Sunday, February 28, 2010

Black History Month Spotlight

So, for my final Black History Month post I decided to do something different. I decided to share something I wrote myself. I started working on this poem a couple of weeks ago and maybe I was unconsciously inspired by Black History Month. I didn't have a title for it but after reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X, I came up with:

The Creation of A Nation

It is not just our hands ...
It is our feet
It is our depth
It is our tongue
It is our breath
It is our chest
It is our heart
It is our strive
It is our strength
It is our vision
It is our goal
It is our thought
It is our soul
It is our laugh
It is our gums
It is our life
It is our love

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Black History Month Spotlight

Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) was an American expatriate entertainer. She is most recognized as a singer and dancer (or as I would say a showgirl). She became a French citizen in 1937. She was also the first American-born woman to receive the French military honor, the Croix de Guerre. Although based in France, Baker supported the American Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s. She refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States. She protested in her own way against racism, adopting 12 multi-ethnic orphans, whom she called the "Rainbow Tribe."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Black History Month Spotlight

The Color Purple (1982) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by acclaimed author Alice Walker.
Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing numerous issues including poverty, racism, sexism, and the early African American woman's exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel tells the story of a young African American girl named Celie, who is transformed as she finds her self-worth through the help of two strong female companions while coming of age in the rural South. Walker emphasizes throughout the novel that the ability to express one’s thoughts and feelings is crucial to developing a sense of self. (This is also an acute and imperative theme in Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.)
The novel was adapted into a film in 1985 starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, and Margaret Avery.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Black History Month Spotlight

The fearless and free-spirited Malcolm X was a minister, public speaker, and human rights activist. Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan in 1925, Malcolm witnessed first-hand the harsh and cruel realities that black Americans faced as the son of a Baptist preacher heavily involved in the movement and teachings of Marcus Garvey. Malcolm has always proven to be independent and a leader among his peers. He was only educated up to the fourth grade where he was President of his class, in which he was one of only a few black students. But after living a tough life in the streets of Boston and New York, Malcolm was sent to prison where he made the decision to educate himself by taking advantage of the prison library and immersing himself in literature and the rich history of past civilizations. While in prison Malcolm became familiar with the Nation of Islam and the honorable Elijah Muhammad. From that point on Malcolm devoted his life to Allah, spreading the truth of this nation, and enlightening the millions of black Americans to exercise pride in their race and self-reliance and that one day the truth shall set us free.

There is something about courage, confidence, and charisma that is so charming and commandeering.

One of my fave quotes was when an interviewer asked Malcolm X if he considered himself militant and Malcolm laughed and answered, "I consider myself Malcolm."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Black History Month Spotlight

Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. In the novel, Morrison portrays the horrors and lasting torment of slavery centered on escaped slave, Sethe. Fiercely determined to move beyond her brutal past, Sethe vows to give her children freedom from a life of servitude — at any cost. She kills her 2-year-old daughter to keep her out of the grasp of slave catchers, only to be revisited by the restless spirit of the beloved child — first as a ghost, then in the flesh. The book's epigraph reads: "Sixty Million and more," by which Morrison refers to the estimated number of slaves who died in the slave trade. In this novel, Morrison paints a somber picture of the brutal effects of slavery. The 'Sixty million and more' is dedicated to all those affected by slavery, reinforcing the major theme of slavery's generational repercussions. The effects of slavery on the self are inherited as a kind of intrinsic torment. The novel examines both the mental and physical trauma caused by slavery.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Black History Month Spotlight

The Black Panther Party (originally named the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) was an African-American revolutionary organization established to promote self-sufficiency and self-advocacy, and by extension self-defense within the African-American community. It was active in the United States from the mid-1960s into the 1970s. The Black Panther Party achieved national and international fame and is considered to be one of the most significant social, political, and cultural movements in U.S. history. Founded in Oakland, California, by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in 1966, following the assassination of human rights activist and Black nationalist Malcolm X, the organization initially set forth a doctrine calling for the protection of African American neighborhoods from police brutality in the interest of African-American justice. The party also had an official newspaper The Black Panther that first circulated that year. By 1968, the party had expanded into many cities throughout the United States, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, San Diego, Denver, Newark, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. The group created a Ten-Point Program, a document that called for freedom from oppression, equal opportunity, employment, decent housing, education, justice and peace.

