What Chocolate Mama Got to Say...

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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The MOC Monthly Rundown, Apr. 9: I’m Black…..And?!?

The MOC Monthly Rundown, Apr. 9: I’m Black…..And?!?

| April 9, 2015 | Reply

Quick question: what did ‪#‎WalterScott‬, ‪#‎EricGarner‬, ‪#‎SeanBell‬, ‪#‎JordanDavis‬, ‪#‎TrayvonMartin‬ and ‪#‎MichaelBrown‬ (to name only a few) all have in common? Answer: they were ALL unarmed and none of them had locks in their hair—–yet they ALL were shot down in cold blood. So what the hell is being gained in compromising one’s own beliefs and […]

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Music, Movies, Concerts and Shows

CD Review Preview Link, SWV’s “Still”

CD Review Preview Link, SWV’s “Still”

| February 3, 2016 | Reply

…….The years brought personal and professional changes, with only Coko remaining in music as a solo R&B and Gospel artist, but a lucrative opportunity to reunite for fans overseas saw the trio reconnect in 2005. Years later, after touring with musical peers like Jodeci and Blackstreet, SWV made it official with the release of their […]

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Babyface, “Return of the Tender Lover” CD Preview

Babyface, “Return of the Tender Lover” CD Preview

| December 28, 2015 | Reply

……From the urgency of “It’s No Crime” to the tearjerker “Where Will You Go,” Babyface’s songs were equal levels of veracity and vulnerability that spoke on men’s wants, women’s needs and the promised land of Happily Ever After. It’s been more than 20 years (!) since Tender Lover and a decade since he’s released a […]

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Angie Stone’s “Dream,” Advance CD Review

Angie Stone’s “Dream,” Advance CD Review

| October 27, 2015 | Reply

…..Aside from her years with Sequence and Vertical Hold, the elements of Angie’s style—the honeyed husk of an alto, lyrical prowess and the ability to meld classic and contemporary R&B — have kept the South Carolina native in-demand as one of the most revered and recognizable voices of Neo Soul. Stone is at her artistic […]

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Relationships, Love and Life

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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Niecy Nash’s “It’s Hard To Fight Naked,” Knowshi Book Review/MOC Preview Link

Niecy Nash’s “It’s Hard To Fight Naked,” Knowshi Book Review/MOC Preview Link

| July 8, 2013 | Reply

…..Experience is the most effective teacher, and with 16 years of a prior marriage, a divorce, three children, years of singles party hosting under her belt and yes, a second husband in the mix, Ms. Nash uses a Sincere Sister Mode to break down what she’s learned singleness, dating, finding eligible men, getting to exclusivity […]

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What's Going Down in Popular Culture

SWV: “Still” Grooving & Back On The Grind

SWV: “Still” Grooving & Back On The Grind

| February 6, 2016 | Reply

Their look was fresh, the songs were fly and millions of us come of age listening to Sisters With Voices, also known as SWV. Thanks to infectious hits like “I’m So Into You,” Use Your Heart,” “Weak” and “Right Here,” Taj (Tamara Johnson), LeLee (Leann Lyons) and Coko (Cheryl Gamble) distinguished themselves among other R&B […]

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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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LisaRaye McCoy: Scandal, Starting Over & Self-Worth

LisaRaye McCoy: Scandal, Starting Over & Self-Worth

| December 29, 2015 | Reply

My fun and fascinating 2011 chat with actress LisaRaye McCoy, she was mad chill and SUCH a refreshing change of pace from what one expects of Hollywood players…… How could a marriage start like a fairy tale and end in a public, paparazzi-esque nightmare? Ask LisaRaye McCoy. In the space of two years, the actress […]

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Health Beauty and Empowerment

Water Therapy, The Best Milk & Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

Water Therapy, The Best Milk & Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

| April 29, 2014 | 1 Reply

Early morning, after you get up from bed, (without even brushing your teeth) drink 1.liters of water i.e. 4 to 5 glasses. You may wash your face thereafter. This is called water therapy. Relief from stress, weight loss, glowing skin, feeling fresh and energetic throughout the day and good digestion are some of the major […]

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Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, The MOC Preview & Knowshi.com Interview Link

Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, The MOC Preview & Knowshi.com Interview Link

| December 23, 2013 | Reply

In an illuminating interview with sociologist Dr. Francis Cress Welsing, Knowshi.com discussed her views of dysfunctional trends among African-Americans, and how non-whites can persevere despite the odds perpetually stacked against them.

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Black Hair, Why Care? Battling Prejudice Against Africanized Tresses

Black Hair, Why Care? Battling Prejudice Against Africanized Tresses

| December 6, 2013 | Reply

The die was probably cast from the moment I was born. According to Mama, one of the first things she noticed, after counting the fingers and toes of course, was my hair. “You had the thickest, glossiest curls I’d ever seen. I would just brush it, braid it, put you in little dresses and take […]

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Culture and Politics

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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Only God Can Judge: What Everyone Can Learn From TV’s “Preachers Of L.A.”

Only God Can Judge: What Everyone Can Learn From TV’s “Preachers Of L.A.”

| October 18, 2013 | Reply

There are palm trees, manicured lawns, and palatial homes with sparkling luxury vehicles parked out front. The men are dipped in designer suits, immaculately groomed and arm-in-arm with equally glamorous and accessorized girlfriends, wives and fiancees. At first glance, it’s a typical opening shot of any TV reality show on any given network…except that this […]

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Other Good Stuff

Ain’t No Party Like a Love Jones Party……

Ain’t No Party Like a Love Jones Party……

| December 26, 2015 | Reply

Sampling buffets, twirling on the dance floor with some bubbly in hand as you mingle with family and friends— for many people, few things lift the spirit and soothe the soul better than being a guest at a well-executed celebration. But when the onus is on you to book the venue, finalize the seating arrangements […]

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A Marathon, Not A Sprint: The Journey To “Black Love”

A Marathon, Not A Sprint: The Journey To “Black Love”

| November 28, 2015 | 6 Replies

It’s a question that’s as expected and as traditional to single women as the turkey-anchored feast and assortment of relatives crowded around it: “Baby,” an elder relative asks with kindness and concern, “why do you keep coming alone to Thanksgiving every year? When are you gonna settle down and find yourself a husband?” The table […]

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Marriage? We Do. Hall Passes? No Thanks.

Marriage? We Do. Hall Passes? No Thanks.

| November 14, 2015 | 2 Replies

Hard at work during the day, dinner with family in the evenings and weekends full of dance classes or outings with the wife and kids. It’s a rhythm that our patriarch, Calvin, has settled into over the last several years. And despite daily challenges that arise from being a stepfather, father and husband, he often […]

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