Michaela Angela Davis might not be exactly who you think she is. Born in Germany and raised in Washington D.C, this army brat has worn many hats (and shoes for that matter, and we mean this literally because we have seen her collection.) As we sat down in her beautiful Brooklyn loft, it felt more like a meeting between friends. Having the pleasure of getting to know this dynamic woman who says, “a woman can be fly no matter what her age”, is something everyone should take the time to do and remember, what you see is not always what you get.

Clutch: How did you get your name?
Michaela Angela Davis : My mom was in Italy when she was pregnant with me and she was in the Sistine chapel staring at the ceiling. She had already had two girls and a boy and was so convinced I would be her second boy, so she planned to name him Michael Angelo, but when I was born she gave me the female version of it “Michaela Angela”.

Clutch: Do people compare you to, or think you’re named for Black Panther/activist Angela Davis?
Michaela Angela Davis : Yes! And the good thing about that is, it would make me slightly younger because Angela Davis wasn’t anyone to be named after until the 70′s…and I was already born. Also now, my look and her look, you know, she has an Afro, I have one, so people do link us together. A little secret, when I was working at Essence and people wouldn’t call me back, I would sorta mumble my first name like “could you tell them (she quietly says Michaela) ANGELA DAVIS called?” So I pimped it a little bit! When I finally met her, it was a moment, it was really a moment.

Clutch: How was it growing up in DC?
Michaela Angela Davis : I was raised with artistic and intellectual privilege and I was encouraged to be free, there were a lot of books, music and art in my house, I wasn’t raised financially rich but that sort of came later, I ended up living in a beautiful house in DC with grass all the way around it in a beautiful black community. But I didn’t start like that, I started with my crib in the same room as my three sisters and brothers and their bunk beds. So sometimes there’s an assumption that I didn’t work or that my parents didn’t work for what we had. I do consider myself privileged, because I had access and was encouraged to be who I was going to be.

Clutch: What college did you attend?
Michaela Angela Davis : NYU. I studied acting and went mostly to their acting conservatory, so I didn’t really have a university-type life.

Clutch: If people were talking about you behind your back, what would you love for them to be saying?
Michaela Angela Davis : Well, first of all, my mother said to me once “what people say about you behind your back is none of your business” so I lived by that. I haven’t really gotten that much negative press; I haven’t done that much stuff. When I read the blogs where people were talking about me after some of the commentary I did, there was this idea, and this is where racism comes in, that somehow being light-skinned makes me not black, and I just wish that whole light-skinned privilege thing could be done away with. I was never that “Halle Berry” beautiful anyway, I was extremely light with really blonde hair, I looked weird!

Clutch: So you feel that there are still issues with colorism?
Michaela Angela Davis : There’s no privilege to me to walk into a room full of sisters and I automatically get set apart. There’s no privilege in knowing that a man is checking you just because your light-skinned, I’ve had that experience before and it’s wack. Anything that tears us apart as sisters, there’s no privilege in, we have equal pain, it’s just different and has been processed and presented to us in different ways.

Clutch: You may not remember this, but a few months ago I approached you in Harlem in creepy-stalker-mode at the Schomburg and told you that I had admired you and had been admiring you since you were at Essence. Please tell me that this happens to you all the time so I can feel better about myself!
Michaela Angela Davis : Yes! Oh my gosh, I just got teary eyed, I do remember! Here’s the thing, it does happen often, and never…ever…ever do I take it for granted. When I was at Vanity Fair and did things like Full Frontal Fashion, nobody really said anything except some of the young black girls who were really into fashion. The love that I get is so extraordinary and so important, it’s like every time I get it it’s like a direct gift from God, there are times when I’m tired, when I’m tired of being broke, at this point in my career and with my resume, the fact that I’m not ballin’ or chillin’ in the Hamptons (laughs) there are times when I question myself and say “why am I doing this?” I don’t take it for granted, because 50% of the time when someone says that to me, I’m questioning myself and what I’m doing at the moment. Thank you again.

Clutch: Have you ever watched a show that you were a commentator on and thought, “Why did I say that? Or what was I thinking?”
Michaela Angela Davis : Ummmmmm (she pauses for a few moments), you know what, no. I was thinking about it and by the time I started showing up on television, I had already plugged into a purpose. There was one time I was asked to audition for “What Not To Wear” and we were doing a test on camera and they wanted me to sort of tear people down and then build them up and I was just like, I can’t do it, I can’t be this bitchy thing and make another woman feel bad and then make her feel good, and they were like “well, don’t you want the gig?”, but I couldn’t do it. So by the time I started doing television, I was pretty clear about who I was again and what I was going to stand for. I just try to tell the truth, and if I can’t tell the truth I wont really answer, or will move the question around. When I did Bill O’ Reilly there was a lot of that. I’ve certainly done styling jobs where I was like “what was I thinking when I put her in that? Oh my God!”

Clutch: Who do you admire and look up to?

Michaela Angela Davis : The person that I admire most is my daughter because I’ve had the privilege of watching her spirit match her character and it’s beautiful, I don’t feel that there are parts of her that are broken that she will have to put together later, there are certainly challenges and discoveries she will have to face, but she’s not broken and I’ve never met a black female that was not broken first. After that is my mother, and she shattered and put herself back together in an amazing, amazing way. There are three women in the “business” that have been instrumental to me, first and foremost is Susan Taylor, Susan was the kind of editor that loved her audience, Susan is the truth, she loves black people, she really loves black people and it’s real, it is not a shtick it’s not fake, she will miss a plane to talk to you. Then there’s Bethann Hardison who had a modeling agency and defied all gravity within the fashion industry, and my aunt Joann who is a stylist that is amazing. They became these shining examples of these fierce, dope, stylish, amazing, opinionated women.

