BLACK WOMEN YOUTUBERS YOU SLEPT ON (not picture here) - Amanda Seales, Jouelzy, and Kim from For Harriet
Culture, Dating, Important People, Life, Mental Health, Personal Liberation, Podcasts, Sex, Sprituality

3 Black Women Culture YouTubers You May Have Slept On [JEWELS]

(I had to put this out NOW because it is so good! 😭)

#Yourewelcome

#FOMO. We all deal with it sometimes, when we feel bad about hearing about the latest song 3 months later when everyone has already been boppin’. Imagine the insult and injury added to being a writer; in this world, everything is old by yesterday.

So I forgive you for not knowing about these YouTubers, who have been pushing the envelope of intelligent, well-researched and uniquely opinionated content that I’m coming to rely on for my sole (soul) sources of social commentary and even news.

But I’m creating a new ling. #MIMO. Mad I missed out, and I’m guilty, but you don’t have to be. Just don’t sleep.

These women be droppin’ jewels.

They’re relatable, they curse, and they’re not afraid of ass & titties, i.e. unabashed feminity and sexuality. They identify as BLACK, and I love that even more. Some are PhD’s, feminists, and some are just students of life. I don’t agree with every sentiment and opinion, but I’ll be highlighting the ones that I do.

Here’s 5 Black Culture and Social Commentary YouTubers You May Have Slept On.

Amanda Seales

Channel: Smart Funny & Black Entertainment

The most commercially successful of this queenly sodality, and my current bae’s biggest celebrity crush, you may know Amanda Seales from all the many ways she’s made her indelible mark in entertainment: Her early YouTube series, her stint in the group Floetry, her one woman show, her books, her Netflix stand up comedy special, or her casting on Issa Rae’s produced and directed Show Insecure.

But I’m not writing about her first because she’s the most famous. I’m writing about her  first because she’s had the fortunate tenure of having her outspoken, hilarous and often cynical take on politics, history, entertainment, feminism and women’s issues, college and Millenial life and more, in more ways than YouTube. It’s not her primary outlet, so her ways of reaching people are and have always been very dynamic. She is a maverick, a rebel, a Tasha of All Trades, so I think it will be easy to find a way to start to get to know her.

In this featured video from Amanda Seales channel: Her and Issa Rae team up for a lively conversation on Side Effects of Being the Boss.  This conversation is so special because Amanda has a really candid conversation with one of the THE MOST influential Black woman of this generation. She is the voice of the generation that I still want to be. I love the comraderie and the love between these two, and the very specific, relatable, enviable, and sobering conversation they have about creative work, burnout, or simply not ALLOWING yourself to take a break. Could that be because as Black Creatives, we are afraid of losing the commercial success we’ve gained? 

 

You have to manage your life different. That’s what “bossing up” means. It’s not just about being a better boss to your employees, it’s about being a better boss to yourself.

-Amanda Seales

Jouelzy

Channel: Jouelzy

I’m mad about this one. I had the opportunity to really get into Jouelzy years ago, back in 2016, around the time she went to Ghana and was talking about that. For some reason, I jsut didn’t get into her, and so this is a serious case #MIMO, (Mad I Missed Out) because not only does she give great cultural context and opinion on the various cities she’s lived in and how Black they are (which is an important aspect of Black living that many major outlets tend to ignore when speaking about the culture of a city) but she also in an aspiring PhD and is very transparent that process.

Jouelzy is transparent about everything, from her relationships, to her non existing one with her father, to her income on YouTube, and her feelings on race, the YouTube community, politics and more.

She even has a book club that is not free, where she breaks down books by prominent (although not so well known) Black feminist and other Black female authors. Jouelzy really stands for Black women. She has maximized her platform and hosts original series like PopSnark, Live Reviews of shows like Insecure, and popular YouTube influencer content like #GRWM’s (Get Ready With Me) and although she has stated her own wig line.

In this featured video from Jouelzy, she breaks down a ton of pros and cons about living in one of the most up and coming cities for young black professionals, Charlotte, NY. Her stream of conciousness style makes it hard to nail down every topic but that’s what I love about her, it hooks you in and takes you for a ride you don’t want to get off of. 

Kimberly Nicole Foster

Channel: For Harriet

Kim is another one whose opinions were so strong, clearly articulated, yet so different from mine, (I first started watching her around the time of the 2nd season of She’s Gotta Have it on Netflix) that I was just turned off. But because bae kept mentioning her, I had to give her another chance.

