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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sweet Tooth Media Present: Bald Heads and B(.)(.)bies...On the Mic!! A Breast Cancer Awarness Campaign

Whewwww!! 2013 has flown by. Its already October! As autumn has just fallen upon us, the cool breeze, burnt orange leaves, and early nights indicate the season change. Celebrating this new season brings us another opportunity to learn more, do more and be better. October is the celebratory month for tons of causes, especially breast cancer.
 Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. It is estimated that more than 1.6 million new cases of breast cancer occurred among women worldwide in 2010. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2013 are:
  • About 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 39,620 women will die from breast cancer 
After increasing for more than 2 decades, female breast cancer incidence rates began decreasing in 2000, then dropped by about 7% from 2002 to 2003. Incidence rates have been stable in recent years.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about 1 in 36 (about 3%). Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.
At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)

In celebration of breast cancer survivors and their families, Sweet Tooth Media presents: Bald Heads and Boobies Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. We are asking survivors and/or their family members to submit their BEST quote, poem, photograph, artwork, or story to us as they have overcome or help to overcome the battle with Battle with breast cancer. The BEST submission is determined by the number of likes and comments collectively from sharing their story within this blog. Contestants MUST submit their creation here in THIS blog or on the Bald Heads and Boobies Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign facebook event page by simply commenting with the link to their quote, photograph, artwork, poem, or story no later than October 28, 2013. Contestants can share the blog link as many times as they choose. Submissions must be original, creative and themed Bald heads and/or Boobies. The Winner will receive a FREE Breast Cancer Mini Photo Shoot, a 1 minute dedication video celebrating the life of a breast cancer survivor, and a $25 Visa Gift Card. Winner will be announced on October 31, 2013.

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Religion's Double Edged Sword: An Examination of Entertainment's Religion

I know that this posting will step on toes, bunch panties, and send spit slinging from the mouths of those holier than thou's. May I recommend your reading stops here or at least put your shoes on....Religion...a phenomenon that I personally struggle with. My struggle isn't nor has it ever been a spiritual one...which allows me to speak freely and without conviction about things that occur for the sake of religion. My bout with religion began when I came to the crossroads of truth and knowledge. My upbringing in the Black church taught me a plethora of double standards and methods to cover up. It has also equipped me with lessons that are meant to control and oppress. One said lesson is that women are supposed to submit to men and that men are to protect and provide for their home. The truth of my reality didn't align with this knowledge. Aside from that I was taught that good always prevails, and again that knowledge didn't align with my truth. This may cause anyone that's on a quest for truth through knowledge to stop and ponder. I begin to wonder if every thing that I was taught a lie, then I have been living a lie based on knowledge that doesn't prove true. Certainly, we can examine empirical data that may actually prove a theory of knowledge, but it could never disprove what has been proven true through experience. This isn't limited to my personal experience, rather a myriad of experiences had by culturally and racially different yet like people. I have laid religion down because of its hypocrisy, misogyny, and oppression. Biased as it may be, I have also questioned the sanction of religion because of its interpretations, misinterpretations,  translations, mistranslated books, and omissions. How does anyone what is true and what is merely a fabricated clause in what's alleged as God's words? Historians, scientists, Darwinists, and Evolutionists have yet to come to a common consensus on what is truth or just a conscious pool of knowledge.

In the 21st century much of the disharmony, chaos, and wars experienced has always been religious based. The 911 attacks on the surface were about money and which leader had the biggest balls, but attacks were targeted toward those who could be identified as Muslim. Lets go back a little further. Religion was used to control and suppress Native Americans, Blacks and any other minority group. Slavery was maintained for religious reasons. Religious disharmony is embedded in this country's very fiber. According to Bill Moyers (12 Rules for Mixing Religion) Religiously, then, the “melting pot” is clearly not melting, and shouldn't  instead, it bubbles and boils with ferment, conviction, diversity, and, yes, theological competition to shape the public sphere and government. The religious scholar Elaine Pagels stated, “There’s practically no religion I know of that sees other people in a way that affirms the other’s choice.” Or its politics.
It is important, therefore, to keep reminding ourselves that in the Abrahamic tradition the first murder arose out of a religious act. Adam and Eve have two sons. Both brothers are rivals for God’s favor, so both bring God an offering. Cain, a farmer, offers the first fruits of the soil. Abel, a shepherd, offers the first lamb from the flock. Two generous gifts. But in the story God plays favorites, chooses Abel’s offering over Cain’s, and the elevation of the younger leads to the humiliation of the elder. Cain is so jealous that their rivalry leads to violence and ends in death. Once this pattern is established, it’s played out in the story of Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, and down through the centuries in generation after generation of conflict between Muslims and Jews, Jews and Christians, Christians and Muslims, so that the red thread of religiously spilled blood runs to every place where religious folk turn from compassion to competition. Religion has a healing side; we know this. But it also has a killing side. In the words of Pennsylvania’s founder, William Penn, “To be furious in religion is to be furiously irreligious.” 


Moyer's goes on to state that, "Democracy tames the militancy of religious fervor as part of the Enlightenment tradition and on a more practical basis through a necessary tolerance for compromise (necessary to avoid what Europe experienced through long periods of religiously inspired strife). But because every religion conveys possible ways of expressing human experience and self-understanding, and because each can be utterly incomprehensible to the other, we are facing what Gerald Burns describes as a “contest of narratives.” Our country fairly seethes with talk about political religion and politics, much of it designed to confuse rather than clarify, to inflame rather than inform. So how can we convict and crucify something that we truly don't understand...How can we, when its not meant for us to? At this point, for me the doctrines of religion are null and void. I believe in God...yesterday it was Allah's today it may be Buddah's God, tomorrow, Jesus' God. What has remained constant is the fact that there is a God and he has a message. If I begin to live what I have been taught then my truth is that I can pick and choose who's God I want to worship based on the circumstances in my life....because that is what knowledge's history has taught me. It is unfair to choose the message to control the person and the person not use a message to justify the situation. This fleeting notion of who and what is "right" based on when and where is common place in this world, especially in America. Its found in educational, political, religious and social aspects of our culture. 

