I found this to be very interesting area of the interspace. The BBC is offering readers and listeners in Africa the opportunity to share their lives with the world. Very interesting and worth the read!
My man, Terrence Howard, has received "the nod" and is nominated for Best Actor for Hustle & Flow. I would have loved to see him receive the Oscar for his role in Crash, as the carjacking scene with Terrence, Ludacris, and the cops was truly an edge of your seat moment, but you can't always get what you want! The Associated Press captured this quote from Terrence, "My eyes are so covered in tears, I couldn't see half the television." Well, good luck brotha!
Terrence Howard Oscar Nominations Hustle and Flow
What a year 2006 has been and it's only JANUARY!! I woke up this morning to the sounds of Earth, Wind, and Fire's That's The Way of the World, feeling a sense of peace. Unfortunately, I didn't know that this new found peace would be because of the death of a sista who walked along side a brother that paved the way for me to do what it is I love to do today. Maya Angelou said it best on ABC's "Good Morning America."
"It's a bleak morning for me and for many people and yet it's a great morning because we have a chance to look at her and see what she did and who she was. It's bleak because I can't _ many of us can't hear her sweet voice but it's great because she did live, and she was ours. I mean African-Americans and white Americans and Asians, Spanish-speaking _ she belonged to us and that's a great thing."
Rest In Peace Mrs. King....
Update 12/30/06 4:11 PM: Here is a PDF copy of Mrs. King's Memorial Program. Additionally, though this blog was not around when she passed, here is a copy of the memorial program for Rosa Parks, who passed away in October 2005.
If ever there was a show to watch, this one is it! Welcome Black History Month with the PBS show, African American Lives, a four-part series, which chronicles the heritage of prominant African-Americans right before your eyes! Before my grandfather past away this year, I was in the process of gathering up our family leaves to put back on the tree, so I am excited to hear/see the leaves of other trees! Be sure to watch on Wednesday, February 1 at 9:00pm!
PBS African American Lives
I love music. All kinds of music, but on the regular I tend to listen more to R&B, Jazz, Real Blues, Gospel, and yes, Hip-Hop. Lately, Hip-Hop has been getting a beating and as much as I love the music, I sometimes wonder where the balance has gone. The scales aren’t tipped; they’re overturned on the topics that are rapped-sung in our music. For instance after putting my kids down for a nap, I started working on Soulful Synergy and of course, I need a background hum, enters BET. I flip on the channel and fifteen minutes into BET NOW, I’ve heard/seen only one spectrum of the music rainbow-Hip-Hop. Now I understand this genre is dominating the industry right now, but where is the balance? Not all of our music is just about “whistling at our sistas” or “I got that fire” because “I’m on it” and yes, I know music is a reflection of our lives, but don’t we do or say a whole lot more than sex, drugs, and money? I think about what Al Sharpton is saying about The Boondocks episode, Return of the King, and I tend to believe that his focus should not be on the N-word that they put into the mouth of the cartoon version of King, but on the MESSAGE of the show – the state of our communities! For instance, in the show, “King” was flipping channels and happened to swing past BET to see nothing but booties swinging. Funny, but sad and I believe BET has more responsibility to the audience it serves.
Coincidentally, I was cleaning the basement and found an old Washingtonian magazine and in it was an article covering Shelia Johnson, the ex-wife of BET founder, Robert Johnson. In this article, Shelia’s quoted with saying this about the channel she helped create, “Turn down the sound and its soft-core pornography”. Damn! Also in this November 03 story, I learned that she was the creator of Teen Summit! I loved that show, yet where is that kind of show today? I can name on one hand all the channels that cater to a black audience – BET, TV ONE & UPN and I don’t know, but I just expect more. Where is The Cosby Show or Martin, or heck, more recently, My Wife and Kids? I know Bernie Mack is still out there, regulated to a bad time slot, but other than that, what other shows are out there conceptualizing more of our spectrum? Maybe I’m an old fart at 26 (LOL!), but I miss A Different World and Soul Food and let me not even go into a rant about the slow release of the DVDs for these shows! Ugh! Sadly, I feel my love for BET is bittersweet, as I know a world without it would only get me fewer opportunities to see my people shine, but damn, can a sista get more than videos as black entertainment on television?
