Client News


A few throwback moments and inspiration as Actor Peter Parros shares moments in his parents’ “Black History” journey



Actor Peter Parros’ feature interview with Bronze Magazine






Fighting To Keep A School Going


The cast members of Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” are set to join in the annual celebration of the Kashmere High School Homecoming Weekend, October 30-31, 2015.

Organized and fueled by the dedicated efforts of Conway Promotions and Kashmere High School Alumni, this year’s celebration may prove to be the best! Hosted by Monie Love, the talents of Dana Dane and Vivian Green join together and welcome community supporters and area businesses for a great cause.

Beginning Friday, October 30th, cast members Angela Robinson (‘Veronica Harrington’), Peter Parros (‘David Harrington’), Tyler Lepley (‘Benny Young’) and Renee Lawless (‘Katheryn Cryer’) will speak to the students of Kashmere High School, join in the community’s annual Homecoming Parade as well as attend two fundraiser mixers, dedicating funds to the purchasing of athletic, cheer leading and band uniforms and band equipment for the school.

Many Houston businesses including The Session TV Show, Just Omelettes Catering, Tour 18 Golf Course Houston, RCS Sports, and others, have contributed their support, sponsoring the weekend’s activities.

A secondary, predominately African American high school in Houston, Texas that serves grades 9 through 12, Kashmere High School is a part of the Houston Independent School District.

Kashmere High, along with Jack Yates High School and Sam Houston High School, are the three high schools in Houston ISD which were consistently low-performing in test scores from 2001 to 2004. Because of this problem, there were movements to have the state or another organization take over the schools for a period so the test scores will be at acceptable levels.

While Yates got an acceptable rating in 2005, Sam Houston and Kashmere continued to get unacceptable ratings. In August 2006, the school learned that it again was getting an unacceptable rating from the Texas Education Agency. When the Houston ISD administration threatened closure if another “unacceptable” rating came the following year, the local community protested.

Today, the faculty, staff and students of Kashmere High School, continue to benefit from the community’s efforts and doors of the school remain open. Those wishing to lend their support to the continued success of Kashmere High School, may purchase tickets or join in sponsorships. Tickets may be purchased via EventBrite

For Sponsorship Information: Contact Isaiah Conway of Conway Promotions, 832-465-4724 or


Pep Rally at Kashmere High, 6900 Wileyvale Rd.

Houston, TX 77028,

October 30, 2015

2-3 pm

Mixers and Fundraisers, Club Indigo Midtown

2117 Chenevert Street

Houston, TX 77003

October 30th & 31st

8 pm – 2 am

Angela Robinson to Highlight FAMU’s Homecoming Festivities

Actress Angela Robinson

“The Haves and the Have Nots” star and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) alumna AngelaRobinson will highlight the University’s weeklong 2015 Homecoming festivities. This year’s theme is “Straight Outta FAMU” in tribute to FAMU alumnus and acclaimed movie producer, Will Packer.

Robinson, who graduated from FAMU in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Homecoming Convocation on Oct. 17. She is a native of Jacksonville, Fla., and began her acting career on stage on Broadway and Off-Broadway. On Broadway, she performed in “The Color Purple” and Off-Broadway in “Dream Girls” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

Before becoming a star on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), prime-time hit television show “The Haves and Have Nots,”Robinson appeared on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” In 2015, she received the Gracie Award for Outstanding Female Actor-One to Watch. The Gracie Awards celebrate and honor programming created for women, by women, and about women, as well as individuals who have made exemplary contributions in electronic media.

Commenting on the week of festivities, FAMU President Elmira, Ph.D., said, “It is exciting to have Rattlers come back to the “Hill” to see the great things that are happening on campus every day and to connect with our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. Homecoming is a time of revival and renewal.”

“We are also delighted that Ms. Robinson has agreed to share words of wisdom and inspiration to the FAMU family,” added Mangum.

The jam-packed week of events include:

Sunday, Oct. 11

-Homecoming Kick-Off Worship Service from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Perry-Paige Auditorium

-The President’s 5k Run from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. starting at The Set

-Coronation and Coronation Ball from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Lee Hall Auditorium and the Grand Ballroom; formal attired required

 Monday, Oct. 12

-Housing Step Show, “The Return” from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Gaither Gym

Tuesday, Oct. 13

-Health Fair from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the FAMU Recreation Center

-Royal Luncheon from Noon – 2 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom (Invitation Only)

-Straight Outta Laughs “Comedy Show” hosted by Marvin Dixon, featuring RodneyPerry, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Lawson Center

Wednesday, Oct. 14

-SGA’s “Taste of a Rattler” and Rattler SWAG SURFIN’ Pool Party from Noon – 4 p.m. at the Gaither Gym Parking Lot

-Rattler Explosion from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Gaither Gym Area

Thursday, Oct. 15

-FAMU Forward Hackathon from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom

-HBCU Entrepreneur Summit from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom

-Judging of the Buildings from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at various locations

-NPHC Greek Step Show starting at 6 p.m. at the Gaither Gym

-FAMU Way Community Block Party starting at 6 p.m. at the intersection of MLK and FAMU Way

Friday, Oct. 16

-Homecoming Convocation featuring keynote speaker Angela Robinson starting at 10:10 a.m. at the Gaither Gym

-Set Friday “Live” from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Set

-Straight Outta Bragg Day Party from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Bragg Stadium, North End Zone Club

-Alumni Homecoming Soiree (paid event) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom

 Saturday, Oct. 17

-Parade and Judging of Floats starting at 8 a.m. at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Wahnish Way

-Strike Zone Tailgate from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the football practice field

-FAMU vs. Delaware State University football game starting at 3 p.m. at Bragg Memorial Stadium

-Postgame Open Air Tailgate R&B concert featuring Atlanta’s Quinn & The Jukebox at the football practice field

-Gospel concert featuring Vashawn Mitchell from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Lee Hall Auditorium


 Q&A with ‘The Haves and Have Nots’ actress Angela Robinson

D.A. Robin, Democrat staff writer8:01 p.m. EDT October 16, 2015

“The Haves and the Have Nots” star and Florida A&M University alum Angela Robinson was on campus for homecoming week festivities and delivered the keynote address for the Homecoming Convocation on Friday.

The Jacksonville native graduated from FAMU in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Her acting career began on the stage on Broadway and Off Broadway. On Broadway, she performed in “The Color Purple” and Off Broadway in “Dream Girls” and “The Wizard of Oz.”


Before starring in the OWN network “The Haves and Have Nots,” Robinson appeared on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” In 2015, she received the Gracie Award for Outstanding Female Actor-One to Watch. The Gracie Awards celebrate and honor programming created for women, by women, and about women, as well as individuals who have made exemplary contributions in electronic media.

Robinson spoke to the Tallahassee Democrat about her work and her alma mater.

They always say it’s more fun to play a bad character than a good one. Have you found that to be true after playing the villainess Veronica Harrington on “The Haves and Have Nots?”

“I trained as an actor, so playing myself wouldn’t require me to do much work. Playing a villain allows me to embody a different character. I love it, a whole lot. And also I get to get it all out…when people get me mad, as Veronica, I get to get it all out…I get to be more patient in my life as Angela.”

 Do the fans want to come after you when they see you on the street?

“Well, I’ve had someone hit me once. (laugh) It was okay. It wasn’t really violent. It was just really jarring at the time. This lady just came up to me and slapped me in the back and said, ‘You just going to have to do better.’  I was like, ‘With what?’ ‘With your child, and I said, ‘I don’t have any children.’ I think because of the huge success of reality TV people think they’re real people. It’s scripted.”

What are some of your favorite homecoming memories?

“I’ve been coming to homecomings since I was a baby. My parents brought me to every homecoming growing up. I have memories for days. It is the thing that reminds me most of my father who is now deceased. So, those experiences are very dear to me. All the people coming together… who had this one that they shared. They shared the most valuable thing and that’s their dreams with each other. “

When were you a student at FAMU and what are some of your favorite memories about appearing in plays in college?

“I got cast in my favorite musical here. And the director cast me as the lead, and I was not a theater major. And that validation of my talent is what gets me through even to this day. That he validated me by casting me, by sharing kind words of encouragement, and I’ve never forgotten them”

Please share with us your experience being Ms. FAMU:

“That was a long shot for me. I didn’t pledge. I wasn’t what I thought very popular. I was always running around campus in something. I didn’t know that I could win. But I did know that I had grown up watching Ms. FAMUs since I was 3 years old. I did know that it was something I wanted to do. It represented a sense of class. It represented womanhood, and this particular woman went around all year and represented the college. And that was something I wanted to do, really in honor of my father and in honor of my upbringing. So I did it, and I won. What it taught me is if you believe in yourself, and if you dream it, it can really come through.”

Please tell us a little bit about your experience playing Shug in “The Color Purple” on Broadway: 

“I started on ‘The Color Purple’ on Broadway as the understudy. I had auditioned for the part about six times… and then at the last minute, they offered me the understudy. And I thought I would die, I was so disappointed. They ended up casting an amazing singer. And even though I was disappointed initially, it turned to be the best thing ever because I got to sit and watch the genius of Elizabeth Withers, but I got to also really enjoy the experience with my cast mates. Then Elizabeth’s recording career took off, and who had to go in? Me. So I took on the role as Shug Avery. Great lessons there about trusting that everything doesn’t always work out that you are the lead. But find value where you are and be excellent where you are. Great lessons, all I think I got the foundation for at FAMU.”

Cool Jobs: How Global Actress and Author Esosa E Paves Her Own Lane in a Creative Career

‘An African City’ star talks second season, new book and nontraditional path to professional fulfillment

by Janell Hazelwood


If you don’t know anything about the viral sensation out of Ghana called “An African City,” you may have been living under a rock. The Web series, created by Nicole Amarteifo and Millie Monyo, follows the lives of ex-pats in Accra, from their career and entrepreneurial pursuits to their journeys to find love in today’s Africa.

The show has been likened to HBO’s Sex & The City, and features five diverse women, one of which is Esosa Edosomwan, popularly known as Esosa E. She plays breakout character Ngozi, a spiritual vegetarian saving herself for marriage in an era where sex sells and young go-getters sow their wild oats—both professionally and personally—across the globe.

The character may be just an act for this entertainment star but not all of Ngozi’s reality is far from Esosa‘s. The Cornell and Columbia University graduate is of Nigerian descent who has forged a sustainable global career from fashion to filmmaking. She’s written and directed several short films including 50 Bucks in Argentina, which was an official selection in the 2011 Cannes Film Short Corner, MTV-U Film of the Week, and Best Short at the Nigerian Entertainment Film Festival. She’s also worked as a freelance fashion designer and as a model for editorials, print and commercials for clients such as Ford, Iman Cosmetics, Essence Magazine and more. Add to that she’s a vegan who swears by a raw diet and has a passion for promoting healthy eating and living for people with diverse palates and cultures. caught up with this international millennial power woman to talk about her latest venture, a third book calledGot Veg? How to Thrive on a Plant-Based Diet, what’s next for ‘An African City,’ and how she’s been able to customize her career journey to suit her multiple talents and interests.

BlackEnterprise: Many know you from ‘An African City,’ but let’s get to before that. How did you become an actress and what sparked your passion and interest for the industry?

Esosa E: I started acting a really long time ago. I fell into it. After school, I was in the New York area and did a lot of short films—really cool art films—and I worked in a project with Kevin Everson. These projects took me all over the world— including to the MOMA and Whitney—on the art film circuit. I’ve also been in Nollywood films, including Mother of George and films screened in Nigeria.

[Related: ‘An African City’ Producer Talks How Global Career Journey Sparked Hit Web Series]

When I moved to the Washington D.C. area, a lot of people from New York were calling me for work. I had done two pilots, one for Brooklyn Shakara with actor Gbenga Akinnagbe [of The Wire] and then shortly after that we did the African City pilot. I had all these projects going … and you just never know what’s actually going to take off.

It’s been an interesting ride. Yes, An African City is what I’m known for but I’ve done a lot of films. It’s great becausee I feel like the more you work the more you learn. I’ve always had a very specific vision as an actress.

Whenever people would start that language about black women not being able to work, I’d always tune it out. My vision was always to be working internationally and doing work I felt moved the African diaspora of filmmaking to a new level. And I’ve been involved in a lot of projects that do that.

On the next page, read how Esosa E was able to customize her studies to pursue her dream careers and her journey working with global entertainment leaders …

You went to top schools Columbia and Cornell. How did your experiences there play into your career journey in entertainment?

I went to Cornell for fashion design. Since I was a kid, I was intent on being a fashion designer. I was always selling scarves and little outfits, doing photo shoots—-just always into that kind of things. At the end of high school, I auditioned for a play, got cast and got nominated for an award at the Kennedy Center. It was a bit strange [how I got into] the whole acting thing.

When I got to college, I was grateful that I didn’t go to a school exclusive to fashion studies because Cornell offered me the opportunity to immerse myself in everything I was interested in. I did theater classes, writing courses, short films—anything I felt interested in, but I was still heavy in fashion, doing two fashion shows per year. I also trained in acting, and later decided to go to Columbia for business. It was somewhat family pressure in the beginning, but I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur as well. I felt it very deeply. My dad’s one, I grew up always helping the family business and I was always selling things as a kid. I expected to work for myself. At Columbia, I actually went to the dean and said, ‘Hey I’m really into filmmaking. Can I make my own curriculum?’ The thing about education, for me, is that majors are cool but I feel like if I’m paying for my education, I should be able to study what I’m drawn to. I was able to talk my way into film classes and studied a variety of MBA and film courses. I enjoyed studying management and just making my own way.

You’ve been able to work with Nollywood and Hollywood actors, producers and directors from around the world. How can a budding actress or actor build those global networks for opportunities?

There’s really not a set formula, however one of my biggest strengths is building solid relationships with filmmakers all over the world. It’s not like I really planned it. Whenever I’ve had the opportunity to send my films overseas … I’d just keep in touch with people. It’s important to keep relationships going, especially when there’s a connection. It’s not a forced thing.

The past couple of years, I’ve found that I more and more do not audition, and even if I do audition, it’s like they’d already thought of me for that role, and that’s because of relationships I’ve cultivated through the years.

Put yourself in spaces where you can meet international crowds and don’t limit yourself. Get into the global mindset that it’s not a big deal to pop over to London for an event. I understand that when you’re in the beginning stages of your career, you may feel you don’t have the finances to do that, but [oftentimes] things tend to work themselves out. I was always able to find a way to get to where I needed to go and opportunities would literally show up.

I think people spend a lot of time trying force things a bit too much, but it is possible to get clear about the things you like to do, the people you like to work with and follow [the path to acquiring those things and relationships.]

On the next page, find out how Esosa E sticks to her diet and what’s next for season two of ‘An African City’ …


















Your latest venture is your book. Why venture into diet and nutrition advocacy and book publishing?

