16Aug/17
Bodybuilding Power Couple

Bodybuilding Power Couple Share Their Love For Fitness

There is nothing like sharing love with someone, but sharing the love of something you have in common is something even more special. That is the case with bodybuilder power couple Jeanitra Moore and Kevin Johnson. Their love for fitness has been heavily inspired by bodybuilding champion Kai Greene. Based out of Louisville, KY the couple has been competing for many years and has won several competitions, including Jeanitra being the 1st novice class A champion at the Kentucky state championship.

Kevin and Jeanitra both offer free health advice online because they love what they do and they want others to be healthy as well. They understand that many people need motivation and or cannot afford to get what they need to increase their health. They also have a family together that embodies love of life, love of fitness, and working together.

They train everyday as each other’s support and partner while taking on a growing number of clients that range from beginners to those that are amateur bodybuilding competitors. They train clients in person but also provide online training for those that live outside of the state or who are on the go out of the area. It’s nice to have some support when you’re on a business trip surrounded by unhealthy foods.

When asked about approaching fitness in life, Kevin explained his view stating, “In your 20’s you don’t care about drinking, partying, food,etc. because you are young. Then when you are in your 30’s you start looking at your health and your physical shape. When you look at some of the physical jobs out there, they require you be in shape to perform the jobs and if you can’t perform the job, you can’t work for them. You have to put things into perspective, how you want to look, and ultimately how do you want to feel for the rest of your life.” Jeanitra’s advice to all people is to just “Go for it! Love yourself. Be dedicated. Don’t worry about the results too soon and just go for it!”

They are well known on instagram with a combined following of over 35,000, including celebrities. Jeanitra was even acknowledged by Megan Fox on instagram and has been featured on other fitness websites. Kevin has been known for his work ethic and his powerful inspiration to others. In 2012 he had an well directed biographic documentary (directed by Antonio Pantojia) that would make Spike Lee shed a tear.

When questioned if they knew of any fitness couple out that they knew of, they both agreed that they had a unique system. “[Not] here in Louisville, KY. Not trying to sound cocky, there are not a lot of couples doing what we are doing. Not a lot of paired trainers in regards to nutrition, planning, exercise, etc.”

Kevin also added “There are a lot of people that struggle working together because of their ego and they have their own system that they are not willing to change. We have a system that works well for the both of us. Plus, we do this not for the money but the positive effects we have on people’s lives.”

The fitness star duo also raise three children together, ages 3, 7, 14, who they try to include in their healthy living, although Kevin mentioned “they eat the healthy stuff, but they also eat some of the unhealthy stuff like pizza rolls, but they are kids. They will learn and hopefully join us in healthy living one day.” Jeanitra stated that the kids sometimes keep her in check. “My 14 old will tell me sometimes that I need to not eat certain things or let me know it may not be a good idea to eat too much of something.”

When asked about their favorite bodybuilders, they both agreed that Kai Greene was their favorite. Jenitra mentioning that he reminds her of Kevin. I guess that’s one reason to like a bodybuilder, usually it’s the other way around. But they explained how humble and dedicated to fitness he is. Kai Greene was at one point homeless, a orphan, and a troubled youth, then made a turn around with the guidance of one of his teachers. He is now a world renowned star and multiple bodybuilder award winner. His popularity has his fans lining up at airports to greet him worldwide. Kevin and Jeanitra both explained how much of a great guy he is because you never really hear anything bad about him from anyone.

Bodybuilding Champion Kai Green

To show how much dedication they have for their clients when asked if they would take a celebrity client that was preparing for a movie over their current regular clients Jenitra said, “ I treat every client with respect. I would like to know their schedule because I also have a realtor business that my clients currently work around. Ultimately I wouldn’t bump my regular clients for a celebrity.”

Kevin stated “Let’s say that a celebrity did call about training for a movie in NY. I would have to be compensated for all the times I would take away from my clients. Then I need money to hire someone to train those clients, living expenses if I travel, etc. Once I break down all that’s needed to hire me, they probably wouldn’t want to… Now if it’s an opportunity to further my career, like it would be nationally televised, I would make arrangements, but I would make sure that my clients are taken care of.”