BET rap videos boondocks shelia johnson hip-hop
Compaq and I have decided to start anew thanks to the help of our friend the recovery disk! Working late another night on the website, fine-tuning a few of the pages. Something told me to check the web stats to see if anyone has paid any attention to my little business out there in the inter space and what do you know! In my first week of go-live the site has had (DRUM ROLL PLEASE....) 2210 hits! I'm still trying to learn all the website jargon, but if this means what I think it means then I feel a bit nervous! LOL! What are they thinking when they get there? Is the information viable? Will they come back? 2210 is a nice number for 6 days of being on the web...yet I feel more pressure to get it all done. Never before have I felt so much interest for the work that I am doing. I feel engrossed. I feel a calling, I think what I'm trying to say is I've found my life's passion.
I'm in another locale as I write this. I just can't believe this. My computer of 10 months has decided to divorce me. This morning, as we were surfing the web together, he decided to create a blue scene of a screen and leave me hanging. Damn it! That's what I get for cheating on my husband with my Compaq. All those late nights, Compaq and I would stay up creating black love. Mounds and mounds of round brown data I pounded into him. I guess he couldn't take it, but I loved giving it. It's what makes my day full. Soulfull of all my thoughts, dreams, fears, treats, he was the keeper of my tomorrow. Now I must start over. A new image will greet me when I turn on my computer screen, but I will remember that another kiss might be around the bend tomorrow. I better back up....
After meeting up with Mr. Ryan Toby, I was compelled to write this letter to God...
I know you are listening to me today. I believe this because your earthly angels are all telling me to stay the course. This is my purpose and not all stairs will be crystal- clear, like Langston Hughes poem, but I want this Lord. I want to be able to support my family with my dreams. Today’s meeting with Ryan was indescribable. I’m no longer behind the glass ceiling that encases the music industry – insiders versus outsiders. I feel a better awareness. This trip makes me want to stay on my grind. To remember that my drive, my talent, my goals are all gifts from you, Lord, and like someone once told me – don’t ever curse your blessing.
I think back to the discussion with Ryan about self-image and as I grapple with my identity as a black woman with a “treble” cleft, I feel a sense of solidarity. It’s amazing how all of God’s people are internally linked in emotions/feelings unbeknownst to them. The person sitting right next to you could be going through the same issues and there comes a time when you have to throw caution to the wind and let that person sitting next to you know that you’ve been there before and I appreciate Ryan for doing that. Reminiscing on the Beats of the Boizz that rattled and shook me into outer space, I think of Ryan’s food for the soul:
1. Stay motivated.
2. Give first.
3. Don’t get caught up in the industry.
4. Goliath had only five stones.
5. You many not look like (blank), but Jesus didn’t look like the Messiah either.
6. Ask yourself this question everyday - Okay God, what is my assignment?
7. Learn all sides of your business.
8. Pray for your enemies.
9. Life is like a shit sandwich, the more bread you have, the less shit you eat.
Very good food selections, and so it’s up to me to create my own dishes to savor with the flavor of my own wisdom. Well, I better get cookin’! Oh yeah, be on the lookout for the formal review of Ryan’s upcoming album, Soul of a Songwriter, on the Soulful Synergy site.
Ryan Toby Beat Boizz
Any aspiring writer/poet, who has stained a page, would jump at the opportunity to meet E. Ethelbert Miller, a legendary poet who has been the architect of many careers. So why was I walking up to his home thinking, WHY AM I HERE? Poetry is for fun - shits and giggles - I can't be serious, this isn’t a real job, and nobody wants to hear what I have to say! Yet as we entered through the foyer of his home, I held tight to my dreams and my non-existent breakfast. Our meeting started well, with the courtesy handshakes and pleasantries, then Mr. Miller (or as I secretly call him Mr. E) lead right into direct questions-where you from, how old are you, any siblings, etc. with the ease of a veteran detective. I was enthralled by every second, but soon found my voice to explain the facts; born in Richmond, VA, 26, middle child with two sisters, etc. From that, point on Mr. E guided my sister through areas of where her songwriting ability might flourish, and for an hour an a half I listened to him walk her through history. He told stories of how Hurricane Katrina has influenced music and how blues was born. As I listened, I was inspired to write this little ditty.
