Category Archives: Lifestyle

20May/18

Confidence is Key with Tiera Deberry

Tiera DeberryTiera Deberry is from Wilson, North Carolina. She’s an administrative assistant during the day, a CNA at night, and a Model 24/7. She inspired herself to start taking her modeling career seriously this year though she wishes she could say that she has been modeling for a while. She’s only been in one fashion show but that was enough to spark her passion for fashion and make her dedicated to establishing herself as a serious model.

Tiera’s been wanting to model since she was a teenager, but she shared that she didn’t feel she had the confidence. She didn’t feel like she would fit in, if she was pretty enough, or that she would be accepted in the modeling world. The more mature she became the more confidence she built and now she understands that modeling is what she wants to do and she’s not stopping until she gets where she wants to be in the industry.

If “you want to model for real, make sure that you are dedicated. Don’t let one “No” deter you from your dream. Learn from all your criticism so it can build you into a great model…”

The ability to offer advice, self-reflect, and learn can go hand in hand. The modeling industry can be a peculiar place but she explains that she wouldn’t change anything about it. She feels like every aspect of modeling is a growing process. As a model, she does feel she needs to work on being more sociable with other models. She says sometimes her shyness gets the best of her. She can become a little standoffish if she doesn’t know a person and that’s one thing she needs to work on.

Fun Facts & Other Creative Talents

  • If she could do a photoshoot with any Top Model in the world, she would choose to work with Tyra Banks. She has paved the way for Black models all over the world with her runway, TV show, books, and guest appearances on talk shows.
  • The other creative talents she was given are dancing and writing. Her writing was inspired by dealing with personal problems in life so she just wrote down all her feelings. It turned into poetry, music, and a passion over time.

Social Media Contacts

FB: Tiera La’Shaunda

FB Model Page: Tiera Βαмβι Deberry

INSTAGRAM: Exclusivelydivine

TWITTER: iCheetah_

13May/18

The Mourning Moms Katina Nish, Latativa Robertson, and Others Unify for a Tribute Photo Session

On March 25, 2008, Katina Nish found herself holding her son’s lifeless body. She visually struggled with that image for six long years and the only way to express her broken heart was through pictures and stories. She and her personal photographer at the time, D Mayfield, collaborated every week creating images. This inspired her to pursue a stronger modeling career and took her to great places. While enjoying her journey, Katina realized that she equally wanted to write and had neglected my duties to do so. “God told me to create a national movement edifying and encouraging women. He told me as long as I forever centered my pursuits with this platform, He would supply the needed liquids to my thirst.” This was the birth of The Mourning Moms. The Mourning Mom is national movement dedicated to mothers who have lost a child. Whether it be pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or infant or child loss, the goal is to keep you encouraged and hopeful.

On this Mother’s Day of 2018, Katina has collaborated with angel mom member Latavia Robertson (formerly of Destiny’s Child) and three other women of child loss for a special Mother’s Day tribute photoshoot with international photographer Sidney Conley. With May being known for Mother’s Day and Mental Health Awareness Month, they wanted to express a brighter side of child loss as they stand in unity, showing power over their circumstances, and choosing liberty over our lives while acknowledging the slightest existence of their children. Mother’s Day is a challenging day for mothers of child loss and mental health is extremely important to keep these Mom’s going. Let’s all join in together in wishing them a happy Mother’s Day.

If you’re a Mourning Mom in need of support or want to support The Mourning Moms, connect with them on Instagram!

03May/18
ArinMaya Thank You

New Song “Thank You” by ArinMaya is Musical Soul Food

“Thank You” is ArinMaya’s newest offering that explores issues of self-love, momentous endings, relationship redemption, and freedom all at once. Directed by actor and screenwriter Chris Greene of Truth First Productions (The Night Of; 7 Seconds), the video portrays an introspective ArinMaya looking for inspiration and self-healing in the pages of O Magazine and Together We Rise, the book written and published in commemoration of the Women’s March. An inaugural member of the Resistance Revival Chorus, which was born from the Women’s March, ArinMaya first wrote “Thank You” as mantra in an act of self-love.

