What Now, Kamala? Black Women Weigh in With Their Opinions and Hopes

What Now, Kamala? Black Women Weigh in With Their Opinions and Hopes


In the 11 months that Sen. Kamala Harris was running for president of the United States, virtually every time she spoke at a rally, she entered to Mary J. Blige belting “Work That” in the background.

“Feelin’ great because the light’s on me

Celebrating the things that everyone told me

Wouldn’t happen but God has put his hands on me…”

It would set a tone that would set her apart as a candidate—a proud woman of color candidate.

Last June, for Black Music Month, Harris even released a 46-song collection of favorites (Prince, Lizzo, Ella Mai, anybody?) on Spotify that launched a hitlist of headlines including Rolling Stone’s, “If Playlists Won Elections, Kamala Harris Would Be an Easy Frontrunner.”

If only running for president was that simple.

When Harris announced on Tuesday that she was exiting the race, she donned sober black and grey for her videotaped message to supporters and there was a decided absence of music. But the chorus of reactions from women—and black women in particular—is filling the void as they question what was gained during Harris’ run, what is lost with her leaving, and what Harris should do next.

“I believe in the issues she raised but I did not think this was her time to run,” says Felita Granby, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York. “I wanted her to stay in the senate and bring on the fire from that position of power.”

Calling All Truth-Tellers

Granby’s response seems to typify the sentiment shared by black women throughout the country: “She is smart, tough, and thinks on her feet. She can take on the male senators of both parties with finesse.”

The results of an informal Black Enterprise poll showed that while black women continue to champion Harris as a leader and only the second black woman in history to be elected to the U.S. Senate, they were less than enthralled by her attempt to level up.

Several women were unwilling to go on the record with what one called her “complicated thoughts” about Harris but agreed to express their positions on the condition of anonymity. “She can’t change her history with what she did as a D.A.,” said a Chicago math teacher, alluding to Harris’ prosecutorial record, which became a particular stumbling block with younger black voters.

“I wish the people that are close to her would’ve spent a little more time with her in the kitchen at the table telling her the truth,” said a San Francisco-based events planner.

A retired professor in San Jose, California, said, “I think she’s desperately needed in the Senate or as Attorney General. I never thought she was ready for a presidential prime time bid.”

Too Little, Too Late for Kamala?

Harris had anticipated the doubters. She even alluded to them when she officially launched her campaign in her Oakland hometown last January. “We know this is not going to be easy, and we know what the doubters will say,” she forewarned a jubilant crowd that included noteworthy numbers of black women. “They’ll say what they always said. It’s not your time. Wait your turn. The odds are long. It can’t be done. But America’s story has always been written by people who can see what can be, unburdened by what has been.”

Even as her campaign wound down, Harris seemed to ramp up her direct appeals to black women, still hoping to seal their unqualified support. Much of her signage echoed the colors of Shirley Chisolm’s 1972 campaign and she often invoked Chisolm and her “Unbought and Unbossed” slogan.

Less than two weeks before suspending her campaign, Harris placed black women at the center of her strategy in what would be her final debate in Atlanta. She didn’t mince words in noting before the live cameras that black women voters were tired of showing up for a Democratic party that wasn’t showing up for them.

“When black women are three-to-four times more likely to die in connection with childbirth in America, when the sons of black women will die because of gun violence more than any other cause of death, when black women make 61 cents on the dollar as compared to all women who tragically make 80 cents on the dollar, the question has to be, where’ve you been and what are you going to do,” she said, as her white male opponents nodded mutely.

Harris pulled even fewer punches at a Black Women’s Power Breakfast in Atlanta on that same campaign stop. The room fell silent when she said, “There is no one more fragile in terms of her safety and security than a black woman in America.”

What Will It Take To Win?

Despite her very presence preserving space in the democratic conversation for black women’s specific needs and cares, our poll not only showed general approval for her exiting the presidential race, some even expressed relief.

“She was valiant in her effort but, without the funding to continue, she did the right thing,” says Terri James, a Charlotte-based project manager. “I expect to see her continue to be a brilliant fighter in her Senate focus, especially with pending impeachment efforts.”

“I’m glad she had the fortitude and wisdom to step away before eroding more resources, so we can throw those resources behind a candidate who can win,” says Cathy Adams, an entrepreneur who is president of both Oakland’s Black Chamber of Commerce and head of the local chapter of 100 Black Women. “We all love her on a personal level, but this is not the friendship club. We support and uphold our black women, but this is the most serious election we’ve faced and we can’t afford not to be woke about what it is going to take to win.”

Adams is passionate in her hope that Harris will use her power and influence to secure a win for whoever secures the democratic ticket. Of course, several women expressed the hope that Harris might even be on it, as a vice-presidential candidate.

On Nov. 30, Harris tweeted birthday wishes to a woman whose courage and commitment she no doubt has a new and unique appreciation for: Shirley Chisolm, who died in 2005, would have turned 95. Three days later, her own run for the nation’s highest public office ended.

Whatever Harris decides to pursue next, her campaign was historic and not without lasting impact. “Kamala Harris’s candidacy credibly advanced the concept that a black woman can be president of the United States,” says Gwen Adolf, interim executive director of the New York-based Black Economic Alliance. “The possibility was conceived by Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm, believed because of Senator Harris, and will be achieved due to the courage, conviction, and example of both.”

Cue “We Shall Overcome,” the remix.

