First Comes Love…

I’m not the girl who has kept a wedding scrapbook. I don’t have a list of vendors, bridesmaids or any remote vision of what “my wedding” day will look like. There’s not a single color scheme, flower arrangement or style of dress in my mind. I’ve never been much for ceremonies so perhaps that’s the reason I don’t have that big day all mapped out in my mind.

Common Wants To Take You HIGHER with "BLUE SKY"

 

Anybody need a pick-me-up?

Common’s new album The Dreamer, The Believer is slated to drop on November 22.

And if his new joint “Blue Sky” is any indication, November can’t come soon enough.

“Blue Sky” is just effortlessly elevating and life-affirming. And it proves that you don’t have to make self-consciously “conscious” hip hop to inspire. And you don’t have to preach to reach the masses, either.

This might be the most uplifting thing you’ll experience all week. So treat yourself to a little sunshine, and stream this phenomenal song below.

"I am Intelligent" and the Self Efficacy of an Eight Year Old

“I am intelligent, I am intelligent, who are you? Because I am intelligent”

These were the words I told an 8-year-old boy to repeat as I helped him with his homework at a community center for HIV/Aids impacted communities.  He spoke about how he really wanted an X-Box for Christmas; I just wanted him to know that he could one day create the next X-Box. I wanted him to know he was not restricted to only wishing he could have this device, but ultimately he was intelligent enough become the creator of his own destiny. It sounds cliché, but I can only hope that I can say one or two positive things that will stay with him as I spend the next year trying to impact his life at the Chicago House.

Rick Perry's "Oops!"

So there’s a whole lot of fuss over GOP candidate Rick Perry’s hunting ground which may or may not have once been or is now called “Niggerhead”. When visitors spotted a rock with the name under a not-so-thick coat of white paint, news media has been all over the “Rick Perry’s Racism” story.  The one consistency across the stories is that regardless of the current visibility the sign reading “Niggerhead” was painted over or flipped over years ago. But not quite carefully enough so that it couldn’t still be seen. After a century of slavery and decades of systemic oppression of blacks in the United States, it’s certainly outrageous to have this word, tied to abuse, mistreatment, and hatred, printed on anything especially the property of a public figure. Especially the property of white, conservative, Texan Rick Perry. It speaks more to carelessness

Stop Blaming Hip-Hop For What Probably Goes On At Your Church

Last week my friend, and fellow BYP blogger, wrote a gripping piece about the omnipresence of homophobic lyrics in hip-hop through the lens of Tyler, the Creator. Jonathan’s post made me think again about what role I as a listener, and other hip-hop fans have in combating homophobia and sexism within this space. I began to think about a course I took a few years ago entitled “Black Feminism” and how and if a feminist praxis can fit into the hip-hop sphere. What I came to realize is that while hip-hop is laden with sexist and homophobic images and messages, it is not a societal outlier. In fact, hip-hop music like many other genres is merely a byproduct of society.

Essentially, rap is inextricably linked to society at-large, which in and of itself espouses male privilege, heterosexism and nihilism. Hip-hop music was not created in isolation in a social and cultural vacuum, but rather it is a byproduct of unique cultural idiosyncrasies that were birthed in South Bronx in the late seventies and early eighties. Underneath the “b-boying, “mc-ing”, “dj-ing”, and “graffiting”, existed patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny.  Black folks who came of age during the post-civil rights era are commonly referred to as members of the hip-hop generation. They lived in a temporal context where the public discourse had shifted from seeking incorporation into the American polity, to seeking redistributive policies that more fairly allotted government benefits to the most marginalized segments of the population. As such, members of this group had very different outlooks on the social landscape of the country than their foremothers and forefathers. Arguably, hip-hop, both the music and culture, are responsible for the vastly different outlook. Yet, although perceptions about society may diverge from that of the past, much of the “anti-social” behavior that is constructed to be viewed as peculiar to hip-hop are merely reflective of many bastardized social mores that pervade in the Black community.

