Black don’t crack. More appropriately black women do not crack. Black women always seem to have that unique quality that keeps them everlasting and beautiful. Perhaps it is the melanin in their skins, perhaps it is that fighting spirit, that drive to never fade away that comes from being black.
The American entertainment scene is littered with examples of black women who are still at the top of their game even as age tries to draw them back. We have singer Diana Ross who is still as vivacious as ever in her eighties and we also have comedian and triple threat Whoopi Goldberg who seems to be older than time itself.
Nevertheless, there are some special names in the industry that have been able to pass the torch down from the first generation, through the second generation and unbelievably down to the third generation.
Below is a list of famous black women that have been able to participate in that unique process of passing the torch down to the third generation:
Jada Pinkett Smith
Actress, singer, and a true businesswoman. Jada Pinkett Smith is everything the average black woman dreams of becoming. A true box office star, she has starred in over thirty box office hits and together with husband Will Smith is one of Hollywood’s true elites.
Apparently, Jada Pinkett’s lineage is as strong as they come as her mother is still very much alive and kicking. Jada was born to Adrienne Banfield-Jones who was a head nurse at a clinic in Baltimore. In fact, Adrienne is one of the catalysts that pushed Jada Pinkett Smith to succeed.
Banfield noticed her daughter’s passion for the performing arts and enrolled her in piano, tap dance, and ballet lessons. Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother are very close with Jada once saying,
‘A mother and daughter’s relationship is usually the most honest, and we are so close. My mother understood what I wanted and never stood in my way’.
Jada obviously inherited her mother’s good looks and she has been able to pass the baton down to her sixteen-year-old daughter Willow Smith. Talk about three generations of yummy melanin goodness!
You would be hard-pressed to find a woman who is as iconic as Michelle Obama is. Lawyer extraordinaire, activist, motivational speaker, and mother. Let’s not forget the trivial matter of her having spent eight years in the prestigious White House. From 2009 to 2017, Michelle Obama served in the White House without any issues. The first African American First Lady, Michelle, was a role model to black women all around the world during her time in the White House and she still is.
Did you ever stop to think about where Michelle inherited her smashing good looks and strength of character? From her mother Maria Shields Robinson. Maria Robinson raised Michelle up until she entered high school. She actually stopped working and became a full-time homemaker until Michelle became a high school student. Michelle has said about her mother who she often refers to as her rock,
‘She has pulled me up when I’ve stumbled, she’s pulled me back when I’ve run out of line’. And of course, Michelle Obama is working hard on passing that legacy to her daughters Malia and Sasha. Four beautiful women from different times!
Beyoncé is one of the singular symbols of modern day music. Over twenty Grammy awards to her name, numerous platinum albums, and of course a power couple pairing with the one and only Jay-Z. Beyoncé is beautiful, a humanitarian and an insanely talented woman.
And of course, the genesis of all that is her mother, Tina Knowles. Her mother Tina Knowles was just a hairdresser and salon owner, yet she managed to raise arguably the biggest female singer ever. And all on her own too as she split from husband Matt Knowles when Beyoncé was young.
Beyoncé’s daughter Blue-Ivy has certainly inherited the startling Knowles beauty passed on from Tina Knowles. Just four years of age, she already has her own personal stylist and is constantly serving looks to the general public. Perhaps Tina Knowles can write a ‘How to Raise Two Generations of Awesome’ handbook in the future. We certainly need that.
Next on this list is SZA. Musician and songwriter, SZA is the third in a line of very powerful women. Of course, we all know SZA rose to fame after her debut album went platinum but way before that she was just a normal kid growing up in New Jersey.
Her mother is a strong assertive woman who was formerly an executive at AT & T. SZA’s grandmother is also very much alive and the three women are very close. In fact, they all made an appearance together at the just held Grammy Awards which incidentally was SZA’s first.
The 27-year-old, who was nominated for five Grammys, including Best New Artist, brought along her mother and grandmother, who sat in a wheelchair. The two hung back, beaming at her, as she spoke to E! News’ Ryan Seacrest. It was pretty obvious that there is a lot of love between these three strong women.
One of the first women who could lay claim to being a supermodel, Naomi Campbell is black girl magic. Recruited at the age of 15, she established herself among the top three most recognizable and in-demand models of the late 1980s and the 1990s.
Although she is now forty-seven years of age, Naomi Campbell is still as beautiful as they come making it very obvious that she inherited some pretty strong genes. Her mother is a Jamaican-born former dancer named Valerie Morris and is one of the strongest women you would ever meet, she raised Naomi Campbell on her own after Naomi’s father abandoned her when she was four months pregnant with Naomi. You wouldn’t believe it but Naomi is the third generation woman in her family. Naomi’s grandmother is over eighty years of age and still going strong. In fact, the trio recently took a picture together and say what you will, Naomi’s mother and grandmother give her a strong run for her money.
