Author Archive

Hmm! Beauty Myth-Busters

Summer, summer, summertime is here! We are ready to indulge in everything fun in the sun and make the most of the season. As the weather changed, so did our styles and beauty routines. There are a lot of rumors going on about what is best for black girls during the summertime and we are here to debunk the myths! 

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Melanin and SPF| Sunscreen needs to be your friend all year round, but especially in summer. The sun doesn’t care what color your skin is; it will burn you all the same. Your melanin cannot protect you from the strong rays of the sun by itself. You still need extra protection with sunscreen! 

Bright Colors| This is a season for bright colors. Neon is especially big this season so don’t miss out. Black girls of all shades look dope in all different hues! Wear that neon green dress, that yellow eye shadow, or that blue lipstick. Wear them all at the same time if you want to.  Do you boo! 

Bronzer| It’s untrue that black girls don’t like bronzer or should stay away from bronzer. We like to have a warm golden tone during the summer too. It’s a nice alternative to contouring that softens the face. Embrace the glow – and add some highlight too! 

~ Tia Banks, Contet Editor

Toni + Tyanne: Getting Real About #BlackLivesMatter

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — July 21, 2020

We’re excited to launch a new series with brilliant sisters Toni + Tyanne! Tune in as they get real about the Black Lives Matter movement. And yes, that includes “Karens”, proetsts + the different treatment between black  men + women from the movement!

Tune in + subscribe: HERE

Squad Up: CORE Interns!

We bet you can’t find interns doper than ours? From bomb interviews to fresh write-ups, our squad is covering a variety of topics for C.O.R.E mag this summer so stay tuned! Meet our amazing crew from Bela High School in Brooklyn!

CORE Crew Roll Call: Aiyana Lockley, A’Yanna Rouse, Ifeoma Afugbuom, Kiarra Charlemagne, Lynara Richards, Mariam Sikiru, Rosalie Bobbett, Uriah Denham

(Ifeoma Afugbuom + Mariam Sikiru)

What is your dream job and why?

Ifeoma: I want to be an ER Surgeon because I’ve seen how brave they are especially in the times of this pandemic. I also want to be apart of the community that saves lives.

Mariam: I aspire to be an Urban Planner. I want to become an Urban Planner because I want to help people and become more involved in the neighborhood and the building of neighborhoods.

Which hobbies do you enjoy?

Ifeoma: I like singing and dancing to my favorite songs. I love to play sports and be mentally and physically fit.

Mariam: I enjoy knitting, crocheting, photography, exercising,and partaking in commentary of topics that intrigue me.

(Lynara Richards + A’Yanna Rouse)

What are your plans after high school?

Lynara: After high school I will be attending college. I plan to attend nursing school and study to become a Nurse Practitioner specifically in the neonatal department.

A’Yanna: My plans is to go to college and get my master degree in Information Systems and Cybersecurity as double majors. Then get my dream job and save enough money to buy my dream house and car.

Who is your biggest crush?

Lynara: My biggest crush would definitely be Rome Flynn.

A’Yanna: My biggest crush is BTS’s Jin.

(Rosalie Bobbett + Uriah Denham)

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Rosalie: One thing I would change in this world is racism.

Uriah: If I could change one thing about the world it would be racism still existing. Or the cold hearts that people have in the world.

What does empowerment mean to you?

Rosalie: Empowerment means to me is someone of common difference uplifting one another.

Uriah: Empowerment means to me the authority of something. Or power given to someone to do something. But some people take advantage of what empowerment really means. When you have empowerment I feel like this is a chance to lead by example and be an idol for everyone else. Not abuse the purpose of it. It’s a chance for you to change things.

What’s your fave song on repeat right now?

Rosalie: Just Another Part  of Me ~ Michael Jackson

Uriah: Currently, I do not have a favorite song at the moment.

(Aiyana Lockley + Kiarra Charlemagne)

How have you helped someone in your life lately?

Aiyanna: A way that I have helped someone in my life lately was by giving someone who needed a hug a hug.

Kiarra: A way that I have helped someone is by standing up for others and sharing advice.

Who is your role model and why?

Aiyanna: My role model is my mother because she has always pushed me to succeed. She has gone through so much and the fact that she still works hard and never gave up is truly incredible to me. Without her
I feel like I would be so lost and clueless which is why she is my role model.

Kiarra: My role model is myself due to the fact that I imagine myself one day as being successful and not listening  to the others who bring me down/ I will rise above and live the life I always wanted to live!

