Nigerians Steal the Show

Good Evening Good People! How is everyone? I hope to find each of you doing well.

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while now and have finally had the chance to do so. If you’ve been on Instagram, Facebook or watched the news back in May, you probably know what I’m talking about. It’s been viewed over 50 million times on a number of social media platforms! 😱

If you haven’t seen it, don’t worry. I’m going to post a YouTube clip.

In May 2019 for Fashion Week in Vienna, Austria, a group of Nigerian women showed up and showed out for the Colors of Africa runway show. What made these women go viral was the realness of themselves and their bodies. Healthy real women who have shown millions of people around the world how to love the body you are in and of course, how to move and have fun.

When you see the clip, notice the smiles on their faces and how the “Mama” of the group moves in the beginning. She’s in the blue. I love all the traditional clothing, dancing and cultural elements. The crowd was eating it up.

Seeing this touches the root of my heart in so many ways since I am mostly Nigerian myself. It’s amazing how such rhythmic moves are still ingrained in many of us African Americans. It’s in the blood. Dancing like this just comes easy to me. 🙏🏽❤️🤗

Click here to see these ladies in action. I’ll go ahead and warn you, the song is catchy.

Until next time…

Nah

We live in a world where the definition of beauty is warped and I mean severely warped. I often blog about Black people and the Black experience because well, I’m Black. Hear goes nothing.

Due to slavery and its long-lasting stereotypical effects, many Black women struggle to find themselves beautiful. Some feel that in order to be seen as beautiful and acceptable, they must have straight hair, a narrow nose, thin lips, light skin or long hair. I have no such features except the long hair. Broad features are just as beautiful.

This sad and unfortunate way of thinking has lead some to go to drastic measures to achieve such looks. How sad.

I’ve had some well-meaning Black women over the years tell me that in order for me to be more acceptable, I need to straighten my hair more often. Well, here’s the thing: I’m going to straighten my hair only when I feel like it. Not because I want to be accepted. If I find my natural hair acceptable, that’s all that matters.

The last time I wore my hair straight was six years ago after cutting six inches off. Even then I didn’t like it that much because I prefer my hair in its natural state. To each it’s own. 🙃

Not too long ago, I chopped my hair off again and I love it. Did I consider the thoughts and opinions of others? Nah. It’s my hair. I know how to keep my hair professional while wearing it in its natural state. 🤷🏽‍♀️

In all seriousness good people, I want you to ask yourself, who really has the right to define if you are beautiful? I’ll go ahead and tell you, no one but you.

Until next time…

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee

When you hear the last name Ross, most people think of legendary singer Diana Ross and for good reason. Diana Ross has broken down a number of barriers for African Americans in regards to her music, acting, and etc. Tonight, I’m going to introduce you to another Ross. Diana Ross’s big sister, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee may be the older sister of Diana Ross, but she is well-known for something else. A fierce and dynamic woman in her own right, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is known for her advancements in healthcare and medicine for people of color as a groundbreaking physician. She has earned a number of distinguished awards and accomplishments, one of them being the first African American and female Dean of a medical school.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee was first was selected as Dean of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1993 and again in 2002 for the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. Not bad for a girl who grew up in the Detroit projects.

Barbara on the right and Diana on the left.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is even more well-known for her humble spirit and positive demeanor despite the amount of racism and prejudice she had to endure to get to where she is. In fact, such experiences shaped her into the phenomenonal physician that she is today.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee has never been prideful nor arrogant of her accomplishments and advancements in the field of medicine. How admirable and commendable of her.

At the age of 77, Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is still working, advocating and helping to make advancements for women and people of color in the medical field. She is an ageless beauty in my opinion and in addition to that, she is smart and fierce.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is a name many people within the field of medicine and Osteopathic Medicine are familiar with and for good reason. There are a number of things that are taking place today in the field of medicine because of her.

When you get some time, read more about this amazing woman. Ladies and gentlemen, you have just met the phenomenonal Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee. If you didn’t know about her before, now you do.

On a side note, I have to express how well Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee has taken care of her hair over the years. Even though she has chopped a good bit of it off, her hair is still beautiful and healthy with all that gray.

Until next time…

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 music 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.