Full disclosure: I despise the film "Monster's Ball." It bothers me (like it did for producer Belma Johnson) and I feel like Halle Berry has done so many other great roles that she should've been awarded for. I did, however, enjoy "Training Day," but to this day I still think awards should've fallen at Denzel Washington's feet for "Malcolm X." My head still rolls about Angela Bassett not winning for "What's Love Got to Do With It?" I have never been impressed by the Oscars nor have I been patient enough to sit through an entire show. But I respect the actors who were cheated out of these awards so much that it made me want to see this 52-minute special anyway.
Los Angeles Times writers John Horn, Nicole Sperling and Doug Smith wrote an interesting piece about the Oscars called "Oscar voters overwhelmingly white, male" that had absolutely no surprises in it for me. I was more surprised by those who were surprised by the analysis. Either way, I recommend reading it.
And now on to Obba Babatundé's film: I was born in 1981 so some of these movies and entertainers are new to me (highlighted in green) while the tales of others live on. Many distinguished African-American actors and actresses are mentioned and/or interviewed:
Sidney PoitierBeah Richards
James Earl Jones
Louis Gossett, Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Eriq La Salle
Michael Clarke Duncan
Screenwriters were mentioned as well, including Lonnie Elder III and Suzanne de Passe. Directors Spike Lee and John Singleton were also acknowledged. And musicians who were nominated and/or won Oscar Gold awards are featured, including Isaac Hayes, Ray Parker Jr., Herbie Hancock, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and Brian O'Neal.
This movie is everything I was looking for when I saw that pitiful movie "Django
." Instead of rewriting history because it's not interesting enough to a creator, you base the film on a true story and maybe incorporate some humor and a small amount of make believe. I'd never heard of Chadwick Boseman although he's been in a bunch of TV roles
, but he did an excellent job playing Jackie Robinson in this film. I watched him on "Windy City Live
" and was a bit skeptical about whether he could pull it off, but I loved him in this role. He knew when to be charming, when to be annoyed, when to be at his absolute boiling point, when to laugh and when to cry. I was talking to my grandfather yesterday about an episode of "House of Payne
," and he said, "You know an actor's good when his facial expressions can do all that without him talking." That's how I felt about Boseman. Even when he was silent, the audience had the opportunity to read the thoughts going on in his mind (or at least assume them).
I couldn't be more baffled by folks who enjoyed that horrific movie "Django
" but are mad at L.L. Cool J. One completely rewrote history and did a terrible job of it. The other actually acknowledged our history but wants to get past the finger pointing. You want to see a film that's accurate and amazing? See "42,
" or "Queen
I bought Brad Paisley's CD and it came yesterday. I listened to this song nonstop the whole way home. I still stand by the blog I wrote below, but I do understand the venom coming at L.L. Cool J. I think if he'd have challenged himself to not do end rhyme and revert back to '80s and '90s rap, his point would've been much better. I also think that another hip-hop artist should've done the track. Anybody seen Yasiin Bey? But I just can't see being more mad about someone justifying wearing a Confederate flag than I can see Nas and Kelis walking around with outfits on that say "nigga" or Ludacris in a full Confederate flag outfit, and we're just cool with it. I'm still amazed at the amount of people I have to check for thinking I'm going to be cool with you calling someone a nigga. It's never cool. If we want to honor history, then we're all equally responsible.
But giving rappers poetic license and defending them for Freedom of Speech but then lambasting another artist for the same thing? I can't agree to it. And at least these two guys' messages was to come together and try to unite regardless of our ugly history. Some of the songs I've heard on the radio over the years have been nothing but ratchet lyrics doing their best to make sure we
hate ourselves and everybody else
. I'm still sticking to my guns on being a Brad Paisley fan. L.L.? I really wish you'd do a remix and rewrite all of your lyrics, especially the "iron chain" verse. As far as Brad Paisley, the 13th Amendment passed, but that didn't stop Jim Crow, racial profiling, police brutality, Black Wall Street destruction, projects construction and then deconstruction, gentrification, etc. But on that same note, I'm not about to blame everybody by complexion shade for the actions of those who are primarily long gone. I still say the song had very good intentions. It just needed a workshop group to say, "Good idea but get back to the writing board."Original blog starts here:
Yesterday was my first introduction to "Accidental Racist
" by Brad Paisley, but I've been a fan of his music for a couple years now. I've heard every song he's released since "Who Needs Pictures
" and a bunch of his songs are on my Pinterest "Songs I'll Never Get Tired Of
" folder. So when I heard about a "racist" "failure" song he put out, I was thinking, "Are we talking about the same country artist who made 'Welcome to the Future'
and sang for Pres. Obama at the White House?" Hell, the last time I heard an artist reference Rosa Parks in a song, it was Outkast and she was a bit annoyed about it. (I love Outkast, by the way.) All the videos for the song had been taken down so I read the lyrics of the song repeatedly trying to find the part that was so offensive. I was never offended. Then today I jump on Twitter and saw another rampage going on about the song and how L.L. is rapping about how we should forget the history of slavery. I won't lie to you. I'm not a fan of the song. The beat is a bit clumsy. The chorus could use some work. The lyrics definitely required a completely rewrite. But you and I both know the theme of the song was to not judge people solely based on looks. We can dissect all the lyrics, but you knew that's the goal both artists were going for.
