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Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

I wasn’t sure how far into BIA 2 I would get after my reaction to last year’s program. So I let my friend and fellow journalist – she’s in broadcast – take the reign to review the program. Here are her thoughts on the first installment of the documentary:

By: Ahnomaly

Black_in_America(2)Black in America 2 haunted me in my sleep each night after I saw the first promos months ago. I rolled my eyes at every CNN commercial. I tossed and I turned in my sleep remembering the emotions that were evoked from last year’s special.

That year instead of revealing what it really was like to be black, CNN regurgitated unflattering all too familiar images of Blacks.

The reminder of the horribly produced series hit me each time I saw a commercial break with Soledad O’Brien’s name sitting in the lower part of the T.V. screen.

“Oh gosh, CNN’s Black in America is close… I’m scared,” I wrote on Twitter.

I knew another dose of fictitious Black images were awaiting millions of Americans and myself, coated heavily in sensationalism. But tonight, an unfamiliar feeling arose.

This year’s BIA2 was like an abandoned building. It was gutted and restored images of Blacks once forgotten or unknown. Perhaps all of the producers were fired or maybe they all had a stern talking to. Whatever the case it was better.

I met Glorious, a young black woman who overcame obstacles to make it to college, and I also met a wonderful man named Steve Perry, who developed a prep school called Capital Prep to prepare these children. Did I mention 100 percent of Capital Prep students graduate and attend a four-year university? Impressive.

BIA 2 gave us a glimpse into a black reflection that many blacks have never seen on screen. It guided us into the world of privileged blacks, a group rarely seen in media – let alone talked about.

I met a young woman who, most importantly, I could relate to. She was a college graduate and successful chemical engineer but expressed the need of a mentor to assist her as she continued her climb in the workforce. (more…)

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Sometimes it’s OK to be a snob. My friend wrote this up on Facebook, and I enjoyed it so much that I asked if I could share it.

By: Lindsay

OK, this isn’t easy for me to admit.

But I, Lindsay, am. a. media. snob.

And I didn’t even realize it until a couple of weeks ago.

See, I was on Twitter after hanging out and having lunch with my mom. I wanted to see if anything interesting had happened in the world of music … something noteworthy to add to the ol’ blog. That’s when I saw it: “TMZ reports: Michael Jackson in hospital. Cardiac arrest.” I immediately sent a blog post, turned on CNN and waited for confirmation from another outlet online.

Forty-five minutes went by before CNN/MSNBC said anything on the subject.

By the time cable news and newspapers got to the hospitalization part, TMZ had called the time of death.

Again, I update the blog (apprehensively) and cite TMZ as a source. A few minutes later, my buddy (another journalist) sends a Tweet asking if it’s true. Did MJ really die?

That’s what TMZ & Essence.com say. Still waiting on “real” news to confirm, I replied.

It’d be close to an hour before MSNBC would cite The LA Times, indeed confirming his death.

But the crazy part — Journalists used the LAT story. Everyone else visited TMZ.com.

See, “regular citizens” didn’t care the story hadn’t been vetted by 10 editors first. Or that some Pulitzer Prize-finalist GA reporter wasn’t on the scene. The news not only was real, it was real enough for them.

But this isn’t the first time this has happened. When the AP reported Heath Ledger had died, the BULLETIN was 30 minutes behind a TMZ STORY.

But the MJ story is when it hit me: I’m a media snob AND I’m why traditional media are dying. (more…)

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By B-Rand

I love almost everything about Quentin Tarantino movies. Along with Tim Burton and Spike Lee, Tarantino is my favorite director. But what irks me most about his movies — rather, the reception of his movies — is how little recognition and praise people give “Jackie Brown.”

Tarantino is the best at reviving the careers of actors who seem to have taken up residence in the $5 DVD bin at Wal-Mart. He made John Travolta relevant again in 1994 in “Pulp Fiction.” He reminded people there was someone in the world actually named Uma in 2003’s “Kill Bill.” Tarantino brought Kurt Russell out of family-movie hell in 2007 and put him in the driver seat in “Grindhouse: Death Proof.”

In 1997, it was Pam Grier’s turn. Tarantino took one of the biggest risks of his career (in my opinion, his biggest risk was Death Proof. Too bad it didn’t pay off.) when he made “Jackie Brown,” the film adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s book Rum Punch, and cast black people (Grier and Samuel L. Jackson) in two of the film’s lead roles.