I’d moved to the Virginia/D.C. area to clear my head a few years ago, and I had really bad skin at that time. My diet helped to transform it and people would ask me what I did. I started my blog, Raw Girl in a Toxic World, with no readers, and it grew to thousands of readers from around the globe. Finally, I wrote my first book, The Acne Free Diet, and my second, Parasites be Gone. I got the idea for Got Veg after getting questions from readers about natural remedies and plant-based diets. I wanted to write something that would break down what a plant-based diet actually is, make it relatable, and get back to basics. I also wanted to provide actionable plans for what readers can immediately do for this type of diet.

The book also gives you information on the levels of the diet and all the nutrients you need to be optimum. And it’s not just plant eaters that need this. Meat eaters need it too. How tos on setting up your kitchen and recipes are included too. I wanted it to be fun and accessible.

Also, I always back things up with research. I’ve studied at the master’s level in nutrition, health and biochemistry. I’ve also had many awesome experiences interviewing health experts, and I’m one to live what I preach. I like to make it apparent by example that I’m walking the talk.

You’re of Nigerian descent, and there are so many traditional delicious dishes that include meat or meat products. How do you stick to your diet with the palate that you grew up with—that’s part of that comfort-food, cultural experience?

When I first started it was this desire to be 100% raw, but the best place to have a healthy diet is to be flexible within perimeters. I don’t eat processed food and animal products–those are my boundaries—but if I’m in Ghana and I have to eat something cooked and its vegan, that’s fine. I feel the best when I’m eating raw, but your diet shouldn’t be so rigid that you can’t survive in different environments.

Awesome. So what’s next for Esosa E? Does Ngozi actually lose her virginity in season two of an ‘African City’?

I’m the lead actress in a film shooting in Philadelphia called Friends of Rome. I’m excited about that. It’s a really talented director, interesting cast and amazing story. I love the character so much.

And shooting for the second season of An African City is about to start as well. Nicole would kill me if I told any details! Ngozi? Losing her virginity? Perhaps.

Check out more on Esosa E and her latest book, Got Veg? How to Thrive on a Plant-Based Diet

Kashmere High School homecoming books Tyler Perry stars


Kashmere High School has more than Texas-size mums on deck for homecoming. Students (and supporters) will be visited by stars from a Tyler Perry-created series on the OWN channel.

Cast members from “The Haves and the Have Nots” will take part in a series of events, set for Halloween weekend. You’ll be able to mingle with Angela Robinson (ice queen Veronica Harrington), Peter Parros (conflicted lawyer David Harrington), Tyler Lepley (good guy Benny Young) and Renee Lawless (troubled matriarch Katheryn Cryer).

They will speak to students, participate in the annual homecoming parade and attend fundraising mixers to raise funds for athletic, cheerleading and band uniforms and equipment.

“The Haves and the Have Nots” is deliciously campy, over-the-top  and totally addictive. It’s OWN’s highest-rated series and regularly attracts more than 3 million weekly viewers. It’s one of the most-watched series on cable for all audiences.

Actress Angela Robinson Special Guest at BGCDC’s Thanksgiving Dinner

Angela Robinson (close up in purple dress)

To celebrate Thanksgiving in the community, the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County will provide food and fun to more than 600 people tonight at the Boys & Girls Club Allied location, 4619 Jenewein Rd, Fitchburg.

This festive event will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. and will feature great music, fun activities for kids, the opportunity for families to take family portraits. Food will be provided and prepared by Hy-Vee Fitchburg, the Madison Mallards, Chef Rod Ladson and the Boys & Girls Club team. The meal will include turkey, chicken, macaroni & cheese, yams, collard greens, garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, sweet potato pie and much more.

Community participants will also have a chance to meet nationally known recording artist DaBrat and one of the main actresses of Tyler Perry’s The Haves and The Have Nots,Angela Robinson. One lucky family in need this holiday season will have the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree courtesy of Metcalfe’s Market.

Da Brat
Da Brat

The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County is a not-for-profit youth development organization that serves over 5,000 young people every year. The Club’s vision is to inspire and empower all young people; especially those who need us the most to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring adults through quality programs. Boys & Girls Club of Dane County’s mission is to be the leader in youth development programs by developing partnerships to produce positive outcomes for young people, families and communities.


COVER STORY: Actress Angela Robinson

“Urban Grandstand Magazine”, December 2014 COVER STORY: 

Actress Angela Robinson of Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and The Have Nots”

Go one-on-one in the in-depth, up close and personal interview with the “Ice Queen” ‘Veronica Harrington’ as she gives Urban Grandstand Magazine a glimpse into her life as she works diligently with The United Negro College Fund, and prepares to heat things up with Season 3 of Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and The Have Nots”.

Enjoy your FREE COPY today!

black enterprise logo (pic)

YouTube Star Spotlight:

How MahoganyCurls Tutorials Are Blowing Up Natural Hair

Blogger educates subscribers, followers on natural hair one strand at a time

by Richard Spiropoulos    Posted: August 29, 2014
Jessica Lewis Black Enterprise (pic)
When YouTube launched in 2005, it seemed like a great idea at the time, but few could have predicted it would explode into the fame and cash-generating juggernaut it is today. Among the few was Jessica Lewis, a stay-at-home mom whose husband is on active duty in the United States Air Force.

Lewis is the creator and founder of MahoganyCurls, a blog that caters to the natural hair space that has exploded in the African American community. If you are thinking of or have already made the decision to go natural, her blog is a good place to start. She started out in 2009 and today her tutorials are dominating social media platforms. HerYouTube channel has nearly 250,000 subscribers, about 300,000 people like her Facebook page, and more than 100,000 people are on her Instagram.

“I decided to upload videos documenting my natural hair journey and I created a YouTube channel,” Lewis says. “I basically did it so I could document my journey, see like the dos and don’ts of wearing natural hair since I was a newly natural. From there, you know people started following me. I also did it to help others just in case they were interested in learning about natural hair and you know it eventually just grew.”

These days an increasing number of women of color are realizing the benefits of wearing natural hair. Some of them either got burned after putting the wrong chemicals in their hair, or damaged their hair by putting in too much relaxer, are terrified that they may end up losing their hair, or just simply embracing the exhilarating freedom of wearing their hair chemical or relaxer free.

Lewis says, “I think a lot of women are realizing that it is great to have your own natural hair. It’s also healthier and they want to embrace what grows out of their scalp naturally. It’s a new you, a new person, you’re starting over. As far as it being a new trend, it looks beautiful, it’s great and everyone has different textures. Bottom line, there’s a lot of variety with natural hair.”

RELATED: Natural Hair is Big Business For Black Entrepreneurs

Lewis says she relaxed her hair for the last time in 2008 and since then she hasn’t looked back. Not long after she started wearing her hair “natural” she began her blog.

Jessica Lewis Black Enterprise (pic) (2)

“I never wore a wig or weave but being a military mom with my husband stationed in Germany there weren’t a lot of natural hair stylists or stylists period for my type of hair. I used to order my relaxer online and I got sick and tired of doing that and that’s when I decided to go natural. I just figured it would be easier and after reading a few blogs and talking with different people I knew I was embarking on the right path.”

As a blogger, credibility is key. Your word has to be your bond. Without seeming sincere, it’s a tall order to expect people to either follow you or hang on to your every word.

“People like what I do, the information that I give them. My main objective is to help people and I have people that tell me I inspire them and its really nice to hear things like that,” Lewis says.

She tells BE, that she tries to stay consistent with her recommendations and doesn’t push products she hasn’t either already tried out herself or with which she isn’t familiar.

“I use products that have organic ingredients, they don’t have to be 100% organic, but I try to use products that don’t have silicone or sulphates because silicone can weigh your hair down or if you have curly hair sulphates can dry your hair out.”

Lewis, who is originally from Georgia, was based in Colorado Springs and is now headed to California. So does being constantly on the move hamper her brand?

“No. That’s the beauty of having a brand online. You can just go anywhere and it will follow you,” she says. “Now I can even go overseas and there’s people that follow me in different countries. I can continue to do what I’m always doing and I’m at the point in my business when I’m tens of thousands every year.”

As for a product she swears by Lewis says SheaMoisture is the way to go. “I try to tell people to use products that works for them. But I’ve been using SheaMoisture for three years and they are really great products.”


August 5, 2014

Los Angeles, Calif. – Inspiring many naturals along their journeys, Natural Hair Blogger and SheaMoisture Beauty Ambassador MahoganyCurls® shares with Bronze Magazine an inside look at her natural hair journey and the balance of sudden celebrity and staying true to her brand.

MahoganyCurls Cover

With over 550K total social media followers, Jessica Lewis, a Macon, GA native, is excited about being able to share her story with the masses, working many hours, as she balances home and family with new found fame, to stay true to her mission in making a difference in the natural hair community.

Read more…Download your copy of the August, 2014 issue of Bronze Magazine today and be inspired!


Essence Mag logo (2) (pic)

Angela Robinson on Essence website

Angela Robinson of ‘The Haves and The Have Nots’ Explains Her Love For Wigs

By Deena Campbell, July 28, 2014

As a child, actress Angela Robinson styled her mother’s wigs into beautiful creations. Fast forward to her adult life on the set of Tyler Perry’s The Haves and The Have Nots and she’s still flaunting various weaves and wigs. “I love to change my hair…long one day, short the next,” says Angela who stars as Veronica on the television drama, and who also played the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple on Broadway. “The artist in me welcomes another opportunity to be creative.” Here, she dishes on her off camera hair care regime and what it means to have versatility with natural hair. What are your favorite hair care brands?
Angela Robinson: It’s a 10 leave-in conditioner softens my hair before braiding or styling. ION Hair semi-permanent color is long lasting. I no longer have a perm, but when I did, I always used Creme of Nature relaxer. I have recently been introduced to Creme of Nature products for natural hair and I love them! My favorite is the Edge Gel and Argan Oil. What has your hair journey been like?
Robinson: My hair journey has been lots of fun. I have always loved wigs and pieces so I am never tied down to one style. When I was growing up my father would not allow me to get a perm, so I straightened my hair for special occasions. Yes, I sat in the chair with the hot comb and the burnt ears for Easter and prom. I begged my dad for a perm, but he said ‘No, you should fall in love with your natural hair first, then you can do whatever you want to it’. When I went away to college, that was my first order of business….get a perm! When I started my theatre career, I was in wigs every night and leaving the theatre in head wraps or hats. This was the perfect time to let the perm grow out. When I wanted straight hair, I bought it. The thing I love most about our hair is the versatility. There is no look we can’t achieve. I love that I can be creative with my hair. What’s your hair care regimen?
Robinson: I’m doing a pretty intense workout program, so I sweat a lot. Because of this, I wash my hair once, sometime twice a week. I deep condition once a month, and I wear wigs on the show so during filming my hair is moisturized and braided down under the wigs. It gives my hair a break from heat and damaging products. What types of hairstyles do you enjoy the most wear the most?
Robinson: I don’t wear any one style most. Most people know me as the lady who changes her hair all the time. I get bored quickly with any one hairstyle.

Catch the season finale of Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots Tuesday, July 29 at 9/8c. on OWN TV.


Sheen Magazine logo (pic)

Angela Robinson (close up in purple dress)

Actress Angela Robinson host Season Finale “LIVE TWEET” Giveaway

By Sammi Haynes, July 29, 2014

Actress Angela Robinson and Crème of Nature team up to create a social media frenzy for the season finale of Tyler Perry’s, “The Haves and The Have Nots” on Tuesday, July 29th at 9pm (Est).  Angela best-known as “The Ice Queen” Veronica Harrington will be tweeting live during the finale and hosting a Twitter giveaway for three lucky winners to acquire a deluxe hair care set by Crème of Nature’s Straight from Eden. This compelling new drama and one of  OWN TV’s highest rated dramas  will have many fans glued to their television to witness the season finale for the show.

Angela says, ”My hair is natural and I love it! I am in love with weaves,  wigs, versatility and just being a black woman.”

Angela Robinson CREME OF NATURE giveaway (pic)

SHEEN: Why use Crème of Nature?

Angela: First of all, I have used Crème of Nature for years. I first started using Crème of Nature products when my hair was permed. It was the only product I could use that didn’t burn me.  However, when I decided to allow my hair to be natural,  I thought there was nothing for me in the Crème of Nature line. After using several other products, I discovered Crème of Nature actually does have a line for natural hair with various moisturizers, oils, edge gels and all these great products in a second I was back with Crème of Nature.

    Here is how to Win:
  • Follow @Angelarobschild and @CremeofNature on Twitter with the hashtag #HAHNfinaleCON starting at 9pm (EST) for a chance to one (1) deluxe Straight From Eden Hair Care Set.
  • At the conclusion of the show at 10pm (EST) three lucky Straight from Eden winners will be announced.

 Last Question:

SHEEN: What can we expect from this season’s finale?

Angela: It will be more drama and the audience will be left with an interesting cliffhanger. I think with every character this season the audience will be waiting in anticipation to see what will happens to them in the next season.

Ask more questions Tuesday evening at 9pm (EST) for the live tweet with Angela and other cast members.  Plus, Crème of Nature’s Straight from Eden hair care set exclusive giveaway on twitter.



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Inspiring Entrepreneur: Jessica Lewis And Her MahoganyCurls®, Part 1

July 24, 2014 10:00 am By

MahoganyCurls Clutch Mag (pic)

Jessica Lewis, also known as MahoganyCurls, has been inspiring women who have been embracing their natural hair since 2009. “I lived in Germany at the time, my husband’s in the military” she explained at a panel during the 2014 Essence Festival

“I used to relax my hair all the time, and my husband did my big chop. I was new and I would go on YouTube and search for TWA (teeny weeny afro) videos for women with short, natural hair and couldn’t find any, so I decided to document my journey and help others along the way.”

Five years later and with about 25 million views on her YouTube channel tutorials, we’d say Jessica knows what she’s talking about when she encourages us to embrace what we’re born with, at least when it comes to glorious tresses. We sat down with her recently to talk about her hair journey and how she leveraged her natural hair–and talents–in order to create a successful business. 

What were your feelings about your hair as a kid growing up?

When I was around 4 or 5 years old, I did not care for my hair much. I used to spend a lot of time with my cousin and her hair used to be much longer than mine. Now that I look back on it, it wasn’t necessarily longer; she just had a looser curl pattern (wavy hair) and that made it appear longer than my hair.  My hair shrinks like crazy and whenever my grandma would press it, it would be longer than hers. Eventually I began falling in love with my hair. My grandma used to tell me that my hair is like a rubber band. It stretches a lot, but it shrinks when it is no longer stretched. At that time hearing something like that helped me to accept my hair. I was so young. I just wanted long hair. Ha-ha.

Do you remember loving your curls? Feeling another way about them?

I didn’t really care for them that much when I was younger. I preferred to have my hair pressed.

Did you ever do your own hair as a kid?

No. My mother wouldn’t allow me to do that. I began styling my own hair when I was 13 years old.

