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Why you need to subscribe to ARD Black Box

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Tired of taking endless hauls to home-styled department stores? Us too. All avid Homegoods and Target shoppers, we know you’re out there, and we know you know how disappointing it feels to leave a store empty-handed when you had every intention of spending. Hurts, doesn’t it? 

Well, what if I told you that there was an opportunity for you to get home decor items delivered directly to your doorstep? I’ll take a subscription box, but for home decor please! 

Introducing, ARD Black Box. Curated by Ashley Romero, this seasonal subscription box is going to be the next best thing. If you’re looking to spruce up your home with unique, hand-picked items, get ready to meet your newest obsession oops, I meant, subscription. 

You’ll receive four boxes a year, filled with chic, seasonal home items that you got at a fraction of the retail price, and the best part is you never have to leave the house! Still need more convincing? Read on to check out the top items in their winter collection. 

Champagne Flutes

These black swan champagne flutes bring the perfect edge to your home. They are perfect for hosting, bold, and they never go out of style. I can’t wait to use these flutes all year round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Marble Cutting Boards

These mini marble cutting boards look absolutely adorable and belong on display in any kitchen. Use them for prep work or as serving trays, the opportunities are endless. What can I say? I am a sucker for a good cutting board! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woven Coasters

These woven coasters are such a wonderful, bohemian piece that you won’t find at any department store! They’re soft so they won’t scratch the table, and the fabric absorbs condensation from the glass. Sounds like the ultimate all-in-one coaster to me!

 

 

 

 

 

Read more lifestyle articles on Cliche Mag.
Images provided by ARD Black Box. 
Instagram: @ardblackbox

From Anti-Blackness to Anti-Racism: Deconstructing White Supremacy with Jordan Simone

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            At 6’ tall with a statuesque build, Jordan Simone was frequently encouraged to pursue modeling. Her friends convinced her that TikTok would be a great way to gain exposure, so she created an account. One day, she decided to post a video about the seven things she felt the Black community needed to work on. The enthusiastic response blew her away. “I was like, ‘Wait a second. If you want to hear what I have to say about Black people, wait until I have to say things about white people.’ At the time, I was thinking a lot about white allies and white activism. I’m like, ‘Do that, but also y’all do that in a weird way. Here’s some critiques. Here’s gentle critiques that were gentle, but not gentle.’” Her videos became a source of education for users eager to learn about anti-Blackness and how to enhance their allyship. “I just started answering people’s questions or making content around what people were saying. It became its own thing from the things I was already passionate about featuring this need as a society. Society was like, ‘Hey, I actually want to know more about this and you deliver the information in a way that doesn’t make me angry or upset. You’re not yelling at me making me feel like an idiot. There are things I don’t know, but I appreciate that you’re not making me feel bad about not knowing things.'” Despite amassing nearly 300,000 followers, Jordan continues to focus on her contributions to various movements, characteristically conscious of the perpetual drive to grow and improve her own awareness of social issues. “I always called myself an aspiring activist, because I never feel like I’m doing enough. Maybe that’s the imposter syndrome. But ever since I was 16, I have a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong and what personal liberties are versus what the collective needs. And so when life decided (and TikTok decided) that this was something I was good at, I was like, ‘People have questions, and I actually have the answers.’” She extends that same understanding and compassion to her followers. “My mom’s always been a teacher, and as someone who is a teacher and teaches and has always been around teaching, I’m like, ‘I know I can’t judge you for not knowing things. Thank you for just asking and being willing to learn and listen.’ And so that’s made a safe space on my page,”
            Unfortunately, TikTok is notorious for having a contentious relationship with Black creators, suppressing their discussions of racism and whiteness – while happily enabling white creators to profit off of content stolen from Black creators. It wasn’t long before Jordan found her own content was being censored. The community is rallying to demand change, planning a Blackout for the first half of May, strategically targeted to deprive the app of content to make a statement about the power Black creators hold. “I know there are a lot of conversations happening about leaving the app for a little while, because it takes a trend two weeks to come in and out of fashion. The two week trend will end-ish sometime in early May. They’ll be looking for something new. We’re not there to give them something new.” There are some simple ways users and creators can show solidarity with Black creators. “You can support Black creators by actually watching our content all the way through, or even most of the way through, engaging with it and making sure that people give credit where credit is due, and hearing us when we speak.” Most crucially, don’t avoid or ignore conversations about racism because they’re difficult. “When Black creators have something to say, listen to it and hold it with value. As opposed to just ‘It makes me uncomfortable, so I’m not going to engage with it.’ We need to be as okay as we can be talking about race and racism. Because if you’re not, all that upholds is the systems of whiteness and white supremacy and TikTok is already trying to push down those videos. You have to be willing to seek them out and engage with them, so TikTok can’t do that. Because at the end of the day, it’s just a computer we’re fighting. But we are losing to a computer and that feels wrong.”

