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Louis Armstrong

LOUIS ARMSTRONG

Musician, Composer, Singer, Bandleader, Film star, Comedian⁠

Louis Daniel Armstrong, born August 4, 1901, nicknamed “Satchmo,” “Pops” and, later, “Ambassador Satch,” was a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the 1920s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals. Armstrong’s charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. He recorded several songs throughout his career, including he is known for songs like “Star Dust,” “La Vie En Rose” and “What a Wonderful World.” ⁠

Armstrong was one of the first popular African-American entertainers to “cross over” to wide popularity with white (and international) audiences. He rarely publicly politicized his race, to the dismay of fellow African Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation in the Little Rock crisis. He was able to access the upper echelons of American society at a time when this was difficult for black men.⁠ In 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.⁠

Mariya Russell

MARIYA RUSSELL

Chef

Russell lived in Springfield, Ohio, until she was 14, at which point her family moved to Columbus for her high school years, her interest in food started at a young  age. The dishes of her youth were a mix of soul food and midwestern staples. A young Russell was bitten by the hospitality bug and got her first taste of cooking for others.

In high school, Russell participated in a career academy that first introduced her to the idea of woking in a restaurant as a career. From there she moved to Chicago after high school to attend the cooking and hospitality institute of Chicago (A le cordon bleu school that closed in 2017). Russell has cooked in various places, she agreed to be the chef de cuisine at Rumiko and Kikko which led her in the direction of becoming the first black woman to receive a michelin star. Her work ethic shines through in both her food and leadership.

THURGOOD MARSHALL

THURGOOD MARSHALL

American Lawyer and Civil Rights Activist⁠

Thurgood Marshall born 2 July 1908, Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Best known as the first African-American Supreme Court justice, played an instrumental role in promoting racial equality during the civil rights movement.⁠ ⁠ As a practicing attorney, Marshall argued a record-breaking 32 cases before the Supreme Court, winning 29 of them. In fact, Marshall represented and won more cases before the high court than any other person. During his 24-year term as Supreme Court justice, Marshall’s passionate support for individual and civil rights guided his policies and decisions. Most historians regard him as an influential figure in shaping social policies and upholding laws to protect minorities.⁠

What’s New – Makeup

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COLOURED RAINE®️

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LOVE YOUR BEAUTY

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516 POLISH

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BEAUTY BAKERIE

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ELOISE

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MAKEUP ADDICTION

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LAWS OF NATURE

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JUVIA’S PLACE

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DANESSA MYRICKS

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MADAM C.J. WALKER

MADAM C.J. WALKER

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Political and Social Activist⁠

Madam C.J. Walker Born 23 December 1867, Delta, Louisiana, United States created specialized hair products for African American hair care and was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.⁠ ⁠ Madam C.J. Walker invented a line of African American hair ⁠ products after suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss. She promoted her products by traveling around the country giving lecture-demonstrations and eventually established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train sales beauticians. Her business acumen led her to be one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. She was also known for her philanthropic endeavors, including a donation toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913. Walker’s life was portrayed in the 2020 TV show Self Made, with Octavia Spencer portraying Walker.⁠

I Like That – Janelle Monáe

Dear Diary,

It’s important for us to be who we are despite what others say and what they think. We have all these insecurities thinking about how others will react and do whatever we think they’d prefer. Keep quiet, Dress a certain way, Speak a certain way, follow what they are doing, don’t show what you really think or feel. FORGET THAT! We need to do what makes us happy, because clearly by hiding ourselves away it’s not making us feel any better. I may still not feel completely comfortable in my own skin at times but then I remember I deserve better and not everyone is going to like you. It’s just how it goes unfortunately, but as long as I like me at least I can say I lived staying true to who I was because of me and not what anyone else tried to do to change me. Like what you like. Do what you want to do. Express yourself the way you want to. Instead of people having such negative opinions about you they should focus on themselves because clearly they feel some kind of way when you’re confident with who you are.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: I Like That – Janelle Monae

