SiTea was born 2 doors from the world famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NY in 1976. As the counter help in Pyramid, her parent’s herbal shop & juice bar, Sunyatta was taught the value of teas & spices as she served uptown residents alongside entertainment luminaries. As she also traveled with her family on many spice buying trips, she dreamed of a shop featuring the fabrics & decor of these exotic destinations. The modern day incarnation of SiTea in Washington, DC features warm mango, saffron and paprika hued fabrics and walls - as well as a taste of the family legacy in a wealth teas and spices like ‘Love Potion #10’ (Sunyatta’s grandmother’s recipe), ’Aunt Gem’s Favorite Curry’, ‘1001 Arabian Nights’ recalls her great-grandmother’s pistachio baklava and newly commissioned Celebri-Teas such as ‘Mint Condition Chai’ (named after the popular band of the name name) bring the vision current.
Cheryl A. Lofton & Associates is part of a rich family heritage. Her grandfather started Lofton Custom Tailoring in 1939. He was the first Black person to have a tailoring school in conjunction with a thriving business in downtown Washington DC. Cheryl has continued in this tradition by starting her own tailoring company that is also seeing the kind of success usually reserved for few small business owners. Cheryl has made the quality service that her grandfather once offered, part of her own business today.
Book Description: (From Amazon.com) Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.
Opinion on this book: This is fun read. Especially if you are a comedy nerd. She talks about working at The Office, working at Saturday Night Live and how she’s anything but cool. It’s written as if she is talking to an old friend (You) who she hasn’t seen in a long time. It’s conversational and easy to read.
Favorite Part: My favorite part was by far the stories about the other comedy writers she works/has worked with. There are a couple of stories about her getting in arguments with people at The Office as well as a few great stories about Amy Poehler, from when Mindy did a guest writing stint on SNL. I love the behind the scenes stuff. It’s all good things though. If you are looking for scandal, this isn’t the book for you.
Recommend it? Maybe. If you like comedy, silly self deprecating stories and/or wonder what BJ Novak is like, you’ll enjoy this book. If you aren’t a fan of any of the former or if you hate books written in a conversational manner, this is one you’ll want to pass on.
Book Description: (From Amazon) Rooted in traditional Toltec wisdom beliefs, four agreements in life are essential steps on the path to personal freedom. As beliefs are transformed through maintaining these agreements, shamanic teacher and healer don Miguel Ruiz asserts lives will “become filled with grace, peace, and unconditional love.”
Opinion on this book: I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this book before. I love this book so much. I first read it about eight years ago. Since then, I’ve purchased it in paperback over six times because I keep lending it to people and never getting it back. For good measure, I also own it on audio book. Judge me if you need to! The down side to of this book is that I am so bored by the pre-explanation of The Four Agreements. The first time you read it, you should definitely read from beginning to end, straight through. It basically explains how we make agreements with ourselves, how those agreements affect our lives and then how to break the bad ones. It’s important. Still, I also find it to be boring as hell. The good news about this portion is that it’s fairly short.
Favorite Part: The Agreements themselves. They are so basic and seemingly easy but at the same time, possibly four of the most difficult things to accomplish. Through my many copies of the book, the numerous readings and the ongoing discussions about this book, I have yet to come close to mastering these four agreements. The Four Agreements are: 1-Be impeccable with your word. 2-Don’t take anything personally. 3-Don’t make assumptions. 4-Always do your best.
Recommend it? YES! If someone asked me what book should every single person read, my answer would be The Four Agreements.
The answer to this is two fold. First, there are three implications in this question. A) That the person you’re speaking to has NEVER tried to be nice BEFORE. B) That this person hasn’t watched OTHER’S try to be “Nice” only to have their “Niceness” confused for weakness and ultimately been stepped on and/or stepped over. C) That the reason you are racist in the first place is because a group of people weren’t “Nice” to you. If lack of “Nice” didn’t cause your racism, is it reasonable for you to demand that it be the cure?
