Friday, September 28, 2007

This Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week’s photo features Jonelle Procope attending the New York City Opera’s Opening of Margaret Garner earlier this month. The opera is written by Toni Morrison and its story served as the basis for Morrison's award winning novel - Beloved.

Jonelle is President/CEO of The Apollo Theater and manages a balanced family life as a wife and mother. I love this simple elegant of this ensemble with the metallic shoes. She demonstrates that you can pull over several hot trends without going overboard.

OK good people – have a super fabulous weekend!
I'm still working through all of the emails and I appreciate your support for this blog!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What Constitutes Blackness?

I have to tell you good people – I received some very interesting emails from folks after my posting about Jaylaan Ahmad-Llewellyn. It seems that many of you out there in the blogosphere questioned the racial identity of her or her mother, so the emails got to flyin’…

Are you sure that they’re Black?
Isn’t her mother from (insert name any of Arab country here)?
Isn’t her father from (insert name of any racially ambiguous country here)?

OK, let me share a few thoughts with you.

The Llewellyns have never played the racially ambiguous “game” of multi-ethnicity like so many Black people who are light skinned. They consistently identify themselves as Black. They support causes important to our people and have advocated for many Black professionals over the years including yours truly.

This blog’s name is The Black Socialite. This means I cover the lifestyles of Black people, period (many of whom I know personally). The folks featured on this blog are referred to as Black because that is how they identify themselves publicly.

I am not in the business of claiming folks who don’t want to be claimed by us if you know what I mean. So it is unlikely that you will see me featuring people who are not interested in checking the “Black/African descent” box on their Census forms.

Hopefully, this provides a little more clarity on who you may see land on this blog.

Until we meet again, remember that although the “one drop” law was ruled as unconstitutional in the 1967 so anyone identifying themselves as “Black” today is doing so out of cultural and political choice – especially when they have the option as “passing” for something else.

Friday, September 21, 2007

This Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week's photo comes from one of our loyal readers 'Ski Diva.' She was able to locate a pic of the very camera shy investment banker Aaron Hill posing with wife Susan Fales-Hill at a social event. The couple met on a blind date and married in 1997.
Don't they look great together?! Hopefully, we'll see more of Mr. Hill in the upcoming months.
Have a great weekend and remember that your image speaks volumes before you say a word.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Spotlight on Jaylaan Ahmad-Llewellyn

Jaylaan with her horse 'Minute Maid'

With Mom Shahara at a New York Charity Event
Twenty-eight year old Ms. Jaylaan Ahmad-Llewellyn is on the rise in a BIG way. She is the founder/owner of bluhammock music – an indie label based in New York City. After she earned a Bachelor degree in Sociology from Harvard University, she worked at the William Morris Agency – honing her skills in artist development and contract negotiation. She later branched out on her own and may in the music industry are taking notice.
Some of the artists on her label include Speech (formerly of Arrested Development), the Cary Brothers, and the Virginia Coalition. The projected gross income of this label is around $375,000 for the end of the year. She says that she strives to sign and promote “intelligent” artists versus that same ole studio made music superstars.
Jaylaan is also the owner of an equestrian themed clothing company called bluhorse clothing which launched this year. An avid rider (she rides her horse several times a week), Jaylaan decided to create clothing targeted towards this exclusive market that could also be worn on the streets.
Jaylaan grew up in the super privileged lifestyle of one of the country’s wealthiest Black families. Her father J. Bruce Llewellyn, is Chairman/Owner/CEO of the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company. She is often seen at various charitable events with her mother, Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn. I recently featured Jaylaan’s fabulous artist showcase party in the Hamptons as one of the ‘Friday Fabulous Flicks.’
Keep your eyes open for more news about this talented young woman!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Socialite Balancing Act - Deux

The latter part of this week has been action packed with the weekly grooming appointments for hair and nails, running errands, trying to clean my condo a bit, and attending an event (I'll write about the event in a future posting).

I read somewhere that one should consider spreading out their chores throughout the week versus doing everything during the weekend but I gotta tell ya - that's awful tough when you work full time and try to maintain an active social life.

There are only so many hours in the day...

