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VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk Podcast: Karyn Parsons Goes From 'Bel-Air' To Book Writing

"Because of my experience of [history] being so dry, I wanted to meet [students] where they were... I wanted to engage them, I wanted to make it fun."

VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk podcast amplifies the voices of women and she/her-identifying individuals in their respective industries as they discuss their journeys toward becoming the bosses we know today. From their demeanor and confidence and persevering through life’s pitfalls to make a name for themselves in their own way, being a boss is much more than 'just running sh*t.'

From the Fresh Prince to some fresh prints. You may know Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and other acting endeavors throughout the 90s, but today, she has shifted much of her focus on being an author and educator by curating content geared at expanding our knowledge of black history and the black experience.

Parsons sat with host and VIBE.com writer J'na Jefferson to discuss her debut novel, How High The Moon, which was released on Mar. 5. The book itself deals with matters such as colorism in the Jim Crow South, and pulls shared inspiration from her mother's experiences growing up in South Carolina in the '40s and her own personal experiences. The novel also references the real-life tragedy of George Stinney, a then-14 year old South Carolinian boy who was executed for killing two white girls (a crime he was wrongly convicted of and was exonerated for after his death).

"[Stinney's] story is not an uplifting story, instead it's a tragedy," she explained of including Stinney in the novel. "It was always so distressing to me, and his face always comes up and it's so haunting. When I embarked on How High The Moon... it just made sense [that] George was going to be a part of this story."

Parsons is also the founder of a children’s film series uncovering some untold stories of black historic figures called Sweet Blackberry, which has been narrated by figures such as Chris Rock and Queen Latifah and has been screened on HBO and Netflix. She notes during the podcast that her goal in creating this type of content is to make it relatable and interesting for school-age children.

"History was always presented... with big heavy books, and little tiny print and thin pages and dates, dates, dates," she chuckles, "without always making you understand 'why?' or who the people were, or that they were just like you... Because of my experience of [history] being so dry, I wanted to meet [students] where they were... I wanted to engage them, I wanted to make it fun."

Of course, there was also a discussion about her vain, yet lovable character on the '90s comedy sitcom. Although she was materialistic on the surface, Parsons believes Hilary Banks was proof that you can get what you want in life as long as you go for it.

"You have to give it to [Hilary] that she spoke up for herself without any problem, there was no shame for Hilary in saying 'I'm too good for you,'" she says of the character. "She was just really taking care of what needed to be taken care of to do the things that she wanted to do... it was liberating [to play her], she was full-charge, walk into the room, full-confidence."

"Sometimes, you have to just own it. The world isn't gonna fall apart," she says of what Hilary taught her about herself. "You say, 'this is what I'm gonna do,' and you'd be surprised at how much people are like 'oh, okay!'"

Listen to the full episode below.

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Whitney Houston's Close Friend Robyn Crawford Details Romantic Relationship In New Memoir

Whitney Houston's personal life has been explored ten times over since her untimely passing in 2012 but one of her closest friends wants to share with the world the Whitney she knew and ultimately fell in love with.

In excerpts to People Wednesday (Nov. 6), Robyn Crawford presents a strong bond between the two in her new memoir, A Song For You: My Life With Whitney Houston. The singer and Crawford met in their youth while working at a summer camp in East Orange, New Jersey. From there, their friendship blossomed into something more romantic. With homophobia running rampant in the 80s, Crawford says they never looked at labels but enjoyed the experiences they shared together.

“We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,” writes Crawford. “We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”

As their journey continued, Whitney's star began to rise which put allegedly put their romance on ice. “She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore,” writes Crawford. "Because it would make our journey even more difficult. She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us....and back in the ’80s, that’s how it felt. I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence.”

Whitney's relationship with Crawford was mentioned in the 2018 documentary Whitney. Created by the singer's estate, the film focused on the singer's legacy and didn't include first-hand accounts from Crawford. Family members were weary of their special friendship.

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But Crawford is finally ready to tell her own story while "lifting" Houston's legacy.

“I wanted to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship,” she tells People. "I'd come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship. And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent."

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston is expected to hit bookshelves this fall.

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Keke Wyatt Announces That She's Pregnant With Her Tenth Child

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The vocalist continued to state that fans can follow her pregnancy journey on her YouTube series The Keke Show where she gives an intimate look at how she balances her career and motherhood.


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My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy! We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family. Stay tuned for the release date & information for my new YouTube Series “The Keke Show” where you will see me balancing Wife, Mommy and Artist!!! Trust me.. it’s never a dull moment with my family. Love ya sugars💋💋💋 photo credit: @keever_west Styled/Designed by: @keever_west Asst: @freddyoart

A post shared by Keke Wyatt (@keke_wyatt) on Oct 14, 2019 at 4:43pm PDT

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"I just don't believe in shutting down. I believe in that's what the Lord had for me," she said. "Babies don't get in the way of careers, we get in the way of careers. If that's what the Lord had for me from the very beginning, there's nothing nobody can do and nobody can say."

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Summer Walker's Debut Album Inspires Drake To Write New Music

Summer Walker's debut album Over It has everyone's heart aflutter, including Drake.

Off the heels of her debut project, the Atlanta songstress shared Drake's admiration for her project Sunday (Oct. 6) which included collaborations from Jhene Aiko, Usher. 6LACK and Bryson Tiller. Drake had a strong reaction to "Fun Girl," a track that speaks to the acoustic aura of her precious project, CLEAR.

Sharing his love with more than a few emojis, the rapper reveals the song inspired him to pen two new songs at the crack of dawn.


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So I guess fun girl is his favorite song on the album, mines isss... BODY🥰 what’s yours ?

A post shared by Summer Walker (@summerwalker) on Oct 6, 2019 at 3:02pm PDT

Summer and Drake worked together for the remix to her breakout hit, "Girls Need Love." In Billboard's  “You Should Know” series, the singer says the two met via Instagram after he gushed about her visuals to the original track. "He said, 'I saw your video on a bowling alley monitor. Thought it was cool,'" she recalled. She added it was Love Renaissance's Justice Baiden who talked her into asking Drake for the remix. The singer is signed to the label along with Grammy-nominated singer 6LACK.

Things have been looking great for the singer. Her album has topped Spotify and YouTube since it's release Friday and is expected to make a nice debut on Billboard's 200 charts.

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