Singer Monica comes from a line deep-rooted in Hollywood. Her mother is none other than the famous Marilyn Best. Marylin Best is a former church singer and during her working days was a Delta Air Lines customer service representative. She attained fame in gospel circles during her heydays. Because of this, Monica was exposed to the spotlight from a young age but her mother refused to allow it corrupt her little girl. A singular fact that Monica says has been very responsible for her huge success in her own career.
Monica once said about her mother’s child raising skills, ‘I was able to avoid a lot of things that happen, especially to children who become celebrities, because I felt comfortable in my own skin because of my mom’
‘She instilled certain morals and values, and she said, ‘Regardless of where you go, take you with you wherever you go. Whatever you’re around, whatever you see, never allow it to play a part in who you become’.
And these values are the same ones Monica is planning to instill into her own daughter Laiyah Shannon. Here’s to another generation of melanin magic!
It is not often that an American attorney and political commentator manages to break into the glitz and glam of Hollywood but Angela Rye is no ordinary woman. She is an American attorney and the principal CEO of Impact Strategies which is a political advocacy firm.
Over the years, Angela Rye has become very famous for her liberal statements and opinions. She is currently a liberal political commentator on CNN and an NPR political analyst. A former executive director and general counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus for the 112th Congress, Angela Rye was raised by a very strong woman in Andrea Rye. Angela’s mother Andrea was able to balance the precarious job of raising Angela while focusing on her career within the educational system.
But Andrea Rye was able to do it as she rose to the position of college administrator before her retirement while raising an icon, Angela Rye. A private woman by nature, Angela Rye keeps her personal life away from the media. Not much is known about her daughter but there is one thing that is certain, she is sure to be a positive beacon just like her mother. It is ingrained in the blood!
Angela is running the boards of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee, Seattle University School of Law Alumni, and Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network.
Actress, singer and fashion designer, Vanessa Williams is an immensely gifted woman. And with her talent comes immense beauty. Vanessa initially gained recognition as the first African-American recipient of the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in 1983. Talk about breaking the barriers and smashing through the obstacles. And why shouldn’t she? Her mother Helen Williams is a successful Feng Shui author, consultant, and teacher.
Helen Williams is credited with originating the phrase ‘the magic of place’ in a career planning session in 1990. She teaches and consults internationally. Vanessa Williams obviously inherited her mother’s verve and dedication along with her beauty. She has her finger in every pie. A successful singer, she released her second and third studio albums, The Comfort Zone (1991) and The Sweetest Days (1994), to critical acclaim.
In fact, Vanessa and her mother Helen co-authored a memoir entitled You Have No Idea, published in April 2012. In the book, Williams discusses her childhood, rise to fame, and personal struggles (including life with type 1 diabetes), and the fact that she was sexually molested by a woman when she was 10 years old.
Despite all this, she is still successful and the mother of three beautiful young women in Gabriella Fox, Jillian Harvey, and Melanie Harvey. We don’t see the Williams women fading away anytime soon, do you?
Another singer on this illustrious list, Brandy has already established herself as one of the biggest names in music. Incredibly versatile, she has also had enormous success as an actress. Brandy starred in the UPN sitcom Moesha as the title character, which lasted six seasons and resulted in numerous other roles before she delved fully into music.
As a singer, however, she cemented her name in the annals of melanin history. Her self-titled debut album, which was certified quadruple Platinum in the US, selling six million copies worldwide. Her single ‘ The Boy is Mine’ went on to become the best selling female duet of all time, and one of the longest-running number one singles in history.
Of course, every river has its source and Brandy’s source is a beautiful black woman named Sonja Norwood. Sonja Norwood is still alive and well despite the rigors of a grueling career that ended with her being the district manager for H&R Block.
And of course, aged sixteen, another Norwood is already on her way to taking over the world. Brandy’s daughter Sy’rai is as beautiful as they come and may even be more talented than her mother. Brandy recently uploaded a video of her daughter hitting notes that she couldn’t even hit. Are you still doubting the power of melanin magic?
The last spot on this list is reserved for the only reality television star on the list. At forty-two years of age, Kandi Burruss has it all. Wealth, fame and a starring role on one of television’s highest-rated reality television series. A member of the.multi-platinum group Xscape, Kandi is nothing without her mother Joyce. Known simply as Mama Joyce, this strong black woman was there to guide Kandi through the unsteady waters of childhood and adolescence.
You would be interested to know that Kandi has never forgotten that. Her mother sometimes appears alongside her on RHOA. In fact, the two share a very close bond. So much so that Mama Joyce never moved into a mansion Kandi gifted her because she wasn’t fond of living so far away from her daughter.
The next generation of the Burruss’ is already waiting in the form of Kandi’s equally beautiful daughters Kaela Tucker and Riley Burruss. Ready to take over the world!