ArinMaya Thank YouInspired by a relationship turned disappearing act, ArinMaya came up with the refrain, “Thank you for setting, setting me free – Thank you for letting me be me – Thank you for setting, setting me free,” after realizing that her sadness over the relationship’s ending should actually be joy.

She begins telling the story of love gone wrong, taking lyrical assistance from her bandmate and energetic emcee, BD3. Produced by Edson Sean, the third and most versatile member of ArinMaya’s musical collective The Experi3nce, “Thank You” is a crowd banger. Shirazette Tinnin (Hugh Masakela; Alicia Keys) is the song’s secret ingredient, whose percussion adds a special layer to the song’s already upbeat feel. Replete with a memorable baseline and a clean and vibrant horn arrangement – also played and arranged by members of the Experi3nce – “Thank You” is a song for everyone, as both men and women will find themselves in this powerful, relatable message and melody. Song + Music by ArinMaya featuring The Experi3nce Directed by Truth First Studios. Click here to purchase the track. For more information, visit her website.

 

01May/18
Taji Mag Vol 15 Eclipsed Beauty

Taji Vol15: Eclipsed Beauty

Release Jun 7 2018 | Vol15 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Eclipsed Beauty! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of Stewella Daville. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick on Loc’d Queens @loclivin, @mzladylox, @killadoesthat; Community Spotlight Weeksville – A Historically Black Community; our highlighted Hair Feature by Debra Hair Bey; “Solo Travel: How I Decide Where to Stay” by D. Carrie; “Your Food Might Be Eating You” by Jashua Sa’Ra; Chit Chat with Andrea Rachel; “The Creator’s Lawyer™ – Ticora Davis” by Fiat; Stächa Huis is an Ode to Surinamese Enslaved Women; “#BlackLoveConvo: “When Family Passion Inspires Art: Kenadi Johnson” by Dapper Dr. Feel; “Cayden Cay Consulting” by Fiat; “How Group Economics is Rebuilding the Black Community”; Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef; Featured art piece by Will Focus; Must Have Graphic Novel: Kubadilisha The Manga Series; Black Business Highlights; Taji Mag Model Contest Winners; and more!!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol 15

Taji Mag is the epitome of the positive Black experience. Our brand embodies the traditional and modern royalty of Pan-African people via our quarterly digital and print publication and live events.

24Apr/18
First Ladii

The Business of First Ladii

First LadiiHer name is Briana Barksdale, but she is known in the entertainment industry as First Ladii Briana B. She is originally from Greensboro, NC but she lived in Virginia for two years before relocating back to North Carolina to the state’s Capital, Raleigh.

Goals: A future goal that Briana sees for her financial literacy business is to help one thousand new clients gain financial freedom by the end of 2018.  

Bet You Didn’t Know!: If she could work with any top name in the entertainment industry she would choose to work with Oprah because she views her as the most successful woman of all time!

She has attended several schools – A&T, Columbia School of Broadcasting and is currently studying Entertainment Business at the Los Angelo’s Film School – and during her time at the previous schools, she majored in business, media, and broadcasting. It has always been her passion to help others achieve their goals or to motivate them to be “One Day closer to their Dreams.” She is very blessed to be working every day in her field of work and changing the financial lives of all people daily.

Her mother inspired her to start her own company. In growing up, her mother was an entrepreneur and she always had several side gigs. Her daughter studied her tactics and it inspired her to want to grow and achieve all that she could during her life. She currently maintains an established Credit Consulting franchise and specializes in Credit Restoration and Financial Literacy. She also owns a multi-production PR business called First Ladii Productions.

Life with The Company 

As a CEO, the qualities she feels are most valuable consist of leadership, tenacity, perseverance, and confidence.  Her credit restoration franchise offers services that mentor in the field and financial literacy services to help repair and retain all things financially related.

The biggest challenge she had to overcome when starting her business was the ability to overcome after failure and/or denial. In her position, she had to juggle so many companies and these tasks are sometimes difficult, but in situations of that nature, you have to reorganize your priorities.

Success is always around the corner! The contribution she made to her community through her success is of great importance. She was recently recognized by her partner company for reaching milestones in her credit literacy program. She also hosted a red carpet event with her production company that sponsors individuals with epilepsy.

