Author Archive

Makeup MIX: Rhanaé Ami

Scroll through the Makeup Mix of Tampa-based beauty-lover, Rhanaé Ami!

What’s your name + city do you live in?

Rhanaé Ami and currently resides in Tampa, Florida.

Beauty is all about being comfortable in your own skin + expressing your vibe. What are 2 beauty trends you’re loving this year?

I’ve been loving the more natural look when it comes to eyebrows, it brings more attention to the actual eye look! Another would be bold lip combos with color on deep-skinned black women! Never tried it myself but a pink glossy lip combo has been my favorite to see so far. 

If you had only 15 seconds to grab 3 beauty products, what would they be?

Colourpop’s Feather Brow Pencil, ANY nude gloss I can put my hands on, and short mink lashes! 

Inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate beauty icon OR what inspires your makeup looks + why?

My looks are more inspired by THINGS more than people! Going into the store and seeing something as weird as a colorful shampoo bottle or even maybe a pattern on a dress that’s on a mannequin; can inspire me. I love turning actual items into wearable eye looks. I just love transforming in general. I may not be a fan of colorful pigments in my personal life but I love CREATIVITY and love being able to create something from another piece of art! 

How does your makeup reflect your personal style?

I think the funniest thing about my makeup is that it’s always colorful and bold but my personal style is the exact opposite. I only wear black, white, and grey clothing because I’ve always been the “bigger” girl growing up and always felt better in “mute” clothing! My own apartment has no color, it’s strictly grey and white! I use makeup to explore color on my skin tone but I, unfortunately, haven’t been bold enough to wear the colors on fabric just yet but wish me luck! 

What’s one beauty must-have that lives in your bag?

Colourpop’s Pretty Fresh pressed face powder! It’s like a hidden gem in the makeup world. 

What’s your number 1 beauty rule?

The number one rule is that there isn’t any. There isn’t truly a “correct way” to do makeup, always do what’s best for YOU and your skin. Always do what makes you happy! There’s no rule book or list to follow by. 

Follow more of  Rhanaé Ami’s look here:

Instagram

Meet Chanae Richards!

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Feature, Latest | by — August 17, 2022

Chanae Richards is an interior designer and entrepreneur who has created a name for herself. Graduating from Rutgers University, Chanae lately discovered her passion for interior design. Before pursuing interior design, Chanae was a financial director at local school. Chanae later felt more connected to interior design and chose to follow her intuition.

She believes intuition can take you as far as you want to go and with that she listened to hers.

Chanae is now the CEO of her own interior design studio, oloro Interiors!

Let’s get to know Chanae a little better…

What is a fundamental piece of advice you would give a young
woman as she prepares for her future?
Stay committed.
And we don’t always have to stick to one thing. If you want to do more than one thing in your life, do it. Don’t let anybody stop you.

How much impact did race and gender have on you when you were
making a name for yourself?
Only 2% of people in this position are black so you can imagine the impact it had on me. Not only was I black though but I was a woman and that made it harder for me.

Can you recall one of the first moments you realized this is what you
wanted to do with your life?
I don’t think there was a specific moment when I realized it, at least not
that I recalled. Somewhere in my mind I just knew this is what I wanted to do and I went for it.

Do you have any role models alive or dead?
I’ve had many women in my life who are role models starting with my mom, aunts, and my sisters. They’ve each experienced life from different lenses and are open with both the joys and pitfalls that come
with it.

Can you think of one quote that really impacted your journey?
“Intuition will take you further than education can.”

As someone who struggles with anxiety, do you have any advice for
others who struggle with it as well?
Feel the fear and face it. I have tried not to let my anxiety stop me from doing what I have to do because I have a plan and nothing is going to get in the way of it.

What is one of your ultimate end goals?
To retire my mom.

To stay in touch with Chanae:
Olorointeriors.com
Instagram: @olorointeriors Pinterest: @olorointeriors

~ Interview by Jada Boothe

#Freshman5 x Blossom!

Take note of Blossom’s #Freshman5 Must-Knows for your freshman year in college!

