Saturday, January 22, 2011

Steve Harvey, his marriage, and his mistresses

A man with a history of infidelity and multiple marriages may be a really good or really terrible source of relationship advice depending on how you look at it. However you take Steve Harvey, this comedian/actor/radio host turned author and relationship guru is making millions at the bookstore telling women what they're doing wrong when it comes to catching and keeping a man. But, he may have omitted a few embarassing chapters in his own love live that his ex-wife wants to share.

Mary Harvey spoke out recently about Steve Harvey's infidelity. The two were married for 16 years and through several mistresses, including the woman who is now his current wife. There is some speculation Mary Harvey may be writing a tell-all book. Either way, she chronicles some rather salacious parts of their marriage. Below is a YouTube video of her discussing the women he had on the side. Given Mary's revelations, some ladies may want to get their money back from the bookstore.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A taste of Milk + Honey

In case the rebirth of The Game on BET is a little too Young & the Restless for you, there maybe an additional option. Milk + Honey is a scripted TV/web series produced by Brown Paper Dolls with Idris Elba signing on as the executive producer. The dramedy chronicles the loves, lives, and tribulations of several young black women in Los Angeles. You'll see some new and familiar faces in this cast, like Debbie Allen (Fame), Lance Gross (House of Payne), Bryce Wilson (Beauty Shop), Faune Chambers (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Asha Kamali, Yaani King, Shauntay Hinton, Charles Divins, and Rob Smith.

Milk + Honey provides positive portrayals of young black women fulfilling their dreams in the big city, similar to popular shows like Girlfriends and Living Single. provides an interesting synopsis of the characters:
Nia, an aspiring actress on a quest to climb the Hollywood social ladder, tries to remain faithful through it all. Harper, the classic Black American Princess, shakes things up in the agency world. Samirah, an Ivy league educated free spirit and DJ, wants nothing to do with “the life.” Conversely, Farrah, a socialite wild child siren and heiress, is constantly looking for love and acceptance on the scene. The fifth character is the Los Angeles landscape – - it’s culture, music and fashion.
Hmmm...maybe BET could add a new show to its Tuesday night lineup?

milk + honey series trailer from brown paper dolls on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The genius of Phaedra Parks

When you hear Phaedra Parks talk about donkey booties, inconclusive due dates, and maternal death, it's easy to underestimate her - which is probably what she wants. Opponents, whether on the Real Housewives of Atlanta or in the courtroom, will see clips off the show and think she's not much of a threat because they're too lazy to do the research. Unlike some of the other RHOA, she's thinking further ahead than the next episode. She plays it smart by playing dumb on the hottest show on Bravo. As the ratings increase, so do her profile and her paycheck. There's no doubt the woman can count.

Phaedra is a well regarded high powered entertainment attorney who's worked with
Michael Jackson, Jermaine Dupree, Whitney Houston, and yes, the infamous Bobby Brown. In addition to being a legal analyst for major networks like Fox News and NBC, Ms. Parks had appearances on Court TV, Entertainment Tonight, and Extra. She was also the show producer for Tiny & Toya. You don't do all of that by being a dummy. And, as noted in the video, sometimes a celebrity defending a celebrity is an "effective tool in court".

Phaedra is also one of the few Housewives that isn't struggling with money or her love life. Sure, her husband went to prison, but Apollo served his time, he's handsome, and he knows better than to mess this good thing up. Did I mention that is wife is a high powered attorney? You can't find a more perfect match than someone who's going to love you and defend you in court and public opinion. In a time when a marriage between a black man and a black woman is being treated like an endangered species in pop culture, why do people begrudge Phaedra and Apollo their happiness or him a second chance? Ms. Parks is an attorney and in a better position than other people to judge her situation and her husband's past. Instead of focusing soley on her antics, also pay attention to the size of her heart. In love, law, and reality television, Phaedra is no fool, even if she plays one on TV.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Race and the Rabbi

Stanton, the first African American rabbi, is leaving her congregation after two years. By leaving, I mean that the board of Bayt Shalom in Greenville, North Carolina decided not to renew her contract. According to board president Samantha Pilot:
“We felt Rabbi Stanton has brought a lot of gifts to the congregation, but we felt she wasn’t a good fit for the direction we’re going.”

Pilot didn't elaborate on Stanton's "gifts" or why the board isn't renewing her contract, but sometimes clergy and congregation don't click. But, then Pilot says this:
“I can tell you with certainty that race — I never heard that come up once during her tenure or now,” she said. “It’s a non-issue.

