Read Smoke!

Read Smoke!
My latest book, "Smoke: poems of love, longing and ecstasy" is available for purchase on Amazon in e-book and paperback. Click book for link.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Is it something I said?

Funny, and true, cartoon!

Fierce Files: Eartha Kitt, Dance Rehearsal

Spotlight: Diana Ross, Work That Body, 1981

This is Diana doing Beyonce--- before Beyonce. Enjoy the leotards!

PS: This is a GREAT workout tune.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How To Care For Color Treated Hair

Hey Divas,

I'm on tv. I do my hair, with heat, five days a week-- and I have color treated hair! Could be a recipe for disaster, and though I do have some breakage, it could be worse. I take preventative measures, like keeping my hair well conditioned, moist, and NEVER laying down without a silk scarf.

I found this Jones Mag interview with celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephens, and she gives some excellent advice for color treated gals.

JONESMAG.COM: What are your top five tips for keeping color-treated hair healthy?

URSULA STEPHENS: First, Increase your conditioning treatments. Your hair need to stay hydrated. On top of a deep conditioner, I usually recommend a leave-in too. Try Motions Nourish Leave-In Conditioner. It’s enriched with natural ingredients like Vitamin E and silk proteins that moisturize strengthen and protect vulnerable hair.
Second, Try to avoid products that contain alcohol.
My third tip would be alternating your chemical processes – don’t relax and color at the same time to avoid breakage.
Fourth, take a break from your flatiron – unless you have a hot date!
And five, try letting you hair air dry – even if it’s only a few times a week, this will help maintain healthy hair.

To read the entire article click here.

Flyness and flat-irons,


Monday, June 21, 2010

Aaron McGruder Lampoons Tyler Perry on the Boondocks

Aaron McGruder uses his satirical genius to put all of Black America on blast, excusing no one. Not even...


Madea cracks me up, especially when she does her Patti Labelle impression, but at the same time, my soul is weeping.

Tyler Perry is an impressive American success story, much like his friend Oprah Winfrey. But unlike Oprah, Perry's media empire is cancer for Black artistic production. Cancer spreads if unchecked right? Tyler Perry has managed to spread his predictable metastatic story line and stereotypes from stage, to movies, to television.

The typical Winston Jerome story starts with a beautiful educated professional Black woman trapped in a troubled marriage with a brown skinned Black dude.

In what I consider to be one of McGruder's finest moments, he does check the mogul. Chin checks him. "Pause", the eighth episode in season 3, is a diatribe against Tyler Perry smothered in classic McGruder humor, such is the inclusion of "Pause, no homo".

In the episode granddad lands a starring role in a stage play by 'Jerome Winston'. Jerome is a cross-dressing, White Jesus professing, sexually ambiguous director that looks, sounds and acts an awful lot like Tyler Perry. The episode is a not-so-subtle commentary on Perry's mega-presence in Black Hollywood. McGruder even goes so far as to point out the irony of Perry's Christian themes juxtaposed with the homo-erotic undertones of his cross-dressing Madea character, and his own sexually ambiguous reputation.

But Jesus wants us to be actors first, heterosexuals second.

And then McGruder takes more subtle jabs at elements of Perry's work that we may overlook while laughing our behinds off. His heavy handed used of negative stereotypes and the narrow perspective on African-American life he presents to the world. These are the artistic shortcomings for which Perry has already come under fire from critics like fellow-film maker, Spike Lee.

I personally can not name one stage play, movie, or sitcom that does not feature one or some combination of the mammy, the crack addicted Jezebel, tragic mullato, and/or coon. My biggest gripe with his work is that Perry has recycled and reused the single Black woman narrative ad nauseum, promoting the idea that if you are a virtuous Black woman you must either marry 'beneath you' or remain woefully single. I mean really, our indulgence in this tragic tale of the single Black female has become a self-fulfilling prophecy that we really need to abandon. But we won't, because Tyler Perry won't let us.

How could you do this to me?
Get out! I'm going to marry this white huzzy! You are too virtuous and strong. You might make me a better man.

You may disagree, but I believe that given the fragile nature of the Black community and the state of our Black children, people invested with the power of image ought to be responsible.


Whether you agree or disagree with McGruder's commentary, this episode is indisputably hilarious.

Spotlight: 'Love Changes', Kashif and Me'Lissa Morgan

And in honor of my prior post, I decided to post a throwback.

Love Changes

My doctor friend is fabulous, juggling everything. Her position as an OB-GYN at a hospital here in Medium City, South. Her MBA classes. Her foundation. Her friends including myself, a little-sister-like companion. And on top of all of that-- her new man.

"You're so good about balance," I told her on our last phone conversation. We were rehashing the events of the ladies-night dinner we attended the evening prior. She was taking a break from studying for an exam.

"I used to be," she admitted. "It's getting harder. Men are needy."

Aren't they? Actually relationships are needy. They deplete time you would be spending on yourself, but some things are worth that time. My doctor friend is in her mid-thirties, and after a series of failed relationships and men she was simply too good for, it seems like she has (finally) found the one. But you know what? Perhaps if she found 'the one' when she was my age-- she wouldn't be so accomplished.

It is the compromise of love. Love changes things.

Sometimes in the absence of love, there is plenty of room for personal growth. When Miles cleared the picture (partially, as I ironically heard from him the other day) I seemed to have a lot more time on my hands. Really I didn't, but the young energy that I was pouring into my love life, hoping to build a future with this handsome man was suddenly.... mine.

And then of course it took quite a bit of energy to get over it.

But once that time passed, I asked myself a question. How can I make me happy?

Have you ever woke up singing? Like, I'm feeling fabulous! No specific reason, just you're high on life? Well, that is my life right now.

In answering this question, I realized there were some things on the grand to-do list that I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to shed a couple pounds. I wanted to jump start my literary career. I wanted to give back to the community and essentially renew my life. And then one day I glanced in a mirror, and realized, I had. Totally.

That heart break sparked the greatest phase of transformation in my life in ten years. (My transformation between middle school and high school was something serious.)

That's the positive aspect of being young and single, especially if you have big dreams for yourself. You date and commiserate and then you spend a lot of time working on you. You become more fabulous with each passing year, and really, with each passing liason, because even if it doesn't work out (hopefully) you learn something new about men, or something new about yourself. Maybe both.

And then when the man of your dreams does come along, like my doctor friend, you are ready. In fact-- maybe that's why he comes along.

Flyness and Funk,