Saturday, June 24, 2023

The Perfect Find - on Netflix Starring Gabrielle Union and Keith Powers (plus My 2016 e-convo with Tia Williams)

With all the buzz surrounding the RomCom "The Perfect Find," which made its debut on June 23rd on Netflix, I thought this would be a good time to republish my 2016 e-interview with Tia Williams who wrote the book on which the movie is based.  It was so good, I read it twice.  Looking forward to watching the movie.  Here's a look at the official movie trailer:

Tia Williams "The Perfect Find"


First of all, congratulations on your latest novel, “The Perfect Find.”  It’s always nice when a new novel touches on a subject, or subjects, that transcend the “color line,” so to speak. That said, was there a particular incident in your own personal life that was the catalyst for the book?

Tia Williams:
Thanks! Yes, I wrote this book during a really difficult point in my life. I’d had everything I’d ever wanted – the magazine career, the book career, great home life, dream apartment– and then I lost everything. I got laid off, and very sick (for a very long time), and divorced. I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t really keep a full time job for a couple of years – so I shut the world out and invented Jenna Jones! She was sort of my alter ego, a character who was going through her own reinvention. Jenna’s a 40-year-old superstar fashion editor who gets fired by her magazine, dumped by her fiance, and loses all her money in one week! Writing Jenna’s story as she navigates a huge, scary career comeback in the new digital world, fights to get a hold of her life again, and deals with falling wildly in love with a totally unlikely soulmate – it was so cathartic. I lived vicariously through her. And she inspired me to chase my own comeback!
How hard was it for you to break into the world of beauty, as a woman of color, and what were some of the barriers and stereotypes you had to overcome?

Tia Williams:
I was definitely an anomaly when I was a beauty editor at magazines like Elle, Glamour, and Lucky. There weren’t a lot of us in the room, and certainly not in beauty. There were definitely some challenges! I had to know everything about white beauty, while educating everyone on black beauty. I was sometimes mistaken for a dresser when reporting backstage at fashion shows. And then there were the publicists you only communicated with on the phone (this was the 90s and Aughts!), and then when they met you in person and saw you were black, suddenly you’d start hearing the “homegirls” and “girlfriends.” But I never saw this as anything deeper as being the silliness that comes with the territory of being an “only.” The upside is that you’ve gotten in the room, so you have the opportunity to make change.
I grew up on Seventeen, Glamour and Essence as my “go-to” magazines for beauty and style advice.  And I’m talking paper.  I still subscribe to both print and digital editions of magazines and newspapers.  How has the digital age changed the fashion and beauty industry for the better and for perhaps, the worst? How has social media played into the job market for print journalists?

Tia Williams:
It’s changed everything. I grew up in the print magazine industry, and now digital rules. It’s a learning curve, definitely, when all you know is print. When I went from being a beauty editor at magazines to, I had no idea what I was doing. What was a “clicky” headline? “SEO”-friendly key words? I was lost. And so is Jenna! After twenty years in print, she’s so in over her head at her new job, at a street style online zine. Everyone’s 23, and social media savvy, and she doesn’t even have Facebook. She thinks gifs cause strokes. She’s a rookie at 40, which is where a lot of my magazine editor friends have found themselves, with the industry changing so much.
They say “40 is the new 30.”  Are “they” telling the truth?  And do you think that the older woman/young man relationship is still scrutinized more heavily than vice-versa?

Tia Williams:
40 is the new 27, girl. But only in terms of energy and spirit (and, in my case, musical taste – because all I listen to is Drake, Kendrick, J. Cole, and whatever, that Bieber album is fire). The value of being 40 is having the wisdom you didn’t have at 28. And yes, older women with younger men is always scrutinized more heavily. Which is a huge theme in The Perfect Find! Jenna falls into this wildly passionate, soulmate thing with Eric, who is almost half her age. Everyone is scandalized – and it’s because we live in a patriarchal society! Men are supposed to be the alphas, the ones in charge, the teachers, the leaders. So, it makes sense when older men are with younger women. When women are the older ones, it usually looks like a predatory thing, or sexual desperation. Which is ridiculous. Love is love. By the way, younger men absolutely adore older women. It’s kind of nice to be worshipped, now and then
Jenna “crosses the line” between her professional and personal life.  In your opinion, is that still a line you don’t cross or has society relaxed its feelings about that in the same way we embrace “business casual?”  

