New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Jamal Bryant Takes Daughter Grace to Daddy-Daughter Dance, Some Critique Her Dress…

Hello World,

The first time I officially danced with my father was during my wedding in 2013. It was one of the most special moments in my life because the first man I had ever loved gave me away to the man I will forever love. I don’t recall any of the schools I attended when I was growing up having a Daddy-Daughter Dance, but I hear about them all of the time now. Apparently, the school where Grace Bryant attends had a Daddy-Daughter Dance on Saturday as Bravo reported that New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Jamal Bryant took his daughter Grace to one. Grace is also the daughter of Gizzelle Bryant, who is on the cast of  The Real Housewives of Potomac.  Both of the Bryants, who are back together after being divorced for several years, posted about this special occasion on their Instagram pages. But Grace’s dress, which is somewhat short and tight and shiny, has received some critical feedback…Below are some of the comments and Pastor Bryant’s IG post…

“No Mam Grace. Come with a dress to your knees . Y’all look good but no Mam I’m old school.”

“Naw. Naw grace lookin to grown 😭”

“Tell her to get back inside and put a crinoline over that Sir 🤭😉😆”

But I must say, most of the comments were complimentary…So what do I think? Believe it or not, I started receiving attention for my backside when I was still in elementary school. As a result, as I growing up, I tried to wear clothes that weren’t too tight or too short because of the unwanted attention. That being said, that’s just me. If her parents are cool with it, then that’s that…

What say you?

Any thoughts?

The Top 10 Blog Posts and or Magazine Articles for Black Christian Women in December 2019…

 

Hello World!!!

Happy New Year (and Merry Christmas since I missed that…)I took a sabbatical from blogging while I launched my debut novel Destination Wedding but I’m BACK now! I will tell you more about that launch in another blog post, but in the mean time, let me focus on the goal of this blog – blogging the cross section of faith, relationships and pop culture!

So much has happened during my month away and even in these first days of this New Year and I will get to that – but slowly as I get back to my mostly twice a week blogging schedule. In the mean time, as I get back into blogging shape (LOL), I’m back with my monthly roundup of blog posts and or magazine articles for black Christian women. Below is my Top 10 monthly roundup of blog posts and or magazine/newspaper articles for black Christian women for December but you don’t have be a black Christian woman to to check them out. As usual, let me know if you like my list! Enjoy and share!

1.  Miss World’s Win Means Five Black Women Now Hold the Top Pageant Titles — a Historic First” by Katie Mettler

Excerpt: The crowning of Miss World 2019 has closed out this year’s historic pageant circuit, marking the first time the titles for all five top beauty contests were won by black women. On Saturday, Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh was named Miss World, joining a 2019 cohort of advocates for prison reform, women’s rights and music education who used their platform to address conventional beauty standards: Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, Miss America Nia Franklin, Miss USA Cheslie Kryst and Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaliegh Garris. “To that little girl in St. Thomas, Jamaica and all the girls around the world — please believe in yourself,” Singh wrote on Twitter. “Please know that you are worthy and capable of achieving your dreams. This crown is not mine but yours. You have a PURPOSE.” See more at: washingtonpost.com.

2. “Another Black Woman Emerges Winner at Miss France 2020 Pageant” by Briefly Team

Excerpt: Another black woman has won a beauty pageant, joining the reign of black queens in major beauty pageants around the world. Miss Guadeloupe, Clémence Botino, was crowned in the 90th edition of Miss France pageant on Saturday, 14 December. See more at: briefly.co.za.

3. “Rosa Parks Statue Unveiled in Montgomery, Alabama on 64th Bus Anniversary” by TMZ

Excerpt: Rosa Parks was memorialized in the city where she was once arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person … and where a statue of her now stands tall. The bronze life-size figure was unveiled Sunday in Montgomery, Alabama with the help of Mayor Steven Reed — who recently became Montgomery’s first black mayor — as well as Alabama’s governor, Kay Ivey. There were other important people there too, though. Mary Louise Smith was on hand for the unveiling as well — she’s one of the original plaintiffs in the Browder vs. Gayle case that ultimately desegregated buses in Montgomery a year after Parks was arrested. See more at: tmz.com.

