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

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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#TBT Tribute: Professor Prince Drops “Musicology” Lessons at Dallas’ AAC (2004)

#TBT Tribute: Professor Prince Drops “Musicology” Lessons at Dallas’ AAC (2004)

| April 28, 2016 | Reply

Picture it: June, 2004. An e-mail I just barely missed asked me a life-changing question and granted me one of the luckiest breaks I’d ever received as a new journalist and freelance contributor at The Dallas Morning News: “Lorrie, ______ isn’t feeling well, do you think you could cover the #Prince show tonight?” WHUUUUUUUUUUUT?!? Is […]

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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

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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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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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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Health Beauty and Empowerment

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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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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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

Anthony Hamilton’s “What I’m Feelin’,” CD Preview/Review Link

Anthony Hamilton’s “What I’m Feelin’,” CD Preview/Review Link

| March 26, 2016 | Reply

…..Six CDs into a stellar career (seven including 2014’s Home for the Holidays), Anthony Hamilton’s spent a decade building a reservoir of hearty, slow-burning soul grooves, modern in theme yet brimming with traditional grown-man sentiments cloaked in the ambience of the ‘lived-in’ and the ‘down-home.’ It’s been years—four and some change—since Back to Love, and […]

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Silk’s “Quiet Storm,” CD Preview/Review Link

Silk’s “Quiet Storm,” CD Preview/Review Link

| March 23, 2016 | Reply

“…Thinkin’ about you, this song came to mind, so I asked the fellas to help me sing along, to let you know how much I care about you. In case you wanna know, their name is Silk, and Baby you know who I am, So I think we’ll just count it down like this….” For […]

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Forever On-Point: Malik Taylor, AKA Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest (1970-2016)

Forever On-Point: Malik Taylor, AKA Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest (1970-2016)

| March 23, 2016 | Reply

…….For hip-hop fans who enjoyed a more cerebral and copasetic approach, A Tribe Called Quest represented a breath of fresh air amongst the more agressive of their ilk. Introduced to the public as an offshoot of the Native Tongues movement (which included The Jungle Brothers, De La Soul, Monie Love and Quee Latifah, to name […]

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