Saturday, March 22, 2008
"Fences" is currently being presented as part of the Kennedy Center's "August Wilson's 20th Century" series.The production is expected to open in the fall, with specific dates, theater, and cast information to be announced at a later date.Wilson died of liver cancer in 2005, at the age of 60. During his lifetime he was the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes, a Tony Award, two Drama Desks, seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, and numerous other honors, all of which he achieved before . His other plays include "Gem of the Ocean," "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," "The Piano Lesson," "Seven Guitars," "Two Trains Running," "Jitney," "King Hedley II," and "Radio Golf."
At a press conference for his upcoming film, "Meet the Browns," Tyler Perry announced that he's working on a film project inspired by the relationship between Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. "For the Love You" is about a man's love for his woman. "It's an amazing story," Perry says. Perry came up with the idea after having dinner with the Obama's and after watching Barack debate with Hillary. He described it as "a love story with a political twist," Perry says he hopes he can cast Angela Bassett and Denzel Washington.Perry is determined to get this project made. The actor-writer-director who has partnered with Lionsgate on his five feature films, says "if they won't do it, I'll do it with someone else." Producing partner Reuben Cannon hinted that the project might go into production by the end of the year.
(Courtesy of Black Talent News Feed)
Shirley Jo Finney will direct the production, which will feature choreography by Tony winner Hinton Battle. Whoopi Goldberg and DreamTeam Entertainment Group (Victor Walker, Harold Wheeler and Ned Goldstein) are the executive producers.
Arie's previous acting credits include a short run portraying Nina Simone on NBC's "American Dreams."
Beyonce Knowles ("Dreamgirls"), Idris Elba ("American Gangster") and Ali Larter ("Heroes," "Resident Evil") have been tapped for Screen Gems' thriller "Obsessed." Knowles will play the wife of a successful asset manager (Elba) who has a Fatal Attraction-type temp office worker (Larter) stalking him. Steve Shill (NBC's "Knight Rider" telepic) will direct from a script by David Loughery. Beyonce will executive produce along with her father, Mathew Knowles and Will Packer ("This Christmas") of Rainforest Films. Screen Gems topper Clint Culpepper is overseeing the project.Knowles is producing and co-starring as Etta James in Sony BMG's "Cadillac Records." Elba next stars in Screen Gems' "Prom Night."Production will begin this summer.
It's that magical time again... Wedding Dress of the Week! 'Sofia' from Melissa Sweet's 2008 Collection is a silk shantung strapless column gown with ruched bodice and harem-hemmed overskirt. It's available in Diamond White and Ivory. Now this construction of wedding dress was very popular in the nineties, but every once in a while it still appears on the bridal fashion runways. I've always been a fan of this design and I imagine that when I walk down the isle it will be in a similar dress. It combines the sexiness of the sheath, with the modest a-line silhouette. It marries chic simplicity with high wedding drama. The bonus, this cut is a great way for a woman with fuller hips or the "pear shape" to pull of a sheath.
Also: Check out the scrunched shear gloves the model is wearing. It's the future of bridal fashion. Fabolah. Love the look!
Friday, March 21, 2008
This is the episode of "Boondocks" that was banned from television by network execs (Viacom) who would have had a fit if this was shown. It is a brilliantly done satire about an evil Cruela Devil-like BET executive( at the beck and call of her white superiors) out to do what "hundreds of years of slavery, Jim Crow and malt liquor" could not; destroy the Black race. Now, we all know that BET is carcinogenic. We all know that watching that network ritually is about as good for you as inhaling second hand smoke on a daily basis. Nevertheless, what this episode does best is shed light on the nature of our contemporary Black leaders, some of whom (I won't name names, that's tacky) in their attempt to enlighten the "hip hop generation" about social change, fall into same decadence of those they criticize. In this epoisode, "Hunger Strike" food becomes a metaphor for this decadence of which I speak. The activist figure, Rollo Good Love, who oddly resembles a cross between Al-Sharpton and Ronald Isley, believes that he can effect change from within by joining the very entertainment world that he speaks against. But in doing so, he becomes blindsighted by his own celebrity. We should remember that a civic leader is a position of service. While notariety may come with it, the moment that a leader is motivated by achieving self glory he becomes ineffective. It's just a good episode. Watch it while you can. I'm sure that it will mysterioulsy vanish from the internet as it has done several times before.