Clutch: What was your most memorable trip?
Michaela Angela Davis : Morocco was the place that moved me the most, visually and aesthetically, I loved it the most. The people were so beautiful and I just felt so good there. There are so many places I have to go, traveling is so important. If I had a choice I would go to Ethiopia next and then maybe Kenya. I would love to go to Vietnam and Haiti, I heard they are really beautiful.

Clutch: I feel as though people only see you as this political figure and don’t really know about your fashion background.
Michaela Angela Davis : My first job at Essence, I was the associate fashion editor and I did a lot of styling and writing. My first job was to style Anita Hill and I was like “oh my gosh, I can’t believe it!” That was the amazing thing about Essence, it was the only place where you could style women like Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni. Later I styled Oprah, but that was for her Shape cover, which was a wonderful experience. Before Essence, I was on really big, high-end fashion shoots with my aunt Joann when I was her assistant and she was working with Richard Avedon and Hiro, and shooting huge ad campaigns and Vogue fashion shoots, so I started off in high fashion and had really great training. When I resigned from Essence, I went to help start Vibe. Fashion is definitely my first love. But my interests were going other places as were my needs and services, but I still dabble. At least once a year I do commentary for Full Frontal and people still ask me about fashion. I’m just so happy because there are so many more women and women of color in fashion.

Clutch: What’s your definition of style?
Michaela Angela Davis : When you are an accurate outer reflection of who you say you are inside, that is your perfect style. Like Miles Davis, he looked the way he sounded. If you look on the outside the way you believe you are on the inside, then you have undeniable style.

Clutch: Are men intimidated by you?
Michaela Angela Davis : If they are I don’t really know it. I had really good experiences with men, I expect good men in my life, I expect them to show up. I don’t have a sense of lack when it comes to men, I’ve had very interesting, beautiful, creative, smart, talented, genius men in my life. I like being around men and talking to them, I have a variety of interests so I go places where men are, museums, sports events; a lot of men go to see live music. I think the men that are intimidated by me don’t step to me, so I don’t know who they are!

Clutch: What are you working on right now?
Michaela Angela Davis : Urbanista, which is a multi-media platform destination for 18-34 year-old, urban influenced women. One might happen before the other, but the first is a website and I also see a magazine format television show as well as radio spots. I really see Urbanista existing on all levels of media. I’m working on creating media for the audience that I am in service of, I’m also hoping to work on some television specials that are surrounding our issues. I’m very slowly working on my book; it’s about beauty and identity. I am always working, but I am not employed by anyone at the moment. I discovered that I had to create my next job as there was no media that spoke to Urbanistas.

Clutch: Any beauty tips?
Michaela Angela Davis : Once a week I do a serious deep condition and let my hair rest for at least 24 hours. Also, when you get to the age when you’re clear about who you are, start investing in good shoes, in your twenties you should still experiment, but when you have identified your brand for yourself, start investing in it. Invest in a good haircut, you can’t skimp on your hair or your shoes, it’s like a power suit, it gives you confidence. And natural hair doesn’t mean no maintenance, sometimes it takes more maintenance. Healthy equals pretty, if you have healthy skin and hair, you’re good!

Clutch: What makes Michaela happy?
Michaela Angela Davis : I’m happy a lot, I’m happy most of the time, not all the time because that’s weird! I have three things that I have to check and make sure they are in balance: prayer/meditation, exercise and sex. Whenever I’m feeling off balance, I ask, “where am I in my prayer/meditation game?” Am I eating right and drinking enough water? Am I getting enough sex and or attention? But those are my three pillars of happiness (laughs). Simple things make me happy, I need to go out and dance, I don’t need big grand things. If you expect things to go bad, they do, if I put in an order for happiness, I get it! I thank God a lot, I am so thankful and grateful, I probably thank God in my head so many times a day, I’m in a constant state of gratitude.

  • kristy

    great interview! i ran into Ms. Davis on the train last week coming home in Brooklyn, but was unable to place her name, though i recognized her face. i wish i had read this article first – i would have loved to have chatted with her.

  • http://coolandfresh1.blogspot.com Lanelle

    This is a great interview. I really did get her confused with Angela Davis, I thought maybe you guys were using a younger picture of her or something.

  • http://flygirls.typepad.com andrea

    Neek, what a great interview! I really enjoyed everything she had to say and I loved your questions.

  • http://winkandgun.blogspot.com wink

    Great article! She seems like such a cool person… I love the part about expecting good men to come into her life, more women need to think like that!

  • Nagelah

    That was a great “feel good” article. Such an inspiring conversation and full of positive messages; I’m looking forward to the next one…

  • Fredrick

    This GaNeka Gray chick…Man she’s something like a genius!!!!

  • Carmen

    I have followed her work since she was at Essence and I admire her very much. Great interview she is amazing!

  • http://thebeautifulstruggler.com Sister Toldja

    She is so fly! I’ve followed her work since Essence as well and she lives around my way. I can’t wait to see what she does next with Urbanista!

  • http://www.thatgirlonthego.blogspot.com asha

    i’ve admired her swagger and intelligence since her honey magazine days. her relationship with her daughter is always a focal point and i think that is so cool.

  • Buddha

    I just realized why my life ain’t balanced. Prayer, mediation, exercise, sex (and may I add sleep), I ain’t doing or getting enough of any of those things. I gotta cut back on work. And, I concur with Mr. Frederick!

