It’s 2021 and COVID cases are increasing which makes pre COVID life impossible. Social activities are very limited so there is more time for past times like reading. My first book review of 2021 is Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. I would recommend this book.
Octavia Butler is an African American author. I appreciate Parable of the Sower because if features a Black, female protagonist and most of the characters are Black but race is not the vehicle that moves the story along. Parable of the Sower is not a typical Black story that involves Civil Rights, inner city life, music, slavery or sports. I don’t have anything against that subject matter but I love it when writers give Black characters range beyond those roles.
The story takes place in California from around 2024 to 2036. American society has spiraled downward. The economy is in shambles and Americans are living in poverty. Crime is out of control. Homelessness is commonplace. The government is rife with corruption. The nation’s infrastructure has crumbled.
The United States regressed one hundred and fifty years. Every shameful part of our past was a part of the books present. People were enslaved. Workers were routinely hurt in factories. Child labor was commonly used. A large part of the population was illiterate. Drugs and addictions were ubiquitous. A plague was spreading and making people ill.
Racial tensions were high. Nationalism and hate crimes had been on the rise for decades. A presidential candidate from Texas used this vulnerability to gain support. His campaign promise was to make America great again. Octavia Butler wrote Parable of the Sower in 1993.
The book moves a little slow in parts but I would encourage readers to stick with it. The story is a part of a series and there isn’t a very exciting payoff but I was floored by the author’s insight. If Donald Trump read I would have sworn that he based his campaign on Parable of the Sower. We all know he doesn’t read so I will assume that Butler was clairvoyant. She died in 2006.
If you enjoy dystopian novels add this to your reading list. I think you will enjoy it.
Letitia Wright is the young British actress that earned her place in the spotlight as Shuri in the 2018 film “Black Panther” where she played the precocious and tech savvy little sister of the title character. I am very impressed with Miss Wright as an individual and I think she’s one of the brightest stars of young Hollywood.
Letitia Wright is well spoken, lady like and fashionable. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders. I use to follow her on Instagram and she often shared thoughts about her Christian faith. I think she is great and it’s wonderful to see a young Black woman, especially one that looks like she has two Black parents and four Black grandparents prosper.
Last week Twitter got upset with Letitia because she shared a video with an anti vaccine message. I didn’t watch the video but it sounds pretty wacky and scatterbrained. I don’t know why people are wanting to cancel Letitia Wright because a lot of people seem to be apprehensive about the COVID 19 vaccine.
This is yet another example of the narrow margin society gives Black women to exist within. The world doesn’t want to see Black women move with autonomy. We are expected to have our actions and opinions dictated to us so we can be used as tools that service others.
Letitia Wright didn’t stick to the script given to Black women and she was heavily criticized for it. I’m not in favor of what seem to be her views but Letitia is entitled to her view point. She didn’t deserve to be belittled, called stupid and threatened with the end of her career.
Letitia apologized for posting the controversial video and deactivated her Twitter account. It’s amazing how much grace some are shown while Black women are shown very little. The more visible African ancestry a Black woman has the less grace she is given.
I wasn’t a huge Black Panther fan but I admire Letitia Wright a great deal. She is a breath of fresh air in Hollywood. It’s great to see a young Black woman present herself with pride, maturity and modesty as opposed to being a loud mouthed bimbo fabricated by a surgeon.
Despite Letitia Wright’s gifts she’s still being silenced for having an opinion on a controversial matter. I guess it would be easier for the public to accept her if she was dating Future, rapping about selling her body for cash and gifts or discussing her wet ass pussy.
I would support Letitia if she expressed herself in a sexual way as well. Black women are entitled to be individuals with personalities that guide their own opinions and actions. We should not require permission to express ourselves. Black women should be given the same amount of grace and room for growth that others receive.
I watched the film “Harriet” over the weekend. “Harriet” is a dramatized retelling of the life of American hero Harriet Tubman. There was a lot of buzz around this film and a lot of think pieces were written and vlogs were made about this movie. People really over thought this. It was a good movie, not great but good and I think it’s worth watching. However, historic accounts of Harriet Tubman are more thrilling than “Harriet”.
