All Articles Tagged "youth"
Penny candy at the corner store was every kids’ sweet tooth dream. For us, that was the highlight of going to church — hot-tailing it down the street after services for something sweet to eat. There was nothing like entering the dank, smoke smelling shop and heading straight for the candy stand, handing over your change in exchange for a brown bag full of sugary sweets, and having a toothache by the end of the night. Which of these childhood treats were your fav?
Now And Laters
Colorful square pieces of taffy, Now and Laters, or as you probably referred to them as “nowalaters,’ came in delicious, fruity flavors like strawberry, fruit punch, and watermelon.
The morning following last month’s presidential inauguration, you may have scrolled through your Facebook feed only to find the above collage with a caption that read, “Based solely on historical contributions, should Jay and Bey be in this collage?” Call me a progressive-thinker, or maybe it’s because I spend a majority of my days with teens who have to explain to me what words like “trappin’” and “ratchet” mean, but I found myself wondering, “Why wouldn’t they be?” Meanwhile, co-workers and Facebookers truly surprised me with responses like, “They haven’t broken any racial barriers or anything,” and “Beyoncé and Barack don’t even belong in the same category.”
I beg to differ. And the question then becomes, what does it take to be considered “black history”? The significant contributions of those that today’s youth identify with may not be sit-ins for social change or marches breaking racial barriers, but does that make them any less a part of our culture? Yesterday’s Jackie Robinsons are today’s Jay-Zs in their eyes. When you think of black history, American entertainers and famous figures of today could be considered the black history of this generation’s tomorrow. If this is a collage about social change and politics, then maybe Bey and Jay should have a seat. But if we want to talk about African Americans who have made significant contributions to our culture, yes, they are in the same category as our POTUS and FLOTUS. They’ve built brands and businesses and broken records. Barack, Beyoncé and Booker T. Washington have more in common than you think: they’ve all made history and opened many a door.
Just hear me out. I definitely agree our generation is plagued by a frightening disconnect between sacrifices of yesterday’s leaders that are responsible for so many of the opportunities we often take for granted today. One of the reasons why I fell in love with President Obama’s message and mission is because I feel like he truly understands what so many of us fail to grasp: In order to make our youth understand and value the opportunities that have been presented to them, we have to meet them where they are at. How can we expect young people to truly appreciate their history and culture if we fail to acknowledge the idols who have made history during their lifetimes? President Obama got it right when he invited Jay-Z to do a voice over for his campaign ads. One of the reasons why his election was so greatly affected by the high number of young voters was because he understood that they would never hear his message for change if they felt he was someone who couldn’t understand their voice as well.
Let’s be honest, when black history month rolled around, for 28 days throughout our childhoods we saw the same names in rotation: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and George Washington Carver, aka, “The Peanut Guy.” And while I could appreciate the paths they had paved, a part of me couldn’t truly identify with their struggle. “You have to know where you came from to know where you’re going,” sounded profound and all, but it’s only as an adult that I’m starting to realize how heavily our present successes rest on the shoulders of our history. When I was in ninth grade, all I cared about was making sure my Timberland sign showed on my boots. I cared more about what I was wearing to school as opposed to the fact the ancestors lost their lives so that I could even attend. When trying to relate anything to our young people from black history to birth control, you have to speak in their language and become familiar with what is important to them before you can attempt to teach what SHOULD be important to them. Acknowledging the contributions to our culture that today’s leaders in entertainment, politics and sports bring to the table doesn’t diminish or throw shade on the foundation that was built from those who fought and died for the belief in something better. We have to do more than throw on the Roots anthology and repeat, “People have died for the rights you take for granted.” We have to find a way to make it relate to the things they are going through today.
Closing that gap requires us to challenge our stagnant way of thinking that says that black history is something that began and ended and acknowledge it as an ongoing process that only continues to grow greater. And as with any culture, that means accepting it in its totality and not just picking the parts we’re personally proud of. What we shouldn’t do is make black history some outdated, pretentious social club that those born before 1960 have the monopoly on and act as though black history isn’t accepting any new members.
Before talking about how Sidney Poitier was the first African American to win an Academy award, try mentioning the fact that Tyler Perry is the first African American ever to launch his own major TV and film studio. Can we show the same love that we showed Jackie Joyner Kersee and Wilma Rudolph, to Serena Williams and Gabby Douglas? Maybe, just maybe, our kids will talk about Alicia Keys like we once talked about Aretha Franklin. And before catching feelings over the bible Barack Obama is using, take a few minutes to consider the fact that we have lived to see our first black president. There’s surely enough pride to go around. The fact that our leaders of yesterday have leaders of today to help bear the burden of uplifting our culture is not a threat but a credit to all of their sacrifices. And although we may not want our kids breaking out at the black history recital with a rendition of “Single Ladies,” it’s as much a part of our culture as “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Like it or not.
How do you define black history?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog Bullets and Blessings .
No one ages the same way thanks to genetics, lifestyle choices, stress levels, and so on. However, when you’re part of Hollywood, it’s all about looking your best 24/7, which usually means being able to look young and fresh. Looking at some celebs, you can tell immediately that they’ve aged way too much, while others are still walking around with a baby face even though they’re much older. Here are 14 male celebs who don’t look anywhere near their real age.
