Monday, April 28, 2008

Harold Ford, Jr. Gets Hitched

Usually, I keep the political banter off of this blog because I believe Black America needs a break/refuge from all of the hullabaloo. But this little tidbit was way too good to pass up – especially since some of my Southern readership wants to know what's going on (shout out of my people below the Mason-Dixon Line!)

Tennessee Sista Socialites are chattering away about the weekend wedding of Harold Ford, Jr. (age 37) to Emily Threlkeld (age 27). The wedding was held in Miami with about 300 attendees that included only close family and friends. The wedding party was huge with 26 attendants.

Ms. Emily is reportedly loaded and considered a ‘socialite.’ She owns two residents (one in New York, the other in Miami) and works as a business manager for designer Carolina Herrera.

Mr. Ford is a former Congressman and the chair of the Democratic Leadership Council. He was also named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People some years ago.

Rumors continue to swirl regarding his future political aspirations.

I wish the couple well!

Footnote: Yes, I know that some of you ‘feel some type of way’ about the coverage interracial couples receive on this blog but oh well…it is what it is.

And kids…try to play nice when posting on this story although I know that may be tough from some of you.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week's flick features musician extraordinaire Wynton Marsalis along with Derek Johnson, Time Warner's Executive Producer of Programming for the Time Warner Center (far left), Rev Calvin O. Butts III, and actor-activist-scholar Avery Brooks (far right) at the 200th Bicentennial celebration of the Abyssinian Baptist Church last week.

Rev. Butts is also President of SUNY College at Old Westbury.

Marsalis wrote the first mass for the church as a celebratory composition entitled “Abyssinian 200: A Celebration.” The piece also features the 100-voice Abyssinian Baptist Choir and was performed at both Lincoln Center and the church.

The Abyssinian Baptist Church is the oldest African American Baptist church in New York and it is considered the first Black mega church in the United States.

Don't these gentlemen look dashing?! Many thanks to Spencer for sharing this nice photo.

Have a super Friday everyone!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Got Style?

Thanks to those of you who sent notes complementing me on my recent three part series Becoming a Socialite. Those stories were hyperlinked all over the space!

It’s good to know that they assisted some of you on your quest.

However, every good story seems to spur more ‘how to’ questions and requests - particularly for those of you looking to manage your own image. Some of the most frequently asked questions swirl around what to where when.

Also, some of you are sooooo tired of seeing skanky people tool around that you are asking me to serve a mandate ordering panty and man-ty lines (yes, some of your brothers are out of control too) along with tight or too short clothing against the law.

What can I say?

Social and style etiquette was never on the agenda of this blog but I must give the people what they want. I’ll work on some stories to appear in the next weeks before I take a little R&R retreat.

Yes, your girl needs to recharge her batteries.

However, before I skip off into vay-kay land next month, I will load you up with LOTS of content to keep you occupied.

Be on the lookout for Friday’s Fabulous Flick tomorrow gang!


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jaci Reid - On The Move

It's been a bit since we've heard from Team Jaci. But, I know how many of you love Mrs. Reid, so it's always a good thing to score new photos of her.

I received these pics today from my buddy (thanks, girl!) who works for Jaci (in this racy Roberto Cavalli number) at the New Yorkers for Children at their annual April Fool's Fete in NYC. NYFC is a non-profit that supports programs that focus on the needs of children in foster care. The second photo features her with hubby and co-Socialite Morris.
Warm weather is on the horizon which means that the Reid entourage will be headed to the Hamptons for their annual Socialite activities. Her team has committed to keep me informed so that I can share all of the dishy scoop with you!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Since You Asked

I keep receiving query after query over whether or not this blog is actually syndicated by several national news outlets.

I’m not exactly sure why the onslaught of questioning recently. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt rather than placing you on turbo blast.

Perhaps some of you are new and don't take the time to read through the blog archives before asking me or other readers questions about topics already covered.

