FUBU the Documentary Industry, please.
On December 3rd, “Say Her Name : The Life and Death of Sandra Bland” will premiere on HBO Go and Now at 10pm. We all know the Sandra Bland story as we refreshed our timelines constantly to see the latest updates and puzzle pieces to the mystery that still has yet to be solved. This documentary will either succeed greatly or fail miserably and there is no need to sugarcoat why… the director and producer are white.
Kate Davis and her husband, David Heilbroner, are not new to the documentary life, especially in subject matter pertaining to black people. They were nominated for a 2018 Academy award for their short film “Traffic Stop” involving a black person being pulled over for a traffic stop that resulted in an arrest. Even though this may give the husband and wife duo brownie points and “wisdom” because they’ve already created a work about another big issue in the black community, folks aren’t trusting them with telling a story that still has yet to be solved.
Some are still searching for the relevance behind sharing this story, especially because it seems as though the justice system is still searching or actually given up on the search on discovering what really happened to this woman.
The sincerity of these people telling Bland’s story also comes into play. Are they simply capitalizing off the raw emotions from the family members or do they actually empathize with their pain and sorrows?
Family, this is why we need black journalists and film directors telling our stories. No longer can we allow those who do not directly know what it feels like to be Black in America tell our stories. We cannot give the power of the pen to those who can so easily re-write our stories and not properly display the truths and ideals that are woven into the patchwork of our culture.
If you chose to watch this documentary, watch it a few times. First, hear and understand the story. Second, examine how interviews are clipped and what parts are displayed. Pay attention to all angles presented and catch anything that doesn’t sit well with you. Take notes and be ready to write the rest of our stories.
Honeyyyyyyyyy! Have you heard?
Keke Palmer is bringing the spice with her new film, Pimp!
Showcasing her versatility and exceptionality as an actress, we see a side of Palmer that we’ve neeeeever seen before. Executive produced by Lee Daniels (with hits such as Precious and The Butler), Palmer plays the role of a lesbian pimp, hustlin’ and finessin’ the streets of the Bronx to survive.
What’s probably the most interesting is that on Palmer’s Instagram post, she says she’s been working on this film since she was….wait for it….18, and sis is 25 now.
Can we talk about g r o w t h?
So often, African American actresses are boxed into filling certain roles, and ONLY those roles. It’s as if Hollywood doesn’t see us as being anything other than XYZ. But we can count on Palmer to save the day! Breaking not only color barriers but gender barriers as well, how many lesbian pimp movies have you seen, or even heard of? Exactly.
Releasing in theaters and on demand November 9, we can’t wait to see exactly how limitless and timeless she becomes!
“We can analyze people all the way down to the bone, but it doesn’t stop them from being who they are, everyone deserves to be seen.” The Good Girls definitely agree with you, Keke.
Tokened as the “Trump of the Tropics” and masked in false labels of progression, Jair Bolsonaro is the new President Elect of Brazil.
Openly supported by his partner-in-chaos, Donald Trump, the newly elected Brazilian President not only plans to work hip-by-hip with the POTUS, but actually shares many similar views with the widely despised human Cheeto. Possibly the most worrisome, is his apparent dedication and enthusiasm in making Brazil ‘great again’, as Trump is supposedly working to do with America…
Here’s the tragic rundown of Bolsonaro:
Aside from irrationally raging against journalists who report the relevant news on the very wild behavior of politicians, Bolsonaro has earned an A+ on many levels for being derogatory and offensive af. Sounds familiar America! Bolsonaro is pushing for looser guns laws,planning on running a country based on intense fear and anxiety, and has already been stabbed for casually spouting racial, and sexist slurs, along with his hateful opinions of queer folk. Trump’s twin also stated that he would real-life prefer a dead son, than a gay one, really driving his disgust for the LGBTQ community home. Just as when Trump was first elected, hate crimes against LGBTQ and black people in Brazil have increased since the Brazilian presidential election.
In all seriousness: Our society is being attacked, friends. We are wholeheartedly electing the spark that facilitates the hateful flames that exist in this world. With that being said, if there was ever a time to to utilize the knowledge, opportunity and power you have as a American citizen, it is now.
Season 7 of American Horror Story got it right with delivering the message that we must rid our society of the garbage that destroys it, as only then will the flies that the garbage draws in organically dissipate. The garbage being the patriarchal, racist, sexist, bigoted, selfish ideals that keeps our society from true positive progression; the flies being those that entertain the hatefulness, and unfairness that permeates through our society.
In other words: Yes, we have trash people in leadership positions leading us straight to Hell. However, we also live in a society where we can register to change our own lives and circumstance.
