The 2017 Sports Emmy Awards, which was held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City Tuesday night, featured some of the best talent in sports television today, including ESPN, NBC, FOX, and Turner Sports.
At the ceremony, I had the opportunity to catch up with some of the biggest names in sports and media, including former New England Patriots linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champion Willie McGinest, five-time MLB All-Star Frank Thomas, and civil rights activist Dr. Harry Edwards, who’s worked as a staff consultant for the San Francisco 49ers and Golden State Warriors.
Checkout snippets from our interviews below.
Dr. Harry Edwards
Q. What are your thoughts on the state of the NFL and NBA when it comes to the diversity in management?
A. Well, I think this is always an evolving situation and one of the things that we’ve learned dating back to Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, and much less Jackie Robinson, is that there are no final victories.
It’s always an issue of adjusting to the latest set of circumstances and reactions to those circumstances.
I think both leagues are going to have to get smarter. They’re going to have to learn to manage and deal with the impact of social media, which is the greatest driving force in social change in history. And unless we do that, it’s going to turn into chaos.
Both leagues are poised to get out in front of this thing. Whether or not they’ll actually have the intellectual dexterity and the mental facility to get out and do it the way it’s supposed to be done in this age of instant communication to millions of people simultaneously is another question.
Q. What’s your million-dollar advice for athletes coming out of college getting ready to embark on their NFL journey’s?
A. Be professional. Take pride in your work. It’s a huge business and it will go on with or without you. So, make your decisions and understand that you’re in a unique position.
There are certain things you need to do while you’re in position. You need to go out and be the best football player you can be for the organization. Also, you have to understand that there are a lot of kids and young people that look up to you and admire what you’re doing.
You’re under a microscope, so everything that you do is going to be watched, scrutinized and criticized. So, be professional, make good decisions and work harder than anybody around you.
Q. How soon do they need to start thinking about what their lives are going to be like after the NFL?
A. Soon because it’s not promised. You’re one injury away and the average career for an NFL player is 3 and a half years. So, things come and go pretty quickly and if you’re not consistently taking care of yourself or playing at a certain level, that can be it for you.
Guys go through things. It happens. Guys retire after a couple of years. So, you have a choice everyday to make sure you’re doing something positive that’s giving you the power to keep you going. So, if it doesn’t work out, you have another plan in place.
Q. What can we do to make sure that more young kids of color grow up playing the game of baseball? How do we make sure the diversity in the sport continues to improve?
A. I really think that we should get our kids to go to more camps because the camps right now are craving for kids 7-12. We have to get our kids involved early because if they start at 13 or 14, it’s not going to happen.
“I teach ordinary people how to create extraordinary lives!” – Dr. Gloria Mayfield Banks
Have you ever found yourself in the “ordinary” category during this journey they call life?
If so, that’s actually good news because Dr. Gloria Mayfield Banks has mastered the art of helping people transform their lives from “ordinary to extraordinary,” and she started with herself.
Today, Gloria is an internationally renowned motivational success strategist and sales trainer with a Bachelor’s degree from Howard University, an MBA from Harvard University and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
She has built a multimillion-dollar enterprise as an author, a founding partner of Charisma Factor, and as an Elite Executive National Sales Director with Mary Kay where she holds the No. 1 ranking in the nation out of 3.6 million women around the world.
Gloria recently published a book, Quantum Leaps, which highlights 10 specific steps to help you soar and take your life to extraordinary heights.
All of that being said though, those who know Gloria’s full story would likely tell you that her life is nothing short of a testimony, given the odds that fell in her lap early in life.
Banks was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age and still faces challenges because of it today. That’s not all though. Earlier in her Mary Kay career, Banks became a victim of domestic violence abuse in a relationship that she was in at the time.
To some, these are obstacles that usually have a bad ending.
That wasn’t the case for Gloria though.
She didn’t allow her dyslexia or experience with domestic violence be the ending to her story. For her, those challenges were just the beginning of an amazing transformation.
Curious as to what that transformation looks like?
Here you go:
Gloria has been best described as “Energy in Motion!” as a prolific businesswoman with high energy and an inspirational teaching style.
Gloria has trained professionals in six continents, helping them achieve new levels of success.
She’s set down with Oprah Winfrey to talk about women empowerment and girls in leadership.
She’s shared her secrets of success with national media audiences, appearing on CNN with Soledad O’Brien, ABC-TV, and CNBC with Donny Deutsch on “The Big Idea.”
Banks has been featured in “Fortune,” “Black Enterprise,” “Glamour,” and “Ebony” magazines.
Harvard Business School documented Gloria’s success in a case study titled, “Gloria Hilliard Mayfield at Mary Kay Cosmetics.”
Banks is now happily married to Ken Banks and they share four adult children. During our interview, Banks described her relationship with her family as pure “joy.”
