A former entertainment publicist and marketing consultant, I founded theHotness in 2000 as a way to gain exposure for the artists I was promoting at the time—namely Amel Larrieux, Jill Scott and Cree Summer. Having a hard time securing press at many mainstream media outlets, theHotness was my attempt to showcase women who were ridiculously talented, but who also chose not to shake their booty or do bikini pictorials to get recognition for that talent. I emailed the first newsletter to about 25 friends and industry associates. theHotness spread like a bonfire on driftwood. In a little over a month we had over 300 subscribers and eventually Amel, Jill and Cree were on everyone’s playlist. From 2000-2003, I did PR for a handful of artists and activists and at night, along with graphic designer Todd Wilson and a few supportive friends, we created a monthly newsletter that featured Hot Grrrls like Margaret Cho, Bahamadia, Sarah Jones and Jhumpa Lahiri and discussed sensitive subjects like breast cancer, life after incarceration, and some of the misperceptions of motherhood. It was a challenging, but thrilling ride.
Keeping up with the digital times, in 2005, the newsletter morphed into an early form of the blog that you now see where my writing largely centers on women of color and media representation, image politics, and empowerment. I also still find a way to infuse my love for music, art, NYC street culture, non-fiction books, sundresses, sneakers and sushi into a platform that still shows mad love to women who use their inner fire to do very cool things in business, fashion and the arts.
A graduate of Williams College, who had the nerve to double major and double concentrate in American Studies and History, Women’s Studies and African-American Studies respectively, I’ve worked in-house for a number of publications including Essence, The Village Voice, Uptown and The Source. While blogging here, I still freelance to pay the bills, so thanks to The Root, VOGUE_Black, The Voice, Heart & Soul, Russell Simmons’ One World, and BUST who have published my writing, I can indulge in shoe shopping and traveling—two of my big loves. I’ve interviewed and written about a number of high profile artists including Naomi Campbell, Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, D’Angelo and OutKast and would love to cross-off Angela Davis, Maxwell, Prince and Lauryn Hill from my Interview Wish List in the very near future.
I’ve been featured as a speaker on WBAI’ s Wake Up Call, Hot 97’s Star & Buckwild Show, Fox TV’s Good Day New York and at Sony Music’s Annual Black Music Month Symposium. Even though public speaking scares the beejesus out of me, I enjoy sharing my experiences in media and talking about the interesting, chaotic, and often controversial cross-section that often is women, stereotype, image and empowerment.
Thanks so much for stopping by, checking us out and speaking your mind. If you’re not the meandering type and you want to know right now exactly what theHotness is all about, then please check out the most popular and my most favorite posts to date. What makes this site so special are the folks who leave comments giving a nod that they too understand and those who also disagree, but back-up there points up with undeniable passion, respect and personality. It’s a real community here that I enjoy keeping up with on Twitter and Facebook and who still helps to keep this ride, oh so thrilling.