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8 Black Women Behind Some Of Your Favorite Hit Records Topping Today's Charts

What would the music industry be without Black music? Or rather, what would it be without Black women ? Across eras in music, Black women — especially those more behind the scenes — have been the glue that holds things down. We love to sing along with our favorite artists. However, credit also needs to be rightfully given to the songwriters, producers, and composers who are a key reason why we blast our favorite tracks on YouTube, streaming platforms, and beyond. From infectious hooks to a catchy bass, it’s all a part of the formula to a smash record. Take a look at some of our favorite Black women behind the charts — who majority also have successful careers as artists — that AfroTech has our radar on.

Ngozi Nwanji

Jun 28, 2022

Buy From A Black Woman: Tracee Ellis Ross Joins H&M To Bring Attention To Black Female Entrepreneurs In An 'Authentic Way'

Tracee Ellis Ross has become an ambassador for a partnership championing Black women entrepreneurs. According to a press release, H&M will carry on its collaboration with Buy From a Black Woman. The nonprofit, created in 2016 by Nikki Porcher, is on a mission to ensure Black women excel in their entrepreneurship journey by providing educational programs, an online directory, and funding, its website states. On the other hand, H&M plans to donate $250,000 toward the nonprofit and sponsor the Buy From a Black Woman Inspire Tour that will spotlight various businesses across the nation. “I feel like part of what’s happening here with H&M and Buy From a Black Woman is this really authentic way to bring attention to Black female entrepreneurs,” Ross told ESSENCE.

Samantha Dorisca

Jun 13, 2022

This Student Was Awarded A $20K Scholarship For Her Research On Reframing The Label Of 'Strong Black Woman'

We would love to see more people follow in the footsteps of this student! According to Today at Elon, Elon University student Eukela Little’s research project, which revolved around reframing the “strong Black woman” label, earned her one of the school’s $20,000 Lumen Prize awards. What’s more, the psychology major was one out of 15 students to be awarded the scholarship.

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 26, 2022

Forbes Released Its List Of The 'Top Richest Women In The World 2022' — And, Unfortunately, None Are Black

Forbes has released its list of the 10 richest women in the world, and none of the women on the list are Black. Certainly, much ado has been made about Black women who are billionaires — and who can forget the fanfare surrounding Rihanna’s premiere on the Forbes Billionaire List thanks to the success of her Savage x Fenty brand? But that’s nothing compared to the trillions of dollars earned by the richest women in the world who did make the Forbes list. For example, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers (who is No. 1 on the list) is worth more than $74 billion, while runner-up Alice Walton (of Walmart fame) is worth more than $65 billion. Additionally, while many Black women millionaires (and billionaires) are self-made, many of the richest women in the world either come from generational wealth or had their wealth handed to them. For example, Miriam Adelson (No. 7) inherited her $27.5 billion net worth when her casino magnate husband, Sheldon, passed away. Susanne Klatten (No. 8) inherited...

Omaha Embraces Sisterhood With Its First Black Woman-Owned Barbershop

Women’s History Month may have concluded, but Black Girl Magic is still alive and well. Shannon Jackson made history in the Benson neighborhood of Omaha, NE by opening Heavi Hitters – the first Black fully woman-owned and operated barbershop . “We’re all different ethnicities, and we’re all women,” said Alia Jackson, a cosmetologist and professional makeup artist. “It’s given our clients, a different perspective of life, being in a male-dominated world,” hairstylist Ayanna Carfield said. According to local news outlet , KETV 7, the full-service barbershop has seen consistent growth since opening in 2019. Because of that rapid growth, Heavi Hitters ran out of space, which led to their move to their current spot-on Maple Street in the Benson community. Jackson and her team of cosmetologists are making sure that their space is inclusive for all no matter their background. This level of inclusivity is seen even in the type of services that Heavi Hitters offers. Heavi Hitters is not your...