  MahoganyCurls Big Chop (pic)

What surprised you about the  your natural hair journey that you started in 2009?

It was the best feeling in the world! I was surprised at the compliments that I received. Don’t get me wrong, I had some people that would say a few negative things, but most people were very supportive. I figured it would be cool to look back on the early stages and I also decided to document my journey to learn the do’s and don’ts of styling my natural hair, and of course to help others, if they were interested in watching. There weren’t many TWA (teeny weeny afro) videos online during that time so I decided I would discuss life with my TWA.

MahoganyCurls in between stage (pic)

Did YouTube-ing come with challenges? Were you always comfortable in front of the camera?

YouTube-ing came with a few challenges. Learning how to upload a video in the correct format. I also had to learn how to create a video and not go over the time limit. When I first started I only had a 10-minute max. After a year or so it increased to 15 minutes. Now that I am a YouTube partner, I can upload videos without a time limitation. I was a little nervous at first; you have to get used to speaking to yourself. After a few takes, I got over it and it became very natural.

 MahoganyCurls short hair (pic)

Are you self-taught as far as hair care?

Yes and no. I grew up in hair salons. I love hair. It is a strong passion of mine. I have three aunts and my grandmother who are all licensed cosmetologists. They have taught me a lot of things regarding hair care, how to use certain styling tools, mixing hair color properly, etc. Of course a lot of it is based on relaxed hair, which is absolutely fine. I taught myself how to care for natural hair, through trial and error. I have used some skills that I have learned from relaxed hair for natural hair care as well. For instance, I was taught to avoid using brushes regularly since it can be damaging to your hair (it can lead to breakage, especially around the edges). It is okay to use it every now and then, but not all the time. I also learned that low manipulation is very important. The core value is keeping your hair healthy. 

MahoganyCurls sleepy eyes (pic)

What was an “uh oh moment” with your hair? A bad cut? Color? Or process?

Ha-ha, that is a great question. At this point, I have never had an “uh oh moment” with my hair. I am very cautious when it comes to styling my hair and thoroughly research information before I try something new.

Who are some of your hair idols?

I love Vicky Jeudy’s hair from “Orange is the New Black.” I am loving her TWA! It is so cute! 

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Inspiring Entrepreneur: Jessica Lewis And Her MahoganyCurls®, Part 2

JULY 25, 2014 10:00 AM BY

MahoganyCurls wavy hair (pic)

Jessica Lewis, also known as MahoganyCurls, has been inspiring women who have been embracing their natural hair since 2009. “I lived in Germany at the time, my husband’s in the military” she explained at a panel during the 2014 Essence Festival.

“I used to relax my hair all the time, and my husband did my big chop. I was new and I would go on YouTube and search for TWA (teeny weeny afro) videos for women with short, natural hair and couldn’t find any, so I decided to document my journey and help others along the way.”

Five years later and with about 25 million views on her YouTube channel tutorials, we’d say Jessica knows what she’s talking about when she encourages us to embrace what we’re born with, at least when it comes to glorious tresses. We sat down with her recently to talk about her hair journey and how she leveraged her natural hair–and talents–in order to create a successful business.

What are some of the best tips you have for natural hair?

Moisturizing your hair is very important. Natural hair can be extremely dry and properly hydrating your hair will help with softening your hair and length retention. Low manipulation is also very important. Different hairstyles are beautiful, however it is important to allow your hair to rest between hairstyles. Depending on the hairstyle, it can put unwanted stress on certain areas of your hair, which may lead to breakage. Always protect your hair at night. Cotton pillowcases absorb moisture and that means it will absorb the natural oils from your hair. The satin pillowcase will protect your hair from this.

What are the reactions you get when you straighten your hair?

Most people are shocked to see how long it really is and then they want to feel it. Sometimes people question whether it is real or not.

Talk about your pineapple that your husband mentioned his love for in a video…so cute!

Ha-ha. A pineapple is a high ponytail that I wear every night. It basically preserves my hairstyle and protects my curls while I sleep. It resembles an actual pineapple.

Have you been able to transition MahoganyCurls into your career or do you work another job?

Right now I am blogging full-time. I used to work in the healthcare industry, but I decided to focus on blogging 100 percent. My husband is very supportive of my decision so it does help when you and your spouse work as a team. And I’m also the new Beauty Ambassador for Shea Moisture!

MahoganyCurls SheaMoisture announcement (pic)

There seem to be so many natural hair care bloggers out there…how do you make sure to stand out from the crowd?

I love the fact that there are a lot of natural hair bloggers; it is beautiful…we have variety. People like to have choices; I love it. To answer your question, I just stay true to myself. I am always trying to find ways to perfect my craft. I feel that there is always room for improvement when it comes to my website, YouTube channel, social media profiles, etc. I am always thinking. I have so many cool ideas that I cannot wait to bring to life. I feel that when you’re really passionate about something it will be a success. It may take time to get there, but it will work.

What’s your favorite thing about your hair? The length, the curls, the versatility?

Definitely the versatility. I can wear it straight, curly, wavy, spiral sets, etc. That was one of the reasons I decided to go natural. I knew that I had more styling options versus wearing relaxed hair.

MahoganyCurls® as a brand, is all you. What are some of the pressures–and freedoms–that come with working for yourself?

A freedom is definitely working on your own time. I do not have a supervisor advising me to meet a certain deadline on a project. However, I work for myself, and that means that I have to be more disciplined. I have to manage my workday properly so that I have a productive day. Some days there isn’t a cut off time when you work for yourself (well, for me there isn’t). I feel that I am working all the time. I feel that when you work a traditional 9-5, after your shift, most of the time, you’re done. When I work for myself, sometimes I am still working throughout the night. Don’t get me wrong, I feel that it is a blessing to be able to work for yourself; it is a very rewarding experience. Having a balance is important and time management is key.

Talk a bit about being a mom and having a business.

It is very busy. My son is in the second grade now, so that means his workload is much heavier. Even though I feel that my job is never ending, I always make time for him. I like to get up really early in the morning, and get started with my day, so that I can end it earlier. If I am not finished with my project by a certain time, I will tell myself that I will complete it the next day. It isn’t difficult, but it takes a lot time management. Luckily, my husband helps also. We are a team. Everyone works together to ensure the household is running properly.

Any other future plans you’d like to mention?

I look forward to traveling more for events. That is something that I definitely plan on doing in the near future. I would love to visit every state and different countries sharing my journey and listening to yours!

Empower Magazine logo (pic)


Ciera Payton black and white (pic)

Hailing from New Orleans, Ciera Payton is a rising star who has appeared in numerous television shows, including NCIS Los Angeles, USA’s Graceland, and The Mentalist. When she isn’t gracing the screen, Ciera can often be found volunteering at non-profit organizations such as Step Up Women’s Network, Girls For a Change, and What Girls Know, where her influence on the youth has been vast.

This summer Ciera is working with inner city youth in Los Angeles by partnering with Casa Esperanza on the Michael’s Daughter Project: Aspire to Inspire, based on the one-woman show inspired by Ciera’s life with the same name.

Participants aged 12-20 have the opportunity to create and perform an original stage production that will be presented to the community of Panorama City on Friday, August 8 at Casa Esperanza.

Ciera Burch: What drew you to acting in the first place?

Ciera Payton: There are so many different reasons. When I was growing up in New Orleans, it was a very artsy city, one of the places where you have to choose what you are going to do. Are you going to take dance, do music? What are you going to do? Living in a crazy, dysfunctional household, I used to make little plays with my dolls and stuffed animals. One Christmas my dad bought me a karaoke machine and I fell in love with it. I would narrate plays and reenact Disney movies.

In junior high school…I decided to go into the drama program and I was just reminded of how much I loved doing that as a little girl. So, I stuck with it and it was just one of those things that really gave me a voice and empowered me. So around the seventh grade is when I was like ‘I’m really serious about this’, because it makes me feel amazing.

Ciera B: You volunteer a lot with the youth. Can you tell me a bit about what made you want to volunteer and why you do it?

Ciera P: When I was 14, I was working at a summer camp and I got to be a camp counselor teaching acting. The following year, I was hired as an assistant for Brenda Currin, the creator and founder of What Girls Know, a theater program that originated in New York, geared toward teenage girls. It was crazy because I had a lot of similarities with the girls…we all were coming from very similar backgrounds of having parents that were incarcerated or family members that dealt with drug abuse, so I related to them and they related to me.

From there, I would work every year with Brenda and eventually she promoted me to associate director. With me moving from New Orleans, and then New York and L.A, I just saw the benefit in all of that, giving kids coming from poverty stricken backgrounds the platform to express themselves.

It makes me feel good to be able to work with kids that way, to give them some kind of voice, an outlet, to continue that work on my journey to becoming an actress.

Ciera's LA Summer Camp (pic) (2)

Ciera B: That’s great. You’ve probably helped a lot of them discover their dreams as well.

Ciera P: I think so. I keep in touch with a lot of the kids throughout the years. The program that I’m doing right now, I was able to hire one of my former students who lives out here in Los Angeles.

Ciera B: So the current program you’re involved in now, Casa Esperanza. How did you get involved with them?

Ciera P: When I wrote my one-woman show, Michael’s Daughter, a couple years ago, I realized a lot of people responded to it in phenomenal ways. I didn’t realize that so many people could relate to the story of having a father who’s incarcerated, and so I wanted to figure out a way to marry the work that I do with the youth and my one-woman show. I went to a meeting with Los Angeles’s Department of Cultural Affairs and they were trying to figure out ways to give grants to performing artists in a way to serve the community.

I was awarded one of the grants and one of my assignments was to work in District 6 of Los Angeles. So District 6 just happens to be Panorama City, which isn’t too far from where I live. The main thing is that you have to work with a host organization, so I searched and came upon Casa Esperanza. They’re a community organization housed in a very, very rough part of Panorama City and they just keep their doors open Monday through Friday to the kids and to the community. They have sewing classes, reading classes for the parents and cooking classes. In the summer they teach the little kids about reading and writing. It’s amazing. Every Friday afternoon they have a community night and they play games and serve food.

I really commend them. So, that’s how I got involved with them. They accepted me and what I wanted to do with the kids. Every day, Monday through Thursday, 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, I’m working with them and we’re creating an original stage production that we’re going to perform for the community on August 8.

Ciera B: That’s great, I’m sure they love it.

Ciera P: Oh my gosh. I was a little intimidated at first. I thought it was going to be different because I come from New Orleans, a city that’s predominantly Black, now going to a Hispanic community. I didn’t know if these kids were going to respond to me because my Spanish isn’t that good. But the kids really, really responded to it. I think that they’re all amazing; I love working with them.

Ciera's LA Summer Camp (pic)

Ciera B: You mentioned your one-woman show Michael’s Daughter. How hard is it to do a one-woman show, especially one about your own life?

Ciera P: It’s very hard. I really have to read up on all the people that have done it and get courage from that. It’s a challenging thing; you’re taking your life and trying to put it into a cohesive story. I think that was the hardest for me because there were so many things that I wanted to share, and then the next thing you know I have a three hour play that had to be cut down to the bare bones. Every time I perform it I’m always cutting something or changing something or adding something, just to make it better.

At first, the very first time I did it, it was my way of venting and getting a lot of stuff off my chest. Once I kind of stopped making it about me, it started to shape and become something inspiring, and the story started to make more sense. It really is a story between a father and his daughter, and also a story of forgiveness and unconditional love. I think that’s why so many people are moved by it, because a lot of people can relate to those themes.

Every time I’ve done it it’s definitely been a challenge. It is emotional and a lot of the stuff I’ve pulled from you have to look back and reopen it. It’s hard to at times, but I realize that the more I take myself out of it and make it about the audience, it’s more for them to take something away from.

Ciera B: Can you tell me a bit about the workshops for the youth that you have in conjunction with the performances?

Ciera P: I’m using the performance as a template for the kids to write their own performance pieces. We’re using my scripts, I have it on DVD. The premise as a whole is that we are aspiring to aspire others. I want these kids to think of it in terms of not just telling their business just to tell it, but to share their story so they can inspire and be strong for kids with similar backgrounds.

Ciera B: With such a busy schedule with acting, both on television and in your one-woman show, how do you make time for a personal life?

Ciera P: I don’t. I try to, I really do. If I have any personal time, it’s just watching TV. This weekend I’m planning on going to the movies and just having a good time, but it’s hard to try and find time sometimes. But I do it when I can.

For more information on Ciera Payton and Michael’s Daughter, visit For more information on Casa Esperanza, visit


Fearless & Ambitious: Eboness Belin, Owner of Sheer Bliss Designs

“Find out what makes your brand stand out from your competitors and build a strategy to support that differentiation” ~ Eboness Belin

Eboness Belin of Sheer Bliss Designs

Eboness Belin of Sheer Bliss Designs

As Creative Director of Sheer Bliss Designs, owner Eboness Belin exposes her clients to her passion for both entertaining and crafting. With more than 20 years experiences in both the fashion and craft industries, Eboness has the keen ability to mesh unique and handcrafted design elements, translating them into virtual works of art. With her eclectic design style, combining the old with the new, and being inspired by the ordinary things in life, and her beautiful daughter Emerald Jade, Eboness is a sought after creative genius. When she isn’t designing for clients, she’s studying the works of designers Renny Reynolds and Candace Olsen, listening to live music, enjoying family gatherings, antiquing, or watching HGTV. Her work has been featured on popular style and party blogs, including Style Me Pretty, Project Nursery, Kara’s Party Ideas, Southern Guide to Living, Unique Bride Magazine and many others.

Visit Eboness online, and connect with her on FacebookPinterest and Instagram.

Why did you start your business, Sheer Bliss Designs?

About 16 years ago, I was asked by a former roommate to decorate for a birthday party she was hosting for her mother. This task included purchasing all of the party wares as well. I’ve always been the creative type with a strong sense and understanding of colors and textures, so the process of selecting just the right plates, napkins, and balloons was exhilarating! Many people asked about who did the decorating for the party, giving me high accolades. Sheer Bliss Designs was born! I began to receive requests from friends and family to decorate for parties and weddings.

What is your role as the Founder/Creative Director of Sheer Bliss Designs?

As Founder/Creative Director of Sheer Bliss Designs, I’m the principal designer and project manager for all client needs. This includes developing the original artistic vision, research, design plan, vendor selection, and execution for events, dessert tables, and handcrafted dècor. I also manage Sheer Bliss Designs’ online Etsy shop where many of our handcrafted dècor items are sold.

Why did you choose entrepreneurship?

I’ve always looked at entrepreneurship as a way to creatively tell my story, share my design style and perspective of artistry on my own terms. I’m also immensely gratified by being able to solve clients’ problems. Whether it’s maximizing a small venue space or the installation of a difficult backdrop, those challenges fuel project ideas that can translate to new business.

What do you love most about owning your own business?

I absolutely love the creative process; it is so gratifying to transform an empty space into a masterpiece! My business is very much an extension of who I am as a person; with every project, I figuratively sign my name. Another reason is my clients! I love seeing them thrilled about the end result. That is what it is all about, and happy clients lead to referrals and repeat business.

