Monday, February 3, 2014

The Vanity Fair Magazine Hollywood's Issue Cover Is Gorgeous!

Vanity Fair released a sneak peek of it's annual Hollywood Issue and I must say, it's a beauty. Annie Leibovitz captured some of our favorite actors and Oscar nominees in one iconic cover: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Lupita Nyong’o, Chiweetal Ejiofor, Idris Elba, Naomi Harris and Jared Leto are among the 12 stars on their March 2014 issue.

And actress Lupita Nyong'o is standing front and center...5, 4, 3...2..1 and I can almost hear the excessive whining that will come forth just because of this perceived snub by those who see only the negative in everything. I already had one individual whining on my Tumblr page about her ending up in the fold of the magazine. Just stop it! Remember, Chiwetal Ejiofor is the main star of this movie, even though Lupita was just as brilliant as his co-star.

Can we just celebrate Lupita's accomplishments and her beauty without thinking the worse every-damn-time? As soon as it was posted folks didn't waste any time cropping out the rest of the folks in the picture and highlighting Lupita along with actress Naomie Harris as seen below:
Even though I like this one cropped photo, I understand the persons reasoning behind doing so. I even saw one come through my Tumblr dashboard that had only featured a crop of Lupita's image as some Greek Goddess. I chuckled at that one because the last time I checked Lupita was born in Mexico to Kenyan parents, but she is still a Kenyan and not a Grecian woman. If anything I'd name her after one of the many traditional African Goddesses or Queens to celebrate her beauty, but... to each his or her own.

I'm also waiting for Essence Magazines annual Hollywood issue that will also be released on 07/Feb/2014 as the Vanity Fair issue. I hope we digital subscribers get ours before they hit the bookshelves. I don't know if Lupita is on the cover in a fold-out one, because I only saw Oprah, Chiwetal Ejiofor, Forest Whitaker and Michael B. Jordan on the cover. I do know she is going to be featured in a badazz editorial on the inside of the March issue of Essence magazine.




Source/Photos

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Russell Simmons Is The Perfect Epitome Of A SELLOUT For Denigrating The Image Of HARRIET TUBMAN!!!!

I hardly ever go on Twitter anymore because of all of what I call 'noise' because it annoys the hell out of me, so I stay on Tumblr because of the calming euphoria I get from it. I don't follow any so called experts, except the ones that I know of but it's not to the point that I become angry or something by what is said like I do when I'm on Twitter.
"General Tubman Was A True Warrior"

Well, it seems that I missed the antics of "Black Twitter" once again and that's fine because I don't see any significant or empowering topics coming from any of the so called experts who are "Twitter Famous" anyway; just the usual black-on-black bashing or excessive whining about non-issues.
This is your enemy because he thwarts your true progress. If those of you who follow him knew any better...you'd stop his ability to make money off of your stupidity and ignorance.

 Last night was different, so I logged on and what did I see? I saw that this despicable human being named Russell Simmons has a Youtube channel and he had created what some call a parody of Harriet Tubman in a video called  "The Harriet Tubman Sex Tape." I'm not providing the video on this blog nor the link, so Google it because I do not support individuals like him.

His insult to Harriet Tubman and basically millions of other black women made me angry. How dare this despicable individual defile the image and legacy of Harriet Tubman in a manner like this! A few weeks ago he had the audacity to criticize Don Lemon because of the comments he made about how some black youth could improve their lives. Hip Hop culture is Simmons' lively-hood and that's where he makes his money off of the clueless, dumb, and ignorant who follow his faux lifestyle and semi-influence.

Personally, I'm not impressed with him at all and never have been and never will be. I’m not shocked and nor am I appalled by the behavior of this man who proves once again that men like him have no problem disrespecting the imagery of black women when it comes to making a buck. I do not support those who prop our culture with trash and label mediocrity and misogyny as a culture.

I consider him as nothing but a poverty pimp and an opportunist who preys upon the gullible and black men like him who tell their followers to remain in perpetual victim-hood are the worst because no real leader tells anyone that, especially when they continue to enrich their own pockets.