Second, it implies that you are owed a specific reaction, tone or attention that you, and only you, have previously approved of. For example, had you started your question with “If you can’t answer this nicely, please don’t answer it at all.” I am almost certain that in most cases, your question just won’t be answered.
It’s because you are coming into someone else’s space and demanding their time, patience, education and yes, their love. You may think that this isn’t what you are doing but in fact, by asking, nay, demanding that a person speak to you in a “Nice” way, you have stated that you are more valuable. Your feelings are more valuable than theirs. Your time is more valuable than theirs. Your emotions are more valuable than theirs and finally, your affection is more valuable in theirs.
I realize that comprehension is not the strongest for some of the people that may read this. For you, the folks who are hard of hearing, I will explain those last five points to you in more detail.
You have stated that you are more valuable.
By setting the demands, you have put yourself in a place of power. When in discourse with another person, it should and NEEDS to be a consensus of how the discussion moves forward. You alone, do not get to decide.
Your feelings are more valuable than theirs.
You demand “Nice” when so often, your question, even though laced with socially acceptable words is full of hate bait, innuendo and blatant bigotry. Yet, you didn’t call anyone a c*nt so somehow, in your mind, YOU are the “Nice” one. The “Rational” one. No. It doesn’t work that way. Nice wording does not necessarily equal nice meaning and/or intent.
Your time is more valuable than theirs.
You set the meeting when you asked the question. When you enter someone else’s space with a question, it is YOU, not them who set the time on that question. At best, they may choose to ignore the question or even put it off until later. However, the answering of that question, even if only answered with a gif, is time that you have taken FROM them.
Your emotions are more valuable than theirs.
By demanding “Nice” you are plainly stating that YOUR emotions trump theirs. Your “Nice” words, which often tend to be on the extremely cruel side even though you haven’t called anyone a slur, are commonly used as weapons of emotional destruction. However, you demand that they take precious care with YOUR emotions while you step on theirs. You may not have “Asked” for them to be mean to you but tell me, when did THEY ask YOU to show up with a question?
Your affection is more valuable than theirs.
This last part is where many of you will have gotten confused. You don’t get that when you demand that someone holds your emotions, feelings and self worth ABOVE THEIR OWN that you are asking them to care for you, to show more concern for you, to LOVE you more than they love themselves.
You do NOT get to ask for or DEMAND these things. If there is concern over HOW your question will be answered, it is best that YOU find someone you deem more “Kind” to answer it in the first place. Which brings me to YOUR real issue. You aren’t interested in getting your question answered. There ARE people who are willing to answer questions in the way YOU see fit. The problem is, you would have to LOOK for them. You would have to do RESEARCH to find them. Mind you, many people have shown up on my very own dash offering to take on questions people may have but alas, it is NOT kindness you seek. It is power and assertion. You WANT to insert your bigotry and demands onto others. Then blame THEM for YOUR bigoted existence. THAT is your true reasoning for this faux innocent demand.
Did you know that there are only four categories for a Black person to fit in? Did you know that Black people are barely “People" at all and are not multifaceted or intricate in any way? For your convenience, here is a handy dandy guide to explain your four choices. Which Black are you?
Ghetto. You achieve “Ghetto” status on your ninth birthday. Being “Ghetto” has nothing to do with where you live, your intellect, your family’s finances or even your behavior. It is merely a symptom of being Black. This is the default. Starting at age nine and going throughout your life, anything you do that a person doesn’t like will be classified as “Ghetto.” This is another word for N*gger. People will talk about your “Neighborhood” or better yet, your “Hood” even though they have no idea where you live. If you are male, you are a “Thug.” If you are female, you are a “whore” or “Ho.” Both are achieved on your ninth birthday. If your attitude is anything less than a smile and a tap dance, you will be considered a Ghetto Black. You can achieve other forms of Black but in your initial meeting with anyone, you will be seen as a “Ghetto Black.”
