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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Minority Opinion: Zendaya, Rancic Works it Out

     Giuliana Rancic      vs.      Zendaya Coleman

It's been about a week since celebrities walked the Red Carpet at the 87th Academy Awards. I skipped the ceremony due to a migraine which got worse after I scrolled through my social media feeds to see what I missed the night before. Turns out that Giuliana Rancic of The Fashion Police didn't approve of Zendaya Coleman's dreads and said the 18 year old looks like "she smells like patchouli oil and weed." 


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fifty Shades of Mixed Emotions

The sexually charged movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, hit the big screen on Valentines Day weekend. It pulled in $81.7 million at the box office for its opening weekend. reports that Fifty Shades trails behind The Passion of the Christ, The Hangover part 2, American Sniper and The Matrix Reloaded for R-rated movie debuts. (See Fifty Shades of Grey’ Whips Record $81.7M Weekend.) 

The numbers shows that people were definitely waiting for the movie to come to their city. Not in the sleepy suburban Township of Montclair, N.J. This is where I chose to see the movie. When my friend Shirley and I entered the theater, there was no line, and the seats weren’t even halfway full for the 4 o’clock show. 

The movie ran for about two hours and five minutes, but it didn’t feel like it. “WHAT! That’s it?” This is what I yelled when the credits started to roll. “What the …?” I didn’t realize that two hours went by so fast. From the moment the movie started and played the first song, “I Put a Spell on You,” the Annie Lennox version from the Grammys, I just knew the movie was going to be good and the soundtrack was going to be even better.

Grammy Recap: It’s About the Music

It’s been a week since the 57th Annual Grammy Awards took center stage in the middle of my living room. The sweet voiced, British male vocalist, Sam Smith, made quite the impression to America’s pop music scene as he walked away with four Grammys. But I am not going to give you a run down of who won what because you can get the full list at 

The social media audience certainly had their fun with the Grammys. Most of the comments that scrolled through were folks expressing their thoughts about who should win, how people performed, and others were trying to figure out who the hell is Beck and why he beat out Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Pharrell Williams for Album of the Year.

My high school years were spent listening to all types of genres of music from the early 1990s, so I was fully aware of who Beck is. However, I didn’t know he came out with his Morning Phase album last year. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Hunt for Black History

How much African American history do you know? We all know the stories, events, and people who have contributed to African American history. 
  • Slavery
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Civil Rights Movement
  • Malcolm X
  • Jim Crow Laws
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Right to Vote
  • Rosa Parks 
  • Sit-Ins
  • Michael Jackson
  • Freedom Riders
  • Oprah Winfrey 
  • First Black President of the United States of America
  • Barack Hussein Obama
…and the list goes on.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Black American Storyteller

Black History Profile: Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Charlayne Hunter-Gault
As I mentioned several times on Arts of Cultures, America is currently stuck in a cycle of racial tension. In the past, traditional media wasn’t covering Black History Month as much as I expected. 

I wonder what Charlayne Hunter-Gault has to say about BHM coverage today. For those of you who don't know who Hunter-Gault is, she started her journalism career in 1959. She fought a legal battle for minorities’ right to enroll in the University of Georgia, eventually becoming the first Black to graduate from there.

Hunter-Gault has been involved in broadcast media since 1967 and has worked for a number of media outlets including PBS, NPR and CNN. She won two Emmys and a Peabody award for her work on Apartheid’s People, a series on South African life during apartheid. 

Hunter-Gault written four books: In My Place, a memoir of the civil rights movement based on her experiences as the first black woman to attend the University of Georgia; New News Out of Africa: Uncovering the African Renaissance; To the Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement; and, her latest, Corrective Rape, about violence against gay women in South Africa.

Its journalists like Hunter-Gault who I don’t hear enough about. Its journalist like Hunter-Gault who I don’t see or hear enough of as I shuffle through news radio/television stations. Its journalists and storytellers like Hunter-Gault who should be telling the stories of Black America. 

So where are the emerging Black American storytellers?
Why don’t we hear more about them?
Leave your comments below or e-mail me your findings at

— @TCsViews

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Daily Commute: Prayer From a Stranger

As I trekked my way through the ice and snow this morning, I remembered it was time to buy my monthly ticket for NJTransit. Only one of the two machines were working, and there were at least three commuters ahead of me who needed to make their purchase. 

The train was five minutes late and it seemed as though the patrons were taking forever to make their selections. The railroad bells  started to ring. I was next in line for the ticket vending machine and the person in front of me was trying to figure out how it worked. "Any day now, I will hear you say goodbye my love," I sang out loud out of annoyance of his slow paced purchase. 

The Lighter Side to Black History Month

Several years back, while researching topics for Black History Month, I came across something that gave me a chuckle. Some may find it offensive, and for those of you who do, just suck it up.

The online magazine,, had an interesting read on its site. Erin Evans gave us a solid list of, "The Blackest White Folks We Know."

What?! I can't believe they wrote this, but It’s actually quite insightful and hilarious. The article gives props to Non-Black Americans who "claims blackness.” 

Here are some of my favorites from the site:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

#BHM2015 Robert Smalls

Black History Profile: Robert Smalls

When I used to live in Beaufort, S.C., as a United States Marine Corps. wife, I didn't realize that the little town had so much history.

The name Robert Smalls was everywhere. Robert Smalls Parkway, Robert Smalls Middle School. The last name, Smalls, filled the pages of the White Pages. It wasn't until I took an African American Studies course at the Beaufort campus of the University of South Carolina where I learned about the rich African American culture that thrived throughout the Lowcountry. 

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