What’s Hot in the Streets

For some reason, I always find out about things that are going on in the city (and elsewhere), but I don’t do a great job of sharing that with you guys.  Mainly because I’m selfish, hate crowds, and like to keep the good stuff to myself.  But I realized it’s not right to be selfish (most of the time), so today I’m sharing some events with you guys that will be going on in the DMV.  And most of them are FREE!

In case you didn’t know, my birthday is next month, and to start Birthday Month off right, tomorrow will be the commencement!  First, Ryan Leslie, one of my favorite singers and an awesome live performer, will be at The Park.  The event will is free; you just have to register here.   The Park can get crowded pretty quickly, so make sure you arrive early!  The next stop on my tour will be the Gentleman Jack-Arts, Beats, and Lyrics event.  Blending hip-hop, paintings, and photography, this is sure to be a pretty cool event, and I’m excited to attend.  When you register, you can bring a guest, but all attendees have to be at least 21. 

Lastly, just so you can get ready, for my friends in Atlanta, Benevole, Inc. is taking their successful fundraiser on the road.  Walk-A-Mile (in Someone Else’s Shoes)-Atlanta will be taking place on Saturday, April 30 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza.  To find out more information you can check out my previous post here and you can find out more about Benevole, Inc. on their site.  If you or your business are interested in serving as a sponsor, feel free to send me an e-mail. 🙂

That’s it for today!  What events are going on in your city?  Or what events did I miss that are happening in the DMV?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

One of my favorite Ryan Leslie songs!

Way Back Wednesday- The Quiet Storm

Last night I had a bit of insomnia.  Really I was just lazy and didn’t feel like going to bed.  So as I played on my laptop, I was listening to the Quiet Storm on various stations in the DMV.  I have to admit part of the reason I wasn’t going anywhere was because I was having too much fun listening to the radio, despite the fact a certain station continued to play the same songs over and over again…but I digress.  Today’s post will be some of my favorite songs from the Quiet Storm.  If you are easily seduced or distracted, you may want to listen to these when you get home.

First up, anything by Jodeci is great…well, from the first 2 albums.  I could listen to K-Ci and JoJo and look at DeVante Swing and Mr. Dalvin all day.  I have a ton of Jodeci songs I love, but “Cry For You” is one of my absolute favorites.

I love SWV.  One of my favorite songs is “Right Here”, but one of the best Quiet Storm songs is “Rain On Me”.

Not too far back, but Floetry was one of my favorite groups.  And this song never gets old.

Despite his cheating on Halle Berry, I am in love with Eric Benet.  I remember going to sleep to this song as a freshman in high school (or was I in middle school???).  Regardless, this is when Eric stole my heart. 

Lastly, is Mary J.  It’s funny, I’m not a big fan on MJB, but this is one of my all-time favorite songs.  Go figure.

I had you going way back, didn’t I?!?!  What are some of your favorite Quiet Storm songs?  I’ve made myself now want to purchase “Diary of a Mad Band”.  (I’ll be going to amazon.com soon!)  Happy Humpday, and until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

What I Missed Last Week

Even though I touched on a lot of things during last week’s “This Week in the News”, there were a number of things I failed to mention.  So today’s post is going to cover those topics and my thoughts on them.

Even after the issue with Rihanna, I was still a Chris Brown fan.  He admitted his mistake, took anger management, and took his punishment.  (Plus, if we can forgive R. Kelly and Michael Vick, why is Chris Brown different.)  And let’s face it-the boy is uber-talented!  So imagine EVERYONE’s shock when C. Breezy lost it on GMA with Robin after she asked him about Rihanna.  (If you didn’t see the video of the interview, watch it here.)   IMHO, I don’t think she went in that hard.  Chris needs to learn to control his temper.  And someone made a really good point-Ike got questioned til the day he died about his hitting Tina, so Chris isn’t going to be any different.  If he didn’t want to address it, he should have told Robin that when he got a preview of the questions.   Unfortunately, this is going to be following Chris as long as he stays in the limelight.  I am anxious to find out what will happen on his appearance tonight on “Dancing with the Stars”. 