I have no respect for individuals who have the influence to empower others, but are so greedy, they only tell them to blame the man or blame racism for their problems and you people still believe them without even looking at the lifestyles they live. They may have grown up in the hood, but people they no longer live in the hood, so get a clue and pay attention. Have the courage to lead yourselves because Simmons' and other's like him are in the business to keep you down.

I see Simmons' as nothing more than a businessman who hasn't did anything exceptional that hasn't been done before and  who now seems to be driven more by greed than anything else, hence the need to stoop this low to attract the dumb and the clueless. We now have a culture that is driven by negativity in any shape fashion or form, who are nothing but a bunch of insecure, low self-esteem and no-identity having individuals who find joy in the denigration of others and they all feed into this culture because of the content they create.

A petition was put up quickly to shut this chump down and it succeeded, now he needs to apologize to the descendants of Harriet Tubman and every black woman or man whose ancestors suffered and died as slaves in America because of his antics and blatant disrespect. I have no tolerance for any man, especially a black man who publicly demeans and insults an upstanding black woman in public for all the world to see. I will never line the pockets of any man who will not uplift any woman and reduce her to a subservient position either and he is no exception.




Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rest In Peace George Duke

I can thank my father and my brother for introducing me to some of the Jazz greats of our era and the love of music. 

When I heard that George Duke had died my heart broke and the thought of his music brought back a flood of wonderful memories.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Don Lemon Blows The Lid Off Of Political Correctness!!

I told myself that I would stay off of my computer and phone this weekend and get some things done that I previously ignored due to my little technology addiction. I checked my phone to see what I missed and I missed seeing CNN news anchor Don Lemon's "No Talking Points" segment. I'm not a 'newshound' because much of the network news angers me, so I don't watch it because I can not continually feed myself misinformation.
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Don Lemon set the Internet ablaze with his commentary about personal responsibility. I already saw the conservative news blogs talking about it and I guarantee you that Don Lemon will be the topic of every black blog in the so-called "Black Blogosphere" today. 

The five things he said that caused so much outrage and ridicule were:
1. Hiking up their pants and stop sagging.
2. Finishing school and pursuing some type of education.,
3. Not using the word- Nigger.
4. Taking care of and respecting their communities.
5. Stop having children out of wedlock.

News Anchor Don Lemon

What's so demeaning about that? I could say worst, but we all know what they are. Was there no truth to what he said? Is this not something that we've said among our friends and close relatives? I can't stand when people deflect from the truth and attempt to redirect facts and point out others when the arrow is pointing at them.

Stop supporting individuals whose only rhetoric is the blame game, especially those who consider themselves as intellectuals or scholars. Have they ever told any of you who follow them how they became successful or what it is that you need to do to accomplish what they did to achieve against the odds? Any individual who considers themselves to be a leader or spokesman for the black community should abolish the title if they're not telling their followers that personal responsibility is number one to achieve success.

"Pimp Activists" only preach blame and charge everything to racism, which really isn't the case all of the time and most of us know this. I read a few of the comments on certain blogs and as usual it's always about deflection while not addressing what we know is the truth. Why are so many black people so afraid of dealing with and accepting the truth?

Black Americans want to have a viable culture so bad that many of them fear excellence for fear that they'll be labeled as---fill in the blank:____________. It's not that they celebrate their African Heritage, because many of them have severed all connections to that and don't even like the implications of it, but have chosen to promote mediocrity as a culture instead. Too bad that have yet to realize that a denial of self also equals to destruction of self.

I'm not mad at him for what he said and neither should those who leveled their hatred and insecurities at him. We've got problems that it will only take for us as a people to work together and solve. I don't believe in victim-hood and nor do I believe that the government is going to solve what ails our community because much of it was the governments doing in the first place. Those who attacked Lemon's personal sexual preference don't help matters either with their incessant homophobia, because only weak and defeated individuals do that. The black media keeps harping on the influence of "Black Twitter" when in all actuality, they only promote ignorance more so than social change.

The truth hurts and so does denial and how long are those who are against folks telling the truth going to keep preaching the same old garbage of blame??? Political correctness is the downfall of America because most folks are afraid to say what needs to be said and done because they fear hurting folks feelings.