These two have used Kai’s passion for fitness to inspire them to be the healthiest that they can be and teach others how to do the same. Many can use their story of love and partnership to venture into a healthier lifestyle. Although you don’t need to be an award winning champion in body building like Kai Greene, you can be a champion of your health.

Kevin is next competing in the Amature Olympia and Jenitra will compete in the Kentucky Muscle.

Be sure to check out Kevin and Jenitra at www.1manstalent.com!

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09Aug/17
Maimouna Youssef

Shine Your Light with Songstress Maimouna Youssef

Grammy nominated music artist Maimouna Youssef has just released a new hot single “Shine Your Light” with DJ Dummy. Bringing back the old flavor of fun fueled concept music that had blazed the air waves in the 70s. Talented and beautiful, Maimouna Youssef allows listeners to escape melodically to an acoustic utopia. Taji Mag had the opportunity to interview her about her new single, her influences, and her sage like wisdom on life.

Taji Mag: What sparked your influence for your new single?
Maimouna Youssef: I wanted to develop music to make people feel good about themselves. Being that I grew up informed about the struggle through my family, I have not been surprised by today’s hardships. I feel like people that didn’t have similar upbringing, don’t know how to deal with some of the issues of today. I hear people say that they don’t know what to do with all this negativity going on in the world and I want them to know that it is going to be ok. That they can keep moving forward because what we are going through is nothing new.
TM: How did you combine dance and concept music in your new single “Shine Your Light”?
MY: I took influence from the 70’s that fused concept and dance music together for people to enjoy. Music shouldn’t have to be really serious or just dance music, it can be both and the 70’s were good for that.
TM: Would you ever consider doing a socially conscious album similar to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On?
MY: I would love to do a concept album like that. The beauty of being an independent artist is that you are able to put whatever you want to put out without any questions. I love making whatever music I feel moves me. Instead of having someone tell me I can’t put out certain types of work, that limits me as an artist.
TM: How did you learn to keep self love?
MY: My mother inspired me and taught me to love myself. She told me no one else is going to give me that love, so I needed to learn to give it to myself. Everybody should have that love for themselves. I think that it is important now especially with what is going on today that you really have to have that self love.
TM: What advice do you give to your son about life? Women? Society?
MY: I talk to him everyday about his experiences and dealing with emotions. That’s why I have him in boxing in Baltimore with his uncle. To teach him about discipline and dealing with his emotions. I feel like some men of color don’t have that. A way to let out their emotions and not have it bottled in. You see a lot of men with good careers, lots of degrees, money, and are able to function externally but internally they are dealing with a lot of anger and frustrations that they don’t know how to handle. I don’t sugar coat things with my son and keep it real with him. I homeschooled him because during his time in pre-school I felt he wasn’t learning some of the things I wanted him to learn. An Example, in kindergarten he had the daily lesson of differentiating similarities and differences between objects. One day the assignment was to circle all the clowns with red noses and put an X on the ones with different colored noses. I noticed that he had a positive attitude towards the clowns that he was circling because clowns with red noses are the norm but when he had to X out the clowns with different colored noses, I noticed his attitude towards those clowns were more aggressive and dismissive as he was X’ing them out. Then just as an experiment, I asked him instead of using X’s which in our society connote something negative to be excluded and Circles to be something positive to be included, I asked him to use triangles and rectangles which don’t have social connotations neither positive or negative. So, he began doing the assignment and his whole attitude changed. He was feeling positive to all the clowns no matter what color noses they had. I knew right then that that assignment he was being asked to do everyday was teaching social intolerance in the most subconscious and insidious way. Its also teaching self hate because as a boy or color in this society, he’s going to routinely be the one that is different that society will want to X out. If we don’t have self love we didn’t have anything.