After all, she’s an intelligent self proclaimed black feminist (black feminisim is different from mainstream feminism and has different target groups and goals) with a PhD level vocabulary. It literally feeds me listen to Black women like this, wether I agree with them or not.

She sits on her floor in front of that gorgeous vintage budoir looking green velvet chair and has managed to turn her blog (which I DID check for when I started blogging back in 2012) into a thriving channel. She hosts live conversations and mainly does pop culture commentary but it intersects with news and culture commentary. Her channel even has a membership. And she doesn’t only watch and talk about Black content. She’s well rounded with a very sharp, almost incisive point of view. But you don’t have to agree. Just watch.

In this featured video from Kim, she talks about one of her most noted and memorable theories, that beauty is a bad investment for women. It definitely deserves a rewatch. As a love a culture blog I feel this deserves a deep dive all on it’s own. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this nourishing and tasty guide to the 3 Black Culture YouTubers you truly should have known by now. So get whatver vittles you need to relax, and dig in to their meaty conversations and stream of conciousness’ about the most important things happening for Black Millenials and more, today. These are just the conversations I needed! Hope you benefit. 

Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash

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Culture, Dating, Important People, Life, Mental Health, Personal Liberation, Podcasts, Sex, Sprituality

4 WOC Podcasts You Need to Follow for Spiritual & Self Development [JEWELS]

You’re welcome.

I’m giving them to you like I found them.

I’ve sifted through the ocean of podcasts out there to find the ones that are related to health, wellness, sexuality, and embracing and owning your female core.

These women be droppin’ jewels.

They’re relatable, they curse, and they’re not afraid of ass & titties, i.e. unabashed feminity and sexuality. They identify as BLACK, and I love that even more. Some are life coaches, some are just motivating. I don’t agree with every sentiment and opinion, but I’ll be highlighting some that I do.

Here’s 5 WOC Podcasts You Need to Follow for Spiritual & Self Development. 

Lauren of Inspe Blog, Bella Luna Wellness, and WokeBae

Podcast: Not Your Mama’s Podcast

I love Lauren’s energy. I’ve listened to a LOT of podcasts and meditations and I have to say her WokeBae album is just what I needed because she doesn’t sound like the typical Valley Girl accented white girl that even some of the Black girls sound like, and she definitely brought the fierce feminine inner woke voice you need to get through you a long day working on your business, a presentation, or a difficult conversation with bae, or yourself.

She also serves in the form of her blog that has fun shareable quick lists of self love tips, Bella Luna Wellness that provides health and wellness services for women, like vaginal and anal steams (anal steams are new for me!) and Not Your Mama’s Podcast that she has done for a few years with my next feature, Stefanie.

With all her brands, she has a multitude of ways you can interact with her. Follow her on IG and do this writing exercise on her blog right now because it’s free and it’s a tool I’m personally using to create the magically fucking delicious life I deserve.

She also has a newer podcast called LaLaLand’s Podcast. I’m listening to “Episode Won” right now where she talks about her personal business journey in the wellness space.

Stefanie of BLCNY – Better Life Choices New York

Podcast: I SAID NO!

She goes by Coach Stefanie, and she’s one half of the Not Your Mama’s Podcast podcast, and I love her accent. Maybe I just miss New York, but I could listen to her voice all day. It’s thick, robust, even curvy. I think the sexiest women have the deeper more sultry voices. Because I do. So that’s my reasoning.

She runs the nonprofit emotional architect firm Better Life Choices New York  where one of her specialties is supporting people in recognizing, creating and maintaining their personal boundaries. She expounds on this in her podcast I SAID NO – (#ISNPOD). I listened to the Forrest Gump episode. I really like it because she adds in segments related to nostalgia, and reserves a special section for the men. We love men over here.

Follow Stefanie, do your research on all the thigns she does, and continue on for 3 more fabulous women who are providing some yummable content for your corona quarantine self improvement and spiritual development needs. I know you’re busy, but you have time for this.

Latoya Newton AKA Toya D – Analog Girl

Podcast: Analog Girl Podcast

Toya D is a health and wellness podcaster whose sole media presence centers on her journey with anxiety, imposter syndrome, mental health and wellness. I love this because these are topics I want to explore more on this blog, especially related to ADHD.