I keep promising myself that I will hire a housekeeper and I think I will make that leap before the end of the year. It's just that I am soooo picky about how I like things to be done, that by the time I begin explaining what I want done to someone - I might as well do it myself.

Some of you understand what I mean...

Plus, as weird as it may sound, I actually get a level of satisfaction out of cleaning my home. And, not that my home is icky - it's just not as clean and organized as I would like for it to be.

I have paper and books all over my dining room table, coffee table, and my office desk. I need to wax my hardwood floors and give the bathroom a good ole fashioned Black girl scrubbing with hot water and bleach. The kitchen is in dire need of elbow grease too.

And, since it's starting to get chilly - it's time to pull out my fall comforter set and put the summer bed set into the cleaners.

Oh...then, the fall clothes need to be prepared as well and some other stuff can be dropped off at a thrift shop. I'm pass trying to squeeze into clothes that no longer fit and are just hanging in the closet for decorative purposes only.

So, I decided to get crackin' on one room at a time and I should be good to go in about one to two weeks.

However, tonight I'm headed out to see The Brave One starring Jodie Foster with a buddy of mine. I like going to see interesting movies that star Black folks and women in the lead on 'Opening Weekend' as my contribution to the 'cause.' This flick is double whammy as Terrance Howard is co-starring.

Anyhoo, I hope that you had a uber-fabulous weekend as well and ready to 'slay dragons' in your workplace tomorrow.

Until we meet again - cheers!

Friday, September 14, 2007

This Friday's Fabulous Flick

You can love her or hate her - but Ms. Genevieve Jones is always at the most hot and chic events in New York City. No blade of glass will ever grow under her feet.

Her 'mug shots' are plastered all over the place for Fashion Week in New York and believe our girl was on the move - attending as many of four events each day (after returning from Thailand a few days earlier allegedly).

This flick was taken on September 4th at the TopShop Celebration for Preen's debut show at The Soho Grand.

One thing about Ms. Jones - she always looks neat and is rarely photographed in a 'who done it and why' moment.

Here's to you Ms. Jones! You keep it movin' and we're watching, Girl!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More Coverage On Our Pal Jaci

Dear Friends, Foes, & Socialite Aspirants:

I had to chuckle when I saw that Jaci Reid refused to provide her age in this recent article from!

C'mon Jaci - we all know that good Black don't crack, Girl!
So, there should be no shame in your game!

We'll still like you no matter how old you are...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Maggie Betts - One To Watch

I'm busy trying to find information to share with you about Ms. Maggie - a Sista Socialite who doesn't mind cheesing for the cameras.

Here's what I uncovered so far. Ms. Maggie (nee Margaret) is super close to The Bush Twins and is known to hang out with them frequently. She is the daughter of Roland Betts, developer of Chelsea Piers in New York City and mom Lois. The Betts' have been married for more than 30 years and have another daughter named Jessica.

Now, although Roland Betts is a card carryin' liberal Democrat - he is extremely tight with President George Bush. They are frat brothers in Delta Kappa Epsilon from Yale and were at one time, part owners of the Texas Rangers. Roland Betts also was a major contributor to the 2000 Bush Presidential Campaign. The Bushes also vacation with The Betts at their various vacation homes.

Doesn't wealth make for the most interesting 'bed fellows?'

In spite of my super sleuthing efforts, I have not been able to find out the age, occupation, or residence information on Ms. Maggie. So, as I find out more scoop, I'll share it with you.
And - if you happen to be a better sleuth than yours truly
(and I know based on the emails I receive that some of you are),
don't hestitate to share your findings with all
of the fabulous readers of The Black Socialite.
After all, isn't that why we're all here?

Maggie with Zani Gugelmann (left) and Meridith Melling Burke at the New Yorkers for Children party at Saks Fifth Avenue on September 6, 2007

Kristian LaLiberte and Maggie are all hugged up at the Apollo Theater Foundatin Spring Benefit on June 11, 2007

Maggie at the Elise Overland Party on May 23, 2007

Maggie with Kate Schelter at a Zac Posen After Party in February 7, 2007

Ms. Maggie & Barbara Bush at a 2006 UNICEF Benefit where they served as Event Co-Chairs

Jessica, Lois, & Roland Betts at a 2006 Benefit for Ballet Hispanico

Where is the Essence Coverage on HSH Princess Angela?

