Take a break; you deserve it! Here are people, places and things worth a busy woman’s time.

In January …

Michelle Singletary 21 day fast 133x166… Honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was born on Jan. 15, 1929. (See below.)

… Go out and play! If it’s snowing outside or you’re traveling to wintery weather, you have lots of choices: Make snow angels, build snow families or go sledding, tobogganing, skiing, ice skating …

… Get financially fit by fasting with us. Financial expert Michelle Singletary is leading the way for Fierce readers and others around the country. Singletary, who writes “The Color of Money” in the Washington Post, will take us on a debt-cutting journey, based on her latest book, The 21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom (Zondervan). Click here for details, and check out the countdown.

FIERCEbkfasthealthy… Right-start your day with breakfast. Here’s a quick and tasty recipe to try — and it’s healthy, too!

… Schedule your well-woman doctor’s visit. It’s Cervical Health Awareness Month. Also check out Tamika & Friends for more info on cervical cancer, HPV and a great sister support network.

… Be inspired by our 15 Fiercest Sisters who not only made their mark on the past year, but are also women to watch in 2014.

… Tell us your plans for the new year. Comment below or on our Facebook page. You can also drop us a line at info@fierceforblackwomen.com.


Michelle Obama and Mandela by Samantha Appleton WH

Obama bangs tumblr_bangs

The First Lady has the edge on her much-debated banging bangs. (WhiteHouse.gov)

Fifty and Fabulous: First Lady Michelle Obama is celebrating 50 years of a wonderful life, which included meeting Nelson Mandela at his home in Houghton, South Africa, on June 21, 2011. For more see, “15 Fiercest Sisters of 2013,” “Why We Love Michelle” and “Happy Birthday, First Lady Obama!” Also see, 15 favorite FLOTUS moments on her site, including this hilarious Obama bangs shot with her husband, who happens to be the president. Read a tribute to Mandela from a fellow South African and details about an exhibit in his honor, below. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)



King Memorial (Yanick Rice Lamb/FierceforBlackWomen.com)

Fierce Photo

“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. … You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”

—Dr. King’s “Drum Major Instinct” sermon, Feb. 4, 1968


Remembering King 

celebrate one of the greatest dreamers of our time — the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  (Public Domain)

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington. (Public Domain)

Many people are celebrating the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by coming up with volunteer activities. You can also participate in existing programs for the National MLK Day of Service. Here are other events nationwide to commemorate King’s birthday, which is Jan. 15. The official holiday is being observed this year on Jan. 20. http://mlkday.gov


  • Visit the King Center and the birth home of the civil rights leader on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta. Tours are free, but registration is required.
  • You can also visit Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was baptized and ordained as a minister before serving as co-pastor with his father.

Los Angeles

  • The California African American Museum will screen movies about King and Nelson Mandela.
  • The annual Kingdom Day Parade will step off at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 20 between Crenshaw and King Boulevard in Leimert Park.

New York


  • A wreath-laying ceremony is scheduled at 8 a.m. at the King Memorial on the National Mall.
  • Dionne Warwick will perform at “Let Freedom Ring,” a free musical celebration sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Georgetown University. The free concert starts at 6 p.m. Monday,
 Jan. 20 on the Millennium Stage.
  • The annual King parade and peacewalk starts at 11 a.m. on King Avenue in Anacostia.
  • Students from Watkins Elementary School will recite King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he gave the address 50 years ago.
  • See King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis
 at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in downtown Silver Spring, Md., just north of Washington.


Hit the Slopes

FierceSnowJoySkiers and snowboarders are the slopes at the Urban Winterfest through Jan. 20, at the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa and Heavenly Valley Ski Resort in Mesa, Colo. The National Brotherhood of Skiers, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, will hold its annual summit Feb. 22 to March 1 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Moderate downhill skiing burns about 408 calories an hour for someone weighing 150 pounds. If you prefer cross-country skiing, you could burn 544 calories, according to the My Fitness Pal website and app.


Cool Runnings!