Now they knew the song would be controversial and judging from their interview on "Good Morning America
" they were prepared for a bit of a backlash, but what blows me away is not the song but too many people who are mad at the song. Here's why.
I've been enjoying people posting about Black History Month all February, and for those who say it's excessive or should be celebrated all year round instead of February, click "Celebrating black history month is necessary
" or another blog of mine
. I don't hold back on my opinions about BHM, but I'll keep it light in my HNA blogs.1. Kids reenact black history moments:
My favorite shot of this collection
of African-American kids reenacting history is the one for Rosa Parks.2. Tyler Perry's "Laugh to Keep from Crying":
I liked the play. I'm not loving it enough to review it like I've done with other recommendations, but it's definitely a decent play with a strong cast. Seeing Cheryl Pepsii Riley
in his plays is always a treat, but the most engaging characters for me were Palmer Williams Jr.
as the crazy landlord; the two white tenants played by Wess Morgan
and Stephanie Ferrett
-- who bring an interesting perspective and diversity into his plays; and the son played by Donny Sykes
. Click here
to read a summary of the play. Nothing about the plot will exactly surprise you, but the comedic scenes stood out to me. The only downside was that I wasn't into any of the songs and there seemed to be an overkill of them. I usually like musicals but I got to the point where I was thinking, "Just keep the scene going. Stop singing already."
I wanted to see this movie for two reasons: 1) I am a big music and movie fan of Jamie Foxx. 2) I wanted to know why Nate Parker turned the movie down and seemed so disappointed in the script when he did an interview on The Breakfast Club
. I didn't know the movie was going to be 2 hours and 45 minutes long nor did I care. I am not a fan of Quentin Tarantino (although I like the John Travolta parts of "Pulp Fiction")
but I knew I was going to hear the word "nigger" a lot from watching an interview on "BET's Don't Sleep
." Didn't bother me. That's realistic terminology for that time period in slavery. I'm far more irritated by black folks who know the history and are brainwashed enough to think that the term has changed. I read several articles and interviews about how Leonardo Dicaprio had a hard time using the word, but he was playing a slaveowner. That word is a given. I'm a big fan of Samuel L. Jackson and love quite a few Dicaprio flicks, too. I watched the phenomenal previews and thought, "How could this be bad? Why didn't Nate Parker like the movie?" This turned out to be the worst movie I've ever seen since "Soul Plane."
I completed a post about this for 2011
so I'll keep it going for this year, too. I started on Saturday night, Dec. 14, and finished at 3:51 a.m. on December 30.
ACTORS (ALSO HANDSOME MEN ~ "EYE CANDY" SOUNDS SEXIST)
1. Idris Elba
2. Ian Somerhalder
3. Michael Ealy4. Denzel Washington5. Ryan Gosling6. Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def, equally excellent rapper and actor)7. Hugh Laurie8. Omar Epps9. Rick Gonzalez10. Richard Gere (I love those squinty eyes)11. Brad Pitt (without the beard and the bizarre Chanel No. 5 commercial)12. Robert Downey Jr. (I love everything he's in)13. Don Cheadle14. Lance Gross15. Terrence Howard16. Robert Pattinson17. Columbus Short18. Laurence Fishburne (Handsome guy in "Higher Learning" and "School Daze")19. Mekhi Phifer20. Taye Diggs21. Michael B. Jordan (the actor, not the athlete)ACTRESSES
1. Phylicia Rashad2. Nia Long
(I was so happy when she tweeted to me about my lucky day)3. Sanaa Lathan4. Erika Alexander5. Meagan Good6. Gabrielle Union7. Taraji Henson8. Dana Owens (aka Queen Latifah)9. Regina King10. Jasmine Guy11. Zoe SaldanaART1.
