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Damn, It’s Been 7 Years.

 

I suck with keeping up with anything that has to deal with anniversaries or birthdays. I received an email over the weekend from someone informing me that they’ve been following my writing for the last 7 years. I was tempted to reply back that I could give them better things to do with their time, but I kept it friendly and appreciative. Then it dawned on me that they were correct, as of last month, I’ve had this site for 7 years.  Sure, it’s gone through its fair share of name changes (funkyblackchick, fungkeblakchick, flyblackchick & now the present), but the one thing that has remained the same is that it’s been an interesting writing ride.

When I started my blog I used it as an opportunity to vent about life events. From there it evolved into me venting about current events and pop culture. And most recently it’s been collecting dust. I just don’t like sharing my opinion any more with random strangers, or even writing about my personal life. There’s enough shit out there on the internet about that.  I used to enjoy writing on my personal blog, but over the last several years, I’ve learned that some things are better left unwritten.

Not everything things to be shared.

Not everything needs to be reminisced about.

Not everything needs to become some wax poetical experience.

And for fuck’s sake.

Not everything needs to be a think piece.

In any event, those readers who are left, and still have an active subscription, thanks for sticking around. I can’t promise that I’ll update this site often, but who knows, maybe someone will give me something good to write about.

Until then, check out my daily shit on The Root.com.

 

 

Pharrell Seemingly Forgets That Racism Still Exists Because He’s ‘New Black’

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I get it, Pharrell Williams is happy.  He’s happy his “Happy” song eventually topped the charts. He’s happy that people embrace his “singing.” And he’s so happy he cried tears of joy during a recent Oprah Winfrey interview when he saw other people sing his song.

Everyone loved that segment.

Pharrell, Oprah, and tears–ratings gold.

But outside of the clip, Pharrell had some interesting thoughts on what he refers to as the “new Black:”

The “new black” doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The “new black” dreams and realizes that it’s not a pigmentation; it’s a mentality. And it’s either going to work for you, or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re gonna be on.

Hey Pharrell, let me borrow those rose-colored glasses for a minute.

Last time I checked being Black was more than just a mentality. If that was the case, then I could choose to be just about any other race because, you know, my mentality wants to be White on Friday, so I can use White privilege for just one day.

Frequent Clutch contributor, Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick) read Pharrell for filth on a recent Facebook status:

Y’know, I’m tired of these rich, disconnected Black men (this means you, Kanye West) denying the lingering prevalence of racism to the amusement of whites whose attention they so desperately covet. I wish celebrities’ opinions didn’t matter so much, but they do frame the culture & Pharrell’s bulls–t is poison. Structural racism is real, struggle vocals and the mix and matching of refrigerator wisdom over an uplifting beat be damned. In sum, Pharrell, grow up, or at the very least, shut up and “sing.”

And there’s the problem. These artists don’t live in reality. Maybe Pharrell should ask some of the Black guys that are in the Virginia Beach area, just how “new Black” they were when they were being racially profiled.  I’m sure  they”ll be happy to explain it to the cops while they’re on the side of the highway with the contents of their car being searched.

It’s almost like these people become famous and get to walk around with a shield that guards them from racism, or they don’t watch TV and see the victims of racism on the news. Hell, even Oprah should have mentioned the fact that she was recently on the receiving end of racism during a recent high-priced shopping trip.

In response to Pharrell’s comments the hashtag #whatkindofblackareyou was formed.

Not everyone agrees with Pharrell’s description of the “new Black,” but freedom of speech reigns supreme, so he can be whatever kind of Black he wants to be.

I, on the other hand, will be the kind of Black person that calls it all bullshit.

Common & Kanye West Want To Create 15,000 Jobs For Chicago Youth Over The Next 5 Years

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Common and Kanye West have joined forces to give back to the city that raised them by providing 15,000 jobs for the young people of Chicago over the next 5 years.

“Obviously, one of the biggest reasons our kids are going through what they’re going through is because of poverty. I was doing an event in the neighborhood and there were some kids from Englewood and I said, ‘Man, what do y’all really need? What’s gonna stop this?’ And they were like, ‘we need money. Man, if we could work.’ They want a chance,” Common said.

During a press conference Wednesday (April 9) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Common announced his Common Ground Foundation would be collaborating with Kanye West’s charity organization, Donda’s House Inc. and the Chicago Urban League in an initiative to supply employment opportunities to the community, known as The Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative.

“Today we issue a call to action to the public, private and non-profit sectors to join this effort to make year round investments in our youth. Summer jobs provide tremendous opportunities, but we often hear strong pleas from young people for year round jobs,” said Andrea L. Zopp, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “In addition to providing financial resources and a strong work ethic, jobs keep youth out of harm’s way. Year round job opportunities and support services will significantly improve the well-being of our youth and strengthen our city. We owe it to our young people to make this investment in them.”