Instagram: @AmaniVHenry

Photo Credit: Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis

One Day – Ella Mai

Dear Diary,

I’ve been taken for granted. The person that kept taking me for granted always thought I wouldn’t notice or would be happy to continue to be used. You may not notice it’s happening right away but once you do the first thing you need to do is address it and if it’s not enough then you are fine to let them go. I’m done trying to clasp onto a relationship that’s not going to exist. As much as I want it to work I refuse to continue to be seen as someone you occasionally notice and reach out to when something is needed. I’m putting my time and energy into someone else that sees me. That appreciates me. That see’s my worth. One day when you turn around and realize I’m gone and try to get my attention to get me back. It’s not going to happen because I’ve moved on. And you can continue to say things to try and grab my attention and sure I’ve seen them but I’m really good without you. You never saw my strength until I left and that’s sad but I’m being strong without you. It’s funny how things change. When you were using me you actually needed me, but I don’t need you.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: One Day – Ella Mai

Photo Credit: Jonathan Mannion

Truth Hurts

Dear Diary,

The truth hurts sometimes. It could be why we don’t always want to hear it. I’ve opened up to listen to others, even if they include me. I’ve learned to own my truth and express it. Expressing it can take some time, but that’s ok like I said, it hurts sometimes. What I’ve also learned to remember is that when your truth includes others, and they respond being in complete denial, it means they are not ready to face it themselves. So I accept the truth and leave them until they are ready. It’s not worth delaying your healing time for them. They may come around a few hours later or years. The truth is sometimes we want to finally hear them admit or see how they came to the truth it may not be complete closure but at least you know they’ve been open to really see it.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Truth Hurts – Lizzo

Instagram: @AmaniVHenry

Photo Credit: lizzo-press-2018-cr-Jabari-Jacobs

Cranes in the Sky – Solange

Dear Diary,

You know those feelings you try to avoid, the ones that are too scary, painful, and real? You drown your sorrows and try to avoid it as much as you can. Whether it’s keeping yourself busy, taking up new habits, running, dancing, or whatever it is that comes to mind. You think that by keeping occupied it’ll just go away. Well that’s wrong. As much as we don’t want to feel it. We need to as that’s the only way we can really move forward. The only way around it is by going through it. Will it hurt? Of course. Will it be scary? Yes. Is it real? Most definitely. The sooner we get through it the sooner we can figure out how to deal with it and not let it continue to consume us.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Cranes in the Sky – Solange

Instagram: @AmaniVHenry

Solange performs at Glastonbury Festival 2017. Photo by Harry Durrant/Getty Images.

Forgive You – Leon Bridges

Dear Diary,

Forgiveness can be difficult, depending on how extreme the situation is, although we may see the extremity differently. I may forgive someone for something that another person would never be able too. I can forgive someone that’s made a few times for minor mistakes. I mean, we all make mistakes. When I look back at the mistakes I’ve have been forgiven for, I don’t take that it for granted.
When someone makes the same mistakes multiple times, it’s no longer a mistake in my eyes. How can I forgive someone who is deliberately going to hurt me? We shouldn’t let it slide and come up with excuses for them. The number of times we’ve discussed it and tried to move forward. We are just going backward. Then there are the people I didn’t even know. They crashed into my life and hurt me, the people I care about physically or mentally. How do I forgive them? These are the moments of difficulty. There is so much energy that is taken up when you hold a grudge. There is so much energy used when you hang on to anger. There is so much sadness bleeding into your heart. It’s exhausting. I chose to forgive certain people because it frees me a bit. I can move forward a bit, and I can feel a little lighter. I do it for me, not for them. and they don’t have to know. It doesn’t take away the pain, and not everyone will understand it. I’m taking back the energy I would have lost and put it into something better. Something worth it. Make a change for myself, for others who need to get out from under the grey clouds.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Forgive You – Leon Bridges

Instagram: @AmaniVHenry

Photo Credit: Jack McKain / Courtesy of the artist

Best Of Me – Tyrese

Dear Diary,

One of the greatest feelings is being able to be yourself. Not be judged and feel as though you have to hide parts of yourself. It’s easy to slip into your comfort zone. It’s also easy to close yourself off. Block people out, because you feel you don’t really belong. The time you feel you can be yourself is when you’re home alone. You can say what you want and do what you want. Just be completely comfortable. When the time comes you can be that person in front of someone else. That is when you’ve got something amazing. You can be you and not suddenly feel dumb or embarrassed. What makes it even better, is when that person brings more things out of you that you never even thought you could do. Even enhance it. That’s the people that keep you going and those are the people that need to stick around. They can bring out the best of you and so much more.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Best Of Me – Tyrese