My talk with Gloria was more than just an interview, it was an experience and I now encourage you to enter into this life changing experience yourself and get ready to take your career and your life to a level where it’s never been before!
See the additional pages for this exclusive interview on the keys to success, the state of the black community, education, Quantum Leaps, reaching your full potential, Gloria’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, how she overcame the challenges of dyslexia and domestic violence, and more!
Freestyle dancing enables one to express themselves. It’s a safe place for many dancers to create moves that aren’t planned or calculated, but contrived freely. This form of dancing allows a dancer to personalize their movements, giving it their own custom flavor. These dances are perceived as modish, fresh and fun. Freestyling is about freedom in movement to any genre of music.
Chalvar has been known to post eye-catching videos of himself on his personal social media pages doing freestyle dances. The settings are constantly changing whether it be a concept video as Chalvar walks through Times Square among the people, or a candid video of him dancing freely while on tour.
As I gave much thought to this idea of freestyle dancing while pinpointing what I wanted the angle to be for this story, I couldn’t help but create a correlation between Chalvar as a dancer and my audience as individuals with their own sense of abandon, or freedom, so to speak.
Some of you reading this story now are educators, musicians, CEO’s, athletes, entrepreneurs, and more. Well, it’s important for you all to know that no matter what your passion or craft is, the healthiest thing you can do is to personalize what you do and find a way to enjoy your craft in a custom sort of way.
Allow me to use my craft as a way to better explain this long but necessary tangent. As a Digital Reporter in the media industry and as an entrepreneur as well, writing, communicating and creating content is a part of my daily life. And while these things require me to study, learn and produce, I’ve never neglected the freestyle aspect of my craft.
What am I referring to?
I’m referring to the moment in my busy day when I sit down and try to relax, as I write and speak freely about topics that are relevant to my life and to the lives of my audience members. You see, no matter how much work I do with the company I work for or even with the interviews and columns that I execute, I’d be nothing without my ability to be able to modernize my work and practice it freely without barriers.
That’s what Chalvar does as a dancer.
Does he have specific dances and techniques that he must follow as a member of Alvin Ailey?
Of course he does, but perhaps it’s those things mixed with the fact that he loves his craft enough to spend time in the public and in the studio just dancing within himself, that makes him an even greater addition to one of the most prolific dance companies in the world.
That being said though, if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself jumping on the bandwagon after seeing the name “Alvin Ailey” throughout this story time and time again. Instead, what I’d challenge you to do is embrace this opportunity to get to know Chalvar the person — the same guy who worked tirelessly for years to become one of the youngest and few males to grace the Alvin Ailey stage.
Simply put, the boy is bad.
I knew who Chalvar was early on in my college days when I started dating Aubree Brown, who is a good friend of Chalvar’s and who danced with Ailey II in the past.
At that time, Chalvar was attending SUNY Purchase College, one of the top performing arts colleges in the country. He left his mark on their dance program, dancing in a mirage of shows, choreographing performances and spending many nights locked away in the dance studio, perfecting his craft.
And even then, when in most of his performances he followed elite choreography, that didn’t stop him from decompressing with freestyle dances when he could, keeping the creativity and personal connection to the art form very much so alive.
Monteiro might be a newer addition to Ailey, but he’s not new to the company lifestyle as he was dancing professionally before he joined the company.
In fact, it was his accolades after college that contributed to Alvin Ailey’s second company, Ailey II, bringing him on a couple of years ago, where he became a quick commodity among other members of that team, including Brown, who recently added a notch to her belt, performing at the VMA’s at Madison Square Garden with the iconic Beyoncé Knowles.
It was Monteiro’s success with Ailey II that gave him some leverage as he auditioned for the first company, where he ultimately transitioned to, adding his name to a decorated list of legendary dancers who have been apart of Alvin Ailey’s long history.
Today, the young talented dancer is making a name for himself, one performance at a time, for a company that’s been known as a New York powerhouse since 1958.
He’s currently on tour with the company, traveling and seeing the great things this world has to offer overseas while doing what he has a love and passion for the most; dancing.
Chalvar’s story is a testament that you can’t let others hold you back from being who you are and from not just doing what you love, but doing it differently than the norm.
That’s what Chalvar is doing with his life right now. This isn’t a guy who’s worried about what you think about his decision to live his dream, dancing at a professional level. His focus is different.
For him, it seems to be more so about inspiring those who see him dance and changing their perspective about the art form for the better.
Take a look at our interview which was set in the busiest and most historic attraction in New York; Times Square. We covered everything you could possibly imagine from his run with Alvin Ailey thus far, the international tour they’re on now and how the amazing Misty Copeland has inspired and influenced his dance career.
You’ll hear it from Chalvar himself at the end of the interview, but it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t also say it. CHOOSE TO BE INSPIRED.