What do you find to be most challenging?

Work/life balance for sure. As a creative, you are always working on “something!” Like a friend and I always laugh about being creative is like having 10,000 web browsers open all the time. It’s real. I’m constantly challenged with prioritizing my projects, determining when to push myself to do more and when to just let some things go, or save for a later time. To that end, I’ve made it my goal to be more discriminating about my overall commitments. I’m always about “what’s next,” but that needs to be tempered with proper planning and associated timelines.

What would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far as an entrepreneur?

I would say trusting my gut and believing in what my skill level and company brand bring to the table. Holding onto some core beliefs about who I am as a person and designer have been invaluable. These lessons have grounded me, but they also compel me to forge ahead to find out “what’s next.”

What skills and qualities are needed to make it in your industry?

A passion for design as well as being able to translate industry trends. Trends come and go, but being able to execute your “spin” of that trend based on your brand is key. I would say building strong vendor relationships — they are the key to you being able to successfully execute events. When I find a vendor that I’m interested in, that I know I will use frequently, I set up a short phone call or meeting with them in person if possible. These relationships are two-way streets and can be mutually beneficial when cultivated.

What are three things that have contributed to your success as an entrepreneur? 1. Fortitude (If you believe in what you are selling, don’t give up. 2. Networking (No woman is an island; your next gig may come from a brief conversation with someone). 3. Cultivating my company brand (Not your logo or slogan, but what your brand personality is and how you present it to the world — it will guide many of your decisions).

What is your favorite inspirational quote or saying?

“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

How do you stay encouraged?

I have a network of creative entrepreneur friends, both in and out of the events industry, that I maintain strong connections with. I’m also the Creative Ambassador of SHE HUE Network, an online collective of creative women of color. It’s a place to relate, share, support, and inspire other women. I think it’s also important to have that one person that you bounce ideas off of — no matter how crazy they may seem.

Do you have any advice for women looking to start or grow their businesses?

I can’t stress enough the power of educating yourself, not only on the specific industry your product or service falls into, but also understanding and cultivating your niche and how it relates to your target market. Find out what makes your brand stand out from your competitors, and build a strategy to support that differentiation. I would also attend free business seminars on the basics of running a small business — local SBAs and SCORE are great associations to start with. Also, find someone who is already doing it — don’t be afraid to reach out to other women entrepreneurs to ask a few questions. Not all will be open to this, but there are many who will. We all had to start somewhere!

What tips do you have for women on their journeys to success?

Make reading and research a habit. You have to constantly stay abreast of information that could very well catapult you to your next level of success. I recommend “Brand Against the Machine” by John Morgan. Google people in your industry, subscribe to relevant blogs. Also, remain humble — you can be the most gifted writer, designer, publisher, etc., but people do business with people they like. End of story.



“Five minutes with the Oprah Winfrey Network ‘The Haves and The Have Nots’ star Angela Robinson” Actress Angela Robinson The Oprah Winfrey Network’s slate heats up Tuesday nights this summer with its scorching hot drama The Haves and the Have Nots. 

Here, at Black Camera Pro’s Official Guide to Black Women in TV & Film, we love a juicy summertime drama. Folks, this show does not disappoint! Created, executive produced, written and directed by Tyler Perry, The HAHN is OWN’s most popular original series returning for its second season May 27th, 2014 to the tune of 3.1 million viewers!

The Haves and The Have Nots is a television drama based on three close-knit families, some affluent, some not, and what happens when those worlds collide. This drama boasts at least twenty characters and just as many back-stories. With so much action packed into a one hour episodic, it is sometimes challenging to navigate these types of shows, both with plot and emotion, but The Haves and The Have Nots is not a typical show.

This show has something special, a secret weapon- they have actress Angela Robinson as leading matriarch Veronica Harrington. As much as we love an emotional good guy (or girl), we adore our stunning ice queens even more. So we sat down with the illustrious Angela Robinson, the woman who makes being the bad guy look so good.

Actress Angela Robinson’s character Veronica Harrington is the master of self-control. Angela says that “Veronica is the high achieving, American success story who will risk everything to keep her vision and position in place.  She is the maven of social ladder climbing, and the one whose happiness depends on her getting exactly what she wants.” As the black matriarch of the Harrington family, she anchors these complex worlds and is no stranger to criticism, especially in her relationship with her son. Her character’s perspective and motivations guide us through the storylines.

Speaking with us from New York City, we talked with Ms. Angela about all things craft- because this woman takes her acting-whether the platform be television, film, or theatre, very seriously. What strikes you initially about Angela is her voice. It is crisp and clear, yet coated with this seductive drawl that sucks you in to her universe. You hang on her every word, each leading to the next, until she has painted this picture for you, a glimpse into her own colorful world. Her tone is exalting- and grounded at the same time. And as carefully as she has constructed a thought- her laugh ruffles the room and you feel as if you have been girlfriends for years. And that’s just the first five minutes. Angela Robinson is a face you have probably seen all over. Her acting is seamless in that she takes you fluidly from scene to scene always upping the ante, putting more and more at stake to make sure she-gets-what-she-wants. This motto also translates to her professional life beyond the camera where she is a motivational speaker. One of her beliefs in life that informs her own work is simple, “To Live. Only through experience, and emotion, love, loss, success, and failure can one expect to have a range of references to pull from when building a character.” This is a woman that believes in living, fully, and that includes feeding her soul back in a familiar space, the theatre. I must say, I was impressed that The HAHN casted such a real actress.

When we say real actress, we mean that she is not a manufactured personality, or famous for being infamous or who she dates, what she wears or where she parties. In the world post the “Basketball Wives”and  “Love & Hip Hop” franchises, – the value of the black actress on television has decreased. In contrast, Angela is a professionally educated and trained actress. She attends theatre regularly, and also mentioned that this year in particular, she is so impressed and happy for the increased black presence on Broadway. She believes television and film actors can move fluidly from stage to screen and should not be limited to just one medium. Angela Robinson lives and breathes performance to honor the commitment it takes to grow in this industry. Actresses, have an ironclad memory of the role they played when everything just clicked, and they really became an artist. Angela Robinson, never really seems to have had that issue.

The daughter of a teacher, she has always known that she is an artist. Angela continuously questions, engages, and refines her skills and talent so much so that who she is directly informs what she does, and not the other way around.

One question I love to end with is “What was your dream role when you began this journey?” Her answer, although unexpected, really speaks to the core values of who she is a performer, and her respect for the tradition of the art form.

She answered, “In my first years of professional acting my dream role was to be Eliza Doolittle.”

After almost confessing this deep seeded response, Angela’s lighthearted laughter trails off.

then ask her, “What is your dream role now?”

She pauses for almost a minute, then definitively replies, “You know what, it has not even been written yet.”

In an industry with a small pocket of leading roles for black women, it is refreshing to know that at least one woman on television envisions a hopeful and colorful world of roles that will in some aspect capture the potential of the craft driven black female actress.

Check out Angela Robinson as Veronica Harrington every Tuesday at 9/8 c on the OWN.

For more information about Angela’s speaking events click here Questions? Hit the like or share button, show some love!

Do you watch the HAHN? Who is your favorite character?

ROLRolling Out Magazine LogoLING OUT Magazine Features Actress Angela Robinson

‘The Haves and the Have Nots’ star Angela Robinson: ‘These stories are real’

Angela Robinson w Renee Lawless (Set of The Haves and The Have Nots) PIC Angela Robinson stars on OWN’s hit series, the Tyler Perry-created “The Haves and the Have Nots” as “ice queen” Veronica Harrington and the Florida native enjoys playing a character that fans sometimes love to hate. “The fan reactions are up and down. It depends on the storyline,” she says with a laugh. “I’m one of those characters  that will be loved and hated simultaneously in any given episode. That’s a lot of fun—to read the tweets about how much they love the character. Then after another scene, it’s ‘I can’t stand that character!’” Robinson says that she’s excited about the fact that there are a growing number of primetime shows that feature diverse casts—as compared to years ago, when if you watched a show like “Dynasty” or “St. Elsewhere,” a black character was a unique, special occurrence. “I hope it’s something that will start a trend for TV because that’s how the world looks,” says Robinson. “It’s good to be able to see the real world and not some imaginary, one race type of world.” “When ‘Dynasty’ was on it was a huge deal when Diahann Carroll came on the show. That was groundbreaking,” she adds. “I hope we can see African American characters as the diva, as the villain and also as the praying mother. We are all of those things. We tended to only be the best friend or the neighbor in everybody’s sitcom. I’m happy that our characters are at the forefront and these stories are real. They do happen in households.” Robinson is a veteran of the stage, having played the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple on Broadway and on tour. She’s also appeared in Wonderful Town, Play On! and Bells Are Ringing among other projects and she says that nothing gives her more gratification than helping to inspire the next generation of creative talent. With that spirit in mind, she’s teamed up with the Kendrick Academy in Georgia to serve as a judge for the Academy’s upcoming talent and fashion show. The “K Factor Talent and Fashion Show Extravaganza” takes place on March 7th and this gives her yet another opportunity to motivate young actors, dancers and singers to believe in their gifts. “I believe in artists. I’m an advocate for artists,” Robinson explains. “If you grow up saying ‘I want to be a lawyer,’ everyone says ‘Let’s give her everything she needs to be a lawyer.’ But if you say ‘I want to be an artist, or a dancer or a painter,’ it’s ‘Oh, she’ll grow out of it.’ I think it’s a huge responsibility. So any level that I can invest in artists and help young people to use their talents and gifts and really take them seriously, I’m all in. This is just an extension of that.”


 The Tom Joyner Morning show

The Tom Joyner Morning Show’s Nikki Woods Interviews Actress Angela Robinson

‘The Haves and The Have Nots’ Angela Robinson to Judge the K Factor Talent and Fashion Show Extravaganza

Actress Angela Robinson who plays the role of Veronica Harrington in Tyler Perry’s The Haves and  The Have Nots that airs on OWN  is trying her hand at something new! She is going to be a celebrity judge for the K Factor Talent Show and Fashion Show Extravaganza in Fort Valley, Georgia that will benefit The Kendrick Academy.

Nikki Woods talked to Angela about her journey to stardom, her role as Veronica and giving back to the community. Learn more about the K Factor Talent and Fashion Show Extravaganza at The K Factor Flyer

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OUCH! Magazine Features 

Actress Ciera Payton

Actress CIERA PAYTON “Up and Personal”

Actress Ciera Payton wearing KissableMe's 'whine' PHOTO CREDITS: Brandon Espy Photography MAKE-UP: Erica Pennings

Actress Ciera Payton wearing KissableMe’s ‘whine’
PHOTO CREDITS: Brandon Espy Photography
MAKE-UP: Erica Pennings

By Rhonda McKnight, Editor

1. How is 2014 treating you? What did you do for the New Year?
2014 has turned out to be quite an adventure so far! I spent the first part of this month working on the upcoming feature film “Respect The Jux”. It’s based on the New York Times Bestseller by the same name. I play the female lead, which is a pretty prominent role in the film and I’m just grateful to be moving up to the next level. 2013 ended on a great note as well. I completed shooting “Bad Teacher” playing opposite David Alan Grier and made a guest appearance on an upcoming food challenge show. I also won best actress in a short film at the MiniCinema Awards. Not sure what the next job will be but I’m definitely looking forward to what’s in store for this year! For New Year’s, my friends and I got a table at this awesome hidden nightclub in Hollywood where there’s live burlesque performances. We had crepes and fancy French punch and rang in the new year! 
2. Being an actress, what are your goals for your career?
I have this vision board that almost hovers over my bed. Every morning I roll over and look up on the wall and gaze at it. It lists all the producers, directors, actors, and studios that I want to work with. I’ve placed photos of the awards I want to win, the parts I want to play, and how I want to be viewed. I want to be a multifaceted actress. I want to work in all realms of this industry; perform on Broadway, Film, and TV along with writing and producing meaningful content. I want to be a voice for my city, by telling the stories of my people, whether I’m in front or behind the camera. I want to depict powerful women and the ingenue. 
3. Can you share any surprising facts you’ve learned about your industry?
A lot of people think actors and entertainers become a name over night and are these multimillionaires because they’re on TV or in the latest blockbuster. I made that assumption too and it’s just not true. There’s a considerable amount of work, I mean hard work to stay in the game. There’s really no way to prepare for the amount of rejection, self-doubt, and fear that comes along with the pursuit of your dreams. I can remember working at a restaurant in Hollywood and serving a very rude customer, only to look and see my face on TV in a movie I had shot a few years prior. It was paradoxical. But it set in, this is the reality of the actor’s life. You work on a set, you have your survival gigs, and you just keep going until that opportunity comes. And you don’t lose faith. 
4. Tell us about your love life. What type of person are you attracted to?  Anything serious now? Hollywood Crush?
Love life?!?! What’s that? Ha! I go out, have fun. I’m definitely open to love and a good solid relationship. I don’t have a Hollywood crush, there are actors that I definitely want to work with, but not date. I’m a southern girl and I just love my southern manly man!  
5. Do you feel that having a serious relationship before becoming famous hurts young actresses such as yourself?
No not at all! Of course relationships take work and a lot of compromise. As long as a young actress is in a relationship where her partner is understanding and respectful of her time and career aspirations, it shouldn’t be harmful to her career. I think it’s challenging and harmful when a guy doesn’t understand and puts himself before her career. But being in a monogamous committed relationship with all these things understood and accepted, I think, is a true blessing and would congratulate those that are able to achieve that! 
6. What gives you peace when you’re stressed out?
I mediate and I paint. I get a canvas, some brushes, and my acrylic and go to town. When I’m unable to do that, I put on my Beyonce full blast and dance and sing to the top my lungs! 
7. How do you feel about Hollywood being so obsessed over sex nowadays?
At first, I didn’t understand it and would feel often offended whenever I’d get an audition notice and see “nudity required”. But as I get older and am seeing the parts that come across my desk requiring nudity, I don’t bawk at it any more. As humans we develop and adapt to the times and sexuality is a part of human nature. Over the centuries we’ve been taught to suppress our sexual desires and wants, but slowly and surely the hemlines have gotten higher and the clothes a bit tighter and I feel that Hollywood is just responding to that. Of course, Hollywood does have a responsibility to control the amount of what’s being put out there and what’s the proper way to portray both men and women. Yea, I take a deep sigh when I see scantily clad women prancing around only to appeal to men’s sexual appetite. But then there is a part of me that finds it empowering to be and feel sexy. I mean as a woman I feel like I can be Beyonce (show some skin, wear sexiness) one moment and Michele Obama (sexy in a reserved, conservative way) the next, and there should be no apologies about it. 
8. What types of roles would you say no right away to?
None, unless the role just doesn’t sit right in my spirit, I’ll consider saying no, but otherwise I feel a character is a depiction of a real life person, and we deserve to have our stories told. I’m eager to give life to characters. 
9. What’s coming up for you this year?
This year, CBS’ “Bad Teacher” is rumored to be premiering in the fall along with “Respect the Jux”. I’m also looking forward to returning back to work at USA Network’s “Graceland”. I’ll be performing my one-woman show “Michael’s Daughter” in Los Angeles and possibly New Orleans. I’m also aiming to finish my book by this summer. More than anything, I’m looking forward to enjoying life and traveling to places I’ve never been and taking on new adventures. I’d like to live a bit more and I’ve made a promise to myself to do so this year and not be so consumed with my career aspirations. I’m having faith that whatever’s meant to be will be, I’ll continue to do my part and work hard, but also let go of control. 
10. Anything you’d like to say to your fans? How can they follow you?
I’m learning that there are some folks out there that have been rocking with me from day one! They believe in me and my talent and that just means so much to me. I’m a girl who grew up in the one of the roughest parts of New Orleans. There weren’t many people around to encourage me. Everyone was just trying to survive. So now, I get messages from fans all the time with prayers, check ins, seeking advice, and just overall empowerment and encouragement and I’m just gracious that people are seeing what I do and are just digging it! If I didn’t have that, I would have quit a long time ago. So I must say that I appreciate you all so much! We are all in this together. I take a piece of my supporters with me whenever I’m performing or walking into an audition room, because I know that whenever I’m chosen to give voice to a character, that role may just be the story or life of a “Ciera supporter/fan”.
Everyone can follow me on 
Twitter: @cierapayton
Instagram: @callmececee
Facebook: Actress Ciera Payton
Thank you for the opportunity Ouch Magazine!

