The Hotties weren’t havin’ it when yet another colonizer tried to mayo-tize Hot Girl Summer.Singer Blackbear sparked the drama when he teased his new song “#hotgirlbummer” on Twitter. this wk #hotgirlbummer tweet 4 dm pic.twitter.com/qNlsTotOgn— blackbear (@iamblackbear) August 19, 2019“This wk #hotgirlbummer tweet 4 dm,” he wrote.The tweet included an album cover featuring a non-Black woman sticking her tongue out with a nosebleed and stickers plastered on her face. Blackbear’s fans were amped, but Megan Thee Stallion’s fans were not cool with it.can blackbear do this? no anyways stream hot girl summer #hotgirlbummer
pic.twitter.com/O1ywKBBDV2— ✞ (@BAB1EDOLL) August 19, 2019
yall take anything black people do and try and mak let it your own— 🥀 (@bambamswhore) August 19, 2019
Black women can't have nothing, huh?— BROCK - TEDDY 🍒 (@cliffholIywood) August 19, 2019
Did blackbear really start this #hotgirlbummer mess? Why must yall gentrify EVERYTHING pic.twitter.com/v8OVxVeeWM— Tia (@kiwisdarling) August 19, 2019
does blackbear even have the knees to carry this #hotgirlbummer mess? pic.twitter.com/L4OPHjdzSD— feeya (@harmattanelbows) August 20, 2019
WTF is Hot Girl Bummer and who TF is BlackBear?! Can Megan just be original and left in peace?!— Mr. Marcus (@infamousRIOT) August 19, 2019
In a now-deleted tweet, Blackbear attempted to explain himself, according to Hot New Hip Hop.“This song is not a parody & has nothing to do with the other song. it has to do w the caption trend #hotgirlsummer," he wrote.This isn’t the first time Hot Girl Summer has been appropriated. Corporate brands have been using it to sell their crap for months. Less seasoned publications have called it a meme and used it to praise
folks.Thankfully, Meg is a smart hottie and plans to trademark her motto, as Blavity previously reported.Yes mam it’s been in the process 🔥💙 https://t.co/ZQfZbZNqhK— HOT GIRL MEG (@theestallion) July 11, 2019In case you forgot, Stalli recently defined Hot Girl Summer again.“You just have to be the life of the party,” she told Variety. “You have to be kind, you have to be confident.”She also extended the season and declared the boat wouldn't be docking for a couple more months.“We’ve extended the summer, honestly,” Megan added. “We’re gonna drive it until October. Don’t even...
Someone assemble the Navy because Rihanna is coming at us with new music.The Daily Mail reports the singer-turned-mogul registered a new song with music publisher BMI. This exciting news was originally shared by a Rihanna stan account on Twitter.🚨 A new song called "Private Loving" has been registered on BMI. The song is written by Rihanna and Demarco (Jamaican dancehall/reggae artist) #R9
pic.twitter.com/b9rr6bndc5— Rihanna News (@Rihanna2) August 17, 2019
The song, titled “Private Loving” was written by Rihanna and dancehall/reggae artist Demarco. As Blavity previously reported, the Bajan beauty said she wanted to do a reggae album last year.
In June 2018, an anonymous producer told Rolling Stone the "Disturbia" artist had hundreds of songs to choose from for her album.“[Rihanna’s team] have, no lie, 500 records for this project [from] different producers and writers,” the source said. “They’re only choosing 10 records. They’ve been having writing camps and trying to keep them quiet for almost a year and a half now. I’ve been flying to Miami, flying to L.A., cutting records nonstop for this project.”Hopefully, “Private Loving” will be out soon so the Navy can...
An interesting thing about history is, no matter how deep it's buried it always manages to surface. No matter how close history comes to being forgotten, somehow the memory returns.Thankfully, Black history is as strong as 4C hair follicles and it ain't going nowhere, but there is still a lot to uncover. One of the latest stories rising to the surface is an ancient African burial ground, the first and only of its kind, discovered in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood.The Harlem African Burial Ground is over three centuries old, as far as we know, and had been sitting under the 126th Street bus depot for 50 years — imagine that. Since 2009, a special task force has worked diligently to recover the site and honor the names who were buried beneath it. Today, the Harlem African Burial Ground (HABG) task force has partnered with the city, community and other stakeholders to share the colonial cemetery's story through a special exhibit and future educational memorial center.The City of Harlem and Burial Ground HistoryHarlem has a special place in U.S. history. It's where Black cultural intellect experienced its acceptance in 1920s America. The city attracted some of the country's greatest icons from Zora Neale Hurston and Lena Horne to Malcom X and Langston Hughes. However, Black folks been adding to Harlem's rich culture and infrastructure, since the Dutch seized the land from its original settlers in the mid-1600s. "Many people do not know about the contributions of free and enslaved Africans, in terms of building the infrastructure, culture and society of the burgeoning United States back in the 17th century and continuing," Manhattan deputy borough historian and HABG task force member Sharon Wilkins told Blavity.Wilkins is an executive member of the task force and explained how a whole cemetery got buried underneath a New York City transportation center then rediscovered five decades later. The story begins in 1660 when the Low Dutch Reformed Church of Harlem, now the Elmendorf Reformed Church, created the grave site for African descendants who were building and maintaining colonial Harlem. Eventually that land and the all-white cemetery that neighbored it, known as "God's Acre," were sold. In 1863, European remains were removed and reinterred at the famous Woodlawn Cemetery in New York City's Bronx borough (where Madame C.J. Walker and other notable Black figures have been enshrined), but the African remains were left behind. View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Woodlawn Cemetery&Conservancy (@thewoodlawncemetery) on Sep 30, 2015 at 9:45am PDTOver the years, the sacred land that once housed dearly departed African descendants became a casino, movie theater and ultimately a bus depot, among other establishments. It wasn't until the Metropolitan Transit Authority