Maybe some of you out there have a hard time believing that The Black Socialite has caused this amount of stir in such a short period of time.

And, I completely understand how some people may have a really hard time accepting anything that is Black and positive since the two terms are often not synonymous.

So, good people here’s a list of where my blog has been picked up so that you can read for yourselves.

Stories appearing on Reuters News Service website:

1/27/08 – Sista Socialites Absent from New Bravo Show

1/30/08 – Lenny Kravitz Concert Afterglow

3/13/08 – Boys and Girls Club of Stamford Honors Stedman Graham

Stories in The Chicago Sun Times Online:

1/14/08 – Pamela Joyner’s Unmasking Fundraiser

2/6/06 - Spotlight on Desiree Rogers

2/14/08 – Keeping up with Pamela Joyner

3/1/08 – The First Etiquette Book for Black Women

The New York Times back linked to my story ‘Love Martha’s Vineyard Style’ and The Washington Post back linked to my tribute to the late Effi Barry. Both of those items appeared last year.

So alas, it is true – my blog is considered a legitimate news source on the Black Social Elite.

This is why chappies I will never lie about my blog stats, where my stories are syndicated, nor the fact that this blog ranks number #1 in Google and Yahoo in the majority of search topics related to Black socialites.

So, go out and shout on the mountain tops the good news about The Black Socialite!

Eyes are watching us everywhere!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week's flick features the multi-talented Vanessa Williams and her daughter Jillian Hervey at The Lincoln Center Spring Gala this past Wednesday.

I tell you - that Vanessa always looks good. She outdid most of our favorite socialites in this photo so it only makes sense to feature her.

Have a great weekend all!!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Learning lessons from the new Miss USA

As many of you know, Ms. Crystle Stewart ,a 26 year old Sista from Missouri City, Texas was crowned the new Miss USA. What’s remarkable about her story is her level of perseverance. Stewart is also a bit older than most traditional Miss USAs and a business owner.

She kept her eye on the crowd for years after four failed attempts at becoming Miss Texas USA. She finally landed the title of Miss Texas USA last year.

Stewart also channels positive energy to keep her mind and spirit focused. She shared in an interview with The Today Show recently that “I don’t think about negative things. I just think positive things: ‘Don’t trip, answer my question right, and I’ll be OK."

I’m not a fan of pageants at all but I have to tip my hat to Girlfriend. Her determination paid off in the end.

So, before some of you decide to click your keyboard to ask me, ‘How long will it take me to become a Socialite?’ think about the new Miss USA.

You may have to be persistence in your quest (while remaining positive) for several years before you actualize your goal.

Photo credit: Steve Marcus, Reuters

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This flick of Kathryn Chenault and Thelma Golden was captured on April 3rd at the Brooklyn Museum Ball.

I absolutely LOVE these ladies and their wonderfully unique sense of style!

Have yourself a great Friday!
Photo credit: Malcolm Brown

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What Americans Earn

Parade Magazine issued a review of what Americans earn - and I must add, it's quite interesting. There are good tips and tools for increasing your earning power.

The average American earns something like a little under $40,000 annually so I imagine we can knock off at least $5,000 for the average Black person in America.

How does this relate to the Socialite lifestyle?

Well, two things.

Since many of us (ahem) fund our own social activities, I think discussions about money are always important.

And, if you aspire to live a super fabulous Socialite lifestyle, you may need to ask your boss for a raise!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Misplaced Priorities

Earlier this week, I was at a professional conference in the abyss of wireless technology connectivity otherwise known as Crystal City, Virginia. I’m not sure if it’s the old buildings, it’s proximity to the Pentagon, or what – but it was hard as the dickens to get online and maintain my mobile phone signal.

I hate that as you all know that I am quite the blogger ‘chatty patty.’

Anyhoo, I’m back home now to chat with you!

Last night, Special Friend and I were watching Real Housewives of New York in shock.