We warned you, they’re SQUAD GOALS!

Style Diary x Tia!

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Fashion, Latest | by — June 23, 2020

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Scroll through the Style Diary of Dallas-based fashion-lover + blogger, Tia!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

Hey, my name is Tia and I am a 22 year old + a recent grad from Tuskegee University. I’m originally from Dallas, TX.

Style is showing who you are with out having to speak! Name your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season?

The top 3 trends in feeling this season is corsets, split hem trousers, and mules!

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

My most favorite fashion icon is Teyana Taylor. She had that perfect mix of sassy and urban.

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to look if you’re in a rush?

My go-to look in the morning is cropped pattern pants, a graphic tee, and a blazer. I top it off with some Nike Cortez’s.

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

My number 1 rule to style is : You wear the clothes. Don’t let the clothes wear you!

Follow more of Tia’s style here:

Instagram

Tia’s Interlude

It’s A Vibe: Meet Binta

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Feature, Latest | by — June 9, 2020

 

Have you ever heard an album that flawlessly + seamlessly becomes the soundtrack to your life? Singer + songwriter Binta effortlessly wraps a vibe of honest lyrics with an addictively chill tone around you in her debut Ep LIMBO!

Originally born in London (Newham), England, Binta Binnet Phatty recognized her love for singing at the early age of 6 years old. After living in England for  8 years her family moved to her parents’ native country, The Gambia in west Africa.  By 2010 they relocated to Ohio in the U.S. where Binta currently attends Ohio State University majoring in Journalism and Communication.

The 20 year-old songstress released her first single 3rd Eye in January 2020 + shortly after released her debut Ep LIMBO on April 5th.

LIMBO is a beautifully fit musical puzzle where each song adds a soulful piece that brings her art to life! There’s confidence + vulnerability that leaves you feeling empowered into expressing who you are with no apologies. Opening her EP with the song Moment of Honesty instantly sets the tone of authentic transparency we’ve all felt before and can relate to. And ending it with her song Pretty Petal unlocks a feeling of freedom to let go of all judgment towards ourselves. The EP takes you on a much-needed journey of self-love + self-discovery that will have you yearning for more!

Let’s get to know the beauty behind the music…

Limbo is such an authentic, carefree + honest mood all rolled into one! Where did you gain inspiration to pour into your EP?

I gained a lot of my influence from personal experiences, but artists like Jhene Aiko, Erykah Badu, Summer Walker definitely influenced my style of music. I wanted to create a piece of work that everyone could relate to in some form, whether it be falling in love for the first time, getting over heartbreak, owning your authentic self, and overcoming hardships. 

Each song is strung together by a thread of beautiful vulnerability, how important is it to you to use your music as a form of self-expression?

I believe music is a window to your inner self, when I write or sing I want it to be a representation of me. I find that it is easier to talk about my experiences, goals, aspirations, or my feelings  better in music form. At the time of writing limbo I felt as though I myself was in a state of Limbo. I didn’t feel free to express myself but as soon as I started to sing I felt I was the most honest with myself. 

One of my fave songs is ‘Wild Child’ where you unapologetically own your authentic self  +  your worth, how were you able to evolve into confidently embracing who you are?

Wild Child is one of my favorites also! It took a couple of years for me to really embrace myself and realize my self worth. I had struggled with self esteem/ self confidence  during middle school and my early high school years. But as I grew older I realized that in order for me to truly be content and at peace with myself I had to accept who I was flaws and all. I am thankful to have supportive parents that have instilled great values in me. My mom especially has always reminded me of my talents and self worth, it’s important to have a strong and loving  support system.
 
Lingering love was also such a relatable topic throughout your songs.  So many girls have felt like they’ve been in ‘Limbo’ in a love interest’s life, how does uncovering emotional ups and downs impact your lyrics?
 
I wanted to create a piece of work that was authentic to my personal  experiences and at the same time something that people could relate to. At the time of writing limbo I was still in the process of learning about myself, and there were a lot of emotions involved.  Each song I wrote,  I wrote during different phases of my journey.  At times I felt anxious, sad, elated etc but it was necessary to include. We all experience things that trigger a variety of emotions and I wanted to be open and transparent, there are days that I feel like I’m on top of the world and other days where I’m a bit down. These are all normal things to experience in life and I felt I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t include all parts of my experience. 
 
Your EP gave me a feeling of someone singing straight from our personal journals! Thoughts that always swirl in our heads but we might not always say, why is self-love important in the journey of becoming and evolving?
 
