All Articles Tagged "ebony"
Desiree Rogers, CEO Of Johnson Publishing, Honors Her Company’s History While Ushering It Into The Future
Sitting on the stage in a shock of neon green, Desiree Rogers spent her time on the “Power of Networking Panel” during Friday’s National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) 2013 National Networking Conference talking about the topic at hand (social media) as well as the company she leads (Johnson Publishing Co). Home to iconic African-American brands Ebony, Jet, and Fashion Fair Cosmetics, the company is just as much a part of the present and future as it is the past.
“We’re repositioning as a company that informs through the African-American experience,” Rogers said at one point.
For many people, these brands are closely associated with mothers and grandmothers, who never let their subscriptions lapse or their lipstick tube go empty. But, in a sit-down interview with MadameNoire after the panel discussion, Johnson made it clear that these are not dusty brands that should be put out to pasture. Instead, they’re evolving labels that are casting a wider net. While staying true to the audience that never forgets its African-American roots, these brands welcome everyone across the board; a bigger audiences that “wants to learn about different cultures,” Rogers added.
“We know we’re the curator of the African-American experience,” she told us. “We wouldn’t walk away from creating an authentic experience for the community. They talk to us, we listen.”
Still, a company like Fashion Fair, which started in order to accommodate models color who couldn’t find makeup shades for them, has always been about individuality and inclusion.
“We want women to be able to come to our counters and walk away with the right color. Every woman has undertones; it’s more complicated for women of color. We’re experienced with true color on every pigment,” Rogers said. And, making a little news, Rogers told us that Fashion Fair Cosmetics will have its first in-store specialty shop at Macy’s coming soon. We’ll definitely be there for that.
In addition to talk about business, we, of course, had to ask Rogers about her career. Prior to becoming CEO at Johnson Publishing, she was the White House Social Secretary during President Obama’s first term. (We had to get a little fan girl about this… Obama!!)
According to her bio in the NAPW press kit, Rogers “produced 350 events in 14 months, turning the White House into a showcase for American art and culture” while showcasing “Obama’s nontraditional vision of the White House as the ‘People’s House.’”
When asked how she made her way to the top of business — and to the White House — she echoed Russell Simmons a bit.
“The difference these days is people are doing things they’re really passionate about. You can’t fake it,” she told us.
She also gave us a three tips for transitioning from one job to the other:
-”Take your time. Don’t just jump from one job to the other. What do you want out of that next jump?”
-”Be flexible on the salary. You want a job that trains you for where you’re going.”
-”A lot of people say they want to be X without really know what that is. Sometimes you find out and you back off.”
During the panel, Rogers talked about balancing being a business leader, a mom, and having it all. The key is focusing on your personal “all,” not what you think others or society dictates that you should aspire to. And don’t be afraid to take short cuts. When her 22-year-old daughter was small, she used to lament the fact that the cookies she brought to class weren’t baked at home. “I’d say, ‘Look at all the cookies I bought!’” Rogers said to the audience. “You’ve got so many flavors.”
That room full of women executives laughed, clapped, and nodded in agreement.
ICYMI: Check out our Twitter feed for coverage from the NAPW conference.
“You Cannot Do It All By Yourself”: Jill Scott And Son Jett Cover The May “Motherhood” Issue Of EBONY And Talk Life As A Single Mom
Who else is really loving these covers EBONY has done lately? That revamp definitely did the magazine a lot of good and we’re feeling it!
For the new May issue, which centers around motherhood (of course because of Mother’s Day), Jill Scott covers the magazine with her very adorable 3-year-old son Jett. According to LoveBrownSugar.com, the singer speaks on how motherhood has changed her, and the success and sometimes struggles of being a single mother.
From the snippets provided, Scott says that of all the things she loves about being a mother, it’s the moments when she feels and sees the love from her son in some of the smallest ways that moves her the most.
“Motherhood is getting your hands and your feet in the soil…When Jett puts my face in his hands and tells me, ‘Mommy you’re so pretty’ or smells me, it’s so wonderful.”