After reading this story in the Jewish Daily Forward, it appears the Bayt Shalom board president, unprompted, decided to add this little qualifier about race. But, if race is not a factor, why even bring it up? The article also does a bit of tap dancing around the subject, as well:
Stanton, 47, said the challenges that she faced at the Bayt Shalom weren’t all that different from those of any other first-year rabbi, but hers “were more visible because the world was watching.”


And it’s not easy having all eyes on you, as you’re trying to go about your job. “I’m not a novelty or a freak show,” she said. “I’m a rabbi.”

Race doesn't really come to the forefront of the article until you read that infamous quote from Pilot. Perhaps Pilot is responding to a question by the reporter or maybe she brought the issue up on her own. Who knows? But, even after being ordained and leading her own congregation, Stanton is still treated like a novelty.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

You didn't think she was a one hit wonder, did you?

Willow Smith, otherwise known as the coolest preteen on the planet, isn't content to have just one hit. A leaked version of her newest song, Rockstar, is circulating. Here's a snippet:


'Mecca for Prejudice and Bigotry'

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik

Saturday, January 8, 2011

When rhetorical crosshairs reflect reality

Don't put a target on someone's back and act surprised when they get shot. When rhetorical crosshairs become reality, it's time for us to do some serious soul searching, USA.

Rep. Gifford's on violent rhetoric

Updated: O My Omarion

A Tweetstorm turned into a trending topic when word got out that former B2K crooner Omarion supposedly "confirmed" his bisexuality. A press release states:
“I pride myself in being an honest, God Fearing, respectful man. I have kept my personal life private and wanted to keep it that way. Unfortunately, other’s are interested in profiting from my anguish; so before they can do that, i will clarify things. I am not at all what certain ex-band members are trying to paint me as, I am however a respectable, mature, proud, bisexual man.”
Truly, his sexuality is nobody's business but his own and the person he's dating. And, that's not me and it's probably not you, either. But, he did record a song called I Think My Girl Is Bi... O my Omarion. No irony here.

UPDATE: It appears that bisexuality thing is bogus. Check out the story on
Also, from Omarion's Twitter page:
Check it out 'I DID NOT RELEASE THAT STATEMENT',whatever you like is your business but I AINT GAY OR BISEXUAL,I love women PERIOD!!!!!!!

Performance art or cry for help?

The strange and freaky usually stays at a minimum on the DC Metro, at least in my experience. Tonight, however, was one of those special nights. As I was riding on the Yellow line, this oddball jumps on. Some random guy with rag wrapped around his entire face and a garish Uncle Sam top hat is usually enough to get even the most jaded Metro passenger to look up from a book. But, he took it to the next level by sprawling on the ground, doing crunches, grunting, and pretending to ram into things. He did keep the human interaction to a minimum, though. The passengers silently glanced at him and each other, quite unsure whether to laugh or make a run for it. He only stayed on the train for a few stops, exiting at Gallery Place/Chinatown and leaving behind some puzzled Metro riders and a lot of anecdotes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Goodbye Mr. Bojangles (that's you, Michael Steele)

After tap dancing, jive talking, and caricaturing his way through a tenure in the top spot at the RNC, Michael Steele's reign of inadequacy is almost over. We didn't get to see any hint of the loving son or father, former seminarian, teacher, or the guy who grew up in the DC metro area. Instead, we got to watch a black guy put on blackface for two years and then wonder why nobody loved his performance, especially during the midterm elections. Sure, Steele pontificated grandly about the GOP's inability to attract black voters at the ballot box, and then proceeded to grandly do absolutely nothing about it. There is a difference in talking to black people and just talking about them.

Despite being generally reviled by the members of his own party and unable to balance a budget in his own right, Michael Steele wants Republicans to give him a second chance. Yeah, right. Steele's "off the hook" public relations makeover of the GOP will leave him hip hopping out of the door with his party's boot on his behind. Goodbye Mr. Bojangles. I'm sure you'll find a side hustle somewhere.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Love, homophobia, & suicide

Songstress Marsha Ambrosius, formerly of Floetry, puts a spotlight on love, homophobia, and suicide with Far Away. This song is part of Ambrosius' debut solo album Late Nights & Early Mornings. Ambrosius closes her music video for Far Away with a poignant personal message.