When you think of entertainment, especially amid the technological advances, activists progressive movements and enforcement of our Constitutional freedoms that religion wouldn't rear its ugly head so much. But in recent events it has not only showed itself it continues to take shits on those who refuse to fit in religion's box. The BET Awards 2013 displayed this in two specific instances. With the slogan for this year's show being "Anything Can Happen", we couldn't have expected for actually did happen to happen. I want to begin with the B.Scott refusal. Upon his arrival this Androgynous diva gay man, was immediately knocked off of one of his career milestones. After being invited by BET to host the Pre-show, he was ripped from the red carpet and demanded to change his look to a more "viewer" friendly one. After obliging, it was later deemed that he wouldn't be permitted to carry out his job because he was replaced by someone viewed as "more appropriate". Though B. Scott, has been supported by the likes of Elise Neal, Funky Dineva, Kandi Burruss, and Nicole Ari Parker this "miscommunication and misunderstanding" according to BET has been more damaging to the LGBT movement and diversity's mission. So the age old question is why did they do it? Who was responsible for suggesting and approving such a low blow passed off as a merely a miscommunication? Other than a half hearted apology, what has been offered to give B. his opportunity back, how can they or have they offered to help him surpass the milestone he reached on his own? My guess is nothing. I'm also willing to bet that the reason for not allowing it was one of religion, cultural insensitivity and sexism. YES...this is a matter a sex as well. Was it fear that it would make some men and women uncomfortable with looking at a man dressed as a woman? Or was it that the church folk didn't want to see a homosexual on the television? Is a gay man on television only ok when they are delivering catty punch lines, designing an outfit, home or styling some one's hair? I would like to know the real reason that this occurred. The funny thing is that B. Scott is still behaving Christian like with a heart of forgiveness and willingness to work with the very people that shun him. 

As I was researching the B. Scott incident, I ran across commentary (defending B) but shunning Meagan Good for a very sexy dress she wore. So I begin to dig a bit deeper... When I saw this beautiful blue gown, my heart dropped because it is a masterpiece and around her
chiseled soft frame did the dress even more justice. I certainly didn't understand the big deal with the dress on a very confident and sexy woman. Ok, I get that she's married to a pastor and was presenting the Gospel Award, however, where is it written in the Bible that a woman cant have sex appeal? I'm sure that there is one that says "Women should dress in an unattractive manner as not to tempt the saved and holy men of God." The sexism and misogyny in religion is destroying the fabric of what all Good Books say is our purpose: to love and uplift one another as a means to serve and arrive at the place ordained by God. Yet because she wore this peek-a-boo gown, she's not "saved" enough to present the award, let alone be married to a pastor? I'm wondering as anyone seen that reality show on the lives of Pastor's Wives, the Sisterhood? If we want to question something and unsaved I think we should start there. Religion's hypocrisy teaches us that men can do outlandish, despicable things but women have to obsess over what to wear that isnt too offensive??? Where does it state that we are equipped to judge? 

When Religion does more harm than good, is when I will reconnect with it and all of its notions...as I type this I walk into another truth...its not religion that is committing the sin, its the followers of religion...is that sin embedded in its doctrine??
-MsNightLyfe
"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Monday, June 24, 2013

Eve Reigns in the Eden's Garden: EVE Headlines Eden San Francisco Pride June 27-30 2013


EDEN is excited to announce our weekend headliner!  Grammy Award winning recording artist EVE is coming to the garden of EDEN to perform LIVE!!!!!! Her new album just dropped on May 14th, Lip Lock. and she will be at EDEN at the end of June! Not only will she performing music from her new release but she will also be selling and signing CDs after her show.  So get ready, get set GO!  It is gonna be an amazing weekend!

