Friday, May 29, 2009

Single? Girl, Get a Man at the Strip Club

peep show

Hey it's not my idea. That's what Essence magazine suggests in their June issue where they list 10 places to meet black men. Gina over at What About Our Daughters ripped the article on her blog last week. I wanted to see the article with my own eyes before responding. There's no way Essence would list strip clubs as the new hot spot to meet men. Right? I'm in CVS the other night flipping through the magazine with J-Hud on the cover and there it was, suggestion #5--go to a strip club.
Huh? Essence said what????? The same Essence magazine that launched a campaign against the exploitation of black women in hip hop suggests my girls and I hit up Spearmint Rhino to find a brotha who may "put a ring on it." The Essence magazine, legendary for uplifting black women for decades recommended us single sistas take a trip to places criticized for exploiting women. I'm supposed to meet a man there? I guess it doesn't matter where I find a man. At least it beats spending another Saturday night watching Cheaters.

Are black women's search for love so dismal that we must resort to finding men at the strip club? The article listed other places like community service events, political campaigns and summer festivals. Good ideas. But the strip club? I don't care if the joints are high end. Do wealthy, educated men go to nudie bars? Of course. But I'm not stepping to a man while Roxxxy is shaking her ta-tas in his face? First of all, it's weird because the atmosphere is highly-sexed. Second, I'm fully clothed, she's butt naked. Hmmm I wonder who he's focused on, me or Roxxxy sliding down the pole? And I would think picking up dudes in the strip club makes me seem desperate. If I'm on the prowl for a serious relationship and I'm buying drinks for a brotha in the nudie bar, as Essence suggests, I'm setting the bar low for what's to come if we become a couple.

Suggstion #5 is not just about strippers. This is another example of our community telling sistas to lower their standards. I'm SICK AND TIRED of black women being told to settle when it comes to men and life overall. I doubt that was Essence's intent but that's how the point came off.

That's right black women, ain't too many brothas around. And you're not desired. Take what you can get. Even if it means waiting for Candy to finish her lap dance so you can get that fine brotha's number.

We know the stats. A majority of black women are unmarried, including moi. But I'm worth more than just having any ol' body. WE are worth more, than having any ol' body. Single sistas, how many times have your friends or family said to you:
  • "You're too picky."
  • "You're going to have to find someone who makes less money than you."
  • "Most black men aren't on your level so settle for someone who didn't go to college."
  • "You want too much."
  • "Just be happy somebody wants you."
  • "Girl, I know you're lonely and want to be in a relationship but just find a booty call. At least he'll keep you warm tonight."
  • "At least he has most of his teeth."

The last one is a joke my friends and I made in college. Seriously, I've heard these things from black people. It's funny because many of the people who told me these things were guys who weren't about nothing or women dating guys who weren't about nothing. Sistas ain't nothing wrong with wanting the best. My uncle told me a long time ago that a good man is hard to find, so don't settle. If you want a man who likes to travel, go for it. If you want a brotha who is educated and makes a great salary (whatever that means to you) I ain't mad at you. If you want someone who is a hard worker and good to your children--that's not asking too much. Whether you're a checker at JC Penny or an executive at JP Morgan--you work too hard to settle for a warm body you picked up at Magic City. Essence lists nine other places to meet black men. Check those out.

Ya'll know how I roll. I'm open to meeting all races of men and black women should expand their options if they like. Lately I've been stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to meeting men and networking. I'll tell you about that in the next post and list some places where I've meet nice guys.

Riddle me this: would you go to a strip club to meet men and why? If you're a guy, would you think lower of a woman who approached you in a strip club? Or would you think nothing of it. Leave a comment. Use your real name or make up a name when speaking your mind. It's up to you. I want hear your thoughts.

Have a good weekend Cocoa Fly readers and stay out of Deja Vu.

Photo Cred:
Image from PicApp

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

From the Hood to the Highest Court:
Why Sonia Sotomayor's Story Got To Me

Don't tell me there aren't pearls in the projects.
Don't tell me diamonds can't form in the hood.
Who would've known years ago, little Sonia Sotomayor, a Puerto Rican girl from the projects in the Bronx, would be tapped a Supreme Court Justice.