It’s been 18 months since The Oprah Winfrey Show left the air. Ms. Winfrey has kept herself busy managing a magazine, an XM radio channel, a television channel, and an online presence that includes a content channel on The Huffington Post. Despite all of this, the New York Times recently questioned whether the era of Oprah has come to an end.
The absence of daily face time with her millions of fans has impacted Winfrey’s brand in ways even she didn’t anticipate. Her magazine and website experienced a decline in revenue and sales. Her television network’s rough start is well documented.
If anyone else’s name were attached to these projects they would still be deemed a success. But high expectations are a common side effect of greatness. Lady O doesn’t seem to be checking for her critics’ opinions anymore. Instead she is setting her sights on expanding her audience to include a younger demographic.
Can Oprah Be Hip?
Oprah is influential, but she stopped being cool in the 90s. The median age for an O magazine reader is 49. But Ms. Winfrey thinks she has something to offer younger generations. At her magazine’s annual conference, she said she would like to attract women “in their 30s or perhaps their 20s, to be able to reach people when they are looking to fulfill their destiny.” She added, “By the time you’re 40, 42, you should have kind of figured it out already.”
Oprah has made it clear that she won’t stray from her message of “living your best life.” Rightfully so, it is clearly her passion and has become a primary part of her brand along with interviewing the most noteworthy names in pop culture. Oprah seems to be hitting her stride in adapting the latter to new platforms. Appearances by gossip blog favorites Evelyn Lozada and Maia Campbell on self-help guru Iyanla Vanzant’s show, Fix My Life, hint that she is working out how to use one of her trademarks to boost the popularity of the other.
Spirituality For a New Age
Oprah was originally criticized for her New Age spirituality that didn’t identify with a set religion. But the inclusive nature of her faith is the perfect fit for younger audiences. A recent study found that 72 percent of millennials, the generation between 18 and 30 years old, say they are more spiritual than religious.
Despite not identifying with a religion, or maybe because of it, young people crave spiritual direction. Holistic lifestyle topics like wellness, spirituality, and healthy living are becoming increasingly mainstream. Oprah was already covering these topics on her show. She continues to use platforms like OWN to bring spiritual advisors of all kinds to a mass audience. Now is the perfect time for Winfrey to lead this conversation for a new generation.
An Army For Oprah
At 58, Oprah can’t speak the language of millennials, but she can empower people who do. I want Oprah to be satisfied with hanging out with Tyler Perry on the weekends and leave him out of her business. His 12-hour block on TBS is more than sufficient. OWN and her bevy of multimedia channels needs to empower a new generation of spiritual ambassadors that promote her message.
An army of young, diverse men and women empowering other young people to live their best life is a powerful image. In exchange for Oprah’s stamp of approval, this band of brand ambassadors will bring a much-needed hipness to the Oprah brand and bring fresh content and followings to her other platforms. This strategy is nothing new to Oprah. She’s producing most of daytime television (Dr. Phil, Rachel Ray, and Dr. Oz) using the same formula.
Taking shots at Oprah has become a popular pastime but it’s silly to bet against her at this stage in the game. Her public journey to reshape her career shows us all how success happens. Most of the time you’re not a hit straight out the gate. Greatness requires a never-ending process of trial and error that constantly reevaluates and recalibrates your efforts.
The woman credited with getting Middle America to vote for our nation’s first Black president does not have the option of sitting around twiddling her thumbs. It would be irresponsible for her and her influence to sit at home and count coins. Dreams are easier than ever to achieve, and we need someone to remind us of this. If anyone is up for the job, it’s Ms. Winfrey.
When it comes to show business, aging can be pretty detrimental to a career. It takes a smart and savvy celebrity to make the transition from young and hot to grown and sexay. Check out the celebrities who are still trying to hang on, in one way or another, to their former glory days.
Baggy clothes, a bad boy attitude, and possibly a job that didn’t require the filing of taxes were the characteristics of some (not all) of the guys I dated years ago. In my defense, I was a young high school/college girl who didn’t fully understand that bad boys come with lots of unwanted trouble. Okay, well maybe I understood this, but I didn’t understand that this trouble would eventually become more of a headache than an admirable situation as I finally matured; and that bad boy image that was once highly desirable to me would soon seem ridiculous. While dating bad boys was a phase for me, it’s become a standard requirement for some women who won’t budge for the nice suit-and-tie guy who also happens to be a law abiding citizen.
I think BET has been listening to the critics who’ve urged the network to develop more quality programing. On Monday, a special edition of “106 & Park” titled, “Young, Single, and Parenting,” will explore the responsibilities and challenges teen parents will face while raising their child.
The episode will show what it’s like to be an expecting parent at an alternative school and what a day in the life of a single teen parent really looks like. In-studio testimonials from members of the 106 audience will also be broadcast and the network will host a live online chat at BET.com/YSPTips for viewers to ask experts parenting questions.
