Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Floyd Mayweather vs. 50 Cent: An Illiterate Battle

Subtitle: You Can Fight, but Can You Read and Write?

Photo Courtesy of Vibe.com

I want to skip out on addressing this. I really do. But the Writer/Editor/Grammar Nazi in me will not allow the oversight of such ignorance. To avoid ranting, I simply want to state that 50 Cent's bullying antics were/are childish and Floyd Mayweather's response to the personal low blow was distasteful. Both public figures need to have a seat and talk this feud out like adults, perhaps. Maybe not... because that would require maturity; a trait that neither one of these famous millionaires seem to possess. 


How can two grown men who share a common interest in making (lots of) money be arguing publicly over something so petty? Taking shots at each other on Instagram and Twitter, including back and forth jabs during interviews and encounters with the media is just... stupid. These braggadocious celebrities who love flashing their bands of cash and repeatedly showing us their material belongings have no class. Actually, they're both high school dropouts. Does that excuse the behavior, though? I think not.

While 50 Cent is making fun of Floyd Mayweather's inability to read and write; he's exposing the error(s) of his own ways, literally, by uploading 15 second videos riddled with grammatically incorrect captions (instagram.com/50cent) and displaying his anger with slurred speech on camera. Any immediate tutors on deck? *Raises Hand*

In all seriousness, illiteracy pertains to lacking knowledge in any area. It is clear that 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather could care less about that senior in high school who's still reading on an elementary level, facing the possibility of not graduating because he/she keeps failing their respective district's standardized tests. 

If these accusations are indeed true, Floyd Mayweather, you can hire a professional accountant to manage and divvy up your earnings, but how will you measure your intelligence when the name on the check is scribbled with curves of uncertainty, later identified as the signature that you are unable to legibly print and also stamped with important words that you fail to comprehend without a translator? If the Money Team can be trusted with your brand that much, I hope they all treat you better than the two quarters you were once associated with... because 50 Cent's loyalty obviously could not be bought.

Photo Courtesy of Vibe.com

-LRW

#WriterGrind 


"Beautiful" Bouquet-Catching Bridesmaid

Candid Shot of Me after Catching the Bouquet

This past weekend, I was a bridesmaid in Ruby's (my close friend and college roommate) wedding. It was a magical day, and I'm not just saying that for lack of a better word or description. It truly was. The date that she officially became engaged was the same date that I saw her canary yellow diamond ring and met her husband-to-be, Sidney, for the first time. After catching up, with a huge smile, she "popped the question"... I was honored by her request. 

My jasper blue and silver dress with the sash had been hanging in my closet for months... protected by plastic, yet a bit wrinkled from the boxed delivery. I tried it on a total of three times. Not that I may have gained or lost weight, but simply to confirm that an alteration would not be necessary because my boobs made the zipping difficult. When I was initially measured, I was told to order a size 10. I settled on an 8, for a precise fit. My hair appointment was also scheduled in advance, but my shoes (4 inches of shimmering pain) were ordered about two weeks prior to the event. 

Bridesmaid Shoe
All necessary bridesmaid items were now in my possession, excluding a few last-minute touches. Fast forward to 8/22/14... 

The Rehearsal

Wedding party introductions. Aisle run-throughs. Strategic placement. Laughter. Hugs. Dinner. Goodbyes. And a reminder to report to the bridal suite by 10 a.m. the next morning for makeup and hair fixes. 

Immediately after Hair Curling and Makeup
I knew that a full face of makeup would completely transform my appearance, but to what exact degree, I wasn't sure. LaTavia Dawson of Fabulous Faces did her thing hunty! Despite the fact that I couldn't touch my face for over 12 hours and my first time wearing lashes was just a little uncomfortable, I couldn't stop looking at my reflection and I was overwhelmed by the compliments. Yes, the compliments. I posted numerous pictures on my social network accounts, which resulted in an outstanding number of "likes" and comments. My usually plain self questioned this flood of feedback, contemplating and settling on two reasons: 

1) The Shock Factor: Everyone is so familiar with me posting all things writing-related that seeing me in a different 'light' caused them to react by acknowledging the 'change'.

2) The Appeal: I've made it publicly known that I am happily taken and in a committed relationship, but that didn't stop the inbox messages or slightly inappropriate commentary from members of the opposite sex. 