 Racism or any other 'ism' is not going to disappear from this country because they are the fabric of this country, simply because they sustain the dominant culture. We've got to learn to operate as a successful nation within a nation by taking care of ourselves and our future generations. The other half of America is no longer responsible for us because really, we should be responsible for ourselves.

Deal with it, because if we continue to ignore the truth the problem will only exacerbate.There is no excuse for failure and everyone is not going to live a life of what seem believe to be what is considered a success, but that doesn't mean that you can't live a life that exemplifies dignity and self-respect.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rising Tennis Star Sloane Stephens by Sebastian Kim for W Magazine August 2013

There wasn't much to be desired or diverse when it came to editorials in a lot of the August issues and only a few featured a diverse selection of models of color. Rising tennis star Sloane Stephens was a happy sight to see in the August issue of W Magazine shot by Sabastian Kim and after seeing several  boring and drab in editorials in many of the major magazines she was a welcomed relief.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wearing Your Hair "Au Naturel" In The Work Place Is Not An Issue: You Are The Issue

Today, I read another blog post dedicated to wearing natural hair in the workplace. Quite frankly, I'm tired of reading these types of blog posts because they don't make any sense to me on a personal level and I particularly see them as non-issues because they don't change anything if people believe that they're inferior. 


I don't understand how wearing our hair in it's natural state causes a problem by denying us employment. I understand that certain businesses have dress codes, and I certainly understood why the military has regulations when it comes to hairstyles, since I am a veteran, but I have never been denied anything in my life because I wore my hair in the manner in which it grows and I've worn my hair like this for four decades. 

What I see are women who don't have the confidence to wear their hair in it's natural state for fear that their Caucasian colleagues will not accept them and ridicule them if the do. Most of us already know that it's not their Caucasian co-workers that have a problem with this choice, it's their black peers who really do. 

I guess my 'problem' is that I've never considered my hair as a problem in the first place, hence the reason I've never considered it as an issue as one to hinder my employment or appearance as a professional. I let my qualifications speak for me instead of my hair. I'm not ashamed of who I am and of what the creator has blessed me with, which is why I look at life differently from other's.

 Sure, I've had my share of ridicule, which came mainly from my own people, but I never cared what they thought because their inferiority complex is none of my business and I've never been one to need acceptance from other's to exist. I believe in self-validation in spite of the messages that we are bombarded with daily basis and I've learned in this life that you are considered a threat to other's because you choose not to conform to how they feel you should dress or be and not follow group think.

For all of those who think that their natural hair is a problem: Ask the CEO of Xerox, Ursula Burns if her hair ever stopped her from achieving anything in life and see what she tells you. 

We've got to move beyond the superficial of what it means to be a human being in this world because we are more than just the texture of our hair and the skin color we were born with. Love and acceptance is understandable because of our humanity, but our people have always based it upon the love and acceptance that must come from Caucasians and their ideologies of beauty and it needs to s-t-o-p.

We live in a European based society and we can still celebrate and embrace our own standards of beauty without having to conform to theirs. Once the majority of black women stop comparing who they are by viewing their beauty through the spectrum to Caucasian women and loving their own cultural identity, the better their lives will be.

Free yourselves of the imprisonment you have placed yourselves in by your very thoughts of inferiority to Caucasians. I can not subscribe to this misery because it does not pertain to my existence. 

"Celebrating your own idea of beauty takes courage and it's time that many of you find that courage within yourselves to do so."

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mwen sipòte ou Rachèl Jeantel: It's Not Rachel Jeantel's Responsibilty To Represent You

jaleesabartley:

I feel this way all the time.

He tried to &#8220;trip her up" and he didn&#8217;t succeed. ♥♥LoveForRachel♥♥
Don’t place your insecurities, inferiority complexes and failures onto Rachel Jeantel because those are your burdens alone and not hers.

I hate CNN or any news channel for that matter and I sat in my dining room and listened to bits and pieces of the Zimmerman trial before I went to work. I asked my daughter how could she tolerate listening to that mess? I continued with my online surfing and that's when I heard one of those dreaded anchors say something about Rachel Jeantel's lack of articulation, by then I had stood up, stormed into the kitchen enraged.