started a construction project in 2008 that the burial ground's history came back into social consciousness. On the task force's interactive website, people can transport themselves to pre-colonial Harlem and see the area develop from its native roots to what it has become today. The internet site offers a deeper dive into Harlem's history, all the while highlighting the HABG's presence."There can be no authentic telling of American history without recounting this history," Wilkins noted.The HABG Exhibit and Future MemorialIn authentically telling American history, Wilkins and the task force — led by Elmendorf Church pastor, Reverend Dr. Patricia A. Singletary and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito— have gathered almost a decade of painstaking research. Their collaboration with the city and community has resulted in digs that uncovered disjointed remains from three people and investigations revealing close to 50 names from church burial archives.On May 16, the team showcased their research and details about the future of the HABG in an intriguing mini exhibit hosted at the La Marqueta Market in East Harlem. The free HABG traveling exhibit will remain at La Marqueta until the end of September. Wilkins and the city encouraged community members to catch the display, while it's available.“We think this is a really great opportunity to pay homage to an erased history and forgotten community, and reconcile that fact to the extent that people are able to learn more about this particular site’s incredible history and the surrounding East Harlem community," Erich Bilal, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) assistant vice president of development shared. "We’re now focusing our efforts on ensuring that this community-driven, robust planning process paves the way for the permanent memorial and cultural center.” As for the future of the HABG, the task force and city are in the middle of an extensive planning period that should result in a grand memorial and educational center. In addition to informing the community and honoring the people who are buried beneath the soil, the future center aims to provide local residents with job and housing resources.They even plan to reinter the recovered ancient remains in the memorial building. When completed the construction will house stories that add to the cultural landscape of America and increase Harlem's footprint in Black history.When it comes to uncovering the past, it seems the task force is doing the hard part. All that's left for us to do is embrace the knowledge, share the stories and carry the pride that comes from our past into the future."Just becoming aware of the history is important, " Wilkins...
Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas took the net by storm with her version of the #CaptionsChallenge, proving she hasn't lost a step in her long music career. In TLC's heyday, the famed trio was known for their dance moves and footwork. Nearly two decades later, Chilli is proof age is just a number. The TLC member and her dancers killed the dance routine in a video released August 16. The challenge began circulating following after dancers from Phil Wright Choreography bopped to Tron Austin's song..."Captions." YUP #captionschallenge done n done!! With a rare appearance from my Tronster @timeflybye 🥰 n my girls #demtlcdancers
@dancin_darina @nienie1love Choreo 🕺🏽: @phil_wright_ Song 🎤🎼🎶 : Captions - @timeflybye
Videography 🎥 : @beezlivingdesigns pic.twitter.com/eiMHl6NpDf— Chilli (@officialchilli) August 16, 2019There was NO reason for Chilli to fuck it up like this. pic.twitter.com/rrresVGY7H— ⚖️🥬 (@LeeBruhGreene) August 16, 2019While the mass majority of "Captions" challenge videos featured young dancers, Thomas showed she can keep up. The 48-year-old is currently on a six-week tour with iconic St. Louis rapper Nelly and popular rapper Flo Rida. In a moment of downtime, the "No Scrubs" artist and her team decided to outdo the competition and snatch every wig possible with their own video. Yesss @officialchilli 💥💥💥 https://t.co/hpugClzHPb— Sanaa Lathan (@justsanaa) August 17, 2019Chilli had to clap back at a critic who felt bold enough to bring up her age. The Twitter user's profile can no longer be found. Still? I'm not 65 lol https://t.co/XrH9IrumjS— Chilli (@officialchilli) August 18, 2019You can see more of Chilli on the VH1 reality show Girls...
As the summer comes to an end, "Big Ole Freak" rapper Megan Thee Stallion is gearing up to take over the fall as well. The Houston rapper and official hot girl is not letting the Hot Girl movement die down just yet. In a now-deleted Instagram post, the rapper, also known as Tina Snow, declared autumn "Real Hot Nerd Fall." According to Hip Hop DX, Hot Girl Meg is currently a junior at historically Black college Texas Southern University. Due to her tremendous success as of late, the college student will start taking online classes to accommodate her new schedule. Access Hollywood caught up with the 24-year-old at BeautyCon LA to get some further insight about her prospective takeover of fall. Apparently, young women attending college will be her target audience for the Real Hot Nerd movement. “Being a hot girl is like a lifestyle, and everyone knows I’m still in college,” Megan told the entertainment outlet. “It’s gonna be a real hot girl semester, you know what I’m saying? Real Hot Nerd Fall, so I’m just about to start puttin’ on for all my school girls.” The recent news came as Meg Thee Stallion's hit single “Hot Girl Summer,” featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign, has been dominating the charts. Over on the rapper's Instagram, she's updated fans with news that a video for the chart-topping song is currently in post-production.Summer is long from over for the hardworking artist. She wanted to remind fans and fellow hot girls that the Hot Girl movement is about loving oneself and impressing you first and foremost. "You cannot worry about other people’s opinions,” she told Access Hollywood. “Like, you gotta love yourself. You wake up with yourself, you go to sleep with yourself, and you should be the only person that you’re trying to please.”Summer officially ends on September 22, but Meg Thee Stallion is showing no signs of slowing down. The seasonal takeover is upon...