Something about “Harriet” made me feel like I was watching an 80s night time soap opera. Violins played in the background of several scenes. This movie told it’s story in a feminine way. It was a love story of sorts. Harriet escaped to freedom in the north and she returned for love of her husband and other family members.
When I envisioned a film version of Harriet Tubman’s life I thought of her as more of a rebel, freedom fighter and visionary. In my mind Harriet Tubman’s life is more of an action, thriller and suspense story. Harriet was bold, fearless and determined.
The actress that played Harriet Tubman often had a deer in the headlights expression on her face and a furrowed brow. There was also a lot of dainty running in this film. It was the kind of running women do in horror films. Actors also fell as they were being pursued. Harriet Tubman commonly had fainting spells due to a head injury she suffered at her owner’s hand. The spells were depicted in the film and she fell pretty kind of like Scarlet O’Hara. None of this is necessarily bad thing I just think the director’s choices were interesting.
I do believe that “Harriet” sanitized Harriet Tubman for White audiences. She was a gentle character and not a fierce revolutionary. Harriet Tubman is famous for threatening to kill runaway slaves if they lost their nerves and wanted to turn around. She is also famous for saying that she freed (paraphrase) thousands of slaves and could have freed thousands more if they knew they were slaves.
There was a scene in the film where Harriet had her slave master on his knees at gun point. She had the opportunity to shoot him but she talked to him and let him live. I think that this plays into the trope of the all forgiving African American that turns the other cheek regardless of how they were treated.
Nonetheless, the film was entertaining and I would recommend it. But I recommend reading historical accounts of Harriet Tubman. Her acts of bravery were absolutely thrilling and she is one of the greatest American heroines.
Congratulations to Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa, the new Miss Universe. I follow a lot of pageant pages on IG and I knew she was a contender the entire time. Miss South Africa looked different from the other contestants. Women in pageants tend to all look alike regardless of race but Zozibini had a look that made her stand out.
I’ve been looking at the media coverage and social media buzz about the new Miss Universe but I cringe at the notion that she isn’t a conventional beauty. She definitely is. She’s tall, slender, feminine, delicate and has a soft but determined spirit. She just styled herself with straightening her hair or wearing prosthetic hair. She bet on herself as a purely natural African woman and won. Good for her.
But this post is about my favorite contestants that competed but did not win first, second or third place. These are in no particular order.
Miss Zambia showed up late to the Miss Universe pageant and was not able to compete in the pageant. I was watching other contestants go through registrations and she completely missed the process. A fan said on her IG that she had visa and financial problems. But Miss Zambia herself did not confirm or deny that statement. She never gave an explanation as to why she was late.
Her predicament must have been heartbreaking and humiliating but she took it in stride. She decided to stick around and support the other contestants anyway. She seemed very happy to be in Atlanta. I would have privately melted down and my IG would have gone dark. Other fans said that she can compete next year. Miss Zambia didn’t confirm or deny that either. She just continued taking pictures of her vacation. It looks like she had a nice time.
Miss France is another trooper. She fell during the swimsuit competition in the preliminaries. It wasn’t her fault that she fell because she was one of about five contestants that couldn’t stay on their feet on that stage. But Miss France took the tumble like a champ. The way she reacted to the situation endeared her to my heart and I wanted to see her succeed in the pageant. Even before the fall she was one of my favorites. I love red hair and I like her hair cut.
Miss Portugal was in the top twenty of the pageant and I wasn’t aware of her until I saw her interview after the first cut. She has a smile that lights up a room and an effervescent personality. She seems simple and uncomplicated and I love it. She doesn’t come across as “woke” at all and it was refreshing. She’s twenty, sweet and pretty and that was enough to make her a finalist in the Miss Universe contest. That’s how life works and I appreciate her contribution to the pageant. She looked like she was having the time of her life.
My impression of Miss Japan is the polar opposite of my impression of Miss Portugal. Miss Japan seems dark and mysterious. There are a lot of pictures of her not smiling on her IG. I don’t think a beauty queen has to be Little Miss Sunshine all the time. She doesn’t have the typical pageant look at all. Miss Japan had the most high fashion look in the entire pageant. I love her long straight hair and blunt bangs. She also looks like she enjoys expensive things and places. I think she’s a great role model for women globally. Take a look at her Instagram.
