Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been subject to more ignorant rhetoric pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement than my brain cells can stand. From being labeled a “domestic terrorist group” to “a bunch of racist cop haters” I’ve seen and heard way past enough. So rather than waste my time counter-trolling every unlettered remark I come across on social media, I’ve taken the liberty of putting together an easy-to-read reference guide post for all those who fail to understand — or try to understand, rather — the meaning behind Black Lives Matter. Read carefully. [Read more…]
At the moment, I’m having a very difficult time formulating a sentence. My thoughts are scattered, my nerves are shot, and I am exhausted. To keep it totally one hunnid with y’all, I have no clue what to do right now. I am not one to start a rally or organize a protest. I am a writer. I write things. I use words to connect with people. To uplift. To heal. But today? Right now? I’m stuck. Lost. Disturbed.
Mad as all hell.
I keep thinking about how [insert hashtag name here] could just as easily be my grandfather, father, uncles, cousins and friends. I keep trying to think of something — anything — I can do to help prevent yet another innocent Black human being from getting shot by corrupt police officers. I keep trying to come up with ways to help reassure and reaffirm my and my people’s humanity and unalienable right to live. But again, I’m stuck. [Read more…]
So last Sunday was the 2016 BET Awards. I know, I know. I’m hella late. I actually started writing this earlier in the week, but then I got sick so life got put on hold for a moment. So without further ado, here are my top five blackest moments of the 2016 BET Awards:
1. Beyoncé & K Dot’s hella lit “Freedom” performance
I wasn’t home when the awards first aired, so I had already heard Beyoncé was performing. But when I watched it later (praise God for DVR), I still thought she was a hologram at first. ‘Cause seeing Beyoncé at the BET Awards is like seeing a shooting star. During the daytime. While blindfolded.
But anyways, her and Kendrick’s “Freedom” performance was lit. I had already seen her perform it in concert, but her collab with K Dot took it to a whole ‘nother level. It embodied so much symbolism, and as a writer, it was too hard for me to ignore. When she spread her arms, her costume resembled a Black Phoenix rising from the ashes, the perfect metaphor for the resilience that Black people naturally embody and a foreshadow to our revolutionary rise from oppression into a position of power. Her tribal-printed dancers, who are all in formation and are ready for war, represent our numerous ancestors who were stripped of their homeland, humanity, culture and identity to be labeled as property. The interlude leading into Kendrick’s verse looked very much like an ancient, ritualistic war cry. And when she and K Dot were splashing around in the water on stage, these were the words that came to mind: Rebirth. Purification. Renewal. Restructure. Freedom. It was the perfect introduction to a four-hour-long telecast of unapologetic blackness.
2. Beyoncé dipping the second she got off the stage
Beyoncé is basically that one cousin who never comes to any of the family functions. And when they finally do show up, they fix them a plate and leave without anyone realizing when they left exactly.
3. Mama Tina being a real mama
Mama Tina accepting Bey’s award and then writing a novel-length post on IG defending her daughter’s absence was like every Black mama coming up to the school and cussing out the teacher for not giving their baby an A on the science project she stayed up all night creating.
4. Jesse Williams giving everyone the
Greatest Read Of All Time
First off, let me just say how shocked I was that Viacom didn’t have the producers cut to commercial in the middle of Jesse Williams’ eloquently delivered, well-deserved read to the entire United States of America. Aside from the fact that JW is one of my Top 10 on my Bae List, his acceptance speech for the Humanitarian Award was the epitome of everything and then some. And was it just me, or did the gum chewing add just a lil bit more eff it-ness to his delivery?? As phenomenal as it was, I don’t think that speech would’ve been quite the same without the gum. And this quote right here drove it right on home:
“Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius, then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though, just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”
*runs down the aisleway*
*jumps up and down*
*passes out at the alter*
5. J Hud leading us into worship during her Prince tribute
I heard J Hud got a lot of backlash for sounding too “churchy” during her rendition of Purple Rain. Haters always gon’ hate doe. Personally, I loved her rendition. She sang that song like a true Baptist choir soloist — with hella pipes, and hella soul. AND THAT ENDING? Yeah. She killed it.
Disclaimer: The ONLY reason I wrote this post is because folk have asked for my thoughts on the concert. So here goes my honest opinion.
Last week I attended the Formation World Tour in Detroit. I’m not a member of the Hive, but I’ll admit that leading up to the concert, I was beginning to display some lowkey Beyhive-ish behavior. From blasting her songs on my way home from work, to making sure my mom, sister and I were all “in formation” to get these concert tickets, to pep-talking myself through my work day with fan girly phrases like, “Don’t trip, boo. Queen Bey is coming.” Yep, I’d been stung.
