Friday evening kicked off the first 2022 event for Black Women of Barksdale. We hosted our first ever 2022 Vision Board Party and it was truly a great time. The way covid numbers are spreading right now it was the perfect intimate group size. A smaller group size allowed us to have craft space, and fully engage throughout the evening.Read More
November 2021 Catch Up
Hello everyone! It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted on the blog because it’s been a BUSY month. Between event planning, holiday duties, everyday responsibilities and self care, time has been flying. I decided to do an old school blog post. You know the throwback blog posts we loved to read where the author was simply sharing their everyday thoughts in long or short form. So I decided to make this November 2021 catch up post to, well, catch everyone up on my end.Read More
5 Ways To Celebrate Black History Month
Happy Black history month! This year my family and I made the decision to celebrate more Black holidays. For example Juneteenth and Kwanzaa. This also means Black history month and finding ways to honor what this month is about. I sat down and came up with a personal list of ways to celebrate Black history month this year, and realized there are more than likely many more people wondering the exact same thing. This decision lead me to do this post and share with all of my readers.
It’s also important for everyone reading this post to understand you don’t have to be Black to celebrate Black holidays. You don’t have to be Black to learn Black history because Black history is American history. It’s no different than when people of all backgrounds and ethnicities celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc. (Although Mexican people don’t really celebrate Cinco de Mayo like you’d think) However, when we celebrate days and/or holidays specifically dedicated to our own culture we take immense pride in it. Especially as Black people where so much of our history has been erased or silenced, it’s important for us to take this time to learn about and take pride in ourselves. Here are five ways you can celebrate Black History Month this year.
We’ve all received the very watered down white washed version of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks in grade school, but have you taken the time to really learn about these individuals and their fight in the struggle? They don’t even bother to teach us about the importance of individuals such as Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey, but this doesn’t mean we can’t learn about them on our own. I recommend each of you to learn, in detail, about a prominent black historical figure. You can even step it up a notch and challenge yourself to research the name and background of a Black historical figure you’ve never heard of before. In this day and age of technology these names are no longer hard to find. 🙂
This may seem trivial to some but there are many of us who understand the importance this simple task. It is important we support each other when we finally receive the movie roles and portrayals we deserve. It is important we see Black excellence in the form of actors, creators, directors, writers etc. Year after year we hear the argument of there not being enough roles for Black people in all areas of film so when we are in them it’s important we support them. I’m not talking about supporting any films with Black people in them (or written by them) either. Movie roles that stereotype type us or make us out to be less than who we are and what we are should never be supported in my opinion.
Look at the success of the Marvel movie, Black Panther, a year later. We were able to see ourselves as the Kings and Queens we know we are. See ourselves as the intelligent and thoughtful people we know we are. We simply saw ourselves. To continue to see ourselves we have to support Black film and film makers.
Black people may be a minority in population but we are the majority in spending. Our buying power is unbelievable but we tend to put our dollars into businesses and systems that don’t support us. Seems counter productive, right? This month, but preferably this year, buy at least one item from a Black owned business. I have a list in my phone of items I want to buy from small Black businesses and plan on buying most if not all of them by the end of this year. For my bank account and husband’s sake I won’t buy them all this month. HA! These are a few of the businesses on my “Black owned to buy” list: Hillman Bookstore, Mahogany Cheers, and African Ancestry. Go check them out!
I touched on this subject at the beginning of this piece. We need to celebrate Juneteenth the same way we celebrate the 4th of July. We need to take the time to learn about Black history the same way we learn other’s history. It is important we celebrate and remember our ancestors and their accomplishments by celebrating their lives. Which means celebrating the days that aren’t marked on the calendar. The same way we celebrate Dr. King we should celebrate brother Malcolm on his birthday. Make sure to mark your calendars for these important days and make it a tradition to so every year. It’ll pass down from generation to generation until it becomes the new norm.
