“The Black Entertainment Complex”

 Hee-larious Quote of the Week: “You see my face??? I ain’t even worried ‘bout dat.”

FOX News anchor, Laura Ingram decided in a news segment to call out the NBC network for allowing Chris Brown to perform in light of his past and recent antics. Unsurprisingly biased, they set out and found three #teamCBreezy fans who, well……..kept it real and were obviously not aware that they were talking to FOX NEWS! SMH..

At the 3:21 mark, FOX News Correspondent, Jehmu Greene, said the following:

“In Chris Brown’s example, he is a prime example of the black entertainment complex- not holding him accountable”

Hmmm, “the black entertainment complex.” Interesting. Peep the video here and share your thoughts! In the black community, should we hold black entertainers more “accountable” for their actions? In what way?

 

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Played-Out!!

 

FYI, played out has been “played out” since Curtis Blow said it in Christmas Rap back in the ‘80s, but it serves my purpose here. Lately, there have been trends going on that have quite frankly gotten numerous side-eyes from me in the past few months. Why you ask? I’m quite tired of them, I’ve either seem or heard about it too many times. Cue Jay-Z’s “I’m Off That”

  1. Colorism- It is sad that practices and beliefs that originated centuries ago still resonate with our people in 2011. Granted, some of us have preferences, but are we still going around still judging folks and refusing to associate with and date people based on the hue of their skin?
  2. Overworked-Sex Appeal– Sex appeal is one of those things that should come naturally, but if you’re overdoing it (*cough, Trey Songz) then it’s not so attractive. You need more people.
  3. Amber Rose– Yes, she’s a beautiful woman with the make-up and bleached caesar and I’d kill to have her body on call whenever I’m traveling to the beach, but I’m quite tired of home girl and her laying it low and spreading it wide, literally. It seems as soon as we go a week without Amber Rose related gossip/news, she finds someway to make herself blog-relevant again.Chile, go sit down.
  4. African-Themed Fashion Collections– It seems as though if you compile khaki, African-landscape, elephants, zebras and cheetahs and some made-up “tribal-looking” textile and not to mention ‘exotic’ looking models, you have yourself an African-themed collection. It has become quite boring, unoriginal and quite honestly a bit offensive that the only thing ‘fashionable’ that comes out of Africa are the animals and the jungle landscape.
  5. Mediocre Jobs after College– Let’s see, you go to school for 13-14 years being conditioned to believe that college is the key to success and a stress free life. You believe it and take the loans in order to get the degree only to graduate with a less-than pleasing job struggling to make ends meet. All the while Sierra, the C average class clown, is student loan free, now making $25 an hour right out of high school.
  6. Moscato- Ever since Drake said, “Lobster, steak and a glass of Moscato,” black folks who were never on wine have been running in droves to the sto’ for this sweet libation. Never mind the fact that it is a dessert wine, people drink it with whatever and whenever. So much so that it has become the ‘40’ of the new millennium. Broaden your horizons if you haven’t already, its more wine out there!
  7. Black-Female Bashing– Sigh….I don’t have the energy to sit here and give my thorough two cents on the issue. We saw the Psychology Today “study”, we heard the countless remarks from black entertainers and athletes, the YouTube videos and we read the comment sections of our favorite blogs daily. ENOUGH ALREADY! If you don’t consider us desirable, datable, attractive and/or wife-material, that’s just YOUR opinion. Don’t put us down to justify why we don’t want you you date outside your race or don’t associate with us.

So CT readers, what have you become ‘off’ of? What other things or people have become played out?

The Maturation of Style

"Mom Jeans" At 25? No thanks, I'll pass....