Self love is extremely important, and that was something that took me a while to develop and am still developing. It is not an easy process but when you love yourself wholeheartedly, you begin to see things differently.  

“All of my songs have a personal meaning and when I write I tell my truths and I know that there are others out there that can relate and by writing music/singing. I’m able to not only raise awareness about things we all face but relate to my audience. My culture and heritage plays a huge part in my life and also has an impact in my music influence/ taste which is why I love to tell people I’m Gambian hopefully one day I can do my country proud 🇬🇲.”

~ BInta

Stream LIMBO EP today!

Apple Music

Tidal 

Spotify

Speak Out!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — May 25, 2020

Finding Who You Are?

By: Tammy Elleyby

Did you or are you struggling to find your sexuality? Or maybe your gender, or rather your identity? Trust me, there are people all over the world that struggle just like you. Sometimes finding who you are can be difficult both as a teen and an adult.  However,  they’re people who may disagree with your personal journey of truly finding yourself because it’s against their beliefs or mindset. This can often trigger or affect the state of your mental health and self-esteem.

Discovering who you are as a teen can oftentimes have more of an impact on you  opposed to a 37- year old because of the added pressures of navigating teen life.

Now, I know you might be asking if finding your sexuality or identity can really affect you mentally? The answer is yes! It can lead you to feeling depressed like no one is there to understand you, making it harder to fit in with a group of people or trusting people to talk about how you feel. Even, simply just fitting in with society.

Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community can trigger you in a mental and emotional way.  It can make you feel less happy or depressed. Even for no reason without notice, and causing harmful actions that teens and/or adults make.

Studies show and talk about how people who join the LGTBQ+ community are more likely to do risk-taking behavior especially teenagers. Teens who either experienced trauma like verbal harassment, physical harassment, and physical assault due to  coming out or being seen as part of the LGBTQ community. Examples like this are reasons so many teens or children grow up and become adults who still suffer and still struggle with opening up to people whether they need help or not. Many can be so traumatized as a kid that they also grow up and make life-threatening choices like self-harm, alcohol/substance abuse, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior. This leads to so many people taking their lives over something that may or may not be prevented had if they had some help to be able to cope the right way.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Even if it’s a struggle to open up to others you can find people to confide in and trust. Whether that may be family members, friends, or even a doctor/therapist. Some articles state that, Being supported and safe to explore and express your sexuality can be good for your mental health. It can reduce distress, anxiety, and depression.” If a child isn’t able to be him/her/their self and have an adult to help them express who they are it can lead to shutting down, not speaking about how they truly feel, and staying closed off even through adulthood.

When adults or people with their own religious beliefs come off as being be close-minded (not all)  the focus can get lost from being supportive and loving to instead being defensive without being open to understanding the LGBTQ+ community.

As I have talked about many of the struggles of people who are apart of the LGBTQ+ community go through; there is one last topic and that topic is fitting in with society, family and friends. Also overcoming it to just love yourself for who you are and not for who you aren’t.

Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

Family rejection can be one of the hardest trials to overcome. Teens depend on their family to support them, but getting negative outcomes is what makes it hard for kids to then learn to accept themselves. Imagine having complete trust in a family member or maybe a group of friends, you decide to tell them a secret you never told anyone and once you do they turn their backs on you. They begin calling you names and making fun of you.

Because of that negative outcome, the whole after effect starts damaging to your sense of self-worth and overall mental health. Making you feel like you aren’t worth anything and seen a disappointment. The whole experience makes you begin questioning your worth.

Finding who you are whether you are apart of the LGBTQ+ community or not; can affect you mentally and also may affect how you think about yourself. It can make it hard to find that trusted someone and can change the way you feel about people who’ve judged you.  Most importantly,  it can cause lifelong effects. By not getting the support young ,  these feelings  can follow you into adulthood.

In conclusion, if you see someone struggling don’t just put out negative energy, offer a hand and be kind you never know the effect you might have on them.

~ Tammy Elleyby, teen writer

The Struggle! 3 Money Wasters

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Finance | by — May 20, 2020

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College brings on many new responsibilities and being fiscally responsible is one of the hardest. It seems like money leaves your wallet faster than it goes in and your bank account is starting to collect spider webs. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways you’re wasting your money in college. Check out some of these things to cut back on so you can stack those coins!