I honestly just like the haircut. I love a good bob and this hairstyle has a lot of volume. My formative years were spent in the 1980s and this is borderline 80s hair. This bob definitely made her stand out. Miss Uruguay has my support.
I can’t put my finger on it but there is something quirky about Miss Haiti. I love quirky Black women. There was a time when quirky Black girls were a presence in popular culture and the world was a better place then. I need to make a blog post about it but I digress. She has a interesting personality, great hair and her Carnivale themed national costume was beautiful. Contestants from the Caribbean usually knock the national costume competition out of the box.
Congratulations to all the young ladies that competed in Miss Universe 2019 particularly Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi. They are a diverse group of inspirational women and they are all fantastic.
Traditional Black womanhood is having a hard time in 2019. It is having a hard time being heard, respected and taken seriously by anyone, even or I should say especially by other Black women. It seems that anytime a Black woman speaks from a traditional point of view (I’m not talking politics) she is often mocked and put down.
Fantasia Barino, Gabrielle Douglas and Nicki Minaj have all made traditional remarks about womanhood over the last few years and have all faced criticism and mockery for it. There is irony in all of the statements made by these well known women however it doesn’t necessarily make the viewpoints invalid and I don’t understand the so called backlash for their remarks.
Fantasia Barino of American Idol fame set off a poop storm this week when she said she follows her husband’s lead. Her husband chimed into the on line discussion and he made a lot of good points about male leadership in a family. They made sense and I think this couple is correct in their point of view.
But Fantasia’s public statement upset feminists for some reason that I don’t understand. Some critics said that Fantasia was being arrogant and looking down on unmarried women. But we’ve known Fantasia a long time now and she’s never been condescending or pretentious so I don’t think that judgement is fair.
Some of the disagreement stems from the fact that Fantasia makes way more money than her husband. The pundits have a point there. Oh and he’s a felon that she married after three weeks. Fantasia’s marriage definitely raises some eyebrows but I still agree with her opinions about heterosexual, traditional marriages. Even if I didn’t agree with Fantasia and her husband I would just excuse it as a difference of opinion. But the feminists are angry this week at the thought of submitting to a man that they chose to marry. I don’t get it.
Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglass made a tweet a few years back saying that women should dress modestly. Twitter erupted into a fury. Gabrielle was maligned for this statement. The feminists mocked her religious background and of course they brought up sexual assault. The Twitter mob insulted Gabrielle’s intelligence and implied that she was brainwashed and didn’t think for herself.
I’m trying to understand what’s wrong with valuing modesty. Do we all need to seek validation by posing mostly naked on social media. Some women think that is empowering. I don’t but to each their own. No one is hurt by Gabrielle Douglas wanting to wear clothes. I understand that Gabby Douglas came to fame in a leotard in front of a global audience so it is a bit of a hoot hearing her promote modest dress. But again, I think that she is absolutely correct.
Nicki Minaj recently decided to retire and focus on her upcoming marriage and starting a family. I think it’s lovely. That move made Nicki a feminist heroine to me. I believe that a woman can have it all in her life but she probably can’t do it all at the same time the way men can.
Nicki has had a great deal of success and has made a lot of money and now she wants to place her focus on being a wife and mother. This is another questionable relationship. Nicki too is marrying a felon that she out earns by a mile, maybe two or three. He wouldn’t be my choice for a mate but nonetheless he’s her man and I think it’s nice that she is making family life her priority. I hope she gets everything she wants.
There was a lot of social media buzz surrounding Nicki’s comments. Most of the commentary was negative but there were some congratulatory wishes. I don’t know why anyone would have any negative feedback about a wealthy woman in her thirties pausing her career to begin a family life. I think it would be foolish to try and balance both.
The world has a one dimensional view of Black womanhood and it is mostly negative. The world is very comfortable with Black women spreading promiscuous and new age feminist messages but not family oriented values. I’m not sure why that is. I tend to believe that things we see in the media groom those that consume certain images and messages. Certain segments of the population are being groomed for failure from the start.
Black women are seen as traditional and wholesome once they are past their prime. I think it’s great to see young, attractive Black women expressing wholesome values while they are young. It’s a shame that their biggest detractors seem to come from within the Black community.
