Oh hey, it’s me, Rocky!

This is why we do it – to evoke smiles and spark joy.

Rocky is fun and super fresh. But you know what? Rocky is a movement! It’s #selfcare for girls that they can see a representation of themselves in.

Friends, this month we will embrace that it is ok to accept negative emotions and process them in a healthy way. Let’s focus on Kindness with meditation and prayers. We can take a moment and send loving, positive thoughts and prayers for our family and friends. Here are some phrases to start with “May you feel safe” “May you feel happy” “May you feel healthy”

Don’t forget to check in with yourself and loved ones. How are you feeling? How are you doing with all the changes we’re experiencing as we practice #socialdistancing? Stay positive and stay healthy. What are some of the fun things you’ve done to stay positive? 💜

Remember, you are a smart, beautiful, kind human being!💜

Misty Copeland Launches Barbie for Brown Girls

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Source: Kenesha Williams, motto.time.com

Growing up, I had two big interests—and they both started with the letter B: Barbie and ballet. My mom enrolled me in a local ballet company as a little girl, and I loved the music and the movement of ballet. But I couldn’t help but notice at practices and recitals that little girls that looked like me were few and far between. While I felt resplendent in my pink leotards, ballet slippers and “flesh-toned” tights, those tights were never quite the color of my own little legs, nor did they reflect the variety of hues that were found in the skin tones of the women in my family. But that didn’t deter me from dancing my heart out at each and every recital.

Although I loved ballet as a little girl, it would have felt good to know of other dancers who looked more like me. Had I known earlier in my dance “career” that there were other ballerinas that reflected the image I saw in my mirror, I might have pursued it longer than I did. I later realized that there were black professional ballerinas because I saw an episode of The Cosby Show in which the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed. Imagine my surprise when I saw that there was a dance troupe full of brown girls like me.

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Luckily, today’s little girls are able to see themselves reflected in the world of both ballet and now Barbie, thanks to the launch of the Misty Copeland Barbie doll. Through the Copeland doll, we have an image of a ballerina that looks like a segment of the population that we don’t see in many major ballet companies. TheMisty Copeland Barbie doll is part of Barbie’s “Sheroes” program, which spotlights and honors female heroes who break boundaries, as Copeland did when she became the first black female principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater.

In a video shared by Barbie’s official Facebook page on Monday, Copeland discusses how the doll inspired her as a child. “I was a very shy girl,” she says, “so I felt this instant connection with Barbie. She was a way for me to dream. She was extremely feminine, and I think what every little girl wants to be—because Barbie can transform into anything.”

Read more: How Sanya Richards-Ross is Preparing for Her Last Olympics

Some people, however, may not think to aspire to certain goals if they don’t have role models who’ve paved the way for them. I am a believer in the idea that we all need windows and mirrors in order to reach our fullest potential.

Windows and mirrors is a phrase coined by Emily Style as part of the National Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) Project. Mirrors are stories or images that reflect your culture and reality and help you understand yourself, while windows offer you a view into someone else’s experience. When your world is solely filled with mirrors, your worldview lacks diversity. And when you only have windows into others’ experiences, you can feel as if you don’t belong. The new Misty Copeland Barbie doll is both a mirror to other brown girls to show that they can achieve their dreams and a window for other little girls to see that ballet isn’t just for one type of girl.

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I think it’s very important for a young person to not set limits on what their dreams are,” Copeland says in the Barbie video. “If they have something in their mind and they feel strong about it, give it your all.” Thanks to the Misty Copeland Barbie doll, girls of all races can dream bigger than ever because they now live in a world where brown girls, ballet and Barbie can be one and the same.

Kenesha Williams is the founder and editor-in-chief of Black Girl Magic Lit Mag, a speculative fiction literary magazine featuring black female main characters.

Online Retailer Celebrates Black Culture

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Source: Kiara Collins, Blavity.com

School is almost back in session, and this year, you could be laced up with some of the most creative school supplies that anyone in your lecture class has ever seen!

Innovative Supplies, a black-owned, online retail store is owned and operated by 27-year-old mom and soon to be college student, Nneka. With the hopes of becoming a history teacher in her local area, she began Innovative Supplies as the first step to a bigger vision of “being a positive change in her community.” Innovative Supplies includes notebooks and apparel that showcase black art by black artists and weave together elements of black culture from the past and the present. Her goals for Innovative Solutions are just as impactful as the business itself, which includes depositing profits into a black-owned bank, hiring local minority youth and using environmentally sourced materials.

If you browse through the Innovative Supplies website, you’ll soon understand why products sold out in less than 24 hours. Some of her handmade school supplies include a notebook with an image of Tupac Shakur wearing a t-shirt with the words, “I Am Sandra Bland,”  drawn by artist, @Raheim81art. Another notebook that is slated to be coming soon has the iconic Michael Jordan crying meme in various sizes all over it, which is sure to make your classmates and maybe even a few professors laugh out loud.

With over 8550 orders to ship out before she can take on new orders, Nneka and Innovative Supplies are off to an amazing start! Along with the dope designs that Nneka offers on her site, customers can even request custom designs making her business one that is sure to represent all that encompasses black culture and excellence. There’s no question that Innovative Supplies is living up to it’s motto of being a company that “stands to bridge the gaps between minority owned business and helping to foster more group economics.”

When the order forms are back up and running, Innovative Supplies can look forward to an order from me and a large number of folks who are already itching to have these amazing products in their hands. Shout out to Nneka and her team who are definitely moving the culture forward and doing their part to sustain the wealth of black businesses.

UPDATE: Nneka has recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to purchase machines that’ll enable her to sell Innovative Supplies in larger quantities and at a faster rate. Feel free to donate to this black-owned business if you want to see more from her and the Innovative Supplies brand.