First Ladii

Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

Are there any CEO boss ladies’ who are internationally known that you admire?

The CEO Boss Ladies that she admires are Issa Rae and Beyonce. She admires Beyonce because she has been consistent in her business ventures. She admires Issa Rae because she created a similar platform as her and her success is something that she models.

Are there any other creative talents that you have, that your audience doesn’t know about?

Barksdale shared that she has plenty of talents.  One of which is being a mother. She’s a mother of a two-year old. In addition, she writes and produces a radio show as well as a talk show entitled Goal Diggers. The show features and highlights individuals successfully chasing their dreams.

She can be reached through social media on the following platforms:

Personal:

@iamBrianaB (Facebook, Snapchat, IG, Twitter)

Business: (Facebook and IG)

@CreditBrianaB

@GoalDiggersShow

@ShayStarDOTcom

Her Websites:

www.FirstLadii.com

www.GoalDiggers.tv

www.ShayStar.com

www.myfes.net/BBarksdale

24Apr/18
Derrick Jaxn

“You Are Attractive, but Are You Good For My Mental Health?” with Derrick Jaxn

Derrick JaxnThere is a reason that the online dating industry makes over $3B each year since 2010 according to IBISWorld.com. Most of the population is looking to find a partner to share our lives with. Along with that comes the difficulty of learning people and what we can deal with. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in a relationship is the mental aspect of love and, in some cases, it’s difficult and, sometimes, scary. This is why oftentimes we ask ourselves “Are you good for my mental health?” whenever we find a possible suitor we deem attractive. Taji Mag interviewed author and self-love/relationship advocate Derrick Jaxn about his thoughts on love, dating, and mental health.

Taji Mag: There is a quote circulating on social media that says “You are attractive, but are you good for my mental health.” What does that mean to you?

Derrick Jaxn: I think it is adult and a mature way to look at it. While dating we focus so much on instant gratification that we forget what happens on the back end and we end up paying for it in the end in a lot of instances. A lot of people need to take that approach. It’s kinda like when you get food, it may look good, it may smell good,  but what is the nutritional makeup.

Taji Mag: In terms of maturity level, is there any noticeable development in judgment while dating that you have noticed with yourself?

Derrick Jaxn: It’s kind of like the bible verse (1 Corinthians 13:11) When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. In our youth, we are products of our environment but when you grow up, you no longer have that excuse and so now, as an older version of yourself, you are a product of your experiences. Now I have experienced women on a different level, more than what they can do for me sexually or whatever way I can use them. I know that’s a dark description of how we can objectify women, but we have to grow to see them as more valuable because society does not condition us that way.

Taji Mag: Can you give a good example of what you are talking about?

Derrick Jaxn: If you have a mom and dad that are both good influences, the media will inundate with images of women that are strictly for our consumption in the perspective of a man. On the other side of that attractive woman is a heart and a lot of trauma comes when you break that heart. It creates damage when you manipulate the mind and I have grown to know that especially now that I speak on behalf of relationships. A lot of times, it is women who are asking me to speak on their situations and it’s a sobering reality to hear about the things we put them through so casually.

Taji Mag: Sounds like you take to heart what women say and it’s very concerning what they go through.

Derrick Jaxn: I am very passionate about what I talk about because we have to change that culture. We can’t wait until our daughter is 16 about to go on a date to pull out a shotgun to care about women. We have to do our part now and shape things into the way we want them.

Taji Mag: How can you identify when you are in a mentally unhealthy relationship?

Derrick Jaxn: I have my bouts with mental health that I don’t play with. I am married now but, while I was dating, whenever situations blurred the line of toxicity or compromised my mental health, I made sure to nip it in the bud. I can’t afford to be played with because I already have a daily struggle. If you know anyone that struggles with mental health, they don’t always feel in control of their thoughts, moods, or emotions. You don’t need another opponent when you have that daily challenge. For me, I have never been in an unhealthy relationship, if there were situations where I felt whomever I was dating was playing with me or my emotions it got nipped in the bud real quick!

During the journey to find love it is important to listen to your heart and seek emotional tranquility than to fall ill to mental toxicity from another. It is easier said than done but that is the beauty of life, to learn as we go and discover what makes us happy.