TM: Which artist made you fall in love with music?
MY: My mother and grandmother both made me fall in love with music. Especially my grandmother having a gospel background. They kept me exposed to artists like Mahalia Jackson and Donny Hathaway. I wanted to listen to groups like Total back in the day and they kept me on artist like Ella Fitzgerald. Both of them kept me into old school good music, that helped shape the artist I am today.
TM: Which other Artist influenced you?
MY: I have done some background work Lalah Hathaway who inspires me because she is awesome! There have been times where I have not been able to focus on my part as background vocalist for Lalah because she was so great during the performance. I also worked with Cody Chesnutt and I love his work as well. I always try to pick his brain and seek his mentorship because I think he is so talented and has great musical skills. I love working with Eric Roberson, he is another gifted artist. All these great artist are my mentors and I’m always asking them for advice to make my skills better.

Maimouna Youssef’s newest album “Vintage Babies” will be out soon and she also has an album release tour coming. Follow her on twitter @maimounayoussef and @mumufresh on instagram.

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01Aug/17
braids beauty

Taji Vol12: Braids and Beauty

Release Sep 7 2017 | Vol12 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling it’s theme of Braids and Beauty! This volume features professional model Marsha Larose. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick: Ites Int. – Designer Devoted to Indigenous Textiles, Positive Vibes, and Flow; the Community Spotlight on International I Love Braids Day; Hair Feature by Debra Hare Bey of OMhh Beauty Oasis; “Yemaya” by II-Kaya Ises; “5 Things You Could do That Are More Meaningful Than a RIP Post After a Suicide” by Tajh Sutton; The Men of Sigmafied; the elegant soaps, scrubs, and body butters of TheCelestineCollection; “The Science of Black Love” by Afica Jackson; “#BlackLoveConvo: “How Black Love Stole the Show at the ESPYs” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Health & Fitness Advice Column with Trainer Clint & Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef – “Falafel Patties”; Featured artist Will Focus; Must Have Graphic Novel: Therians by B. Van Randall; and more!!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

braids and beauty

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol 12

Taji Mag is a Black Beauty & Culture specialty publication highlighting the artistry of our essence.

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30Jul/17
International I Love Braids Day

International I Love Braids Day 2017 Was LIFE!

International I Love Braids DayInternational I Love Braids Day (IILBD) 2017 was all things braided godliness! This July 29th, the Queens came to make a statement, and that they did! From traditional styles with ancestral meaning to modern spins on staple techniques, these hair styles left everyone in awe. They proved that braids can be worn by anyone for all occasions, at all ages and stages in life. Your royal can be clean and simple or adorned with cowry shells and jewels, whatever makes you strut and walk with your head held high. This inaugural celebration made history.

International I Love Braids Day

Debra Hare Bey with International models Diandra Forrest & Mari Malek at International I Love Braids Day 2017

International I Love Braids Day received it’s official Proclamation on July 21, 2017 by the Brooklyn borough president’s office to the founder of IILBD, master hair braider Debra Hare Bey. Debra has been styling natural hair for over 30 years in Brooklyn. Her current salon, OMhh Beauty Oasis, is located at 407 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. At the salon she services clients with a multitude of natural hair styles, but she specializes in braids. Debra is the originator of the style Nu Locs, most popularly worn by “Maxine Shaw” on the television series Living Single. Go ahead, question it. You thought Erika Alexander was rocking locs back then? Nope, those were yarn braids done by Debra. Debra also has a line of nourishing vegan hair and body care products that smell so good you’ll never want to stop using them. Fall in love with all things Debra Hare Bey and OMhh at www.OhMyHeavenlyHair.com.

International I Love Braids Day

Some of the other participating stylists were Ayana Card of Kinky Rootz, Shaquora Bey and her daughters Fajr and Suhailah of Sophisticated Loc Salon, and Ngone Sow of Soween.

International I Love Braids DayIf you slacked in your mackin’ and slipped in your pimpin’, check the images here to see what you missed. Be sure to mark your calendar for July 29th next year for International I Love Braids day and follow @internationalilovebraidsday on IG to be notified of the #BraidLoveBK celebration for 2018!