If you are familiar with black women influencers of beauty in 2019 then you have heard of Freddie Ransome. Serving as a new face in this realm, Ransome is a junior producer for Buzzfeed and co-host of Ladylike -- a viral web video series where she, along with other co-hosts, discuss topics around beauty, body-positivity, fashion and feminism. She is refreshingly honest and has played a pivotal role in moving the needle forward in the movement to have more black women authentically represented in the beauty industry. The playing field of beauty has long been exclusionary, but Ransome saw an opportunity, claimed her space and continues to authentically and confidently show up for herself and others.We spoke with Ransome and delved into her journey with beauty to explore how she navigates the entertainment industry as a black woman and the ways in which she claims her seat at the table. Photo by Paola Trusendi“I know not everyone has the privilege to show up as they are in certain spaces but that is something I’ve really tried to lean into and not feel self-conscious about,” Ransome told Blavity. “So, I’m figuring out small ways in which I am feeling myself and presenting myself in an authentic way.”Her bold personality, spunky style and keen fashion sense and are a few of the reasons why Ransome continues to grow in the industry -- but her authenticity is what makes her a staple.“I just try to live by the idea of: Do it until you feel super comfortable doing it and then it won’t be weird for people,” she said. “After a while people are going to get tired of talking s**t.” Whether in front of the cameras, behind the scenes, or at home Ransome lives an authentic life not often shown to the public. She bravely chronicles her journey through the beauty industry as a black woman in the spotlight. Ransome is not afraid to showcase struggles that are rarely publicized. She tackles the lack of shade representation in makeup on camera and discusses the behind the scenes struggle of finding professional stylists that not only know how to manage black hair but know how to style it well. “I’ve found myself having quite a bit of anxiety going on set sometimes and wondering who they are going to have on set to do hair and pray they know how to do [it]” she said.Photo by Paola TrusendiRansome goes through her own beauty journey, figuring out what works best for her and finding the small details that allow her to feel like she is presenting her authentic self.In the midst of breaking barriers and starting important conversations about beauty and femininity, Ransome is still your average working woman. She chooses a straightforward and quick regime that includes a Tracee Ellis Ross-inspired morning routine, lip balm on her lips and only leave-in conditioner in her hair. Living the booked and busy lifestyle doesn’t afford much time for in-store shopping, so Sephora’s digital swatching process and the diversity of products makes shopping for products a lot easier. “So, lots of lip products and hair products from Sephora,” she said. “Definitely Deva Curl products for my hair and I’m very into lip gloss lately, so I love a Fenty gloss and Anastasia Beverly Hills gloss as well, they have pigmented glosses that I’m really into.” She also listed her favorite perfume, Florence by Tocca. With such a wide range and diverse set of brands and products available, it’s easy for anyone to shop at Sephora. Whether you are shopping for an everyday full face of makeup or just need to pick up some lip balm and leave-in conditioner, they offer shoppers everything they need to both protect and beautify their skin. Plus, you can’t forget skin protection, Ransome reminds: “Wear SPF all day, every day,” she said. “Black is beautiful, dark skin is beautiful -- don’t run from the sun, let nature run its course because you are beautiful at all stages of life and at all skin tones and complexions.”Photo by Kelsey CampionAnd by taking up space in the loud and often one-shaded industry, Freddie reminds us to show up to be your most authentic self. She reveals how many of her fans and supporters ask her about how she got so confident and she says it’s no secret.“It’s important to remember I’m not that confident, I just continue to proceed with what I want to do despite maybe not feeling my best self or feeling a little self-conscious,” she said. “It’s kind of like the idea of courageous versus being fearless -- courage is not being fearless, it is proceeding and continuing despite the fear.”Feature photo by Paola Trusendi. This piece is brought to you in partnership with...
Dionn Megginson and her parents always knew she was a gifted child. After just three weeks in kindergarten, the young prodigy was promoted to the first grade, and now she's headed to high school.She successfully completed grades one through four and earned the Principal’s Award each year, according to Because Of Them We Can. “We realized Dionn was unique at a very early age, before she could walk. Teachers at her daycare would always tell us that Dionn was very smart and that she knew a lot for her age. It was suggested by them that we have her tested when she got into elementary school,” Dionn’s mother, Sharon Megginson, said in an interview with Because of Them We Can.Thank you supporters: @GEARUPCHISD
@PermenterCH my family, teachers, acting coaches and Cedar Hill friends for making this all possible for me to experience the #NationalAmazingShake2019! Thanks again! -Dionn Megginson pic.twitter.com/wKg52Bboky— Megginson International Ministry (@MINotice) February 27, 2019 After taking a test, Dionn skipped to the sixth grade at Cedar Hill ISD Middle School when she was just nine years old. “I like taking advanced classes and all of my teachers,” Dionn said.Now Dionn has completed her first day of high school at 11 years old. Inspired by her role model, Katherine Johnson, Dionne hopes to become a mathematician.She has plans to graduate from high school by the time she turns 14 and enroll in Spelman College in Atlanta,...
