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Monday, June 29, 2009

BET, The Black Community's Whipping Boy

I watched the BET awards last night and I tweeted at the same time. Overall I think it was a great show considering the confines of a BET show. By confines I mean the usual bull jive that happens on BET all year long that usually keeps me and my children from tuning in. I don't expect the BET Awards to step up to being a show that shows the best and brightest in the African American community. That's not what they do, so I don't expect it. I watch to see a glimpse of something interesting or good here and there and then I use TIVO to mute out or pause the rest.

Last night it seems viewers came in droves with huge expectations because of the death of Michael Jackson. I too came with expectations, and mine were fulfilled. New Edition kicked it off with a Jackson 5 tribute. Ne-yo did a smashing job on two MJ song's.

Jamie Fox did a dance tribute and delivered poignant commentary on Michael's work. Beyonce sang Ava Maria & in the Arms of Angels, which was beautiful and sad. Several artists spoke about their memories of Michael Jackson and his impact on their lives. For a total or 3 days at best, BET did a incredible job altering that big machine into a MJ BET tribute while continuing on with the show. I think Michael Jackson deserves and has earned a 4-hour special dedicated to only him. The kind of special that takes months to put together, not just three days. I know he will get it, and I believe BET or TV-One will be the ones to do it.

Many tweeters and Facebookers are not in agreement with my assessment of last night's show because they have been blowing up saying just the opposite of what I am saying. I think that's because they are insane. Insanity is doing the same thing (tuning in to BET) and expecting a different outcome (a show filled with dignity and purpose through and through). They also expected a bigger tribute to Michael, although there was only a three-day turnaround. That's naivete on the part of viewers. I produce photo shoots and television commercial shoots, and I can tell you that with three days notice it's hard to change the direction of those drastically. I can just image a huge awards show. So many camps to contact and coordinate with, so many egos to deal with, so many costume changes, set changes, etc. Sorry viewers, but to expect more is just folly.

Having said all of that, I will now give you blow by blow of the whole show. New Edition's tribute was great, and it was what I expected. Funny part was Johnny Gill holding a guitar.

Maxwell was wonderful just the way I expected. The tweets for his part were hilarious. Women were swooning by tweet, ooohing, and awwwing.

Ne-Yo has finally gained my respect because he really sang Michael's songs last night with such grace and clarity.

I almost went into a full on ugly cry when Jamie Fox talked about Michael's career and his purpose. I started up and sucked it back in, so I wouldn't scare my children. Still have to get that out at some point.

I was shocked to see Joe Jackson there. I thought it was hilarious when Don Cornelius said Al Sharpton would "fight a brick." I also thought it was hilarious when Eddie Levert went into his story about being on the set of Michael's Black and White video, and cursed like and old Uncle would.

We TIVO'd through that Lil' Wayne and Drake tom foolery, so I can't really comment because I didn't really see it. It was inappropriate for the night in much the same way Snoop Dog's show was on the anniversary of the March on Washington, a year or two ago. Some fools you can't stop no matter what you do.

Aaron Hall, of Guy has lost his voice. I don't know what happened there. Keith Sweat was whiny as usual. I don't know why I ever liked him.., ahhh youth. Tevin Campbell looks like he has had a hard life, but is now trying to get it together. I could still see the hardness though.

Umm Keri Hilson is boring, but I prefer her to Rihanna. As a matter of fact up until last night I thought her songs were Rihanna's songs. That's probably not good for Rihanna.

Mary Mary and the Queen were excellent. My kids went nuts.

Soulja Boy Tell'em boo!!! What Ice Tee said...yeah. (Grown folks only)

Jay-z's new song became likeable to me last night. I guess it was the live performance.

Here is Alicia Keys doing her best impersonation of "I am not a homewrecker, I am a humanitarian."

Keyshia Cole looked the same as always, Monica looked polished and on top of the world. Frankie & Neffe are getting a show...sigh. I'll be watching...sigh. Tiny & Toya have a new show...sigh. I watched a sneak peek last night... won't be watching anymore. Tiny is too disgusting to watch. She looks like an old drunk, and the exaggerated facial expressions she makes when she says her "life is great." Signals a life that is horribly wrong. I study facial expressions and lying (favorite past time of mine).

Janet Jackson looked beautiful and very sad at the same time. She even looked and sounded a little resentful toward us, the public. I can't say that I can blame her because CNN and others have been very cruel towards Michael over that last few days. A side note here, I will be doing an M. Jackson tribute, but I am taking time to get things right within myself. This was a huge loss for me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All the Gemini's, All the Gemini's... Put your Hands up

The Gemini season is over and I have to show them love. Geminis are known for being two-faced. I don't mean this in a the back-stabbing way, although they may look like back-stabbers because of their twin personalities. What I mean by two-faced is that they have two sides of their personalities. They can be sweet, charming, amicable ladies one minute, and crafty sarcastic, unpleasant individuals the next. One thing that is consistent with Geminis is creativity and mental strength. These women are extremely gifted at creating revolutionary ideas. When you see something super creative out in the atmosphere, that has has not been seen or heard around, you'll usually find a Gemini as the creator.