There is no rhythm.
Where is it
In them to be hip-hop?
Then it was my turn. He spoke, “What is you want to do?” and suddenly, I drew a blank. Classic! I told him about Soulful SynergyTM and working from some corporate cliché, I handed him business cards! Oh boy, another classic! I moved forwarded and began to tell him about my dreams, stumbling along the way. To my surprise, Mr. E stated, “Come on now, I could have a million dollars waiting for you, you gotta sell me.” I whined, “Well…I want to work in the literary arts field, combining poetry and art”. I made my best attempt at selling and it was a good thing that I brought a promo to save me from my runaway train of a mouth. After his critique, he showed me many trails to possible pursue in my quest to “synergize” the world and I am making it my point to search all of them.
For the remainder of the meeting, he offered us guidance on places to visit in the area, philosophy on the true meaning of success. He offered us tips such as set goals and more importantly the A.B.C – Always Be Closing! I etched this gem feverishly in my notebook. Another statement he made that sticks out the most in my mind is – “Try to have your business up and running by June”. Definitely an interesting goal and definitely attainable. I just have to lean heavily on God, family, friends, and of course my A.B.C! I just love acronyms and I shared the one I created for S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
For me, the word of the day is inspiration. Not the inspiration of the “higher-than-thou” kind, but the inspiration of one craft master to another. Earlier in the meeting, while listening to conversations of Gil Scott Heron, I wrote this – “Perfect your stroll and roll perfectly into your future” and this was Mr. E’s final gift to us, the education of excellence, precision, and consistency! I look forward to future lessons from the E as I share my arts with him.
self-employed African-American poetry poets
I am alive today. I am thankful today. I woke up this morning thinking about how precious life is. What an opportunity it is for me to be able to work from home, to create a new world for my sons. I want to dead the shyness in the side of me. I want to feel free to be me. I think about my past and how I lived day by day wondering who or what I was going to use to validate me, but I don’t want to do that anymore. God pulls the strings and I am his puppet not yours. How easy it is to give your identity away to someone or something else. Today I take me back from the “you” of the world. I don’t want live up to the standards laid out by Man. I don’t want to send my kids to college so they can come out only wanting a job-no I’m raising my kids to have businesses. To be businessmen who are always singing their A.B.Cs – Always Be Closing. But first, momma has to walk the line and bring them over into my dream/reality. Lord, please guide thee.
My grandfather died today. There were so many words I wanted to say, but I can’t because my grandfather has died. I feel robbed. I feel jealous. So many emotions are running through the core of me that I am totally unsure of what to think or how to be. Part of me wants to rejoice in his rest and seek comfort in the fact that he died in his sleep. Yet, another wants to go up to heaven and pull him out of my grandmother’s grasp. I wasn’t finished. I didn’t have the chance to fulfill my dreams for him. I wanted to take him back to his home in Petersburg and let him sit in his favorite lazy-boy chair and flip channels. I wanted to sit down at the little table in the kitchen and hear him tell me to eat all my food. Or yell “Booga” when he wanted me to hand him something. I miss him terribly and yet I didn’t take advantage of all the opportunities I had to love him while he was here! I fear that memory will take away even more opportunities like wind blowing through our family tree, all the leaves are missing, swept away by the hands of time. I cry for the responsibility I have to maintain the legacy of the family name. I cry because I am scared my sons will marry relatives due to the diaspora of our family leaves. I cry for the hope that will try to fill my heart tomorrow only to be murdered by the despair I feel today. I love my grandfather. He is a man that talks the eloquent way of talking, the cool way of holding your place in a room, and he made sure every one knew who was boss. Within, he held his own definition of independence and even into his later years, he still wanted to do it himself. I loved him for that. Even in death, the Lord granted him his own way – a peaceful slumber to heaven’s door. I can only hope I have the same opportunity to negotiate my exit like you Poppa. I love you.
