Amelia Boyton Robinson- Civil Rights Activist #TWT

It’s black history month beauties! So we are kicking the first Tuesday of February off right starting with Amelia Boyton Robinson!

Ms. Robinson was a civil rights activist. She helped lead the 1965 civil rights march and was brutally beaten while doing so. She worked really hard to get voting rights for African Americans and succeeded.

But her mark doesn’t stop there. Ms. Robinson was also the first black woman to run for Congress in Alabama and paved the way for many women in politics. Also, her along with Martin Luther King Jr. planned the infamous Selma to Montgomery March of March 7, 1965.

I can only imagine that it wasn’t easy to walk in the Selma March especially because police officers were brutally attacking protesters. Ms. Robinson especially was beaten and all bloody during the March. Ms. Robinson’s experiences and contributions to the 1965 marches and Civil Rights Movement, can be watched in the 2014 film Selma, at which she is portrayed by actress, Lorraine Toussant.

Ms. Robinson was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal Freedom and she was also serving as vice-chair of the Schiller Institute, which promoted civil and human rights, until 2009.

Ms. Robinson lived a long long life, passing away at 104 years old. After her death, Barack Obama recognized her legacy in an official statement. Amelia fought so hard for every African American and endured so much pain. She is a girl beauty and brains!

A Women Behind The Haitian Revolution #TWT

Haiti’s Independence day was January 1 and I wanted to acknowledge one of the many women warriors that fought in the Haitian Revolution. As some don’t know I am half Haitian and I’m always interested in learning about my culture and the powerful women in my history.

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Victoria Montou was a soldier and healer in the army during the Haitian Revolution. Before the revolution, she was a slave from the Kingdom of Dahomey, currently Benin. Then she was abducted and brought to Haiti. In 1971 her and other women created revolutions to help get rid of the Europeans and their slavery. The revolt of the Africans eventually led to the abolition of slavery, it ended forced assimilation, direct colonialism, and the Triangular Trade.

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During the Haitian Revolution, Victoria taught many troops how to defend themselves. She trained them on how to conduct hand to hand combat, shoot,  use weapons, and throw knives. Her duty was also to supervise a group of captives working on the field. But regardless of her power she showed compassion and did everything she could to help her black brother and sisters.

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Victoria Montou fought until she couldn’t anymore and fortunately, she was able to witness the proclamation of the independence of Haiti. Then she passed away in 1805. Women like her should be in the history books and should be spoken about more often. From what we know about Victoria, she has been through many tribulations but fought back every time and always looked after others. Her resilience and strength are empowering.

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Victoria Montou is a girl with beauty and brains!

Who is one woman from your culture or in the world who had such a large impact in a country that you’re from? Look it up and you might be surprised by what you find. 💜

 

Entertainer of the Year #TWT

Lizzo. The first thing that comes to my mind is her body positivity. As 2019 comes to an end, I can’t help but admire her hustle, her catchy tunes, and her abundance of self-love. Her boldness is shaking the industry and has everyone motivated to be unapologetically themselves. She is our last terrific woman of the year.

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Lizzo grew up in Texas playing the flute. She went to the University of Houston for music performance and rapped in a group named the “Cornrow Clique.” After, she hopped from group to group and then went solo.

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As a solo artist, most of her songs were and still are about being black and an “overweight woman” and the stigma attached to it. Her songs resonate with many listeners. An album that really highlighted her personal experiences and contributed to her success was ‘Big Grrrl Small World’. Her song, “My Skin” from the album blew up in 2014. With powerful lyrics like, “I woke up in this in my skin…I can’t wash it away, so you can’t take it from me my brown skin,” women were shocked by its relatability and truth. In 2014, body positivity wasn’t a conversation that was prioritized. There was still a lack of representation of minorities and thicker women on TV and in media, so this song was one of the first to address it.

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This year Lizzo’s album ‘Cuz I Love You’ remained in the top 10 of the billboard 200 for several weeks, she made her SNL debut, performed at Coachella, and was named Entertainer of the Year by TIMES’s magazine. Every time I open up Instagram or Facebook I always see her name, her face, her performances. She has been the topic of most conversations recently.