I digress to ask: What is the definition of beauty? I am one of few females who can survive without being enhanced by concealer, foundation, eye shadow and such. Although it is obvious that I have a chinky set of eyes and I am often taken aback by my wide nose, I am accepting of the occasional blemishes/stress pimples, my thin eyebrows and plump lips (whether they are splashed with lip gloss or not). If I were approached 10 years ago, during the phase of trying to discover who I was as a young woman, you'd find me in sneakers and baggy attire, attempting to hide every single one of my accented features. Today, I will still tell you how much I hate wearing makeup and being crippled by the discomfort of high heels, but I am more understanding of the need for cosmetics... especially when a woman who may have low self-esteem is receiving all of the attention she seeks via the click of a button on an augmented photograph. 

In conclusion, to get to the main point of this blog post:

Ladies, imagine if you were that woman and Gentlemen, think before you belittle that woman for trying to cover the parts of her image that she has not yet learned to love.

8/23/14 Wedding Day

Congratulations, Mrs. Jackson, and a HUGE thank you for allowing me to be a participant in your big day. Most of all, thank you for activating the urge to see myself differently, inspiring me to inspire another young woman to possibly see something of value the next time she takes a long look in the mirror. 

With My Besties (Hostesses) and The Bride
L to R: Riana, Me, Ruby, Erica, Rachel

#WriterGrind

LRW

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kevin Hart's Shade, Atlanta Exes and the Ferguson Feud... LAWD!

Monday was an emotional day. I usually have no problem finding my motivation as the sun is busy peaking above the clouds in the early morn, but the kickoff to this week was a struggle. I can't pinpoint why; I just felt drained... as if I was robbed of my energy, fighting to be productive. I wasted valuable time on Twitter when I probably should have been writing, or editing. However, the useless day wasn't a total fail. It inspired me to write this three-layered blog post. I hope you'll get the message...

Kevin Hart's Shame Shade

Image Courtesy of Instagram @kevinhart4real
She said YES! Kevin Hart and Fiancé Eniko Parrish 
When news broke on Kevin Hart's 'surprise' engagement, all hell broke loose as well in Twitter universe. Spectators immediately noticed his deliberate diss and attempt to steal the spotlight away from his ex-wife, Torrei Hart (she still carries his last name), by proposing to his girlfriend of 5 years, previous sidepiece, Eniko Parrish. It just so happened to be her 30th birthday, but the coincidence is stirring up talk because the bomb was dropped as Torrei's new reality TV show was premiering (not live) on VH1. She has released a statement on the subject, basically claiming that the timely, yet inconsiderate and insensitive, decision made by the father of her children is "a beautiful thing." She even offered details on her very own "happy" relationship with an unnamed man who has been identified as her new manager. Sources JUST spilled the tea on what actually occurred that night. Apparently both couples ran into each other at a popular Atlanta strip club, but no words were exchanged, which leads me to the next dysfunctional topic...

Atlanta Wives Exes
Image Courtesy of VH1.com
ATL Exes from L to R: Sheree Buchanan, Monyetta Shaw, Torrei Hart, Tameka Raymond, Christina Johnson

Once again, VH1 is delivering the inside scoop via reality television, allowing us to see how the bitter Black woman will choose to a) capitalize on her bitterness for fame AND/OR b) extend the embarrassment associated with her name, character and reputation. The show's premiere cast includes: Torrei Hart (as previously mentioned), Tameka Raymond (Usher), Christina Johnson (CeeLo Green), Monyetta Shaw (Ne-Yo), Sheree Buchanan (Ray Buchanan). I watched the re-airing of the first episode, struggling to understand the purpose of the show, which features "a group of ex-wives who were linked to A-list men". As my boy bestie, Twon, would say... FAH WUT? Yes, we all have a tendency to be nosy, and when irrelevant people are presented to us, we are unable to resist the urge to follow/discuss/curse their lives. 

Anyway, I was surprisingly drawn to this unique concept, even though I don't agree with the women exploiting the success of the men they once, probably still do, love(d). My mind may change IF I remember to tune in next week...

Family Ferguson Feud

Image Courtesy of AnimalNewYork.com
Police Line in Ferguson Holding Off Protesters

Meanwhile, the Ferguson riots have turned into an actual war and the tension is rising, after 47 people were arrested. Water bottles full of urine being thrown, "Kill A Cop" chants, loaded guns aggressively pointed at peaceful supporters and so much more disarray. LAWD! No sarcasm.