love jones - what a movie. Absolutely one of my favorite movies so much so that it is apart of the fabric of my life. I can remember where I was when I saw it.. the best! But anyhow let me talk about another moment that will be apart of the fabric of my life - my trip to NJ to meet the infamous singer, actor, songwriter Ryan Toby! Coming into NJ, I was full of anxiety, but I left from NJ feeling inspired to achieve, to take my feet off the ground and skip towards my goals. Granted the trip wasn't about me (see previous post), but Ryan had more than enough wisdom to spare on the ins and outs of success! And he was everything that I thought he would be... plain cool! Not the kinda cool that fosters thoughts of sagging pants and a swaying walk to match, but the cool that comes from living life with realness. No personal assistants, no continuous name-dropping - just cool liked that (remember digable planets!). I am so excited for the possiblities! I also met a lot of cool fok and I am especially looking forward to hearing more beats from this guy named Yountie! OMG! If Pharrell is a nerd, then this guy is a genius! Pure soul rock, pop, hip-hop, whatever your earbuds are craving for, this man has it! He worked on majority, if not all, the tracks on Ryan's upcoming album and boy is this album going to change what we believe to be R&B! Brother Ryan (he calls me sister!) gave me a copy and I took an considerable amount of time to listen to it as I wanted to be untainted by my recent meeting with him, but once I listened to it... happiness oozed out my ears! I have already imported the entire CD into my Ipod and the majority of the tracks are counted as 5 STARS! Look for my full review in the future! But just don't want to see him succeed because of his tight songs and his great singing/writing ability, but because he left me with a geninue sense of faith in the possibilities. Prayer brings about great things and Ryan's pearls of wisdom will surely be one of those moments in my life when I will look back on as having an impact on me. Definite food for thought to be savored for quite some time...
There are some interesting photos here, with my man, Trey Songz! And um, Mr. Houston, I have a problem with your, um, banner! LOL! ;-) - WireImage.com Photo. Well, I am sitting here surfing the web waiting for my CPT sister who is running late! It just goes to show that even in the face of your dream, you will not be able to see time clearly! I am still hoping for a good trip with all things consider even though we are off schedule...
Okay I am already very much excited about 2006. Just in the first week alone, I am being afforded the opportunity to accompany my sister on a little business trip to meet with Ryan Toby(seen in the photo to your left, chilling behind the dark shades) of City High! Although this group hasn't produced anything in quite some time, I am still rocking the Song for You and Why (which is my JAM!) in my Ipod. My sister is an aspiring songwriter and I know that with the grace of God and his earthly angels, she can do this! Personally, I'm really excited about going. Hopefully, I will be able to add a couple blogs of the experience as it unfolds. We are leaving early tomorrow morning and possibly arriving back home late Saturday evening.
My biggest issue about going is being able to write, so of course I HAVE to bring my notebook/journal. Additionally, not coming off as a groupie as it is so very easy for us "common fok" to forget our "manners" when hanging around celebs, but you know what, I seek some comfort knowing that my sister told me that Ryan said he is SO not into the whole STATUS thing that some celebs have going for them. I am happy about that. So I definitely will be sitting back in the cut like Res and doing some more freelance writing and photography as I am still working towards my own dreams. I played around with CS2 again tonight and I am definitely getting more and more comfortable with the entire package. I hope to take some crazy photos while in NJ and be able to do my Soulful Synergy thing with them all. Oh yeah, did I mention that we are also going to meet Joseph B. Jefferson, the famous songwriter of some top Soul acts like The Spinners for instance. I am really looking forward to tomorrow... oh wait... I should say TODAY consider it is past MIDNIGHT! You know me and you really have to stop meeting like this...
The Possibilities Are Endless…
JuicyP.O.P(tm) is intended for the young lady or sensible woman, who is consciously aware of her position in the world and where she wants to be in the future. Never settling as a token in society’s sport of division, she plays her own game and takes ownership of her dreams to create JuicyP.O.P(tm) -“Juicy Possibilities Overcoming Procrastination”. This amazing apparel line is the brainchild of Soulfull, who seeks to spark conversations all over the world, in hopes of motivating and empowering all females… one JuicyP.O.P(tm) at a time!
I think this is another good product for our company. I want to spark the sister kinship that I believe African-American women need. Not to exclude any other race, but I believe the time has come to reclaim our sistalove(tm) and I believe this is a good write-up for my upcoming line, but I'm always open for suggestions. Do you have any?