4. “‘The Clark Sisters: First Ladies Of Gospel’ Trailer: First Look At Biopic On Iconic And Influential Group” by Shadow and Act

Excerpt: Lifetime has released the first trailer for their upcoming film, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies Of Gospel. The trailer was unveiled in a promotional video for the movie, introduced by Kelly Rowland. Emmy nominee Aunjanue Ellis stars as the sisters’ mother, Mattie Moss Clark. The sisters are Christina Bell as Twinkie, Kierra Sheard as Karen (her real-life mother), Sheléa Frazier as Dorinda, Raven Goodwin as Denise and Angela Birchett as Jacky. The project is executive produced by Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and Missy Elliott. The description:  The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel recounts the story of the highest-selling female gospel group in history and their trailblazing mother, Mattie Moss Clark. Credited with bringing gospel music to the mainstream, the five Clark sisters overcame humble beginnings in Detroit, enduring abuse, loss, rejection, betrayal and sibling rivalries to achieve international fame as icons of the gospel music industry. Christine Swanson is the director of the Sylvia L. Jones-written script. See more at: shadowandact.com. 

5. “Brooklyn Church Evicts Its Former First Lady Before Christmas and Defends the Action” by Nigel Roberts

Excerpt: DITMAS PARK – A dispute that centered in part on how Black churches should treat their pastor’s wife came to a legal resolution. The courts ordered the removal of former First Lady Paula Scarlett-Brown, widow of the late Archbishop Roy E. Brown who founded the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Flatbush, from her home that the church owns. While the legal dispute ended, a moral debate continues about first ladies. See more at: bklyner.com.

6. “Angela Brown, Viral Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Mastermind, is Our Internet Person of the Year” by Kahron Spearman

Excerpt: “There’s a lot of things that [as a Black person/woman] I’ll bring to the table that our team will bring to the table that our clients aren’t aware of,” she asserts. “I think people think that you can get a moment like this [without] people of color, or Black people. And the reality is you can’t. Every community is specific, and you just won’t find these moments without people who know how to find them, and know how to respond.” See more at: dailydot.com.

7. “Michelle Williams Says You Won’t Always Be Everyone’s Favorite Person & That’s OK” by Taylor Honore 

Excerpt: “I’ve done a lot of gospel, so I’m kind of insecure because mainstream [fans] don’t know my voice. And sometimes social media… it’s bad when you read the comments. I like engaging with people on social media. I don’t want to not talk to the people that are being gracious all because there are some mean ones out there.” See more at: xonecole.com. 

8. “6 Things To Consider Before Getting Into An Interfaith Relationship” by Shellie R. Warren

Excerpt: Being that I am a marriage life coach, I often get asked if I subscribe to interfaith marriages. Well, being that I am also a Bible follower (not an evangelical by any stretch, but I do strive for discipleship—John 8:31-32), I have to take into account that the Bible has interfaith couples. One that immediately comes to mind is Boaz and Ruth. He was Hebrew, she was a Moabite—there you have it; an interfaith relationship. (By the way, if you read the story, you might change your tune about “I’m waiting on my Boaz.” See more at: xonecole.com.

9. “New York City Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ Casts First Black Marie” by Vanessa Etienne

Excerpt: At just 11 years old, Charlotte Nebres has made history. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker opened Friday (Nov 29) at New York City Ballet, and for the first time in history, a Black girl will be playing the young heroine, Marie.  Charlotte Nebres was cast in the famous production which dates back to 1954. Charlotte was only six years old when Misty Copeland became the first female African-American principal at American Ballet Theater and recalls being inspired by seeing someone on stage who looked like her, The New York Times reports.  Now, Charlotte is a ballerina at the School of American Ballet and will be making a name for herself on stage in The Nutcracker. See more at: bet.com.

10. “Pioneering Black Woman, Who Designs Interior of Cadillacs, Shares Her Road to Success” by  Natasha S. Alford

Excerpt: The road to success has lots of twists and turns, but at least Crystal Windham knows how to ride in style. Her artistic talent and creative thinking are exactly what led her to become the first African-American woman Director of Interior Design at General Motors in 2008. While most people think of “interior designers” as style gurus who only beautify homes, Windham does the same for what she calls people’s second homes: cars. See more at: thegrio.com.

If you know of any black Christian women bloggers and or writers, please e-mail me at jacqueline@afterthealtarcall.com as I’m always interested in expanding my community of black Christian women blogs and websites. As I noted before, while this is a roundup of interesting blog posts and or magazine and newspaper articles for black Christian women, you don’t have to be one to appreciate these pieces  🙂.

