Saturday, April 30, 2016

BEYONCE'S LEMONADE. The perfect synopsis regarding public commentary

I snatched the below commentary from a Facebook post someone shared. I absolutely loved it as it perfectly states all of my sentiments. I am a fan of Beyonce and her latest work Lemonade. I have read many people who share my views, but others counter them. They want to minimalize this piece of work to good marketing and mediocre lyrics. They don't even comment on the video/movie. I believe Bene Viera, who wrote the below, speaks the best truth. 
By: Bene Viera
I'm not one for brevity so bare with me please. There should be no think pieces about ‪#‎Lemonade‬ up yet. There is way too much to unpack. And if you're writing that it's mainly about infidelity and marital strife w/Jay you've missed the mark.
Let's start here though: Beyoncé made #Lemonade for Black women first, then Black people as a whole. Sure, others can enjoy it. But it's for us. Therefore, we really should be the ones writing about and dissecting it. If you didn't know what "call Becky with the good hair" meant without Googling, put your pen down. We don't want to read it.
Now, a lot of y'all didn't think Bey was deep enough b/c she don't wear a head wrap and light incense like your Mother Earth faves. No shade. But the imagery in #Lemonade is channeling all kinds of Oshun and Yemaya symbolism. It's heavily African influenced in every way imaginable. Then we have black feminist theory all up and through. Narrated through the words of the great warsan shire, a Somalian born poet who is the greatest of our time.
Put aside the gossip for a second to dig a bit deeper. I know it's entertaining. But this is about so much more than her working through a man cheating. It's about black womanhood and that journey of coming into your own. Deciding that love is transformative. Telling us, black people, black women, that with love and hope we will win. Realizing our power as women. And healing. Lemonade tackles lineage, generational curses, black feminism, the work women put into relationships, how anger can fuel greatness, sisterhood, loving ourselves, reconciling with being a daddy's girl while simultaneously being disappointed with how he did your mom, power, healing, freedom. Black women ALWAYS being given lemons but making lemonade. Don't reduce it to a story about infidelity. Please.
If Beyoncé doesn't inspire you to be great and pour everything into your craft and clapback through your work being great and to elevate every single time you do something, you ain't paying attention.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

JUMBO HILL - An Amazing Debut Fiction Novel (the next Toni Morrison?)

JUMBO HILL is by far the best book I've written and read. Make room between your Toni Morrison and Alice Walker novels. Please order your copy now on Comes in hardcopy and Kindle.


Eula’s skin was fair and her looks were beautiful. As a black woman in the 1930’s she hoped it would be enough to carry her from the drudgery of existing as a poor, Southern, colored woman. Upon meeting Badge, a fast speaking city man from Pittsburgh, PA, she believed she’d found everything she’d hoped for, or did she? Soon after marriage, Eula is blindsided by unexpected tragedy, the stifling oppression felt from mothering children, joblessness and her husband’s desire for a simple life, all of which lead her on a salacious journey of escape.
When Eula Ashby moved with her husband and three
small children into the house on Jumbo Hill in the bustling city of Pittsburgh, she was convinced her dream of being an upwardly mobile negro family would be realized, but when her husband loses his job at the steel mill and work in the coal mines is infrequent at best, Eula’s hope for an exciting urban life dwindles. Not only does her city-bred husband reveal his true country nature by turning their cramped backyard into a suburban farm, but he expects his beautiful, ambitious wife to embrace the life she rejected. When this hardship is combined with more children, the death of her mother and subsequent revelation about her paternity, she spirals from the conventionalism of devoted wife and mother and into the careless, lascivious realm of scandal.
As Eula abandons traditional norms set for women and selfishly travels down a road laden with alcohol, gambling, men and provocative gratification to numb the agony of her predictable life, her neglected children and husband struggle to hold their crumbling household together and maintain their love for her.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


My friend recently visited SoCal from Dallas and wanted to go shopping. He was looking to upgrade his wardrobe and called me in for some assistance. Upon his request we headed to the Beverly Center (no he didn't want to go to Robertson Blvd. and had I known that he was a label whore I would have taken him to South Coast Plaza for a better selection). He wanted a casual look he could dress up or down so we shopped Banana Republic and Armani Exchange. My friend commented that he'd never patronized these stores even though I showed him some good, fashionable, staple pieces that he purchased. I wanted to get him into Bloomingdale's but he b-lined into Hugo Boss and ended up buying three shirts and a pair of shoes, thus ended our shopping experience. I was disappointed in the quality and lack of style in Hugo Boss. Big 5 probably sells nicer polo shirts in their golf section. More upsetting was my friend spending close to $1,000 in there.

Once we left the mall my friend asked me how he'd know if he was buying quality garments or simply buying a brand. I'm so glad you asked! I explained that his Hugo Boss purchases were buying into a brand. The shirts he bought were not stylish, were not in a unique color palatte that enhanced his skin tone, nor did the fabrics have great handfeels. I'm sure his ego was inflated knowing he could spend close to a rent payment on a few articles of clothes, but unless someone checked the label they'd have no idea his shirt wasn't from JCPenney. So here are some pointers for shopping for quality as opposed to a brand:

  • THE SEWING. A good garment will be sewn well. There will be no loose threads or unraveling after a few washes/drycleaning. 
  • FABRIC/HANDFEEL. A quality garment is made with quality fabric. Quality fabric is expensive, hence the higher price point. It will have a good handfeel because it's been chemically treated/washed/brushed or combed. It will either be softer, silkier, smoother or have some type of luster or texture that you do not see or feel often. This adds to the garment price but it's justified.
  • COLOR. We've all tried on a garment that made us look great. It wasn't the cut that enhanced us, it was the color. That's because a very important role of a designer is to flip through pantone books and find colors that look good with different skin tones and hair color. Some designers even create new colors. choosing color is an essential job that is taken very seriously. When you receive that compliment "That color looks so great on you!" You understand why.
  • FIT. Everyone's body shape is different, so no one brand is going to look good on everyone; however, some brands use very general blocks to create their patterns, subsequently the clothes "kind of" fit well enough to buy but something always looks off (the hemline doesn't hang well, fabric puckering, the waist is ill fitting, the shoulders are too broad, darts are needed, bad draping, etc),  while other brands take great care in the fit of their garments. It's not so much about buying a brand because you can afford it or purchasing a style because it's trendy. Does it look good on you? If it does then adopt that brand as a go-to. 
  • STYLE. You will either pay to have a great fitting, staple garment or you will pay to have a trendy and unique quality garment. If the garment you're contemplating buying doesn't have either, hang it back on the rack and keep shopping. It takes time and expertise to create that one of a kind garment full of pleats, tucks, bias cut fabric, etc. Some garments are created by genius patternmakers who must be compensated for their craft. Garments then have to pass through the hands of several contractors to add the headset pleats or the grommets, or have the custom dyed buttons, etc. Then there's the skilled sewer who has to put the masterpiece together. 
Many high-end brands adhere to all of the above but others have built a strong name and now cut corners. I encourage people to take pride in spending a fortune on clothing if that's what they can afford to do and it makes you look like a fortune. If you buy a $100 tshirt but it's the softest, most comfortable thing you've ever put on then I applaud you for your find. But, if you are wearing $500 worth of clothes and I mistake you for shopping at Kmart you went wrong somewhere. Quality clothes look and behave as such. 

I will end this post by saying there is also nothing wrong with shopping at budget stores. There are great finds everywhere. I get some of my best compliments in my dresses from Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe. You might find your favorite outfit at Ross. The point is to be smart about shopping so you're not wasting money. 


Posting because this poem reminds me about how I feel about someone :-)

Like the dust of a dandelion I hold you in my hand and blow you away
If I ever long to gaze upon your yellow floral mockery
I'll remember you were just a weed
stealing nutrition from my earth and spreading your strangling seed
through my fertile land
Catch the current of a turbulent wind and fly far, far away
to rob the livelihood of one who believes you're a flower.

Written by: Someone Dope

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

'WHITNEY' Lifetime Movie - Why'd you do it Angela Bassett?

I, like so many other Whitney Houston fans, could not wait to watch the Lifetime movie 'Whitney.' The fact that it was directed by her former Waiting to Exhale cast member and friend Angela Bassett made it even better. This was destined to be good, but unfortunately it immediately wasn't. The movie begins with Whitney Houston meeting Bobby Brown at the Grammy's and I learned soon enough that the movie's premise was more about their relationship and who Bobby Brown was during this period than about Whitney and her life or accomplishments. According to this movie Whitney was more of a coke whore who loved parties, lascivious sex and had commitment issues. The movie made sure to shine a light on the rumored lesbian relationship she had and made it a point to highlight she did not write her own music. Bobby, on the other hand, refused Whitney's drug offers, preferring his beer, was a dedicated father, and was literally at Whitney's beck and call. The actor cast to play him also looked like a Kappa whereas the actor/model chosen to play Whitney looked disheveled in most scenes. How did that happen?

Frankly, I was appalled and disappointed by this horrible depiction of Whitney Houston. We already know about the failure that she and Bobby ultimately became. Did we really need to know Bobby's version of it? If so, do a movie about him and call it by his name. Did you need to call it Whitney so we'd watch? And let's just say that Whitney was wild and liked to party. She worked hard to keep all of that under wraps and never had her name blasted in the media until her debacle of a marriage with Bobby. Why work to further besmudge a dead woman's name? Her impeccable reputation was already damaged but we as fans want to move on and look back in retrospect to the woman we fell in love with. The beautiful black woman with that amazing, infectious smile who sang perfect notes and made little black girls like me believe we could be just like her one day. We too could model in magazines or sing on tv or act in movies. And whoever Whitney might have been behind closed doors, she carried herself with nothing but class in public. Thank you though for the scene of her dry humping Bobby in the club and getting her neck licked like it was a dripping ice cream cone. How could you make this movie with the slant you took Angela? For shame.

Friday, August 1, 2014


I had never heard of a cronut before today. Apparently they're popular in New York and are somewhat of a craze. I will say that whoever thought these up needs to be kissed. A fellow co-worker brought in a box of donuts from DK Donuts in Santa Monica and inside where two creamed filled croissant/donut hybrids aka cronuts aka dkonuts. I'm not a huge donut fan and completely overlooked this unrecognizable delight, but then something happened. The quiet co-worker, the one you don't realize is out sick until noon and always has to repeat what she says because she whispers, bit into one and flipped the hell out! This pastry must be oozing with scrumptiousness if it made the mouse moan. There was only one more left so I grabbed a knife and sliced pieces for the rest of us. My one bite of this cronut made my head spin. It's buttery and greasy, the cream isn't too sweet and the texture is the perfect blend of crispy vs. melt in your mouth soft. If you're ever in Santa Monica YOU MUST try one of these morsels. You'll make the O face.

Monday, July 28, 2014


All twerking and "what's causing Miley's fatique" rumors aside, the woman has definitely come into her own with a style that deserves recognition. With subtle undertones of the Tokyo harajuki girl, Miley has stepped out with a physical flair that is undeniably original. I've posted a few recent photographs pulled from her Instagram. I am proud of her for being fearless in her self expression and continuing on despite some negative nods. I'm sure someone will soon capitalize on her niche look and create a Miley doll that captures this time period. Rock on.