I am really bummed that I won't be able to meet the E behind E-NOTES. My sister and I were planning to speak with him to gain his insight on descriptive poetry, but now something has come up, so my greetings to the E are on hold. Quite frankly, I feel a bit relieved as I want to be bettered prepared. Who am I fooling? I've had 2 full weeks to overcome the anxiety in me, but it's always lurking there, behind my stare, making the E in ME mean extremely nervous, but I can do this! Besides nobody said being a poet/artist is easy! God bless my dreams...
Okay, so I am really working it out with this Adobe CS2! Upgrading to this has been a real challenge, but I'm getting it. I uploaded my photo with an artistic flair to it using PhotoShop. I'm not sure why I was going to spend more money on Corel's Paint program when Adobe already has this feature. X that idea! Okay, just got out of my online class @ Kaplan U. and math is definitely not a strong suit for me. I know, how can you play hooky with an online class? LOL! It just doesn’t afford me much creativity. Besides like my good friend Laura’s friend Arthur said – Ds Make DEGREES! LOL! Can't wait to take marketing next semester though, it really will help with my new business. Speaking of my business - Soulful SynergyTM LLC is well on its way! I am totally psyched about this venture. This will be my 4th business, considering I'm counting selling papers in HS as my first venture. Let's see I've sold final papers in HS, MS PowerPoint presentations/invitations, items on eBay, and now this. My first real business considering my husband and I filed articles of org with the state last year. We are really committed to this. Sh**, we better be, considering life doesn't favor fakers too well and dreams can turn into daymares if you’re caught sleepin’.
I'm really getting back in touch with the artist in me, so much so that I've decided to take my Kodak camera to work with me to document my last 8 days working in Downtown DC. It really was a blast and I wish everyone well, but I want be my own boss. I have some dreams I want to follow into reality...
Okay, so what better way is it to get out my inner anxiety than to write. I think it’s way better than chewing someone else’s head off for going out your mind! So periodically look for me to SPEAK FREELY and post my anxiety moments on your computer screen…
Okay, I really can’t believe I am quitting my job! Am I crazy! Am I nuts? What in the world am I going to do? Quietly I feel within me that old self-doubt! Just exactly how am I going to have anything new if I don’t do anything different! But what is this that keeps me bound to a job that I dislike anyway! This job is like a bad lover, you want to leave, but you don’t know where else to go. Not wanting to be alone is probably what I am feeling. But sh** I have been here before, so it shouldn’t be too hard to go. You know what – it’s the kinship, the camaraderie between all the people that I’ve met while working here for seven years and me. But you know what, I have bills to pay and only one life to leave, so I say way not give your all while you’re here. Okay, so I feel like really sharing… you want to know a secret… I often think about death and I am sort of afraid, but not afraid, more like curious, but timid, but not afraid. I know death is want drives me to be different, but at the same time I think different will bring death. Somewhere in the middle, I remain hopefull
Giving New Meaning to the Term “Starving Artist”
This is funny. Even though I am extremely tired from taking care of myself and my two sons up until 3:30AM this morning, I decided to come to work and what thanks do I receive for coming – a broken ATM machine. Somewhere inside of me, I think this is punishment for the resignation I gave, but whatever, I only have EIGHT MORE DAYS! I feel like a fricking runaway slave with fresh papers and yeah, I know ATM machines are practically on every corner, but I didn’t come to work with the intention of having to walk outside. I came here so I wouldn’t have to go out, unless I am leaving! But I refuse to get up and go to the ATM! LOL! As if my hunger pains will hurt my employer. Yeah right. I’m just “sweet meat in the village”. Needless to say I am starving. I tried to bum some money off of my friends, but they too are hawks awaiting the arriving decay of cash. So, FINALLY, I muster up some ingenuity and rumble through my purse for loose change to purchase a Cherry Coke to be followed by a mouth watering honey bun warmed in the microwave.
I’m starving for some cash, but I’m having a hard time trying to figure out, why I won’t get up off my a** …
Nervousness doesn't even describe what I feel right now as I embark on another blessed life journey in 2006. I find it only fitting of me, to start my first post, with some poetry! :-)
On the cusp of a new year
I hold dear to
The values my mommy and daddy taught me
In the palm of my hand
I take the reigns of my future
I plan to ride through 2006
Like a wild stallion.
Can you catch me?
(c) 2006 Soulful SynergyTM. All rights reserved.