Monthly Archives: May 2010

Sex and the City 2: Black Don’t Crack

Black actresses need to thank God that “Black Don’t Crack”.  Apparently HD brings out every little flaw.

I saw “Sex and the City 2” Thursday and I’m telling you, HD film is NOT forgiving!  Not at all.  All of the ladies looked much older than in the first film.  Even Charlotte, who was so youthful looking, was showing major signs of aging (most notably in the chin area).  SJP has always shown her age and is not a Botox or surgery girl so I wasn’t surprised at how she looks.  I will say, Samantha looked the best out of all 4.

I really would have expected that they’d found some way to filter out the harshness of HD.  Whoo!  Makeup Artists, you have your work cut out for you.  Sistafriend actresses, ladies let’s hope that the Melanin and some good moisturizers helps your black not to crack.


Filed under african american, beauty, celebrity, culture, hollywood, opinion, race, women

Grand Isle and the Oil Spill: Karma is a Bitch

They say that what you do unto others will be done unto you.  Now, trust me…I have compassion for the people currently effected by the oil spill.  People are losing their livelihoods and some have lost their lives.  However, I just have to say that I just see an irony in this mess.  A very, very sad irony.  Jefferson Parish officials refused to help people suffering during Katrina and now, parts of the parish are in need.

“And despite constant warnings from Jefferson Parish officials about oil approaching Grand Isle late last week, the boats needed to stop it weren’t around when they were needed. As a result, oil washed up on beaches and authorities in Jefferson “commandeered” shrimp boats from BP in order to get booms out to the passes near the island.” source

One of the most compelling during the Katrina disaster came from two white paramedics from San Francisco who were among those trapped in the city after the hurricane.  They were turned away on a bridge by Jefferson Parish police:

“”The police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge to the south side of the Mississippi, where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the city…We organized ourselves, and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched past the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group, and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings, and quickly, our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, as did people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and other people in wheelchairs. We marched the two to three miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the bridge…

As we approached the bridge, armed sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and the commander’s assurances. The sheriffs informed us that there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move. We questioned why we couldn’t cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the six-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans, and there would be no Superdomes in their city…All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away—some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the city on foot. (Bradshaw and Slonsky 2005)”

When questioned about these incidents later, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff confirmed that his office closed the bridge, explaining that his Parish did not have the resources to care for thousands of needy people.” source

Other Accounts:
Evacuees Were Turned Away at Gretna, La. : NPR

Jefferson Parish Sheriff
asks to be taken off of lawsuit | –

I wonder what the citizens of Jefferson Parish thought about the events on that bridge back then?  I wonder what they think about the responsiblity of all of us to care for the needy now?


Filed under community, history, injustice, katrina, news, opinion, racism, society

Is it just me or is Sunday Best a lil different this season?

I watched “Sunday Best” on BET last night.  I have to say, the tone of the show is much more “holy roller-ish” than last year when DC’s own Y’Anna Crawley won.  I must say off top, I’m calling Leandria Johnson for the win this season.  The girl is Legendary.  Her singing is effortless and she’s humble about it.  That’s a combination for gospel greatness.

Any who…

Last year the girls from Mary Mary and BeBe Winans were giving the singers real industry critique.  They did not shy away from telling people that they sounded bad.  They didn’t sugar coat or give a “That’s ok.  Sing baby!” pity observation.  They told the truth.  As a singer (yes, yall.  I sing.) I appreciated the honesty.  The last thing you want to do is tell someone they can sing and put them out in public to be humiliated.  (…like they do on American Idol.  From what I understand, those people go through a number of tryouts before they get to the real judges.  Why would they think they have a chance in front of the cameras?  Perhaps because no one has told them the truth and they’ve moved on to the next round in the audition process.)

Well, this season the judging is much more toned down.  Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Tina Campbell, and Kim Burrell are some of the best singers in gospel.  They know singing, but they are not coming with fierce critiques this season.  There is a whole lot of classic African American church dialect, phrases, and praises being tossed around.  I think the old rule of “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.” is in full effect.  As I watched last night I really wished that the advice and direction that was given last year, given in love, was there as well as the admonishment and praises.  I really that judges are sharing the harsh realities of the music industry with these singers behind the scenes.

They must have gotten some letters from the saints saying that they weren’t being nice.  Perhaps people felt that since it’s a gospel show is should be more about the spirit of God and giving praises than singing ability and performance on stage.  What do you think?

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Filed under african american, black, celebrity, christian, church, music, opinion

Wale, you didn’t know what Black Pride meant? Comeon, Son!

Wale is not getting a pass for me on this bull for one reason, stupidity.  I really hope this is a misunderstanding, but since I don’t know and it sounds typical…I’m running it.

DCist“The Washington Blade reports on a potentially very ugly turn of events for rising homegrown rap star Wale. It seems the musician was originally slated to perform at this year’s DC Black Pride festival, part of the annual Capital Pride events, but has since pulled out, claiming that he “didn’t know Black Pride was a gay-related event when he agreed to appear.””

That was dumb.

Gay pride  and gay rights are not new concepts. Everybody has heard about the gay rights movement, unless they haven’t regularly keep up with news for the last decade.   Wale seems a little more cultured than that.  I’m not buying it.  He would have missed a lot of stuff that is in the news that has shown up in his raps to miss all that.  The gay marriage debate in the last few years alone has been big news.  Nope, no pass.

Did he think it was an Afrocentric celebration?  Um, and we all know Wale isn’t the person who books his own gigs.  Therefore, his management is dumb too, apparently.  To both parties:  If you know that you are going to come off looking like the classic homophobic rapper, wouldn’t you just avoid booking the gig in the first place and putting your client in the position.  Wale, you need to consider a change of staff on this one, son.  Really.

(Just checked out Wale’s Twitter.  Lots of talk of rumors and such.  So…if you didn’t say it, “my dude” just flat out say that you didn’t.  Have your staff address it on your official page and end the rumors.  The Washington Post has posted about his wishy washiness on these rumors.)

On another note, gay people have green money too.  Beyonce knows that.  Kathy Griffin knows that.  The Mystics WNBA here in DC know that.  Will Smith knew that after 6 Degrees of Separation.  This might have been a missed opportunity for Wale to defy the status quo.

(shout out to Dale for pointing this out.)

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Filed under african american, black man, culture, d.c., opinion, washington, washington dc

NAACP: Don’t Just Criticize, Become a Member and Effect Change from Within

I just have to give my 2 cents on the Wells Fargo, NAACP, and Boyce Watkins drama.  I’ve listened to all the points given.  I think there are a lot of valid points on both sides.  However, the thing that stands out to me is that the NAACP as an organization is not the same organization that I read about in the history books.  It’s not the NAACP of the time of W.E.B Dubois or in the 60s with King.  This is a different time.  A time that calls for different tactics and is full of different concerns.  The very fact that such an institution is now being challenged from within the black community is interesting.  The NAACP is a holy grail organization historically.  What this whole conflict has make me consider is the future of the organization and how African Americans can best influence it.

The best way for people to influence and ensure its future…JOIN.  For just $30 you can join and actually help this historic organization.  Money talks. If you really care, pay your dues and get involved with the actual governance of the organization.  Sure, you can affect it from outside, but if you really cherish what the NAACP has meant to the African American community, wouldn’t you want to see it refashioned for future survival?  If you have answers and know what direction the organization should do in, why not share them?

Sponsorship means money.  Perhaps if there was an infusion of new member revenue, the amount of sponsorship revenue needed for the conference would have been reduced.  Perhaps they could afford to be more choosy when selecting sponsors in that case.

Just my 2 cents.

Background: Recently the NAACP came under fire by bloggers for having Wells Fargo as a leading sponsor for its annual convention this July. Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote an op-ed for theGrio questioning why the NAACP would partner with Wells Fargo — a company accused of predatory lending practices — so recently after the civil rights organization dropped its lawsuit with the bank. Click here for the response to Dr. Watkins’ inquiry from NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.


Filed under activism, african american, black, black history, civil rights, community, culture, drama, history, news, opinion, race

Was Your African American Studies Class Ethnically Chauvinistic?

By now most of you have heard about the new bill that Arizona is taking heat for that bans some ethnic studies courses.

Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, already under fire for approving the nation’s toughest illegal immigration law, has again run afoul of liberal activists, signing a bill Wednesday that targets ethnic studies programs in schools that critics say unfairly demean white Americans.

The law, which takes effect Dec. 31, would prohibit courses that promote resentment toward one race; that are designed for students of one race; that promote ethnic solidarity “instead of treating students as individuals;” and that encourage “the overthrow of the United States government.”

The proposal was the brainchild of Tom Horne, Arizona state superintendent of public instruction, who has long battled with the Tucson Unified School District over its Mexican-American studies program, contending that it promotes “ethnic chauvinism” through the use of textbooks such as “Oppressed America” and at least one guest speaker who said, “Republicans hate Latinos.” – source

As a HBCU grad who loved all of the African American studies classes I had, I was disturbed by the language in this bill.  The measure prohibits classes that advocate ethnic solidarity or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.  I feel that legally, some of the points in the law would be very hard to define.  CNN did a great job of bringing this out.

What do you think?  Would your African American studies class be banned under this bill?  What is wrong with ethnic solidarity?  Couldn’t one argue that American history as it is traditionally taught could easily promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group (ie. “Cowboys and Indians”)?

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Filed under activism, african american, black history, culture, government, history, injustice, news, opinion, politics, race, racism, society