Cover Alert: Kandi Burress covers October’s Essence Magazine

Kandi Burress first ever Essense Magazine cover. While Generation X may know the 41-year-old for her role on Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA), she’s established a career as a chart-topping R&B singer, lucrative songwriter and successful entrepreneur. But despite her many accomplishments, Kandi reports she is humble as pie about her first ever ESSENCE cover.

“I don’t ever want to feel like I’ve made it,” she told ESSENCE. “When people feel like they’ve made it, they’re on the first step to falling off.”

With the highs of success, have come lows —two brought on very publicly by women close to her. The first came from fellow Xscape member, Tamika Scott who shared a nasty rumor on the radio about Burruss sleeping her way to success. They’ve since reconciled and toured together, making one of their first concert stops at the ESSENCE Festival last July.

The second upset was between fellow RHOA co-star, Phaedra Parks. On the show Parks alleged that Burruss was planning on drugging and raping co-star Porsha Williams— an insane lie.

“I honestly had a lot of times when I just cried,” she said. “There were moments when I wanted to say, ‘You know what? I’m done with this!’ I was vindicated in front of millions, which helped me feel comfortable again.”

Despite it all, Burruss presses forward and is focused on being the best for her family.

“Some of us are doers and some of us are dreamers,” she said. “I’m both.”

The Real Housewives of Atlanta returns November 5 at 9 p.m. on Bravo and Xscape: Still Kickin’ It premieres November 5 and 9 p.m. on Bravo.

Read the full interview in the October issue of ESSENCE, on newsstands this week.

Ms. Culture Keeper-


Best Dressed Emmys 2017

Jane Fonda wearing Brandon Maxwell

It’s award season time. This is one of my favorite times of the year because you get to gossip about all the fashion. So if you can’t win an Emmy a spot on The Culture Keeper Best dress list is the next best thing right?

That might explain why so many stars at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards showed up to the red carpet in jaw-dropping, awe-inducing ensembles. We’re not saying they glammed up for us, but hey, the attention probably doesn’t hurt.

So here are my 2017 Best Dress Picks!

Above Jane Fonda is Brandon Maxwell is perfection. Jane Fonda is a women in her 70-‘s but she looks so much younger. This was one of my favorite looks.

Leslie Jones, 2017 Emmy Awards, Arrivals
Leslie Jones in custom Christian Siriano
Yvonne Strahovski, 2017 Emmy Awards, Arrivals
Yvonne Strahovski stunned in this satin dress with the plunging neckline
Yara Shahidi is etherial in Prada.
Yara Shahidi from Blackish in Prada. Stunning she looks like a princess.
Evan Rachel Wood in a tux with a twist.
Evan Rachel Wood in Jeremy Scott for Moschino. This was one of my favorite looks of the night. She was pure perfection.

<p>Look closely and Kravitz’s ROYGBV gown is basically like a couture version of a piñata. (Photo: J. Merritt/Getty Images) </p>

Millie Bobby Brown
Millie Bobby Brown in Calvin Klein

<p>Russell never fails to impress on the red carpet. (Photo: Getty Images) </p>

Jane Krakowski looks amazing, sleek hair, sleek dress perfection

<p>The <em>Being Mary Jane</em> actress was one of the most elegantly dressed on the red carpet in a gown/cape combo from Zuhair Murad. (Photo: Reuters) </p>

My favorite looks at the Emmy’s!

Ms. Culture Keeper-

New Couple Alert: Common and CNN commentator Angela Rye go public with their relationship!

Common and CNN commentator Angela Rye went public with their relationship at the Creative Arts Emmy’s.

The new couple were spotted together last weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys, where Common (real name Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr.) took home a trophy for outstanding original music and lyrics for “13th,” director Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary about mass incarceration.

Common and Rye posed together on the red carpet.  I think the socially conscious rapper and political pundit is a match made in heaven. They look good together. This may be the one for him.

Rye then seemed to confirm the whispers when she posted a photo of Common on her Instagram account with a lengthy caption that read, in part, “Super proud of this guy for having a big #EGO, which is not to be confused with a big ego. Here he is giving thanks to the Almighty for his Emmy just like he does for taking every breath, every single day. I’m thankful for his tremendous example of humility, leadership, kindness, and creativity. May we all be inspired to #WORKwoke.”

Ms. Culture Keeper-


Girl, get your mind right!