Little Sonia Sotomayor, who lost her father at an early age, was raised by a mother working two jobs and loved reading Nancy Drew books has "editor of the Yale Law Review" on her resume. Wow, the first Latina to possibly sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. This is not just the American Dream but the Urban American Dream.

I became a little emotional watching Judge Sotomayor accept President Obama's nomination. She's like me and other people in the ghetto--poor, brown and raised by a single mother. But Judge Sotomayor didn't allow the stigmas of her race and class stop her from getting the black robe. I bet she is who she is today because someone, whether it was her mom, family or teacher, believed in her. And she believed in herself.

There are so many poor, black and brown children in the hood who have the potential to be judges, doctors, scientists, writers, artists, philosophers, etc. but aren't encouraged to excel. I can't blame it entirely on our poor public schools or society. Even if some of these kids don't have the money for good schools, some parents still don't work with their kids to find a way to success. Take them to the library, find mentor programs, get on the bus and take them outside of the hood so they can see there's a whole world out there. We'll spend money on our hair, nails, sneakers, clothes but we don't invest in our children. I remember one of my journalism professors told us about a story she did on a group South LA kids who were going to the beach for the first time in their lives. Why? Parents can take the bus to the beach and you don't have to spend money once you get there. There are kids in my hometown of Oakland who've never been to San Francisco. That's a quick train ride and there are plenty of places kids can see in San Francisco for little to no cost.

Then there's the issue of killing our kids' self-esteem. I get so mad when I'm in the mall and I hear SOME sistas swearing at their children or calling them "lil' ni**a" or yelling at them "get your black a** over here!" All that does is devalue their worth and then they grow up to internalize it. Who knows what gifts that kid possesses. No wonder so many of our kids are angry and don't believe in themselves. They've been told from the beginning they're not worth anything. Once again, all black parents don't do this, but there are some.

Another reason I got emotional watching Judge Sotomoayor is because it made me think of a high school senior who was murdered in Compton on Sunday. Dannie Farber Jr., 18 was eating at a fast food restaurant with his girlfriend when some guy walked into the place, shot the brotha four times and took off. Farber was a good student and had a college football scholarship. Nobody knows why he was killed. All of the potential he had to do something incredible with his life, gone. A diamond from the hood and somebody stole his life.

I don't mean to put a damper on this historical moment. But we need to uplift our children. Our words or actions may inspire a future U.S. president or college professor. Just because someone is poor, black, brown and from the hood doesn't mean achievement is impossible. Judge Sotomayor is an example of that. We as a people must think bigger and dream bigger.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fallen Soldier Leaves Journal for His Baby Boy

Hey Cocoa Fly Readers. I hope you're enjoying what's left of the Memorial Day Weekend. Much love and prayers to our men and women who sacrifice their lives to protect our country. When I say "lives" I don't just mean their mortality. Soldiers sacrifice their love lives, family lives, social lives with friends.

I caught an interesting story today on NPR's Tell Me More. To the left is New York Times Senior Editor Dana Canedy, her partner 1st Sgt. Charles Monroe King and their son Jordan. Sgt. King was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb in 2006. During his service in Iraq, he wrote a 200-page journal with life lessons for his son in case he didn't return home alive. Sgt. King saw his son only one time. Candey tells their story in A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor. Go here to read an excerpt from the book and listen to Dana Canedy's interview.

There are some men who won't even stop what they're doing to buy diapers for their babies. Sgt. King was in a war zone, surrounded by death, violence and madness. But this brotha took time from the battlefield to write a guide to life for his infant son. That's love.

Family Portrait from A Journal for Jordan website

Friday, May 22, 2009

Showing Love to "Everybody Hates Chris"

If you haven't heard by now, it's a wrap for The Game and Everybody Hates Chris. According to the LA Times the CW canceled both shows. I didn't watch The Game but I know a lot of black folks were hooked on it. The good news for Everybody Hates Chris cast and fans is the show will air in syndication on Nick at Nite.

I caught the Everybody Hates Chris series finale two weeks ago. I hardly heard a peep after it aired. It was like crickets chirping in the airwaves and cyberspace. There was so much hype about this show when it debuted four years ago on UPN. Chris Rock is my favorite comedian and I knew a show based on his childhood in Brooklyn would make an unforgettable family sitcom. But after UPN became CW, some of us did forget. The CW didn't give it the support I thought it deserved. There was very little marketing for the show and the network switched the series' time slots. The week of the finale, TMZ's show featured footage of Terry Crews out somewhere and the TMZ producers couldn't remember what show or movie he was from. They didn't even refer to him as the dad from Everybody Hates Chris. This was around the time of series finale!?