Rapper-actor Tray Chaney and artist Don Trip will also appear on Monday’s show to discuss their experience as young parents. Hopefully the show, which airs Monday, Jan.30 at 6 pm EST, will be a success and 106 will keep using its platform to educate the youth.
Do you think shows like this have potential to strongly effect teens?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Is beautiful skin on your Christmas list? Luckily, all ages can achieve radiant skin by using a skincare routine regularly. Here are a few tips to maintain a healthy glow through the decades.
3 of a kind
Look for a 3-step cleansing system to clean, tone (exfoliate) and moisturize your face according to your skin type. Most major cosmetic lines carry a 3 or 4 step cleansing system. Feel free to mix and match but make sure you get a cleanser, toner and moisturizer in your customized regimen.
Rays today, lines tomorrow
Always use sunscreen. Protect your skin against harmful UVB/UVA rays to ward off signs of premature aging. Choose a daily moisturizer with a SPF of at least 15. If you are using a moisturizer without SPF, add it after you have applied your moisturizer.
Victoria Pannell is the focus of the latest episode of NewOne’s original video series, “On The Corner.” The 12-year-old is the National Action Network’s (NAN) Northeast Regional Director of the Youth, and on Friday she led a march and rally at Wright Brothers Playground in Harlem to discuss taking back the neighborhood which has been overrun by illegal activity.
In the video clip, Pannell talks about not being allowed to go to the small park where gang violence and drug activity have run rampant. The handful of New Yorkers who attended the rally denounced the activities that take place there and the National Action Network also announced two new initiatives to help improve the neighborhood: the national Shake-Off the Violence tour and coast-to-coast cease fire, coordinated by NAN’s Youth Movement and the Youth in Action group.
Some cynics have been quick to point out that marching does little to actually provoke change, but I think it’s admirable that Victoria is active in her community at such a young age, and it speaks volumes about the influence she’ll have on the youth as she grows older. Earlier this year, she was was named the first national leader for Youth Move, a branch of Rev. Al Sharpton’s civil rights group for kids.
Check out the footage of Victoria at the rally here and tell us what you think about the young social advocate.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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When most of us were seventeen, we were preoccupied with flirting with boys, going to our first little college parties and enjoying our first tastes of freedom. But that wasn’t the story for Yumnah Qadar.
While many of her peers were off enjoying the last bit of their teenaged years, Yumah was creating a business and a brand.
As a child Yumnah enjoyed painting but she hadn’t painted since her days as an elementary school student. It wasn’t until she was a junior in high school that her art teacher, Ms. Foster, motivated her to start painting again.
Impressed with her work, Ms. Foster encouraged Yumnah to create a portfolio and apply to the Pratt Institute’s design school. During this process Yumnah started looking for big and bold accessories. But she couldn’t find anything to match the vision in her head.
Inspired by nature and other famous painters, Yumnah began creating her own jewelry and eventually launched her own line, “Yumnah Najah.” That was just last year, when Yumnah was seventeen.
But “Yumnah Najah” is more than just a hobby for Yumnah. In addition to her coursework, Yumnah enrolled in jewelry making classes to ensure that she was using the best materials for her pieces.
Often times we hear about parents discouraging their children from pursuing creative occupations but Yumnah’s parents were nothing but supportive of her dream. As a business major, Yumnah’s parents were excited for her to apply what she was learning in school to a real life business.
“My dad worked as a carpenter his whole life but he’s always been passionate about entrepreneurship that would give back to community,” Yumah says.
Her father encouraged Yumah and her other six siblings to do something that would allow them to give back to their Harlem community.
It’s this community aspect of her business that has allowed her budding business to thrive. Yumnah has found some helpful resources within her own neighborhood.
“You don’t realize how many people, who are so close to you, have so many talents. A lot of the older women in my neighborhood and a lot of my dad’s friends who were accountants helped me. When you’re young, people are very supportive.”
Through the help of mentors, supportive parents and her own initiative “Yumnah Najah” has enjoyed significant success to be such a young brand.
Aside from this major nod, “Yumnah Najah” will be featured in several boutiques this upcoming holiday season.
Yumnah’s success hasn’t come from mere luck. This young woman is out here hustling. Not only does she paint everything by hand, herself, she’s steady on the grind attempting to bring more exposure and awareness to her wearable art.
“We all deserve success. You really have to believe that and not let anybody let you think otherwise. That’s a crazy thought to think that you’re not worthy of success. It’s a matter of pushing yourself forward to actually get there.”
Now that she’s achieved this level of success, Yumnah is attempting to teach other young adults to pursue careers in entrepreneurship. She volunteers with an Urban Roots program that seeks to foster inner city students’ desires for entrepreneurship.
“Growing up in Harlem is such a unique experience. There’s this really deep cultural side. Then you have the violence and the lack of proper education. It’s been a major driving force in my desire to have my own business and hopefully employ other people.”
With a strong belief in her own abilities and a willingness to help her community we expect nothing but great things from this young entrepreneur. We look forward to seeing what Yumnah will be able to create and who she’ll be able to inspire in her future endeavors.
You can check out Yumnah’s collection below and on her website at YumnahNajah.com.
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