Archive for June, 2015

The Bio

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on June 3, 2015 by Raqiyah Mays

Raqiyah Mays Headshot larger size

From curating content for digital media to broadcast journalism on TV and radio with a focus on film, social issues and intellect, Raqiyah Mays’ media experience spans nearly 20 years.

JOURNALIST

Raqiyah’s work in journalism goes back to the Quincy Jones owned days of Vibe Magazine. As an intern in the mid-90s, she became Executive Assistant to then Editor in Chief, Danyel Smith. And later, editorial coordinator assisting the managing editor. Moving on to pursue an early career as a freelance hip hop journalist, Raqiyah’s bylines graced cover stories for publications like XXL, The Source, and Billboard. Expanding her beat to report on everything from women and R&B to politics and radio, she scored covers for Black Elegance magazine, profiles, and features for The Associated Press, VIBE, Essence, and Complex. She later became a founder and executive editor of “The Ave” Magazine, dedicated to coverage combining social issues with the intellect and outlook of the hip hop world. Today she’s a content producer taking over digital media, curating and providing top notch branded content with a self-empowerment, film, TV, and social issue focus for a host of websites including Ebony.com, Blackenterprise.com, Madamenoire.com’s motherhood site mommynoire.com, and WBLS.com.  She uses journalism and Hollywood interviews to humanize celebrities through open discussions on real life and the world.

AUTHOR

A writer at heart, Raqiyah’s debut novel, “The Man Curse,” is set to be released by Simon & Schuster in Fall 2015. “The Man Curse” chronicles the world of Meena, a young women who spends her life trying to get married despite coming from a family of women cursed to never marry. No stranger to the book world, Raqiyah contributed a chapter to Gil Robertson’s anthology “Where Did Our Love Go: Love & Relationships in the African American community” (Bolden/Agate). She was a featured profile in Thembisa Mshaka’s book of entertainment industry professionals, “Put Your Dreams First: Handle your entertainment business.” (Hachette) And Raqiyah was reporter at large for Cheo Hodari Coker’s VIBE book “Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G,” (Three Rivers Press) which was turned into the critically acclaimed feature film, Notorious.

RADIO PERSONALITY

Before joining New York’s top R&B station, 107.5 WBLS, Raqiyah’s radio experience goes back 20 years to her days at Hampton University on WHOV FM hosting the late night hip hop show “The Underground Review.” Her move to New York to pursue a journalism career with Vibe Magazine, led to the weekly show, “High Vision” on City College’s WHCR FM, where Raqiyah brought her passion for combining social issues with hip hop music to the airwaves over five years. She left WHCR for Sirius Satellite Radio, where as a feature content producer creating content and writing for Rock, pop, hip hop, reggae, and alternative channels, she also hosted shows on Top 40 Channel US 1, and R&B channel Hot Jamz. In a few short months, Raqiyah was hired as a weekend host on NY’s Power 105. And after a year, she joined NY’s Hot 97, where over five years she held a #1 weekly Sunday afternoon show before transitioning to become morning show entertainment reporter on 98.7 Kiss FM’s the “Wake Up Club.” Featuring radio veterans Jeff Foxx, Shaila, Bob Slade, and comedian Talent, The Wake Up Club drew top NYC ratings before being replaced by “The DL Hughley Morning Show.” Raqiyah moved on to also join Hughley, handpicked by DL to provide entertainment and colorful peanut crew commentary during her run on the now syndicated show.

TV PERSONALITY

In 2009, named one of VH1’s “Future Leaders of Black History,” Raqiyah was featured in their black history month TV commercial campaign. A trained actress, she performed off-Broadway for five years, touring the country and appearing on stages nationwide as a cast member with the hit play “Platanos & Collard Greens.” Her numerous TV appearances include correspondent work on Black Enterprise’s TVOne/ABC news show “Our World,” being a regular guest co-host on Arise TV’s film review show “On Screen.” And MTV, BET, VH1, the Fuse Network, and Fox News have all had Raqiyah as a guest.