"It's 2 PM, time for our morning staff meeting."
"When I sit and watch BET my dignity is sucked away."
The governor of New Mexico and former presidential candidate, Bill Richardson, formally endorsed Barack Obama today in Portland, Oregon. His endorsement means a lot to the Obama Campaign. Bill Richardson is a democratic super delegate and he is likely to influence the Hispanic voting population. Richardson is the only Hispanic governor in the country. Richardson becomes the second 2008 presidential contender to endorse Obama, following Sen. Dodd of CT. Sen. Clinton has yet to be endorsed by a former candidate. Edwards and Biden remain neutral.
This comes from MSNBC's First Read, written by Mark Murray.
*** Richardson’s endorsement: When John Edwards made an appearance on Leno last night, we were bracing ourselves for a possible endorsement. We just didn’t know it would be coming from Bill Richardson, who will formally throw his support behind Obama at a campaign event today in Portland, OR. The endorsement isn’t too much of a surprise -- Richardson had been hinting his support for Obama for a while. Still, it’s significant for two reasons: 1) Richardson becomes the second Dem presidential contender to endorse Obama, while none has backed Clinton (Biden and Edwards are still neutral); and 2) Richardson specifically cited Obama’s speech on race as a reason for getting off the fence. “He asked us to rise above our racially divided past, and to seize the opportunity to carry forward the work of many patriots of all races, who struggled and died to bring us together,” he said in a letter to his supporters. “As a Hispanic, I was particularly touched by his words.” The Obama camp, though, has to be a bit disappointed the endorsement didn’t come before Texas. In fact, of the remaining contests, Puerto Rico is the only one left with a significant Hispanic population. Expect some bitterness from Clinton land on this one, in particular because many of them believe that without Bill Clinton appointing Richardson to two Cabinet posts, he wouldn't have had the experience that makes him a viable veep candidate. Of course, Richardson’s endorsement means another superdelegate for Obama, raising his overall delegate total (pledged and supers) to 1,626 vs. 1,506 for Clinton.
Okay, admittedly if you're not a Hollywood A-lister her line is hard to find, but you can purchase some of her line at Shop Style and soon at Net-A-Porter.
Flyness and Funk,
Below: Selections from Fall 2008, Spring 2008, and Fall 2007 Collections.
Flyness and Funk(-y Fifties Inspired Dresses),
Thursday, March 20, 2008
So what about Mr. Good-Enough?I stumbled across a fantastic article in the Atlantic monthly written by guest-author, Lori Gottlieb,a thirty-something career woman and mother by anonymous sperm donor. All her life she'd been waiting for a man with whom she'd share an intense passion with and someone that fit all of her fantasized ideals of her perfect suitor. Needless to say, she escorted endless men who could have been "the one" out of her life and Mr. Perfect never came.
In hindsight, she writes that she regrets not being married, despite having total self-sufficiency, the child, and the career. In hindsight, she suggests, that it may have been better to not have been so picky and stubborn in her romantic ideals that she passed over quality men with whom a long term commitment may have worked. Here's an excerpt:
I don’t mean to say that settling is ideal. I’m simply saying that it might have gotten an undeservedly bad rap. As the only single woman in my son’s mommy-and-me group, I used to listen each week to a litany of unrelenting complaints about people’s husbands and feel pretty good about my decision to hold out for the right guy, only to realize that these women wouldn’t trade places with me for a second, no matter how dull their marriages might be or how desperately they might long for a different husband. They, like me, would rather feel alone in a marriage than actually be alone, because they, like me, realize that marriage ultimately isn’t about cosmic connection—it’s about how having a teammate, even if he’s not the love of your life, is better than not having one at all.
Click here to enjoy the rest of the article. Not only is it worth the read but it's worth being circulated amongst your female friends, single and non-single, and discussed.