Utilize your voice, and the power you possess right now.
Utilize your Fifteenth Amendment and we hope you voted yesterday, November 6th.
Every Nigga Is a Star, Word to Lindsay Peoples Wagner
You probably saw the above picture and instantly noticed the black girl sitting in the chair with the frame in the background telling us that “Every Nigga is a Star”. This black girl with the bold statement in the background, is none other than Lindsay Peoples Wagner, the new editor in chief at Teen Vogue Magazine.
Before taking her throne at the Conde Nast magazine, Peoples Wagner reigned as the fashion editor at New York Magazine and The Cut. Of course, we root for everyone black, but especially when those black faces speak on the principles that we stand for. She has been known to openly voice the facts on race, politics, and culture when it comes to the fashion world and working in the industry.
Not only should we stan her voice, but her humble beginnings that have come full circle. To quote Drizzy, Peoples Wagner started from the bottom at Teen Vogue as an intern in the fashion closet. This journey attests to why you must grind until you make it to the top. Her story is a prime example of what happens when you start off small and rise to the big leagues. A black girl fresh out of college, starting off as a fashion intern and then landing a seat at the table as editor in chief… a come- up story dressed in melanin and dipped in excellence.
Peoples Wagner is taken over the role that Elaine Welteroth once held. Auntie Elaine did the damn thing at Teen Vogue by increasing the magazine’s coverage on social, political, and cultural issues that catered to a larger, more diverse crow. It’s not even a question if Lindsay will do that and then some in her newly appointed position. As editor in chief, she will be responsible for everything from the digital and social department, to the annual Teen Vogue Summit.
We trust this good girl to rise to the occasion of keeping the flavor and diversity coming to Teen Vogue. We need more black girls in high positions in the world. Matter of fact, we have them! Get off your butt and get working. Grind for your goals and understand that small steps lead to big thrones. Let Lindsay be your motivation when you feel like your internship is dragging and won’t lead to anything. Look at the picture of her sitting in her office with that frame in the background. Lindsay is a star and so are you. Congrats lady and we can’t wait to see what you do!
The Real Reason Why Grandma Said “Take Ginger Ale and Saltines”
Dear Healthcare Professionals trained and committed to improving the health of the community...
We [black women] are tired of being denied exceptional healthcare.
Studies over the years have shown that a disgusting amount of doctors share an underestimation standard when it comes to mental and physical pain that black women feel.
According to the Emergency Department, black patients are just about half as likely to be prescribed opioid medicines in the emergency department than white patients for the same described pains on average, according to a new study.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women are three to four times more likely than white woman to die from pregnancy-related causes nationwide. In New York City, they are 12 times more likely to die.
It is no secret that black people are consistently subjected to being the brutes of society and black women in particular are consistently stripped of their womanhood, often seen as undeserving of being handled with softness or even the bare minimum care.
Historically, black women are the nurturers of this plant. The ability to give love unconditionally and keep the wellness of others at the forefront of our minds is never matched when tables turn. When we ask to be watered or for aid and healing, we are turned away. We are told the pain will never be great enough. We are left for dead in the supposed comfort of our own communities by people who are “certified” to provide medical care.
When will we no longer have to ask the questions of our mothers, our grandmothers, and our mothers before them:
“What about us?”
This situation speaks to why we need black women as nurses and doctors. Education is the key in itself to helping ourselves live better lives.
Know what it is to be in good health my sister. Know what it means to monitor your body. Know what it means to know your rights, especially when you are being rushed out of a hospital room, being convinced that your pain is okay.
We must take care of ourselves, receive help when need and trust our gut intuition. A safe second opinion will always suffice more than a shaky and unsure declaration of our health.
Protect and take care of yourselves in every since of the meaning. The world needs you here.
Progressive and the City : Cynthia Nixon’s Influence Beyond the Screen
You probably know Cynthia Nixon as the redhead from the iconically acclaimed television series, Sex and the City. Today, she graces the political scene as a New York City born and bred activist whose knowledgeable about what’s going on and what needs to be changed. In wake of the progressive movement, Cynthia Nixon entered as a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the current election against Democratic competitor, Andrew Cuomo.
Although Cynthia Nixon is no longer in the game for this election, we stan her progressive mindset! Here’s three reasons why we need more true progressive candidates who will serve as catalysts of change.
A few of Nixon’s brownie points comes from her beliefs and also from being endorsed by Kalief Browder’s brother who was the past NYC mayoral candidate, Akeem Browder, and Democratic superstar, Alexandria Ocasio. She appeared on Wendy to reassure New Yorkers that although her career and name has derived a great deal of success and notoriety off of popular series, Sex & the City, she is not a celebrity ‘candidate’.