Country. Contrary to popular belief, the “Country Black” is extremely prevalent in the US. Although the default for any Black is “Ghetto,” the actuality is that you are far more likely to be a “Country Black.” The Country Black used to be a bad thing. This form of Black used to be seen as nothing more than dumb by both Black and non-Black alike. When a Country Black moved to the city, they were often labeled an Oreo because they didn’t like the same things City (or Ghetto) Black folk liked. Country Black folks were and still are considered “Ghetto” Black first by non-Black folk. Country Black didn’t come into fashion until the mid to late 90’s. Largely thanks to Nelly and the infusion of Southern Rappers. Everyone was suddenly proud to be the Country Black.
Oreo. This is both a slur and a point of pride. Depending on your view on society. When labeled this by another Black person it is a slur. It is an accusation (Sometimes false, sometimes not) that you have aligned yourself with whiteness in order to step on your fellow Black brethren. However, to those that take pride in believing that they can “Separate” from the Black, this is a title to be held proudly. This is a heartbreaking option. When a Black person is falsely accused, it is upsetting and cruel. When a person takes pride in being an oreo, it is equally upsetting and cruel. As they have fallen down the delusional rabbit hole that allows them to think that there are things in life that will make their race a non-issue. We must weep for both.
Intellect. This one can be tricky. You will be considered an oreo if you aren’t spending a minimum of 64% of your time talking about all things Black. You must not only be the Black authority but also make it known that you will not take an “Off day.” In order to not be an Oreo, you must throw up your fist in a “Black Power” kind of way. You will need the have read ratio of 4 to 1 in Black authors. In addition, you must make every effort to have your entire life, your children’s lives, the life of your partner and the life of each and every one of your friends dedicated to nothing more than speaking about anything that could be labeled a “Black topic.” Because the list of what is and isn’t a “Black Topic” is not actually made by Black people, you will spend the majority of your life talking about things like Welfare, Being Lazy, Stealing and Rap music. These are Nationally sanctioned “Black Topics.”
You can be in more than one group as long as you remember that no matter which group you think you belong to, you are first “Ghetto.” If you keep this in mind, you will be allowed to move freely throughout the land. *Note: “Freely” is described as harassed, stopped & frisked because you left your home, accused of getting everything you have because of Affirmative Action and generally being a part of a group that is nationally encouraged to be seen as non-human.
I keep getting questions about discussing things outside of the Black/White dichotomy. I’ve given it some thought and outside of giving stats or regurgitating facts, I don’t feel comfortable talking about races, or more to the point, the plight and ways to achieve betterment of races that I am not specifically a part of. I just don’t think I could/should do it.
With that being said, I feel that this blog is extremely specific to a certain race and I would like to change that. It will always be predominantly Black related as that is the world I, myself, live in. However, I would like to share thoughts from those with completely different perspectives.
I believe, with your help, this blog can be a bit more multicultural.
I am looking for two things. First, people of different races who talk about issues of race. It doesn’t HAVE to be from their specific point of view but I would love to follow those that do put their own view into their writing. Second, my blog is also very USA specific. I really would love racial perspectives (of any race) from those outside of my own country.
Oh and I am sure I probably don’t need to say this but just so we are clear, I am not looking for Supremacy bloggers. I am looking for discussions, cause/effect, governmental issues dealing in race, opinions on how to improve/lessen racial problems, ect.
Book Description: (From Amazon.com) “Language Is a Place of Struggle” is the first truly multiracial and polycultural quote book, collecting quotations from both historical and contemporary novelists and poets, activists and political leaders, and artists and musicians. Within these pages, readers will find wisdom, wit, and inspiration from Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Arab Americans, American Indians, recent immigrants to the United States, and many others.