She also dishes on the reality check she received trying to raise Jett as a single mom after her relationship with her former drummer and fiancé Lil’ John Roberts, ended some time after Jett was brought into the world (they are said to be co-parenting though). She says that every single mother needs a “village,” as she puts it:
“That I-can-do-it-by-myself mentality is a lie. I’m sorry if I hurt anybody’s feelings, but you cannot do it all by yourself. You need a village: some aunties, grandmoms, friends. I couldn’t do this by myself and would be a fool to think I could.”
You can get more of Scott’s thoughts and advice on motherhood when this newest issue of EBONY drops on April 16, and you can see more photos from the shoot at LoveBrownSugar. But in the meantime, do you remember this picture of Scott and Jett above from when she debuted him to the world in Essence? He’s grown up so fast since she showed him off in that magazine in 2010. Definitely a cutie-patootie, and he looks just like Jill!
What do you think about her take on motherhood?
The lack of diversity in the fashion industry seems to be a never-ending conversation, as it appears that Black models are always being slapped in the face by casting directors and designers who make it obvious that they have a specific “Black girl quota,” which they refuse to exceed. Earlier this week, model Chanel Iman told The Sunday Times that she was no stranger to racism in the fashion world.
“A few times I got excused by designers who told me, ‘We already found one Black girl. We don’t need you anymore.’ I felt very discouraged. When someone tells you, ‘We don’t want you because we already have one of your kind,’ it’s really sad,” she regretfully revealed.
It appears that instances such as this one have caused young, up and coming models of color to want to disassociate themselves with their ethnicity, just so that they have more of a competitive edge in the industry. It was rather heartbreaking to watch Devyn, a contestant on Naomi Campbell’s modeling competition, The Face, reveal that she doesn’t consider herself a “Black girl model,” during an interview with Wendy Williams, which was seemingly a part of one of the competitive tasks given to contestants by the show’s panelists. The first red flag that appeared during Devyn’s interview was when Wendy asked her what advantage she believed that she had over her competitor Ebony, who just so happened to have darker skin.
” I feel like I have an international look and I have a story that can relate to everyone,” Devyn replied.
While her response seemed a bit suspect and a tad slighting, the way she answered the next question was mind-boggling and sent Naomi Campbell off the edge. When Wendy asked “Is it hard to be a Black girl model?”, Devyn responded:
” I don’t really consider myself a Black girl model. I know what my ethnicity is, but I’m fair-skinned and I feel like I have an international look.”
The moment those words left Devyn’s mouth, Naomi Campbell could be heard in the background, going off.
“What the f**k does she mean? That’s a disgrace. She’s a Black girl,” Naomi said to the other judges.
Since the airing of her highly criticized comment, Devyn took to her Twitter page to apologize to offended fans and suggest that the producers over at Oxygen edited her response.
Is “international look” the new code word for fair enough to pass the brown paper bag test?
Turn the page for footage of the interview. What are your thoughts on this? Was Devyn’s response misinterpreted?
A former editor of Ebony has decided to strike out on her own. Award-winning magazine editor Lynn Norment recently announced the formation of her company, Lynn Norment Media. According to Target Market News, Lynn Norment Media will offer media relations and editorial services to individuals, agencies and corporations.
Norment already has some A-list client. She recently worked with Carol H. Williams Advertising, one of the nation’s largest African-American and female-owned full-service advertising agencies. Norment advised the president/CEO on media issues for the agency and its clients. She also helped to execute various projects for clients that included the U.S. Army, AARP, the Chicago Teacherr’s Union and FELD Entertainment.
Norment made her mark in media at Ebony, where she was editor for a number of years. In 2009, Norment was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in recognition of her accomplishments and contributions to journalism.
Norment, who taught journalism courses at Columbia College Chicago, continues to mentor young journalists.
With the launch of her new media company Norment is in good company. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the public relations industry will grow faster than other industries. Twenty-one percent percent in fact.
It’s that time of year again for Ebony’s annual love issue and after having a few suspect characters in their black love list last year — like Chad and Evelyn — this time around the mag has come up with a great pick for their cover: Meagan Good and her husband Devon Franklin.
The newlyweds, who just jumped the broom in June, have become many’s new favorite couple after setting a strong example of a union built on Christian principles and true love, rather than lust, after talking quite openly about remaining celibate before marriage. Now in the February 2013 issue of Ebony, Meagan gives details into just how firm their bond is. She told the mag:
“One of the reasons I think God put us together is that we see the world very much alike, and where we see it differently, we complement each other.”