“I feel rejuvenated, like a brand new artist.”
A surprising admission from Eve, the Grammy-award musician who’s already racked up an impressive hit list (“Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” “Gangsta Lovin’”, “Who’s that Girl,” Satisfaction,” “Tambourine,” etc.) and three multi-million selling albums (Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady, Scorpion and Eve-Olution), while also earning critical raves (“a new standard in hip-hop,” said Entertainment Weekly).
And when she hasn’t been making music, it’s not like Eve has been out of the spotlight — the hip-hop star has been making her mark in film (Barbershop, Vin Diesel’s xXx, Whip It), on TV (with her own show, Eve, and in guest roles on shows such as Glee), with fashion (her own line, Fetish), and as a guest star on a number of big-name musical projects (Gwen Stefani, Ludacris, Maroon 5…the list goes on).
But Lip Lock, the Philly native’s fourth album, marks the singer’s confident return to music under her own label, and some new songs in tow.
So what’s behind the rejuvenated spirit?
“I reconfigured my life,” says the singer. “And I took time to record, and just feeling right artistically. The good thing is, right now, I feel it.”
Having moved to London, Eve’s headlining return to the music world comes with new sounds and collaborators, while still maintaining the edge of her first three records. As Eve says, “I call the new record Lip Lock because it’s about locking the game back down.” Consider it locked.
You can trace Lip Lock’s musical themes all the way back to Let There Be Eve: this is still the work of a strong artist and a fierce rapper not afraid to make a few musical left turns. The percussive fury of “All Night” is tempered by the cool synths of “Keep Me From You,” f/ Dawn Richard. There’s some powerful boasting (“Mama in the Kitchen” f/ Snoop Dogg) mixed with perfect pop hooks (“Make It Out This Town” f/ Gabe Saporta). Also featured on the album are Pusha T, Juicy J and Chrisette Michele.
Lyrically, the record feels confident, not angry. “The overall theme here is strength,” says Eve. “There’s aggression, like my first record, but it’s different. I’m in your face, but I don’t need to prove anything. It’s not anger, it’s feeling my strength, being a strong woman.”
With “She Bad Bad,” a take-no-prisoners anthem, likely to scare off pop radio, Eve claims, “We wanted to start out with something viral, something different. It definitely is getting people talking. I mean, I didn’t want to leave my core audience behind, but I did want to build a bridge from Ruff Ryders to where I am now.”
The most interesting track may very well be “Make It Out This Town,” a collaboration with Cobra Starship front-man Gabe Saporta and produced by Claude Kelly. “It’s got a really, really big hook,” said Eve. “Working with other musicians can be exciting as it gives the songs a different energy.”
To coincide with Lip Lock’s May 14, 2013 release, Eve will be launching a tour of the U.S this summer. “I’ve been performing in Europe, Asia and all over the globe really for the last few years and so I can’t wait to come back to the States,” says Eve.
And most of all, the singer hopes to use the lessons she learned early on to conquer the music world once again.
“I had to tour, gain respect, do the underground/street kind of thing,” she says. “The underground is still there, but at the same time, I think there’s a lot of artists today that haven’t gone through that. There’s superstardom before they leave the bedroom. I appreciate that I had to work for it—and that’s what I’m still doing.”

Source: http://www.edeninthebay.com/?page_id=2084
"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Confessions of An Artist: My T.R.U.T.H- Real, Unapologetic Healing- I CARE Campaign

 
Negative, depressed, dark, and pain are just some words to describe the condition of my heart during what is Still the worst day of my existence: 10.1.10 was a day symbolic to a record getting caught on the bent needle of an old record player. It replays over and over the same sound, the same agonizing pain that any mother would feel, if she heard that because of her choice in love, she'd been deemed unfit. Feelings of remorse, confusion and injustice were minimal compared to feelings of defeat, defamation, and embarrassment. Yet my anger, my rage was agonizing especially when those thoughts became calls of action. I'd become so paralyzed with grief, hatred and dark desires that I withdrew from the world around me. There was no light in the space I had been forced to live in. The only thing that existed was the poison that handicapped me and...a pen and a pad.

I'm not certain what forced my hand, to change my mind...my first guess is that I'd grown tired of being still, stagnant in grief. I knew that what I was feeling needed to be released, told, shared with someone, anyone that was willing to listen. If nothing more, I knew that it couldn't continue to reside in me, taking my mind, body, and soul hostage. So I begin to write. That act alone was so monumental in my life that I haven't stopped writing. Picking up that pen was the beginning of my healing, the releasing of hate. It was then that I wrote my first poem, entitled My Side of the Story. My Side details the custody battle that changed Everything in my life. I shared that poem publicly for the first time at HeArt and Soul Produced by K. Dapree. I was received with open arms as I stood on the stage with my paper, reading and exposing, something so real and live:  My T.R.U.T.H. (Telling Real Unapologetic Truths Thru Healing). From that sharing, K. Dapree invited me not only to write for what was at the time one of his new project, but to also share more of my Truths at the T.R.U.T.H. Project.

Neither of us knew it at the time, but that was the beginning of a journey that has taken an identity of its own. I am still writing not just to heal myself this time, but to encourage and excite healing in others. The T.R.U.T.H Project and all of its affiliates cared enough to give share their platform with me and allow me to share my pain and my healing. When in an environment of caring it makes it second nature to care too. Which leads me to share further. The T.R.U.T.H Project has launched the I CARE Campaign so that it may continue to offer opportunities to nurture new writers and provide platforms for healing and creative expression. To learn more about the campaign, to donate, and show that YOU too CARE visit www.ExperienceTheTruth.com. I encourage everyone to share their healing point and the appointed healer and/or platform that has allowed you to move forward in your life as it may save someone else's. All information and direct links to the T.R.U.T.H Project and the I Care Campaign can be found at www.SweetToothMedia.com
uzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners: Radical Change in Radical Times


Imagine your picture adorning the walls of police headquarters, post offices, and worst of all the FBI's top wanted list and underneath the picture, the caption reads: [YOUR NAME] is WANTED by the FBI for the heinous crime of being an educated, strong, phenomenal Black (Wo)man that is much to knowledgeable, assertive, inquisitive, proud and real. She/He has more education than the law allows with opinions and beliefs that are infectious amongst the people. Report this Political Prisoner IMMEDIATELY.... Seems ridiculous doesn't it? As farfetched as it seems this phenomenon is very real. Free Angela and All Political Prisoners is an amazing film that hones in on the existence of political prisoners, the causes and the effects it has on minority groups of people.

According to the Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal, prior to September 11, 2001, there were nearly 100 political prisoners and prisoners of war incarcerated in the United States. Political prisoners are men and women who have been incarcerated for their political views and actions. They have consciously fought against social injustice, colonialism, and/or imperialism and have been incarcerated as a result of their political commitments. Even while in prison, these men and women continue to adhere to their principles. This defnition of the term “political prisoner” is accepted throughout the international community (Vol. 18, 2002).  Many of today's political prisoners were victims of an FBI Counter intelligence program called COINTELPRO, which was created by then FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover. The program consisted of series of covert actions directed against domestic dissident groups, targeting five perceived threats to "domestic tranquility". The five perceived threats included the White Hate Groups (1964-71), Black Nationalist/Extremist Hate Groups (1967-71) The Communist Party (1956-71), the Socialist Workers Party (1961-69), and the New Left (1968-71).  These groups were believed to be a threat to US policies and general way of life because they simply had an opinion different from the masses and voiced it proudly and publicly. Furthermore, this oppression greatly affected the treatment of blacks who refused to be "good niggers". Here is an edited copy of the FBI COINTELPRO regarding Black Extremist,  a 23 part report, which supports this ideation.


Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, is an intimate walk in the life of Angela Davis, an American political activist, scholar and author. As a former leader of the Communist Party and close relationship with the Black Panther Party, Davis was once on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List. Of course those weren't the reasons listed on the notice...she was wanted and later arrested for her alleged involvement in the attempted jail break of , Black Panther Member and SOLEDAD BROTHER, George Jackson who was serving an 11 year sentence (7 of which was spent in solitary confinement) for the petty theft of $70 in which he died claiming his innocence. George's young brother, Johnathan Jackson, joined Angela and Black Panther members in their fight for Freedom and Equality for all and to hold on to the only real family he had....his brother. Because of Angela's voice and belief in reform and equality she quickly became a target.
Her affiliation with the Black Panther Party and leadership with the Communist party was to combat socialism that grows from capitalism. She felt that as an individual she couldn't accomplish much radical reform, but felt as a Black Community standing unified we could demand and obtain fairness in all things. Based on this notion and the obvious conspiracy to wipe out the Black community, defending our right to exist equally became Angela's life work...in which she was unjustly jailed for. In the summer of 1970, Johnathan, who at the time was 17 years old entered a Marin County Courtroom and took a Judge, the prosecutor and three female jurors hostage after he armed two black defendants and they all walked out of the courtroom and quickly to a van. Before the van was completely off of court grounds, the police opened fire on the vehicle. Everyone in the van was murdered except for two of the three jurors taken hostage. Johnathan, was heavily armed with guns purchased just a few days before by none other than...Angela Davis. This implicated Angela and the hunt for her head was on. Angela was captured after a short stint on the run. She later served 18 months in prison before her trial but not before the prosecution wanted her to get the death penalty for all three murders (the judge, the prosecutor and the juror). Angela was later found not guilty of all charges and released from prison. Her real crime: Being the embodiment of Black Liberation, the government's imaginary enemy.

Here is this educated woman, who had lost her job and became America's target for her belief in freedom and equality and having the audacity to say so and stand with others that share the vision. In the film, it was disclosed that Angela had an affair with George Jackson during both of their imprisonments. This affair was the prosecution's argument for her involvement in this case.   His opening argument stated that Ms. Davis had uncontrollable passion because she is a woman and she too wanted her "man" to be free and this is why the Marin County Court massacre occurred. The question of the hour then is who was responsible for shootings? Angela Davis wasn't at the scene of the crime and the only reports of shots were those that came from the police. If the "Illuminati" was in existence then, I guess it would be safe to say that the murdered judge, prosecutor and jurors were sacrificial casualties in the war of knowledge and control. Aside from that, Angela Davis and other noted free thinkers/prisoner's of war such as Assata Shakur, Elaine Brown, and George Jackson endured the most extreme counts of legal, racial and political bullying and force. In the midst of this monstrosity, how is it then that "We" are free? Is freedom of speech and the pursuit of happiness limited to law makers and those that enforce them? Which leads more inquiry into the concept of democracy...the very principle that America wanted to protect...the very one that led to the unfair targeting and arrests of those that identified and disagreed with its practices.

The oppression in which we live continues to thrive. Lets begin with what it took to get the film screened in theaters. This film, directecd by Shola Lynch , endorsed by Jada Pinkett-Smith, hasn't received any distribution. Aside from that, movie theaters across America are forcing organizations that wish to show the film to buy out theaters just for screening. America doesn't like the sounds its skeletons make and will stop at no end to make sure no one else is aware of their existence. Non-whites are given harsher punishments for the same crimes committed as whites. Assata Shakur is still on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List and women are still the subjected to chauvinistic thought processes in the system of misogyny. Davis argues that the FBI’s latest move, much like its initial targeting of Shakur and other Black Panthers four decades ago, is politically motivated. "It seems to me that this act incorporates or reflects the very logic of terrorism," Davis says. "I can’t help but think that it’s designed to frighten people who are involved in struggles today. Forty years ago seems like it was a long time ago. In the beginning of the 21st century, we’re still fighting around the very same issues — police violence, healthcare, education, people in prison" (Goodman et al., 2013). It is in fact disdaining and terrifying to those involved with struggle and could be part of the reason for so much voluntary ignorance. As a people we have been divided and conquered. How dare we have an opinion, let alone try to be the change that we want to see....!  How can her "fight" be more radical that the times in which we live...amongst the elements that are stuck in time. Desperate time calls for desperate measures. Is it ok that the American government can use force to protect domestic tranquility as long as the "domesticate" stay in their place? America has taught us that its fair to justify crimes of violent force when the face in front of the smoking barrel is white. Protecting the republic's reputation takes precedence over protecting the people the make up the republic. How democratic is that?

"I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement....As a black woman, my politics and political affiliation are bound up with and flow from participation in my people's struggle for liberation, and with the fight of oppressed people all over the world against American imperialism."-Angela Davis

"Knowledge can transform the practical, after truth forms the radical"- MsNightLyfe.