BYP Afternoon Round-UP: NYPD Received $4.6 Mil from JPMorgan Chase, Eddie Long Wants His Money Back, and MORE!

BYP AFTERNOON ROUND-UP
October 3rd, 2011

 

Forbes writer E.D. Kain has written a pretty good op/ed regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement, arguing that while it’s impossible for anyone to predict where things are heading, there’s also nothing wrong with a little Progressive pushback given the incredible Tea Party racket we’ve all been subjected to over the past couple of years.

Best quote:

“I can’t predict the future. Anyone who pretends they can is selling you something. But the times do appear to be changing. Republicans are accusing the president of class warfare. It sounds a lot like someone complaining that they got hit back first.

Maybe a little class warfare is just the thing this country needs.”

Amen.

I Wish #OccupyWallStreet Critics Would Get Off the Couch and Get in the Game

After the Occupy Wall Street Movement finally got some coverage form the mainstream media, due to some very bad behavior by the NYPD, the blogosphere began to buzz with post after post about what #OccupyWallStreet was doing wrong. From the message to the way the protestors were dressed, #OccupyWallStreet was dissected and criticized by so called strategists for what it was lacking. Now no group or movement is above critique, but now it seems, all of the sudden everyone had the answers about how to protest Wall Street.

This is of course made me wonder, where the hell have y’all been for the last few years? How come these” movement experts” didn’t properly articulate their ideas and organize people behind them? This is the first movement to really shine the light on the architects of the economic collapse and, it’s not just gaining traction, but spreading to other cities and countries. I’m sure they’ll take sincere suggestions and help, but the hating from the sidelines, by armchair activists needs to stop.

Find an Occupy movement near you and sign up or join a organization that’s doing something to change the world. A good idea will remain just that if we don’t do the real work necessary to bring it to fruition. I wanna be with people working and sacrificing to make a difference.

“Whether your black, brown, red, yellow, white you just a way to a means cause the only color that matters is green” -The 99%

 

Today in Post-Race History: A Rock and a Hard Place

I really hate it when politics interrupt my fantasy football preparation. There I was checking Twitter for tweets that might help my abysmal fantasy team when I started seeing posts about presidential candidate Rick Perry’s little problem.

In case you missed it, according to a story published in The Washington Post last Saturday, Perry’s family’s hunting camp was known as Niggerhead. In fact, the word was etched on a rock at the camp’s entrance and, according to the article, the word was not painted over for quite some time.

Gosh, don’t you just love vintage America?

Adele's "Someone Like You" Video is Completely Unoriginal and Depressing…And I Love It.

The highly-anticipated music video for Adele’s epic, album-closing “Someone Like You” hit the internets last night.

It’s your classic, melancholy music video; relentlessly simple, filmed in black and white, and almost completely driven by the charisma and beauty of it’s star.

I adore this video…as well as all the videos that came before it that are exactly like it. Because the “Someone Like You” video is also completely unoriginal and beyond formulaic.

And that’s ok.

“I am the Baddest Bitch” LA Basketball Wives: Colorism, Draya vs. Laura, and Overall Worthlessness

So, I will admit I watch Basketball Wives. Yes, I do. However, I think I have to draw the line at LA Basketball Wives. It’s too much. In particular, it’s the colorism of the show that is the most glaring issue for me. On the very first episode, all the light-skinned women (i.e. Gloria Govan, Laura Govan, Imani Showalter, and Jackie Christie) had “beef” with one or two of the darker-skinned women (i.e. Maylaysia Pargo, Tanya Williams, and Kamisha Artest). And, then to add “insult to injury” they, meaning Shaunie O’Neal, removed two of the darker sisters—Kamisha Artest and Tanya Williams—from the show leaving only Malaysia.

So, in some ways, the color issue is resolved. However, now the issue of “acceptable” sexuality rears its ugly head. Draya Michele now becomes the bull’s eye for the women on the show.