My Black is Beautiful, a Proctor & Gamble owned brand has released an incredible ad touching on that most sensitive of topics. It highlights the first time Black children have to contend with their skin color being seen as problematic.

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A young girl opens the ad, clutching a blond doll while her mother does her hair. "Who said that??" her mother asks sharply "That is NOT a compliment". Black women everywhere already know, just based on tone, that this child had heard something, said by someone, who was not black, that had made the girl feel less than.

It's common in our world, as black women, to come across the same feelings this girl did, most times in our youth. We hear the micro aggressions, from friends, from co-workers, and most of the time, brush it off and keep it moving. We put on a face as we struggle to sort out our feelings about how your crush things "you're pretty for a black girl." the same backhanded compliment this young girl received. We laugh nervously, before retreating to our desks when we hear "I just don't find black women attractive" around the water cooler.

In our society, there comes a time, where every black parent has to talk to their child about the fact that the color of your skin will make other people see and treat you differently. My Black is Beautiful & P&G do an incredible job of highlighting these difficult conversations, both showcasing the identity crises these children have, and the steel resolve of their parents as they guide their kids through the harsh realities of the world. This ad is stark in its raw honesty. It's the kind of honesty black people don't often discuss in public spaces.

The brand does a great job of introducing the topic of "The Talk" to mainstream audiences, in an effort to get the conversation started about why there needs to be a conversation in the first place.The ad ends with a phrase

"Let's all talk about 'The Talk'"

Six words flashed across the screen in the last seconds of the ad. It's a simple enough invitation, but the implications of each word hold the weight of a society burdened by unfair judgment. Ours.

Their goal is simple. It's the very next sentence.

"So we can end the need to have it."

A hundred thousand kudos to My Black is Beautiful and P&G for this ad. It broke me down, all while building me up.



So ladies, let's talk. Have you ever had the talk? Who sat you down? Or have you ever had to give "the talk" to someone else? a family member or friend? Tell us about it in the comments.
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Alma Hill is a freelance journalist, actress, and mother living in Orlando, FL. A frequent contributor to online and print media publications, she believes that the words from our mouths will change the world. Born in Charlotte, NC, she's a millennial with an old soul who appreciates a good meme as much as a Miles Davis album. Brave souls can follow her on Twitter @_mynameissoul,but you have been warned. 

Terri Lyne Carrington was just seven years old when she started playing drums. It was immediate love because it was something that she was good at. With practice she got even better, and by the time she turned 11 years old she had already lined up a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, and was holding her own with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Fast-forward to her early 20’s and Terri cemented herself as a beast behind the drums when she became the house drummer for 80’s late-night talk show King, Arsenio Hall. From there she’d expand her skills to include musical director, composer, teacher (she’s currently a professor at Berklee College where she also holds an honorary doctorate degree), and record producer. She’s a three-time Grammy Award-winner, and the first female artist to win a grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental recording.

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“I never knew where it would take me when I started,” says the drummer, now in her early 50’s and considered one of the greatest female instrumentalists of all time. “But when I think of the life that it’s afforded me, I feel it’s my purpose to share my experience and encourage other young black girls to play an instrument.”

Now Terri doesn’t expect that every young girl who picks up an instrument will have the instant connection or the uber successful career that she’s had, however, there’s still plenty of reasons to play. Travel and exposure being at the top of Terri’s list!

“I have friends from all walks of life, all over the world. I’ve played for Heads Of States and for kids in orphanages in Kazakhstan as well as India, where they come in from off the street to take showers once a month. So there’s a pretty big range of experiences. Traveling through music widens your perspective of the world, and it’s very different from, say, traveling through the military.”

One key difference, says Terri, is that it’s a lot of fun.

“It’s wonderful to make a living creating something from nothing in front of a group of people; and it feels great when people come up to you after a show and tell you how much you inspired them.”

If that weren’t enough, there’s the added benefit of getting paid for it.

“Some people choose to play as a side hobby at weddings or clubs on the weekend, but there are also career options such as engineering, composing, teaching, and music therapy. It’s been proven that music helps to heal Alzheimer’s and dementia, and is great therapy for cognitive, motor and social skills for Down's Syndrome and stroke patients. In general, you can get back as much as you put in with a career in music,” Terri explains.

It also builds confidence.

“I really urge parents to encourage their young girls to stand strong in front of their male counterparts. Music is a great example. If you can hold your own in band, you’ll be more confident in other male-dominated environments, whether it’s in the office or another profession,” Terri says, adding that in the last 20 -30 years we’ve seen advancements in the number of female doctors and CEO’s, but we’re still lagging in terms of female instrumentalists.

