All Articles Tagged "african american"

The Lowdown On Not So Lowkey Keloids

February 21st, 2013 - By madamenoire
Share to Twitter Email This


From Style Blazer

People of color, we have such thick skin given all we’ve endured throughout history, but we actually have some of the most sensitive skin in the world. Any little thing we do to our skin can cause it to overreact and kick drive its melanin production in what we see on the surface as hyperpigmentation or “dark spots.” And then there’s the raising of the skin known as a keloid.

With so much advancement in dermatology for those of us with more melanin in our skin, there are still some things we need to be cautious about to avoid making a bad situation worse. We sat down for a quick chat with Dr. Michael E. Jones—a cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery—for a little briefing on what causes keloids and what we can do to treat them.

Check out the Q&A on

Shine Bright Like A Diamond: The Stars Turn Out For The BET Honors!

January 13th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
Share to Twitter Email This
Halle Alicia Debra pf

Derrick Salters/

Some of the best and brightest in entertainment, business and service donned their sharpest clothes Saturday night and attended the 2013 BET Honors.

The awards show was once again hosted by actress Gabrielle Union, who has held that role since the first awards show in 2008. BET President of Music Programming and Specials, Stephen Hill tweeted after the show that Union was “funny, smart, sarcastic, caustic and real surprising.” If you’ve ever seen the show, it comes as no surprise that she’s any one of those things and is a perfect choice for host.

This year’s honorees include: pastor TD Jakes, singer Chaka Khan, entrepreneur Clarence Avant, basketball player Lisa Leslie, and actress Halle Berry. There were performances and appearances by Erykah Badu, Kem, Brandy, Mint Condition, Alicia Keys, Ledisi, Wayne Brady and a host of others. If some of the floating pictures are any indication, it was an awesome night.

Union spoke of the importance of the BET Honors after last year’s show saying, “A lot of times we wait around to get validation from pretty much everyone else.  We feel like we haven’t gotten anything accomplished if ‘others’ don’t say ‘good job.’ It means a lot more when your own says ‘good job.’ That’s what BET does with theBET Honors. It pulls the best and brightest of our family together and tells them ‘good job and keep up the good work’.”

The show is held at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. Proceeds from BET Honors 2013 will benefit Life Pieces to Masterpieces, an organization that provides opportunities for African-American young men in Washington, D.C. by developing and unlocking their potential, and empowering them to transform their lives and communities.

The 2013 BET Honors will air on Monday, February 11th at 9pm.

Behind The Click: Oracle’s Other Oracle Jennifer Sherman On How To Bring More Women Into the Tech Field

January 11th, 2013 - By Lauren DeLisa Coleman
Share to Twitter Email This

Jennifer Sherman


Happy New Year and welcome to the first Behind The Click of 2013! I’m happy to bring you a profile on someone who I’ve just discovered…

Though CEO Larry Ellison usually gets most of the media props as Oracle’s head honcho, Jennifer Sherman should definitely be on your tech radar as well.  She is proving that, yes, Virginia, there are women of color at such giants as Oracle and doing great things in the process.  Sherman is senior director of applications strategy at the company. We’ll get into more about what all that entails in just a bit.  But her international background is just as, if not more, compelling.

Current Occupation: Senior Director, Applications Strategy, Oracle Corporation

Favorite website: I’m remodeling my bathroom right now so Pinterest is my new best friend.

Favorite read: Fiction – Song of Solomon; Nonfiction – The Soul of a New Machine

Recent read: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

2013′s ultimate goal: I want to make this year as fabulous as possible. That probably means ordering champagne on Tuesdays, smiling at strangers, accepting compliments wholeheartedly, and telling people how much I value them.

Quote Governing Your Mission or a Quote that Inspires You:

We can choose to be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family.  We can choose to make our love for the world what our lives are really about. Each of us has the opportunity, the privilege, to make a difference in creating a world that works for all of us.  It will require courage, audacity and heart.  It is much more radical than a revolution – it is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet.  What we create together is a relationship in which our work can show up as making a difference in people’s lives. I welcome the unprecedented opportunity for us to work globally on that which concerns us all as human beings.

If not you, who?
If not now, when?
If not here, where?

-Werner Erhard

Madame Noire:  I love how you have lived in many different places.  Your background growing up seems fascinating.  How did you end up being raised in India, West Africa, and the Middle East?