“Unlike many other journeys, when it comes to finding self and matters of the heart you’ll swiftly find yourself lost if you follow someone else’s” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

26Mar/18

The Asa! Movement with Akosua Akoto

If Wakanda were real, Akosua Akoto (@akosua_asa) would no doubt lead the Dora Milage. Her peak physique, intelligence, and passion make her one of the talented leaders of the exercise world. Her motivation is not money or fame but to improve the quality of health for her clients. With Asa!, she is able to do just that, providing services that are beneficial to the health and well being of our community. The low impact workout that is a hybrid of fitness endurance and energetic dance movements allow participants to get fit, attack all body parts, and have fun in the process.

Akosua ’s love for fitness started at the age of 3 when she began to learn about dance. Her gift in dance granted her opportunities to perform in many of the highly praised programs around the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Akosua showed her ability to not only excel as a great student but also as a great teacher leading dance classes by the age of 15. She would continue her growth as a dancer through the choreography of different dance companies and events.

As her dance career continued to grow, so did her interest in health and fitness. Akosua’s interest led her to attend Howard University, where she completed her Bachelor’s in Sports Medicine followed by her Master’s in Human Performance & Injury Rehabilitation at the California University of Pennsylvania. Her intention was to use her degree to train and educate clients about health working for an organization, but life had better plans for her gifts, leading her into the extraordinary fitness entrepreneur that she is today.

Akosua in one her designed costume’s from the FUZE collection.

Not only is she a boss in the fitness and dance worlds, she is also the boss of her own businesses including Asa! and FUZE, where she serves as co-founder and designer. FUZE is not only a great company influenced by African and Antiguan culture, it is also a movement that is meant to encourage wellness, homemade body products, and dazzling costumes that can be worn for festival activities. In addition to Akosua running her many companies, she also finds time to train clients on-one-one. With her education and background, she is able to set up goals with her clients for them to achieve. Her training methods are effective because her focus is less based on the aesthetics. Akosua’s goal in fitness training is based on improving health through proper body mechanics and nutrition. 

Although Akosua has the moves and looks to lure audiences, she prefers to be behind the scenes developing choreography but is often asked to be in front of the camera to perform. Her latest work was in the video “Boomerang” by Jidenna where she and a long-time friend artfully dance through the whole video.  She has also performed on many huge platforms like the BET awards pre-show.

Although Akosua isn’t a protector of the King of Wakanda or can provide her clients the with heart-shaped herb from Black Panther, she can protect her clients from unhealthy habits, informative health/exercise education, and supportive nutrition advice. Her passion that she pours into her work will only lead her to greater success and improve any that are a part of her journey.

Be on the lookout for Asa and FUZE events near you!

 

06Mar/18
Black Women in Media Awards

Join Us at the Third Annual Black Women in Media Awards & Conference, March 28-29, 2018 (NYC)

Don’t miss a chance to attend the third annual Black Women in Media Awards and Conference!!! The annual Black Women In Media (BWIM) is less than one month away, and we don’t want you to miss this highly anticipated event; for women of color by women of color.  In its third year, the event, taking place in New York City, Wednesday, March 28th and Thursday, March 29, 2018, brings together women, from all walks of life, in media and entertainment.

From attorneys and legal analysts, music and media executives, to philanthropists, entrepreneurs, women in tech, radio and television, #BWIM18 is the place to be.

Black Women in Media AwardsHonorees include Cathy Hughes, Founder & Chairperson of Radio One Inc., Michele Thornton-Ghee, Senior Vice President at BET & Head of Sales at BET Her, Ericka Pittman, Chief Marketing Officer at Aquahydrate, Dewanda Wise, star of Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It, and Tamika Mallory, activist & National Co-Chair of the Women’s March, just to name a few.

Don’t miss an opportunity to join us at this year’s event. Use code: BWIMFriend during your ticket purchase and get 20% off, Register Now!

Black Women in Media Awards Featured Honorees:

Black Women in Media Awards
Angela Yee
Radio Personality, The Breakfast Club, WBLS Power 107.5

Tamika Mallory
Activist and National Co-Chair of Women’s March

Ericka Pittman
Chief Marketing Officer, Aquahydrate

Michele Thornton-Ghee
Senior Vice President of BET & Head of Sales, BETHer

DeWanda Wise
Actress, She’s Gotta Have It

Cathy Hughes
Founder and Chairperson of Radio One Inc.

