Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I've MOVED!!!

Hi readers! 

Yes it is true, I have moved to a new website. To continue reading my posts check out ReCreatingHerStory.wordpress.com

That is all black love & peace 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Black Girls ROck Because We are Queens!!

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Celebs Reflect On What Being A Queen Means [VIDEO] | HelloBeautiful

Black Girls Rock made it a point to make every Black girl or woman watching feel important, necessary and free to be who you are. The ladies behind HelloBeautiful interviewed a few beautiful black Queens on the pink carpet entering Black Girls Rock and asked them what it meant to be a Queen.

Michelle Williams said a Queen in three words is resilient, honorable and victorious. Erica Ash pointed out that a Queen is aware of who she is and where she comes from and is one that helps others. Queen Latifah herself defined a queen as one who owns their identity, power and is confident in her womanhood, "Being a female and being proud of it".

As a Black Girl who Rocks, I am a Queen because I believe in the strength and power of who I am and I am unafraid to go after my goals and dreams.

Why are you a Queen?

Black Girls Rock Inspires Black Women Everywhere

Every so often, BET airs programs that actually help the Black community and one such program aired tonight, Black Girls Rock. Each year as it did this year, Black Girls Rock inspires and empowers Black women all over the world.

Honorees this year included "Living Legend" Patti LaBelle, "Rock Star" Queen Latifah, "Social Humanitarian" Marian Wright Edelman, "Star Power" Venus Williams, "Young, Gifted & Black" Misty Copeland, "Community Activist" Ameena Matthews and "Shot Caller" Mara Brock Akil.

"Creative Visionary" Mara Brock-Akil left a special message to Black women in her acceptance speech. As a writer and producer of shows like "Girlfriends" and "The Game", this business woman creates shows that validate the real lives of Black women. She stated in her acceptance speech that Black women have to validate each other especially in an America that does not validate and believe in the beauty, creativity and strength of them. Her latest business venture "Being Mary Jane" which also airs on BET is a series that shows black women in a light that they have not been seen before.

My response to her acceptance speech and my admiration for her as a black female writer, inspires me to contribute to organizations and programs that empower and encourage Black women to go after their dreams, be who they are and let nothing stop them from reaching their goals.

Meanwhile, one third of Black twitter was too obsessed with "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" to pay attention to the show. While the show is called "Black Girls Rock" and does seek to encourage young black women to be strong and go after their dreams, Black women of all ages can be inspired from the show. But when the ratings fight with a reality show that people watch simply to see black women fight with each other, what messages are we sending to our children, and those outside of our community that judge us on behalf of shows like that?

If you haven't watched this year's "Black Girls Rock" check it out and tell me what inspires you about the show and what goals you now have.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

IMARA Woman Informs, Inspires and Empowers Columbia Community

The lovely people behind IMARA Woman magazine, hosted their 12th annual Health Ministry Empowerment Tour this month and I was fortunate to attend the tour on the last stop in Columbia at Eau Claire High School.

As a social media marketing expert for MakeMeOverEb.com I attended the "Ask the Doctor" session before the Make Me Over Eb! makeover session, which discussed several topics related to health and wellness of Black women.  At the "Ask the Doctor" session, which focus was on illnesses such as  high blood pressure, diabetes and menopause, I learned that as a young woman in my twenties the way I treat my body now will impact greatly the illnesses I develop as an older woman. By eating healthier, reducing meat, fat and grease intake along with daily exercise, black women can extend the length of life and reduce the risk of developing serious illnesses. Leading a healthier life can  even reduce  the symptoms of menopause later in life.

Make Me Over Eb's makeover session along with the help of Karizma the Stylist put on a presentation that both wowed the crowd and gave out valuable information. They along with myself as an assistant, gave out gift bags, surprise giveaways and even did a few live makeovers. Ebony Looney the Eb of MakeMeOverEb.com stuck to the IMARA Woman theme that "One Small Change" can make a huge difference. By simply adding a colored scarf to an all black outfit one can spice up and ordinarily plain look. Scarves can be worn several ways and with winter season well on it's way, they can be found all over the place.

Karizma the Stylist gave a few hair care tips as she specializes in Natural Hairstyling, Braids, Weave Techniques, Commercial Hair Installations. With just edge control cream, water and a few bobby pins she transformed the hairstyles of two audience members. Taking care of black hair is defiantly work but with the right tools and a steady stylist that knows your hair type and needs you can achieve the look you desire.

The sessions followed a Luncheon that featured a pink inspired fashion show with models from toddlers to our wisest members of our community. The lunch provided was a healthy plate of brown rice, green beans, baked chicken, salad and a multigrain role that was completely delicious.

Be sure to subscribe to Imara Woman Magazine for future events and a very inspiring magazine.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

MakeMeOverEb Hosts Breast Cancer Survivor Event

On Sunday October 20th, 2013, The wonderful lady behind Make Me Over, Eb! will sponsor a free event to honor breast cancer survivors and their familes.

Date: Sunday October 20, 2013
Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, 930 Richland St, Columbia, SC 29210

The event is free to the public and will feature live make overs, beauty education, natural hair makeover tips, style assessments, giveaways and awesome gift bags!

Makeover artist's include:
  • Ebony Looney of Make Me Over Eb
  • Jessica Reese of Signature Care by Pynk (PynkHair.com)
  • Courtney Page Scott of Natural Aspects Salon in Columbia, SC

The event is free and as well as the food but you must register!! Go to http://www.makemeovereb.com/events/ now to register for the event now!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Unleashing the Black Erotic

On the weekend of September 18th through the 21st, the College of Charleston hosted a conference titled Unleashing the Black Erotic: Gender & Sexuality, Passion, Power & Praxis. The conference featured a variety of presenters from colleges all across the nation.

This conference was the first of its kind to me where I saw and heard academia engage in discussion and research about gender and sexuality of black people. 