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Junk Food Foodie?– Although it is nice to treat yourself to fast food every once in a while, the campus is full of eating spots that are included in your meal plan. This is so much better than having to spend money on take out every time you’re hungry. The other benefit is that campus usually offers healthier options so it’s a win-win.

Rent’em + Return’em- Buying textbooks is a hard financial hit in the beginning of the semester. In order to cut costs, rent your books from websites like Amazon and Chegg. You should also ask your professor to see if you’ll even need the book before you buy it.

Ride Along– Having a car on campus is obviously convenient, but the money you spend on upkeep isn’t worth it. You’ll have to pay for gas weekly and some colleges even make you pay for a parking pass every year. Ditch the car and opt for a bike or walk like most students do. Large campuses even provide transportation to your classes.

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~Tia Banks

Meet Kprecia Ambers!

Beautiful culture, bright illustrations + bold girls are all of the flavors that Kprecia Ambers mixes into her fresh designs!

Minneapolis-based Designer + Illustrator, Kprecia Ambers, is the founder of Kp Inspires which uses illustration as a tool to empower celebrate black girls!

“It’s important to see yourself in the world.” Realizing a lack of diversity within the Graphic Design field inspired Kprecia to open her own door of possibilities. Drawing from her positive spirit and desire to see people of color represented, she began creating illustrations painted in her mind and turning them into surface designs. She has since expanded into freelance work and is excited for the unlimited possibilities her career can bring.

“In following my dreams my hope is to inspire others like me to build their own door to walk through.”

Let’s get to know Kprecia a little better…

From your stunning illustrations to your beautiful accessories your pieces are instantly eye-catching! What first triggered your love of art + graphic design?

That’s a good question. I have always loved drawing, but as I got older I grew away from it. When I got to college I originally pursued a degree in web design and was introduced to Graphic Design along the way. I loved the idea of creating something eye catching that the consumer could relate to. This lead into my interests in Surface Design, which in my definition is the art of creating for a surface haha. I wanted my work to be seen, but meaningful. When I graduated I took my passions and desires to see black woman represented and started making illustrations from photos. My goal has always been to push positivity into the world. I do this by celebrating and empowering black women, highlighting individuals I find inspiring, sharing quotes in conjunction with my art, using images that display confidence, and topping it off with bright colors. I love bright colors, it’s captivating, exciting, and pure joy.

Being an entrepreneur + running your own business is an amazing accomplishment, how has your life shifted since starting Kp Inspires? 

My life has shifted tremendously. The upsides is being able to choose who to work with, having total control of my schedule, getting paid from my passions, and supporting others through my services and home decor products. The challenge is learning to wear multiple hats. Making art is fun and all, but running a business requires you to understand business haha. That is something that is not always communicated. Learning pricing (still), contracts, legal work, financing, etc is all things that require patience. Thankfully, I am surrounded by entrepreneurs so the support is awesome. But listening and getting guidance is still very different compared to actually doing the work. It’s something you have to do in order to understand.

Your artwork embodies black girl magic with such an authentic flavor! Why is it important that your art represents the beauty of our culture?

It’s not out there enough! I see women on Instagram and Facebook who are  killing it from creating art, and products, to opening restaurants. They do an amazing job at representing black culture and understand why it’s soooo important for it to be out there. The problem is, society has yet to fully understand the importance of representation. We have to fight to be seen. My goal is to become a black artist who is creating and producing work that celebrates black culture on a major scale. I feel Illustration is my voice in bringing light to social injustices, combating negative stereotypes, and giving hope to black youth. Purposefully I display black woman as confident queens because we need to see ourselves in a positive light. It helps our dreams feel more attainable.

What’s your favorite or most meaningful piece you’ve ever created? 

I love all my work, because each piece has meaning. I will say I am excited about personal projects I am working on. When I present myself to the world, I don’t just want to be an illustrator making pretty pieces. I want to be a business making art that contributes to something bigger. My hope is to work alongside major black owned brands incorporating my illustrations and to create a successful home decor brand celebrating black girls. I want my line of pillow characters to be printed on everything under the sun and to reach little black girls around the world.

Being young, juggling responsibilities while walking towards your dreams can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated?

Listen to myself. Sometimes it’s time for a binge-worthy break. I am only human and I can only do so much. There is a guilt that tries to feed my brain into believing I am not working hard enough, but I have to shut it down. When I need inspiration I watch documentaries, interviews, listen to music, and read. Anything where I see someone fighting for their dreams. Sometimes focusing on other things aside from illustrating is a nice way to stay productive when not feeling motivated. This could include giving attention to other aspects of the business, educating myself on spiritual well being, hair care, and other things I feel is important. When I do feel defeated I give myself permission to be frustrated. I cry when needed, release, and move on. No matter how I cope or regroup I am always reminded that my talents are bigger than me. I have purpose and it’s my duty to use my gifts for good. That is my biggest motivator.

