Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

No one should ever strive for perfection because even if you manage to reach the tippy top of excellence and all the success that comes with it, the only direction you can go after is down. I wish Mariah Carey’s handlers—namely her ex-husband, Tommy Mottola—understood this early on given now, on the anniversary of her eponymous debut album, so many people write about the Mariah of today with contempt. And if not contempt, pity.

She is not the perfectly package Mariah of yore. The one who could hit every note with a seemingly superhuman-like level of ease. The one who stormed the charts with one of the best debut singles ever in “Vision of Love” and went on to notch three more number one singles—a feat that had not been reached since the Jackson 5. And she did all of this while dressed like the sweet girl who finds her prince charming in some boring romantic comedy. You know, one starring Tom Cruise or Patrick Swayze that amassed a fortune in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

The bulk of the songs featured on Mariah Carey, Mariah’s debut album that came out 25 years ago today, fit perfectly for the soundtracks of all these types of films.

That’s why as impressive a singer Mariah Carey proved to be at the time and for many, many years that followed, I was never a huge fan of this version of her. Sure, I enjoyed watching her sing down on Saturday Night Live and The Arsenio Hall Show. The same goes for her fantastic edition of MTV Unplugged. However, her music along with her image, were just a wee bit too bland for my liking.

She was like The Cosby Show: cute, safe, and wholesome. Meanwhile, real life is over on A Different World.

“Vision of Love” is great, and “Someday” along with a few other songs were cute, but even as a kid, I got the sense that Mariah was holding back in the early 1990s. Mariah has confirmed this theory time and time again through the years. The very second she got a taste of creative freedom, she traded in those big dresses for short skirts and took her music to edgier—well, blacker—terrain. She worked with rappers and incorporated pure R&B into her songs.

I didn’t truly become a Mariah Carey fan—fine, lamb—until The Butterfly album. That was Mariah talking about love, but also sex, heartbreak, and yes, identity only not in ways that screamed suburbia and after-school-special backdrop music. This version of Mariah appeared to have a lot more fun and be far less inclined to come across as having it all together.

That’s why I hope that in the future, Mariah frees herself from having to perform all of her No. 1 hits—particularly those on her debut album. So many of them are attached to the perfect, balladeer version of Mariah. It is true that her voice is not what it used to be—or is like “decaying manufacturing machinery” as some would describe it. She cannot perform “Vision of Love” as well as she used to. Mariah can still do a pretty good rendition of it, but consistency remains a challenge.

Even so, I don’t look at her and think, “Poor Mariah.”

Read the rest at Complex.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

If I’m not mistaken—by the way, I’m not—Tony Vick and Kalenna have voiced concerns about volatility with respect to their finances in previous episodes of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. With that in mind, if you’ve appeared on national television and openly voiced concerns about spending too much money on things like a big ass house you don’t need, would you be risking your savings in a risky investment like a club in fucking Atlanta, Ga.? If you do, you’re the type of person whose calls people duck around payday.

If you’ve heard the Diddy-Dirty Money’s Last Train to Paris album and her own Chamber of Diaries mixtape, you know Kalenna is quite the talented one. And yet, so much of her storyline is so far removed from music. If they plan on turning this club into Harpo’s Jook Joint with Kalenna playing the role of Shug Avery, I’d get them a little more. However, Kalenna ended up asking Joseline to perform at the club, so basically, in the opening minutes of last night’s show, all I got was a math problem: What happens when two blacks in the red turn to a new club to make some green?

I’ll let y’all solve the puzzle. In the meantime, I hope they decide to open up a Chick-fil-a franchise instead.

Speaking of bad habits, what followed next was more talk about Nikko and his infamous porn shoot with Mimi. Margeaux reached out to Ariane’s gorgeous self to talk about their first meeting. You know, the one that ended with Margeaux and Mimi being separated by security. Margeaux informed Ariane that there are no secret audiotapes that prove Mimi’s ass is lying about her role in her porn hustle with Nikko, but an actual person willing to talk. Will the deep fried plot twists never end?