The most significant points that stand out to me are:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Black Histroy Month Spotlight

Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928, is an American autobiographer and poet. She is well-known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adulthood experiences. The first, best-known, and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), focuses on the first seventeen years of her life.

Fun Fact: Angelou received the nickname Maya, which is shortened from "my-a-sister", from her older brother Bailey.

Two of my favorite excerpts from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings are:

"If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat."

"The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time that she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power.
The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Daily Fortune

So, I opened my daily fortune cookie and it read:

"Ideas are like children; there are none so wonderful as your own."

Interesting . . . this is by far one of the best and most intriguing fortunes I've received.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Music Monday

Chris Brown dropped his new mixtape, In My Zone, especially for Valentine’s Day. The mixtape is hosted by DJ Drama and DJ Sense and is a part of his infamous Gangsta Grillz series. I honestly haven't listened to it yet, but here goes.

Download the mixtape here:

V-Day Eye Candy

Its the love-a-bull Derrick Rose!

Rose leads off our Valentine's Day piece not only because of his festive last name but also because he was just voted Chicago's sexiest athlete by Victoria's Secret and was featured in a GQ magazine spread (now you know why your girlfriend is always interested in watching Bulls games). So Derrick why do you love this game?

Rose: I love this game because it comes easy to me. It's something I love doing. Takes my mind of stuff. If there is something going wrong in my regular life, whether it be girls or whatever, when you go out there it seems like you forget about everything. And of course I love the fan base, they are the people who pay you. Of course, I love the pay but the fans are the people who go out there and buy your jersey and yell and scream for you. This game brings so much to you and that's why you got to respect it. Speaking of screaming fans, some fans aren't out there screaming just for your sick dunks. Others are checking out your sexy since you were just voted Chicago's sexiest athlete. How does that make you feel?

Rose: I'm shy period (he really is pretty shy, as he sits in corner of the locker room with his arms folded, hugging himself). It's awkward thinking people are walking around looking at my picture and thinking I'm sexy. I guess you get in the NBA and that makes you look attractive now I guess. (giggles) The Chicago's sexiest male thing was a fun little event that people were voting on around the city. I wasn't even checking up on it and then one day my agent called me up and told me I won. I had to go to this little Victoria Secret event to celebrate. Little Victoria's Secret event? Don't be so modest. I'm sure you didn't mind going to the Victoria's Secret event.

Rose: Oh no, I didn't mind at all! (Devilish grin) What kind of gift would you get your special someone on Valentine's Day?

Teammates: (Laughter starts brewing in the locker room and yelling ensues) Tell 'em the truth D. Rose. Tell 'em the truth! He's going to buy her a Phantom or summin! (A Phantom is one of the most expensive cars, lusted after by the rich and famous. Check it out here.)

Rose: I ain't got no Phantom so why would I get a girl a Phantom, boy?

Teammates: Boy? Who you calling boy? (laughter)

Rose: Anyway, I would probably get her a purse. Teammates: A purse! What!? What kind of purse?

Rose: Anything she wants What would be a good gift for you? Would it be a Phantom?

Rose: That would be a great gift to tell you the truth! But really, I love bags. Toiletry bags and stuff, that's what I like. You ever have a bad Valentine's Day where things just didn't go your way and someone didn't want to be your valentine?

Rose: No. Not really. Oh wait, let me knock on wood or knock on something so I won't jinx myself. But mostly girls always said yes to being my valentine.

America's female population just melted. He's shy and likes purses! This is one sweet Rose I'd always pick!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

And the Winner is . . .

