Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to the Future Series - "The Problem"

The last time we got together, we began dialoguing about the lasting effects slavery has had on America. As we continue, let's dig a bit deeper...

Before attempting to solve any problem, you have to first define it. Only then will you have adequate information to determine its effects and find a solution.

THE PROBLEM: "Mentacide"

For African-Americans, we have had to endure physical abuse - everything from hundreds of whips on our backs to our necks hanging in nooses, while swinging from trees - the likes of which society urges us to forget. As grotesque (and unwarranted) as these actions against the black race was, I am inclined to argue that the lasting mental effects slavery has produced are far worse than the temporary physical results. Carter G. Woodson, known as the Father of Black History, stated, "when you control a man's thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions." The most devastating impact slavery has had on African Americans is not physical, but rather, psychological. Centuries after slavery has ended, many African Americans are still mentally chained to the plantation.

However, as mentioned in my intro blog to this series, MENTACIDE not only affects African Americans, but also affects White Americans as well. How naive to think that we (blacks, whites, and other races) all live together, but are unaffected by the same things. The impact of how events affect us all can be likened to a city that is shaken by an earthquake. The rumblings of the earth show no favor in the foundations of the homes they shake, destruction of bridges and roadways, or lives they happen to take - but at the end of the disaster, the damage is undeniable. Just as a natural disaster can devastate an entire community, a social tragedy (such as slavery), can leave a society in shambles.

African Americans are bombarded with negative pieces of information that conveniently highlight our inability to...for lack of better terminology, GET IT TOGETHER - BUT, are our white counterparts as together as some would like to believe? In my opinion, the answer is simple. NO.

While many African Americans live in an irrational belief of inferiority and fear, just as many White Americans live in a state of superiority and denial. This flawed thought process on both parties' parts is directly related to the master/slave relationship blacks and whites had during slavery. The dynamics and resulting actions of this defective bond has been ingrained in all of our brains and behaviors over many generations...and of course, it will take more than one generation to reverse its effects.

Speaking of 'its' effects, that is the subject of our next conversation. So, let's meditate and let this marinate. Until next month, speak your piece...

"In order to liberate the [Black] mind, we have to change and fundamentally transform the consciousness of the [Black] individual." - Gershom Williams

This liberation applies to ALL minds.

Contact Ms Qui at: msquivive@gmail.com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Who is this Weird Chick? Why We Need More Weirdos in Black Music

Weirdo: an odd, eccentric, or unconventional person.

Some time ago, I was over at Clutch Magazine, watching Janelle Monae’s latest video, a remix of “Tightrope,” featuring Lupe Fiasco and B.O.B. While I’m not sure that I liked the collaboration, I found myself interested in some of the readers’ comments about Janelle Monae. I decided to check other posts and reader’s comments about her on the site. One post, a summary of an interview done with Rolling Stone Magazine, discussed her response to lesbian rumors. Her evasion of the questions is pretty hilarious and actually rather clever. But I was really taken by one of the reader’s comments:

Fox says:

July 10, 2010 at 11:40 am

LOL. I’m not gonna lie when I first saw her I said, “Who is this weird chick?” But she is doing her thing and obviously doesn’t care about what people are saying. She doesn’t owe anyone any explanation about her personal life because they don’t have to live it. I respect that! I love her answers.

I’m not remotely concerned about her private life, although I would be pretty ecstatic to find out that she is a lesbian or bisexual. However, I’m mostly interested in one aspect of Fox’s comments: “Who is this weird chick?” Yes, she is weird. It hit me: actually, we need more weird chicks and dudes on the black music scene. Indeed, one of our weirdest musicians, Michael Jackson, is no longer with us. I’m not saying we need them to be THAT weird, no offense to MJ. Maybe Prince weird…at least he’s still alive and didn’t f-up his face in the name of trying to be something that he’s not.

So, it got me to thinking. I LOVE the weird black artists who manage to rise from the underground. Janelle Monae. The Noisette’s lead singer Shinga Shoniwa. TV on the Radio. Bloc Party's lead singer Kele Okereke. Kanye West (check out the recent photo leak of him with a faux-hawk/mullet licking the faded head of his girlfriend. Pretty weird.). Santogold. Ebony Bones. Bilal. Andre 3000. Cody Chestnutt. Gnarls Barkley. Erykah Badu (Queen of Weird). Grace Jones (High Priestess of Weird). Prince (His Majesty Weirdness).

We need more black music weirdos! Why? They are fun. They liven things up and keep us on our toes. But, more importantly, they help break up some of the monotonous conformity on the black music scene. They challenge the world of black music and the world of music in general to keep up and keep evolving. As much as I can’t stand Lil Wayne, I even appreciate him (only slightly) for his strange persona, especially in light of a recent rock video, “Knockout,” that he did with Nicki Minaj.