However, with an obvious disparity between available Black men and Black women you either need to be open to dating outside of your race or dating Black men who are not necessarily from America, and if not (and it's okay if you don't want to) be willing to not make the dating pit falls that many women do. With odds stacked against you my sisters, you can not afford to make costly, time-consuming mistakes. This of course, is my opinion.
Now some of us will meet "the one" in high school or bump into him by chance while walking our dog in Central Park. For the rest of us, we need practicality. The author of the article, Lori, calls it "settling". No! A fly woman should never settle, she should just be realistic. If marriage is in your heart, God will grant you that blessing. You will attract what you desire by the nature of karma, but you must be able to recognize that blessing when it comes.
I think that the major problem women suffer from is setting fickle ideals about the man they want to be with. We are all, to some extent, waiting for Prince Charming to ride in his Benz CL 500 and give us the life of our dreams. We dream up Mr. Right from a place of superficiality and often from a place of shallowness. Not in the negative sense of the term, but in the fact that we have personal voids (like beautiful paper with wholes punched in it) and we form our desires for a mate out of the need to feel complete. But we have to do the completing. Our joy must come from within. We need for him to be a certain height, a certain biuld, work in a certain industry, come from a certain upbringing, like the same music we like, like the same food we like, and etc. Now while attraction is important, a woman shouldn't be quick to exclude a man because he isn't 'her type' that's a superficial desire.
Furthermore, don't be blinded by the smoke screen of compatibility. I once dated a man with whom I was compatible down to the 't'... but he was a dog!!! Surface level compatibility is not all that serious, it's your inner-most ideals about life that need to match up.
In fact, no woman can.Neither can she afford to waist time in dead end relationships with men who disrespect their mind, spirit, or body. Don't get so caught up by what he does, or how good the sex is, that you are oblivious to bright red flags. Everyone has different standards, but me personally, I need to know that my sig-o is honest, has a sense of ethics, believes in God, respects my body, mind and spirituality, has strong family values, and is willing to make sacrifices (small or large) for the sake of our relationship. And if these items are not in order, I move on! My best friend, the Chocolate Diva has a great saying. "Wait... I actually don't have the time. Next!" But really, I could care less if he likes hip hop and I like jazz. Variety is the spice of life.
Furthermore, there's such a thing as a seductive personality. When you're fly, you're doing your thing, and meeting different people, he's going to come to you. And you want that. You want that genuine admiration. You don't want that guy approaching 30, thinking about getting married soon, dating 3 women at once, and trying to make a decision (it happens like that sometimes). You want that man who's smitten. Who tells you that you are beautiful and that you smell nice and he really notices when are wearing a different scent. That man that is trying to know more about you, rather than more about your body. That man who is understanding. That man that can handle you (because some of yall, including me, are crazy). That man who looks into your eyes and gives you the chills because you feel that he is really searching for your soul. You shouldn' t feel like you have to keep up a facade or that dating someone is like a show, where you need to be 'on' in order to keep him impressed. When it's right it feels natural.
So while I agree with Lori about opening our eyes and not passing up on a potential blessing, I disagree that this is settling. I think it's being smart, rational, realistic and honest. I think it's getting to know and love yourself so that you can truly know and love someone else. Hmmm, tell me what you think. I know my ideas will strike a chord with some of you.
And because spring, for me, is the season of romance, here is a poem by Nazir Qabbani, an incredible Arab poet noted for his love poems. It captures the spirit of things.
On Entering the Sea
Love happened at last,
And we entered God's paradise,
SlidingUnder the skin of the water
We saw the precious pearls of the sea
And were amazed.
Love happened at last
Without intimidation…with symmetry of wish.
So I gave…and you gave
And we were fair.
It happened with marvelous ease
Like writing with jasmine water,
Like a spring flowing from the ground.
-Nizar Qabbani, translated by B. Frangieh
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
While a slingback and an ankle strap may go in and out, a T-Strap has timeless sex appeal. It's also flattering to any leg and appropriate at any age. This season, it may not be the main shoe trend, but quite a few have caught my eyes. I thought I'd share.