Ariane took this information to Mimi, and to the surprise of no one, Mimi denied everything. Mimi then let her know that she’s not going to keep revisiting old shit. Finally, we agree. I understand Ariane’s intent is to “protect her,” but if the woman doesn’t want to talk about the tape anymore, respect that. Now, Ariane going to work with Margeaux is not cool. Business is business, but I doubt Ariane had to entertain any business involving Margeaux. She just seems more interested in being around her long enough to find more intel to expose her lying ass friend.

Meanwhile, we learned that every now and then Joc’s baby mamas all get together for a “meeting of the moms.” They each seem to hate the term baby mama, but oh well. You broke and/or forgot the condom; live with the colloquialism. One of the women is actually Joc’s legal wife, though. Why are they not divorced, especially given that Joc knocked up two women after her at the same damn time? Your guess is as good as mine. During their annual harem meeting, Joc appeared with his latest boo thang, Khadiyah. This infuriated Joc’s fourth baby mama, Sina.

Sina called Khadiyah a “homewrecker” despite the reality that she carried a married man’s seed at the same time as another woman not legally married to him. It’s as if she owns a mirror, but refuses to accept the reflection. How Rachel Dolezal of her.

Sina threw a temper tantrum and had to get a pep talk from Joc’s wife. Then more bickering took place between the women only for Joc to dismiss his girlfriend and sponsor. This is the strangest shit ever.

Read the rest at Complex.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

After realizing that neither of them was the enemy in this situation, Mimi, along with Nikko’s seemingly estranged wife, Margeaux, decided to band together and take down the real villain: Nikko, the wannabe Stevie J. So, Mimi’s friend Ariane then placed Nikko in a headlock as Margeaux and Mimi took turns punching him in the stomach. You don’t want to advocate violence ever or whatever, but really, didn’t he have it coming? After security broke up the fight, Margeaux, Mimi, and Ariane all proceeded to sing their favorite men ain’t shit songs from the 1990s.

Just kidding. That would’ve made way too much sense for this show. In actuality, Mimi was her typical confrontational self and picked a fight with Margeaux. Margeaux was amused by Mimi’s antics, and to be fair, was rather provoking. The only person who realized that Mimi and Margeaux should not have been arguing was Ariane, who has long known that Nikko wasn’t shit. Still, I chuckled like hell when Mimi told Margeaux about the sex tape she shot with her husband: “I think what you’re mad about is that you’re not reaping the benefits of the sex tape, sweetheart.”

And this particular one Mimi made in her confessional: “I screwed your husband for two years, took the sex tape money straight to the bank while you were chained somewhere in Nikko’s basement.”

What was so funny about those comments and pretty much every other one Mimi made in her exchange with Margeaux is that during the first season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, this is how Joseline spoke to her (only in a mesh of Ebonics, Spanish, and varying degrees of regional slang). Yet, Joseline is the “whore,” “slut,” and “slut ass bitch.” Well, well, Mimi. Look whose feathers continue to fly so fucking high.

After Mimi flew into her coup, Margeaux calmly spoke to Ariane. Ariane may not totally buy Nikko’s version of events, but she’s always been skeptical of Mimi’s lil’ fable about making homemade porn with her married boyfriend that “got into the wrong hands” and later jumped on board for the money. Mimi would later tell Ariane that apparently Nikko recorded all of their phone conversations—which is not creepy at all—​and she has no idea what’s on the tapes. Am I watching Scandal? Is Mimi’s senate campaign doomed now unless Huck dismembers Nikko?

At this point, I’d rather Nikko just fall into a well (Margeaux can stay for a short while after) and go away forever, but I will say I do not believe Mimi so I will tolerate this as long as the truth comes out by the end of it. Shut up. I can dream.

Keeping with the theme of “watch who you bed, beloved,” we were “treated” to more drama from Atlanta’s worst married couple: Rasheeda and Kirk. While “driving” to Ashley’s “promo spots” in Alabama, Yung Joc calls Kirk about the auction Rasheeda set up that he clearly didn’t know about. Upon receiving the intel, Kirk “turns the car around” and heads back to the auction with Ashley in tow.