Dear Friends:

Every year over one million people commit suicide. Some were bullied because of their sexuality. I lost a friend to suicide, and I’m asking all of you to support alternative lifestyles. Don’t put up with or join in with bullying. It’s time we become more aware in this world. Take responsibility to make a difference. So if my music can save one life, I’ve done my job. I love you all so much.

- Marsha

Far Away

H/T Son of Baldwin

Kim Coles does the Big Chop

I hopped onto Twitter the other day and lo and behold, there was a Tweetstorm about Kim Coles. Upon further investigation, I discovered that she did the big chop and went au naturale. As you can see, this twist out is really working for her. And, if you're interested in getting the rhinestone Afro tee shirt she's wearing, visit Minoritees. Thanks for the link, Ms. Kim.


Having done the big chop myself in November, it's encouraging to see more black women getting in touch with their roots, no matter how kinky, curly, or coily they may be. But, as any new natural will tell you, finding support, the right products, and a good stylist can be a bit of a challenge.

Below is list of a few of my go to sites for natural hair:

*For Colored Girls Who Are Going Natural When The Relaxer if Enuf: Facebook group of natural and transitioning women

*Natural Chica: She has great styling tips, product reviews, and a wonderful YouTube channel at NikkiMae2003

*YouTube, in general, is a great place to go for natural hair info

*Curly Nikki: You can browse product reviews, hair styles, and even leave your own feedback and communicate with other women in her online forum

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

1.11.11: The Game returns on BET

No Racial: Huntin' Coons in South Carolina on that illusive quest to come up with the next big meme (slavery, hiking the Appalachian trail, you lie, Alvin Greene, etc. ), South Carolina may have found its latest claim to infamy. Possibly coming to a DMV down south are Coon Hunter license plates. Some enterprising lawmaker, living in an alternate universe devoid of common sense, decided to put this little nugget out there in support of fellow racoon hunters. No racial.

No Racial: TimothyDeLaGhetto

Porn Star to Pop Star

Kim Kardashian seems to have an itch to jump from porn star to pop star, and there's nothing at the doctor's office that can cure that. Just ask Paris Hilton. Or Ray J. But, at least these video vixens have figured out how to make a sex tape with their clothes on...and lyrics!

The latest possibly autotuned offering from this particular Kardashian is called Turn It Up, a serious collaboration with the Dream. Kanye West also makes an appearance, or so I've been told. Screenshots from the music video show Kim rocking what she calls, wait for it, Bo Derek braids. You learn something new about culture and authenticity everyday - and cornrows.

With her magazine covers, Playboy pics, perfume, TV show, and getting her body designated as a tourist destination for the NFL, it would be unfair to say that Kim Kardashian isn't extremely talented at self promotion...or in denial about what made her famous in the first place. But, if Kim Zolciak can be tardy for the party (probably because of her wig), so can Kim Kardashian.

I guess the stars really are blind.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sweet Tooth

ClipArtHere a few places I like to go to pay tribute to my sweet tooth.

Co Co. Sala
Co Co. Sala is a "chocolate lounge and boutique" with a decadent, sweet and savory chocolate infused tapas menu that's great for sharing in groups. It also has an equally delicious cocktail menu that makes for a nice happy hour. And, let's not forget the gourmet chocolate shop next door run by the restaurant. It has a posh, romantic atmosphere sure to please on a first date and on a first bite. My personal recommendation is the guava enchilada - yum.

Baked & Wired
Baked and Wired is a great place to go to satisfy a sweet tooth. The cupcakes are pretty big, the shop is busy but accessible, and it has a variety of sweets, like the Bertha (my fave) which is a homemade oatmeal cookie sandwich. The blueberry/lemon (Smurfette) cupcake is also quite fabulous. The Honeybee bars are good, and Baked and Wired has treats that taste like fig newtons and almond joys - plus cakes, biscotti, muffins, pies, teas, coffee, quiche, and wireless internet. There is also a delicious granola concoction called Hippie Crack. The sweet shop also has a few seating areas inside and out. Baked and Wired is trendy and hip without being overpriced.

Artisan Confections
Dark chocolate and I just didn't get along in the past until I took a chocolate making class at Artisan Confections. Now, I know what good dark chocolate tastes like, and it isn't Hersey's Special Dark. The chocolatiers at the shop use Valrhona chocolate, and turn it into tasty, bite-sized morsels of chocolate and caramel bon bons. Notable flavors include rum, salted butter, and fleur du sel caramels, pineapple-passion fruit, peanut butter and jelly, and lavender honey bon bons. For a bit more crunch, the shop also has a crispy pecan caramel bar, caramelized almonds covered in dark chocolate and coco powder, and milk chocolate coated peanuts dusted with cookie crumbs.

