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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Music, Movies, Concerts and Shows

Dave Hollister’s “The MANuscript,” MOC Preview/ST CD Review Link

Dave Hollister’s “The MANuscript,” MOC Preview/ST CD Review Link

| September 10, 2016 | Reply

…..A Blackstreet alumnus, Cali-based pastor and now performing in touring stage play adaptation of the 1990s film Love Jones, Dave Hollister’s gospel-edged croon is one that we’ve kept in steady rotation since his unforgettable cameo on Tupac Shakur’s 1988 smash, “Brenda’s Got a Baby.” Always one to keep his catalog authentic enough for his peers […]

Read More

Kindred the Family Soul’s “Legacy of Love,” CD Review ST Preview Link

Kindred the Family Soul’s “Legacy of Love,” CD Review ST Preview Link

| August 28, 2016 | Reply

Years into a relationship or a marriage, it happens: the dopamine has faded and the drudge of everyday life begins. Between the laundry, budgets, carpooling and voter drives, however, friendships solidify and the memories take root to anchor the relationship. And that is what R&B’s reigning domestic duo, Kindred The Family Soul, focuses on within […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

What's Going Down in Popular Culture

Tamera Nalls: Empowering Girls For An Adverse World

Tamera Nalls: Empowering Girls For An Adverse World

| September 17, 2016 | Reply

Televised cat fights, near-nude magazine covers and middle-aged women trashing one another for ratings and ‘likes.’ Thanks to tabloid-filled talk shows and the omnipresence of social media, today’s teenagers have an abundance of poor examples and role models. While parents can’t shield vulnerable minds from all negativity, they can guide their children by exemplifying positive […]

Read More

Kaepernick, The Anthem & Unpacking White Privilege

Kaepernick, The Anthem & Unpacking White Privilege

| September 3, 2016 | 4 Replies

In our home, even after Darius’ graduation, three students remain—-Layla, Nia and myself. Every morning, after our daughters are dropped off at school, I’m pushing though my own set of online classes. One of them is “Multicultural Perspectives.” As I opened the file for Chap. Two this week, the assignment:”Watch the included video links about […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Health Beauty and Empowerment

Tamera Nalls: Empowering Girls For An Adverse World

Tamera Nalls: Empowering Girls For An Adverse World

| September 17, 2016 | Reply

Televised cat fights, near-nude magazine covers and middle-aged women trashing one another for ratings and ‘likes.’ Thanks to tabloid-filled talk shows and the omnipresence of social media, today’s teenagers have an abundance of poor examples and role models. While parents can’t shield vulnerable minds from all negativity, they can guide their children by exemplifying positive […]

Read More

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

Culture and Politics

Kaepernick, The Anthem & Unpacking White Privilege

Kaepernick, The Anthem & Unpacking White Privilege

| September 3, 2016 | 4 Replies

In our home, even after Darius’ graduation, three students remain—-Layla, Nia and myself. Every morning, after our daughters are dropped off at school, I’m pushing though my own set of online classes. One of them is “Multicultural Perspectives.” As I opened the file for Chap. Two this week, the assignment:”Watch the included video links about […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Other Good Stuff

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 […]

Read More

The Evil, The Fly, The Bizarre & The Basic: An Inventory of 2016

The Evil, The Fly, The Bizarre & The Basic: An Inventory of 2016

| July 16, 2016 | Reply

2016, like every year before it, has featured both positive and negative aspects. Some events have been blips that barely moved the needle of conscious thought while others, no matter our differences, have rocked us to our collective cores as individuals and as a society. For many, this election year cycle’s brought forth game-changing candidates: […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More