Why the quotations? Well, if you look closely into the scene of Kirk and Ashley in the car, that shit looks like it’s parked at a Waffle House or Walmart. Maybe they did a Kardashian-style reshoot, but something seems amiss. I am not an investigative reporter, though, so whatever. As soon as Kirk arrived, a fight ensued among Rasheeda, Ashley, and Rasheeda’s mama, Ms. Shirley. Shirley is always looking for a knife fight, so I’m not surprised she was ready to rumble.

You know, there was a point when Ashley told Rasheeda, “It’s not my fault he cheated on you.” The girl is overeager, and, yes, has been disrespectful, but she’s not wrong.

Read the rest at Complex.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

There is a certain sect of Christians so uptight I doubt even the hand of God could loosen them up. Whenever any reality show, or excuse me, “docu-series,” related to the faith surfaces, there is uproar. These are the people who launch campaigns to cancel shows like Oxygen’s Preachers of LA or even the TV Land sitcom Soul Man. Needless to say, upon word of Lifetime’s Preach, which chronicles the lives of four “prophetesses” and their mentees, it’s not surprising to see charges that the women are “exploiting the gospel” and “making a mockery” of prophetic ministry and subsequent calls of its axing.

However, if you watch the series premiere, which airs on Friday at 10/9 C, you’ll see that while there may be showmanship (the series features both the “Beyoncé” and the “blue-eyed soul” of ministry), it’s more substance than spectacle. These women believe in their gifts – i.e. to see catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina before they happen or to bring back people from the dead. Whether or not you believe them is another story.

We spoke with the show’s stars – Belinda Scott, Taketa Williams, Linda Roark, Kelly Crews – on sexism in the clergy, motivation to do the show, looming skepticism, and what Preach might do for millennials.

EBONY: Have you been met with sexism as you rose in your career and if so, was there any particular instance that stuck out to you? Like trying to break this “stain glass ceiling” as they refer to it on the show.

Linda: On several occasions, but in one particular was a Baptist man. I was just starting my ministry and I went out asking local churches if there were any extra chairs they would like to get rid of and the Baptist man had ask me what were they for, and as I began to tell him he immediately look at me and said women are not to suppose to preach. I began to tell him scriptures in the Bible, but he wasn’t having. Needless to say I walked away without any chairs. But that didn’t stop me I’m still preaching the gospel.

Dr. Belinda: About 15 years ago I started receiving letters from an unnamed source that was saying things like you shouldn’t be in the pulpit, you shouldn’t be in the pulpit, you shouldn’t be in the pulpit. I pay no attention to the letters at first, but then they became very, very violent and saying that women shouldn’t be doing this and they explained themselves. They didn’t give a real name but they explained themselves as being “a Christian, a man of God,” and this that and the other. I gave the letters over to the local police authorities who then turned them over to the FBI. Come to find out that it was an individual who really, really hated women in ministry and they handled it from there.

EBONY: What was your motivation to do the show?

Dr. Belinda: To be someone they can look up to say, “If Dr. Belinda can do it, then I can do it.” That’s my personal motivation as well as my spiritual motivation. To see women encouraged. I don’t just encourage women; I encourage men as well, men prophets and all of that. But it’s definitely to be an encouragement to people in life to be who they have been called to be, to be where they are supposed to be regardless of their gender.

Dr. Taketa: Initially, I shunned the idea of being a part of the reality show because of the stigmas that are associated with such type of work. However, I remembered a prophecy my husband gave me over 20 years now and he told me that my prophetic voice, not just my voice but my prophetic voice, my voice as a prophet would reach into Hollywood and I would begin to bless people with my gift. He told me that over 20 years ago.

Kelly: It took a while. It was a lot of praying and reading contracts. I just believe that people will be touched and that God will be glorified and that he will be able to portray us being his instruments in Earth.

EBONY: In the same way cast members of Preachers of L.A. were criticized, I imagine some church folks will feel a way about you doing reality TV. What do you say to say to those who might scrutinize your decision to do reality television?

Linda: I would just let them know everybody is entitled to their opinion, but that there opinion does dictate to what I know God is calling me to do and that is to take the gospel outside the four walls of the church.