Common’s and Kanye’s organizations were recently featured in a Stones Throw Record Documentary, are also stressing the importance of music with an upcoming music festival known as AAHH FEST!. The festival will take place September 20-21 at Hyde Park.

The festival will be held annually in order to help fund jobs and other programs in the area. The weekend of music has no official line up as of yet, but will focus on local Chicago talent.

73-Year-Old Former KKK Grand Wizard Arrested After Jewish Community Center Shootings

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Frazier Glenn Miller is the man accused of killing three people Sunday in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement community near Kansas City.  Miller is also a well-known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

Three people were killed in the shootings that occurred at about 1 p.m. a day before Passover.

Two of those shot were at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. The other was at the Village Shalom Retirement Center. Both are located in Overland Park, Kan., south of Kansas City.

The suspect was shouting anti-Semitic slogans as he was arrested, CBS affiliate KCTV reported. KCTV’s Bonyen Lee said the suspect appeared to yell “Heil Hitler” as he was taken away.

“I’ve been told he was yelling ‘Heil Hitler’ as he was being taken away in cuffs,” Rabbi Herbert Mandl, who serves as a chaplain for the Overland Park Police Department, told CNN.

The family of the first two victims put out a statement identifying them as Dr. William Lewis Corporon, who died at the scene, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, who died at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

They were both Christian.

According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, Miller has been involved in the white supremacist movement most of his life.  He founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and was its “grand dragon” in the 1980s. The Army veteran and retired truck driver later founded another white supremacist group, the White Patriot Party, the center said.

 

Town Bans Pastor From Feeding Homeless Because He Doesn’t Have A Food Truck License

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Apparently in Birmingham, Ala., feeding the homeless involves $500 worth of red tape, and a benevolent pastor is learning all about it. Pastor Rick Wood, from Lord’s House of Prayer in Oneonta, made it his mission to feed homeless people every other Saturday for the last 6 years. But because of an ordinance, hundreds of homeless people will go hungry.

Last month, town officials told Wood that unless he gets a food truck license, he can’t provide for the homeless.  Of course the town would make $500 off of Wood, once he pays for the license.

I’m just so totally shocked that the city is turning their back on the homeless like this,” he told ABC 33/40. “It’s like they want to chase them out of the city. And the homeless can’t help the position they’re in. They need help.”

But Wood has vowed to continue his service, like many other advocates who have faced similar bureaucratic measures.

Wood lives by the scripture Matthew 25, 35-40, which he has posted on his truck.

“I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was naked, I was sick and in prison,” Wood said. “When you do to them, you do to me.”

Wood will now serve food at The Church of the Reconciler in downtown Birmingham.

ABC 33/40 – Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

RIP Karyn Washington: Founder of “For Brown Girls” & #DarkSkinRedLip Project

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We are sad to report that Karyn Washington, founder of “For Brown Girls” (FBG) and the  #DarkSkinRedLip Project has passed away from an apparent suicide. Washington, from the Baltimore area, received kudos from so many black women after launching the #darkskinredlip project after rapper, A$AP Rocky, said red lips on dark girls don’t mix.

Thousands of women posted photos of themselves proudly rocking their red lips.

Washington’s mission behind FBG was to celebrate the beauty of dark skin while combating colorism and promoting self love! FBG was created to celebrate darker shades of brown- to encourage those struggling with accepting having a darker skin complexion to love and embrace the skin they are in.

A long-time friend of Washington’s wrote a heart-felt post for her:

When I look at you I see a reflection of myself and most certainly that is why this hurts so badly. From now on I’ll forever remember your big beautiful smile, your charm, ambition, professionalism, entrepreneurship, confidence, humility, your drive, and your beautiful Brown Skin. That is what I’ll choose to remember… because to be honest, I’m a bit angry with you. Indeed I’m being selfish, but my heart is devastated- yet, because I know a tad bit about what you were going through I can understand. I’m guilt tripping because I wish I could’ve been there for you a little bit more.  I’m so sorry, but I can’t help but to think that with just a little bit more time or a little less distance, proximity would’ve allowed me to make, maybe the slightest difference…. Forgive me!