"Thursday Night Book Club
" (based on original work "A Friend in Need
" by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge [Literary Arts Society])AUTHORS1. Karen Siplin2. Langston HughesBEAUTY 1. Blistex Lip Medex (the only chapstick I use)2. Bonne Bell lipLITES clear gloss3. Cover Girl Professional natural lash mascara4. Fashion Fair
"Dark Brown" lip liner5. Iman
"Brass" lipstick6. Posner Luxe Lids Eyeshadow Chocolate Collection 45001BOOKS (OUTSIDE OF MINE)1.
"Wolves: Capturing the Natural Spirit of these Incredible Animals
" by Shaun Ellis and Monty Sloan2. "Hot Cripple" by Hogan Gorman3. "I Got This" by Jennifer Hudson4. "I Suck at Girls" by Justin Halpern5.
"Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now
" by Toure6. "The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
" by Walter MosleyCHICAGO1. Loving Hut restaurant2. The New 400 TheaterCOMEDIAN1. Kevin Hart2. Chris Rock3. Bernie Mac (R.I.P.) 4. Jamie Foxx5. Whitney Cummings
6. Betty White ("Off Their Rockers
" was gold because of her; talk show interviews are always funny, too)FASHION1. Jennifer Lopez purple dress (on homepage slideshow)2. Daisy F
uentes green and blue dress
(on homepage slideshow)3. Camel 4" boots4. Black sweater dress (My mother's old dress that I'm rocking the hell out of at the age she used to wear it)FOOD1. Runaway Potato at Loving Hut2. Spicy BBQ at Loving Hut3. Lemon Tofu at Loving Hut4. California Rolls at Chi Tung5. Thai Fried Rice with tofu at Chi Tung6. Crab Rangoon at Chi Tung 7. Filet o' Fish at McDonald's (Yes, I realize this makes me a pescatarian)8. Market Pantry russet boiled potatos9. Archer Farms salt and vinegar chips10. Archer Farms blue corn with flaxseed chips11. Macaroni & Cheese (Mom's at Thanksgiving)12. Dressing (Mom's at Thanksgiving)13. Collard Greens (vegan version)14. Sweet potato baked potatoes15. Sweet potatoes (Mom's at Thanksgiving)16. Market Pantry baked potatoes with margarine and imitation bacon bits17. The reaction at work to my vegetarian chili (Cooking isn't my favorite thing to do but I totally enjoy it when people like what I make)18. Pittman & Davis lemon squares19. Vegetarian lasagna (I only eat lasagna at Christmas; it's a tradition)20. Chocolate mint tea with soy milk and green or brown tea from Argo Tea21. Garbanzo/chick pea salad from Argo Tea22. Fresh croissants from Argo Tea23. Quaker Snack Mix (Baked Cheddar Flavor)24. Vegetarian platter from Boston Market (mashed potatoes, cornbread, vegetable stuffing, green beans sweet potato casserole)25. Vegetarian bacon strips (MorningStar Farms)26. Vegetarian Chik Patties Original (MorningStar Farms)27.
Vegetarian Original Sausage Patties (MorningStar Farms)28. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sundae (Weight Watchers Smart Ones)FRAGRANCES
1. Fergie's Outspoken 2. Victoria's Secret Heavenly3. Glade's Clean Linen candle4. Glade's Cool Serenity candle5. Glade's Cashmere Woods candle6. Glade's Moonlit Walk candleHAIR1.
Hot 'N Gold Ionic Soft Jumbo Bonnet Dryer2. Vitale relaxer3. Vitale olive oil hair mayonnaise4. Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Masque5. Sofn'free Milk, Protein & Olive Oil Strengthening CremeHEALTH1. Weight Watchers program (I lost 31 lbs. I love the Points Plus program. I'm not a member anymore, but once I mastered the nutrition and fitness guidelines I was set!)2. Flirty Girl Fitness complimentary week of fitness classes3. The exercise routine on "The Family Hustle"
with T.I. in the health club4. The exercise routine with Yolanda on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"5. The exercise routine with Shaun T on "Steve Harvey"
(Eventually I'll buy "Insanity
.")6. "Diet and Exercise Diary" Hinkler journal from Barnes & Noble clearance rack7. Shaun T's "Hip-Hop Abs" tapes
(I still enjoy exercising with all of them)8. "The Trainer's Edge: Killer Abs and Back" with Michael Olajide 9. GAIAM "Fit Body Yoga" featuring Gwen Lawrence ("Core Definition" is still the hardest one to do)
10. Weight Watchers Point Plus calculator11. SuperTracker Food Tracker from USDA (I use it almost daily)HISTORIC ICONS1. President Barack Obama2. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.3. Harriet Tubman4. Malcolm X5. Frederick Douglass6. Rosa Parks7. Nat TurnerHOME DECOR
1. My new brown couch