Side note: I love Bravo and have gotten Special Friend addicted to it as well. And, although I was heated that ‘Real Housewives’ did not have at least one Sista Socialite featured this season, I just had to check some of the episode out since this season centered around East Coast Socialites for field research purposes.

The most social climbing Socialite aspirant on the show made herself look like a complete boob. She and her husband (the parents of two small children) have an enormous house that is a complete wreck and had the nerve to host a party!

Capture this image in your mind’s eye.

You are entering the home of a couple who brought a multi million dollar home in 2005, vacations in St. Barts, spends tens of thousands of dollars each year on clothing, brought two $5000 tickets to Opening Night at the Met, and is questing to get their children in extremely pricey private schools.

So, as one of the others Socialites said, ‘You’d expect to enter a palace, right?’

Instead, you are confronted in sheer horror with ripped up floors, raggedy doors, peeling paint, and tacky looking furniture.

Special Friend and I were stunned.

Now for the record, Special Friend and I are both rather new to the home ownership game. He lives a large house; I have a two bedroom condo.

So, we totally get that a home is constant work in progress and it takes time to get your home in ‘order.’ However, in my mind home is where you have an opportunity to freely and creativity express yourself. It is also a place where you invite family and friends to relax and fellowship.

Home is also a retreat from the world’s madness and a place of restoration and repair.

And, as much as I love to zoom around, there is nothing like being comfy at home with a glass of great wine and my feet propped up listening to music, reading, watching TV, or curled up under my man.

But help me to understand where is someone’s priorities that spends loads of money fronting the Socialite lifestyle but can live in such a horrible mess that they have become blind to the clutter?!

I’m sure some of you are calling out the names of some people who are doing just that.

I don’t get it.

To me, it makes no sense to ‘wear the mask that grins and lies’ to go home to demolition site.

Perhaps you feel differently. I just know that it would be extraordinarily difficult for me to be a socialite and my home is a hot mess.

OK - the vent is done. I'll get back to posting some flicks and other hot happenings soon.

Cheers all!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How To Get Good Press

OK – you’re ready to enter the Socialite realm. You’re working on becoming a quality volunteer and strategically selecting the events you are attending based on your pocketbook and time.

Yet, we both know this is not enough.

The saying ‘If a tree falls in the forest, who will hear it?’ can apply to striving to achieving Socialite status if we re-phrase it like this.

‘If an aspiring Socialite doesn’t receive good press, who will know her/him?’

You and I both know that getting good press is vital as it garners more contacts, more invitations, and possible income (yes, I said income).

Let’s look at the recent examples of Genevieve Jones, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and Tinsley Mortimer – all of whom rose to media popularity within the past five years. We can debate until the sun sets and rises again as to whether or not all of these ladies are true Socialites. But the real ‘read’ here is that they have branded themselves as Socialites in the media. This has led to free designer wardrobes, compensated appearances at events in addition to branded clothing jewelry, perfume, and cosmetics lines.

Yes– they’re extreme examples. You may not be that ambitious.

You may just want to prance and dance on your local scene.

However, you’re not sure how to promote yourself without sounding or looking obnoxious.

And, like many of the Super Socialites on this list, you can’t afford your own publicist.

Well, here are a couple tips.

1)Make friends with local photographers and reporters that cover social events. Photographers and reporters tend to cover people that they can identify easily which is why you see the same Socialites over and over again in the media.

2) Have a polished look when you are posing for photos and be camera ready! Looking neat, classy, and well groomed will make your chances of getting your photo taken much more likely.

3)Consider starting a blog to promote yourself and your activities. Just make sure the blog is well written and managed. Don’t ramble about all of the sordid details of your personal life (it can come back to bite you later!). Just stick with the facts of the five ‘Ws’ – who, what, when, where, and why.