Flyness and Funk,
1. Fendi Rnway Metallic Circles Heel, $625, E-Luxury
2. BP Plie Pump, $59.95, Nordstrom
3. Miss Sixty "brodie" Pump, $175, Nordstrom
4. Claudia Ciuti Dalia HIgh Heel T-Strap Sandal, Shop Bop
5.Miu Miu Patent T-Strap Pump, $495, Saks
6. Le silla T-Strap Sandal, on sale for $200 from $670, Foot Candy
7. Versace Stamped Croc and Raffia Wedge, $810, E-Luxury
8. Christian Louboutin Coxinellse T-Bar Pump, $695, Net-A-Porter
-MSNBC Political Commentator Kelli Goff
Please note that during this heated debate on MSNBC about whether or not the basi for Obama's spectacular campaign was his race, conservative, republican pundit and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan tells Kelli Goff to "shut up". He has never told anyone else to shut up on national tv. She handled it with tremendous dignity. The clip below. The incident is after 4.30.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The Turner Complex- group of symptoms associated with a Black male who simultaneously identifies with the revolutionary behavior of Nat Turner and the abusive behavior of Ike Turner. He is passionate about the advancement of his people and spends his time reading Michael Eric Dyson and listening to John Coltrane. He can quote from the Auto Biography of Malcolm X and there is a picture of the Black Panther’s on his wall, however he can’t help but disrespect woman after woman as he concerns himself chiefly with his own satisfaction. If he doesn’t leave her with physical scars he leaves her with emotional wounds. The problem with a man suffering from the Turner Complex is that he is so self-convinced and often receives such affirmation from his peers that he is never forced to confront his faults.
CAVEAT: This is not at all a generalization en masse about Black men. This is an observation I have made about a FEW Black men I've encountered that lead me to ponder a more general point about human nature that has no race and has no color boundary. I use life experience frequently as a lead in to my blogs, but they almost all have a greater point that many people can take from. This is not meant to be "sexist". It is an observation made based off a few encounters, romantic/non-romantic and while there are few men for whom my ficticious complex applies, there are MANY more men for whom it doesn't. And for that, I thank God. Enjoy.
*** *** ***
While I coined this term comically about a year ago amongst my friends, it came to mind earlier today while browsing Myspace. I came across the page of the very man for whom I’d coined the term. Let’s call him Prince Charming because he was charming as all hell, and at one time I believed that he was the man who would make my fairytale come true. (Well, for about two weeks) Now our relationship didn’t progress very far. I quickly realized that I was dealing with a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but I feel as if the experience is worth discussing.
Prince Charming’s Myspace profile is filled with quotes by the likes of Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon, quotes about the liberation of the Black race and the context of freedom. One that particularly stands out is taken from one of Malcolm X’s most notable speeches:
“If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her.”
Now let’s make it clear that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a man that is passionate about freedom and the advancement of people of color. It is a trait that I need in a man. In fact, his ‘consciousness’ is what attracted me to him in the first place. I thought, finally, a good looking, educated, older man who believes in God, likes jazz and loves his people. Jackpot! Boy was I disillusioned. Sure, he could speak at length about the state of Black America and perhaps he’d even read some Amiri Baraka, but this man treated Black women with up most disrespect, so.. .he wasn’t all that elevated in his consciousness.
It is absolute hypocrisy when a Black man proclaims his commitment to elevating peoples of African descent, and ritually disrespects Black women, physically, sexually, or emotionally… and emotionally does count. The black woman is the bearer of the Black Race. No, this doesn't mean she carries it on her shoulders single handedly. It means, quite literally, she gives birth. She is the mother, the grand mother... the matriarch. How can a man belittle a Black woman, her mind, her spirit and her body, when it was through a Black womb that he came into existence, or that his parents came into being? How can he express his love for the Black race and denigrate the female in the process? Is it feasible fora man to be committed to honoring his people and dishonoring a Black woman when in many cases, a Black woman raised him? How can one circumvent the Black woman when she is such an integral part of the Black race? It doesn’t make sense. In the same way, it doesn't make sense for a woman that proclaims her commitment to elevating people of color routinely disparaging Black men. In both cases these are contradictions of major proportions. I dont know, it's like being crazy about pizza, but hating the bread. Then you don't like pizza. It's like being a jazz fein but abhoring the bass and the drums... Then you don't like jazz.