Your MOTHER raised you so well. She’s been proud of you and I know she’s happy to have you by her side now. I’m so blessed to have met you and I’m so grateful that there is a God so merciful and graceful enough to supply us with what we need just when we need it- And so like I told you the last time we shared words, I love you, you’ve been in my prayers, and God is with you even in your darkest hour- and I’m most certain that He was last night. I’m glad you have found peace and happiness. You deserve it. God bless you, your family, and friends. You are Loved and Missed my beautiful brown girl extraordinaire! Thank you for being kind. Thank you for sharing your dream. Thank you for your courage and all the love you’ve poured out of your soul. Now you’ll receive divine restoration- 10 fold! (tears)

Although we didn’t personally know Washington, we stood behind her mission. May she rest in peace.

http://www.forbrowngirls.com

http://www.darkskinredlip.com

Vintage Fashion Is Trending Across African Countries

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If you ever needed a lesson in vintage fashions, you may want to look abroad at some of the hottest designers and vintage aficionados in Johannesburg, Lagos and Namibia. Everything from plaids, to vintage wingtips, and dresses your mother may have worn when she was younger, is what’s making heads turn nowadays.

One of the most well-known “fashion gurus” in Namibia is Loux the Vintage Guru, who describes himself as the  “epitome of everything…VINTAGE”. Loux takes vintage clothes from his father’s generation and adds his modern touch to them. In a recent interview with The Guardian’s Kimon de Greef, Loux discusses his sense of style and fashion motivations.

KdG: Historically, African clothing has been framed by the west as a rural phenomenon and predominantly associated with ethnic identity. Now cities like Johannesburg and Lagos are on the international fashion map. Are today’s local designers influencing international trends more meaningfully than with stale afro-chique clichés?

LVG: Some designers are influencing the old clichés, certainly. If you go to cities in places like Ghana and Nigeria you see people dressing in African prints every day. To work, to church — it’s part of day-to-day life there. The cultural identity of African prints influences my own contemporary style, too. I find it defines a kind of modern femininity, both in terms of individual strength and in attitude.

KdG: Must fashion look ‘African’ to be considered African?

LVG: Not really, but I think a certain African look is still important. It’s beautiful when people can embrace cultures outside their own, for example through adopting African lifestyles and fashion. Africa is a beautiful continent full of beautiful people, so why not make the African fashion scene known around the world as a source of inspiration? Just think of the impact leaders like Nelson Mandela and Julius Nyerere have had. The more we dress African, the more our clothing can be properly regarded as fashion.

KdG: Let’s talk vintage. By wearing old western clothing, are fashionistas like yourself imitating colonial trends or asserting a new kind of African identity?

LVG: Ha ha! No, I am certainly asserting a new kind of African identity. The clothes are western, sure, but I wear them ensuring that that all eyes are on Africa as a fresh source of creativity. In the same vein I am referencing the history of African dandy men, such as the sapeurs of the Congo.

One of my most recent favorite YouTube series is “An African City“.  If you want to see style in action, you definitely need to check out the wardrobe being used. In every episode, there’s everything from traditional African prints, to the vintage fashions Loux discussed.

A Father Recreated Classic Album Covers Using His Sons

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In a few days, it’ll be the 20th anniversary of Nas’ “Illmatic” release. Not only is the album a classic, but the cover is as well.  When you think of music, back in the day, the covers of CDs and albums were given a lot of thought. Even now, on sites like eBay, original album art is a big deal.

But why buy, when you can recreate them yourself?

Take for example, Lance Underwood, a father of two young boys. Underwood has recreated several iconic album covers with the help of his two sons. The results are quite impressive.  Underwood not only touches upon some of the great hip-hop albums, but also Jazz greats like, Miles Davis’ “Rebirth of Cool”, and Nat King Cole’s “The Very Thought of You”.

You can check out the full collection here.

If you’re feeling nostalgic and want to “Illmatic” yourself, head over to http://illmaticxx.nasirjones.com/.

 

Open Thread: Why Do People Stay After Multiple Affairs?

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Tina Campbell’s marriage woes have played out on television during the last two seasons of  Mary, Mary. Tina’s husband, Teddy Campbell, has admitted to not only her, but the viewing audience, that he has had “countless affairs”.

Although Tina has not left her husband, even after the information was divulged, Teddy is still not forth coming with the number of times he’s cheated and is giving her droppings of information.  In a recent scene, Tina basically cracks when she’s discussing her marriage with her sister, Erica.  Not only is it heart breaking to look at, but it also shows the turmoil that she’s going through:

““You stole my life away from me. I’m angry. Why you gotta do me like this?! I was good to you, man!”

We all know that Teddy is a lying and cheating bastard, but where does one drawn the line after countless affairs and receiving the information about it?

When you continue to allow your life to be stolen away and the stress piling up from the situation, at what point do you pack your bags and leave? As a person that’s been cheated on, I always adhere to the “One Strike and You’re Out” rule of thumb. But I know plenty of men and women that tend to give extra chances and hope that it doesn’t happen again. And sometimes it doesn’t happen, other times you end up getting “Teddied”.

Clutchettes, why do you think people stay after multiple affairs & confessions of cheating?