Jackie (Grier) was as 44-year-old black flight attendant working in the s*****est airlines (her words, not mine) thanks to prior legal troubles. Making some extra money on the side, she brought in large sums of cash from Mexico to gun runner Ordell Robbie (Jackson). When Beaumont (Chris Tucker) snitches to save his own butt from jail time, Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents arrest Jackie and threaten her with with the same fate that Beaumont eluded. (more…)

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B-Rand’s back! Because I’m cheap and never make it to the movies the first week, and I don’t talk about my personal life that much on the blog, B-Rand’s writings fit perfectly on the site to add some balance.

By B-Rand

What took two and a half years to create was eradicated in 53 minutes. After careful consideration, I decided to get rid of my Earthy ebony locks.

I had been thinking of doing this for a while, and when I had some free time in my schedule and some money in my pocket I decided to quit thinking and start doing. Well, let someone else do it for me.

This decision wasn’t made all willy-nilly like; there are numerous factors that made me come to this choice. Anyone who knows me well enough will know I’m not a high-maintenance person, but having dreads — dreads that look nice — requires me to sit in a chair for two and a half to four hours every two weeks while someone ( on numerous occasions, someone with an attitude) pulls and twists the s**t out of my hair and then throws me under a dryer for another half hour. Every time I want to take a shower, I have to put on a Du-rag and a shower cap to keep any trace of moisture from my head. And to top all that off, I have to sleep in a Du-rag, bandanna, bonnet, etc.

And then there were the costs of keeping up this look. Get out your calculators folks because it’s time to go to school…and math is my weakest subject. It cost me $70 to initiate the dreading process, $50 every time I wanted to get them re-twisted (which should have been every two to three weeks), $20 to get them unprofessionally re-twisted, $7 to get lined up, $5.99 each for three packs of clips to hold my hair during the twisting process, $3.99 every time I brought more locking gel, and about $2.99 every time I bought hair ties. Being the cheap son of a saint that I am, I’d much prefer to only shell out $10-$15 every two weeks for a hair cut.

Having locks got in the way of me being me. Whenever I hung out by the pool, laid on the beach, or almost died on some God-forsaken river in Marianna, Fla., the first thought that always came to mind was that I needed to keep my head above water so I wouldn’t mess up the four hours that went into twisting that mess. (more…)

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By Issa Rae

*Sigh*

Clearly I’m a glutton for punishment. I don’t know why I doubted my gut instincts about this film, as the Wayans Brothers have not come with anything fresh for a long time. Watching this film has OFFICIALLY confirmed to me that the spoof genre is absolutely PLAYED OUT. How many gay jokes, fart gags and fat people pokes can you put in one movie? … Or SEVERAL movies when it comes to the case of the Wayans Brothers.

Sure, the film has its moments — you can find them in the trailer — and Damien Wayans, Jr. is pretty much the exact comedy replica of his father and uncles, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. It means he doesn’t offer anything new or fresh to the genre.

Dance Flick just felt like one big inside joke for the Wayans Clan. I have a feeling that they found this WAYYYY funnier than its intended audience did …

If you have watched all the dance movies that have come out in the last decade, you’ll be somewhat entertained, as they found a way to blend all these movies together in what seems to pass off as a storyline. But at certain parts of the movie, it’s clear that they tried to cram TOO much pop culture relevance into the film. One particular scene gives a weird homage to Twilight. Really? What does Twilight have to do with dancing? And YES, I’m embarrassed that I recognized the scene immediately (I did NOT see Twilight on purpose). I was pleased, however, that they brought Kim Wayans back, though briefly. Why don’t they USE her more? Am I the only one who finds her hilarious?

Anyway, if this is ALL that the next generation of Wayans has to offer, then their dynasty will soon collapse on the basis of “tired and unfunny mediocrity.” Think about it, where’s Leslie Nielson? The former champion of spoofs was at the top of his game, starring in films like the Naked Gun series and Spy Hard, and then what happened? We got TIRED of the same old jokes and the same old concept. Then the Wayans came out with Scary Movie and seemed to revitalize that concept — they made it younger, funnier and way more immature, which was fine at the time, but now … I think it’s a wrap.

I’m hoping that dance movies are the last possible genre left to spoof and that the Wayans Brothers can move on to new terrain.

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Editor’s Note: For all you Miami readers, please get your people. I claim no part of this segment of the Black community. SMH.

From: The Cynical Ones

Welcome to another edition of You Should Be Raising a Child Not a Statistic, Stupid.

