Saturday, September 20, 2014

Beyoncé and Jay Z are On the Run, On HBO Tonight

My On The Run T-shirt from their stop
at the Rose Bowl.
Photo by Jenee Darden
This has been a great year for me in terms of live music. I’ve seen a range of performers from Jill Scott and Charlie Wilson to Mint Condtion (twice) and jazz artists Ellis and Delfeayo Marsalis.

One of my favorite shows so far has been Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On The Run tour.  I had so much fun when I saw them at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena last month. They performed many of their hit songs going back to the ‘90s all the way to today.  I was on my feet damn near the whole night.

On The Run is a story of outlaws in love. Jay Z and Bey have different styles of music. But the way their songs were performed in order to tell a story was done masterfully.

I’m not crazy about videos on stage at concerts. I just want to hear people sing. However, the black and white videos in the show were beautiful. Again the sequence of the songs along with video told this story of romantic rebels perfectly.

I'm eagerly awaiting Bey and Jay Z
at the Rose Bowl. 

Of course the music was off the hook. Jay Z had us bobbing  Bey shows some cheek. But her looks ranged from sexy leotards to B-girl, to classy. By the way,  I really want Bey’s diamond-studded, mesh ski mask.
our heads and reciting his lyrics. And Beyoncé is a hell of a performer. Just her choreography alone, in heels, was beyond impressive. Her costumes were sexy.

The show was expensive but Bey and J made sure we got our money’s worth. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, you have the best seat in your house. Watch the On The Run Tour tonight on HBO. It's a recording of their Paris show.  Watch it with your girls or with your boo.  The concert made for a great date night, because the fellas at the Rose Bowl were digging Jay Z and the ladies were feeling Beyoncé.  It’s something for everyone. The music is banging. It's a show not to be missed. 

#OnTheRunHBO comes on tonight at 9pm.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Janay Rice Attacked the Public

Silly hoe, stupid bitch, dumb ass, gold digger, in it for the dick, thug... 

These are some of the words I've seen people use to describe Janay Rice, wife of former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice.

I don't understand how people can blame a woman for being knocked unconscious on an elevator by her 212lbs, professional football player husband. I don't understand how people can wish for her safety and then in the same sentence call her a "dumb ass" or a "stupid bitch."

As I've said on Facebook and on Twitter, I don't agree with her staying either, but I don't know why she's staying with him. She may be in love. She may be afraid he'll kill her if she leaves. She may not have anywhere to go. I don't know. And if she is staying for love, which is common for women who have battered wife syndrome, I don't see how further degrading her with vile names is going to help  her.

I volunteered at a domestic violence safe house when I was in college. In my current job, some of the women who use our services have been abused. And I personally know of beautiful, brilliant women who were in abusive relationships. I could not imagine calling any of them a "stupid bitch" or "dumb ass" while they were being hurt or not ready to leave their abusers.

I believe a lot of people are saying they don't feel bad for Janay because she's wealthy and they think she's taking the beatings for the money. I can't but help feel bad for the mother of a baby and the wife on a man who knocks the shit out of her on an elevator and then drags her body out like trash.

I'm disappointed in the many women who are victim blaming Janay Rice. I think a lot of us have internalized our sexism, misogyny and gendered oppression.

And I'm disappointed with so many in the black community who are victim blaming Janay Rice. It's Rihanna and Chris Brown all over again. We march, scream, protest, and make hashtags for black men when they are assaulted. But let a black woman get attacked by a black man and there's crickets. Or, they find some reason to blame her. We invisibilize our own women's oppression as an act of racial loyalty and to protect black men. I know many black men have it hard, but so do a hell of a lot of black women.

I feel bad for Janay Rice. I hope she does leave her husband, unharmed and alive. I feel bad that her baby is being raised in a violent home. Black women are 3 times more likely to die by their partner or ex-partner than any other racial group.

I feel bad for the many women in violent relationships who have seen some of the ignorant, hurtful, harsh, sexist posts and tweets from their loved ones and are probably now even more hesitant to tell someone they're in their danger. One in 3 women in the U.S. have experienced violence in an intimate relationship. Chances are you know someone who has been abused.

As I've been saying in social media, to people talking down about Janay Rice -- you don't know WHO is reading your posts. You don't know WHO grew up in a violent home or is a victim of an abusive relationship. Some people I personally know slamming Janay Rice online, have friends that I know who have been in abusive relationships. But those critics don't know about what their friends experienced. There may be a certain reason why your woman friend, cousin, girlfriend, aunt, mom etc. has been pretty quiet about Ray and Janay Rice fiasco.

The violence against women must stop. Misogyny and sexism must end. Defending abusive men because their famous must stop. The NFL needs to do better.

And black folks need to stop defending men we know good and damn well are abusing, misusing and abandoning our women because "brothas have it hard." That kind of thinking is killing our women. And yes, Janay Rice getting beat is OUR problem. Domestic violence is OUR problem, just like police brutality is OUR problem.

Lastly have some damn compassion for the woman and pray she and her baby get out safely and alive.

Here's an article about people who personally know Janay Rice.


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