Tia Williams:
I don’t think workplace romances are encouraged. It reads as unprofessional. Like, you can’t control yourself in the office? There are zillions of men out there, you really had to pursue a thing with the dude in the next cubicle over? Control yourself! Jenna and Eric try to fight her feelings for as long as she can, but then they just explode. And it was so much fun building up that tension!
Lastly, Anna Wintour has endured through the decades.  And for that matter, so has Iman.  Are they the exception or the “new norm?”

Tia Williams:
New norm! Women only get older, more interesting, sexier and richer (in experience and wisdom, not financially, though in many cases the latter’s true, too!) as they get older. I feel more self-possessed at 40 than I ever did in my 20s. I wouldn’t trade it. Though I would like my 1998 ass back. 
More About Tia:
For fifteen years, she was a magazine beauty editor (at YM, Elle, Glamour, Lucky, and, and in '05, created one of the first beauty blogs, Shake Your Beauty. She's the best-selling author of THE ACCIDENTAL DIVA and the IT CHICKS series, and co-wrote Iman's THE BEAUTY OF COLOR. Currently the Copy Director at Bumble and bumble, she lives in Brooklyn with her diva daughter - See more at: "ShakeYourBeauty"

"The Perfect Find" published by Brown Girls Books Publishing

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

What is "Ghetto?"

I was in a meeting of community neighborhood councils and city officials (via Zoom) and one of the presidents of a neighborhood council while posing a question to the City's Director of Public Works, made the comment that there are a lot of fallen trees in his area from the storm and it's making his neighborhood look "kind of ghetto."

(insert deep breath)

The neighborhood in question is comprised largely of blue collar White people.  There is also in my city a large contingency of presidents from minority neighborhoods that are largely overlooked when it comes to receiving city services.

I waited for the Director of Public Works to answer (giving him time to say something to let me know that perhaps the city is investing in diversity training).  After he finished, I raised my hand and said that something the questioner had said didn't sit well with me.  I asked the Director of Public Works (who is new to the job and city and made a point of saying how he was really taking a backwards step in his career by coming to our city, after having worked in affluent towns in California.

He answered by saying that it means to him "it needs to be cleaned up."  I noticed a Jewish man who was shaking his head in disbelief.  Simultaneously, I was getting a private chat message from another member saying how she was sorry for the President's stupid choice of words.

All the other Black people on the zoom, looked at me like "we aren't with her."

And therein lies the problem.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Getting Back to Black in 2023


This is a personal post.  Written by me - to me.

I think due to the financial necessities of a "day job" which means "code switching" and often checking my authentic self at the door, I forget about the need to intentionally find connection with other Black folks.

It's been many years since I truly celebrated Kwanzaa.  I stopped even hunting for and sending Black Christmas cards (mainly because Hallmark and every other non-Black-owned company) started producing them.

This morning, I had a conversation with my sister about the importance of Black social organizations and clubs.  I then realized, I don't even have an active membership with the NAACP.

Don't get me wrong.  The reason I started this blog was to promote all things Black.  Hence, "All That's Noir."  But due to various factors, including pandemic, I even stopped regularly posting here.

I love being Black.  I'm a true race woman.  I just think that along the way, I started to think, "well maybe this is best left to young people."

Lightbulb moment.  It's my responsibility to not only support, buy Black, promote Black, think Black and walk the talk, it's my duty to make a concerted effort to join at least one Black organization this year.  And not just become a dues paying member, but to truly commit to working to make things better (or at least try).