REGISTER NOW: Use Code BWIMFriend for 20% off

About Black Women in Media:
Black Women In Media, a subsidiary organization of BLACK STREET (501)(c)(3), was created to provide a platform for Black women in media and entertainment. Women who are dominating in the Communications, Journalism, Entertainment, Television, Radio and Broadcasting fields etc. It serves to counteract the lack of representation; especially positive representation, recognize those who have paved the way and empower those just to come.

Black Women in Media Awards

25Feb/18
Black Panther movie

My Thoughts on the Underlying Message from Black Panther

Black Panther movieBlack Panther. The Hollywood version of when America got a Black president. It’s a movie that has captured the lion’s share of Black Americans attention for the past month at least. Since opening night, Black people have been at movie theaters dressed in their finest African garb, faces painted, sometimes playing drums, dancing, even conducting rituals, and otherwise culturally celebrating right in the lobby! We are excited about seeing a high budget film with a dominantly Black cast, Black writers, and Black director (even if not from a Black film company). No, it’s not the first time a Black comic character has been brought to the big screen, but this time the title character is a rich powerful king, not a demon (Spawn) or half vampire (Blade). In addition, and likely more importantly, Black women are integral heroes as well. I have noticed some make shaming comparisons between the support for the fictional hero Black Panther’s movie vs. the historic hero of freedom Nat Turner’s recent movie, Birth of a Nation. That’s an important comparison. It is too rich to completely discuss here, but let us look at the smear campaign launched against its writer and producer, Nate Parker, right before its release. Two things were brought up. First, an accusation of rape from his past that had already been resolved, and, second, the fact that he has a white wife. Amongst Black people, those two things would be more of a trigger to the women than to the men. Black women are also the most likely to go support a historical Black film. Which if you are astute enough, you will see that Black Panther is very much directed more at Black women than any other superhero film to date. Aside from that, I have heard many Black people say they are wary of slave movies, even if it is one of revolution.

Understandably, Black Panther answers an innate desire in Black people to enjoy stories of themselves as brilliant, resourceful heroes with superior qualities and deserving of respect. Therefore I can give props to Marvel and Disney because of acquisition, for being the first to take advantage of the “natural movement” and create a product that accurately targets the Black media consumer without cultural blowback or accusations of insensitivity. However, Disney has a history of including the occult and subliminal messaging in their products, so I had to watch carefully. I have been concerned that, beneath all the beauty that causes us to celebrate this film accomplishment, there will be subtly inserted elements to cause emotional/mental dissonance of some sort. I found some of course. For this article, I will discuss only one.

Black Panther movieThe main antagonist, Killmonger, seems to have garnered as much affection from the audience as any of the protagonists, if not more. The character has great lines that are delivered with ample charisma. Michael B. Jordan is a very capable actor (and eye candy). Apparently, there is a general empathy for his character, because we can identify with his passionate anger at oppression and injustice, and because he sounds and moves like a Pan-Afrofuturist revolutionary. All of that being backed up by the tragic plot twist of his father dying at the hands of his uncle, the previous king of Wakanda, triggers our sense of Ma’at (karma). He’s the only main character who gets to drop slang in our Black American voice. He’s the king’s cousin, but he reminds us of our cousin! All of these things have given him full access passes to our hearts. That is why he is probably the most psychologically damaging aspect of this film.

For the appropriate tone, consider the thoughtfulness put into featuring strong Black women at all levels of power. At every crucial point in the movie, a Black woman was vital to success. So it goes without saying at this point that a large part of why this movie is so beloved is because of how prominent the image of the powerful Black woman is throughout this film, on and off screen. Therefore it should have been the most vile offense that the first person Killmonger personally killed on-screen was his own [assumed] girlfriend, who was also his accomplice! We never even learned her name. Goodbye down ass Black woman with a nice twist out. Once he became king, he also choked out an elder Black woman for not wanting to burn her garden of sacred super herbs. We love how fierce and proud the all-female Dora Milaje are, and yet we quickly forgot how he cut one of their throats while she was defenseless. He wounded Nakia and was a millisecond away from killing Shuri. See the pattern I’m pointing out?? He was the ONLY main character to hurt and kill women in the movie. How does this slip past us to the point that I’ve heard, “he wasn’t really even a villain,” even from women who are usually vigilant against misogyny. Remember how we enjoyed his movie entrance by talking that talk to a woman, right until she succumbs to the drug he put in her drink.

