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Michelle Obama Rocks in Givenchy at the 2016 Correspondents’ Dinner

I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy Dress

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…And here’s everybody else…

Model Daniela Lopez arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Model Daniela Lopez arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Rosario Dawson arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Rosario Dawson arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Regina King arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Regina King arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Television personality NeNe Leakes arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Television personality NeNe Leakes arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith arrive on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith arrive on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Gabrielle Union arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Gabrielle Union arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Vivica A. Fox arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Vivica A. Fox arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Kerry Washington arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actress Kerry Washington arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Singer Aretha Franklin arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Singer Aretha Franklin arrives on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actor Tony Goldwyn, television producer Shonda Rhimes and actress Kerry Washington (R) arrive on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Actor Tony Goldwyn, television producer Shonda Rhimes and actress Kerry Washington (R) arrive on the red carpet for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Arianna Huffington (L) and DJ Khaled attend the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/FilmMagic)

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 30: Arianna Huffington (L) and DJ Khaled attend the 102nd White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/FilmMagic)

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It’s Cutting Season

Check out 5 Black-Owned Fitness Businesses in NYC To Try This Spring

by LAVISH at Mode

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Purple Lemonade

#RipPrince

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It’s still taking me some time to process the passing of Prince. Yeah, I know Beyonce just dropped a major film and album, of which I watched and listed. Lemonade was great, and I mean that with all honesty. But in listening to her album, and so many other recent hits, I immediately heard the artists and visionaries of those who came decades before her. The artists who have been copied to death, revered to the heavens. And, as great as Beyonce’s new album is, there will never be another Prince. He lit a fiery path that has yet to be duplicated.

Prince. He was a concrete part of my childhood. My uncle would blast his albums day in and day out, and I marveled at this queer sound, full of pulse, passion,  rock and roll and blackness. Where Michael Jackson filled me with girly giddiness, Prince ushered me into womanhood, allowing me to relish in my sexual being. We partied to Prince, made love to Prince, smoked to Prince. He was the soundtrack of my youthful coming out. Song after song reminds me of past boyfriends, Alphabet City, stolen issues of Penthouse, and trips to Paramus Park mall.

Prince. Rest in Power and Soul.

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Below, the images and albums that personally touched me:


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On Harriet: The Black Body As Currency

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I having mixed feelings. On the one hand I am ecstatic that Harriet Tubman will be the face of the new $20 bill. For once, every American and visitor will have to face a defiant Black woman as a primary means of conducting their daily affairs. This is a slap in the face of every open and closeted white supremacist, and nothing short of avoiding currency altogether can keep them from acknowledging the magnitude of this change.

But what does it truly mean to have a woman, a Black woman, who was formerly a slave, her body formerly a monetary instrument, to be used once again on a piece of currency? That the same body conjured such shock and anger amongst Americans, that it would be worth a premium bounty of $40,000? I would venture to say that it seems ironic, if not unabashedly shameful. That the black body was repeatedly passed between hands for centuries, in an emotionless, matter-of-fact manner only to come full circle several hundred years later is pretty deep. How long after the initial hype of the new Harriets wear off will people begin to look at that note with less enthusiasm, and just a symbol of day to day commerce, her face regularly smudged with the countless hands of strangers, crumpled in pockets, stained, ripped, lost, left behind. What legacy is this?

The new Harriets will be amazing, but lets not forget that such a move is problematic and can be viewed as tokenism at best. Sure, we may add the face of this Black woman to the American monetary system, but this is in no way penance for over 400 years of the atrocities and the after effects born of the slave system.

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Seydou Keita: Exposure

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I regret not getting the chance to see this photography exhibit while I was in Paris. Whenever I hopped on the train, I saw a new, stunning black and white photograph by Malian photographer Seydou Keita that stopped me in my tracks. Maybe it was the beauty of his subjects, the simplicity of the genre, the sharpness of the smallest detail. If you’re going to be in Paris this spring and summer, pop into the Grand Palais and see this exhibit.

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Seydou Keita

March 31, 2016 – July 11, 2016 | Grand Palais, Galeries nationales

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Spandex & Tumbleweeds

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It’s been awful quiet around here. For the past several months I’ve been focusing on rebuilding my health, training for races, and my first marathon, in Paris (I’ll post on that over on my travel blog). Hence the over-saturation of health-related posts on my Twitter timeline! But in immersing myself in the world of health and fitness, I had forgotten about my love of fashion. No doubt working out has caused me to lose tons of pounds and inches (over 40!) but my weight loss and lifestyle has relegated me to a sea of spandex and running shoes – both out of fear and complete confusion.

A recent glance at my closet had me realizing that I had nothing to wear. All my clothes were just too big, unflattering, or just not my taste anymore. So I’ll be taking the next few weeks to gather some Instagram and Pinterest inspiration, while I find my new style. Nothing like a fresh start.

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Let’s Talk About This Dope Ebony Magazine Cover

Ebony wanted to make a statement, and hell if they did. For their March 2016 Women’s History Month issue, they showcased a group of stunning, full-figured women, in the flyest way.

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Actress Danielle Brooks, Blogger Gabi Gregg and singers Chrisette Michelle and Jazsmine Sullivan slay in military-inspired outfits and beat-to-the-gods faces. The issue focuses on our physical and emotional issues surrounding out bodies as Black women, and celebrates the beauty found in all sizes. I’m am just all into this!

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Head over to Ebony to watch the video on the making of this shoot, and the editors’ thoughts behind this bold issue.

Rihanna Better Work

Rihanna takes the cover of British Vogue for April and shows off some pieces from her new collaborative collection with Monolo Blahnik. She better werk!

 

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The day I see a woman in the street wearing my shoes… I am sorry for that woman because I’m going to literally run after her, shouting, ‘Stop! Selfie! Who are you? Where did you get them?’ I’m going to have a moment! – Rihanna

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The Problem With Zoe

#NinaSimone

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It’s not that Zoe Saldana is a Latina playing the role of legendary singer Nina Simone. Really, it isn’t. Because we all know that Latinas come in all colors and flavors. But its the fact that Hollywood had to go through such troubling lengths to give off the slightest impression that Ms. Saldana is a Blacker than Black singer. From the blackface and prosthetic nose, to her previous lightweight roles, Zoe Saldana neither carries the weight, soul, or appearance of one of the greatest, soul singers of our time. Did they really think that Nina Simone fans would be down with that? Especially when there are dozens of actresses who could tackle the role with aplomb. It says something when even Ms. Simone’s family disapproves!

BET founder Bob Jonson, whose production company is backing this disaster tries to save face by standing behind the casting decision:

Zoe Saldana delivers an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute to Nina Simone. She gave her heart and soul to the role and displayed her extraordinary talent. The most important thing is that creativity or quality of performance should never be judged on the basis of color, or ethnicity, or physical likeness. Quality entertainment should be measured by the sheer force of creativity and the commitment that an actor or actress brings to the performance. We are proud to distribute the film headlined by Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo on April 22, 2016.

We’re not buying it. You’d be 1,000 times better off watching the amazing Netflix documentary instead.

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Misty Copeland as Fine Art

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In AP Art History in high school, our teacher would always give us little phrases to help us remember the significance of a particular artist. For the Impressionist Edgar Degas, it was “Dancers on Diagonals”. Misty Copeland is the diagonal dancer subject of this wonderfully imaginative series of photographs where she takes the center stage in some of Degas’ most iconic pieces. Photographers Ken Browar & Deborah Ory capture the dancer in truly stunning fashion

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