She’s Got Grace and Grit: Nine Black Women You Should Read About

Have you seen the movie Hidden Figures? If you haven’t you most certainly should. This movie made me smile, laugh, and cry. These ladies were overflowing with black girl magic and for that I was incredibly proud. Before I hit the movie theater to see this gem, I hit the book.  After I saw the movie it got me thinking about what other black women’s stories are out there. What other books could I get my hands on. So I started to do a little digging. To my surprise and maybe not that surprising, I could not find a whole lot of autobiographies or biographies on dynamic black women. Compared with the amount of autobiographies or biographies you find on black men. My point in saying this is that we definitely need more stories on black women written. In honor of women’s history month, I want to share some of the titles I found. It’s good to read stories about successful others that have gone before us.  Here is a small list I came up with. I hope you are able to find something that you can dive into.

Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland

Life In Motion

For years I have heard about the great disruption Misty Copeland is making in the world of ballet. I was captivated with her when I watched her documentary A Ballerina’s Tale on Netflix. I have no doubt that I will be captivated by her when I read her story. She is just an awesome all around person. She is a trailblazer for ballerina’s everywhere, she gives back, and she is an entrepreneur. Now she is motivating us to rock awesome bods with her brand new book, Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Immortal Life of Heniretta Lacks

Before this hits the small-screen definitely read this incredible story. I find it incredible that this woman has helped so many people without her permission and without her knowledge. Odd right? Apparently that can happen. I think it will leave you questioning the ethics of how things are done but grateful for the strides made in human medicine as it might have helped someone you know or you personally.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes

If you’re addicted to the show Scandal or Grey’s Anatomy, then you should read about the woman behind those shows. Why did Shonda spend a year saying yes? What incredible things happened for her as a result? I know we all can get hesitant about saying yes to things so it’s nice to know that someone can encourage us in that direction.

On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker by A’leila Bundles

On Her Own Ground

The world’s first African-American woman millionaire despite the times, the woman who is responsible for many of the hair practices we have on today. Definitely worth the read.

Around the Way Girl A Memoir by Taraji P Henson

Around the Way Girl

I’ve always enjoyed the various roles Ms. Henson has played throughout the years. She’s just a wonderful actress. She moved me in her role as Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures. Now with her personal memoir, you get to read about her journey to stardom and the experiences that she has had being a black single mother in Hollywood.

Michelle Obama a Life by Peter Slevin

Michelle Obama A Life

Everyone’s favorite First Lady. With grace and grit, as her husband Barack Obama so eloquently put it when describing how she handled her role as America’s First Lady. This is probably the best origin story you will read all year.

Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice

Condoleeza Rice

I have always liked Condoleezza Rice. I always thought she was such an intelligent woman and so accomplished who had unique background that I don’t hear from typical black women. In this particular book she talks about her family life and what is was like growing up. If you want to read more about Condoleezza and her account of what is was like to serve as the Secretary of State, I also recommend her book No Higher Honor.

I Put a Spell on You: The Autobiography of Nina Simone

Nina Simone

Nina is the real deal ya’ll. Gorgeous inside and out. Full of spunk. A game-changer. Talented songstress. Read her story. There’s also a wonderful documentary on her on Netflix. Be sure to check it out.

Life is not a Fairy Tale by Fantasia

Fantasia

Fantasia Barrino this girl can sang. I remember watching her on American Idol and to see where she is now in life is just a wonderful thing. To read her story should be equally wonderful.
I do hope that you get to avail yourself to one of these incredible reads. Do you have some favorite autobiographies or biographies that are about a black woman that you’ve read? I would love to hear about it. Did you like this list? What’s missing from my list? Drop a comment below.

My Friday Favorites: Podcasts for the Curious Mind

podcast-logo

I love listening to podcasts. They are a great way to learn interesting and fascinating things. It just so happens that on Fridays while I am working I’ve designated it as my podcast listening day. I want to share with you some of my favorites as well as some new ones I recently discovered.

Some of My Favorites

Myleik Teele’s Podcast

This is my favorite podcast. I listed to it on a weekly basis. I first discovered Myleik from an interview she did with Farnoosh Torabi on her So Money podcast another favorite of mine. From that interview I was simply intrigued by her. I loved her hustle, business mind, how personable she was, and how she is in her thirties kicking butt. She exudes black girl magic. This lead me to her podcast. On her podcast Myleik keeps it real with you and the way she delivers is like you’re having a conversation with your best friend. She gives practical life advice on how to navigate work, relationships, success, business, health, makes the best book suggestions, and she answers listener questions. The podcasts aren’t long either so great for a car ride. Do yourself a favor and subscribe. Let Myleik become your newest virtual BFF.

