Janet Jackson lived a version of modern day slavery when she married allegedly abusive husband, Quatari Muslim Billionaire Wissam Al Mana. A source reports that he was heard saying, “In my country you are all treated like slaves.” Wissam Al Mana is an Arab native who created his fortune in the fashion industry.
She revealed that she had been deprived of almost everything in life, as she could not even listen to music, drive a car, wear designer clothes but only the ‘Black Abaya’ and could not even move outside her residential home, in Doha as she was always surrounded by heavily armed security men.
Janet said her song feat J.Cole “No Sleep” subliminally echos the tales of her marriage, citing the difficulties involved in adapting to her new life, the stress involved in being a Muslims wife and the regrets she had due to the choices she made.
A potential divorce could prove quite costly as Wissam, 42, is estimated to have a fortune of around $1 billion as CEO of multinational Al Mana business conglomerate. Which is at least four times Janet’s worth.
The stress, depression and pain that Janet suffered as a result of this scandal could spell out payday for Mrs. Jackson, as she could quadruple her wealth. Everyone gets what they wanted.
We should be mindful of what we put on our body as we are of what put inside of it. Parabens, phthalates, and sulfates are some of the toxic compounds that we should avoid. They not only harm us but they also harm the earth. Plus, with all the sophisticated, chic packaging around and superior-quality sustainable ingredients that actually deliver, being green no longer means we have to settle for natural beauty goods of a lesser variety. So to help us celebrate our gorgeous planet, we’ve rounded up a medley of environment-friendly primpers that are as pleasing to our body (and eyes) as they are to Mother Earth. Going green never looked so good
Natural and nontoxic skincare is what this brand is about. Everything is formulated and manufactured by Tata at her farm in Vermont. Use this gentle, detoxifying treatment, consisting of five herbs—arnica montana, calendula, borage, meadowsweet, and alfalfa to keep your skin looking smooth and clear.
This green brand is made with 100% recyclable packaging and cold-pressed vegan ingredients. The superfood blend of kale, spinach and aloe along with ultra-emollient sunflower oil can be found in its best-selling, wrinkle-reducing eye cream.
The precious honey utilized in this mild soap is sourced from the Sheka rainforest biosphere reserve in Ethiopia, where the bee whisperers of Beza Mar are dedicated to maintaining the community’s traditional way of working with the black and yellow buzzers.
When it comes to mineral sunscreens, not all are created equal. Many sun-shielders use a synthetic or chemical base, such as oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate. Promise Organic’s broad spectrum sunscreen boasts a pure 100% natural formula that combines zinc oxide, NSF certified Shea Butter and a blend of nourishing, antioxidant–rich essential oils and plant extracts.
We love browsing online through Nordstrom’s new Natural Beauty section, brimming with an ever-expanding, diverse selection of beauty brands that are paraben, sulfate and phthalate free. We especially love that it allows us to filter products by ingredients (or lack thereof). On a recent dive, we discovered Arcona’s Magic Black Ice— a powerful concoction of charcoal, black lava and Icelandic volcanic sand that exfoliates and clarifies. Plus, it’s made locally in small batches, so that it’s all-natural, cold processed and paraben free.
This ultra-luxe face oil contains a host of naturally-derived and non-toxic ingredients, including a proprietary enzyme derived from salmon that helps control your skin’s oil production while creating a protective barrier against environmental pollutants and toxins. It’s also suffused with flakes of 24-karat gold that’ll melt into your skin, leaving it with an uber-rich glow.
Lanolin, a natural sebum found on sheep’s fur after shearing, is nature’s wonder moisturizer. Its unique molecular structure closely mimics our skin’s own lipids. Smooth this gorgeous-smelling, lano-laden cream from the Land Down Under on your tips and toes to keep them soft and supple.
This natural, vegan deodorant really works. Not only does it do your pits good, but it’s also good for the environment. The BPA-free stick applicators are made from recycled materials and are 100% recyclable.
Who would have ever considered combining yoga and hip-hop? Atlanta native Jaimee Ratliff did and the result has been incredible. The certified yoga instructor has boldly infused the 5,000-year-old spiritual practice with hip-hop and created a class that has students twerking during down-ward facing dog and pop locking into child pose.
Ratliff, who has been practicing yoga since 2008 and is also a travel writer, decided to ramp up her practice in 2015 after being robbed at gunpoint while backpacking with a friend through Colombia. She suffered from posttraumatic stress syndrome after the robbery all while dealing a bad breakup. Ratliff went to therapy and began deepening her yoga practice to help her get through the emotional pain she was experiencing. “I turned to yoga to heal from the inside out, to develop more self love for myself, and to show more gratitude toward myself.” She began going to classes three to four times a week and eventually became a certified yoga teaching. Although she loved the studios and classes she was attending, she couldn’t help but notice something.