Josh Rodgers

Apr 11, 2022

Artist Autumn Breon Reimagines A More Equitable Future For Black Women At LA's Frieze Art Fair

Black women run the world. However, now it is time for us to be fully compensated for the work that we put in! Autumn Breon uses the words “artist,” “freedom-seeker,” and “curious” when asked to describe herself, yet those just aren’t enough to showcase the talent of a woman who pays homage to all of the Black women who came before her in this revolutionary space. Breon is the mastermind behind (Don’t) Use Me, the first iteration of the Frieze Art Fair located in Los Angeles, CA. It’s centered around the pay disparity surrounding Black women and their white counterparts. “I want freedom for Black women and I want to be free,” said Breon in an interview with AfroTech. “And a part of the freedom that I imagine for us is financial freedom and it’s really hard for us to reach that kind of freedom when the realities of pay inequity are what we have to live with. I knew that Black women are paid, on average, about 63 cents on the dollar, but when I was researching and kind of like...

Shanique Yates

Mar 7, 2022

This Woman Went From Public Assistance To Millionaire Status Off A Side Hustle — Here's How She Did It

From benefits to ballin’, this Black woman millionaire story is nothing if not inspiring. Arnita Johnson-Hall told her inspiring story to CNBC, and her achievements are nothing if not remarkable. The story begins in 2007, when she was a single mother living in Dallas, TX, and working a dead-end job making a measly $12/hour. Because she was making such a pittance, this future millionaire qualified for all sorts of public assistance programs — including Section 8 housing. And without it, there would be no way she’d have survived. “ My entire income went towards rent, gas, daycare, and, regrettably, payday loans in order to survive until my next paycheck,” she explained to the outlet. When Johnson-Hall was offered a $60,000/year job, it looked like there was a light at the end of the tunnel. But then, when the company ran her credit, she was denied for having a score below 400 (It’s worth noting that while some states — including Texas — permit employers to run credit checks on their...

Mary J. Blige Says She Had To Go On Tour Just To Pay Alimony — 'I Didn’t Have No More Money To Give'

Mary J. Blige had one heck of a weekend — from her new album release “Good Morning Gorgeous” to her successful Super Bowl LVI performance. But in a recent interview, Blige explained how the inspiration for one of her songs off the new album was all about her trials and tribulations with her divorce from her now-ex-husband, Martin “Kendu” Isaacs. In the song, the lyrics of the chorus goes: “Look now my rent money due / I spent everything f-ckin’ with you, oh / They say you win some, you win some, you lose / All I got is rеnt money due/ F-cking with you,” according to Genius.

How 41-Year-Old Lakisha Simmons Secured Her Retirement Bag Of $850K As A Single Mother

Retirement isn’t normally a high priority on young workers’ lists. But this 41-year-old single mother not only secured her bag but did so in the biggest way possible. CNBC has the story of Lakisha Simmons, who retired with almost $1 million in her retirement fund ($850,000 to be exact), having worked since she was 14-years-old. Although she comes from a working-class family, Simmons worked as an associate professor at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Between her full-time job and her side hustles, Simmons was able to bring in $150,000 in 2020. But Simmons had set a goal for herself: retire by the time she was 45-years-old. So, she deployed what’s known as the FIRE Method — “financial independence, retire early” — which is also popularly known as an extreme saving method. Simmons sold her home (to get rid of her mortgage of $2,400/month), cut down on all her expenses (switched to a prepaid cell phone plan, made meals at home), and saved $100,000 in the first year. “Simmons keeps...

After Once Making $12K A Year, Lauren Simmons Says She Brings In $650K Annually And Saves 85 Percent

Lauren Simmons is the perfect example of a story about turning tragedy into triumph. In an op-ed for CNBC, the history-making Wall Street trader talked about how her journey was full of twists and turns — but it was her humble origins that kept her grounded. “One thing I’ve noticed is that, in general, most people have poor spending habits and struggle to save money. It may sound intense, but I save 85% of my annual income,” she explained. Additionally, Lauren Simmons also went into great detail about the difference between her needs and her wants. She saves money by taking care of her housing expenses upfront, splitting the cost of “treats” (like streaming service subscriptions) with other members of her family, plus ditching gym fees and taking part in free and outdoor activities to take care of her physical fitness. She also explained how she likes to travel — and saves money by traveling during the “off-season” instead of the peak season. Sometimes, she said, she can save up to...