 

 

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28Jul/17
richard sherman

Richard Sherman Comments on His Locs at the ESPYs *Video*

richard shermanWhat is a great way to grab the attention of a NFL star on the red carpet at the ESPYs? Just take time to compliment them. That is what happened when Taji Mag stopped Richard Sherman to ask him about his locs. When asked how he keeps his locs well conditioned against the strenuous conditions of football he simply relies on lifestyle as mentioned in the video below.

Sherman showed much humility engaging with many around him and sporting an equality pin on his fashionable jacket for the ESPYs, expressing that he believes in allowing people to be themselves and not conform to what society thinks. He has spoken out against the NFL about taking away the individuality and the freedom of players, ultimately affecting the play of the players and the ratings of the NFL.

Richard Sherman is always a class act and a true display of being a positive Black man. Not only is he a pro bowl cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, but he is also a graduate from Stanford. His education and charismatic personality have helped him dispel any negativity placed on his character from the media. Most notably is the situation with Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, where he was called a “thug” after passionately asking Tom Brady “Are You Mad Bro?”. He let the media know how offended he was being labeled a thug and eloquently explained how it is comparable to the N-word.

There are other times that Sherman has been vilified but he finds ways to defy them and he also shows compassion with his acts of kindness. During a #BlackLoveConvo twitter chat, we discussed how he recently paid the tuition of a Virginia high school student. He met her at a charity dinner in Richmond, VA and made an agreement with her that if she was able to bring up her grades her senior, he would pay her tuition.

Hopefully Richard Sherman will continue to inspire and contribute to society, allowing for the Black community to have yet another positive role model.

Link to video

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14Jul/17
brandy butler

Brandy Butler and Her video “Gentle Beating Heart” Are Soul Food

brandy butlerWith “Gentle Beating Heart,” the latest video from Brandy Butler’s 2017 release “The Inventory of Goodbye,” the vocalist/songwriter continues her collaboration with Nicole  Pfister the director and illustrator who created the sensual short for Brandy’s slinky track,  “Spell” earlier this year.
The video is an abstract visual essay shot in South Africa, which welds the rumbling atmospherics of Ms. Butler’s “Howling” to the mantra-like proclamations of “Gentle Beating Heart.” With the repeated phrase, “Oh your gentle beating heart opens up the sky at night,” Pfister’s short forgoes conventional narrative to visually play upon the theme of emotions so powerful that they transcend the physical realm and impacts the forces of nature itself.
As the camera explores the cliffs, sand and sea of the African coast it also discovers the still bodies of the beach’s inhabits. It observes the obscured tensions that lie within these bodies and beneath the landscape’s surfaces as well. And when the vibrations between these human figures and the land fall into sync, their forces come crashing together with vivid, metamorphosing power.
Listen to and discover more about Brandy Butler on her website.
Both musical pieces “Howling” and “Gentle Beating Heart” are from Brandy Butler’s 2017 release “The Inventory of Goodbye.” A collaborative short film between the musician/performance artist Brandy Butler, and the director and creative being Nicole Pfister.

 Credits:
Written / Directed / Edited NICOLE PFISTER
Music/ Additional visual inputs BRANDY BUTLER
DOP EBRAHIM HAJEE
Assistant Camera JESSE JAMES HARRIS 
ABDUL MALIK MASOET 
Hair and Makeup  DALE M. TITUS
Assistant Director CÉLINE-NIARA SAKHO
Runner STANSY KAWASA
Dancers SEEFLEX THE ARTIST / SHAMI SHAMROCK
Models LUCY MBIOLA / ROX KIM LO / RACHID POATI
Clothing Models 2BOP / YOUNG AND LAZY
Clothing Brandy Butler MALIKAH HAJEE / BETH DITTO
Thank you SHANE COOPER / ANTHONY SMITH / LUKE DOMAN / LUKASZ POLOWCZYK/ POPKREDIT
Photo credits: Ebrahim Hajee
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14Jul/17
harlem fashion week

Harlem Fashion Week is Casting New Designers

In an effort to create increased opportunity in the fashion design industry Harlem Fashion Week seeks emerging designers to rip the runway for the Spring/Summer 2018 installment of New York Fashion Week!

