Why Raven-Symone Should Own Being African American & Gay

Labels Allison McDonald/Flickr.com

Allison McDonald/Flickr.com

Oprah knew this would happen. When the chat queen recently sat down with Raven-Symone, she predicted the ex-Cosby kid would set the Internet ablaze for quipping, “I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African American; I’m an American.”
Reportedly in a longtime relationship with model AzMarie Livingston, Raven only added fuel to the fire by remarking, “I don’t want to be labeled ‘gay.’ I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans.’”

In a single interview, the “That’s So Raven” star managed to alienate herself from not just one but two marginalized groups. As Winfrey anticipated, the public wasted no time taking the actress to task for attempting to shirk labels with which multitudes of Americans identify. Continue reading

5 Signs Your Relationship May Lead to Domestic Violence

 No More Domestic Violence

No More Domestic Violence Ted Eytan/Flickr.com

With Oscar Pistorius dodging a murder conviction for killing his mate and Ray Rice losing his contract with the Baltimore Ravens for beating his, domestic violence topped the news headlines this week. Survivors of such violence shared their decision to stand by or leave their abusers, causing the hashtags #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft to trend on Twitter. News agencies asked experts on domestic violence to discuss why men, particularly athletes, hit women. And the NFL faced accusations that it had long known the extent of the brutality Rice had unleashed against his wife.

Largely missing from media reports about domestic abuse are the signs people can look for early in their relationships that hint their partners could turn violent in the future. Contrary to the Lifetime movies you’ve seen, people typically don’t switch from Prince Charming to raging brutes overnight. Beware if your mate displays any of the following behaviors: Continue reading

Your Favorite Books From Childhood May Be Back in Print

DebutanteHill/Lizzie Skurnick Books

DebutanteHill/Lizzie Skurnick Books

Lois Duncan. Paula Danziger. Richard Peck.

If all of these names ring a bell, you’re likely over 30-years-old and spent your tween years gobbling up one young-adult novel after another, living vicariously through characters navigating puppy love, puberty and out-of-touch parents. While today’s YA fiction has taken a different turn—series about vampires, werewolves and aliens are all the rage—the book industry has caught on to the fact that Gen Xers and Yers want to revisit the books of their youth. The popularity of blogs about bygone series such as The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley High has proven that.

Now a new imprint, Lizzie Skurnick Books, is reissuing YA classics from the most beloved authors in the genre. The imprint will kick off its launch with Lois Duncan’s 1958 novel Debutante Hill about a teen from the right side of the tracks who gets the cold shoulder when she opts not to be a debutante. Is anyone else reminded of the “Gilmore Girls” episode when Rory makes her debut? But I digress. In addition to Duncan’s work, Lizzie Skurnick Books will give fans of classic YA the opportunity to read the works of Ernest Gaines, Lila Perl and Ellen Conford, to name a few. Continue reading

Flirting Your Way to the Top; More Women Cohabitating Than Marrying


Photo by
Wagner Munhoz/Flickr.com

Seducing The Boys Club (New York Post)

According to a lawsuit reported on by the New York Post, female employees at Merrill Lynch’s main branch in Manhattan were instructed by a male branch manager to read a book called Seducing The Boys Club: Uncensored Tactics From a Woman at the Top. The book urges corporate women to flatter the male ego and manipulate their male colleagues and higher ups to gain favor in the workplace, not to mention flirt to get ahead. The female employees were also forced to meet with the book’s author to get tips on how batting their eyelashes and flipping their hair can help them climb the corporate ladder. Forget about hard work and tenacity. Nothing beats feminine wiles for women who want to become the next Sheryl Sandberg. Who knew? Continue reading

Way Back Wednesday: MTV VJ Kennedy Is Back With a Memoir

The Kennedy Chronicles

The Kennedy Chronicles

During the 1990s Lisa Kennedy Montgomery was one MTV VJ who was hard to miss. Known on air as simply “Kennedy”—using her middle name as a stage name years before Aubrey Drake Graham became a best-selling rapper doing the same—the kooky VJ’s signature look of big glasses, big curly hair and oversized pajamas made her stand out from the other personalities on the music channel. In appearance Kennedy was a cross between the Princess Diaries’ Mia Thermopolis and musician Lisa Loeb, only far edgier than Thermopolis and far kookier than the earnest Loeb. The fact that she’d do anything to get a laugh and seemed perfectly at ease interviewing the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls, Bjork, Weezer and other 90s music sensations hid the fact that in reality Kennedy was much more conservative than her on-air image would suggest. Continue reading