We need to give back. It’s that simple yet we make it so much harder than it needs to be. You do not need to be rich to give back to your community. You need to be caring and determined. Giving back doesn’t always have monetary attachment to it. What God-given talent are you sharing in this life? If you are an artist, volunteer some time to teach children in your local community about art. If you’re good with numbers, teach someone who lacks such knowledge how to balance their finances etc. However, for those of you who prefer to donate money find local organizations that directly benefit a large number of Black people and their advancement. Even if it’s a $10 donation, it’s $10 that will directly benefit the community. I will personally be donating to one of Colin Kaepernick’s #10For10 charities.
*Here’s an added bonus for celebrating Black History Month*
If you have not gotten the opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. I highly recommend you do. It is such a transformative emotional rollercoaster that leaves you with the idea of exactly how magical we are as a people. The things we have been through as a people yet how we continue to fight and come out on top is nothing short of the magic that is Black people. The museum is 7 floors so be sure you wear your walking shoes and dedicate an entire day to seeing all of the exhibits. We can’t wait to go back and visit ourselves!
"Say It Loud: I'm Black & I'm Proud"
Today is, February 28th, which means it’s the last official day of Black History Month. Although Black history should be celebrated every day, I always love dedicating an entire month specifically to, Black excellence. We are truly magical people, and I always look forward to learning about my history, as well as, educating others on Black history. Read More
We NEEDED Black-ish.
I’m sure, by now, you’ve all heard all about the buzz surrounding last night’s episode of the show, “Black-ish“, concerning police brutality towards Blacks/minorities. I’ve watched the episode three times already, and I cry each time I get to Dre’s speech explaining the sense of fear we felt on President Obama’s inauguration day, when he got out of the car and walked next to it. So much about last night’s episode was not only needed because of current events, but because we NEEDED this television show in general. How perfect is being about to see extremely hard but moving issues being talked about on television, and giving us the light-hearted, yet perfectly timed, laughs in between?
I haven’t felt so deeply moved about current issues, through a television show since the late 80’s early 90’s sitcom, “A Different World“. As most of you know by now, “A Different World” is my favorite television show of all time. It is my favorite show because of how much it taught people of all colors how beautiful Black people are, it taught me about my own Blackness, and more importantly it taught us about real issues in the Black community. It was also one of the best Black love stories we’ve ever seen between a successful young Black couple (Dwayne and Whitley). Last night’s episode of the show, “Black-ish“, reminded me of the episode of “A Different World” surrounding the LA riots after the Rodney King verdict. The show was cancelled the same season this episode aired because of this particular episode…of course -_-. It was such a powerful episode and gave insight to those who weren’t aware of the real injustices that happen everyday in the Black community.
Fast forward to 2016 and we’re still fighting these exact same injustices. However, in an age of obsession with empty and overly stupid reality television, we have a show like “Black-ish” to remind us of the power of television. With all of the
Love & Hip Hop trash shows constantly showcasing Black people to the world as ignorant, uncivilized, savage animals, who don’t know how to present themselves with class; when I say we NEEDED “Black-ish“, I mean it. I’ve been a loyal fan to the show since it first aired last season, and I haven’t been disappointed. As a Black woman who grew up in the surrounding Chicago suburbs, they are touching on conversations and topics I could have only imagined being talked about, on a large platform, while I was growing up. Being the only Black family on the block or one of very few in the entire neighborhood is something I understand all too well. To see the writers bring it to life with a perfectly picked cast, and perfectly timed comedy, is all I could ask for in a television show.
If last night was your first time tuning in to the show “Black-ish” I hope you have now become a new loyal fan to the show. If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch the episode, please do yourself, and those around you a favor, and watch the episode. You will not be disappointed. Thank you, Kenya Barris, for creating “Blackish”, and sharing your comedic brilliance and heightened consciousness with the world. I can’t wait for next week’s episode to keep filling us all with the hope you shared in last night’s episode.
Black-ish comes on every Wednesday night at 9:30|8:30 c.