Point 'Em Out is an editorial series where Blavity explores the latest and the greatest in Black art. Thanks to modern-day technology, we get to be virtual consumers of yesterday's icons and today’s most innovative Black artwork, and — if we're lucky — the Black geniuses who produce them. When considering the subgenres that fall under visual art, drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, fashion design, filmmaking, printmaking and photography are typically what comes to mind, and tattooing is rarely associated with this category. However, this form of creative expression embodies the same properties as any other example of visual art.Think about it: A tattooist examines what is seen, how it is arranged and how it should be approached. Also, color, space, shape, linework, texture, patterns, value, balance and unity all play a role in laying down a tattoo. With skin as their canvas and a tattoo gun as the tool of trade, chances are the tattoo artist ruminates these concepts bigly. Because they create wearable art, the quality of their aesthetic execution is imperative. Thusly, put some damn respect on a tattooist name; tattoo artists are artists — periodt.Atlanta's own Miya Bailey is a master in the game and possibly the tattooist to the gods, though he'd never admit it. His client roster boasts the names of celebrity who's who, from soul singer Kelly Price to Mississippi's own Big K.R.I.T.YouTube | ida harrisOriginally from Asheville, North Carolina, Bailey cut his chops as a tattoo artist as a teenager during the 1980s. He learned to tattoo on the block of his old hood while literally using a needle and thread, a primitive technique known for yielding what's otherwise known as a jailhouse tattoo.Bailey has come a long way from West Asheville. Since relocating to the peach state, he has become a shop owner three times over. He opened the doors to City of Ink with partners Tuki Carter and Corey Davis in 2006 and is the founder of Peter Street Station, a mix-use arts and design community center that's open to visual artists of all disciplines and local kids. Peter Street Station also hosts jam sessions for musicians and weekly figure drawing sessions. View this post on Instagram
A post shared by MIYΔ ▲ BΔILEY ™ (@miyabailey) on Jul 22, 2019 at 10:59am PDTLike many tattooists, Bailey's artistic background started with drawing. His sketches captured aspects of his environment and cultural surroundings, including breakdancers, graffiti and iconic cartoon characters like Bart Simpson, which he eventually also began painting on clothing. Still an active painter, Bailey has exhibited his work in sold-out art shows, including one at Atlanta's Notch 8 Gallery in 2015. He's also a curator and contributing artist for The Trap Music Museum in Georiga. View this post on Instagram
A post shared by MIYΔ ▲ BΔILEY ™ (@miyabailey) on Sep 7, 2018 at 9:53am PDTAn artist and a businessman, Bailey has established himself as an integral part of Atlanta's art scene, who is dead-set on creating opportunities and outlets for other aspiring artists and Atlanta's youth. Blavity recently caught up with creative visionary to get all up in his business. Blavity: How long have you been in art?Miya Bailey: I’ve been in art my whole entire life. I started around two — and I started taking it seriously. At around 10, I started selling art.Blavity: What type of art were you selling around ten years old?Bailey: [Breakdancing] was the first thing I was drawing. This was around the '80s; people were breakdancing.Blavity: That was a good amount for a 10-year-old.Bailey: Yeah, it was just that time, the '80s. It was a good time to grind.Blavity: You’re from Asheville, North Carolina? It's an artsy city —Bailey: Well the Black people aren’t "artsy." But yeah, it's an artsy city; it's an artsy town. View this post on Instagram
A post shared by MIYΔ ▲ BΔILEY ™ (@miyabailey) on May 14, 2019 at 2:43am PDTBlavity: Has Asheville or its tattoo culture influenced you in any way?Bailey: No, it wasn’t a tattoo culture when I was there. I was really like the first person to put my foot down and make that scene possible. I had a shop there in '97, [on] Hayward Road in West Asheville. Right now, it’s a popular street, but at that time it was only one shop down the street, California Emporium, and it was a biker shop. I just wanted to put a shop near these [two] projects. When I was growing up, they didn’t get along like that. I just wanted to create one hood, so I put a shop in the middle of both of them. View this post on Instagram
A post shared by MIYΔ ▲ BΔILEY ™ (@miyabailey) on May 24, 2019 at 8:22pm PDTBlavity: Dope. At what point in your creativity did you decide tattooing was the thing for you?Bailey: I went through all the phases: clothing, fashion, jeans. I put the lettering on all the jeans; did all that stuff — jackets. Then I got into screenprinting. Once I got into screenprinting, I fell in love with people actually wearing the art. I fell in love when people started paying me to do jeans for them, especially when New Jack City came out. I was doing a lot of letter stuff on jeans; the Black Bart Simpson character. That was my hustle.Blavity: Kind of like Shirt Kings in the '80s? Nike actually did my first tattoo.Bailey: Yeah, I knew of them. I met Shakim when he moved down to Atlanta before he passed.Blavity: I know you said you built your business in the hood. Was that hard as a Black tattoo artist?Bailey: Well, at this point, there weren't too many Black tattoo artists anywhere. There were only five or six. I was the only Black tattoo artist in North Carolina, so it wasn’t like [I] couldn’t get Black clientele. It was the beginning of Black tattoo culture. People wanted something new.You had certain artist showing their tattoos publicly, like Jodeci. I was influenced by Fishbone; they’re from Atlanta — that’s what drew me here. So I was influenced by their tattoos, and street people were influenced by street tattoos. But I saw people like Fishbone in magazines, and their tattoos were more creative — art. That was one of the first things that blew my mind about tattoos. And my father’s tattoos, he had "Logan" on his arm. That blew my mind. I looked up to my father on some warrior sh**t. View this post on Instagram
A post shared by MIYΔ ▲ BΔILEY ™ (@miyabailey) on Apr 4, 2019 at 8:32pm PDTBlavity: What age did you get your first tattoo?Bailey: Seventeen.Blavity: What is the age of consent?Bailey: Eighteen, but I did it myself. Somebody showed me how to do it. He learned while he was at Job Corps. He showed me how to do it the needle-and-thread way. You get a needle, and you wrap it, and you dip it and poke.Blavity: Do you use lidocaine and sprays?Bailey: No, I don’t use that. I’ve used it on me to experiment. It’s worse to me because when it wears off, you feel everything you missed while you [were numb]. I feel like if you’re numb, you won’t even know the quality of the tattoo artist because artists feel different. I think you should be able to tell the difference. View this post on Instagram
