My Life, Old School Fridays »

My freshman year of high school was so uneventful that I don't even remember it. All I recall is my first serious teacher, Mr. Mealey, making me think about science in a logical and analytical way that until that point was unprecedented (even in the Mentally Gifted Program). A quick glance at the wiki entry on music of 1993 makes matters much clearer: that was the year of Wu-Tang's Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

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Mmmm hmmm, that's right. That is Ghostface Killah aka Tony Starks aka the thug gangsta jump off man of my fantasies with yours truly. Last weekend Ghostface did a show in my town, and when I heard he'd be signing autographs just

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

I just caught a screening of the Michael Jai White blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite, which hits theaters October 16 (I will provide a full review next week). Before I even got to the theater the cast list had my toes tingling with my usual passion for the Black C-Lister. Tommy Davidson and Arsenio Hall are well-known actors who've been hard to find in recent years, and I've already written about the exhibits of wackness that are Bokeem Woodbine and Miguel Nunez, but almost everyone else in the cast has been on my obscure actor radar since I started featuring the lesser known and praised black actor, so let's go!

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Obba Babatunde is

General »

When Sarah Palin appeared on the national political scene we assumed that Alaska was filled with conservative hunters and fishermen hoping to one day secede from the union. And Eskimos. Rapping Eskimos. Before you watch this video keep in mind that Alaska has shockingly loose gun control laws and a pretty serious gang problem with Bloods and Crips and all of that stuff. Also please keep in mind that this week's "what the eff?" is a bit of a challenge - if you can make it to the end of "This Is Angoon," by Eagle's and Raven's you deserve a big gold star! So many questions and problems. Autotune is troubling enough, but if you desire said effect and you only have the budget to make yourself sound

General »

I'd like to first point out that 80% of the time I consider the interests of my readers. The other 20% of the time I just indulge myself, and today is one of those days: the fire that is my love for little people must be stoked. It's been seventy years since The Wizard of Oz first captured America's hearts (it did - there is nothing more classic American 20th century pop culture than that movie), and while most of its stars have passed away Newsweek has gathered up the five surviving Munchkins! They're all in their late eightes/early nineties, one even nods off during the interview, and I'm especially fascinated by the fact that they refer to themselves as "midgets," a term that is now considered derogatory (reminds me of old

Fresh Black Girls, Review »

Big black women are just sooo funny aren't they? How else can you explain the premiere of TWO shows starring black female comedians whose girth has played major roles in their public personae? Sarcasm aside, I watched both The Mo'Nique Show and Sherri Shepherd's new sitcom Sherri with an open mind expecting laughs, the chance to identify with women more like me than most, and my usual cautious optimism. Here's what I found:

The Mo'Nique Show

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I respect Mo'Nique and hope she succeeds at everything she chooses to pursue. That said, watching her new talk show on BET feels like going to church at the hair salon while listening to a motivational

Feel Smarter, What the Eff? »

Who says the entrepreneurial spirit of the black community is dead? yourway You don't need a computer, typewriter, or fancy sign from Kinkos to go into business. You also don't need a command of punctuation mark usage or capital letters. All you need to do is hit the streets with whatever you've got, and you're in the hair business! I had to know - what exactly is "8 Braids" and "8 Extensions?" In a fit of investigative journalism/instigation-driven mocking, I called the number on the flier (I removed it from the photo for this post) pretending to be interested in an appointment. The stylist informed me that 8 braids means 8 cornrows going straight back, likewise for 8 extensions, just with

Old School Fridays »

I'm well aware of the fact that I haven't been to the gym in a while, but this week's theme sent me searching for one of my workout mixes in iTunes only to discover that I'd deleted them. All of them. Talk about giving up. I'll get back in there one day, I'm sure... Anyway, my favorite song to workout to is Twista's "Overnight Celebrity" (it's my 'stripper song') but that came out in 2004 and is not at all old school. Instead I'll turn to my favorite sample original/sampling song pairing: 1980's "Far Beyond," by Locksmith and 1999's "Red Alert," by Bassment Jaxx. Locksmith is the band that used to play with Grover Washington Jr. in the late 1970's. The non-video is boring, but the bass-line and call and response

Black Hair Talk, Long Live the Colored Race!, Not Racist Cuz It's True., The Black Archives »

"In tight jeans, Chinese eyes/Indian hair/Black girl a**/let me pour you a glass of Belvi" - Memphis Bleek, "Do My"

I have a close friend who is half Japanese and half Ethiopian. I have another who is half Panamanian and half Filipino. Both of these women expect to hear a common catcall in the street "Hey Indian Hair! What's good?" Neither one of them as a single drop of Indian blood, so what gives?

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Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas from TLC is of both Indian and Native American descent, and her baby hair game is notorious.