It was a treat featuring you in an interview for my platform, Intern Media, in Times Square — a very historic place in the Big Apple. You were great man. You absolutely owned that interview and I appreciate your openness to the tough questions I presented lol. I’m proud of you man. It’s crazy to say that this is only the beginning for you, considering you’ve attained so much success so soon, but I’m going to say it! This is only the beginning for you, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for your future. You’re apart of the Intern Media wall now, and we’re grateful to have you as part of the family bro. Continue to be great and inspire us all as you already have been!
LONG ISLAND CITY — July 17th marked the first ever Homebrew Festival presented by the Hopster Beer Company.
The man you see in the video above is none other than the Hopster himself, the one who made all of this possible. The Hopster’s love for beer, the joy he gets from bringing people together and the focus he places on the beer consumer is exactly why the first ever Homebrew Festival was a major success.
I just mentioned “the beer consumer.” The beer consumer is who the Hopster had in mind when he decided to start the Hopster Beer Company, becoming one of the first beer companies to create a mascot that represents the beer drinker, not the beer itself. And if you haven’t figured it out by now, “the Hopster” doesn’t just refer to the man you see featured in this story, but it’s also the name of the actual mascot for beer drinkers all over the world.
Think about that for a second.
Can you recall a time when you found yourself watching a beer commercial and saw a mascot that was created for the average beer drinker?
I know I’m a young guy, but still, in my 25 years on this earth, I can’t recall one time turning on the television or opening my internet browser to watch a sporting event, sitcom, movie, TV series, or any other type of television or online program, and seeing a commercial or advertisement that catered to those who drink beer. Instead, what I’ve seen during these advertisements are beer brands, time and time again, showing off their mascot in an effort to persuade us beer drinkers to taste their product.
Their alluring tactic is quite simple; a clever mascot to represent their brand of beer.
During our interview, the Hopster gave me examples of beer brands like Coors Light, also known as “the Silver Bullet.” He also mentioned Samuel Adams beer and how their mascot is a brewer and patriot holding up a mug filled to the brim with beer.
While beer brands like Coors Light and Sam Adams have been extremely successful over the years, the Hopster is content with taking a different route. What route might that be? He decided to create a mascot for the beer consumer.
That being said, while the idea was his, it was his wife who added her much needed two cents to the equation, becoming an intricate factor in why the mascot was eventually named “the Hopster.”
Prior to our interview, the Hopster told me about the months leading up to the Homebrew Festival and about the immense amount of preparation that went into making the grand opening for this festival a huge success as he and his team worked alongside the owners of the Beer Closet to bring this festival to the Long Island City community.
During our interview, the Hopster said giving people opportunities to market their brands was a major focus for this festival. He might have been mainly referring to his fellow homebrewers, but little does he know that by putting on this event, a journalist, a podcast out of Queens, NY, an emerging New York-based clothing brand, and many members of the community, all left the festival with potential opportunities and future opened doors in our respective lives and careers.
That’s right. A New York-based construction worker by day and an artistic homebrewer by night is who paved the way for tons of cross-promotion to be handled on a beautiful Sunday afternoon just weeks ago.
Not only did people enjoy the festival and have an opportunity to taste some amazing craft beers, but they were able to connect with one another from a life and business standpoint, which didn’t really take much effort given the atmosphere and the high-character individuals who were involved.
Even though I was at the festival as a member of the press, there was no way I was going to let the day go by without tasting the vast selection of crafted beers that debuted at the festival. After all, they do say “When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do.” So, when at a homebrew festival… I think you guys can take it from there.
Out of all the crafted beers I tasted that day, I found it to be quite ironic that my favorite selection was the Hopster Beer Company’s special; the mango double IPA.
As someone who drinks in social settings, I won’t lie to you all. I’m not the biggest fan of IPA’s. However, I also won’t lie to you and say that I did not enjoy every sip of that mango double IPA. And to think that it was created by accident, to say the least.
During the interview, the Hopster filled me in on just how much of a coincidence the mango double IPA was, telling me that, at the time, he wasn’t necessarily trying to create this fan favorite. However, once he tasted the final product and allowed others to, it immediately became one of his signature crafted beers.
That’s not a surprise to me at all considering all the positive feedback it received from so many people at the festival.
The Hopster’s genuine personality, his love for people, his interest in beer, and his desire to bring people together with future events and new signature beers, speaks to his success in the beer industry and it’s proof as to how he continues to elevate his company.
I appreciate this guy for setting the stage for what was a great turnout and an impactful event for the Long Island City community. This is only the beginning.
I can’t thank you enough for putting the Homebrew Festival together and for having me there as one of the leading sources for media coverage. It was truly a pleasure and I will carry those memories with me as my journey in journalism continues. I appreciate you taking the interview and I’m sure this won’t be the last time people see our names side by side bringing great experiences and unique content to the public. Continue to create opportunities for your fellow homebrewers. On behalf of the beer drinkers out there, thanks for providing us with our own mascot! From here on out, like you said, we’re all Hopsters when we put beer to our lips! See you soon and welcome to the Intern Media family!
