Archive for the ‘ Black America ’ Category

Booty Shakin…sick of it..did I mention I’m sick of it

Last week I asked my Facebook fam to give me suggestions for my blog. One of the suggestions came from a young lady who, like me, is sick and tired sick and damn tired of seeing booty shakin’ and booty wrangin’ (as my grandma calls it) on BET.

BET has gotten to the point where it is almost shameful. I used to think that maybe the head honchos over at BET didn’t realize that children were watching, but then I woke up and accepted the fact that the head honchos over at BET didn’t give a damn about corrupting the minds of the children that are watching. It is all about the Benjamins and obviously this day and age booty shakin’ brings in lots of Benjamins. The show 106 & Park on BET is geared towards teens, and I swear everytime I see a peek of it (by mistake) somebody is poppin, lockin or droppin. The show has very high ratings, and the children can learn all the hot, new twirk moves from the comfort of their own home. Just flip to 106 & Park and learn how twirk twirk that thang. smh…BET has to do better.

Music videos on BET in my opinion are borderline Soft Porn. The only thing missing is the actual act of sex, even though I am pretty sure that I caught a glimpse of a lil sex in the new Trey Songz video I Invented Sex.

I know many will argue that it is ultimately up to the parents to monitor what their children watch and hear, but let’s get real folks a lot of the music today is filled with pure, unadulterated corruption. There is enough vioence and sex in it to last these children a lifetime.

But let’s take a trip back in time. Do yall remember when Donnie Simpson hosted Video Soul on BET? Now THAT was a music video show.  (I had no idea Donnie was doing this now, just shows I’m not keeping up) I swear BET has soooo fallen off since then. Take a look at what we are now missing because BET has chosen to air music video  programs that for the most part have no sustenance and show black people in a not so positive light.

Donnie Simpson interview w/Angela Winbush (still love me some Angela!!)

Donnie Simpson interview w/ El DeBarge (I love me some El..and I like it and I like it 🙂

Karyn White performing live on Video Soul

Sherry Carter interview w/Envogue

…speaking of En Vogue, whatever happened to female singing groups that had more than one singer that could lead a song? I’m just saying, it’s okay to be able to dance and take care of backgrounds, but what about a group with the total package? Whatever happened to that?

That trip down memory lane makes me even more disgruntled by what you can see on music video programs today, especially those aired on BET. In case you don’t watch, here is what you are missing, but your children are seeing on BET…care to take a look….

Ester Dean f/Chris Brown-Drop it Low  (then even hump the floor on that one) ||blank stare||

Beyonce Kitty Kat  (luv me some Beyonce, but she does too much gyrating and twirking for the kiddos watching)

Along with the booty shaking and floor humping BET also offers a huge variety of music based solely on stuntin, driving new whips and wearing shiny jewelry.  I won’t get into that much because I have discussed it before and it hurts my head to think that so many songs can be written, recorded and made into videos over the same crappy, blingy, stuntin hot mess. ugh

I am honestly thinking of adding BET to my list of things I am silently protesting…well not so silently protesting. But it does mean that I will not watch, contribute funds to, or co-sign on behalf of it once it lands on the silent protest list. R. Kelly has been there so long that he is collecting dust.

I feel that it is time for black music and the lovers of black music to take a stand and bring back the music that we grew to love. Music that touched the soul and Set You Adrift On Memory Bliss. (luv that song to this day) Enough of the exploiting of black women, enough of the cursing and turning every song into a contest of who has the most bling. Who cares?

Whatever happened to music like this…

Zhane-Sending My Love to You

Sure they showed a little skin, but there was no twirking and gyrating. There was no one with a platinum grill in their mouth screaming obscenities and bobbing up and down.

Of course there is still good music out there. Not all artist have the limited talents of only making pop lock and drop it music or rapping about their new chains. Some artists still write from their heart and not their other lusting body parts. The chore is sifting out the crap to find the goodies.

Shame on you Jet magazine

bebececeI picked up  a copy of Jet Magazine yesterday, flipped a few pages and before I knew it I was at the end of the magazine. Something was wrong. I knew it felt rather light when I picked it up, but seriously something was wrong.

The magazine is so skimpy now that if you aren’t careful you will miss the four to five pages of actual content. There are more advertisements and subscription cards then there are actual interviews and articles.

Shame on you Jet Magazine! Whatever happened to picking up a Jet Magazine and reading about what is going on in Black America as far as culture, entertainment, news, history, beauty etc. What happened to seeing an eye-catching cover and knowing that you would find a well written story along with tons of other interesting articles? Now the magazine is a thin as a pamphlet. I was shocked when I flipped to read the cover story about BeBe and  CeCe Winan’s  new album Still in the latest issue of Jet and realized that even though the cover story was near the end of the magazine, I only found one item to read before I reached it. Of course there was still the Beauty of the Week and the Black History facts, but where were all of the “other” stories? Why was the cover story the only “meat” of the magazine?”

I do realize that both Jet Magazine and Ebony Magazine are both published by Johnson Publishing Company, but that is no excuse for Ebony Magazine having plenty of content, while Jet Magazine is scarce and skimpy.

