Happy Black Girl Day-Be Happy

It’s the last Happy Black Girl Day of 2010.   Something that started as a little more than a thought and an affirmation has turned into something so much greater.  Black women across the country have made it their business to be happy and lift each other up instead of tear each other down.  As we all gear up for the holidays and to start fresh in the new year and make resolutions, I’m asking you all to just be happy.

I’ll admit this year has been a struggle for me.  I’ve had some highs and lows, and I have to admit losing my paternal grandmother in May was really hard for me and has to be the lowest point that I had in 2010.  But I know she’s no longer in pain and has been reunited with my granddad.  That, along with knowing the great life that she led and the people she touched, gives me some solace. 

But I can’t focus on the sad; I have to think about the good things that have happened, most importantly meeting some more great people in DC.  I’m so blessed to have met some wonderful people this year and have some great experiences.  My New Year’s Resolution for 2011 is to just be happy, which happens to be one of my favorite songs by Mary J. Blige.  And I charge all of you to be happy-be happy with yourself and know that you’re enough.  I charge you to find the good things within and to fall in love with yourself.  If you don’t love you how do you expect someone else to? 

That’s all I got today, folks.  I hope you all have a wonderful day, and if you’re not busy after work, go and hang out with some happy Black girls.  🙂  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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Way Back Wednesday-Happy Black Girl Day

Hello, world!  It’s been a long time!  Your fave Southern girl took a much needed break! Now I’m revived, rejuvinated, and ready for anything!  Today is Happy Black Girl Day, so I’m wishing all my girls a safe, happy, blissful day!  This weekend I took a mini-vacation to Philadelphia to hang out with some of my sorority sisters and their friends and family.  On Sunday, we went to a nice brunch place called Relish.   They had a movie playing, which was “Carmen Jones“, starring the gorgeous Dorothy Dandridge and handsome Harry Belafonte.  This movie inspired today’s post.  Today I will highlight some of the most talented Black women in Hollywood.

First, I must start with Dorothy Dandridge.  If you have never seen it, I highly suggest you watch “Carmen Jones”.  It’s a story of love, loss, and betrayal.  They don’t really make movies like that anymore…A little known fact about Ms. Dandridge is that she was the first African American woman nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. 

Next up is one of my favorites Diahann Carroll.  This woman is TIMELESS!  At 75, she looks better than some women half her age.  Her debut was as a supporting character in “Carmen Jones”, and she was the first black woman to win a Tony Award for her performance in “No Strings”.  I loved her in “Dynasty” as Dominique Devereaux and who can forget her as Whitley Gilbert’s mom, Marion, in “A Different World“???

Another timeless woman is Pam Grier, the original Foxy Brown.  Quentin Tarantino has been quoted as saying, “she may have been cinema’s first female action star.”  If you are a fan of blaxploitation films, then you are no stranger to the talent of Ms. Grier.  A fellow Southern girl, her career spans 40 years, and she shows no signs of slowing down.  Making her mark in the movie and television worlds, she has moved to the literary world with her autobiography “Foxy: My Life in Three Acts”.

If you’re in the DMV, you know there is a Happy Black Girl Day Happy Hour! This month, it will be at Lounge of III on 1013 U St. NW.  Who are some of your favorite black actresses, from back in the day to present day?  What do you plan to do to celebrate Hapy Black Girl Day?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Another HBGD Post!

Look what you find from just mulling around the internet! It turns out the African Union as adopted 2010-2020 as the African Women’s Decade!  On July 31, which was African Women’s Day, approximately 100 women gathered in London to celebrate the positive changes that have been made thus far in regards to the rights of African women, and the next decade is to encourage “…African states to take action regarding women’s rights.”

This is such good news that I had to share with you guys.  Read more about this here, along with a story about a woman who’s rights were almost taken away from her 10 years ago when her husband died.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Happy Black Girl Day

Then White House Social Secretary Rogers with Linda Johnson Rice

As much as I want to go in on certain things that have transpired within the past few weeks, heck even the past 24-48 hours, I will refrain myself for one reason and one reason only…it’s HAPPY BLACK GIRL DAY!!! And this news I’m about to share with you could not have come at a better time! 

As the saying goes, “You can’t keep a good woman down”, and in the case of Desiree Rogers, former White House Social Secretary, those words could never be more true.  Ms. Rogers was recently named CEO of Johnson Publishing Co., home to Ebony and Jet magazines.  Ms. Rogers has bounced back in a big way with this new position.  As both magazines have fallen victim to declining sales, Linda Johnson Rice, daughter of founder John H. Johnson, believes the new CEO is “…a savvy businesswoman who is committed to the strategic growth of Johnson Publishing Company.”   The new CEO will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company, one of the few black-owned publishing companies still standing.  I’m hoping that both magazines will have meatier content and topics that are relatable and pertain to the black community.  While I believe Ms. Rogers can turn sales around for the better, only time will tell just how effective she is running this company.

What do you guys think?  Is this a great move for the former Obama Administration staffer?  Or should she be looking elsewhere?  And if you’re in the DMV, you should most definitely stop by Queen Makeda tonight for the “Happy Black Girl Day” Happy Hour, from 6-9 pm.  And if you’re a natural girl like me, you’ll be excited about the natural hair presentation at 7.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern Girl…in the city!

Mothers and Daughters

Happy Black Girl Day!!!!  Yes, it is the second Wednesday of the month, and in recognition of Happy Black Girl Day, today’s post will be dedicated to Mothers and Daughters.  (And to my non-Black girls, don’t worry, this post is for you, too!) 

As an only child who was raised primarily by my mother (my parents divorced when I was 4), I have a close relationship with my mom.  Going back and reading my high school diaries, I’m shocked to see some of the things I wrote.  Apparently there were times when I couldn’t stand my mother.  I pretty much was able to do what I wanted to, but those times when my mom said no, I went in on her and went in hard…just on paper of course!  But now when I look at our relationship, I’m so happy to have her in my life.  We speak at least once a day and talk about everything.  She still educates me and there are times when I teach her a thing or two.  A soror and classmate of mine, Makya, is doubly blessed.  She has a great relationship with her mother and has two daughters of her own.  Makya, her mother, and her younger sister have 3-way conference calls each morning.  They discuss everything from work to social to relationship issues.   Like me, Makya thought her mom was out to get her when she was a teenager, but now she is one of her best friends.  Now that she has two daughters Makya hopes to have the same close relationship with them that she has with her mom when they get older.  Even as infants, the girls, along with their older brother, have been taught to bring comfort and take care of each other.

To all of the daughters and mothers of the world, how do you show support to each other?  How is your relationship with your mom or daughter?  For the new mothers of daughters, what things do you hope to teach your little girl?  Share your stories of your mom, mom figure, or daughter who made an impact on your life.  And if you’re in the DC area, the Happy Black Girl Day Happy Hour will be tonight at Lounge of Three, located at 1013 U St. NW, from 5-9 pm, so come out, enjoy the Happy Hour specials, and say hi to Elle! 😉  Until next time, I’m just a Southern Girl…in the city.

Happy Black Girl Day

A fellow blogger, The Beautiful Struggler, came up with the concept of Happy Black Girl Day.  Essentially, HBGD is where we celebrate ALL black women and try to uplift each other instead of belittle, degrade, and diminish.  So I am taking it upon myself to help the cause of uplifting other black women.  On the 2nd Wednesday of each month, I will have some type of post highlighting and celebrating Happy Black Girl Day.  This month, as it is Black Music Month, I will be highlighting my Top 5 Favorite Black Women Singers. Now, even though you may not agree with me, this is MY list. If you don’t like them, make your own.  And I’m not saying these women are the best singers…I’m just saying they’re MY favorite!

5. Beyonce- When Destiny’s Child first came out, I was a huge fan.  But I was not a Beyonce fan.  The thing that turned it around for me was a few years back when I saw a special on E! about her life.  I realized that she and I had similar childhoods.  And while watching her on tv I saw a very humble, talented, and gracious human being.  From there, I was hooked! I purchased every Beyonce album, I watch her on tv every chance I get, and I jokingly tell my friends that I aspire to be her (via my summer body).  No matter her success, she remains that little girl from the South, which I can relate to.  Not to mention the girl can dance her tail off and she can sing.  Beyonce is just a talented performer, and I will probably be a Beyonce Stan for life.  (And I have vowed-after watching Sex and the City 2-that I will learn the choreography to “Single Ladies” by the end of the summer!)

4. Nina Simone- I first fell in love with her voice before I even knew who she was.  I first heard “Four Women” at a performance during my junior year in college, and I made it my business to find out who sang the song. From there, I found out about Nina Simone (who’s a fellow Southern girl) and listened to more of her songs.  No matter what type of mood I’m in, Ms. Nina can relate. 

3. Lauryn Hill- This girl is phenomenal…hands down!  This girl has stage presence, amazing writing talent, and she can rap AND sing.  I just really want Lauryn to come back with a bangin’ album, a bangin’ tour, something…I still blast “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” like I got it last week.

2. Brandy- Maybe it’s because I grew up listening to her, but Brandy is one of my favorite singers.  I probably know just about every lyric to each song that was released as a single.  I loved her as Danesha on “Thea” and on her own series “Moesha”.  Brandy was the good girl I could relate to, and she was talented.  There weren’t too many songs by her I didn’t like.  Some of my favorites are “Best Friend”, “The Boy is Mine” (her duet with Monica), “Full Moon”, and “What About Us”. 

1. Jill Scott- SHE.IS.THE.GREATEST. Do I really need to say more?!?! This woman is a poet, a singer, a writer…Is there anything she doesn’t do?  I love her voice, and from what I can tell, she is a great live performer.   Each and every time I listen to her live performance in Philly and she sings “You’re Getting in the Way” I sing at the top of my lungs right along with her, and I dare somebody to tell me I can’t blow.  My mother even picked on me one day as “A Long Walk” came on the radio, and I knew EVERY lyric.   Even though I’ll miss her performance in DC next week :(, I anxiously await her new album “The Light of the Sun”, which is set to be released later on this year.

Honorable Mention: Aaliyah and Faith Evans

So, there you have it, my Top 5 Black Women Singers.  Who are you favorite Black women singers?  What are some of your favorite songs by Black women? Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.