Why does Hollywood do this to black shows? Girlfriends, New York Undercover, The Game, The Hughleys and others I can't think of right now because it's after 1:00 am. All good shows yanked off the air. I signed a petition, along with many people, to save the The George Lopez Show and ABC still gave it the boot. He's not black, but you get my point.

I didn't want Everybody Hates Chris to go off the air without giving it props. The show had crisp writing, sharp acting and guaranteed good laughs. I loved when the neighborhood pimp and bullies would jack little Chris for his wallet by saying, "Let me hold your money." As if they were going to watch it and give it back to him. It was interesting to see how Chris used comedy to help him survive the racism he endured from classmates and teachers at his predominately white schools. Then use those experiences to take him to the top of the comedy world. Chris Rock was so honest about how bad it was being the only black kid in his schools that one of his teachers sent him an apology after the show debuted.

My favorite character is the father. His extreme frugality is hilarious. Only Julius Rock would buy knock-off Halloween candy called Gravy Ways , Nickers and M&N's. I remember when my mom brought home crazy knock-off products to save money. That's what I love about the show. Chris Rock pokes fun at the way we live in the hood, while at the same showing what makes the hood home.

Luckily the show actually had a real ending. Just like Chris Rock put his spin on the "Everybody Loves Raymond" title, he did the same for the final episode. This time The Sopranos was his inspiration. A suspicious dude walks into in the diner. It's not Journey's Don't Stop Believing pumping out of the table's jukebox, but Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer (I love Bon Jovi!). Chris is going to need a whole lot of prayer since he dropped out of high school to pursue a comedy career. The whole family arrives to the diner and join him in singing Living on a Prayer. Mom (Tishina Arnold) is about to open the large manila envelope and read Chris' GED scores. Right before she says the results, the screen fades to black. You know Chris Rock has keep it black to the end. Unlike The Sopranos, we all know the ending to Everybody Hates Chris. Chris Rock gets the last laugh, a lot of love and some serious ching-ching.

Hey Chris, if you're reading this--let me hold your money.

Photo Credit:
1. (l-r) Vincent Martella, Tequan Richmond, Terry Crews, Tyler James Williams, Tichina Arnold, Imani Hakim

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Need A Break Like I Do?

Memorial Day weekend is almost here and I know it's going to be jumping in Miami. The picture to the left is from a trip I took to South Beach last year. I'm looking forward to my 3-day weekend here in LA. But between the job hunt, freelancing (hustling), bills, earthquakes and Gilles Marini getting robbed on Dancing with the Stars (don't worry Gilles you're still #1 in my book)--I need to get far away from here for a while. Since I can't leave town right now, I'll have to let Kindred take me there mentally.

"...just jump in a taxi cab, pack my bags and get away fast...." Won't you come with?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Loving My Itty Bitty Boobies

Yesterday I watched a segment on The Doctors about breast implants. There was a short video of a sista named Meladi, 23. She's about my height, weighed 130 lbs, small up top and curvy in the hip and butt area. We were physical matches. She points to her breasts and says, "I'm a B-cup. B for bad." Then a plastic surgeon says she could use a boob job to make her look "more proportionate." She looked fine to me.

The sista can do to her body what she chooses. But I'm proud of my little boobies. It took me a while to reach this point. For some reason, the big breasts gene that runs on both my mom and dad sides of the family skipped me. Aside from my five-year old cousin and I, the women in my family are packing a C-cup and up. I fall in the A to B-cup category. When I was 14 my Aunt M would say, "Don't worry, they'll grow." She said the same thing to me when I turned 15, 16, 17. By the time I reached 18 my aunt gave up hope and told me, "Girl, you don't want to deal with the big boobs anyway. It's not all that. They're a hassle."

"Puh-lease, " I thought. "If big boobs weren't all that, women wouldn't be paying thousands of dollars for plastic surgeons to cut into their chests and Pamela Anderson would be out of work." I know my aunt was trying to sugar coat the situation but it didn't work. I prayed often that I would wake up one day and find my perky plums had bloomed into captivating cantaloupes. But no luck.

