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Debra Langford

Television executive Debra Langford was born on March 27, 1963 in Los Angeles, California to Barbara Wilkins and Roland Langford. She earned her B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business in 1984.

In 1986, Langford was hired by Hanna-Barbera Studios, where she became director of development. In 1988, she joined Warner Bros Television and rose to vice president of current programs, where she was responsible for the show’s creative production, including hiring actors/actresses, writers, producers and directors for eleven successful network television series, including, Growing Pains, Night Court,​ Murphy Brown,​ Life Goes On,​ China Beach,​ Kung Fu: The Next Generation​ and The Flash. From 1993 to 1998, she served as head of television at Quincy Jones and David Salzman Entertainment, overseeing all aspects of development, production and delivery of television series for the production company financed by Time Warner and co-lead by Quincy Jones. Projects included the NBC series, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, NBC/UPN's In the House, and Fox Broadcasting Network's Mad-TV. In 1998, Langford was hired by Essence Entertainment as general manager and vice president in the new division of Essence magazine. Langford joined Urban Entertainment as senior vice president of production and development in 2000; and, in 2002, she joined Time Warner as corporate vice president of strategic sourcing. In 2009, Langford was named corporate vice president of inclusion and business diversity at NBC Universal. She launched The Langford Company in 2012, providing consulting strategies in multicultural marketing, recruitment and retention. In 2013, she joined USC Marshall School of Business as assistant dean of diversity and inclusion.

Langford served as president and vice president of the Southern California chapter of the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) from 2008 to 2012. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the USO Board of Governors and served from 2011 to 2016. In 2017, she was appointed by Governor Gray Davis as a board member of the California Film Commission.

Langford was listed in Ebony Magazine’s Black Women at the Top in 1991 and 1993. In 1995, she was included in Black Enterprise’s The New 25 Future Leaders To Watch.

Debra Langford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 22, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.133

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/22/2019

Last Name

Langford

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Lynn

Schools

Hyde Park Elementary School

St. Mary's Academy

Transfiguration School

University of Southern California

First Name

Debra

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

LAN11

Favorite Season

Winter

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Be Still And Know

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

3/27/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Vanilla Cupcakes

Short Description

Television executive Debra Langford (1963- ) served as corporate vice president of strategic sourcing for Time Warner and corporate vice president of inclusion and business diversity for NBC Universal before founding The Langford Company in 2012.

Employment

Quincy Jones & David Salzman Entertainment

Hanna-Barbera Studios

Warner Brothers Television

Essence Magazine

Urban Entertainment

Time Warner

NBC Universal

The Langford Company

University of Southern California

Favorite Color

Fuschia

Tai Beauchamp

Journalist and entrepreneur Tai Beauchamp was born on January 7, 1978 in Newark, New Jersey. She graduated from Spelman College in 2000 with her B.A. degree in English Literature and received a certificate in television production from New York University in 2003.

Beauchamp began her career as an intern for Good Housekeeping and Harper’s Bazaar magazines in 1998. In 2000, she was hired at O, The Oprah Magazine as a fashion and beauty assistant, but was soon named associate beauty editor. In 2003, Essence magazine/Time Inc. hired her to serve as the beauty editor of several prototypes that later became Suede magazine. In 2004, Beauchamp became the youngest and first African American appointed to the role of beauty and fitness director at Seventeen magazine.

In 2006, after briefly serving as deputy editor of VIBE Vixen magazine and consulting with The MCJ Foundation, Beauchamp launched and served as chief executive officer of BluePrint Group, LLC (Tai Life Media, LLC), a branding and marketing firm. She became a style contributor and correspondent for iVillage.com in 2008; and in 2011, was hired as a national correspondent for InStyle magazine. Beauchamp was also appointed style and beauty correspondent for Proctor & Gamble’s My Black Is Beautiful campaign, and in 2012, was named InStyle’s style ambassador.

Beauchamp has appeared as a style expert and personality on ABC, BET, CNN, NBC Today, TV One, E! and frequently contributed to The View, Wendy Williams Show, Bethenny, The Recording Academy, and other networks. She has also worked with Target, Macy’s, Dior Cosmetics, Nordstrom, AT&T, The Limited, MSL Group, Avon, Black Enterprise magazine, The Sundance Channel, and Universal Records.

Beauchamp has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Dress for Success, and Step Up Women’s Network. She served on the advisory boards of WIE Network, Harlem's Fashion Row, St. Vincent Academy in Newark, New Jersey, and New Jersey Needs You. She also served on the women’s board of trustees of the New Jersey Performance Arts Center. Her awards include the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Prestige Award, which she received in 2009.