If you are ready to take your designs from small runway shows to the main stage at New York Fashion Week then this is your time! Harlem Fashion Week is the platform to showcase your collection for NYFW.

harlem fashion weekHarlem Fashion Week will create an opportunity for you to launch your career in the fashion design industry. HFW has been featured in Taji Mag, Vogue Italia, Yahoo Style, Bella NYC, Fashion Week Online, Racked.com, Urban Girl Mag, Black Girl Blog, Afrofusion TV just to name of few. In fact All of our designers and photos of their garments were included in the Vogue Italia article!

SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR DESIGNERS WHO CONFIRM THEIR SPOT NOW!

Harlem Fashion Week Designers

HFW featured Project Runway superstar Viktor Luna and the Project Runway All Stars were at the show to cheer him on! HFW is listed as part of the master schedule of NYFW and Eila Mell fashion journalist was in attendance to interview the rising fashion stars!

Register Here

harlem fashion week

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12Jul/17
Jay Z by Myke Archie

Tidal, Jay-Z, and the Employment Discrimination Problem

Jay Z by Myke Archie

Jay Z x Myke Archie, Work Force Comics

Does Jay Z’s TIDAL support Black economics or not?

(Co-Written by Professor Jason Nichols)

This month, 4:44 was released on Tidal. Hova, Jigga, Jay Z, Shawn Carter. Over the years, his music has meant different things to different people. With Tidal on the come up, a great deal of us celebrated their milestones as achievements for the Black community at large.

Whether you’re a loyal fan or not, one thing is clear: Jay-Z has some of the most loyal African American fans in hip hop history. His largely African American base has held it down for him from his humble beginnings when he played second fiddle to Jaz-O. Black hip hop heads consumed his music through the 90s and 2000s. These same fans stuck around after he lost the historic battle to rival turned collaborator Nas. Many rappers get vanquished after a loss. Jigga’s loyal African American fans still lined up for his next release. The loyalty continued through Jay-Z’s trial after a nightclub stabbing. African American fans put Jay-Z in his Maybach, so you can imagine the surprise of some when he chastised his Black audience for not supporting Black businesses on his critically acclaimed new release 4:44.

This week, photos have surfaced of Jay-Z’s major venture, the music streaming service Tidal. The first thought for most African American fans?

Jay-Z’s Tidal staff is overwhelmingly white.

Jay-Z is not completely off base in many respects and his message is consistent with his earlier work. Black businesses require Black patronage. Our communities in turn need Black businesses to grow and employ Black workers.  Black unemployment and employment discrimination are obstacles for Blacks at every level of education. Even when a Black college graduate seeks work, they face discrimination; Black college grads face unemployment at nearly double the rate of white college grads. Evidence show that the darker a person is, the harder they must work to attain the same privileges as their white counterparts. Black businesses are more likely to employ Blacks. The Institute for Research on Poverty noted that Black employers are more likely to hire Black employees because having a Black person in such a leadership role suggests substantially less discrimination in the workplace to potential staffers. Moreover, research shows that hiring practices are much more rigorous and strict at Black owned firms. Essentially, this means that Jay-Z’s decision to knowingly celebrate Tidal’s lack of diversity represents his abandonment of the very people he chose to criticize.

Yes.

The picture was taken at an office in Norway where the Black population is less than 5% Black.

Yes

Jay-Z bailed out Ferguson activists in Baltimore.

Yes

Jay-Z started dating Beyoncé when she was 19 and he was 31. (This is true, though non-essential to the thesis of this argument.)

African American fans still feel betrayed Norway is one of the whitest places on earth. It’s not just about the lack of diversity. Seeing that photo had the same impact as Bill Cosby’s infamous line.

With names like Shaniqua, Shaligua, Mohammed and all that crap and all of them are in jail.”

