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Articles Archive for June 2009

Jacko, Long Live the Colored Race!, Not Racist Cuz It's True., Our Shame, Random Nostalgia, Spot Blowing, The Black Archives, White People Is Funny. »

[30 Jun 2009 | 22 Comments | ]
Michael Jackson and The Five Stages of Grief: Anger mjfist I'm Angry at the Media. I consider myself a McNugget-sized part of the media but the coverage of Michael Jackson's death and its aftermath has done nothing more for journalism than demonstrate what low standards news outlets will set just to drive viewership. I'm still miffed at CNN for its faux-journalistic integrity on June 25, reporting that "other news outlets say Jackson has died," but speaking of him in the past tense for hours beforehand while not bothering to have a single reporter at the actual hospital

General, Jacko, Long Live the Colored Race!, News, The Black Archives »

[29 Jun 2009 | 26 Comments | ]
Michael Jackson and The Five Stages of Grief: Denial


The entire world was shocked by the premature death of Michael Jackson. Sure, we all knew that the man was under stress. The intense scrutiny at the hands of the media, which was essentially fueled by our own obsession with celebrity, took a visible toll on Michael; the recurring allegations of child abuse and financial debt of an unimaginable magnitude made him even more of a recluse; his varying health problems that were always hard to separate from his general weirdness undoubtedly contributed to his early passing. Still, it's hard to believe that any combination of these factors could lead to death at age fifty. But we tend to forget that we're average, and the average person (who, mind you, can only hold a tune in the shower) only worries about the neighborhood busy-body, overdue student loans, and pretty bad allergies every spring. By comparison Michael's life should be as unimaginable as the science behind evolution or The Big Bang - it's just too large and far-out a process for our personal experience to let us believe he's really gone. This, my friends, is why I am choosing not to. That's right, I'm too sad believing it, so I've decided that Michael Jackson isn't really dead, and I have five supporting reasons.

Jacko, My Life »

[26 Jun 2009 | One Comment | ]
My Heart Broke Yesterday. aa_tour_silhouette I've said it before and I'll say it again: Michael Jackson is to black pop culture what George Washington Carver and his peanuts are to classical black history. He is the only person with his own category here at "What Would Thembi Do?," and it's well-deserved because NO ONE has said as much about fame, blackness, music, money, colorism, charisma, self-hatred, sorrow, estrangement, talent, universiality, and straight up LOVE as this man has just by living.

Hip Hop Is Dead., Our Shame, Politics »

[25 Jun 2009 | 4 Comments | ]

Louisiana State Representative Barbara Norton (in the blue) is Hurricane Chris’s godmother, so I’m sure it was her pleasure to present him with a House Resolution commending him for “outstanding musical accomplishments.” By this she means beating America over the …

Crime of Fashion, Hair Freaks, That Not-So-Fresh Feeling, What the Eff?, Yipes! »

[24 Jun 2009 | 6 Comments | ]
“What The Eff?” Wednesday: The World’s Worst People always call me mean because I laugh at others but the older I get the more entitled I feel to do so. It stands to reason that if what you offer sucks, you should just try harder. There are no gold stars for effort and your heart will not be blessed just because you have no idea how terrible you are at what you're doing - unless, of course, we can laugh at you while you do it. So today I'm going to give some of the World's Worst their due - no one may think you're any good but Thembi thinks you're great for a laugh so keep on keepin' on, boo. World's Worst Comedian worldsworstdb Just when you thought VHS was dead someone digs up a video of a brother wearing a string tie and smartly-cocked red beret. Meet Darrell Bluett, whose "World of Pictures," stand up routine is an Internet sensation that you can't afford to miss.

Random Nostalgia, The Black Archives »

[23 Jun 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
This clip from a 1969 episode of the ABC variety show The Hollywood Palace featuring Diahann Carroll and Stevie Wonder chased my blues right away this morning! The song is "Pretty World," and was originally recorded in 1966 by bossa nova master Sergio Mendes. Enjoy!

