What do you say to a woman; who along with her family paved the way for many people in journalism including ourselves. Thank you!

It was the first thing we expressed when meeting Linda Johnson Rice, Chair and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company (JPC). Her father, John H. Johnson founded the company in the 1940’s—where it became the home of Ebony Magazine, Jet (now and Fashion Fair Cosmetics.

Linda was in town to attend the 24th Annual Pinnacle Awards; held by the Greater Houston Black Chamber (GHBC) at the Marriott Marquis Houston Hotel Saturday. There she was honored for a Lifetime Achievement Award for Ebony Magazine.

Gracious in spirit, she thanked us for the opportunity to connect inside the suite that she and the other guests occupied before the awards show. Dressed in a black lace attire, she smiled at each person who came into her presence to either conduct an interview or pose for photos. Her short, blond afro accentuated the makeup worn which complimented the confidence she has as an African-American business leader. Asking what does it mean for her to be present at this year’s awards as a Lifetime Achievement honoree? Linda replied, “You know… it really is very special because I think to be able to be in Houston which is a great city of African-American empowerment, leadership and business and all of which I completely and wholeheartedly endorse coming from JPC— It’s a wonderful, wonderful honor. So I’m greatly appreciative. The honor really isn’t just for me, but for Ebony and Jet and for all they have done and continue to mean to the African-American community.”


Linda Johnson Rice Talks Pinnacle Awards Honor In Houston
Linda Johnson Rice with La Trisha (l) and La Tasha (r) at the Marriott Marquis Hotel Houston October 5, 2018  Photo courtesy of GHBC

As for what’s in store for Ebony Magazine being a part of events like GHBC in the future? Linda says, “We’re working on the next issue…we’re always working on the next issue (laughter). The great thing is now we’re very aggressive on the digital space so you can have Ebony twenty-four hours a day on your phone. So we’ve got the staff writing feverishly all the time covering things which I think are important in the African-American community and for the community at large. Since it is digital— the whole world can read it to learn about who we are and what we do.”

Congratulations Linda Johnson Rice on your Lifetime Achievement Award honor!


Ebony Magazine Chair, Michael Gibson and Vice Chairman, Willard Scott were also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Click here to see a complete list of all the Pinnacle Awards Nominees.


Special thanks to Misty Blue Media


By La Trisha and La Tasha “Twins of Media”

Photo credit: Priscilla Graham





Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz and Ex-Wife Mashonda Tifrere appeared on ABC Good Morning America Wednesday to discuss Tifrefe’s new book Blend. The three parents sat down in an interview with GMA co-host, Michael Strahan. Keys wrote the foreword while Beatz wrote a chapter in the book.


Swizz Beatz, Mashonda, and Alicia Keys Courtesy of ABC News




Tifrere’s new book is about co-parenting. Sharing the family’s journey from their rocky  beginnings to where they are today.  Tifrere spoke about how the tension between the parents affected her son.  “He was, you know, acting out in his own little way,” she said. “He had some issues in school . . . he wanted to know why I couldn’t go see him at his dad’s, and why can’t his dad come over and see his bedroom at our house.”

Tifrere said it was “a wake up call.”

“Like, we’ve got to do better, we’ve got to figure this out,” she said. “Even if we don’t want to for ourselves right now, we have to do it for him, cause he doesn’t deserve this.”

It was that moment that Tifrere knew something had to change. In working to blend their family Tifrere spoke about the time she invited Keys to Kasseem’s 6th birthday.

“That was a pivotal moment, because we had already been doing a lot of the work as far as communicating and really consciously trying to get to a new level of respect and … a different level of humanity with each other,” Tifrere said.

“And I felt like, you know, ‘I really — I want Alicia to be here,’” Tifrere recalled. “And not only did she come, but she stayed until the end of the party, and that moment was our first time really hanging out together as a family.”

Beatz also shared a message for men dealing with a similar situation.

“When families don’t blend, and there’s a child involved, you know, as men, we always look for the way out,” he said. “‘Oh, well, you know, she’s not letting me see the kids … I won’t see ’em then.’”

“We just take … our personal experiences with the mom and use that as an excuse not to see our child,” he said. “And I think that that’s the wrong way for the fellas to think.”

Beatz added that when “you actually put the work in and put the time in to blend,” it’s a win for the whole family.

“The child wins, and you as a father win, and the mom, and the bonus mom win as well, so then everybody wins,” he said.

The journey in bringing their families together was not an easy process. After Tifrere and Beatz divorced in 2010, the parents could not get along for a while. This affected their son, Kasseem Jr., now 11.

Keys who shares two biological children (Egypt  and Genesis) with Beatz, loves being a part of their blended family and a bonus mom to Kasseem who he calls “Umi” which means mother in Arabic.

“We love each other. I mean, we hang out with each other. We go to dinner together,” Keys told Strahan. “We’re doing Thanksgiving, we’re doing the holidays.” 

“It is a beautiful partnership,” she added. “And that is really, really special. I’m very, very proud of that.”

Blending families together and co-parenting with exes is “a real thing, and it’s possible,” says Keys.

Tifrere added that the blending process “can’t ever stop, because our children are growing.”

Keys said she feels that she and Tifrere are “life partners” because of this.

“I remember one day … Mashonda said to me, you know, ‘We’re going to be grandparents together,’” Keys said. “And I was like, ‘Wow.”

The idea of sharing grandchildren one day “gives me chills right now,” Keys added. “It’s so beautiful.”

Strahan ended the conversation by asking, each of you describe your blended family? Tifrere: “Flow,” Keys: “My Inspiration, ” and Beatz: “Victorious.” 