Full Name: Blossom Ogechi Egbuonu 

College/University : The University Of Illinois At Chicago

Relationship/Friendship: Don’t be in a hurry to make so many friends. It can be hard adjusting to a new environment but quality of friends over quantity every time! 

Classes/Studying: Going to office hours is such a gold mine. You can get clarity on topics and also build a personal relationship with your professors that could help you get job opportunities in the future. 

Budgeting Money: Implementing self-control when shopping will help to limit impulse buying. 

Time Management: Start your days early so you can maximize your hours during the day. 

Self-care: Take time to treat yourself when you need to because college can be very overwhelming.

Follow more of Blossom’s journey:

Instagram

Misogynoir + Beauty Standards

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Health/Beauty, Latest | by — February 16, 2022

Misogynoir:  How It Plays Within the Societal ‘Beauty Standards’ 

Misogyny is the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women as described by Oxford Languages. Today this has translated into over-sexualization, lack of visibility, and rape culture. However, the general public’s view of misogyny is extremely whitecentered and has oftentimes left zero room for the black misogyny affected individual’s experience.

Misogynoir was coined by activist Moya Bailey and is exactly what it sounds like: misogyny directed towards black girls & women. This can be translated into hypersexualization of young black MAI (misogyny affected individuals), invalidation of feelings or reactions, a tendency to trauma dump on them due to the mammy stereotype, and masculinization amplified for dark skin MAI. Nonetheless, there are still cosmetic effects of white supremacy imposed onto black MAI. The current beauty standard is vehemently eurocentric which can be traced back to colonization and neo-colonization indoctrinated millions into the belief that your proximity to whiteness is a measure of your beauty. For example, lighter skin tones and less prominent features associated with people of color such as noses and lips are often interpreted as allure. Consequently, people on the opposite of the spectrum, with more prominent noses, lips, and darker skin tones face poorer treatment. The inverse of this (better treatment due to looks) has been noted as the term ‘Pretty Privilege’.

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In the book, Belly of the Beast By Da’Shaun L Harrison, the author hypothesizes that Pretty can be used as a sort of capital for treatment. Several black MAI and darkskin MAI in particular have recalled their experiences with being treated as less than specifically by men. This issue has only been exacerbated by the fact that black men are statistically less likely to date black MAI. Why is it such a trend for black men to harp on black MAI? This question has been asked by many and unfortunately this rhetoric can be traced back to the masculinization of black MAI and the hyper-masculinization of darkskin men. Darkskin men have been hyper-masculinized since the dawn of time and the masculine association that’s attached to you while being a darkskin MAI is something that sticks with you for life and affects nearly all of your relationships, romantic or platonic. Because darkskin men are hypermasculinized it’s often hard for them to do anything that’s slightly associated with femininity such as dating someone masculine, expressing their feelings and seeking mental health treatment without having their blackness invalidated.

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Obviously this rhetoric is extremely heteronormative and anti-black regardless it has seeped its way into our society. With this said, darkskin men are more likely to date lightskin MAI over darkskin MAI and will bash darkskin MAI any chance they get. Think of any heterosexual darkskin man you know and they are most likely dating someone who’s lightskin or noticeably lighter than them. This seemingly hatred-like feeling for black MAI is what fuels feelings of undesirability. Darkskin men have the tools and lexicon given to them by their internalized anti-blackness to verbalize their hatred for darkskin MAI as Oh! Stephco expertly states.

The impact of this is detrimental. When one faces as much anti-blackness as a black MAI faces, they expect some form of consoling and solidarity from people who face the same thing. Only when they seek it are they met with loads of invalidation and mocking for their traumatic experiences.

I can say that as a darkskin woman I have struggled a lot with the concept of undesirability specifically when it comes to the black male gaze. I know, with certainty, that my dark skin and my foreign ethnicity have amplified my experience. When I talk to my lightskin counterparts about their experiences with black men, I don’t feel jealousy or hatred, but wonder. Part of my experience with developing and growing has been the process of accepting that the amount of male attention I get is not reflective of my worth; however, it is a lesson that I should not have had to learn so painfully. As I start to come into myself and feel more whole, I pray that my younger selves embrace that cognizance as well.