There were hardly any Black people.
“The whole time I was practicing yoga, trying out different studios and styles, I was always the token Black girl in the class,” Ratliff says. “Yoga is supposed to be for everyone, but there is not a lot of diversity, whether it’s a class, a yoga magazine, or an ad for a yoga apparel company.”
Ratliff decided it was time to change that.
“I wanted to share the mental and spiritual benefits that I was receiving from my own practice with my people—people who looked like me. Especially since there is this mental health stigma in the Black community where we don’t tend to our mental issues,” she says. “Yoga has been integral in helping me with my state of mind and I wanted to share that.” So Ratliff set out to create a class where she could reach more people in her community. What better way to do that than to pair a yoga class with hip hop music? “We like good music, we like rhythm, we like to move, we like to dance. I felt like we needed a class where you can come, have fun, and not feel judged if it’s your first time practicing yoga.” And she created just that with a 60-minute yoga class that includes mat work and a little dancing in between.
Yes, blending the two seems odd at first, especially with yoga being focused on stillness, meditation, and breath control, while hip-hop is energetic and driven by bass-filled beats. But the recipe has managed to fill Ratliff’s classes to the brim and bring out of a large amount of African-Americans—many in which had never taken a yoga class before or been interested in getting on the mat. “I had about 40 people in one of my classes recently,” Ratliff says. “And out of those 40, about 25 of them were yogis of color. I have never seen that in my life. After class they were coming up to me saying ‘This is my amazing! I never knew yoga was like this.’ The energy was so beautiful.”
Ratliff’s classes consist of the conventional breath work and yoga poses you’d find in any yoga class, the only difference is a Jay Z or Young Thug song is playing in the background. She plays everything from old-school hip-hop to today’s trap music, and makes sure they are the clean versions, of course. “My classes still have all of the elements of a regular yoga class, but if people want to dance, that’s fine. There have been times when we’re going through a really intense standing sequence and a song will come on and someone will say ‘That’s my jam!’” says Ratliff. “Folks will start dancing for a few seconds, but then we’ll go right back to focusing on our practice. We let loose but for the majority of the time it’s still a yoga class with the traditional poses.”
The feedback from Ratliff’s students have been extremely positive and her classes have been growing in size every week. Right now she is based in Atlanta, but she eventually wants to do pop-up hip-hop yoga classes across the country. She says that her eclectic, fun, non-judgmental style of yoga is bringing newbies to the mat. “There may be studios out there that teach yoga to good music, but there is nothing like a black teacher teaching yoga to hip-hop music,” she says. “I think that’s what makes it very special.”
This week saw the first full week of the NBA Playoffs and no surprise the headliners were Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Steph Curry and EBONY Cover star, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook. Still no telling who will cut down the net, but these ballers are offering a clue.
But that wasn’t the only hype sports event this week. On Monday, the Kenyans took back the Boston Marathon with Geoffrey Kirui winning in the men’s category and Edna Kiplagat winning for the women.
Meanwhile, the Force was with us as the trailer for Lucasfilm’s “The Last Jedi” was released. John Boyega, who will reprise his role as “Finn” made an appearance at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando to talk about all things related to the galaxy far, far away.
Finally it was BAWSE night as Rick Ross headlined the show at the launch party of Eclipse at the Daylight Beach Club in the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas.
Check back next week for more Black excellence captured in the Black Lens.
We can never get enough of seeing our stories on the big and small screens. Up next is Ben Cory Jones’ Candy, a one-hour political based drama that’s currently in development with Bravo TV.
According to Deadline, the plot centers on the youngest and first African American female mayor as she navigates the treacherous political terrains of one of America’s most violent and poorest cities while balancing her marriage and an illicit affair. The city, the school system, a group of disenfranchised high schoolers and the show’s leading lady. Candy are all in varying degrees of crisis.
Jones is currently a writer on fan favorites Insecure and Underground. With these heavyweights on his resume, we’re already excited about the stories to come – an enthusiasm that the writer shares with us.
“I’m super excited about this show and to be working with Universal Cable Productions. I’m really excited to bring a complicated, unique, interesting, young Black female character to the world,” Jones reveals to EBONY. “We’ve been developing this script for a while and it’s great to be adding to the landscape a young Black woman as the lead of this show in a way that you’ve never seen before.”
Here’s to wishing Ben and crew a great roll-out!
Melissa Kimble is the Senior Social Media Manager for the EBONY brand. An advocate for Black Creatives via #blkcreatives, you can connect with her on Twitter at @Melissa_Kimble.
Photographs by Drew Barrymore reveal hearts found in everyday situations.”I have always loved hearts,” writes acclaimed actress Drew Barrymore in the foreword to this heartwarming gift book. “The way that continuous line accomplishes the most extraordinary thing–it conveys love.” In FIND IT IN E…