Monthly Archives: April 2010

Do Black Radio Personalities Speak For You?

Earlier this month, Don Lemon hosted a discussion on CNN posing the question “are today’s black radio personalities black america’s new civil rights leaders?” He went on to explore with his guests, April Ryan, Bev Smith and Warren Ballentine, whether or not they spoke for or represented the voice of the “people”….black people. While no one actually claimed the titled of civil rights leader they did agree that it is through their broadcast that the issues most pertinent to black people get discussed, exposed and dealt with.

It’s certainly true that black radio personalities very often cover topics not necessarily addressed in the mainstream media. Its also very true that back in the day, black radio was a powerful force during the civil rights movement to mobilize the black community around common goals. Even still, I couldn’t help but scratch my head at the mere allusion to black radio personalities being the “voice” of all black people and the next generation of civil rights leaders. This would mean that some how Tom Joyner, Michael Baisden, Brian McKnight, Steve Harvey, MoNique and Roland Martin all speak for me? Rarely, if ever, is there an assumption that white radio personalities speak on behalf of all white people. Is it me or hasn’t our diversity of thought and experience as black people, outgrown the ability for a chosen few with a mic to be able to speak on behalf of all black people? Moreover, do we as “minorities” undermine our impact and reduce our reach when we allow our radio personalities, television personalities, etc. to speak as if there is only one “black view point?”

Vyne readers, tell us what you think: Do black radio/media personalities speak for you?

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Spotlight On: Edith Cooper

Edith Cooper

Occupation: Partner at Goldman Sachs leading the hedge fund initiative within the securities division.

Hometown: Raised on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and currently commutes to Wall St. from her home in Connecticut.

Education: Harvard University (undergrad); Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, MBA. Edith went to school at night while working full time.

Family Affair: As a teenager she worked in her father’s 59th St. dental practice.

Childhood Dream: Growing up she envisioned herself one day owning a fashion boutique on Madison Ave.

Banking Bug: Edith was bitten by the banking bug while pursuing her MBA at Northwestern University. She worked full time during the day for First Chicago Bank and went to school at night.

Fast Track: Edith’s career hit the fast track when she joined Goldman Sachs. She started with the firm in 1996, was promoted to Managing Director in 1998 and elevated to partner in 2000.

Family: Edith is married with three children.

Fun Fact: Edith likes to take on the same extracurricular activities as her children. When they signed up for soccer, she joined a team too!

Quotable: Edith had this to say about her approach to work/life balance, “We do not have dinner together as a family during the week,” says Cooper. “I have never been able to do that. But we look forward to dinner on Friday nights and during the weekend, and we all know that it is important to make this happen. We have adapted….[If you measure time at work versus family time] you are going to feel like a horrible mother, and regardless of how successful you are professionally, you will struggle. You will not be as good at home or at the office. However, if you take a broader perspective, you know there will be times when you’re going to be a phenomenal mom, even if it is in the evening or during the weekend. But you also know that to be exceptional at work, giving 150% of what you’ve got, work will need to be a priority at times. Over the course of a week, month, or a year, it balances out.”

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Grown-Up Girls Weekend in NYC: Part 1

All of you non-native New Yorkers probably remember your first girls weekend in New York where you planned to “do it up” in the Big Apple. Your trip probably consisted of going to all of the hottest clubs in the City, maybe some sight seeing, and staying out until the wee hours of the morning. But now you’re all grown up and neither the club thing nor the tourist thing appeals to you. In the next two issues we’re giving you two itineraries to choose from for a fabulous, sophisticated girls weekend in NYC.

Itinerary 1: Empire State of Mind
You don’t want to be in “the scene” the whole time, but you don’t want to tour museums the entire time either. This itinerary is for those of you who want to taste a little of the food, culture and shopping New York has to offer.

Friday Evening:
Dinner @ Stanton Social – You’ll definitely feel like you’re in a swanky New York restaurant. Great food, great décor, great drinks, great time.

Breakfast @ 202 – Designer Nicole Farhi combines two of our favorite pastimes: shopping and eating. This boutique/restaurant is great to gear up for a day of shopping.

Walk off breakfast by walking along the High Line and checking out a few art galleries in the area.

Next, head to 5th Avenue to do some shopping at Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman(make sure to stop in all of the shops in between).

Have lunch @ Bergdorf Goodman restaurant – You’ll definitely feel like you’re “ladies who lunch” in this restaurant overlooking Central Park. You’ll have to try their Apple Blossom cocktail, lobster macaroni and cheese, and croque monsieur.