I received my new Essence Magazine in the mail today with squawker Keisha Coles on the cover and yet another story about Chief Clucker Kim Porter.
I think I'm going to cancel my subscription.
I'm in my late 30s and could care less about most of the people who grace their covers.
Meanwhile, seven years have passed since the wedding of HSH Princess Angela and HSH Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein and Essence has yet to cover this story.
Are they sleeping at the wheel or what?
For those not in the 'know,' HSH Princess Angela was 42 years old and working in New York as a fashion designer when she married into this very wealthly royal family.
HSH Prince Maximilian is several years her junior.
By all accounts in the European Press, the couple is still very happily married.
This wedding was completely ignored by the American press -
who we all know is very obsessed with royality.
Don't you find that interesting...
HSH Princess Angela of Liechtenstein (wearing the family's crown jewels) and HSH Maximilian at their 2000 wedding in New York City
HSH Prince Maximilian holding their son, the super cute Prince Alfons Constantin Maria (now six years old) with HSH Princess Angela at a royal family outing

The BIG question...why hasn't Essence (who markets themselves as the voice to empower Black women) done a story on her either?

Maybe you should drop their editor (whose name ironically is Angela) a note if you would like news on HSH Princess Angela.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Per Your Request - The Summer of Susan

Susan Fales-Hill had a 'Super Black Socialite' Spring & Summer season this year, attending a slew of fabulous events! May 17th, Susan attended designer Rachel Roy's Fall Preview Party

May 14th, she attended the American Ballet's Spring Gala

Here she is at Rachel Roy's show on September 5th

Susan looks stunning in this hot red number at the Van Cleef & Arpels 'Une Journee a Paris' event on September 4th.

On June 4th, Susan attended a benefit for the School of American Ballet

Susan stops for a photo op here with designer Rachel Roy and Sista Socialite Carol Sutton Lewis at a celebration for the partnership between Van Cleef & Arpels and The New York Public Library on June 19th.

Susan and author Holly Peterson at a celebration for Peterson's book Manny on June 21st.

Note: Pardon the photo captions folks - I'm still working on getting full access to these pics so bear with me. God forbid I end up in court for copyright violations!! And I won't look good with orange prison wear...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Socialite Balancing Act

Today is all about cooling out in preparation for the upcoming week - otherwise known as the balancing act.

I have a few invites to some upcoming restaurant openings, so I’ll see how I can fit one or two into my already extra crisp crazy schedule. Plus, I’m combing through the slew of emails I received in the past week.

I appreciate every note I receive and I will try to answer them personally as much as I can.

Do me a favor and give me some time to get back to you before sending me a follow up note.

And, when I receive the same types of inquires, I will address the issue on the blog.

So, a bit of housekeeping is in order.

I’ve had several inquires via email regarding my list of ‘Super Black Socialites’ and what is the criteria.

It’s quite simple.

The ‘Super Black Socialites’ on this list are people who are deeply embedded in the social fabric of the community and are philanthropically driven. They donate a significant amount of their resources (money, time, networks, etc.) to improving the lives of others.

They have mastered the 'balancing act' what being a socialite is all about - having fun, helping others, and serving as examples for our young people to emulate.

And, while they may have a ‘home base’ in terms of where they reside geographically, many of the Super Black Socialites’ activities and networks are at least national (and some are global) in scope.

In other words, Super Black Socialites are not ‘posted up on their blocks’ to use the slang terminology to describe provincialism. They keep it moving.

My list is in its infancy and is not by any means exhaustive nor complete. More names will be added in the future.

If you know someone who should be included, feel free to share information with me.

Perhaps, they’ll make the cut.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Effi Barry (ex-wife of Marion Barry) Dies

Former DC First Lady, Effi Barry, has died last night of leukemia at age 63.

Often criticized for playing the "stand by your man" role for her formerly cracked out husband, Ms. Effi was still elegant and extremely graceful under extraordinary pressure.

The couple divorced in 1990 and later became very good friends. They were often seen out on the town as Marion is now separated from his fourth wife.

I understand that he was one of the few visitors she allowed to see her in her last days.

I pray for her family's healing in this most difficult time.