The last thing we need, is another famous or wealthy person who feels as though a few snapple facts serve as a justification and experience to pursue a political position.
Cynthia Nixon seems to be another rare political candidate focused on giving us real deal results and solutions, as she has been a dedicated activist in NYC public schools for years. She isn’t just riding the wave. Her plans for change speak volumes.
“I just think we need to have more people of color and women and LGBT people not just represented — but leading,”
“If we want to fix our world, they know what’s wrong with it because they’ve been on the short end of the stick.”
It is no secret that representation in power structures is vital. For a middle aged well-off white woman to openly advocate for representation rights and push for necessary movements is a step in the right direction towards innovative reformation for this country.
“Ms. Nixon proposes a $700 million expansion of child care subsidies and a new program to pay for college. She calls for more access to social services outside the classroom. And she sharply criticizes the status quo as a system where “white, wealthy children are prepared for college, and low-income children of color are disproportionately put into the school-to-prison pipeline.” - A City Hall Newsletter sourced on Politico.
As you can see, Cynthia Nixon blatantly opposes our current functions of education and education expenses, having no issue describing exactly where it lacks. We need candidates who are willing to tell the truth that has been swept under the rug for so long.
Lastly, but of course not least in significance, Cynthia Nixon is no stranger to the hurdles, doors, and ceilings that exist in the world. Her knowledge and personal experiences help her advocacy for LGBTQ, persons of color, and women, in addition to the overall fight against inequality.
We appreciate Cynthia Nixon, and in the words of one of our fav boss ladies Olivia Pope, we are ready to meet more gladiators who proudly wear the white hat.
Twitter timelines were in shambles, the block and unfollow button were used heavily, and tweets filled with spicy replies went viral. The cause of the commotion? Slick Woods’ beauty.
The 22 year old model went from being homeless three years ago to walking on the New York Fashion Week runway. Despite the opinion circulating on social media that Slick Woods is ugly, she has made a huge name for herself in the fashion industry. From being featured in Yeezy Season 2 lookbook to being a prominent face in the Fenty Beauty lines, Woods is killing the game and her black girl magic needs to be applauded.
Yet, instead of giving her flowers and cheering on her next move, the focus has shifted to her physical features.
People have reduced her worth to her appearance, demonizing her for the gapped teeth, shaved head, and tattoos as if these weren’t the very features that are Rihanna and Kanye West admired. The issue lies within people believing that European features are the standard of beauty and that if someone looks different, they are automatically labeled “ugly”. We scream “black girl magic” and “we want every black girl to win” from the mountaintops, but degrade those same black girls for their physical features that may be different from the norm. We scream “inclusion” but want to exclude Slick Woods from her props because her teeth and looks offend you?! The ultimate confusion.
The shallowness of our society reveals itself daily but it jumped out during this situation. Slick Woods is highly talented, highly qualified, and so deserving of everything she has done and will continue to do. We love her for those accomplishments and we love every bit of her look. Woods is here to stay. Keep shining for the unconventional beauties and girls waiting on their time to shine. Can’t wait to see what this good girl does next!
I knew an Apple announcement was on the way because my phone has been glitching and tweaking to no end lately. As expected, Apple has just announced their four new products launching in the upcoming months: the iPhones XS, XS Max, XR, and the Apple Watch Series 4. Boasting new camera capabilities and FaceTime calls with up to 32 people, faster processing speeds with new and improved iOS systems, it honestly sounds like a dream to those wanting bigger and better!
Let’s think about it. Why does Apple have such a hold on us? Steer away from the “Their products are really just that good debate,” and think on a deeper level. What is sooooo great about Apple products that makes it seem like our lives depend on them?
Think of your phone (Android users, sit this one out). I can tell you now, if I misplace my phone, the lump that forms in my throat makes it hard to swallow. The fear that my phone is lost forever is just that overwhelming. When I think of everything I store on my phone from the years’ worth of memories and experiences to my endless notes and calendar reminders, it is evident that I have placed my life and trust into this phone.
But do I trust my friends that much? My family? Myself? It’s so easy to give a quick “of course” without thinking of all the things I keep to myself, as if the people I care about the most won’t understand. But my iPhone does? Right.
There’s a certain attachment we have to our iPhones that is indescribable, yet we continue to turn a deaf ear to the attachment when its brought up in discussion. Now, like most, I’m intrigued by what Apple claims their new products offer. I must admit, I’ve been consistent when it comes to getting the updated models. I must take a step back to realize and analyze this unhealthy relationship and addicted to Apple products. I’ve been hooked for years. Is it toxic? Or am I looking too deep into it?
