Don Cornelius

When you mention the name Don Cornelius amongst the Black community, there is no need for an introduction. For those who are unfamiliar with Don Cornelius, he was the writer and producer of the nationally syndicated dance and music show Soul Train.

Soul Train was formed because Don noticed in the late 60’s that there weren’t any television shows geared towards Black artists and soul music. With the creation of Soul Train, soul and funk artists could showcase their talents.

Prior to Soul Train, Black people were limited to occasionally performing on TV as guests on White programs. All that changed with Don’s creation of Soul Train. Soon, White audiences started to tune into Soul Train and it’s popularity skyrocketed. Eventually, Soul Train would even showcase White artists whose nusic was centered around soul, funk and R&B.

I loved watching Soul Train as a child because I loved seeing some of the artists I grew up listening to perform live. And who can forget the infamous Soul Train line and those Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen commercials? Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen played a part in Don’s Black is Beautiful campaign.

Listening to Don talk with his nicely shaped afro and smooth deep voice was a treat. I could listen to him talk all day. One of my favorite parts of Soul Train is when it was ending and Don would say: “I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”

With all the success and positivity that Soul Train brought to the Black community, it saddens many how Don Cornelius’s life ended. Don suffered with seizures, battled Alzheimer’s and his health steadily declined. He was in constant pain the last 15 years of his life and unfortunately he decided to end his life.

Soul Train will always be one of those shows that is cherished amongst the Black community because it was a show where Black people were portrayed in a good way. It also showed people how to have fun, dance and get down!

If you have never watched an episode of Soul Train, you are really missing out. To see a brief clip of one of my favorite episodes, click here.

The next time you are on YouTube, search for it. It’ll have you smiling and dancing before you know it. 👌🏾

To listen to a brief catchy remix of the theme song, click here.

Until next time…love, peace and soul!

Donyale Luna (Updated)

I was reading an article on the late Donyale Luna and because I was taken aback by it, I decided to blog about it.

Donyale Luna, born Peggy Ann Freeman, is largely dubbed as the first Black supermodel. At 6’2, she was beautiful and hard to miss because she always stood out from the crowd.

Peggy, also known as Donyale, seemed to be a troubled woman when it came to her identity. She lied about being Black for years and often lied about having a large amount of Native American and Mexican ancestry. I remember shaking my head as I was reading this article because its quite obvious that she was a Black woman.

When Donyale soon realized that her strong African ancestry couldn’t be denied, she began to make up stories that she had very little African ancestry and was mulatta. How sad that this woman had so much of self-hate that she couldn’t even acknowledge being Black. It makes me wonder if she had some type of mental issue. I can’t help but to feel sorry for her.

There are pictures of Donyale wearing contacts and makeup that was lighter than her skin. She did that in an effort to make herself more appealing or exotic. I hate to say it, but it made her look absolutely ridiculous.

Donyale’s family has said she had issues with her identity and considering the period of time she was born in, I suspect she hated being Black. Her own family has admitted that she desperately sought the approval and acceptance of White people. Maybe she believed if she was mixed or made herself seem to be mixed, she would be accepted by White people. What a sad way to waste a life.

Its unfortunate that Donyale lived her life as a lie all because she wanted to be accepted, loved and respected by White people. If that’s not sad, I don’t know what is. A life wasted.

Until next time…

Words of Wisdom for 2018

As the year 2018 draws to an end, I’m marking off all the things I refuse to carry into 2019. I have goals that I’m aiming to reach and I can’t do that unless I get rid of a few more things.

The years we have to live are limited people and I don’t want to waste my life doing mundane things. When I look back on my life, I want to be happy with the way I lived my life and the choices I made. I don’t want my life littered with regrets because to me, that is a life wasted.

The way this world is headed, we can be here one day and gone the next. Simply put: Tomorrow is never promised nor is it a guarantee.

If this has been a rough year for you, I sincerely hope that 2019 will be a better year for you. I had some things I had to conquer, face and make peace with this year and I was able to do just that. What about you?

2019, let’s do this! 👊🏾

Until next time…

Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson was an African American jazz singer and actress. Her voice won the hearts of millions of people and it was that same voice that won her numerous prestigious awards.

Nancy Wilson, as described by many, was much more than just a beautiful face. She was smart, talented, classy and versatile.

I would always get excited whenever one of her records would come on because I loved to hear her sing. Nancy was a sight to see when she would perform because her emotions would shine through her performance. You felt what she felt as she belted her heart out. Raw and pure emotion is what she gave you.

