A Conversation With Beverly Johnson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Sunday, 08 April 2012 17:00


Beverly Johnson is the first African-American supermodel, as well as an actress, author, activist, businesswoman and TV personality. She was the first Black model to appear on the cover of U.S. Vogue magazine in August 1974. A year later, she became the first Black woman to appear on the cover of the French edition of Elle magazine. Her beautiful face has graced over 500 magazine covers. Before modeling, Johnson aspired to become a lawyer. She was studying criminal justice at Northeastern University when she entered the fashion industry.

In 2006, Johnson was honored at Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball along with Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Tina Turner and other female African Americans in entertainment, civil rights, and the arts. Named by one of the 20th Century's most influential people in fashion by the New York Times, she changed the beauty ideal in modeling. As of 1975, every major American fashion couturier began using African American models.  The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. has a portrait of her on display as part of its "The Black List" exhibition, featuring photographs of 50 iconic African Americans.  

Exclusive Interview With The Co-Founder Of The Irie Festival: Phillip Vassell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Friday, 01 July 2011 15:51

Phillip Vassell was born in Jamaica and has been living in Canada since 1975.  Vassell is the brilliant co-founder, editor, and co-publisher of Word magazine, established in 1992.  It is one of the first urban Canadian magazines and the first torontonian leading magazine in this realm.  It was created out of a need to showcase and give voice to black urban culture.  Prior to Word, Phillip Vassell worked five years at CBC (Canada’s national public radio and television broadcaster) as a journalist, editorial assistant and researcher.  At the time, Mr. Vassell saw and still sees himself as a "journalist" and wants to be acknowledged as such, "not as a Black journalist". While at CBC, Phillip decided to look at the hiring practices of mainstream media outlets and found that there was an under-representation which didn’t reflect Canada’s diverse population.  In this regard, he, along with his wife Donna McCurvin, thought that it was important to create a magazine which gives another perspective.  Word reflects the Arts through music, film, video, literature and visual mediums. Word looks at Art from a black and urban perspective.  Among many others, Mr.  Vassell has interviewed well-known people such as the legendary Quincy Jones for Word magazine.  As for the future of Word, Vassell believes that his publication is like Motown where music is made by Blacks and has found a universal audience in the process. This is based on surveys conducted by the magazine which revealed that a 45-50 percent readership is from non-African backgrounds.  For Vassell, Black urban culture is universal.

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Exclusive Interview With The Former Candidate of The Apprentice 2: Stacie Upchurch PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Monday, 28 February 2011 21:02

Née in Omaha, Nebraska, Stacie Jones Upchurch grew up in Colorado. It is important to note that Upchurch hasn’t just relied on her beauty to “make it”. She attended both Emory and Mercer Universities in Atlanta where she received, respectively, her B.A. in Marketing and her M.B.A.

At twenty, while attending college, she set up a marketing company that employed a staff of seventeen. She ran several businesses in Atlanta before settling in New York City, poised to achieve her modeling, acting and business goals.  In this respect, Modeling on the runways of New York City, acting on daytime television, running her own Subway franchise, starring on Donald Trump’s “Apprentice,” (season 2) represents just a few of Stacie J.’s accomplishments.

Aforementioned Stacie Upchurch is an ambitious and a brilliant woman. She became a candidate for the second season of the TV reality show The Apprentice. Over one million people apply each year to participate on this show. Upchurch was among the eighteen highly qualified and successful applicants. All candidates of The Apprentice were subjected to a series of interviews, auditions and intense competition with other aspiring corporate executives. Over forty million people watch The Apprentice each week. It has become one of the most successful programs in television history, and has received at least four Emmy nominations.

Exclusive Interview With The Celebrity Hairstylist Dwayne Ross PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 19:35

Alvin “Dwayne” Ross is known in the U.S. and internationally as an expert cosmetologist. During his 18 years as a stylist, his passion for hair color has fueled him to accomplish many notable goals.  In September 2000, Dwayne’s reputation attained national status when the American Board of Certified Hair colorists appointed him a “Master Haircolorist”.  To achieve this goal, one must be a licensed hairstylist and pass an extensive exam that covers chemistry, physiology and psychological aspects of hair color. While maintaining his clientele in both Manhattan and Los Angeles, Dwayne took on the challenge of teaching hair color in New York City. He instructed the core basics of the science of hair color, color correction, troubleshooting, and the advance techniques to licensed professionals all over the country.

Dwayne’s commitment to mastering the art of hair color reached its height in March 2001 when the Los Angeles County Cosmetology Apprenticeship Council named him “Master Cosmetology Trainer” which means he is qualified to privately teach students to become hairstylists in the state of California. These students benefit from working side by side with a “Master Trainer”, receiving personalized attention as well as being introduced to a unique and exciting approach to the craft of cosmetology.

This new approach to teaching is in tune with Dwayne’s philosophy of giving back to the community. He enjoys spending his time working with others by lending his talents to several charity events and causes such as celebrity fashion shows and mentoring youth. As a mentor, Dwayne’s enthusiasm inspires those around him to set high standards of excellence.

 In May 2006, Dwayne Ross opened his own salon “Verve Lounge Hair Salon” in Beverly Hills. Team work is an integral part of this salon’s ethos and success.  It is also important to mention that Ross’ business has a social aspect.  For instance, in the past the Salon raised money for cancer.  Mr.  Ross currently works with celebrities and fashion models in the film and television industries. He has created amazing hair styles for prominent people, such as Heather Locklear, Kate Beckinsale and Jennifer Lopez.  He recently joined the prestigious Cloutier Agency.  Also, lately he was recently featured in the March 2011 issue of the well-known Sophisticate’s Hairstyle Guide Magazine.  Mr.  Ross has an easy but confident approach and demeanour which have ensured a faithful clientele in the entertainment industry. We spoke to Mr.  Ross the 7th of February 2011.

Exclusive Interview With Lesra Martin: One Of The Most Prominent Canadian Barristers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patricia Turnier   
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 20:31








Lesra Martin was born in 1963 to Earl and Alma Martin. He was the second eldest son of eight children. The family initially enjoyed a middle class lifestyle until Earl Martin suffered an injury and could no longer work.

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