           
Recently, white creators have found yet more ways to appropriate from the Black community, most egregiously by co-opting Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up” (a song about breaking free from slavery) as the soundtrack for the 97% movement, which aims to spotlight the overwhelming proportion of women subjected to sexual harassment. And while the 97% movement is extremely important, so is allowing the music to continue to exist in its original context. “When you’re Black and seeking representation in music or on TikTok or wherever, that impact matters. And so if a Black creator makes a song about Blackness, it’s important to leave that alone,” Jordan says. “Because number one, that was the whole point. I wrote it down so that we can use it for this moment. But number two, is we don’t have a lot of spaces we can go. We don’t have a lot of sounds that represent who we are, and while it feels like it shouldn’t be a big deal because white people don’t have to have that desperate search or that desperate cling to something to feel represented, Black people do.” She urges critique of false calls to unity. “It’s great to say, ‘We’re all people. We’re all equals.’ It’s a great concept. It truly is. It’s something we all should aspire to, but we’re not there yet. And until we get there, these things matter because it’s what we have. And also just listen to the lyrics. Just put your listening ears on and just hear what they’re saying or read it or whatever you need to do. But I think it’s very intentional, both on behalf of the creator and on behalf of the user to be aware of what they’re saying and what their goal was, and also what that impact is. And so if that song speaks to you as somebody who’s not Black, that’s great and that’s cool. But recognize what they intended and move accordingly.” Most often, this insistence on “coming together” is a barely disguised pressure campaign designed to silence Black folks within the very spaces they themselves crafted as safe havens. “The point is, you have other places to go. You don’t need to come into my house. Why are you in it? And more importantly, why are you shoving me out of it in that?” Jordan wonders. The full weight of TikTok’s algorithm is already behind white creators, so the least they can do is be more intentional in their song selection.”TikTok loves white people. The internet loves whiteness. And so all of those things are automatically boosted to the top of the algorithm, to the top of the For You page. All of that is just boosted straight to the top. And so it’s important to know that and be aware that the privileges that you hold mean that ‘If I do this thing, I’m going to be seen, and I’m going to be heard. I need to be aware enough to not interject myself in this space. Does it mean maybe I miss out on a cool sound? Sure. Do I have literally 8 million other songs to listen to or to actively choose? Yes. And so in my awareness of the privileges I hold, I will move accordingly until I don’t have to.’ And if we all have that mindset, we can probably knock out systemic racism in like 20 years. It’s hard, but it’s really not that hard.”
            This sense of whiteness as default fortifies resistance to criticism, which Jordan attributes to white people’s misconception of racism as only confined to overt hatred and violence. “Number one, we need to redefine what being racist means. Growing up, we learned racism is the lynchings of the 60s, the KKK (which is still around…what the heck?) And hate crimes. Cool. Important to talk about. Essential to talk about, because all those things are still happening today. But racism does not start and stop there. Racism is a systemic issue built into every industry that we have, because when we built this country in oh dark 30, the foundation was led in a racist way. When this country started as three fifths of a person, that doesn’t end because you changed that one law. The foundations are still there. Our building has rot, and we need to take the rot out. And, when I say, ‘Hey, somebody taught you something racist, and you’re doing it.’ You’re not a bad person. I’m not saying you are the KKK. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is in this racist system, you learned a racist thing, and you need to unlearn it in the same way that I do.”Jordan has spent years unlearning her own internalized biases, which ran so deep that they impacted (and dictated) perceptions of how she spoke. “We all have racism built into us. I have anti-Blackness built into me. Growing up I spoke in AAVE for 11 minutes. My mom was not having it, but I spoke that way. I had a Southern accent. I still say things like ‘six one way, half a dozen the other.’ And nobody knows what I’m saying, but I was taught that talking like that is ignorant. It makes you ignorant. It makes you dumb. You won’t get a job. I went to speech therapy. I didn’t particularly need it. I just spoke in AAVE. But I went to speech therapy. I had it beat out of me. And now I say things like ‘exponentially’ in casual conversations, which stresses other people out. There’s no balance here. It is what it is. But it took me years to learn that you’re not dumb for speaking in AAVE. That is its own dialect. It has its own rules. There’s a form to this. And even if it wasn’t, you’re still not dumb. But it’s a studied, researched, mini language of its own, and it’s not bad to speak like that. It’s stigmatized. If I have to unlearn that as a Black person, you mean to tell me that as a white person, you didn’t pick up on a shred of racism growing up? You did, because you and I went to the same school. You learned what I learned, and what I learned made me hate me. Which means you in your own way definitely learned something that should make you not like me or have some prejudices or stigma. It is what it is. Stop fighting it.”

            We must re-engineer these conversations to shift understanding of racism as a whole. “If we restructure the conversation around – this is what racism is. It’s not just active hate. Racism is active hate. It is also a system we were all born and brought up in and we all have some unlearning to do. We can have those conversations around…‘Okay, so this is how white people uphold racism. This is what a microaggression looks like. This is all this other stuff.’ Now we can have productive conversations.” Failure to acknowledge the spectrum of racism inevitably leads to acquiescence to white fragility, corroding the vitality of the movement long-term. “I read this article. Some activists and organizers were talking about how they have to be very mindful of what they protest against. They have to be very mindful with what they preach, because white people have briefly started putting themselves on the front lines in terms of protest. If the police show up, white people will make a line with their bodies to make a barrier. Great. If they upset too many white people, they will stop coming to the protests and Black people lose that source of protection. Now organizers are like, ‘We have to be very intentional with what we do in a different way to protect whiteness. Because if we don’t, we lose the help that we have.’ And that’s not a productive way to go about this. Because at the end of the day, we want to undo those systems that mean you need to be on the front lines at all. But I can’t undo those systems if you’re not in this to win this. And that means you also have some learning to do.” The process would be smoother if we could all learn how to soften our defensiveness and be more receptive to criticism. “People don’t like to be told that they’re wrong. People don’t like to be told that they did something racist, because we made racism rightfully, but also in a way, wrongfully, this big, bad, scary thing,” Jordan muses. “It’s like saying you did something racist does not mean you lynched me in the backyard. It means that you called [my natural hair] floofy. I didn’t like being called floofy. Just adapt and learn. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world, if you don’t take it to that place. But that’s where we are taught to take it, because in your defensiveness, I am forced to uphold whiteness. It was a beautifully designed system. But if you don’t check yourself or let me check you, all we’re going to do is uphold the same system. We will simply rebrand everything under a new name for the 15th time and call it a day.”
           