So Money with Farnoosh Torabi

The So Money podcast is not your normal money podcast. In fact the intro says that if you’re looking for this podcast to be on how to clip coupons this is not the podcast for you. Farnoosh is an author of several books and contributes to other financial publications, so she is well-versed in this subject. On the podcast however, she mostly interviews successful entrepreneurs and authors. The interviews are great. I like them in particular because it introduces me to new people and possible books I can add to my reading list. She does cover financial subjects by answering listener questions in her Ask Farnoosh segment. This girl really knows her stuff! Check her out!

Enjoying Everyday Life with Joyce Meyer

Mama Joyce! Need I say more. I like to start my day off with a booster shot to my faith and Mama Joyce does just that for me. She is an awesome bible teacher and speaks profoundly in the area of your thought life, speaking the right things into your life, and developing a true relationship with God.

Snap Judgment

I believe this is the first podcast I listened to when I wanted explore the podcast world. From that search I stumbled upon Snap Judgement. Started by Glenn Lewis, Snap Judgement is storytelling with a beat. Every Friday, they cover a story related to the week’s theme. The stories are vivid, intriguing, and stay with you well after it’s over. I started listening to this podcast a year ago, so I know I’ve heard thousands of stories through this podcast. A couple of stories that stick out to me was the story of two Jewish boys who were arms dealers and became one of the biggest arms dealers in history but got into big big trouble with the Feds and the story of Florence Foster Jenkins, “the world’s worst opera singer.” She was a very rich socialite from the 1920s-1940s. She liked to entertain friends with her not so good singing voice. The funny thing about this whole thing is that she actually sounded decent when she was pretending to sing. Go figure! Overall Snap Judgement is a great podcast. If you like intriguing life stories, this podcast is for you.

My New New Favorites

NPR’s How I Built This

Discovered this little gem a few weeks back. Let’s just I love Monday’s again. LOL! Every Monday a new episode is released. Hosted by Guy Raz, he interview prominent entrepreneurs, innovators, and idealist. He gets the scoop on how they built their business. I love the people’s stories so far. My favorite interviews thus far include Cathy Hughes of Radio One, Sara Blakely from Spanx, and Joe Gebiba from Airbnb in that order.

Bruce Lee Podcast

Growing up I remember my father being a huge Bruce Lee fan and watching the movies. Naturally I was exposed to it too. Man, I thought Bruce was the man. Well there’s a podcast about his life and philosophies. Hosted by his daughter Shannon Lee and culture analyst Sharon Ann Lee, each week the ladies dive into some of Bruce’s wisdom and personal philosophies that he was famous for. You get to learn not only who he was and how he lived but you also learn something you can take away for your own life. I also like the segment on there where they share about Asians and Hapas doing really awesome things with their lives. Learn how to “be the water” and give this podcast a listen. It will make you more wiser.

I hope that you give one these wonderful podcasts a listen. Even if you don’t, there are well over 100,000 out there to choose from.  A lot I know, It just means that there are some out there for you.  Below are some great places to find the perfect podcast for you:

iTunes

Soundcloud

Stitcher

Podcast Network (NPR, WYNC, Slate, Panoply, etc.)

Happy hunting! Do you have a favorite podcast? Share them with me in the comments below. I would love to checkout some new ones.

 

Image above by Daniel Filho via flickr.com (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

5 Books I’m Reading this Fall

Ahhh! Fall is among us. Although the official date isn’t until September 22, the start of school is always the start of fall for me. And with this season comes the time to revamp my To Be Read List. Thus far, I’ve read at little over 20 books. I am super proud of this because I haven’t read this many books in a really long time. And I’m determined to keep  going.

My mentor Dr. Stacia Pierce always says to read in the direction of your goals and right now I am focused on a few areas. They include:

  • Career
  • Personal Growth
  • Love and Relationships
  • Finance

Additionally, I do believe you should read for fun too. A good story always does an imagination good, so throw some fun reads on your list.

Here are a FEW tips for constructing your fall reading list:

  1. What are your current goals? Evaluate your goals and then determine the subjects you need to be reading about.
  2. For ideas on what to read check out reading suggestions on Amazon, Good Reads, or Pinterest on your selected subjects.
  3. Select your reads.
  4. Start reading and record your takeaways in a journal.

I’ve created a document where you can record your reading list for the fall. Download it here. fall-reading-list

Here are 5 of the books that I will be reading this fall. I plan on reading more but I wanted to share my top 5.

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

on-writing-well

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

tagr

Skip the Party Start a Business by Ariana Pierce

skiptheparty

The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas

sacred-search

The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career by Hilary Kerr and Katherine Power

the-career-code

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s on your reading list? Have a great book you’d like to recommend? Please don’t hesitate to share in the comments below.

Curious Roundup

Highly recommended reads from around the web and social media. I hope you find something good for yourself. Make sure you share with a friend because sharing is caring.