The first panel was titled Visionary Poetics: Imag(in)ing the Black Erotic. This panel gave us a working definition of the term eroticism as Charlene Regester of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill defined Eroticism as hyper sexualized image of women in relation to their body. This first panel gave a historical definition of the way society began to view black sexuality. From Jean Toomer's "Cane" to Dorothy Dandridge films and the poetry of Essex Hemphill, black sexuality began with a negative connotation. 

Joan Morgan's Keynote address set the tone for the rest of the conference with her lecture on The Pleasure Principle: The search for politics of Pleasure in Black Feminist Thought. She begins with the thought that there is  an absence of language that speaks across boards and that is "If you don't speak for yourself then other people speak for you". Not telling our own stories results in a misguided view of the image of black women and we thus become victims of other people's image of us, particularly those who are outside of our communities. The solution then for black women is to identify our own desire and eroticism and tell our stories of pleasure without the trauma and violence that is often accompanied by it, much like the women in Tyler Perry films. The final thought is that black women had to and continue to experience some form of pleasure in order to simply survive. Whatever is someone's pleasure that brings them happiness or joy then who are we to judge, especially when we as often as we can engage in our forms of pleasure.    

Day two of the conference  focused on the ways Black women engage in forms of pleasure and display their sexuality. Conseula Frances of College of Charleston, describes in her paper African American Romance Fiction and the Pleasures of Vulnerability  reasons black women should read romance literature. In many of the popular stories about black women embracing their sexuality, they are either seen as prostitutes and sluts or face some sort of repercussion for enjoying the pleasure of sex. The difference of romance novels is that the main goal of a Romance novel is to provide pleasure to women. These novels allow women to be their most vulnerable selves and enjoy sex with a tall dark and handsome hero and often times, risks his life to pleasure the woman. As cheesy as these stories might sound, they however provide a reverse to the degradation of Tyler Perry films, which seek to curse Black women for enjoying pleasure.   

The final panel on Day two explored the roles of Women and sex in Hip Hop. SaraEllen Strongman of University of Pennsylvania discusses in her paper, Erotic Ambiguity: Janelle Monae's Gender Performance as Liberatory Politics, the way Soul singer Janelle Monae is able to define her own sexuality. By her dress, music and behavior in interviews, Janelle Monae is able to preserve her erotic power and protect herself from those who might try to destroy her image. Monae has a new age and psychedelic soul sound that is quite different from the rest of her R&B contemporaries, not to mention her self-defined black and white uniform. She is almost always seen in a black and white suit ensemble and never wears anything too low or too short. Monae, quoted in an interview that her music is her work and just like her parents who everyday went to work and wore uniforms, she does the same. Janelle Monae is then able to control the image of her sexuality and keep everyone guessing by choosing not to play into the prescribed images of beauty and sexuality, a lesson for us all.

The conference was overall highly engaging and enlightening and I plan to personally to more writing that brings me pleasure, read some romance novels and reevaluate my personal wardrobe. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

What Does your Black Hair Say about You?

Here we are at the peak of the year 2013 and Black hair is still being criticized and cause for judgement on one's character. A few weeks ago, the nation caught news that 7 year old Tiana Parker's dreadlocks were a cause for concern to change the school's dress code policy to ban ""hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, Mohawks and other faddish styles". 

With a growing number of black women taking the transition and "big chop" as it were to go natural, one would think that america was becoming more accepting of black women wearing their hair as nature intended. But in certain places in the nation, particularly Tulsa, Oklahoma, natural hair is not okay. Even more closer to home, I found today that my black body and black hair in an overwhelmingly White environment was also cause for huge disruption.

Today, I styled my hair for work in my go-to nappy roots style otherwise known as my back up plan for when my roots get too thick for me to handle alone without professional help. For this style, I washed my hair then braided it in cornrows which I removed in the morning for a purposely crinkled and kinky style. The response by my young White students was utter confusion and concern. An otherwise bouncy and natural looking style sent them into a frenzy of questions about what had happened to me to make my hair look so crazy, wild and weird.

Since the days of slavery and the following years of the dreaded Jim Crow era black people have been forced to tame our roots, take down our tone and in other words, not to do anything that might be a cause for attention. The fact of the matter is, that in our most natural state, this is who we are and no one should make us conform ourselves to make them feel comfortable. Every sort of black art; song, dance, fashion, hairstyle, has been made of purity of us defining who we are despite the corners we have been pushed into.  
My advise, is to support black purity in its most natural state, whether you are natural or not, let no one discredit who you are, because it does not fit some sort of genre. Black people are beautifully made and create beautiful art.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Empowering Black Beauty

If you have yet to see "My Black is Beautiful's "Imagine A Future" Documentary, click the link above and watch it now! As a black woman, the question of self love is ever present in our lives. Growing up in America, we are constantly bombarded with images of a westernized concept of beauty that often times, many of us find ourselves in a place of self hate and low self esteem.

Not only are the forces of mass media; television, magazines, movies and social media a constant destruction of the confidence of black women, so to are the very people in our lives. Our own black communities are telling us that black people with dark features are not enough. We are told by our own people that dark hair and dark eyes and dark skin is ugly. Our very own dark people praise those of lighter skin and hail them as the most beautiful of our race. But why?

The pure beauty of people of color is the that fact that our shades, facial features and body types are so varied. The westernized ideal of beauty was made to praise one particular type of beauty and if everyone bends themselves to fit that one type of beauty, we'll all the look the same and where is the beauty in that?

"Imagine A Future" highlights a major issue among young black women, that of not finding the pure essence of who they are beautiful. A solution, we, black people as a whole need to reinforce the beauty of who we are individually and as a whole to ourselves and one another. Instead of constantly praising western beauty, we need to embrace our own beauty as seen through our art, culture and history. There is a reason why other cultures are constantly taking the things that we have created.

Talk and read about black history. Explore the history of your ancestors from Africa. Watch black movies, television shows and documentaries. Take part in creating a better world for our children to grow up in. Create a space for children to believe in their beauty from childhood. Hang paintings of black art. Tell your fellow black sisters and brothers, that they are beautiful. Make a statement to Willie Lynch that we will not be pitied against each other anymore. That whether we are light, dark, brown or biracial, we are are beautiful in our own right.      