This week’s venom is spewed in the direction of whoever is responsible for these overly sexual children. This video looks like a cross between The Muppet Babies and Uncut. That’s a problem for you, for me, and whoever will have to treat these poor kids at the free clinic in a couple of years. I flagged the video, but I wish I could flag everyone present in this video.

“Lil’ Trina” is sad for a number of reasons. Off the bat one ought to look into calling CPS for bead abuse. If she swings her head too fast during recess some poor kid is going to grow up with the nickname “Wonk Eye.” I went to elementary school with a girl with bead happy parents. Trust me when I say no good can come of it.

While I’m not mad at Lil’ Trina’s obvious natural talent to jook or her mastery of the Ciara stank face (not an insult), you will not have a little girl making her three day old a** clap. Especially not in a crowd full of adult men. What kind of R. Kelly parenting book are Negroes reading nowadays?

I feel like I might need to contact a lawyer just for posting this.

For the little girl who bent over with grown women coaching her on: May Jesus come in the form of infertility for those women. If your kid turns out to be a stripper on her own accord, fine. But don’t teach her hoe s**t before she takes the PSAT. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. At least teach the girl how to read the word Strokers before you start training her to work there.

The little boys humping the ground are no better. I want to toss a G.I. Joe toy at their dads…wherever they are. I’m not even going to touch on the other forms of eroticism in the video.

But they were obviously caught by the YouTube users cheering this on:

dem aint kids dey lillte adults my nephew 6 and kant do that now thats talent

lmao lil mama wit da beadz… lol bt tru dat … dat lil grlk waz gettn it lol

that lil boy is sexy, i kno i prolly sound like a predator but he can be my boyfriend numbah 2 LMAO…. he got down on da dance flo

I think I should title my book Some People Don’t Deserve Reproductive Organs.

I used to think outside of my nieces that I wasn’t kid friendly. Then I thought it’s not kids that I dislike, it’s bad a** kids. Now it’s dawned on me that I have no ill will toward any children at all. It’s their parents I hate. I’m not questioning the supreme being’s logic, but sometimes I wish God had imposed an application process for parenting.

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Ed Note: I included an inanimate object in the series because this device has enabled many artists with little or no talent to make hits.

From This May Concern You:

Dear T-Pain’s Vocoder:

If I could pry you away from your owner’s grasp I would stomp you out the way those LA cops did Rodney King in 1991. Yes, I’d tape it with my camera phone and post it on YouTube for the whole world to see that I slayed America’s favorite most annoying music device.

This is not a joke. I have a sincere hatred for you. I know it’s not good to hate people. But you’re clearly an inanimate object. So my disdain is warranted.

If Teddy had a vocoder in his right hand and Predator-like dreads we could easily mistake him for T-Pain. Actually, I'd rather hear him, Teddy Ruxpin, sing than T-Pain.

If Teddy Ruxpin had a vocoder in his right hand and Predator-like dreads we could easily mistake him for T-Pain. Actually, I’d rather hear him, Ruxpin, singing.

Why do I abhor you so? Because your owner has used you to build his career although he only has one-sixteenth of the vocal ability of one William Hung. OK, I’ll admit it: Teddy “Ruxpin” Pain can hold a note. But he also sings out of tune quite often, which is why he crutches on to aid of Auto-Tune non-stop.

I understand it’s not your fault. Still, I have a question or two that I know you can’t answer: Why did you allow him to record “In Love Wit a Stripper” through you? Why didn’t you malfunction when you first heard him phrasing together the lyrics?

Oh, that’s right. You weren’t warned. He doesn’t write (and neither do I … sure). He just aimlessly freestyles. And you allow him to perpetuate that garbage?

Don’t get me wrong. Some of his garbage smells like filet mignon — all thanks to your ability to enhance a voice that should otherwise be nowhere near a mic. Take “Buy U A Drank” or “Bartender.” They’re catchy tunes that were cool to groove to a few years back. There’s a reason people want him on their singles. They want the popular sound. That still doesn’t mean what Teddy Pain spits is a fine steak dinner. No, it’s more like a Hardee’s Thick Burger or Chipotle burrito. They taste good, but also cause irreparable damage to your life — best known as “The Itis” — for a period lasting up to 24 hours.

Still, biter after biter has grabbed a hold of one of your voice-altering cousins. Kanye West, Jamie Foxx and Britney Spears have taken this route. Kanye is one of the best rappers in the game. Foxx’s vocals are impeccable at times. Britney is …… she just is. But even stars that big have succumbed to you because you’re the “it” thing. (more…)

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