Cheers! My Birthday Celebration with the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours

After losing my grandmother a few weeks before my birthday, I really needed to celebrate life. I know she would want me to do that. This year, I decided to ring in a new year of life in wine country. My soror traveled up from So Cal to visit. This would be her first time in Napa. I didn’t want to drive so instead, we bought bus tickets for the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours.

Let me tell you something, going on this bus tour was one of the BEST decisions I made. The Napa Valley Wine Country Tours bus isn’t just any bus. It’s a limo bus that looks like a VIP club lounge on wheels. We paid $119 for an 8-hour trip, visit to 4 wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties, continental breakfast and lunch. It was worth every penny. The tastings aren't covered in the bus fare, but they ran about $10-$25. Wineries won't charge you for tastings if you buy a bottle. I recommend this for tourists and any Bay Area locals who have folks visiting from out of town and want a short excursion to Nap…

Blackface is the New Black in French Vogue

Here we go again. We're just moving on from Henry Connick Jr. speaking out against those Australian doctors by day, fools by night. Or better known as the Jackson Jive. Then I stumbled upon this mess pictured on the left today....

Supermodel Lara Stone got in Jazz Singer mode and posed in blackface for this month's French Vogue magazine. Excuse me, this is actually referred to as "contemporary blackface." That's according to the blog for fashion agency Confidence Models Management. When did racism go chic? In case you're wondering Stone is Dutch. Vogue should have gone all the ways and included a DVD insert in the magazine where Stone is tap dancing and singing "Mammmmieeeeee!" If Vogue's photographers wanted a dark- skinned woman wouldn't it make more sense to hire a woman of color? Of course not! Hiring a model of color wouldn't sell magazines. Offending people is where the money's at. Like I always say there's one color that trumps black, white, brown and yellow--green as in $$$. In this case we're talking Euros so add pink, gray and orange.

At this time that I'm blogging I have yet to find a statement from Vogue. If any of their reps say they were unaware the photos would offend readers or the pictures are art, I'm not buying it. I believe many of these magazines, shows and movies are featuring black face characters because they know controversy generates attention. French Vogue has my attention. I buy international magazines but I'll be passing up this one on the stands.

As for supermodel Lara Stone, smearing on burnt cork or whatever makeup used for "contemporary blackface" was a super ignorant move. Did even question this might be offensive? There are so many models of color who can't get work because of race discrimination within the fashion industry. Yet, French Vogue would rather paint a white model black than hire a real sista. Wow.


  1. No words to describe how much this just BURNS me up inside! You're right about controversy selling magazines though, they knew exactly what they were doing. SMH.

  2. Hi there!

    This is not the first time that Lara Stone has been put in black face for a photo shoot. She did it for the Africa photo shoot too!

    I don't even blame the models for this racist depiction. They are just hired help who don't turn down the money that they are getting in order to stay in the good graces of these famous photographers who make and break the careers of supermodels.

    I think that the heat should be directed at Vogue and all of the advertisers who supported that issue! Black consumers need to take note of that list of companies that paid for ads in the issue. The magazines rely on ad revenue. So when we go after the companies that supported that issue, we can leverage the $750 billion in buying power that blacks in the U.S. wield.

    Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

  3. Thanks for the info Lisa. I had no idea Lara Stone has done this before. I agree the magazine is at fault but I also blame the model too. It's 2009 and many people know blackface is offensive. Disrespecting a culture so she can get a check is immoral. I'm with you, my money is staying in my pocket.


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