I listened to her podcast with Stefanie (see? rabbit hole) and it was awesome how transarent she was about not being picked over a lighter skinned girl in high school, how she feels that affects her to this day, and her reason for being bald. This was an awesome episode to see who two Black women in the wellness space who are also creative entrepreneurs support each other’s work.

Christal Clear – Christal Clear

Podcast: Christal Clear

I disovered her by checking out the likes section of one of the other podders on this list. (I’m basically giving you a journey of my personal rabbit hole.) I like her because she’s one of those people who probably isn’t trying to be funny, but her tone has an underlying hint of sarcasm in everything says. Yet her content is very introspective, and you get the feeling that she’s just mustering up all the confidence she has to keep her promises to herself, which is something she addresses in her last show of the year, Reached My Goal. She really knows how to get you think within in a quiet kind of way. This is a podcast to listen to if you don’t want to feel alone with the voices in your head.

 Jade Woods – All About the Vibes

Podcast – All About the Vibes

This is my girl! I hit her up on IG just to let her know I was doing this post. She never responded. But give her time! The reason I like this show is because it’s REAL. Some people come off as personalities, or just really good at talking AT you, and I admit, I’m one of those who can get very “presentational.” But I like her stream of conciousness style that wasn’t too pretentious or comical. It just was, and she’s into the EDM scene and other music communities in LA (I found out about her from VoyageLA), so that was interesting to hear things that I’m not into yet. I really enjoy being exposed to new things.

The fear is the most negative thing about this whole shit.

-Jade Woods, All About the Vibes Podcast, “The Rona” Episode

I’m so wet right now.

I hope you enjoyed this nourishing and tasty guide to the 4 podcasts by women of color that you should be following right now. I know it’s hard to listen and work at the same time, but get some tea, some wine, or some water and get ready to dive deeper into yourself and your fellow urban goddess tribe.

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7 Things I learned about starting a work from home, virtual assistant business and freelancing
Work

7 Things I Learned After Starting A Virtual Assistant Biz Last Year (Freelance Life, Anyone?)

7 Things I learned about starting a work from home, virtual assistant business and freelancing

7 Things I learned about starting a work from home, virtual assistant business and freelancing

Over 1 year after starting my company of 1, Lemonseed, LLC, I have FINALLY finished paying for the Virtual Savvy course that was the catalyst of me deciding to become a VA (virtual assistant).
I chose the monthly option payment plan and thought I was doing something, lol. And all the while, since I had a huge self realization crisis last year, it has taken me a while to get my business off the ground. Each month I had to pay that $97 when I wasn’t doing the steps to get fully booked with clients gave me a range of emotions from annoyed to sometimes even disheartened.
Here are the big insights I learned since starting a virtual assistant freelancing business last year:
  1. In August, I learned I have ADHD. This has been a HUGE challenge all my life but even MORE helpful to learn more about what ADHD and how it’s affecting me and how it makes me a super creative, enthusiastic, and details oriented person (when I like the work). I have applied these traits to my work with clients. They especially LOVE the ideas I generate on how to better a process or project they’re having me work on.
  2. I learned SO MUCH about my WORTH. But I learned when it’s OK to work for free if it’s something I CREATE, VOLUNTEER to do because of a cause I believe in, or it’s something I LOVE, vs not accepting jobs that just didn’t feel good in my body. I learned to say NO and to say YES when it’s right for me.
  3. I realized it’s OK to NOT want to freelance full time, to run a business with subcontractors, or even freelance at all sometimes! You are STILL an entrepreneur and still a business owner! One of the biggest takeaways I’ve learned over the past calendar year (I joined the course in January 2019 and was LLC’d by March 2019) is that it’s OK to be wherever you are in the process of building your business. It’s OK to stop and reevaluate what you REALLY want. Like a job! I am currently seeking a full-time role and will still freelance. But I think there’s a lot to be gained from full-time employment at an established company. I want to learn some best practices of larger, more established organizations. (I’m targeting the role of customer success manager if anyone’s interested).
  4. I DO NOT like getting paid by the hour. It’s like I’m allergic to it now! Even though I HAVE accepted some admin clients after saying I ONLY want to do creative work (which takes a lot out of you to be honest, if you’re not inspired at that moment and there’s a deadline looming), I STILL am charging by the project, week, or month. It’s way more flexible, but I still track my time with Toggl for my records.
  5. More than anything I think I have had to really overcome imposter syndrome and demon voices in my head telling me I suck. Seriously! Believing those voices stopped me from going after things I might have been good at.
  6. One major bonus insight: The seeds I have planted by putting in HOURS of work on my marketing materials like my portfolio and thinking about my pricing HAS paid off. I may not even use them with every client, but to have them there to refer to or to send off to a client and only having to make just make a few tweaks, is GOLD.  I have even used some of these materials for employee job applications. My point is, it may feel like you’re wasting time, especially if you can’t afford to outsource some task to someone, but DO THE WORK! These are seeds you’re planting now that WILL pay off in the end! Think: reviews, recommendations, referrals, the RELIEF of knowing you don’t have to start from scratch.
  7. And the final insight: A business runs on systems and lives on SALES. In the freelance world, your pitch is your ask. In the job world, submitting an application is like that initial contact with a prospect for them to eventually buy what you’re selling. If you ain’t askin’, you ain’t sellin. And I allowed so much fear to stop me from doing the very thing that gets you a solid YES, I’ll hire you at the price you want – the ASK.

