What Chocolate Mama Got to Say...

“I’m Not Gonna Be Ignored….” AKA Histrionics R’ Us

“I’m Not Gonna Be Ignored….” AKA Histrionics R’ Us

| June 21, 2016 | 5 Replies

The last 120 hours have been a trip…and possibly a plot for a lower budget Black version of “Single White Female.” I probably lost a pretty close (internet) pal. There was no huge e-beef. There was no big social justice disagreement. Just a regular ol’ hysterical episode followed by me basically “ghosting.” I won’t use […]

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The R. Kelly Conundrum: Our Morals Or His Music?

The R. Kelly Conundrum: Our Morals Or His Music?

| December 12, 2015 | Reply

“Your brain thinks in words; your soul thinks in music.” It was an inscription carved into a metal picture frame I was gifted with several years ago, but one that fits me to a T because I specialize in both modes of expression. And if an author or musician can consistently evoke emotions within me […]

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Tall Children, Stunted Adults & Pseudo-Men

Tall Children, Stunted Adults & Pseudo-Men

| May 17, 2015 | 4 Replies

For any woman who considered herself to be the ‘settling down’ type, he looked like an ideal catch: employed, college-educated, reasonably attractive and not a felony in sight. It was also helpful that he was a lover of jazz, reading and even had a penchant for British comedies and highbrow entertainment. On paper and to […]

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Music, Movies, Concerts and Shows

Fantasia’s “The Definition of….,” CD Preview/Review Link

Fantasia’s “The Definition of….,” CD Preview/Review Link

| July 31, 2016 | Reply

Soulful, fiesty, rough-around-the-edges and more brash than a hot pink dress at an all-white dinner party. No one was prepared for a 20-year-old High Point, NC native to make it through the rounds of the nation’s top talent competition known as American Idol, much less win the top prize. But despite the odds, Fantasia Barrino […]

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Maxwell’s blackSUMMER’snight, CD Preview/Review Link

Maxwell’s blackSUMMER’snight, CD Preview/Review Link

| July 10, 2016 | Reply

……As one of the few remaining kings of Neo-Soul, Maxwell has the luxury of spacing his projects and living/collecting inspiration in-between. The 2009 predecessor was built on the foundation of a broken heart, or at least the concept of disillusion or growing apart. This year’s offering feels like the exact opposite, weariness of relationships altogether […]

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Fantasia & Anthony Hamilton Dish Up Southern Soul At Verizon

Fantasia & Anthony Hamilton Dish Up Southern Soul At Verizon

| June 10, 2016 | 1 Reply

A cursory listen to typical radio playlists might lead folks to believe that true soul music is on life support and few true ‘sangers’ are left to revive it. But if you were at Grand Prairie’s Verizon Theater last night, Anthony Hamilton and Fantasia served up plenty of rib-sticking Southern-fried soul, nourishing the cravings of […]

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Relationships, Love and Life

Can We Live: When Black Women Are Shielding, Yet Targeted By, Black Men

Can We Live: When Black Women Are Shielding, Yet Targeted By, Black Men

| August 6, 2016 | Reply

Picture it: Dallas, 2001. I was settling into my singleness and adjusting to the demands of working and raising my then-toddler son. Slowly dealing, but still feeling the weight of it all, but I sought solace in my friends, my family and my go-to elixir of choice, music. Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” and […]

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Loving Our Laylabug: The Life She Has, The Future We Want

Loving Our Laylabug: The Life She Has, The Future We Want

| May 19, 2016 | 1 Reply

Flowers, breakfast in bed, handmade cards and a trip to my favorite bookstore: simple pleasures and affection from my family made my Mother’s Day joyous and next weekend, we look forward to yet another milestone: the birthday of Baby Girl on May 21st. With Darius’ graduation and the girls’ annual dance recital just around the […]

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Guest MOC Post: “Out On a Limb For Love” By Summerrain

Guest MOC Post: “Out On a Limb For Love” By Summerrain

| October 29, 2013 | 2 Replies

Have you ever been in a relationship, and you woke up one day asking yourself “What the hell just happened?” after a bad breakup? Then a rain of questions start coming down like “Why can’t I find the right man to love me like I loved him? What’s wrong with me?” “Why it was easy […]

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What's Going Down in Popular Culture

Kicking It Old (& New) School, Generation Next

Kicking It Old (& New) School, Generation Next

| August 20, 2016 | 3 Replies

Every summer, a month before school begins, it happens like clockwork: Nia and Layla wander over to the school supply section, pick up the generalized school district supply lists and question their parents as if we were educated in a distant place and time far, far away: “Mom/Dad, what stuff did you use when you […]

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Fantasia’s “The Definition of….,” CD Preview/Review Link

Fantasia’s “The Definition of….,” CD Preview/Review Link

| July 31, 2016 | Reply

Soulful, fiesty, rough-around-the-edges and more brash than a hot pink dress at an all-white dinner party. No one was prepared for a 20-year-old High Point, NC native to make it through the rounds of the nation’s top talent competition known as American Idol, much less win the top prize. But despite the odds, Fantasia Barrino […]

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Shaking It Up, Shutting It Down: A Chat With Sheila E.

