This Week in the News

Happy Friday!  If you’re like me, you’re super-excited about the 3 day weekend…that is if you have one.  A lot of things-some exciting, some boring, some completely ridiculous-have happened this week and have people reacting all sorts of ways. 

James E. Swann, Jr. requested a family visit this week with his father.  This may not seem like a big deal, but in 1993, Swann injured five people and killed four in Northwest DC.  Having the nickname the “Shotgun Killer“, a judge found Swann not guilty of the 32 charges he received by reason of insanity because he claimed he was forced by evil spirits to commit these killing in retaliation of the killing of Malcolm X.  James has been a patient at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital since 1994, and now his father, Swann Sr., is requesting to spend time with his son outside of the hospital.  This is a ridiculous request.  This man is a criminal.  That’s like Charles Manson asking for a leave request from prison.  Swann, Sr. stated he watched his son before the crimes and could watch him again.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but if he was watching his son before, then how did he commit these crimes?  Point blank, Swann, Jr. needs to stay locked up. 

Congrats to Fantasia for winning her Grammy on Sunday.  But I don’t know how I feel about her boycotting the awards show because she wasn’t asked to participate in the tribute to Aretha.  I know everyone would have enjoyed her kicking her shoes off and running around the stage and seeing her perform, but maybe the powers that be thought she would have been too much.  Some people think she was pouting while others salute her for standing up to what she believes in.  But I personally think that if she respects Aretha as much as she claims, she still should have gone to the Grammys.

Speaking of the Grammys, some people (read: Justin Beiber teeny-bopper fans) are PISSED that their little teen crush didn’t win the award for Best New Artist.  So who did?  Newcomer Esparanza Spalding.  Admittedly, I’ve never heard any of her music, but Prince loves her.  If she has the Purple One’s stamp of approval, she’s fine with me. 

Writer Tracy McMillan wrote this article that tells women why they still are not married.  Tracy pretty much tells every single woman on Earth the reason she’s single is because something’s wrong with her.  Yes, we may meet men who are shady and sheisty, but when it comes down to it, we’re the reason we’re still single.  While I agree with certain parts of the article, I don’t suscribe to all of it.  First, I’m still tired of people talking about single women (can we find somebody else to talk about?); second, I’m tired of people assuming all single women want to get married; third, her article was just poor taste (most of it).  Even though I’m an individual, I don’t think I fall into the categories that she mentioned, and I don’t think any of the single girlfriends do, either, well, except maybe one…but that’s a different story.  I’ve just come to realize that most people like to stir some ish up, and it seems like Ms. McMillan wanted to stir some stuff up and make a name for herself (I mean, who knows the writers on TV shows?  Not me, but now we all know about Tracy).

I hate to end on a bad note, but I just want to give you an update on Mitrice Richardson.  Eight bones were found near a ravine close to where her remains were found last year, and authorities believe they may belong to Mitrice.  It doesn’t appear that this case is going to get closed anytime soon, so just pray that her mother and her family get the solace they need and they find out who killed this girl soon.

I hope you all have a safe, enjoyable weekend.  Feel free to comment on anything I’ve shared or share your own bit of news.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Fact:

On this date in 1688, the first protest against slavery took place.  The Germantown Protest was organized by a group of white Quakers in Germantown, PA where they denounced slavery and the slave trade. 

Southern Girl Album Review: The ArchAndroid

Not her normal "uniform", but a great look nonetheless!

Happy Friday’s Eve!  This week is a first for me on this blog; yesterday, I did my first book review (hope you guys enjoyed it), and today I’m doing my first album review!  I have a very eclectic taste in music.  Where most people like artists and will purchase anything they make I like songs and will have my buddy make me a mixed CD as opposed to going out and buying someone’s album.  There are very few artists whose album I will buy as soon as it comes out.  I can honestly say that Janelle Monae has now been added to that short list. 