2. Glade electric warmer plug-ins3. Mavea water filterLIQUOR (OTHER DRINKS)
1. Chocolate martini at Olive Garden
2. Godiva chocolate martini at Chi Tung3. Whiskey sour (My favorite go-to drink since college)4. Captain Morgan's red wine5. Arnold Palmer Half & Half iced tea6. Lipton ice tea7. Bigelow green tea8. McDonald's iced coffee (medium, no liquid sugar)MEMORIES (HAPPY ONES ONLY)1. My mom and I going to the NBC studio to see "Steve Harvey Show" live2. Flirty Girl Fitness spa manicure and waxing for my birthday3. Drinking Captain Morgan's red wine with my grandfather in his backyard
(the dogs next door hate me but they behaved as long as he was around)4. Giving up my Loving Hut boycott and going two times over my birthday vacation (still can't believe I talked my meat-loving co-worker Darcel and cousin Hareder into going)5. Olive Garden trips with Mom (always messed up my fitness journal record but any dinner date with my mother is a good time)6. Manicure nights at Aunt Marguerite's apartment
(R.I.P. September was hard
)7. Working late night shifts after moving to the fourth floor and a management change (I love the night shift and would never work a day shift in my life if I could help it. I was very cool with the management change and like my new floor better, too.)8. Visiting the Black Ensemble Theatre for the first time to see "The Marvin Gaye Story: Don't Talk About My Father Because God Is My Friend" for my mother's birthday9. Showing up to work to see a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my co-worker Jenniffer after my great great aunt passed; I was not expecting that at all. 10. Going to my brother's Halloween birthday party; I had a great time, saw a bunch of his in-laws that I hadn't seen in years and enjoyed terrorizing one of my cousins, too.11. Cutting up all of my store and regular credit cards (The Frontline episode about how much credit card companies scam you really woke me up. I have been far more disciplined with my spending and am actually paying off cards instead of increasing balances.)12. Being so loyal to walking Faith anytime I visit my parents' house that I went out with two-inch heels on while it was storming, grabbed my umbrella and a thick coat, and still walked that dog (who stopped at every single tree and pole) on Thanksgiving night13. Getting the birthday card in the mail from my brother with us as kids that said, "I got your back" on the inside. I thought that was pretty cool and I wasn't expecting a card at all because he's not usually a card sender. He sent two. (In my defense, I swear it looked like a stuff monkey!)14. My boss reenacting what it's like to walk a family member's dogs (She's funny regardless but she's even funnier when she tells a story.) 15.
Reading "Keeping the Promise
"; I miss Mr. Ellison. I've worked with a lot of PR reps but he was the most efficient, polite and fascinating to talk to about his own writing history. R.I.P. I'd read everything he ever wrote.16. Making the November page in my mother's 2013 photo calendar.
I made one side super silly photos of us and the other pretty photos, but the silly photos are the best ones (IMO). My favorites: Her puckering her lips out and me hiding in a box.17. Surprise visit from my brother-from-another-mother Shuntal at Christmas. I haven't seen him in person in at least eight or nine years. It was very good to see him although he came for other circumstances. 18. Hanging out with my cousin Yolanda on Christmas Eve. I never see her on Christmas, only Thanksgiving, and I really had a good time catching up with her.19. Catching up with my old girl scout leader Lela (won't include last name) is always fun. I was a girl scout from the age of 9-14 but I have made a point of staying in contact with her. She's hilarious and always a pleasure to be around. 20. My grandfather accusing me of biting my dog on a calendar photo. I told him Faith nuzzled up to my face. His response? "Well, somebody's got to initiate the kiss." 21. Surprising Aunt Marguerite with a visit from my grandfather for her second 100th birthday party
(Doesn't a centenarian deserve two parties? I think so!) Click here