Corey Packer is the Founder of ChestPound Films and one of the most seasoned filmmakers walking the streets of New York City today.
In his young career, he’s already had groundbreaking opportunities. Corey has worked with Shade 45’s Sway on Sway In The Morning and has also worked with some of the best entertainers that the industry has to offer.
If Corey isn’t busy stuffing his resume with opportunities of that stature, then he’s usually working on projects of his own, sharing his creative genius with the public.
In fact, let’s delve into his most recent project, one that’s on the brink of receiving a great deal of notice.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to work beside Corey, filming the pilot episode for his new web series, Pierce. After working with Corey, believe me when I tell you that he has a gift and work ethic like no other.
During the shooting of Pierce, the production team worked tirelessly, sometimes 16-hour days, and Corey was zeroed in the entire time.
As we all know, everyone has their own signature way of performing their craft, especially when it comes to an artist.
Great artists often find a formula that works best for them — a formula that helps them produce their best work.
As a Digital Journalist, I have my formula, and it’s that blueprint which keeps me comfortable throughout the editorial process.
Well, the same applies to Corey.
Corey films an endless amount of weddings, short films, music videos, commercials, etc. In doing so, he’s able to visualize what he wants the production to look like as a finished product before even reaching that destination.
In our interview, Corey alludes to how his methods can sometimes be frustrating for those assisting him in the pre- and post-production phases. However, I believe that’s what makes him unique as a filmmaker.
Just think about it for a second. All of the greats are unorthodox in their ways, which is what makes their work legendary, right?
Have you ever heard top producers and artists insinuate that hip-hop mogul, Jay-Z, does less writing and more ‘spitting,’ so to speak, when he’s in the studio?
That might seem eccentric to many artists, but not to the unrivaled rapper. Jay-Z is capable of going into the studio and reciting his rhymes off of pure memorization and spontaneity.
Well, just like that formula works for the legendary Jay, the same pertains to Corey Packer.
While filming the pilot for Pierce, I watched how Corey was able to get through an entire day of filming without spending much time jotting down notes or even referring back to the script.
That didn’t affect him in the slightest way though. If anything, it helped him hone in on the filming process even more, piecing scenes together in his head.
For Corey, this method makes the video editing process a lot easier.
Corey is now embarking on a whole new journey as a filmmaker, as Pierce will showcase Corey’s talent and vision to a much broader audience.
Corey’s currently promoting Pierce under the banner of his company, ChestPound Films. The Indiegogo (seen in the video above) he recently released to the public not only showcases his creative talent, but highlights his overall concept for Pierce.
Checkout our interview to hear directly from the masterful filmmaker himself.
Thank you for using my platform, Intern Media, in telling the public about your newest project for the very first time. I value your friendship and it’s been a pleasure to work with you in the past, bringing together young talent at its finest. I’m excited about what the future holds for the both of us and I know that this won’t be the last time we work together to present the public with positivity and creativity. I will continue to support your web series, Pierce, and consider yourself apart of the Intern Media family.
Just in case you’re wondering what it’s like to attend a conference like Collision as a member of the media, here you go.
First things first. For those media professionals like myself who truly love what we do and don’t view this as a job, it all starts when we receive word of the invite. The feeling that runs through our bodies and the way that our eyes light up, it reminds us that we’re in the right profession.
It doesn’t end there though. There’s a crazy level of preparation that comes with a responsibility like this; an endless amount of complex reading, grueling writing and research sessions, interview preparation, video preparation, and a test of your overall creativity.
It’s almost like being a professional athlete. You don’t just show up to the “game,” put your uniform on and walk onto the court or field for the opening whistle, tip or kickoff.
As a media professional, you must arrive to the scene hours in advance just like some of the worlds greatest athletes.
You have to be mentally and professionally prepared to not only do your job, but to also look for opportunities to develop a career-changing story or a career-changing moment for yourself, for your represented platform and most importantly for your audience.
It’s this level of preparation that sometimes has me feeling like that NBA superstar arriving to the arena in my Johnston and Murphy shoes, tailored fit suit, Ralph Lauren backpack, and my studio Dre Beats headphones, of course.
Maybe the brief description that I’ve just provided you with will have you thinking about that reporter, journalist, or camera man the next time you’re watching a sporting event or attending one of America’s fastest growing conferences in the future like Collision.
In the event that this write up crosses your mind, just think about the thousands of media outlets out there today who are dedicated to bringing you and millions of others the very best media coverage day in and day out.
Intern Media is dedicated to doing the same in its own uncommon way, focusing on the established individual and the individual in today’s society who’s lacking a voice.
Thanks again to Collision, a technology conference colliding the tech world with prominent sponsors and some of the most profound media outlets around the world today.
