Happy Birthday Shirley Chisholm!!

“#HappyBirthday Shirley Chisholm, American educator and politician! She was the first black woman elected to Congress (1969) and the first black woman to make a bid for the presidency (1972), though she’d rather be known “as a black woman who lived in the 20th century and dared to be herself.” –National Women’s History Museum


African Native American

The other day, I went to the local community college to use the computer. My laptop has been on the fritz. As I strolled into the library, I was pleasantly surprised to see a photo display about the lives of African Native Americans. I know it’s often a joke in black families about having “Blackfoot” blood, but the display showed there is a true connection/lineage between black folks and Native Americans.  I wanted to share this because tomorrow we will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  The myth is that the pilgrims and Native Americans peacefully had a meal together. This myth white washes the brutally used against Native Americans, literally the slaughter of millions of people It also negates the reality of Native Americans today, many who are still dealing with a legacy of oppression.   So, as folks prepare to grub tomorrow, don’t forgot the truth about what this holiday represents. As black folks, we especially have a responsiblity not continue the lie. We know how it feels to have the reality of slavery/racism sugar-coated. This day was not about love, hope, and community. It was about the colonization and destruction of a people. As you give thanks for the turkey on your plate, also give honor to Native Americans.

Photo from: blog.nmai.si.edu
Photo from: blog.nmai.si.edu
Photo from: nmai.si.edu
Photo from: nmai.si.edu
Photo from: www.atheistnexus.org
Photo from: http://www.atheistnexus.org
Me and Andrea Smith
Me and Native/Indigenous activist Andrea Smith

Kelis is saucy

Before there was Janelle Monáe,  Kelis was the voice for alternative/sistagal/futuristic punk. I remember pumping my fist to her debut song “Caught Out There.”  It was her trademark to come out with a bumping single, every few years.  Her other jams include: “Get Along With You”  and “Milkshake.”    Kelis has been missing from the music scene for a minute. She’s been  busy honing her cooking skills. I like hearing  about the different talents of celebrities. She was trained at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school  as a certified saucier.  Kelis has just launched her new line of sauces called “Feast.” I wish her well on this new adventure…

My favorite cut from Kelis:


i heart t-shirts

Once a month, I will feature some of my favorite t-shirts.  I’ve been dreaming  of buying a t-shirt/sweater from  QuellyRue Design,  but these items sell out sooo fast.No joke. You have to be like white on rice to make sure you catch the sells. I’m not even going to bother, with the holidays coming up. I hope to get this fabulous sweatshirt  in the next couple of months (red please):

Naturally Fly Sweatshirt $65.00
Naturally Fly Sweatshirt $65.00

I have been able to purchase a couple of items from the website. A cute Kente wallet and earrings: 

Kente wallet $20.00
Kente wallet $20.00
UMOJA Unity Earrings $16.00
UMOJA Unity Earrings $16.00

But I am holding out for that sweater!!! *crosses fingers*  🙂

Lifetime Movie: Dear Secret Santa

Yep, it’s that time again. I’m sure y’all have noticed the holiday music playing at the post office or at the  grocery store.  I can go either way with the holidays. I find it ironic folks tend to be the meanest this time of year :/  I try to avoid the malls. The holiday films are starting to roll out. This film looks cute, if even a bit cliché. It stars Tatyana Ali and Jordin Sparks. The movie premieres November 30th on the Lifetime network.


a Madea Christmas

If you are a black woman with black girlfriends/relatives, at some point  you will be forced to watch a Tyler Perry film.  I’m not a fan, yet I have seen several of his movies. Last year, I visited my family for the holidays. I had to endure hours of Perry’s TV shows “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns.” I can’t believe I made it out alive.   Many bloggers have deconstructed the classism/colorism, misogyny, and homophobia of Perry’s films.   And yes, these are some of the reasons why I am not a fan. I also think his story lines are just bad.  The films tend to be sooo dramatic to the point it becomes parody (I think this is why Perry also tends to be criticized for having minstrel characters). Yeah, yeah I know Perry’s richer than I will ever be (fans rhetoric).  Any who, Perry is playing Madea again (sigh). The film comes out December 13. I’m sure I will be seeing this whether I like it or not…


Searching for Shaniqua: What’s in a Name?

My name is pretty basic (Tonya). I have been surprised at how common the name is across non white/white communities.  The spelling is tweaked at times (Tonia, Tania, Tanya, etc), but  I have met lots of Latina, Asian, Biracial, etc., “Tonyas.” The name is also pretty popular with white folks (usually the Tanya version), so I think I’ve been spared the racial assumptions about my name that some other black women suffer. In his new film, “Searching for Shaniqua: What’s in a Name?” producer/director Phill Branch looks at the discrimination some black women face, simply because of their name.  He has started an Indiegogo campaign to fund his project. Support if you can:

“When you hear the name Shaniqua, what usually comes to mind first? I’ve found that in my social and professional circles, the words ghetto and tacky were often associated with that particular name. A few years back, after a conversation about baby names that spiraled into a deconstruction of race and class in America, I began to question why so many people have discomfort with certain names.  After having similar conversations with people from all walks of life, I began to realize the importance of naming as it relates to profiling, bullying and self-esteem. As a professor at a HBCU, I ran across every kind of name that you can imagine. In academia, a place where race and class intersect, my awareness of how names impact people’s lives became even more heightened. In classrooms that were diverse, but largely black, students were sometimes surprised by how much of their thinking about themselves was based on negative stereotypes. In rooms filled with people of color, race wasn’t a dividing line, but social class was.”