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Lizzo never fails to give a killer performance and is very passionate about her music and what she stands for. I admire her desire for others to continue to push and work harder. In a tweet while reflecting on where she was versus where she is, she writes, “don’t stop…we need you. Your time is coming.”

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Lizzo is a girl with beauty and brains, and I am excited to see what else she is capable of!

What other beauty would you like to acknowledge before the year ends?

The Strong and Resilient, Tarana Burke #TWT

Tarana Burke is a New York native who is the founder of the “Me Too” movement, which she actually started in 2006. However, it did not become worldwide until 2017. When Tarana started the “Me Too” movement she was working at Just Be Inc., which was a nonprofit she founded to focus on the wellbeing of women of color. She has heard of many young girls’ stories of being sexually assaulted. Hearing those stories drove Tarana to make a difference and was also a three-time survivor herself.

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Tarana had no idea that many other women and girls would resonate with the “Me Too” movement and thankfully because of it, many girls found the courage to speak up and come forward about their experiences. Tarana gave many women a platform to comfortably express how they feel and bring more awareness to sexual assault and harassment.

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Tarana’s mother is the reason she got the confidence to be involved in her community and speak out about her personal experiences. She was raped and sexually assaulted during her childhood and teenage years. Her mother supported her and believed that this issue had to be fixed and talked about.

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I believe Tarana is one of the strongest women out there who is really making a difference and getting people to talk. I so admire her resilience and determination to help thousands of women and girls. Tarana Burke is truly a girl with beauty and brains.

 

“There’s a Glitch in our Online Communities” #TWT

In 2017, a brilliant organization named Glitch was created. Seyi Akiwowo, who is 28 years old, is the one behind the organization and designed it to end online abuse.

Did you know that women are 27 times more likely to be harassed online than men, and if you’re a women of color it is a lot worse?

Seyi Akiwowo experienced online abuse herself and felt that there wasn’t much guidance or anyone to help her. She decided to take matters into her own hands and started Glitch to support women and girls who are victims of online abuse as well as help them stand up for their rights. Through many online campaigns and media coverage, Glitch was finally able to get social media platforms to take action.

Aside from Glitch, Seyi was elected as the youngest black female councillor in east London in 2014 and last year, she was named Amnesty international’s Human Rights Defender.

It is so inspiring for Seyi to rise from her trauma and create a platform to help prevent girls from online harassment, especially because social media is prominent in our generation. I admire her strength and her ability to be an advocate for all women. Seyi Akiwowo is a girl with beauty and brains!

Constance Orlando #TWT

Hello, Beauties!

Our terrific woman this Tuesday is Constance Orlando. She has been working at BET since 2007 as the VP of Original Programming and was recently promoted to EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy.

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She is the executive producer of all events including the BET Awards, which is a top 10 award show amongst all viewers, and the Black Girls Rock Awards, which celebrates outstanding black women.

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Before BET, Constance launched CMO productions, her own production company in 1995. Her company specialized in the development and execution of full productions. CMO produced “The Streets is Watching” with Jay Z, along with producing other projects.

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Aside from production, Constance formed a nonprofit foundation named, ‘Just The Girls’ in 2006. Its purpose was to advocate and support women and children in need.

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Constance is such an inspiration and is the epitome of a hard worker. She has worked her way to the top, and uplifts and helps other women while doing so. I am proud to know her myself and I consider her a role model for me. Constance Orlando is a girl with beauty and brains!

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Gloria Vanderbilt #GWBB

Gloria Vanderbilt, a fashion designer, author, actress, and so much more, passed away last Monday. She launched a line of clothing, perfume, and household goods. However, she is known for her jeans.gloria-vanderbilt-1560780675.jpg

 

In 1976, Indian designer, Moran Murjani, launched a line of designer jeans with Vanderbilt’s signature as well as her swan logo on the back pocket.