I believe that my Black is Beautiful because it has been poetically designed that way. What makes your Black Beautiful?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Trials of Womanhood (My battle with AAMCO)

Recently, I was asked what it meant to be a black woman in America. After I thought about it, I discovered that for me black womanhood has a lot to do with many of the opportunities I do not get as well as the way different types of people interact with me. One particular industry that is especially known for mistreating women is that of the car industry. Whether there're selling you a car or servicing it, men in the automotive industry tend to treat women in general as if we have knowledge of life itself.

Which leaves me to my never ending battle with my local AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care. This local sub-par repair shop has decided that upon giving up my car for a free diagnostic that I lost all rights an privileges of humanity.

My car has been going through issues for the past few weeks and after spending some time on the side of the road as I was leaving for work, I decided no more. After calling around to a few different transmission shops, I decided on one to take my car to with the advise of an employee at Advance Auto Parts. I arrived at AAMCO at 9:30 am with the hopes of being out by 1:00 pm, just in time to make it to work. To my dismay, the service manager relates that I must leave my car there all day. After much relenting and searching for a ride to work, I agree to let them keep my car. After I get off work, I receive a call from the repair shop, where I find out exactly whats wrong with my transmission along with it's quote repair price of $414.17.

AAMCO then takes me on a six day uphill battle to fix and return my car. I decide to let them keep the car over the weekend, mostly because I am a woman and have no other choice. On Monday I call in 8:30 that morning for a re-explanation of the repairs that need to be made and the price. Now, all of a sudden, the price has been pushed to $501.00 for other mysterious issues.

I relate to the service manager that I am unable to pay the price in total at the moment and ask if I can set up a payment plan or at the very least pay half Tuesday on pick up day and the rest on Friday. The service manager proceeds to tell me that "sure that's fine, if you don't mind going without a car all week". I relate to him that I need my car and in return, he relates "well I need my money in full, in the real world a written and signed statement means nothing. You must pay all the money before I can hand your car over to you." He then suggests that if I have good credit that I finance through a company called Spring Leaf or I can call TitleMax and exchange my title for the cash to pay a $500 service charge. After telling him I refuse to take out a title loan and plead to pay half now and half later he advises, "just take out the title loan, I don't know why you are so afraid to do that." Finally, I scrape up the money and decide to pay it all on Tuesday when I come to pick my car up. When I asked the service manager if my car would be ready on Tuesday by 1:00 pm, he retorts, "I cant give you an exact time but don't see why it won't be ready then." I go on to explain that I need my car Tuesday by 1:00 pm so that I can go to work.

Surprise, surprise when I arrive on Tuesday my car is still not ready, due to some technical issues and the shop being very busy and all. The service manager continues to feed me excuse after excuse about why my car is not ready and then proceeds to tell me "remember, I said, I'd call you when it was ready and now it is not ready." I did not recall him saying that at all and I completely resent him talking to me as if I am a child. As a paying customer, I deserve to be treated with some decency and respect but because I am a women, this guy thought he could get over on me and jerk me around as if I don't depend on my car for life necessities, including going to work so I can pay his obscenely high service charge.

Being a woman at a repair shop, means to be treated like your car is worth more than you are. I was not treated with even the slightest courtesy as he held in his possession my car. As woman in a service center, we are in a position where men feel free to walk all over you. My advise is to stand up for the rights you deserve and when you are not afforded those right take a stand.

BOTTOM LINE: NEVER EVER TAKE YOUR CAR TO AAMCO! They will jerk you along, all the while increasing your bill and keep your car until they feel like returning it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The After Graduation Life.... (A Personal Narrative)

Congratulations!!!!! I've graduated from college!!!

Now what?? 12 grades, 4 schools including 5 years in college and suddenly I find myself thrown into the real world I had always been worned  about. When I left elementary school on my first day offifth  grade, they told me that I was a big girl now. I was made to repeat the words of a song that read "I am a promise, I am a possiblity and If i work hard enough I'd be where I want to be. I was told that as a child I was the future of the world. At 23 years of age I wonder what future for the world I turned out to be, leaving all the world and family I knew behind for one failing job after another, never making enough money, never feeling satisfied with my so called career. 

In middle school they told us that the real world wouldnt be as nice as they were to us. They told us that the high school teachers wouldn't put up with our late homework assignments, petty arguments and occasional fist fights. They told us that in highschool it would be a whole new world and we had better be preparared for it. The older kids told us, we'd be bullied and taunted for simply being who we were, freshmen. I found that quite ironic since they too were freshmen at that time.

In high school they told us college was the real world and everyone had to go, that is if you wanted to make something of yourself. So whether we had a major or even a clue of a major or not they made us sign up for schools at every college fair and tour. And on the very first week of classes in the midist of my nervousness and anxiety as I sat in my English 101 class listening to my classmates read their papers aloud, I realized that this too was another stage in my life that I could achieve. Not to mention an A on that first paper gave me a large boost of encouragment. 

Like all the years before, I conqured all of the very institutions that frightened me at first glance. I realized that by the end of the first year of each new school I attended at monumental points in my life, my goals were never too far outside of my reach. As saddedned as I was to leave elementary school, it was during my first year of middle school where I discoved the world of literature in a whole new light and would thus be the fuel for entire life's journey. As anxiety stricken as I was to leave middle school and venture into high school, that 9th grade year proved to be piviotal turing point in my life and each year after, I saw myself grow more into the person that would shape the rest of my life. I played sports, discovered my personal style (that would continue to change and upgrade as they years passed) and made a core group of friends that I still lean on till this day. I also went though heartache and break ups, lost some good friends along the way but I never forgot the lessons that high school taught me. 

