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Solange Unleashes the Fire

5 Oct

solange

 

Since I keep paying for this url, then I need to type some shit huh? Lol.

Well if you haven’t done so already, do yourself a favor and give Solange’s latest album A Seat at the Table a listen. I bought it today and absolutely love it. It’s intelligent, earnest, and eclectic. This album is truly a love song for and about black people with songs like Don’t Touch My Hair, F.U.B.U (for us by us), and the pearls of wisdom dropped by No Limit architect Master P.

Also I’m truly thankful for an album that’s melodically and lyrically diverse. I’m so not in the mood for over-saturated songs about romantic coupling. What can I say? It’s not my mood right now and there are so many topics to explore musically.

My favorite song at the moment (if I had to pick) is Cranes in the Sky. Solange released a video on her web site along with a video for Don’t Touch My Hair.

The video for Cranes in the Sky is included below.

PS Anderson .Paak is worth a listen as well. His latest album Malibu is awesome as well as his prior release Venice. I think I enjoy Venice more due to the variety of subjects and its high energy. But both are great!

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Positive Vibes

8 Apr

 

Quote from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Judi Dench)

Quote from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Judi Dench)

 

I typically enjoy watching episodes of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Recently she interviewed author Gary Zukav in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the release of his book Seat of the Soul. It’s been added to my ever-growing reading list.

Here’s a snippet of the interview.

Gary: What is failure? We can’t possibly know what failure is.

Oprah: Some people think they do.

Gary: Most people think they do but that’s because they’re judging how they feel their lives should be and what they need to be a success. Who is to say what’s a success or what’s a failure? Do your best. Trust. Relax. Do your best. Enjoy yourself.

Gary’s advice reminds me of that quote by Audre Lorde (thanks to The Best Man) and Paul’s advice against comparing oneself to others (2 Corinthians 10:12).

If you’d like more of the interview you’ll find it here.

Onward to victory people.*

 

 

____

*My friend from undergrad use to utter this phrase as we marched to class. #Audreen

Dancing By Myself!

8 Oct

Last Saturday, I did something that I’ve never done before. I went to the club solo. Now I’ve gone to dinner alone and I’ve seen plenty of movies without a companion; but the club in my mind is a different animal. Probably because as a woman, I’ve been taught to be overly-cautious and careful about my safety and surroundings. But this first furlough weekend, I found myself dying to get out of the house. I wanted/needed to have a drink, hear some good music, and shake my tail-feather.  I absolutely love music and dancing; for me it’s cathartic and it’s cardio (at the same damn time). So after not being able to find some company, I made up my mind to go it alone.

And go it alone I did.

I had the best time! It was just what I needed. The music was awesome; the vibe in the venue was nice. I wore my sneakers so I danced til I sweated, after sipping on something fruity. And to top it off, I went home without being accosted. Woo hoo! I am totally going to do this again and again and again.

I performed what professor and mental health professional Brene Brown calls “daring greatly.” I showed up and I was seen. As I write this post, Dr. Brown is on Oprah Winfrey’s show Life Class. She is discussing vulnerability, a topic Brown has researched for the last decade. She has given TED Talks on the subject as well and has written the book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.  I have really enjoyed what I’ve heard from Dr. Brown thus far. While on the show, she said that we are to “share with people who have earned the right to hear the story.” Amen. I totally agree that we need to be vulnerable with those deserving of such sacrifice and not all are worthy.

Here’s her TED talk on vulnerability.

Dare greatly people!

Ayana Mathis: The Choice to Be Strong and Weak

14 Jan
Ayana Mathiscredit: Oprah.com

Ayana Mathis
credit: Oprah.com

It’s a new year so let’s start off with some inspiring words of truth by author Ayana Mathis. Her debut novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, is next on my reading list. Mathis was on the Kojo Nnamdi Show last week and I just fell in love with the sound of her voice and the way in which she spoke. She speaks so well #racist  🙂  I know … but the language she used was beautiful, probably thanks to her poetry background. Mathis exuded intellect, poise, humility, and charm. Color me impressed.

So of course I became her cyberstalker and I stumbled across an interview Mathis did for Lady Oprah’s OWN component of The Huffington Post. BTW Lady O selected The Twelve Tribes of Hattie for her relaunched book club. Game recognize game. 

Without further ado, here are those words of truth. (Click to enlarge.)

strength

This resonated with be because I think people (self included) can have the tendency to minimize, limit, and dismiss the harshness and difficulty of life as we and others experience it. We all should be given the space to express what we feel–the good, the bad, and the ugly.

You can listen to Mathis’s interview on the Kojo Nnamdi show here.

Comments Welcome

3 Jul

So here’s a comment I received from the latest BG Romance Report post Relationship Ramblings. The author is my friend — the DC native divorced and dating, 40s.