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LUCKY Magazine Features Celebrity Natural Hair Vlogger MahoganyCurls™

Natural Hair Talk With MahoganyCurls™

By So She Writes MahoganyCurls

As of this morning, MahoganyCurls™ has 196,309 YouTube subscribers and counting. Her total YouTube channel views are well over 20 million. One can truly say that the worldwide natural hair community loves MahoganyCurls™ and she loves them back. It all began when Macon, GA native Jessica Lewis decided to embrace her natural hair in March 2009. After doing the “big chop,” Jessica was inspired to share her natural hair journey with others who were looking to do the same. Jessica took on the moniker MahoganyCurls™ and created what is now a collection of 139 YouTube videos sharing her love for nurturing natural hair to the masses. 

Being born into a family of hair care professionals, it seems second nature for Jessica to be passionate about styling and caring for hair. With her vastly growing social media reach and beautifully-spirited personality, MahoganyCurls™ focuses on helping women embrace their crown and glory one update at a time. She exemplifies as well as gives instruction on how to achieve “natural hair with flair” by taking viewers along for the ride as she discusses every aspect of her own natural hair journey. And with each video upload, viewers marvel at her beautifully coiled tresses and her pleasant persona, while taking notes on how to create better hair care practices for themselves. Whether one is looking for tips on establishing a healthy hair care regimen or perfecting braid-outsbantu-knot outs,roller-sets, and wash-n-go styles, MahoganyCurls™ has it covered. She updates her YouTube channel and website frequently, keeping her viewers and readers in the know on all things natural hair care.  I was delighted to be given the opportunity to connect with MahoganyCurls™ to talk about natural hair. She has a wealth of knowledge to share with everyone and I’m thankful to be a part of the sharing process.

What do you love most about being able to share your passion for natural hair on YouTube? What is the most rewarding aspect?   
The thing that I love most about sharing my passion for natural hair on YouTube is the fact that it is helpful to others embarking on their natural hair journey. The most rewarding aspect is when others approach me and explain that I inspired them to go natural or my tutorials and thoughts regarding the natural hair journey has helped them in many ways. I love to teach, and I love explaining to others how to go about caring and embracing their natural hair. I get to share what I have learned during my journey, good or bad.
What does your weekly hair care routine look like?  
I like to cowash (conditioner wash) my hair once a week. I also like to deep condition my hair every Sunday. I usually twist my hair for styling. It usually takes about an hour and 30 minutes to complete my hair from start to finish. I love “As I Am Coconut Cowash” for cleansing and Shea Moisture products are my go to stylers.
How did you go about researching for the right regimen/products for your hair? What have been the most helpful tools in your research?   
I like to read the ingredients. When I first went natural, I used to use products that would make my hair very dry. At the time, I did not know much about ingredients in certain products. I used to visit other blogs and hair forums that would explain why certain products may cause dryness. Eventually I learned about the “curly girl method” and I follow that method now. It has helped my natural journey a lot. Research is extremely helpful.
Have you ever had a setback? If so, how did you recover from it? 
If I have a set back I will clarify my hair with “As I Am Coconut Cowash” and deep condition my hair for an hour and a half. After I do this, I will proceed to styling my hair with my favorite products. I would also eliminate the product that caused the setback from my regimen.
What is your favorite way to style your hair? Favorite part of your regimen?   
Right now I am a huge fan of twist outs. My favorite part of my regimen is applying my leave in conditioner. I love a rich creamy leave-in. I feel that a great leave-in will make or break your hair style. I look for leave-in conditioners that will provide an ample amount of moisture for my hair. One of my favorites is “The Conditioner” by Paul Mitchell.
Does your regimen differ from the summer to the winter? If so, in what ways?   
No, it does not. For the most part, I style my hair the same way. I like to keep my regimen very simple. I feel that low manipulation is very important during your natural hair journey since natural hair can be very fragile.


Tell me one thing you’ve learned on your journey that you wish you knew when you did the big chop back in 2009.  
I wish I knew that natural hair would be extremely dry compared to relaxed hair. It took about a month or so for me to find products that worked for me that would not dry my hair out. Once I figured this out, I feel as if the ball began to roll and my journey took off without too many setbacks.
What advice would you give to my readers who have just started their natural hair journeys and are seeking support and information?  
I would suggest that they have patience, research natural hair online, and continue to have confidence. The natural hair community is very supportive. YouTube and hair forums that cater to natural hair will be very helpful in your journey. The last thing I would say is be proud of yourself and be proud of your hair. You are wearing your crown. Show the world how beautiful it is.
We all know that maintaining a healthy hair regimen takes patience, time, and love. What motivates you to continue on your journey?   
I am motivated by other naturals. Naturals that are starting their natural hair journey inspire and motivate me. It shows beauty and confidence.
What are your current hair goals?   
I would like to reach APL (arm pit length) while my hair is curly, with shrinkage, in a couple of years. I would like to have a few layers cut in the near future also. I think it would jazz up my ‘do. 
What do you hope viewers take from engaging with you and subscribing to your YouTube channel?  
I hope that they find my channel to be inspiring and educational. I am very passionate about the educational aspect of natural hair and hopefully it will inspire them to start their own channel to document their journey along with helping others.
What can we expect to see more of from MahoganyCurls™ in 2014? Are there any events or projects in the works that you would like to tell us about?  
Every Wednesday, from 7:00 – 7:30 pm EST I host a live YouTube streaming show called “MahoganyCurls™ LIVE!” Viewers that tune in during the live taping can ask me questions in real time. I will also be attending several natural hair events, including Natural Hair Bride’s “Glitz, Glam & Curlz” event in Chicago, IL (February), the Natural Hair and Health Expo 2014 in Birmingham, AL (March), an event in London, England (May) and several other events. Invites to natural hair events are coming in so quickly and I’m very excited to join and support as many as I am able to!
I thank Jessica for sharing her time and insight with me for this feature. Be sure to check out her YouTube channel and get familiar with her through social media. She’s quite interactive with her viewers and readers, so don’t be afraid to ask her questions if you have any. And remember to tune in on Wednesday evening for MahoganyCurls™ LIVE!


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Fusion TV (In partnership with ABC) Features 

Natural Hair Vlogger MahoganyCurls™

#TeamNatural: Why This Growing Trend Is More Than Just a Hashtag

By Kerisha Harris MahoganyCurls The decision to “go natural,” i.e. the decision to wear one’s hair in its natural state free from chemical straighteners, can be both empowering and daunting. What do I do with it? What products should I use? How do I style it? The mere fact that even deciding to wear one’s natural hair is regarded in some circles to be a revolutionary act speaks to deeper issues of race, class and the idea of beauty. Chris Rock famously explored the history and politics of curly and kinky hair in his documentary, “Good Hair.” The film was awarded a special jury prize for documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009, and put the conversations that were once limited to street corner barber shops and ’round-the-way beauty salons out in the open. Just last Fall, “The Talk” host Sheryl Underwood came under fire for comments she made regarding “nasty, nappy afro hair” for which she later apologized (but not before the Twitterverse exploded). And who can forget that controversial cover of the New Yorker, in which First Lady Michelle Obama is depicted sporting a large afro and army fatigues in an attempt to convey “The Politics of Fear.” Or how so many people, most of them African-American women, who should have been praising Gabrielle Douglas’ gold-medal winning performance in the 2012 Olympics, instead chose to make nasty, derogatory comments about the texture of her hair. People with naturally curly and kinky hair have long relied on straighteners, hot combs and chemical relaxers to achieve sleek, silky tresses; arguably as a way to appear acceptable and polished. As Tiya Miles, chairwoman of the Department of Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan told CNN in an article, “Historically, the difference of black hair texture has symbolized the inferiority of black people in the minds of some whites and even some blacks. Naturally kinky hair was viewed as dirty, unkempt and unattractive into the mid-20th century.” But as millennial women have come of age, a paradigm shift has taken place. More than ever, black and brown ladies (and gentlemen!) who have everything from wavy to curly to kinky, have chosen to abandon the chemicals, love the hair they were born with, and cross over to #teamnatural. Recent data from global research firm Mintel backs up the claim that natural just might be the new normal in haircare. The report shows that chemical relaxers now account for just 21% of Black haircare sales and the sector has declined 26% since 2008 and 15% since 2011 when sales reached $179 million, the only category not to see growth. “The natural hair trend is driving an increase in sales of styling products such as styling moisturizers, setting lotions, curl creams, pomades, etc., but the increase has caused the relaxer segment to decline in sales,” said Tonya Roberts, multicultural analyst at Mintel, in the report. “A look at expenditures from 2008-2013 shows steady growth in the Black haircare category for all categories except relaxers/perms.” From Lupita Nyong’o and her short cropped natural ‘fro, to Melissa Harris-Perry delivering the nightly news sporting a variety of natural braids and twists; and even Beyonce doing her signature surfboardt at the Grammys with wet, natural ringlets; it certainly appears that natural hair has gone mainstream. Thankfully, for those who want to go natural but can’t necessarily afford Queen Bey or Lupita’s stylists, leading the charge of this movement are a group of passionate and web-savvy “naturalistas” who have become beauty gurus in their own right. Many have nabbed product endorsements, book deals, media appearances, and amassed hundreds of thousands of loyal followers along the way. Among this group is Jessica Lewis a.k.a MahoganyCurls™. Vlogging since 2009, she has been invited to speak at beauty and natural hair conferences and conventions as far away as London and the Bahamas and has been featured in Ebony Magazine as one of the top natural hair bloggers in the game. She took some time to tell us why the natural hair movement is here to stay.


March 12, 2014

TLR Publicity & PR Client, Actress Angela Robinson, praises and thanks fans for Season Finale record ratings!

“Look at YOU. You outdid yourselves this time. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!” ~ via Actress Angela Robinson’s Official Facebook Page

Actress Angela Robinson PRESS RELEASE:  Via – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s Morgan Di Stefano Los Angeles – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s Tuesday night (March 11) season finale of “The Haves and the Have Nots,” the drama series from Tyler Perry set a network record with 3.6 million total viewers.  The episode ranked as the #1 telecast in OWN history among total viewers and #2 in the key female demo (2.75 W25-54) behind only “Oprah’s Next Chapter” with Bobbi Kristina.  For the night, episode ranked as the #1 cable telecast in the key female demo (2.75 W25-54) and #4 in all of television among W25-54 rating. This season finale grew double digits, up 38% in total viewers and 24% in W25-54 vs. the prior season finale. Source: The Nielsen Company About “The Haves and The Have Nots” (Tuesdays at 9 p.m.) “The Haves and the Have Nots” follows the complicated dynamic between the rich and powerful Cryer family and the hired help who work in their opulent mansion set in Savannah, Georgia. This season picked up from the cliffhanger fall finale where a horrific accident left viewers wondering who survived.  The series stars John Schneider (“Dukes of Hazzard”) and Tika Sumpter (“Gossip Girl”). “The Haves and the Have Nots” is produced for OWN by Tyler Perry Studios. It is created, written, directed and executive produced by Tyler Perry. About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand – and the magnetism of the channel.  Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable.  Depth with edge.  Heart. Star power. Connection.  And endless possibilities.  OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications.  The network debuted on January 1, 2011 and is available in 85 million homes.  The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform  For more information, please visit

I Am JMarriie Magazine

I Am JMARiiE Magazine chooses

Actress Ciera Payton as Re-Launch Cover Story


“Actress Ciera Payton is the 1st featured in an all new set of web covers” 

~ I Am JMARiiE Magazine

Look into the life of actress Ciera Payton, the New Orleans born native who is the daughter of Michael Payton. This actress is not only making new moves in her career on screen, but she’s acting off the camera as well in the community. With new opportunities such as her new shows “Bad Teacher” and Spike Lee’s “OldBoy”, she has made avenues to do her own thing. Take a look…(read more here)

Lipstick That Delivers Beauty with Power

KissableMe Lipstick forms partnership with Actress Ciera Payton committing portion of sales to empower youth

November 21, 2013 – LOS ANGELES, Ca. — Actress Ciera Payton and KissableMe Lipstick are bringing power and beauty together!
The New Orleans native, who has continuously focused on inspiring and giving back to under-resourced youth by sharing her story of overcoming a very challenging upbringing in “the Big Easy”, has deepened her commitment, forming a beautiful, yet powerful alliance with KissableMe Lipstick.“I think it’s great that KissableMe Lipstick is on board for such a great partnership!” says Payton. “To so graciously contribute a portion of proceeds generated from the EmpowerYouth campaign to Girls For a Change and Step Up Women’s Network; what better way to do combine beauty with power for our youth! The colors are vibrant and unique, much like the youth of these two amazing organizations!”Beginning Thursday, November 21, customers shopping, making pre-tax purchases of $25 or more and entering the code EmpowerYouth, will receive a 10% discount from their total purchase. KissableMe Lipstick will in turn donate a portion of all ‘EmpowerYouth’ sales benefiting under-resourced youth.
Actress Ciera Payton wearing KissableMe's 'whine' PHOTO CREDITS: Brandon Espy Photography MAKE-UP: Erica Pennings

Ciera Payton wearing KissableMe’s ‘whine’
PHOTO: Brandon Espy Photography
MAKE-UP: Erica Pennings

About Actress Ciera Payton         
Ciera Payton, who audiences will see in Filmmaker Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ and the upcoming CBS comedy ‘Bad Teacher’, best known for her roles on ‘Days of Our Lives’, ‘The Closer’, and Steven Seagal’s ‘Flight of Fury’, has been a mentor and advocate for under-resourced youth for many years. Being raised by her grandmother (now deceased) and drug-addicted father (now incarcerated) until the age of 13, Payton hopes to increase the focus on and garner greater support for, the often unheard youth in danger of becoming statistics. Payton credits not only the Arts, but also mentors along the way, including inspiration by her one-time instructor, American Author and Poet Maya Angelou, for being able to overcome and not become a statistic.
On Saturday, November 23, 2013, Payton will perform the Off-Broadway show Michael’s Daughter in the 2013 United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC. Michael’s Daughter is the compelling story of Payton’s paper trail relationship with her incarcerated father. Tickets may be purchased at
About KissableMe Lipstick
KissableMe is a hand-manufactured lipstick company located in Los Angeles, CA, established in 2011 by Treion Marie. The company offers a variety of luscious lip colors that are guaranteed to have you wanting more! KissableMe is always generating new lip possibilities and the colors are endless.
About Girls For A Change
Girls For A Change is a national organization that empowers girls to create social change, providing the tools, resources, and partnerships for middle and high school girls to gain the voice, ability, and problem-solving capacity to reach their full potential.
About Step Up Women’s NetworkStep Up Women’s Network is a nonprofit membership organization igniting women and girls to fulfill their potential, serving to empowering teen girls from under-resourced communities to be confident, college-bound, and career-ready, and propelling professional women through connections, collaborations, and continuous development.

