Black History Month


Garrett Morgan discovered a formula that could straighten hair, created and patented the predecessor gas mask in 1914, launched an prominent African-American newspaper, Cleveland Call, in 1920 and patented an improved traffic signal with three options, go, slow down and stop rather than two in 1983 and he ultimately sold it to General Electric for $40,000, a significant amount at the time. Mae C. Johnson was the first African-American woman astronaut to go to space , a dancer, an actress, a doctor, a college professor and holds numerous accolades from her career that began in 1973 when she graduated high school with honors then went to Stanford before flourishing and making history. In 2001, Robert Johnson, creator of Black Entertainment Television became the first African-American billionaire.

History continues to be made for African-Americans. Rihanna became the first Dior campaign star in 2015. Lebron James was the first black man on Vogue and the first lifetime contract at Nike. Besides being the first African-American to be World No. 1 in 2002 and being a key advocate for equal prize money for men and women players in tennis, Venus and sister Serena were the first African-American women to have an ownership stake in a NFL franchise. To name a few of the many record shattering feats Beyoncé, she was the the first African-American woman to win the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year award in 2001 and the first female to receive the International Artist Award at the American Music Award in 2007.

Not to limit ourselves to entertainment,  African-Americans have made many feats in recent history. Father and son, Troy and Chase Reed, created the world’s first sneaker pawn shop with $30,000 inventory/collection, social media and a dream. What started as a way to deal with bullying, skyrocketed Egypt Ufele to fame with her line, Chubiiline, being debuted in New York and Atlanta at the tender age of ten in 2015.

Black History Month will soon be over but black history will never stop being made. Black women continue to lead in entrepreneurship and education attainment. Black Lives Matters has made history with its mission of ending police brutality. Laverne Cox is crusading for LGBT rights and making history in the progress with TRANSform Me making her the first African-American trans woman to produce and star in her own TV show and being the first open transgender to appear on TIME, among other feats.

Regardless of the month, black excellence will continue to shine and prosper. Acknowledge the growth and seek out improvements. Remain unapologetically black. Work with Rihanna. Get in formation with Beyoncé. Stand with Kendrick Lamar. Record your passions with Ava DuVernay. Talk politics with Anthony Foxx. Invest with Charles Hudson. Just don’t be stagnant.

Beyoncé’s Formation


There was black pride. There was country grammar. There was unapologetic blackness. There was stand against police brutality. There was bluntness. There was cockiness. There was Queen B.

Beyoncé surprise new song and music video, “Formation,” brought waves. After the announcement of Beyoncé joining ColdPlay and Bruno Mars for the halftime show at the 2016 Super Bowl, Beyoncé didn’t want her image to diminish with the surprise new video. “Formation” was exclusively released on husband Jay-Z’s music streaming service, Tidal, before dripping onto the entire world wide web.

The imaginary was powerful for her new video with Blue Ivy making her debut and police officers raising their hands to mirror the iconic “Hands Up Don’t Shoot.” What was most glorifying was her lyrics that gave snarky rebuttals and refutes to the criticism aimed at her and her family with lines like “I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros; I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils” and “I twirl on them haters; albino alligators.”

Sasha Fierce has come out to play and she is ready to slay once again. “Formation” is already number 1 on Billboard charts and her line “When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay” is already becoming infamous with Red Lobster already using for promotion. Slay on Beyoncé, slay on.

Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean Go Platinum


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is finally getting with the times and has incorporated streaming into their methodology for their certification process for their Gold & Platinum Program.  Their album award formula is 1,500 video or song streams = 10 track sales = 1 album sale while their digital single award formula is 150 streams = 1 download.

This is new methodology has raised a few albums up with Big Sean’s “Dark Sky Paradise” going platinum, Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” going platinum, The Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind the Madness” going 2x multi-platinum and Wale’s “Ambition” going gold. Even Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” gets a new certification, 32x Multi-Platinum, 33 years after its debut.

The new certifications equals great news for everyone with the RIAA acknowledging the changing landscape of music purchase. This also allows for artists who rely heavily on streaming and downloads to finally get their well-deserved recognition.