What did he say??? How dare he?
Those of you who have this idea that intelligence is linked to proper English pronunciation have to let this go because it doesn't matter how you speak that defines you. This is a legacy left over from colonial thinking and slavery and it doesn't change the vision of those who still don't see your humanity, so stop judging her or anyone else because of it.


My children know that I don't like the news media because of the anger that builds up inside of me because of their excessive lies and innuendos. 

Anyway, I stood in front of the television in my kitchen glaring at the prosecutor as he attempted to "trip up"  Rachèl Jeantel while she gave her testimony. I've never been on trial, per se, but I've served as a witness on a few trials in my lifetime to know and understand what they attempt to do.


I see that as usual the so called black Twitter community in their moments of critical judgement have once again placed all of their burdens on another black woman who is in the public eye to carry their feelings of inferiority and insecurity on her back. Why? Your issues with yourselves aren't hers, so deal with them.

I've read some of the tweets on ESSENCE DEBATES after my daughter urged me to check it out and others and they made my skin crawl. I saw the tweets that tore down her humanity because she didn't measure up to the image that they wanted her to portray to Caucasians. I saw the tweets that spoke of her weight. I saw the tweets that wanted to show Black American imperialism against the Haitian community. Where were the tweets that say that she is human??

I've been saying this for years: When people don't know who they are, they will always let others define them, validate them and hopefully accept them as human beings.

They will spend their entire lives worrying about how others see them because they refuse to see themselves through their own eyes. Stop living your lives thorough the lens of other's.

We've got to move beyond the superficial and exist in another way that empowers all of us us and this is the time to do so.

Mwen sipòte ou Rachèl Jeantel!!!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Supreme Court Spoke: Are We Listening???

President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

Some Ask: Now What? What do we do now that the Supreme Court has overturned parts of the Voting Rights Actof 1965. If you ask that question then once again we have no agenda or a plan of empowerment. If there isn't a need for unity among us, then we deserve whatever they have in store for some of us. Some argue times have changed, but have they really? If so, then maybe the law should be invalidated and it's not needed any more because we have complete honesty during the election process. Are we now going to pay very close attention in time of elections from now on?
This is not the time to continue in a state of perpetual passiveness and dependence because our future now depends on action, not inaction. If those of us who live in these affected areas that this law pertains to can't agree to fight together, then maybe we are doomed. If we fight with our ballots by selecting individuals that will represent all of us, then we can win. I used to say when the census came around in Louisiana, they didn't care about creating more services and schools for the people who live in this state, they only cared about creating voting districts in order for them to hold on to what they deemed as their power.
We no longer have a functioning legislative branch because they have let the political infighting destroy what little rights we now have and it's time to hold all of them accountable because they could have changed the law without the Supreme Court getting involved.
This ruling give southern states (I live in one-LA) with a history of voter suppression the desire to speed up the voter-fraud process, especially if it's elections they want to win. The threat of the new and powerful voting blocs terrifies them, but they can't stop an empowered people. The Asian and Hispanic voting blocs are unified and empowered. What are we waiting on?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Divided Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Voting Rights Provision

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that states can no longer be judged by voting discrimination that went on decades ago, in a decision that marks the end of a major civil-rights era reform. The 5-4 ruling rewrites a key tool of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which for five decades has given the federal government unprecedented say in everything from how some states draw their congressional maps to where they place polling locations.

If people think that is an assault on their rights as citizens, then now is the time more than ever to form a unified front to thwart any attacks on their personal freedom. I hope this decision energizes the people who feel that their voting rights will be challenged to make sure that they always get out and vote in every election. Those of us who reside in the Southern United States need to fight even harder to ensure that our voices will be heard. Be prepared to battle.

Read this rest of the story here.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A "Dark Girl" Reflects On The Documentary: Dark Girl

The confident an self-assured “Dark Girl” does exists and I am one of them. At first I did not want to see it thinking that it was going to be a “pity party” because my life has never been a pity party and I'm glad that I did watch this awesome documentary. I watched it with an open mind and I also know of the ridicule that I received from those who I came across in pubic who tried to place their self-hatred and insecurity on to me without any success, so I fully understand where they were coming from when I saw that scene.
I embrace all what others see as flaws or imperfections without apology or compromise.