Google "Indian hair" and your search will yield page after page of hair from the Asian subcontinent

News, That Not-So-Fresh Feeling, Yipes! »

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Cops: Woman fried, ate goldfish amid fight with ex

PASADENA, Texas — Authorities say a Houston-area woman who was burned up at her former common-law husband fried their pet goldfish and ate some of them. Pasadena police say it's a civil matter and no charges will be filed. The seven goldfish were purchased together by the couple during happier times. Police spokesman Vance Mitchell says the man reported on Saturday that the woman took the goldfish from his apartment. Mitchell says the two argued earlier about some jewelry the man had given her but took back. She wanted the jewelry returned. Officers who were dispatched to the woman's home arrived to find four fried goldfish on a plate. The woman said

Review »

While the rest of the country buzzes about whether newspapers are worth saving, my beloved situation comedy is slowly and quietly going the way of the dodo bird. Maybe we're just experiencing the evolution of television, but if it isn't an hour-long drama, reality show, or a workplace comedy without a laugh track, network television just isn't interested lately. Not only that, but for years we've lamented the dearth of black family shows, and finally we have Brothers on Fox - is it any good? Yes. Will it work? Maybe. brothersfox Brothers has some great things on its side, starting with an interesting premise and an intriguing cast. Brothers Michael (Michael Strahan) and Chill (Darryl "Chill" Mitchell) have never really gotten

Dating, What the Eff? »

I’ve been super busy this week with big things happening, but it’s Wednesday so I have to at least give you something to make you go “what the eff?” real quick. It’s times like these that I wish I could …

Politics »

I’ve been trying to stay out of politics lately because the nutty racist underbelly of America (which has always been there) is a special brand of disturbing that makes me want to hibernate until 2012. I can’t look at Glenn …

Old School Fridays »

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DMX is the most gettin-arrestedest Negro in music, so when I saw the theme "Criminal Minded," he came to mind immediately. It's so easy to make fun of ol' Earl Simmons, or really anyone who's been arrested so many times that even he admits he lost count, but I really feel for the guy. His drug problem, manic depression, and childhood of abuse and foster care create an all-too-common trifecta of risk factors for a life in and out of lockup. Not only that, but DMX is just weird. He barks, stares intensely, says crazy things, and has the most unique baby mama drama - perhaps because he was married at the time, DMX alleged that

Black C-Listers, Long Live the Colored Race!, The Black Archives »

Everyone you've ever heard of died this summer, but so did someone you probably recognize by face but not by name. Zakes Mokae almost fits into the Obscure Black C-Lister category, and sadly instead of a timely post celebrating his career I have to write about him in memoriam after his passing last week.

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Zakes Mokae was the African dude - Father Kani in Cry Freedom, Lettie's South African old flame on A Different World, Dr. Zeko in A Vampire In Brooklyn, and Big Kathy in A Rage In Harlem. Mokae had a recurring role on Oz and guest spots on Law & Order, Monk, and The X-Files. If you saw the extremely creepy Wes Craven movie The Serpent

Black C-Listers, Jacko, Now That's Dancing!, What the Eff? »

brofranklin There are three types of people on online: the kind who have never heard of Brother Franklin, the kind who have only seen him out of the corner of their eye once or twice, and the kind who watch his videos as often as possible just for a pick-me-up. The purpose of this post is to turn you into that last person, and as usual you'll either love me or hate me for it. First a primer: A few months ago a video of a man with a very special feeling about the Lord blazed across the internet. Please note that this video was posted in May, so the "Remember The Time" combination towards the end was completely

Long Live the Colored Race!, Now That's Dancing!, Random Nostalgia, The Black Archives »

Why is it that the older I get the more I sweat Diana Ross? I always thought she was so gorgeous and glamorous but now that I know what a *diva* is I’m in awe of the career she’s had. …

Celebutainment, Coonery, Our Shame, Spot Blowing, That Not-So-Fresh Feeling, We Can't Have Nothin'. »

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Getting his hot little hands on Ntozake Shange’s 1975 play “For Colored Girls who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf," was coup of the year for Tyler Perry. Not only will he produce and direct the upcoming film version, the King of Coonery will also write the adaptation of what may be the most important work about black female identity ever. Ask any black woman, especially the artsy/moody/self-aware type, about “For Colored Girls…” and she will respond with a wistful look and fond memories. I was Lady in Blue in a high school production and have told more than one sorry dude “insteada being sorry all the time, try being yourself,” quoting the Lady In Red (but playing it off like I came up with it on my own). This is classic material and now we can expect the intentionally stripped-down aesthetic of Shange’s work to be replaced by style choices that only a closeted gay man could make. Even worse, Perry has announced that he’d like to cast the likes of Oprah, Halle Berry, and Beyonce to tackle the play’s issues, which include love, rape, abortion, and relationships. Beyoncé??? Please pass the Xanax.

News, Old Folks Wilin', That Not-So-Fresh Feeling »

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Wife charged with assaulting husband freed on bond

A 71-year-old Enfield woman accused of beating her husband with a frying pan has been released from jail. Rosie Lewis was freed from Halifax County Jail on a $2,500 unsecured bond, Halifax County officials said. “Forty-eight hours (incarceration) is a general rule for any domestic violence charge,” said Lt. Bobby Martin of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office. “I imagine she was released on an unsecured bond because of her age and health.” Original reports that Lewis would be held until her first court appearance due a state law intended to protect victims of domestic abuse from further violence were incorrect. Lewis was charged with assault with a

At Least They're Not Black..., Yipes! »

Do you remember Latarian Milton, the little Milk Dud of a child whose joyriding and desire to “do hoodrat things with his friend,” led to endless headaches for his poor grandmother, Florida law enforcement, and black America as a whole? …