The title Greatest Generation is typically reserved for those that came of age around WWII. For Black Americans the Greatest Generation is those who came of age during the Black Civil Rights era. People such as Sadie Roberts-Joseph who recently lost her life to a senseless murder in Baton Rouge, LA changed the world and they don’t get enough respect for their accomplishments. This post is not a discussion of Ms. Roberts-Joseph’s murder.
Black Americans of the Civil Rights era made the blueprint for protests and activism. The LGBT movement, feminists and supporters of undocumented immigrants use the Black Civil Rights movement as a tool in which to gain sympathy for their struggles as a basis of comparison. The Black American Civil rights movement has been a source of global inspiration.
These people were real activists that sought change and got it. They risked their freedom, bodily harm and death while fighting for their rights against the most powerful country in the world. I have a great deal of respect for some Black Lives Matter organizers and protesters. But overall, the younger generation limits activism to hash tags and they accomplish very little. At times I find social media activism to be counter productive.
I enjoy social media but it is what it is and it’s not what it’s not. It’s not meaningful activism because it only makes a difference if it’s something popular. Most social media advocacy is a matter of jumping on the right on line bandwagon.
That’s why the movement to fight sexual harassment caught on but the one to fight sexual harassment in the fast food industry didn’t. There’s no glamour to the fast food industry so not many people are willing to advocate for them. That’s why there was an on line campaign to bring R. Kelly to justice but there isn’t a mainstream campaign to protect Black children from sexual abuse within the Black community. That’s why police brutality is not protested until there is a shocking video. If there isn’t a celebrity or shock value involved social media activism doesn’t seem to catch on very well.
Sadie Roberts-Joseph was not an arm chair activist. She created a legacy for her community. Ms. Roberts-Joseph founded an African American museum in Baton Rouge. She worked with law enforcement in an effort to combat gang violence and drug abuse. She also organized a Juneteenth celebration and mentored young people. Ms. Roberts-Joseph was a real treasure to her community.
Most young, so called activists do not have this same kind of spirit. They just want to throw their identity in another person’s face to be validated. There are a lot of issues facing this generation that don’t seem to get addressed. I feel like most young people are more interested in the trials and tribulations of celebrities than they are issues that affect the middle, working class and the poor.
There are a lot of people that think of themselves as “pro Black” or activists but they complain on social media all day about trivial things such as swirling (inter racial dating), fake hair and twerking. I think that all of those subjects are worth talking about but Black social media outlets beat these conversations like they are dead horses. On line activists rarely discuss the other dozens upon dozens of matters that affect Black Americans.
It is rare to run across intelligent conversations on social media about nutrition, education, health care, finance, parenting, inner city violence, domestic violence or the high infant mortality rate in our community. Most of the conversations focus on a bunch of bickering about other people’s personal choices. They want to try and change another person’s ideology instead of getting up from behind their lap tops and mobilizing something that will positively affect lives where they live.
And all of that is actually fine with me. Perhaps people are mostly satisfied with their lives and simply enjoy complaining on the internet. Heck, I complain on social media too. But here’s the kick in the pants. A lot of the armchair activists are very critical of The Greatest Generation. They are critical of their parenting style. They are critical of their religious beliefs. And they are even critical of the activism from which they have directly benefited.
These Monday morning activists question whether integration was a good idea. They consider The Greatest Generation to be soft because they took a non violent approach to protesting. But the younger generation doesn’t stand for much at all other than inclusion and diversity. Neither issue is a priority to me as a Black American. Some don’t seem to notice that all this inclusion and diversity is pushing them out of influential positions and opportunities. But go off!
Youngsters don’t put themselves on the line. They don’t risk anything. Whether you agree with The Greatest Generation or not their accomplishments and spirit deserves respect. A lot of Black people that are the beneficiaries of the Civil Rights movement don’t offer that. It’s a shame and it’s very sad. But once again Black people turn their backs on their own accomplishments, history and culture. It seems to be so much more natural for Black Americans to tear themselves down than build themselves up for some reason.
I am a part of Generation X which is a bridge between the Greatest Generation and the people that I’m complaining about. You may ask what Generation X stood for or accomplished. Honestly, not that much. We’re kind of vapid at times. But at least we respect our elders.