The Ultimate Guide To Design Styles


With so many different styles available to choose to decorate your home. Knowing which style matches your taste can be confusing. We’ve put together a list of the 10 most common decor styles and their definitions:

  1. Modern- Modern interior design derives its influences through the modern art movements that preceded modern day design. In artwork, Modernism began while using the Impressionists and some otherswho used abstraction. Modern interior design grew from the decorative arts, more importantly Art Deco,from thelate 19th as well as the early 20th centurie. It reached its peak in the 1950’s and 1960’s, which explains why designers and decorators today may make reference to modern design as being “mid-century”.modern
  2. Contemporary– The basic definition of contemporary is “of the moment.” Contemporary art, design, and interiors are “of the day.” They exist in the here-and-now. And, taking this further, they could only exist in the here-and-now because ten years ago some of the materials and pieces wouldn’t have been available. And in ten years from now, there will be new pieces that do not exist today.Note: The terms modern interior design and contemporary interior design are often used interchangeably, however there is a difference between the two. Contemporary interior design can only mean trendy looks that are in style at any current moment, while modern interior design refers to the specific geometrical, clean-lined style called modern.simple-tips-chemical-spaces
  3. Traditional– Traditional interior design reflects classic European decor. Trademarks of this style generally include deep wood tones, architectural details, and elegant furnishings. This style is quite versatile and can be combined with other interior elements to create a unique look in a room. One of the most important facets of traditional interior design is the silhouettes, also called the lines, of the furnishings. Wing-backed chairs, claw footed tables, and curved furniture pieces that reflect the 18th and 19th centuries are examples of this. Common models for such traditional furniture are pieces attributed to the Queen Anne or Chippendale styles. Antiques are also often integrated into this design style, but many companies sell new pieces that mimic the lines of the old.traditional4
  4. Minimalist– Minimalist interior design is one of the architectural centerpieces of the 20th century. Spare and streamlined while still being inviting, minimalism is charming in almost any space. With less clutter to wade through and mentally process, the innate beauty of each piece of furniture or art in the home really starts to stand out.Everything is generally stored out of site.Minimalist architecture became popular in the late 1980s in London and New York, where designers worked to achieve simplicity, using white elements, cold white or blue lighting, large spaces with minimum objects and furniture. The concept of minimalist design is to strip everything down to its essential quality and achieve simplicity. Minimalism simplifies living spaces to reveal the essential quality of buildings and conveys simplicity in attitudes toward life. It is inspired from the Japanese traditional design and the concept of Zen philosophy.The idea is not completely without ornamentation, but everyhting is as reduced down to a stage where you cannot remove anything further to improve the design, or without disimproving it.Contemporary-Minimalist-Interior-Design-VangViet-hard-boiled-when-wonderful
  5. Arts and Crafts– The Arts and Crafts movement took off around the turn of the 20th century. Like the Art Nouveau movement, it developed as a backlash against the overwrought style of the Victorian era. It rejected the factory-produced furnishings and decorative accents that prevailed at the time, embracing instead natural beauty and traditional craftsmanship. Artisans such as Gustav Stickley (who coined the term Craftsman, sometimes used for this style) and William Morris were seminal in establishing the Arts and Crafts code, and it characterizes much of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. Some defining characteristics of Arts and Craft interior design are Wood: It’s probably the single most important element, and it largely informs the emphasis on natural, organic beauty that defines this decorating approach. You’ll almost never see painted wood in an Arts and Crafts interior — instead, the focus is on rich stains that preserve and showcase the natural beauty of the grain.conway_Rosen13.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.725
  6. French– An ornate, fanciful and decorative style is characteristic of French interior design.Colors range from rich, sun-drenched Mediterranean hues to softer, muted shades. Often, one color or fabric is repeated throughout the space.Accented by rich details and extensive use of gold, bronze and gilt.Furniture generally includes French royal style antiques or heirlooms.5-shutterstock_118129444
  7. Urban Industrial– Industrial interior design is popular for decorating lofts and old buildings converted into living spaces, although it can be used for traditional apartments and houses too. What you need for this style is to create an illusion of rough surfaces and materials that suggest an industrial past. The simplest way to show roughness is to leave some walls or surfaces unfinished. In addition to some rough metal elements that will create an industrial atmosphere, you are looking for old industrial-looking objects that are made from steel, metal or wood. These items are preferably worn down or have been salvaged and recycled. stylish-interior-design1
  8. Moroccan– Moroccan interior design invites the rich colors of the Middle East, dynamic contrasts, traditional patterns, and the uniqueness of Moroccan decorations and accessories into your home. Vibrant colors of red and rich orange inspired by African sunsets, green and blue found in the shimmering Mediterranean, tones of gold, light brown, yellow and silver from the surrounding desert create a tropical atmosphere by bringing each element into the home. Exotic plants, terra cotta tiles and textured walls all tie the experience and atmosphere together.Mosaics: Small tiles and mosaic designs decorate many Moroccan home interiors. Mosaic designs are also used for decorating Moroccan mirrors, coffee table tops and bathroom sinks.moroccan-style-interior-design-furniture-accessories-9
  9. Country– Country style interior design is cozy bearing the resemblance of cottage style. There are many various culturally different country style designs that have the features of the time and style that was traditional to those countries. Thus you may find such country style types as French country, English country, American country, Italian country or Tuscan, and Modern country. Each type of country style has taken characteristic features of the culture it was used in. English country is relaxed and comfortable incorporating many floral patterns as well as stripes and plaids.dam-images-decor-plaid-rooms-plaid-rooms-09-elissa-cullman
  10. Nautical/Cottage/Coastal- Warm, relaxing, and positive. The nautical look reflects the New England beach-side cottage spirit. White, blue, and sand colors should be used. Seashells in clear jars, unfinished wood pieces, and ropes are the traditional decorative accents.hosl02_yachtillusion