Now that their relationship has gotten to a deeper level and the two have consecrated their union, Meagan says she and Devon also complement each other quite well in the bedroom.
“What do I do for him that’s romantic?” she said to the mag. “I try to surprise him whenever he comes to town. I wear nice things…Wink!”
Looks like it’s working.
This February issue hits newsstands tomorrow and in addition to Meagan and Devon, also and features other hot couples like Paula and Denzel Washington, Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, and Barack and Michelle Obama.
Are you loving this couple on the cover of Ebony?
If you’ve been watching the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” at all this season, you’d notice that Gregg is falling all over himself to make his reunion with Nene official — house keys official. Many viewers are confused about the two spending so much time together, though, as they look more like two people falling in love (or one person chasing and trying to convince the other to love him back) rather than recent divorcees. But there’s a reason for that, Nene told Ebony magazine in their December/January issue which she covers, she didn’t want to get divorced to begin with.
“It hurt me to file for divorce, but I had to see it through,” she told Ebony, according to Sister 2 Sister. “I let him know you’re going to be my husband and you’re not going to be somebody else’s anything, but if you plan to be somebody else’s anything, then we can’t be together.”
Sounds like typical Nene. It also sounds like Gregg’s been listening. He’s practically been tied to Nene’s hip this season, even telling her he was thinking about opening an office in LA — obviously to be closer to her when she’s working on her acting roles. It appears Nene knew exactly what she was doing when she signed those papers because Gregg got his act together quick and in a hurry.
“Gregg needed to feel what it was like without me,” she said. “I wanted to let him see if the grass was really greener on the other side. He brought is a** back because the grass is very brown over there.”
OK Nene! Kudos to her for making Gregg work to earn her affection all over again. She clearly has him wrapped all the way around her finger.
Who doesn’t know that controversy sells? Controversial videos get clicks (Ciara’s “Ride,” and Nicki Minaj’s “Stupid H*e” get banned from BET, but were big hits online), controversial movies sell tickets (Passion of the Christ anyone?), and controversial music can’t be turned away from. And yes, even magazines that do the most sell many copies, and if that’s not enough, they remain in people’s memories a lot longer than a tame cover (Who remembers a Rolling Stone cover with Usher versus the iconic cover with Janet Jackson’s husband holding her boobs??). Some controversial covers are made infamous because of overreactions by a few, but sometimes, they’re made infamous because they honestly weren’t the best idea in the first place. This slideshow is a mix of both. Check out these covers and tell us if these publications had the game all wrong, or if people were just tripping as usual. And of course, be prepared to click!
I’m sure “Real Housewives of Atlanta” breakout cast member Nene Leakes is more than happy to be the face of Ebony magazine’s “Money & Power” issue. After all, the reality TV star, and now legitimate actress, is very rich.
Showing off her new money, Nene covers the December/January issue wearing nothing but diamonds which are covering her body in a bath tub while she sips champagne as part of the mag’s annual Power 100 List.
The EBONY Power 100 spotlights African Americans who personify “power” in all its manifestations—strength, focus, commitment and determination—those who innovate, elevate and shape the world in new and different ways. EBONY Power 100‘s 21 categories include “The Anointed,” “The Environmentalists,” “The Powerbrokers,” “The Thought Leaders” and “The Young Gifted & Black.”
The 2012 Power 100 list will appear in the Dec./Jan. issue of EBONY on newsstands the week of Nov. 5.
I imagine Nene is a part of the “Star Appeal” category with her RHOA gig, her recurring role on “Glee” and her permanent part as a cast member on “The New Normal,” not to mention her shoe line with ShoeDazzle. She’s definitely getting her hustle on.
Other people included in Ebony’s Power 100 List are Attorney General Eric Holder, Cam Newton, Catherine Brewton, Cathy Hughes, Cee Lo Green, Debra Lee, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Jamie Foxx, Jay-Z & Beyonce Knowles, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Lebron James, Mara & Salim Brock Akil, Kerry Washington, Joan Smalls, Karen Civil, Kevin Durant, Shonda Rhimes, Oprah, Toni Morrison, Wendy Williams, Tamron Hall, Steve Harvey, Robin Roberts, and Tyler Perry.
