Sunday, December 21, 2014

the shots heard round the world

There isn't a day that passes that race doesn't come up or become a thought in my mind. It's in our faces everyday. I'm taking this time now to share a chunk of a piece I wrote that I was going to submit to the scholastic arts and writing scholarship contest. I wasn't able to submit this (RIP to the $$$ I could've pocketed :/) but I HAVE  to share this somewhere, so here I am.

The Shots Heard Round The World

       It was a dull pang. That's what I remember from those heart pounding, desperate nights. A dull, ringing pang that was introduced by a blue glow that would sometimes flicker red, emanating from the headlines on the TV screen.

                               "GEORGE ZIMMERMAN NOT GUILTY"
                              " NO INDICTMENT FOR DARREN WILSON"

        A curdling sickness, a red rage, a dull pang that hit my heart as I looked at the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, the protesters on the streets of major cities and small towns, my family sitting on the couch alongside me, my reflection when I looked at my brown skin for too long in the mirror. I remember sitting there on those nights asking myself " Is this some Inception-style nightmare or am I really witnessing a ludicrous world?"
       I've concluded that this world is ludicrous because here is an abbreviated version of the updated list of suspicious behaviors that could land you in a grave as a black person in America: carrying a bag of skittles, carrying an Arizona ice tea, carrying cigarettes, wearing a hoodie, napping, listening to music, playing outside, and having a conversation with a police officer. Gravelyly, the list goes on, but the longer this list stretches, the more we should wonder if these actions and behaviors are merely just substitutes. Excuses or names given to something much more simple. Is it such a far-fetched notion that your life is inherently more at risk for simply being black?

               Trayvon Martin was just walking home to enjoy the snacks he had just purchased.

               "But, he couldn't have been doing just that. No one was there to witness it."

               Michael Brown was just walking home from the corner store-walking because he had no                      reason to run.

              "But, he couldn't have been doing just that. There was no good footage, and the footage                        we did see was blurry."

               Eric Garner was just walking out of his store to answer questions by the police. Eric                           Gardner said he couldn't breathe eleven times. 

              "But, he couldn't was the asthma! He had a coincidental asthma attack at the                          moment of his death."

               12 year-old Tamir Rice was playing in a park with his toy. Playing pretend guns just like                     his friends and like so many other children before him. 


               7 year-old Aiyana Jones was sleeping. 


               Timothy Stansbury Jr. was standing in a stairwell when he "startled" a police officer.
               Victor Steen was riding a bicycle.
         And we won't ever really know what Lennon Lacy was doing in North Carolina this past August because we just found him, hanging on an unfamiliar swing set by an unfamiliar belt wearing unfamiliar shoes in an unfamiliar, predominately white trailer park late at night.
        Again, the list goes on.
        And this is all to say that I'm tired of seeing Reverend Al Sharpton show up on the news for the tenth time in only one month, not because of Sharpton himself, but because of what his presence represents. Seeing him is like feeling the dread that must thrush through one's veins when they hear a firm knock on the door in the early hours of the morning when their loved one hasn't come home yet. No, this isn't a descriptive simile to get you to understand what I'm trying to convey. This is almost the exact reality of Black America today. Almost, because police officers aren't knocking on the doors of these families anymore; they're still back at the scene of their own crime, searching for a way to cover up their tracks.
         64,000 black women are currently missing in America right now, and I am not making this up. If this number seems unbelievable to you, you are not alone. 64,000 black women who will continue to be unknown and continue to go unfound because American media outlets have to make air time for a Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard to choke on his words and try to convince the public that what he is doing is for the betterment of American society. 64,000 missing black women, but let's direct our attention to what a member of one of the world's most infamous terrorist organizations has to say.
         This series of tragic events surrounding police corruption and race relations in America have re-awakened the black community and should-if it hasn't already- awaken the white community as well, for we are currently living in a state of affairs that can easily be dubbed as an inevitable second wave of the Civil Rights Movement, an ugly evolution of racism swept under the rug that is steadily beginning to surge.

         These are the facts; this is our American reality. These are the things that cannot be disputed. So, if you still feel the urge to minimize or degrade the dire matters at hand, then perhaps the only thing of question here is your humanity.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

happy idiot

As the title suggests, in contradiction with things that have been going on recently (i.e. ferguson, eric garner, tamir rice, and sadly, so on), I'm feeling very proactive and like I've been accomplishing a lot! A few things that I'm most proud of/stand out:

I'm officially a staff contributor for The Wandering!!! It's a visual and written art collective created by and created for teenagers, and I was drawn to it because of its diversity, and the collective just seems so natural and non-restrictive! I contacted its founder, Eva, and everything worked out so smoothly from there! Just the feeling of being a part of a collective and putting my stuff out there is exciting and gratifying, all in itself. Here's my first post, my birth, on The Wandering:
There really was something about this night that felt so electric. You could feel it in the air—the electrons and photons combining together, turning us into warm spirits despite the frigid wind.
"There really was something about this night that felt so electric. You could feel it in the air—the electrons and photons combining together, turning us into warm spirits despite the frigid wind."