Girl, get your mind right
Sunday night I was watching Insecure on HBO, which stars Issa Rae. Insecure is a show, based in Los Angeles, that follow the lives of young African American professionals. I won’t delve too much into the show because this specific blog is not so much about the show, but the theme that occurs on the show,  which is really about intimate relationships. One of the main themes throughout the show is how many of the female characters make really bad choices with regards to dating men.
It got me to thinking “Why do so many black women get caught up in bad relationships with men who don’t deserve them?”   In the show, the ladies have very high standards for what they say they want in a man, but settle for pennies when  they get in a relationship.  For example, one of the characters,  Molly,  is sleeping with a married man who she grew up with, under the guise of the married man has an open relationship with his wife.  That’s a whole other topic.  Anyhow, Molly is a successful attorney and is being actively pursued  by and  dating a nice, single black man, who by all appearances is ready for a serious relationship.  Instead of trying to cultivate that relationship, she has instead chosen to sleep with a man who is unavailable to her emotionally.  In addition, she is friends with the man’s wife! I have spent so many times counseling women about relationships with married men.  Do married men sometimes leave their wives? Sure, but is starting a new relationship with someone else’s  husband the way to go? Absolutely not! Girl, get your mind right.
Another theme of the show is taking care of a man financially.  Issa, the star of  the show, supported her boyfriend financially emotionally for two years, while he was making half hearted attempts at realizing his dreams in the tech industry, all the while, not entirely happy with her own work situation.  In my opinion, this is the height of insanity.  Ladies let me give you some advice for free. Unless this is your husband and you both agreed that you will work and he will stay home and take care of the children, this is always a bad idea. No matter how supportive you may be trying to be, over time,  this will undoubtedly do something to his self-esteem. I totally get that people sometimes fall on hard times and you want to be supportive, but you also should have boundaries. Recently, a good friend of mine shared that she was dating a guy who has not  worked in years, by choice.  She stated that whenever they go out, she often foots the bill. However, he often makes time and apparently comes up with the money to travel.  As I sat listening, I wanted to scream at her Girl, get your mind right!  He is an older gentlemen, who I suspect is settled in his ways.  Now,  if I were in my 20’s maybe I wouldn’t mind but I’m not.  Being in a relationship with a person who is gainfully employed matters to me.
When you find yourselves in relationships with broken men, that is a sign that you need to raise your standards. Now, back to my original question, “Why do so many black women stay in bad relationships?” Here are some food for thought:
We are afraid to be alone. Many women feel like they can’t be alone.  As if there is something wrong with them.  Well let me tell you, staying in a bad relationship will only hurt you more.
Low self esteem is a big one. Often times, when you are struggling with low self-esteem, you feel like this is the best you can do. In actuality, you are just settling out of fear.
Biological clock  is clicking; Bringing a baby into a unhealthy relationship won’t  save your relationships. Society places great pressure on women to get married and have children. Times have changed. Not everyone wants children in their 20’s and 30’s. Look at Janet Jackson and Halle Berry. These are women who have given birth in their 40’s and 50’s. Many women are choosing to delay starting families and prioritize their careers.
– The last reason is being committed to the relationship. You keep hoping your partner’s  behavior will change and the reality is, the only person’s behavior you can change, is your own.
If this sounds like you, no judgment, we have all been there at some point . Here is my advice to you. Go get a Therapist to help you get your mind right.
Ms. Culture Keeper-

Serena Williams debut photo of her beautiful daughter!

Serena Williams shared the debut photo of her newborn daughter via social media on Wednesday. Williams wrote:

Meet Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

“It’s been a long time,” Williams said in a YouTube video and on her official Instagram account. “We had a lot of complications but look what we got, we got a baby girl.”

Williams said she was in the hospital “six or seven days” before she and her fiancé, Alexis Ohanian, could bring their daughter home.

Williams’ 6-pound, 13-ounce daughter was born on Sept. 1. Williams announced that she was pregnant in April on Snapchat.

Congrats to the tennis superstar and her fiance. They daughter is gorgeous.

Ms. Culture Keeper-

Sanaa Lathan goes bald for new movie “Nappily Ever After.”

Sanaa Lathan has shaven off all her hair for her new movie “Nappily Ever After.” She looks absolutely stunning. The film is based off the book by Trisha R. Thomas. I read the book many years ago and it one of my favorite books. If you have not read it please go check the book out at your local library or purchase through Amazon. The book is really about the way hair often define black women and their beauty.