What do you think about Nene’s cover?
I don’t think it’s possible to have too many cute photos of the Obamas. The November issue of Ebony has a gorgeous photo of the Commander-in-Chief and First Lady on the cover for an “intimate conversation with our president.”
MSNBC host and professor Melissa Harris-Perry conducted the executive Q&A which also included a personal message from the president to African American families. Here are a few excerpts from the conversation:
“African Americans were hit especially hard by the recession…but over the past 30 months, businesses have created 4.5 million new jobs.”
“We created the first-ever White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.”
“…the numbers of working poor who don’t have health care who are African American or Latino are higher than the general population…the 30 million people who are going to be able to get health care for the first time…are going to be African Americans.”
The November issue is on newsstands now. Make sure you grab your copy!
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So You Don’t Want To Get Married Because It’s Hard Work And Sacrifice, Isn’t Everything Else In Life?
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say “Marriage is work” well, I’d never have to work again.
It’s always said as though nothing else in life takes work. Work is defined as an “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.” By that definition, we work all the time. Sometimes, getting out of bed in the morning takes serious effort. To me, cooking is a lot of work. I have a boatload of clothes to fold later tonight and that is work. Trying to keep up with the fast-paced dialogue on ABC’s Scandal is work. Not to mention the actual work I have to do in order to get a paycheck next week.
When people say marriage is work, they’re often saying that as a bad thing. It takes some mental and physical effort to maintain any human relationship – including marriage – but that effort isn’t necessarily undesirable considering it’s possible for work to also be fun.
We don’t talk about the good aspects of marriage though because we’re too busy talking about the negatives or ignoring the partnership completely. I’m not sure if Black people are really against marriage as much as they say or if it’s just a, “I’m not fired because I quit” sort of response to the statistics that say marriage isn’t in the cards for a substantial amount of our people.
I was thinking about this after reading the latest Ebony magazine and their list of 100 Ways to Jumpstart Your Life. Called the “Black Woman’s Guide to Having Everything You Ever Wanted”, the list is extensive. It includes basics but good reminders such as “refresh your wardrobe”, “make a vision board” and “forgive,” along with thinkers such as “begin again”, “forge your own path” and “start a movement.” However, among advice such as “go back to school” and “become a mom” there was no suggestion to “get married.” This perplexed me.
Given an opportunity to talk about the positive impact marriage can have on a woman’s life, the topic was totally skipped. There are some women who never want to get married, sure. There are also some women who never want to be a mom (married or not). So if we can talk about the benefits of being a mom, certainly we can acknowledge the benefits of being a wife. In fact, being a mom seems to require a lot more work and sacrifice in one day than being a wife ever requires in a lifetime.
Don’t get me wrong, marriage is give and take. Sometimes, you have to compromise and make sacrifices to make the other person happy, but sometimes, sacrifices are made to make you happy. Sometimes, marriage is him converting a spare room into your own dream closet, or him watching endless Friends marathons on Nick at Nite until he’s laughing along with you. Sometimes, marriage is him picking up the bread on the way home because you don’t feel like going back out, or him having to eat weird fat -free snacks because you’re on a health kick. Sometimes, marriage is his combined income helping you to afford the new iPhone 5 while still having enough money for savings. Sometimes, marriage is him texting you a new job opportunity or reminding you where you left your keys. Sometimes, it’s him warming up your side of the bed while you’re wrapping your hair at night or listening to you tell him stories about people he’s never met. Sometimes, marriage is him dropping you off at the front door during a rainstorm or running to put gas in your car while you’re getting ready for work. Sometimes, marriage is him leaving you alone to write while he cuts the grass, straightens the bedroom and takes out the trash. Sometimes, marriage is you using every dish in the cupboard to cook a single meal and he washes the dishes afterward. Sometimes, marriage is an awesome partnership.
We always hear high-powered career women crediting their success to their single state, but marriage can help women reach their career goals (and beyond) as well. A husband can be your most enthusiastic supporter and biggest fan even when no one else is supporting you. Sure being married means having to care about someone else, but it also means having someone care about you day in and day out. If that means putting in some work, sign me up because that kind of love will certainly jumpstart a life.
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