Sources:
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/5/3/angela_davis_and_assata_shakurs_lawyer
http://www.biography.com/people/angela-davis-9267589
http://feministstudies.ucsc.edu/faculty/singleton.php?&singleton=true&cruz_id=aydavis
http://vault.fbi.gov/cointel-pro
www3.law.harvard.edu/journals/hjrej-articles/archive/.../soffiyah.pdf
by JS Elijah - 2002



"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Friday, May 17, 2013

Getting "Down" on the Low: An "Out" in the Open Discussion About Homosexuality in the African American Community

We are all familiar with the term "Down Low" brother thanks to J.L. King who took us on a "Journey of In the Lives of Straight Black Men, Who Sleep With Men" back in 2005 on the Oprah Winfrey Show. And while it has been some 8 years since light was shed on a phenomenon that is said to aid in the demise of the black community and the declining health of African-American women due to HIV/AIDS, the concept of "Down Low" is still very prevalent and just as much a taboo subject within the black community now as it was then. Over the years the term "Down Low" has been attached to a negative connotation...much like most things used to classify, stereotype, and place African-Americans in a box. Executive Producer of the web series, No More Down Low TV, Earnest Willborn states that the term "Down Low" vilifies black men who aren't given an "Out" to be who they are. While, I agree that being "Down Low" is a coping mechanism to being in barless prisons, to say that sometimes we help with making these moniker's stick by exhibiting behaviors associated with the definitive would be an entirely different discussion and will be saved for another blog.


Reality TV is on the rise to being a game changer in the issues discussed and how those issues are being portrayed. It has provided a platform to address serious, well deserving issues that plague the black community and this nation. MTV's next documentary series True Life Presents: Living On The Down Low: Secrets, Lies, and Sex will introduce to us two young, black men and detail their struggles with their sexuality because of fear of loosing the very system that they will need for support. According to an exclusive interview provided to The Advocate Tarrodd is a vivacious, pansexual 23-year-old club promoter living in Akron, Ohio who recently got engaged to his girlfriend of six years. I presume that you will find it strange that his long time girl friend has never been to his home because he share his home with his boyfriend. The interview reveals that both found out about the other during the shows filming and thus has given Tarrodd a feeling of relief. "By mainstream standards, Tarrodd had very much lived life “on the down low.” He’s a young, urban black man terrified that coming out will separate him from his family, his friends, and everyone he holds dear. That fear led Tarrodd to hide his sexuality and pursue multiple partners of different genders without telling his fiancee. And while the so-called down low reached the height of public attention years ago, it hasn’t just faded away." (The Advocate)
The first show in the series is the story of a young man that goes by the name Coke. While Tarrod and Coke both share similar stories, Coke's story is far more heart tugging. The soon to be father was living with his mother at the beginning of filming. The documentary will show the intensified shame that Coke endures after coming out to his mother and girlfiriend who did exactly what he expected them to do: ostracize him.

The beautiful part of this documentary is that again, it forces our community, our nation to have conversations about forbidden issues that we all have or had. AIDS/HIV continue to spread in our community. Families are being destroyed and lives are being lost because noone is talking. To have your life placed inside of a box is suffocating when all you want to do is live. It is my hope that the concept of LGBTQ because synomymous with humans in the eyes of mainstream America and its conservatives. The MTV Series airs Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Check your local listings for show times.





"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Friday, May 3, 2013

Reign: A Splash of Class Powered by Des Torres and Co. and Women of Plenty Press Release

Women of Plenty/Des Torres and Co.


Women of Plenty and Des Torres and Co. Presents Reign: A Splash of Class



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Houston, TXWomen of Plenty and Des Torres and Co.will present Reign: A Splash of Class, taking place at Club Isis located at 1010 Prairie St. on May 10, 2013 and featuring Jurni Rayne, Melotree, Temper Taking Over, Deontazz of Xstudcee, Look-Alive hosted by Video Vixen Tish.

Women of Plenty and Des Torres and Co is proud to bring Reign: A Splash of Class to Houston, TX for the renowned LGBT Pride, Houston Splash. Reign: A Splash of Class will bring you the most sophisticated affair for the fashion forward LGBT professionals during Houston's most sought after event in the community. Guests will be provided an eloquently posh experience with a red carpet flair. Entertained by talents such as Temper who hails from Chicago destined to be the hottest female rapper in the game, Jurni Rayne all the way from DallasTX, along with her band will have attendees melting over their sultry sound. Deontazz of XSTUDCEE will be  sure to live out their motto and make the panties wetta, and last but certainly not least Look Alive whose name sets the standard as the most talented Hip-Hop/Poet artist in the game will be gracing the stage. Hosted by  the Sexy Video Vixen Tish, Reign: A Splash of Class will be an event to remember. Promotional sponsorship has been provided by Sweet Tooth Media, Xstudcee, N2J Media, Teko the Model, Yellastud, Studs are In, LLC, The Artists The SeriesDJ TnT, BF, and RI.  

To experience this mature, class, and upscale affair for women that loves women and has an appreciation for all things lovely tickets can be purchased:
 Presale until May 5, 2013 $15.00, At the Door - $20.00, VIP(Skip the Line, Appetizers, Red Carpet Photo and Mix and Mingle with Celebrities) - $25.00
A Limited amount of Tables and Sections are available
A Limited amount of Tables and Sections are availableVisit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6132485429/efbevent  or contact Des @ destorresandcompany@gmail.com to purchase tickets.
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Check Out the KPFT 90.1 Queer Voices Radio Interview about Reign: A Splash of Class with MsNightLyfe and the Reign:- A Splash of Class Promo Video  


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"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

VH-1's Gossip Game's Vivian vs. Steph Lova: Opinion Based On Fact

 
 
