Monday, June 13, 2016

VH1 Hip Hop Honors to Pay Tribute to Queen Latifah: Exclusive - by Adelle Platon

Following a six-year hiatus, VH1 Hip Hop Honors is making a comeback with a special salute to Queen Latifah. The live event will celebrate all-female trailblazers and pioneers who have made their mark in the male-dominated genre
Check out more here > BILLBOARD.com

Friday, June 10, 2016

MOHAMMAD ALI - CHAMPION WARRIOR ~ by Pmccray

Mohammad Ali fka Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr, aka The People's Champion, aka The Greatest aka The Louisville Lip - January 17, 1942 - June 3, 2016 - As part of the "Baby Boomer" generation ( persons born in the years following World War II) I am proud to be one, of many, who witnessed the birth of Mr. Ali's career. 

The Greatest Of All Time Record: 56 Wins, 5 Loss, 37 KOs
Unfortunately, back in the day I was not always so proud, but found myself embarrassed by his boisterous, inflammatory comments. Let me explain;

1. I was not and am not a fan of boxing. I felt then, as I do now, that the sport is barbaric. Whatever my feelings toward the art of pugilism I willingly admit that Mohammad Ali was its maestro.

2. In the 1960s I was a Black, troubled, brooding, hormonal Army brat, living at USAG Stuttgart Army Base in Stuttgart, Germany. Totally oblivious that I was about to participate in a generational battle that would change the world.

Technology was in its infancy and what we did have was censured and scarce, but our only lifeline to the United States. Needless to say, with our limited access to media what I was allowed to hear and see did not sit well with me in regards to Mr. Cassius Clay. Along with my pre-teen angst I suffered ancestral fear of “the man”. Even though, my mother was very vocal about inequality in America, in our home, it was unheard of for a man of color to vocalize our unified emotions to the world.



 The Louisville Lip
                                          Let's see . . early 1965 - Lyndon Johnson took the oath for his second term as President / Sir Winston Churchill passed away - Jan 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated / Martin Luther King and 250 followers were arrested for parading without a permit in Selma, Alabama - Feb 1965 / Muhammad Ali verses Sonny Liston - May 25, 1965, in Lewiston, Maine. Then Heavyweight Champion Liston lasted only one minute into the first round with his twenty-two year old opponent. My family and I were huddled around the radio for this one, and it was over before it began. 


Clay vs Liston - 1965
The world was shocked at the outcome, my tiny world was rocked to the point where I suspected the fight had been thrown by Liston.

In 1966, upon returning to the United States, my family and I discovered a change had erupted in our absence. Freedom was in the air spurred on by a young man who was born to make a difference. Never politically correct (PC) Ali spoke his mind, regardless of the consequences. Unashamed, unabashed and unapologetic Mohammad Ali exercised the hell out of Amendment 1 of the Constitution.




As a conscientious objector Mr. Ali refused compulsory enlistment into the military due to his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. Convicted of draft evasion and sentenced to five years, later overturned, fined and banned from the boxing ring for three years.



At the age of forty-two, in 1984, Mohammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. This is a bout he had to fight daily for the rest of his life. He never let the disease get him down, never allowed it to dampened his infectious spirit.

Gone, but never forgotten. I salute Mohammad Ali; sports legacy, cultural icon, son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and activist.

Rest In Peace Champ - The Greatest Warrior of All Time!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Body Brigade Cover - Ebony Magazine


March 2016 Cover features Danielle Brooks, from Orange Is the New Black, Singers Jazmine Sullivan and Chrisette Michele and blogger Gabi Gregg aka GabiFresh.


Awesome quotes in the article from these women who are unashamed of their voluptuous frames. 

Read "The Curvy Confessionals" Here > EBONY.com

Friday, June 3, 2016

AU NATURAL RANT - by Pmccray

Au Natural - a natural state : without anything added; Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Two pet peeves; folks that tout natural hair styling, for Black women, like its the end all to be all and Alicia Keys and the no makeup look.


As a way grown ass woman I think I can make decisions about my personal appearance. This is one area where I have complete control. I'm sick of reading blogs and listening  to celebrity balderdash that don't suggest Afro-American women go au natural, but literally admonish us for not doing so. Been there done that . . ain't going to do it again.
 



Pmccray back in the day 
Several generations of men in my family have served for mine and other's national freedoms, and damn it I will do what I want, wear what I want, with the money I earn without having to hear crap from anyone about what they feel I should be doing. The only things in life that I have to do is be black, die and pay taxes!

Alicia Keys, the fourteen time Grammy Award winning artist, recently revealed that "she was tired of how women are constantly judged." “Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of,” she wrote. “And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect.”



Alicia Keys
I'm going to let everyone, and Ms. Keys, in on a little secret; women are strong and mighty, we produce life and raise our offspring, if we're lucky, to adulthood sometimes alone. Not many are brainwashed, but do what we want to do. Look like we want to look. Adorning ourselves if we feel the need. If that is what it takes to make some of us feel better about ourselves then what is the problem, and why is it anyone's business? Basically, what you and others would have us do is jump from one box and get into yours. What about individuality? Freedom of expression? Must we all be lemmings, and run with one side or the other?

Your beef is all fine and good . . on paper, but not in the real world. Cosmetics have been used since the beginning of time. As a form or adornment. The first recorded use by a famous/infamous black queen Cleopatra. Its easy for somebody with the bucks and looks of Keys to sport her new "refreshing" look. 

Alicia Keys Without Makeup Photo Shoot
Unfortunately, most of us would put ghouls to shame first thing in the morning. Its kinda hard to sport confidence at your workplace looking like a beast. We suffer from birthmarks, moles, pimples, pimple scarring, eczema, shingles, psoriasis, rosacea, accident scars, dark circles under the eyes (most acquired from not only bringing home the bacon, but cooking it too). As with you and your peers we don't have nannies, personal trainers, masseuses or maids to take care of the mundane callings in life. Those jobs ride on our backs alone.



Most can't afford the the lifestyle of the rich and famous which include: expensive personal facialist, facial spas, oxygen creams /wrap, bubbly mask, clay mud masks, and cosmetic dermatologist. Chemical skin peels, caviar creams (whole body application; cost $400.00), expensive wrinkle creams, dark circle removers and Botox.

I don't know about anyone else, but all are way above my pay grade. So we make do with what is found on drug store shelves, most of which are ineffective. This is a good place to make a difference; stop cosmetic/fashion corporations from ripping off and scamming women. Over the counter products; very few work and none work like those slathered on the well to do.



So if I want to sport a wig, weave, extensions, dyed, braided, straight or laid to the side dos. Wear foundation, mascara, lipstick and rouge it is my business. As long as I'm not asking anyone to support my habit but me then its none of anyone's business.




Personally, I don't give a rat's patootie what anyone in this free nation does to themselves or for themselves. I've got my own backyard to clean, don't have no time to clean my neighbor's. In closing, Ms. Keys, you and your army of trolls can march on without your makeup, but cha' doin it without me!



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I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having for having at one time being ashamed. - Ralph Ellison, "Invisible Man"

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