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‘Dangerously in Love’ Beyoncé and Jay-Z are Hollywood’s Most Powerful Couple

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “I believe Beyoncé and Jay-Z have been successfully married as a Hollywood power couple for so long because they can see beyond the wealth, fame and materialism that comes with a Hollywood lifestyle,” stated hip-hop artist and activist Sean XGL Mitchell.

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Beyoncé performing on The O2 in London. Photo by idrewuk (originally posted to Flickr as Hello hubbie!) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

When Beyoncé married Jay-Z in 2008, the skeptics were as loud as the audience at a sold-out Destiny’s Child concert.

At its worst, critics expected that the marriage would be Bobby and Whitney all over again – a hip-hop bad boy meets a sexy songstress with a squeaky-clean, all-American image.

Some of those critics believed the marriage would only last as long as the union between Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley – an odd and uncomfortable 20-month marriage that ended with Elvis’ daughter filing for divorce citing irreconcilable differences.

After a dozen years, hundreds of millions of records sold — and one infamous elevator fight at a Met Gala between Jay-Z and Solange Knowles, (Beyoncé’s little sister) — Hollywood’s preeminent power couple are still “dangerously in love.”

“I believe Beyoncé and Jay-Z have been successfully married as a Hollywood power couple for so long because they can see beyond the wealth, fame and materialism that comes with a Hollywood lifestyle,” stated hip-hop artist and activist Sean XGL Mitchell.

“The music business can be brutal so artists and couples who are grounded, in touch with reality and are consciously aware of who they are, have the keys to success and longevity,” Mitchell noted.

“In particular, when you watched Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance a few years ago, she paid tribute to the Black Panthers while performing her new hit’ Formation. Their costumes and choreographed dance routine, which included a fist in the air, was a true sign of self-knowledge and pride,” Mitchell added.

“It was equally apparent in Jay-Z’s lyrics in the song the ‘Story of O.J.’ When you have two people who are more than just artists, who can transcend power, you have the making of a successful partnership and marriage,” he said.

According to medium.com, the average divorce rate of Hollywood celebrities is 52 percent, slightly higher than that of the general public. The length of celebrity marriages can be as short as hours, while the average is about six years, the website reported.

That Jay-Z and Beyoncé have doubled that time and are still going strong, doesn’t exactly surprise experts who’ve followed their careers and relationship.

Dr. Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist and regular expert child psychologist on CBS-TV’s “The Doctors,” said it’s no secret the power couple has overcome big problems in their marriage.

At a Met Gala event in 2014, cameras caught Solange hitting and kicking Jay-Z as Beyoncé watched quietly. Later, it was revealed that Solange confronted her brother-in-law over cheating rumors, and things quickly escalated.

“The critical key is that they hung in together with a solemn commitment to each other and the couple ship,” Walfish stated. “Today, it seems, they are doing better than ever and are parents to a 7-year-old daughter and two-year-old twins.”

In a 2017 interview with The New York Times Style Magazine, Jay-Z opened up about his infidelity and the near demise of his marriage.

“You know, most people walk away, and like the divorce rate is 50 percent or something because most people can’t see themselves,” Jay-Z told the Times. “The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself. So, most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself. And so, you walk away.”

Walfish stated that Jay-Z’s interview with the Times was telling.

“The hardest part for him was seeing the pain on his wife, that he caused,” Walfish said.

“That is accountability and owning up to a huge mistake. Beyoncé, on the other hand, had to be open to forgiveness. Her love and non-judgmental character, along with probable therapeutic help, allowed for repair in the relationship. The secondary gain is that this type of relationship deep repair can bond a couple even more strongly together than before,” Walfish added.

Born Sean Carter in Brooklyn, NY in 1969, Jay-Z has won 22 Grammy Awards with hits that include “Hard Knock Life,” “99 Problems,” and “Run this Town.”

With a net worth of more than $1 billion, Jay-Z also has produced several films, and he owns the streaming service, Tidal, and other companies.

Born in 1981 in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé rose to fame with the singing group “Destiny’s Child” in the 1990s. Her solo career took off in 2002 with the release of the album, “Dangerously in Love,” which included a collaboration with Jay-Z.

Beyoncé has won 23 Grammy Awards and owns and operates Parkwood Entertainment, a company that includes various brands of music, movies, videos, and fashion. Forbes Magazine has placed Beyoncé’s net worth at approximately $500 million.

“These two powerhouse moguls understand the nature of engagement that is vital in a marriage,” stated Dr. Allana Da Graca, a psychologist, and self-styled persistence expert.