These women are fun to be around until they aren't. However, just as quickly as you've decided that they aren't your type of person, they will switch back their other side and will endear themselves to you.

Here are some famous.

Josephine baker displayed the creativity that most Geminis do. She danced topless and very gracefully while being very provocative. During her time, that was cutting edge and very creative.

Ms. Jolie shows the two-sided nature of her personality publicily. On the one hand she is a husband-stealing, blood-carrying, brother-kissing, vixen, and then she's a ambassador to the world who adopts children from all over. She brings creativity to her roles, well at least those that I've seen. I stopped watching her many years ago on purpose.

Marilyn Monroe was also very creative. She carved out that role for herself as a dizzy blonde sex symbol. She changed her hair color orchestrated all her press and those images we see of her today. She was actually a shrewd business woman despite the persona she presented of herself.

Here we have a phone-throwing, face slapping high fashion model who always seems to be welcomed again and again to the runway and fashion world. I suspect it's because she puts on the charm, and those around her forget about her tantrum-like behavior until she pulls another caper.

Nikki Giovanni is also a creative poet and writer. She shows her twin personality by looking like a thug one minute and a scholar the next. Lately she's been looking more like a thug than a scholar

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Did Something for Myself Without Knowing It

As much as I loved Hilary Clinton, I became an early adopter for Barack Obama as President. Honestly, I chose him initially because I thought he was an excellent candidate to be a positive role model for young black males. I had seen other black presidential candidates before, such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. However, I wasn't really that geeked about supporting them because deep in my heart I knew they were mostly for African American issues, and who can run a country like that. Yes, I am aware that most White Presidents have run the country with white concerns at the front of their brains, but that's a whole other debate that I won't get into. Let's just say, that I want a President that is fair and just, and Barack Obama is turning out to be that way, despite the criticism he gets from Americans who don't want that kind of thing.

Back to what I did for myself. I took my daughters out in the heat door-to-door in the fall registering new voters,reminding voters to vote early, plus informing convicts of their voting rights. I responded regularly on message boards and youtube videos to all unnecessary bull from whites, blacks, and others about Barack Obama and his wife. I posted on myspace and emailed important information to friends about the election and Obama. When folks got scary and weary I kept them going. I even worked the polls in an all white Republican Georgia precinct on election day.

I worked as tirelessly as any one woman could to get Obama into office. The main reason was because I saw Obama as a great husband, father, student, citizen, politician, opponent, teacher, leader, man, and American. I wanted young black males to have the gift of a successful black role model reaching the highest heights in America. I wanted little black boys not yet born to live in a world where they took having a well-qualified African American president for granted. I wanted them to say "I want to be President" and feel no barriers in the way. I got what I wanted!

The one thing I didn't know is that I was working on end for my own little BOY!

I am having a baby boy! He will receive in its fullness the dream I had for other little boys when I thought I would have no more children. It's incredible how you can work to give to others, but when it's all done you receive huge blessing yourself.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Her Nightgown in Your Bedroom

"...If you come home and you find another woman's nightgown in your bedroom, you gonna have the blues... believe it or not, even the President has the blues. " ~ Koko Taylor

On June 3rd, 2009 the great Blues singer, Koko Taylor transitioned. She was 80 years old. Today I am doing a tribute to her, although I wish I had done it before she left us. Koko was born as a sharecropper in Memphis. She left Memphis for Chicago with what she says was "35 cents and a box of Ritz crackers." She and her husband struggled doing manual labor during the day while she sang in nightclubs at night. She got her big break with Chess Records and recorded Wang Dang Doodle with Lil' Walter, the hot shot harmonica playing side kick of  Muddy Waters. If you haven't seen the movie Cadillac Records, rent it to find out more about Lil' Walter and Muddy Waters don't let Beyonce hateration keep you from learning about history.

Koko Taylor continued her career for forties plus years and even performed this year at the Kennedy Center. She received numerous Blues awards and influenced many artists such as Bonnie Rait and Janis Joplin. As an artist she was influenced by great blues singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. If you are not familiar with either of these ladies, please click the links for a treat. 

Koko Taylor will be missed. She toured often with B.B. King, and was spectacular. That's why they called her the "Queen of Blues." Before she gained that title Dinah Washington had it and Bessie Smith has been called it too, however Bessie goes best by the "Empress of Blues." I think I would call Koko Taylor the "Queen of Today's Blues." Her music was the epitome of what you think of when you hear blues today, but it wasn't necessarily the blues of the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's.