Kelly: Well, I think that at this point I don’t have to validate their opinion. I feel that God has given me the green light. I am here to please God and I am not here to please people. I was just telling another lady, I said when Nehemiah was doing his job in Earth and he was rebuilding the wall and people kept intimidating and trying to tell him he wasn’t, you know, you are not supposed to do that or whatever. He looked at them and said why should I respond to the likes of you? That wasn’t an arrogant answer. It was just that I am confident in who God has created me to be. I am choosing to live outside of the opinions of people and be who God has created me to be in the Earth.

EBONY: Do you have any specific advice to women who want to be ordained?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

When I found out that FOX decided to finally end the run of American Idol, my immediate thought was, “Where is the gun that’s putting the show out of its misery? I’d like to use it on The Voice next.” I used to watch Idol several years ago, but made a conscious effort to forget all about it post-peak existence, sans Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey bitching each other out (and breaking my heart in the process). However, I never really got into The Voice.

I hate the stupid chair thing. It’s like they do that under the pretense that looks don’t matter and the judges have some “element of surprise.” Get the fuck out of here. It’s a big-budgeted talent show. It’s no less gimmicky and over produced than any of the other shows like it. If you think some big goofy chair slowly turning around makes The Voice that much different, you probably think tossing on some Old Spice will hide someone’s summery must.

One thing Idol can and will forever hold over The Voice is that it has actually produced successes in music. It may not live up to that promise anymore, but Kelly Clarkson is still going strong. The same can be said of Carrie Underwood. Fantasia will forever have booking on the Tom Joyner cruise and various black award shows. Actually, she can likely continue touring for the rest of her life, too. There are also losers like Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert, who despite not winning the show, clearly continue to win.

Even Clay Aiken might eventually score some job as a political pundit on some horrible cable news show. I don’t know, maybe they’ll at least let him hum every now and again before pretending Hillary Clinton is Jesus in a pantsuit.

Can The Voice say the same? No, no, no. That is the main reason why I don’t like the show: For all its spinning chairs, big name celebrities brought in as judges and mentors, this show has not created a single star. If it cannot live up to its purpose, what is the point anymore?

Pop quiz: Name all of the winners of The Voice. Name their debut albums. Name their best-performing song. When the members of MoKenStef can legitimately argue that they’ve had more success in music than the winner of some hugely popular TV show, it’s a problem.

I’ve read “Where Are They Now?” articles about the winners, and they don’t offer the kind of endings that would make Walt Disney smile. In fact you should probably be lifting them all in prayer. The show’​s inaugural winner, Javier Colon, told BuddyTV a year after his win in 2011 that he separated from his label due to lack of support. He apparently now performs shows at “intimate venues across the country.” The second season winner, former Alicia Keys background singer Jermaine Paul, is…I have no clue, but Alicia should’ve hooked up him with some Swizz Beatz tracks. Season five winner Tessanne Chin dropped an album that debuted with only 7,000 copies sold. Season six winner Josh Kaufman got a job on Broadway. Where’s the album, though?

These winners would’ve done better taking their $100,000 award and investing it into a Popeye’s franchise.

Read the rest at Complex.


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Last night’s Love & Hip Hop Atlanta opened with a prayer, some chicken wings that looked like they were fried in bronzer, and unsettled beef. I think Scrappy’s side-eye at Momma Dee’s lengthy and rather ridiculous prayer sizes up my feelings on this dinner quite nicely. Scrappy hasn’t said a whole lot this season, but I appreciate him shooting his mom a look that loosely translated to, “Momma Dee. Jesus ain’t trying to hear all that bullshit, ya feel me?”

After the prayer came the convo—leading with Ernest’s mama, Bernice, explaining to Momma Dee that she remains somewhat upset that Momma Dee put her son in jail. To her credit, Momma Dee continues to maintain “Yeah, I ain’t shit for that” but won’t necessarily linger in that sentiment for too long. She’s very, “You know, I put him in jail because he was treating me bad, but we off that. Why aren’t you?”

Bernice looked like she was crying, but since there were no visible tears, I wonder if it was emotion or just too much Slap Ya Mama seasoning. Whatever the case, Momma Dee’s daughter, Jasmine, then spoke on her beef with Ernest—basically, she can’t stand him—resulting in Scrappy having to hold Momma Dee back before she went oops, upside her daughter’s head and her plate. Later, Momma Dee stressed to Ernest that he needed to prove to her “crumb-snatching kids” that he loves her. I wouldn’t be surprised if this relationship ends with multiple folks being hit over the head with a Crown Royal bag filled with nickels and neck bones.