White women in particular have a penchant for weaponizing their whiteness as a means of dominating discussions around misogyny to cajole Black women into silence when they attempt to talk about the violence they’ve experienced through the lens of race and misogynoir. Jordan herself was harassed by white users into deleting her video discussing her personal connection to the 97%. She recalls: “Other women went viral for the same conversation. But I wasn’t allowed to have it. I wasn’t allowed to be in that space. There was nobody letting me exist here. I’m like, either A, stop crying or B, let us have our own spaces. Black women do have these conversations in our own spaces, in our own ways. But white women always find themselves, ‘Oh, this happened to me too.’ Great. Perfect. Fine. But then it becomes about them. It becomes about their comfort. It becomes about their safety and not at the cost of our own.” This erasure is especially harmful because understanding the intersection of anti-Blackness and misogynistic violence is imperative to fight sexism. The intense focus on white women in the media gave young Jordan an incredibly dangerous false sense of security. “I didn’t think Black girls got kidnapped growing up. I didn’t think it was a thing that happened to us. I was like, white women are desirable. White women are cute. When I looked at the milk carton, it’s a white girl. When I look at the posters, it’s white girls. Black women don’t get kidnapped. I’m safe. And then doggone it, I grew up. And one day I was scrolling through Twitter and they were like, ‘Oh, yeah.’ It was like 60,000 Black women are missing right now. Black girls, Black kids are missing and we’re not talking about it. And…I was like ‘60,000? We get kidnapped?’ And they were like, ‘Yes, we get kidnapped most often.’ But we’re so far pushed out of the conversation that I genuinely thought that was not a thing that happened to us on a regular basis, when it happens to us at a disproportionate rate. By centering all the conversations around whiteness, we create not only an exclusion of Blackness, but a culture of ignorance. I was so dumb, I could’ve gotten kidnapped. And I would’ve been none the wiser.” Black women deserve spaces to speak freely without worrying about tone policing or having to accommodate white women‘s feelings. “We need to make these safe spaces, because if we don’t, people walk around like me. Dumb as a sack of rocks and thinking it can’t happen to you, when it totally can and totally does. I think that to have these conversations, you have to be able to say, ‘This happens to Black women, even though they’re strong, even if you think that they’re all tough, because we’re just humans. Even if you think we’re masculine.’ We’re not, but okay. It happens to us. We need to be a part of these conversations too, in all of the ways that they come in and our input is valuable. And I think either the best place to do that is you either let us talk about it in our own safe spaces with each other, so that we can at least know what’s happening. Or stop silencing us because you didn’t want to talk about it on Monday. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s cool. That doesn’t mean I can’t talk about it. It means you need to leave, because I need to talk about it today. That’s not to say my comfort trumps your comfort or whatever. But if we’re having a conversation about trauma, and I decided to speak up on it today, you can’t decide I can’t speak up on it because you don’t want to talk about it today. I respect you and your choices, but that means you need to leave. Not, I need to be quiet, and that’s okay. I don’t need you to hear me. I mean I need you to hear me, but if you can’t do it today, as somebody who has experienced trauma, okay, I respect it. Go ahead, but I also need to process my grief and my hurt. And if you can’t be a part of that today, that’s cool. Goodbye. But you can’t tell me not to talk because you don’t want to hear it.”
 
           
On a broader scale, the process of dismantling white supremacy to rebuild an anti-racist society relies on sweeping change. “I think on a big level, we need to do some big institutional work. And this is the thing that I think will take the most time,” Jordan says. “That’s why when people are like, ‘Do you think if we worked hard enough we could end racism tomorrow?’ I’m like, ‘Absolutely not.’ Our infrastructures will crumble. Everything will fall apart. No, but the work needs to be done. Because things like policing, for example, because that’s on my mind lately. It was built on slave catching. The whole system needs to go. It wasn’t designed to be safe. It just needs to go. We need to replace it with something else. We need to reallocate funds. The whole thing needs to go. We need to try over. That’s going to take time. It’s a big deal. It’s necessary. It’s going to take time. It’s going to take labor. Or politics. Our political systems were created when I was three fifths of a human being. I couldn’t even be the whole human being. The whole thing needs to go. I think it should be replaced with things that are more inclusive. And I don’t just mean laws and acts that need to be replaced every so often. The Voting Rights Act – it’s got, I think two parts of it that are still standing. Everything else has either expired and not been renewed or replaced with something worse. And that’s our pinnacle of success is the Voting Rights Act. And it’s almost dead in its entirety. We can’t replace it with laws. We can’t replace it with acts. We need to replace it on a fundamental structural level. It’s going to be a big job. It’s going to take more than me. Good luck, Charlie.” In addition to redressing institutional racism, we also need to keep that momentum going to tackle everyday racism. “On a micro level, we need to talk about racism in terms of big and little picture. Racism is ‘I hate Black people, yada, yada, yada.’ It’s also, ‘Hey girl, your hair is really floofy.’ It’s the way that we do Black minstrel shows on the internet, where people get super dark tans and long acrylic nails and start wearing bonnets. And girls start talking [in a parody of a blaccent] all the time. And it’s funny to you. It was funny to me in 2008. And then I was like, ‘Oh, that’s how they see me.’ The joke is funny if it’s not harming people, but when it harms people, stop the joke. We need to stop being so uncomfortable because a critique isn’t a criticism on your whole person, it’s a critique of your actions. I had this one substitute teacher who was like, ‘I never hate you. I might hate what you did, but I don’t hate you.’ Same energy, same energy. I’m not judging you. I don’t hate you, but you did a bad thing. I will gently correct it. We can go on with our evening. That’s it.”
           