 

I’m not afraid of asking anymore. Idealist I am, I’m wanting the best of both worlds. Running a business is a lot of work to do full time and to rely on it for your full time salary. I know I’m still not at the point where I want to focus on marketing every day and client acquisition…sales. It’s a numbers game. And I don’t have the team to support reaching the amount of people I would need to get the amount and quality of projects I want.

Plus, I think of a job as my “BIG CLIENT’ in a way. The companies I’m targeting for work offer high salaries, flexible work hours and location, mostly in the tech space.  They have roles that call in several of my gifts and will challenge me to grow my leadership, business, and technical acumen. So it might feel closer to contract work than working as an employee ever has before, because I simply wasn’t aware that jobs like this existed.

I don’t see my standstill in moving forward in my business as a setback and I don’t see going for a job by the end of the quarter as giving up. Rather, I see it all as another step in my journey towards financial stability and mastery, two big goals for the year.

Hit me up on Facebook and IG @starsworldsolutions to talk more about all of this.

Enjoy and stay super positive (And turn off the news!) during COVID.

Love,

Star

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My Journey to an ADHD diagnosis
ADHD, Life, Mental Health

My Journey to an ADHD Diagnosis

 

Hello, Happy Dreamers.

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Been a while since I’ve felt like being transparent enough to do so. For a while, I knew I had something to say, I just didn’t know if anyone was listening.

Today, I decided that I couldn’t hold back any longer.

My Journey to a Diagnosis was long

Throughout my life I knew that I was different. I was struggling with something. I had the best ideas, but I never followed through with many of them. Even when I did, it seemed like I couldn’t see some of my most important projects through. I was great with deadlines, so journalism suited me. Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t find a high enough paying job so I always had to juggle several side gigs while writing. I always had this nagging feeling that if only I could focus, I could be as successful as I knew I wanted to be.

My diagnosis was devastating, but it gave me clarity

On August 12th, I became aware of some devastating news. While getting up from the table after a goodbye lunch with my therapist of the past 2 years (I was supposed to be moving to New York to take an Assistant Managing Editor position with an indie newspaper I used to write for back in the day), she dropped a bomb on me – “By the way, you have all the traits of ADHD,” she said.

ADHD Y’all….Issa lot! 

I began to take stock of my life after this shocking revelation. I realized through self-examination I had a really unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Throughout my time in New York City, from ages 17 to 28 (some of those golden years are when I first started this blog back in 2012), I had fits and bouts of rage, moments where I felt like I couldn’t control my anger, my words, my sexual inclinations. It wasn’t surprising to me to find out that some of the challenges of having ADHD are to have substance abuse issues, anger, impulsivity issues, and hypersexuality.

Being a Black Woman with ADHD in America is even more difficult because we don’t share our stories so there’s less support

Now, there are several issues to unpack being a Black woman in America with ADHD. You could be a Black woman and have what they call a neurotypical brain and still have issues navigating jobs, the economy, your living situation, relationships, sexuality, and all other areas of life. That just comes with living in a society where white supremacy exists (but we are destroying it day by day by promoting wellness over wokeness – I’m so proud of us). But adding ADHD or any other mental challenge to being in an intersectional group is definitely more difficult. I wanna share what those stories are for me.

