Monthly Archives: May 2013

Melissa Harris-Perry: How Black Hair Matters

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Melissa Harris-Perry is best known as the host of her own self titled show, “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC. You can catch the show on Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM ’til noon ET. Harris-Perry is also a professor at Tulane University. She is a renowned author, with book entitled “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America”, and “Barbershops, Bibles and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought”. She writes a monthly column for The Nation magazine also with the title “Sister Citizen”. She is a strong political advocate for the Black community, researching and teaching about the political and racial issues of our time.

I have only recently stumbled upon this strong woman via Facebook. A friend of mine shared a video on “How Black Hair Matters” and I, being the naturalista that I am, watched it. I was taken back and couldn’t do anything but applaud and smile at every fact that was put on the table. The issues that us, as black women, face with our hair, were addressed. The women she had join her, were just the icing on the cake. I was drawn in and inspired, so I decided to share it with y’all. Hope you guys get questions answered, and take it all in. Be inspired.

The Politics of Black Hair

How Black Hair Matters

Were y’all inspired? What did you take from the videos and from these women? Let’s talk about it.

-A

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Soul Food Sundays

As we all know today is the day we celebrate our mothers. But because my mother lives in Los Angeles, I had to settle with a simple phone call. I was invited to celebrate with my boyfriend’s grandmother, aunt and cousin. It was an honor to be invited, and a very lovely meal at Hs. Lordship in Berkeley. Though it was delicious, it wasn’t soul food.

Over many conversations at the table, the topic of soul food came up. And guess what!? A restaurant as re-opened in Oakland, The Southern Café on MacArthur (in the Diamond District). And boy, oh boy, have I heard good things. I think Chris (my boyfriend) and I will try it next Sunday. I thought I would still give y’all an update for Soul Food Sundays just in case y’all want to try something new.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY Y’ALL

-A

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Foxy Brown? No, Solange Knowles

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Solange+Knowles+Kenzo+Met+Gala+2013+1Solange Knowles, looking like a modern day Foxy Brown, made her presence known at this years Met Gala on Monday. From head to toe, she was very afro centric, while keeping up with the times. She is easily one of my favorite natural sistas, and I can’t wait from my hair to get that big. I want to rock the Solange ‘fro! Her earrings scream texture, just like her dress but when you look close, its a bunch of different colored diamonds and they just set off the entire look. Now this dress by Kenzo, is amazing to me. The cut outs on the top, followed by the leg baring split on the left side made her look tall and statuesque. Drop dead gorgeous honey! And anyone who follows trends, knows these sandals, are it. The perfect style find, and she matched them perfectly with this spring look.

Thank you Solange for staying true to yourself, rocking your kinky curly in a society where it should be straight! Go head girl, and rock it!

This look gave me life, what do y’all think?

-A

(photo credit: Huffington Post and Ms. Drama Tv)

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Barber Talk: It’s Something About Blaq

Guest Blogger: Chris Hawkins is a 23 year old Barber, born in San Francisco but raised in Oakland. Cutting hair isn’t just a hobby for him, its a profession; its a career; its a foundation for shaping todays youth, conspiring with our generation, and learning from the old timers. 
526711_409019292444628_35843198_nAs an African American man I feel that unity is in our DNA. Whether we like it or not, we tend to unify in the craziest and unexpected of ways. But when it becomes an agreed unity then it becomes something much more, more like harmony.

More specifically among a client & a barber. Being a barber, I see and hear all kinds of things that’ll make most (in the real world) cringe or simply walk away… But the most beautiful thing of all is to see a satisfied soul either waiting for a cut or gazing in the mirror in awe, plotting on how they’re going to show of their fresh cut!

African Americans across the universe take pride in their hair regardless of the length, color, shape, texture; so all these other “distractions” (shows about wives, shoes, clothes, phones, BS.) take away from that essence. Ultimately, as a people we need to take pride in our image and start with what God gave us from the very beginning.

If there’s one thing “The Man” can’t take from us,  it’s a fresh cut…

– Hawkin$

Butta Quttz Barber Salon
4156 Macarthur Blvd
(between 39th Ave & Maybelle Ave)
Oakland, CA 94619
http://www.yelp.com/biz/butta-qutz-barber-salon-oakland#hrid:1UWrmVFLTLKGVN_SGL59KQ
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Ordered Chaos

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 12.47.53 PM Domo is a 23 year old student athlete at the Academy of Art University. She is studying to be a visual merchandizer, but she really has a passion for hair and make-up. She has a very eclectic personality and a style to match it. I spotted Domo on Market & 7th st in downtown San Francisco, next to this wall. This wall, in my eyes, matched her outfit. Very traditional, black and white on top, and pops of colors on the bottom. Domo is wearing a black leather sleeved jacket (Zara), a black and white shirt, black pants (Zara) and some old school Air Max Nike tennis shoes (Nike Town). An outfit that would normally be paired with a pair of classic heels, was paired with a pair of classic tennis. I loved it, and was obsessed. Now, I want a pair of Air Max Nikes!

What do y’all think? Did she nail it?

I love it girly, keep rockin’ it!

 

-A

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Soul Food Sundays

Gussie’s Chicken and Waffles

lI’ve had Gussie’s before, but it was my boyfriends first time. And boyyyyyy did he love it! The wait was long of course, it’s Sunday after church get’s out. People wanted that good ‘ol southern style cooking

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I got the “Taste of the South”. My usual, fried chicken, yams, greens, and cornbread. I love it. I cannot and will not get enough. The chicken was fried to perfection, it wasn’t too dry nor too juicy. Just the way I like it. They don’t give as big as portions at place we went last week, but it sure did feel me up just the same. And oh, the cornbread, honey let me tell you! The cornbread was just the way grandma makes it back in Alabama! Not dry at all, with a little honey drizzled on the top right before it goes into the oven. Scrumptious, for lack of a better word. I had a sweet tea to wash it all down. No bottemless mimosas this time y’all. But, this meal was a total knock out! Literally, I knocked out as soon as I got home, this is why I am posting so late.