Nonetheless, a vocal and disgruntled few have taken issue with Jordan drawing attention to the racist undertones of recent trends like fake tanning and lip injections, accusing her of trying to “cancel everything.” However, it’s crucial to understand the appropriative aspects of these “hobbies,” which have insidious roots in the fetishization of Black bodies. (And a history that many would prefer to ignore, as illustrated by one user’s misguided boast that Europe is supposedly free of racism, prompting Jordan to unfurl a laundry list of evidence to the contrary. “I think I pissed off the continent of Europe as a collective,“ she informed me with a grin.) She is eager to unpack the violence undergirding the popularization of these so-called aesthetics. “I think it’s important to talk about it, because when you don’t, you think that you are doing a good thing or a non-harmful thing, when you are actively perpetuating systems of harmfulness. When you don’t see Black women on TV, when you don’t see Black women in media, but you do see Rebecca with the darkest tan that they offered from a bottle of, I kid you not, the blackest black suntan lotion with lips that she injected super large. Because these are all things that are in trend. Number one, why is my face a trend? You can’t get to pick and choose when you get to participate in my face. But why is my face a trend without me? What is wrong about me and my Blackness that makes me less desirable than someone who went and bought all the aspects of Blackness and then perpetuated them? And that all traces back to Sarah Baartman and the way that her body, when she died, was put on display. Not only did you take a Black woman from her home because she was thicker than a bowl of oatmeal and toted her around Europe for her whole life without her consent and never liberated her, when she died, you took her body and took it on the road. That trauma is still there. That fetishization is still there. That’s why that hypersexualization is all still there. And for you to appropriate it, because it’s a trend, because it’s cute, but still demonize my face and my existence. I’m still shut out of the modeling industry when you have to get a super dark, fake tan. They’re not trends. You think you need to look like that, because it’s cute. They think it’s cute, because they think Blackness is cute when it’s distanced from Black people. We need to dismantle that train of thought. Because at the end of the day, if you really want to be happy, we should probably start working on liking ourselves the way that we look for starters. But even if we don’t, even if you want to change and adapt or whatever, be mindful of what you’re participating in, and how you’re perpetuating systems of harm.” She continues: “It’s the same vein of thought, but a different execution [with] the people who bleach their skin…which please don’t, but it’s a whole industry because we were all taught that being white is beautiful. And being white and pretending to be dark is beautiful, but being dark is ugly. And in my pursuit of being perceived as beautiful, I’m told to bleach my skin. I’m told to straighten my hair. You’re not told those things. You’re choosing to look like me, because that makes you marketable. Because we all like to play Black. We all like the big hoop earrings. We all like the tan skin. We all like the big lips. We all like the fat ass, but we don’t like the systems of oppression that come with it. It makes us uncomfy. You want to play Black without being Black. And until I’m free to be Black in my Black skin, that I didn’t have to buy, you can’t pretend. That’s not cool. It is important to acknowledge that because racism is a big issue everywhere. And colorism is a big issue everywhere. And you can’t pick and pretend when you want to be Black or not without liberating Black people and all people of color. Some people will say, ‘They don’t look Black, they look Hispanic.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s also wrong.’ Racism isn’t just against Black people. It’s against people of color period. That’s also wrong. You’re still wrong for that.”

           
Complaints about “cancel culture” are often the go-to deflection to derail discussions around important issues like cultural appropriation. Jordan loathes cancel culture and is frustrated with what it’s become – namely, an empty and performative gesture centered around shame and punishment as opposed to growth. “Cancel culture I think when it started was meant to hold people accountable. It was meant to say, ‘There’s this person doing a bad thing or there’s this thing that’s bad. We should stop doing it. Cancel it.’ What happened is that it fell into the wrong hands. And so what people started doing instead was taking it to this weird extreme where it’s like, ‘I accidentally misgendered somebody. And I went back and I fixed it, but now I’m canceled.’ And in those moments of not allowing people to grow, it became this tactic for fear. And so people now are like, ‘You can’t cancel my favorite thing. You can’t cancel this. You can’t cancel that.’ Or ‘You’re canceling this. You’re canceling that.’ And in its propensity and its use of being a fear tactic, it lost all of its value. And so now it means nothing. It’s like, ‘You’re canceling syrup.’ And I’m like, ‘No one’s canceling – you can’t cancel syrup for starters.’ But even if you could, in saying this is canceled, it now has no value. All we’re doing instead is drawing attention to it, because we’re talking about canceling it and nothing is happening. We’ve lost its intention of holding people accountable, We should just go back to holding people accountable. We don’t need to say, ‘We’re canceling Tony Lopez.’ Don’t say it. Do it. Because when you say it, nothing happens. We’ll just do it. Stop subscribing, stop watching videos, stop engaging with content and just cancel it. End it. And I think that if we don’t, we will continue to have these conversations about, ‘We’re canceling this or we’re canceling that,’ without actually doing the work of…We get to blow it off. ‘That’s canceled.’ Whether it’s good or bad or neutral or whatever when I say, ‘It’s canceled. It doesn’t matter,’ we’re not learning about why it’s canceled. We’re not learning about how we are perpetuating those systems of harm that made that thing get canceled. We are not holding the people who needed to be canceled accountable. All it is, it’s a catch-all phrase for…either you’re too sensitive or you’re not sensitive enough.” Sadly, most problematic figures with actual power wind up raking in more cash as a result of the uproar. “JK Rowling is still rolling in money, mad transphobic. Do something about it. Stop buying all the Harry Potter merchandise. And it hurts to say it, because that’s really upsetting. Or stop buying stuff until they agree to take a diversity class…learn a thing, do the research, do the growth. And until you do, we’re not engaging with you. Because you refuse to grow, and I refuse to be a part of that. Instead, what happened is we were like, ‘JK Rowling is canceled.’ She wrote a letter with 50 other people who should be thrown to the wayside about how cancel culture is toxic. We set over it like a speed bump and kept it pushing. And nothing happened except JK Rowling got richer off of the scandal. Stop scandalizing and start holding people accountable, because otherwise we’re stuck in a feedback loop and it’s silly.”
           
Given the draining and continuous labor of unpacking anti-Blackness on an antagonistic platform on top of the seemingly endless reports of police brutality against Black folks dominating recent headlines, Jordan is mindful of routinely stepping back to prioritize self-care in order to preserve her mental health. “I recognize that I exist in the world, and I have a place in the world. But also I can take a break from it. It’s not exclusively who I am,” she reflects. “I do my makeup all the time, partially because it’s TikTok and partially because it’s fun. It brings me peace. It’s the same reason I braid my hair at night. It’s just very soothing for me. I dress up like a fairy and just do something else, because it brings a lot of peace. But I also know that my mental health means more than just taking bubble baths, which I can’t do. I can’t fit in a tub very well, but like taking bubble baths and lighting candles. It’s journaling every day. Do I always want to? No. I’ve missed a couple of days, but I need to process what I’m thinking and feeling in a safe space and that safe space has been my journal. Or going back to therapy and doing the hard work and working through my own traumas as an individual and also my traumas that are given to me by the world as a whole.” She enthusiastically embraces even the smallest things that bring her joy: “I have a very thick collection of Avatar books, like Avatar: The Last Airbender. Love it. Adore it. Favorite show. It is what it is. It’s a mode of escapism for me where I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m really stressed. I’m going to go read about the exact same world that I live in, but in terms of Avatar.’ Because that’s fun for me. That’s a distancing for me. It’s doing the fun stuff. It’s doing the hard work. I can take a nap, and I can come back to it later. I will always be anti-racist and pro-Black and unapologetically myself in whatever way that arises in. But I also recognize that my existence is an act of rebellion, and it’s hard to rebel all the time. I deserve the nap and I deserve the white chocolate Snickers bar. And I deserve to watch Avatar for the 1800th time between episodes of Ouran Host Club and Miraculous Ladybug.”