“We are changing the world with technology.” – Bill Gates
Today, Collision is widely known as “America’s fastest growing tech conference.”
According to collisionconf.com, Collision has grown to over 7,500 attendees in just two short years. Their list of speakers, sponsors and media supporters is absolutely astounding.
Some of the organizations that will be represented at Collision 2016 include Stanford University, Tumblr, HBO Sports, NBC News, ESPN, ABC, the PGA Tour, The Guardian, CNN, and Buzzfeed; to name a few.
Do you ever find yourself sitting back in awe, thinking about how much technology has evolved over the course of your lifetime?
As a society, we’ve seen the evolution of the computer, from the IBM PCjr to today’s MacBook’s. We’ve seen the cellular phone evolve from the Motorola flip phone to today’s smartphones.
We’ve also watched as Internet access has evolved to the point that today Internet speeds are at an all-time high, thanks to WiFi. How about cable. Can you think back to when we were only able to watch a diminutive catalog of channels on television?
Well, today, we have access to features like On Demand, premium channels, high definition quality picture, and much more.
The beautiful thing about the evolution of technology is the fact that it didn’t evolve on its own. There have been many brilliant minds behind technologies extensive growth and innovation.
There are professionals that have created successful small technology companies. They’ve seen their companies grow from bottom tier to top tier companies, becoming forces in the tech industry. Innovators have seen their ideas blossom into major inventions in the tech world.
Collision gives us exclusive access into the minds of these experts while also providing us with great insight regarding some of the networks, databases and products that we use everyday.
Collision reminds us of how much technology has grown over the years and of where it’s headed, but this web summit doesn’t just succeed in doing this by inviting some of the best keynote speakers in the industry to their conferences. Collision is able to highlight a lot of the technology brands that have contributed to the evolution.
Collisions attendees are guaranteed to leave the conference aware of its level of sponsorship — a list that includes fascinating sponsors like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and Facebook.
This caliber of support speaks volumes to Collisions dedication to being a premier platform for professionals in the tech industry. It also speaks to the focus that Collision places on educating their attendees and the energy that they put into highlighting some of the best technology companies that the world has to offer.
Collision 2016 is being covered by bloggers, writers and reporters from more than 100 countries and 750 outlets, with Intern Media now gracing that list.
Some of the major media outlets that will be in attendance are BBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, CNBC, NPR, The New York Times, Forbes, Business Insider, Fox News, and Bloomberg.
I have a deep level of respect for platforms that find a way to multitask their efforts for the greater good and that’s what Collision 2016 is on the cusp of doing, as they’ll be covering an amassment of topics, from content to data and design, from enterprise to marketing, and from music to social media.
Here’s what a few major media outlets had to say about Collision:
“The giants of the web assemble.” – Wall Street Journal
“Everywhere you go it’s buzzing and it’s electric.” – Bloomberg
“It defines the ecosystem.” – The Guardian
To Collision and its planners,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for recognizing my platform, Intern Media. I now consider you all to be apart of the Intern Media family and I will support your flourishing conference moving forward. Continue to be a platform of many hats, from highlighting tech companies to providing an outlet for hundreds of sponsors and major media outlets out there today.
Sometimes life has its way of putting a limit or a cap on what we’re able to achieve and who we’re able to inspire, which is why some people never quite reach their full potential.
That being said, the best thing for us to do as individuals is to challenge ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones in whatever it is that we do.
For some of us, that means creating a lane of our own, something I’ve harped on in many of my past write ups, whether it was pertaining to myself or my features.
Well, when I think about the power in taking an entrepreneurial approach to life, I think about Dabriel Fulton, the Founder of The Mic Is Open.
The Mic Is Open is a unique platform that, as Dabriel puts it, “gives anyone with a voice a platform to be heard.”
Whether you’re a comic, poet, singer, rapper, or any other form of an artist with a voice, The Mic Is Open is the outlet for you, as it exposes you to a broad and diverse audience. That audience is made up of fans of entertainment as well as people of influence in the entertainment industry.
When Dabriel put this platform in place, she herself was an artist just like those that she is supporting today. At the time, she was performing poetry at open mic nights and while it was an outlet for her, she also saw its limitations.
That’s when The Mic Is Open was born, so to speak. Dabriel related to the “up-and-coming artist” and she wanted to provide a platform for as many of them as she could.
Some people pursue things like this for their own personal gain, but not Dabriel. In fact, as she explained to me in a recent interview, she could care less if she gets rich from this endeavor or not.
To her, the mark of true success is in the lives that she’s able to touch and in the exposure that she’s able to provide artists with, as a result of her platform.
There are not many entrepreneurs or professionals, in general, that could choose to take on this mindset, but Dabriel is extremely serious when it comes to putting the artist first.
I admire this attitude and I believe that it’s a product of Dabriel being around top moguls in the entertainment industry like Dame Dash and others. Dabriel has had to work extremely hard and smart throughout her career and that’s why she’s where she is today.
