Category Archives: Black and Proud

I ♥ Black Men

“The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.”

    -Marcus Garvey

 

Since the early days of mankind, Black men have roamed the planet and have overcome adversity. From our great African ancestors and the warriors transplanted from their kingdoms to the cotton fields, Black men have weathered the storms. The quote above by Marcus Garvey says it all, Black skin shouldn’t be viewed as a badge of shame yet rather a glorious symbol of national worldwide greatness.

Black men, whether they be African-American, African, Mixed, etc; they are beautiful on so many levels. It’s something about the way they walk, the way the talk, the way their body looks, and the varying shades they come in. Even though many Black men have to deal with racial disparity and stereotyping, many of them still try to make the best out of life and make their dream come true. This persistent determination and evolutionary concept of staying on their “grind” is just one of the many reasons why I love Black men.

I’ve dated various people from different cultural backgrounds, but their is something about Black men that lures me in. I love the way their full lips gently move when they talk and it’s even better when their full lips are gently kissing you. In my opinion it’s a perfect combination, especially when my full lips are greeted by a Black man’s soft coffee coolers. I’ve kissed a few other guys outside my race, typically ones with smaller lips, but I must say some of the most amazing kisses I’ve had have come from a strong and passionate Black man.

The chemistry touches on an emotional, physical, mental, and historical level. Black men and women have over come great adversity, our ancestors are timeless heroes. The bond between a Black man and a Black woman is symbolic of Black history and the challenges are people have faced just to be together and see another day. Even though there are so many dating options in the world and there is nothing wrong with interracial dating, there is something beautiful about seeing a strong Black couple weather the storms and reach the sunshine.

One of my favorite things about Black men, is the fact they come in so many different shades, sizes, styles, and backgrounds. It’s hard to pinpoint down my type, because I don’t judge whether a guy is “light skin” or “dark skin.” As long as it has some brown in it, then I’m down for the cause. Black men have this enticing aura about them, they can appear threatening and dangerous to society, yet they can be gentle teddy bears. I especially love a towering warrior, the type of man that is 6’3” 6’4” and is built like a football player. Give me Dhani Jones, minus the ego and a little taller, that’s the build that drives me wild! LOL

There are just so many things that I love on a Black man. A nice smile, a smooth brown complexion, arms that are weapons of mass destruction, and an ambition that is relentless. I grew up surrounded by positive Black men, which explains why I love them so much. I come from a family of successful Black marriages, doctors, military professionals, athletes, dancers, entrepreneurs, and a family of Black men that strive for success. My mom has three sisters and four brothers and they are living examples of great Black men and women.

I could sit here and go on and on about why I love black men. From the inspirational leaders such as Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Marcus Garvey, and Martin Luther King, to the Black male icons such as Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Sidney Poitier, Blair Underwood, and so many other Black men. Simply put, I love Black men! I admire so many great Black men and other Black men I admire as more than just great inspirations. *wink wink, how you doin’!*

Even though Black men and women face their struggles in relationships, we have to strive to remove the negative connotation that is being associate with “Black.” Instead of sitting around and bashing Black men for their faults (they have faults, just like all men do,) we as Black women have to view the Black dating paradigm from a psychological and historical viewpoint rather than an impulsive and irrational emotional complex. Black love still does exist, it may not be easy, but no interaction beyond a hello and a goodbye is ever easy. Instead of bashing a Black man, I aim to give them praise for their attempts at fixing the mistakes their fathers may have made and trying to be a good Black man.

Black men, what can I say? I love them!!! But one thing I love even more than Black men, is Black love….now that is truly a wonderful thing.

If you love Black men, then check out http://iloveblackmen.tumblr.com/  It’s the site where I got the inspiration for this post and the pictures.

The beauty of Black love and Black bodies….Timothy Bloom’s “Till the End of Time”

This song says it all…Angie Stone “Brotha”

Fierce, Fabulous, Cool, and Sexy

TWGJ5489_GraceJones2

I’ve been busy working on articles today and finishing up a painting, but I started off the morning in a Grace Jones mood. Today I was feeling so creative and liberated, so I began my workout routine by jamming to Grace’s classic hit “Pull Up to the Bumper”.  That is one of my all time favorite songs, it is truly a classic and sexy hit. You can’t help but dancing when that first beat comes on, it just takes over your body and sends you into a state of euphoria.