to see the video of some friends and family singing to her.22. Setting up my cousin Hareder's website for a pageant (I learned a lot more about her and enjoyed reading her responses to FAQs. It was educational and far more enjoyable to create than I expected.)23. The look of shock when I saw the guy who came to pick up my old couch from a Craigslist posting. Man, he was cute. I never told him that, but I was equally impressed seeing him in a suit the second time around when he came to get the throw pillows that I didn't need.24. The look of appreciation from the mother and daughter who picked up the Taylor Lautner umbrella and blanket I gave away on Craigslist.25. Seeing Al Green live at Ravinia (I'd never been to that concert before; it was cool even on the lawn)26. Christmas card from Georgia B. every year (I'll always enjoy hearing from the family, and it makes me think of grandmother every time)27. Getting a call from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois as the first Go Red Fan of the Week winner for the "It's Heart Awareness Month" competition; It was for my photo with Faith (with me wearing a red sweater) and I won a gift card
.MOVIES1. "Think Like a Man"2. "Marley"3. "Breaking Dawn (Part 2)"4. "The Notebook"5. "Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story"6. "Crazy, Stupid, Love"7. "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned"8. "Justin Timberlake: Futuresex/Loveshow"9. "Friends With Benefits"10. "Higher Learning" (my favorite movie for two decades)11. "Love Jones" (timeless movie)12. "Something New" (Made me a Sanaa Lathan fan for the first time)13. "Iron Man"14. "Iron Man 2"15. "Losers"16. "Lincoln"17. "Flight"
cstatic to see John Goodman in a recent film)MUSIC (singles and artists)
1. Afroflow "Call Us By Name
"2. Afroflow "Ethiopia (Everything Will Be All Right)"3. Afroflow "It Makes You Feel Good"
4. Afroflow "My Element
"5. Afroflow "Warrior's Rhythm"6. Akon "I Wanna Love You"7. Akon "Mama Africa"8. Akon feat. T-Pain "I Can't Wait"9. Akon "Rain"10. Al Green and Queen Latifah "Simply Beautiful"
11. Andre 3000's verse on T.I.'s "Sorry
"12. Beyonce "4"
13. Bob Marley "Waiting in Vain
14. Bob Marley "One Love
15. Bob Marley "Three Little Birds
16. Bob Marley "Redemption Song
17. Bob Marley "Satisfy My Soul
18. Bob Marley "Turn the Lights Down Low
19. Bob Marley "Jammin
20. Brad Paisley "Alcohol
21. Brad Paisley "Ticks
22. Brad Paisley "Waitin' On a Woman
23. Brad Paisley "Oh Yeah, You're Gone
24. Brad Paisley "The Pants
25. Brad Paisley "I'm Still a Guy
26. Brandy "Two Eleven
27. Brandy "Afrodisiac
28. Brandy and Monica "It All Belongs to Me
"29. Bruno Mars "The Lazy Song"
30. Chris Brown "Fortune
31. Chris Brown "Marvin's Room
" on "Boy in Detention
32. Damian Marley "Move
33. Damian Marley "Mr. Marley
34. David Banner "Malcolm X (A Song to Me)
35. David Banner "Swag Remix
" from "Sex, Drugs & Video Games
"36. David Essex "Rock On"
37. Drake "Comeback Season
"38. Drake "Take Care" (the single)
39. Elle Varner's "Perfectly Imperfect
40. Finatticz "Don't Drop That Thun Thun
"41. Fugees "Killing Me Softly"
42. Frank Ocean "Thinking About You
"43. Game feat. Meek Mills "Scared Now" (Sometimes it's hard to shake a ratchet song.)44. Herbie Hancock "Chameleon"45. Herbie Hancock "St. Louis Blues"46. Herbie Hancock "Watermelon Man"47. Ice Cube's verse on "You Gotta Lotta That"48. Ice Cube "Hood Mentality"49. J. Cole "Can't Get Enough"50. J. Cole and Drake "In the Morning"51. Jay-Z "Dig a Hole"52. John Legend "Green Light"53. John Legend feat. Pusha T on "Tonight"
54. Jerrod Niemann "What Do You Want
55. Justin Bieber feature on "Ladies Love Me
" from Chris Brown's "Boy in Detention
"56. Luther Vandross "I'm Only Human"57. Maino "That Could Be Us"58. Marcus Canty "Won't Make a Fool Out of You"
59. Marvin Gaye -- anything by him
60. Mary J. Blige "Someone to Love Me
61. Mary J. Blige "Just Fine
"62. Michael Jackson "Butterflies"63. Michael Jackson "Stranger in Moscow"64. Miguel "Adorn"
65. Nas "Life Is Good
" (album)66. RaVaughn "Same ol BS"
67. Rihanna "Unapologetic
68. Sade "Love Is Stronger than Pride
"69. T-Pain "Five o' Clock"70. T.I. feat. Cee
"71. T.I. "Wonderful Life"72. T.I. "Hallelujah"73. Timbaland feat. Drake "Say Something"74. The Game "Scared Now" (Every blue moon I grow attached to a ratchet song.)
75. Usher "Looking 4 Myself
" (album)76. Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos) -- anything by him77. Young Jeezy "I Do"NEWS1.
