What Chocolate Mama Got to Say...

Doubling Up On “Rising Down”: When “Accepting A’ight” Goes Wrong

Doubling Up On “Rising Down”: When “Accepting A’ight” Goes Wrong

“All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy. Stay away from easy.” Scott Alexander It’s a strange habit to some, but one of the ways I wind down after a hectic day is to watch ‘wild-animals-in-habitat’ shows (like the ones on Animal Planet, NatGeo, etc). I never get […]

Little Pitchers, Big Ears: A Daughter’s Letter To Chocolate Mama

Little Pitchers, Big Ears: A Daughter’s Letter To Chocolate Mama

Let’s keep it real up in here Friends: parenting is an exhilarating, yet EXHAUSTING task. The chores are many and the work is repetitive, so sometimes you can wonder if what you’re doing, saying or speaking day in and day out is actually being received and/or making a difference. Apparently, it does…..and this letter offers […]

We Fight, We Love, We Prevail: A Tribute To Black Families & Relationships

We Fight, We Love, We Prevail: A Tribute To Black Families & Relationships

To let the media tell it, you’re more likely to find a polka-dotted unicorn moonwalking across a rainbow in the middle of rush hour traffic faster than a loving and committed African-American couple. Don’t believe the hype. There are incredible odds against us, no doubt: institutionalized and systemic racism, societal pressures and unrealistic, inhumane standards […]

I Can’t, I Won’t, Just STOP: An Open Letter To Alexsandra Wright

I Can’t, I Won’t, Just STOP: An Open Letter To Alexsandra Wright

Ladies & Gentlemen, please allow me to jump up on the soapbox for a hot minute about this right here, excuse the length of my rant because I am feeling ALL types of ways about the whole mess… I don’t enjoy seeing ANYONE struggle as a single parent and think that men/women who willfully neglect […]

Music, Movies, Concerts and Shows

Marsha Ambrosius’ “Friends & Lovers,” The MOC Preview & ST CD Review Link

Marsha Ambrosius’ “Friends & Lovers,” The MOC Preview & ST CD Review Link

…..If the parental advisory label on the cover isn’t enough of a clue, a quick glimpse at the track list should demonstrate the explicitness to be found within (the first half anyway) . It’s certainly not vulgarity for vulgarity’s sake, like R. Kelly’s unfortunate Black Panties, but even the most liberal of listeners might blanch […]

Robin Thicke’s “Paula,” The MOC Preview & ST CD Review Length

Robin Thicke’s “Paula,” The MOC Preview & ST CD Review Length

….The loss of his most significant adult relationship—-and possibly, some of his sanity right along with it—-is painfully chronicled in his seventh studio CD, Paula. To be fair, all we’ve been privy to are trashy photos and gossipy innuendos of what imploded their once-idyllic marriage: whether it was an ‘open marriage’ gone awry, ‘Mileygate’ or […]

Jonathan Butler’s “Living My Dream,” The MOC Preview & ST Review Link

Jonathan Butler’s “Living My Dream,” The MOC Preview & ST Review Link

……Today, Jonathan’s 18 studio CDs and over 30 years of performing with a who’s who of jazz and soul musicians would make any struggling ingénue jealous, but there are times that trials and tragedies can make one forget how blessed they actually are, which explains the intent and optimism of Butler’s latest set, Living My […]

Joe’s CD “Bridges”: The MOC Preview & ST Review Link

Joe’s CD “Bridges”: The MOC Preview & ST Review Link

……Released less than a year after his tenth CD, Doubleback: Evolution of R&B, Bridges represents a new relationship stage within itself—a breakup from his longtime manager, Kedar Massenburg—and the beginning of his entrepreneurial venture as a label owner distributed via BMG. Beyond that switchup, however, Mr. Thomas’s established rep as a loverman is part of […]

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

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 […]

Use Your Heart & Not Your Eyes: Standards Vs. Settling In Relationships

Use Your Heart & Not Your Eyes: Standards Vs. Settling In Relationships

“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 […]