Tai Beauchamp was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 7, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.228

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

10/7/2014

Last Name

Beauchamp

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Schools

Spelman College

New York University

School No. 5

School No. 1

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament School

St. Mary School

Saint Vincent Academy

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Tai

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

BEA12

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bodrum, Turkey

Favorite Quote

To whom much is given, much is expected. To Thine Own Self Be True.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/7/1978

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Kale

Short Description

Journalist and entrepreneur Tai Beauchamp (1978 - ) was the style ambassador of InStyle magazine and the CEO of Tai Life Media, LLC. She became the youngest and first African American beauty and fitness director at Seventeen magazine in 2004.

Employment

Good Housekeeping

Harper's Bazaar Fashion Magazine

O, The Oprah Magazine

Essence Magazine/Time Inc.

Seventeen Magazine

VIBE Vixen Magazine

The MCJ Foundation

BluePrint Group, LLC (Tai Life Media, LLC)

iVillage.com

InStyle Magazine

Procter & Gamble's "My Black is Beautiful" Campaign

Favorite Color

Black and Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658410">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Tai Beauchamp's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658411">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658412">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp describes her father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658413">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp remembers her paternal grandfather</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658414">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her mother's professional background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658415">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp describes her mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658416">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp lists her extended family members</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658417">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tai Beauchamp describes her maternal grandmother and great-grandmother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658418">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her family's surname</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658419">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tai Beauchamp describes her paternal grandparents' household</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658420">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her grandparents' nurturing spirit</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658421">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp remembers her maternal grandmother's home</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658422">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp talks about living in multiple households</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658423">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp recalls her early education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658424">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp describes her neighborhood in Linden, New Jersey</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658425">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her relationship with her father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658426">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Tai Beauchamp describes her early personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658427">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tai Beauchamp recalls the influence of 'The Cosby Show'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658428">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp describes her decision to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658429">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her scholarship to attend Spellman College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658430">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp describes her early academic experiences at Spelman College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658431">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her social life at Spelman College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658432">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp remembers the faculty of Spelman College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658433">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp describes the sisterhood at Spelman College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658434">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Tai Beauchamp remembers her college internships</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658435">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her ability to adapt to her surroundings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658436">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Tai Beauchamp recalls joining the staff of O, The Oprah Magazine</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658437">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tai Beauchamp remembers meeting Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658438">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp describes her career at O, The Oprah Magazine</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658439">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp recalls attending fashion events for O, The Oprah Magazine</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658440">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp describes her early interest in fashion and hip hop culture</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658441">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her idea for a fashion magazine for young women of color</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658442">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp recalls joining the staff of Suede magazine</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658443">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp remembers her transition to Seventeen magazine</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658444">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Tai Beauchamp describes her experiences at Seventeen magazine</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658445">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Tai Beauchamp recalls joining The MCJ Amelior Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658446">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Tai Beauchamp describes her role at The MCJ Amelior Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658447">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp describes her work on the RU Ready for Work program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658448">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp recalls joining VIBE Vixen</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658449">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her impact at VIBE Vixen</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658450">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp recalls founding Tai Life Media, LLC</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658451">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp remembers writing for the iVillage blog</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658452">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her humanitarian work</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658453">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her accomplishments and plans for the future</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658454">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her maternal grandmother's illness</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658455">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Tai Beauchamp remembers speaking at a conference in Nigeria</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658456">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Tai Beauchamp talks about working on the 'The High Life' web series</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658457">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Tai Beauchamp recalls working with InStyle magazine</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658458">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her experiences as a media personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658459">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Tai Beauchamp talks about her decision to undergo oocyte cryopreservation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658460">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Tai Beauchamp reflects upon her legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658461">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Tai Beauchamp reflects upon her life</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Tai Beauchamp describes her experiences at Seventeen magazine
