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Awesome #EverydayWomen That Look Like Me

Awesome everyday women that look like me are too often unseen, therefore we think they are non-existent. I began the #EverydayWomen series to help dispel this myth and spotlight a few women that inspire me. On Instagram, I announced that I would run the series via Facebook from Nov. 25 – Dec. 25, 2014. The series would feature images of 30 awesome everyday women. Instead of 30, there are 31 everyday women featured and the series extended through January 1, 2015.

Science, technology, finance, arts/entertainment, government, health/beauty, military, and fashion are some of the career fields these women dabble in. Like countless women, most of these ladies wear multiple hats. While juggling the demands of their careers, several of these women are wives and/or mothers too.

Click an image to enlarge and learn about the awesome #EverydayWomen pictured. Follow their awesomeness on Instagram, handles are included in the captions.

 

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Women Rock: Mara Brock Akil

6th Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon held at the Beverly Hills hotel

Who is Mara Brock Akil?

Mara puts pen to paper and creates real people who share (via television and film) authentic experiences we face in this thing called life. Girlfriends, The Game, Cougar Town, Sparkle, South Central, The Jamie Foxx Show, and Moesha… Mara’s had a hand in them all. Check her resume, she rocks!

Girlfriends, the first show created by Mara, is one of my all-time faves. It was so good that I had to buy boxed sets. I’m anxiously awaiting her new series Being Mary Jane, which debuts in 2014 and stars Gabrielle Union.

Mara captures the complex lives of individuals (esp. African American women) and serves them up on a plate of awesome with the help of her diverse team. That team includes her husband/partner Salim Akil.

You know they’re the bosses over at Akil Productions (formerly Happy Camper Productions), right? Let’s say it together: Power couple!

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of spending time with Mara and Salim as they honestly (not Hollywood honest) uncovered their relationship in a panel at the BET Experience. They shared how they keep their marriage in tact and manage their business relationship.

Aside from dynamic partner and skilled writer, Mara also proudly hold the titles; successful producer, devoted wife and nurturing mother. From where I stand, she does it all with style and grace.

Mara is an ah-MAy-zing Los Angeles born, Kansas City raised individual rocking the world. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Unlike Dorothy and Toto, Mara worked hard to create the life she lives, she didn’t just click her heels.

Fun Fact: (Cue Kanye West’s Through The Wire) She’s a Delta, so she’s been throwing up that dynasty sign.

Christmas Day Will Be ‘Off The Chain’

Staying in Los Angeles for the holidays? One of the best places to visit is the movie theatre (I kid you not). Why? Most of the East Coast transplants are gone, tourists are scarce and natives wander out of the city too. What this boils down to is you lounging in best seats in an empty theatre. Feel free to kick up your feet and relax while eating the snacks you bought in the V.I.P. line (or what seems like one). Pretend that it is your personal home theatre.

On Christmas day, I will spend 5 minutes in not traffic to check out Django Unchained, the new Tarantino film starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.

Check out the trailer, storyline and photos below all courtesy of 135th Street Agency.

Set in the South two years before the Civil War, DJANGO UNCHAINED  stars Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz). Shultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle bothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Shultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles – dead or alive. Success leads Shultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Shultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side.

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Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago. Django and Shultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Academy Award nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson), Candie’s trusted house slave. Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them. If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival.

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Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Produced by Reginald Hudlin, Stacey Sher, Pilar Savone

Executive Produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Michael Shamber,

Shannon McIntosh and James Skotchdople

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Alicia Keys Caught On Fire

Just like any other kid I thought celebrities were super human. I assumed they were immune to problems of everyday life. Guess what? I thought wrong. No matter how high they, the media or fans place them on a pedestal they are still humans. Celebrities just happen to live in the spotlight because they possess an extraordinary talent (I use that term loosely). Well, I guess it is an extraordinary talent to be famous for nothing but, I digress.

When I heard Brand New Me by my new BFF (in my head) Alicia Keys, it reminded me that she faces some of the same issues that I do. Did I mention that I love that song?

(Breaks out in song)…

It took a long long time to get here
It took a brave, brave girl to try
It took one too many excuses, one too many lies
Don’t be surprised, don’t be surprised

Anyway, I’ve listened to the Girl On Fire album a few times now and I really like it. To clarify, that means that I can listen to more than half of the songs on repeat. I can appreciate the entire artistic expression (voice, lyrics, melody, instrumentals & style). My favorite tracks are:

1. De Novo Adagio (Intro)
2. Brand New Me
3. When It’s All Over
5. New Day
6. Girl On Fire (Inferno Version) f. Nicki Minaj
10. That’s When I Knew
12. One Thing
13. 101

I’m pretty sure AK made the album based off of our girl talk. Or she peirced through my soul and grabbed the thoughts from my head. Check out Brand New Me below.

Tomorrow (Nov. 29),  Alicia Keys will perform on The X Factor (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed).

She’s just a girl and she’s on fire…