           
There are things that we can all do to uplift the Black women and girls in our lives. “I think the best thing you can do is hear us and validate us and make spaces safer for us. I know growing up, I felt like I wasn’t Black enough. Because I was told I wasn’t Black enough by Black folk. And I wasn’t white enough, obviously, for white folk. And it made me feel insecure in my Blackness and my existence. It made me feel hard to love. It made me feel like what I loved wasn’t worth loving. I loved Avatar. I’ve always loved Avatar. I love to read. I love to read. I’m really into astronomy. I’m also really into astrology. I was all those things at once, and I felt like they weren’t spaces that I could be in. I wasn’t worthy of those spaces and I wasn’t worthy of the people in those spaces,” Jordan admits. This sense of ostracism deeply impacted her personal life and her perception of her own self-worth. “I ended up in a string of…they weren’t bad relationships. The relationships were fine, but with people who loved me conditionally. And I gave them my all. I was like, ‘This is the person who loves me. Nobody else is going to love me. I have to make it work. I have to make it work.’ And I stayed in relationships consistently longer than I should have. Because I was so desperate to be loved, because I didn’t feel like I was worth loving. I thought we were unworthy of being kidnapped. That is a bonkers ideology to have. And yet there I was with it, because I didn’t feel like I was worthy as a writer, because everybody I read was white. I wasn’t worthy as a woman, because I felt like I was hard to love.” We can break this cycle through simple acts of listening and acknowledgment, particularly when it comes to empowering Black children. “If you make spaces safe, if you validate us when we’re little, we don’t grow up to be big and broken. And so now I’m learning how to heal from stuff. If I had been validated and felt safe and loved younger, I wouldn’t have to heal from this now. And so as a grownup, you can hear us out. You can help love and support us just by being there and uplifting us. When we want to talk about something, don’t silence us. When we say something matters, understand it matters not because we’re nitpicky, but because…if I sat around all day and picked on everything that’s racist, I would never stop talking. When I do decide to talk about something, understand that it’s probably valuable in at least some way and to hear it. Understand that that is valid and valuable and to take it and move accordingly. But when we’re little is when it matters. The people who told me I was a good writer when I was little are why I’m going to grad school today. But without them, I wouldn’t be here. And I think that’s important, because not all little Black girls have those people.”

           
Ultimately, Jordan feels as though we’re in the midst of a transformative cultural moment as a society and remains cautiously optimistic that we might finally be ready to undertake those growing pains as a collective – if only we can be patient with ourselves. “I think that it’s important to not just have these conversations. We’ve been having them for generations, but to really actively engage with them. I think it’s important to not just think like…I think this past summer was a wake up call for a lot of people, which is wild. Because the Black community was sitting around looking at each other like, ‘They got another one. Tragic.’ But for nonblack people, it was seeing it for the first time. And in that moment they experienced the exhaustion, the fatigue and the trauma. And I think it’s important to remember and to recognize and to hold close that this is not just a one-off incident. This happens all the time. There are so many more that we don’t know about, because they weren’t on camera. And to hold that close and to think, ‘I’m tired today, but I can’t stop now.’ Because I like to think of it as a backpack. You can carry your backpack around. Maybe your backpack is 10 pounds, and you carry a backpack everywhere. It’s got your laptop. It’s got your notebook. It’s got everything you need in it, but it’s heavy. It’s okay to put the backpack down, but you can’t abandon it somewhere. It has all your stuff in it. Activism’s like that. You can put the backpack down. People don’t understand either you’re on or you’re off. No. I have days where I sit down with a thing of Oreos and I watch Ouran Host Club, because my brain can’t take another heavy thought. I can’t do it. I get back up tomorrow or the next day or after therapy or whenever, and keep going. People like to either do it for now and then stop. Or they don’t like to do it all, because they know it’s heavy. We need to do it. We can also put the backpack down and pick it up later. It doesn’t have legs. It’s not leaving you. It’s going to sit there, and you can pick it up when you’re done.” The next step involves reimagining our activism to be more substantive. “I think that we need to push past the…for number one, the infographic being peak activism. It’s not. They’re very cute, but it’s not. But also recognizing that we can decide what the future looks like. As nothing matters, nothing is real. We can pick and choose what this looks like for us. And if we really want to have a world where you can wear box braids and you can wear your sari in public and you can do whatever it is that people like to appropriate, we have to push past moments like these to get there, because no one’s saying you can’t wear a sari. The issue is that I can’t wear it in public and therefore, neither can you, the person who made the decision that I can’t wear this in public. You know what I’m saying? Either you can take the selfish route where it’s ‘I want to do what I want to do, I have to push past this,’ or you can take the ‘we’re all in this together and I care about other people’ route. I don’t care which route we take, but you’ve got to push past it to get to whatever the end goal is. And it’s going to be scary. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to take a lot of unlearning and a lot of practice.” Above all, our activism must be unconditional and steadfast. Jordan knows this firsthand: “I misgendered onlyjayus the other day. I felt awful,” she says. “I recorded the whole video over again. I felt terrible, because I didn’t think to check their bio before I filmed. It slipped my mind. Did it suck to take another hour to record a video about somebody who intentionally threw slurs about my community around? Yes. But what that says is, and what that means is that the people like all my nonbinary friends know that I’m still a safe place to go to even if we have beef, even if there are grievances. Because it’s not just about me, it’s about all of us succeeding. Even if it takes extra time, even if it’s extra labor, even if you don’t want to, even if you hate that person, you gotta do it.” What’s at stake is nothing short of our generational future. “We get to decide if we’re going to live like Republicans for another 50 years, or if we’re going to do anything else. Anything else besides that. Take the backpack off if you need to. Take the breath, get some water, sit under the apple tree and discover gravity for all I care, but come back to it when you’re done.” However long the journey takes, we must commit ourselves to bringing everyone along for the ride.