With nearly fifteen hundred quotations, this exceptional book covers a broad spectrum: from insights on spirituality to words inciting social change and justice; from the impact of colonization, slavery, and racism to observations on gender, sexuality, and identity. The quotes show how people of color in the United States have been shaped by various community histories, ongoing political and cultural struggles, and personal evolutions. Each quote reflects three core themes from the histories of people of color in America: the significance of mass movements and the role of individuals within them; the vision that binds one society to another; and the foundational relationship between an evolving society and a changing self. Each chapter—Roots, Selves, Relationship, Work and Play, Making Change, and Inner Visions—adds to the larger story about people of color in the context of history, culture, and community.
An invaluable tool for speechwriters, educators, ministers, and librarians that is accessibly organized for all readers, this entertaining and thought-provoking book is a much-needed resource for anyone interested in multicultural issues. Here you will find: Gloria Anzaldúa on borders and margins; Margaret Cho on failure and success; Edwidge Danticat on women who write; Junot Díaz on masculinity; Vine Deloria, Jr., on activism; Suheir Hammad on miscegenation and identity; bell hooks on identity and oppression; Edward P. Jones on the system of racism; Philip Vera Cruz on leadership; Chögyam Trungpa on spiritual materialism; and much more.
Opinion on this book: I am a big fan of quotes. This is one of my favorite books of all time. The quotes from the RacismSchool Facebook and Twitter pages come from this book. It has so many people from different backgrounds, careers and ethnicity’s that there really isn’t a theme other than being uplifting. If you are a fan of quotes, you’ll fall in love with this book. If not, it’s an interesting book to peruse in the library or when you need a bit of inspiration.
Favorite Part: There is something good on every page. You can open the book at any part and find something that will make you want to go out and change the world. Today, I opened to, “The importance of public discourse about difficult social issues cannot be overemphasized. Public dialogue infuses with energy." ~Barbara Holmes, Black Theologian.
Recommend it? Yes! Absolutely. Again, if you don’t really have any strong feelings about quotes but are curious, pick this up at the library. If you are a fan of quotes, this is a book you’ll want to buy and keep close.
Opinion on this book: I wanted to add one or two children’s books to the list. This was a book for a very young child. It wasn’t so much a story as it was a girl talking about all the wonderful things she could do with her hair. I liked it. Reading it as an adult was just, well, it’s definitely a children’s book! I needed a plot! Ha!
Favorite Part: Alright, this might sound a little cheesy but my favorite part was that I knew it existed for children. Reading the book as an adult was kind of boring but the only thing I could think after reading it was, I wish this was around when I was little. It doesn’t do much for me now but I feel like it would have been spectacular to me when I was 4 or 5.
Recommend it? Yes. If you have small children, especially those of color, this is a good, easy read to borrow from the library!
Remember last week when I wrote about the new season of Louie on FX? Remember how I was excited about the fact that his Ex-Wife was going to be played by a Black woman and how happy I was that he said he chose her because she was right for the part and he didn’t care about race? Well, not everyone shared my sentiment. For the most part, people don’t understand how DNA works. It turns out, that if you have a Black Mom and a white Dad, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY to have white children. None. None at all. You guys, what about the children?
There were write ups on the Huffington Post, Jezabel and several other news outlets. Not write ups about the show itself. Write ups about the color of his ex-wife. No, not just the color, the kids and her “Power.” You know, her Black Power? The best of course was this gem from a piece in Vulture:
"The elephant in the corner of this season premiere is the expertly underplayed reveal that innumerable sitcoms would hype for weeks or build into their whole premise (looking at you, How I Met Your Mother): Louie’s ex-wife, Janet, is black. The mother of his milk-pale, straw-blonde daughters — who coincidentally also bear minimal resemblance to Louie — is a powerful, gorgeous African-American woman (Susan Kelechi Watson) effortlessly capable of detonating Louie’s masculinity."
