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I’ve been blessed to encounter so many educated, beautiful and overall phenomenal women. They make me laugh, smile and are sources of inspiration. I can no longer be selfish, I have to share them with the world! So here you go, Black Girl Magic

Tell us about yourself…
I am a Program Director for a community center in the Bronx that provides free services to youth ages 5 -21 and adults. Youth and families are able to access tutoring, sports, arts, and dance activities. Young people are provided with the opportunity to participate and organize community service projects and are able to learn skills transferable to work or school. I work with my agency to ensure families in need get new clothing and turkeys for the holidays. My favorite part about my job is that I get to be a mentor and a leader. Kids see someone young and in charge and taking care of business. They are able to see themselves in their leadership. I’ll be honest, community and youth development wasn’t my first career choice out of college. But it’s definitely something that I’ve grown to love and become great at! I once heard someone say “taking care of each other is not a job, it’s our responsibility.” So does what I do because taking care of youth and neighbors in need is my responsibility.

Being a woman of color, what has been your biggest adversity in your career?

Fortunately, I haven’t faced too much adversity. However I do get frustrated when people mistaken my outspokenness as abrasive. If I were a man, I’d be “bold” or “assertive.” Instead, of seeing my honesty as what it is, it gets labeled as something negative.

How would you define black girl magic?

Black girl magic is electric!

What motivates/inspires you?
I’m motivated by competition. I’m really competitive so when I see someone performing well or working hard it pushes me to work harder. Or when someone says that I can’t do something, I say “nah imma do it.” My mom and boss probably have probably gotten the biggest headache from my approach lol. That’s why having positive people in your life is essential. They challenge you to do great things because they are accomplishing or have already accomplished amazing feats themselves.

If you can give black women any advice (career, life, love, etc) what would it be?
Speak positively about yourself! Too often we don’t say enough good things about ourselves! We are our own biggest critic! We all have to work on ourselves. But remind yourself how much you’ve accomplished! How talented you are! Victories, no matter big or small, are still victories!

How can we stay connected with you?
Professionally? Via email!  Kristina.fulton@gmail.com
Instagram @rich_and_skinny and Snapchat: tupacshakris

 

thoughts? feelings? opinions? comment, let’s talk about it!

Ghosting the act of breaking off a by ceasing all communication and contact with the former partner without any apparent warning or justification, as well as avoiding and/or ignoring and refusing to respond in any way to the former partner’s attempts to reach out or communicate.

I met this guy named “Marvin” through, Tinder. We had both swiped right and it was instantly a match. He seemed to be just my type; beard, overweight (I have an odd attraction to men who are visibly unhealthy) and creative, he was a rapper.

We talked for hours about things we shared in common and things we didn’t. We debated about hoteps, the role of the black man in society and our plans for the future. It felt right so we decided to meet for drinks.

He ordered a beer, I ordered a “dark & stormy” we shared laughs flirted a bit and before I knew it the sun had set. “Let’s get something to eat…” he said, all giddy inside I agreed we walked to his car, he jumped in the passenger seat and we drove. We grabbed burgers at my favorite spot; we played 90’s trivia and shared more laughs.

As we walked back to his car he reached over grabbed my hand. Hand in hand we shared rap lyrics, the other completed the quote, I’m a sucker for any and everything Hip-Hop. He drove me home and before I got out he kissed me on my cheek, told me he had a great time and looked forward to doing it again. It was a vibe.

The next day I heard nothing, so instead of creating my own narrative I reached out. “I hope you’re having a good day.” I sent. He quickly responded and so did I. But hours had gone by and I heard nothing “Is everything ok?” I sent. Hours later he called, I missed it, I called back “Hey, missed your call, hope you’re having a good night. Call me when you can…” he never called back, texted …nothing.

Ladies and Gentlemen I had just been ghosted.

 *by the way he’s alive and well…

Being ghosted hurts. You’re confused, frustrated, clueless, and feel disrespected. You replay the scene in your mind over and over in search for clues to make their disappearance make sense. Here are some simple steps that helped me and I’m pretty sure will help you.

Delete, Delete, Delete!
There’s no need to go searching, no need to call them out (as difficult as this maybe be…). Face it you’ve been ghosted and there’s no need to have anything reminding you of that. Delete! Delete everything related to them. Block their number, email address, block all social media accounts. You may think, “I want them to see I’m happy without them” but truth is you don’t want to give them the opportunity to be in your life again. If someone ghosts you, they don’t deserve you now or in the future. No second chances!

Be Grateful!
Grab you a bottle of champagne (or if you’re feeling feisty a pint of Hennessy), cook a fabulous meal, and call up some friends and celebrate! You need to be happy that they’re gone and will never return. If they can’t be mature enough to properly end things with you, imagine what else they can’t do? Imagine! It just wasn’t your time and there’s no need to dwell on that, everything that you need and that is good for you is on the way, don’t sweat it. But be grateful…you dodged a bullet, go you!