Fans supported him for decades (well before we found out that self-hate was only one of many faults in his repertoire). Cosby still made the statement. Jay-Z hints at being conscious while tearing down the Black community for doing exactly what he has done. It is hypocritical at best.

Many American corporations hire American workers and relocate them overseas. Companies like Bain, Google, HBSC, and Texas Instruments all send Americans abroad. The location is no excuse for such an astounding lack of diversity.

The photo was a reminder that wealthy Black folks can sometimes be as neglectful to our community as non-Black folks. While some may need his advice, even more need the opportunities he can provide. Ambitious Black twenty somethings depend (in part) on their elders to pave the way. Though there is a dearth of Black computer programmers, they exist. Jay-Z is in a perfect position to highlight them and encourage more Black youth to consider careers in STEM.

 

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05Jul/17
blerd city con

Calling all Black Nerds! BLERD City Con is Celebrating You in New York City

blerd city conBLERD City Con is about to bring a revolutionary event to the historic Dumbo Spot in New York, NY — and you’re going to want to grab your tickets soon. BLERD City is an innovative, unique, creative, and challenging celebration of the Black community and all the glorious nerdiness held within. Art, science, film, literature and technology; it’s all going to be on display from Sunday, July 29th through Saturday, July 30th. This family-friendly festival is going to be hyperactive and fueled with fantasy and fandom.
“What is a BLERD?”  A Blerd is simply a “Black Nerd”. They are those who have an interest in what others would say are strange and specific things.  An interest in talking about unrivaled passions for characters, stories, and forms of art that often outweigh real celebrities.  The goal of Blerd City Con is to honor creativity of the Blerd culture, encouraging inclusion, community, and awareness in the process.
Clairesa Clay, the founder of BLERD City Con, has a simple and inspired mission: “I want the audience to experience Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy by the talents of leading African Diasporic filmmakers, writers, coders and creators who are serving the community of Black and Nerdy.
BLERD City is a conference dedicated to showcasing the multi-dimensional complexity of black nerdiness through all spectrums of creativity, invention, and innovation. We’re going to have panels, workshops, film screenings, special guests, presentations, and so much more. Visit our marketplace for gaming and comic books and take your kids to our all ages science and technology exploration center.
This year, BLERD City Con will be honoring L.A. Banks for her outstanding contributions in fantasy horror speculative writing and non-fiction with an award in her name. BLERD City Con has worked with some of the most renowned, accomplished, and critically-acclaimed presenters within the community:
Sheree Renée Thomas, award-winning fiction writer, editor, and poet, and author of Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones. Sheree will be honored with the new L.A. Banks award.
 Tim Fielder, graphic artist, cartoonist, and animator, best known for Afrofuturism: The Next Generation.
Warrington Hudlin, veteran producer of film, television, and online media
Floyd Webb, an award-winning filmmaker and groundbreaking film festival producer.
Regine Sawyer, owner and writer at Locket Down Production a press comic book company. Also the founder of the Women in Comics Collective International.
BLERD City Con’s mission is to provide the Black community with a tangible connection to the talented and cutting-edge professionals working within the arts and sciences, providing room for inspiration, networking, and education.
In addition to featured guests, BLERD City Con panels and workshops include:
People of Color Gaming
Venture Capital for Technology
Women in Comics
The Great Black Panther Debate
Afropast, Afrofuture
Black Karate
Coders and Writers
SciFi/Fantasy/Writers Reading
AfroCrowd: A Wikipedia Workshop
This expansive cultural celebration will be held over five areas: The Dumbo Spot (Panels), Creative Chaos (Book Readings), Automatic Studios (Film Screenings and Panels), The Green Desk (Workshops), and Brooklyn Bridge Park (Children’s Corner). You don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event and experience. Tickets are available now.
 
About BLERD CITY
BLERD City Con is a two-day conference celebrating the fantastic NERDiness in you! Join panels & workshops in Games, Tech, SciFi/Horror/Fantasy film screenings and book readings.
Get your tickets to BLERD City Con here!
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