Instagram & Facebook: @AmaniVHenry

Hope – Emeli Sande

Dear Diary,

Hope is powerful. It takes up so much of your heart, even when you say you’re going to give up on it. It takes hold of you. It’s in everything you do and everything you see. You hope things will get better, you hope you will succeed, you positive things will last, you hope relationships will last. You hope there’s no discrimination, greed and endangerment to so many people. There’s a lot of hope seeping through us. Even when feeling defeated, don’t give up because things will and can turn around for the better. This world we live in has the good, bad, and everything in-between. Sometimes it feels like the bad out-ways the good, and we feel we should back down. We shouldn’t. We shouldn’t feel intimidated by it, because all it takes is one person’s hope and strength to head us in a better direction. When that hope combined together!! We can make so many changes. It’s already been done, so we’ve got to keep putting it forward. It’s an uphill battle but it’s worth the climb. I hope we can do better. I hope we can be better. I hope one day there will be more good that overtakes the bad.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Hope – Emeli Sande

Instagram & Facebook: @AmaniVHenry

Thank you from Amani!

Hi! I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all those that follow my blog and giving such positive responses. It’s great to see how much of us can relate to one another and I can feel good expressing myself on The Amani Diaries. I’ve taken it a step further and doing video diaries. These will be based off the written entries I will continue to add on the site. I felt this adds a more personal touch. NOW listen, I’m not the greatest talker but I just want to get the discussions going and continue to grow with you all! The setting is more in the evening before you go to bed so I’ve got the nightwear, the tea, the laidback vibe. This is because when we may write in our diaries we tend to do it at the end of the day as we’re looking back at all that’s happened. If you don’t write in a diary you tend to have thousands of things racing in your mind just before you go to bed! Thank you again for sticking with me!

The Entry below is: Stand By Me – Ben E King

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted – Jimmy Ruffin

Dear Diary,

What becomes of the brokenhearted? I’ll answer that for ya. A whole lot of pain! It hurts so bad! (Crying face emoji). Seriously it does and what do we end up doing? We put up this barrier that makes it more and more difficult for others to break THAT down. Despite what someone has said or done, we need to try and not live with such a high barrier. Do you know how many people I’ve keep at barely even arms length because I was too afraid they’ll be like the person before? Then it turns out they would have been good for me. I know we want to protect ourselves from pain, but pain is inevitable. It comes in all shapes and sizes and at different times. And it can come from anyone. This is not me being negative. It’s me not trying to hide away from the fact that as many times I’ve been walking around with a broken heart I’ve discarded the people that would have been willing to try to mend it. Now once a broken heart is broken it can’t be fixed completely, the scars will always be there. We shouldn’t use it as an excuse to take that pain out on other’s. We are all brokenhearted, it’s what we do with that broken heart to gain some peace of mind that things will get better and there will be less heartbreak and more heart mending. (Get it!). I know we’ve got to feel the pain but feel it whilst keeping the things or those around you that are there to mend it.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: What Becomes of the Brokenhearted – Jimmy Ruffin

Instagram & Facebook: @AmaniVHenry

Stand By Me – Ben E. King

Dear Diary,

Our darkest moments. We remember how scary it was. How stuck we felt. How insecure we were. We remember how comfortable it got because it seemed easier to stay there than fight, but what we also remember is the person or people that took us out of it. Whether that person is still in our life or not. Whether it was ourselves. There was someone that stood by us. They are patient, resilient and no matter how much we try to shut them out they refuse to give up on us. I can’t tell you that we’ll never get to that place again as we don’t know what can occur in the future. One thing I do know is that as long as we have those people the known or unknown that will stand by us. We’ve got the strength to get through anything. We may not be as scared, feel as stuck or feel as insecure . There are many things that can surprise you when you need someone the most and we can definitely return the favor.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Stand By Me – Ben E. King

Instagram, Facebook: @AmaniVHenry

Walk in my Shoes – Anthony Hamilton

Dear Diary,

There’s a lot of things we don’t know about the next person. What they’ve been through. What their thoughts are. Or may be they do make it known but we don’t understand why they have certain thoughts. We shouldn’t just assume. They may not know about me. Walking a mile in each other’s shoes can make some of the unknown more visible. You begin to understand why people do the things they may do or have particular views. If you take the time to fully understand then it’s a step forward into something better. We’ve got to give each other a chance. We may still not agree with why some people’s actions but at least you’ve taken that time to really look. In most cases our different thoughts and opinions is an insight to try amend and support one another for the better. We can head in a better direction together. Leaving no one behind, in our own shoes because we know what values they have to us.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Anthony Hamilton – Walk in my shoes