 





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The Great CEO Within – The tactical guide to company building

The Great CEO Within – The tactical guide to company building


I first read this book as a free Google doc and I was so impressed that I ended up asking the author, Matt Mochary, to coach me. This book lays out with tactical detail the processes you need to put in place to scale up a company effectively.

Things like:

* Effective one-on-ones
* Creating a culture of giving and receiving feedback
* How to run meetings
* How to run offsites
* How to raise money

And more!

I thought this book needed a wider audience, so I found an editor, added a few chapters, cleaned up a ton, and released it on Amazon. I have no vested interest in this other than helping other founders and their companies.



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Nick Cannon Announces Nationally Syndicated Radio Shows

Nick Cannon Announces Nationally Syndicated Radio Shows


Nick Cannon has announced his plan to develop Nick Cannon Radio and Nick Cannon Weekends to debut in 2020. The multi-talented businessman is producing this in partnership with Skyview Networks and Meruelo Media.

Nick Cannon is one of the most accomplished, creative and versatile entertainers in America and we are proud to be working with him and the team at Meruelo Media to launch Nick’s new syndicated shows,” said Steve Jones, president and COO of Skyview Networks said in a statement. “Nick is an influencer, whose connection with audiences makes him extremely attractive to advertisers and radio programmers alike.”

“I love connecting with Los Angeles every morning on Power 106. The response and support has been amazing and very special; the natural thing is to take it to the next level with a new nationally syndicated daily drive time and weekend show,” said host Nick Cannon. “The show will feature original comedy and conversations with the people driving pop culture. I am looking forward to working with Skyview Networks and my Meruelo Media family to now reach all of the U.S.”

“Our partnership with Nick Cannon on Power 106 is proof positive that we are committed to invest[ing] in the very best and most compelling entertainment in the world,” said Otto Padron, president and CEO of Meruelo Media. “This content strategy, coupled with our carefully curated portfolio of heritage audio brands and popular personalities in the key market of Los Angeles, gives Meruelo Media very exciting syndication opportunities. Having a like-minded syndication partner like Skyview Networks is the perfect storm!”

Nick Cannon Radio, which will be for afternoon syndication, will make its debut on Jan. 27, 2020, and Nick Cannon Weekends will start in February 2020.

Cannon has a long career showcasing his talent as a host, comedian, actor, producer, rapper, writer, director, deejay, philanthropist, children’s book author, and activist. The busy businessman currently hosts The Masked Singer on Fox, which debuted earlier this year and has already been renewed for two additional seasons, as well as his own variety-themed show on MTV, Wild ‘N Out, which is in its 13th season.

A launch date has been set for Nick Cannon‘s untitled talk show. Fox Television Stations will serve as the launch group for Cannon’s untitled show, which will be produced by Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury. The show expects to launch fall 2020 and will air twice daily on Fox-owned affiliates in some of the country’s biggest markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco as it is slated to appear in 17 major markets, including nine of the top 10.





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Shoe Hero — A Fitbit app to easily track the lifespan of your shoes

Shoe Hero — A Fitbit app to easily track the lifespan of your shoes



Shoe Hero is the creation of dabbling with the Fitbit SDK and hunting the forums for potential ideas. It came to my surprise that tracking your shoes is not a native app on Fitbit and has been widely requested over many years. I’ve added some features like syncing, and shoe profiles. Since it hasn’t been officially published, feel free to use the discount code, “product-hunt” to have the app for free.


– Brandon R Him

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Michelle Obama Named on the 2019 People of the Year List

Michelle Obama Named on the 2019 People of the Year List


Along with other notable celebrities, Michelle Obama has been named one of the 2019 People of the Year. The former first lady joins Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, and Taylor Swift for People magazine’s top honor.

Obama has been on a tour for most of the year promoting her 2018 book, BecomingThe book, which was released on Nov. 13, 2018, has sold more than 11.5 million units worldwide across print, digital, and audio formats, including 7.5 million units in the U.S. and Canada alone, and has been published in 45 languages.

Obama’s most recent book, Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice, was released on Nov. 19. It is a companion piece to her critically-acclaimed memoir, Becoming, and features an “intimate introduction” from Obama, herself.

According to People, “In 2019 Michelle Obama became the bestselling memoirist of all time, and the audio version of Becoming was nominated for a Grammy. In a Gallup survey, Mrs. Obama was named the most admired woman in the world, and it’s no wonder since she continues to do so much work to improve girls’ education both here at home and in countries like Namibia with her Global Girls Alliance.”

Michelle Obama people

Obama has stated that after being out of the White House for two years, she and President Barack Obama have “rediscovered” themselves since their youngest daughter, Sasha, went to college. “We’ve rediscovered all these little pockets of time, just me and Barack, that for a couple [of] decades have been filled with school events or sports practices,” she said. “We’re taking full advantage of this new normal, simply spending time with each other and remembering what brought us together in the first place.”

“Sometimes I’ll get a glimpse of him and just go, ‘Hey you! Where have you been for 21 years?’ ” she continues. “It’s been fun. The tough part, of course, is missing our girls. It’s an adjustment to see each other for a weekend here, a holiday break there, but the moments we do spend together feel extra special because of it.”

People‘s Editor-in-Chief, Dan Wakeford, explains the choices for this year’s People of the Year honor: “For the first time ever we are giving you four different covers in one issue. Our People of the Year issue celebrates the stars who have made an impact on our culture, the individuals who have moved us and entertained us. We wanted to see if we could soak up a little of their wisdom. When we sat down to look at who we thought deserved this honor, I wasn’t surprised that we ended up with an all-female foursome—this year has been dominated by strong women.”





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