She writes:

I still stand by my comments, and I see how it segues into the ‘No cutty, no commitment’ campaign. (Which I didn’t even know about). On the same token though, I can totally relate to the person who commented regarding the campaign, and people doing ‘you’ and doing what they want to do.

As she stated, it really is none of my business when/who/where/how you give it up. But I really like your comparison to workers going on strike. It’s really fitting. Going on strike is all about banning together to demand a certain treatment. The workers have something the employer wants, and the employer needs workers. But the employer doesn’t need *those* workers. He’ll take any. So the more ‘scabs’ that cross, then who cares about the people trying to get better treatment? I don’t know if that’s the total thought process behind the campaign, but that’s exactly where I was coming from. And this ties into your statement (I’m paraphrasing) about why men’s behavior is laid at the feet of women? Why do we have to sway them, or we must act a certain way to elicit proper behavior from them? I agree with you. We shouldn’t have to. And we don’t have to. There are men who want to behave as we expect, who want a commitment, and will treat you as you should be treated….and most of them are 45 or over, with kids. And pot bellies. Ok, I’m exaggerating. Not all, but a lot. I just don’t see a lot of 30 something men pressing for marriage and family. Most of them are still ‘doing them’.

So I ask, are the “do-right” single men all 45+ with pot bellies and offspring?  I often wonder if less attractive or appealing men feel the need to overcompensate for their under-appreciated physical aesthetic by morphing into the perfect guy. Would this “do-right” non-head-turner do right if he was a head-turner?  To put it plainly, are less attractive men nice because they have to be? I’d like to think not. My ex had a pot-belly but he sure knew how to treat me which is why I stuck around for so long. I should hope to think he’d behave the same way prior to acquiring said pot belly. But who can know?  I used to firmly believe that less attractive men are nice because they had no alternative. I’ve recently wavered on the idea.  But I do agree with the sentiment that there’s a lack of male marriage-minded 30-year-olds (let me qualify that: that you would actually want to marry).

And I also wanted to share  my pastor’s suggestions for single women as it pertains to sexual relations. He said the following (here’s the complete message):  “For men the cookie is the prize. He will either:  1) keep trying to woo you until you cave; 2) leave you and find an easy lay;  or 3)  marry you.”

These concepts definitely hold true to a degree but again, a female’s sexual gratification is being held hostage by man’s inability to commit. Is it my job to reign my companion’s commitment in and thereby extension of his penis? I understand but I just don’t agree, or rather I don’t believe this applies to all men.  Some men are commitment-minded if they’re getting the “cookie” or not. Yes I would even agree that dude might commit sooner if he’s not getting the “cookie.” I hear it “work”s in the Jewish culture. I do feel that sex complicates getting to know a person and that strong friendship should be the basis for any romantic relationship. It just irritates me that it’s always left to women to hold men accountable. Why? Why didn’t he teach men to value commitment and sex? He could have said, “I’d like to urge all the men in the congregation not to be man-whores.” Or, “You can’t turn a hoe into a husband.” But nah, none of that. That would be such a breath of fresh air to hear on a Sunday morning.

Sigh.

Food for the Spirit

12 Mar

I thought I’d share this inspiring tidbit from my pastor, Keith Battle.  As Forrest Gump’s momma said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”  Ain’t that the truth. We have to adapt and grow and keep it moving!

From His Lips to Her What?

3 Nov

Last Friday night I attended the Relationship Tour From His Lips to Her Ears at the Temple of Praise church in DC. It featured six self-proclaimed Christian, educated, and “professional” men.  Some were single and others married. All were black.  The intent of the discussion was to provide insight into the mindset of the typical Christian, educated, and “professional” male. (I’m assuming black male although this was not clearly stated.) The host for the evening, a young black male, noted that in order to know what men think, you must ask them.

Fair enough. I listened.

Now here’s my critique (nevertheless). First of all, I take issue with the idea that all men think and act alike. We’re all individuals. Some drink the koolaid, while others do not  — and some just sip occasionally.  But perhaps the goal was to provide the audience with variant heterosexual male perspectives. Let’s hope so.  Secondly, I felt the discussion provided no new information, nor offered clear direction/takeaways for the audience members. I left (early) asking, what was the point? And thinking, tell me something I don’t know.

Also in order to have a discussion regarding healthy heterosexual relationships, shouldn’t women be involved in the bloody dialogue? Granted the panelists did entertain questions from the audience which included women but that doesn’t suffice. Furthermore, the discussion didn’t even address the lack of desirable black men in society at large for black women to actually couple with. I’m not even going to address the Christian component, cause we all know that women (predominantly single) fill most church pews (or at least in the black church).

Thank God it was free.

Let the church say amen.

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