  • Cyrille aka the last B-Girl

    Inspiring! Its always good to see sisters doing it for themselves. Look forward to more articles like this! Keep up the good work!

  • Tamika

    I love her, she is real. This was a great interview, I def look up to Ms. Davis.

  • Boogie

    Simply put: well done! A engaging woman makes for a very engaging read.

  • Inga Grimmett

    Lovely interview. I have always admired Ms. Davis. Thank you.

  • Jasmina

    This was wonderful. Thank you Michaela for pushing forward.

  • Brent Thomas

    Thats my girl Ganeka!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! great interview honey bunny…..and to think i thought you were going to be an astronaut out of highschool. Oh wait, that was someone else lol. Im proud of you dawlin

  • Njean

    Ganeka, excellent interview!! And kudos to the fact Ms. Michaela Angela Davis wants to go to Haiti!! I KNOW you were thinking of me!! LOL..great job!!!! I would definitely like to see more! Congrats!

  • Ms Intellect

    Great interview and inspirational real talk from Ms Davis! I hope I can use some of your lessons and apply them in my own life-:)

  • Simone

    If I didn’t know her better I would’ve bought the article. But I do and I know it’s a lie. It’s all for show. This part made my mouth drop open “I can’t be this bitchy thing and make another woman feel bad and then make her feel good..” Cause that’s straight out bull. Sh’es done the bitchy thing over and over again and has made women feel bad about themselves. Don’t believe everything you hear or read, it just ain’t so.


    First of all, thank you so much everybody for the comments, all I can say is that I WISH I could’ve shared all the dialogue that was exchanged. One thing that she mentioned is the fact that as women, we can always evolve and grow, whether we are married, have children or are single and loving it. She also talked about how we shouldn’t feel the need to trade things in just so that other people are more comfortable in our presence: trading in our femininity so we can be seen as strong, trading in our swagger so we aren’t seen as being too confident etc… We should never let people define who we are.

    It was truly a pleasure.

  • http://www.substancestylesuccess.blogspot.com/ Chimere

    I have followed MAD’s work for sometime now! She NEVER fails to deliver! I LOVE IT!

  • Willie

    My girl told me about this and I had to see it to believe it. Have you sisters met Michaela? We’ve both met and worked with her and not a fan of hers. She’s got a bad case of divaness and all that junk she talks about loving your sisters is a load of crap. She’s hated, insulted, dogged, backstabbed and done some real shady mess to folks. Serial killers know what to say to look good, but that don’t make them good people.

  • Ebie

    I can’t figure her out, I can’t tell if this is a show or if this is really her. I do respect her work, but she seems kinda camera hungry and I am not trying to be disrespectful at all.

    (IMO) On BET’s Hip-Hop V. America, she took over the whole panel, barely giving the other sistas on the panel a chance to speak and highlight their accomplishments. And she really wasn’t saying anything but calling them “fly”.

    But, I am intrigued to see what Urbanista is and how she is going to do it cause it sounds like a great idea. But I hope she really does pass the mic and let other sistas have the chance to shine as well.

  • Brittany

    I only had the honor of meeting Ms. Davis once while I was interning at Essence, and she has such a great spirit. One of the most down to earth individuals I have ever met, and her work is amazing. It’s hard to find people in the industry that are as talented and straightforward as she is. I’m surprised [too] that she isn’t chillin’ on the Hamptons by now, especially with her skills.

  • Dionne

    This interview flowed so effortlessly. Great job. I saw Michaela Angela Davis last night in Brooklyn and instantly thought about how candid and down to earth she seemed in this interview. Again, great job!

  • Rashana

    Great article Ganeka!

    Michaela you are so inspiring!

  • Tanesha

    Camera hungry is a good way of putting it. She’s putting on a show for cameras and interviews, tries way too hard to sound intelligent and always comes so extra with it. BET Hip Hop panel showed what she’s really like, self absorbed. It’s not by accident that she isn’t working for anyone. You really think somebody with so many skills and legit wouldn’t be working for bet, essence, etc? Naw, there’s a reason and its cause she isn’t what she wants people to think she is.

  • MAD

    ganeka sis,

    first of all let me say to you, thank you for the honor of having such a comfortable “interview” it was surely more like a sweet and intimate conversation between two women (not to mention i HEART Clutch!!) you have a lovely calming spirit, not to mention a pretty fly brain. it also seems like you have friends and peers that support you. that is beautiful and you deserve it. it is such a healthy practice for sisters to cheer each other on as so many forces are tearing us down, ignoring us, or reinforcing and reiterating a culture of hate. thank you all for the love + the critiques, i have found you learn more from your critics than your fans… all are wonderful possibilities to grow…Urbanista is coming! ….ps Kristy next time you see me on the train, do holla :)…Shine, Michaela aka MAD

  • Paula

    in another forum, michaela said not all sisters are fly. then it came out from another poster who knows her that she’s been really trifling to other women. and here michaela’s talking about being supportive to each other as black women, sisters. maybe she should pick a side and stop being two polar opposites.

  • Erica

    Great interview! I remember her from way back in the HONEY mag days. Oh how I miss HONEY! No mag has been able to replace that one in my heart. Come on Urbanista! I’m ready!