VH-1 is no stranger to reality's drama and all its queens and kings. neither is it a stranger to talks about who's transgender or not. If you recall, on VH-1's Love and Hip Hop Atlanta it was rumored that Joseline Hernandez was a transgender woman. Remaining consistant, their newest reality show to grace the airwaves is The Gossip Game, which chronicles the Gossip Bloggers of Hip-Hop. Well into the season, showing on Monday nights, the latest episode has stirred a few feathers of those in the LGBTQ community. In Episode 5, gossip blogger,  Vivian Billings and former colleague, radio personality Steph Lova engage in a heated altercation centering around sexuality....that of Kayden, Vivian's son who is transgender and Steph Lova's possible lesbianism. On the show, Steph Lova publicly announced with intent to harm that Vivian shouldn't be concerned about her sexuality because she (Vivian) has a "daughter" who's a lesbian....This occured after Steph was taunted by Vivian's cousin accusing her wanting to do more than just work with Vivian. Realistically who cares if Steph Lova is a lesbian, hides or hones lesbian tendencies. The fact that she purposely "outed" Kayden on public television without his permission is tacky and forces the public to form an opinion. It doesn't matter the provocation, to bring up something clearly disclosed in confidence and on  much more personal note was such a low blow. In the world of psychology we call that act, deflection. In which a person deviates from the question of or if and place it on someone else that the world possibly doesn't know about, because they could never truly know about them.
As a lesbian who wasn't always sure of self, I can relate to Steph, and its clear that she is more than defensive about the discussion of her being a lesbian. Her act was more than alarming because, it showed her pain, her insecurity, and just how deep her struggle is.


In an interview with NewNowNext, Vivian and her son Kayden spoke candidly about the "outing". Vivian too believes that Steph's reaction is due to her own struggles with sexuality. As society progresses to understand, acknowledge and include the LGBTQ community, homophobia is still very much prevalent in Hip-Hop. Kayden stated on last Monday's episode that he isn't a lesbian, but a
transgender male. He reiterates to NNN that it was no secret but what makes it degrading is that it was announced publicly with the intent to hurt his mother, and he had absolutely nothing to do with Steph's and his mother's disagreement. Sadly in the Black community this type of behavior isn't uncommon. It has its remnants of the crab in the bucket syndrome, but what's deeper is that it comes from a place of hurt and shame. Hurt people, hurt people. It also forces us as a community to delve deeper into a spiritual place and have real, life conversations about issues that are still taboo. The problem is known and seen and its time for resolution.



One of the positives of what was intended for bad is that Steph's disclosure forced Kayden and Vivian to talk openly, publicly, and positively about sexuality. It showed acceptance, attempt, and aspiration to grow. Another positive in the midst of "coming out" is that we are at least talking about it because we see the effects it has on people of color. An underlying issue in the episode is that of Domestic Violence. Kayden referred to memories of seeing his mother beat. That too needs more discussion. Usually, reality shows are merely entertainment and that in and of itself is haunting. Enjoying
someone else's pain just to help us deflect from our own hurts us too. However, I see hope and thus light and life is before us.

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"





Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dallas Mavericks and Brittney Griner: Paradoxical Potential


Mark Cuban is a name synonymous with words such as risky, outlandish, and bold. An avid business man and known "shark" is once again engaging in venturesome activity. Mark Cuban has announced that he is considering women's basketball star, Brittney Griner in the 2013 2nd round draft pick. Cuban states even if she isn't selected he's considering giving her a spot on the team's summer league squad. Cuban's logic behind sexually integrating the NBA is that there is great marketing opportunities and that she's the best option considering those players remaining after the 1st round draft pick. Cuban believes she's capable and wants to give her the opportunity to prove that she is.

Houston native, Brittney Griner has an impressive basketball record. The 6'8'' Baylor player has earned three consecutive Big 12 player of the year awards and she is the second all time scorer in Women's NCAA Division One basketball. She is arguably the most transcendent female college basketball player of all time. Noted for her athleticism and physicality, in a male dominated industry it is no wonder that she is also criticized for those same qualities. Often being likened to a man on the court, Brittney has received some negative feedback for her authority and achievement on the court. Responding to Cuban, with "lets do it" will equally get Griner praised and condemned.

The best part about this potential endeavor is that it speaks volumes
to the movement of equality. Though Cuban's move isn't pioneering in integrating the sexes in sports, it most certainly is a critical move during time of revolution. Let's think that Cuban's sole motivation for considering Griner isn't JUST marketing and earning opportunity, but maybe this move is revolutionary in that equality is based on skill and merit not sex or the perception of it. Maybe on the court he sees an outstanding, well deserving talent. However, there is still concern about the perils Griner will face if she makes it to the team. Sure we'd like to think that we live in a day and time in which women can do the same things a man can do probably better because women think differently. And while this "new" way have thinking has done some wonderful things for women, femininity and the female empowerment movement, Griner being accepted as a part of the Dallas Mavericks would only add to the de-feminizing rhetoric that she's already been exposed to. For a moment, I thought that the WNBA no longer existed. Certainly we know of the inequalities that exists between the WNBA and the NBA such as salary, air time and the like. If she makes it to the NBA what will that mean for the WNBA? Will it be no more? Will other women players seek try out opportunities in the NBA before considering the WNBA? Will women become more susceptible to negative innuendos from those currently players and the low-level players that are chosen after a girl? We all know the effects of misogynistic bullying and the outcome could be a major fall out for women's liberation movement, but I think its worth the risk.

The key for all women and sports fans alike is to remain optimistic that the Cuban along with team officials will be make the best choice. I'm sure that Griner, will bring her best with her to try outs.