This was particularly interesting to me because in my post last week, I mentioned that I was concerned about the “Sapphire Syndrome” coming into play. I was happy to see that, at least in the first episode, it did not. She handled the situation in the exact way I would have. The way I believe most women in her position would have. Nothing over the top. Not “Angry Black women.” Just honest. Now, after seeing the show for myself, reading the above in the vulture piece really told me how Black women are seen, NO MATTER HOW THEY ACT. No, this isn’t news. Still, I can’t help but be frustrated at the implication that this woman immaculated Louie when she didn’t. His interaction with her was actually far less uncomfortable and emasculating than that of the white woman who broke up with him in the episode. Still, this woman, this Black woman is “Effortlessly capable of detonating Louie’s masculinity.” Oh and the kids are white guys. The kids are white…
Damn it! How could he do this to us? THE KIDS ARE WHITE!!!!!
Edit: This post is three weeks behind due to the Grey Out.
Since the date the above was written, the ex-wife has appeared on episode three as well. In episode three, she is loving and encouraging as she reminds Louie that they have been divorced for three years and that she was happy for him when she thought he may have found someone he wanted to spend time with. Haven’t seen any write ups about that interaction yet but…I’m sure I’ve just missed them all.
Barbara Brandon was raised on Long Island, New York. Her father was Brumsic Brandon Jr., who drew the comic strip ‘Luther’. Barbara was atill very young when she started assisting her father on this strip. She studied Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, where she graduated in 1980. Magazine Essence employed her as fashion and beauty writer, and it wasn’t until 1989 that her comic strip ‘Where I’m Coming From’ was published in The Detroit Free Press. In 1991, she was contracted by Universal Press Syndicate, making her the first black woman comic artist to be nationally syndicated since Jackie Ormes. (Currently, she is the only syndicated Black woman cartoonist) Her comics have been published in two collections, titled ‘Where I’m Coming From’ and ‘Where I’m Coming From Still’.
Morrie Turner, an Oakland, Calif., native, was the youngest of four children. His father, a Pullman porter, and mother, a devout Christian, instilled in him the faith — faith in himself, faith in others, faith in his ability to be a comic strip artist. He began drawing cartoons in the fifth grade.
As a young man, he served a stint in the service during World War II, where he drew strips for military newspapers. Following his discharge, he juggled his comic strips with legal publications and work as a police clerk. Finally, in 1964, he wholeheartedly pursued his cartoon aspirations full-time, once again relying on his faith.
One life-changing honor was during the Vietnam War, when Turner was one of six cartoonist asked by the National Cartoonist Society to go Vietnam. Morrie spent 27 days on the front lines and in hospitals, drawing more than 3,000 caricatures of service people.
In 1965, he created the Wee Pals comic strip. It was Morrie’s intention to portray a world without prejudice, a world in which people’s differences — race, religion, gender, and physical and mental ability — are cherished, not scorned.
When Wee Pals was first created, bringing black characters to the comics’ pages was by no means an easy task. In 1965, only five major newspapers published the strip. It was not until 1968 — and the tragic assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. — that Wee Pals achieved nationwide acceptance. Within three months of King’s death, the strip was appearing in over 100 newspapers nationwide.
There are shared experiences some of us have that have nothing to do with actually knowing or even having met each other. For Black women, having people putting their hands in our hair, uninvited and unapproved, is one of them.
There has been plenty said about why this is not okay. Why this makes it clear to us that you see us as a dog and not a human. Why this is tantamount to assault. Why this is invading our space and even how disgusting it is that when we get upset about your uninvited hands on our bodies, it is always us that is to blame/overreacting/or angery for no reason.
The question I have is, why are you pretending that your unwanted advances are a compliment?
Black people and non-Black people alike love to talk about Black women’s hair. How important it is to us (As if it’s not important to many people) How we all have weaves. How we don’t go out in the rain. Yes, I’ve heard it all. If you are a Black woman in the U.S., you have too.