"Adam Lanza, and others who committed mass shootings, were white males
" 2. President Obama speaking up about gun control3. Clarence Page's Page
from the Tribune4. "The Rachel Maddow Show"5. "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell6. Anderson Cooper
and his "Ridiculist
"7. BET's "Don't Sleep" with T.J. HolmesPOEMS1. "Harlem Sweeties" by Langston HughesPOLITICS1. Election night 2012
in the Tribune's newsroom2. Pres. Obama crying while thanking his campaign team in Chicago3. Chicago Tribune's Election Center updates on Election night4. Chicago Tribune's Local Election updates on Election night5. Bill Clinton's "brass" speech during Obama's campaign (I was too young to realize how fascinating and intelligent a speaker he was when he was president; I get it now)QUOTES1. "Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." -Samuel Johnson2. "Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is not." -Henry Van Dyke3. "A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes." -Author Unknown4. "Your eyes tell more than your mouth can maneuver." -Shamontiel (I made it up in college)5. "Home is where the beach is." -Author Unknown6. "Keep smiling. It makes everyone wonder what you have been up to." (Sign I took from my grandmother's home when she passed away)RADIO SHOWS1. Power 105's The Breakfast Club
(interviews ONLY, DJ Envy is the only cool one) 2. Big Boy's Neighborhood3. Herb Kent on V1034. Boolu Master
mixesSKIN CARE1. Up & Up cocoa butter lotion (deep conditioning)2. Caress' Endless Kiss (Creamy Vanilla & Sandalwood) soap3.
Caress' Evenly Gorgeous soap4. Caress' Sheer Twilight soap5. Nadinola's
cocoa butter cream6. Tropic Sun Aloe Vera Gel7. Suave Cocoa Butter with Shea lotionTECHNOLOGY1. Shopkick app (The Smartphone coupons really do work; just scan at checkout)2. T-Mobile® myTouch® Q - Black 3. Instagram phone appTELEVISION1. "The Vampire Diaries" (only after Damon allegedly sired Elena and every scene with Klaus and Rebekah)2. "Whitney" 3. "Love You Mean It" 4. "Joan & Melissa" (I cry laughing at the medical marijuana episode when they jumped in fully clothed.)5. Luther on "Key & Peele"6. Tyler Perry's "For Better or Worse"7. "Luther"8. "Sleeper Cell"9. "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"
(The other season extras
are entertaining)10. "Common Law"11. "Boss"12. "Frontline"13. "Degrassi: The Next Generation" (favorite episode is Jimmy [Drake] on the roof with Hazel when he gave her the necklace)14. "Friends" (The turkey "I love you" episode with Monica)15. "Ally McBeal" 16. "The New Adventures of Old Christine"17. "Daria"18. "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell"
(I was ecstatic to see Yasiin Bey on the episode about Superstorm Sandy)19. Jamie Foxx on "Ellen" with the horse/black woman impersonation and talking about black women holding back while dancing20.
"The Steve Harvey Show
" (The microphone boy is my favorite episode!)21. Gloria for calling out Bambi on a wolf ticket on "Basketball Wives LA" and for staying on her work hustle and out of the cattiness that is that show
(I can't tolerate the Miami version at all even though Jennifer is cool)22. "House"
(I laugh every time House dances with that beatbox and his cane)23. "Roseanne"
(I tear up every time Darlene does that poem for her class)24. "The Golden Girls" (Fav episode: Dorothy and the Secret Service agent with the jewelry thiefs)25. "The Cosby Show"
(I own all eight seasons)26. "A Different World" (When will they release the other seasons?)TURN-ONS (physical)1. Men who wear their pants at a regular size (no extra sagging baggy jeans and absolutely no sagging skinny jeans)2. Men who keep their haircut neat (Even if you're rocking dreadlocks, keep them neat)3. Men who keep their facial hair neat (Still a big fan of short goatees)4. Tall men (I wish I could shake this one because it's so superficial, but I've always been a magnet for tall guys. I don't know what's up with 5'11" to 6"5 men but that's who I end up dating at least 95% of the time.) 5. Men with smooth, full lips (I still laugh out loud remembering the time my godmother Sheila yelled out, "I can't take it! Give him some chapstick!" at the screen when Wood Harris was on "Not Easily Broken.")6. Men who like to smell nice (body oil, cologne, whatever, just a nice fragrance)7. Smooth skin (I don't have a complexion preference. I've dated guys who were Bizzy Bone's complexion and then went straight to Morris Chestnut's complexion, but a smooth shave is sexy.)8. Men who enjoy smiling and have nice teeth (ex. Morris Chestnut, Idris Elba, Taye Diggs)TURN-ONS (mental)1. Men with full-time steady employment (I have no interest in grown-up dependents. I have been supporting me for a decade, but can you support yourself?)2.
Men who care about their health (If you think HIV/AIDS isn't real, have never been tested and randomly have unsafe sex, please keep your suicidal body away from me. When a guy doesn't care about his own health, there's 100% chance he couldn't care less about yours, ladies.) 3.