This Friday's Fabulous Flick!

Clap, Clap for Ms. Jaylaan Ahmad-Llewellyn photographed here with Russell Simmons! This flick was taken last week at a party for her indie label (bluhammock music) in The Hamptons.

She has signed Speech (formerly of Arrested Development) to her label and has recently launched a clothing line called bluhorse.

Twenty-eight year old Jaylaan is the daugther of Mega Black Socialites Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn and J. Bruce Llewellyn - owners of The Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The Llewellyn Family resides in New York and are major benefactors for several causes including Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Her sister, Alexandria, is married to author Tom Clancy.

I will profile Ms. Jaylaan and her Mom, Shahara in upcoming entries.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Partying Like A Rock Star

Over the Labor Day Weekend, I decided to let my hair down at a BIG 'Sundae' (get it?) Block Party in Philadelphia deejayed by a good friend and big brother - Terry Alford.

The party took place in back of The Bubble House on the campus of University of Pennsylvania and as you can see from the flick above, it was packed with people having a good time.

It was a blast to reconnect with buddies from our colleges days and dance for hours. Several of our friends brought their children to the Block Party as well which was delightful to see.

We still scratch our heads in disbelief that many in our crew are now the parents of teenagers.

Without question, Terry is one of the best deejays around. He is also the owner/operator of Funky People Productions who creates events beyond the standard norm. Terry is a humble guy who seldom takes credit for training and mentoring many of the so-called 'hot' deejays playing in Miami, NYC, and DC now.

He really gets that music is so much more than same ole tired songs that are pre-programmed by Clear Channel throughout most major markets.

Even club deejays have fallen into the boring pattern of replicating what's played on the radio.

No wonder people just sit around in clubs and look at each other. The experience most deejays offer in clubs now is no different than listening to the radio in your car.

I'll give you an example.

Have you heard a club music remix of 'Family' from the motion picture Dreamgirls?

Probably not.

In between partying, I was treated to sake shots at the bar by Asian male business students who attend Wharton. Complements flowed on my makeup, hair and my burnt orange and red safari patterned silk shirt. I felt pretty good that I could still turn the heads of young and older men.

Plus, if your gear and face is not 'tight' - trust me that the 'children' will not shoot praise in your direction. We all know that many Black gay folks do not play when it come to fashion and creativity.

I also bumped into Ms. Vee - a sensational 'queen' hairstylist who uses to whip many heads in shape back in the day. It was great to see Ms. Vee while we laughed and reminisced about the club kid days of the late 80s and early 90s.

After The Bubble House party - we hung out in a few clubs in Philly including Swanky Bubbles and The Monkey Bar where I enjoyed apple martinis - one of my favs. The 'children' were in full effect everywhere bopping around with hot club gear and partying up a storm.

On or around 3AM (I was kinda groggy so I don't remember much), the crew landed at a diner to chew on some rubber pancakes.

I strolled into my house around 4:30AM for an early morning interrogation by my kitty who believed that her mother lost her mind. I picked her up while she was still in full fuss mode and rolled into bed.

I woke up about 11AM with club tunes still dancing in my head with kitty sniffing my breathe. I guess I smelled pretty toxic. My booty and legs were sore while I hobbled around from room to room.

I later received a call from one of my guy buddies on my mobile phone who was "checking to see if I was OK' as he laughed in my ear.

See normally - I attend very swank and conservative affairs. Rarely will yours truly land in a club. And hanging out until the wee hours of morning is not my traditional modus operanti.

But one thing is for sure.

You gotta have those times when you just let it rip- if you know what I mean.

It's good for the soul and spirit to be free periodically.

Photo credit: DJ Venus

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dress Code for Paul Quinn Students

Kudos to Michael J. Sorrell, the 40 year old President of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas for implementing a dress code for students on campus!

Hopefully, other institutions will model Sorrell's leadership in helping our young people understand that image is everything and it can shape your future success.

It is imperative that higher education prepare students for the 21st Century workforce - and this is a step in the right direction I believe.

Sista Socialites Redefining Aging Gracefully

The Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper is one of the few "major dallies" that has a Society section with good multicultural representation.