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Queen Bey: Says Bow Down...as H-Town Stands Up

Well if you want to see how fast someone's panties can get in a bunch all you need to do is something outside of the box that they put you in and almost instantly, panties worn by hypocrites  self- proclaimed judges, and delusional gods all simultaneously synchronize into this decades worst wedgies. If that's to much work, we could always ask Beyonce'. Mrs. Carter has long been the topic of discussion, hate, praise and everything in between. Her latest opinion jerker is her single, Bow Down from her Blue Ivy album.

Re-introducing fans to Sasha Fierce, it seems that Queen Bey brought every bottled "Read" that she'd been harboring during her stint of political correctedness (Yea, I made that Up). She may just earn another fan with this song, however. Prior to the release of this single, Bey remained relevant, after receiving publicity about her inaugural performance and then her show stopping performance at the Super Bowl. After stirring up the gossip mills and brews, Bey does it again a midst what appears to be more of a fan fueled twitter beef with Keshia Cole. Cole criticizes Queen Bey for not being "consistent" enough in the public display of class. But she isn't the only one displeased with Beyonce's alter ego returning. Some of Bey's fans seem to like the "prude" high society presentation that she gives the world and according to Facebook posts and status updates, this song Bow Down was "out of character" for her and possibly knocks her out of the race to be America's Next Best Role Model. Have fans forgot other edgy songs with the Queen Bey stamp on it such as Bills, Irreplaceable, Ego, and Diva? While all address a woman-centered topic and range from one end of the ratchet spectrum to another, its all a matter of perception. Bow Down is another knot on that belt...But when was an instruction manual released on operating the box that they've built and put her in? It is no secret that many people view celebrities in a light specific to their experiences, and while I have never been a huge Bey fan, I think that her "new" naysayers are disappointed in their glorified perception of the image they created for her.

Any and all artists should be able to create and perform without censorship. Its not the artist fault that people get offended by their creative expressions or truths. For Bey, Now should be no exception. Bey has actually earned the right to say what needs to be said in the way that she want to be say it.  I actually think this track is rather strategic...genius even. Returning to the her down south roots, she samples Texas greats such as UGK and shouts out Willie D. She reclaims a shakeable home base and rekindle the fire. Further more, Bow Down shows the rest of the world that she is human, not super human. Hats off to you Bey for doing what you want to do!!!

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

When Reality TV ACTUALLY Forces A Reality Check: Transgendered Breakthroughs- Loving Laverne Cox

When it comes to reality television there's a myriad of opinions, just as there are of anything revealing the ugly truth forcing the sleepwalkers to really look at their pretty lies. This makes people uncomfortable. While the focus here could be on the hate spewed at all things different or "abnormal", its imperative that revolutionary accomplishments be highlighted. After all it is Black History Month and the month of love and us here at Sweet Tooth Media, just LOVE cultural trendsetters.

Browsing through the net looking for the latest in black entertainment and I run across this Huffington Post article on Laverne Cox. Laverne is the first African-American transgender woman to produce and star in her own television show. Getting her start on VH1's I Want To Work For Diddy, she made history being the first African American transgender woman to appear on a reality television. That led to her landing a starring and producing role in the spin off, TRANSform Me. Making her stride in history and on the screen, Laverne has appeared in the independent feature film, Musical Chairs in which she was nominated for the GLAAD Media Award, The Exhibitionists, and two movies not yet released, “36 Saints” and “Grand Street." Laverne guest starred on Law and Order SVU and other television shows. Ms. Cox has been quite the pioneer for LGBTQ representation in television.

So, I find it rather alarming that she hasn't been supported by the very community she is providing a voice for. Laverne states that the Trans community heavily criticized her for her role in TRANSform Me. While she expected from the African American community she didn't from the community in whence she came. This is alarming in the age of the demand for equal rights for all citizens. As a devout and proud member of the LGBTQ community, I don't understand the cry for equality from those outside of the community, when inside of the community we're at such a disarray. Nevertheless, Ms. Cox shifted her focus from the opinion of others to self-love and acceptance. Reminding us all that our journey belongs to us and only us, anyone else is lucky enough to catch a ride. This re-routing of energy has led to various other opportunities for Ms. Cox and I'm more than interested to see the rest of her work with the world.


Photos Courtesy of www.LaverneCox.com

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Show Me You Love Me: The Punany Poets Public Display of Affection Tour

Jessica Holter, Author / Producer / Activist and Creator of the Punany Poets is one of the most marvelous women, whom I've had the pleasure of working with. As a multifaceted, multi-talented writer, that has connected her passion to her purpose Jessica continues to produce some of the most amazing shows in the world. Addressing taboo topics in minority communities, more specifically, African-American communities, she faces some criticisms, however, she takes pride in being totally supported by her fan base. In a time where HIV/AIDS cases exist at an alarming rate, Jessica, approaches the topic seductively and poetically, to bring awareness to the epidemic that has been infectious in our community. Jessica's lyrical attack on the subject matter has been just as infectious. Engaging audiences across the globe, Jessica and the Punany Poets, performs on a platform that encourages couples to open up lines of communication, experience sheer sensuality and have a healthy and productive sexual relationship. Jessica states, that ..."knowledge is freedom and we cant continue living in ignorance with education readily made available to us..."


Her latest adventure is the 2013 PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION TOUR and is coming to a city and venue near you!!! Jessica Holter's The Punany Poets star in The Punany Experience, A scintillating showcase of Storytelling, Erotic Verse, Comedy, Theatrics Exotic Dance (Adult Language, Artistic Nudity, Audience Interaction *Adults Only) Catch the Newest Punany Poet, MsNightLyfe on the Public Displays of Affection Tour! The 2013 PUBLIC DSPLAYS OF AFFECTION TOUR is a three-movement suite of Poetry, Song, Spoken Word, and Dramatizaton. The individual movements within the 2013 PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION are as follows: The PUNANY EXPERIENCE, The HEAD DOCTOR SHOW, and The SECRET Of The PEARL. Catch the Show ANY WHERE!!!