In related family news, Stevie J was released from rehab only to head to New York to deal with his child support issues. Now, as much as I love the Puerto Rican Princess and respect her right to continue working out her daddy issues by way of sex with Stevie J, question (read in Beyoncé’s voice, please): If your husband is facing prison time over charges of unpaid child support and just got out of rehab, what makes you so antsy to procreate with him right now? Then again, she’s not getting any younger and I’m pretty sure those two would create a gorgeous kid. But let me say this about Stevie J: Thus far he has shown himself to be truly evolving.

Kaleena, who joined Joseline on the set of her wedding-themed magazine shoot (they’re running this six-feet-deep into the ground at this point), wanted to get Stevie to tell her husband, Tony, not to do business with the dude Stevie once opened a business with. You know that place he opened with Benzino a season or so ago. Yeah, I don’t remember it either. Point is, Stevie J has become the voice of reason.

And if you saw him last week on Love & Hip Hop Live: The Wedding (that ends in denial of conjugal visits, but I digress), you see that Stevie might be able to add another revenue stream to his arsenal by way of TV hosting. I’d still like for Stevie J to reunite with Mariah Carey in the studio, but you know, get your money, Steebie.

Besides, it could be worse for Joseline: She could be Rasheeda. Look, I’m increasingly fed up with her and Kirk’s storyline. Yes, they’ve added disrespectful Ashley Nicole into the mix, but second verse, same as the first. It’s like the universe is yelling, “GET A DIVORCE, WOMAN,” into Rasheeda’s ear with a megaphone, yet she continues to be Helen Keller to the shit.

As for Rasheeda describing Ashley Nicole as a “no buzz having bitch,” uh it wasn’t that long ago she was being told, “My name is Rasheeda/I rap like Shawty Lo.” I’ll leave it at that.

Read the rest at Complex.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

In the behind the scenes clip from what will surely be regarded as her legendary cover of the July issue of Vanity Fair, Caitlyn Jenner reflects on her former life as Bruce Jenner before concluding, “Caitlyn doesn’t have any secrets. Soon as the Vanity Cover comes out, I’m free.”

Free and brave. Free and unapologetic. Free and stunning. Free and already not only slaying, but scene stealing. If you recall, Caitlyn’s stepdaughter, Kim Kardashian, revealed that she was pregnant with her second child yesterday. Mazel tov to them and all that, but Caitlyn is officially the new Beyoncé of that family.

Did Caitlyn intentionally plan to steal Kimmy’s thunder? I’m not sure, but I do know Kim Kardashian will have several months to tell us about her pregnancy and even more thereafter to discuss how she got her body back to being ready for more selfies and nude photo shoots. She’ll be alright. If anything, Kim is probably making sure Caitlyn doesn’t embarrass herself or the family with her clothing choices.

To wit, Kim has already excitedly tweeted the cover, writing: “Caitlyn Jenner for Vanity Fair Annie Leibovitz! How beautiful! Be happy, be proud, live life YOUR way!” I doubt Kim feels competitive until Caitlyn lands a Vogue cover anyway.

As far as the spelling of Jenner’s name — Caitlyn with a C as opposed to a K — that is clearly intentional. That entire family is obsessed with the letter K, but now that Caitlyn has her own show on the horizon, the more she separates herself from them, the better off she is.

When it comes to the cover itself, all I have to say is “Kitty on fleek. Pretty on fleek.” If you were in Harlem, you probably heard me shout, “PUSH THROUGH, SIS” in a coffee shop. Look, Diane Sawyer insinuated to Caitlyn that she couldn’t really tip out here and slay the girls because at her age, women’s fashion is blase. You told her, Caitlyn.

Okay, now that we’ve spoken on all of the great things, I have to focus on a few things. I saw this AP headline via Twitter: “Bruce Jenner makes debut as a transgender woman in a va-va-voom cover for the July issue of Vanity Fair.” No. No. No. A much better header would’ve been: “@Caitlyn_Jenner makes debut on July cover of Vanity Fair. Quickly considered bad bitch in first place.”