Mis-education of Barbie

I can't decide what gets more press, Nikki Minaj's wigs, waistline, or big booty. Sure, she's talented without a doubt, and attractive. But, genuine talent and good looks aren't enough to get you anywhere these days without a catsuit or a sex tape. The discussion about the quality of her music is often buried beneath the critique of her lady parts. Apparently, having your body exaggerated and objectified like a Hottentot Venus while Regis Philbin smacks your butt with dirty old man glee on national TV is the norm. I'm surprised Regis stopped at her backside and didn't jump her like the not very attractive Adrien Brody jumped Haley Berry at the Oscars like he could find his movie career in her mouth. Ewwww.

Spoken word artist
Jasmine Mans has some strong words for Nikki Minaj called the Mis-education of a Barbie. It's a cautionary tale, and one worth telling.

An Anatomy of Glee

I am a fan of Glee. Not a die hard, buy the Christmas album and Wii video game, wear a short paid skirt kind of Gleek, but I haven't missed an episode yet. There are some elements to the show's plot and casting that have bothered me, but I tried to ignore them for the sake of watching teenage angst and midlife crises turned into a good musical number.

Recently, I read a blog by TenchiJK about Glee's casting, and he had the above picture on his site. Imagine if the black girl and Asian girl looked like these girls. Perhaps they would have been invited to do a racy photo shoot for GQ...a photo shoot that caused gobs of controversy because people didn't realize that these "wholesome" teens in Glee aren't teens in real life. That's some good acting. However, Naya Rivera a.k.a. Santana, does Maxim and no one says a thing. Hmmm... Let's dissect some of these characters, shall we? I'll start with the girls.

This character fits into so many stereotypes of African American women I hardly know where to begin. She's overweight, loud, argumentative, gets upset when she can't eat fattening, greasy tots at school, and can't find a boyfriend to save her life. But, boy, can she sing! The episodes where she is a major focus usually deal with her being fat and/or her inability to attract members of the opposite sex. Oh, and she's the only black girl. And, she can sing.

Despite being an unwed teenage (and temporarily homeless) mother, Quinn managed to nab all of the most popular and best looking boys in school pre and post pregnancy. All three of them were on the football team and two of them were quarterbacks. She cheated on her good guy boyfriend with the bad boy who knocked her up and still wanted to be with her when she was pregnant. Quinn screwed over Santana to become the captain of the cheerleading squad, and has clear mean girl tendencies. And, about that whole unwed teenage mother thing....well, that's in the past. Her figure, blond pony tail, and commitment to abstinence bounced back surprisingly well after childbirth, and all is forgiven by the social hierarchy of high school.

Arguably, Santana is the prettiest character on the show. But, she has as nasty attitude and boys only use her for sex. Even though she's never been knocked-up, she's still farther down the food chain than Quinn. No matter how pretty Santana is, she can seduce someone else's boyfriend, but she can't get her own. As the only Latina, she's sexy, of course, but that's all she is.

Dumb as a doornail, she's a stereotyped ditsy, bed-hopping blond. And, she believes Santa Claus is real... But, even she can find boyfriend, unlike Mercedes and Santana. And, her brainy significant other finds Brittney's dumbness magical and adorable. But, beggars can't be choosers.

Ah, here we have the average looking Asian girl who's not a nerd, but some kind of socially acceptable Goth/punk hybrid...and she dances and sings. How revolutionary. And, she isn't a slut or tease, unlike the skinnier, more popular cheerleaders, which limits her romantic options. Tina has managed to nab a guy on the football team, but he's Asian, too...and a mama's boy. Her last boyfriend, yeah, he was in a wheelchair, but she wasn't putting out and he went for the girl who did.

This songbird gets so many closeups and solos that the show should be called Rachel. She's a bit kooky, but her singing talent makes up for her Fatal Attraction-like obssessive compulsive behavior, sort of. The Jewish jokes are kept at a minimum for her, reserved more for Jacob Ben Israel's hormone levels and frizzy hair. Despite how crazy Rachel seems, she is slim and pretty and therefore worthy of a makeout buddy and boyfriend from the exclusive batch of football players, which is why the skinny cheerleaders, especially Santana, hate her. And, she's a better singer than them.
Rachael is a tease, if you couldn't tell by those knee high socks and private school short plaid skirts. She's Santana in reverse, a virtuous vixen who doesn't put out.