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 | 1 Reply

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 & Anthony Hamilton Dish Up Southern Soul At Verizon

Fantasia & Anthony Hamilton Dish Up Southern Soul At Verizon

| June 10, 2016 | 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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Life With a Hometown Legend: Mint Condition Remembers Prince

Life With a Hometown Legend: Mint Condition Remembers Prince

| May 16, 2016 | 1 Reply

Earlier this year, as music fans watched one pioneering artist after another slip away, a friend and fellow DJ summed up the first few months of the young year with the following status update: “2016, you’re wack.” Month after month has robbed fans of icon after icon, the most recent blow dealt to the entertainment […]

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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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Relationships, Love and Life

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 | 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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Standards vs. Settling in Relationships

Standards vs. Settling in Relationships

| September 20, 2013 | Reply

“Good afternoon pretty lady. How are you doing?” What started off as an ordinary commute on an ordinary day became a bit more interesting after I noticed a handsome uniformed man staring intently from the other lane as we waited at a stop light. “Hi.” “Are you single?” “Uh-huh.” “Well, how about seeing if we can […]

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What's Going Down in Popular Culture

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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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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Fantasia & Anthony Hamilton Dish Up Southern Soul At Verizon

Fantasia & Anthony Hamilton Dish Up Southern Soul At Verizon

| June 10, 2016 | 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 […]

Read More

Health Beauty and Empowerment

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

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

| June 21, 2016 | 1 Reply

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 […]

Read More

No ‘Cans’ Left, Zero F’s Given: Beyond 40 & Over The BS

No ‘Cans’ Left, Zero F’s Given: Beyond 40 & Over The BS

| April 2, 2016 | 4 Replies

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”― Audre Lorde A few years ago, I went to a concert featuring former American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino. Just as she had been during Season 3 of the program, Barrino was a stage-slaying siren who moved the crowd […]

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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

Keep It Real, Make It Plain: Truth Is Love, Not Hateration

Keep It Real, Make It Plain: Truth Is Love, Not Hateration

| April 30, 2016 | Reply

“Can’t I criticize what I love?” Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon It’s as close as your Facebook feed, your teenager’s tweets, your girlfriend’s Instagram or Uncle’s Pinterest boards: all of us are witnessing—and to a degree, participating in—-a social-media-driven celebration of self. It’s the famous James Brown refrain from “Get Up (I Feel Like Being […]

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Goodbye, Beautiful One: Prince Rogers Nelson, 1958-2016

Goodbye, Beautiful One: Prince Rogers Nelson, 1958-2016

| April 21, 2016 | 4 Replies

…..Before the release of his best-known behemoth of an album/movie/Academy Award winner, Purple Rain, Prince amassed an enviable body of work that encompassed his own shining gems (“Controversy,” “Little Red Corvette,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and countless other well-beloved jams) and the mentoring musicianship that he applied to some of the most enduring talents […]

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Birthday Love, Life Lessons: a Decade With The Diva

Birthday Love, Life Lessons: a Decade With The Diva

| April 16, 2016 | Reply

Dear Daughter Nia, Last Monday wasn’t the sunniest of days: thunder roared, lightning flashed and storms swirled over and around us. But what still made it special for all of us was that on April 11, ten years ago to the day, you became a part of our lives. With outstretched arms and a steady […]

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