The Battle is Not Just Yours - it's Mine.

Black Empowerment

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA) - 40th Anniversary Celebration - Saturday, December 3rd

Come celebrate BABJA's 40th anniversary on Saturday, December 3, 2002 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

VW LUXE Events

3698 San Pablo Dam Road

El Sobrante, CA 94803

A great opportunity to celebrate and mingle with Bay Area media professionals.

Tickets Available for $15 at Eventbrite.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

"Ten Cent Daisy" - The Story of a Lost Mermaid by Lisbon Okafor

"THREE SISTERS FROM A FISHING VILLAGE IN THE WEST INDIES TAKE REFUGE IN BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, following a traumatic event that threatens to reveal a centuries-old family secret."

Ten Cent Daisy is a new film by Lisbon Okafor, featuring a talented cast and crew.

Opens in select theaters and on-demand on October 28th

Preorder on ITunes now.  

Watch the trailer now!

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Let's Give It Up for the Black Aunties of the World

 Many of my friends have never given birth, yet they're instrumental in the lives of their nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, Godchildren  and others.

It really does take a village.  

Black women who are willing to stand in the gap and mentor, encourage, babysit, provide financial assistance and nurture our Black children.

For me, I know there were many church members, neighbors, family friends and others who although not related biologically to my daughter were there for her in her formative years.

They're descendants (although not direct) of the same women who took me to church and taught me and lifted me up.  I wish I had told them how much they meant to me.  Now, of course, it's too late.  I pray they knew.

If there are women in your lives:  sisters, friends, neighbors, sorority sisters, play cousins, whatever, who are standing in the gap for you with your own daughters and sons, today might be a good day to give them a call (or a text) and let them know that you see them and you appreciate them.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Public Service Announcement - Sharing Your Long Covid Stories Could Benefit Others




Wright Enterprises-Community Spotlight

(Greatest Message of All time)                        August 20, 2022




Equity & Inclusion


Can Picking Up the Phone Save Lives & Provide Long COVID Cures? UCSF & Partners' Study To Find Out



UCSF Source: Suzanne Leigh; (415) 680-5133


De Alba Communications Sources:

Victoria Sanchez De Alba; (650) 270-7810


Jackie Wright; (415) 525-0410


San Francisco, San Mateo Co. Residents

Urged to Share Long COVID Stories

Patient Responses May Influence Services and Funding; Help Experts Understand Causes, Treatment, Prevention


UC San Francisco, San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and San Mateo County Health (SMC Health) are partnering with local community groups in a quest to learn about long COVID. To achieve this, researchers from the project, Let’s Figure Out Long COVID – Tell Us Your Story, Bay Area, will be calling local residents of all ethnicities and backgrounds who previously had COVID.


Long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-COv-2 (PASC), refers to both physical and mental health symptoms that last long after an initial infection. Those symptoms may start during infection and never go away or may appear weeks or months afterwards. Common complaints include fatigue, shortness of breath, pain, problems with concentration, depression and anxiety.



The goals of the project are to learn how common long COVID is in the community -- information that is critical in impacting funding for local health departments and services for those debilitated by the condition -- as well as to learn what causes it, and how to prevent and treat it.


In Phase I of the project, researchers will call San Francisco and San Mateo County adult residents who had COVID at least three months ago. Whether they have fully recovered or still have symptoms, their experiences will inform researchers about the frequency of long COVID. All ethnic groups and neighborhoods will be represented, and researchers are especially interested in hearing from Black/African American, Latino, Pacific Islander and Native American communities who have experienced higher rates of infections, hospitalizations and deaths than other groups.






In Phase II, some people who were previously interviewed will be asked to join a more detailed research study sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. This study, called RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery), will last three to four years. Study participants will be compensated for their time. 


For Complete News Release Click UCSF Website Post:


Can Picking up the Phone Save Lives?-PRLOG.ORG