Just Sit Down A Minute

I know some of you hate this Quarantine, but just chill for a second. This thing has created some phenomenal music moments. Admit it!

Who didn’t check out Jill Scott and Erykah Badu? That was amazing.And so many people on my timeline were into it. I remember at one point they had 625K

And now all these artists are trying to do the same thing. We are living through some of the greatest music moments. Artists are trying to find new ways to connect with their audiences and it is FYAH.

I am a big fan of Club Quarantine with DJ D-Nice. This man’s love for music is so contagious it can capture me for hours. D-Nice spins on Instagram drawing such an interesting collection of audience members who often become part of the show throughout the evening. His regulars include celebrities like Halle Berry and Donnie Wahlberg, but also regular folks who follow him too. Every session is a new adventure.

Since the Quarantine, I have listened to all kinds of artists do live performances on the internet from James Taylor to BoyzIIMen to Amy Grant to Yo-Yo Ma. There have been fun YouTube edited shows that have stretched my mind about their performances. This pandemic was the best thing to happen to them and me.

So, sit and chill and listen to some of the best music you are ever going to hear. Your favorites are doing it big. Sit. Listen. Love it.

Celebrating a Milestone

This week I celebrate graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Master of Arts degree in Journalism. I am sitting back and relishing what a life poured out to God can do.

So let me be honest. This was not on my five or ten year plan. I never dreamed it was possible, but has truly brought the verse to life that all things are possible with Him.

I will celebrate this victory each day this week. I will remember how God has been faithful in guiding me through this program in a city where I have not family or friend support. I truly trusted in Him.

Today I had ice cream. It was nice to savor the flavors of each and remember what I like about them. I mean like each of them on their own, but together it is really good.

Our lives are like one flavor of ice cream. We have plans and ideas of what we like to do. But when we give it to God and trust Him with it, He takes it to an entirely different level.

I am excited to see where I go from here.

I will spend the rest of the year explaining how African American beauty has been marginalized and how we need to appreciate our history. I am creating some art images on the subject and will have several exhibitions this year. Here is one I am working on.

It is the subject of my thesis and I have learned knowing you are beautiful is powerful. I will spend the rest of 2020 looking at different aspects of it. You can see a short video here.

It Started Earlier Than You Thought

Women wore their hair in a natural style for a fashion show. It was a contest that gave a cash prize for the winner. These women were sporting natural beauty before it was in fashion

A group of young men started an organization called the African Jazz At Society (AJAS) in the late 1950s. Kwame Braithwaite wanted to capture the essence of jazz in Harlem in photography. He wanted his audience to feel it and hear it through his work.

in the 1960s The Grandassa Models was formed to champion African inspired clothing and black beauty according to Tanisha Ford who has written a wonderful history of the experience.

Pushing The Limits

She was nice named the Black Greta Garbo, and one look at her proved why. She dispelled the myth at African Americans were ugly, untalented and stupid.

Nina Mae McKinney had starred in an all African American cast show, Hallelujah. The amazing job she did in that show, gained her a contract from MGM. It turned out to be a hollow victory. They only offered her roles as maids and servants, and never any lead roles.

https://youtu.be/h4PoeF-W6Co

McKinney was not the only African American who refused to deal with the hand she was dealt in the entertainment industry. Josephine Baker received a scathing review from a mainstream newspaper critic who called her homely and untalented. But in France, she became an icon by singing, dancing and pushing her talent to new limits

Our beauty has pushed through a lot of pain, but it has pushed through.