A post shared by MIYΔ ▲ BΔILEY ™ (@miyabailey) on Apr 21, 2019 at 4:11pm PDTBlavity: What was it like the first time you did a tattoo on someone else?Bailey: I think the first time I did one was my baby mother Sheila. I was nervous because I didn’t want to mess her arm up, but she let me do it.Blavity: Was it successful?Bailey: Yeah! She still has that tattoo till this day. View this post on Instagram
A post shared by MIYΔ ▲ BΔILEY ™ (@miyabailey) on Mar 3, 2019 at 4:42pm PSTBlavity: Word is you’re a celebrity tattooist as well?Bailey: I don’t call myself that s**t. I hate that s**t.Blavity: But you have a certain class of clientele, yes?Bailey: My clientele is working-class people. They save up their money to get me. That’s my clientele.Blavity: How many tattoos have you done to date?Bailey: A lot; 100,000? I don’t know. A lot.Blavity: What’s the average cost of a tattoo done by you?Bailey: I start at $1000.Blavity: What size and complexity?Bailey: Well, if someone spends $1000 dollars on me, I hope they would let me go big. But most people don’t want a back tattoo. I’m still not going to drop the price. I set my price.Blavity: So I can get a sleeve for $1000?Bailey: Hell no. You can get from your shoulder to your sleeve; the outside, not the inside. A four-hour session.YouTube | ida harrisBlavity: What’s so special about a Miya Bailey tattoo?Bailey: The people have to say it. It doesn’t look like anyone else’s, and you know you’re getting a lot of experience.Blavity: How long have you been doing this?Bailey: Twenty-seven years.Blavity: Is there anything unique about working on Black skin, as opposed to white or fairer skin? Is there a difference in technique?Bailey: The darker the person, the gentler you have to be. That’s due to melanin; it can cause scar tissue. Melanin is strong. It makes the skin tougher when it heals.Blavity: I notice there’s a lot of color in your tattoos no matter the skin color.Bailey: People know me for color, but there was a certain time when you were taught you can only use certain colors for Black skin. If you were sticking to the rules, it was all you could use. Then one day my partner Tookie Carter brought his baby-mother in, and at this point, you had to make your own colors — mix your own colors. Tookie started using pink, and from pink, he went into different colors. He was the first Black person I’ve seen using colors outside of what they thought we could use on Black people. I worked right on side of him, so I picked up the technique.There was a client with a solid black eight ball, and Tookie covered it up with a samurai warrior. We were told it couldn’t be done, but it was done right in my face. Blew my mind, which made me start focusing on colors. I use a different color palette. I use brighter colors. Darker skin, brighter colors. You learn to bounce the color using different skin. It took years, watching people heal up. Ten years later, did the color last? And another 10 years.Blavity: So you are a tattoo artist, but you haven’t stopped drawing and creating art?Bailey: Yeah, a lot of people know me for art, but don’t know me for tattoos. A lot of people know me for tattoos, and don’t know me for art. I would have to talk about either, or. View this post on Instagram
A post shared by MIYΔ ▲ BΔILEY ™ (@miyabailey) on Apr 23, 2019 at 8:04pm PDTBlavity: Do you have a preference between skin or canvas?Bailey: I do tattoos for a different reason: I do it to meet people. A lot of people that can afford a $1000 tattoo I can connect with. These are the people I connect with and make business moves [with]. I might have a guy I tattoo, he might be a weed farmer. He might be one of the few Black people in America to own a weed farm. That’s a good connection to have. My other client may be a doctor, world traveler. I get all these experiences meeting people where I gain new knowledge. If I’m not getting to travel like I want to, my clients give me new experiences and new information. I can learn without having to go to so many different places.Blavity: So you love them equally?Bailey: Well, I do love one thing more than the other — you know, it might be sculpture. I don’t get to do it a lot because I don’t make money from that; people don’t know me for that. But if I would say sculpture is No. 1, then interior design.Blavity: So nothing you actually do for a living?Bailey: Nah, nah. I mean, I’m a realist, so I have to do the Bailey thing that makes me the most money first no matter if I like it or not. When you a father and s**t, you can’t be like, "Oh, I don’t want to do this today." I have to put my logic first over wanting to do anything.Blavity: City of Ink — how long has it been up and running?Bailey: Twelve years for that specific brand.Blavity: Now you have Peter Street Station, too. Tell us about that.Bailey: It’s an extension of City of Ink. It’s on a more community-based level. People know City of Ink for tattooing. This is multiple disciplines; where people know multiple disciplines of art. Here, I get to focus on everything: All the art forms equally under one roof, and everybody gets to feed off the creativity of each other. It’s hard to get inspiration by being around people in your own medium. I like being surrounded by different themes. Anything that feeds my imagination.Blavity: You made a statement about your art not being "Black art." Do you still feel that way?Bailey: Then, I felt that way. But it's obvious that I’m Black, so if you put a tag on it, it's going to limit my money.Blavity: Does it?Blavity: You know, it didn’t, so I'm Black as f**k, now. When I said it 10 years ago, I wanted all money. Ten years later, I’m still making the majority of my income from the Black dollar. I now own a piece of property. I paid my dues, I can say what the f**k I want to, right? So my freedom level is a little higher. I’m still not all the way free. So certain things I would say now, I couldn’t say then. Of course, I’m going to say it’s not Black art, because I didn’t want anyone to put a tag on my s**t, because I need white people to buy my s**t. I need everybody to buy my s**t. When you put a tag on certain things at that point in time, guess what? People aren’t buying that s**t.Blavity: All right, so you're free at this point in time?Bailey: Now I’m more free. My s**t Black as f**k. I feel my art appeals to the Black soul. Most of my buyers are Black. If a white person buys from me, they have a little soul. My personal opinion is it's clearly Black. The way I look at it now it's more expression. It's more emotion art. That’s what I want to call it 'cause I think the emotion — everybody feels pain and beauty and emotion. I want everybody to see that s**t. That’s how I want people to look at. DNA-wise it's Black. It shows in my art. But I just want to leave race aside because it's physical, and once you leave the physical, it’s the soul — right? My art is like soul art, and from the soul is emotions. So, I’m on a higher level than Black art I would say. I think it limits me when you say that. I think my art is higher than the physical plain. The soul is not a race. I might come