Tag Archives: Black Women

Spotlight On: Adriane M. Brown


Adriane M. Brown

Raised: Richmond, VA

Occupation: President and Chief Operating Officer, Intellectual Ventures (IV)

Previous Roles: Senior VP, Honeywell International; President and CEO, Honeywell Transportation

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health from Old Dominion University and a Master’s degree in Management, as a Sloan Fellow, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Career Driven: She started her career working as a shift Supervisor for Corning. When she left to join Honeywell, she was a Vice President and general manager of Corning’s environmental products division.

Favorite Childhood Memory: Sitting on her dad’s lap to pilot the family’s Ford Country Squire station wagon down the driveway at their home in Richmond, Va.

Accolades: 2006 Women to Watch (Fortune), Most Influential Women In Automotive Industry (Forbes), 2009 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America (Black Enterprise)

Quotable: “If you treat people with dignity and respect, no matter what the situation, you can always walk away with your head held high. That advice has carried me to this day.”

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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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Successful, Single, Black Female Nightline Segment


The story of the number of single, successful, black women has now made the mainstream media — as a news segment on Nightline. Though many of us have experienced it, talked about it, and read about it, seeing the staggering statistics is still tough: 42% of black women have never been married — double the # of white women. Ouch.

Feel free to watch the Nightline segment and read the article. Then tell us what you think. Could you relate or are you sick of seeing/hearing another story about this?

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A Black “Sex and the City” Coming to Bookstores and the Big Screen


Helena Andrews, DC writer, has received a lot of buzz lately due to her upcoming memoir entitled, “Bitch is the New Black.” Her book is to talk about the struggles of young, successful black women to find love and build a career. Despite the book not being released until June, Grey’s Anatomy’s Shonda Rhimes has already been reported to produce the film.

An attractive young woman with a BA from Columbia, Master’s from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, and positions at O Magazine and The New York Times, Helena seems to have a very familiar story. She’s been called a “bitch” at work, has had a complicated childhood and, like many other black women like her, has had a very difficult time finding love. From The Washington Post:

The genesis of Andrews’s book came from a conversation a few years ago between Andrews and Gina, a social scientist who lives in Los Angeles. They wanted to start a blog to explore “why black women can’t find a man.” The day she talked to an agent about this idea and pitched it as a book, one of her sorority sisters committed suicide.

It jarred Andrews. “We stopped. Discussed what happened. We think each other’s lives are fine. You got a good job. A good place to live. You will handle it.” But some people can’t handle it. “She looked like any other successful black woman,” Andrews says of her friend. , “Good clothes, stylish. Ivy League degree, master’s.” Nobody saw it coming. She won’t discuss the details, but you can see it in her face, the mind racing over the why.

“People keep talking about the black single woman in D.C. But do you know who she is? Does she know what she wants? They should stop saying we have it all together. . . . I am that single black woman in Washington, D.C. Why is she single? This is who I am. Tell me.”

Read the entire story about Helena Andrews on The Washington Post.

Tell us what you think – are you excited to read/watch Helena’s story? Do you think her story is an accurate depiction of successful black women in America?

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Are Black Women Really Intimidating?


If you are an intelligent, professional , single or “spoken for” black woman, chances are, you have at some point been referred to as “intimidating”. Whether it was the reason for the surprisingly negative performance review you received at work, the excuse your non-brown co-workers gave for not befriending you right away or the ever popular (and my personal fav – NOT!) unequivocal reason that you are still single. No matter the specifics of the justification for the label, it all speaks to the same stereotypical impression that black women are somehow more intimidating than any other group of women. Even our first lady Michelle Obama could not escape the intimidation label during our President’s campaign for office. Surely you remember the ridiculous caricature of her on the cover of The New Yorker as a gun toting, afro wearing, finger pointing, super black panther from the 70’s. If that’s not enough, then surely you have heard the whisperings from some black men about the reason they choose to date women of other races.

A sociologist might argue that the association between black women and intimidation stems from the deliberate attempt to reverse the roles of black men and women during slavery. A time when black men were emasculated and black women were stripped of their feminine characteristics in the eyes of the masters and later in films, a la’ Hattie McDaniel in “Gone With the Wind”. Clearly we are far from the days of slavery yet this perception of black women as intimidating continues to perpetuate itself be it in pop culture, politics, music, movies or any other facet of life. Could it be that where there is smoke, there is fire? Are black women really intimidating or is everyone else super sensitive? Share your story of “intimidation” and let us know what you think.

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The Vyne Reader Spotlight: Rakia Reynolds


Rakia Reynolds of Skai Blue Media

This week’s Vyne Weekly Reader Spotlight is Rakia Reynolds. Besides being our producer extraordinaire and one of the most fashionable people we know, Rakia is a talented woman on the move! Get to know her below:

Name: Rakia Reynolds         

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Roles you play in life: I am a wife, mother of 2 (soon to be 3), daughter, oldest sister of 3 girls; President of Philadelphia Women in Film & Television; Secretary of the Philadelphia chapter of NAMIC; Director of Public Relations at Skai Blue Media; Business Consultant to some of the cities most thriving businesses; Fashion Ambassador of GPTMC, Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation/ Philly 360 campaign.

Hobbies: This is always a funny question to me :o) I don’t really have hobbies anymore. My life is consumed with work and family. When I am not working, I am playing mommy and wife to my family. There are brief moments that I would consider my hobbies to be finding great vintage finds, SHOPPING, and styling!   

Education: I graduated with a degree in Marketing and International Business from the Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University.

What is the last movie you saw?:  I just TRIED the 3D experience of A Christmas Carol with my children… When one of the ghosts who visited Ebenezer Scrooge jaw fell off while he was talking, my husband and I quickly grabbed our children and decided that a park outing would be more appropriate.

What is your favorite TV show?: Since I rarely have time to watch TV, my only options are Sunday evenings. I’m embarrassed to say that I am currently into Desperate Housewives, DESPITE their lack of brown woman representation on the show 😦

Shuffle your iPod – what’s the first song that comes up?: SUNSHOWER, by Dr. Buzzard and The Original Savannah Band

What is your favorite travel destination?: In a perfect world, I’d say Paris or The Virgin Islands, but for now, I’ll say Miami because IT IS NY on water

What beauty product can’t you live without?: I most certainly without a doubt cannot live without my concealer and mascara

Finish this sentence, “To feel more centered I…”: usually resort to retail therapy OR more often call my daddyJ

Who is your celebrity fashion inspiration?: I am not really inspired by any current celebs fashion except for Mrs. Obama’s undeniable and detailed look, but I have always been intrigued with the wardrobes of Cyndi Lauper & Madonna,

What is your favorite restaurant?: As a foodie, I have no favorites. However I adore Canoe in Atlanta, Gotham in NYC, Touch in Miami, and Olivier’s in New Orleans

What words do you live by?: No weapon formed against me shall prosper

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Chris Rock’s Good Hair: Love it or Hate it?


This past weekend Chris Rock’s new documentary, Good Hair, debuted. With many people happy that Rock shared this important part of Black women’s lives and others upset at what he revealed, we want to ask you: what did you think?

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