Dabriel understands the journey and she’s fine with taking the bumps and bruises that come along with it because she believes in learning from situations.
Dabriel has worked to eliminate any loop holes in her skill set, and when you’re there with her in person, you know that she deserves to be here; a mogul in her own right.
I’ve been watching Dabriel’s success rather closely for the past several months. That’s something that I regularly do when searching for my next big story.
Well, I admire the fact that Dabriel has built into my movement by taking this interview and giving me an exclusive look into her career as well as who she is personally.
Dabriel is proud to be a Baltimore native and feels extremely blessed to have experienced so much in such a short period of time. Coming from a city like ours, we’re often accustomed to seeing people held back by their circumstances, so she’s happy to be an inspiration to those back at home.
Dabriel hasn’t come this far to stop now though. After a very successful New York showcase of The Mic Is Open back in March, she is now preparing for an even greater showcase this summer.
As you can see, Dabriel is putting her foot on the gas in 2016, and the sky is only the limit for what she’s capable of doing next.
Thank you for sharing your story with my audience and for introducing my platform, Intern Media, to your audience. I know that you’re a private person and that you sometimes make your power moves in silence, so I appreciate you stepping outside of the norm for this story.
I hope to work with you again very soon and I can’t voice enough just how proud I am of not only your success, but your hard work and for your generosity with today’s artists.
Continue to impact lives with your platform and keep giving God the glory for your success as you’ve already been doing. God bless you and welcome to the Intern Media family.
Do you remember the days when walking down the street and seeing a gorgeous woman confidently rocking the “natural” look was a rarity?
Well, those days are long gone. Today, women all over the world have re-embraced this idea of living a “natural hair lifestyle.” What once appeared to be a trend is now a lifestyle for many women out there.
It’s become more than a tool for fashion and more of a “movement” that is empowering women of all ages, enabling them to express themselves by embracing their natural hair.
In covering this topic, I wanted to create content that catered to my female audience, providing them with some new insight into the world of natural hair.
What better way to do that than to consult with an expert in this particular field. That expert is none other than successful Celebrity Natural Hairstylist, Felicia Leatherwood.
Leatherwood is based in Los Angeles, but has traveled the world spreading her message and offering her tips to a growing audience. Some of the beautiful places that she’s been able to travel to include Africa and different parts of Europe.
Felicia stays busy, making her stamp, not only as a Natural Hairstylist, but as a designer as well, designing natural hair products for both adults and children.
In fact, she’s widely known for her Detangler Brush, which makes “hair life easier on the naturalista” as it’s “designed to help women and children of any texture of curl to detangle their hair with ease with minimal to no hair shedding.”
In Felicia’s own words, this Detangler Brush is good for moving “threw the hair without pulling or breaking hair.”
Felicia jumpstarted her career 26 years ago, before there was such a great emphasis placed on social media. The power of social media is endless as it cuts out the middle man, so to speak, giving you a direct line of communication to almost anyone around the world.
That’s actually how Felicia and I connected, via social media, and I’m glad we did.
What’s impressive about Felicia’s success is the fact that she was able to develop a substantial following the old fashion way; by being a walking brand. That’s exactly what she does on a daily basis, giving you that exterior as a strong and confident natural beauty and professional.
Felicia is the real deal as she’s made quite a bit of noise in her industry, building a resume that includes styling well-known individuals like Viola Davis, Will Smith and Terrence Howard; to name a few.
Leatherwood has built a rapport with some of the best in the business, but like what I do with my platform, she still focuses heavily on the “everyday” individual. She educates and motivates women, inspiring them to “get in touch with themselves and their natural hair.”
Felicia prides herself on creating an atmosphere with her workshops that makes it as if you’re “getting advice from a friend and not a teacher.” That makes great sense considering audiences of today cater more towards someone who they can relate to.
In Felicia’s industry, she’s that relatable individual.
Felicia currently has a following of over 140,000 people, which is led by a strong online presence. She showed a great level of love for the “process” when she agreed to take my interview and I appreciate her for that.
Felicia is responsible for opening my eyes to a whole new world of content; the natural hair movement.
In our interview, we covered some major topics from how Felicia balances this packed career of hers to how she’s been able to develop a rapport with big time celebrities to her presence overseas.
I’ve covered a lot of stories since 2014 and I can guarantee you that this one will leave you inspired, nonetheless.
Checkout our interview below and become one of thousands to follow and support Felicia Leatherwood. You will not regret that decision.
Q. Felicia, you’re currently mastering quite a few areas right now as a Natural Hairstylist, a designer of natural hair products, an inspirational and beauty speaker, and as a producer of content related to hair and wellness. How are you able to balance these platforms? What kind of challenges do you run into as a woman who wears many hats?