Men who know there's a time and place (and a level) for PDA (If you're grabbing a woman's butt in public, stick to chickenheads.) 4.
Men with positive role models in their lives (You can tell a lot about a man by how his father treats his mother [or stepmother] and how often his father was in his life. And just because a woman gave birth to you doesn't make her a great human being. Watch how he treats his mother and
men. You'll learn how he feels women should treat men from that, too.) 5. Men with their names on their leases (I'm too grown to deal with somebody's roommate and I haven't dated a guy who lives with his Mom since I was 20.)6. Men who like to be active/eat healthy (I've never dated a vegetarian [although I am one] but because I'm so adamant about regular exercise and eating healthy, it's cool to meet guys with equal mindsets. Guys I've dated have always been either athletic or into health.)7.
Men who own their own cars (Men with no cars think everyone is their taxicab, love to tell you where to go and never pay for parking. I tried being open-minded about this with two guys who had suspended licenses. It got old very quickly. It still boggles my mind at the guys I meet with no cars who are offended by public transportation. Buy a CTA pass and stop freeloading on everybody else's gas.)8. Men who understand and follow the motto that the words "woman" or "lady" are not synonymous with "bitch" or "ho."
They're two different groups of people. Listen to Jay-Z's song "Bitches versus Women." I agree with it. 9. Men who spend wisely (If you want to splurge, that's your business but please do something else with your money besides budget for strippers, weed, jewelry and video games. Savings accounts, 401(k) and CDs help you create a future.)10.
Men who like to read for fun (Newspapers [besides the sports section], books, magazines [something other than just entertainment articles])11. Men who
respect individuality (I applaud the Drakes of the world who will look at an industry and still be themselves instead of the carbon copy of what they think other people want them to be. Just be you. Somebody will appreciate it sooner or later.)12.
Men who realize a date means going to a place where neither of us are looking at our own furniture, our own food or our own porch. You're a grown up. Leave the couch.13. Men with manners ("Please," "thank you," "excuse me" and "after you" never hurt anyone.)14. Men who believe in monogamy (I've never caught any guy I was dating cheating, but I've heard too many horror stories. If you plan on having sex with multiple women, save her the waste of time and energy. Date; don't be in a relationship. And don't even bother to ask me to date you if you have a girlfriend or wife. It'll never happen.) 15. Men who do not use the word "nigger" or "nigga" like it's a compliment. (It will never be and both men and women sound absolutely disrespectful every time they say it. The meaning has not changed. Expand your vocabulary. And I say this from the perspective of someone who used to argue about how it was okay to use it. NMU changed that.)16. Men who
can fix things, especially mechanics or appliance repair people (I swear blue collar jobs like this are so underrated. I totally respect white collar jobs, but men who can fix things are great
people.)17. Men who
are laid-back (I'm not the most nonchalant person in the world so I tend to shy away from other people who are glued to drama. The best relationships I've been in were with guys who preferred peace over looking for beef, and we parted on good terms and occasionally stayed in touch over the years.)18. Men who know who the hip-hop pioneers are and actually respect them19. Men who can beatbox (Maybe it's because I'm a fan of old school but my eyes bug out every time I hear a guy start beatboxing.)20. Men who like to dance (Whether you're a natural like Chris Brown, groove like 2 Chainz or just two-stepping like Jay-Z, as long as you can keep the rhythm, we're good to go. I like to see a guy let down his guard and just snap on the dance floor though.)21. Men who aren't the jealous type (Protective does not mean paranoid, and "platonic friendship" actually does happen. Don't let negativity overpower you.)22. Men who have a sense of humor (If you are funny, you will always be a step above any other guy I'm looking at. And if you make faces just to make me laugh, I will adore you even more.)WEBSITES1. SlicethePie.com2. Twitter.com3. Ada's Student Etsy store (also on my Mom's website)4. GrooveShark.com5. DatPiff.com6. iHeart Comedy Radio7. TIVO8. AOL Listening Party9. AOL Online Radio10. Project Playlist11. BarackObama.com12. WhiteHouse.gov13. Chicago Tribune's Health page (Yes, I update it therefore I am 100% biased)14. Chicago Tribune's Travel page (Yes, I update it therefore I am 100% biased)15. McDonald's Full Menu Food Tracker (Easier to eat healthy and know what you eat)16. The Good Men Project17. Shutterfly18. DreamMoods.comYOUTUBE (OTHER) VIDEOS1. Drake's interview with Katie Couric2. DMX sings "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"3. President Obama sheds a tear after being reelected4. Brandy's "Put It Down" video with Chris Brown5. Obama's Kiss Cam video6. "The Unexpected" sorority step routine on "Awkward Black Girl" (start at 2:28)7. "Think Like a Man" cast talks about battle with the sexes8. "Think Like a Man" cast with Regina Hall acting a fool9. Tijuana Jackson interviews "Think Like a Man" cast10. Jamie Foxx on Saturday Night Live as a Ding Dong
Social Studies was not my favorite subject in school and by high school I was so irritated that American History never included anything about black people outside of slavery that I refused to pay attention. I memorized enough to pass a class and by the time I left the classroom, I'd purposely forgotten everything I knew. So you would think someone like me wouldn't want to see "Lincoln
," right? Wrong. As much as I rebelled, I did retain some information and clearly because of my interest in African-American history (thanks to the drama at NMU
), I was interested in the debate about whether Lincoln really wanted to free slaves or was he just trying to end the Civil War between the north and the south. I wondered which version this movie would use, plus the previews looked interesting and the guy who played Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis
) looked a helluva lot like him. So after I couldn't find anybody who was willing to sit through the 2.5 hour long movie, I saw it on my own. And I'm glad I did although there were flaws.