Somehow we done got it twisted

8596-largeI recently witnessed a woman falling out, crying and screaming obscenities at the police for arresting her son-in-law and his brother for selling drugs and gambling.  These same two young men shoot dice and deal drugs all day, every day on the mother’s front porch.

….somehow we done got it twisted!

Now some of you may not see a problem with this, but BGT does. It has come to my attention that many black mothers have it twisted. No, actually they have it turnt upside down or bottom ways up as my grandmother would say.

Far too many black women are applauding bad behavior from the males in their family. They smile and accept baby after baby out-of-wedlock from their sons, but raise hell when their “baby boy”wants to get married. They cause all kinds of drama, hoping to save their son from marriage, BUT they had no problem when he was making those sweet little grand babies unmarried.  On other occasions they are aware of their sons criminal behavior, yet they have the audacity to get offended if the police take them to jail. They call that picking on them. Ok well maam if your son is on the corner selling drugs day in and day out, he is leaving himself open to be picked on.

It bothers me that mothers are not only gladly accepting bad behavior from their sons but they are his cheerleader and co-signer for bad behavior.  It is almost as if things have been twisted. These mothers stick up for hoodlum sons who do everything under the sun, and get upset when society labels them criminals and thugs. Maam, your son calls himself a thug in your presence, so why is it a problem when society labels him as a thug.

Somehow we done got it twisted…

I remember growing up and mothers not caring if their son was seven or seventeen. If you got out of line you would get put back in line. Nowadays grown men are living with their mothers, with their baby mama, the two children he has by her, the two children she had from a previous relationship, his best friend Clyde, Clyde’s girlfriend and their dog Rufus. They all live with the mother and she has no problem with all of these grown tale folks shackin’ at her house. She even keeps the sweet  grand babies so they can go out and party and come home high.

Again…somehow we done got it twisted….

When did it become okay to accept criminal behavior and triflingness from your children. I mean sure enough when they are grown you cannot control their actions, but you can still make sure that they know it is wrong. You can still tell them that you don’t agree with it and that you in no way support illegal activity and will have no part of it. Instead a lot of black mothers act as if society is picking on their babies and he is only doing the best he can. Oh really, is that the best he can do? Well damn, thats shameful then!

Black mothers need to learn to realize that loving your son does not mean co-signing on a triflin lifestyle. Regardless of what our children do, we love them. A mother’s love should be unconditional. But accepting and going along with mess is unacceptable mothers. Let’s quit babying these grown men as if they don’t know right from wrong. A mother should feel comfortable knowing that she taught her children right from wrong and if they choose to do wrong it wasn’t because they weren’t taught any better.

 

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Africa in April

Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival

 

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The 23rd Annual Africa in April Celebration held in Memphis, TN will take place April 16-19, 2009 in Robert R. Church Park in downtown Memphis. This year’s featured country is The Republic of Mauritania. 

I will definitely be in attendance. I love going out to the festival each year and viewing and purchasing the beautiful paintings, handmade jewelry, clothing, handbags and a host of other rarities. The smell of the delicate incense fills the air along with the great food being prepared by the country’s natives.  The music is vibrant and flowing through the festival by way of the breezes from the Mississippi River. This is an event for the entire family. It is an opportunity for those young and old to get a glimpse of Africa and its major significance to African Americans.

“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.”
-Margaret Mead

This video has footage of past Africa in Aprica festivals —> Africa in April, Memphis, TN

Here is more information on the featured country of The Republic of Mauritania

National Geographic – Mauritania

Business Africa.net – The Islamic Republic of Mauritania

I also found this blog on Blogger that has good info on The Republic of Mauritania and some beautiful photos of the country –> Saharan Vibe – Mauritania

The NY Post defends running racist cartoon by Sean Delonas

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Civil rights leaders and a multitude of others have come forth speaking out against the cartoon by artist Sean Delonas which was run in the New York Post on February 18, 2009. The cartoon has been called offensive, racist and insensitive.

Mr. Delonas however has stated that these accusations are ridiculous and that the cartoon is about the economic stimulus bill and in no way is indicating that President Barack Obama should be shot. The editor-in-chief of the New York Post, Col Allan had this to say,”The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event.”

However that explanation is not acceptable to those (myself included) who have taken offense to the cartoon which shows two white police officers standing over a dead chimpanzee that that have just shot and killed. The caption states “They will have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.’

How the New York Post or the cartoon artist can rebut the fact that the cartoon is offensive and has racist undertones is beyond belief.  Even with The New York Post adding that the cartoon also plays wit to the woman attacked by a chimpanzee in Connecticut it still does not satisfy those who are not willing to accept any excuses for the cartoon’s insensitivity or the New York Post bad judgment call. First let’s examine the facts:

  • President Barack Obama wrote the stimulus bill mentioned in the cartoon caption.
  • President Barack Obama is of African descent.
  • Throughout history and to present time, monkeys, chimpanzees and other primates of the ape family have been used to downgrade and dehumanize the African American race.
  • The cartoon shows a dead chimp, killed by two white officers who are stating that someone else will have to write the next stimulus bill.