That Not-So-Fresh Feeling, What the Eff?, White People Is Funny. »

[21 Jun 2009 | 8 Comments | ]
The Curse of The Curly Perm Do you know what a contronym is? It's one of my favorite grammar terms and means "a word with two meanings that are opposites." One such example is the word "perm," which means two totally different things depending on cultural context and can create a "Who's On First," type of situation when our hair is the topic of conversation in the workplace. Where does one even begin when an innocent white person asks if you got a perm because your hair is suddenly curly?

Old School Fridays »

[19 Jun 2009 | 11 Comments | ]
Part of being old school is the belief that whatever the kids are doing now is weak, wack, nonsensical, and just no good compared to what we had going on in our day. It just so happens that The Stanky Leg, The Ricky Bobby, and The Crank Dat Whomever are weak and wack, but it's a classic oldhead foible to believe that we were doing so much better fifteen years ago because, sadly, we weren't. Case in point: The Tootsee Roll. How did the 69 Boyz convince the world that there was a significant difference between The Butterfly and The Tootsee Roll?

Long Live the Colored Race!, News, Politics, The Negro Channel »

[19 Jun 2009 | 8 Comments | ]
This Week’s Love/Hate Relationship With Black Pop Culture I've always believed that one of the biggest sitcom television bamboozles was the replacement of the original, BROWN, sassy, theater-voiced Aunt Viv with the bland, ALMONDY, acquiescent, merely capable Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Hip Hop Is Dead., What the Eff? »

[17 Jun 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
Worst. Mom. EVER. My son is turning 16 and really wanted Lil Wayne to perform for his birthday gala. Unfortunately his schedule will not permit him to make it. I need a Lil Wayne impersonator desperately. Here is the kicker my son is blind so you do not need to look like the rapper just sound like him.

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

[17 Jun 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
Obscure Black C-Listers: John Lafayette


If it weren't for his pronounced overbite, John Lafayette would just blur into the crowd for me. I've always had a thing for men with overbites, so I only recently put his career together and realized that he's old enough to be my father -  nevermind his salt & pepper hair and tendency to play dad-types. His powerful voice and presence have made him perfect for bit parts in procedural dramas like The Closer, Cold Case, and Without A Trace, usually playing a concerned parent sick of the police giving him the run-around.

Review »

[16 Jun 2009 | 19 Comments | ]
Televison Review: HawthoRNe is Not Good, Not Black If you choose Law & Order over HawthoRNe don't feel guilty about not "supporting" black television; aside from being not a very good show, HawthorRNe is not at all a black show, either.

Bad Grammar, Feel Smarter, Fresh Black Girls, Yipes! »

[16 Jun 2009 | 2 Comments | ]
Odds & Ends

So much to write, so little time and willingness to hit the 'publish' button... in the meantime, check out some of my favorite stuff from other sites!


The photo above is from what Brokey McPoverty has named "possibly the most awesome book ever." As usual she analyzes the pure crazy with panache, and even treats us to a mind-boggling excerpt from this wildly foolish example of misguided Negroness. Laugh riot.


[12 Jun 2009 | 14 Comments | ]
WWTD Turns Two Years Old!


On this day in 2007 I realized that my desk job just was not going to cut it intellectually. At the time I was suffering from "the curse of brilliance" treatment at the hands of my then-employer (in other words, I didn't have enough work to do and was too smart for the work I did have). I was stuck in my own head following the end of a relationship because I was spending time alone for the first time in a long time. I realized that I knew stuff most people don't know, and that at the very least my friends and family would enjoy a few cross-country laughs with or at me, so why not start a little blog?

Fresh Black Girls, Long Live the Colored Race!, The Black Archives »

[11 Jun 2009 | 5 Comments | ]

"Underrated" is one of the more overused words on this blog but I have to fight the good fight and salute ridiculously underrated performers like T'Keyah Crystal Keymah. We know her best from television where she demonstrated her strength in comedic timing and impressions on sitcoms and sketch shows such as In Living Color, Cosby, and That's So Raven. T'Keyah also has a particular talent for cartoon voices, which has led to her extensive voiceover career (Pinky and The Brain, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child).