Any thoughts?

Pastor’s Daughter Desiray Cooper Creates D’esir Cosmetics After Battling Eating Disorders, Eczema

Hello World,

For Desiray Cooper, the path to the beauty industry took an unexpected turn — from one of walking out her dreams of life on the runway to one of launching her own line of beauty and body products. The D’esir Cosmetics line (desircosmetics.com) includes body butter, an eyeshadow palette, lip scrubs and soy massage candles.

Cooper’s attempts to meet the high demands of the fashion and beauty industry led to an eating disorder followed by doctors’ diagnoses of autoimmune diseases. Those challenges were compounded by attacks triggered by food allergies and intolerances. Over time, the metro Atlanta resident would connect with others facing similar challenges. Then came physical tests by her son who battled outbreaks from eczema. The combination of trials inspired Cooper to take matters into her own hands by developing skincare and makeup products that are safe to use — avoiding the pattern, as with some other brands, of including harsh ingredients.

Below is my interview with Desiray…

Tell us about D’esir Cosmetics.

D’esir Cosmetics is an online-based skincare and makeup line, with each skincare collection centered around your deepest desires. For example, with our newly released eyeshadow palette “I Need Love Like Confetti,” we celebrate that deep inside everyone desires love, so the palette name serves as a representation of the need for endless love — as with confetti that keeps falling. We also have a spa product collection of gluten-free products, which are free from the unnecessary chemicals most companies add to their products. We use real ingredients that not only make you smell good, but nourish the body.

Why did you see a need to launch D’esir Cosmetics?

The industry was always lacking something I was seeking. I came to realize that if I felt that way, there must have been others feeling the same. As someone who is always looking for products that won’t irritate my skin, I came to understand those would have to come through me. For example, it took me almost two years to perfect my body butter. My son suffered with severe eczema for years with no relief; there was no product on the market that was able to help his skin — not one — and we tried them all. It wasn’t until I developed my body butter made with natural ingredients such as shea butter, mango butter, coconut oil and nutrients that feed his skin that we were able to see a transformation.

You previously owned a popular bakery, now a cosmetics company. Is it safe to say you’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug?

I constantly look for ways to create solutions for problems. When I launched the bakery in Spangdahlem, Germany, there was a large community of Americans that was not able to get real American sweets locally. Our military people wanted a ‘cake boss,’ and a cupcake craze experience in Germany, and we did just that.

You’re a PK, with a mother as a pastor. How would you say your spirituality has played into your business ventures and professional life?

My faith in God is the center of everything I do. It’s Him and Him alone that has pulled me out of a very dark place of depression more times than I can count. I’m a living witness if you call on Him He will answer you in your time of need. I’m on a journey, and He is guiding my direction. This is a process that allowed me to reach where I am today and will continue to guide me in the future. I know without Him, nothing is possible.

On your website, you share of how personal experience with an eating disorder and your son’s eczema issues helped lead to the start of your business. Tell us more about that.

Growing up, I always felt like I had to find my place in society — as I faced questions about ‘why was I made this way?’ and ‘why was I almost six feet tall in high school?’ I was always made fun of because I looked different. I soon found my passion for fashion, and my love for everything art. The only thing standing in my way was my weight. Constant bulimia, and abuse of laxatives even has taken a great toll on my body. It seems as though for a few years I dealt with constant discomfort, hair loss, loss of teeth and a diminished self-esteem. I’m on a journey to loving myself, and hope to inspire others in the process. There is no amount of success or even love that should cause you to lose yourself. Having autoimmune diseases and other health problems was triggered by my choices; that’s a hard pill to swallow. Trusting God has allowed me to accept the plan He has for my life, and I understand His process led me down a different path. I wanted to use every gift He gave me, and through this I created my own brand that defines its own definition of beauty — and that is we are all beautiful in our own way.

What advice would you offer to others with business ideas yet to be birthed?

Trust God and make Him the center of every decision you make. Do your homework and learn everything you can about your craft. Understand that it is hard work, and be ready to commit to it so that you can see it all the way through.

D’esir Cosmetics is an online business offering beauty and body solutions that are safe on skin, including products that are free of parabens and gluten. D’esir aims to empower others from all walks of life to own their beauty and embrace their desires. More info: desircosmetics.com

Any thoughts?