ACTIVIST

A passionate activist for issues effecting both women and African Americans, as a child Raqiyah was a girl scout who became president of Edison, NJ’s NAACP Youth Council. In college, she helped create the Diversity Union on Penn State University’s Altoona campus after acts of racism toward black classmates. Participating in student politics, she regularly represented the campus during Penn State’s gathering of student government officers. After moving to New York, Raqiyah organized community and youth events in Brooklyn’s housing projects. While spending time in Los Angeles, she trained fundraisers and managed outreach campaigns in LA and NY for organizations like The Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU. Today, she continues her penchant for activism. From marching in Ferguson, MO to attending protests in NYC, Raqiyah’s activism spans from events to social media with regular updates on nationwide cases of injustice on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She uses her journalism and celebrity interviews to humanize the entertainment world with shared superstar views on real life, social issues, and outlooks on changing the world.

Author

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 3, 2015 by Raqiyah Mays

Me on ABFF redcarpet

A writer at heart, Raqiyah’s debut novel, “The Man Curse,” is set to be released by Simon & Schuster in Fall 2015. “The Man Curse” chronicles the world of Meena, a young women who spends her life trying to get married despite coming from a family of women cursed to never marry. No stranger to the book world, Raqiyah contributed a chapter to Gil Robertson’s anthology “Where Did Our Love Go: Love & Relationships in the African American community” (Bolden/Agate). She was a featured profile in Thembisa Mshaka’s book of entertainment industry professionals, “Put Your Dreams First: Handle your entertainment business.” (Hachette) And Raqiyah was reporter at large for Cheo Hodari Coker’s VIBE book “Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G,” (Three Rivers Press) which was turned into the critically acclaimed feature film, Notorious.

Journalist

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2015 by Raqiyah Mays

arise with screen label

Raqiyah’s work in journalism goes back to the Quincy Jones owned days of Vibe Magazine. As an intern in the mid-90s, she became Executive Assistant to then Editor in Chief, Danyel Smith. And later, editorial coordinator assisting the managing editor. Moving on to pursue an early career as a freelance hip hop journalist, Raqiyah’s bylines graced cover stories for publications like XXL, The Source, and Billboard. Expanding her beat to report on everything from women and R&B to politics and radio, she scored covers for Black Elegance magazine, profiles, and features for The Associated Press, VIBE, Essence, and Complex. She later became executive editor of “The Ave” Magazine, dedicated to coverage combining social issues with the intellect and outlook of the hip hop world. Today she’s a content producer taking over digital media, curating and providing top notch branded content with a self empowerment, film, TV, and social issue focus for a host of websites including Ebony.com, Blackenterprise.com, Madamenoire.com’s motherhood site mommynoire.com, and WBLS.com.  She uses journalism and Hollywood interviews to humanize celebrities through open discussions on real life and the world.

TV & Radio Personality

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 1, 2015 by Raqiyah Mays

Me at WBLS

RADIO PERSONALITY

Before joining New York’s top R&B station, 107.5 WBLS, Raqiyah’s radio experience goes back 20 years to her days at Hampton University on WHOV FM hosting the late night hip hop show “The Underground Review.” Her move to New York to pursue a journalism career with Vibe Magazine, led to the weekly show, “High Vision” on City College’s WHCR FM, where Raqiyah brought her passion for combining social issues with hip hop music to the airwaves over five years. She left WHCR for Sirius Satellite Radio, where as a feature content producer creating content and writing for Rock, pop, hip hop, reggae, and alternative channels, she also hosted shows on Top 40 Channel US 1, and R&B channel Hot Jamz. In a few short months, Raqiyah was hired as a weekend host on NY’s Power 105. And after a year, she joined NY’s Hot 97, where over five years she held a #1 weekly Sunday afternoon show before transitioning to become morning show entertainment reporter on 98.7 Kiss FM’s the “Wake Up Club.” Featuring radio veterans Jeff Foxx, Shaila, Bob Slade, and comedian Talent, The Wake Up Club drew top NYC ratings before being replaced by “The DL Hughley Morning Show.” Raqiyah moved on to also join Hughley, handpicked by DL to provide entertainment and colorful peanut crew commentary during her run on the now syndicated show.