Why “A Different World” Still Matters
Today, the entire series of the show “A Different World” was released on Netflix. Anyone who knows me knows this is one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite, television show. If you have never seen “A Different World” I highly suggest watching it on Netflix and enjoy being reminded of what great television used to look like. (Also, I’ll go ahead and give you the heads up and let you know season 1 of the show when Lisa Bonet was the star, is not that great. It’s pretty boring, with random funny moments. So just push through season one and you’ll get to the good stuff.) The reason I love this show so much is because of how it portrayed young Black people, and more importantly, the very crucial and valuable messages plenty of the episodes taught me and everyone else who watched it. Although this show was originally a spin-off of the Cosby Show, following Denise’s college career, I believe “A Different World” was the more important show between the two. Not saying the “The Cosby Show” wasn’t a game changer for Black people on network television, but “A Different World” was a life changer for anyone who encountered it.
I say this show STILL matters because it has almost been 30 years since this show first aired, and it’s still just as important now as it was then. I remember watching this show with my Mom when I was younger, and although I didn’t completely understand what college was, I knew I wanted to go because of this show. (However, I would quickly learn, college wasn’t an option in my household anyway, but thanks for making it look interesting, cast of the show lol.) It was so awesome to see this group of people who looked like me, being amazingly flawed people, preparing to do great things. I wasn’t until I started watching the show again in high school and college that I then realized how important this show was to the television industry and life in general.
If you have watched this show, then you remember the “date-rape” episode of the basketball jock attempting to rape Freddie on their date, because “when girls say stop, don’t tell me you actually stop?” Do I even have to elaborate on how relevant this way of thinking is in today’s society of teaching women how to not get raped vs. teaching men to simply not rape? I didn’t think so. There was the HIV/AIDS episode where we learned the basics of always practicing safe sex in addition to how ignorant many people were to how HIV/AIDS works and what it does to the body. With today’s high STD/STI rates, I would say there is still a lot many of us could learn about practicing safe sex. There was the big game day episode which targeted racial discrimination and tension in this country. It was in this episode Dwayne Wayne delivered one of the best speeches while in the jail cell with the perpetrators. Then there was the two-part episode about the Rodney King trial and the “not-guilty” verdict that sent Los Angeles into riots all over the city (which ultimately ended up getting the show cancelled). I don’t think I have to explain how relevant both of those episodes are regarding racial tensions and police brutality with everything taking place in this country within the last few months. However, the one episode that always makes me realize how relevant this show is today, is the time capsule episode. They made a video time capsule where they shared important topics they wished to be better and for people to be better educated on in 20 years, and sadly not much has changed since that video.
I feel this show being added to Netflix, today, couldn’t have been added at a better time. With all of the trash, so-called, television taking up air time and clouding people’s minds, we need to be reminded of what great television shows look like. I’m specifically referring to the Black community too. With all of the “Love & Hip Hop” or “Real Housewives” shows portraying Black people in ways that only adds to the stereotypes of who we AREN’T, shows such as “A Different World” are missed. Thankfully, we have shows such as “Blackish” trying it’s hardest to make up for the lack of positive Black culture television, but unfortunately, “Blackish” can’t do it on its own. We need more writers, producers, actors and actresses who want to eliminate and denounce the stereotypes of the Black community instead of doing the opposite. We need more Black people who want to watch quality television instead of trashy television. We simply need more “A Different World” and “The Cosby Show” in our lives.
I’m thankful I was raised to watch and appreciate such quality television. I’m thankful shows like “A Different World” showed me what I could look forward to growing up. I’m thankful I learned at an early age through this show that the world is not just Black and White. I’m thankful I grew up in the 90’s before reality television was popular. More importantly I’m thankful “A Different World” existed and I’m thankful Netflix has brought such greatness to it’s streaming line-up.
Thank you writers and creators of “A Different World.” Your show will always matter and be the reason many young people, like myself, looked forward to receiving a college education. Thanks for creating one of my favorite shows ever! 🙂