Thursday, September 29, 2011

IgNOrance Hurts

As a writer, it is my duty to analyze current events, give my thoughts and views on what's happening now, and openly discuss my own experiences.

This post is in no way meant to offend anyone who may be able to personally apply any of the thoughts mentioned below.

Every day, I'm reminded that I'm black. My chinky eyes, light skin tone and proper English don't diminish my race any less. Yes, I'm black and I'm proud... but sometimes I'm embarrassed too.

I recently came to the realization that I may never be accepted for who I really am. Someone will always expect me to act a certain way because of where I'm from or who I may know. But I'm not just another "nigga".

Although I was primarily raised in Jacksonville's Arlington area (what some would consider a decent atmosphere), I spent most of my youth years in a poverty stricken neighborhood on the Southside of Duval County, surrounded by drug activity, violence and illiteracy. I had big dreams of becoming more than a product of my environment and I was determined to succeed.

I graduated from high school... most of my family members did not. I attained my Bachelor's degree in 3 1/2 years... most of my classmates from high school are still working on theirs 6 years later. I receive daily praise for my accomplishments from family members and random strangers. I'm as proud of myself as they are, but the goals that I set and desires of my heart mean absolutely nothing if I fail to improve my own community.
 
Where I'm from, the "N" word is reiterated more frequently than apologies. It has sadly become an evil slang term used amongst the youth of our neighborhoods and even "mature" adults who lack understanding about the word's true meaning. I'm deeply saddened by the notion every time I hear it.

My goal is to someday be a part of the movement that breeds educated scholars who can read as fluently as they curse and write as accurately as they boast negative remnants of the "N" word. As I strive to eliminate vulgarity and enhance vocabulary, I can only hope that others will care enough to join me in my quest to make a difference.

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ballin'

Never in my 24 years of living have I witnessed such foolery broadcasted on national television. I wouldn't go so far to say that Basketball Wives  is a disgrace to Black women everywhere because despite the negative depictions and adamant portrayal of immature activity, I cannot stop watching. Yes, I'm guilty of adding to the high ratings of this popular franchise show. However, that does not stop me from cringing at the "reality" of what is negatively advertised each week. I'm ashamed...

These women are a terrible misrepresentation of what it truly means to be a supportive companion to a wealthy athlete, or any man for that matter. What I thought would be a showcase of life as an actual basketball wife turned out to be a foolish display of petty women who attempt to form friendships with one another for the selfish attainment of money and fame. Truth is, most of these "wives" are actually bitter baby mamas or ex girlfriends setting out to bash and/or criticize their former basketball playing lovers.

I wasn't fully convinced by the latter statement until the premiere of Basketball Wives LA. I initially assumed that this would be a copycat scheme intended to gain more viewers for the first installment. Although this cast has a greater number (not by much) of cast members who are/were actually married to a basketball player, like many others, I was shocked by the first episode. This version of Basketball Wives  clearly set out to be distinctly different from the original. Drama was immediately introduced with a full-blown fist fight between two of the cast members, one who'd just had a baby a few weeks prior. There are no words for the amount of embarrassment that these two women caused themselves by fighting like juvenile young girls on national television. Of course, the same conviction applies to Evelyn, Tami, and Royce.

The main purpose of Basketball Wives becomes distorted in the midst of drama and cat fights. In no way, shape, or form should this be an accepted idea of ladylike behavior. Unfortunately, thanks to the ex-wife of a popular, retired basketball star who just so happened to be a chain cheater, detrimental perceptions and images are being encrusted into the minds of adolescent girls around the world. 

"Shaunie's goal with her series was to shed light on the complex lives of the women who stand beside these larger-than-life professional athletes and to show that it's not all glitz and glamour. An emerging entrepreneur set to launch her own shoe line, as well as a philanthropist who dedicates her spare time to helping others (especially women and children) Shaunie shines both on and off the screen. Having been married to one of the most famous basketball players of all time, Shaquille O'Neal, Shaunie is Queen Bee to the rest of the wives, who swarm to her for advice and guidance."--VH1.com 

Yeah. Right.

I'll digress here in order to escape the tag of being a hypocrite for continuing to watch almost faithfully every week. Additionally, if I continue typing, I'll miss the 8 o'clock airing of tonight's episode and force myself to stay up late to watch the repeat. Don't judge me.

Priceless.
I feel you Tanya.

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Colombiana Review


Zoe Saldana shines in her performance as the fierce and venomous assassin, Cataleya, in this action-packed chronicle of revenge and retaliation. Colombiana is a suspenseful semi-mobster flick that highlights Cataleya's plot to hunt down and kill the man responsible for her parents' death. She viciously terminates the lives of all of her victims, leaving an identifying execution mark (a lipstick drawing of the exotic flower that she is named after) to signify her connection to each murder as an illustrative warning to her main target.

Cataleya's life is turned completely upside down after witnessing both parents being shot in front of her. The psychological effects from the incident cripple her ability to live a normal, balanced life as she struggles to maintain a relationship with a man who occasionally satisfies her physical desires. Ironically, this man is the FBI's key to discovering Cataleya as the invisible hit(wo)man. Cataleya is forced to make the choice between her lifelong vow to avenge her parents' death or to protect the only family that she has left.

A detrimental flaw lies in the storyline's immediate progression to 15 years later, leaving the revealing of the development of Cataleya's superpowers and abilities an undisclosed mystery. Viewers are forced to find justification in the apparent assumption that her uncle trained her to become the masterful killer that she set out to be. However, when her desire to shed blood begins to outweigh her means for survival, a foreshadowing occurrence serves as a humbling revelation when it is much too late.

Grade: B+

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*