My journey to learning I have ADHD in a timeline

In the video, I talk about my timeline leading up to my diagnosis of ADHD. But to be clear:

2002 – Moved to NYC, began classes at Marymount Manhattan College

2003 – Came home, family ran out of money!

2003 – Moved back to NYC and moved in with a roommate who was a former classmate. He tried to hit me, so I moved out that night after only staying for 6 months.

2003 – Moved into the Harlem projects on 145th and 8th. I was working at The Body Shop.

2004 – Moved out to rent a room in Brooklyn and since then lived in subsequent Brooklyn rooms and apartments. I was working at a real estate company, and then a hair salon.

2005 – My sister moved to town and was working on her book.

2006 – We got an apartment together on Broadway in Bushwick. I was still working at the salon 10 hours a day, 4 days a week. It was one of the best work experiences I had that worked well with my ADHD (that I didn’t know I had yet.) It was fast-paced at times, detailed, had lots of interaction with people and a reasonable schedule. (9-7pm)

2007 – I left that job and worked at a French salon. It was a valuable experience. I had a boss who allowed me to do a lot different things, not just reception. I washed hair, promoted etc. It was also the first year me and my sister put on our first party, so that was first event.

2008  – I worked at a couple of restaurants and then I became a flight attendant. That changed my realm of vision for what was possible for me. After that I knew I wanted to travel eventually.

2010 – Left North American Airlines and moved into nonprofit at Public Allies. I LOVED my time with Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation – Youth Arts Academy. It was a community organization ran by 5 black women and I felt so seen, heard, and covered and accepted. I loved working with the children and the parents. This job worked well my brain. There was a lot of action, movement, freedom, creativity, and more. I didn’t enjoy every task but I grew a lot. I moved from full time to part-time and began classes at Swedish Institute of Massage and picked up another part-time job at a salon

2013 – I had to leave that job to move to South Carolina. At that point, my fibroid was too big and my periods were painful and heavy. As I stated in the video, I had to quit school and everything. It was devastating. I didn’t even realize that moving home was an option. But my Dad told me, “come home.”

In December of that year, I enrolled at SUNY Empire State College.

2014 – I was in school and tried to start a company remotely with my current ambiguous relationship bae. ADHD definitely played a role. There were several times he got frustrated with me because he felt I wasn’t being productive enough. I had a job at Trader Joe’s and school, and although I know that was a challenge in itself, there were things that I wanted to do and focus on, but couldn’t seem too. It was frustrating and my inter critic was at an all-time high during that time. It didn’t help that I was dating a Capricorn (dating is a loose term).

2015 – We moved in together! I know it seems like a jump. But we had similar goals. We lived in Charlotte. I began working at a sex toy boutique downtown. I thrived there, but it paid less than $10/hour. I wanted to move up and get paid more. A job at a call center opened up and I only lasted 4 months. It was extremely challenging and now, reflecting on this situation knowing that I was dealing with fibroids and ADHD, man. No wonder it was a whirlwind, along with his problems he was dealing with. If only we’d had the education, understanding and resources, we probably could have made it together as a couple.

2016 – We lasted 2 years but we moved out. I moved back to South Carolina and had my surgery in October.

2017 – After taking at least 6 months to recover and working on my degree, researching a bunch of new career options, mainly in social work and education, I began a job at a homeless teen shelter. I speak about how overwhelming it became on the video.

2018 – I quit and began subbing in the schools, deciding that I wanted to be in education to work more closely with the kids. In January, I began subbing in my city. In February I graduated and then applied for New York City Teaching Fellows. No offense to the program – I learned a lot about the special needs of students in Title 1 schools, but it didn’t prepare me for the teaching job I would later acquire.  I was in the program from May and taught from September to November of 2018. During this time, I began working on my coaching/counseling skills by reading Tarot. By the end of the year, I’d had a very eye-opening experience that caused me to end that practice. I still know I wanted to

2019 – Shit. Here I am. In August of this year, I learned I have ADHD. My life is starting to make a hell of lot more sense now.

The video says so many things that became clear to me right before and after being diagnosed with ADHD – it changed my identity – and I think it’s for the better.

 

Stay True, Happy Dreamers.  I love you.

 

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