After months and months of being in denial, I finally came to the realization that I had outgrown my “forever 21” phase when I busted out of a dress walked out of the store empty-handed. While none of the designs are really appealing to me at the moment, the reality is I’m getting older and with that, my style is as well. I find myself torn, wanting to shop in the Junior’s section because the clothes are more “trendy,” but too juvenile trendy, but rather shop in Misses section, (yeah, I said “Misses” section), because the sizes are more suitable for my body type. The dilemma is many companies are not tapping into the market of the 23-30 year-olds who want to dress their age without looking as if they’ve stepped out of a Wet Seal or Talbot’s ad. Who want to achieve the grown and sexy look and not the old and boring look or childish and playful either. More and more I find it extremely difficult and frustrating finding apparel that is suitable for my age and I am sure those who are reading this will agree with me, male and female.  Have you ever seen a mother/daughter or father/son duo and its obvious physically who’s the parent, yet stylistically, you’re drawing a blank. In fact, this post came to mind as my sister and I had a conversation with our father when he revealed he wears Coogi and Rocawear….and by the way, he’s 55…..

*BLANK STARE* *CRICKETS*

While he tried to add the caveat that he buys the “dressier” kind without all the flashy monograms  and loud colors, the point is, NO man over 30 35 should be wearing Coogi or Rocawear, period. Which is another issue for a different post, but in general, urban fashion labels make millions of dollars off the black community, and majority of their designs are not suitable for people over a certain age *cough 25* (hey, I was being lenient earlier). Let’s face it, we like to be in style and there are some people out there who will wear whatever regardless of their age for the sake of being “in style” unfortunately. Until they create lines that are geared for the 25 and up group, urban apparel is one of many items that I put in my Do Not Wear After 25 category, along with cornrows and Aeropostale tees.

What do you think CoffyTalk? Any similar stories you have with finding age-appropriate clothing?

America, the Beautiful Still?

This post was inspired by a tomato. YES, an effing tomato, a $2.49 hothouse tomato to be exact.  You see, I have been trying my hardest to eat “healthier” and live a better, healthier lifestyle in general. Yesterday I went to the store to get some produce and as I checked out my hothouse tomato, the register read $2.49….

**scratched record sound**

$2.49!?! For a tomato?!??! “Um sir, you can take that tomato off my bill, thanks.”

I walked to my car defeated and disappointed. I had plans for that tomato, it would have been an aid in the beginning of my new healthy living lifestyle. Instead, it would spark a firestorm of thoughts and emotions. The truth is, I couldn’t afford a $2.49 tomato. I had to choose between eating healthier or paying bills, and I had to choose the latter.  At that moment, I felt like many Americans who want to eat healthier, but can’t afford the rising costs of produce and other nutritious foods because they have bills to pay.  More so, I thought about so many African-Americans in this country who are bombarded with statistics of our demographic having the highest rates of heart disease, high cholesterol, etc.,etc. Yet if you go in most of our neighborhoods, I bet that you cannot find ONE decent supermarket with adequate produce. If you do, I am sure you will be paying a load of money. However, the selections of alcohol and junk food is phenomenal…much to choose from and very inexpensive (insert sarcasm face). While the media and the First Lady are off promoting healthy eating, the problem is most Americans are not and cannot follow suit. 

From there, I thought about the high school and college graduates itching to go college or back to school to obtain post-graduate degrees, but are apprehensive due to the economy. For fear they’ll be in debt for the rest of their lives and no job to show for the years of hardwork and the ton of student loans.

I thought about how hypocritical and full of sh*t America can be sometimes. Don’t tell me to eat healthy or that I am not eating healthy, but you do nothing to assist in the problem. Don’t tell me to get a master’s degree, but then turn me down for jobs and I’m left paying off student loans. Don’t tell me to be all that I can be, but fail to pay for my family’s well-being and my medical bills when I’m injured in your wars. Don’t tell me that there are too many teenage pregnancies, but then try to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Don’t go over our President’s presidency with a fine tooth comb, but when the last one was off effing up the country that put us in this predicament in the first place, you turned your head, or worse, failed to vote.

Yes, I am talking to you America, get it together.

Ticked,

A disappointed citizen

Is Hollywood Limiting Black Actors….To Dresses?

