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. 

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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! ;))

The Things Celebrities Do…

Happy Friday, folks!  Let’s get right to the news because we have no time to waste!

First, can we talk about Kim Kardashian freezing on stage with Prince?!?!?  Ya’ll know I heart Kim K., but she embarassed me (well…really herself) when she got invited to dance with Prince ONSTAGE and froze!!!  Even if I didn’t have any rhythm, I would have faked it.  I mean, how many people can say they danced with PRINCE-ONSTAGE?!?!  But Kimmy redeemed herself when 2 hours later Prince invited her back.  This time she was able to dance.  And I should hope so.  She moves everywhere else.  And speaking of Kim K., can I just mention that I hated her Super Bowl Skechers commercial and the fact she was whining about her nipple showing in “W” magazine?  Yeah, whack commercial and whining for no reason.  Pressing on…

I am SO disappointed with Mark Sanchez’s “alleged” relationship with this 17 year old.  But I feel more for this girl, not because I think she’s innocent or anything of the sort, but because she can’t make up her mind if she wants the world to know she banged an NFL quarterback or if she wants to keep him her secret.   Mark should have known that it was not in his best interest to mess with some kid…and that’s exactly what she is.  I’m really torn on this situation because I feel like they were both in the wrong.  But I have to think if I had the opportunity to be with a multi-million dollar athlete at 17 would I do it?  Probably not.  I actually came across a professional athlete while a Junior in high school, and I let him pass me by…but that’s another story for another day.

So, Rihanna is lessening some of the stipulations on her restraining order on Chris Brown so they can have contact?  I won’t comment but you guys can…

Another thing I’m not touching?  The whole fiasco with former N.Y. Congressman Chris Lee.  But you guys can.

In case you missed the FLOTUS on the “Today Show” this past Wednesday, take a looksie here!  #WeLovetheFirstLady

Ok, I’m finished!   What do you guys think about this week’s news?  What did I forget to mention?  Enjoy your weekend, be safe, and I’ll be back on Monday! Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Month fact is about my alma mater, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University!  (The # 1 HBCU on the HIGHEST of 7 hills!)  FAMU was founded on October 3, 1887 as the State Normal College for Colored Students.   Florida A&M is currently the only publicly funded historically black college or university in the state of Florida.   FAMU has such a rich history and continues to be one of the leading institutions of higher learning in the US to grant undergraduate degrees to African-American students.

Are You TRULY Happy?

I was talking to my friend Lola last night and relating how when I was younger I did the things I said I was going to do-I went to the college I said I wanted to attend, I pledged the sorority I dreamed of joining, I graduated with Honors, I became president of the organization I helped bring to my college campus, among other things.   And I didn’t have to work that hard to do them…well, not all of them.  I’m not saying that to say I’m great, but just stating once I set my mind to do something, I did it.  I had clear, concise goals, and I made them happen.  Currently, I feel like a piece of driftwood floating aimlessly in the Atlantic.  I moved to DC for a specific, career-driven purpose.  I even left my company in Florida knowing I was on the manager track to pursue my dream of coming to the nation’s capital.  Now that I’m here, it’s taken me a bit longer to realize my dream, but new dreams have been born and opportunities I never fathomed have come into my life.  And although things seem great to those on the outside looking in, things are not always what they seem. 

Although Lola tried to get me to perk up, it wasn’t happening.  I told her I was in a funk, and it should be gone by today.  But my little tirade made me think about myself and about others.  We only allow people to see what we want them to see.  Our co-workers, friends, even some of our family may not know the struggles we go through.  And if you’re like me, you don’t want people to worry about you, so you are Sally Sunshine 24/7 in hopes of not alarming anyone and going on about your business.  But if we are all honest with ourselves, are we TRULY happy?  Are we in our dream job (or doing something we enjoy), living where we want, have our finances in order, and really just happy being who we are and with life’s circumstances?  I’m clearly not trying to depress anyone (as one of my cousins said my post yesterday was depressing-I beg to differ), I just want us all to do a little soul-searching. 

Feel free to share your thoughts.  You don’t have to spill your guts 🙂 or even answer the question, but any and all feedback is welcomed!  (And if you see me out this weekend, please don’t ask me if everything’s ok.  It is!)  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Month fact:

Queen Nefertiti is the 2nd most famous queen out of Egypt.  Her likeness has been recreated over the centuries, and she is often referred to as the most beautiful woman in the world.  Read more about Queen Nefertiti here.

Am I Wrong to Want a Valentine?

Yes, today is Wednesday.  No, there is no “Way Back Wednesday” post.  Why?  Because I have something I need to get off my chest that just can’t wait. 

As someone who says I’m happy being single, for the most part I’m telling the truth.  But every now and then, something creeps into my spirit and makes me a little sad that Southern Boy hasn’t come my way (or someone comparable to Southern Boy).  And then there’s Valentine’s Day, or as I sometimes call it “Valentomb’s” Day, taken from my girl Coral from the “Real World: Back to New York”.  

I don’t think I’m wrong in wanting a Valentine.  He doesn’t even have to be the boo.  But it would be nice to have a guy call me up, invite me to dinner, and we have a grand ol’ time.   I don’t need roses (though they would be nice) and I don’t need to be picked up (I prefer driving), but it would be swell to enjoy a meal with someone of the opposite sex who enjoys my company.  Actually, I’d even settle for dessert.  I’ve been on this kick to get a Valentine since February 1, not whole-heartedly of course.  I honestly thought someone would come across my tweet, put some feelers out there, and come back and say, “Hey, Elle! I have a great guy who said he’d be your Valentine!”  Yeah, that didn’t happen…

But you know what?  It’s ok, because I’ll be my OWN Valentine.  If my other single (or having boyfriends in different cities) linesisters in the DMV don’t want to do dinner on Monday, then I’ll take my own self out and be my own Valentine.  Or I could crawl up on my couch, pop some popcorn, and watch “Love Jones”, “Love and Basketball”, and “The Best Man”…which the more I think about it is not a bad idea…

What do you guys think?  Is there still time to catch a Valentine?  Should I embrace my inner Carmen and go after what I want?  Or should I just leave well enough alone and enjoy a night of ginger ale, Pop Secret, and Black love stories?  Until next time, I’m just a (Valentomb-less) Southern girl…in the city.

Today’s Black History Month Fact is about Elizabeth Key Grinstead.

In 1662, Elizabeth Key Grinstead was the first woman of African descent in the United States to sue for her freedom and that of her infant son and win.  Based on the fact her father was a white Englishman (her mother was a Black slave) and she was baptized as a Christian, her common-law husband and attorney William Grinstead argued that she should be set free.  The House of Burgesses had no choice but to grant Elizabeth her freedom.