Because I worked for the Chicago Defender a few years back, any film about the Pullman Porters catches my attention. I didn't know much about them until I worked for that paper, but after hearing so much about their history, I always embrace learning more. I've checked out many books and movies about them. However, I did not know about the issues the Pullman Porters had with starting a union. "10,000 Black Men Named George" starred some of my favorite actors, such as Andre Braugher, Charles S. Dutton and Mario Van Peebles.
Braugher plays journalist and activist Asa Philip Randolph, who is responsible for forming the first black union in the United States of America. With actors like these and the intense topic of the film, I was pretty sure it was going to be good. I was disgusted by the amount of obstacles these men faced (but not surprised). What caught my attention the most was a line about Mexicans and Filipinos though because I think it would be good for college (and maybe high school) discussions about the current state of employment and how certain races may be pitted against each other. (Keep in mind I think everybody should have the ability to have an honest job regardless of race, but the lengths the Pullman Rail Company went to to keep these men unemployed or desperate for money was uncomfortable to watch.)
Been a minute. Plenty to grumble about but the point of this blog is to remind myself about things I've smiled about. I missed last week so here's 10 instead of five.
1. Ma Po Tofu at Lao Sze Chuan: The spices on the food still kill my stomach, but I love it. I haven't been to Chinatown in a couple of years (although I've eaten a lot of Asian food at other locations) so it was cool celebrating someone's birthday there yesterday afternoon. The food and service were great for both of us.
2. Jennifer Lopez purple dress: Retail therapy is something else, and I got a beautiful dress from Kohl's for a great sale price today. I know retail therapy can hurt your wallet, but new clothes do something for women who get into style. I can't wait to wear this dress any place I can think of. I like it almost as much as my Daisy Fuentes blue and green dress. Almost.
3. Kohl's Cash: Yeah, NY & CO has City Cash, but it takes so long to use it that I usually forget about it. For every $50, you get $10 from Kohl's and you don't have to buy something else to use it. You spend it like you would a regular gift card or cash. I got two today from my retail therapy session and finally got a new watch after I'd torn mine all up at Great America (scratches from falling during Fright Night), dying battery and fading silver. I loved the watch, but it was time to get something new.
4. Silver and blue watch: I love my new watch. It goes with my blue jeans and since I wear so much gray, it looks nice with that, too. I don't want my whole list to be materialistic, but I'm feeling the shopping trip I just went on.
When I first saw the preview for "Red Tails," my reaction was, "What's the point? Why make a movie that's already out?" It wasn't until I heard all of the reasons Hollywood claimed it wouldn't do well at the show that I started paying attention to the movie and realized the original was a PBS DVD video
. Because Hollywood didn't want to financially support the second film so tough, that made me want to see the film even more. Now after I saw "Red Tails" (I'll post my review [originally from Amazon before my boycott
] at the bottom of this blog post), I wondered, "Now which film is better." I don't recall ever seeing "The Tuskegee Airmen" (My Amazon review says I saw it and I'm pretty sure I did since my parents owned the film, but after watching this film nothing looks familiar to me
I am a huge fan of Laurence Fishburne and I remember seeing my favorite movie "Higher Learning" in '95 when it came out (loved the entire cast of that film and know most of the words by heart
), but at the age of 13 I was more interested in college films and TV shows. And even after watching "The Tuskegee Airmen" tonight (I'm far more of a history buff these days than I was as a teenager courtesy and can thank the racism experience at NMU for that
), I can't decide which film I like better. Both "The Tuskegee Airmen" and "Red Tails" are great films that tell the same story but in a different style.