Fear Of A Browner Planet: White People Become More Conservative When Told They Are “In Danger” Of Becoming A Minority

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In what I would like to label as Fear Of A Browner Planet Syndrome, a new study published in the journal “Psychological Science” shows that white people are more likely to support conservative policies when they are told that whites are “in danger” of becoming a minority. Maureen Craig and Jennifer Richeson of Northwestern, used data from two main experiments to come to this conclusion. Which could have probably been accomplished by binge watching  Fox News.

From Death & Taxes:

In the first, one group was told that white people were now a minority in California, and another group was told that the Latin-American population was now equal to the black population in the United States. The groups were then asked their positions on various political issues. The group told that white people were the minority in California tended to lean to the right compared to the second group.

The second experiment involved one group of people a press release of a study showing that whites would be the minority in the U.S. by the year 2046, and another group another press release not mentioning race. As in the first experiment, those who had been shown the first press release showed more conservative leanings

Poor White people, kirking out over the possibility that they may end up receiving the same shitty treatment minorities have faced in this country for decades. Woe is you, white people. Woe is you.

You can download the full study here. Or just watch the John Travolta classic, “White Man’s Burden“.

The Formulaic Script Of Race & Reality TV

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While Black women are clearly underrepresented in films and on prime time comedies and dramas, the same cannot be said of our representation on reality television. The sheer number of reality programs on television today makes it difficult to determine if we are in some way “overrepresented,” however, Black women have been entertaining American households through this genre from its inception and continue to do so today.

But when it comes to the Black women of reality TV,  it’s the stereotypes that garner the most attention. The depictions of Black women are narrow and seem to revolve around the same themes including conflict with other Black women, dealing with cheating and disrespectful Black men, and that’s pretty much it.

We’ve seen Black women throw drinks in each other’s faces, jump on the table, shake the table, and pretend to be held back ‘less they shall surely spend the night in jail. And then come the boyfriends / husbands / baby daddies / significant others / crazy exes. They lie, cheat, and also throw beverages. It makes for exciting television, but at what cost? Are these shows, although heavily scripted, presenting some of the realities of Black womanhood, or are they merely repackaging what America thinks of Black women (and men) and pulling an audience by confirming stereotypes? Sadly, I think the latter is closer to the truth.

We’ve gone from Tammy on the second season of The Real World to Tammy translating her renewed popularity on Basketball Wives into her own reality show. And when it comes to being famous for being a “housewife”, there’s no one quite as big as Nene Leakes.

Leakes has parlayed her 15 minutes of fame into a full blown career. She’s taken her larger than life personality from the rented McMansions of Atlanta, to the sets of Glee and The New Normal.

In The Hollywood Reporter’s April 11th issue, the discussion of race and reality TV is brought up. But where the article speaks of the ratings shows like RHOA, Love & Hip Hop and Basketball Wives receive, it glosses over the fact that not everyone is sitting in the stands cheering for the not-so-positive images of Black people on reality TV.

But of course those, like Mona Scott-Young, who I describe as the Sojourner Truth of the Black people reality TV show movement, who’s pulling in millions, applauds her own efforts.

“It’s opened the doors, and people want to hear what I have on the slate,” says Scott-Young, who has sold to Bravo and has multiple series in development. “I think there’s a real interest in African-American culture overall. It’s an underserved audience.”

There’s no doubting that there’s a market for reality TV, and it’s putting tons of Black people to work, but needless to say, reality TV is going through its own “Tyler Perry Effect”. The unscripted reality shows featuring Black casts, are now following just one formulaic script.

Mother & Grandmother Arrested After Beating Video Goes Viral

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Another horrible child beating video surfaced recently on Facebook and then made its way to WorldStarr. But this time, the people behind the video are now in jail facing third-degree child abuse charges.

Demitria Latrion Powell, 28, the boy’s mother, Uteas Michelle Taylor, 42, the boy’s grandmother, Stefon Tirrell Felton, 39, the camera man, all of Flint, Michigan, were charged with 3rd degree child abuse, conspiracy to commit child abuse in the 3rd degree, and 3rd degree child abuse committed in the presence of another child.

The video shows the two women taunting the boy about him not being “gangster”, and with a slap to the face, within 2 minutes of the video, you soon realize what’s going to happen next.

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The grandmother inflicted about 50 hits to the boys behind with a belt, while the camera man, after bragging about being in jail for 10 years, seemed to get a thrill out of filming the video.

The 11-year-old and another child, who was unharmed in the video, have been placed in child protective custody.

“The adults in this case clearly went beyond what is a reasonable level of ‘parental discipline,’” said Prosecutor Leyton. “What the video in this case reveals is a group of adults whose actions were a criminal assault against a child and that behavior cannot be condoned nor allowed under the law,” he said.

Investigators are still looking into any other adults that may have witnessed the video being made, to file additional charges.