Martin= Shenenah (Martin), Big Momma of ‘Big Momma’s House’
Jamie Foxx= Wanda (In Living Color)
Cedric The Entertainer= Mrs. Cafeteria Lady (Cedric The Entertainer Presents)
Eddie Murphy = Rasputia, ‘Norbit’
The Wayans Bros=’White Chicks’
Tyler Perry= Madea, The Madea franchise

 

I could have went on, but by now I take it you get the connection. It seems America loves black men in dresses.Why is this a trend? If the loud, obnoxious and angry black female is the typecast role for black actresses, then the funny drag role is that for black actors, especially black comedians. You have to question the image that Hollywood Execs want to portray black men when these projects are always getting green-lighted over projects that reflect black men in positive roles, as MEN. As far as the actors who take on the roles, you have to question, when enough is enough- the drag role is quite cliche’ to me now. All the ‘greats’ have done it, let’s move on. While roles and general opportunities were very limited for black men in the ’60s, ’70s and even ’80s, the roles that black men played were strong, inspiring, heroic, and masculine and these men, (e.g., Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Lou Gossett Jr., etc.) played these roles with dignity.

When was last time a black actor played a hero? I’m thinking late ’90s- Will Smith in ‘Independence Day.’ If someone comes up with a current role, please let me know. The fact that I can’t recall a recent role says a lot. Also, when I learned that my future husband, Idris Elba (ya’ll know), lost the role as Alex Cross (think “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider” movies, originally played by Morgan Freeman), to Tyler Perry of all actors, I wanted to start a revolt.  Excuse me movie execs, but NOTHING about Tyler Perry says: 1) Hero/crime-solver 2) Cross-over appeal, non-Madea. In addition, with the exception of a Star Trek, the only roles Perry has taken on was in his own films, which are notoriously known for being stereotypical. Hey, I’m just being honest. In comparison, Elba has experience in crime dramas, he was nominated for his role in the Luther mini-series, in which he played a Detective! Quite honestly, Elba encompasses everything that embodies a hero. Ok, so enough stanning over Idris, for the sake of this post, let me get back to my point—-> While its good that Perry is stepping out of his Madea character, I must give a side-eye to the movie execs for  the sudden drop of Elba for Perry. Will audiences really take Perry seriously, or will we see a more comedic version of Alex Cross à la Madea solving murder cases?

 I began to think about this recently when I saw a Youtube clip of Dave Chappelle on the Oprah show, (ignore the title, which will be discussed in a future post). He begins to talk about black actors in drag and his stance against it at the 1:41 mark.

So there are some black actors who refuse to go the “drag route.”  Is there really some “conspiracy” in Hollywood to emasculate black actors, much like the early 20th century minstrel shows, to which many in the blogsphere are referring to this phenomenon as such.  Furthermore, what are these portrayals of black women saying about the image of black women, particularly plus size women? Most of the roles played by these actors in drag are in fat-suits, not to mention that they are loud, obnoxious,and unattractive. Speaking of which, why is it that Keenan Thompson is the go to guy on Saturday Night Live when it comes to playing black women (i.e. Oprah, Star Jones)? Just some things to get you thinking.

Bottom line, its time for Hollywood to start taking black actors more seriously and give them more compelling roles such as action heroes, and love interests, etc.  As far as black comedians, as Dave Chappelle pointed out, your material will speak for itself, a dress and a fat-suit is not needed to induce a few laughs.

For the Men: SIX Things Women Say That Should Get the Side-Eye

CNN recently posted an article by Susannah Breslin entitled, “Six Things Men Say That Signals Trouble.” I thought the article was pretty accurate and quite hilarious. A lot of relationship articles in the past have been geared towards women, so I figured I would help the fellas out today with a list of phrases your lady might say that signals trouble. TROUBLE, meaning, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but should throw up a warning flag to make you aware that something isn’t quite right.

1. “They’re just friends.” Granted, every woman has a few male friends, but typically when a woman is a relationship, these men fall back because they know of her situation. Now, if you find her texting the night away when these said “friends” or they’re meeting up for “lunch” every week,  its time to start asking some questions.

2. “Can you co-sign for this?” Some might beg to differ, but if I am cosigning for anyone, we’re on the track to marriage  or we’re already married. Co-Signing for anyone is a MAJOR deal, it could be a benefit for you or in most cases, a detriment to your credit. If you guys have been in a relationship less than a year and she’s already pressing you to co-sign something for her—> WARNING FLAG!