Tai Beauchamp talks about her decision to undergo oocyte cryopreservation
Transcript
And as, as you are moving along, does it ever cross your mind that, "I'm an African American woman pitching for this mainstream publication. Could that stand in my way?"$$(Shakes head) It didn't. That never dawned on me and I don't--I, I don't know if I ever--and I think, I think that's a really great question, Harriette [HistoryMaker Harriette Cole] because I think, you know obviously there are real barriers, there are real challenges that we face, no doubt. And--but had I thought about it that way, would I have created the barrier more so than anything. But I must also say that Atoosa Rubenstein who was the editor in chief, was also the founder of CosmoGirl. She was a very young editor. She founded CosmoGirl at Hearst [Hearst Communications] after leaving Cosmo [Cosmopolitan] at twenty-six. And so she was kind of legendary in her own right and respected within the Hearst family and the Hearst community. I, I also must credit her too because she as a--I think she's Armenian [sic. Iranian], I think she's Armenian--also I think has expressed in the past and I haven't had conversation with her in years, but had expressed in the past feeling other. And so I think to her credit, her feeling other is also what made her more welcoming to other. And--but that's what made that, that book and that opportunity also for me and for other girls so, so huge, which I didn't realize then. Like I said, until I started interacting with the young girls.$$And how long did you stay at Seventeen?$$I was at Seventeen for about a year. It was hell, to put it mildly.$$Because?$$It was, you know, everybody--so a whole new team came over with the new editor in chief, so Atoosa hired a whole new team. And it was just a very crazy environment. It was a very, very crazy environment of--which is often the case I think sometimes in magazines and in creative spaces, right. So when you're dealing with a lot of creatives, you know, do you want this, do you want this, do you want this, do you want that? Do you not want this? So that was one piece of it. And I think it was challenging for a number of us for that reason. But to make it very personal and to also realize my growth opportunity and you know what I learned on the other side of it, is you know being managed is one thing, but learning to manage up and down is, is, is also a very, very necessary skill. And quite frankly at twenty-five, you don't have it. So it's one of those things that I say to young people now who tell me that--they give me their business cards and you know they're very ambitious and very bright eyed, and I love that and I encourage that. But their cards that say CEO and mogul and I'm like darling, you don't have to, you don't have to crawl before you run that marathon, but you, you gotta, you gotta take some steps. And I have an appreciation for that now, 11 years later. And I actually I gained a great appreciation for that probably two years later as I started to learn business more as well. But I was there for about eleven and a half months, and I remember going to Ellen [Ellen Levine] and telling her that I didn't think I was gonna make it. I was working sixteen hour days and we were growing and doing very, very well, but the demands were great. You know I had to--I was doing television in the morning for six a.m. shoots and you know TV shoots and segments, and then going to shoots all day and then coming back and editing, and then having to go to events and then come back and close books and was managing a team of three or four, some of whom were older than me and had been trained by the same people that I had been trained by as well. So there were a lot of nuances, but a lot of learning.$Now you mentioned to me earlier that clearly you have been on a fast track professionally, which is what many young women are taught. I mean probably from Spelman [Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia] days you're taught focus on your career. And at this stage in your life, you did something that many women have talked about, considered, not so many black women have done it I don't think, freezing your eggs.$$Um-hm.$$Can you, can you tell me about that and also why and what your reflection is?$$Absolutely. So I froze my eggs a year ago, August of 2013 at thirty-five. And I froze my eggs for several reasons. One, I had really great girlfriends who are a lot wiser and older than I was that told me you know in my thirties when they saw me on this fast track and saw Tai [HistoryMaker Tai Beauchamp] as only about work, she's no play, you know, freeze your eggs. And when they told me at thirty, I was like okay girls, no, I'm good. Like and I had broken an engagement. And so I had been in a relationship and all of that. And I decided to do it last year because I said if I hit thirty-five and was unattached and unmarried, I wanted to preserve my fertility. That's not to say I don't have any, thank god, as far as I know no challenges right now. But I know that I want a, I want a family. And I wanted to preserve that. And I also was diagnosed with fibroids, which is very prevalent in the black community, and my mother [Taiwanda Beauchamp Scott] and [maternal] grandmother [Mary Beauchamp] both had them and both of them had either a hysterectomy or a partial hysterectomy. My mother actually had her, her partial hysterectomy at thirty-six. So at my age right now she had her, her, her hysterectomy performed. And I just, I just knew that I wanted to preserve it. I really think, and you know I shared with Essence this story and they did an amazing job of writing about this journey and why I chose to do it. But I think that we really have to shift the dialogue for young women. Of young women of color especially because like in the case, in my case being raised by two single black women who were very independent, who were very driven and very hard working, and who valued education as we should. We're taught to focus on your career and not to necessarily put as much focus on our family lives. And I think that that's just a result of sometimes you know, their experiences, which have been challenging. And also historical experiences when you think back to slavery and what have you and the woman having to be there and to do it all. But I don't think we're meant to. And so I want younger women, you know, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, once you have some footing and you have some sense of who you are and some perspective of where you'd like to go professionally, to start to--if you want, and to just to start to think more realistically about who you are. Because who you are is not your career. Who you are is not you know, how much money you make or the clothes you wear. And a young lady that I said this to who also went to Spelman, last year I said this to her and she turned thirty. And she read the article and Janese Sills [ph.] is her name, and she's an executive. And she sent me an email and she said, "Tai, I realize you know what? I'm working so hard for my legacy, but if my legacy is not for my children, then who is my legacy for?" So it's not about us singularly. And so there's been a really hard lesson for me, that I'm grateful that I've learned. But I also wanna hope and--to, to really kind of teach other younger women to think differently about it going forward.