Just food for thought.
For centuries, black men and women have been “Just Doing It” in every facet of life. It’s not just a slogan, but a conviction that encourages believing in the dream enough to go for it wholeheartedly, no matter the repercussion or retaliation from opposers.
Yesterday, Serena Williams was fined a hefty $17,000 for U.S. Open penalties, majorly including her passionate disagreement and demand for a respectful apology from a coach’s implication that Williams was cheating, and for more minor offenses such as smashing her racket.
The media lost no time classifying Williams as angry, unprofessional, and volatile, as opposed to focusing on her stats, or triumphs, or even focusing on a major emotional highlight of the game as Williams not only embraced her competitor Naomi Osaka, but stopped the audience from booing Osaka for making history in her victory against her.
Regardless of the fact that Serena Williams is the most influential tennis players to affect our society, let alone one of the most talented tennis players to ever professionally play the sport, we see that Williams is still subject to her game attire, self-expression, and overall blackness being scrutinized.
On last Monday, people took to social media to share their outbursts of joy or disgust as Nike announced Colin Kaepernick and Serena Williams as the faces of their new ‘Just Do It’ campaign.
Those displeased with Nike’s decision on the new campaign have literally been destroying their Nike gear and running to socials using #NikeBoycott in their own sort of attempt at ‘protest’ of the perceived ‘injustice’ from Nike’s latest ad campaign.
Unfortunately not new to passionate, wild backlash from audiences not supportive of his views nor actions, Colin Kaepernick is an activist and advocate against injustice who was featured in the new campaign. His career and life changed indefinitely after he was removed from the NFL league when he and several other athletes kneeled instead of pledging to a constitution that systematically oppresses people of color.
“Believe in something, Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Even when everyone is doubting you, disregarding you, defacing your name and worth, and threatening your safety and peace, the importance of standing firm on the foundation of the beliefs that you have reaches an all time high.
“It's only a crazy dream until you do it.” There is a reason why we love ‘come up’ stories from deserving beings with humble beginnings. There is a reason why witnessing or learning of one’s triumph through trial and tribulation, pulls on the heart strings. Perhaps, we know how easy it can be, how much more comfortable it can be sometimes to give up, so when someone pushes through, regardless of their situation, it is that much more beautiful to watch them win.
A dream truly is only ridiculous if you allow it to be. Hard work and dedication is essential, whether it’s grinding for that degree, surviving a tough chapter in life, or securing the top in the US OPEN 2018 final. Strength, resiliency and a vision worth your true belief are necessary ingredients for breaking through to meeting your dreams. Nike, Colin, and Serena wish to express that message as a reminder to let the naysayers and irrelevant “what ifs” melt away. Stay true to you and keep just doing it.
I always pride myself on being “booked and busy” but never asked myself...
“Am I booked and busy with things that are going to elevate me or am I just booked and busy?”
Pursing a dream is tough to balance while working or attending school, especially if you have the nerve to be an "overachiever" and have a part-time job, or active in 100 clubs and organizations while in school. Even though all of that is extremely important, don’t forget to properly prioritize your dream. If you don’t who will?
I was talking to one of my mentors, telling her all I was doing in school, “Well, I’m Miss Hampton, writing a play, in charge of two pageants, senior class officer, trying to graduate on time, starting a movement on campus…” thinking she’s gonna be proud I’m on my shit. Then she asked me, “Well Brooklyne, how’s good girl?”
I kinda stuttered and told her the few things I was doing, that sounded like I was coming up with bs off top, cause I was.
She then asked, “Okay, and how’s film?”
I didn’t have an answer.
Note: Film is my dream, what I want to be pursing after college.
She replied, “See that’s the problem, when are you going to start working on your Plan A?”
That hit me like a build of blocks. She’s so right, all of these things I’m putting my time into are great, but are they truly helping me catapult my dreams into reality? So from that moment I knew I had to make a change. Stop putting everyone else’s needs before my own. Cause guess what? When Brooklyne graduates, Hampton will still be alive and well, but where will she be?
So I made a “lil list” of the things I needed to get done.
I created a class schedule for film and good girl. So for example, I had class MWF at 10am, 11am, and 3pm. Typically, during that gap I would socialize in the student center, grab lunch at Chick Fila or have a meeting about an organization. Instead, I decided to go to the library with my chick Fila and work on good girl stuff. Set specific goals for what I wanted to accomplish during that period. On Tuesdays my schedule was class at 9am, and 12pm so during that gap I would go back to the library read books on my craft, reach out to people on LinkedIn, or look up jobs and internships.