A. I love what I do and I enjoy the services that I can provide to people by way of education, styling tools or even inspiration. So, it’s my pleasure to be of service in this way. I think the most challenging thing about wearing many hats is that you don’t get enough sleep haha.
Q. Obviously, technology has evolved tremendously since 26 years ago (when you first started) and nowadays people can create awareness for what they do on social media, free of charge. That being said, what avenues did you have to use in order to build a following in the earlier years of your career? How have you adapted to this new age of advertisement and marketing?
A. I was always my own walking billboard (when I had longer hair, of course), so it wasn’t hard to get clientele. Women would always admire my hairstyles when I went anywhere. Nowadays, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have given me a much broader reach to showcase my work. I’m grateful for that.
Q. For someone who hasn’t experienced your workshops, take me through the process and what these workshops entail.
A. The workshops are a great way for women to get in touch with themselves and their natural hair by means of education, inspiration and motivation. The feedback that I receive from anyone who has been in my workshop, is that, it feels like you are getting advice from a friend and not a teacher. I love hearing that because I want the women to feel empowered and I don’t want them to feel intimidated by the transition back to natural hair.
Q. You’ve featured your styles on some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry; Viola Davis, Will Smith, Jill Scott, and Anthony Anderson, to name a few. Talk about how you were able to build your platform to a level where these influential individuals were willing to co-sign your work?
A. Well, there are not a lot of hairstylist catering specifically to natural hair, so I created a niche for myself by staying focused on just catering to clients that wanted to be and stay natural. Also, word spreads quickly when you are one of the few doing natural hair in Black Hollywood.
Q. You’ve hosted workshops and panels overseas. Of all the places you’ve been to, where did you enjoy traveling to the most. Did it inspire you in a new way?
A. I have enjoyed all of my travels, so it’s hard to compare. I’m always learning new things when I leave the states about the attitude women have about their natural hair and so all of my travels are amazing and inspirational. I love going to Africa and different parts of Europe and educating in different regions. It’s ALL GOOD!
Bonus Q. For all of my female viewers out there and natural hair lovers, explain why they should invest in your Detangler Brush?
A. The Detangler Brush was created to make hair life easier on the naturalista. It is designed to help women and children of any texture of curl to detangle their hair with ease, with minimal to no hair shedding, in the process of detangling hair.
The brush is also super incredible and easy for children to use on themselves, so they don’t have to run from their moms during wash day! Haha. What makes the brush so amazing is it’s ability to move threw the hair without pulling or breaking hair because the rows of the brush move with the hair. So, you can detangle your hair stress-free!
You are wonderful. Thank you for joining the Intern Media movement and I look forward to being able to do an even more extensive story on you when I take my platform on the road to LA. Continue to inspire your audience as well as outsiders like myself who respect and admire individuals (like yourself) that create their own lane, and who touch many lives along the way.
In the clip above, you’ll see American television and video host, Tomi Lahren, commenting on Beyoncé’s (Singer-songwriter) performance at this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. Outraged by the “stand” that she believed the 20-time Grammy Award-winner took during one of the most-watched sporting events of the year, Lahren took to the issue during the “Final Thoughts” segment of her show.
“There are much better leaders out there to advance your message than the Black Panthers,” Lahren told TMZ. “[Beyoncé] wasn’t saluting someone like Martin Luther King, [Jr.]. She was saluting a group that is known for violence and intimidation.”
In addition to Lahren’s remarks about Beyoncé, she also mentions the singer’s husband, Jay-Z (Rapper), during her rant. Lahren brought up his past as a drug dealer — a past that she actually attached a time frame to (14 years to be exact).
If you didn’t catch the performance or some of the dialogue following it, allow me to bring you up to speed. Beyoncé performed alongside fellow entertainers, Coldplay (Rock band) and Bruno Mars (Singer-songwriter).
While it was a very entertaining performance, it wasn’t the quality of the performance that captured viewers the most. Instead, it was the stand that many people believed Beyoncé and her dancers took during the performance that raised many brows.
The Black Panthers were founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. They founded the BPP in the midst of the injustices that were taking place against black Americans and other oppressed groups, at the time.
The Black Panthers had a belief that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s peaceful methods had failed the black community. They also felt that a lot of the things that they wanted to see implemented would be ignored. So, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
However, their focus was not senseless violence as Lahren eluded to. Their focus was to protect the members of their community, even if that meant policing the police back in those grueling times in our American history. Obviously, for those who know the history, you’d understand why the BPP sometimes had to result to violence.
Tomi Lahren’s comments weren’t the only controversial remarks made after Beyoncé’s performance. However, a lot of the backlash from others did echo the points that she made.
Lahren’s remarks earned her the “Donkey of the Day” on one of the most listened to hip-hop radio shows in the nation; Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club.
One of the co-hosts of the show, Charlamagne Tha God, runs a segment called “Donkey of the Day.” In that segment, he usually puts someone on the hot seat.