But, my years at Claflin University really shaped me as an adult and groomed me to be the intellectual that I have become. Now as I sit on the borrowed couch in my first apartment at this next stage in my life, post graduation, I realize that like all tthe other major stages in my life the first year was always the hardest simply because it was the first and I made it that way with all the negative vibes I put in my mind about it. The stage I find myself at now is entering the workforce with the goal of finding a job that I enjoy and that pays enough to pay all my bills. I realize now that this fear of failure too shall pass and if I work hard enough, I'll be where I want to be, after all I am the future. 

Nicki Minaj Previews Her Kmart Clothing Line | HelloBeautiful

Nicki Minaj Previews Her Kmart Clothing Line | HelloBeautiful

Look out for a more extreme version of Nicki Look-a-likes! The most famous Barbie wannabee, Nicki Minaj is set to release a clothing line for young girls through Kmart. If it wasn't bad enough that little girls and grown women alike have already changed their speech and behavior, Nicki's influence on the world will now be shown through mini mid drift crop tops and skin tight pant sets in a galaxy inspired design.

While Kmart might increase its revenue, this back to school season, the fate of our respectable little black girls is at an all time low. How is one ever going to experience what it means to be a woman and beautiful if they are constantly being fed images of "beautiful black women" that are super busty with a small waist and large dairy-air. If anything we should instill in our young women it is the fact that one is beautiful being exactly who they are and most importantly, being "grown and sexy" comes with age and maturity not body type and revealing clothing.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

New Movie Alert "Dear White People"

The year 2013 appears to be a promising year for black cinema with the release of "The Best Man 2", Forest Whittaker's "The Butler" and  "Black Nativity". All of which appear to bring back that element that has been missing from black film in general especially since the success of Tyler Perry films. 

This year has also had a considerable number of black documentaries that have made it to at least select theaters. Some noteworthy documentaries include "Free Angela & All Political Prisoners" and Terence Nance's "An OverSimplification Of Her Beauty". (oversimplification.mvmt.com) The two contrast greatly, one explores the sacrifices African Americans have made to be treated as not merly citizens of this country but human beings. The other, a real life glance into the lives of educated African Americans in this "post racial" state.

It is sad to note however that in an America that claims to be so forward thinking, there are few films that make it to the big screen that accurately depict black life in America. Thus I introduce to you the film that had finally recently began production, "Dear White People". 

A year ago this month, writer, director and producer Justin Simien along with his production staff and crew released the concept trailer for a new movie called "Dear White People". The film follows co-ed Sam White as she goes on to expose the racial problem at her institution of choice Manchester University, a PWI (Predominantly White Institution). She does such by means of her universitybased radio   show in which she weaves an open letter to White people in general about their racist tendencies. She begins with "Dear White People, the number of black friends required to not seem racist has moved up to two", she further comments not to ask to touch black hair as it is not a petting Zoo. The film also explores interracial relationships and the concept of who and what determines what "blackness" is. 

The making of this film has come a long way to gain both artistic and financial backing. Check out the Trailer ( http://youtu.be/watjO62NrVg  and support this film by making sure it come to a theater near you. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

5 Things We Learn from Kelly Rowland's "Dirty Laundry"

Ms. Kelly's album may be at the top of the charts right now for it's great musical attributes but her hit single "Dirty Laundry" has lots to tell about the lives of women.

1. Jealousy of a friends success is not cute!
We may actually love some of our girls like a sister but sometimes they may gain opportunities that we also wanted. This does not mean that there is some deep dark jealousy brewing of the person but more so of the successes they gained. So even if there are some feelings of jealousy, we still should be  happy for our friends and remember that since we were down with them before they achieved this success that naturally they would want to pull us up with them.  

2. Domestic Violence does not equal LOVE.
Love might hurt sometimes but it should not be painful for an extended period of  time. If someone continuously hits and abuses another, physically, mentally and emotionally there is no love in that relationship. If someone is abusing you, report them to the proper authorities and get out of that relationship. That relationship is based on control and not love. You deserve to be with someone that loves and respects you and treats you the way you feel that you deserve. 

3. Don't hold pain in, it makes you ugly.
Harboring lots of anger and resentment often results in less smiling and subsequently as perceived ugly face or bad attitude. Remove negative energies from your life right from the start. Don't let drama build up over time and cause a big war with a good friend. Settle disagreements fast and cut off those who are afraid of your shine. Don't let others with negative energies stay in your circle too long, it could damage your aura and worse make you like them.

4. Always believe in Yourself!
Always, Always, Always believe in your skills, talents, abilities and the power of you. Never let anyone break the confidence you have in yourself. If you don't first believe in you, who else will? 

5. Don't put any man ahead of your girls.  
I know it might be tempting to let a fine brother walk into your life and forget all about your friends but don't. Any man that loves you will love your friends and family too. Your girls will always be there if anything should ever happen  to your man candy, trust and believe that your girls will always have your back. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Amanda Seales' "Death Of The Diva

Culture critic, artist and activist formerly know as Amanda Diva has put death to the Diva. All references formerly known as diva have since forth must ceased and desist. In an completely newand original   one-woman musical narrative Seales critiques "pop culture's portray of women" especially in music and television. 

The former Diva notes that her inspiration for this project came out in response to the massive amount of negative images of women in the music and television industries. In the narrative, Seales poses as several different characters and some men as a retrospection to what today's society finds as entertainment. 

Seales notes that when she was growing up there were many positive and powerful women being the best at their craft. These women possessed a quality beyond their talents that inspired forthcoming generations to do great things with their own talents. However the reality of contemporary culture relies in reality TV stars fighting and spitting on one another in public places and female MC's creating an army of Barbie "wanna-bees" 

This narrative certainly puts into perspective the question of what values are we sending to our younger generations. 

check out the video highlights at: http://youtu.be/Rp8nSjIgHfQ

Thursday, June 13, 2013

J. Cole’s Born Sinner Leaks Online

If it was not enough to have J. Cole’s  “Power Trip” both stuck in our head and on repeat on our favorate radio stations, tracks from the album will be blasting from cars all summer. J. Cole’s second studio album Born Sinner Leaked online a mere week before its official release date June 18. The album release date is also the same date of Kane West’s Yeezus, the 8th studio album by the  veteran MC .  The album leak has created a buzz that puts Born Sinner as a must have summer album.