Now, if you are a person who knows, says or thinks that hair is important to a Black woman, why would you think it would be okay for you to put your hands in it?
You see, this is how we know what you truly think of us. We know what YOU think that WE think about our hair. Hell, some of it is true. So, knowing how important our hair is to us, your putting your hands in it WOULD seem like a problematic thing to do, right? Yet, your hand is in my hair right now.
This tells me that you see me as an animal. You have taken something that, in your mind, is extremely important to me and asserted yourself into it. Not only have you forced yourself onto my body but you have also done so with entitlement, claiming it a compliment AND you have no problem being offended when I get mad that you touched me without my permission. Somehow, it is always our fault for not WANTING you to accost us.
Veteran cartoonist Ray Billingsley uses his own childhood of growing up in New York’s Harlem in a tight-knit family as the template for Curtis, which details the day-to-day life of a close-knit contemporary African-American family living in the inner city. Though it mainly features children, it is not necessarily “child-themed.” It is often called, “The Thinking-Man’s Strip,” for its’ witty approach, satire and use of storylines with an expected twist.
It’s time to take back the tag. Over the past few weeks, it’s seemed that one of the worst things anyone could ever call you is a “Social Justice Blogger.” We’ve all watched as this good and decent thing has been turned into a slur.
Enough is enough.
When did we start allowing Social Bigot Bloggers to set the tone? To say what is good? What is decent? How did we even get here? We allowed the Social Bigot Blogger community to create ugly where there was none. We allowed them to turn something necessary into something dirty. We allowed them to make calling someone on their bigotry, a punishable offense.
Have you ever looked through the Social Justice, SJ or SJW tags? It’s full of people complaining about people they’ve deemed SJ bloggers. Usually, not people who ARE SJ bloggers, just people who have stood against bigotry and therefore, are one of the “Evil SJ Bloggers.” How on Earth could anyone every have a problem with Social Justice? Well, that’s an easy question to answer. If you area bigot, you are likely to get called on your shit from people in the SJ community. If you are a bigot, you are likely to hate SJ bloggers. If you are a bigot, you are likely to spend your time talking about how much you hate SJ bloggers. Hate is what you do best, after all.
The best thing about the “Anti-SJ” people is that they clearly show themselves to be Social Bigot Bloggers. The next time someone accuses you of being a SJ blogger when you’re not OR uses it as a slur when you are, point to them as a Social Bigot Blogger.
If you post anything that could benefit Social Justice, don’t hesitate to put the SJ tags on your post. We must stop allowing bigots to decide for us. To shame us into NOT working for the betterment of society.
Always remember: The only people who could be anti-social justice are those that benefit from the bigoted status quo.
When you look through the photo album of the Bentley family, Stephen was the one holding the pencil even before he could hold up his head. It was apparent, at that early age, that drawing was going to be a big part of Stephen’s destiny. Born in Southern California in 1954, Stephen grew up in the South Central area of Los Angeles. In the late ’60s, his family moved to Pasadena, where Stephen attended and graduated from John Muir High School in 1972. After high school, Stephen spent a short stint in the U.S. Navy, lending his artistic talents to the base newspapers where he was stationed.
College was the next logical step to hone Stephen’s artistic abilities. He attended Pasadena City College and, later, Rio Hondo College, majoring in Art, English and Fire Sciences.
Once in the business as a professional artist, Stephen worked for various advertising agencies, whose client list included the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wham-O Toys, the Playboy Channel and Universal Studios.
After attending a high-school reunion and re-establishing an old friendship in 1998, Stephen was inspired to create the comic strip Herb and Jamaal — as a tribute to lasting friendships and a reflection on a life well lived.
On reflection of the past two weeks of honor posts, I am tempted to repost every single name every time someone else is unjustly slain. Perhaps then, when forced to see them all, EVERY time, maybe then people would truly understand what’s happening. What has been happening. What must to stop happening.