Walk around Central Park

Dinner @ Blue Hill – Organic, local food (actually coming from the Blue Hill Farm in New York). You may have heard the Obamas visited Blue Hill on a date night shortly after President Obama came into office.

Brunch @ Clinton Street Baking Company – This place does not disappoint. The worst thing about it is that it will be hard to choose from all of the delicious items on the menu!

Matinee of Fela! on Broadway – This Broadway musical based on a true story about legendary Nigerian musician, Fela Kuti has everyone talking about it. And after seeing it, you’ll understand why Jay-Z, Jada Pinkett and Will Smith jumped at the opportunity to produce this show. The music and dancing are sure to make you want to get out of your seat.

Dinner @ Bar Pitti– Cash only, reasonable prices, no reservations, and always, but there’s a reason why it’s always swooning with celebrities: the food. The authentic Italian fare makes you feel like you’re in Florence.

Dessert @ Grom – After getting your authentic Italian fare, head over to Grom for some authentic Italian gelato. Make sure to sample a few before you decide.

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Classy and Sassy Strappies

We’re close to solid open toed shoe season and we want to show you some great strappy sandals. Whether you’re “classy” or “sassy,” these shoes are sure to help you show off your toes in style.


1. Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Women’s Astor Sandal
2. Chinese Laundry Women’s Willy Dress Sandal
3. Manolo Blahnik, Lace Corset Back d’Orsay
4. Nina, ‘Galvey’ Sandal

5. Marciano “Roxanne 2” Sexy Sandals
6. Nine West Women’s Helfire T-Strap Sandal
7. Boutique 9 “Thomasina” High Heel Sandals
8. Thakoon Women’s We0002 High Heel Sandal

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Spotlight On: Lisa P. Jackson

Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the EPA

It’s quite poetic that the current Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency was born in the same city where Earth Day originated 40 years ago today. Her name is Lisa P. Jackson and she’s the intellectual and environmental dynamo who literally has the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, it was only weeks before Lisa was adopted and whisked away by her new family to the predominantly middle class, African American suburb of Pontchartrain Park in New Orleans, Louisiana. Having started elementary school not long after segregation had ended, Lisa’s parents wanted to be sure she received the best education possible. So they sent her to attend St. Mary’s Dominican High School, an all girl’s school, where she excelled and graduated as valedictorian of her class. Her love for New Orleans prompted her to stay close for college.

She attended Tulane University and initially planned to become a doctor because she wanted to help people. However, she ended up majoring in chemical engineering. In a recent speech she gave to St. Mary’s Dominican High School, she says this of her choice to switch majors, “I know that chemical engineering sounds like I spent my time in a lab wearing a white coat and filling test tubes. But what I really was studying was how chemicals affect people – our environment and our health. That meant a lot of time putting my boots on and going out into the wetlands. Or going into communities and talking to the families that lived there.” Her passion for environmentalism and her studies led her to graduate summa cum laude. She went on to receive her Masters degree from Princeton University where she wrote her thesis on wastewater and was only one of two women in her graduating class.

Around the time of her graduation from Princeton a major toxic waste discovery occurred in a highly populated area of New York. When Lisa watched the news coverage of the incident she saw the devastating effects the toxic waste was having on the community. She also saw that the organization that came in to help was the Environmental Protection Agency. And the rest, as they say, is history. She decided that was the place she wanted to work and for 15 years that’s just what she did and now she’s leading the organization where her career in environmentalism first began.

Previously Lisa held the position of Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and she was even asked to be Chief of Staff for New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. But only days after accepting the position, she was tapped by President Obama to hold the position she is in today. She is the first African American to ever hold this position.

Somewhere in the middle of literally saving the world, Lisa finds time to be a wife to her husband Kenny and mother to their two sons Marcus and Brian. Click here to watch Lisa’s Earth Day message.

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It’s Easy To Be Green!

So you’re not the tree hugging, granola eating, hippie kind of woman. No worries! You too can still “go green”, or at least “light green” in honor of Earth Day. Here are a few quick ways to get down with the green movement:

1) Switch Out Your Bulbs – This is a quick one. These compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75% less energy than typical incandescent bulbs.

2) Use Reusable Ecofriendly Shopping Bags – Using resuable ecofriendly bags cuts down on the need for stores to manufacture paper and plastic bags. I keep a couple in my car just in case I stop by the grocery store unexpectedly.