Are you apart of a blended family? If so, what has been your journey in blending your family?



Blend_Mashonda Tifrere

In her new book “Blend,” Mashonda Tifrere chronicles her journey co-parenting with her ex-husband, Swizz Beatz and his wife, singer-songwriter Alicia Keys.



By BSM Team

Feature Photo of Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys and Mashonda Tifrere with their blended family  courtesy of Cole Cook





Netflix’s Nappily Ever After debuted Friday, September 21. The film stars Love and Basketball actress Sanaa Lathan (Violet) a woman who is obsessed with having the perfect life right down to her long and straight hair. We see Violet celebrating a birthday with family and friends in the beginning of the film. She anticipates her boyfriend of two-years Clint (Ricky Whittle) will finally propose, but instead, he gives her a charm necklace from Tiffany & Co. for the puppy he also bought her.  Violet who has to come to terms with her not so perfect life, begins to question herself by making visible changes to her appearance with her hair. She goes from long and straight to wearing a weave (after a bad salon visit) to a chin length blonde bob. Eventually, she’s had enough and shaves it all off after a drunken night ends with a bad rebound date.  If you haven’t done so already, check out Nappily Ever After on Netflix. In the meantime, we’re giving you four things we learned watching the film.



I Am Not My Hair

The song ‘I Am Not My Hair‘ by India Arie should be every black woman’s beauty anthem. Whether you wear it natural, straight, weave, braids, dyed or bald your hair is an enhancement and not a determinant of what society considers to be true beauty. We hope films like Nappily Ever After and Something New— another film that starred Sanaa Lathan will begin to change the narrative on how important it is for women to feel confident in their own skin. So the next time you question whether your natural hair is acceptable, be reminded who you really are is more than what is connected to your scalp. Knowing it is what’s in your heart that matters most.


Strive For Humility Rather Than Perfection

No matter how much we strive to have the perfect life it’s just not possible! There is no such thing as the perfect spouse, kids, car, house, job or anything for that matter. Lathan’s character (Violet) was so far removed from her true self because she hid behind the need to always be perfect. The beauty about life and all it’s twist and turns is that the lessons we learn help us to live life humbly rather than working to live life perfectly.


Ladies The Right Man Will Love You For You

In the film, Violet feels the need to always be perfect for her boyfriend. A notable moment, in the movie, is when she sets her alarm to get up early enough to fix her hair and face so it appears she wakes up beautiful every morning. Come on! We all know that rarely happens in real life. Right? If a man is not able to accept you for you then it’s time to reevaluate your relationship. NO ONE should make you feel insecure about the skin you were born with and that person does not deserve your time or heart. Ladies, when the right man comes along it will not matter the texture of your hair or the size of your physique. All that will matter is the size of your heart.


Happiness is a choice

Choose to be happy by choosing YOU first and what makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. It’s that simple! From Nappily Ever After to Happily Ever After the choice is yours.



Photo courtesy of Netflix



Nappily Ever After Stars: Sanaa Lathan, Ricky Whittle, Lyriq Bent, Lynn Whitfield, Ernie Hudson and Daria Johns.


By Beautifully Said Team

Feature Photo: Stefanie Keenan/ Getty Images






Holly Robinson Peete and her retired NFL husband, Rodney Peete have embarked on a new journey sharing their home life in their own docuseries “For Peete’s Sake.” The long-married duo remains to keep their focus on their four children while living in the spotlight. With twins RJ, who has autism, and daughter Ryan, athlete Robinson and preteen Roman, the series follows the Peete’s navigating their offspring’s as they approach adulthood as any devoted parents would. Life is full for the Peete’s which include Rodney’s health post-football, Holly’s mother and manager Dolores and running of their charity, the HollyRod Foundation. They’re our normal “television” family and we’re giving you five reasons they’ve instantly become a viewership favorite.

Marriage – Holly and Rodney Peete have been married for twenty years. Those who are married know that a long-lasting union requires work, and these two have managed to make it happen for two decades.


Family – Come on let’s face it, The Peete’s are a good-looking family, however, it’s the unconditional love displayed from episode one that caught our attention.  We applaud the Peete’s, along with Holly’s mom, Dolores  (the children’s grandmother) in working together to raise four beautiful and well-behaved children with four different personalities; Rodney Jr., RJ (17), Ryan Elizabeth (17), Robinson James (13) and Roman (10).


Autism Awareness – Son RJ was diagnosed with Autism at an early age. And Holly and Rodney have always been open about RJ’s diagnosis. Both have brought awareness about the disorder all throughout his childhood while continuously advocating for the cause to help their son and others.


Rodney Jr. (RJ) – The viewers were smitten with RJ from day one. When we see him we don’t just see Autism, we see a handsome, lovable, kind, polite and smart kid. Although he has Autism, it does not have him. RJ has a pure sweetness about him that reminds us that God makes no mistakes. His spirit is also a reminder that we are here on this earth to love others in spite of any differences or challenges.


Comedy – Although the show touches on the real life, day-to-day issues of marriage, kids, work etc. A family that laughs together stays happily together! Holly is a natural already when it comes to comedic timing, but seeing her and Rodney interact with the children can sometimes be a bit humorous. It reminds us that “oh yeah, the former NFL Football player and beautiful actress are just like us, and that’s why we love the Peete’s!


Message to RJ— “We are on this journey with you as you transition into adulthood, the workplace and being an advocate for Autism Awareness. Your star is bright!” ~Twins of Media


Watch For Peete’s Sake Saturday 9/8c on OWN

by Editors

Photo: Courtesy of OWN—Oprah Winfrey Network