So yes, that means I was working around the clock, but how else are my dreams going to come into fruition? As my mom says, “Do one thing everyday to make your tomorrow better.”
So I encourage all my girls to make a class schedule for your dreams. Come up with a specific system that holds you accountable. It’s easy to procrastinate, next thing you know weeks have gone by, a month, and then years later and you’re further away from your dream.
The time is now sis, to get your whole life together.
Slight promo: The quotes are from my mommy lol follow @letricia_loftin she drops gems only
And if you need a special place to log your goals purchase a Good Girl Diary!
Love your homegirl,
Oh, the things I wish I knew.
The moment I received my diploma, I remember the adrenaline bursting through my veins as I prepared for my freshmen year of college. While the last four years were filled with unshakeable friendships and memories, I knew that I was ready for something new, something fresh.
I was starting my own life, living on the outskirts of Atlanta. Downtown was literally my doorstep, and I couldn’t wait to play outside.
I remember my freshmen year. The nonstop parties where I would bask in the glow of the city lights, the 3 AM food that tasted much better than anything made during the day. Attending every campus and city event I had gas to get to. I remember experiencing life. I remember feeling free.
Looking back though, I wish I remembered to use my best judgement and not necessarily my “spur of the moment” ideas that fell out the sky.
I wish I knew that hangovers were a real thing, and that class still continued despite me being in attendance.
I wish I knew my high school GPA wouldn’t save me, and that failing a class meant that I had wasted my tuition money.
I wish I knew that missing a party or two was perfectly fine.
I wish I knew about the boys, the grown men, the heartbreak, the depression.
I simply wish I remembered the Queen I was, I wish that never left my memory.
But, Now it’s your turn.
Your turn to do it right.
Freshmen year is a very transitional time, as some of the greatest moments of your entire life are currently commencing. With that, you have a duty to yourself to make these moments unforgettable, but in the best way possible. So often, I wish I had a time machine to erase the decisions I could’ve avoided, had I simply stopped to think.
As an ode to your first year, promise me you’ll think. See, as a Black Queen, there is a consistent magnifying glass on your every move. And honey, they see you. You’re being scrutinized for every minute decision you make, by people you didn’t even know were looking.. Think about every decision and every idea. If needed, overthink. That one thought can be the turning point for not only the rest of your college years, but your life in general. Now this isn’t to say that you can’t make mistakes; they’re inevitable. However, learn from the mistakes of others. Learn from the mistakes I’ve made. Put yourself in the best position possible, so that your freshman year is one you’re proud of. I know you can.
Go on Black Girl, Be Magic.
I can't help but wonder if human beings are ever truly satisfied. It's difficult to not let my mind trick me into thinking that I'm trying to do too much in such a short period of time. I constantly feel as if I'm racing with the clock, even though I always tell others that there's time to achieve their goals; it's never about who finishes first. Even if I achieve everything I've ever wanted, career-wise, what if I still end up feeling unfulfilled? What if, 5 years from now when I'm sitting in the house that I've built for myself, my children snuggled up under me and my spouse working his dream job, I still feel as though something is missing? Will my accomplishments matter if I don't feel complete?
My educational goals have always been to zoom right through school and begin a graduate program immediately after graduation. Now, there's not necessarily anything wrong with that, but when you speed right through instead of enjoying the journey, sometimes you don't give yourself enough time to grow and fall in love with what it is you are pursuing. I had always viewed nursing school as an obstacle that I needed to get through in order to pursue my REAL goal of becoming a nurse midwife. I didn't have any concrete expectations for nursing school; all I knew was that I needed it to be over and done with so that I could begin my journey to becoming a midwife. I think I can for sure admit that I was not expecting to love nursing the way I do now. That is important; after all, as a nurse midwife, I will always be a nurse first. It was through this "falling in love" phase that I came to understand what it truly means to appreciate every aspect of one's journey. That's not to say that I still don't have days where I am ready for nursing school to be over, but I believe that this is all a part of the "learning and loving" process. Be passionate about your goals & allow yourself to open up to the possibility of appreciating your journey. Don't get so caught up in the race against time that the fire you once had for your passion begins to dim.
My one true fear is that I'll always be going after "more," that I'll always be searching for something better; that my desire (or greed, depending on how you choose to look at it) for something "better" will cause me to miss out on the things that truly matter.
Lord, I pray you help me to understand that happiness is not a destination, but a state of mind. Help me appreciate every stepping stone in my life. Help me to unlearn any selfish ways in my life so that I may be able to impact another person's life in an unimaginable way. Amen.