TV One’s Way Black When: The 80s

I patiently waited through the weekend (and a bangin’ birthday party) for TV One’s Second week of Way Black When. This time the 1980s are highlighted. I love the 80s!  I couldn’t wait for this show!

Niecy Nash is a wonderful host.  Her monologue was funny and her weave was RIGHT!  There’s nothing worse than seeing a woman with fame and clout with busted hair.  I’m just saying…

During the Bill Duke interview I got worried.  Ms. Nash seemed to be a bit loud and teetering on that Mo’Nique-ish line.  Her interview skills are great though.  She got good info and tied Bill Duke’s past success in entertainment with helping the next generation of actors (Taraji P. Henson attened his well-known boot camp).

First lady of hip-hop, Roxanne Shante, was my favorite interview of the night.  She’s so humble and wise.  Rap’s first female MC is also a breast cancer survivor.  Wisdom doesn’t always have to come from the elderly. 

“If you hated me in the white outfit, oh baby, I’ma kill ya in the black!”

– Roxanne Shante on haters

Roxanne Shante has written a coffee table book titled The Young Girls’ Guide to Old School Dating.  I haven’t been able to find information on it but I look forward its release.  I’ll be sure to do a review on it.  Young girls need some tips on dating.  And I’ll definitely take some from her.  Did you see the rock on her hand!?

Remember The Last Dragon?  Tamiak AKA Bruce Leroy was on the show too.  This man has barely aged.  And he’s still fine!  Whew, lawd!  Tamiak taught Niecy Nash how to build her chi…well, he tried to teach her.  The lesson was more flirtation and comedy than anything else.  LOL

Comedian Gary Owen was…alright.  I’ve seen him do funnier sets before. 

Kurtis Blow closed the show out on the best note.  The crowd was hype.  His flow is still tight.  And it was a family affair: Kurtis Blow, Jr. was his hype man and his other son manned the turntables.  Plus he had some original B-boys break dancing with him.  These dudes were well over 40 jammin’ like it was 1980!  Too live!

Be sure to catch the rest of the 80s party weekdays on TV One at 10:00p EST

Roxanne Shante interview:

Kurtis Blow performance:


Robert Smalls (1839-1915)

Civil War Naval Hero

Robert Smalls was an African American slave who became a naval hero for the Union in the American Civil War and went on to serve as a congressman from South Carolina during Reconstruction.

His mother was a house slave and his father an unknown white man. Smalls was taken by his master in 1851 to Charleston, South Carolina, where he worked as a hotel waiter, hack driver, and rigger. In 1861, at the outbreak of the war, he was hired to work aboard the steamship Planter, which operated as an armed transport and dispatch vessel, carrying guns and ammunition for the Confederate army. On May 13, 1862, he and the other blacks on board seized control of the ship in Charleston Harbor, succeeded in passing through Confederate checkpoints, and turned the ship, its cargo of weapons, and several important documents over to a Union naval squadron blockading the city. This exploit brought Smalls great fame throughout the North. In 1863, when he was piloting the ironclad Keokuk in the battle for Fort Sumter, the vessel took many hits and was eventually sunk. Smalls’s bravery was rewarded with command of the Planter later that year. He was the first African American captain of a vessel in U.S. service.

After the war, Smalls rose rapidly in politics, despite his limited education. From 1868 to 1870 he served in the South Carolina House of Representatives and from 1870 to 1874 in the state Senate. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1875–79, 1882–83, 1884–87), where his outstanding political action was support of a bill that would have required equal accommodations for both races on interstate conveyances. In 1877, however, he was convicted of having taken a $5,000 bribe while in the state Senate; sentenced to three years in prison, he was pardoned by the governor. The case against him was clearly politically motivated. In 1895 he delivered a moving speech before the South Carolina constitutional convention in a gallant but futile attempt to prevent the virtual disfranchisement of blacks.

A political moderate, Smalls spent his last years in Beaufort, where he served as port collector (1889–93, 1897–1913).

Copyright © 1994-2010 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. For more information visit


Superbowl XLV Halftime Show

I must admit, folks, I don’t give two shakes of a lamb’s tail about football.  But I was totally down to watch some commercials and check out the Black Eyed Peas’ halftime performance.  I probably caught a total of three commercials, but the halftime show was awesome!

Guitarist Slash of Guns N’ Roses fame made a surprise appearance alongside BEP’s Fergie (ridiculously magnificent).  And even Usher hit the stage with Will.I.Am to perform OMG.  Did y’all see him bust that split in the MC Hammer pants?

This was the best Superbowl halftime show in a long time.  I enjoyed it so much!  The costuming, choreography, lights and, most importantly, the music were spectacular.  I’ve never seen the Black Eyed Peas perform live but after that show, I’m down to buy a ticket.  Check out the video!

E Says…Know Your History!

“Strange Fruit”, the song about black lynching in the south made famous by blues singer Billie Holiday, was originally a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx.

And subsequently made famous again by the fabulous Nina Simone

Must Be Write

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.  – Cyril Connolly

I’d like to go on record as saying I love and respect all of you men.

Now I’d like to put it out there that you people have no idea how draining the emotional complexity of femininity can be! Sheesh!

So…this week was up and down.  Fortunately, it ended on high note.

Sunday – church was awesome, praise God.
Monday – spent working and prepping for Tuesday
Tuesday – TOTALLY SUCKED! What the *bleep* did I do to the Universe? Cuz she certainly came a’kickin down my door.
Wednesday – I threw a pity party
Thursday – I remembered that I’m a descendant of kings and queens. I refuse to compromise my nobility or divinity.

I look forward to embracing Friday and this weekend with a bottle of Jack and a smile. I’m greeting my 24th year with a bang!