back as a bird or something. While I’m in this Black body, I live a Black experience.Blavity: Your top-five visual artists in any discipline?Bailey: My all-time favorite artist is Charles White.Blavity: Have you seen A Retrospective?Bailey: It’s in LA right now. I promised myself I'll go see it before it's over. I will be going to see that. It's like a spiritual pilgrimage to me. He was a romanticist. His motion is on a higher degree than race.Then there's Picasso, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Muhammad AliBlavity: What’s next for Miya Bailey?Bailey: I want to retire.Blavity: What does retirement mean to you? What does it look like?Bailey: It means finding things I like. If I’ve been doing artwork since I was 10 years old; when have I lived? So I want to use the rest of my days to live a little bit. You [know] in Endgame how Captain America got his life? If you got an opportunity to buy your freedom as a slave in America — because we are economic slaves — you have to earn money to eat, to live. You can’t live without money out here. I’m just trying to buy myself enough freedom to experience a little bit of life. I would like to climb mountains. I want to do the things my imagination said I could...
Before becoming the first Black U.S. archery champion and garnering over 35 medals from various tournaments nationwide, Dallas Jones was a 10-year-old boy from Brooklyn, New York, who was curious about the archery shown in animations and action films. At that time, he didn’t realize his small interest would turn into a history-making career.“[My interest in archery] kind of started with my interest in small cartoons like Green Arrow, or Robinhood, and stuff like that. But then The Hunger Games came out and kind of sparked my interest a little bit more. Not too far after my mom’s best friend met my coach at the post office, and he had a flier for that next weekend — and we started doing archery,” Jones, now 16, told Blavity.
A mailroom conversation was the start of Jones’ budding yet momentous six-year career, and the Brooklyn native mostly has the guidance of his first coach Larry Brown to thank for his success. Brown, a pioneering Black archer, who served as the first Black coach of Columbia University’s women’s archery team, currently coaches the New York-based team the Center Shot Archers. When Jones was 10, he joined that team. Jones said Brown's coaching has greatly helped him with honing his skills and adhering to the minor details required to fix his mistakes. According to the team’s website, Center Shot Archers mainly caters to Black and Latino youth attracted to archery who typically wouldn’t be afforded the space outside of the team.“It was long hours of training on the archery field,” the young champion said. “He was very strict, but his simple guidance was very helpful. Back when I first started to shoot, he gave us all these small tips on what to do better, and once I started full-time training with him, it was more about rounding off the rough edges and polishing them.”Brown’s coaching helped make Jones the 2017 Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) National Indoor Cadet Recurve Champion. The foundations learned during Jones' early training has undoubtedly assisted him in making the 2019 USA Archery Men’s Cadet team, as well.
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Although competitive archery has various forms, each style has the same goal of archers shooting arrows as close to the target’s center as possible, with the winner being the archer who aims the closest. A 2015 survey from the Archer Trade Association about U.S. residents' curiosity about archery in 2015 revealed 5 percent of Black people and 6 percent of Latinx people were interested in participating in the sport. Introducing young Black and Latinx athletes to the sport will hopefully increase interests and diversify the competition.“I definitely do hope that more children of color kind of find their way into not only archery, but other outlandish sports,” Jones said. “Archery is not really a mainstream sport like football and basketball. It’s kind of one of those off-to-the-side sports, like golf and fencing. So hopefully, I can get more African Americans just to notice those different sports.”Lack of access to the sports Jones mentioned presents a huge barrier and has a direct impact on Black participation within accompanying sports leagues. For example, according to Forbes, Black players only represented about 8 percent of Major League Baseball players in the 2018 season, which can be connected to the staggering costs of club baseball. A more fiscally accessible club sport, Black basketball players represent about 74 percent of the NBA. One could only imagine the lack of representation for Black players in a costly sport like archery that already gets very little media attention. Although Jones wants his success to encourage more Black kids to enter the sport, he doesn’t let his accomplishments distract him. He even downplays his historic 2017 win. Instead, he stays humble and focuses on ways he can improve his athleticism. View this post on Instagram
A post shared by @dallasjones_archery on Aug 4, 2017 at 12:38pm PDT“I don’t really try to think about it too much at all because there are still goals that I have yet to reach, and I don’t want to block myself with that type of thinking,” Jones said. “It’s been a bit of a motivation, though, because it’s kind of cool knowing that I’m the first African American to do something. But it’s not something I want to hold me down."Now Jones has his eyes set on next year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where he hopes to compete on a global stage, although the road to that goal hasn’t always been easy. The USA Olympic archery team can only consist of three men and three women, and to secure all six spots, each country’s team must finish among the top-eight teams at the World Archery Championships, according to USA Archery. The ambitious athlete said he’s constantly working on making the qualifying ranking.“Just figuring out what the downs are and fixing them has been the biggest and best prize, so that when it does come down to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, I already know what the problem is. If the problem reoccurs, then I rectify it,” Jones said. Beyond the Olympics, Jones doesn’t see a future in which he exclusively pursues archery, and that’s mainly because archers typically make between $10,000 and $75,000 a year. After his archery career, Jones shared that he wants to do something in the medical field, preferably become a surgeon.“It’s still an amazing sport to compete in, but I still have to live, still have to eat, so I think long-term I’ll at least keep shooting and aim for three Olympic teams,” Jones said.Until he reaches his goal of making three Olympic teams, Jones sees each day as an opportunity to get better at the sport he’s spent most of his childhood competing in.“For me, there’s never a highest point or there’s never a top,” Jones said. “There’s always room to keep...