About 2 weeks ago, I mentioned that Carmelo Anthony may have a love child in NY.   Well, my girl LaLa went on Charlamagne’s morning show to address the rumors, how she’s done with having kids, and discussed some other things.  One thing that I can say about LaLa is that she always stays professional and diplomatic, even when we think she should throw people under the bus! 🙂

Lastly, after a bitter divorce and a long custody battle, Dwyane Wade won sole custody of his sons.  As I stated in a previous post, we shouldn’t necessarily applaud fathers who are in their children’s lives, but I will say I’m glad he fought for his sons.  How many men, especially professional athletes, fight for SOLE custody of their children?  Not too many I know.  And the good thing is that Wade wants the boys to have a great relationship with their mother, so I hope they are able to be adults and co-parent.

That’s it today, folks!  What else happened last week that I missed?  Or what’s happened in the past few days that you want to share?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

PS Can I say I HATE Chris Brown’s blonde hair?!? UGH!!!

What is Black? Part 3

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit the “America I Am” exhibit.  Whether you’re Black, White, Hispanic, or what have you, you should go see this exhibit when it comes to a city near you.   If you’re not familiar with the exhibit, it traces the history of African-Americans from the time of slavery to today. 

I always feel proud to be a Black American, but looking at this exhibit instilled much more pride in me and my people.  If you ever wondered where you fit in in the American imprint, this exhibit shows you where you go and where our ancestors went.  I am now even more inspired to make sure I leave my mark on American history.  And I believe after you view this display of the greatness that has been given to this country, you will, too.   My favorite part of the exhibit was the guitar that Prince played during Super Bowl XLI.  (I remember that performance!  It was raining in Miami, and he was performing “Purple Rain” on a purple stage…but I digress.)   Other items on display included a replica of the “Door of No Return”, garments worn by Marian Anderson, Bootsy Collins, and Muhammad Ali, and various American documents important to Black history. 

I could go on and on about this exhibit, but it goes to show what Black is in America-how we’ve prospered, prevailed, and persevered despite the setbacks and stumbling blocks set up to stop us from achieving.  Viewing the film at the end, I was moved to tears.   If you’re in DC, you have until May 1 to view the exhibit.  If you want more information, or to view the previous stops on this tour, please visit the website here.   If you’ve viewed the exhibit, what did you think?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

This Week in the News

Happy Friday!  A lot has been going on this week, as it does every week.  So let’s get started!

First, I must thank Kim Foster of For Harriet, an on-line magazine geared toward “celebrating the fullness of Black womanhood”.  Ms. Foster shared my post from Tuesday “What is Black? Part 1” on her site.  To anyone that read the post or is referred to my blog from that article, let me clarify one thing.  The point I was making is that Black people need to come together and need to stop finding ways to segregate ourselves.  Most of my faithful readers got that.  The new ones, with the exception of one, didn’t get it.  And that’s fine.  And by no means am I trying to keep stuff going or want to speak untruths as being real-that wasn’t my intention-my point is to show that being Black encompasses so much; it’s not defined by just one thing.  Ok, now that that’s out of the way…

This story brought tears to my eyes.  How many of us at 9 years old would have risked our life for the life of our younger sibling?  Well, that’s what Anaiah Rucker did last month.  As she and her five year old sister, Camry, were walking to the bus stop, the girls walked into the path of moving vehicle.  Anaiah pushed her sister out of the way, and in the process was struck by the car.  She lost a leg and a kidney but doesn’t believe she should be called a hero.  If only the rest of the world were as selfless. 

This week we said goodbye to a Hollywood icon, Elizabeth Taylor.  Something not well-known about Taylor was her life as a politician’s wife and other activism in Washington.  We are all aware of her work with HIV/AIDS research.  Taylor will be missed. 

D.C. is slowly losing its status as “Chocolate City“.   Seeing a height of non-Hispanic Black residents during the 1970’s upwards of 70%, according to the 2010 Census statistics, the capital city now has a Black population of 50%.   It’s going to be interesting to see how the city dynamics continue to change, especially in regards to education, employment, and government services.