Cole’s first single off the album “Power Trip” has been the official intro to summer jam and an instant hit. The track that features R&B singer Miguel has women swooned and men admitidly falling in love. The album itself is complete with powerful reflective tracks, skits, interludes and funny voices curtrsery of Kendrick Lamar. The album title track “Born Sinner” featuring James Fauntleroy is a higlinsightful track of Cole’s life before enter the music industry and after. He admits that like us all he was born sinning but he tries to live better than that.

If Kanye West is a Self proclaimed God among men then J. Cole is the everyman of mankind placing our stuggles and successes to  a beat complete with background choir. “Born Sinner” opens with Villuminati, refenceing the music industry and the illuminati controversery. Track five, “ Forbidden Fruit featuringKendrick Lamar will have fans vibing to and reciting “Coleis King” and this album his crowing moment. “Forbidden Fruit” refrences the orginal sin of Adam and Eve, complete with 23 psalms quote. Cole’s lyrics on this track are pure genusis,“Forbidden Fruit/watch for the Adam’s apple/what you eat don’t make me sh*t/who you F*ck don’t make me cum/price on my head wont make me run/trying to kill but it can’t be done/put two and two together/ Cole here forever”. Despite the lack of promotion from his lable under Jay-Z and his compartlivly small fan base, Cole continues to deliver great music and spit from the heart.

Read more at: http://theurbantwist.com/2013/06/12/j-coles-born-sinner-leaks-online/

Stream the album here: bornsinner.com

Friday, June 7, 2013

Internship With TheUrbanTwist.com

Hi fellow bloggers and fans of the blog.

My latest writing gig is an internship with theUrbanTwist.com. This website is completely rounded, its got news, music, sports and entertainment updates. Not to mention articles by yours truly. But it appears that I have writers block. So I welcome the ideas of my readers. 

CHECK me out on TheUrbanTwist.com Very soon! 

Black Love & Peace


Monday, May 20, 2013

Zoe Saldana and the Nina Simone biopic disaster

Since the announcement ofa biopic on the life of pianist, singer and civil rights activist, Nina Simone,fans have been buzzing in anticipation of having the story of the late greatartist told. To the dismay of many however, actress Zoe Saldana has been chosento portray the blues icon.

Saldanais most known for her roles in science fiction movies like Avatar and the latest version of Star Trek, which has a sequel premiering this summer. While bothmovies required the 34 year old actress to learn a different language and toportray as an alien species, they did not prepare her for the backlash she hasbeen receiving for the role of portraying a real American icon.

Muchof the criticism derives from critics’ opinion that the young actress bearslittle resemblance to Nina Simone. “Musician India.Arie said "they shouldhave chosen someone who looks like Nina Simone," and an online petitionfor a boycott of the film attracted more than 10,000 signatures.” (Lawless) Manyargue that because Saldana bears little resemblance to Simone in both skin andhair texture, she will not be able to tell the story of Simone in a realistic sense. 

TheAP reports that Saldana feels very strongly that she is the right actress toplay Nina Simone. “The Nina Simone story needed to be told, and I'm reallyblessed that I did it,” said Saldana, a New Yorker of Puerto Rican andDominican descent.” (Lawless) Nina Simone, along with her amazing talents has amusician, had a major influence on the civil rights movement with songs, “Young,Gifted & Black”, and “Mississippi Goddam”.

“Justlike everybody else I feel very strongly about Nina Simone, and that (this) wasa story that needed to be told.” (Zoe Saldana) Saldana feels that her talent asan actress and the importance of telling Nina Simone’s story on screen areworth the controversy that she has thus endured since taking the role. 

Lawless, Jill. "Zoe Saldana: Nina Simone Controversy Wont Deter Me From Telling Story." The Huffington Post 15 May 2013: 5.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Diving into the Roots; The Big Deal about Black Women's Hair

Be it Natural, relaxed, coarse, or curly, braided or locked, black hair requires a lot of time attention and care. From days of childhood black women have sat in the laps of maternal figures as our hair was parted, greased and braided. Only to find it unraveled by the end of the week to suffer the repercussions of a good wash and the brutality of the hot comb.
From the stages of young girlhood and then teenage years, one would think that by womanhood we would have mastered the delicate art of hair care and style of our own black hair. Yet that idea is quite the contrary, black women continue to change, redo, unbraid, go natural, stay relaxed, cut their hair and try millions of styles within any given month. There are several reasons for the constant changing of black women's hair, besides the indecisiveness and satisfaction with just one style of coif; black women face a myriad of issues when it comes to keeping their "du" intact. From issues of dry scalp, shrinkage and dull hair, black women are constantly trying new products and strategies to keep their hair healthy and intact.

Recently, there has been a great movement of many black women to make a shift from relaxed hair to natural. As a relaxed sister interested in the movement, I asked a natural sister, Mudwia Pettus, graduating senior, English major at Claflin University about her choice to go natural and she relates that
"I decided to "go natural," because I noticed that my hair was thinning over the years. Eventually, my hairline started disappearing, and the thinning became noticeable. It was terrible! I discussed possible causes with various hair stylists, and someone eventually suggested that I take a break from relaxing my hair. Once I stopped relaxing my hair, my hair returned to its prior fullness, and my hairline filled back in. Now, no one can tell that I ever had an issue. Essentially, I decided to go natural, because I didn't want to eventually end up bald."
 She goes on to relate that while it is not a proven fact that all relaxed women lose their hair, she finds the transition to natural hair to be the best choice for her. Ms. Pettus has been natural for a year and six months. She went on to relate the joy she now finds in doing her own hair.