I purchased “The ArchAndroid: Suites II and III” before Christmas.  Off the strength of her single “Tightrope” with Big Boi of Outkast and her appearing on the “Idlewild” soundtrack, she piqued my interest and got my attention.  If I had to rate this album, I would give it 5 out of 5 stars!!!  It’s absolutely fantastic!!!!  Once I started listening to this, I took it with me everywhere.  It was always playing in my car, I had it with me at the PT job, and I even snuck and brought it to my day job as well!!!  I can’t put her in a genre; she’s in one all by herself.  She’s the female version of Prince…and ya’ll know how I feel about him.  The musical arrangements are amazing, her voice has so much range, and none of the songs sound alike but they go together.  The Intro reminds me of “Black Swan”, in the sense of being music from a ballet.  My favorite track is “Faster”.  I also love “Say You’ll Go” and “BabopbyeYa”.  I can honestly say there’s not one track I don’t like, and it’s very rare that that happens. 

All of you should go get this album, via CD, iTunes, or whatever means you purchase your music.   She taps into all genres of music and is just a really talented musician.  LOVE HER!!!  (And you will, too!)  If you’ve listened to the album, what do you think?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Month fact is about Ella Fitzgerald.  Ella, also known as Lady Ella or the “First Lady of Song”, was the first Black woman to win a Grammy.  In 1958, the first year the awards took place, Ella won for Best Jazz Performance, Individual and Best Vocal Performance, Female.  Before her death in 1996, she would go on to win 11 more Grammys.

Way Back Wednesday-Game Change

Happy Hump Day!!!   If you’re like me, you’re just about ready for this week to be over.  Today’s post is going to be a first for me.  I’m going to switch it up a little and do a book review.  The book, “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime”, is a background tell-all book about the election of 2008.  I purchased this book last February (for my friends on Facebook, I was clearly wrong thinking I had ordered this last summer), and just finished it Monday night.  (Hey, don’t judge me.)

The first thing you must be thinking is that, “The book must not have been that good.  It took her a whole year to finish it!”  That is SO far from the truth!!!  While I’m a self-proclaimed bookworm, I was a little overwhelmed by the more than 400 pages so there was a lot of picking up/putting down going on.  (Also, most of my reading is inclusive of Eric Jerome Dickey fiction.)  As someone who loves politics and history, I found this book very intriguing.  It tells EVERYTHING that you ever wanted to know about the primary and the general election of 2008 from the people who were there.  You learn how McCain had NO money during the Republican primary and was almost out of the race altogether, how Palin shut down anytime she was prepped by her staff,  and how during the Democratic primary Edwards knew the story about his mistress was coming out and before irreversible damage was done, was trying to make a deal with Clinton and Obama to serve in either one’s cabinet.  You also see the evolution of how the Clintons and Obama started of as bitter enemies and evolved to having a mutual respect for each other.   This book was really good, and I highly suggest you all read it.  It makes for great discussion and gives you insight to all parties involved.  I will admit it was hard for me to keep track of who’s who in each party’s camp (as some new name and position pops up frequently), but I was able to grasp the main points, which I think was most important.  I was also able to reminisce a little about the election of 2000 and the McCain/Bush debate in South Carolina.  (To keep your attention I won’t go into details, but I do remember when a classmate’s father, who was a Congress person in my home state, pulled his support from McCain when the Senator made disparaging remarks about his alma mater.)   McCain and his wife remembered it, too, and weren’t even sure if John should run again based off his experiences in the Palmetto State. 

So, if you read the book, what did you think about it?  If you didn’t read the book, but want to share some thoughts on the election, feel free.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

The Black History Month fact of the day is about Clennon Washington King, Jr.  King was the first African-American man to run for the President of the United States.  In 1960, King was a candidate of Independent Afro-American Party. 