3) Buy A Water Filter Pitcher – I made the committment not long ago that I would no longer buy bottled water for my home. Instead I use a Brita water pitcher. Big step for me, small step for man kind.

4) Unplug/Turn Off – We all do it. We yank our cell phones off their charger plugs and leave the plug in the wall. Or go from room to room leaving the lights on. No need to raise your hand and confess…just try to be more cognoscente because this is a quick way to conserve energy and save your money!

5) Swap Your Products – Believe it or not, the green cleaning products available in stores are just as effective and way less toxic to you and the environment. A few that we like are Seventh Generation, Method and Green Works by Clorox.

Do you have other quick and easy ways to go green? Share them with us!

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Eco-Chic Style

Here’s proof that eco-friendly style does not mean wearing long skirts and Birkenstocks. Check out these fabulous environmentally friendly pieces for you to wear, carry, or style your home.

Bamboo Wrap Scarf- BTC Elements

EDUN for Sephora Palettes – Sephora

‘Leda’ Pop Top Cut Out Clutch- Escama Studio

Vine Tabletop Collection – PLOVER Organic

Molly M. Radial Necklace – Eco Citizen

Luna Camel Sandals – Neuaura

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RIP Dorothy Height

Just this month we spotlighted the phenomenal civil rights activist, and our soror, Dorothy Height. We are saddened to learn that she passed away this morning at the age of 98. We are keeping her family and loved ones in our prayers. Read our article about Dorothy Height’s tremendous life here.

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Long Distance Relationships: Do They Work?

By Keesha Boyd

It must have been an optimist who said “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. To which a pessimist replied, “out of sight, out of mind”. This topic hits home for me. I’ve done the long distance thing and have several friends who have been or currently are in a LDR. Some stats: The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships (Director- Dr. Gregory Guldner) reports that 1 in 10 marriages are long distance not including military marriages which are an expected but still astounding 2 out of 3. It’s harder to track dating relationships but The Center reports 1 in 7 as long distance relationships.

By nature I’m an optimist so I do believe that LDR’s can work. However, the people involved have to be very deliberate about making it work. LDR’s need constant and consistent nurturing, like a plant. You can’t leave it for dead then dump a gallon of water on it hoping for a spontaneous resurrection (shout out to George & Wheezie…my former plants…whose life with me was surely the equivalent of plant hell). Whether you’re in a committed long distance relationship, a marriage where one partner travels more than the other, or are starting to date and you live in different states, be deliberate about prioritizing each other and making whatever time you spend together, quality time. Here are a few tips and resources for those of you in LDR’s. Stay positive!

· Be Creative– Think out of the box when it comes to staying connected with your partner. Leave a sentimental card in their luggage so they find it when they unpack. Send a care package of their favorite snacks/foods.
· Communicate– Lots of ways to do this! Don’t just tell each other about your day. Watch a t.v. show together. Talk about how you’re feeling. Play the 20 questions game. Text message each other throughout the day. Invest in a webcam (shout out to K&J for this suggestion). If you suspect that you have miscomnunicated, check with your partner to see if the impact of what you said, lines up with what you intended.
· Quality Time– Get on a schedule for spending time together and try to stick to it. Make sure your time together includes not only something fun but also some down time to just “veg out” with each other.
· Resources:
The Center for Long Distance Relationships
The Complete Idiots Guide to Long Distant Relationships
Leslie Karsner, Ph.D. Author on LDR’s


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The Vyne Movie Review: TP’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?”

By Keesha Boyd

It never fails. Every time someone tells me how great a movie is going to be I go into it with a whole lot of expectations. Sometimes those expectations are met or exceeded and other times…well…not so much. In this case, I have to say while I didn’t hate it…I wasn’t really loving it either. I’ll give credit to the cast, particularly Janet Jackson and Jill Scott for really stepping up the dramatic acting this time around. I’ll also give credit to whoever was responsible for the cinematography as it was noticeably colorful and well shot. Where I struggled with this film was with the “over the top” antics of Tasha Smith’s character, the “out of the blue” craziness of Janet’s character (a la gay man jumping out of a cake), the death of “you know who” (I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet) and finally, the ending with Janet’s character. It was just too much…or as me and my line sisters like to say “it was extra!” I don’t knock Tyler Perry’s hustle and there are several of his movies that I rather enjoyed. Strangely enough it seems like I enjoy every third movie of his…at this rate, I’m on track to reeeeaaallly like the next one! What do you think Vyne readers? Am I going too hard on TP? Tell us what you thought of the film.


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