“One of the greatest things about natural hair is that it easier and cheaper to do your own hair than when you are relaxed. If I want to change my hair, I don't have to schedule an appointment with a stylist. I just pick a style that I want to try, go get the needed products from under my bathroom sink, and get to work. Doing your own hair as a natural-haired woman is often the fiscally responsible choice as well.”
It is true that black women spend tons of money on our hair care from products and styling utensils to going to a professional salon several times a month, the costs do add up. There are so many products out there that one often spends extra money on several different brands just to find a product that works for one’s specific hair type. Recently the Clutch Magazine online featured an article on a new social networking site designed specifically to carter to the needs of black women’s hair.

MadamYou or @techturized is a social network for women of color that bridges the gap between natural and relaxed hair divisions to create a space for simply healthy black hair. Clutch magazine recently interviewed the founders of MadamYou, who are a group of techie's and scientists who have researched the best tips and products for women of color all available in one place. “Madame You is the only social network for hair and beauty that combines science and technology to provide recommendations for women to make better hair decisions.” (Dionne) The MadameYou site will launch officially on Monday, April 29 2013.

I also asked a black sister with relaxed hair about her regimen. Nicole Cramer, senior English major at Claflin University, had this to say about her short, curled coif.
“I have a relaxer because it is just more manageable. My hairstylist, who has had years of experience and research does my hair with differing styles. The texture, I have thick coarse hair. Freshly curled all over. If the curls go flat, I take a flat iron and try to bump it up for the body. I do my own hair, when I can't make it to the salon. I go every other week.”

Black hair is among one of the most discussed issues in circles of black women and more recently among pop culture when it even comes to discussing the First Lady’s new style of bangs. Black women and more importantly our dress and hair is always up for debate and called into question. In a lecture given at Spelman College, on February 21, 2013, Melissa Harris Perry noted that “The Hair of African American Women is a problem and a mystery.”  Whether our hair is natural or relaxed, braided or styled with a bang, our hair is a political statement and we are thus judged accordingly. The more we embrace our roots and keep testing the waters of products and styles, the more the world will have to get used to our ever changing styles.

Dionne, Evette. "Madam You: A Social Networking Site for Black Women's Hair." The Clutch 15 April 2013: 1-2.
Harris-Perry, Melissa. “More Than a Vote: Women’s Struggle for Full Citizenship”. Ida B Wells-Barnet
Distinguished Lecture Series. Cosby Academic Center Auditorium, Spelman College, Atlanta 21 Feburary 2013. Lecture.
Kathleen Nicole Cramer, kcramer@claflin.edu, 
Mudwia Pettus, mpettus@claflin.edu, 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

#SpokenWOrd GREEdS "What It Means"

Ever Been asked what it means to you to be black? Can't say that I have, in the environment in which I live, everyone looks like me and my whole world revolves around, revolution and good music in that order. In my opinion, being black embodies everything I am. I love my people and yet I am constantly aware of the issues within our community so it is my life's goal to make the revolution a reality. The days of slavery are forever present in the lives we live, either negatively or positively. So being black to me, means I embrace the melanin in my skin, that my dark skin and kinky roots means I was born with a power that is an ingrained royalty.

#SpokenWord GREEdS Confessions of A Teenager

This Nigerian/British Poet has gotten me smitten! If his voice wasn't enough, his lines really pack a punch. This particular poem "Confessions of a Teenager" remind me that we all go through stages and phases demed "Late Bloomer". So while out time might not come when we want it to or when we thing it should, our time and opportunities do arrive. So with continued hard-work  hope, faith and effort. Our time too shall come. Enjoy this piece of spoken word and don't be afraid to speak your stories aloud.

Black Love & Peace

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Side Effects of 22

It is somewhere at that bridge of ages between 20 and 27 that one is trapped between the past and future while the present is all but a blur. Almost lost it feels like. It is at this time that life is moving so fast that we miss the sign saying "now entering adult territory". We are somehow trapped between childish habits while at the same time doing very adult things like paying bills and signing for loans. So I find myself at the very threshold to life without a clue of my next step. And this I find odd because in all my 22 years on earth, 12 years of grade school and 4 years of college I feel much like everyone else is saying, asking and urging that by now I should have some sort of direction for my life. In the very fact that I don't, I find this very liberating, because now I am free to choose, to explore to attempt at things I never tried before. And maybe, just maybe this is the universe telling me to pursue my interests and maybe eventually someone will pay me for what I like doing.

Black Love & Peace

Friday, April 5, 2013

Beyonce's Bow Down and the concept of the "Modern-Day Feminist"

In the May issue of British Vogue, Beyoncé calls herself a modern-day feminist.
 “That word can be very extreme, but I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have lato bel yourself anything? I’m just a woman and I love being a woman."
- ForHarriet.com 

 While Beyonce agrees that equality to women is an important issue, posing in GQ in a crop top and underwear does nothing for the cause. Her latest song release "Bow Down (I Been On)" further pushes women apart. As an artist, she has the right to produce whatever type of music her heart so desires but to claim to be a feminist takes her art to a completely different level. If she want to claim the title of a "Modern-day feminist", her music must first encourage the uplift of women not a divide. A Feminist's goal is to not create divisions but to bridge all the gaps where sexism exists. Which takes us to the next issue.

She is contributing to the objectification of women by subjecting her self to the poses she headlined in the February Issue of GQ magazine. The photos in my opinion were distasteful and had nothing to do with displaying any type of men's fashion. The photos appealed to men in that they were risque images of the well built singer. 