I had a change of my heart in my early 20's. During one of my "Why did everybody get big breasts but me?" rants, my mom gently shut me down. She said, "You should be thankful and love your body. There are people who have serious illnesses and would probably love to switch places with you." Ouch. Never thought about that. And of course she told me to complain when the baby girls start sagging.

After that conversation, I began really looking at my chest in the mirror and a love affair with my small breasts blossomed . Or as I like to call them my Honor Roll Rack b/c they're straight A's! Get it? Don't act like that joke wasn't funny. But seriously, I realized that life is too short to be worrying about boobs. I'm young and I don't want to start appreciating my body when I'm old. I want to love it now. So I see the good in having tiny tatas: no back problems, easier to find shirts that fit me, being mistaken for a teenager, and my favorite--going braless. Yes I keep an extra roll of Scotch tape in the summer when I'm rocking the tank top and it's too hot for a bra. When I do need a little "umph" to fill out a top, let's just say I work wonders. And having small boobs hasn't stopped me from getting hit on by men or feeling sexy. Or should I say "sexA?"

To all my sistas in the itty bitty club, show love to the baby girls. Stay perky, "B" proud and keep it sexA.

Photo credit:
1.Yasmin Warsame posing in Vogue Italia, July 2008
2. sexA and fly sista Jada Pinkett-Smith

Fly Sista of the Day:
First Black Woman Rabbi
Alysa Stanton

First black U.S. President, first black FLOTUS, first black animated Disney Princess. There are a lot of "first-blacks" going on. How about First black female rabbi? On June 6 Alysa Stanton, 45, will become Rabbi Stanton. The single mother of an adopted daughter is reportedly going to be the first African American female rabbi in the world. Stanton is graduating from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinatti, Ohio and will be ordained a rabbi at Plum Street Temple in downtown.

This sista from Cleveland has an amazing story. She grew up Christian, worked as a psychotherapist and converted to Judaism more than 20 years ago. She recently told the Cincinatti Enquirer about her journey to Judaism:
"I had explored different things," she says. "I came to realize that Judaism is not just a religion, it's a way of life, the sense of family, the sense of social justice. But becoming a rabbi? If someone had told me that 10 years ago, I would have laughed in their face."

According to a Jewish Journal article from last year, when Stanton went to study for a year in Jerusalem , she and her daughter encountered racism. Her daughter then 7, was beat up and for a long time didn't have friends because she was black. Also in the article she shares how she's had to prove herself because she's a woman of color and convert. But she's also gotten love from some in the Jewish community. Read both articles I highlighted for more details about the future Rabbi Stanton.

Hearing of a black Jew may come as a surprise, but there are black people throughout the world who practice the faith. There's a black rabbi in Michelle Obama's family. Chicago Rabbi Capers Funnye and the FLOTUS are first cousins-once removed. The numbers are sketchy, but the New York Times estimates 2% of the American Jewish population are black.

Alysa Stanton reportedly is looking forward to the new phase in her life but she describes the journey up until this point as a "lonely journey." I could only imagine what she has endured. God bless her for staying strong and not allowing anyone or any -isms stop her from fulfilling her calling. The sista is an inspiration and an example of the diversity within the black community.

Stanton will begin her work as a rabbi at Bayt Shalom in Greenville, N.C. in August.

Photo Credit:
Janine Spang--Jewish Journal

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It Feels Like Mine

Isn't this the cutest picture? The little brotha patting Pres. Obama's head is the son of a White House staff member. Little man wanted to see if the president's haircut felt like his own.

Yes little man, there is a black president.

Photo Credit: Pete Souza
See more of The Official White House Photostream on Flickr

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Disney's NEW Princess and The Frog Trailer

The Princess and the Frog won't debut until December but Disney is already full steam ahead with promoting the movie. To the left is a teaser poster I saw on The Young, Black and Fabulous. And below is a NEW trailer for the movie. People were questioning the prince's ethnicity. There were reports he was white. Judging by the frog's voice, brothaman sounds Latino. I ain't mad at you Princess Tiana. Get your man girl.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cocoa Bits:
Wanda Sykes Out Washington
What the Cluck Is Wrong with Free Chicken?

