Monday, February 14, 2011

Renauld White via The Fashion Bomb Daily

“They offered me a contract because they thought that I would fail. Eventually I proved myself.” White went on to not only cover GQ, but also score major campaigns with Black Tie cologne, Vitalis, and Arrows Shirts. He was the first black man to work the runways for Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren. He also enjoyed success in Europe, where he walked for Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Cerutti, Valentino, Armani, and Versace.

Go to The Fashion Bomb Daily for the full piece.

Phenomenal Woman


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say, It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips. I
'm a woman Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say, It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman, That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say, It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, That's me.

This Day in Black History « Clutch Magazine

This Day in Black History « Clutch Magazine

In honor of Black History Month, we seek to share with you some momentous occurrences for African-Americans in decades past and years remembered.

On this day, February 14th, in black history:

In 1817, Frederick Douglass was born. He was a well-known writer, statesman, and orator. After he escaped slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement and was recognized widely for his anti-slavery writings. His first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave was published in 1845 and described his life as a slave and his struggles to be free. He became a major speaker for the cause of abolition and was a strong believer in equality for all people.

In 1867, Morehouse College, a prestigious private all-male historically black college located in Atlanta, Georgia, was founded as Augusta Institute just two years after the Civil War. The school was founded by William Jefferson White, a Baptist minister from Atlanta with the original consensus to educate African-American men on points of theology and education. The school moved to Atlanta in 1879 and was called the Atlanta Baptist Seminary, due to its instrumental support and influence by its leaders and religious organizations in the state. In 1929, the college joined Spelman College and Clark College in a city consortium called the Atlanta University Center. Morehouse is currently one of two black colleges in the nation to produce Rhode Scholars and is the alma mater for recognized leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, and Edwin Moses.

In 1946, Gregory Hines was born in New York City. Hines was a recognized actor, singer, and dancer. He became a leading star on Broadway and earned several Tony nominations for his appearances in Eubie! and Sophisticated Ladies. He co-hosted the ceremony in 1995 and 2002.

Friday, February 11, 2011

We Wear The Mask

We Wear the Mask
By Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us,while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Still playing the Dozens, eh?

Most of us know playing the dozens as an African-American custom in which two competitors -- usually males -- go head to head in a competition of comedic trash talk. It’s really just two people insulting each other sometimes in lieu of fighting. Let’s call it verbal sparring.

When I was a kid we called it “capping on.” (ex. “Dag, Ms. Cortada we jus capping on each other”). In some areas it’s called “cracking on,” “ranking on,” or whatever, but I do remember the scruffiest boy in the class had the best comebacks. Sometimes it was the kid who smelled like pee, but geez homeboy was funny, he’d cut you clean.

Anyway, the term “the dozens” is believed to refer to the devaluing on the auction block of slaves who were past their prime, deformed, aged or who after years of back-breaking toil, no longer were capable of hard labor. These slaves often were sold by the dozen. In the book African American Oral Traditions in Louisiana, African American author and professor Mona Lisa Saloy writes:

"The dozens has its origins in the slave trade of New Orleans where deformed slaves—generally slaves punished with dismemberment for disobedience—were grouped in lots of a 'cheap dozen' for sale to slave owners. For a Black to be sold as part of the 'dozens' was the lowest blow possible”

Some would even add that when violence among slaves was a property crime with potentially draconian consequences. Verbal sparring became a substitute for physical contention amongst slaves. Meaning when we couldn’t physically hit one another we delivered verbal blows. Deep, right?

Black people invented...Potato Chips!

George Crum

George Crum, born George Speck in 1822 in Saratoga Lake, New York, was the son of a Native American mother and an African American father (i.e. black) and a trapper turned head chef. In the summer of 1853 George was the head chef at the elegant Cary Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga where French fries were a popular item on the dinner menu. Thomas Jefferson was responsible for bringing the concept for the French fry from France in the late 1700's. So, fried potatoes that were thickly sliced and were eaten with a fork were becoming a common staple in America by this time.

George was an ornery old fart, some would say, and the story goes…

One day an unsatisfied diner sent a plate of French fry’s back to the kitchen, claiming they were sliced too thick. The diner also requested that his fries be crunchy. In annoyance, George sliced the potatoes too thin and deep fried them so that they would be extra crunchy. To top it off he sprinkled salt on what is now called the potato chip. There was no way the diner could eat the chips with a fork, but he didn’t send them back. They were too good and thus the popular American snack was born.

George happily continued to make the thin, fried potatoes, but he called them "Saratoga Chips" or Potato Crunches. They soon became so popular that they were made up in large batches, packaged in bags, and sold in New England.

George never patented the chips, but he did open his own restaurant that eventually failed; however the potato chip industry now produces billions of dollars in sales each year.

So...It's Black History Month

I loves me some black people, in fact being black is the best part of waking up. One would think I loved the month of February, black history month, but I don’t, not really. It’s too shallow too commercial. It’s great to hear about the “first African American to (insert whatever),” but to me it’s almost like saying the first black to join the human race. Not to discredit black firsts, I’m well aware of the trails, tribulations, -isms, and –ites, blacks must face, but I want to make sure that people know what we contribute to this great nation, what we contribute to the world, besides the coonery that is modern day “hip-hip.”

So I’m going to make an effort to learn a few new facts for myself and share a few tidbits on my blog.

I wanna be one of those black people who go off with, "Black people invented...." You know that person who gets worked up, "Black people invented skateboarding! Black people invented swimming! Black people invented surfing!"

Stay tuned.

8 Important Stats That Black America Needs to Pay Attention to - AND - We Can't Blame Obama For

From The Atlanta Post (I added the Obama part)

1. “Although blacks make up only 13.6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 50.3 percent of all diagnosed cases of HIV.”

2. “The wealth disparity between white and black households has more than quadrupled, regardless of income bracket.”

3. “72 percent of black mothers are unwed which eclipses that of most other groups: 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans."

4. “Nearly half of the nation’s African American students attend high schools in low-income areas with dropout rates that hover in the 40-50% range.”

5. “Fewer than half of the black students who enroll in college graduate from four-year institutions within six years. Nationally, the average six-year graduation rate for all students is 57 percent.”

6. “The racial composition of the US prison and jail population as of 2008 was 60.21% (African American (non-Hispanic), 20.29% Hispanic, 13.44% White American (non-Hispanic) , and 6.06% Other (American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander American, and Multiracial American). ****”Relative to black on black crime, the most recent government statistics indicated that “43% of all murder victims in 2007 were African American, 93.1% of whom were killed were African Americans.”****

7. “24.7% of all African-American live in poverty in comparison to 8.6% of all non-Hispanic White, 11.8% of all Asian-American and 23.2% of all Hispanic.”

8. Black women and men have much higher coronary heart disease (CHD) death rates in the 45–74 age group than women and men of other races. A higher percentage of black women (37.9%) than white women (19.4%) died before age 75 as a result of CHD, as did black men (61.5%) compared with white men (41.5%). And, a higher percentage of black women (39%) died of stroke before age 75 compared with white women (17.3%) as did black men (60.7%) compared to white men (31.1%). “

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ha Ha Ha...

Aww so Cute!