To Purchase tickets visit www.PunanyTickets.com 

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Valentine's Day: Loving YOURSELF to Pieces!



Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and for all the lovers out there its a wonderful thing. Mates join in the commercialized hustle and bustle to show their significant other JUST how much they love them as they profess all for the world to see. For the skeptics and singles, Valentine's Day is OverRated and is viewed as just another day. While both of those extremes are present, I come to aid the "gray matters" in arriving at a common ground. Being single during any celebratory occasion can be quite disappointing, but that's only for the pessimists of the world. Who better than to spend the day of Love with, than the person you love the most: Yourself?

To see the world differently, we must change our perception and thought process. Not having a date on Valentine's day isn't the end of the world. As a matter of fact, being alone on V-Day can be just as much fun as hanging out with some random date or the person you've been meaning to break up with for months but don’t have the balls to do it. Being alone is cheaper, easier and probably a hell of a better idea. Now one may ask what in the world can I do on V-Day to ensure that I'm not dwelling on the fact that I'm alone...The answer is simple, you can do plenty. As a lover of all things self, it no longer bothers me to see others happy and in love. It restores my faith in the existence of true love and provides me with that flicker of hope that a love interest that shares my vision will come along. So, don't focus on the PDA shown by lovers around you, internalize that and show yourself a little PDA as its necessary to lover yourself so much that you allow others the temporary enjoyment of your company. In lieu of Valentine's Day AND the Punany Poets Public Displays of Affection Tour, I recommend the following PRIOR to Valentine's Day.

1. Put yourself in a position to meet other singles- It is important to understand that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There are thousands of available singles out there just like you and just like retailers capitalize on V-Day, matching services, party promoters, and the like also capitalize on your singledom by offering a variety of events to attend. In creating events where others, like you are just wanting to have a good time and mingle, planners understand the need to target the singles. Plan to attend these events, you may meet total jerks but you may also meet a few good ones. Either way enjoy the moment. 

2. Enjoy your singledom...DATE as many or as few people as you would like to! By now you should have had time to mentally prepare yourself for being "alone" on V-Day. In that preparation your suitors or suitees await the moment to spend as much or as little time with you as you allow. So, schedule at least three dates for V-Day. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having breakfast, lunch and dinner with a different person in one day. Its fun, reassuring, and allows others to have a sample of  the best you. 

3. Treat YOURSELF- Take yourself on a date! Enjoy all those things that you have really been wanting to do. Have cocktails, do something daring, or plan to spend a quite evening at home with tons of "toys". Whatever it is, no one will treat you better than you. 





Loving you, makes it easy for others to love you too...Know your worth. 




"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fantasia Barrino, Throwing Stones from her Glass House Balcony


 
 
It isn’t uncommon that the New Year brings resolutions and reflections for everyone. This includes politicians that are able to reach decisions concerning the lives of millions of people that entrust their livelihoods to folks that have never lived a day in their lives as well as celebrities that believe that their shit don’t stank' until they are waist deep face down in it. It seems that Fantasia Barrino placed her manure covered foot in her mouth. On Monday, December 31st (New Years Eve), Fantasia decided to release her ill feelings regarding other’s opinions of the mess that has now become her life. During a time that most are reflecting, Fantasia started a new trend with deflecting. It is no secret that Fantasia, destroyed a marriage, laid down her religious upbringing, and violated every woman code that exists to have her slice of someone else’s pie. Despite her obvious disrespect of something as sacred as marriage, her amazing talent has kept fans of all backgrounds and preferences interested in her. So it is no wonder that her latest unintelligible move is being considered offensive.
 

On instagram , Fantasia posted that “The whole world has gone mad” in a deflective rant that eludes to the judgment of the legalization of gay marriage and marijuana in some states.It seems that instead of focusing on her own role in the outcome of her situation she has decided to focus on the opinions of others that won’t in fact un-do what she did. Certainly we can all understand that what someone thinks of us is irrelevant when we have accepted responsibility for our own short comings and come to terms with them. There is no need to play defense when our offense is strong. This instagram message seems that Fantasia hasn’t come very far in her healing, being defensive. But in her pain, she’s resorted to hurting others. Now while her publicists have already issued statements from the singer, recanting her outbursts …http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/idol-worship/american-idols-fantasia-barrino-clarifies-407367 The damage has already been done.
The saddest part of this is that she was simply being honest, and her honesty was considered offensive. Fantasia hasn’t yet mastered the concept of, with freedom, comes great responsibility. She is absolutely free to say whatever she wants, it’s not her problem to how it’s perceived by others, YET, at what cost was it done? Trying to get out of the path of judgment can’t be done judging others. It’s greater than the pot calling the kettle black because sin is sin. No sin is greater than the other. For some in the LGBT community, it was a little harsh. What does the legalization of gay marriage have to do with the fact that she was being judged for committing adultery and having two children out of wedlock? Marriage on any level should never come out of Fantasia’s mouth. What’s so angering is that people with no regards for the sanctity of marriage, love, and those involved have an opinion about what marriage is and isn’t.  No one’s judging, just saying, how can the finger belonging to one sinner be pointed at another sinner, no matter the vice?  So let’s consider, she wasn’t judging because she doesn’t want to be judged…Was she “Just Saying?” If so, what was she saying? Children are always told to think before they speak, a lesson that Fantasia needs a refresher on.  You can’t throw stones and hide your hands from your balcony when you live in a glass house for it will shatter beneath your feet and consume you with it. As 50 Cent says, if you have a glass jaw, keep your mouth closed...

                

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"