Grace Jones in my opinion is truly an iconic Black woman that stands out in the Studio 54 and early dance music era. She is one of the only women I’ve ever seen that can rock a fierce hightop with a fade, she is the original woman to make a statement with that style, mixed with her chocolate skin and sexual freedom. I know some women that have tried to rock that style, but I truly believe that Grace Jones is one of the few women who have successfully pulled off that style.

I’ve always been a huge Grace Jones fan, especially considering her contributions to the dance music scene. Her music is sexy and tantalizing, it just moves your body and makes your mind get lost. I’ve always looked up to her in this weird yea explainable way. Even though I’m not a dark skin woman, I appreciate how she brought beautiful chocolate women to the forefront in white media. Her role in “Conan the Destroyer” was fierce and sexy, showing that Black women can kick butt too!xiJkrHypek4f1ut6woDorpEso1_400

I think aside from the music, the swirl (she was engaged to Dolph Lundgren), and the hightop fade, she was also known for her body. Everyone knows that Grace Jones exemplifies the definition of sexual freedom, she showed off whenever and wherever yet in an artistic way. Her body was athletic, toned, and still had the curves that make us black women beautiful. She may have been on the wild side with always showing up naked and being labeled a “sex machine”, but she had a carefree creative approach and dared anyone to knock her freedom.

Grace JonersIt’s funny how I’ve been talking about Grace Jones all day and I just found out that her first album in 22 years is going to be coming out in the near future. I look forward to hearing some of her new music, I’m sure she doesn’t still look as fierce as she did when she was younger, but her music is still classic and her style is still very cool. I’m a huge Grace Jones fan, I may not duplicate her icon pose, but she does remind us how sexy and fierce black women can be.

fat_grace_jones-400x378P.S. I think this picture to the left is so hilarious! So many people try to duplicate her iconic pose, including Amber Rose and this fat guy to the left. Hilarious picture!

Anyways, I just felt like posting about Grace Jones and how I love her bold style and music. Life doesn’t have to always be so uptight and serious and you have to take the things others may not like and make them sexy. Some people often thought she looked like a man, yet she made millions of dollars off her music and showing off her body. She sure did show the haters! LOL….just be yourself and it’s okay to be daring and confidently sexy! You may not be able to pull off the hightop with the fade, but that’s alright. Find your best attribute and make it work for you. Be fierce and fabulous!

Pull Up to My Bumper

Pull Up to My Bumper (Funkstar Deluxe Remix)

About these ads

Educated Hustler on FreshXpress

Good morning/afternoon everyone!

Today is kind of late start for me, thanks to spending 4 hours playing COD:Black Ops. It can get so addicting and frustrating too, especially when the Playstation Network decides to mess up. There are some serious dedicated gamers on there and when the game begins to glitch, they get so pissed off! I usually end up muting their mics so I can concentrate, but every now and then it’s funny to hear what people across the country are saying while playing Black Ops.

Even though I’m a gamer, I still am a human and need my rest. So I finally went to sleep after playing online with my brother and woke up to a refreshing email. TheFreshXpress, a blog devoted to young blacks in America, had followed up my article submission and posted my article “Educated Hustler” online. It’s amazing to see my work being appreciated through other media venues and people getting a chance to hear my social commentary. (See the article at http://thefreshxpress.com/2011/03/educated-hustler-whos-really-makin-moves/ )

I’m not sure if this blogging thing will ever get me my dream job as an editor, but I know it’s a healthy emotional release for me. This blog gives me the chance to say how I feel about life and say the things that nobody around me feel’s like listening to. Well, I take that back. My family does agree with my opinions on life and they as well are conscious intellects that don’t things for face value, but most of the other people I come into contact with my age I interact with don’t follow suit.

Maybe it’s the fact I love watching TCM, maybe it’s the fact I love old school funk, or maybe it’s the fact I’m 19 and so focused on my future. Whatever the case may be, I’m always labeled the “old soul”. Well, this old soul is passionate about writing and passionate about making her dreams come true, so I gladly accept the title of old soul and I’m off to go watch a Joan Crawford movie!