Spike Lee Donates Anonymous Amount in Support of “Oldboy” Cast Member’s IndieGoGo Campaign

Actress Ciera Payton commits portion of “Michael’s Daughter” IndieGoGo Campaign funds to organizations benefiting under-resourced youth


Sep. 24, 2013 – LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Often referred to as brilliant and unwavering, award-winning Filmmaker Spike Lee may also be referred to as a sincere supporter of those “doing the right thing”!  Last week, Lee added an anonymous donation to the fundraising efforts of Actress Ciera Payton. A portion of the total funds raised have been promised to directly benefit under-resourced youth. Ciera Payton with Spike LeeKnown by most for her roles on Days of Our Lives and TNT’s The Closer, Payton, who audiences will also see in Spike Lee’s remake of “Oldboy” (November, 2013), created the one-woman show “Michael’s Daughter”, and performs it before nationwide audiences, leaving many in tears and soul-searching. In the play, Payton plays the roles of those who had the greatest impact on her childhood, including her drug addicted, now imprisoned father, her distant southern belle mother, and her abrasive aunt. Payton hopes by sharing her story of triumph over an incredibly unstable childhood, growing up in New Orleans’ 3rd ward, she will give a voice to children of incarcerated parents. “Michael’s Daughter” has universal appeal and impact, transcending race, gender, and economic class, touching people of all backgrounds. “Michael’s Daughter” isn’t just a play, it’s a movement!” – Actress Ciera Payton View a clip from “Michael’s Daughter” here. Benefiting Under-resourced Youth While the exact amount of Lee’s donation will remain anonymous, Payton will allocate the promised portion of it, along with all other donations received through the IndieGoGo campaign, to: Step Up Women’s Network:  Step Up Women’s Network is a nonprofit membership organization igniting women and girls to fulfill their potential, serving to empowering teen girls from under-resourced communities to be confident, college-bound, and career-ready, and propelling professional women through connections, collaborations, and continuous development Girls For A Change: Girls For A Change is a national organization that empowers girls to create social change. We provide the tools, resources, and partnerships for middle and high school girls to gain the voice, ability, and problem-solving capacity to reach their full potential. The “Michael’s Daughter” IndieGoGo Campaign The honor of being included in the 2013 United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC does not come without price to invited artists. In order to make the presentation of “Michael’s Daughter” a success, donations are needed to cover expenses not covered by United Solo. For more information, including details on how funds will be spent, please visit the“Michael’s Daughter” IndieGoGo campaign: Media Inquiries Toni L. Rousell, Publicist Twitter: @ToniR_Publicist

JET Magazine Features Hit Web Series “the Unwritten Rules”

With nearly 1 MILLION views, the popular show catches the eye of JET Magazine and is featured in the magazine’s “What We’re Watching” section – Aug. 12th Issue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Jul. 26, 2013 – LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Popular web series “the Unwritten Rules”, starring Aasha Davis (“South of Nowhere” and “Friday Night Lights”), has caught the eye of the highly respected JET Magazine!   On newsstands now, the August 12 issue of the newly designed JET, proudly displaying the stars of the must-see “Fruitvale Station”, features “the Unwritten Rules” in their “What We’re Watching” section (page 42)!

"the Unwritten Rules" featured in JET Magazine's "What We're Watching"

“the Unwritten Rules” featured in JET Magazine’s “What We’re Watching”

About “the Unwritten Rules” Based on the book “40 Hours and An Unwritten Rule” by Kim Williams, “the Unwritten Rules” is a hilarious comedy, portraying the experiences of Blacks working in predominantly White corporate America. Examining issues from “White privilege” to questions about the star’s weaved and braided hair, each episode addresses stereotypes, with real-life experiences, ending with “an Unwritten Rule”! To view past episodes, or to watch all new Season 2 shows, log onto the inkSpot Entertainment’s YouTube channel: Visit the show’s official website: Connect with “the Unwritten Rules” on social media: Twitter: @RaceyRules Facebook:

Actress Ciera Payton takes on new role as camp counselor in New Orleans

By Doug MacCash, Ι The Times-Picayune July 26, 2013  It was a hot Friday morning in a vacant lot on Hollygrove Street. Two dozen high school kids were helping build an outdoor book exchange, a sort of mini-library where neighbors could drop off books they had read and pick ones they hadn’t. A circular saw whined from time to time. Hammers pounded nails. The kids joked and laughed. It was a community service activity day during a summer camp for teens.

Actress Ciera Payton in Summer Camp Counselor role

Actress Ciera Payton enjoys role as Camp Counselor

The unusual part of the scene was the Hollywood actress, who chatted with the kids as she sat in the back of a pickup truck placing rings of frozen pineapple into snack bags. Ciera Payton, a New Orleans native and graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, appears on the TV show “Graceland” and has had parts on “The Closer” and the classic daytime drama “Days of Our Lives.” She’s a Los Angeles actress on the rise, with the kind of experience that those aspiring to work in the burgeoning New Orleans film industry dream of acquiring. That’s what made her perfect for this particular summer camp. Building a neighborhood book drop was a community service sideline. The main purpose of the 2-Cent Entertainment Summer Camp, founded by artist and video producer Brandan Odums, is to introduce Crescent City teens to the film trade, which has become a feature of the local jobs market.  “When I heard of this program,” Payton said, “I wanted to come back home and jump on board.” Payton is one of the camp’s media arts instructors.  “Basically, we are teaching media arts literacy to New Orleans youth,” she said. “They’re learning filmmaking skills, both from behind the camera and in front of the camera. We’re making five short films discussing five different issues here in the city: job development, rebuilding New Orleans, stopping the shooting, improving NOPD and how to prevent violence in the city.” Payton is no stranger to the grittier side of Crescent City life. She has composed a one-woman play inspired by letters she has exchanged with her imprisoned father. She performed the play in Los Angeles, but the show has yet to be produced in New Orleans. “A lot of kids do have parents that are incarcerated,” she said. “I believe the statistic is that one in 42 American kids have a parent that is incarcerated or in jail. I’ve seen just how it affected my life across the board, and I decided to write a one-woman show to discuss the experience. I think a lot of time when I show up at places to talk to people, people assume I came from some privileged background, but when I start talking about my experience, it’s just not so at all. I did grow up in the 3rd Ward. I was in an environment that harbored a lot of drug addicts and alcoholics, and I do think that’s why I gravitated to go into acting or into arts, because I didn’t have any other way to express my feelings or have some kind of outlet.”

Payton has recently reached a new acting plateau, with a role in Spike Lee’s movie “Oldboy” that is expected to open in late October. “It’s kind of one of my first big roles, working with A-list talent, and it was pretty cool. Spike is a really tough director. He knows what he wants, and he wants it now. It was very challenging, but at the end of the day, he got some really good stuff out of me.” The kids seated in the pickup truck bed with Payton were attentive as she described her audition with director Lee. “I walked into the room and he was sitting there and I just got this thing in me, whether I was going to fight or flee. I was like: ‘I’m going to fight.’ So I went in there, put on my game face and said my lines. It ended up being like a work session, and I was probably in the room for 45 minutes working on actually two different characters that he had me audition for. At the end of the day, he cast me as the ‘sassy receptionist.’” As the morning wore on, the tiny library took shape. A small roof appeared above the four red shelves. Cartons of donated books lay on the grass awaiting the moment their contents would be put on display. The man with the weed cutter, who was supposed to trim the grass around the broken concrete path, had not yet arrived. Maybe he was lost. It was even hotter. A camp counselor passed out bottles of water. It was someone’s birthday, so cake was cut and dispersed. Kids nibbled on frozen pineapple rings. The sassy receptionist crouched in the grass, helping brush the details on a colorful painting of a tree blossoming with books, meant to draw attention to the library. The five-week-long 2-Cent Entertainment Camp was presented in cooperation with New Orleans’ Job 1 (a municipal program to foster jobs) and Nola-For-Life (the mayor’s program to reduce the murder rate). Payton said she hopes there will be a crowd when the campers’ films are screened Monday, July 29, at 6 p.m. in Xavier University’s ballroom. The screening is open to the public.

Connect with Actress Ciera Payton: Twitter: @CieraPayton Facebook: Instagram: callmececee View Ciera Payton’s impressive work on her website:

USA Network’s “Graceland” cast includes New Orleans Native Actress Ciera Payton

New Olreanians will tune in to USA Network’s “Graceland”, Thursday, July 25th, 10pm EST / 9pm CST, supporting their own Actress Ciera Payton


Jul. 16, 2013 – LOS ANGELES, Calif. — New Orleans Native, Actress Ciera Payton, best known for her roles on “Days of Our Lives”, “The Closer”, “The Mentalist”, “NCIS Los Angeles” and many others, will Guest Star on USA Network’s “Graceland” as ‘Cassandra’, the Ex-Wife of Agent Dale Jakes, played by Actor Brandon Jay McLaren, this Thursday, July 25th, 10pm EST / 9pm CST.

USA Network’s “Graceland” has received great reviews and is a hit with fans! Payton will also appear on the show in August, 2013. 

Actress Ciera Payton

Actress Ciera Payton

A graduate of the prestigious New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Payton, now 27, splits her time between homes in New Orleans, Los Angeles and New York, but will never forsake her hometown, New Orleans, LA, giving back to NOLA youth whenever afforded the opportunity!  For the Summer of 2013, Payton has dedicated her time to mentoring youth, supporting the efforts of “2-Cent Entertainment”, instructing in entertainment and film industry techniques. At the end of her instruction, students will have a complete project to showcase.

Payton cast to Spike Lee’s “Oldboy”

Fans can also expect to see Ciera Payton in Film Director Spike Lee’s remake of the Korean “Oldboy”, to be released in October, 2013.  Further details to follow. 

Connect with Ciera Payton on Social Media:

Twitter: @CieraPayton


Instagram: callmececee

View Ciera Payton’s impressive work on her website:

Media Inquiries:

Toni L. Rousell, Publicist

Web Series “the Unwritten Rules” starring Aasha Davis – boasts nearly 900,000 views

Hit Web Series uses comedy to get America thinking – Season 2 Premieres Wednesday, June 19th, 12pm EST


Season 2 - "the Unwritten Rules"

Cast of “the Unwritten Rules”

Jun. 19, 2013 – LOS ANGELES, Calif. — It’s NBC’s “The Office” with a twist: using comedy to answer the question “how far have we really come?”!  With nearly 900,000 views in Season 1, “the Unwritten Rules”, in a comedic way, portrays real-life experiences of African-Americans in predominantly White workplaces. The hit web series stars Aasha Davis, best known for her roles in “Friday Night Lights” as Waverly Grady, “South of Nowhere”, as Chelsea Lewis and in the film “Pariah”, as Bina.  In Season 1 of “the Unwritten Rules”, Aasha Davis (Racey), a young African-American woman, is hired as a manager in a predominately White company. Racey brings the audience along her journey, humorously navigating through her work days, living by the”unwritten rules”! “Everyone, regardless of race, can identify with “the Unwritten Rules” because it’s truth.  For minorities, it’s a look in the mirror and for White people, it’s a window into a glimpse of our journey” says Kim Williams, Writer and Producer of “the Unwritten Rules”and author of “40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule: The Diary of a Nigger, Negro, Colored, Black, African-American Woman”, the book the show is based on.  What fans are saying: “Finally I’ve been waiting on season 2 for the longest hopefully it’s good as season 1 or even better.” –BehealthyZen Flojo (YouTube) “Love u guys!!! Can’t wait…..totally deserve to be on TV!!!!” – Dianondiva914 (YouTube) “…need to do at LEAST 30 minutes!!! I crack up watching it! This show is the REAL OFFICE. LOL” – T. Brown (Facebook fan) “Can’t believe it took me so long to hear about @RaceyRules – I am all caught up now and ready for #JuneteenthSeason2 @aashadavis is SO FUNNY” – @LeslieMac (Twitter follower) “This show is so hilarious!!” – Harmony Edaw (Facebook fan) “I am the only black person in my company, the youngest, and one of two women here.  My first day, we had a discussion about my hair. LOL & SMH!! Thank you for giving me a voice!!!” – Supa S. (YouTube) “Bravo!! Bravo!! Well done!! LOVE IT!!” – Kenny LaMar (Facebook fan) “OMG!!!!! I LOVE THIS!!!! :)” – Pepperrgirl (YouTube) Davis’ co-stars include Gabrielle Christian (Lauren) – “South of Nowhere”, Sara Finley (Kathy) – “Rizzoli and Isles” and David Lowe (Peter) – “I Melt with You”. Other cast members include Ebenezer Quaye, Kayla Ibarra, Antonio Ramirez, Lyn Ross and Balbinka.  For more information on the cast and crew, visit Season 2 of “the Unwritten Rules” premieres Wednesday, June 19th and can be viewed on Ink Spot Entertainment’s channel: Created and Written By: Kim Williams Produced By: Kim Williams, Michelle Clay and Aasha Davis Media Inquiries: Toni L. Rousell, Publicist Twitter: @ToniR_Publicist  Follow “the Unwritten Rules” on Twitter: @RaceyRules “Like” on Facebook:

International Fashion website DionneGooding.Com unveils New Logo

A sneak preview has customers raving about the company’s new logo!