Rest in peace to Miss Sadie. Her end was tragic but the story of her life is inspiring. Women like Ms. Roberts-Joseph have always been the cornerstone of Black families and communities and they are deserving of praise. She makes me proud.
The feminists are at it again. These people are harder to understand than calculus. Music producer Jermaine Dupri made a comment that most female rappers today make songs about the stripper life. Social media feminists got upset for some reason and somehow Jermaine Dupri has become a prudish hypocrite in their minds even though their response is a bit prudish. I thought feminists were in favor of “sexual liberation” and expression.
I don’t listen to much new rap music anymore. I’ve gotten too old. So if I have heard of you that means that you have become pretty darn popular. Cardi B is a hip hop pop star that has become difficult to escape. And I’ve gotten introduced to Megan Thee Stallion and City Girls. I don’t care for Cardi B. at all but I think that Megan Thee Stallion and City Girls are quite talented.
I’m a Bible thumper that believes that there is more power for women in modesty than there is in raw sexuality. I also believe that these talented young women would be better served by not flaunting their sexuality. The public will only tolerate that without mocking it while a woman is young but no one is young forever or even very long. You have to have something to sell and talk about other than sex. But I’m not the target market for the music industry and I’m in my middle forties. The City Girls and Megan didn’t ask for my opinion.
I like these girls because I can understand what they are saying. They aren’t mumble rappers that sound like they are coming out of a cold medicine induced haze. They are charismatic, energetic, young, brash and beautiful. They are urban or perhaps ratchet is the better word and make no apologies for it. Their music is fun. And yes, they are sexy and put forth a stripper like image. When I ran across their videos on You Tube they made me smile. I don’t know City Girls and Megan Thee Stallion’s backgrounds but Cardi B. was an actual stripper.
Hip hop has been filthy, blunt and telling tales of urban counter culture since the late 80s. That’s the draw and the charm. Hip hop has sold millions and probably billions because it sells a fantasy to those of us that are students, housewives and work cubicle jobs. They say and do things before an audience that most of us would never do even after a couple of shots of tequila. Feminism has done it’s job.
The City Girls parents probably hadn’t even met yet when tawdry rap music gained popularity and began to dominate the charts. Megan The Stallion and Cardi B. never really had a chance and most young women are never really given a different option to present themselves as something other than slutty. But hey, we’re talking about grown, career women and I respect their choices.
Explicit lyrics, filth and racial slurs ahead.
I thought that feminists were in favor of women expressing themselves sexually and on their own terms. That’s what the City Girls and Megan Thee Stallion are doing. It’s what Nicki Minaj did before them. And it’s what Lil Kim and Foxy Brown did before her these girls’ parents even met. The young feminist response to Jermaine Dupri’s response should have been “So what if they rap about stripping. What’s wrong with stripping?” That would have made more sense to double down on their feminist values.
More trash ahead.
Instead they name off a bunch of other current female rappers that have a more wholesome or emo image. In order to say that all young female rappers aren’t stripper like. If feminists are truly supportive of these modest rappers why aren’t they more popular? Capitalism is it’s own form of Democracy and feminists get a vote.
Jermaine Dupri is absolutely right. Most popular young female rappers are selling sex. It’s the way of the world and you need to be a real rebel to make a different choice. There may be a Lauryn Hill or Missy Elliot equivalent for today but she doesn’t seem to be selling much music. Or at least she’s not selling enough downloads and getting enough buzz to become mainstream like Cardi B.
Jermaine Dupri isn’t young anymore. He’s forty six years old and it sounds like he’s gained some wisdom along the way. He understands that there is more power for women in modesty and using talent and intelligence. I hold the same opinion but I guess I’m enough of a feminist to respect an adult woman’s life choice. He’s just trying to let young women with aspirations in the music business that their longevity is not in blatant sex appeal.
After all, Lauryn Hill still sells out concerts even though her fans know she might show up two hours late. And we’ve never seen much of her body or heard much about her sexual experiences. She did it all with talent and hard work. Punctuality, not so much.
But feminists are interested in arguing and becoming outraged no matter what. That seems to be the goal. They aren’t even standing behind their cause of sexual liberation and expression. A man got them to rally around modest rappers today which is what he was supporting. Women stay losing.