Jennifer Sherman: My parents were in the foreign service. They were diplomats.  We moved every three to five years. I grew up in Cameroon, India, The Ivory Coast, Washington DC, Jerusalem, and Egypt.  (I am African American as were both of my parents.)
MN:  Probably not easy to sum up, but what was it like growing up in those parts of the world?
JS: I got to see the world in a way that even world travelers don’t experience. We weren’t rich, and I have seen more than anyone should have to see of riots, poverty and malnutrition, war and racism. But how many kids get to grow up like that? I tell people that if they have any inclination they should take the Foreign Service Exam and get out there, particularly if they have children. You literally can give your children the world!
The other thing that the foreign service gave me was comfort in being the foreigner. Being a black woman in tech means that most of the time, I am the only one of my kind in the room, the building, the block etc. I’ve seen that make people uncomfortable, but I’ve never known anything else.  In Africa, we were the Americans. In India, we were the Africans. There were no other black families in our sealed air raid shelter in Jerusalem during the Gulf War. Other-ness has never been an issue for me and I can be completely at home in foreign situations.  Once you’ve eaten bush rat off a frisbee because the village you were visiting had no plates, there isn’t much the corporate world can throw at you that you will consider strange.
 MN:  Beautiful way to equate “foreigness” to tech. Speaking of which, what led to your interest in technology??
JS: I had always enjoyed my math and science classes in school but I had no exposure to the types of careers that could be built on those disciplines.  We didn’t know any engineers. The grown ups in my world were in government, international development, journalism and similar fields.
For me the sciences were an interesting academic discussion topic but not something you could build a career on. It was by sheer coincidence that I ended up at a school with a strong engineering program (Stanford) and that in my first week on campus, a professor spoke to the incoming freshman about the opportunities in engineering and the need for more women and minorities in the field. I was sold!
I remember going home that Christmas and telling my parents that I was going to be an engineer. My mother cried and my father had to leave the room to cool down before he could come back and calmly tell me that I was going to ruin my life. For them, engineering was a dead-end trade. Like me, they couldn’t fathom a career in it. They begged me to at least learn another language or two so that I could have a fall-back plan.  This was a different era, of course. We hadn’t yet seen any dotcom millionaires and yahoo was still so their concerns were real. I was deviating from a well-tread path to stability.  
LdC: It is always amazing how social norms can change perspective so very much.  So then from that, how did you obtain your current position at Oracle?
JS: I’ve been at Oracle since I completed my Master’s degree.  I studied Industrial Engineering and thought that I would go into manufacturing or logistics but by the time I graduated, I saw a lot of that discipline being replaced with software, which was a much more fun problem to work on. Oracle was developing software to drive the supply chains of the future and that was a problem that I wanted to be engaged in solving.

Studying Art, History, and Culture: African-American Museums in the US

December 14th, 2012 - By Kimberly Maul
Share to Twitter Email This

Across the country, there are many museums promoting, preserving, and honoring the history and culture of African-Americans. With a focus on art, music, technology, history, and even firefighters, here are ten amazing places to check out if you want a little more culture in your life.

African-American Museum in Dallas

African-American Museum, Dallas, TX
As one of the only museums of its kind in the Southwestern United States, the African-American Museum in Dallas was founded in 1974 at Bishop College, a HBCU that closed in 1988. It ran independently starting in 1979, constructed a new facility that opened in, and houses one of the largest African-American Folk Art collections in the US.

Black Parents Want More Ethnic Toys For Their Children

December 13th, 2012 - By madamenoire
Share to Twitter Email This

From Hello Beautiful

For many parents, Christmas is all about buying the latest hot toy–from dolls you breastfeed to bite-sized luxury vehicles for your man-child to stunt in. As one of the biggest one-stop-shop retailers for many of those parents turned hunters, Wal-Mart conducted an interesting survey of African American and Hispanic parents.

These parents were asked everything from giving gifts whether their child was naughty or nice, waiting for Christmas Day to open gifts and buying toys that look like their children. I remember when I was little and all that was on my Christmas list were various dolls–Barbie, Trolls, Polly Pockets, Cabbage Patch Kids and more.


African-American Sites M.I.A, But Twitter Still King With Black Users

November 29th, 2012 - By Ann Brown
Share to Twitter Email This


What social networks do you use? According to Quantcast’s Top 10 list of US networks, Google ranked number one  followed by YouTube and Facebook in the top three slots.

Quantcast is a Web analytics company that measures site traffic. Its top 10 list ranks websites based on the number of people in the United States who visit each site within a month. There were no African-American sites listed in the top 100 most-viewed. This does not mean African Americans don’t use any of the top sites; in fact African Americans are some of the most frequent visitors to the top 10 list.