Vonetta Flowers, left, the first black athlete to win gold in the Winter Olympics, heads down the track with bobsled partner Jill Bakken in Park City, Utah, in 2002. (Public Domain)

Vonetta Flowers, left. (Public Domain)

A number of fierce women and a team from Jamaica will be bobsledding at the Olympic Winter Games, which start Feb. 7 in Sochi along the Black Sea in Russia. Look out for Aja Evans, Jazmine Fenlator, Lolo Jones, Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams. They’re following in the tracks of bobsledder Vonetta Flowers, the first black athlete to win gold at the Winter Olympics. Here’s Flowers, on the left, with bobsled partner Jill Bakken in Park City, Utah, in 2002.


On the Homefront

Pamela Dorman Books

Pamela Dorman Books

Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile

Curl up with

… Queen Sugar, a debut novel by Natalie Baszile about a woman who moves from Los Angeles to New Orleans to run her family’s sugar cane farm (Pamela Dorman Books).

Hair Story by Byrd and ThorpeTuff book

Bookkeeper-turned-lifesaver Antoinette Tuff writes about her heroism in Prepared for a Purpose: The Inspiring True Story of How One Woman Saved an Atlanta School Under Siege (Bethany House Publishers). Read about Tuff in “15 Fiercest Sisters of 2013.”

… An update of an oldie but goodie: Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps (St. Martin’s Griffin).

LoveMarriageDivorce-250x250Listen to …

… Love, Marriage & Divorcea musical reunion of Toni Braxton and Babyface, featuring the single “Hurt You.” The longtime hitmakers also plan to go on tour and will appear on Broadway in After Midnight, beginning March 18 to 30.


… The Grammy Awards at 8 p.m. EST Sunday, Jan. 26, on CBS.

… Seventies-style glamour from disco and R&B group Chic on TV One’s “Unsung,” beginning Jan. 29.

From "Grey's Anatomy" to "Scandal," Shonda Rhimes has revolutionized prime-time casting. (Photo credit: Shonda Rhimes)

Shonda Rhimes, creator and executive producer of “Grey’s Anatomy” and  “Scandal.”

… “Scandal”? Not! Short of a 12-step program, the best that addicted Gladiators can hope for is a #ScriptTease until the new season starts on Feb. 27. But here are a few  bones: Kerry Washington is a 2014 Golden Globe nominee as Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama, for her portrayal of fixer Olivia Pope. And you voted “Scandal” creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes as one of the “15 Fiercest Sisters of 2013.”

… All sorts of programs targeted to African Americans and pigeon-holed into February — a workout for your DVR.

Gabrielle Union in "Being Mary Jane." (BET Networks)

Gabrielle Union in “Being Mary Jane.” (BET Networks)

… Gabrielle Union in the widely anticipated series debut of “Being Mary Jane.” The movie version, screened around the country and on BET, has already built a strong following. In the series, fictional TV anchor Mary Jane Paul deals with the ups and downs of work, family and her single life. Union,  newly engaged to Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, is trading the latter for marriage — the second time around for each of them. “Being Mary Jane” airs at 10 p.m. EST on Tuesdays.


Out & About

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded in 1958.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded in 1958.

Dance …

… The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater hits the road for its North American tour, beginning Feb. 4 to 9 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

Music …

Chrisette Michele

Chrisette Michele is in a “Better” place.

… Grammy Award-winning singer Chrisette Michele is a contender in the Best R&B Album category for her Better, which comes from a healthier, happier place, she says. Now a vegan who is pounds lighter, she will perform at the Atlanta Civic Center at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, as part of a swing through the South and Midwest.

Bettye Lavette (The Agency Group Ltd.)

Bettye Lavette (The Agency Group Ltd.)

