Summer Soul Session Vol. 2

On Friday, June 24, three artists are hitting the stage for a performance you don’t want to miss.  LivSuite Presents Summer Soul Session Vol. 2, featuring Lauren White, Chris Turner, and Ife’.  These artists are an eclectic mix of R&B, Neo-Soul, Jazz, and Funk. 

Lauren White has performed with great acts, such as Chante Moore, Anthony Hamilton, and Will Downing.  Her first solo album, “The Biography”, debuted in November 2009, and her next album is set to be released later this summer.  This Washington, DC native has been described as dynamic and commanding and her performances are “guaranteed to keep the listener entertained, engaged, feeling like they are a part of the experience.”

“Love Child” Chris Turner decided at the tender age of 4 he wanted to be a singer, just like his father.  This Oakland, CA native has been performing most of his life.  Past affiliations include the SF Jazz High School All-Stars and GRAMMY High School Jazz Ensemble.  Chris has been on tour with Gwen Stefani, Chris Brown, Kelly Clarkson, and Bilal Oliver.  Currently working on his first full album “LOVEchild”, Chris was selected in February of this year by BET Music Matters as an “Artist to Watch”. 

Not only is Seattle native Ife’ a singer and songwriter-she has also started her own company, Crescendo Entertainment.  Her hope for Crescendo is that it will be “the conduit through which I not only create and produce various projects that I’ve been wanting to bring to life, but also will allow me to use my creative expression to help uplift people in their lives.  It starts with music, but that’s really only the foundation; it’s my platform to share my gifts with the world.” 

As you can see, this show on the 24th is going to be filled with wonderful talent, and if you’re in the DMV, you definitely don’t want to miss it.  The venue for Summer Soul Session Vol. 2 is XII Restaurant and Lounge, located at 1123 H Street NE, Washington, DC.   Advanced tickets can be purchased now for $20; they will be $25 at the door.  Bring your man, bring your girl, or just come by yourself.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

 

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Civil Engagement- DC Special Election

The District of Columbia is one week away from our Special Election.   Vacancies are currently open for DC At-Large Council Member, Ward 4 Member of the State Board of Education, and Ward 8 Member of the State Board of Education. 

Voters are not quick to come out to vote in special elections.  I wonder why that is???  It’s important that we ALL vote when there is an election.  Despite the fact that our ancestors fought for the right for everyone to vote, our need to vote goes beyond that.  These people will be responsible for how city government is ran and for the education of our children.  We’re so quick to complain and make note of things that are wrong, yet we don’t vote.  This is a great time to start voting if you’ve never voted before. 

All DC residents can vote for At-Large Council Member, but only residents in Ward 4 can vote for their open seat on the State Board of Education, and the same holds true for residents of Ward 8.  Make sure your voice is heard!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

*To take a look at the candidates and to find out the important dates regarding elections, visit the DC Board of Elections and Ethics site here.

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!

This Week in the News

It’s a gorgeous day in the District!  I may go out, explore the city, take a leisurely stroll, enjoy some ice cream…ok, who am I kidding?  I’ll probably be at work most of the day.  But a girl can dream can’t she??? And speaking of dreaming…

Hopefully this story is not true.  If you’re a fan on Facebook, then you saw me mention this-Carmelo Anthony may have a secret love child.  Yep, I was just as shocked as you when I heard it.  It appears Carmelo’s trade to the Knicks is beneficial for him in more ways than one.  Rumor has it that he has an 11 month old whose mother lives in the NY area.  You all know I don’t normally report too much gossip on this blog, but I couldn’t let this go, what with LaLa Vazquez (Carmelo’s wife) having this show that centered around their wedding and her putting out for the world to see this wonderful relationship they have.  As a couple who lived together and had a baby without being married, I thought it was a little strange that they decided to go ahead and get married. But hey, who am I to say anything?  Besides, I love when people make a lifetime commitment to one another so I was happy.  I’m sure we’ll be keeping our eyes on this one…actually, I won’t be trying that hard as it’s none of my business. 