It’s beyond time for change. But how do we make it happen? Especially, when arts programs are the first to get cut?

“Parents definitely have to do their due diligence and seek out programs outside of school,” says Terri. “Find churches and community-based organizations that support music.”

There’s also the issue of challenge. It’s not easy to learn to play an instrument. Even pop icon Alicia Keys will tell you that she spent more time learning to play the keyboards than hanging out with friends.

“Allow yourself more time when you feel like you can’t do something or want to quit just to see what happens if you don’t. We also have to look at our personality traits to see if we are the type of person to persevere when it gets tough or if we like to give up,” Terri says. “For women, we may be accustomed to certain ways of being socially, and playing music may not always fit into the existing roles or stereotype we see of ourselves. So we have to step up to the door, and through the door, to make change.”

Ultimately, who is to say if playing an instrument will be the end-all-be-all for our young girls. However, just knowing the opportunities that exist in this world could mean the difference between buying yet another Disney Princess doll or video game, or perhaps picking up a second-hand guitar, keyboard, bass or flute. It’s worth a try!


To find out more about Terri Lyne Carrington visit www.terrilynecarrington.com
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Erickka Sy Savané is a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter and Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com
J. Countess/Getty Images for The Chamber Group

Congrats to Power star Naturi Naughton on welcoming her baby girl. Naughton gave birth to her daughter on Wednesday, July 19th.

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"This is the best experience of my life! Myself and Benjamin are so honored and happy to welcome this beautiful girl into the world!"

Her daughter arrived at 8:48 p.m. and weighed in at 5 pounds, 15 ounces, and measured 19 inches long.


She told Essence in an interview, "Everything that my parents imparted to me. When I was coming up we didn’t have the movement of Black Girl Magic or Black Girls Rock, but my parents made it their business to make sure I saw positive images of myself and celebrated images of Black women. I want to implement those same things but thank goodness today there’s a movement that celebrates all of our hues, our shades, our beauty, our lips, our noses--there’s a celebration surrounding Black women."
J. Countess/Getty Images for The Chamber Group

Congrats to Power star Naturi Naughton on welcoming her baby girl. Naughton gave birth to her daughter on Wednesday, July 19th.

Continue Reading


"This is the best experience of my life! Myself and Benjamin are so honored and happy to welcome this beautiful girl into the world!"

Her daughter arrived at 8:48 p.m. and weighed in at 5 pounds, 15 ounces, and measured 19 inches long.


She told Essence in an interview, "Everything that my parents imparted to me. When I was coming up we didn’t have the movement of Black Girl Magic or Black Girls Rock, but my parents made it their business to make sure I saw positive images of myself and celebrated images of Black women. I want to implement those same things but thank goodness today there’s a movement that celebrates all of our hues, our shades, our beauty, our lips, our noses--there’s a celebration surrounding Black women."
IG: Jamie Loves Her Natural Hair

Ariane Roberts saw the stories of little brown girls bullied and teased about their natural hair. Girls like Vanessa VanDyke, who faced expulsion over her bountiful 'fro. Girls like Tiana Parker, sent home from school because of her lush locs. Girls who needed to be embraced, celebrated, and reaffirmed of their natural beauty.

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The natural hair enthusiast and blogger BlackNaps.org decided to write a book that would help build their confidence and teach them self love--and set a goal to raise the money she needed to create and publish her work.

"I thought why not teach kids from the beginning that who they are is just fine. Vanessa has such a strong sense of self, but there are many young girls her age who don’t," Roberts wrote in her Kickstarter campaign. "Even more troubling, this is not the only incident where young girls of color are told by their schools that their hair is unacceptable. This led me to the decision to create a character that would encourage children to embrace who they are."

Jamie Loves Her Natural Hair is the story of a young girl who realizes that her hair is different --so she loves and accepts who she is.



Jamie knows her hair is uniquely beautiful. It isn't like the other girls' in her class, her teacher's, or her favorite characters, but that's okay. She's positive and confident, and accepts her hair in all of its glory.

"What I love about this project and what differentiates it from others in its niche is the positivity that radiates from the character. At no point does she view her hair as unruly or hard to manage," says Roberts. "This is a book with an important message and value; teaching our children the beauty of self love."

The campaign brought in donations from hundreds of people who believed in Jamie's story of self love, raising almost $600 over the goal amount. You can support and inspire a little girl by purchasing the book here.

What do you think about this book? Was there a time you were teased about your natural hair?
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Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.