“I think they both understand the arduous journey to fame that can also blur lifelines of meaning and authenticity amongst themselves. They hold one another accountable and maintain the muse of each other,” Da Graca said.

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Tunisia: Raja Amari’s ‘She Had a Dream’ Doc Premieres on AfroPoP

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Amari is one of these artists and Ghofrane is an activist. Exploring how racism has shaped her life in all aspects including her early school days, her romantic life and everyday activities, Amari’s film showcases how Ghofrane uses her experiences as impetus to work to bring change to her country for all people. A compassionate and hopeful exploration of the life and aspirations of Ghofrane, She Had A Dream sheds light on women’s roles in Tunisia’s changing society and one woman’s battle to create change for her community.
The post Tunisia: Raja Amari’s ‘She Had a Dream’ Doc Premieres on AfroPoP first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D, NNPA Newswire Entertainment and Culture Editor

The documentary She Had A Dream by Tunisian filmmaker Raja Amari premieres on AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange series tonight at 8 p.m. EST on WORLD CHANNEL. Season 14 of the acclaimed documentary series captures Black artists and activists shaping and reclaiming culture, advocating for change and mobilizing for brighter futures. She Had A Dream offers an intimate portrayal of one young Black Tunisian woman’s quest for political office and her fight against racism and oppression in a society that often seeks to overlook both.

The documentary follows Ghofrane, a 20-something Black woman from Tunisia as she walks the path of self-discovery of young adulthood while running for political office in a homeland where many still view her as an outsider.

Watch the trailer below:

A dedicated, charismatic activist and a modern, free-speaking woman, Ghofrane in many ways is the embodiment of contemporary Tunisian political hopes still alive years after the Arab Spring. She Had A Dream follows Ghofrane as she works to conquer her own self-doubts while attempting to persuade close friends and complete strangers to vote for her. As audiences follow her campaign, they also follow the dichotomies of her life as a woman striving for a role in politics in the Arab world and as a Black person in a country where racism is prevalent, yet often denied.

“The 14th season of AfroPoP shines a light on the collective power, strength and resilience of Black people and movements around the world,” said Leslie Fields-Cruz, AfroPoP executive producer. “Viewers will see artists use their platforms to push for progress and human rights and see ‘ordinary’ people do the remarkable in the interest of justice.”

Amari is one of these artists and Ghofrane is an activist. Exploring how racism has shaped her life in all aspects including her early school days, her romantic life and everyday activities, Amari’s film showcases how Ghofrane uses her experiences as impetus to work to bring change to her country for all people. A compassionate and hopeful exploration of the life and aspirations of Ghofrane, She Had A Dream sheds light on women’s roles in Tunisia’s changing society and one woman’s battle to create change for her community.

She Had A Dream airs on AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange Monday, April 11 at 8 p.m. ET on WORLD Channel and begins streaming on worldchannel.org at the same time.

AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is presented by Black Public Media and WORLD Channel. For more information, visit worldchannel.org or blackpublicmedia.org.

This article was written by Nsenga K. Burton, founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news site The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter or Instagram @TheBurtonWire.

The post Tunisia: Raja Amari’s ‘She Had a Dream’ Doc Premieres on AfroPoP first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Nairobi: Water Crisis Exploits Women & Girls

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Sextortion” refers to sex being used as currency instead of money for services or products — in this case water. According to the Water Integrity Network (WIN), the testimonies collected from women over the past five years in Kibera and Mukuru Kwa Njenga, which are some of the largest informal settlements in Nairobi, point towards an invisible, unspoken, and sinister consequence of corruption in the water sector i.e. sextortion. Sex for water is not a new phenomena.
The post Nairobi: Water Crisis Exploits Women & Girls first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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BBC Africa is reporting Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is facing a water shortage because of changing weather patterns and aging water facilities. The article reports, “Residents in informal communities like Kibra pay private vendors for water, meaning they now control the supply and access to water in the community.” The privatization of water access has led to an increase in the exploitation of women and girls in exchange for water.

“Sextortion” refers to sex being used as currency instead of money for services or products — in this case water. According to the Water Integrity Network (WIN), the testimonies collected from women over the past five years in Kibera and Mukuru Kwa Njenga, which are some of the largest informal settlements in Nairobi, point towards an invisible, unspoken, and sinister consequence of corruption in the water sector i.e. sextortion. Sex for water is not a new phenomena. Check out the 2018 ANEW documentary short below:

The water crisis and the sexual exploitation of girls and women as a result of the water crisis shows no signs of slowing down.