Blak Iz Blak

In  2000, a movie came out that stirred my conscious. My perception of the world around me was altered in a life changing way, which is still very well alive and kicking in my life today. Bamboozled, Spike Lee’s innovative satirical film that questioned black identity and it’s relationship with mainstream white America via television, dance, and music.  The film centers on the premise that black entertainment is created to satisfy the “black”  image that white people  want to see, the “minstrel” that is only good for dancing and jumping around, not capable of complex thought process. The film is all about the “New Millennium Minstrel”.

Not only did Spike Lee create a revolutionary film, but he had an all star cast that brought his message to life. Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Tommy Davidson, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Mos Def, and rapper Canibus were a few of the actors that dedicated their time to be in this provocative film.

I thank Spike Lee for his films Do the Right Thing, Crooklyn, Mo’ Better Blues, and Bamboozled. I’m glad there are abstract images out there in society, which promote complex critical thinking. I don’t live my life obsessed with race, sexism, beauty, and conspiracy theories, but I do challenge images and opinions I encounter when I walk down the street or simply turn on the television. I want to develop my own identity as a black female in America, an identity that isn’t tainted by stereotypes applied by those in power, or shall I say the “man”?

Watch this avant-garde video below “Blak Iz Blak” from the militant rap group Maus Maus, which come from the film Bamboozled.

The official Trailer. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a movie worth checking out.

Timmi Hillnigger Commercial from the Movie…Spike didn’t hold anything back on this one!

A montage from the movie, which zones in on black images throughout history.

Nick Cannon, Nas, and Affion’s PSA…goes along the lines with Spike’s message about the new minstrel.

©Jasmine McGee

ThinkSoul25

http://thinksoul25.com

Drop of Color in a White Sea

 scan0008

It seems like second grade was a million years ago, even though it was about 11 years ago to date. I enjoyed second grade, I was always leading a group of girls or being a teachers pet. I loved school, especially when that time of year came when it was time to make memories. I loved picture day and always made sure to smile to the fullest…even though I had a tooth growing out of my gum on top of another tooth. It was weird, but I still managed to smile to the fullest. I still have a permanent (also known as retained baby tooth) and it makes my smile unique, sort of cute in  a way!

Whatever the case was, I still took pride in picture day. I loved dressing up on picture day, but that wasn’t the only time I dressed up in girly dresses, I was a little fashionista every day. I wore Garanimals, Osh Kosh B Gosh, and other clothing lines sold at Penneys. My clothes made me stand out, but my brown skin made even more of a statement.  I grew up in the suburbs but had street smarts scan0005and aware of city life, and the struggles as well. I wasn’t one of those “white washed” black kids, I’ve always known and still do know my history, I talk with a “black” dialect and a Baltimore Accent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_dialect).

I’ve always been true to myself and taken pride in being Black, I never wanted to loose myself just because I attended predominately white schools. My dad, a Princeton Alumni, wanted to make sure I had a good future and always made sure I attended the best schools. There is a few times were I attended schools in the “hood” and was surrounded by the effects of black struggles on youth. I’ve held a knife for a girl, seen tons of fights, ran from the cops last day of school picnic, and seen a girl get stabbed and jumped on the playground.  I always held my own, never had to prove my worth by fighting, I became that non-violent hero that comforted the mean girls and helped them out in math class and science.

kids-in-classroom-pm-thumb-270x270But, because I had good grades and worked closely with the teachers…I was still told that I was “acting white” because I wanted to reach a certain level of success. I didn’t fight it, I decided to embrace it and use it to my advantage to get ahead. If I would have embraced my black culture and talked in my usual slang, I wouldn’t have been in gifted and talented, honor roll, and wouldn’t have graduated early from high school as a junior. I’ve been doing theatre since I was in elementary school and I’ve mastered the technique of changing my voice. I can eliminate my Baltimore accent and opt for a pristine proper Anglo American dialect.