Laughs & Blessings

Four Loko Releases New Classy Ad

This is great! Just thought I’d share.

E Says…Know Your History!

In 1950, writer Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her collection, Annie Allen.

Gwendolyn Brooks Biography 

(born June 7, 1917, Topeka, KS — died December 3, 2000, Chicago, IL)

Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African American poet to win the Pulitzer Prize (1950), and in 1968 she was named the poet laureate of Illinois.

Brooks graduated from Wilson Junior College in Chicago in 1936. Her early verses appeared in the Chicago Defender, a newspaper written primarily for that city’s African American community. Her first published collection, A Street in Bronzeville (1945), reveals her talent for making the ordinary life of her neighbours extraordinary. Annie Allen (1949), for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, is a loosely connected series of poems related to an African American girl’s growing up in Chicago. The same theme was used for Brooks’s novel Maud Martha (1953).

The Bean Eaters (1960) contains some of her best verse. Her Selected Poems (1963) was followed in 1968 by In the Mecca, half of which is a long narrative poem about people in the Mecca, a vast, fortresslike apartment building erected on the South Side of Chicago in 1891, which had long since deteriorated into a slum. The second half of the book contains individual poems, among which the most noteworthy are “Boy Breaking Glass” and “Malcolm X.” Brooks also wrote a book for children, Bronzeville Boys and Girls (1956). The autobiographical Report from Part One (1972) was an assemblage of personal memoirs, interviews, and letters; it was followed, though much later, by Report from Part Two (1996). Her other works include Primer for Blacks (1980), Young Poet’s Primer (1980), To Disembark (1981), The Near-Johannesburg Boy, and Other Poems (1986), Blacks (1987), Winnie (1988), and Children Coming Home (1991).

In 1985–86 Brooks was Library of Congress consultant in poetry (now poet laureate consultant in poetry), and in 1989 she received a lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts. She became a professor of English at Chicago State University in 1990, a position she held until her death.

Copyright © 1994-2010 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. For more information visit

TV One Launches Way Black When

This week TV One launched their 2011 Black History Month celebration, Way Black When.  Each week a decade will be the focus of discussions in music, movies, television and politics.  The first nostalgic look back is at the 1970s with host Sinbad.  I was able to catch the first episode and – though a LOT of it went over my head (I’m totally an ’80s baby) – I enjoyed the show!  The first thing I noticed was the beautiful set.  TV One has been hit or miss for me over the last year or two, but they’ve done well with this one.  Even if you don’t know anything about the ’70s I encourage you to watch.  How can we know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve been, right?

I’m excited for next week’s ’80s shows with Niecy Nash as host.  I plan to groove in front of my TV in pajamas with some ice cream just like I would’ve in 198… 😉

The week of February 14th celebrates the ’90s with Christopher “Kid” Reid hosting.

Added Incentive: After each show there are questions you can answer on TV One’s website to be entered to win an all expense paid cruise on the Tom Joyner Foundation’s Fantastic Voyage.  For more information visit

hosts Sinbad, Christopher Reid & Niecy Nash

Real Housewives of Atlanta – Season 3 Finale

Goodness!  As promised, Bravo brought the drama with the much-anticipated finale of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, season 3. 

designed by Rubin Singer

Cynthia Bailey’s wedding was the focal point of the finale.  Her dress was designed by Rubin Singer and was absolutely gorgeous!  Though I was hopeful that her mother and sister wouldn’t give her the “lost” marriage certificate, it was so staged!  Really?  I’m gonna deceive my daughter/sister on camera and say I’ll never tell her?  Yeah.  That made a lot of sense, Bravo.  It seemed like Cynthia was just a jittery bride who forgot to grab the paper and some overreaching producer said, “Let’s turn this into a scandal!”  Fail.  We’ll see how long the union lasts.

Nene Leakes solidified her place as drama queen of the season.  From arguments with Dwight to confrontations with Peter (Cynthia’s then-fiance) to screaming matches with her own husband.  And who could forget this season’s arguments with Kim Zolciak?

Speaking of Kim, eeew!  She’s pregnant with Atlanta Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann’s baby.  Does anyone else realize that pregnancy must be a result of unprotected sex?  With Kim?  Eeew!  In other news,  Kim’s still working on releasing The Ring Didn’t Mean a Thing.  Unfortunately, her knowledge of the music business is parallel to her singing ability – limited.

Kandi…Kandi Kandi Kandi.  Why didn’t I know she had that body on her before?  I support just off that.  This season she showed more of her side of the music business.  I’m hoping Closet Freak, the song she wrote for Miss Lawrence (Washington), will take off.  And I sincerely hope she finds the love she’s looking for.   Kandi’s new album, Kandi Koated is available in stores and iTunes.

Sheree Whitfield is a mess coming to a theater near you.  How she got the part for the movie she auditioned for, I’ll never understand.  I don’t know the woman personally to know if she’s got “potential” but her little one-liner on The Game’s season opener was horrible.  I wanted my money back and it was free to watch!  So now I’m supposed to pay to see If These Hips Could Talk (a play turned movie)?  I’ll wait for the reviews on that one.

Phaedra Parks was a trip throughout the entire season and didn’t disappoint for the finale.  I loved the lone tear she shed upon leaving baby Ayden to return to the workforce.  Wasn’t she as excited as a drag queen in La Perla when she left the baby to go to Miami with the cast?  The Southern belle showed America that she’s fluent in both English (her confessionals) and Country (every other piece of footage with her requiring subtitles).  One thing I can say about Ms. Parks is that I’m sure if marriage will last.  Full service goes a long way.

The RHOA Season 3 Reunion Special airs on February 13, 2011 on Bravo.

(l-r) Phaedra, Kim, Kandi, Sheree, Cynthia and Nene