~ Ayo Sanneh, C.O.R.E Mag teen blogger

Toni + Tyanne: Dating Apps?

Being single + dating in college can be tricky already? Now, on top of that add quarantine. *sigh* Sisters Toni + Tyanne Bryce dive into on this episode’s topic on dating + dating apps with C.O.R.E Mag!

Meet Tales Of The Text Podcast

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Feature, Latest | by — July 27, 2021

Jumping on the subway? Melanin glistening on the beach? Relaxing in your room? Well, we’re giving you the best soundtrack and dose of entertainment that can keep up with your full summertime agenda through Tales Of The Text podcast!

Tales Of The Text is scripted short fiction stories filled with drama, secrets, and plot twists marinated in Black teen and college culture. This addictive podcast will literally have you attached to your headphones with its spicy surprises, relatable voices and jaw-dropping scenarios.

Creator Joi Mitchell  launched this brilliant and authentic space for black teen + young adult stories to be heard all over the world. Based in Southside Chicago, her platform allows teen voice actors and writers to explore their creativity dipped in every day realities.

Let’s get to know Joi + Tales Of A Text podcast a little more…

From dating to peer pressure to drama, Tales of The Text Podcast gives such genuine lens of what goes on in high school/college on a daily basis! What made you first want to launch the podcast?

I was listening to a podcast about entrepreneurship when I literally popped up and thought, “How can I incorporate what I love which is music (having worked in the music business during the golden era of hip hop the late 90s early 2000s), working with teens, the art of storytelling, and production.” In addition to  asking, “Why isn’t there a podcast that tells authentic uncensored stories relatable to Black teens with a chat at the end?” At the time I had no idea that what I was describing was a scripted audio fiction podcast mixed with a host chat segment. Who knew? lol The next step was to run my idea by the audience I wanted to serve so I sent a text to teens Shay, Taylor, and Cameron (they are all in college now) to get their thoughts. I pitched the concept with the name and when they said YES the rest is history. 

We love the “After The Text” portion where the teens give their honest feedback + relate to each story, where does the inspo come from when creating the storyline for each podcast?

I’m so glad that you connected with After The Text! Story inspiration comes from my crazy imagination and more importantly the lives of teens and young adults. As a former educator who has been humbly blessed to be on the “guest list” of some teens and young peoples lives, I listen to them and I hear them with purpose. For example, our most popular episode is Accidentally Crushin’ and all but 1 of the 5 episodes was written by a young teen and they were based on her real life relationship where she caught feelings for her best friend and the journey they experienced. I also research writing prompts and work with our screenwriters to remix the prompts to include the Black teen/YA experience.

(Joi Mitchell, Creator of Tales of the Text Podcast)

Relationships, friendships + situationships pop up in different ways throughout the stories which we know is a major part of life;  how important is being able to know when someone is a good fit for you whether it’s in dating or trusting your friends?

This can be tricky because we all present our representative in the beginning of any relationship/friendship and we have to remember that none of us are perfect. How in the ever, there are 3 things I think you should pay attention to in order to maintain your sanity as you navigate the world of all the ‘ships’. 🙂

1) A friend should not be trying to sabotage your other friendships nor your relationship with Bae. This can get messy and is just not worth all the drama that ensues. 2)Remember that you want a friend who genuinely has your best interest at heart. Make note that it’s more important to watch what people do vs. what they say. Ladies this transfers to potential Bae too. 3) Lastly, ask yourself how does this person make me feel and do they add positivity or negativity to my life. I had a beautiful “let’s catch up” conversation with a teen and she mentioned that she realized breaking up with her boyfriend was necessary because he was a drag on her life and that’s not the direction she’s headed.

Adults focus on the stress of classes BUT oftentimes forget that so much stress of being in high school/college is trying to navigate your personal + social life. What made you want to highlight the social aspect? And how can you stay true to yourself during these years?