Although picking on celebrities and publicly envying their privileges can sometimes offer stimulating relief, this issue deserves our full attention. Mike Brown, an 18-year-old Black male, was murdered by police officer, 28 year old Darren Wilson... for being a young Black male. A recent complimentary autopsy revealed that 6 bullets pierced his body, including one that landed in the top of his head; the fatal shot. Understandably, members of the community he was once able to trot through are still angry about what happened almost two weeks ago. Those of us who are miles away from the chaos can only sympathize with the images we are offered via our TV screens, while re-tweeting condensed, 140-character thoughts that may be similar to our own. Eventually, we have to decide what WE want to do; yes, we... the distant citizens. How can we work together to spark a movement that will turn this mess around? Many of us will use social media to our advantage when it comes to trivial matters (such as celeb gossip), but when will our collective power be felt across every social media platform?

Backtracking to the fateful day that led to the words scattered throughout this blog post, I delivered a subliminal threat to a non-follower who atted me after seeing my tweet associated with the #Ferguson trending topic and simultaneously exposed myself as a semi social media bully with my virtual shot(s) at Kevin Hart. I lost focus on what this particular platform is intended for. Deterring from my normal promo routine allowed unwanted feelings of anger and jealousy to seep in. Like Kermit the Frog, referencing and finding pleasure in the drama that occurs in someone else's life, it's none of my business. Using my writing ability to entertain, educate and empower; that's my business, and that is what I will try my best to focus on from this day forward, while still supplying my input on current events that my audience will enjoy reading.

LRW

#WriterGrind

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mike Brown: Racial Profiling that Resulted in Murder... Again



Here I am again... blogging about another Black male murdered by another white superior, with unnecessary force. This is not an open letter; this is an open plea. Better yet, an open display of frustration, anger, hurt and disappointment. Why do we have to keep going through this same scenario before reaching a legitimate solution? I. Am. Tired. of writing about this SAME issue, but my words have power and the urge to write will not let me rest, so this is what I have to say...

Dear formerly unnamed Ferguson Police Department officer, now recognized as a "quiet, gentle man" by your counterparts, Darren Wilson: How could you possibly be protecting yourself from the person you were supposed to be protecting? Was Mike Brown acting guilty? What was the basis of your judgement? Did he verbally attack you, causing you to unequally meet his force with your deadly weapon? You DID NOT have the right to remain silent in this case, especially four days after the murder you committed. Normally, witnesses are encouraged to cooperate with officers of the law so that criminals can be swept from the streets. What makes you and this situation so different? You are the MAIN witness! Are you aware that you are being associated with previous occurrences such as this one (most recently Eric Garner)? You are a police officer (I'm deliberately refusing to acknowledge your title as a proper noun) and you abused your authority. Now, you want to hide and protect yourself by assuming administrative leave, with pay. Well, who is going to pay for your mistake? Why can't you admit that you were wrong for shooting first and asking questions later? It has already been noted you had no clue that this "suspect" was associated with a robbery miles away from the crime scene. Even if he allegedly stole cigars, you were not aware of his thievery until AFTER he was pronounced dead, which confirms that you profiled him for WWB (Walking While Black) because he was "in the middle of the street blocking traffic". Your employer is protecting your image and your reputation, although you have only been serving in your position for less than 5 years. Do you consider yourself to be experienced enough to make life and death decisions? Or are you struggling with the reality of being a young officer who, on that day, reported for duty, unprepared for the physical, mental and emotional repercussions of making the wrong call to bear arms, whether or not you had the legal and professional permission to do so. Where is your remorse? Demonizing and assassinating this young man's character will not make us view you any better. It only proves, to me and more than likely others, that you don't value those who are odd, and "thuggish". Furthermore, every Black male who prefers to wear his trousers below his waist, with a plain white tee and fitted cap is not a threat... until you decide to make him one. Teaching them to surrender and submit to a demand from someone with higher credentials is no longer an option, especially when they see that someone whom they could totally identify with was not offered a chance. You are to blame. So, tell me... no, tell them who they can trust. You may ignore all of the above mentioned rhetorical questions. Your response won't justify this incident anyway, and it surely won't bring Mike Brown back to tell his side of the story; denouncing the one you had days to fabricate.