… Legendary singer Bettye LaVette is on tour, singing at venues, from Massachusetts to the Carolinas, including a recent set at the Blue Note with bassist Stanley Clarke and a Beatles tribute on Feb. 6 at the Apollo in New York. LaVette, who is celebrating her 68th birthday this month, recorded her first hit, “My Man — He’s a Loving Man,” at age 16 for Atlantic Records in 1962. She marked her 50th anniversary in the music industry by releasing a CD, Thankful N Thoughtful, and a candid biography, A Woman Like Me, which has been optioned as a possible film. She also sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” with Bon Jovi during President Obama’s first inauguration (below), and he invited her to perform at the Ford’s Theatre Society annual gala.

Theater …

Diahann Carroll will portray Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun. (Ethel Barrymore Theater)

Diahann Carroll will portray Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun. (Ethel Barrymore Theater)

… Grab tickets now to see Diahann Carroll, who will be back on Broadway after three decades, and Denzel Washington in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. The play, which also includes Anika Noni Rose and Sophie Okonedo,  opens on April 3. Previews start on March 8.

Festivals …

Hurston-Zora-Neale-LOC… The Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities in Eatonville, Fla., is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Zora! Festival blends education and entertainment. It features poet Sonia Sanchez, author Edwidge Danticat and actors Lynn Whitfield and Avery Brooks in dramatic readings titled “An Evening with Zora.”

Art …

… Marvel over 31 pieces of beaded art from South Africa known “ndwango”  in the exhibit “Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence” in the main gallery of the the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum in Washington, D.C. Ubuhle (“Oo-buk-lay”) means beauty in the Xhosa language. You can also see “Home Sewn: Quilts From the Lower Mississippi Valley” in the community gallery. Both exhibits will be on view through Sept. 21, 2014. 

… Armed with everything from pencils to pastels, 20 artists will compete in the first annual Portrait Art Battle form 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture in Charlotte, N.C. Artists include Catherine McElvane, Gordon James, Adam McGalliard and Lena Hopkins Jackson. Children can also demonstrate their artistic flair in the Kids Korner.

Poster features sculpture on site where the Nobel laureate was arrested in 1962. The bars forming Mandela's portrait represent his 27 years of incarceration.

Poster features sculpture on site where the Nobel laureate was arrested in 1962. The bars forming Mandela’s portrait represent his 27 years of incarceration.

… Nelson Mandela’s life is captured in an exhibit, “Nelson Mandela: Character, Comrade, Leader, Prisoner, Negotiator, Statesman,” at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Library Gallery at Howard University in Washington. It will be on view through April 27 to mark the 20th anniversary of  Mandela’s election as the first president of the Republic of South Africa. Idris Elba is portraying the legendary leader in the filmMandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Naomie Harris co-stars with Elba as Winnie Mandela.

Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. (Long Walk to Freedom Ltd.)

Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. (Long Walk to Freedom Ltd.)


More Movies …

… Catch LisaGay Hamilton and Yolonda Ross in Go for Sisters.

… Hamilton also co-stars with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Dennis Haysbert in the new film Life of a King, which is based on a true story.

Go for Sisters




Dance It Out!

In the Motor City? You can also “Hustle for History” during weekly dance classes at 5 p.m. on Sundays at the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.


Fierce Fridays and Meetups!

Want to become a Fierce ambassador? You can host a meetup or Healthy Happy Hour at a tea room, juice bar or another great spot in your community. (See below for one in Detroit.) Sisters on the West Coast are going to walk the stairs in Los Angeles. Watch for other meetups in cities such as Atlanta, Brooklyn, Houston, Washington. Please send your ideas and contact information to info@fierceforblackwomen.com.


Where to Find Fierce Founders? Next Stop Detroit & Toledo

Photo by Bobby Quillard

Photo by Bobby Quillard

Meet Fierce co-founder and publisher Yanick Rice Lamb at a Healthy Happy Hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at 1917 American Bistro in Detroit. RSVP at info@fierceforblackwomen.com. Yanick will also speak at a number of schools, including the University of Toledo, just across the Ohio border, at a luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, and at the Historic Third Baptist Church at 11 a.m. Sunday. For more information, contact jackcrock@yahoo.com.


Calendar submissions for #Trending can be sent to info@fierceforblackwomen.com at least two weeks in advance.