I was an instructor for an After School program for several years and I realized quickly that the social aspect of a teen’s life is a form of escape and entertainment. My overall goal with Tales Of The Text Podcast is to be a form of edutainment that takes the listeners to a place filled with fun, risque, relatable stories made just for their ears. As for staying true to yourself during the high school years I would say that it’s ok to feel awkward at times.

I suggest keep a journal, follow your heart, NEVER try to be like someone else, surround yourself with dope and different friends who challenge you, learn to laugh at yourself, use the social media platforms that best fit your personality and although it can be hard, try not to compare yourself to others because honestly most people, including celebrities, are posting a highlight reel of their lives. No one is really sharing the whole truth. Lastly, trust me when I say that it does get better and if you as a teen are not feeling good about yourself PLEASE ask for help. 

Do you feel like black teen stories + experiences get shared enough in an authentic way on mainstream media?

I honestly don’t think there are enough black teen stories/experiences being shared via the mainstream media or in the world of podcasting. Black teens like Black people overall are not monolithic. We all like different things and have different experiences while at the same time there is something beyond special about our Blackness that connects us. I’ve personally noticed that some of the teens I know , due to quarantine, are bingeing shows like Riverdale, Pretty Little Liars, and Gossip Girl. My job is to figure out how to produce similar audio fiction stories through the lens of Black teens.

What advice would you give a teen who has the interest of storytelling? What’s a good way to get started?

Ok I’m going to admit something… I’m not a writer but I work with some of the dopest young writers ever and what I’ve discovered is that you just have to start. That means writing short stories with NOTES on your phone. Research young authors/writers on social media and DM them to collab on a project.  Ask yourself what you want to write about and why? Is it fiction or non fiction? Are you interested in beauty, fashion, hair, history, music, entertainment, food, politics and more. DM your favorite author and ask them for an informational interview. (I can explain that in more detail through email)

I created #tuesdaytexttales which are messy creative fiction stories written by teens and/or college students. They can write about anything they want or I’ll provide them a scenario and they build the story from that. I’m accepting applications and we do pay per story. Lastly, consider sharing your stories through a podcast which you can literally record on your phone. The possibilities are endless!

 Listen Here:

APPLE

Tales of the Text

Spotify

Follow Here:

Instagram

On The Trend Of Summer…

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — June 13, 2021

Since last summer didn’t go as planned, we are excited to be (safely) outside this summer. Chilling by the pool, get-togethers with friends, day trips, and any outdoor activity is what your summer bucket list should consist of. And while you’re taking a break from your summer reading list, here are some things that will be popping up on your timeline all season. Take notes!

Summer Fashion Trend | Matching two-piece sets will keep you looking on point this season. Whether a pant or skirt set, it will give off a put-together look. Plus, it makes finding an outfit easy. All you need to add are accessories!

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Summer Beauty Trend | Grab your edge control because baby hairs are one of the latest beauty trends happening. Whether you like them swooped back in a perfect formation or elaborately decorated around your forehead, just know the key is a perfect wrist motion.

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Binge-Worthy Series | Of course, festivities will be going on all summer, but take a rainy Friday night to binge-watch Cruel Summer. This drama-thriller, told over a span of three different years follows a young girl who went missing, but who knows the real story of what actually happened? It will make you crave more.

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Music Pick | It’s safe to say Rihanna isn’t putting out music anytime soon so in the meantime take a listen to Dj Khaled’s new album Khaled Khaled. We can always count on Khaled bringing the summer vibes and the best artists on a record to collab. Another one!

Book Pick | Moth to a Flame is the perfect addition to your summer reading list. This fictional drama follows a young girl who is forced to choose between love and loyalty. Like a moth is drawn to a flame, she knows choosing love will be the death of her.

~ Tia Banks, Content Editor

“Act African”…Umm What?!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — August 18, 2020

My Life As An African in America 

By Ifeoma Afugbuom

I have had my share of stereotypes that people have built inside their heads. The most I’ve seen are unreasonable but I remembered that people are not taught of how large and culturally diverse Africa is even today. 