  • Paula

    i was in the other forum i mentioned before and reread the thread with michaela. i didn’t see the last post before but dammm that is really tacky. who does that past highschool? i can’t buy into this article and what she’s trying to sell which is herself.

    here it is. http://betboards.bet.com/forums/2/398071/ShowPost.aspx#398071

  • misselbah

    The article was exceptional and the subject was insightful great work!! “even when you do not like the mouth from which the knowledge flows you should still heed the wisdom” a quote from my elder

  • wordizbond

    I have to agree with the posters that don’t find Michaela Angela Davis anything but someone who talks too much just to hear the sound of her own voice. To the point of being pointless. She’s concerned about herself and no matter how she tries to package it, her agenda becomes transparent. That’s not wisdom, it’s opportunistic.

  • http://www.gangstarrgirl.com Gangstarr Girl

    I’ve followed her career since college (when I got the magazine journalism bug) and thought I’ve never met her, she def seems intriguing. Thanks for this interview. I got some good insight.

  • saywhat?

    ROFLMFAO!!!!!!!! that bet forum link is hella funny. i gotta say that she did come off ill in there like her shit don’t stink and everybody stupid. writing a chick to say stay away from her man, that’s some funny hot ghetto mess shit.

  • Sahar

    I was in NY for my first time last weekend and I had the opportunity to go view a play at the New World Theatre. (E. 14th St. by Don Reed…go check it…hilarious!) Who was sitting two rows right behind me..MAD…I had to give her love and tell her that she is inspring black women, including this black woman and to continue her excellent work. She was sincere and sweet, and her shoes were bad as hell! To the haters, you never know what a woman has gone through to get where she is today. Don’t hate on her for being honest, forthcoming and beautiful too! Keep it up Clutch…

  • Dawn

    I just adore Michaela Angela Davis….she is fresh, innovative and reinvents her career on her own terms. As you mature, you realize that you have to create and recreate, so she is one of my ” sheroes”. I wish her all the best and I look forward to the whole urbanista movement which she did create.

  • Chantelle

    I’ve always thought Michaela Angela Davis was a weirdo. Seeing some of her clips on tv and reading some of the posts here confirms my opinion. I don’t get how wearing ugly grandma clothes makes her a “fashionista” lol. The link to the BET post about her actually made it worse. That is really sad to really have no class and be trifling but want to come across so deep. For someone who talks so much she says nothing

    (lol at the hater comment above… she has absolutely nothing to “hate on”.)

  • J’adore

    it’s true that she has her suspect ways. michaela’s not an easy person to get along with. the irony is that she talks about this black women love and power everywhere but doesn’t get along with her own sisters. and it’s not because her sisters haven’t tried either, it’s michaela who doesn’t care to. talk is cheap people.

  • nikhita

    how immature and fake is she. sounds like she doesn’t get along with women.

  • Shine Girl

    What is that makes women attack like this? Why is it when a sister is doing something good and advancing there is immediately crazy suspicion and personal gossip? It’s toxic and needs to just freakin’ stop. I dont know who or what you bitter cowards are talking about because I actually KNOW Michaela. I am one of the several young women that attend her monthly Salon. She opens her beautiful home to us and has amazing other women come to have a discussion about careers and identity. When she first started mentoring me, she was helping to get a media high school created in Bed Sty, where she did a self esteem work shop with the teens. If it wasn’t for Michaela I don’t think I would have made it through college, which I just did! If that is self absorbed and oppurtunistic, then we need a hellava lot more self absorbed sisters out here.

    And the comment about her real sisters is just a straight lie. I’ve seen her with her mom and her daughter, when she says they are her best friends its the truth and she always talks about how beautiful, brave and talented her sisters are. And all the speakers at her Salon are her friends so that comment about not getting along with women is false to.

    I never even comment on these threads, but another one of women that comes to the Salon told me about the wack mama drama women gossiping about Michaela and I couldnt believe it. So for all of you that are inspired by her you SHOULD be, she has shown me and others nothing but love and when I walk down the street with her she talks to every young woman that approaches her and she get plenty of love.

    Clutch is such a cute site and wack ghetto gossip doesn’t even fit here. The interview was great and I look forward to more like it.

  • Shine Girl 2!

    Hey I’m a “Shine Girl” too. Michaela has mentored me as well. I don’t come to the Salon much because she helped me get a job right after I too graduated from college! So until any of you are actually helping the lives of girls, young women or anyone for that matter you should keep your misery to yourselves. I know that you’re not because people who are truly helping others don’t waste their energy hating. Something that Michaela has said to me is “its hard to be depressed or unhappy when you are in the service of others”. Glad I found Clutch, its hella cute.

  • J’adore

    young Shine ones, if you want to move ahead in this world you can’t go around writing down opinions that are contrary to yours and brand the people as cowards or haters. it seems you’ve had different experiences with michaela than others have. but that doesn’t make experiences the rest of us have had with her any less valid or wack. i KNOW michaela and i KNOW her sisters. i know that she talks about them but it’s more in her predictable name dropping ways cause she’s proud of what they do. but does she try to forge better relationships with them? NO.

  • Shine Girl

    So J’adore. Let me get this straight you claim to know Michaela AND her sisters so that would leave me to assume, you are their age and perhaps even somewhat close to the family. assuming that is true, what grown ass woman would talk about someone and their family in this forum? Yes, I am “young” but I don’t even spread negativity online. To what benefit are your “opinions” to the kind of young fashionable woman that come to Clutch? It is so selfish to bring your stank attitude especially if your not a teen. This is such a great site and a great article on a great woman. Look at how many comments are possititive, so of course you come off like a hater.

    Yes, it is my opinion that it is cowardly, this is an anonymous forum, unless of course your name is “J’adore”, you spread your wack opinions that are personal in response to a professional article that is meant to inspire readers. Why? What’s your point and purpose? I have been around Michaela and some of her family they are so loving and laugh all the time. I think her sisters live in California and one travels all over the world, but I have seen pictures of them together all in her home and they look very happy. By your tone and intent on sharing negativity I would also assume you’re not, happy that is. You might even be someone’s mother. So sad. Perhaps if you “J’adored” yourself a little more you wouldn’t need to make personal attacks on any sister, anytime or anywhere.

  • Chantelle

    Speaking for myself, who made you the Clutch moderator? Since when did all opinions on here have to coincide with yours? Somebody show me the guidelines for comments and opinions cause I must have missed that update! What’s wack and stank is coming in here like you’re the Queen B of Clutch.

    I doubt your name is “Shine Girl”. It’s an internet forum so as a result we’re all anonymous. But for some reason you seem to be taking it very personally. Maybe you’re her daughter or maybe you’re Michaela Angela Davis. Professional article? A small percentage of it in my opinion was “professional” unless you want to consider Michaela talking about her sisters, family, daughter, men, sex “professional” too. Anyone who wants to be in the public eye and put their business out there better get used to opinions and the good, bad and ugly that come with it.

    I presume that you’ll consider my opinions “hating” too which pretty humorous.

  • Shine Girl

    If you read my first response you will know that Michaela is my mentor and helped me get through college and took me into her home and life when I felt very alone and lost. OF COURSE I take it personally she changed my life.

    Also if you read up top Michaela already commented, fully identifying herself, not being a coward, so not everyone is anonymous. And bringing up her daughter is even lower than the sister comments. So if the hater fits…..

    While I am not a moderator I do know a cool and classy site when I see one. Clutch has class there would be no question if this was on Bossip where it is more suited and thats what people go there for. We all have right to our opinions, that also means calling out wack negative immature comments in cool place, there are so few positive places for young woman online or anywhere, we should all speak up more on negative media and protect and stand up what we have. Especially negativity towards someone dedicated to creating better media for all of us.

    Maybe one day you will have a mentor or someone that shows you unconditional love and you’ll get it.
    Until then Hating Hurts!

  • Ksplendid

    To those who have nothing but negativity to offer: I speak as an older, newer “shine one ” who has walked away from Michaela’s salons with my spirit glowing brighter each time. She was not my mentor, I am not close to her family, and quite honestly, I had never spoken to her much before I began attending the Salons. I work for a youth organization and our paths crossed constantly at events related to the state of our women and girls. I respect Michaela because not only is she fly as hell but she is a woman of action, not just one of these people that identifies problems and speaks publicly about them without coming up with viable solutions and working to implement them. The fact that she invites black women of all ages and socioeconomic statuses into her home once a month to discuss important issues that we ALL face speaks volumes about her character. We are all human, we all have bad days or even stretches of time where we might have said something that we shouldn’t have or used a tone that others may not have liked…but at the end of the day you have to recognize who is putting in the work and who isn’t. Michaela is putting in the work and I have nothing but love and respect for her. Instead of filling this website with your less than constructive criticism, look at your own actions. What are you doing in the community? Whens the last time you helped a young sister build her spirit up and rise above all the BS society is throwing in her direction? How do you feel about yourself as a person?

  • J’adore

    “Shine Girl”, i imagine you’re waiting by the computer ready to eject the next set of insults towards anyone who doesn’t see Michaela the way you do. heaven forbid i and others have our own opinion. nowhere does it say on Clutch that all comments have to praise the person or topic they’re talking about.

    if you look up at the interview above, Michaela’s family was brought in the interview. as someone who has met her and them, i commented on it. no, i don’t jive with her pushines and self importance and I’ve been a witness to the struggles her sisters have had with her, one in particular. as a grown ass woman i know to speak and live the truth as much as possible. while i’ve done my part in volunteer work with younger and older women, i don’t trample on my family and their feelings. i don’t ignore them so i can be seen and heard at the next venue or party.

    oh darling i do love myself. very much in fact. as i’m sure the others who’ve had negative experiences with Michaela do. what is sad, stank and ironic is that you come on here to “hate on” other women who don’t think of Michaela as the great woman you seem to think she is. the craziness.

    In 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 response from Shine Girl

  • Juror #4

    Wow! This is better than T.V.!
    Seems to me the truth is this> We all have struggles and triumphs. Should we choose to place ourselves in the public eye then we’ve got to be aware and very careful from jump how we will be, how our actions will be, and attitude will be perceived BY ANYONE. People you least suspect are watching you and will remember all the bad things you do and say. They will watch and remember how you treat others and themselves. So to avoid all of the bull just don’t give them anything to think about!

    I could be wrong but it sounds like M.A.D in some of these posted cases (BET included) has a case of the “Me’s”. That usually includes bouts of divaness, self-denial, self-centered reaction, self-indulgence, a sense of ideal self-importance, and insulting attitude towards one’s peers. I know what you’re thinking Shine Girls (1&2) but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, ….. it’s a duck baby. I also don’t think it’s a set of mere coincidences that Ms. Davis is CONSTANTLY under fire in blogs such as these time and time again. Somewhere, somehow someone is not being very nice to others and the spot is being blown over and over again. I’m sick of it. Shape up or ship out. It’s not hard to be ‘good peoples’!

    The ‘love light’ has always got to be on even if we’ve got to get out of our own way to keep it on. Why? Because there may come a day when after all of the foolishness we’ve been through and put others through on our behalf we decide to be a leader. If all of our actions leading up to that moment do not back that decision to lead then we have left the door wide open for all of that negative energy we put out there when we were only thinking about ourselves to now come around full circle. And trust me IT WILL come back around! Everything done in the dark will always come to the light!

    This, my dears, is what Ms. Davis is experiencing via the ‘hateration’.>Bad Karma from past experiences of negativity. If you read closely you will see that 99% of the negative posts against M.A.D all share the same references of M.A.D.s’ condescending tones towards her acquaintances. Instead of addressing the issue at hand here on these blogs it seems M.A.D. chimes in simply to smooth away the wrinkles but in fact says nothing to let those who felt mistreated by her know that she may be sorry for what was but now she is indeed a ‘renewed spirit’ working on getting it right with herself as well as with the world. There is NO HUMILITY. The backlash from M.A.D.’s lack of humility or perhaps in some cases lack of ‘better judgement’ when dealing with her peers is the ‘haterade’ you are experiencing. Perhaps there is tons of humility and love and ‘flyness’ in the Salon but none here or on the BET site….

    In the end it all boils down to how you treat people at ANYTIME. From the moment you are born until the day you die EVERYONE should give and receive love. If you can not show love WALK AWAY silently. But inflicting bad attitude on folks will most definitely affect your ultimate position in this world…believe that.

    And I’m sure M.A.D. knows the truth deep down in her spirit (no matter how hard she tries to love it away real “fly-like”)…the timing couldn’t be worse. She’s on national television, in magazines, getting interviewed by kool publications like CLUTCH, has her own org and yet here comes energy that can and will constantly discredit ANYTHING she ever does AGAIN.Take heed my young Sisters. That’s not good and definitely bad business if you’re trying to capitalize/start a movement off of your own name and professional/community based experiences. Any serious corporate entity that wants to hire/represent Ms. Davis and end her bouts of ‘being broke’ will surely take input from blogs like this one and weigh in on M.A.D.’s character. They have to. She can easily be written off as a liability if a major brand wants to use her. Why? The number one rule in successful marketing>> Your target audience MUST wholeheartedly and 100% believe in the brand. Anything that may discredit that brand cannot be a part of it. M.A.D is tainted goods simply because of the words on these pages. That’s why she’s not farther along with that great resume or all those google mentions. It’s not brain surgery. You’ve just graduated from college so surely you know business is business. That doesn’t mean M.A.D. can’t change young lives, be a great family woman, or inspire others to get off their butts and make a difference. But it does mean that now her message will only get but so far. Ultimately M.A.D.’s own actions may have sabotaged her mission that is now so very important to her.

    I think it’d be much different if the negative posts came from folks who didn’t know her or work with her. But once folks have spent time with you and can still say, “She’s not truthful”, “I don’t trust her”, “She’s ‘difficult’” (a word corporate america RUNS from) then the problem becomes a little more severe and personal.

    So “Shine Girls” the point is that Michaela A. Davis has probably done some amazing work with you, loved you through trials in your lifetime, and even may have extended that loving hand to you when you had no other. I’m not taking that noble action away from her or crashing your accomplishments with her. But do not throw away the notion that perhaps she may have also played in the underbelly of shade causing a few people/companies who could have been good friends/business associates to actually turn away from her for good. No one can vouch for any one person as hard as folks try. It’s impossible because we have not been with any one person 24 hours a day or by their side for an entire lifetime to know the choices they made in the light or in the shadows. Nor do we know how those choices affected others. Shine Girls>revel in your joy and the love M.A.D. gives you but know that all coins have TWO sides.

    M.A.D.? If you have been giving your ass to people to kiss (and only you know the ‘truth that is you’) STOP, then REGROUP, RECOGNIZE, APOLOGIZE, and START LIVING the speeches you give. What good is a revolution when the people don’t trust the leader?


    ….Oh and I won’t beef is someone disagrees with me here (smile). Carry on, Sisters! I LOVE Y’ALL FOR REAL! HOLLA!!

  • Chantelle


    Sister Juror I’m in awe of your skills for breaking it down and keep it real. Your writing and insight is da bomb and if you’re not a writer, you should be one.

  • Goddess

    Honestly, I’ve never met the perfect person. I have my “diva” moments…. I have my “bitch” moments, and sometimes I am just plain mean. However, at the root of who I am, my spirit is a loving one. I don’t feel that a positive message should be negated because the person delivering it is lacking perfection. The message, itself, is the truth. Learn from it. Grow and strive.

    I watched the BET Hip-Hop special. I absolutely refuse to delete it from my DVR. I appreciated what Michaela Angela Davis and MC Lyte had to say. I’m not mad that they are confident in themselves and their own abilities. Since when are knowledge of high self worth, beauty, and gumption negative traits?

    I was born and raised in NY, and I watched Hip-Hop go from an expression of love, teaching and empowerment, to a genre for drugged up, non-talented, non-educated, and violent idiots. Yea, I said it…. Spewing ignorance and teaching our babies about murder, drugs, and impregnating youth does not equate Blackness. This is not what Hip-Hop is about. The cursing, the guns, the excessive spending, the naked chicks, the dudes with 7th grade educations… c’mon.

    But this is not all Hip-Hop today. Some Hip-Hop has managed to stay true. Some artists have positivity and growth as their main objectives. These are the artists that I wish “White America” would back financially. But why would they? If I want to keep you down, I am not going to give you an outlet for real success and growth. I’m going to grant you the ability to destroy yourself and implode, and that is what we have watched happen.

    This was a very intriguing interview, happy I ran across it. To everyone who was inspired by the positive attributions Michaela was suggesting we all have… move forward with it. Get your hands on a young Black girl and/or boy, and help them discover the truth in life. Don’t worry about someone hating on you or being vicious. Don’t worry about people bringing up your family, or your 9 to 5; we have to make a change.

    I want babies before I hit 30, and I refuse to think a world of hatred, ignorance, and lack of vision is going to be their destiny. So since that is what Michaela Angela Davis is trying to get across in her interviews, if I run across her next time I’m Brooklyn… I’m giving the chick a hug.

    I wrote this, not because the woman has ever done anything for me personally, but some of these comments broke my heart. If you don’t like someone, don’t read their interview. if you don’t like her… keep it moving. Why post anger and meanness? It makes not sense. You need to stop focusing on her, and start focusing on on the message and on yourself. Get yourself right, and you’ll find there is no need to spew.

    I didn’t get to spell check this, so be kind. I hope you just get what I’m trying to say. :)

  • http://www.tyramade.etsy.com Tyra D.

    Just for the record, someone who makes themselves a “public figure” as MAD has needs to be prepared and understand that they will be judged by said public. Therefore, a thick skin is a must. I agree that some of the comments about her personal life, for instance, where out of line and irrelevant to the discussion. However, she and others for that matter, can not get their feelings hurt because someone else sees and perceives negativity in her persona and statements. I don’t want to beat an already obliterated dead horse here, but there is an obvious truth in the negative statements if not one, not two, not three, but many people are pretty much saying the same thing about how she treats people, what she says, and how she acts. Perhaps we should try and find the “fly” within ourselves and express that because hero worship will almost always disappoint.

  • Gayle W.

    I completely agree with Tyra’s perspective. If somebody wants to put herself in the public eye and as a public figure, then they need to learn how to handle the public opinion too. It comes with the “spotlight” and that spotlight isn’t just about getting your props online, in a magazine or on tv, and everyone throwing the word “fly” around. It’s about how you or your actions are perceived or received by others, and in the case of MAD, it looks like her negativity in actions has outshone her words. Personally I don’t find anything MAD has said all that deep or fresh. But to read all these examples of how she’s treated people when the spotlight isn’t shining makes me want to change the channel even quicker now.

    Somebody said it above, how is a message that’s supposed to be positive really to be heard when the messenger isn’t respected and she herself has been far less than positive to others? It doesn’t. That’s just being hypocritical and phony.

  • A train Student

    I found Miss Davis anything BUT disappointing!
    I met her on the subway the other day, she was so down to earth.
    I just wanted to tell her how much I appreaciated her holding it down on CNN with those two republican chicks.
    Her views on gender, race and reproductive rights were brilliant.
    She talked to me the whole ride about my studies, politics and hair.
    She uses “hair rules” products :)
    I have never met a woman so sweet, smart and stylish.
    Her shoes were sick.
    She is the total package.
    Seems like she handles her public image totally gracefully.
    She was a great inspiration to me, a total stranger.
    And there is no spotlight on the A train.

  • Gayle W.

    How difficult is it to be gracious to a “fan” who tells you that you were brilliant?

    What’s more telling to me is how she acted and treated all the people that know her in a less than positive way. What would be more telling is how she would respond if asked about all the negative feedback she’s gotten.

    And I saw a snippet of the CNN interview and didn’t find anything “brilliant” about her answers. I expect more substance of anyone who’s going to appear on CNN than to ridicule a man for not being into fashion (when her own fashion sense in my opinion, is questionable at best).

  • ceecee

    What I want to know is the IP addresses of these comments, to see if one person is commenting under multiple monikers.

  • Dee-lite

    I saw Michaela Angela Davis on CNN too. (I’ve seen her on BET, Vh1 and Full Frontal fashion as well)
    her comments are always smart and sassy, but she looked GORGEOUS on CNN, her hair was amazing,
    hair rules? thanks for the tip A train !!!

    ceecee i was wondering te same thing…the hating comments seem suspiciously similar…hmmmm

    who cares? I just got the hair hook up:)

  • ceecee

    same goes for you too Dee-lite you could be Shine Girl 1, 2 or any of her other supporters reincarnated or even MAD herself lol

  • SOfly!

    LOL @ ceecee’s comment.


    she’s a wreck, no she’s gorgeous, no she killed my dog, no she saved the world. LOL, it’s a mess up in here.

  • chanel84

    *ducks in*

    I work in fashion and have met Ms Davis a few times when she came in to the office. In all of the encounters I thought she was shrill and patronizing with a conceited air about her. What I saw is that when she was talking to someone that could help her, she was artifically sweet with them. When she felt like someone was standing in her way somehow it all changed very quickly. It was comical to see her act like she was Anna Wintour one minute to Katie Couric the next.

    Ms Davis did a commentary of my company on Full Frontal Fashion. The majority of the people in my office including my boss thought it was dreadful. It was really bad! He questioned her outfit which was an unflattering bright yellow jump suit that was the absolute opposite of what our clothes stand for and thought she was filling the air with a lot of words. We all felt it would’ve went much better if Lloyd did the segment alone.

    I don’t think anyone should be attacked or feel bad for whatever opinion they express here. I think opinions are bound to offend some people who disagree and we can’t shoulder personally any of the resentment that some posters might feel. Many people have been flip and glib with the posts. It’s easy to assume that everyone sees or feels the same and will agree. But that isn’t the case, we don’t and that’s just that. We can be mindful of it but I don’t think anyone should feel like you need to shoulder the blame or backlash of holding an opinion, be it good or bad.

    *ducks out*

  • Goddess

    Why, if so many of you hate her so much, did you come on here and read her article? I don’t like Sarah Pallin, so although I might read an article on her views and standings, I am not going to read a personal and conversational article. That just doesn’t make sense. You are wasting blog space for people to discuss the article without the witch hunt. Any way, I’m sure she doesn’t care overly much. No one wants to be disliked or talked about, but she still gets to cash checks. I’m still giving her a shot out if I see her in NY. Perfection or no.

  • chanel84

    I don’t hate her. I dislike her and how she acts superior to everyone and how she treats people. I read Clutch from time to time and saw the article about her. Like it’s your right to give her a shout out if you see her, it’s my right to comment on Ms. Davis too from my encounters with her. What doesn’t make sense is for people to take other people’s opinions and experiences with her so personally.

  • Hope

    I met Michaela in a cafe called Tillie’s in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn years ago when she was working for the beautiful magazine Honey. She radiated such warmth and comfort within herself and she radiated those exact qualities as we spoke. I am so proud of you my sister and honored to be sharing this space and this life with so many amazing women.

  • http://baplivingforbapsandebw.ning.com Ananda Leeke

    Grrat interview with Michaela.I have always enjoyed her creative voice and spirit.

  • CatsMeow

    I’ve met Michaela a few times too since we know some of the same people and both live in the same area in Brooklyn, at Habana on the same nights several times too. Since we’re sharing opinions mine is that she is neither a saint or the devil. Michaela is loud and can be abrasive and does like to be the center of attention a lot. She can also seem pompous sometimes. Michaela is also someone that seems to be passionate about helping young women and it’s endearing how much she loves her daughter. My personal opinion is that her passion would do more good and produce more positive results if she stopped trying to be in the spotlight all the time and shone that on the causes more.

  • Bonnie Hall

    Michaela, I remember you when you were a freshman at the School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. I was a junior, I think, along with your brother Eddie. I had a crush on him for years! I think he’d be proud of what you’ve done and what you do. You are truly an inspiration to me! Go ahead on, Little Sister

    Bonnie Angela Martin Hall
    School of the Arts Class of 1979

  • Divine Brown

    I caught Michaela Angela Davis on the D.L. Hughely show on CNN and was surprised. I have issues with her comments and answers but my bigger issues is, how does she reconcile the fact that D.L. Hughley made derogatory comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team members and then sit on stage with him? During the “nappy headed hoes” saga, D.L. went on a late night show and said yes they were nappy headed, he wasn’t sure about the hoes part and that they were some of the ugliest women he’s ever seen. During this saga, I caught a show where Michaela denounced the comment and the use of the word ‘ho’. I don’t understand how Michaela’s values can change enough to break bread with D.L. What happened to the empowerment of black women? I am disappointed to see her self interest come before the bigger cause and that she sold out to get paid $ at the end of the day.

  • http://www.myspace.com/theundertonezdavebeano DaiVidH

    We need good sisters who are leaders whom work with the younger sisters and lead by example. I believe in balance too, from eating right (i am 6’3 225 vegan) meditation, a personal relationship with YAH is always good, it also lets one knows who they are, not needing a guide if not needed therefore one can not be mislead, giving, always mentoring and helping younger brothers some how through my businesses or none profit, sex, well when I find her I will hope she can match my drive. M.A.D you are awesome hope to meet you one day.

    You inspire me.


  • http://www.nikabrightlightwarrior.wordpress.com nika marie

    Very enlightening interview

  • http://www.adamsstereo.com lilia

    “Clutch: Are men intimidated by you?
    Michaela Angela Davis : If they are I don’t really know it. I had really good experiences with men, I expect good men in my life, I expect them to show up. I don’t have a sense of lack when it comes to men, I’ve had very interesting, beautiful, creative, smart, talented, genius men in my life. I like being around men and talking to them, I have a variety of interests so I go places where men are, museums, sports events; a lot of men go to see live music. I think the men that are intimidated by me don’t step to me, so I don’t know who they are!”
    I like the positivity she radiates

  • Princess

    i am just not feeling her and don’t understand what the hype is all about. i think she probably means well with her sisterhood empowerment but i think there are better female role models who are lifting, guiding, inspiring, mentoring young women. from the BET coverage of the election, to TV inauguration to D.L.’s show, she hasn’t come with “it” at all in my humble opinion and is not a good speaker. like on D.L.’s show she was saying Michele Obama isn’t arm candy and the male guests disagreed with her. maybe what Michaela was trying to say is she’s not JUST arm candy but she didn’t and as a speaker, shouldn’t you be clear at the very least? be able to hold a coherent set of thoughs and voice them? i don’t get that with her. not mention i always get the vibe like she’s real hungry for attention and camera time.

    i started reading asha bandele’s book that just came out. i recommend this sister any day over MAD.

  • Pingback: An inspiring weekend, to say the least « Lindsay Ferguson

  • Brian

    Every single time I read an article about or see Michaela Angela Davis on television she makes me, as a Black man, feel empowered. She truly is a gem and and does her people proud.

  • http://m3_Glam Delaila

    I just met Michaela at a panel event hosted by the National Association of Black Journalist. I arrived to the panel about half hour late and the first person who caught my attention was Michaela. She definitely has a presence that goes unnoticed in a room. I was able to introuduce myself to her afterward and the words that resonated with me that she said were “Just keep writing, write for yourself and perfect your craft.” She is truly a gem in this industry and I am so glad to have met her. I get from this piece which was a couple of years ago the same thing I got from her in person a week ago, a cool down to earth REAL person!!!

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    The spammer brought me back to this article. Michaela Angela Davis is a cool chick.

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