January 15, 2010

Real Talk

Yéle Haiti!

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The word yéle is actually a Creole word, and the right way to say it is lee-lay. And yéle means to scream. So when I say yéle, it means I’m screaming for freedom. Freedom of the mind.  –Wyclef Jean

I was feeling a lil lousy yesterday—tired of the stress of work, feeling overwhelmed and non-motivated, and then I read tweets by a man named Troy who lives in Port Au Prince. He talked of sleeping Read more...

December 5, 2009

Grooves, Hot Grrrls

Janelle Monae + Cindi Mayweather

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I love surprises and couldn’t be more thrilled when my homey Greg told me he got us on the list to see Janelle Monae perform at a sci-fi event about time travel at The Greene Space in Soho. I was giddier than a pubescent girl on opening night for Twilight. I’m a sci-fi head that gets totally turned out by all manner of time travel whether it be the wormhole adventures of Farscape or the Read more...

November 20, 2009

Grooves

Tamar-kali: Afro-Punk’s Pink Side

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Tamar-kali describes her music as “Hardcore Geechee Goddess Warrior Soul.” I simply think it’s bad-ass. Featured in Afro-Punk, James Spooner’s marvelous documentary about Black folk who punk-rock and up jumped the boogie to another level via Fishbone, Betty Davis and Bad Brains, Tamar-kali quickly became a face of a movement she’d fronted locally in NYC for over 15 years in bands like Song of Seven and Funkface.

What I love so much about Read more...

November 16, 2009

Best Of, TV/Film

Precious: Bigger, Blacker & Deffer!

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I went to see Precious on opening weekend. Word was, Precious takes its cues from this book that makes Oz and The Wire look like spin-offs of The Magic Garden. I’ve never read Push, the book by poet Sapphire that the film is based but I was already nervous, anxious, horrified and so excited about the premise and promise of this flick. You see I believe a lil’ shock therapy is necessary to keep Read more...

November 4, 2009

Best Of, Hot Grrrls

Mfon Essien: Photographer/Black Body Hero

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After attending this panel and feeling like I got gypped out of a discussion about our own, as well as, society’s perceptions of Black female bodies I haven’t been able to shut-up. What with the unapolegetically full-figured, ebon beauty Gabourey Sidibe on the cover of NY Times Mag and Precious opening in theaters this weekend; with South African runner Caster Semenya on suicide watch after being photographed nude with her legs in stirrups by the Read more...

October 29, 2009

Best Of, First Lady, Lifestyle, Real Talk

From Hottentot Venus To The White House

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Last Saturday’s dreary grayness did not stop me and about 100 women from attending NY Open Center’s panel, “From Hottentot Venus To The White House: Black Women On Beauty & Bodies.”  The panelists were Veronica Webb (Super+Role Model), Tricia Rose (Chair, Africana Studies @Brown U.), Susan Akkad (SVP Corporate Marketing/Diversity for Estee Lauder) with Michaela angela Davis (Cultural Critic) moderating.

I settled in with style maven Sharon Pendana sitting on my left and Ngozi Odita Read more...

October 20, 2009

Real Talk, TV/Film

Good Hair: Between a Rock & a Hard Place

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I’ve had a press & curl, box braids, a relaxer, a texturizer, an afro, Bantu-knots and now I’m rocking long cornrows– $20 synthetic hair in the back and real afro-kinky hair for bangs. I know about Black hair– the good, the bad and the ugly. My hair has been two inches short and about 10 inches at its longest.  I cut it, tease it, straighten it, extend it and twist it. For me hair is Read more...

September 3, 2009

Grooves, Real Talk

Roxanne Shante Caught The Vapors

Last week on our Facebook page I posted this really amazing story about Roxanne Shante earning her Ph.D and how she so cleverly had her record label pay for her entire academic ride. It was impressive. Redemptive even. I was thrilled to hear that one of my favorite female rappers had the foresight to include in her contract a provision for her educational expenses. Homegirl had juiced the music industry and had her doctorate in Read more...

August 22, 2009

Grooves, Videos

Marsha Ambrosius– Cool Chick, Hot Flo

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Okay I think it’s high time we stop fronting with these politically correct music critiques. Both the music industry and artists alike are suffering from disingenuously wack music reviews, not to say how this kind of criticism has rendered music journalism damn near irrelevant. So real talk. I know most fans of Floetry have love for both Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart– The Songstress and The Floacist respectively, but we all know that Marsha was Read more...

July 28, 2009

Real Talk

theHotness 2.0!

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I have come to believe… that what is important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” –Audre Lorde

Rebooted. Re-ignited. Revised and Re-visioned. After a sorely needed hiatus and also some much needed retooling, theHotness is back, baby!

On March 31, 2000 I launched theHotness in the form of an e-newsletter that “celebrated the creativity, ingenuity and straight-up flava of women of color.” Read more...