I can still remember how excited I was when she appeared on The Cosby Show in the late 80’s and sung acapella! Now that was truly a treat.

Sadly, on December 13, 2018, Nancy Wilson passed away from kidney cancer. Nancy will always be remembered as the beautiful graceful woman with a captivating voice and a smile to match. Nancy always carried herself with grace throughout her years and you know what? She aged with grace too.

Until next time, click here to hear my favorite song by Nancy Wilson.

Anneka McLean

I recently stumbled across one of Anneka McLean’s videos on YouTube and I felt compelled to blog about her. I honestly never heard of her until I clicked on one of her videos. In this particular video, she talked about how she was often mocked and made fun of for having full lips. A feature of hers that stands out when you first look at her, but in a good way.

I appreciated the fact that even though she was made fun of for having full lips, she never felt self-conscious or ashamed of it. In fact, she embraced it.

As a woman with full lips, I love my lips. Whenever I wear lipstick or any type of glossy lip color, I get loads of compliments. The same can be said for Anneka. Her lips in my personal opinion is her best feature and I think she is beautiful. Her smile is even more beautiful if you ask me.

Anneka, like so many other Black women like myself, is not afraid to tout her pout with lip colors that were once frowned upon for Black women. Anneka takes pride in her looks, like we all should, and I think it’s extremely important that we don’t make fun of other people’s physical characteristics. The definition of beauty is not just narrow, it’s broad too.

Until next time…

Why Should It Matter? (Repost)

A good friend of mine shared a link to an online forum where users pick apart the features of famous athletes, singers, actors and actresses. The purpose of this is to specifically see if these famous people have any Black ancestry. Because I respect my blog way too much, I will not share nor post this disgusting racist forum on my blog. With that being said, there was one long thread that caught my attention.

The thread was about former MLB player Grady Sizemore. This thread was full of White women who were praising (initially) just how “hot” and sexy he was. What changed all that? A White male user shared that he is half Black. Oh my goodness! You should’ve seen how those women back peddled from their comments.

Grady soon became everything from a boon, to a monkey and every other racist name associated with Black people. No longer was he the “hot” and sexy MLB player…

So because they now know that he has Black in him, half Black to be exact, he’s no longer attractive? Grady has always been proud of his Black father and never hid the fact that he is half Black. Why should it even matter?

Is being Black or having Black ancestry that bad? Of course not. Having Black ancestry, whether great or small, is nothing to be ashamed of. Nor should it be something to hide. Adding to that, having any type of Black ancestry doesn’t make a person less attractive or less human.

It’s a shame how the racist and prejudiced slave mentality still exists in non-Black people today. Sheesh! You know it’s bad when they start looking for Black features in other people.

Until next time…

Blackfishing

This is getting ridiculous. If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you are probably familiar with Blackfishing. For those of you who aren’t, Blackfishing is when a non-Black person “pretends” to be Black or half Black. Why? Because it makes them look more appealing or “exotic” when they darken their skin with tanning products and contour their features to look more “Afro centric“. How disrespectful.

Some have went as far as buying butt pads and getting butt and lip injections to fool other people into thinking they are Black or half Black. Why? Because round buttocks, full lips and curvy hips is very common amongst Black women; physical features that have been mocked for centuries. To “seal” the look, they sport the most popular hairstyles amongst Black women. How disturbing because some look absolutely ridiculous.

As more are being “called out” on their Blackfishing behavior, some have tried to lie by saying they get really dark when exposed to the sun. Nah, not that dark. That backfired in the worst way because other users uploaded damaging photos of them. When they have no other lies to spew, some finally admit what millions of people already knew: they like appropriating Black culture and “certain” Black features. Say what you want, but that also shows they suffer with low self-esteem.

These Blackfishing women have no problem appropriating Black culture and “certain” Black features, but they don’t want to accept everything else that comes along with it like daily racism, prejudice and discrimination. Oh, okay. I see. Nah, not really. At the end of the day, Blackfishing is disrespectful, it’s deceitful and it’s downright offensive. As for those who fake being Black or half Black for profit, they should be ashamed of themselves.

Black people have been hated and envied for centuries and it’s still prevalent today. Now we have to contend with non-Black people “faking” to be Black or half Black. Take pride in yourself. Don’t try to look and be like somebody else. Don’t live your life as a lie.

Until next time…