To read more about this crisis, visit BBC Africa‘s series of articles and videos on Kenya’s water crisis and the Water Integrity Network’s (WIN) study on sextortion.

This news brief was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news site The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter or Instagram @TheBurtonWire.

The post Nairobi: Water Crisis Exploits Women & Girls first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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#WordinBlack: Schools and Black Students’ Mental Health: The Kids Aren’t Alright

THE AFRO — Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Black youths ages 15 to 24, according to the Office of Minority Health. The same report found Black high school-aged girls were 60 percent more likely to attempt suicide than their white peers. And, by June 2020, the CDC saw the rate of Black respondents who reported having “seriously considered suicide” was significantly higher.
The post #WordinBlack: Schools and Black Students’ Mental Health: The Kids Aren’t Alright first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Maya Pottiger, Word in Black

It’s no surprise that we’re living through difficult times. After two years, we’re still in a global pandemic, which has predominantly impacted people of color. In addition, Book bans, attacks on critical race theory, and partisan political fights target everything from Black youths’ sexuality, to history, to health.

And we’re seeing the effects.

Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Black youths ages 15 to 24, according to the Office of Minority Health. The same report found Black high school-aged girls were 60 percent more likely to attempt suicide than their white peers. And, by June 2020, the CDC saw the rate of Black respondents who reported having “seriously considered suicide” was significantly higher.

For a variety of reasons — ongoing stigma, lack of insurance, most accessible — Black students often rely on the mental health services offered at school.Outside of a mental health-specific practice, Black students were nearly 600 times as likely to get mental health help in an academic setting compared to other options, according to 2020 data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

In fact, mental health services in schools have been steadily gaining popularity among students since 2009, before dropping slightly in 2020 when the school year was interrupted, according to the SAMHSA report. As a result, the rate of students receiving mental health care through school decreased by 14 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

So how are schools changing the way they address and prioritize mental health — and the specific needs of Black students — since 2020?

The Renewed Focus on Mental Health

For school-aged people, the majority of their time is spent in a school building — about eight hours per day, 10 months out of the year. To help address mental health during academic hours, schools are trying to focus on social-emotional learning: self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills. This includes teaching kids how to be in touch with their emotions and protect against adverse mental health outcomes.

But it’s been difficult.

Though there’s been more conversation, the implementation is challenging, says Dr. Kizzy Albritton, an associate professor of school psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. There was already a shortage of school-based mental health professionals before the pandemic, which has now been exacerbated, as have mental health issues. In addition, though schools clearly recognize the importance of mental health, they aren’t always provided adequate resources.

“Unless there are more resources funneled into the school system, we’re going to see a continued catch-up issue across the board,” Albritton says. “And, unfortunately, our Black students are going to continue to suffer the most.”

In a survey of high school principals and students, Education Week Research Center found discrepancies in how principals and students viewed a school’s mental health services. While 86 percent of the principals said their schools provided services, only about 66 percent of students agreed. The survey did point out it’s possible the school offers these services and students aren’t aware. The survey also found Black and Latinx students were less likely than their peers to say their schools offered services.

Dr. Celeste Malone, the president-elect of the National Association for School Psychologists and a Howard University associate professor, says she hasn’t previously seen this degree of attention to mental health in schools.

“I see that a lot in my role for a school psychology graduate program: the outreach and people contacting me with openings where they didn’t exist previously,” Malone says. “With this increased push in funding to hire more, that’s definitely a very, very positive movement.”

Mental Health Is Not One Size Fits All

Just like with many aspects of health, Black youths need different mental health support from their peers of other races. They need a counselor who understands their lived experiences, like microaggressions and other forms of discrimination or racism, without the student having to explain.

For example, in order to best address the specific mental health needs of Black students, districts need to provide information breaking down mental health stigmas; focus on hiring Black counselors, social workers, and mental health professionals; and fund anti-racist and trauma-informed mental health practices, according to the Center for American Progress.

While she hears a lot of talk, Albritton says she isn’t seeing widespread evidence of these solutions in practice.

“There needs to be a willingness, first of all, to understand that our Black students, their needs look a lot different,” Albritton says. School officials need to understand where Black students are coming from — that their families and households experience systemic and structural racism, which are known to trigger anxiety and depression. The effects of the racial wealth gap also play a role, from the neighborhood kids are living in, to the schools they can attend to the impacts on their health. Students might be bringing worries about these challenges to school, which could be reflected in their behavior. This is why, Albritton says, it’s crucial to also work with students’ families.

The post #WordinBlack: Schools and Black Students’ Mental Health: The Kids Aren’t Alright appeared first on AFRO American Newspapers .

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