Read more Celebrity Interviews on ClicheMag.com
From Anti-Blackness to Anti-Racism: Deconstructing White Supremacy with Jordan Simone. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jordan Simone.

 

Black Ballerina’s Reaction To New Shoes Will Make Your Day

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Published 15 hours ago

Kira Robinson’s reaction to receiving ballerina shoes that match her brown skin went viral, and could possibly invoke big change in the ballet accessory business.

The 18-year-old freshman ballet major at the University of Oklahoma recently went on TikTok and posted a video of her unboxing and trying on new brown pointe shoes. 

Robinson says that for the last two years she had to “pancake” her dancing shoes, meaning she had to blend makeup foundation to match her skin color. She says the weekly routine was both time consuming and costly.

“Sometimes it’s frustrating and annoying, but it’s just how it is,” she added. “The dance world is slow to accept POC (person of color) dancers, and I’ve just had to deal with it and do what I need to do to perform.”

Keri Suffolk, director of Suffolk Pointe Shoe Co. says her company began offering brown satin pointe shoes in fall 2020.

“About two years ago, we started to see a shift in demand as dance teachers began to change their dress codes,” she said, according to Yahoo.

Suffolk added: “For generations, the demand was almost exclusively for pink satin pointe shoes as class dress codes dictated a black leotard, pink tights and pink pointe shoes Professional dancers have been able to pancake their shoes for quite a while, but for a performance, even professionals must wear what the artistic director or choreographer has determined to be the look they want for the piece. Social change in several forms has challenged many to ask why dress codes and costuming choices are limited to pink shoes only.”

“I was ecstatic when I realized Suffolk was releasing new shoes,” Robinson said.

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Soul Train Awards 2020 Winners

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Published 9 hours ago

This year’s Soul Train Awards are over after countless laughs, the delivery of important awards, and epic performance medleys of today and yesterday. Check out the full list of award winners below.

Best New Artist

Snoh Aalegra

Giveon

Layton Greene

Lonr.

SAINt JHN

Victoria Monét

Soul Train Certified Award

Brandy

Fantasia

Kelly Rowland

Ledisi

Monica

PJ Morton

Best R&B/Soul Female Artist

H.E.R.

Beyoncé

Alicia Keys

Jhené Aiko

Brandy

Summer Walker

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist

Chris Brown

Anderson .Paak

Charlie Wilson

PJ Morton

The Weeknd

Usher

Best Gospel/Inspirational Award

Kirk Franklin

Bebe Winans

Koryn Hawthorne

Marvin Sapp

PJ Morton

The Clark Sisters

Rhythm & Bars Award (Best Hip-Hop Song Of The Year)

Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage”

Cardi B – “WAP” feat. Megan Thee Stallion

DaBaby – “Rockstar” feat. Roddy Ricch

DJ Khaled – “Popstar” feat. Drake

Drake – “Laugh Now Cry Later” feat. Lil Durk

Roddy Ricch – “The Box”

Song Of The Year

Chris Brown and Young Thug – “Go Crazy”

Beyoncé – “BLACK PARADE”

Chloe x Halle – “Do It”

H.E.R. feat. YG – “Slide”

Summer Walker feat. Usher – “Come Thru”

Usher feat. Ella Mai – “Don’t Waste My Time”

Album Of The Year

Summer Walker – Over It

Chloe x Halle – Ungodly Hour

Brandy – B7

Chris Brown & Young Thug – Slime & B

Jhené Aiko – Chilombo

The Weeknd – After Hours

The Ashford And Simpson Songwriter’s Award

H.E.R – “I Can’t Breathe”

Beyoncé – “BLACK PARADE”

Chloe x Halle – “Do It”

Chris Brown and Young Thug – “Go Crazy”

Summer Walker  – “Playing Games” feat.

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Britney Spears Stuns In Crop Top During Intense Boxing Workout Amid Court Battle — Watch

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Watch

November 12, 2020 1:04AM EST

After a reported court battle loss, Britney Spears let out some steam by exchanging punches in a boxing workout with her personal trainer. The pop star stunned in a hot pink crop top and Y2K-style track pants.

Britney Spears is still getting her cardio in a day after her most recent conservatorship hearing. The 38-year-old pop star put on her punching gloves and took multiple swings at her personal trainer for an intense boxing workout, which Britney posted a clip of to her Instagram on Nov. 11. For the sweat session, Britney rocked a hot pink crop top and black gaucho pants that looked straight from the aughts!

In the post’s caption, Britney gushed that she just “like[s] the sound” of “the punch” in the video. The “Toxic” singer also clarified that she and her trainer “both got tested negative for COVID,” which allowed Britney’s trainer to “come over for a good workout session.”

Britney appears to be in an upbeat mood on social media, despite our sister publication Variety reporting a day prior that Britney’s request to remove her father, Jamie Spears, from her conservatorship was declined by the Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny. However, Britney can still make future petitions to have her father removed or suspended from the conservatorship, which he has overseen since 2008 (except for when he temporarily stepped down from the position for “personal health” reasons).

Britney SpearsA throwback photo of Britney Spears performing on stage. She is now reportedly refusing to take the stage again until her father, Jamie Spears, is removed from her longstanding conservatorship. (Photo Credit: MEGA)

During the conservatorship hearing, Britney’s attorney Samuel D.

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Why You Should Have More Jewelry in Your Wardrobe

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Today we want to explain why you should have more jewelry in your wardrobe.  No outfit is truly complete unless you have all the right accessories. If you go through the trouble of picking the right shoes, styling your hair, and selecting complementary outerwear, then you can’t deny that jewelry adds that special touch. Lots of people buy a couple of pieces of jewelry and then stop there. In reality, you should have several bracelets, rings, earrings, or whatever other kind of jewelry you choose to wear available to pick from at any given moment.