While the racial breakdown of Google viewers isn’t available, we do know that 11 percent of Facebook users in 2009 were African American, up from seven percent in 2005, according to Black Web 2.0. YouTube is  another favorite for African Americans. According to a Pew Internet & American Life Project report, seven in 10 American adults online are using video sharing sites such as YouTube, with minority users using the most. “Blacks and Hispanics were the most active video consumers online — with 76 percent of African Americans and 81 percent of Hispanics saying they used video-sharing sites,” found Pew.

But it is Twitter that is king among African-American digital users. Twitter came in number five on the Quantcast list. According to Gawker, “Black users are disproportionately represented on Twitter… African Americans make up a whole 25% of Twitter users.” The site speculates that it is because African Americans tend to follow entertainment news closely.

What are your favorite sites? (BTW, be sure to follow @MadameNoireBiz, if you don’t already.)

Behind The Click: Tamar-Melissa Huggins’ Business Incubator Promotes Women and Minorities in Technology

November 19th, 2012 - By Lauren DeLisa Coleman
Share to Twitter Email This


Welcome back! Ready for another profile in the longest running series on African-American women in tech? Let’s get to it!

Since we’re on the topic of business incubators, this profile will focus on Tamar-Melissa Huggins. I actually don’t know too many African-American women running incubators in the tech space. Do you? Huggins is founder and CEO of Driven Accelerator Group, managing business development initiatives and oversees day-to-day activities for the organization.  Here we go….

Occupation: Founder, Creative Visionary Officer, DRIVEN Accelerator Group/CEO of knexxion communication group
Favorite website:
Favorite read: Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
Recent read: Fascinate, Sally Hogshead
2012′s ultimate goal: Successful first year with DRIVEN (execute program, graduate the first class, encourage more women and minorities to think of entrepreneurship as a career)
Quote Governing Your Mission: “Congratulating an entrepreneur for raising money is like congratulating a chef for buying ingredients.” You are expected to achieve certain milestones as an entrepreneur. Don’t look for people to pat you on the back for doing what you are supposed to do. You should get recognition for doing the risky things many people wouldn’t do.
Twitter handle: @DrivenAccel @TamarMelissa @KnexxionPR


LdC: You are our first Canadian profile subject!  I think many of our readers would like to know what it  was like attending college in Canada and how you chose the subjects you did to study?
TMH: I took creative advertising at Centennial College, with a major in media planning. I knew I wanted to be in advertising when I was in grade 10. College was just like high school to me, just a higher level. I graduated with a 3.8 GPA because I loved what I was doing.

LdC:  And from there you started your own PR firm. What led you to jump out on your own?
TMH: It was during the recession in 2009. The ad firm I worked for lost all their major clients. One of my clients was one of them, so I was out of a job. It was a great opportunity for me. It didn’t look like it at the very beginning, but now that I look back, I know God was shaping the way my life would look over the next few years. I took the opportunity to sharpen my skills, and did a few courses at Humber College in their PR program. I learned a lot working with some of the most coveted brands in Canada, namely Nike and H&M. I am a go-getter by nature, so utilizing my skills in a new and creative way was the obvious choice for me.

LdC: What was it like working on the digital strategies for those companies?
TMH: My manager pretty much gave me the reigns on the accounts I worked on. I executed tasks and projects as an assistant, that traditionally only supervisors and managers did. When mobile advertising began to emerge, I led the first mobile campaign for H&M, which was a pretty big deal considering how conservative they were. I will always remember the Nike Airforce 25 campaign. That was my first project, I led the digital component for that campaign which won awards. It was a lot of hard work, that eventually paid off. I gained a lot of transferable skills working on those accounts.

LdC: From there, what led you to start Driven Accelerator Group? What is the vibe like for incubators in Canada?
I found a lot of my clients (PR) asked a lot of questions outside of marketing. So, I constantly found myself stepping into business development roles, and really enjoying it. I figured it was God’s way of telling me that I need to explore new career options. I tried various career planning options, but nothing settled with me.

I launched DRIVEN as an online training platform for young entrepreneurs. It was a new form of TEDx, but specifically for young entrepreneurs. The plan was to interview high-profile entrepreneurs and share their insight with budding entrepreneurs. The first entrepreneur I interviewed was Al Nelson of EzVIP. I saw him on Shark Tank, and figured he was perfect. The interview was successful, as we had over 75 people watching and commenting. However, I still felt something was missing, and that I didn’t hit the “sweet spot” just yet.

It was very early in the beginning of this year that I became familiar with the accelerator model. There are a few accelerators in the USA that really stood out to me, namely TechStars. So I chose to follow their model, with a few twists of my own. There is an accelerator bubble in Toronto, and very few are providing real value to startup founders. When I started to develop the program, I reached out to several entrepreneurs, some attended incubators/accelerators. The ones that did, always felt there was a disconnect when it came to understanding how to run a real business. So my goal was to provide valuable content, and to ensure our founders learned from proven mentors.

LdC: What’s your main mission for this organization?
I researched all the existing models in Canada, and realized there was something missing. Research proves that women and minorities consume A LOT of digital media, yet we aren’t the ones creating it. I think there are several reasons for that. The main one being women and people of color do not see enough of themselves in tech, and subconsciously believe they don’t belong.

One of our female startup founders, Theresa Laurico, felt the same way when she attended Lean Startup Machine, a popular tech event in Toronto. She came to the event with an idea, and almost left when she realized she was one of very few women among highly technical men. If it wasn’t for another female mentor who encouraged her to stay, she would have left. Who knows where SociaCal would be today, if it wasn’t for that bit of encouragement.

We accelerate innovative tech startups led by women and people of color. We give the underrepresented market a platform to showcase their talents, grow their business, and receive access to funding. We teach our founders everything from go-to-market strategy, to financial planning in just 12 weeks. We get them ready for everything from seed to series A funding. Investors want to know the companies they invest in are led by intelligent and passionate entrepreneurs. I am happy to say our first cohort is a perfect example of that.

Stylistas On The Tube: 7 Of The Top Hair & Fashion Divas Vlogging It Up On YouTube

November 2nd, 2012 - By Kimberly Shorter
Share to Twitter Email This

True fashion forward ladies know that style inspiration can come from just about anywhere – other fashionistas, magazines, store mannequins and even YouTube. Whether you’re looking for ideas for a new natural hairstyle or weave, or if you’re looking for a way to revitalize your wardrobe or tips on thrifting, you can find everything you’re looking for and more on YouTube. One visit to a fashionista’s YouTube channel for a style demo often leads to clicks on other videos and inspiration. Before you know it, you’ve stepped your entire style game up a notch in a few hours, and people stop you on the street to compliment you or to ask “where’d you get that?”

Impeccable style is contagious, and a good fashionista makes style accessible. While there are many women doing their thing on YouTube, here are seven of the best hair and fashion vloggers  on YouTube (in no particular order). Is your favorite YouTube fashionista on the list? Check out our list to find out and click on the names to follow the women to their YouTube videos. Feel free to recommend your own favorites below.

7 Traits & Habits That Make People Accuse You Of Not Being Black Enough

November 1st, 2012 - By Esi Mensah
Share to Twitter Email This


Feel like going surfing? Sorry, but that’s for white people. How about some golf instead? Nope sorry, once again that’s too white. You’re going to eat salad for dinner? Nope, that’s white people food. How about fried chicken instead?.. Yes, this sounds kind of ridiculous doesn’t it? Believe it or not, people still have to deal with this sort of negative feedback everyday. As much as we all know that a person’s character should not be defined by their race, we still see it happen time and time again. This friend is an Oreo, that person is whitewashed, that girl thinks she white. We all agreed with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he said that people should be judged on the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. It’s unfair for people to think you are a certain way based on your race. So why do some black people still think it’s okay to do this is a reverse way? In other words, they think that a person’s character should be a certain way based on their race and to be any other way is not being black enough. Either way, they’re both unfair. That’s why it’s time dismiss some of these unfair judgments about black people that some people call “being white.”

You’re Not Down With Brother Obama? 20 Black Celebs Who Have Republican Tendencies

September 12th, 2012 - By Blair Bedford
Share to Twitter Email This

As the next Presidential election draws nigh in November, the two most popular candidates, Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have been paving the campaign trail. With election year comes slander, controversy and your occasional celebrity political rants. Politics met entertainment with the latest celebrity rant, coming from Nicki Minaj, in which she rapped in vote of Republican Mitt Romney. This was a shock to fans and celebrity bloggers everywhere, but Nicki is not the only popular African-American face that has shown favor to the GOP.  Here is a list of some African-American celebrities who have supported or are affiliated with the Republican party:

Source: USA Today

LL Cool J

LL Cool J attended the Republican Convention in 2004 and has been a supporter of Republican New York governor George Pataki back in 2002. He has never officially stated his political party.