To be honest, I’ve always liked Bey. Ever since her Destiny’s Child days (before and after Michelle). I think she’s a great singer and an even greater performer. Probably the greatest entertainer of this generation, honestly. But since I’m not a member of the Hive, I look at Bey from a more rational, sane, objective point of view. In other words, I don’t follow and defend her every move (only Jesus gets that type of treatment). Think of it this way: If Bey and I were cool like that, I would be the type of friend who tells her that her outfit looks crazy as hell if it actually looks crazy as hell. Meanwhile, 99.9% of y’all would be that minion friend that tells her she looks cute and will let her walk out of the house looking like a fool. So in the spirit of realness, I’ma just go ahead and keep it one hunnid — the Formation World Tour wasn’t all that to me. [Read more…]
Recently I caught up with my A2K sista Tomeka Kolleh at her event here in Detroit, where she dropped some major keys about working in the entertainment industry and broke down the meaning behind being a “PRista.” Check it out below:
One thing Tomeka shared during the event that really stuck with me was her four ‘PRista Principles’ that she lives by:
- Humility: When you take away the feelings of entitlement, you won’t get easily discouraged.
- Be Relentless: Do anything it takes to get the job done.
- Trust the Process: Have faith and be patient.
- The Power of 1: It only takes one person to change your entire life, so stay connected.
It only takes one person to change your entire life.
The event was hella dope, but what was even doper was Tomeka’s inspiring passion to come back home, share her story and enlighten others with what she’s learned from working in entertainment. Tomeka is a shining example of how God places us in certain situations to ultimately be a blessing to others. So with that being said, stay encouraged and keep striving for greatness, y’all!
Click here to read Tomeka’s amazing story!
So I was minding my business yesterday, in my own little world, thinking about random stuff (like my birthday coming up next weekend). Until my sister Erin texted me a link to a BuzzFeed video and I got excited. I love BuzzFeed videos. Especially since I went to school with like, 90% of the Black people who work there. But before I could click on it, I received another text from Erin saying she didn’t like the video. At all. My BuzzFeed buzz died instantly.
Hesitantly, I click on the link. It takes me to a video titled, “27 Questions Black People Have for Other Black People.” I watch the video. Two minutes and 47 seconds later, the video ends. I stare blankly at the screen for another 30 seconds. I refresh the video, refusing to believe what I just watched. So I watch it again for a second time to prove myself wrong. Yep, it was all real. A group of Black millennials who work for Buzzfeed seemingly perpetuating a bunch of negative Black stereotypes on camera. And after hearing those 27 questions, the only question I had was, “WHY????” [Read more…]
I woke up Saturday morning with a smile on my face. Got out of bed, took a shower, dressed, cleaned up my place… Maaade me some breeaaakf — wait, my bad y’all — got carried a way for a minute there. Anyways, it was 60 degrees outside, the sun was shining and the birds were chirping. I went to my little god brother’s basketball game and then went out to brunch with one of my besties. I was having a good day.
That is, until I got home and got on Facebook. I was scrolling down my news feed when I saw a post about something Amber Rose said. I kept scrolling. Not today, Amber Rose, I thought to myself. Not today. Then I saw another post about something Amber Rose said, so hesitantly, I clicked on it. [Read more…]
As y’all know, the Super Bowl was this past Sunday. Now here’s the thing with me and the Super Bowl — I don’t watch it. I am a proud, unashamed, non-active football watcher. I might sit in front of the TV with game-watchers to merely bask in the Super Bowl ambiance, but I pretty much am just there eating and not paying attention to the majority of the game until halftime. Which brings me to the very subject of this post: the controversy surrounding Beyoncé’s big, Black halftime performance (Happy Black History Month, btw).
Now I originally had planned to post this yesterday, but I seriously had to think, pray and meditate on this one (I’m not lying, y’all. I literally pray and meditate before I write all of my posts, actually. This one just needed some extra time.). Because folk are legitimately tripping over the new “Formation” song/video that Bey released 24 hours before singing it in a politically-charged performance at the Super Bowl. Which has since begotten hella blogs and overthink pieces, infamous Facebook rants, Anti-Bey protests, the whole nine. Some folk (most of which were of non-melanin descent), even went so far as to say her entire halftime performance was racist and “anti-police.” Mmkay. [Read more…]
For the past week, two things have been flooding my Facebook newsfeed: posts about the Flint Water Crisis and posts about how the 2016 Oscar ballot is suffering from a severe case of vitiligo. From numerous folk voicing their frustrations over Flint’s tap water being contaminated with lead poisoning, to dark-skinned Aunt Viv going ham on Jada for calling a boycott on the Oscars, to Stacey Dash reminding us of how clueless she actually is, I’ve witnessed an abundance of anger, pettiness, ignorance and shade over the last several days.
And then of course, there’s the posts from all the “woke” folk about how the Oscars is yet another distraction from all the major ish going on in the Black community (do we know what multitasking is anymore??). But in the midst of all the back-and-forth hooblah, I see one common denominator here: Black folk be getting hit with some major bull. [Read more…]
For many people, December 25th is a day for exchanging gifts, spending quality time with family, eating hella food for no apparent reason, and psyching kids out with that Elf on the Shelf craziness (where did this even come from???). To my fellow Christian folk, it’s a day to recognize the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (in the words of Brotha Kirk, “Santa ain’t got nothin’ on ‘dis.”). And for all my realist folk, it’s nothing more than a historical pagan holiday of merrymaking debauchery — Saturnalia — which the Catholic church adopted and simply renamed “Christmas” as an incentive for the Roman pagans to covert to Christianity (oh, y’all ain’t know that? Do ya research, boo). [Read more…]