Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week's flick features musical legend Aretha Franklin & former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice performing at The Mann Music Center in Philadelphia on July 27th. The event was a fundraiser for arts programs targeted to inner city youth and raised more than $580,000. The Mann Music Center is also celebrating its 75th Anniversary of providing music in the city's Fairmount Park.

Many people nicknamed the event "The Diva & The Diplomat."

Fab Fiance & I were among the 600+ attendees at the 'Party in The Park' Gala prior to the concert. It was hot as blazes under the tent where we had cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and dinner - but we thoroughly enjoyed chatting it up with table-mates. The good and bad news is that we were seated dangerously close to the dessert buffet - with cupcakes, green candies, and a chocolate fountain.

We had great concert seats - five rows from the stage in the center of the aisle. The place was packed from the "roota to the toota" and sold completely out. It felt tight too with 8,000 concert goers mulling around.

The concert began with classical works performed by Condoleezza Rice with The Philadelphia Orchestra. She sounded amazing!

At the intermission, I tweeted that I saw Ronald Isley walking by us with his wife. He later joined Aretha on stage for a rendition of "The Way We Were" that bought many of us to tears.

It goes without saying that Ms. Franklin bought the house down! She looked fantastic after her weight loss and her voice is absolutely outstanding. Her spirit was personable as she joked and delighted the audience. She sang R&B, Gospel, and Arias (take that youngins'!)

The two ladies later reunited on stage to perform 'I Say A Little Prayer for You.'

After the concert, Fab Fiance & I enjoyed champagne and more dessert at a reception for gala attendees. As we walked to the car, we talked about how we witnessed one of the most incredible and historic concert events ever. It was worth the money to create this special memory for us.

More importantly, these two ladies demonstrated how we can put partisanship aside to help our children. Hopefully, others will follow their lead.

Check out this MSNBC-TV of some of the concert highlights.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Desiree Rogers Grants First TV Interview Since White House Departure

Former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers granted a rare interview with FOX-TV in Chicago recently. She reflects on her experience and provides some candid insight about the person - not the media driven mythology.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Flicks

Natoya Green & Frederick Mwangaguhunga at The Frick Collection Garden Party in NYC

Marcus & Maya Samuelsson at the Grand Opening of Target in Harlem NYC

Thelma Golden at the Grand Opening of Target in Harlem NYC

I picked three flicks today that express beautiful and trendy ways to dress in the summer heat! No need to let yourselves (ahem) get out of control with our attire during this season.

Thanks Arielle for the Target Photos & Invite to the Grand Opening!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Can Vogue Africa Be Economically Viable?

Mario Epayna (a Cameroonian artist and photographer) has been chatting up launching Vogue Africa for some time now.

I said to myself "this is great!" All bias aside, Vogue Africa makes sense to me given the growth of Africa’s population, the success of the World Cup in South Africa, and the rise in the middle class in various regions of the continent.

Well, lo and behold in what’s has to be one this century’s head scratching business moves, Conde Nast (well Conde Nast France actually) has put the kabash on launching Vogue Africa. Epayna announced this on his Facebook page last week.

When I heard the news, the questions that came immediately to mind for me:

Does Conde Nast France operate as a surrogate for vetting new ventures and titles for Conde Nast International outside of North America?

Was Conde Nast International even aware of this fledging concept?

Did anyone inside Conde Nast conduct a SWOT analysis before pulling the plug on this publication?

Where are the results from the market analytics report?

Then, I got busy. You see, I’m a visual and data/evidence based girl so I need to see the math and growth potential of this publication before I start name calling. My objective was to see whether or not the market/continent of Africa could financially support a venture like this.

Here’s what I learned:

According to the UN’s population fund, Africa ‘s population tops 1 billion with Black Africans constituting the largest ethnic group inside the country (BBC)

The Economist wrote that the “past 15 years have seen Africa’s fastest-ever period of economic growth.” (The Econonist & Annansi Chronicles)

In spite of a tanking economy in most parts of the developed world, Africa has plenty of economic success stories according to The World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa

So if Vogue Africa became a reality it appears that it has a really good shot of succeeding in its primary market.

Then I thought about the possible secondary markets (North and South America) where large populations of people of African descent live. It is highly likely that there is enough of a subscription pool to support Vogue Africa in spite of declining ethnic magazine sales in both of these regions.


Well, we can point to the financial success of the all Black Vogue Italia in 2008. This special issue caused such a fury that it prompted a re-printing. It became clear to me that Black people are hungry for high quality, high fashion images of us in a global publication.

What a shame it will be if Conde Nast passes on this opportunity. Hopefully, someone with clout inside the company will provide us with an official statement. Maybe we'll be able to better understand their rationale.

Or I will start name calling.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week’s flick features B. Smith (left), John Starks, & Pat Bransford, Founder and President of The National Urban Technology Center at the Urban Tech Gala last month in New York City. The event was coined “Tribute to Ambassador Carl Spielvogel” and raised $440,000 to benefit Urban Tech’s Youth Leadership Academy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This Lil' Lady Needs Our Help

I learned about the heartrending story of Miss Shannon Travarez today while watching The Wendy Williams Show. This young lady (whose amazing talent shone brightly on Broadway in The Lion King) has been stricken with leukemia.

She sounds like an absolutely delightful child and has an incredible will to live.

If you are of African-American heritage, please consider registering with the national bone marrow registry so that we can give this bright star and many others battling this disease, a fighting chance at survival.

Learn more by clicking here.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. Please Tweet & Facebook share this story with others.