TV PERSONALITY

In 2009, named one of VH1’s “Future Leaders of Black History,” Raqiyah was featured in their black history month TV commercial campaign. A trained actress, she performed off-Broadway for five years, touring the country and appearing on stages nationwide as a cast member with the hit play “Platanos & Collard Greens.” Her numerous TV appearances include correspondent work on Black Enterprise’s TVOne/ABC news show “Our World,” being a regular guest co-host on Arise TV’s film review show “On Screen.” And MTV, BET, VH1, the Fuse Network, and Fox News have all had Raqiyah as a guest.

me on on screen

Fear of Having the ‘Sex Talk’ With Your Kids by Raqiyah Mays

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2015 by Raqiyah Mays

Sex picture

I remember “the sex talk.” Seated at the kitchen table, my mother awkwardly attempted to discuss sex: What it was. Why we should wait. I honestly don’t remember what she said, because I was too busy trying to withhold my laughter. Her nervousness was funny, fidgeting and blushing through shiny chocolate cheeks.

“I already know about that,” blurted out my brother, a silly middle school kid at the time.  He and I giggled, mom smiled, and that is all I remember about that moment.

The truth was that I was a teenager that had already been doing “it.” That’s what we called it in high school back then. “It.”

“Did you do ‘it’”?

Or

“I heard such and such did ‘it’ with such and such.”

It was the 90s. Generation X teen pregnancy rates were statistically high.  And we all thought we were so cool and grown with our Halle Berry bob cuts and high top fades. But in reality, we didn’t know what we were doing. Mimicking moves seen on late night cable TV. Memorizing sexual lyrics that subconsciously made our hormones vibrate horny. Most of us had never heard a real sex talk outside of health class. And in those days, it was more about the functions of reproductive organs and not the responsibility or control of the emotions that come with sexual intentions behind them. They talked at us. Not to us. And in some places, this is still the case today.

But why? According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, in 2013 there were 273,105 teen births. This was a huge drop from 614,000 in 2010.  But the brightest red flag numbers to me come in the demographic based rates of unplanned babies. In 2008, females 15-44 contributed to 69% of accidental pregnancies. Among women 20-29, the rate was 51% that same year. It’s not just teenagers having unprotected sex that leads to surprise pregnancies. Many of us adults are guilty of doing the same.

Perhaps this is why some parents find it so hard to talk to kids about sex in a way that resonates. Perhaps it’s that anxiety driven whisper saying, “You’re a hypocrite,” that rattles through the brain as we subconsciously shiver when sitting and conveying, “Do as I say and not as I do.”

But it’s this silence that can wreak difficult repercussions on our kids, where babies raise babies and grandparents raise them all. Imagine if we were completely honest with ourselves. Imagine if having “the talk” wasn’t simply about discussing “it.” But instead talking about ourselves, our lives, and our irresponsible choices when it comes to sex. What if some parents dared to be 100% authentic for our children making them see and feel our own sexual worries, doubts, fears, conflicts, and mistakes as a teenager and adult? Imagine if we visualized being in high school again, and then shared the truth of that experience by putting it all on the table in youth accessible terms leaving room for difficult questions and brave answers.

As parents, we need to be honest with ourselves about sexual mistakes made, the repercussions, pain, unplanned pregnancies, abortions, and STDs we or some in our circle may have faced. Maybe if we set aside the selfish embarrassment and be courageously transparent to our kids, then they might see through the false sex selling messages sent through media, entertainment, and the peer pressure of friends. Maybe our raw truth will awaken within our kids a never-ending consciousness and responsibility that makes one pause in the sweaty moment when their big head reminds them to stop and strap up the small head. Maybe we can knock down the teen pregnancy rates and save our children from hardships by being brave enough to share the times when we didn’t and should have saved ourselves.

See more at MommyNoire.com: http://mommynoire.com/303533/having-the-sex-talk-with-your-teens/#sthash.5Gd7iezv.dpuf