 

vegetarian plate

Chris got a “Side Sampler”, he had a choice from over 9 sides and chose red beans and rice, southern corn, black eyed peas, and collard greens. You know I’m greedy, so I tried the red beans and rice, which was delicious. He said they weren’t as good as last weeks because he could taste the onions. We both hate onions, but he can barely tolerate it. I also tried the southern corn, yuck! It looks and tastes like baby food to me. No disrespect to the restaurant or anyone who likes it, it just isn’t my cup of tea. He ate it all though, but thats my big baby! He cleaned his plate like it was nobodies business, so I know that means he throughly enjoyed his meal! Oh, black eyed peas aren’t my thing, so I didn’t bother trying them. Plus I wouldn’t have anything to compare them too! But if you go and you try it, tell me what y’all think!

Gussie’s Chicken and Waffles is located in the Filmore district in San Francisco. If you are in the area and looking for some good ‘ol southern homestyle cooking, give it a try and let me know how you like it! And if you tried it, what do you love about Gussie’s?

-A

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An Outer Space Face to Face

With Raphelle Andrews, an up and coming Bay Area R&B sensation

4121512771-1A fresh face to R&B with a sound that is out of this world, this talented singer/rapper/songwriter represents San Francisco, CA with style. With countless performances around the Bay Area, Raphelle Andrews has been in the studio recording the story of his life. Furthermore, his unique flow and rare vocal style is incomparable. Raphelle Andrews as The Jinxx (his alter ego) has been featured on albums as a rapper & singer for The Game, Too Short, Young Buck, Juvenille, San Quinn, Dem Hoostarz, and a number of other Bay Area artist. Currently Raphelle Andrews is working on the completion of his debut R&B Album “Confessions of an Astronaut”. With “Confessions of an Astronaut” he wants to come with a bicoastal sound, a mix of Alternative Hip Hop, Organica, Pop, and R & B. Get ready to enter the mind of Raphelle Andrews.

What or who got you started in rapping/singing?

I was brought up in a musical family. When I was nine years old my cousins were signed, and I was in the studio with them watching them create songs. And when I was forced to sing in a choir, which I hated. On the hip hop aspect; my sister is highly responsible for that. She played rap songs for me, and had a high volume of hip hop in her life. But MC hammer takes the cake, the first time I saw him made me want to do music for the rest of my life. 

Where did you get the name/concept for the new album?

The name of my album is “Confessions of an Astronaut”, and I got the concept of the album from this song that I did with this band and it was a spacey beat that got stuck in my head. The concept is me taking my fans into another world with my genre bending music.

How do you approach making an album?

Basically I come up with a song and then lead from there and venture off to the topics of the album, or coming up with the title and then going off of that. I build a variety of songs all around the title of the album.

How did you start writing “Confessions of an Astronaut”?

I just grabbed he sidekick at the time [we have a laugh] and started jotting down different ideas, I was brainstorming because I had came up with three different concepts for the beat that I received. Then it just ventured from there and the album started to take place because I got beats from the same producer.

What was your inspiration for the album?

Diversity, that’s the first thing I think of when I pick up a pen or I’m jotting down notes. Its like I have to make this song different and this song different.

What is your process of putting together your music? When do you decide that it is actually ready to go?

I make from 30-50 songs, and then take the songs with a similar sound but with variety. And then I sum it down, pick, a couple which turn into 15-16 songs, which include skits that coincide with the songs of my picking. And then comes the order, which then makes me listen to the songs. I’m the type of artist that listens to my songs at least 15 times. Picking, pulling songs, and then feeling like something’s missing because I am my own biggest cretic.

When you make songs do you think about what you’re going to wear when you perform them?

When I pick up a pen I visualize the whole aspect of where the song could go.  The video, the performance, the dance and I need a wardrobe that goes along with the movements, especially for the lady’s. Lady’s Love Cool Jinxx. I always picture some fancy attire, something upscale.

Where do you see yourself a year from now, realistically?

I see myself, based on the notoriety that I’ve gained in the last six months on a consistent basis of perusing this, I see myself being more successful. Especially if I stick with networking more, and venturing off to more than I can reach and using the tools that are at my dismay. Still, almost there.

What are some words you can give to a young Bay Area artist that you wish you would have heard when you were younger?

 Networking is key and consistency: You have to stay consistent to be relevant. Also, making songs for women is key [he winks].

New Song: Turn Up N’ It . Listen and tell me what y’all think!

-A

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Last poem of April

FOR MY LOVE.

 

When we first met

i had just finished practice

no shower had been taken

no clothes had been changed

and no mirror had been looked into

but your frantic wave and heavy hello made me feel beautiful.

 

Curious, i watched you

i had never seen anything as intriguing

it had something to do with the gracefulness of your heavy hands

the way the light bounced brightly off yellow walls

to illuminate your brown skin.

 

I couldn’t take my eyes off you,

until I had to,

“c’mon, you ready?”

I walked passed you to get to my sister’s station,

you smelled of sweet summer days to come

and of a man

a scent i’m not too familiar with.

 

I plopped in my sisters chair, hair beaming africa,

ready to be tamed america,

when you said “bye, nice meeting you”,

I caught a glimpse of your eyes

and you stole the reciprocated words from my mouth.

 

As you left

i smiled.

 

This day forever stained in my memory.

-A

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