8 Apps To Let You Be Great This School Year

Whether you’re wanting to score a new look for the first day back, searching for Black-owned companies ’round your way, hunting for some good reads to add to your book bucket list, or looking for other back-to-school necessities, peep these must-try apps out here doin’ it for the culture.

By Kennadi Harris

Created by teen siblings Hannah and Charlie Lucas, this app makes asking for help as simple as clicking a button. “My app is different because when you press the notOK button, not only does it send a text out to all of your contacts at once, it gives them your GPS location. That can be crucial when you’re in a scenario when you need help,” says Hannah.

Cocoa Swatches
Not only does this app have honest reviews, but all the swatches show your favorite brands on various shades of melanin! (Yasss, representation!) Everything from the video tutorials to the product recommendations to the swatches themselves will most certainly give you life.

We Read Too
Reading is chill and all, but when you can find books with characters and story lines you can actually relate to, it. is. everything. Only available for iPhones right now, this app, which was created by recent Dartmouth graduate Kaya Thomas, features more than 600 YA and children’s books that are all written by people of color, featuring characters that are also POC. Now you can get that reading list right.

The struggle can be so real when looking for a new stylist, so whether you’ve made a major move with the fam, or you’ve gone off to college, download this iPhone-only app with a quickness to find a salon near you — currently operating in DC and NYC — that specializes in Black hair. Swivel also lets you select a stylist and book the exact service you want with the tap of a button. (Now if only there were an app that could minimize the amount of time you actually have to spend in the chair.)

Looking to truly elevate the community? Buy Black. You can start by downloading this app, which makes it easy to find and support Black businesses in your area. From churches to art galleries to banks and more, WhereU’s got your back.

No matter what texture your hair is or what style you choose to rock, this app comes through with the inspo. With its Instagram-like format, Tress simplifies the search for new hair ideas — with a simple touch, you can get all the info on the name of the salon (if any), what products were used, and how much it cost to create the look. It also has tips, tricks, and discussion forums, so you can throw deuces to those bad hair days.

Thinking about attending an HBCU for college? There is now an app for that. Created by Grambling State senior Jonathan Swindell, HBCU HUB can help you choose a school that’s right for you. Within the app, you can get the goods on every HBCU in the country, including tips on how to get accepted, breaking news, Greek life info, and access to a scholarship matchmaker, plus live chats with current students.

State Safe Stop
You already know to be cautious and aware when interacting with law enforcement, and now, there’s an app that can help safeguard your experience even more. State Safe Stop notifies your loved ones if you’re pulled over and gives you the option of recording and reporting your encounter to the public. This can also be used in emergency situations and other times you feel unsafe.


Quarterly print teen magazine for Black girls ages 13 to 19. Covering The Black Girl's Mainstream™

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