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry

Crown – Chika

Dear Diary,

It’s easy to give up on your goals. It’s easy to give up on getting what you really want. Why go through the exhaustion and need to maintain that enthusiasm, when there’s going to be all those challenges and people telling you you can’t? Well, that’s simply because you can. You can reach your goals. You can get what you want and we may not even know what we really want for years to come but when we do, we’ve got to go get it! Look, I’m not saying that we will accomplish every goal but at least we CAN say we put in everything!! It doesn’t make those people that said you couldn’t do it right. (I mean to an extent it does). BUT the fact of the matter is you ignored them and still went for it despite all the obstacles. That only makes you stronger to go for the next goal!! No one can stop you as this elevator is only going up! And when we reach wherever it is we plan on getting the view is going to look pretty good! We’ve gotta do right by ourselves and give ourselves the opportunity to explore all our options and be proud. We will have our own doubts and sleepless nights going over the things we wish we did or fear of not knowing is coming next, but our strength will get us through it. Whether it’s with a good group of people around you that only lift you higher or you lifting yourself higher no matter what! We shouldn’t let anyone take our crown, best believe we earned it!

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Crown – Chika

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry

Photo courtesy: @nicolbiesekphoto

July – Noah Cyrus feat. Leon Bridges

Dear Diary,

There are relationships that we tiptoe around. We try not to react at certain things and be careful of what we do because we don’t want it to fall apart. Or do we? Change is a big thing and we don’t always want to make it. We get comfortable in relationships we know we don’t want to be a part of or know we shouldn’t be a part of. As this is all you know and having to start again can be a long and difficult process. So we stick around going over the same thing. In the back of our minds we are hoping something will happen to be seen as such a huge reason to part ways or for them to even say something because and you will be happy to go because you have been ready. You may not want to be the one to be seen as breaking up the relationship. But why should you feel shame in leaving something that’s not working? If you’re not enough to try and work things out then it’s better to go through the long process of meeting someone new. At least then you’ll feel better about it. There’s no point lying to yourself because you know the truth.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: July – Noah Cyrus feat. Leon Bridges

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @AmanVHenry

Photo Credit: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

Quote of the Day – Katherine Johnson

“I don’t have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I’m as good as anybody, but no better.”

– Katherine Johnson

Photo: Katherine Johnson with an adding machine and a ‘celestial training device’ at her desk at Nasa’s Langley research centre in 1962. Photograph: Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

Rise Up – Andrea Day

Dear Diary,

When we fall sometimes we feel there’s no point to get back up. You get tired. You get frustrated, but that’s fine! It’s all a part of it. The reason we get back up is because we are strong despite us not thinking it at the time or even other people. We must not underestimate ourselves. Everything is NOT going to go as planned. It’s just how it goes. We may put our all into it and it doesn’t work out. That’s no fault of yours in believing in yourself. Some things just don’t work out. So the next thing to do is work on something else that does or go at it from another angle! When you don’t succeed at one thing we shouldn’t class it as a failure just a lesson to learn from and the tools to go for the next thing. Now there are mountains we will climb to get to where we want to go and when we reach the top the view will be worth all the sweat and tears. We will rise up and when we do it’s gonna be a sight to see.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Rise Up – Andrea Day

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry

Recording artist Andra Day poses for a photo in Atlanta, Jan. 24, 2016.