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

…..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 […]

Tina & Teddy Campbell: Healing Their Hurts, Sharing The “Dirt”

Tina & Teddy Campbell: Healing Their Hurts, Sharing The “Dirt”

It’s a theme-turned-template that’s fueled countless hit songs, TV dramas and divorce cases over the years: Boy meets Girl, Boy commits to Girl, Boy creeps behind Girl’s back and both of them suffer the consequences. Only a few years ago, if word hit the streets that Mr. So-And-So was seen stepping out on Mrs.You-Know-Who’s with […]

What's Going Down in Popular Culture

Not Together, Yet Parents Forever: Shielding Kids From The Crossfire

Not Together, Yet Parents Forever: Shielding Kids From The Crossfire

Some folks prefer comedies or reality shows, but when it comes to my limited TV time, I’m a Judge Judy fan. She’s got her abrasive moments, sure, but if you watch for long enough, there are elements from all the above, especially when it comes to family law. Time and again, Judge Sheindlin can be […]

Author & Icon: Ilyasah Shabazz’ “Malcolm Little,” The MOC Preview & Knowshi.com Interview Link

Author & Icon: Ilyasah Shabazz’ “Malcolm Little,” The MOC Preview & Knowshi.com Interview Link

….Nearly 50 years after his death, the Muslim minister and Human and Civil Rights leader remains a much-discussed part of world history, but few are aware of the culture and characteristics that molded him into the man he became, part of the reason why Ms. Shabazz authored the critically-acclaimed book [Malcolm Little] (illustrated poignantly by […]

From Businesswoman To “Hip-Hop Professional,” The Briefing Shanti Das Interview

From Businesswoman To “Hip-Hop Professional,” The Briefing Shanti Das Interview

When it comes to careers, the golden trifecta of money, power and respect can be hard for anyone to achieve, particularly in the music biz. The path to profitability hinges on a tenuous tightrope that swings on the whims of a buying public, a truth known all too well by industry insider Shanti Das. After […]

Shanti Das: Executive-Level “Hip-Hop Professional,” The MOC Preview/ST Story Link

Shanti Das: Executive-Level “Hip-Hop Professional,” The MOC Preview/ST Story Link

……”I called the book The Hip-Hop Professional because I started working in the hip-hop culture,” the Atlanta-based industry vet shared during a recent stop in Dallas. “but the tips I include in the book can transcend to fit any industry. I want everyone to draw inspiration from it because there are tips that we all […]

Other Good Stuff

Conquering Color Lines In Silicon Valley: The Rev. Jesse Jackson Briefing Interview

Conquering Color Lines In Silicon Valley: The Rev. Jesse Jackson Briefing Interview

The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s presence is both fascinating and formidable, and his civil rights work is far from over. As the founder of the social justice nonprofit organization Rainbow/PUSH (a combination of the Rainbow Coalition and Operation PUSH), Jackson’s recent visit to Dallas’ Paul Quinn College was to draw attention to the underwhelming numbers of […]

“Malcolm Little”: Facts Over Fallacies, The Ilyasah Shabazz DMN Interview

“Malcolm Little”: Facts Over Fallacies, The Ilyasah Shabazz DMN Interview

Oatmeal cookies, a rocking chair, a treasured baby doll and the smiling gentle giant with a commanding voice calling her name. To Ilyasah Shabazz, he was simply Daddy, but to the rest of the world, he was known as Malcolm X, the former felon turned Muslim Minister and human rights activist. In the years following […]

Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart” Memoir, A MOC Preview/ST Book Review Link

Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart” Memoir, A MOC Preview/ST Book Review Link

….It’s been decades since Ms. Braxton was a meek and malleable college student with dreams of becoming a star, but just because her 1995, self-titled debut sold over ten million copies doesn’t mean that her path to stardom was an easy one. In fact, from the very moment Braxton experienced even a a glimpse of […]