Young Entrepreneur Series- Take 3

Today’s featured entrepreneur is no stranger to hard work, helping others, or reaching and setting goals.  Arian Simone serves as the Publisher and Editorial Director of “Fearless” magazine, a new periodical which targets 18-35 year old women who love urban culture.  Arian believes that the word fearless describes our current generation.   She states, “We’re overcoming our fears and reaching our goals.  The name also comes from 2 Timothy 1:7.”  “Fearless” started in digital and print form in the Fall of 2010.  Superstar LaLa Vazquez graced the cover of the Winter 2010 issue.  The upcoming “Love” issue for Spring 2011 will be on newsstands in March and can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and Borders bookstores nationwide.  For those of you who are a part of the digital age, the on-line edition can be purchased at www.zinio.com.  When asked who her dream interview would be, Arian pointed out she doesn’t do the interviewing, but “as an obvious choice I would love to have Barack and Michelle (Obama) featured.”  She stated her “vision for ‘Fearless’ is to have a digital circulation in the hundred thousands.  Everything is going digital.  It’s my goal to ensure ‘Fearless’ continues to grow, and I want to ensure this magazine continues to be a part of this large, digital entity.  I want to be part of a community that inspires and connects people who are living fearlessly.”   In 10 years, Arian sees herself retired, enjoying her husband and family and helping her children fulfill their dreams.  To catch select articles, readers can go to www.fearlessmag.com

“Fearless” magazine is our generation’s “Essence”.  They offer style, beauty, advice, and all things related to being a young woman in the 21st century.  Make sure to pick up the next copy on newsstands in March; I know I will!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Month fact:

The first Black magazine published was the “Negro Digest”, which was started in 1942 by John H. Johnson.  Johnson would later create “Jet” and “Ebony” magazines.  Similar to “Reader’s Digest”, the “Negro Digest” was aimed specifically to target positive influences in the Black community.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

So, it’s Valentine’s Day-the day in America where men in relationships are supposed to spend exorbitant amounts of money to woo and dine their significant others.  And it seems like the artists of today are singing LUST songs instead of LOVE songs.  No, we can’t make a movie, and if you invented sex, how did I get here?!?!  In any event, in keeping with the spirit of love and all that jazz, I’m going to share with you guys my list of favorite romantic comedies and love songs. 

Favorite Movies:

1. The Best Man (My BFF in undergrad and I would watch this movie religiously and quote it word for word.  We even watched it during her bachelorette weekend!)

2. Love Jones (I didn’t really appreciate this when I was younger, but now I love it!)

3. He’s Just Not That Into You (The title sounds like it may be a little depressing but it’s a really cute movie!)

4. Valentine’s Day (Love Ashton Kutcher in this, but I didn’t believe Jessica Alba for one second as his girlfriend.  Nor did I really like Jamie Foxx with Jessica Biel.)

5. Two Can Play That Game (One of the last times Vivica Fox shines onscreen.)

Favorite Love Songs

1. Cupid by 112 (LOVE this song!!! Even when I didn’t do love songs in high school this was one of my favorites.)

2. Spend My Life with You by Eric Benet and Tamia (I always said I wanted this song to play at my wedding.)

3. Ready for Love by India.Aire (Not sure if this is a traditional love song but I love it!)

4. I Want You To Want Me By Marvin Gaye (Not sure if this is a real love song, either, but I can relate to Marvin.)

5. Adore by Prince (One of the few songs by “vintage” Prince that can be considered romantic…)

6. You’re the First, My Last, My Everything by Barry White (This song was the first dance for my cousin and his wife at their wedding.  I think the song gained popularity in modern culture after being used on “Ally McBeal”…at least that’s where I first heard it.)

So, I’m sure I could name a lot more, but I’ll save that for you guys!  If you’re single and in the DMV, you should come to Big Tigger’s Un-Happy Happy Hour tonight at Bar 7.  You may see yours truly in the building! 🙂  Enjoy your day and tell somebody you love ’em!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Month fact is about the National Negro Congress.  On this day in 1936, the National Negro Congress met for the first time in Chicago.   Eight hundred seventeen delegates represented over 500 organizations.  Asa Philip Randolph, of Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was elected president.  Randolph was a well-known civil rights activist (and we share the same birthday! ;))