What’s going on in your worlds?  Feel free to share your comments on any news I shared or news that’s going on in your city.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

What is Black? Part 2

Wendi Levy and Kim Etheridge-Founders of Mixed Chicks

Tuesday’s post on “What is Black? Part 1” sparked some much appreciated comments.  And people are still reading it.  Today’s post is mostly inspired by an article I read on Coco and Creme by Alexis Garrett Stodghill.  The article, titled “Do Mixed Chicks Hair Care Products Make Light Seem Right?”, rubbed me the wrong way a little.  What I got from the article was another way to divide the Black community.

According to Stodghill, the name Mixed Chicks, a fairly new hair care line targeted to women of biracial or multiracial backgrounds, is a way to divide Black women and make us feel inadequate about our hair.  Um…yeah, not me!  Yes, at one time I wanted hair that’s a little softer to the touch (I’ve been natural for almost six years), but I have grown to love my hair and work with what the Lord gave me.   The title of this product does not invoke an inadequecy in me because I’m not a “mixed chick”, and I can’t use this product.  My BFF from undergrad is not biracial, and yet she could probably use Mixed Chicks.  Why?  Because her hair is soft to the touch, naturally curly, and has the type of hair that the creators are marketing to.   Look at the product Kinky Curly.  Should biracial women or women who have softer hair be offended by the term kinky?  Apparently so, according to the author of this article. 

Another issue I have with the article is how she goes in on Halle Berry.  Berry, a biracial actress, strongly affirms being African-American and embraces her Black heritage.  A few years back, when Mixed Chicks first came on the scene, Halle was very vocal about her use of the product and how she loved it.  Ms. Stodghill states that if Halle identifies as Black, she can’t possibly be part of the “biracial/multiracial” demographic that is the target audience for Mixed Chicks.   This is another utterly ridiculous notion.  Despite the old adage “One drop of Black blood makes you black”, who’s to say that a woman who identifies as Black can’t use this product?  I’m sure other multiracial women who identify as being Black, such as Raven-Symone, Thandie Newton, or Michael Michele, could use this product. And according to Eugene Robinson, in “Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America“, biracial and multiracial people are still part of Black America. 

Why can’t we just say “KUDOS!” to these women who saw a need and supplied a product to a particular demographic?   It’s going to take more than some shampoo and conditioner to separate us as a people.  I implore all of you to read the article for yourselves.  I believe the author missed the mark on so many levels.  I am a beautiful Black woman, and the name of some hair care product is not going to affect the way I view myself.   What say you Southern audience?  Is there any validity to this article?  Or is Stodghill just looking for another way to divide us as a race?  As I stated in the first portion, Black comes in all shapes, sizes, hues, and cultures.  We need to work on being inclusive as opposed to exclusive.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Way Back Wednesday- What Happened To…

Yes, I know this is supposed to be a hip hop WBW post, but I’ve been listening to an artist that blew up when she first came on the scene but had a hard fall.  After not only listening to her last album but singing to EVERY song, I’ve realized that we haven’t heard from her in a minute and have pondered what happened to her.   Wondering who the artist is?  Of course you are.  Well, it’s none other than Amy Winehouse.

Amy Winehouse was the second coming of Teena Marie.  She could SANG, was soulful, and had a very retro sound.  Winning five Grammys, Amy was on her way to the top.  Heck she was at the top!  Then legal trouble, drug and alcohol abuse, and run-ins with the law caused this singer to (attempt to) leave the limelight.  Paparazzi followed her EVERYWHERE, to the point that she had absolutely NO privacy!  Very few have had such a tragic, long, hard fall such as Winehouse. 

She did attend rehab for two weeks, got a divorce, and is apparently back on the right track.  It was reported in July of last year that she was set to create a group with ?uestlove from The Roots.  But due to Amy having visa issues, the supergroup is on hold.  (I think that would be an AWESOME collaboration.)  Reports say Winehouse hasn’t been in the studio recently, but I hope she goes back quickly. 

Despite the troubles that she’s had, I think she is an AMAZING artist and needs to get back to making great music!  Are you an Amy Winehouse fan?  If so, what do you love about her?  Was she one of those people that you wondered what happened to them?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!