A continent that is made up of 54 countries and over 3,000 languages in the continent alone. The clothes we wear, the way we walk & talk, our traditions, and our accents are what makes us different in all aspects.

Here are some of the stereotypes and questions that I’ve come across:

Why weren’t you born in Africa? 

My parents were immigrants and my mom had the opportunity to come here as a nurse. My dad came later and worked as a businessman. Everyday they work to provide a better life for my brother and I. I’m the result of their hard  work in this country.

Why don’t you have an accent?

I was born here just like everyone else. I have an American accent and that doesn’t make me less of an African or Nigerian to be exact.

Do you speak African? Say something?

Africa is a continent and not a language. My family speaks Igbo. Igbo is a language and one of the large tribes in Nigeria. There are many languages spoken, however, there are 3 main languages: Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba.

I listen to only African music.

I just started listening to Nigerian* music again. Since there are new artists I love I enjoy it more. I mainly listen to American musicians like Nicki Minaj, Billie Eilish, Saweetie, Summer Walker, Pop Smoke and others.

I don’t prefer one genre over the other. I’m open-minded so I can listen to any type of music that sounds good and it doesn’t matter the language. Artists like Shenseea, Popcaan, Paloma Mami, BTS, Mamamoo, G-Idle and others. 

Why aren’t you Muslim?

Just because I’m African does not mean I’m necessarily bound to one religion. I am Catholic. According to Wikipedia and Research Gate, the muslim population in Africa 

is around 41-52%. Christianity makes a rough 49% on average. There  are also other religions so it’s bold to assume.

You don’t wear your traditional clothing.

I have a collection of sweatshirts that I love dearly. I wear casual clothes mostly and keep my dresses for special occasions or church. I only wear my traditional clothing  to church or parties that require that dress code. I’m not obligated to wear a turban and long fitted dress everywhere.

You don’t look African.

Just like Americans, there is no one appearance designed for a race. We all look and talk differently. There is no such thing as looking African. That is just a mindset people created to distinguish and separate others.

(Rema, 20)

As a Nigerian I love to embrace my culture. The clothes we wear are so dearly important to me. My language is the way I communicate to people back home. To see others being ignorant; creating a lists of questions that feeds off the stereotypes of my people are not settling to hear. Especially when I hear it more than twice. 

The music genre Nigerians called AfroBeat allowed us to grow and climb the music industry. Artists like WizKid, Davido, Mr.Eazi, and Burna Boy paved the way for us to appear on foreign award shows. Even showing us it is possible to win multiple Grammys. New artists like Rema, even at a young age, are slowly climbing the ladder with their music.

The fashion industry in Nigeria is booming with multiple tailors and different styles. So everyone can enjoy the luxury of fine clothes. I hope everyone can see this and understand our culture. To also know to not feed into the stereotypes people make about them or others.

~ Ifeoma Afugbuom

#AskAnActivist: Sophie Ming

Owning your voice + dismantling systems that were created for oppression is not only a right but a responsibility we each possess! From tackling a variety of thought-provoking cultural topics on her YouTube channel to leading protests in the streets of NYC for justice, Sophie Ming is unleashing her voice both in the digital world + her community.

As a college student, Sophie has launched her platform NYC Youth Collective with clear + strong messaging to defund the police. Not allowing Black Lives Matter to be a moment or a trend but a movement to create long-lasting change.

An authentic voice leading a generation of massive progress for the future.

Let’s get to know Sophie Ming a little better…

From organizing impactful protests to pushing powerful initiatives for change within the black community, what made you want to use your voice + platform to launch the NYC Youth Collective? 

The NYC Youth Collective for me was my passion for social justice reform and my love for the youth coming together to form one organization. Also, it’s so extremely important for us to be having conversations about race with young people, right now. The reason why we have so many white, uneducated, and racist adults in power is because those adults never learn about intersectionality, racial inequality, and white privilege. This is something that’s very new, but something I want to give momentum to. And I encourage other leaders and organizers to do the same.