Why Aren’t You Wearing Jewelry?

Jewelry in Your Wardrobe

Photo by Marta Branco on Pexels

If you don’t have a nice collection of jewelry, then you probably aren’t wearing any at all. When you have various choices, you tend to include jewelry into your daily routine more. So, now that you know why you aren’t wearing jewelry regularly, what are you going to do to fix the situation? Hopefully, you are getting ready to expand your collection, slowly and carefully, so that you can have wonderful pieces to choose from and make each outfit complete.

Customized Jewelry Options

While you are looking for jewelry that speaks to you, don’t forget that you can have the perfect pieces made from scratch. Having a bracelet engraved with your anniversary date is nice; however, commissioning a custom piece of jewelry will grab a lot more attention. For example, Stephen David Leonard specializes in custom jewelry for men that is elegant, modern, and masculine. Featuring jewelry made with leather, wood, and sterling silver, each piece can be customized with your name, special dates to remember, initials, or a heartfelt message. Shop this collection to create the perfect custom jewelry pieces that will make a welcome addition to your existing collection.

Daily Wear Vs. Special Occasions

Jewelry in Your Wardrobe

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels

When you go to buy a new piece of jewelry, you should always know whether it is going to be something that you wear every day or if it will be kept in your jewelry box and pulled out for special occasions only. Of course, you have the ability to change your mind, but the reality is that some jewelry is the type that should only be worn with very specific things. For instance, you probably wouldn’t wear a broach on your tank top. Unisex jewelry is great for men and women, and fashion is increasingly going in that direction. It is best to have a plethora of jewelry that you can wear all the time or just when the mood strikes you.

Building Up Your Collection of Jewelry

It should take you time to build up your collection of jewelry because you want to buy pieces that speak to you. Quality jewelry isn’t necessarily expensive, but know that some cheaper options are not always the best quality either. Earrings that you buy in packs are cute and all, but they probably won’t last but a couple of months. In addition, you actually want something that is going to last long, look good, and not cause you to break out in a rash. Don’t rush it and know that you will end up with a variety of beautiful jewelry that will leave you with plenty of options.

Learning How to Match Your Outfits with the Right Jewelry

For every piece of jewelry that you purchase, there is the perfect outfit that goes with it. You may already own this outfit, or you could instead buy the jewelry first and then go out and find something that suits it perfectly. Either way, you will start to get an eye for these jewelry and clothing pairings. Leather jewelry always goes well with casual and business attire, while rubies always stand out against lighter colored outfits. Try on your jewelry with each of your favorite outfits to learn how to better develop this skill.

Selecting the Perfect Amount of Jewelry

Jewelry in Your Wardrobe

Photo by Mídia on Pexels

After you have a respectable jewelry collection, you could start to feel like you need to wear several rings, bracelets, and necklaces all the time. For some outfits, this will work. However, for the most part, less is more when you are accentuating your attire with jewelry. A single necklace is generally a lot more complementary of what you have on, but a stack of bangle bracelets looks great with most selections. Every person is going to be different, so what could be too little to you could be just the right amount to another individual.

Daily Wear Vs. Special Occasions

Simply put, you should have jewelry that you wear every day or keep on most of the time. For some people, it’s their wedding bands or their class rings. Everyday jewelry is generally low maintenance. In addition, any jewelry that you wear on a daily basis has to be high quality. All jewelry has to be cleaned and serviced, but any piece that gets a lot of wear is going to need more care. If you wear a watch daily, it may need to be taken to the jeweler every year for deep cleaning and calibration. Jewelry that is worn on special occasions still needs to be taken proper care of, but it will be less work.

Precious Stones and Metals

Some jewelry is made with onyx, leather, and pewter, while other jewelry includes gold, platinum, and rubies. Precious stones and metals can make jewelry more expensive, but it can also give pieces a special and unique look. When considering any type of jewelry made with precious metals and stones, be sure that it comes from an ethical source. There is still an industry of blood diamonds coming out of Africa, promoted by warlords committing crimes against humanity. As an alternative, cubic zirconia and other synthetically produced materials can look just as good as precious stones and metals.

Storing and Caring for Your Jewelry

Jewelry in Your Wardrobe

Photo by axecop on Pexels

If you have a nice collection of jewelry, you need to have somewhere to store it. Ideally, a jewelry box is where you want to house your delicate accessories, but really any type of container that can be secured will work. Some jewelry boxes are lined in soft materials like velvet to protect against scratches, chips, and other damage. You may prefer a jewelry box that has drawers so that you can organize your different kinds of jewelry, or one that features hooks to hang your bracelets and silver dog tag necklace.

How Jewelry Makes Your Outfits Look Better

Ever put on a bunch of different outfits and find that none of them look quite right? You can change up your footwear, re-style your hair, put on a different belt, or even add a scarf. What is missing from your outfits is the right amount of jewelry. A pair of dangling earrings always goes perfect with the little black dress. Guys who put on a simple pair of jeans and a button up shirt that add a men’s cuff bracelet always look impeccable.

While you would never want to put on every single piece of jewelry that you own at once, never wearing any jewelry at all will just make you look drab. A tasteful necklace can be worn daily, punching up the most basic of pieces. Have pieces available for special occasions, so that your styling is complete for big events. Have multiple pieces in your collection so you can match up your jewelry according to the occasion and your mood. When it comes to jewelry collections, you really can’t ever have enough.

Read more fashion articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Cardi B Goes Ballistic During Offset Arrest

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Published 13 hours ago

Cardi B confronted the officers who detained her husband, Migos rapper Offset, who was questioned Saturday (October 24) about allegedly brandishing a gun at Trump supporters holding a rally in Beverly Hills.

“That’s my husband! Why are you pointing a gun at him?” the rapper yelled while restrained by a friend, according to The Daily Mail.
 

She reportedly rolled up at the scene in a black Rolls Royce as Offset argued with the cops, who dragged him out of his vehicle when he refused to turn off the engine. Offset’s fans watched the traffic stop on his Instagram Live.