Shaking It Up, Shutting It Down: A Chat With Sheila E.

| July 23, 2016 | 3 Replies

Family, faith, working hard and giving back: on one hand, she’s a woman navigating through life just like the rest of us, balancing her hustle and humanitarian endeavors while sharing personal ups and downs with the world at large. On the other hand, she’s not like anyone else…..because this particular woman is Sheila Escovedo, better […]

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Health Beauty and Empowerment

Can We Live: When Black Women Are Shielding, Yet Targeted By, Black Men

Can We Live: When Black Women Are Shielding, Yet Targeted By, Black Men

| August 6, 2016 | Reply

Picture it: Dallas, 2001. I was settling into my singleness and adjusting to the demands of working and raising my then-toddler son. Slowly dealing, but still feeling the weight of it all, but I sought solace in my friends, my family and my go-to elixir of choice, music. Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” and […]

Read More

“I’m Not Gonna Be Ignored….” AKA Histrionics R’ Us

“I’m Not Gonna Be Ignored….” AKA Histrionics R’ Us

| June 21, 2016 | 5 Replies

The last 120 hours have been a trip…and possibly a plot for a lower budget Black version of “Single White Female.” I probably lost a pretty close (internet) pal. There was no huge e-beef. There was no big social justice disagreement. Just a regular ol’ hysterical episode followed by me basically “ghosting.” I won’t use […]

Read More

Injustice, No Peace: Why Protesting Matters

Injustice, No Peace: Why Protesting Matters

| June 11, 2016 | Reply

Just over 26 years ago, Ice Cube cemented his hip-hop status with his seminal debut, Amerikka’s Most Wanted. Along with brilliant sampling and now-classic rhymes, Amerikka… featured a scathing interlude calling out those who insisted on ‘going along to get along’ rather than rocking the boat when it came to confronting racism: “A message to […]

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Culture and Politics

Loving The Fake, Loathing The Real: Columbusing, Whiteness & Black Beauty

Loving The Fake, Loathing The Real: Columbusing, Whiteness & Black Beauty

| March 5, 2016 | 2 Replies

For most parents, it’s an automatic and instinctual practice: we gaze into the faces of our babies and fall in love. From the tops of their heads to the bottoms of their feet, we gaze in wonder at the innocence we’ve been entrusted with and hope that they will one day embrace themselves the way […]

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Straight Outta Logic: Diversity, Dollars and The Impact of a “Colorblind” Academy

Straight Outta Logic: Diversity, Dollars and The Impact of a “Colorblind” Academy

| January 23, 2016 | Reply

In a pivotal scene from last year’s smash biopic Straight Outta Compton, members of the hip-hop group NWA face the press after a performance of their most controversial hit, “[Expletive} Tha Police,” allegedly incited a riot in Detroit.”Your songs glamorize the lifestyle of gangs, guns and drugs,” one reporter says, but is quickly corrected by […]

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Larry Yarrell: Advertising and Image Branding

Larry Yarrell: Advertising and Image Branding

| October 27, 2013 | Reply

Larry Yarrell, Program Director and one of the founders of the Marcus Graham Project, spoke with Knowshi.com about the goals of his organization, the unique concerns facing today’s graduates, and why more diverse players and leaders are sorely needed in the advertising field.

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Other Good Stuff

Act Like You Know: When ‘Tacky’ & ‘Tone-Deaf’ Go Viral

Act Like You Know: When ‘Tacky’ & ‘Tone-Deaf’ Go Viral

| June 25, 2016 | Reply

When you don’t know….you don’t know.” The first time I heard that expression was in 1997 when I first saw the film Hoodlum. Two characters were in the midst of a Harlem turf battle during a Depression-era numbers racket in Harlem, and mob boss Charles “Lucky” Luciano grouses to Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson about another gangster, […]

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Raise Up, Man Up Or Shut Up: Brothers, the Choice Is Yours

Raise Up, Man Up Or Shut Up: Brothers, the Choice Is Yours

| May 28, 2016 | Reply

If a single sentiment were used to describe today’s relationships between African-American men and women, the computer screen would read, “It’s complicated.” For every general conflict that can arise from connecting with the opposite sex—-career expectations, child-rearing, gender roles and so on—-historical complications, including slavery and present-day racism, can increase life’s tensions and become toxic […]

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KeKe Wyatt’s “Rated Love,” CD Preview/Review Link

KeKe Wyatt’s “Rated Love,” CD Preview/Review Link

| May 8, 2016 | Reply

If there were a tier system for vocals and artistry, somewhere between ‘maestro’ and ‘mechanical’ would be ‘a sangin’ fool’—-that guy or that lady who defines ‘hard in the paint’ when it comes to the vocals and could make the dry instructions in an owner’s manual sound like a movie score. And to take it […]

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