If a Black man, no matter how militant he is, lacks the integrity it takes to honor the Black woman (and that doesn't mean he has to love or like all black women) then he can not possibly honor his race or really, love his self. And Prince Charming isn’t the only man I’ve encountered suffering from the Turner Complex.
Now, I won't go to deep in this but I wonder if the Turner Complex to some extent manifests itself on a national scale. Like every ethnic or national group of people (we’re getting into gender studies here, but remember I’m still a senior in college) the woman ultimately signifies the ‘people' and the nation. Politics and ethnic discourse are often played out on her body and she is considered to be the keeper of tradition. Hence you have terms like the “motherland” and the “mother tongue”. In the Arab world where Islamic Law and custom are constantly being put under attack by the West, many Arab female scholars will argue that this phenomena makes it more difficult for Arab women to attain equal status in civic society because the act of defending Islamic tradition manifests itself in the suppresion of women. Literally, she becomes the keeper of tradition, and the counter to intrusive Western Thought. This is an example of how women signify the nation or the group on a larger cultural stage.
To return to my point, I find it interesting that as a collective, Blacks are interested in social ,political and economic advancement, yet we condone (and silence is a form of condoning) the sexualization and objectification the Black woman on a national stage. Is this not a ghastly contradiction? And to think of it sociologically, if the 'woman' indeed does signify 'the group' then how are we to interpret our predilection for denigrating Black women for viewing and entertainment purposes. It was on the slave block that a woman was told to strip naked and bend over so her hind parts could be examined by potential purchasers, but when I look at some videos and magazine's today... not that much different. I don't have the answer, I can just ask decent questions. (Below: Frame from Nelly's 'Tip Drill' video as he swipes a credit card down... well you know)
Now there is nothing at all wrong with a conscious Black man and many of them are respectful and admirable Black men, heroes in fact. My dad is a wonderful example of this. We're talking about men who wear their consciousness on their sleeeves... but not in their hearts. The issue is that life is about balance. When a man defines his self by his convictions, be his convictions about race or even his piety, we have to wonder for what character flaw he could be over-compensating. This statement may step on some toes, but we all know that there are men of all races in positions of political, social and religious leadership who have philandering ways and no respect for women with whom they are romantically involved. In most of these cases, however, we are willing to look past his character flaws because of his distinguished public role. Every time you watch a male politician publicly apologize for adultery and his wife is there stoically by his side, this is what’s happening.
Men who seem motivated by some deeply rooted goal to inspire change are very attractive. They seem determined. They seem whole. Their very charisma and sense of purpose is the source of their magnetism… and in most cases they know this. There is nothing wrong with an inspired man (it’s great) but a woman must be strong enough to see beyond the mask. We all wear masks. Are his convictions apart of his character or his well constructed façade? Is he fooling even himself? The song says “order my steps in your word dear Lord”. Is he merely capable of articulating his beliefs in a profound way, or does he “order his steps” by them? We can always find people whose words contradict their actions, men and women, but it is dangerous to form relationships with such people.
We have to be careful about being infatuated by the “idea” of a man, or what he represents. We can’t fall in love with an archetypal figure, we need to fall in love with the reality if love is to have a chance at all.
I’d love to know what you all think about this.
Flyness and Funk,
Monday, March 17, 2008
Tacky Christmas decorations, Tiffany “New York” Patterson, racism, video vixens who write tell-all books, any music/movie/television show that sets the race back several decades, rain, baby mama drama (maybe a baby mama, but definitely no drama), Black female reality tv characters who perpetuate stereotypes, gold teeth, singledom, technicolor weaves, Black men who exclusively date non-Black women, being labeled as angry, stereo types, chitterlings, run over shoes, anything that can be labeled as trite, ‘bama, or ghetto, men who have no business approaching them but do so anyways, BET (with the exception of the BET awards), gangster rap, kanekelon hair, condoleeza rice, war in Iraq, genocide in Sudan, HIV/AIDS epidemic, Nelly’s “Tip Drill” music video, the “down low” phenomena, any EBW who is flyer than them, long acrylic nails/claws, the fact that Kara Saun didn’t win Project Runway, Kobe Bryant, the so called “achievement gap”, Toni Childs departure from ‘Girlfriends’, Soul Food being canceled, the American prison system, the ratio of available black women to available black men, finger waves, cheap men, public pools, and their mother’s opinion.