The police arrested Cardi B’s 20-year-old cousin, Marcelo Almanazar, a passenger in the vehicle and charged him with carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded firearm in public. His bail was set at $35,000. Offset was released without charge.

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Sean Combs)

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Gabrielle Union To Host Black ‘Friends’ Cast Reading

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Published 14 hours ago

On Tuesday evening (November 22), Gabrielle Union will host a live table reading of an episode from the 90s sitcom Friends. The reading will feature Uzo Aduba, Ryan Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Sterling K. Brown, Kendrick Sampson and Jeremy Pope.

The actors will re-enact the episode “The One Where No One’s Ready” from season 3 of Friends. It originally starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.

For the reading, Aduba will play Phoebe, Bathe will play Rachel, Hinds will portray Monica, Brown will appear as Ross, Sampson will take on Joey, and Pope will be Chandler. The production team includes Bathe, Hinds, Cynthia Erivo, Tessa Thompson, Kerry Washington, Rashida Jones, Stefanie and Quentin James, Channing Dungey, Karen Richardson, Issa Rae, Latanya Richardson and Ava DuVernay.

“Zoom Where It Happens,” a live table read series, is hosting the event. It’s previously-featured Black women artists (in partnership with Zoom), whose goal is to raise activation, awareness and intention about the right to vote.

“Zoom Where It Happen” launched September 8 and will continue with a rotating cast of actors through Election Day. It aims to energize voters and amplify the fight for electoral justice and voting rights.

Photo: CBS via Getty Images

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First Look At The ‘Black-ish’ Animated Special

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Published 3 hours ago

Fans are exccited that Black-ish is finally returning on Sunday, October 4 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST, but before the season seven premiere, the award-winning series will feature two special episodes tackling voting and “Election Special Pt. 2” is actually animated.

According to a press release, Junior is excited to vote but then discovers he’s been dropped from the voters list, which is an example of voter suppression that many African Americans experience all over the country.

RELATED: Kenya Barris Defends Rashida Jones’ Role In ‘#BlackAF’

The episode is directed by Oscar winner for Hair Love Matthew A. Cherry and written by Eric Horsted.

See a first look at the animated characters below:

BLACK-ISH - The Johnsons and

In June, ABC aired another political episode of the series that was shelved for over two
years.

Titled “Please, Baby, Please,” involved the show’s lead character Dre talking to his toddler son about political unrest and racism in the country in the form of a bedtime story. The episode was originally set to air on February 27, 2018, but was pulled by ABC. The episode is now available on Hulu.

Photo of cast by Aaron Poole via Getty Images. Photo of animation courtesy of ABC.

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'Radio Host Karen’ Yells ‘Speak English’ At Gardeners

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Published 6 hours ago

There was no shame in her game. A radio personality, now dubbed on social media as “Radio Host Karen,” filmed herself harassing several landscapers for speaking Spanish.

“It’s America. Speak English!” rants Dianna Ploss, the New Hampshire radio host.

An Instagram video posted on Saturday (July 11) received nearly 120,000 views by Sunday night.

A Black man, who appears to be a bystander, confronted Ploss about her hatred.

“They should be speaking English. Are they illegal aliens? Do they not speak the language? Why do you care? I’m not talking to you,” she fires back.

The WSMN radio host also questioned the bystander about why he’s wearing a face mask.

“Because there’s a global pandemic going on,” he told her, clearly in disgust at her racist attitude.

RELATED: Sacramento ‘Karen’ Punched In The Face After Using Racial Slur

“Okay, so this guy decided he’s gonna come over here and be a social justice warrior,” Ploss said. “Because he’s a Black man. He’s gonna protect the brown man from this white woman, white privilege, because she happened to walk by and heard this guy talking to all of these guys doing this work, in Spanish.”

A petition is circulating that calls for Ploss to get fired.

 

Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

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Black Athlete Taunted With George Floyd Chants

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Published 6 hours ago

An Iowa school district said that it’s “unacceptable” that the only Black baseball player for Charles City High School heard “several bigoted comments yelled from the crowd” at an away game on June 27, a statement from the Charles City Community School District said.

According to the statement, the racial insults included, “Get back to the fields!”

“Sadly, this has been a pattern of behavior that our students of color have had to endure in many different places and contexts and is part of their daily experience,” the statement continued.

Jeremiah Chapman, the Black ballplayer, told CNN that he heard someone yell “You should have been George Floyd” and he was called “Colin,” a reference to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who set off a firestorm when he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence against Black people.

“I try my hardest to have everyone like me because that’s just my personality,” Chapman told CNN. “And it’s just hard seeing that no matter how hard I try, people can’t accept me because of my skin color.”

RELATED: NFL Teams ‘Interested’ In Signing Colin Kaepernick After Almost Four Years Away From Football

At the game, Jeremiah stood his ground and refused to let the racists win.

The umpire asked the teenager if he wanted to pause the game. Chapman declined because his teammates were depending on him.

Photo by Keisha M. Cunnings / Twitter

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Sherri Shepherd Was Reportedly Blacklisted From 'Friends'

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Published 8 hours ago

The lack of diversity on the classic 1990s sitcom Friends has been called out many times now, but when Sherri Shepherd did it back in the day, it may have cost her a job. Shepherd’s friend Jawn Murray claims the actress, who was on one episode of the hit show, wasn’t invited back because she spoke up about the whitewashed cast.

“Sherri was one of the few Black faces that was on Friends. Her, Aisha Tyler and Gabrielle Union,” Murray told ABC News’ Linsey Davis during a recent interview. “And Sherri was on Friends at a time that you sent out postcards to let people know, ‘Hey, I’m going to be on TV.’ ”

According to Murray, Shepherd sent out a postcard that included a photo of herself, along with the caption, “ Friends get a little color.” The postcards went out to people in Hollywood.

Murray continued, “Well, [Shepherd] also sent that postcard to [Friends co-creator] Marta [Kauffman], and she got the postcard and [Shepherd] was never asked back on the show.”

Watch the full interview, below:

Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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