3. “Kids, say hi to uncle (insert your name)”‘ The fact that she has told her kids to address you as “uncle” signifies that she’s done this before and she has no intentions of keeping you around too long. Depending on your intentions with the woman, bringing you around her children early and then having them refer to you as “uncle” is not responsible on her part as a mother. In addition, it  doesn’t benefit the children if they become too attached when you are only there to hit and quit (sadly).

4.”Oh this, it’s just a cold sore.” If it’s just a cold sore” and it appears every three months, run for the hills and stop at the free clinic on your way there.

5. “I’m just saying,  I should come first.” If your girl says this and says this often, this indicates that she’s probably self-absorbed and pretty selfish. Also, women who say this are typically possessive as well.  If she gets jealous over your other friendships and your relationship with your family, it’s definitely time to throw in the towel or at least re-evaluate where you want to take the relationship.

6. Any other name during sex. ERRRR, SELF-EXPLANATORY! Please believe someone else is re-upholstering that ish. SMH

Am I missing anything??? Add your own in the comment section!

When Street Lit Isn’t Enough: Have You Checked Your Bookstore Lately?

My reasoning for this post came when I went to a bookstore to find a decent book to read. I went to the African-American fiction section and I stumbled upon this:


Or a few months ago when I saw this:


Oh the dichotomy!!!!

See, I have a love/hate relationship with most bookstores as I do urban fiction novels, or “street lit” as others call the genre. It all began in high school when I read “A Hustler’s Wife” by Nikki Turner. I remember never reading a book so fast in my life. It was a great page turner and gave me a glimpse into a lifestyle that I had heard about, but wasn’t too familiar with and not to mention it was set in my hometown. Eventually, I went on to read other street lit classics, such as Terri Woods’, “True to the Game,” and Sister Souljah’s, “The Coldest Winter Ever.” While those novels had substance, those that followed began to use the same formula and after a while, my love relationship with street lit faded. The formula went like this:

Good girl meets drug king pin boy -> drug king pin boy falls in love with good girl -> ride or die chick transformation -> drugs, murder, sex, deceit -> sequel novel!!

Once I got to college and my literary taste diversified, I left the street lit alone; it no longer provided me with anything. Most of the plots were all the same and predictable-however, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t any page turners at all. I just that most of the novels perpetuate the stereotypes that are always attached to the black community. Nevertheless, there are millions of young black women-and some men- who love street lit. In fact, it is so popular that if you go into a bookstore today, and if there is an African-American feature table, chances are most if not all of the books featured will be street lit. This is a problem for me. When I want an intellectually stimulating book that deals with my people, I don’t want to see “Ride or Die Chick” before I see “Invisible Man.” This is only a sub-genre of literature, so it should not encompass an entire section of literature. It is a problem when classic American literature is grouped next to books such as “White Girl” or “Section 8: A Hood Rat Novel.” Note to bookstores: African-American fiction is more than urban literature!!!

Nor do I appreciate the African-American literature section being the first section you see once you enter the bookstore. Am I the only one who notices this? Chains like Borders and Books-A-Million have African-American sections and typically they are in the front once you enter the store heavily stocked with street lit?

What’s up with that?? **Side-eye**

On a serious note, while the tales are gritty, most street lit still tend to romanticize street life and drug culture. What is also problematic is that girls as young as 13 are reading these novels and finding the lifestyles portrayed in them appealing. Whatever happened to “The Babysitter’s Club” or “Goosebumps” you ask? Nowadays, fairy tales and other young adult books are being replaced with these novels. And for most young black girls, their prince in shining armor they read about come equipped with glocks, kilos and an endless supply of Fendi, Gucci, Prada and Louis apparel.

In all, it isn’t horrific to enjoy reading street lit, to each its own, however, it’s sad for those who think this is all African-American literature is about and limit themselves to only this sub-genre. Oh, and not to mention that I would like my local bookstores to understand that not all black people who come into the bookstore are looking for street lit.

Thoughts? What do you say CoffyTalk readers?

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