The New Miss Universe 2011 is a Classy Black Lady.

Black women = winning

When we heard the news that Miss Angola, Leila Lopes, was the winner of Miss Universe 2011 we knew this was yet another joyous moment for classy black ladies everywhere.

This beautiful African sister from Benguela, Angola dazzled the crowd and impressed judges with her eloquence.

She will now tour the world and work on  furthering her social causes. It helps that she's multi-lingual and a college student currently studying business management.

After getting a healthy dosage of negative media messages about black women over the past week from commercials to movies and television shows, I must admit that it was truly beautiful to read a positive story about such a classy, elegant and deserving black lady. It turns out that Miss Angola is the very first Miss Universe from her country in Africa and only one of four African women ever voted Miss Universe.

Congratulations to Leila Lopes, Miss Angola 2011, the new Miss Universe 2011.

help grow the twitter hashtag #blackwomenwinning


From time to time we profile black woman-owned businesses at Classy Black Lady. Hearing stories of black women starting their own small businesses serves as motivation for the rest of us to take those extra steps toward business ownership instead of relying on corporations for employment. 

Valana Minerals is a black woman-owned business headed up by Ms. Valerie Reed. It is a line of mineral based makeup products designed especially for brown and black skin tones. Ms. Reed created Valana Minerals because she couldn't find makeup from mainstream companies that matched her skin tone and that also didn't cause allergic reactions. Ms. Reed was aided by friends and family to get her cosmetics line off of the ground. Her sales took off in 2007. She's been featured in Coco & Creme, Afrobella and World Bride Magazine.

In earlier posts on I've also expressed to black women the importance of supporting businesses that continuously support your unique needs. Many long-standing beauty companies like L'Oreal, Revlon, Chanel, and Maybelline have long ignored the different shades and skin types of black women.

I can't count the times I've gone to the local pharmacy and found a nearly non-existent set of foundation options for deep dark brown skin. Also, skin care products often dry out melanin-rich African-American skin, cause blotchiness, discoloration and other issues with continued use.

Now suddenly in 2011, these mainstream cosmetic companies are finally trying to break into the lucrative "black" market. Chanel recently released a new line of products for women of color. Clinique has been advertising a very expensive product to black women to get rid of dark marks and discolorations.

I say that it's too little too late. 

I encourage you to support black-owned businesses, like Valana Minerals, that have always focused mainly on serving the specific needs of black women first and foremost. These companies have put us first -- let's return the favor

Valana Minerals was recently profiled in Winkler Magazine:

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Hmm, not bad, huh? Congratulations to Valerie Reed and her successful black woman owned business!

If you want to check her products out, visit the Valana Minerals Cosmetics website to learn more. She also offers an online Makeup School to help you put your unique look together.

Also, if you're trying to start your own small black woman-owned business please visit the Black Women in Business section of the blog for business/career advice and tips. 

Musical trio of young black princesses called the SugarStrings play classical music fit for a King.

A little while ago I saw a news report on television about a group of 3 young black girls who play classical instruments and perform for groups of people at schools, churches and community programs.

They call themselves the SugarStrings. Trio members are cousins 13-year-old Adele Williams on violin, 13-year-old Mira Williams on both violin and viola, and 19-year-old Ayana Williams who plays the cello.
The SugarStrings Trio

The SugarStrings have performed at a number of illustrious events, including a fundraiser for Barack Obama, the Chicago Foundation for Women conference and a family concert thrown by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 

What really struck me about the story of these three young black ladies was that they play for other young black kids at churches and schools to inspire these other kids to do the same thing. They want to show other black kids that they too can learn an instrument and enjoy the benefits of a musical education.

Watch a video of one of their performances here:

Learn more about the SugarStrings here -- you can also book them at if you'd like them to visit your school or upcoming event.

You can also donate to the SugarStrings here.

A young and might I add extremely intelligent 10 year old black American girl and her father released a new song today entitled "Letter to Lil Wayne." The song is by a young lady who calls herself Watoto from the Nile.

In the video the young prodigy did what dozens of grown black rappers and entertainers haven't had the guts to - she directly addressed Lil Wayne's constant disrespect of black women in his songs. 

She gently but firmly denounced the fact that he calls black women out of their name constantly in his "disturbing" songs.

While she specifically spoke to Lil Wayne, she also showed clips of him "hanging" with members of his crew, namely Nicki Minaj. This is a female rapper who recently referred to young black women as "nappy headed hoes" in her song "Did it on Em."

In the song Watoto specifically says that she knows her purpose: "my people I devote my service."

You have to simply watch the entire video to understand why I am so immensely proud of this young lady. She has made a simple yet respectful song that says what many grown up people can't even seem to say to their own kids.

I will do whatever I can to promote her song throughout the universe via social media and other outlets. Please help me do so.

Also, buy her song on CD Baby - it is only 99 cents. If we all get a copy she and her Dad can have a bank account that rivals Lil Wayne, only she will have gotten her money the right way ;)

Love Tabby