4)Work on becoming a leader in your professional field by doing your full time j-o-b really well. Strive to land in industry publications as someone who is well versed in your field. Ultimately, you may win awards and other accolades that can be covered in the general press. Major non-profit organizational leaders read the local awards section of newspapers like most men read the Sunday Sports section. Why? Because it’s a ready-made list of people that can be accessed for possible board appointments.

5)Buy a copy of one of my favorite books - Brag: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus and read it at least twice. This book is incredible at teaching you tips on how to promote yourself without sounding like a PR hungry loon.

6)Generate your own press releases. There are lots of good resources on how to write quality news alerts and full releases. Depending on the size of the publication you are targeting, you can be featured pretty prominently.

7)Don’t discount the influence of smaller niche publications. My two lil’ local neighborhood publications are highly read among the entire town’s Social Set because of our neighborhood demographics (lots of key influencers, major political and non profit organizational fundraisers, professional class, middle to upper income, racially diverse). Getting in those pubs is just as important as landing in the ‘major’ publications.

8)Brace yourself for the mean and jealous comments that may come your way as your profile rises. Focus on the positive and keep your head up to rise above any childish snippyness.

I know, I know – this is a lot to digest.

Keep in mind that becoming a Socialite is hard but valuable work if this is one of your life’s aspirations.

I'm headed out now to my family's bi-weekly Sunday dinner with Special Friend.

Enjoy today!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

Here's our gal Maggie Betts posing with her BFF Barbara Bush at The American Museum of Natural History Winter Dance sponsored by Roberto Cavalli last month.

Maggie is starting to step her game up in terms of her appearance on the Social Scene. She is looking more polished and elegant.

Have a smashing weekend everyone!

TGIF - woo-hoo!!

Photo credit: Patrick McMullan

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Strategic Selection of Activities For Aspiring Socialites

Let’s face the facts.

There are only twenty-four hours in the day and eight of them should be devoted to sleep.
Since many of us are not (ahem) independently wealthy or full time Socialites, knock off another eight to ten hours daily for your j-o-b.

So, good people - most of us are left with six to eight hours a day for our social lives or more like – thirty six to forty eight hours a week.

Hmmm…maybe that explains the high rate of divorce in the US…but I digress…

This is not a lot of time when you have to maintain a household, look for or maintain a romantic relationship, shop, eat, exercise, and other life errands.

If you have children or caretaking responsibilities of siblings or elders, you have even less time to really plan and work that the magic to achieve and maintain Socialite status.

So, how do we best maximize our time if we aspire to Socialite status?

By being extremely selective in terms of your social activities.

First of all, you can’t attend everything unless you have a full time staff and unlimited cash. Secondly, you do not want to be the person whose ‘mug’ is everywhere for no apparent reason except to be seen.

Here’s how I recommend that you strategically select activities to achieve Socialite status.

1)Learn your hometown’s social season and try to map out your activities as far in advance as possible. Advance planning is not only easier on the purse, but also gives you a good ‘out’ to decline invitations.

2)Go to events that you are really interested in and can help to expand your network. For example, if you hate Classical music, don’t attend performances of your town’s Orchestra. You will have absolutely nothing in common with the other attendees. Conversely, if you love Jazz or Modern Dance, attend those activities where you can chit-chat with people who share a similar passion.

3) Don’t overdo it by trying to be out every night/week/weekend at first. Twice a month is good for starters. As your social network increases, you may be able to build up the contacts (and stamina) to zoom around to various activities.

4) Get out of your comfort zone. It is highly doubtful that you will achieve Socialite status if you only socialize with (fill in the name of any organization or group here). Make a conscience decision to explore new ‘territory’ at least once a month.

5) Look for local Socialite role models and learn about their pet projects, charitable organizations of interest, etc. It not only helps to have a tangible person so that you can model their success but it will also give you some ideas about where you should make your appearances while on the ‘quest.’

I'm sure several of you will have lots to add to this discussion, so feel free.

Next up - be on the lookout for tips about getting good press.