Lathan showed off her newly bald head on her Instagram page, and she seems to think it looks awesome as well.  “Just doing my reveal”, she said casually as she tilted her newly bald head into camera. “So light I feel like I can fly away,” she continued before making a kissy face.

In the film, Lathan plays Violet Jones, who has a seemingly flawless life until an accident at the hair dresser causes things in her life to unravel and she begins to realize that she was living the life she thought she was supposed to live, not the one that she really wanted.

As previously reported Halle Berry was originally slated to produce and star in the film and also was going to shave her head for the part. So, its no surprise here that Lathan has chopped off all her locks. We here at The Culture Keeper can’t wait to see this Netflix original movie.

Ms. Culture Keeper-

Beyonce family and friends get in ‘Formation’ to wish the Pop Queen a Happy 36th Birthday!

Former First Lady Michelle Obama pays tribute to Beyonce for 36th Birthday

Happy Labor Day to all my Culture Keepers! In addition to it being Labor Day today is Beyonce’s 36th Birthday.

To honor Queen Bey’s 36th birthday, Beyoncé’s family and friends — including former First Lady Michelle Obama — decided to literally get in formation, and recreate the musicians’s fierce iconic look.

In the video, Beyonce sports two long braids and a wide-brimmed black hat that covers the top-half of her face. On Monday, that look was adopted by Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles Lawson, her step-sister, as well as stars like tennis legend Serena Williams and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Happy Birthday Queen Bey!

Ms. Culture Keeper-

EXCLUSIVE: THE KING OF BRANDING: Tyranny Allen of The Marketing Kings

I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Tyranny Allen the founder and CEO of “The Marketing Kings.” The Marketing Kings is a creative agency that specializes in branding, design, and social media marketing. We believe in the power of design; we believe in the power …
Tyranny is a 46-year-old San Francisco native and former member of the legendary group “Digital Underground.” Tyranny believes that “Branding is Everything!” Upon my meeting him. He asked to take a look at my blog. He then began to provide valuable feedback on ways to better market my website. I was instantly soaking in all the gems he was sharing with me. Tyranny holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from California State University, Long Beach.

Tyranny has an array of A- list talent that his company provides marketing and branding support. This includes Oaklandish, Oakland’s own Beast mode NFL player Marshawn Lynch, soul singer Mara Rhuby, and acclaimed actor Shemar Moore. Marketing Kings also includes MK Models and Brothers Cooking which include Chef Tyranny and Chef Terry and it is all are under the umbrella of Marketing Kings.

Tyranny began to discuss his love of cooking. He gave me a sample of his seasoning “Brothers Cookin Spices.” The seasoning is amazing. I used the seasoning on meat that I grilled for my family and let me tell you there was not a piece of meat left. The seasoning was very flavorful.

Tyranny believes in being a serial entrepreneur and supporting black owned businesses.

Tyranny has a new show coming out titled “The Hella Good Show” where he will host the cooking show which will showcase the food and culture around the Bay Area.
During my conversation I asked Tyranny what is the key to smart branding. He stated that your attitude determines your direction. Being consistent and working hard is key to marketing and branding. We discussed how many young models on Instagram are turning into legitimate brands such as Blac Chyna, and LHHNY star Cardi B. Tyranny stated that they have done a great job of branding and marketing themselves. The benefits of branding yourself is you can host parties, become a brand ambassador and with the right team on-board you can parlay your brand into many business opportunities. The biggest mistake people make is not being consistent with their brand.

Tyranny is also the owner of Lucky’s Barbershop. He has three locations based in Oakland, CA. Look out for the release of his upcoming new book, “#Branding God: A Serial Entrepreneur You can keep up with the Marketing King @

Ms. Culture Keeper-



EXCLUSIVE Interview: My intimate conversation with Ta’kari Lee Christie on her relationship with her mother Jackie Christie, her siblings, and her new book, “Lights to her Shadow.”

The Culture Keeper had the pleasure of personally speaking with Ta’kari Lee Christie to discuss the release of her upcoming book, “Lights to her Shadow.” My immediate impression of Ta’kari was that she was engaging, warm, and funny. We have been hearing the various rumors about her strained relationship with her mother. Ta’kari sat down with The Culture Keeper for a candid conversation about her book.