Take A Moment
Take some time to work on you. I’m not saying give up on dating, fall into a deep depression and don’t go out again…I’m saying to think. What you want, who do you want, what are some non negotiables? Yes, it would be great to find someone who is better than the loser who ghosted you but you don’t want to repeat and find someone who is equally as bad. Focus on being a better version of you; enjoy extra time with friends and family. Be single, be happy and live your life.

 

Have you ever been “ghoster”? Been a “ghostee”? Why did you ghost someone? How did you deal with being ghosted? Let’s talk about it…

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I’ve been blessed to encounter so many educated, beautiful and overall phenomenal women. They make me laugh, smile and are sources of inspiration. I can no longer be selfish, I have to share them with the world! So here you go, Black Girl Magic

Tell us about yourself…
I believe in the power of marketing for good and am not afraid to take risks as a marketing and communications professional, whether it is to promote my clients or myself!

After interning at ABC News 20/20 while at Hunter College, I could not accept that the experience was over, despite the fact that the interns were told just that. I penned a letter to the Executive Producer of the world-renowned news magazine, expressing what I would bring to the table as a journalist and storyteller. One week later, my phone rang. It was the EP calling to personally offer me a job. That was just the beginning. I went on to work in production at MTV and BET before I made the natural transition into the non-profit space. As a branding and marketing specialist, I have since consulted to and worked for several corporate, non-profit and governmental agencies including Burson-Marsteller, The City of New York, MSL Group, BroadCause, Abyssinian Development Corporation, Starbucks Corporation, Taproot Foundation, City Year, Target, Mobile Commons, Mary J. Blige, Jazz Foundation of America and more.

Being a woman of color, what has been your biggest adversity in your career?
Always having to prove! It may be having to prove that I belong at the table or that I know what I am doing once I get there. I have studied the social media space and I loved it. However, I found that oftentimes, I wasn’t welcomed in offices, which were mostly white and male. I was questioned, challenged, hazed and disrespected. An interviewer at a very well-known Foundation called me a ‘unicorn’ – she could not believe the caliber of my references and was, ‘looking for a flaw’. In my last role, someone who arrived a month before I did began questioning my ability two weeks after my arrival. At times, it angers me, I can’t lie. To get through it, I redirect. I pour mentorship into others who are just starting off in the space. I also go harder. I have always believed that I am my only competition. Finally, I keep God at the center of it all.

How would you define black girl magic?
Black Girl magic means rising above it all despite diversity all with amazing hair, nails and lip-gloss.

What motivates/inspires you?
The idea of what my legacy will be inspires me. I constantly think about what will be said about the mark I work so hard to leave on this earth will be after I have left and will it endure. I also am inspired my mom and sister!

If you can give black women any advice (career, life, love, etc) what would it be?
Know what you know what you know – at work, in love…don’t doubt your gut,
know that your steps are ordered. My favorite Bible scripture is Jeremiah 29.11. Check it out 🙂
Know that you cannot fail. You may fall but cannot fail.

How can we stay connected with you?
I love staying in touch! I’m on LinkedIn and also on Twitter @theajayieffect

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thoughts? feelings? opinions? comment, let’s talk about it!

Since 2012 I’ve heard Trayvon scream for his life, watched Tamir shot dead, I screamed as Walter ran for his life as a loaded gun was pointed to his back, I looked into the sad eyes of Sandra, I watched Eric take his last breath, I saw Freddie be thrown into the back of a police van to never be seen again, I saw Philando grasp for his life as a officer pointed a loaded gun at his girlfriend and daughter sat in the back, I saw Alton move for the last time and then heard his son cries.

With all we’ve seen you would think we would be use to it, immune to it, the death of our people in front of our eyes would be the norm. But something about these moments changed our perspectives; something was different, something about these moments made us mad, upset, enraged, scared, frustrated, and tired.

US-POLICE-CRIME-RACISM

Truth is – since 2015 346 black people in the U.S. have been killed by police officers, and that’s NOT counting what has happened 2016. According to Mappingpoliceviolence.org, 97% of the cases in 2015 did not result in any officers involved being charged with a crime. Despite making up only 2% of the total US population, African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 comprised more than 15% of all deaths logged this year by an ongoing investigation into the use of deadly force by police. Their rate of police-involved deaths was five times higher than for white men of the same age. (The Guardian)

The question becomes: What can we do? How can we help? How can we try to make things better?

Here’s a few ways you can participate in the movement:

Know your rights! Know them so much that you can recite them by heart.

A key problem is a lot of us aren’t aware of our citizen rights. This is how to take your power back. Find your nearest library! (get to reading and printing!) Save it on your phone, and or computer. Take at least one hour out of your week to educate yourself, your friends, your family, and your community.

Below are a few of many gems to know:

MUST READ: What to Do When Stopped by the Police via BlackPolice.Org link

The 4th Amendment link Broken down a bit more link

Search and Secure link

Probable Cause link

Bear Arms Rights (State to State) link

Protesting Right link

First Amendment (Right to Peaceful Assembly) link

Go to your local officials: You change the laws!