The new school year marks the end of one season and the beginning of another. Transitioning from summer to fall means it’s time to turn day parties into study groups and all night outings into all night cram sessions. With each academic year comes a list of "new" professors, courses, classmates, expectations (from parents, educators, peers and yourself) as well as social and scholastic challenges. Sometimes, navigating through the semester can seem overwhelming, but, here are seven things you can do and remember to help prepare you for school.
1. Affirm Who You AreSelf Care is important for success at any level and there are a number of ways that you can implement it into your weekly regimen. You may not always have time for a spa treatment or the funds to go out for a nice meal, but reciting and reflecting on daily affirmations is a great way to ensure the school year stays on a consistent high. Whether you prefer a spiritual approach through scripture or an intellectual one through quotes from great philosophers, daily affirmations will help you remember who you are. Write them on Post-its, your mirror or in a text to yourself. Just be sure to reflect on all the good that you possess and own it!
via GIPHY2. Dedicate A Space In Your Home For WorkWhether you live in a dorm room on campus, an apartment with your besties or at home with your folks, you need a dedicated space to get all of your schoolwork done. The space needs to be void of clutter and have an aura that will allow you to focus without being distracted. It can just be a desk, a corner in the room, the dining room table or a space on the patio.Wherever you choose, make sure the area remains clear so that you can work consistently.
via GIPHY3. Rent Your TextbooksIt’s like this; there’s no point in spending hundreds of dollars on books that you will only use for a semester. Renting textbooks saves money and still allows you to have the resources you need to be prepared for your classes. Services like Chegg and Knetbooks will be your holy grail to surviving the school year on a tight budget.
via GIPHY4. Make An Actual Checklist Of Things You NeedThe school year can get hectic pretty quickly, as your calendar fills up with classes and social events. At some point, you’re bound to forget to do something like buy more laundry detergent or restock your supply of chicken flavored ramen noodles. Making a checklist frequently (weekly, biweekly or monthly) of essential items will keep you on track and keep your mini-fridge stacked!
via GIPHY5. Find Your PeopleHaving a tribe comes in handy on those days when the work is piling high. Finding a group of people who will talk you off the drop-out ledge is a good way to network and develop long-lasting friendships while creating a circle of accountability. Try to link up with people within your major or who have some similar interests, but don’t be afraid to connect with people of diverse backgrounds too. Joining a club or organization on campus is a good way to build these connections so that you can find friends that will support and challenge you.
via GIPHY6. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can ChewWhile joining clubs is intriguing and beneficial, remember to only take on what you can realistically handle. The same goes for your course load. Just because your homeboy is taking all advanced classes and is toting a 20+ credit hour schedule doesn’t mean you need to. Be honest with yourself about what you can handle and master, before adding more to your plate.
via GIPHY7. Treat Yo’ SelfThere is no such thing as a small win, when it comes to excelling in school. Try to do something to reward yourself for working hard. Celebrating your accomplishments can motivate you to keep grinding and simultaneously allow you to pat yourself on the back for the progress you’re making. You got an “A” on that chemistry lab? Treat yo’ self. You remembered to turn in that 20 page paper on time? Treat yo’ self!You are the best cheerleader and advocate for yourself. Take care, move strategically and live your best life this school year with these easy to do self-help tips. Suo Marte— by yourself!
