crush of the week: black icons

hazel scott and lena hornethis week’s crush of the week pays homage to black women’s legacy of breathtaking beauty. i admire hazel scott, lena horne, pearl bailey, dorothy dandridge, eartha kitt, nina simone and diana ross for winning the fight to be recognized despite all odds.lena hornepearl




goodbye 2013

2013 was amazing. cliche, i know, but i can’t think of a time in my life when i’ve been happier.  between a new job, living in a great city, an amazing family and friends and falling in (and out) of love, i’ve grown more during the past 12 months than the past few years combined.  thank you to my readers, especially those who have followed since 2011 — your support keeps me motivated to share my random thoughts on life. here’s a review of 2013 captured by politics and fashion:

1. thanks to michael idiokitas for his bomb photography skills and asking me to pose for his forthcoming streetstyle book.


j.cole’s ‘crooked smile’ short film

i’m not a hip hop head.  with that said, i got lots of side eyes when i told a group of rap scholars that j. cole and big krit are the artists i’m most excited to see at next weekend’s rock the bells concert.  admittedly, i didn’t pay close attention to rap music until these two caught my attention three years ago.  sue me.  while born sinner, j. cole’s new album, hasn’t made its way into my favorites quite yet, i appreciate the message behind “crooked smile,” his latest release featuring tlc.  his short film dedicated to aiyana jones, the 7-year old child who was killed by police during a raid in 2010, brought me to tears.  at the end, j. cole asks that we reconsider the war on drugs — for a mainstream artist to take a stand against one of the biggest injustices since jim crow is a reminder of why i bang so hard with “fayettnam’s finest.”

the long weekend

my weekend was amazing.   the sequence of events was so random until i couldn’t recreate it if i tried.  brunch, dc rooftops, cookouts, a block party and good company made for pure perfection.

p.s. thanks to my right eyebrow and vscocam (photography app) for putting in so much work.  oh and to that random girl who photo bombed my second picture — priceless.
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a little link love

encounter120409_2501. questlove’s piece entitled trayvon martin and i ain’t shit is a heartfelt and sobering look at what it’s like to be a black man in america.  in the piece he describes an incident on the elevator of his swank new york building where a white woman refused to tell him what floor she lived on — questlove was politely offering to push the button for her, but soon realized that she was afraid to let a black man know where she lived.  in his piece, he describes the burden of possessing a large-framed-male-black body when living in a country that has demonized your very existence.

2.  ebony writer jamilah lemieux applauds questlove’s writing and tears to shreds a piece written by white feminist kim foster who claims questlove’s encounter in the elevator wasn’t about racism, but the white woman’s fear of being assaulted by a man (sans-race).  thank goodness jamilah took this nonsense to task, schooling foster and other white feminists on intersectionality and the privilege that brings one to insert her victim-centered narrative into a discussion about racial profiling and the murder of an innocent child.  white feminists often need to be told “this ain’t about you!” and then be forced to have several seats.

3. why didn’t i know about the amazingly talented writer zadie smith?  after reading her interview for the london evening standard, i was moved by her progressive socio-political analysis and ridiculous beauty.  she bad.


4. harry belafonte is an actor and civil rights icon who, during a time of overt hatred, used his celebrity status to shed light on civil rights abuses and support humanitarian causes.  among many acts of resistance, he financed the freedom rides and helped to organize the march on washington.  his story should be mandatory reading for every brown and black celebrity to learn how to give back and empower your community.  evidently, jay z (he recently fired his hyphen) has not taken to heart belafonte’s lessons, and in response to the elder’s criticism that he and others were not doing enough for social justice causes, jay stated:

“I’m offended by that because first of all, and this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am. Just like Obama’s is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, the hope that he provides for a nation, and outside of America is enough.”

wow. and here i thought charity could be described as a commitment to ending inequality and a dedication to social responsibility.  who knew that simply waking up in the morning, placing my feet on the ground, rocking tom ford and hopping in my new bugatti constitutes an exercise in making the world a better place?  damn, somebody should have hipped mother theresa.