fund, which fights poverty in New York City. The hashtag #121212Concert is already up and running. And you can livestream the concert its website starting at 7:30 pm ET.

And finally, for everyone else who won’t be getting married or going to the big concert, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts Twitter giveaway. It started at 6am ET and continues through 6 pm ET, awarding a dozen free donuts every hour. Answer the question, “With whom would you like to share a dozen donuts?” with the hashtag #DDozen and you could be a winner. If anyone out there wins, send us a picture. We’d love to post it.

TV Guide Got It Right This Time: Taraji Finally Lands The Cover!

October 10th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: CBS News

This week’s issue of TV Guide is not the first time cast members of the CBS drama “Person of Interest” graced the cover. It’s just the last time the show was featured, Taraji was not one of those said persons.

If you think back to the end of last September, Taraji wrote a not so nice Facebook post after seeing her co-stars Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson on the cover of TV Guide without her. She wrote:

“WOW!!!! TV Guide is NOT including me on the cover with my cast memebers [sic]……..I am the female lead of a 3 member cast and I’m not included on the cover!!!!!! Do you see the [expletive] I have to deal with in this business…..I cram to understand!!!!”

While Taraji had everyone feeling her omission was a not so subtle instance of racism and possibly even sexism, Debra Birnbaum, the Editor-in Chief of TV Guide Magazine, diverted the situation telling

“I made an editorial decision to do a story about the relationship between the two male characters on Person of Interest and that’s who I was going to put on the cover. That has been my decision all along, ever since I saw the pilot. We’re certainly fans of Taraji Henson and her storyline on the show was never intended to be the focus of our cover story. I don’t know where there was a misunderstanding about this, but it’s been clear to everyone from the start. I don’t make decisions on who is put and not put on the cover based on race or gender.”

Fast forward to October 10 and there Taraji stands with her co-stars as the “vigilante dream team.” Inside, a feature on the hit series discusses the relationship between the characters each actor plays on-screen with Taraji discussing the relationship between her character, Detective Carter, and John Reese, played by Jim Caviezel.

“The first season, there was so much tension because she didn’t know if she could trust him, but now they’ve become really good friends,” Taraji said. “There’s a definite respect and love for each other.”

It’s good to see TV Guide is showing her some love and respect this year. And I must say that purple dress looks good on her. This issue of TV Guide hits newsstands tomorrow!

Do you think TV Guide is making up for last year’s omission by giving Taraji cover time this year?

More on Madame Noire!

Shop the Cause: 9 Beautifiers Benefiting Breast Cancer Research

October 6th, 2012 - By Loren Lee
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"BreastCancerHeart PF"


October is a month filled with many things to look forward to. Some anticipate weather fit for drinking those newly-returned pumpkin spice lattes. Others have already begun to prepare their Halloween costumes (Animal ears and leggings worn as pants? Check!). But for 1 out of 8 women, it’s a month dedicated to awareness of a disease they presently possess, or, if they’re lucky, have beaten. That’s right, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us and it’s time to think pink and positive!

Remember, little things can make a big difference! We’ve rounded up ten spectacular products by brands that are keen on supporting the search for a cure and a woman’s right to pamper herself. Keep one of these feminine luxuries for your personal beauty bag or raise a loved one’s spirits by presenting one as a gift.  On a lighter note, think of it this way: “Finally! A guilt-free version of retail therapy.” View the slideshow to shop for the cause…

Style File: Nigerian Style Maven, Tolula Adeyemi; Peep Our Fave Looks!

June 11th, 2012 - By Loren Lee
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"Tolula Adeyemi Fashion Collage"

If Tolula Adeyemi were a superhero, then she would be known as, “The Chameleon.” The London-born model/actress/DJ keeps us guessing with her apparent love of shaking things up stylistically. One day she’s embracing a rocker chic look, the next she’s emitting bohemian vibes and the day after that she’s almost unrecognizable with a fresh hairstyle.

The best part? No one questions it. She isn’t pegged as ‘a woman that tries too hard’ nor does she become lost in the clothes she’s wearing. In fact, her innate sense of style inspires others like Vivienne Westwood whom has labeled her a muse and numerous publications that have profiled her style like Essence and Vogue Italia.

We’ve decided to join their good company and round up our favorite looks by the style maven. Click ‘Next’ and prepare to be impressed!