There is one thing to be noted her, that celebs, primarily musicians cannot be looked up to as actvists or as feminists because they are often forced to succumb to the will of popular opinion to do whatever it takes to sell records. Unfortunately even very successful artists as Beyonce are still trying to "keep up with the Kardashian's". 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pearl Cleage Visits Claflin University

On Tuesday march 19th the esteemed playwright and novelist Pearl Cleage delivered a lecture to students and faculty of Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC. The Theme of the lecture was that of the writer’s responsibility to tell the truth accurately and the reader’s job is to interpret it thusly. The central theme of the lecture was the use of the term “nigger” in recent works of art, in the theater and cinema. Mrs. Cleage argued the point that to take out certain words from a piece is to censor an artist's work which in turn changes the meaning and impact of that work's relevance. When words become more discussed than the actual context of a piece of art the impact of what the work is and was is then loss. Mrs. Cleage noted that if a word can be banned then a book could be burned, but books don't go to jail. Her final point was that artists and writers have to be brave enough to tell the truth, to write that novel or play and perform a poem out loud. Censorship is about fear and control yet any work of art is a fight for some sort of freedom. In quoting Amir Baraka, she stated that artists should “write something so bad they have to ban it.”
In a lecture later that evening, Mrs. Cleage delivered a lecture on the state of citizenship of African Americans in this “New America”. The Black freedom struggle still continues and for  artists and activists writing in a “new America” means that we remake the nation as a place to feed the hungry, educate the nation and continue living in a newfound peace of Black nationalism.
 The words of Pearl Cleage gave me life, from the first page of “What Looks Like Crazy on An Ordinary Day” to her first lecture I heard aloud. She gives meaning and confirmation to the struggle and burden that every writer carries.  The words of the national anthem to “Lift every voice and sing”, never rang clearer to my ears till I hear Pearl Cleage, recite them in a speech.  Words carry a Power, they are the active involvement of informed citizens, that is us To make real the promise of democracy. As writers we do more than tell history or tell what happened, we tell how the people felt about what happened. Mrs. Cleage’s advise to budding writers was to “write every day, be involved in the issues and to ask why certain things are happening and why people are reacting his way. It is my plan to do just that as a writer who is trying to change this nation, One word at a time.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Attacking The Black Woman (Part. 1) Name Calling

Breaking News! The black woman has been attacked! Suspects include major media outlets, morning news shows, talk shows, Twitter and Facebook. Her so called friends have become enemies. The result has been internal conflict. Who can she turn to now?

In a recent turn of events 9 year old Quvenzhané Wallis, is called a cunt by The Onion. The Onion is a farcical newspaper featuring world, national and community news. While The Onion is revered and loved for its use of satire and word play, it’s taken it too far in calling out the young actress. The actress with the exotic name is “the youngest-ever Academy Award nominee for Best Actress”, but all that was ignored when The Onion found it funny to call her this sexually degrading title. While grown women have become quite experienced in rebounding degrading names or harmful slurs, a 9 year old has no such defense about this type of attack. This is where the insults need to stop; this is the point at which all black women need to take a stance in defending our own honor and glory. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Melissa Harris-Perry visits Spelman College

On February 21, 2013, Melissa Harris-Perry visited the campus of Spelman College. During this time, she gave a lecture on the theme of Black women's citizenship. She discussed the concept of how the Interior lives of black women become intercept with the notion of our citizenship  In her lecture, she included the quote "How does it feel to be a problem"  by W.E.B Du Bois. She then elaborated on the idea that Black women have been considered to be a problem in America. 

One of the few times the black woman's citizenship has been on display was during Hurricane Katrina, where survivors wrapped themselves in American flags as a true testament to being American. But as Perry points out in her book Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America, these women were referred to as refugees. Even at the point of being wrapped in Veteran flags during a disaster, Black women are still not considered American citizens. 

The Black woman is still one who is exotic, mysterious and almost inhuman. The hair of African American women has often been considered a problem and a mystery. The interactions of the black woman as a citizen intersects with concepts of gender, politics and race. Perry mentions the notion that Feminism is then an intellectual project to educate the masses. The question then is "What defines citizenship?"

The recent presidential elections have resulted America with A president with hair like "us". The thought of a Black President seemed almost inconceivable 10 years ago and yet President Obama is now serving his second term as President of these United States. The sky truly is the limit to the things that African Americans can contribute to society yet, there has been an increased Lack of imagination among African American children. Perry pointed out that "It is our gift to America that we don't need a role model to believe we can achieve anything,... To believe that we are human".

In a further examining of Sister Citizen, Perry describes the Fictive kinship that blacks share, that we are always tied to one another be it good or bad. The light that is often shed on black women is that of Racial shaming due to Misleading images that force women to live in a world much like a crooked room. The "Crooked Room" is a metaphor used throughout the book that describes the Black Woman attempting to be herself in a world that has already placed harmful labels on who she is and will be. To be a black woman in America and not an angry black woman is to be "The strong black woman"which is essentially the over compensation of a woman trying to live up to more than she should due to negative images of her fellow sisters in the media. Those negative images then lead to a Chronic collective shaming. Black women then feel Shame or guilt for their identity  and black womanhood itself. 

In Closing her lecture, Melissa Harris- Perry states that "There is a politics to how we feel and Citizenship is then an emotional reaction". "The Struggle Continues"... 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Poetreez A Show by Imani Klassic Davis ... Featuring Yours Truly

Check out the latest episode of Poettreez: The branch Out, Featuring performing poets Kalina Harrison, Princess Brown and me, Jessica Corbin. Spoken word is an art and through this venue those who are lyrically inclined. Spoken word has the potential to inspire and make people think. Poetry is my passion and spoken word my art. Enjoy this video of some Déf Jamin poets!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Celebrate Black Love

So it's black history month and its valentine's day; one thing come to mind.... "Celebrate Black Love"! Now I'm not just talking romantic love (while that's always nice), we need to celebrate and continue the love for our black sisters and black community.

So during this black history month, this valentines day, this year, show appreciation for your community. Pay homage to those who have come before us and fought the sometimes fatal fights for the rights we enjoy today. Show appreciation for those older ones around us that continue to support and encourage us. Lets support each other as we work hard to make our dreams come true, doing what makes us happy!!!

Always show love and appreciation for that special person that's in your life all year long... Not just on valentines day!! And create a love that is even better than in the movies!!