Yet, no matter how much I change my dialect in certain settings, I’m still a black face in a sea of white faces. Looking back on the semester I just completed at UC Denver, I realize that in all my classes except for Ethnic Studies… I am the only black student. My skin color hasn’t stopped me from having a successful semester or making some great friends in my classes, but it has made me realize the lack of educated young blacks on white college campuses. I Misognyblack_students_300x400miss the days when I attended school in Maryland and was surrounded with indian kids, asian kids, spanish, white, and black girls in all my classes. I miss having to ask the teacher which Jasmine she was calling on, Jasmine with the E or with no E?

I miss those days, but I also understand its not the real world sadly enough. That’s why I high_school_diversedecided not to attend an HBCU, even though some offered a tuition for out of state students that could have been affordable. I wanted to attend a school that was realistic and UC Denver was realistic, also affordable since I became a Colorado resident. One day I dream of working for a PR company in DC, and I know that I might not be surrounded by many black co-workers, but I’ve been the only black person in a lot of my social circles, especially since moving out to Colorado…so I’ll be prepared for the lack of diversity ahead. 

Many young black males and females I met, didn’t know they had the opportunities to attend a college at a low cost. By staying instate, you can minimize your costs. It’s a good price to pay, even if you hate the state you live in or want a change of pace. I don’t too much like Colorado, but I couldn’t pass up the low colege-studentstuition and knew that since I was no longer a Maryland resident, I couldn’t attend Univ. of MD College Park without paying an insane out of state tuition price. A lot of high school counselors don’t take the opportunity to tell black students that they can go to college, even if there grades aren’t the best or their parents don’t make a lot of money.

The less money your parents diverseStudentsmake, the more your eligible for pell grants, and other grants from the government you don’t have to pay back. Make sure you fill out your FAFSA with your parents information and work closely with your financial aid advisor. My parents make too much money, so I don’t receive pell grants but I do have unsubsidized and subsidized loans. But the minute you mention loans, most people complain about debt and not wanting to take out a loan. If you don’t take out private loans, stay instate, and complete your degree and receive a good job…then paying back 30 thousands dollars or less compared to 80, 90, 100 thousand, is possible. I’d rather take out loans, get a college degree, and pay it back with a good job…instead of trying to pay out of pocket for school and get frustrated, then end up not finishing.

UnivofPhoenixThere are so many options to get your education and be young, black, fabulous, and educated without having a headache. I meet a lot of people who think the only way they can attend school is by attending a For Profit institution such as University of Phoenix,  Devry, Full Sail, and Art Institute just to name a few. These schools in the end, ultimately result in higher cost education, more debt, and if you try to transfer out, often courses won’t transfer over to four year liberal arts college. I have met a lot of people who have attended these schools, decided it was to expensive, transferred in junior year, and had to start over as a freshmen at a traditional college. Before seeking out a For Profit school, look at other alternatives and try to find schools instate that offer the same program or a program that is along the lines of what your seeking to do. For more info on these schools and how they are rip-offs, check out : http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/college-solution/for-profit-schools-deception-and-fraud-revealed/2689/

09-brothers1Education is an opportunity that doesn’t  have to seem like a fairytale out of reach. I won a scholarship to the Art Institute of Colorado for five thousand, but that barely covered anything and I didn’t want to attend a For-Profit school that would rip me off in the end. You can start with a community college and transfer to a four year university in a semester or two, you can even get collegestudentsyour associates then transfer and finish your last two years at a four year university. Check out your local public universities, meet with your advisors on a regular basis, and make your dreams come true. Being a drop of color in a white sea isn’t a bad thing, when your reaching for your goals in the end.  Even though I miss being in a class with other black students, I know that one day I will be able to use all the skills and job experience I gain to give back to the community and create positive images and opportunities for success.

You Don’t Even Know Me

Armand Van Helden- You Don’t Even Know Me

This has been my theme song for the past 11 years of my life. “You don’t even know me…you say that I’m not living right…you don’t understand me….so why do you judge my life?” I know every word in this song by heart and it’s a song I hold close to my soul. I grew up in a household that promoted and evoked success. My childhood was spent moving around from various cities and parts of the country. People always asked me “Are your parents in the military?” I would simply reply, “No, we are just artsy nomads.” I’m always on the move. I’ve lived in over 40 different houses/apartments, went to three different elementary schools, five middle schools, and four different high schools. The list of colleges I have attended is quite interesting as well, but that’s a story for another day.