May 12, 2013 – LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Established in 2008 by Miss Dionne Gooding, based in the United Kingdom, was formed with the intent to present to the fashion world colorful, eye-catching, yet versatile and comfortable, footwear and accessories.  
Today, nearly 5 years later, has begun to realize that goal, grabbing the attention of ladies world-wide and now unveils a new company logo, which speaks a silent language, making a statement, representing the brand and reputation, and is bold, much like the company’s products. New LOGO
Built on great customer service, while delivering quality merchandise, not only offers its own, exclusive, pre-designed footwear and accessories, but also offers customized creations and “Fashion Parties”, by request!  The company boasts of an International customer base, appealing to ladies everywhere who enjoy fun with their fashion!

Already in production on limited items, customers can expect to see more of the new logo as early as late Spring, and on upcoming Summer designs. For inquiries on how to order, or to become a Dionne Gooding retailer, please visit


New Orleans, LA – January 5, 2013

Big Easy Super Lounge colorful logo

HOF Willie Roaf and MLB Star Torii Hunter Host “Big Easy Super Lounge”

Hall Of Famer Willie Roaf and MLB Star Torii Hunter host the Big Easy Super Lounge , a dynamite Super Bowl XLVII event in New Orleans, at The Old U.S. Mint Building, donating to New Orleans Non-Profits.

Entertainment by Celebrity DJ’s Big Tigger, Spinderella of Salt-N-Pepa, DJ Diagnosis and popular local DJ Captain Charles. The event will open on Thursday, January 31 at 7 pm promoting the theme “Welcome to New Orleans” and wrap up with the “Best of Both Worlds VIP Super Bowl All-Star Celebrity Bash” on Friday, February 1, beginning at 8 pm. Consistent with their desire to enrich the lives of children, Willie Roaf and Torii Hunter will donate portions of the proceeds to NOLA Non-Profits including: – Pontchartrain Park Youth Athletes  – Raiders Youth Sports Complex – NOLA Black Professionals – New Orleans Association of Black Journalists VIP Celebrity and General Admission guests attending the event will enjoy great New Orleans food and drinks and be in good company as they are joined by Willie Roaf and Torii Hunter!   Roaf Hunter Friday night picInvited guests include:

Deion Sanders                                         
– Michael Irvin
– Drew Brees – Jimmy Graham – Deuce McAllister                                                                                                                           
– Michael Strahan – Jerome Bettis – Adrian Peterson – Cortez Kennedy – Robert Griffin, III (RGIII) – Eli Manning and others!

 For more details, tickets and/or sponsorship opportunities, visit the event website:  Follow on Twitter (@BE_SuperLounge) and on Facebook ( to stay updated on event happenings, added Celebrity guests, contests to win free tickets and more! Media Inquiries:

Toni L. Rousell, Publicist & PR Professional

For Immediate Release

October 5, 2012 – Media Inquiries:  Toni L. Rousell, Publicist & PR Professional – 
Chicago’s own premiere full service waxing salon, specializing in Brazilian wax and catering to both women and men, Strip Wax Bar™ celebrates its Grand Opening!  Come and tour our inviting salon at 1014 W. Monroe St. and enjoy upscale services, delivered to the highest standard, in a luxurious, clean environment, you won’t want to leave!The Brazilian Wax with Minimal Pain –   While Strip Wax Bar™ offers total body waxing, the Brazilian wax is our specialty.    Named after a country which brings to mind beauty and luxury at the very mention of its name, the Brazilian wax, performed by the professional staff of Strip Wax Bar™, is an experience that will leave you only wanting more!  Waxing can be a painful and uncomfortable experience, but Strip Wax Bar™ waxing specialists are trained to use a unique, quick waxing technique designed to minimize pain and leave our guests’ skin smoother and with longer lasting hair-free results.   The Benefits of Hair removal using the Waxing Method – Bare All – Take it Off!Unlike other non-permanent hair removal methods, waxing will allow you to enjoy the beautiful skin you were meant to see, hair-free, with much longer lasting results. Often lasting weeks at a time, waxing removes hair by actually pulling it from the shaft, where hair grows.  Whether it’s the annoying facial or underarm hair that seems to only get thicker every day, or you just simply desire to have smoother, hair-free arms and legs, the waxing method of hair removal is highly effective and used by many.Creating and Making things Beautiful – the desire of Strip Wax Bar™ Owner – For Strip Wax Bar™ owner Tora Poindexter, creating and making things beautiful, has always been her true inner passion.  What could be more beautiful than removing unwanted hair, and revealing smooth skin, for both men and women?  To Tora, the day-to-day, uncreative grind of Corporate America, limited her creativity, freedom and inner satisfaction.  She set out to research the industry and discovered the lack of affordable, full-service waxing salons.  Her excitement grew and Strip Wax Bar™ was born! Strip Wax Bar™ offers:·         Face waxing services (from brows to full face) ·  Leg waxing services (from half or full leg to feet and toes) · Private part “bedazzling” with Swarovski Crystal and more…Visit the Strip Wax Bar™ website,, for more information or to make an appointment.  Contact the salon directly at 312-733-8700


Ret. Saints RB Deuce McAllister’s Catch 22 Foundation,

PINK House, Inc. & The Roots of Music Charities to be Honored

Black Celebrity Giving (BCG) is celebrating its 1 year Anniversary and also honoring Retired Saints RB Deuce McAllister’s Catch 22 Foundation, Pink House, Inc. a mentoring organization, and The Roots of Music, an organization dedicated to supporting, promoting and teaching and protecting at-risk youth through music education, academic support and mentorship non-profit organization, on Friday, July 27, 2012, from 8pm – 11pm. This event, open and free to the public, will be held at the EIFFEL Society2040 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans.  Guests, including Actor Lamman Rucker of Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married” along with many local and national VIP’s and others, will be treated to live entertainment, cocktail appetizers and networking opportunities. Invited VIP guests include Retired Saints RB Deuce McAllister, Dr. Corey Hebert of Black Health TelevisionDeirdre Johnson Burel – OPEN NOLADr. Donna Brazile of Brazile & Associates, and many others.

Jasmine CroweFounder of BCG

In 2011, Jasmine Crowe created Black Celebrity Giving (BCG), an organization committed to highlighting the positive things done by Black Celebrities and other black people, that impact communities throughout the world, sometimes overlooked by the media.   By providing positive photos, video footage and information, BCG seeks to make the efforts of celebrity philanthropists, non-profit organizations and many other causes in the black community relevant. After only one year, BCG has helped to bring missing children home, and uses to feature the profiles of missing loved ones weekly.   BCG has also featured Alicia Keys’ Keep A Child Alive Foundation, Halley Berry’s work with the Jenesse Center, Inc. and 50 Cents’ challenge to ‘Hustle to a Million’ fighting world hunger.

Visit today for more information.  


La Femme Chic™ Introduces Exclusive Stationery

“It’s Martha Stewart meets Beyoncé!”

Cleverly designed, La Femme Chic stationery products are the offspring of Journalism major & lover of writing, Ms. Nia Hughes who, like so many other ladies of today, did all of the “right” things, according to corporate America’s standards, yet felt uninspired.   It’s nothing new to be the victim of a corporate merger, but it may surprise some how quickly Nia rebounded.  As she puts it, she “mourned an entire 24 hours” after the layoff!  With her severance check and savings fund in hand, and a great idea in her heart, Nia launched La Femme Chic in May, 2012.Barely out of its infancy stages, La Femme Chic is already making a mark with a growing customer base – nearly 700 Twitter followers and a cool 355+ Facebook fans that interact with Nia regularly!  

Nia Hughes – La Femme Chic, Founder & President

It’s an old saying “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade”, but Nia Hughes, creator of La Femme Chic stationery, is living that very saying! 

Nia is careful to include “giving-back” in her plans for success.  As she seeks to inspire women of the world with chic, thoughtfully designed stationery products, Nia has already vowed a portion of the proceeds of La Femme Chic sales to charities dedicated to helping the women of tomorrow, our little girls of today!
For more information about La Femme Chic or to order, please visit their website!

The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers Unveils “Rising Star” Award Program

 “Rising Star” Award Program seeks to serve as a vehicle for employers to celebrate diversity within their organization and recognize young innovators and top achievers!

Young Minority Scientists recognized: June 30, the final list of this year’s “Rising Star” nominees will be known.  Participating companies will submit the names of young innovators, top young African-American, Latino or other minority scientists, engineers or technology professionals (with five years or less experience) who exhibit talent and skill within their organizations.   

Company participation: Invitations have been sent to over 60 companies seeking candidates. At NOBCChE’s September conference, an Awards Dinner, Gala and Career Fair will be held in Washington, D.C. where representatives of the organizations sponsoring and helping to make the program possible will be in attendance, and present the awards to their honorees.  These companies will also participate in the NOBCChE job fair, where more than 1,000 qualified candidates have the opportunity to connect with potential employers.  It will be an exciting event, but it is only the beginning of this effort being made by NOBCChE.

Job Fair: Companies participating in the “Rising Star” Awards Program and those choosing to be sponsors of the event, will participate in the NOBCChE job fair also taking place at the September conference.  The job fair presents the opportunity for companies to recruit tomorrow’s top engineers, scientists, innovators and leaders.

 Dr. Victor McCrary, President of NOBCChE

 “Concentrate more on doing the right things, than on doing things right”  

 Serving as the President of NOBCChE, the 4,000 plus member organization dedicated towards developing and promoting students and professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with his extensive knowledge, remarkable achievements and prestigious awards, developing the “Rising Star” Program is consistent with the professional endeavors of Dr. McCrary.   Technology Expert & Accomplished Top Professional Helping Others Dr. McCrary organized the world’s first conference on electronic books in October 1998, and subsequent conferences in 1999 and 2000.  His research group has developed a prototype of the electronic book reader, and a low-cost Braille reader for electronic books which recently received a 2001 R&D 100 Award.   His former group at NIST is currently leading the efforts Dr. McCrary initiated in the evaluation of CD & DVD media lifetimes, and the care and handling of CD’s & DVD’s.   Most importantly, Dr. McCrary credits the string of innovations from his division through his student program at NIST where his division employed and mentored over 40 students ranging from 14 years old to 22 years old; many have gone on to graduate degrees in science, engineering, and law.    Adding to his commitments to empower and educate, Dr. McCrary is also an adjunct lecturer in the Executive Masters of Technology Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania .  Underscoring Advancements of Minority Chemists and Chemical Engineers

Demand for a “greener world”, better and more advanced technology and highly effective pharmaceuticals, the need for individuals excelling in science, engineering and technology are critical for world progress.  NOBCChE seeks to celebrate the accomplishments these individuals  and encourage young, minority people in these fields, both current and future.


The mission of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) is to create a cadre of people of color in science and technology!  The Organization promotes careers in science and technology as an achievable goal for elementary, middle, and high school students. In addition, NOBCChE encourages college students to pursue graduate degrees in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. NOBCChE makes a difference!!
View entire Press Release

Go “Back To Your Roots” with AfroVeda Hair Care

By Jamie Fleming-Dixon

Founder and CEO of AfroVeda Hair Care, Mala Rhodes was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her parents and seven brothers and sisters. After high school, she studied biology at a local college, then moved to Dallas, Texas to continue her studies. Mala later received her license as a massage therapist where she specialized in medical massage and massage for cancer patients. While working in this field, Mala received numerous certifications under the umbrella of “massage therapy,” which gave her the know-how to create specialty massage oils and body products for her clients. Around the eighth year of her working as an oncology massage therapist, Mala discovered the science of Ayurveda. Check out FCG’s interview with Mala below: For Colored Gurls: How did you become interested in entrepreneurship? Mala Rhodes: For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in owning my own business. At the age of eight, my parents let me set up a lemonade stand in our front yard. My sister and I “owned” the business, and I became convinced that this was the life for me. As an adult working in Corporate America, I was even more determined to have something to call my own. I had a few businesses prior to starting AfroVeda, which gave me great insight on what it takes to have a successful business. FCG: How did you become interested in hair care? Mala: I grew up with four sisters and three brothers, so quite naturally, my mother did not have the time (or the energy) to give us all “styles” for our hair. We all wore our hair the same way…which was whatever my mother was feeling at the time (lol). Once I was given the green light to do my own hair, I took that liberty and ran! It’s so funny now to remember all the things I tried with my hair. And since it was very healthy at the time, it stood up to all my antics. After years of abuse, my hair had finally had enough. In 2001, I stopped chemically relaxing it and decided it was time to truly “care” for my hair. I read a lot about Ayurvedic hair care on hair blogs, and realizing this was the most natural route I could go, began using it on my hair. The results were amazing! Although my hair has been natural for more than 10 years, I have only practiced healthy hair care for the past 5.5 years. As I began to educate myself about the benefits of natural hair products and utilize the principles of Ayurveda for my own hair health, I realized that having beautiful, healthy hair was not just about what is applied externally. Being conscious of what I consume makes a huge difference in how healthy my hair really is. For Colored Gurls: Why did you start AfroVeda? Mala: I was inspired by two specific young women, both of whom I met on a blog. These women were amazing in the way they were so committed to the care of their natural hair. I was still searching for “good” products to use and began corresponding with them, asking them questions about what they used to achieve the results they had accomplished (they both had really long, healthy-looking hair). The term “Ayurveda” came up in one of the emails, and I was advised which herbs to use for my hair. I was hooked! When I posted a picture of a moisturizer I made (which is now the Curl Define), they both encouraged me to sell the product. I created a quick website and AfroVeda was born. AfroVeda strives to represent true, Ayurvedic hair care remedies for curly, kinky and coily hair types. Through extensive research, course work and discussions with masters of Ayurveda, I have learned specific methods of creating hair care products that are based on body type (or doshas, as explained in Ayurvedic principles). Basing the products according to body types, as opposed to hair type, helps customers select products that will work in harmony with their own body chemistry. Specific herbs, oils and botanicals are combined to provide the best remedy for obtaining and maintaining a healthy scalp. AfroVeda believes in healing from within, as healthy hair grows from a healthy scalp. Our products are designed to nourish and heal the hair follicle to achieve this goal. FCG: How did you become interested in Ayurveda? Mala: I learned about Ayurvedic herbs through a hair blog about five years ago and was so intrigued that I decided to research this ancient healing method further. Ayurveda is made up of two Sanskrit words: “Ayu,” which means life, and “Veda,” which means the knowledge of. It is a system, based in India, that helps maintain health by using the inherent principles of nature to bring an individual back into equilibrium with their true self. The system itself is very specific. It tells you what your best hours of the day are, which foods will make you irritable and when you should exercise. You can learn what “season” you are in, according to your age as well as how to determine if you are out of balance — and what to do to get back into balance. It is a daily plan for maintaining your health and vitality, not just for your hair but your body as a whole. FCG: Why do you think people should use your products? Mala: The Ayurvedic ingredients used in AfroVeda’s hair products come directly from the earth in the form of herbs, so there are no chemicals involved and no side effects. Specific combinations of these ingredients have been proven over thousands of years to combat hair loss, dry scalp, thinning hair and other hair issues and are also effective in helping to grow healthy hair. AfroVeda’s hair care products are based on a person’s body type, not hair type, and are designed for hair textures that are curly, coily and kinky. By basing the products on body type (as dictated by Ayurvedic principles) consumers can finally find products that will correspond with their individual body chemistry, thereby allowing for much greater success with obtaining and maintaining healthy hair. Almost all curly textures suffer with dry hair due to the very nature of our strands. However, the person may have oily skin, combination skin or dry skin. Because the scalp is skin, it is important to ensure the health of the scalp so that healthier hair can grow. AfroVeda’s hair products provide the right combination of herbs, botanicals and oils according to body type (or dosha type) that will penetrate through the follicles and provide nourishment to the hair at the root. FCG: Where can people purchase the products? Mala: Our products are sold via our website at, in 14 different states and internationally in Canada, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, U.S. Virgin Islands and France. FCG: What are some of your future plans and goals with AfroVeda? Mala: AfroVeda continues to research the best herbal ingredients that are beneficial for hair health and growth, as well as more efficient and cost-effective ways to deliver those to consumers. Some of our products will be reformulated to include these new ingredients, and new products will be introduced that will address more specific hair issues. Many have asked if I would consider making Ayurvedic skin care products. Although it would be a very natural and easy transition, we are focused on providing products for the hair and scalp only and making those products the absolute best Ayurvedic products on the market. FCG: Would you like to add anything else? Mala: AfroVeda is more than just a way to share my passion for natural hair care with the world. It has a much deeper, spiritual meaning in that it was given to me. Prior to AfroVeda, I had a practice as a massage therapist, working with cancer patients. It was a way for me to honor my own father who had lost his battle with colon cancer a few years earlier. But after eight years of this work, which I absolutely loved, the thought came to me that I was honoring the wrong father. I was led to research Ayurveda, and through my studies learned that its 5,000-year-old principles celebrated life (Ayurveda means “knowledge of life”) and that we are all connected to each other and the universe. This wasn’t a new concept to me, but it allowed me to see that we (Ayurveda and I) belonged together. Once I began to incorporate the use of the ancient herbs and oils into my own hair care regimen, I knew this was my calling. It is a system of care unlike any other I have encountered for naturally curly textures, and I attribute all of AfroVeda’s successes to the Creator. And that is what I want most to share and celebrate…life. The life that comes from within — a healthy diet, a sound mind, a strong spirit — leads to livelier, healthier strands of hair. It is truly the foundation of any successful hair care regimen. Beautiful, healthy hair on the outside shows that you take care of your body from the inside.