A key issue isn’t with us; it’s with those who hold the higher power. But the beauty within us is in our voices. Write letters, go there alone, gather up a group. It’s in our power! Don’t know your local officials? Here’s a way to locate them – Link

Vote! Click here to register

Run for office, become a teacher, professor, activist, go back to school – become the system you want!

Connect & Organize (there’s power in number!)

It’s our right to peaceably assemble. It doesn’t require 193787 people, just a few people who share a common interest. Got friends? Know people? Gather them up, make a sign and speak out! Holding a public demonstration educates the public about issues and gives an opportunity for supporters to be heard. Don’t want to protest? Start a blog, start a petition, start a organization, start something…

Don’t know where to start and need back up? Here are some places to look into (there are many others): (click names) Generation Progress  Black Lives Matter  Black Youth Project  100 Black Men

Tweet, Snapchat, Blog, Write a Status…

Last week I saw so many people say things like “so what is tweeting or writing a status going to do?” The beauty in social media is that it can be viewed by everyone, which keeps it on everyone’s mind. We cant stop these conversations, we cant let things fade into the past

Don’t be afraid, don’t be timid, and don’t be silent!

The reality is that one day we all can be another hash tag. One day you can be walking down the street, driving in your car, out partying and the next thing you know a gun is being placed to your head and you’re living the last moments of your life. It is your duty to speak up for those who can no longer speak. Silence enables racism.

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My brothers and sisters there is a lot to do but, brighter days are ahead, don’t be discouraged! It’s now up to us as a unit to push those dark clouds to the side and let that sun shine on our melanin.

Can’t nothing stop us!

thoughts? feelings? opinions? comment, let’s talk about it!

Saturday stands for “Sex and the City” marathons on T.V. You lie around and absorb all of the lavishness that is Carrie Bradshaw. At times you may cry, laugh and roll your eyes with envy but in the end you love every moment of it. She, Carrie, is blueprint of what being a New York City girl is – some even move to the Big Apple expecting to receive the “Carrie Treatment” as soon as their shoe hits the pavement but truth is … she lied! I know, it hurts but let’s face it – it’s all fiction.

Here’s the biggest lies of them all:

1. A single man is waiting for you at each and every corner.

Aidan, Jack, Aleskandr, Sebastian, and the unforgettable “Mr. Big” … Carrie was the epitome of a “hopeless romantic”. She always had a guy who was charming, easy on the eye and some even rich. No matter how bad Carrie treated him, he always wanted her back. Remember when Carrie ran into Aidan in Abu Dhabi? Even though Carrie had broken off their engagement, cheated on him with Mr. Big and he was now married and a father, he was still mesmerized and willing to risk any and everything to be with her. She did have her fair share of heartbreak (Jack broke up with her via post-it note) there was always another man there to save the day and love was seconds away … boo!

2. You can be jobless and still have it all in New York City!

Carrie not only owned her apartment, but she ate out at top notch restaurants and wore designer clothes! What was Carrie’s occupation you ask…she was a writer! A simple writer, she wrote a weekly column about herself in a newspaper and managed to maintain a lavish life. We never saw Carrie’s checks and she never had a busy work schedule but always made ends with a few extra thousand for a new pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes. There was one episode in the series when Carrie did mention of a small financial problem. Terrible with money she ran from friend to friend begging and borrowing BUT was QUICKLY saved by the ever-so wealthy Mr. Big and she went back to buying shoes … boo!

3. You’ll have a diverse group of friends – they’ll get along and will be RELIABLE!

Each week the girls would gather and have life recaps over expensive martinis. You had your promiscuous one, the uptight one, the over-analytical/prude and the self-absorbed one. Although the group was extremely diverse, they always got along (some were closer than others) they had a sisterhood. Their bond was so tight and rarely broken – they respected each other’s differences. Carrie always had a shoulder to cry on, someone to call if she wanted to randomly hang out and an ear to listen. It always worked –everyone meshed one big ol’ happy friend/family … boo!

So you’re a twenty/thirty something year old who lives in New York City and uber depressed because your life is nothing like Carrie Bradshaw’s … DON’T BE! Why? Because if Carrie Bradshaw was an actual character living in New York City chances are her life would be nothing like that either. She would be like the rest of us – single, semi-broke because rent is a million dollars with two or three friends (some cases one) that are actually dependable. Carrie would be a real city gal!

If there is one thing we all CAN learn from Carrie is to be FEARLESS! She did what she wanted, when she wanted and how she wanted. She moved to New York City on a whim with not a dollar to her name! In earlier episodes she said she was so poor when she first moved to New York that she would purchase Vogue instead of dinner. When friends weren’t too fond of her marrying Big, even after he stood her up at the altar … she married him anyway. And let’s not forget, when she left her “job”, apartment and friends and moved to Paris to be Aleksandr. Carrie always went with her gut and although she failed, sometimes repeatedly, nothing ever stopped her.

Maybe one day we’ll all live like Carrie Bradshaw but until then woe no more … just live like you!

‘Life gives you lots of chances to screw up which means you have just as many chances to get it right.” – Carrie