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Vanderbilt did it all. She studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse with Meisner and then debuted in the 1954 play, The Swan. She has also made appearances on many TV programs and even starred in the Broadway revival, The Time of Your Life.gloria 3

 

Gloria Vanderbilt also studied art at the Art Students League of New York. She became known for her artwork which was showcased in one-woman exhibitions. Her artwork was then adapted by Hallmark Cards in 1968 and with them, Vanderbilt began designing specifically for linen, pottery, and glassware. gettyimages-151896767

 

She also wrote two books, four volumes of memoirs, and three novels. Vanderbilt was a regular contributor to The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Elle.gloria-vanderbilt-1

 

Gloria Vanderbilt was an amazing woman with many talents. She, unfortunately, passed away Monday, June 17th, but her legacy still remains. Gloria Vanderbilt was a girl with beauty and brains and will truly be missed.

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This Dynamic Sister Duo #TWF

This dynamic duo went from singing covers of Beyoncé songs on YouTube to being signed to Beyoncé’s label, Parkwood Entertainment. Our terrific women this Friday are Chloe and Halle Bailey.

They signed to Parkwood Entertainment in 2013 when their rendition of Beyoncé’s song “Pretty Hurts” went viral. Ever since then they have opened for Beyoncé on tour, booked acting jobs, performed at Coachella, and dropped an album.

Chloe x Halle’s music is very unique and always have a powerful message behind it. Their song, “Warrior,” which is featured in the Disney movie, Wrinkle of Time, was about the strong women in their life. It emphasized the importance of uplifting women and how we can be just as ‘strong’ as men.

Chloe x Halle are also series regulars on the Black-ish spin off, Grown-ish. They also wrote and sing the theme song of the show, “Grown.” Many believe these sisters are twins however, they are actually two years apart. Chloe is 20 years old and Halle is 18. On Grown-ish however, their characters are twins.

These girls are an inspiration and a great example of what hard work looks like. They recently were nominated for 2 Grammys and I couldn’t be more excited for them. I appreciate their music and what they stand for. Chloe x Halle are definitely girls with beauty and brains.

Founder of Rookie Magazine #TWF

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” – Rachel Zoe. At just 11 years old, Tavi Gevinson would post pictures of her most distinctive outfits on her fashion blog, Style Rookie. What she didn’t know at the time was that her blog would lead her to her very own magazine.

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When Tavi first started her blog she would commentate on the latest fashion trends and share her fashion tips, of course. Many people were interested in this pre-teen’s ideas and opinions on fashion for she was getting about 30,000 readers a day! Her blog began to get more known and she was being asked to be interviewed by big platforms such as The New York Times. Then Tavi was getting invited to New York and Paris’ Fashion Week.

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When there is success, there are also haters and many adults would backlash Tavi Gevinson. They considered her success as gimmicky, and nitpicked her blog constantly. However, with support from family and her passion to write, Tavi didn’t let that negative energy stop her.

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She founded her own magazine, Rookie, at the age of 15. Her platform focuses on the issues impacting teenage girls, and she allows other teenage girls to write for it as well. Tavi Gevinson is now 22 years old and is still using Rookie to empower girls. Tavi’s drive and confidence have helped her become so successful at such an early age. She is a great example of a girl with beauty and brains.

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Award-Winning Actress #TWF

Cicely Tyson is a legend to many! She’s an award winning actress seen in ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,’ ‘The Help,’ and Broadway’s ‘The Trip to Bountiful.’ She is our terrific woman this Friday!

Cicely was very secretive with her personal life. But she was very involved in her community. After the assassination of Martin Luther King, she co-founded the Dance Theater of Harlem. She would also teach master classes at a performing arts school in East Orange, which was actually named after her.

She has won many awards such as 2013 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress. In 1977 she was added to the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and was honored by the congress of Racial Equality. Cicely was also awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.

Cicely is 93 years old and is still acting and setting the bar high for aspiring actresses. She is a girl with beauty and brains.