Even with me pointing out all that, I still say he is a worthy character and had excellent potential for redemption, or even further villain development. In the comic book, he didn’t give a damn about the diaspora, he was just a crazy killer. Why was he killed at the end of the movie then? The very nature of comic books is that villains are defeated but don’t always die. In the Thor series, Loki’s treacherous ass has escaped death in multiple movies. Why did Killmonger have to die then, when it was clear that he was portrayed as motivated by deep hurt but admirable? We are to accept his death at the end as inevitable, because of the already legendary and beloved line he dropped about being like his ancestors who jumped into the ocean rather than accept bondage. But why did he even have to go to prison forever? We can heal Bucky from being the Winter Soldier but can’t get N’Jadaka out of Killmonger? Or was there no one in Wakabi’s tribe who still sympathized and could have saved him at the end? No, I think the obvious answer is “death to any Black revolutionary who fights back against oppression (without western backing).” So we are set up to love this “Black freedom fighter” only to lose him at the end, echoing the psychological terrorism of assassinating so many historical figures.

So yes, I root for the benefits that can come from this kind of film. However, I always invite my ancestors to watch Hollywood films with me and help with discernment. I’m willing to enjoy a movie and still call it out if it has unhealthy elements too. We grown.

25Feb/18
JGoodtheModel

NC Male Model JGoodtheModel is on the Rise

Jermaine Gooden aka JGoodtheModel is originally from Brooklyn, NY but currently resides in North Carolina.

JGoodtheModel
He has pursued modeling since the age of 26 but started to take it more serious in the past year. Follow his journey on all social media at @JGoodtheModel.

Most of what he knows about modeling is self-taught, and no one person truly inspired him to start modeling, but, nonetheless, he has been to multiple model recruitment castings. He was accepted to a school but the advice they provided was that which he could do and learn himself. So, instead of paying a huge amount of money to continue the training, they provided him with a ‘blueprint’ on what he needed to do to get to the next level.

There are challenges to being a male model. There are so many stereotypes and assumptions that he has to dissect and overcome. Since he’s not in a “big market” city like DC, NYC, ATL, or Miami, the work is slow and limited. J has to diligently go out, search, and network with other models, photographers, fashion designers, etc. The training that he wants and needs requires him to travel out of his area which is time-consuming since he works full-time.

To date, J has been in three fashion shows. In November of 2017, he participated in two fashion shows in the same weekend! He most enjoyed being in the B:U Gang Fashion Show with designer Megan Jackson from Charlotte, NC. It was fun because they had a Black Lives Matter theme that was being shown throughout the fashion show. He also participated in the DFW 2016 (Danville Fashion Week 2016) which was themed “Colors of Fashion” where they worked with local clothing stores and department stores to highlight their 2016 Fall Fashion.

JGoodtheModel

Throughout his short career, he has already gained a lot of insight. The advice he offers for any up and coming model is:

·Be prepared! Practice your walk, poses, and faces in the mirror.

·Do your homework! Know something about the agency or client and industry. Not everything out there is legit!

·Your make-up should be minimal to show off your natural beauty when casting.

·Never be late!

·Have proper posture. Stand up straight, shoulders back.

·Be honest! It is okay to tell them if you do not have a lot of experience. Wow them with your natural ability (this is why practice is so important!)

If he could model or do a photo-shoot with any top models in the world, he would choose Tyson Beckford and David Agbodji. In his eyes, those two are the pinnacle of success for African American male models! “I love all their editorial work in magazines for different designers… They also show how you can branch-out from modeling and go into other industries such as film, campaigning for brands, and commercials.”

Upcoming Events

Possible Appearance in the Spring 2018 Fashion Show: Misfit Kids Presents: Fashion Junkies April 21, 2018 in North Carolina.