Click here for Stuff Educated Black Women Like.
“Hi! What’s your name?”
“Where are you from?”
“What do you do?”
“Where did you grow up?”
“Where did you go to college?”
“Did you pledge a fraternity/sorority?”
“Where did you go to grad-school?”
And sometimes, “Were you in Jack and Jill?”
The catch is that after the EBP responds to each question, the EBW will name a long list of people who are affiliated with that school/region/company/organization. Example, “Oh you graduated from Wesleyan in 2000, do you know Jeff Williams?” The EBP that can answer yes to the majority of her “Do you know…?” inquiries wins. What do they win? Her instant respect and friendship.
12. Languages- EBW’s have an affinity for speaking more than one language fluently. Being Multi-lingual is a sign of education and worldliness. We also love to show off our language skills in front of unsuspecting White People. While French, Spanish , and Italian are by far the most popular, other EBW’s have been known to master Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic (moi), German and Russian.
We don’t just compete against our peers though. We especially like to compete against other EBW’s (and yes, they can be our friends) because while we learned that we always have to be twice as well to prove ourselves in the real world, we are also lead to believe that there can only be ONE EBW at the top of her game in a chosen field. And then, when we discover that there is a shortage of black men, we fear that if we aren’t the most outstanding woman in the crop, we’ll end up 46 and never married. We compete to be the best dressed. We compete to have the smallest waist line. We compete to be in the most exclusive organizations and to have the most finely decorated home. I’ve seen an established grown woman demand a bigger engagement ring from her husband (and the original was fabulous) because her long-time friend received a brand new 5 caret from her husband on her anniversary. Competition inspires us. Often times it brings out the best, but sometimes it brings out the worse. Now I don’t condone this “crabs in the barrel” nonsense, and it doesn’t apply 100 per cent for all of us, but I call it like I see it.
4. Michelle Obama- Barack Obama is an awesome candidate, but despite his honorable stance on the War in Iraq, health care, and the economy, what an EBW likes best about Barack is his wife Michelle. That’s right. Thank you Barack for choosing a successful, highly-educated, sophisticated, and beautiful Black woman as your wife and as the mother of your children. The election may not be over yet, but already Michelle is our First Lady. She is our patron saint. She is the Corretta Scott King of our generation. She’s not just the senator’s wife. Michelle has an identity of her own and an incredible academic and professional background. She can deliver just a fiery speech as he and address an audience of voters on any issue. And still, we can see how devoted she is to supporting her husband. We love that. We especially love that Michelle defies every stereotype that the media tries to project onto Black Women, those stereotypes EBW’s constantly fight to contradict. Older EBW’s admire her, and in case you were wondering, Michelle is the women that all of us Generation X EBW’s are trying to be.
3. Their Mother’s Opinion- It’s a love hate relationship and we don’t necessarily love our mother’s opinion, but we care about it. Actually, we care about it deeply. It's not like we can avoid it. If mom is in the picture, then so is her opinion. It's there, even when she isnt. We've heard mom's take on our lives so much, it has nestled into a part of our brain, the part that makes decisions. Most EBW’s will make very few, if any, major-life decisions without her say. And if by chance we do, well… We’ll hear about it for the rest of our lives. Love you mom!
2. Flowery Language-Okay, so we’re educated. Of course we have fantastic sentence structure, pronunciation, and a broad vocabulary. We are articulate. But remember, we are not just Educated Women, we are Educated Black Women and like all Blacks, we like flavor (salt and paprika please). And Black Women have found a special way to season the english language. Lightly of course, she doesn't do ebonics (except behind close doors), but she will add some flair to the generic sentence with off-beat expressions and spicy words like “fabulous”, “fly”, “fierce”, and “darling”. Cece my love, that outfit is baaad!" Now don't get me wrong, the EBW is merely reacting to a legacy of innovating the English language, something Blacks have always done but in many ways the EBW is the mediator between the vernacular and mundane English. She weaves the two together seamlessly.