In our home we weren’t taught that we were inferior and no matter what the public said, they couldn’t degrade me no matter how hard they tried because I knew and still know who and what I am. We must raise our children up with a better standard of self and a knowledge of our history as a people regardless of what’s in the history books.
The psychiatrists in the documentary were so awesome that I looked most of them up and found that they have created programs for those who are hurting from the effects of a lack of self-worth to regain their power to heal from their emotional wounds.
Twitter can be so negative at times and I’ve made it a practice to not follow those who I find to be overly critical, insecure and judgmental of others, so my timeline was super positive in their commentary of the documentary. And honestly, I'm not a follower of "Black Twitter" and it's so-called influential "Twitterati" and from what my daughter told me they were pretty judgmental as usual, so I don't care what they whine about. As Viola Davis stated: "Black folks don't want our 'dirty laundry' aired for the world to see." As for me, I'll take the truth over a lie any day of the week since I don't live off the opinions of others and nor do I let them define me.
It doesn’t matter who (black man or black woman) tells the story, just as long as the story get’s told and those of you who don’t agree with this statement need to tell those stories from your view-point if so be it, otherwise it’s just the usual talk or whining without the actions.
I'd like to thank my father for raising children with a world view and perspective with the love and respect for all humanity. One who instilled in his children by his actions that we were not inferior and were worth more than what society attempted to tell us. I'd like to thank my mother for having the courage to leave her beautiful daughters with the gift of a strong sense of self even when she struggled with her own insecurities and ideas of self-worth that she never passed down to us. She never let us know that she felt insecure, all we knew that she was beautiful and portrayed nothing but class and dignity even when she didn't feel like it.

I also want to thank her various friends who often visited our home here and abroad, who when I peeked inside their gatherings, all I only saw were beautiful, richly and deeply hued women who were the epitome of elegance and who then went on and created their own mini-versions of themselves when they married...who I often thought of as African Goddesses in my later years. 

I grew up in the 70's during the height of the "Black Is Beautiful" era, so basically my view of beauty is totally different from yours. I grew up in a home where "Afro-Centrism was practiced and they instilled in us that we must know and celebrate our rich African Ancestry as it pertains to the motherland and throughout the African Diaspora. I don't have a dis-connect with my African heritage as most people of African descent do, which I believe is one of the main problems of the feelings of inferiority and worthlessness suffered by some.  

I know I can't validate another human being and maybe your life wasn't like mine, but confidence and self-definition is key if you desire to live a life based upon your own terms. I have daughters and I hope that I have instilled in them some of the traits that my parents instilled in me as it pertains to self-confidence and a healthy self-esteem based upon the opinions of self and not from the critical public. 

I also have a beautiful granddaughter and grandson who both will need to be assured of their own worth as human beings in this world and not simply be judged by their peers based solely on the superficial. From what I know and from what other's want to deny, but everything begins and ends because of what is and isn't taught in the home and generation after generation, some folks seem to have been too busy to teach the basics forms of survival and we have a lot of individuals who are simply lost because of it. 

I know I can't as a grandmother protect them from the ignorant people that they will meet along the journey of life, but if what we (their mother's and I) teach them will have an impact on how they view themselves and others will be a huge accomplishment. We, as a people, must learn to move past the superficial a develop entirely as human beings and not merely as skin color and hair texture. 

I know this deals with the intra-racism or colorism that destroys the descendants of Africasn on a global level because this form of ignorance has been imported from the west for years. My sisters who have witnessed the pain because of your being born with a lighter shade of brown, I understand your pain also and we all must work to heal the effects of globalized racism that is connected with capitalism in all it's forms.

I applaud the producers of this documentary and Oprah Winfrey for presenting this wonderful conversation on her network. The psychiatrists who were in this documentary can be found here, here and here because they spoke nothing but the truth. Dr. Cheryl Tawede Grills was dropping knowledge left to right and she certainly peeked my interest.