Celebrate Black Love!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Black History Beyond February

Black History Month has arrived; let’s see your black pride. As we enter another February, we will witness an onslaught of black pride. While I am never against black pride in Anyway shape or form, there is a need for black pride all year long. Recently Rosa Parks received the honor of being the first black woman to have a full body statue on Capitol Hill and will also be the face on the next series of forever stamps. With President Obama's second term many black Americans have concluded that all the issues with race have been solved. I however find this to be quite the contrary. The former overt attacks against African Americans have taken a more inside approach.
While there will be an influx of black media during the month of February, one wonders, where are all the black faces are during the rest of the year.

There has been a serious decline of quality black television, movies and print advertising since the 1990's. During the early 90’s there was at least 10 all black casted shows on major networks. “An examination of the networks’ current primetime lineups produces similar results concerning the quality and quantity of African American oriented programs. None of the three major networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have a show involving predominantly African American characters.” (Woodard) There has been an even more decline of black actors in movies television programs and advertisements in print and through visual means. In the music industry many black artists are developing a trend of crossing over into the pop department. “In early 2000, states A Piece in the Hollywood Reporter blacks played 15% of roles in film and TV. Today it has fallen to 13%.” (Thompson) My issue however is not with the pop genre but with musicians and producers not finding traditionally, black music “sound and soul”, marketable. What was once a treasured sound has now become a rarity among popular black artists.

During the summer of 2012, a campaign began to prove to advertisers that black media is a worthwhile investment. The campaign came to be known as "in the black", its target goal was to prove to investors that black America was a worthwhile target of consumers. One ideal way to track black consumers was to create, advertisements, in print and online that featured and catered to the African American community. The campaign would also promote more black businesses and television programs that centered on the African American community. There has been no report of the results yielded by the campaign since July 2012.

What will be left of our history and culture if we continue in the habit of selling our soul so to speak for bigger bucks, and both lighter sounds and faces. In reality, the black faces we do tend to see throughout the year in the media are rarely readily identifiably African American. We as consumers need to demand more of quality black entertainment. In a popular USA Network television series, Suits paralegal, Rachel Zane played by Meghan Markle is one of the few black characters on the show. Since the shows airing in June 2011, it was hard to identify her ethnicity. It isn't until the January 31, 2013 episode where we meet her clearly black father played by Wendell Pierce. Those of us who are or plan to be in the media industry should work to create mores spaces for African American faces, history, culture and entertainment.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Creative inspiration

Alrite fashionistas and style stars and big dreamers! This year is all about being you and feeling comfortable in your skin but working hard to reach your dreams. As I was reading my latest copy of "seventeen" magazine I realized that reaching your dreams is not as far away as one thinks. It simply takes effort, practice and hard work. So If you want to be a writer, start now, starting somewhere right now on a regular basis. If you want to be a stylist, start recording your own fashion through photos. In this the age of social media there so many chances for your life to take off and be where you want it to be, but without some sort of work effort no one would know. So stop falling into the slump of self doubt and get out there and make your dreams come true!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Colorlines; Shades of Brown

In Soledad OBrien's Latest installment of "Who is Black in AMERICA", the issues of color in the "black" community are discussed. The ways black people are defined by themselves and others was called into question. How one views self and how the world views you take on two different roles. she then asks her audience to define blackness. The terms black and African American can not be attributed to every person of color. In my opinion, to be black is to be a person of color while one who is African American is one who's parents and grandparents have been born and raised in AMERICA.

Yet issues among African Americans arise when people tend to get shade specific as if the brown paper bag test is still being applied. Both in social networking and in day to day conversation, people of color compare and contrast those of darker skin complexion to those of a lighter shade. To be lighter, makes one better and those who are darker. These are just a few of the slave masters tricks still at play. Shade divisions and contentions exist only to separate and divide the black community.

In the words of a very conscious friend of mine Jacob Maxey "most if not all people of color are still under some for of mental slavery. we tend to set our self back by falling into beliefs that have kept us lockdown still to this day." To be of any form of color is to be subject of being called or assumed black. This however should not be viewed as a derogatory term. The world is more populated with more people of color than white and this should be awe inspiring, to be of such a vast and beautiful people. So whether you are very light with just a hint of African or African American, or dark like the evening sky with a twinkle in your eye, believe in the beauty of you and your people.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rosa Parks 1st Black Woman To Get Statue On Capitol Hill

Rosa Parks 1st Black Woman To Get Statue On Capitol Hill | Celebrity News & Style for Black Women | Page 2

In the spirit of celebrating black women all year long, It has just been announced that Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks will be the first black woman to have a statue in her honor on Capitol Hill. While it has been known that Rosa Parks was not the first or only black woman to refuse to give up her seat, it was her Resistance that sparked the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama.

Each state receives the honor to nominate a leader from among them for a statue on Capitol Hill and Alabama Chose the Honorable Rosa Parks. Lets make this tradition of honoring African Americans throughout 2013. This is the Year for return of Blacks in popular culture, so let us support them in movies, music, books, politics and fashion.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Destiny’s Child To Release New Album

Beyonce announced Thursday on her official website that the group would reunite for a greatest hits compilation album titled "Love Songs". The album is scheduled to be released on January 29, 2013. Among the amazing singles the group has deliver over the years; the album will feature one new song titled “Nuclear”. Members Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland will join Beyonce in the album release.

While it was announced late 2012 that Beyonce would be performing at the Super Bowl 48 Halftime Show, rumors have been swirling that Destiny’s Child members will be join “King B” on stage. If this is true, this year’s Super Bowl will be a show to remember.

The 90’s all girl group has certainly delivered great singles over the years together. We can’t forget their number one single “Bills, Bills, Bills” or “Bootylicious” which has now been added to the oxford dictionary. “Say My Name” remains a fan favorite till this day no matter your relationship status. “Independent Women” and “Survivor” had every young women feeling empowered and in control. The group has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide and anticipates those numbers to triple with the release of this latest album. So grab your girls and prepare to be jamming to Destiny’s Child latest album release.