For my Curly girls out there: This is Why Your Curls Won’t Stay

Ladies who Travel: Lady Bloggers who will inspire you to go and travel the world

*My favorite Travel Lady from the list: Brown Girls Fly

15 Kitchen Skills you Should Master in your 20’s

Because Productivity Matters: 44 Ways to Be More Productive Each Day—at Least One Will Work for You

For your Reading List

The Power of the Other: The startling effect other people have on you, from the boardroom to the bedroom and beyond-and what to do about it– by Dr. Henry Cloud

 

 

5 Things I Learned from Mika Brzezinski

Book 13

In a world where women are being paid significantly lower than men, women are starting to push back and get the pay they deserve. But how do you do it? Great question. Mika Brzezinski discusses this in great detail in her book Knowing Your Value. She discusses her own personal story on how she struggled to get paid what she was worth at MSNBC and she interview other prominent women throughout the book on the subject as well. This was a great read and an easy one too. So if you are woman who is looking to increase your pay and don’t know how, do yourself a favor and read this book. Below are some takeaways I got from the book. Enjoy!

  1. At some point in your life, you’ve got to know your value and it’s your job to feel it and communicate it effectively
  2. A strong sense of self-worth will serve you well
  3. Your desire to be liked must not outweigh your wish to be valued
  4. Compliments don’t pay the bills
  5. Fear of failure comes when you haven’t properly prepared

 

 

A Curious Roundup

Here are my recent highly recommended reads from around the web and social media, I hope you find something good for yourself. Make sure you share with a friend because sharing is caring.

On Being Organized, because we all need to be-http://theglitterguide.com/2016/05/19/10-habits-of-highly-organized-people/

Equal Pay for Women-http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/19/arts/television/how-robin-wright-negotiated-equal-pay-on-house-of-cards.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

Bonus! Hear Robin Wright discuss the challenges with being paid fairly as a woman https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FHuffPostWomen%2Fposts%2F1057552610979458&width=500.

Push Through-https://www.themuse.com/advice/this-sciencebacked-brainstorming-method-proves-you-always-have-more-ideas-than-you-think

Outdoor Reading Nooks-I’m in Love!!http://bookriot.com/2016/05/20/10-gorgeous-outdoor-reading-nooks/

Goo Ru Style– I just love her style and you will too. Much to my delight I discovered that WeTV gave her a web series that is exclusively on Youtube.com

For your reading list-My to be read list is never ending I promise you. Check out these awesome book titles I discovered on this week

 The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career by Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly 

Capture Your Style: How to Transform Your Instagram Images, Showcase Your Life, and Build the Ultimate Platform by Aimee Song

 

6 Money Books to Help you Slay Your Finances

April is Financial Literacy Month so in honor of this special month, I took the time to compile some serious reads that will help you out. These awesome reads will not only help you shape up your budget but help you improve your money mindset and put you on a path to growing your money. So go on and slay boo slay.

  1. Girl, Get Your Money Straight by Glinda Bridgforth

Ya’ll remember Oprah’s Debt Diet? That was some years back but Ms. Glinda was one of the financial gurus featured on the show. Her book will help you get your financial life together. With real-life examples throughout the book Glinda shows how you can go from a hurting money situation to a hopeful one. I liked this one particularly because it gives you a whole list of ideas on ways you can increase your income.

Girl Get Your Money Straight

2. On My Own Two Feet by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar

A quick and resourceful read that is rich in information. What I like about this book is that it teaches women financial independence and really how to “own your money.” In the back of the book there is an entire appendix section that deals with the budgeting process, investing, and real-life scenarios that include solutions.

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3. Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money by Lois P. Frankel

“You mean I can’t be nice about getting this money?” Well not according to Frankel. You definitely have to step up your money game on the road to wealth. There are so many money habits that we’ve carried on with for most of our lives that are poison to wealth building and financial independence. Run and get this book and start breaking those habits today.

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4. You’re Broke Because You Want to Be by Larry Winget

What a bold statement to make. But it’s true. I hear you, I hear you. I hear your excuses as you’re reading this. Whatever your excuse, Larry debunks it in this in your face read. After you’re done reading this book, you won’t have an excuse.

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5. Secrets of Six-Figure Women by Barbara Stanny

Where my six-figure ladies at? Apparently everywhere. Stanny wanted to improve her own financial situation and began speaking to other six-figure earners on how they got there and is sharing what she learned with us. Get the book and learn the secrets for yourself.

Six figure women

6. Get a Financial Life Personal Finance in your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner

Now this book right here, should be in everyone’s library that is in their Twenties and Thirties. I personally think it is a great reference book to have. You don’t have to read this cover to cover. Each chapter includes a summary or a crib sheet of sorts, so if you’re in a hurry you can still get the information you need.

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What are some other financial reads that you have found helpful? Increasing your financial knowledge is the best thing you can do for yourself. To learn more about financial literacy, check out http://www.financialliteracymonth.com/. The site features an awesome 30 steps program that gets you on the road to better financial health.

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  1. Be sure to come back every Monday for new posts
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