Black music weirdos are most important, perhaps, because they are a refreshing change for overlooked and underappreciated black weirdos everywhere. For all those black girls who don’t subscribe to certain general beauty standards, who listen to everything from David Bowie and Franz Ferdinand to Curtis Mayfield and Jill Scott, who you can catch everywhere from “beauty to thrift stores” (to quote Common). For those girls…for girls like me, folks like Janelle Monae and Andre 3000 and Prince allow us to see ourselves reflected in pop culture. For all those black boys rocking faux hawks and skinny jeans, rocking out to everything from The Doors and TV on the Radio to Lupe Fiasco and Lenny Williams, who you can catch everywhere from the hood to the suburbs. For those black boys, artists like Cee-lo of Gnarls Barkley and Cody Chestnut allow them a point of entry, someone they can identify with.

So bring on the weirdos! They are steadily filling up my Ipod, and I can’t wait for more. Who are some of your favorite weird black musicians, old and new?

Be sure to check out some of the songs in the playlist below. Click to play any song, and enjoy!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Unthinkable (I'm Ready)

Singer Alicia Keys croons, "If you ask me, I'm ready" in her latest single from her fourth LP, Element of Freedom. She did the unthinkable and expressed her readiness formally in an intimate wedding to producer Swizz Beatz in France just a week ago. Congratulations, Alicia and Swizz!

It's unthinkable for me to imagine being married at my age, though I thought I was "ready" to jump the broom at the tender age of 19 to a man just about 10 years my senior (who I might add, turned out to be a d-mn fool). Yeah, I know. He was not totally to blame in the situation, as I walked blindly into coupledom like the foolish young girl that I was. I hadn't been schooled on matters of the heart, how to go about a healthy relationship, or money management. I simply thought love was all I, he, or we needed. Boy, was I WRONG? I found myself thinking something similar to the lyrics of Keri Hilson's "What Channel?" constantly. We operated on two completely different wave lengths when it came to our expectations of one another, our finances, and just about everything else but sex, which made for nothing but TROUBLE in what I thought was paradise. After six months of shackin' and a year or so in, it was SPLITSVILLE. We nearly killed each other like an episode of Snapped. Okay, I'm kidding. Really! Some of you might read and protest that you could never be me, while others have played a similar role in their relationships, or some might even know someone with a parallel story. Well, never say never 'cause I never would've thought I would end up being that girl, yet I was. Now no matter where you are in your romantic affairs, we can all learn from today's lesson.

I think one of the most important things I learned from the experience is what my boo Hill Harper calls, "The Conversation." By that I mean, it's crucial to have communication and financial intimacy. When was the last time you and your honey talked about bread? No, I don't mean a loaf. Okay, if it's taking you that long to answer I say it's time for REAL TALK on the issue. Minimize future stress and headaches by getting clear on how you feel about individual and shared financial responsibilities. For instance, who will take care of the utilities at the crib, who will stay home to care of the kiddos if you choose to have them and who will work, or even if you will have separate bank accounts.

NOTE: If you're married and equally responsible, I'm all for shared accounts; however, if you AIN'T
married....(sigh) please don't. I'm just saying.

True story, all you grown and sexy strivers might like Lisa Peterson's Pillow Talk: Make Talking About Money Sexy in Your Marriage. As the saying goes, "Money talks," and Lisa says it doesn't have to be boring. Instead, it can be much more like foreplay. In an interview with 90.9 WBUR, Lisa told listeners to "Have a quickie. Try to quickly check in with each other, whether in person or through the use of little financial love notes." You might even like teasing 'em with a sexy text message or setting reminders with a cute pic in his favorite teddy. My girl Jacquette M. Timmons, author of Financial Intimacy, and the ladies over at DailyWorth suggest loving your boo and your stacks by playfully discussing doe and then progressing onto more serious talks like retirement, insurance, and wills as a team. Find out how financially compatible the two of you are with this quiz. Spend some QT and get to know what's old and new with your significant other with full disclosure and review one another's credit reports once or twice a year. Share your vision on where you'd like to be financially, collaborate to meet those goals, and work together to recover after a setback. However you do it is entirely up to you, but it's crucial that you do get it crackin' with baby about that cheddar. While you might not agree on everything, financial intimacy allows you two to strengthen your partnership.

So lesson #3 for young strivers is:

Become financially intimate with your partner, and gauge what you'd like and your situation to be sure you're really "ready" before doing the "unthinkable."