I wrote the following poem yesterday, and later felt like it wasn't enough. Then, I soon realized that I will always have enough words to offer comfort, understanding and motivation for change:

Another one bites the dust. Literally. The war on young Black men is just getting started. They're seeking them out, peripherally. When doves cry, they still fly, but when our "thugs" cry, our "thugs" die. Who will save one? Pleading for his life to be spared and screaming, "Don't shoot!" didn't make him the brave one. He was the misbehaved one, immediately judged... by the police officer who was holding a grudge. Now we're protesting again for a colored life that was lost. Who is the next in line that will pay the cost... for injustice? Every time I turn around, it seems like it's JUST US! How can we fight for change when they won't even allow our kids to breathe?#TrayvonMartin#JordanDavis#MikeBrown... That's three! And so many more unnamed individuals with potential in between. Did they not deserve a chance? It doesn't matter if we march or if we dance, we're taking a stance... against nothing... Innocent threats can never be viewed as bluffing when they don't even value our existence. How can they if we don't? And why should they if we won't... stop the Black on Black crime to prove that we can actually get along? Two wrongs don't make a right, but two rights can make a wrong. The ultimate confusion. Maybe we need the ultimate transfusion to heal this world, before we're dealing with the same type of war on our young Black girls... 

-LRW

#WriterGrind

Saturday, August 9, 2014

#StandUnited and LIVE YOUR DREAM with the Jacksonville Jaguars

Head Coach Gus Bradley

What do you get when you combine a team full of young, humble players and the world's largest scoreboard? A playoff prediction... 

It's no secret that the Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled with rebuilding for the past few years. Placing the blame on brand-new ownership, coaching swaps, player dismissals and many other changes, it's hard to have faith in an organization that appears to lack stability. However, true Jags fans remain unmoved... no matter how many times the team, during its reconstruction period, has failed to pull off a much-needed win. 

To most people, loyalty doesn't exist when it comes to sports. Whether rooting for a hometown squad or the number one prospect in the league, every football fanatic wants to have a decent fantasy ranking when the Super Bowl rolls around. Likewise, it's easy to side with the team that has star players, along with a history of success with winning championships. But what about the underdog? Why do we automatically count out a team like the Jags... despite the quarterback dilemma and backfield disadvantage? In other words, what's there to say about the Jaguars decision to sign a bunch of inexperienced players? It's a smart business move, in my opinion. If you're going to start over, the best way to do it is with fresh recruits that you can depend on. Yeah, rookies may bring risks, but they also bring rewards, such as:
  • Increased Ambition 
  • Healthy Bodies
  • Unbiased Mindset
  • Flexibility
  • No Egos
  • Willingness to Learn
  • Team Spirit
  • Dedication
With 100% support from the local community and surrounding areas, the Jacksonville Jaguars are likely to perform better on the field, effortlessly accomplishing their goal(s) for the season. It has been proven before. The Mark Brunell era is long gone, but legacies are created to be relived... and reinvented.

So, when exactly will it begin?

Well, the 60 feet high, 362 feet long scoreboard with expensive LED bulbs drew a large crowd for the first 2014-2015 preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which will eventually lead to a full reimbursement of the $65 million spent on stadium renovations. Furthermore, the LIVE YOUR DREAM wristbands that I passed out to the players during training camp looked extremely clear when it zoomed in on the sidelines and captured on-the-field action. My mouth almost dropped when the touchdown scored in the first half was replayed with a creative split screen effect, and then fireworks were released to the sky (three times total through the quarters I believe) at the top of its foundation. Fans in attendance were fascinated by the completely new vibe that the gameday experience now offers (did I mention the pools and mini HD screens strategically placed in each section for viewing of other coinciding NFL games?)... Anyway, I'd like to think that red, white and black fashion accessory had something to do with the 16-10 victory on 8/8/14.

This will be a long season, but as a true Jags fan, I can be certain about one thing. This year, we have solid potential, especially with the talented UCF combo obtained in QB Blake Bortles #5 and RB Storm Johnson #34. As always, only time will tell... but I'm telling you now, the Jacksonville Jaguars are back.

-Liltera R. Williams

Coach Bradley 
#34 RB Storm Johnson
Storm Johnson Supports the LYD Movement
LIVE YOUR DREAM Wristbands in Storm Johnson's Helmet
#55 LB Geno Hayes
#21 RB Toby Gerhart
#6 QB Stephen Harris
#15 WR Chad Bumphis
#24 CB Will Blackmon 
#56 LB LaRoy Reynolds
#70 Center Luke Bowanko 
#50 LB Telvin Smith
*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

#WriterGrind