You’re welcome.

From this day forward, it is not Bruce, it is Caitlyn. Likewise, you do not refer to Caitlyn Jenner as a he, but “she.” Caitlyn is here so the pronouns ought to be clear.

Read the rest at VH1.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone


Last Friday, on SoPOPular with Janet Mock, I was asked to touch on representation of HIV/AIDS in pop culture with respect to the Black community in light of last week’s episode of The Prancing Elites Project — where star Kareem Davis revealed he was HIV positive.

You can check out the links of both segments below.


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

When it comes to the maturation of rappers, I have more faith that Rick Santorum and the pope will go half on my gay-wedding gift than that most emcees will age gracefully.

There are a few rappers who have done so—Queen Latifah and Ice Cube come to mind—but they don’t actively release rap albums anymore. Jay Z fancies himself more of a businessman than a musician nowadays, and even in the latter context, he still wants to be perceived as cool (not that there’s anything wrong with that). T.I. is a family man who still wants to rap like a bachelor … who lives in the trap. Rick Ross will be 40 next year, and his tales of drug dealing (fictional times, mind you) will feel really old in due time.

The men are far worse offenders than many of the ladies of hip-hop, but in earnest, Lil’ Kim’s aesthetic continues to have an identity crisis, Da Brat still dresses like it’s 1995 and I don’t know where Foxy Brown is. Do you?

Surprisingly, the man who’s become a solid example of how to age as a rapper in a way that feels both natural and fitting is Snoop Dogg. His most recent release, Bush, is more grown-up funk than mumbling hip-hop (see Young Thug and Fetty Wap).

On how the Pharrell-produced project was born, Snoop explains to New York Times writer Jon Caramanica, “There’s a void for that style of music. I think if rap never came out, I’d have been a R&B singer.”

The Atlantic’s Spencer Kornhaber disputes this, noting that such sounds have been “one of the biggest trends in pop in the past few years,” and going on to add, “Snoop’s not filling a need; he’s providing more of what’s recently proven to be a hot commodity.”

This is where the lens through which you view something matters. For starters, Snoop is not Robin Thicke or Daft Punk. He’s a 43-year-old black man named Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. from Long Beach, Calif. A man who, for much of his career, has rocked perms and curls. In releasing Bush and embracing the “Uncle Snoop” moniker, Snoop is just fulfilling a destiny that many of us black folks meet after a certain age: the uncle or auntie stage of our lives.

With Bush, Snoop basically made a hip-hop Gap Band album. It’s the audio answer to linen pants and cookouts, something I might two-step to while asking for a fish sandwich and an extra slice of peach cobbler. It is glorious in that respect. Although Snoop could have rapped a lil’ bit more on the album, it’s 2015, and most of these rappers are singing off-key and spouting a bunch of gibberish anyway. In that respect, he fits right in.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Earlier today, I finally answered the questions a young college student abroad sent me related to some assignment about racism in America. She asked me questions about police brutality, Black families, and fear. The fear I may or may not have whenever I come across law enforcement. The fear I may or not have as a Black man in general. The concerns I have for Black people overall.

There was one or two questions, though, that made me a bit frustrated. She meant no harm, but even though she is another person of color, those questions suggested a disconnect. The one question that stood out most was related to parenting. This idea – largely forged through stereotypes, one presumes – that Black parenting is related to…I don’t know, what’s happening to us collectively here.

Whatever the case, it showed disconnect as to how racism works in this country. How ingrained it is in our society. How multifaceted it is. How there’s only so much any “good thing” we do in terms of parenting and education can counter that. Southern Rites does a good job of highlighting this. As I’ve written before, it may focus on a school’s first desegregated prom, but when you watch what all else it covers – a Black man trying to be the town’s first elected sheriff, a young Black man being gunned down and his killer being given extreme leniency due to local politics – you see so much more. About that town’s story and the story of other ones in this country.

I ended up writing her again, saying, “If you have access to HBO, check out the new documentary Southern Rites. It does a really good job of expounding on some of the issues you’re addressing in your paper. Good luck.”

And again, so should you. It airs tonight at 9:00 P.M. EST. That’s after Love & Hip Hop Atlanta so no excuses.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone