BB&W Editorial Staff

Christelyn D. Karazin, Publisher, Editor-in-Chief

Christelyn Denise Karazin is a health, lifestyle, business and education writer for such high-profile publications as Woman’s Day, Better Homes & Gardens, Ebony/, Pregnancy Magazine, Reuters News Service and many more.

Prior to magazine writing, she was a public relations professional who specialized in consumer and legal public relations, and represented such clients as Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Jay Gordon in their co-project regarding vaccinations, resulting in a prime placement on Larry King Live Show. Karazin has over ten years experience placing clients in television, radio, online and print publications, and has an uncanny talent for finding timely news angles to give her clients maximum exposure.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, cum laude, from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Karazin is an active member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and lives in Southern California. She is, most importantly, a mother of four children–three of them biracial–and has been married to her husband, Michael, (who just happens to be white) for (almost) ten happy, hectic years.

Contact Christelyn via email at ckarazin AT gmail DOT COM.

Jamila Akil, Senior Editor

Jamila Akil is a 20-something blogger and student living in the Midwest. She covers news, trends, politics, religion, black women’s empowerment, education and technology for Beyond Black & White. Jamila is working towards the completion of a Bachelor of Science in University Studies, a major she self-designed to include coursework across several academic disciplines.

Her personal interests include all things related to economics, politics, culture, and linguistics. You can find and friend Jamila on Facebook Feel like kvetching at her directly? She can be emailed at

Oneika Raymond, Contributor, International Travel

Oneika Raymond is a high school teacher, polyglot, and travel junkie who has traveled to nearly 50 countries on 6 continents. Originally from Canada, she is a serial expat who has lived in France, Mexico, Hong Kong, and is currently living in London, UK. An adventurer who is always in the midst of planning her next trip, Oneika has, amongst other things, trekked in Nepal, sailed in Croatia, and gone on safari in Tanzania.

Her travel writing has been featured in number of online publications, including the Huffington Post, and Follow Oneika’s travels around the world at and on Twitter at @OneikaTraveller.


Dr. Phoenix Austin, Contributor, Natural Hair Care, Women’s Issues

Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a physician, author, writer, media personality and entrepreneur. She earned her Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Florida and a Doctorate in Medicine (MD) from Meharry Medical College. She enjoys writing and speaking on women’s issues and is well known for engaging audiences with a conversational tone and the intellect to back it up. Dr. Phoenyx has been featured in countless publications, natural hair blogs and online magazines such as Essence. She has also been featured on popular syndicated television and radio shows on networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and Radio One. If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Phoenyx, you can visit her on the web at

Dr. Phoenyx is the author of If You Love It, It Will Grow! A Guide To Growing Long Afro-Textured Hair. If you have any questions/comments you can find Dr. Phoenyx on her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Tracy Renee Jones, Senior Contributing Writer

Tracy Renee Jones runs the blog, “Trippie Hippie,” and is the author of “Me Being Anonymous: A Book of Cursed Poems.”

Miss Jones is a 2005 cum laude graduate of New Jersey City University with a B.A. in Political Science and International Law with a PH.D in life experience.

She is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society. She also holds an A.A.S. in Legal Studies from Hudson County Community College where she graduated with honors in 2002. In 2007 she received an Advance Paralegal Certification in Intellectual Property from Wagner College.

TRJ is working toward becoming bi-coastal and thus she especially likes friends who have access to courtesy tickets on major airlines.


Toni Matthews, Senior Contributing Writer

Toni Matthews is a blogger in her late twenties who owns and operates, “Petals“, a black woman-centric site is dedicated to an honest examination of black women and the individual means by which they view and elect to better themselves. The focus the blog presently evolving in the direction of issues concerning black femininity and areas where it is believed the black woman’s right to femininity may be under attack. The aim is to encourage discussion on how some black women can re-claim lost femininity and recognize attempts to undermine the feminine virtue of black women.

In late spring of 2012, Toni will be graduating with a Master’s in Administration of Justice. Toni is in her free time a graphic designer and digital artist. She currently resides on the eastern coast of the United States, but plans to live and work abroad in the future.

A staunch individualist and political moderate, she may come across at times as absolutely blunt and ‘no-nonsense.’ Or she may come across as a budding comedienne. At the end of the day, whatever gets the point across is what matters most.


Demita Usher, Contributor, Etiquette and resident Miss Manners

Demita Usher is a writer, blogger and etiquette instructor who has written for Jones, Tightrope, Beauty Come Forth and LA Splash. A vintage enthusiast, she teaches etiquette and social graces in Southern California.

Jenn M. Jackson, Contributor, Politics and Black Women’s Issues


A relative newcomer to the BB&W family, Jenn M. Jackson is the quintessential 20-something politics geek. Though she holds a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering from the University of Southern California, she tried her hand at politics a few years ago to see if it was a fit for her. After graduating summa cum laude from from her master’s program, she is working to pursue her PhD in the discipline which she loves. She writes all things political for BB&W and stands as the resident voice on current political issues.

She runs a “nerdy, artsy, bourgie” blog called Water Cooler Convos with her husband. And, is the CEO and Founder of The Worth Campaign, a future non-profit serving high school and college-aged women of color.

You can find her work on her own sites or on her column, aptly named “Water Cooler Convos,” over at

She is the proud mother of two gorgeous children, the wife of one lucky dude, and an eternal believer that all things are possible with faith. Find her on Twitter: @JennMJack, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Other phenomenal contributors:

Bob Wendorf (ChefBob), Food

Lorraine Nowlin (LorMarie), Politics, history, and BWE

Kevin Purcell, Resident humorist

“Friends of Jay”, Movies and media

Abiola Abrams, Sexuality


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