Something’s Got To Give – Labrinth

Dear Diary,

I spoke about self love and it really had me thinking about how time never sleeps. So we’ve got to insure that in the time we have is spent on the things that really matter to us. We give our all into everything but all of it doesn’t deserve it. There’s so many things we wish to do and we may not get to do it all, but the ones we can we need to stop pushing it aside. There are certain circumstances people are in where it’s tricky to make certain decisions but if you can gain complete control, make the choice you want to make. Go for it! Something’s got to give in order for you to feel that more in control. That bit happier. That bit free from feeling shattered. Or even stuck in the sunken place. (Yes I saw Get Out) haha. No seriously, I’m giving up something I don’t need for something I do, because this is my time and I’m not about to waste it.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Something’s Got To Give – Labrinth

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @AmaniVHenry

Photo Credit: Used in article – unaware of photographer at this time

Self Love – Ari Lennox, Bas, Dreamville

Dear Diary,

Everyone has responsibilities. Their things that need to be taken care of, people that need to be taken care of. There’s that feeling of having to be on the ball as you can’t afford to drop it. All of this weight put on is only pressure that’s building up. We know what happens when there’s too much pressure. But it’s a risk that many are willing to take. The need to make sure everything else is okay is fine, but what about YOU. It’s so easy to lose yourself in someone or something because you don’t want to face… YOU. There are many reasons why someone choses to avoid themselves and make it seem as though they have it all together. But in reality they don’t, simply because they haven’t taken the time for themselves. Take care of yourself. Love yourself. You CAN do it all and that includes adding yourself in the equation. It can be hard at times thinking you can’t afford to do that but you CAN! Start with something small, as looking in the mirror and saying. “I see you. I hear you. I love you.” Then work on what you want and need to take care of for YOU and never think you’re are not worth the thought, energy, or time because YOU deserve it all! Self Love, is the best LOVE!

Written By: @AmanVHenry

Inspired By: Self Love – Ari Lennox, Bas, Dreamville

Forgotten Ones – Sabina Ddumba

Dear Diary,

There’s a lot of things we wish we have or had while we continue with life. You have to make do with what you have around you. It may not always be the best or what you had hoped for, but sometimes it’s just enough to keep you moving forward. There are so many different influences out there that can either lead you to a better direction or the wrong one. Sometimes it’s hard to say you want to do the right thing when what you have around you only has one attitude which is to bring you down. Although it may be tough, you can still try. It’s been proven so it’s not impossible. Whoever we have that will help us, support us, we keep those people close. Together we will make mistakes, learn and grow. We are never forgotten, we are still here and ready to keep on moving up to bigger and better things. Then maybe one day the things we wish we had, we’ll get it.

Written By: @amanivhenry

Inspired By: Sabina Ddumba – Forgotten Ones

Photo Credit: From Flaunt.com

As I Am – H.E.R.

Dear Diary,

When we finally get comfortable with who we are, what we do, and our surroundings. The last thing we want is for someone to try and change it. Now, I’m all for trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone, because it can be beneficial to you or even eye-opening. It’s when it’s being forced upon you, that’s where I have a problem. I always try to see why they may want me to change, but they never try to see it from my point of view. Of what it may cost me. Someone else may do it for them, doesn’t mean I would do the same. Putting pressure on me is only going to push me further away and I may become defensive, and why wouldn’t I, It’s about me. We may need to compromise, but I’m not willing to go as far as erasing everything I’ve worked for to get me to who I am and where I am just because it will make someone else feel better. I deserve to feel good about myself. There will be things that will be beyond my control when it comes to some changes, but when I’m in control you better believe I’ll do what I want for me.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: As I Am – H.E.R.

Instragram, Facebook & Twitter: @amanivhenry

Safe Haven – Ruth B.

Dear Diary,

There are people that we look up to, admire, and respect. Their actions and things they say can really impact you in a way that makes you feel that bit better about yourself and the world around you. It can be a scary world at times but knowing you can look to these people especially when you need them the most it gives you that bit of strength or boost that you need. We can do some things on our own but we also need someone. It doesn’t necessarily need to be someone you know personally. When you stand for the same thing, going through a similar situation or want to achieve the same goal, you can form this connection. They become your safe haven. It’s amazing how many times you can help a person without even knowing you have. People say ‘watch what you say and do because people are watching ‘and that’s right more now than ever before. If it’s towards something that requires attention or change. Do what needs to be done, especially if you are willing to do just that despite the backfire. We’ve already seen what past strengths can do that’s moved us forward to where we are today. Sure there’s more work to be done but it’s getting done. So thank you to all those that continue to try and we also need to remember as much as we need them they need us to. We can be their safe haven. It’s ok for all of us not to be ok. Thank you to those that have allowed me to take a step towards having more courage, strength, and belief in myself or even just made me laugh at the moment I needed to.

Written By: @AmaniVHenry

Inspired By: Safe Haven – Ruth B.

– Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @amanivhenry