This Black Woman Took Her Last $10, Invested It Into NFTs — And Now Says She Makes Six Figures

This Black woman took her last $10, invested it into NFTs, and now says she makes six figures. Now this is an inspiring story we can get behind! CNBC recently reported on the story of Brittany Pierre, a 36-year-old Black woman from Chicago, IL, who once lived paycheck-to-paycheck. She told the outlet that her financial situation was very “touch and go,” and that she struggled to pay rent and her other bills at times. But that all changed, she said, when she began investing in NFTs. “It was really hard to do $50 photoshoots, trying to peddle $30 prints. I’d have bookings here and there, but it wasn’t sustainable,” she said to the outlet. “That first couple of $200, $300 [NFT] sales was a lot for me. That’s exactly what I needed to pay rent.” Pierre also said that she was inspired by the work of Elise Swopes — a Black woman who also made it “big” with NFTs, and happens to be a friend of hers — which is why she felt comfortable investing her last $10 in the project. “Last year has been...

Ciara Says 'It’s Time For Us To Champion A New Narrative' When It Comes To Black Women And Cervical Cancer

Ciara hopes to see improved health narratives for Black women, starting with cervical cancer. The music legend recently penned a letter for NBC News to advocate for cervical care. According to a recent study, Black women die from cervical cancer at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group in the nation. The reality is jarring as the cancer is preventable and treatable. However, due to medical bias and racial disparities, Black women are more likely to be left in the dark. “The common narrative around Black women and cervical cancer is that we are ‘disproportionately’ affected by it. Astonishingly, Black women are twice as likely to die from cervical cancer than white women, but it’s not because of biology — it’s because of health care disparities, systemic racism and long-held inequities,” Ciara wrote. “This must change. It’s time for us to champion a new narrative — one driven by confidence and strength that extends, rather than ends, a healthy and joyful life.”

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 1, 2022

Pinterest Names Nichole Barnes Marshall As Its New Global Head Of Diversity

Pinterest has a new global head of diversity. According to AdWeek, Nichole Barnes Marshall has been named the company’s new global head of diversity. She comes to the company from Bath & Body Works, where she served as chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer. But as AfroTech previously reported, Marshall will undoubtedly have a long road ahead of her. In January 2020, Pinterest released its annual report, where they claimed they were reaffirming its commitment to diversity and inclusion. But the numbers told a very different story: white people make up most of the total company employees (45 percent), with Asians closely following (44 percent). The figures representing other racial groups remain paltry, with Hispanic or Latinx individuals constituting six percent, followed by Black people at four percent. Alaska Natives and Pacific Islanders and employees of two or more races represent one percent of employees. Amidst the backlash surrounding this annual report that prompted...

These 5 Black Women Millionaires Have Some Advice For 'Regular Degular' Wealth Building

If you watch television long enough, you’re led to believe that Black women millionaires only exist in the public eye. The acting, modeling, singing, and “influencing” girlies certainly have their place in the business world — and far be it from us to say otherwise. But for those of you who wish to pursue your wealth anonymously, in peace and quiet, without strangers in your business on Instagram all day, there’s more than a little bit of hope for you. Earlier this year, CNN released a report about the wealth gap between Black women — especially — and their non-Black counterparts. “America’s Black women hold more than 90% less wealth than American White men,” reported the outlet. “ Only 0.5% of Black women own their own businesses — White men are 24 times more likely to own their own business than Black women. Access to funds and investment is a major barrier to successfully opening a business — Black business owners are 20% less likely to fund their startups with bank business...

Diana Wilson Sets Out To Raise $1M To Fund Black Women Who Wish To Build A Career In STEM

There is a shortage of Black women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), but this woman is on a mission to make a change that’ll make a difference. Diana Wilson created the nonprofit, Yielding Accomplished African Women (Yaa W) to discover and support Black collegiate women in tech and finance. Now, she’s raising $1 million to equip those same women with the resources that they need to be holistic leaders and achieve their STEM career goals.

Shanique Yates

Dec 30, 2021