Politics & Hip Hop


Kendrink Lamar has earned the respect of a few politicians and one happens to be the Leader of the Free World, President Barack Obama. Being allowed to pay a visit to oval office, having our Commander and Chief say give a nod to your lyricism and being given a key to Compton demonstrates the magnitude of Lamar’s career. However, not long ago Common was being portrayed as a thug, 2 Live Crew was fighting for their rights to say what they please, regardless of how nasty it was, and Eazy E was having poached salmon and roast beef with  George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole. So what’s the deal with hip hop and politics. In short, they either hate it or they love it.

Continue reading “Politics & Hip Hop”

Why Hillary Clinton Can’t Answer a Question About Race

Hillary Clinton at

On Monday during a discussion at Iowa Brown&Black Forum, a student asked Hillary Clinton to explain her white privilege. Clinton mentioned how fortunate she was to go to a great college, a wonderful neighborhood, and a great public high school. However, she did not come into contact with the benefits of wealth and privilege until she was 11.

No one was satisfied with her answer. Throughout this entire election season, Clinton has tiptoed around the issues of race while still trying say that she is in solidarity with people of color. Basically,  she flip-flops. One moment she’s agreeing on an issue, and then saying something completely different. Of course she’s better than Trump, but by how much?

The reason why Clinton can’t fully answer a question about white privilege is the same reason that your coworker doesn’t understand why she can’t touch your hair while calling it nappy. Clinton doesn’t get it.

This time around “it” is what it means to be always unwanted by a society that was founded and controlled by old white men. She can smile and try to answer the questions. She can call herself your aubela. She can wave the Kwanzaa flag. No matter how hard she tries, she’s’ not fooling anyone. It’s all for election votes.

This game that she’s playing is dangerous. Now more than ever we need a presidential candidate that understands the struggles of people of color. False friends only impend progress. Don’t be fooled by Clinton’s smile because she’s looking right past you and staring at the White House.

Kanye West – Facts


Here are the facts. Kanye West released “Facts” on New Year’s Eve. The surprise track mainly discusses his past relationship with Nike, with many shots fired at the multi-billion dollar corporation, and current relationship with Adidas. West collaborated with Nike to create Nike Air Yeezy and Nike Air Yeezy 2. However, the relationship between artist and corporation dissolved badly and publicly with West blaming Nike for their lack of royalties and creative constraints. West decided that Adidas was a better home and signed for reportedly $10 million, more royalties and more creative freedom.

Here are the opinions. The song spoofed Future and Drake’s single “Jumpman.” Additionally, the jabs taken at Nike are applauded by some who see the expensive shoes as another disrupter in the black community. Micheal Jordan’s son, Marcus Jordan, responded to the song with a tweet stating “Yeezy just jumped over @Jumpman23 ??” LOL I needed a good laugh to start my #2016.” Lebron James, who recently signed a lifetime contract for $600 million,  kept it professional when questioned about the song and firmly stood by his brand but also didn’t distant himself from West. Nick Young, also known as Swaggy P, has stood alongside West and raved about the song in an interview with Billboard.

While, I’m not rushing to congratulate West for going against a corporation, since he is still signed to another corporation that retails his sneakers at $200, the track was bold and did ruffle feathers. Will it get Nike worried? Probably not. Will it get people excited about Swish, his upcoming album. Probably.