There is no way to deny that the cartoon is blatantly racist. I won’t even downplay it by saying it has racial undertones, no it is blatantly racist and in my opinion the New York Post needs to make a public apology to everyone who may have been offended by the cartoon’s offensive artistry and caption. It showed bad judgment on part of The New York Post when the cartoon was okayed to be placed as part of the newspaper’s printing.

Reverend Al Sharpton, Marc Morial (National Urban League President), Barbara Ciara (President of the National Association of Black Journalists) and others are speaking out and demanding that the New York Post clarify what point the cartoon actually makes since the post has denied that it has any racial inferences.

Another note: This is not the first time artist Sean Delonas has had his work called offensive or insensitive. He is the same artist who has been ridiculed for his cartoons on gay marriage licenses and the ex-wife of Paul McCartney who has one leg. Click here to read more about Delonas and his controversial cartoons.

Click here to view CNN Panelists discussing the cartoon.

 
 
 

 

 

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If you would like to join the Call 2 Action against the cartoon run by the New York Post here is more information on how you can call, send a letter or email to the New York Post. Also Rev. Al Sharpton will be leading a demonstration today, Feb 19, 2009 at noon if you are in the New York area. Please remember that in all things there must be order. If you choose to email or call The New York Post please be respectful.

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South Memphis, TN (drugs, violence, murder)

mdmlesbear3_t220While driving home a few days ago my son asked me why there were teddy bears on the telephone poles. I knew the answer, but having to tell a nine year old child that those teddy bears were placed there because someone was killed in that location was not an easy thing to do.

I told him that those teddy bears meant that someone was killed at that spot and their friends and family placed the teddy bears there in remembrance and to show how much they loved them. It was a tribute to a loved one they lost.

So as we drove along, mind you this is the neighborhood I grew up in, we passed approximately 4 utility poles adorned with stuffed animals in a two mile radius. My son didn’t ask any further questions, but it saddened me that in just within two miles at least four people had lost their life within a year’s time.  I can accurately say that it has been within a year because I have seen the stories on the news, time and time again of murders, shootings and stabbings in this part of South Memphis. The stories below are just a fraction of what has been going on in the past year in this area

Body found burning in garbage can behind South Memphis home

Man shot in Killed in the Driveway of South Memphis Home

Clerk Shot in head at South Memphis Store

Store Clerk Shot During Robbery in South Memphis

18 Year Old Stabbed and Killed by 13 year old at South Memphis Apartment Complex

Why is this area so saturated with crime? 

I remember growing up in this neighborhood and being afraid if I heard that someone was killed, not that crime was not an issue back then, but it was definitely not as prominent as it is today.  Drugs are being sold in huge capacity and murders are taking place almost daily. It is frightening to know that people are losing their lives almost daily where I was born and raised. Drug addicts adorn almost every nook and cranny of the neighborhood and honestly the people who were fighting for a better community seem to have given up. The fight seems like a lost battle when the majority is crime, drugs and murder and the minority are the law abiding citizens who want things to be better.

I read this at the Thaddeus Matthews blog- Are Neighborhood Stores Contributing to the drug trade?

That was quite interesting to me. I had no clue those were being sold and I definitely didn’t know what they were used for, but I do know that most of the corner stores in the neighborhood have drug sells going on right at their front door. Drug dealers stand in front of the stores each and every day selling dope, and of course the store owners (mostly Iranian or Asian) know that the drugs are being sold, but nothing is done about it. Then a portion of the store owners have illegal dealings going on aside from the drugs being sold along with and outside of the guys slinging dope outside the store’s front door.

I have lived in Memphis, TN all of my life and I am appalled that we are ranked number two in the nation for violent crime; appalled but not in disbelief.  I hear the stories each and every day and many are so close to home that it makes me shiver. I remember watching the show The First 48  and seeing the Memphis episodes and shaking my head because there is so much murder and sadness. Then when the Lester Street Murders happened I was so shaken that it took me a while to realize that it was real. Six people including two children had indeed been murdered in my hometown. It was such a horrible event but even with that tragedy still fresh in our minds murders, robberies and every other act of violence were still taking place as if this mass murder had not just taken place. This city has taken a violent and destructive turn, one in which I cannot explain and have no answer to how things can change. When will the violence end?

Freedom’s Sisters

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The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN will be showcasing the Freedom’s Sisters Exhibition from  January 24-April 5, 2009.

The Freedom’s Sisters Exhibition displays 20 African American women who have fought for equality and justice. Included in the exhibit are historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, Coretta Scott King, Fannie Lou Hamer and a host of other great women of color.

The traveling exhibit will also tour six other selected cities after its run at the NCRM of Memphis.

The women chronicled in Freedom’s Sisters are women who fought for freedom and equality. These women are part of our history, our present living and our future. These women were not afraid to dream, they lived life not only for themselves, but for the hope of a brighter future.

More on the Freedom’s Sisters traveling exhibit