Author Archive

Style Line-Up: Naomi


Fashion, Latest | by — June 21, 2023

Unlock the style line-up of Pittsburgh-based fashion lover, Naomi!
What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?
Naomi Were, 22, Pittsburgh
Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to lineup your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?
I’m obsessing over the loosely knitted shrug cardigan trend this season. It’s the perfect pair for a cute unitard which is definitely also on the rise as well. And of course, a matching summer lounge set is a must!
Describe your style in 3 words:
I would describe my style as casual, sporty (at times), and chic.
Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?
At the current moment, @mikaylavallati has been pulling through with the fashion inspo for me. I feel that her style closely aligns with my own and girl never forgets to share a link.
Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to outfit if you’re in a rush?
100% a cute unitard/matching set and some light outerwear. I’ll probably tie this together with crew socks, some sneakers, and I gotta have my AirPods max as a little accessory.
What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?
Dress in what makes you feel comfortable!! It’s hard to show off a fresh fit that you don’t feel comfortable in. It’s totally possible to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to fashion. If you feel good, you’ll feel more confident too. You don’t always have to sacrifice your comfort for the fit.
Follow more of Naomi’s style here:

Style Line-Up: Jordan


Fashion, Latest | by — March 10, 2023

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Unlock the style line-up of Ireland-based fashion lover, Jordan!

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

My name is Jordan and I’m 18 years old! I’m from a little island called Ireland! My parents are from Zanzibar (it’s such a  MAGICAL place!) but I’ve lived in Ireland my whole life!

Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to line-up your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?

Hmm I think my top 3 fav trends I’m loving at the moment are:

1) Knitted/ crocheted clothing, especially if you can create the pieces yourself!

2) Bows! I love how simple and cute bows are and how they can spice up an outfit so effortlessly. You can put them in your hair, on your bag, and even on your jean belt loops! simply so cute!

3) Shrugs! I love the variety of different types of shrugs, the colours, textures and designs! it’s a fun way to explore layering for winter!

Describe your style in 3 words:

ahhh this is hard…I’d say playful, feminine, and eccentric.

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

My ultimate fashion icon(s) would have to be the BRATZ. I definitely got my passion for fashion from the BRATZ! I have always adored dressing up my BRATZ dolls ever since I was younger, wishing I could dress as cool as them one day. Most of all, I think I love their confidence and the fact that their style is based on the 90s/ early 2000s era of fashion (which is my fav era of fashion!) 

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

Cargo pants, chunky belt, baby tee, leather jacket, doc martens, are definitely my go-to when I’m in a rush (which is nearly always 😉 I always say I might as well look cute if I’m going to be late!

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

My number 1  rule when it come to style, is to dress to make YOU feel the happiest and most confident in yourself! I think your style is a great way to express your personality without even having to speak! It’s all about experimenting and exploring what you like and the process is so much fun, because our style changes so much as we grow! All I can say is have fun with it and don’t let other people’s opinions limit your potential:) #yolo

Follow more of Jordan’s style here:


Meet Chanae Richards!


Feature, Latest | by — December 20, 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:
Instagram: @olorointeriors Pinterest: @olorointeriors

~ Interview by Jada Boothe

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:


#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:


Misogynoir + Beauty Standards


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’.


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.



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


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:


Tales of the Text


Follow Here:


On The Trend Of Summer…


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!


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.


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.


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?!


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