I don’t stay in one place to long and I don’t apologize for the social makeup. I was born in Columbus, Ohio but I don’t claim it as a hometown and I claim the DMV (DC.MD.VA) as my hometown. It’s my hometown because its where most my greatest cultural experiences have taken place, but my hometown is also the world…the cultural experiences that have molded me into the woman I am. My time in Ohio was brief due to moving out West in 1995 and staying put in Colorado Springs for five years. It was a pleasant time in my life but Colorado Springs was( and still is) lacking a defined and expansive culture. I currently stay in Denver, been here for three years and will be moving again within the next few months back to the East Coast. Colorado has been a chill time for me to focus on school, be outdoors, go up to the mountains, but this isn’t a lifestyle pace I prefer. I miss meeting people from around the world, I miss hanging out in the city, I miss being able to drive up to New York and walk the streets as it was Fashion Week. Simply put….I’m an East Coast girl.

When I was young my mom always taught me that when you assume, you make an ass out of “u” and “me”. I don’t like to be an assumptive person and it grinds my gears when people think they can figure me out. There is nothing to figure out, because I’m upfront on a daily basis. If I don’t like someone, they are going to know it. If I’m not attracted to a man, then I will tell him he is too short and just not what I’m looking for. Life isn’t a fairytale where everything can be figured out in a matter of seconds. Life is raw, life is hard, life is boring at times, but with patience and staying on my grind…I manage.

I can be a social butterfly and be the life of the party, but I also can be the girl in the corner listening to her music and writing in a journal. I don’t like to waste my time on foolishness and I prefer not to associate with dream killers. At the age of 19 years old I have accomplished a good amount of things and my resume speaks for it self. I may not be where I want to be yet, but once I move back to the East Coast and can actually accept the internships I’ve been offered and write for the magazines I want to…then I will be set.

I grew up in a family of driven people. My brother wouldn’t have been touring the world dancing if he wasn’t focused on reaching his goals and opted to waste his time smoking and partying his life away. My dad wouldn’t be a Princeton Alumni if he spent all his time hanging out with people, instead he focused on his literary studies and gained the title of being one of the top professional African-American proposal writers in his respective field. A woman that I’m very close to and have a lot of respect for is my mom. She encourages me on a daily basis to cut out the distractions and be the best woman I can be. She wouldn’t have published nine books and had her art showcased nationally if she spent all her time gossiping with older women. Instead, my mom works out of the home running her business Black Revival Studio and is constantly creating to express the pain and racism she experienced throughout her life.

The saying “Birds of the same feather flock together” holds very true to my lifestyle.My mom is a world class artist, my dad is a Princeton alumni who is on the intellectual level of Cornell West and Eric Dyson, my brother is a phenomenal choreographer and dancer (Jamile McGee) who works with some of the best in the entertainment industry, including legends, and my mother’s uncle Nate Fitzgerald is a famous Jazz legend who has played with all the greats. That doesn’t begin to mention my aunts and uncles who hold Masters and PHD’s in their fields, are high ranking military officers, and have worked amongst some of the best in the country in their career arenas. With such an impressive intellectual heritage, it was a matter of time before the drive for success was planted inside my soul.

The passion inside of me isn’t some commercial replicate fueled by notions of revenge and proving the haters wrong. My passion is a God Given result of such a prestigious family environment. At the age of fourteen, nobody had to tell me to sit at desktop and write a 500 word article about modern day racism. Nobody had to tell me to take this article and submit it to a national teen magazine, a long with a picture. Even though I’m influenced by my family, my destiny is in the hands of God and is a raging fire within the depths of my soul. I’m working towards a degree in Professional writing and plan on getting a Masters, not because I want to prove something… but because I’m capable of achieving it and I have plans that I want to bring to life. Getting my education is a logical map that I’m using to make a name for my self in the writing industry.

Success is my birthright and isn’t a journey of vengeance….but a journey of discovery. Everyone has different paths they must walk, run, or drive in this life. I’m opting to drive my route, reaching my destination as soon as possible before the clock runs out!

©Jasmine McGee

ThinkSoul25

http://thinksoul25.com