I don’t curse too much on this blog, but what the hell is going on in this city???  How does a child in elementary school get his or her hands on cocaine??? Yep, you read correctly.  Five students at Thomson Elementary School in Northwest were sent to the hospital after ingesting cocaine.  (Read the story here.)  What is happening in our homes?  What are we teaching our children?  Some parents seem to be upset with the school, but this really isn’t the school’s lacking in any area, IMHO.  The problem lies in the home of this child, who is being charged with possession of a controlled substance,  that brought the drug to school.  And who made the decision to arrest this child?  Or am I being naive because of the age of this student?  I don’t know, something’s just not right with this picture.  Department of Children and Families needs to become involved and visit the home.

As if DC doesn’t have enough issues, the Gray Campaign is being investigated by Congress.  Former city employee Sulaimon Brown, who was a minor mayoral candidate, claims he was asked by the Gray Campaign to attack former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty on the campaign trail.  Once Gray took office, Brown was given a job with the city that paid him over $100k a year.  Upon the discovery of his shady background and run-ins with the law, Brown was terminated.  Bitter and mad, he has come out with these allegations.  All I have to say is, “If it ain’t one thing, it’s another…”

I’m not going to spend too much time on this one, but can I say I am shocked and appalled at the Department of Public Works???  DPW, which is responsible for writing and distributing tickets in DC, has racked up over $30,000 worth of parking tickets!!!  Over 90 vehicles have received tickets for various parking infractions.  Yeah, I’m over it. (And if I spoke with you about 2 weeks ago, you know why….)

What’s going on in your worlds?  I specifically didn’t talk about Libya and Japan.  It’s too much, and I’m not touching any of it.  I hope you all have a great weekend!  If you’re in the District, do like me (Idon’t think that’s correct grammar) and get out and enjoy this beautiful weather…because next week it’ll be back in the 50’s!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl..in the city!

This Week in the News-Happy New Year!

So, it’s a new year, but of course “This Week in the News” isn’t going anywhere!  There have been a lot of things going on with celebrities, politics, and everyone, so let’s get started!

Isn't she fabulous!?!?!

First, if you haven’t seen her in awhile, Raven-Symone’ has lost some weight and looked GREAT at the People’s Choice Awards, but she’s not feeling her new thin self. (Read more here.)  Raven stated that she felt she looked fine at her heavier weight even though others didn’t, and she wears bigger clothes now to hide her thinner physique.  As a “thick girl”, I think I can relate to Raven.  Although I would like to tone a bit, I don’t think I would look good at a size 8;  I think I would look my best at a size 12-14.  But whatever size she is, I think she’s going to look good, because she’s simply a beautiful girl.

So, it appears that Tiny got caught giving her man, T.I., a hand-job when she was visiting him in prison…do I really need to say more on this?  Probably not, so moving on…

It looks like Toni Braxton is considering posing in “Playboy”.  The singer stated she will only do partial nudity.  I guess filing for bankruptcy for the 2nd time since 1998 has Ms. Braxton on hard times and looking to make some cash to pay off her debt.  But isn’t somebody going to counsel Toni and figure out HOW she ended up with this much debt (reportedly between $10 and $50 million) and help her so she doesn’t do this again?  I mean, come on, son!  I know I’m not the best at handling finances (I can admit my shortcomings and I’m working in doing better…actually I AM doing better.), but if I have to declare bankruptcy, you can bet your last dollar that I don’t do it again.  In any event, I’m sure the spread will be hot.  And I’m trying to decide if I’ll watch her upcoming show “Braxton Family Values” on WE TV, which debuts in April. 

Mayor Gray

Next up, DC has a new mayor!!! Vince Gray was sworn in as mayor of the District of Columbia this past Sunday.  I was able to watch it on TV.  And I had an opportunity to go to the Inaugural Ball…but did I go?? No. *deep sigh*  I thought because I was under the weather and had no voice, it would be in my best interest (and the citizens of DC) that I keep with my original plans.  But I did like seeing everyone’s pictures.