Last year the 28-year-old mother of three was thrown into the spotlight after it was reported that her youngest son Jaxson (1) sustained burn injuries at his daycare. A GoFundMe account was created. The media got wind of it and the question became why her mother isn’t helping to assist with her grandchild. Then the story became bigger once people got wind of her mother’s Basketball Wives co-star Evelyn Lozado helping to contribute to the GoFundMe account and it became a major storyline on this seasons Basketball Wives.

Here is my emotional conversation with Ta’kari Lee Christie:

The Culture Keeper: Tell me about your book.
Ta’kari Lee Christie: My book is my testimony from my childhood up until 2014. The book discusses my childhood and how I got through and overcame insecurity, low self-esteem, and doubt to now acceptance of myself.
The Culture Keeper: What do you want people to take away from your book?
Ta’Kari Lee Christie: I want people to know that they have a voice. I hope my story will motivate someone to speak up about their truth. I want to see people use their voice.
The Culture Keeper: When was the first time you felt that you were being treated differently by your mother?
Ta’kari Lee Christie: I always felt as if I was a burden to my mother. My grandmother raised me from day one. I was my maternal grandmother’s child. I always felt like I messed up my mother’s perfect picture. We never developed a mother-daughter bond.
The Culture Keeper: How did your relationship with your mother impact your self-esteem?
Ta’kari Christie Lee: Growing up I never felt memorable. As a child I experienced hearing loss and had a speech impediment. I struggled for a long time up until around the age 23 or 24. I always felt like her shadow.
The Culture Keeper: Have your mother ever met your children in person?
Ta’Kari Lee Christie: Yes she met my oldest two sons Javony (8) and Jariah (6) in 2012 when they were babies. She has never met my youngest son Jaxson (1) in person.
The Culture Keeper: Has your stepfather Doug Christie ever tried to intervene or mediate the situation between your mother and you?
Ta’Kari Lee Christie: Doug is a non-confrontational person. He is a family man. Doug is like a trophy on the shelf where you can’t touch it.
The Culture Keeper: How is your son Jaxson healing from his injuries?
Ta’kari Lee Christie: He is doing well. He is strong. My children are my world.
The Culture Keeper: Your son was injured in September 2016. Is it true your mother did not reach out to you until December 2016?
Ta’Kari Lee Christie: Yes that is true. She reached out after the media got wind of the incident. She ask me to give her a Christmas wish list for the kids. She has never ask about the incident regarding my son.

Ta’Kari and her three sons Javony, Jariah, and Jaxson

The Culture Keeper: What have you learned from your mother?
Ta’Kari Lee Christie: I am my mother. My mother is fearless. She is a phenomenal woman. She is the type of woman who can go to a crowded DMV walk right up to the top of the line and come out in five minutes. She is the ultimate alpha female.
The Culture Keeper: What is the relationship status between you and your siblings?
Ta’Kari Lee Christie: My sister Chantel and I have a good relationship. Chantel, my grandma, and I were the three musketeers growing up. Growing up my little brother was the bright spot in my life.
The Culture Keeper: Does your mother support you financially?
Ta’Kari Lee Christie: No she does not pay my bills. She did purchase Christmas gifts for the children this past Christmas.
The Culture Keeper: Do you think your relationship will heal with your mother?
Ta’Kari Lee Christie: Not a matter of the relationship healing. The relationship needs to be genuine and authentic.
The Culture Keeper: In previous interviews your mother has alleged that you are bipolar. Is that true?
Ta’Kari Lee Christie: No that is not true. I have never been diagnosed with a mental illness.
The Culture Keeper: Are you happy?
Ta’Kari Lee Christie: I had an epiphany. I am happy because I have acceptance. Acceptance of who I am.

As I reflected on my intimate conversation at the core of what I heard her saying is that she never developed a mother-daughter bond with her mother. I also got the sense she is still open and optimistic and that her relationship with her mother could change if they could move forward in a truthful and genuine way. Ta’kari is currently expecting her fourth child with her life partner. I can exclusively report she is expecting a little girl in November 2017.

Here is an excerpt from Ta’Kari book “Lights to her Shadow.”


Another excerpt from Ta’Kari’s book “Lights to her Shadow.”

Ta’kari’s book will be released on August 31, 2017. You can pre order the book on the link below @

Ms. Culture Keeper-




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