Please Wanda, Don't Hurt 'Em
Whose idea was it to book Wanda Sykes for the Washington Correspondents Dinner? Everyone knows Wanda is raw so I'm a little surprised by the debates. You think an outspoken, out-of-the closet, funny, smart black woman is going to toss softballs at the White House Correspondents Dinner for the first black POTUS? Ha, please. Not after what this country went through the last eight years. A lot of her jokes were funny and the only reason why more people didn't laugh was because there were a bunch of journalists in the room and they didn't want to reveal their bias while the cameras were on. Times are hard in journalism right now. No one's trying to get a pink slip from their editor over laughing at a joke.

The dinner was three nights ago and still everyone is asking, "Did Wanda go too far?" In particular, the jokes she made about Rush Limbaugh being a 9/11 terrorist.

Sykes: Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails. You know, so you're saying, I hope America fails. You're, like, I don't care about people losing their homes or jobs or our soldiers in Iraq. He just wants the country to fail. To me, that's treason... I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was so strung out on Oxycontin, he missed his flight...Rush Limbaugh. I hope the country fails? I hope his kidneys fail, how about that?

Some people were understandably offended by Sykes using 9/11. I thought the joke was more of a poke at Limbaugh's addiction to prescription meds and his patriotism. But I can understand if people were offended because of the 9/11 reference. You make the call. Did you find the joke inappropriate? Speaking of being offended, I read on Aunt Jemima's Revenge and Philly. com that Sykes was "offended" when dinner organizers told her not to use the N or F-words.

"Like what the [bleep] they think I'm going to do? They really think I was going to say that to the president?,"Sykes said.

Sykes jokes on Saturday were some of her best. My favorites were remarks about Sean Hannity sitting in coach, Sarah Palin's absence and Obama's nipples. I bet RNC Chairman Michael Steele was laughing hard on the inside at the Rush jokes. President Obama's monologue was funny too. There was definitely a feel of playing the dozens going on that night. Go to C-SPAN to see the whole thing. It's worth it.

I Don't Have a Chicken Bone to Pick with Oprah

You know why people were blocking traffic and sidewalks to get free food from KFC? BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE BROKE. Five years ago when sparks flew off our credit cards because we swiped them so often, you would not have seen this kind of reaction for free chicken. Oh, don't you miss the good ol' days? But times have changed and life is hella hard for more people. Myself included. I don't fault Oprah for helping people and giving out free lunches. Was it the healthiest offer? No. That's the great thing about this country. If you don't find free chicken healthy, you don't have to eat it. I bet somebody that didn't have money for food was fed because of Oprah's offer. I'm not going to lie to you. I got excited when I saw the coupons and sent them out to people and I'm very health conscious. The only reason why I didn't head to KFC because the lines were long. But I will get my rain check by the May 19th deadline. I even read some people criticized Oprah for the 2-piece give away because she's dieting. Why should her weight prevent somebody else from getting a free meal? The KFC craze is a sign of the times. Many American pockets have more lint than dollar bills. When you're hungry and broke you don't always care what you eat. The hunger problem in Haiti is so bad that some are eating mud pies. A KFC 2-piece don't sound bad to me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Is VH1's Tough Love Fake? And
Peep Game from Louisiana's First Lady Supriya Jindal

My favorite VH1 reality show Tough Love ended its first season last weekend. Ladies, you have to watch this show. I've learned so much about men and myself watching this show. Matchmaker Steven Ward is on point with his advice. I wrote about the show last month and one of the ladies from the show left a message on Cocoa Fly. Shout out to Abiola Abrams for stopping by on Cocoa Fly. You can read what she wrote here. I rooted for this sista to find love. She met a nice guy in LA but in end the long distance thing wasn't working. I hope she finds Mr. Right. As for Jacklyn, her story doesn't sound right . She met this really cool, handsome dude on the show named Brock. Granted, that's how he came off on camera. They were vibing. When she returned to Texas she got engaged to her ex-boyfriend who wouldn't commit to her in the past. HOLD UP. That's the ending VH1 told the viewers. But, Jacklyn blogs on the Tough Love website:

Everyone writing me about Brock It was his fault we didn't work out not mine! Never went back to my ex. Needed times to think told both guys this. From that point it was me texting, calling brock. He never made much effort so finally I stopped. He once told me He came on the show cause HE thought he was just helping girls out with dating problems so I guess he did his job and moved on so bug him not me. Everyone else thanks for the support. God has a plan for me and I'm in no RUSH. It'll all work out. Posted on 05.05.09 11:44

You mean to tell me all of the kissing and third-base action between Jacklyn and Brock were a bunch of crock? Is Tough Love hoodwinking viewers? Are the guys on there just hired actors pretending to be men looking for love? Or if Jacklyn took her ex back is she embarrassed and making this up? Not sure. I'm still going to watch the show because I like the advice Steve gives but I'm very skeptical of how "real" this reality show is supposed to be.

VH1 Cocoa Fly readers want answers! Email me. Please.

Peep Game

Jacklyn's struggle with her ex reminds me of Meghan McCain's interview with Louisiana First Lady Supriya Jindal for The Daily Beast. Apparently when Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and Supriya were courting in their pre-politics days, he stood her up for on their second date. Yes he did girl. Bobby stood her up. Mrs. Jindal has a business degree and a background in chemical engineering. As you can see she's also very pretty. I guess she looked in the mirror that night and thought, "I'm the prize." Check out the excerpt from
The Daily Beast below:

SJ: He asked me out on a second date, and I said yes. Well, I think I said no at first because I was traveling. So I said why don’t you come and join me and my friends for dinner? Because I wanted him to meet my friends. I had been telling them what a great guy he was and all that stuff. We went to this great restaurant in New Orleans and he likes to say (he has his own version of the story at this point) the waiter had to come over to tell me he wasn’t coming...


SJ: Yeah, the waiter came with a note saying he wasn’t coming. And I was with my friends and had to tell them that this amazing guy that I just met wasn’t coming.

MM: Where was he?

SJ: Working with the legislature, got a cold, didn’t feel well. Every version of an excuse you can think of. So, he invites me out on the third date and I tell him “no.” This goes on for about six months. He would call me, we would have nice conversations. He would ask me out and I would tell him “no.”

MM: As you should have.

SJ: So he finally asks, “Are you ever going to go out with me?” I said, “Yeah, I’m just busy, you know”—my little shrug off. And he said, “When are you not going to be busy?” I said “in a month.” I was working on my master's at the time and working nights and working crazy schedules. I won’t be free for a month. He says "a month" and takes out his calendar: "I want to book you in a month for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I want to book you for those three days." So I said, “OK.” So that weekend, he calls and asks if we were still going out and I said, “I guess so.” So we went out and had a wonderful time. We were engaged about a month later, it was pretty quick.

MM: How’d you know he was the one?

I think it was one of those things where we had a wonderful time when we were together but we also had a wonderful time talking during those six months with our phone conversations, getting to know each other and so when we finally were together it made it all right. It was good. It’s a crazy story.

Whew, she made the man wait 6 months. I heard that!! Good for you Mrs. Jindal. She showed him her love isn't a game and put herself first. Now she's chilling in the Louisina Governor's Mansion and hopefully he's treating her right. She didn't sacrifice her education or integrity to get a man. Those are mistakes many women still make today. Personally I would have to date a man longer than a month before marrying him. But if it's working for them, more power to them.

I don't hate on successful people like Mrs. Jindal. I take notes and pass on the knowledge. I guess Supryia figured if Bobby wanted her bad enough, he had to prove himself. Which is what Steve said the whole season on Tough Love--let the man you're dating prove he's worth you're love. But we as women have to keep in mind that our love is valuable. That's the key. It's a lesson that took me a long time to learn and it's a lesson a whole lot of us need to keep re-learning.

Just passing on the knowledge ladies.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Princess & The Frog Toy Line

I am sooooooo looking forward to seeing Disney's "The Princess & The Frog." Disney debuted the toy line for Princess Tiana in New York a few months ago. The doll is so cute. Tony Award winning actress/singer Anika Noni Rose is the voice behind the New Orleans princess. I'm really happy for Rose. This is a big role for her career, especially since this is Disney's first African-American animated princess. I'm also happy Disney stepped out of the box and casted a black actresses who isn't mainstream.