You could probably guess where I’m going with this next. Charlamagne made sure that he put Lahren on the hot seat immediately following what she said about the music industries power couple, Jay-Z and Beyoncé. He argued that Lahren misinterpreted Beyoncé’s performance, which I agree with.
He made it clear that Beyoncé wasn’t taking a stand against all of police across America. Instead, the “Girls Run The World” singer was simply using her platform as an entertainer to take a stand against “police brutality.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s fair to say that police brutality is a relevant subject today, considering the horrific events that have plagued our society in the last couple of years, involving black men.
Many would even take it a step further to say that police brutality has been a problem in our society for years now. For a lot of us, the Trayvon Martin incident and the media coverage that surrounded it is what got us talking about this subject on networks across the nation all over again.
That being said, I found absolutely nothing wrong with Beyoncé’s decision to use her tremendously large platform and influence to express her feelings on the recent tragic and unfortunate events that we’ve had to encounter as a nation. And just like Charlamagne, I too thought Lahren’s comments mirrored the fact that she’s simply misinformed, if not also insensitive to the facts.
However, one thing I have to respect Lahren for is the fact that she faced the music, so to speak, and had Charlamagne as a guest on her show to debate this topic even further.
This is where things got even more interesting and there has been a lot more dialogue surrounding this matter since Charlamagne’s appearance on her show.
In the video below, you can take a look for yourself and see what all went down.
I was happy to see Charlamagne come right out of the gate strong, providing Lahren with the story behind the Black Panther Party — a story that I hope she saw for herself as a documentary on the group aired on PBS last week.
Lahren had the audacity to draw a comparison between the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and the BPP.
Let’s just be clear on something. The BPP was not the KKK in any way, shape or form. The KKK is known as one of the oldest hate groups in America (developed in the 1860’s).
Black Americans were their target from the beginning, but they also have a history of attacking Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and Catholics.
One of the aims of this group was to prevent blacks in the South and any whites that supported the black community from “enjoying simple civil rights.”
Violent attacks, such as lynchings, tar-and-featherings and rapes became a hallmark for the KKK.
Now, does that sound like the Black Panther movement to you?
I’m not saying that I condone violence over promoting peace. I’m simply saying that I don’t believe Lahren approached this topic with the understanding that life in the 1960’s (when the BPP was heavily present) was completely different than it is today.
Black Americans, other minority groups and white Americans that supported the Civil Rights Movement, were denied their basic rights and not only that, but they were targeted through vicious violent attacks.
They weren’t targeted in retaliation, but simply because of the color of their skin and their involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. And must we remind ourselves that the Civil Rights Movement was geared towards ending racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans.
I believe that the facts above speak volumes to Lahren’s lack of knowledge of what the BPP movement was and why it’s a point of acknowledgement in the black community today.
There’s one more thing that I’d like to touch on though, in regard to the debate between Lahren and Charlamagne. Charlamagne also made sure that he called Lahren out for bringing Jay-Z’s past into the conversation.
Now, I agree with her premise that the black community needs to be concerned with addressing and fixing all issues impacting the community negatively. There’s no question that things like drugs, alcohol abuse and senseless violence plague the black community. Statistics will show that.
Those things definitely need to continue to be addressed and I want to see improvements in my community. However, when Lahren brought Jay-Z into the picture, I couldn’t help but think about when I was younger and my dad would reprimand me about something that I did wrong.
As a kid, I didn’t always know any better, and I would try to deflect the attention off of my wrongdoings by bringing up issues that I believed my dad had within himself.
I’ll never forget how he would always say to me, “We’re talking about you and this particular matter right now and that’s all that matters son.”
The difference between Lahren and I is that she’s a grown woman and I was a mere child when trying to take the focus off of the issue at hand.
Instead of Lahren focusing on the topic at hand (police brutality), she saw it fit to remind the public of Jay-Z’s past.
And based on the fact that she followed that up with no real facts to support her claim, all that did was make matters worse, in my opinion.
Bringing up Jay-Z’s history as a drug dealer was almost like making a contrast between police brutality and the dealing of drugs.
As a young black male, I view that as very disrespectful and all it does is take the focus off of one of the biggest issues in America today — an issue that affects all Americans.
I applaud Charlamagne for rising to the challenge and backing up his bold statements in regard to Lahren’s remarks. And quite frankly, to bring things full circle, I respect Lahren standing by her statements and I’m not advocating for the idea that she’s somehow a racist.
I simply believe that her comments were a bigger representation that there are still a lot of individuals that are misinformed and insensitive to the history and the present day racism that, unfortunately, still exists in parts of the world.
As a Journalist, one thing I’m adamant about is using my platform and my passion to speak out on certain issues that I feel affect not only my community, but the world at large.
I believe that I was able to do that here and I respect anyone who might have an opinion on this matter that differs from mine.