Turning a dream into a reality can be a hard thing to do, especially when you don’t know how and where to start. Every person has been placed on this earth to fulfill a purpose, whether it’s becoming an entrepreneur, a musician or an educator -- but one obstacle that can get in the way of fulfilling a dream is finding the best approach to make it come to fruition.If you need help in tackling that purpose you’re destined to fulfill, check out these seven ways on how you can make your dreams come true: 1. Develop A Plan and Set GoalsA dream without a plan has no purpose. That’s why it’s important to develop a step-by-step plan to use as a guide to navigate you through your path to success. It’s necessary to identify the “why” of your vision, what the dream means to you, what you want to accomplish and what your end goal is. Create a timeline and outline the steps to your dreams in small tasks and make sure to be as detailed as possible. Missing this step could lead you off track, make you frustrated or discourage you. Don’t be that person. Be the goal-getter you are destined to be.2. Take ActionThere’s power in words, but they don’t mean as much if you don’t act on them. Figure out what skills or knowledge you need to complete your goal. Conduct research to help you determine what tools or knowledge you need to equip you for success. This can also help you identify the proper adjustments or changes you need to make your plan stand out from others. Once you’ve taken the time to think everything through, put action behind your steps so your dreams come to life. Don’t push things off until tomorrow, start TODAY.3. Get A MentorIt’s important to understand that there is always someone who has more expertise than you in the field of interest you are pursuing. That’s why a mentor is so necessary to have to provide advice and wisdom. Your mentor can be a great guide for you along your journey, they can also be your biggest supporter. Mentors are perfect for pitching ideas to and can help hold you accountable to your goals. Don’t think you have to go through this alone. Mentors are the perfect person to encourage and empower you.4. Build A TeamHaving people on your team with different skill sets are essential. You can’t do everything on your own. Networking as well as sharing ideas and resources are the perks of having a team. They are also beneficial in tracking your progress, holding you accountable and accomplishing more during your week. Plus, your team members can give you that extra push when you need it and be a great source of motivation.5. Hustle and MotivateDetermination is key. Having a go-getter mindset is what separates leaders from followers. That’s why you need to work hard, make sacrifices, be aggressive and stay persistent. Although you may come across criticism and opposition, it’s important to not internalize it. Use it as motivation to prove people wrong. That mentality and fearless makes it easier for you to get through obstacles. Also remember that although it may be uncomfortable having to take risks, just know on the other side of fear may be your greatest blessing. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and don’t give up without a fight. It’ll be worth it.6. Learn from Your MistakesUnderstand that it’s okay to fail -- mistakes can be the best teachers. Learn from your downfalls, errors or missed opportunities for there are valuable lessons in those losses. However, it’s important to not beat yourself up and make sure to forgive yourself. You will come out stronger and smarter in the end.7. Believe In YourselfYou are the only one with the power to set your dreams and make them your reality. Self Laziness, making excuses and lack of motivation are the main contributors to failure. You have to understand that having faith and patience will get you far in your journey as you continue to learn throughout the process. Enjoy putting the pieces of the puzzle. You will see the bigger picture in the end and just know it’ll all be worth it.When it comes down to it all, you are the only one in charge of fulfilling your destiny. Take that vision and make it happen. It may be hard and there may be low times, but just know it’ll all be worth it end. The biggest reward is knowing that you didn’t give up.Marlon Nichols is a prime example of someone who has persevered, against all odds, to accomplish his dreams and help others achieve theirs. Nichols is the co-founder of Cross Culture Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs creating technology and consumer products. Among them is Delane Parnell, founder and CEO of PlayVS, an esports league that gives high school students the chance to compete for a state championship. In the video below, watch basketball analyst Ros Gold-Onwude take a ride in the new Corolla Hybrid and chat with Nichols and Parnell on how working together has helped them each reach new heights.
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Our words and thoughts are powerful enough to reprogram our mindset, overcome our limiting beliefs, change our self-concept and even the world.The world can be very cruel and it’s very easy to let it consume us with negativity, so much so that we tend to judge and criticize ourselves as well. In order to overpower that pessimism, it's essential that we fill our minds with positive self-talk and affirmations. It’s never good to tell ourselves lies or be deceitful in what we say to ourselves and people. When we learn that we have control over our thoughts, we allow ourselves to be open to abundant opportunities and happiness in order to live fulfilling lives that we deserve.Doing so will enrich our lives, uplift spirits and even inspire ourselves to reach our goals. It’s essential that we speak life into what we know can happen in our lives to make our dreams a reality.Check out these reaffirming and positive statements from Pinterest to write down or recite to yourself to improve your mental health and manifest your life below.1. “I am worthy of my own love, admiration and undivided attention.”Self-love is the best love and without it, you can lose yourself. Continue to remind yourself that you are worthy of all the love that is given to you, but remember loving yourself and who you are as a person is what matters the most. 2. “I love abundance and prosperity and I attract it naturally.”It’s important to speak your blessings into existence, but in order to receive them, you have to have the mindset to welcome them. Doing so will open you up to a lot of opportunities and happiness.3. “I am enough.”Stop comparing yourself to others. Never think that you are less than any other person walking on this earth. No one can take away the gifts and skills that you were given.4. “I choose to own my inner abundance and the wealth of who I am.” Never let anyone define who you are. Take control of your life. Self-control is essential in prospering in life.5. “I release anything that drains me because I do not accept toxicity in my life.” Bad vibes and toxicity take up too much space. Let it all go. Preserve your energy and peace by any means necessary.6. “I can and will. Watch me.”This is the energy you should have in anything that you do. The word “can’t” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. Go follow your dreams and conquer the world. You can do anything you put your mind to.7. “I am constantly recreating myself, and that is okay.”Change is inevitable and growth is essential. There’s so much more to life than to be stagnant. Continue to evolve and work on who you are so you can be the best version of yourself. 8. “I am a beautiful soul that radiates a vibrant and beautiful form. All is well in my body and mind.”Your spirit lives inside your body, but it's reflected through your interaction with others. Continue to feed your body and souls with positivity so people can embrace and appreciate the king or queen that you are within. 9. “I attract success by being my authentic self.”Never conform to fit other people’s ideas and standards. You were created how you were for a reason. Embrace your individuality and live your life’s purpose. Never let others lower your vibrations.10. “I manifest everything I desire.”Speak your goals and dreams into existence with confidence. Once you put your actions behind your words, your breakthrough will happen and then you will be guaranteed to live the life you desire.11. “I am a magnet to positive energy. Good people, divine opportunities, and wild ideas gravitate towards me.”You are what you attract. Continue to be a positive light not only in your life but in others. You are destined for greatness.These affirmations are reminders to embrace and love your authentic self, flaws and all. Always be kind to yourself and know that no one is in charge of uplifting your own spirits but you. Remember above all, changing your words can change your life.This piece is brought to you in partnership with...