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.