Defunding the police can make a radical change within our communities; what do you want people to understand about reallocating the police department’s funds? 

Something that I always say is “defunding the police means saving black lives.” It’s so common for people to hear “defund the police” and then get scared and skeptical. It’s okay to not know exactly what society will look like without police, but we already know what it looks like with police. It’s a literal civil war against black Americans and our entire race is being killed nation wide. That is what communities with the police currently look like, that can’t be the finish line.

How key is it to know your city council member that represents your neighborhood + exercising your voice through your vote?

I will always stand behind voting and staying in contact with your reps. Politics is scary if you’re black. The entire system is set up without considering our identities. It’s easy to shy away from contacting your reps and getting involved but I cannot stress how important it is. There will always be such immense power in numbers. That being said, we can demand and vote for change all we want and if it isn’t delivered, that’s when we use our power to shut it down.

There’s been a major spark of reminding the Black Lives Matter movement that  ALL black lives matter including black girls/women, the LGBTQIA+ community, and people with disabilities. How can individuals keep shedding light to the importance of unity + support within the black community?

We can only keep the movement united if we keep our peers and ourselves in check. This means seeing past your own experience as a black individual to other black individuals who may be even more marginalized. This means although I have my own marginalized experience being  a black woman, I have to be able to check my privileged being cisgender, or able bodied. It’s hard for people to look past their own experience and check their own privilege but it’s absolutely necessary to prevent certain identities in the black community from getting overlooked.

What’s an avenue students can stay involved if they are unable to attend local protests?

There are so many ways to be involved in change without going to protests. Use your social media to share and uplift black voices during this time, do your research on how you can personally be an ally, have productive conversations with friends and family about race (this is also a great time to check friends and family who may be ignorant on the matter).

We love a tweet you previously shared which said,  “dear black people, please do not feel pressured to be an activist right now. you’re allowed to be angry, upset, drained, etc. you’re allowed to delete social media and take a break from reality. the burden is not on you fix a system designed to break you.” Why is it important to regroup + remind ourselves about black joy + not just only the pain?

I think it’s important for black people to understand that it is not our responsibility to dismantle white supremacy. We quite literally need white people to check and change their own racist ideals and mindsets. So much of the burden is placed on black folk to organize and educate, and make the process of social reform easier and more digestible for white people. I want to remind black people (especially black women) to give themselves rest. It’s already triggering enough seeing our own getting killed on the timeline every other day, as we progress through a modern day civil war. It is okay to not be on all of the time.

If you had to give a message to black girls everywhere about loving themselves, what would it be?

The easiest way to navigate your confidence as a black girl is to not allow your standard of beauty to be white. Erase whatever Eurocentric features are considered beautiful, and allow your own to be.

Follow more of Sophie’s journey here!

YouTube

Instagram

NYC Youth Collective

Dreams vs. Fame?

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — July 14, 2020

Going for your goals is the best thing you can do for yourself. You should never hold back or short yourself when it comes to achieving what you want. If being a singer, actress, or even a Youtuber is what you desire, pursue it. But before you move forward towards achieving your dreams, you need to ask yourself if you are pursuing your passions or are you pursuing fame. There’s a huge difference and fame isn’t always as glamorous as it seems so make sure your priorities in order.

via GIPHY

|Not What You Think|

As we mentioned above, fame isn’t as glamorous as one might think. It comes with a lot of responsibilities, pressure, and even loneliness. Not to say there aren’t any cool perks of being famous, but a lot of time the bad outweighs the good. It’s not for everyone and there are ways to be successful with your passion without the fame.

|Do Anything For Clout|

Offset said it best when he rapped the lyrics “They do anything for clout.” People want to be famous so bad that they are willing to do things that make them uncomfortable. It’s a toxic way of thinking and if that mentality is followed, you will eventually divert from your passion and put energy into things you don’t care about. 

|Happiness|

Feeding your passion is always going to make you happy, especially when you become successful. Fame is not guaranteed happiness. You’ll find that your passions will take you father than fame ever will so stay focused!

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~Tia Banks, Content editor