2010 NBA All*Star Game

So, the East took home the trophy this year as it came down to a series of free throws in the final seconds of the game to break the 137:137 tie. With 5 seconds left on the clock and the East up by two, Carmelo Anthony took the final shot for a three-pointer but it didn't make it into the basket as the buzzer sounded and the East became this year's Champs. Dwyane Wade scored 28 points for the East and walked away with the MVP trophy. Anthony scored 27 points for the West and had his last shot made it through the hoop, Melo would have had that MVP trophy.

Happy Valentine's Day

Rev Run's Words of Wisdom

"If ur V-day is a we-day or a me-day... just make sure ur loving ur self! - (Daily Love)"

Check out the Rev's twitter page for more words of wisdom →

Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher of North Carolina have been married 85 years (86 in May) and hold the Guinness World Record for the longest marriage of a living couple. Zelmyra is 101 years old and Herbert is 104. The happily married couple teamed up with twitter this Valentine’s Day to answer some relationship questions.

1. What made you realize that you could spend the rest of your lives together? Were you scared at all?
H & Z: With each day that passed, our relationship was more solid and secure.Divorce was NEVER an option - or even a thought.

2. How did you know your spouse was the right one for you?
We grew up together & were best friends before we married. A friend is for life - our marriage has lasted a lifetime.

3. Is there anything you would do differently after more than 80 years of marriage?
We wouldn’t change a thing. There’s no secret to our marriage, we just did what was needed for each other & our family.

4. What is your advice to someone who is trying to keep the faith that Mr. Right is really out there?
Zelmyra: Mine was just around the corner! He is never too far away, so keep the faith - when you meet him, you’ll know.

Check out Concreteloop for more of their advice →

Saturday, February 13, 2010

NBA All*Star Weekend Report

H.O.R.S.E. Competition

Kevin Durant reigned once again as champion of the NBA's H-O-R-S-E competition, beating Boston's Rajon Rondo in a shootout to end the hour-long event. With time running out, Durant and Rondo had a shootout, with each miss counting as a letter. Both players made several shots in a row, but Rondo eventually missed to draw an E and end the contest.

Three-Point Contest

Rookie Stephen Curry participated in the Three-Point shootout contest advancing to the second round as the top scorer with 18 points. But unfortunately Paul Pierce led off the final round with 20 points and Curry only managed to rack in 17 points. And although Curry scored more shots, Pierce secured all 5 of his 2-point shots giving him the advantage. I was rooting for Curry, but maybe next year.

SLAM DUNK Competition

Though this year's Slam Dunk Contest wasn't as animated as years past, 2x champ Nate Robinson came up with enough to defeat Toronto Raptors rookie DeMar DeRozan in the 2010 slam dunk event, earning enough kudos from the former NBA players-turned-judges in the first round, then getting 51% of the fans' votes. He successfully defended his '09 title and became the first three-time champion, breaking his tie with two-timers Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Harold Miner, and Jason Richardson.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

And the Winner is . . .

The New Orleans Saints are Super Bowl XLIV Champions!

Congratulations to the Saints for winning their 1st super bowl championship against the Indianapolis Colts. It was the Saints' first time going to the super bowl (and they didn't even have the go into overtime as many were expecting). The Saints brought it home with a 31:17 win.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Black History Month

Celebrate black history. Embrace black culture.

iTunes has put together a collage of African American culture featuring music, movies, TV, audiobooks, podcasts, and more. "We've put together a detailed look at what makes up the black experience today."
Click on the link below to go directly to the iTunes Store and check it out:
iTunes Store

Monday, February 1, 2010

Grammy After Parties

Rihanna at L.A. Reid's annual Grammy afterparty

Jay-Z & FeFe Dobson at L.A. Reid's annual Grammy afterparty


J-Lo & Bey at L.A. Reid's annual Grammy afterparty

Beyonce & Mary J

Brandy at the Motown afterparty

iQ aka Quincy Brown at Diddy's afterparty

Miss USA 2008 Crystle Stewart