Questions to Think About
  1. Have you experienced relationship trouble because your opinion differs from your boo's on the subject of money?
  2. How "ready" are you for the next step in your relationship?
  3. How do you and your partner get your finances poppin' behind closed doors?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Top 10 Reasons to Let Go of your Booty Call

Yea June Buggers! you read it right! Mz Kewe strikes again! LOL. So before Ms MaShari gives her expertise on finances ,Ms Berneta talks about her political views or Ms Qui Vive starts her series, I, Mz Kewe ( the sweet one)will touch on another overlooked yet important issues…….. YOUR BOOTY CALL!!!! (oh… …. Don’t act like yall aint never had one!) So in case you missed the movie, or your one of these people that’s been under a rock for the past 15 years, let me give you the urban dictionary’s definitions of what a Booty Call is

Booty Call- A late night summon-often via telephone, cell phone call or text- to arrange clandestine sexual liaison on an ad hoc basis.

Best of both worlds huh…. But like all seemingly good things… its time when it should come to an END, and I ( along with the great assistances from my Check2Check Radio Family shout outs to Xav and Cas) will give you the top reason you need to let this guy/girl, go!

10. The prices of motel 6 jumped- cuz you know you cant take Booty call to your house! With the real spouse there! Please… but yea…. Is he/ she worth 50 60 bucks for maybe an hour of pleasure…NOT! Besides you gotta be home soon anyway

9. They ask you to help pay their rent- broke asses! WTF!!! You are only to serve 1 purpose and 1 purpose only! GTFOH!!!

8 They cant keep their cell phone active or they are always changing numbers - this means that either they are dumb ass broke and have to keep getting new metro or cricket accounts.. or they are hiding from someone… maybe owe child support or a crazy stalker… not the bizness! KEEP IT PUSHIN!

7 You see images running across the room and they claim they don’t have a pet- ohh heck no!!!! WTF just ran across the bed!!!!! Nasty!

6.You see them at an event with a homegirl/homeboy- ohh this fool gets around! Heck no! NOT EVEN attractive!

5, Its been 6 months already this one is very important… cuz it’s a fact that once you’ve been dealing with someone this long or longer… either you or the other person starts catching ……………. FEELINGS … and that’s a no no… feelings were NOT a part of this deal when I signed up

4, You wake up in the morning and either your windows have been busted or the rims on your car have been stolen and you don’t know who did it ok so either you didnt follow the 6 month rule or your booty call lives in a bad neighborhood or a turf… either way… CONTRACT BROKEN!

3 You cant find your credit card damn… thieving asses!

2. Your current REAL mate has gotten out of jail- ENOUGH SAID!!!!


1. You wake up in the morning and find a box of Valrex on their nightstand- awwwww dammmnnnnn ittt!

Well there you have it June Buggers! Enjoy! Now go and leave your thoughts and things you feel should have made this list………………….. NOW

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Married/Otherwise Committed Men, Keep Thou Numbers to Yourself.

By Brilliance

As a young woman in search of her mate, I have to tell you there is nothing more annoying than a man who is committed to someone else hollering.

I was chit chatting with one of the homies about her new boo. He sounded like a seemingly decent man—he had a job, a home, and was doing well.

Until she said she asked him why he was single, and he replied, “actually I am not.”

Then she tells me “well, at least he was honest.”

What the Hell?????????

Honest about what, Booboo?? Honesty doesn’t negate the fact that he’s a jerk.

‘Mind you, this is the same friend who was cheated on horribly by an ex-boyfriend. So she went through the months of late night tears, and uncertainty. I was always calming her down after he shitted all over her heart over and over again.

Let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, guys are NOT stupid. Men KNOW what they are doing. We, as women, make up so many excuses for their deviant behavior.

When a married/otherwise-committed man tells you he’s committed right away, basically what he’s saying is…

1) Don’t catch feelings because I am attached
2) I am just letting you know what’s up
3) I want you to be my other woman

4) I am sleeping with someone else regularly

Now he’s made a situation where you can’t make any demands on him.

You can’t expect him to take you out regularly. You can’t call him or expect him to call you when you want. By being upfront about everything, he thinks he’s absolving himself from any wrong doing because “he kept it real.”

Which brings me to my next point…

WTH is up with all these guys getting the “other woman” pregnant?

If I hear one more story about a man being in a relationship and getting his jump-off pregnant I am going to SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wear an EFFIN’ condom, you douche bag.

Freakin’ IDIOTS.

What’s even more disturbing is that many of the women just accept it. Sweetheart, he’s just not that into you if he’s starting family with another woman. This is particularly unacceptable if he’s not your husband.

I mean, why are you buying pampers, clothing and everything? He had a baby. Not you.

And where do guys get the cajones to ask a woman to stay with him after having a child with someone else?

If she got pregnant by another man, most men would run out the door. Ask Maury.

I am done ranting. Lol Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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