Of course I didn’t mention Elizabeth Edwards leaving her husband, John, out of her will, Ted Williams’ newfound celebrity, Khloe Kardashian’s new red hair (which I love), these birds that keep dying (it’s a sign of the end!) or the case I was on this week.  (I was the alternate juror in this case and was dismissed before deliberations began.)  What do you guys think?  Does Raven look better as a “Skinny Minnie” or as a “Thick Ums”?  Should Toni really pose in “Playboy”?  Did you attend the gala for Mayor Gray (who happens to be my neighbor, and I’m mighty perturbed I’m gonna miss him at our community association meeiting tomorrow)?   Feel free to comment on the other things I mentioned or failed to mention.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Last Week in the News

The first week of November was pretty busy.  And I couldn’t just very well let it pass without saying ANYTHING…so here goes.

First, mid-term elections.  DC has a new mayor (Congrats, to Vincent Gray), my home state of South Carolina elected it’s first female governor Nikki Haley, Lil’ Wayne got out of jail, and Marques Houston FINALLY responded to these allegations of sexual abuse by former B2K member Raz B

I guess I’ll start with the elections.  No big surprises in the city of Washington, DC.  But of course, there’s been a shift in the power on Capitol Hill.  I certainly hope Congress and the White House can work together before the 2012 election.  If not, America can get ready for a stalemate, gridlock, and NO CHANGE coming from our government.  As I like to stay optimistic, I’ll pray that our country starts making positive changes, addresses unemployment, healthcare, and education. 

Speaking of elections, despite lies, controversy, and being the underdog, Tea Partier Nikki Haley won the governor seat of the great state of South Carolina.   It’s funny because when I was home for my high school reunion in September, I saw her commercials all over Southern Mom’s tv screen.  When I asked who the Democratic candidate was, she couldn’t tell me.   I just truly hope that this does not mean SC will start turning back to the days of old.  Black people in SC have enough to deal with, so I hope it doesn’t get worse.  “YAY” to South Carolina electing a woman governor, but “BOO” to her being part of the Tea Party. 

Finally somebody is responding to these accusations.  For the past few weeks, Raz B has been accusing (again) former B2K manager Chris Stokes and singer Marques Houston of sexual abuse and misconduct during the heydey of the boy band.  A few years back, Raz made similar accusations, but recanted.  Now, he’s making videos and going on satellite radio drumming up allegations again.  Just last week, Marques Houston was granted a restraining order against his “You Got Served” castmate.   If these allegations are true, I do hope these men are brought to justice.  I really don’t want to talk about this too much because this is such a sensitive subject.  I will say I keep these people in my prayers, especially Raz B.  He needs to be able and available to raise his son. 

Lil’ Wayne was released from jail last Thursday!  I’m sure the hip hop world is excited, especially Young Money group member Nicki Minaj.  And there’s something about that little man that one of my linesister’s and I like.  And I’m sure at his welcome home party last week he got some girl preggers and a new little Carter will greet the world in 9 months. 

 I know there was TONS of other stuff that happened last week, and I could be here all day.  But I like you guys and want to ensure I hold your attention, so I’m out.  But please feel free to share your thoughts, especially on the elections and how they affected your city/state.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

I Heart DC

I have taken a new position in downtown DC, and through my travels through the city yesterday, I felt like a TRUE city girl!  First, I travelled through the city via the Metro.  No, it wasn’t my first time ever, but it was my first time doing it during a workday.  Secondly, instead of getting on the closest Metro last night to go home, I decided to walk a few blocks to the Chinatown Metro and get on at that stop.   Yesterday evening was perfect fall weather.  It had stopped raining and the weather was a bit cool, but it’s a lot better than what we had this summer.  As I was walking down G St with my peacoat on and umbrella in hand, I thought, “So, this is what actually LIVING in the city is like.”

There were people everywhere, businesses were lit, and it was an amazing experience for me.  I even stopped at the MLK Library to peruse the books and catch up on my book club selection for the month.  I even called some friends who live nearby to see if they wanted to get together.  By working outside of the city, I feel like I miss a lot of great opportunities to hang out and do things on a regular basis there during the week. 

If you’re a Washingtonian, or frequent DC on the regular, what’s your favorite thing about the city?  If you don’t live in DC, what’s your favorite thing about where you live?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!