I'm not a little girl anymore but I will be at the Disney Store buying my Princess Tiana doll. Sistas, this is a job opportunity for you. Finally, we can dress up like a real Disney Princess and work at little girls birthday parties. You know what I'm $ayin'?

Disney is going to make so much money off of this movie. Not only will little girls of all races be skipping to the theaters, but probably masses of black women, like myself, who've waited to see a movie like this their whole lives. And these same women are probably going to buy the toys. If only the doll came with a real prince.

Oooh I hope there will be a"Princess & The Frog" parade at the Disney Theme Parks. Incorporating the New Orleans culture and spirit in the parade would make it extra lively. I remember going to Disneyland years ago and watching The Lion King Parade. I've been to Disneyland countless times and I had never seen so many black people in a Disney parade. The African themes and music were so beautiful. The parade carried the same energy as the musical that was created years later. I remember the parade got rave reviews. "The Lion King" parade was probably the best parade I've ever seen at Disney. There weren't many black visitors at the park but most of the people in the parade were black. This may sound crazy, but the performers were so proud to be in that parade. I was a kid but I was proud too see their black faces too. I loved watching Disney parades when I was a little girl and seeing people who looked like me in the parade made an impact on me. The black performers waved and smiled directly to me and my mom. It was a special wave and smile. If you're black, you probably know what I'm talking about. I think my mom may have even threw up the black fist because she was so excited. LOL

We have to wait until December 11, 2009 to watch Princess Tiana get her man. I can't wait and hopefully Disney's next princess will represent my Latina sistas.

Photo credit:
Bazar Pr

Monday, May 4, 2009

Truth Finally Comes to Washington

I was swamped with a project last week and didn't have time to blog about the unveiling of Sojourner Truth's bust. I was so proud when I heard the news. Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I A Woman?" changed how I saw myself as a black woman. I've always been very girly-girly and sensitive. Not weak, but sensitive. As a kid I was sometimes ashamed of that because the black girls I grew up felt like they had to project this "I'm hella tough" persona. So I didn't fit in with a lot of the girls. But hey, that's how a lot of our mamas raised us. That's not to say telling your girls to be strong is wrong. Black women deal with a lot so our mothers raised us to be strong and tough. "Baby you have to be a Strong Black Woman to make it in this world. " But in between the words "Strong and "Black," we left out "Beautiful,""Deserving of Love," "Gentle," "Sexy." That's right World. I may live in a society where I have to battle racism, sexism and poverty daily but I'm still a lady and deserve to feel like a lady and so does Big Mama. Yes Big Mama who cooks, cleans, takes care of her kids and grand kids and has to be both matriarch and patriarch. That Big Mama. She wants to be treated like a lady too.

When I went to college and read Sister Truth's speech "Ain't I a Woman?" I felt her. Her speech and struggle helped me embrace my own femininity. I realized I could be strong and soft. It's been 158 years since Sojourner Truth delivered that speech but it resonates today. Black women are still fighting to claim our femininity long after we were freed from picking cotton and cleaning master's quarters. A sista making the cover of Vogue or even Sports Illustrated continues to be a big deal. Even this bust is monumental because it's the first sculpture to honor a black woman in the Capitol. Michelle Obama unveiling the piece made the day more significant. Cicely Tyson recited"Ain't I a Woman?" at the ceremony. You can watch the whole ceremony on Tyson performs about 34 minutes in.

According to the SF Chronicle the late C. Delores Tucker spearheaded this project 10 years ago. "She originally wanted to add Truth's likeness to the eight-ton "Portrait Monument" statues of the heroines of the suffrage movement: Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton," the Chronicle reports. The original plan failed but Congress gave the okay for a bust and Pres. Bush signed it into law. I like the bust idea better. Congratulations to Artis Lane, 81 for sculpting the bust. Artis lives in Los Angeles, but was born in Canada. That's her to the right. Can you believe she's 81? The sista looks great.

But the celebration didn't stop in Washington. On Saturday Lane traveled to her home country Canada to unveil another historical bust. This one was of her great-great-great aunt Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Cary lived in Canada. She was an abolitionist, educator and, according to Canada's Globe & Mail, the first black woman to publish a newspaper in North America. The busts of Sojourner Truth and Mary Ann Shadd Cary are beautiful and long overdue.

Photo Credits:
3. Jim Shreve--Flickr page


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