Former Cenla Convict Now an Author

February 1, 2012 -Nolan Crane News Channel 5 /, Alexandria, LA Mississippi’s outgoing governor caused a firestorm when he pardoned more then 200 convicts. Many said Governor Haley Barbour went way over the line. But not everyone thinks pardons are an abuse power. A man serving a life sentence at Angola was pardoned by Governor Edwards. Nolan Crane sat down with him. Forest Martin is a fighter both in the ring and in the courtroom and he says pardons are needed because the legal system is broken. Now, he is sharing his story with the world in a new book about his journey from Angola, to freedom. “I was in Angola for 6 years, 9 months, 3 days and eight hours,” said Forest Martin. Forest Martin didn’t end up serving his full sentence of life in prison, but he remembers every minute he did. That is, until Governor Edwin Edwards stepped in. “Governor Edwards pardon me, he signed this on January, 15th 1980 at the Governors mansion where I was a butler working their and a boxer. They used to call me the boxing butler,” said Forest Martin. But, his story began before his fight in court; it began in the ring, just as he was preparing to head off to college with a full athletic scholarship. But 3 weeks before graduation, things went wrong. “Trying to stop someone from doing something one night and I got in to deep just hanging out with the wrong crowd,” said Forest Martin. Back in 1973, Forest Martin was sentenced to life in Angola prison, after he was convicted for his involvement in a deadly armed robbery. Forest says he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The D.A. fought for and won the case that forest was there, even if he didn’t have a hand in the victim’s death. “I saw how the system really works, I couldn’t believe it,” said Forest Martin. Even behind bars he looked for answers, getting his GED and studying the law. “So I had to turn Louisiana state penitentiary into Louisiana state peni-versity,” said Forest Martin. The boxing butler eventually won more than just the trust of the Governor, he won his own freedom, and all of his stories are in his new book. “Because I an’t hold nothing back. Because it’s my story, if they were mad enough to do it to me then I’m mad enough to write it. Just the way it happened, doesn’t make no difference,” said Forest Martin. Forest Martin is also having talks with multiple people who want to make his book into a movie. His book titled, “With Edwards in the Governors Mansion: From Angola to Free Man” comes out on May 15th but you can order your copy today at all major book stores.

Convict Says La. Governor’s Pardon Changed His Life

Feb 15, 2012 JACKSON, Miss. – A new proposal at the Mississippi Capitol could change the parole system in Mississippi and could ban the inmate program at the Governor’s Mansion. A former trusty at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion said a pardon changed his life. Forest Martin has written a book, “With Edwards in the Governor’s Mansion,” about his experience, and he shared his story with 16 WAPT’s Scott Simmons. Martin was sentenced to life for murder and attempted robbery. He said because he was a boxer, Gov. Edwin Edwards read his file and gave Martin a chance to work in the trusty program at the mansion. Martin said 11 months later, he was pardoned. “The governor, the reason he has convicts working in there is with that promise of freeing (them), they will not do anything to jeopardize that freedom. That is their only shot,” Martin said. Martin said he’s got a new shot at life. He is married, the father of six, and he said he’s making the best of his second chance in life thanks to a governor.

Award Winning Filmmaker Dui Jarrod discusses Struggles of Independent Film Industry

-Via iCONNECTu Digital Magazine Being an Independent Filmmaker isn’t as easy as it seems, but then again, who said anything worth having would come easily? Dui Jarrod knows all too well the struggles of being an Independent Filmmaker, but he also knows the joys of success, the feeling of hard work being rewarded. Listen as Dui shares the encounters of his journey, how far he has come and how far he desires to go!  Award Winning Filmmaker Dui Jarrod’s iCONNECTu Interview April 3, 2012

Fashion Stylist Ryan Christopher appears on ABC 33/40’s “Talk Of Alabama”

Tuesday, March 20, was the first official day of Spring and the day to officially update your closets!   On ABC 33/40’s “Talk of Alabama”, Fashion Stylist Ryan Christopher introduced many Spring wardrobe additions and ideas from stripes for both women and men, to sandals and sunglasses to handbags and dresses.   Colors from the expected bright green, to the unexpected navy blue.

To view the segment, follow the link below!

Fashion Stylist Ryan Christopher on ABC 33/40’s “Talk of Alabama” Morning Show

AfroVeda CEO discusses “Hair Loss” via Ustream

March 19, 2012 With so many Americans, men, women and even children, experiencing hair loss for a multitude of reasons, as the CEO of a hair products company, Mala felt compelled to address the subject and offer possible, easy solutions. From braids that are “too tight” to “hormonal imbalance”, the causes for hair loss are many, but most were discussed and great insight was given!   If you missed the show, take a look at it now!  AfroVeda’s “Hair Loss” Ustream Show And it’s no surprise that the Featured Product was Methika, an Ayurvedic Scalp Treatment Oil used for reducing dandruff, hair loss, hair thinning and other things such as provides vital nutrients to the scalp!  It is an incredible combination of organic ingredients including coconut, castor and sesame oil, almond and honey.  Because it is so essential to the health of the hair and scalp, a 2 ounce size was made available for FREE*! Be sure to watch the next show, Monday, April 2 at 7pm CST / 8pm EST and don’t forget to ask your questions via chat!

Stacey J’s “Morning Vitamin” Radio Show

Every Wednesday morning between 10:10am – 10:45am EST, Optimistic Orator Stacey J speaks to the audience of Poochman on his “Burnt Toast & Coffee” Morning Show.  Stacey J’s mission is to encourage and inspire those who have been met by life’s many obstacles, sharing her simple message “with Faith, ALL things are possible”!   With unemployment, due to the economy, health issues and even lack of education or training, being at an all-time high, Stacey J is no stranger to adversity, but she knows victory quite well! Join her and “Poochman” every Wednesday morning for the “Morning Vitamin”!  Here’s the link to previous shows:  The “Morning Vitamin” Show with Stacey J and Poochman

AfroVeda launches Ustream Show

On Monday, February 20, at 7pm CST/ 8pm EST, AfroVeda debuted its Official Ustream show!  The show will air LIVE on alternating Mondays starting at 7pm CST/ 8pm EST for 30 minutes, allowing current customers, and curious consumers considering AfroVeda’s products, to interact with CEO and Founder Mala Rhodes. Questions from viewers will be answered and hair care facts will be shared. Additionally, each show will introduce viewers to the high-quality ingredients and best uses of a feature product.  Viewers will also receive a special code to get the feature product at a discounted rate.  Future show topics will include the new “Going Back to Your Roots” starter kit, the benefits of natural hair, the Ayurveda ancient health system (an integral part of the AfroVeda product line), discussion on dosha types, improved product delivery times, customer service & FAQ’s and much, much more! Take a peek at the Premiere show: AfroVeda Premiere Ustream Show

Interview with Mala Rhodes, CEO and Founder of AfroVeda

By Healthy Hair and Body (Blog) The following is an interview with Mala Rhodes, CEO of AfroVeda Hair Products at  AfroVeda strives to represent true, Ayurvedic hair care remedies for curly, kinky and coily hair types. 1. How long have you practiced healthy hair care? Tell us about your healthy hair journey. Although my hair has been natural for more than 10 years, I have only practiced healthy hair care for the past 5 years. As I began to educate myself about the benefits of natural hair products, and utilize the principles of Ayurveda for my own hair health, I realized that having beautiful healthy hair was not just about what is applied externally. Being conscious of what I consume makes a huge difference in how healthy my hair really is. My hair journey has been a very long one and began very early in life. I can remember the weekend hair sessions with my mother who would wash my hair (along with my four sisters) on Saturday night, and press it with a hot comb on Sunday. Although my hair didn’t “blow in the wind” from way too much grease, I loved the smoothness of it and the fact that it reached the middle of my back. That was “good” hair to me. Once I turned around 12 or 13, I received my first relaxer. I’m sure with 8 kids putting a relaxer in the hair of her 5 daughters made my mother’s hair care sessions much easier. We could wear wet-sets on special occasions and even wear it “down” sometimes for school. It was easy enough for us to take care of, so we were left to do just that. Despite the continued use of heavy greases and pomades, my hair still seemed to thrive. It wasn’t until I began experimenting with various other chemicals in my hair (Jheri Curl, hair color, and more relaxers – compliments of my sister who was in Cosmetology school) did I begin to notice a change. I didn’t take care of it like my mother did, and boy did it show. Read more….Interview with Mala Rhodes of AFROVEDA

Filmmaker Dui Jarrod’s “Lesson Before Love” wins 2012 San Diego Black Film Festival’s BEST DRAMA Award

List of 2012 San Diego Black Film Festival Winners – Official Website The 10th Annual San Diego Black Film Festival recently wrapped-up with a record number of films being selected.  “The Contradictions of Fair Hope” and “The Custom Mary” swept several categories, with Choice Skinner winning BEST ACTOR.    The complete 2012 awardees are announced as follows: Best Film (The Contradictions of Fair Hope); Best Drama (Lesson Before Love)… Read More….Official Press Release of Awardees – 2012 San Diego Black Film Festival

“Lesson Before Love” Premieres at B.A.M. in Brooklyn, NY

By Brian P. Moore, Freelance Writer This interview was conducted by freelance writer Brian P. Moore.   It gives great insight to the early days and present achievements of filmmaker Dui Jarrod.  If you’ve ever dreamed, what you think is the impossible dream, after you read this interview, it may just give you the hope that no dream is impossible!  Much gratitude to Brian!  And congratulations to Dui! UPDATE: “Lesson Before Love” premiered before a SELL OUT B.A.M. audience!  It was standing room only! February 15, 2012 Some people will do almost anything for love. Dui Jarrod, a peripatetic filmmaker who’s travelled from his birthplace in Arkansas to his current home in Brooklyn, with stops along the way at Louisiana State University, New Orleans and Atlanta, has made “Love” the singular force in his life since 2008. But Jarrod, 31, didn’t spend those years in singles bars or on  He spent them breathing life into his first feature film, “Lesson Before Love,” a spirited drama which tracks four thirty-something singles whose self-doubt stands in the way of a fulfilling relationship. “Lesson Before Love” is Jarrod’s labor of love.  Simply financing the film took him over three years, and he wasn’t asking for a George Lucas budget. “Most people make more money in a year than what I filmed my film on. Probably the most difficult thing, that first domino, was getting the money. I thought, ‘Wow, we’re done with that. It’s going to be easy.’ But it wasn’t like that at all,” Jarrod says…. Read more: Interview of Dui Jarrod, creator of Award Winning film “Lesson Before Love”

The Birmingham News: Special Feature

By Chanda Temple Birmingham stylist Ryan Christopher is in the business of making people look good. He talks to clients to get a feel for how they want to dress. Then, he hits various stores to match their personalities with what he finds on the racks. Often, it’s a home run. “It’s all about bringing a plethora of options. It’s always good to have more than enough than not enough, especially with celebrities when it’s your first time meeting them,” Christopher said. On Friday, he will style actress Robin Givens. She will host the Bill Cosbycomedy show at the Alabama Theatre for two shows, 6 and 8:30 p.m. He’ll also dress Givens for a post-comedy event at the Harbert Center with Ruben Studdard and the Ramsey Lewis Trio. He said he can’t say what Givens will wear because he’s still pulling selections. “I’ve got boxes coming in from Los Angeles and New York. I’m also pulling from Saks Fifth Avenue in Birmingham,” he said. “I’m going to have boxes coming until Thursday. I still haven’t received everything yet.” Givens is not the only celebrity he’s encountered. During the 2011 Magic City Classic, which is the annual football showdown between Alabama A&M and Alabama State universities, he dressed actress LisaRaye McCoy. McCoy liked his looks so much from that weekend, that he now styles her, he said. Continue reading…Birmingham stylist Ryan Christopher styles some of the stars (video)

Dressing for Valentine’s Day: Valentine’s Day Fashion 2012

Tanika Harrell is wearing an Alice Olivia chiffon strapless dress, Vaubel 18k gold plate with mixed stone choker, Vaubel 18k gold plate with crystal quartz bracelet, B by Brian Atwood tassel sandal: all from Saks Fifth Avenue. How to dress up for Valentine’s Day, Styled by Ryan Christopher

See more…The Birmingham News Photo Gallery: Dressing for Valentine’s Day Ryan Christopher strives for perfection; accepting no excuses and considering complacency his professional enemy.  Whether styling a celebrity client or “everyday jane or joe”, Ryan isn’t satisfied until his client looks good…from head to toe! Read More:…Online Press Kit of Celebrity Fashion Stylist Ryan Christopher