We are all about empowerment, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?

Empowerment to me means contributing to building and pushing out positive energy. I can’t give anyone the power to overcome whatever they are facing but I can encourage them to.

What advice would you give girls who want to follow their dreams and passions but are nervous or intimidated?

Be authentic to yourself (this is what makes you special) and start, but take things one step at a time. Don’t get too overwhelmed thinking ahead of yourself. Break down your goals and create schedules. One thing I am learning is you can’t just put “brand” in your schedule like it’s simple. There are a bunch of small steps in between before the bigger picture is actually accomplished. For example, If you are creating a logo spend time beforehand thinking about your business; What is your purpose, what makes it special, etc. That way your logo and brand can better reflect your company. When you do accomplish a goal rather it’s big or small check it off your list as a mini celebration. It feels amazing! Remember, you will always be growing so don’t get caught up in perfection. It all takes time, but starting is what will allow you to improve. Also I encourage investing time into learning business. No matter what you are doing/pursuing you will need to understand taxes, filing your business, financing, and other legal matters.

Time for faves! Celeb Crush? Artist? Food? Movie?

Celeb Crush: Rihanna is my female crush she is amazing and her style is lit. I also admire T.I. Given his age I have never dreamed of being with him lol, but I love his accent and how he carries himself.

Music Artist: Jhene Aiko, J.cole, Chance, Kevin gates, and a lot more. I love conscious rappers but there is always room to be ratchet or turn into a hustler haha.

Movie: I am not sure if I have a favorite movie, but I love animations and mystery films period!

Keep following Kprecia + her beautiful work + journey here:

Instagram

Website

Blew It…Bounce Back.

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Relationships, Latest | by — April 28, 2020

The relationship between you and your parents is a dynamic one. Although you’re transitioning into a thriving young adult, you still have to be mindful of their rules because they did (and still are) doing a great job raising you. Every once in a while you might get off track and cause some tension, which is normal in any relationship. Whether you forgot to do the chores or got into a huge disagreement, it’s important to find a solution and get back to a better place with them and here’s how:

Apologize

This is the first thing that should be said after you’ve done something wrong. When you give a profuse apology, it shows that you are being responsible for your actions and that makes your parents feel good. Follow the apology with expressing how much you appreciate them and all they’ve done for you.

Pick Up The Slack

In addition to not having to be reminded to do your own chores, you should help out and other things that need to get done in the house, Even if it’s not necessarily on your to-do list. It would make your parent’s lives a whole lot easier and remind them that you know how to step up when needed.

Consistency

Doing these things just to get your way isn’t the right motive. You should aim to have consistently reliable behavior all the time. It will deem you more trustworthy in their eyes and could lead to more privileges.

~Tia Banks, Content Editor

#Freshman5 x Charity!

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Feature, Latest | by — April 14, 2020

Take note of Charity’s #Freshman5 Must-Knows for your freshman year in college!
 
Name: Charity McCants 
College: Auburn University at Montgomery
 
 
Friendship/Relationship| Friendships are so important when starting college! Making them early on with your roommates and classmates will make the school year so much easier. Relationships aren’t always essential but are a good thing to have as long as you can still focus on academics and the things that are most important to you. 
 
Classes/Studying| GO TO CLASS! I made the mistake of starting to skip classes and it hurt me in the long run. If you know you are not a morning person make your classes later in the day so that you won’t lose motivation. Make a schedule to study by yourself and others that have the same classes as you. If you simply study every subject for 20-30 minutes a day it will help so much so that you won’t have to cram right before a test.
 
Budgeting Money| Learn to save money! If you can get a part-time job that will help with small expenses. Try to create a budget for food because that’s the quickest way to over spend. Buy groceries and cook sometimes if you can. It will help you save and it’s also fun + healthy. 
 
Time Management| Learn to have a schedule. Use your phone alarm to help you remember when you have class + when you need to study including other priorities in your schedule.
 
Self-care| Remember, that no matter what you come first! Make sure you’re eating, taking time for yourself and allowing yourself to make mistakes. College is a time to have fun, don’t forget that!
 
Follow more of Charity’s collegiate journey…