Last month, The Women’s Board of Ravinia hosted the Ravinia Festival’s annual Gala Benefit. Pl├ícido Domingo headlined the Gala performance. More than 1200 attendees forked out $275 per person to enjoy the evening.

The Fab Sista Socialites pictured left to right are: Linda Johnson Rice, Desiree Rogers (CEO of the People’s Energy Company), Valerie Jarrett (Chair of Chicago’s Stock Exchange), and Marguerite Orane (Management Consultant).

You gotta love Ms. Desiree at age 46 rocking the sequined mini dress and showing off her toned legs!

All of the ladies are over 45 I believe and they provide me inspiration that aging fabulously after 40 can happen for all of us.

Photo credit: Bob Carl for the Sun-Times

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Love Martha's Vineyard Style

Ah, was in the air on the Vineyard early last month, when Teresa Clarke and John Ellis wed in Oak Bluffs.

I understand that the ceremony was beautiful and seasoned with humor as the couple shared anecdotes of their on again/off again relationship.

John Ellis is a professor in the department of anesthesiology and critical care at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago and was by all accounts - a confirmed bachelor.

Ms. Teresa is extremely accomplished in her own right as she holds three Harvard degrees, owns a boat that she sails on the Hudson River, and holds a super fabulous gig.
It is great to see Black people in their 40s get married versus the settling for usual living together.

Congratulations to the new couple and may your marriage be blessed!

Photo credit: Robert Spenser for The New York Times

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Delroy's Smile

I don't plan to cover celebs on this blog because quite frankly - they make me tired.

But this picture of actor Delroy Lindo (who I absolutely adore) was just too cute not to share with you!

The bummer is that I missed the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival this year so I am not able to give you my traditional 'play by play' commentary.

And, damn it - I missed a chance to meet Delroy again!
I met him years ago on an elevator in New York City and he was sooooo gentlemanly that I will never forget it.

The PR rep for the festival was kind enough to send me this photo and I just has to post it. I think this flick really captures his spirit.

So indulge me a little folks...OK?

Visiting Martha's Vineyard - Part 2

While I was on Martha’s Vineyard, I attended a fun event that has now become an annual affair - a luncheon for members of The Links, Incorporated. Held in August, scoring a ticket for this soiree is extremely challenging as it sells out months in advance.

Claire Davis and Thelma Baxter of Central New Jersey do a yeoman’s job of rallying the troops. The event took place at The Cornerway in Chilmark (the only Black owned restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard). Proceeds for this year’s event benefited the Oak Bluffs Public Library in the memory of the late Delia Brown Hardman (a long time trustee of the Oak Bluffs Library and Links member). Myrna Morris, an extremely talented artist who is a Links member – donated several pieces of her art for the silent auction.

The Oak Bluffs Public Library Director was a guest of honor and provided words of thanks to The Links for cash donation and support.

The food included selection of baby back ribs, striped bass, seasonal veggies, mozzarella salad, rice and peas, and mini key lime pie squares. We were also provided apple martinis courtesy of The Absolut Spirits Company in between sharing hugs, kisses, and introductions with Sister Links.

Eva Evans (former International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha), Gloria Dickerson (current International Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha), Janet Baker Walker (Executive Director of The Links, Incorporated), and the National President of The Girlfriends were among the attendees.

Other Sista Socialites at the affair included Alice Chapman Minutello of Central New Jersey and Joyce C.M. Lowe of Boston (former Eastern Area Director of The Links, Incorporated) who appear in the photo above. Jacquelynn Rhodes and Karen Andrade-Mims of Central New Jersey; Barbara Dawkins, Cecelia Robinson, & Roberta Torian of Montgomery County, PA; Lyn Hamlin of Jersey City, NJ; Linda Zango-Haley of New York; Renee Allen and Beverly Coleman of Philadelphia were also there in their summer finery.

I was honored to share lunch and conversation with Janet Smith Dickerson, who is the first African-American female Vice President at Princeton University.

The affair was lovely and it was really nice to see Links represented from many parts of the country including New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Providence, RI, Boston, Washington, DC, and Atlanta. This event has also inspired similar gatherings of AKAs, Deltas, and Girlfriends on the Vineyard in the summer months.

A good time was had by all and we united with friends (old and new) to re-charge our “batteries” for the fall season.