My Thanksgiving was crazy for a lot of reasons, but one reason that contributed to that is that my uncle introduced me to celebrity stylist, J.Bolin!!! He started his own magazine, Denim Magazine, and has styled people from Nene Leakes to Dianna freaking Ross and has even met Queen Bey's stylist :o I got put in contact with him because of my interest in fashion journalism--fashion magazines have been contacting Mr. Bolin with requests to do some bits and since he's more of a stylist, he sometimes needs people to write for him. I don't know where this may take me, but I'm still so incredibly EXCITED at the mere opportunity. Keep an eye out because you may just see me writing in the near future ;) Also, I'm very excited about this cardigan I got black friday shopping. I don't think pictures do it justice, but here it is <3

Shirt:Calvin Klein
Cardigan: Forever 21
Pants: Forever 21
Belt: Urban Outfitters

Closer view of the lace and sparkle detail
Happy Idiot

As exhilarating as all of these other things are, sometimes nothing relaxes me more at the end of the day and makes me feel at ease like turning on some tunes and opening up this journal.

Usually I'm EXTREMELY casual about journaling, but I'm deliberately making it a more integral part of my daily life now and I'm very pleased with the results :-)

About a dumb boy

About a viceroy

" Maybe also there's this textile fixation or attraction to the way a pen gliding on paper feels or the sound of clicking keyboard keys that compels a writer to write. I'm feelin that right now...also feelin like holding a smoldering cig between two fingers on one hand and twirling a revolver in the other in the middle of a desert gang with trademark red lips..." I guess what I'm telling myself is that I need to be Azealia Banks circa Liquorice for a day or two.

Photo by Michaela Jean

Fletcher &amp; Wyatt Shears photographed by Isaac Zoller
Fletcher and Wyatt Shears by Isaac Zoller

Words can't describe how much I love this photo of the Shears twins.

Bessie Stringfield, “The Motorcycle Queen of Miami”—the first black woman to ride across the United States solo

These photos are going up on the coveted, monumental wall of inspiration in my room (mostly reserved for naomi but I digress) because the women in these photos possess such a carefree, rebellious spirit. As black women we are often put into a box--we become stuffed into the "angry, sassy black woman" archetype and suddenly that becomes the only thing black women are capable of being. So, I love these photos of the women surfers, Bessie Stringfield, and Eartha Kitt not only for their artistic beauty but for their inspiring and gratifying capturing of black women being themselves, veering from what's expected, and just living.
Eartha Kitt doing yoga by the ocean

This rebelling spirit is also heavily reflected in TV on the Radio. Though I've just recently paid more attention to their music, I had heard of TV on the Radio in the past but never really got into them for some reason. As soon as I came across the new song "Happy Idiot" from their album Seeds though,  it turned me into one.

I've only now realized that I've said "happy" at least a billion times now, so I leave yall with a pretty cool song that fits the vibes and THIS PENSIVE PHOTO OF TV ON THE RADIO. I'M YELLING  BECAUSE HIT ME UP IF YOU KNOW WHERE I CAN GET BABATUNDE'S (second from left) CRAZY CARDIGAN. OR ONE THATS SIMILAR THATS COOL TOO.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

solange knowles: a dedication

It's hard to know where to start when it comes to Solange Knowles, and I say this in a glowingly positive way! She is the human embodiment of a natural, tropical breeze enveloped by power, intelligence, and conviction, and these attributes are definitely showcased by her style, making her a cool, alternative style icon of our time. Knowles doesn't shy away from bold colors, unique prints, or clean edgy cuts, all of which have become her trademark. Modern, revitalized takes on vintage style (think the the 70's, the temptations, flashy female groups or backup singers) is also blissfully prevalent in her fashion choices, especially this clean and bright yellow and orange number:

"Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live." - Gianni Versace

Photo by Eddie O'Keefe
This photo and these women are not only mystic and beautiful on their own, but the whole image really gives me Solange-esque vibes--very intense and even a little dangerous.

"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak." – Rachel Zoe aka one of my favorite quote because of the overwhelming truth of it.

                     Solange Knowles I DECIDED from M2 Management on Vimeo.

"I was a little different
I didn't do what the fast girls do
Study my rhythm..."
- "I Decided" by Solange Knowles

These two masculine, suit looks are definitely my top two favorites. She combines her free flowing feminitiy with masculinity by wearing this suit with free flowing hair and no shirt underneath. This whole look contrasts a firm edginess with an abundant ethereal quality. AND THE CLOUD PANTS. THE CLOUD PANTS!!! Yall I basically love anything with clouds. I COULD DIE AND GO TO HEAVEN AND I'D BE KICKIN IT ON THESE CLOUDS because 1) They're cloud print and 2) They've been blessed by Solange's legs.

"Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess." - Edna Woolman Chase

More of Solange's urban, vintage taste can be found in these looks and it all adds up to her cool factor. Style really is unrestricted to clothing; it seeps into the way you live your life and the way you just are, and her style, her lifestyle, seems to be exactly that. Unrestricted, free, natural, and spiriful <3 So even beyond her outrageously amazing wardrobe, Solange is someone I consider to be an icon in general. She does it all and she kills everything she does! She's a singer, an actress, a style icon, a mother, a wife, and she's playing all of these roles cooly and so effortlessly.

Growing up surrounded by creativity, entertainment, and pressure by the public, Solange still managed to easily identify herself as an individual. She is carefree and unapologetically herself in every aspect of her life which makes her someone people would really just love to meet and talk to and even just be a fly on the wall to a day in her life. When she worked with Giorgio Armani back in 2008, he too picked up on her bright aura, saying "Knowles epitomizes the style, which is a vision of a young, independent, casual lifestyle, with strong and cool fashion sensibility." :-)

                      Solange Knowles Talks Fashion & Exposing Herself by Complex

The fluid movement in this dress looks like it could literally blow you away. 

I think I'm a little pissed at how perfect these two are, but, nonetheless, best of luck to this stylish power couple! 

sources: tumblr//google images


Monday, November 24, 2014

* a diy guide to making your room even more magical*


What You'll Need:
1. Paint
2. Paintbrushes
3. Or fingers!

What You Don't Need:
1.Artistic Ability

I'm always trying to make my room as personalized and creative-looking as possible and one day I felt my room was looking a little too naked. So I put some clothes on these salacious knobs and I ended up feeling less bothered. It works best if the furniture of your choice has a paler finish to it, but if it's a piece of black or dark brown furniture I'm sure some bright, neon pastels would totally look amazing.

What's awesome is there are no rules but if you're still locked down by the rents it may be a good idea to ask before you commence on your masterpieces. I didn't and they didn't really care but something tells me that sometime down the line they'll be wondering why I did this.

While you're beautifully destroying your furniture this magical song by two magical women is the perfect song to listen to and keep you inspired <3


~Stay gold~


Thursday, November 20, 2014

cause i feel like i'm dreaming

Lately I've been feeling like I'm in a time warp, inspired by the 60's (minus the blatant racial and societial issues raging at the time of course). The 60's was undoubtedly plagued with injustice and a lack of freedom, yet there was this pocket of renegades that found themselves on a completely different plane of reality. We're discussing the 1960's counterculture in US history right now, and one group that's always intrigued me and I've always wanted to learn more about is the hippies #420 #blazeit #passthebluntbitchyas{insert picture of marajuana leaf socks}

Robert Altman, 1969

I feel like they just had this innate freedom and uninhibition that led them to being so powerful and pungent in the mark they left on society. They epitomized counterculture and what it meant to be subversive. The hippie movement eventually died out, but even to this day they still make little chatters of noise. My psychology teacher's neighbor in fact is a full time nudist (actual, legitimate occupation) and hippie who conducts life like any other person and  I  give my props to him! There is something magnetic and admirable about being that liberated and reckless well into your adulthood, especially now when so much has changed since the 60's.
"There was a time when you got beat up, because you were a skateboarder, but now you beat kids up, because they’re not skateboarders. It’s like we becoming bullies. It’s not cool"

-Jake Johnson,

To say things have changed would be an understatement to someone like Jake Johnson. Jake Johnson is a pro skater who jumped into the realm of notoriety when he was just 16. Skateboarding first started gaining popularity in the 60's along with surfing and ever since it's been this thing really associated with the outcast, non-straight-edge sect of culture. The typical sk8er boi...

...archetype in movies espcially in the early 00's was generally very rebellious and seen as weird and losery to the jocks and preps, dangerous and threatening to the nerds, and really fucking cool to the kids who could relate. Johnson eludes to this in the quote from his interview about his career and how drastically the art of skateboarding has changed.

 Source: LIFE

Skateboarding has surged into pop culture, drawing bigger audiences, and like with most popular things, you have those who take advantage of it and use it as leverage against others who don't meet to them what's "popular" or "cool". Johnson goes into depth in his interview, expressing how the vanity and greed that's become apart of skaters has caused him to distance himself from the public world of skateboarding, instead focusing on his personal happiness in it. And even if you don't like or care about skateboarding specifically, I've been thinking how this can apply to anything somebody loves. If it's soccer, music, art, flying kites, or taking over the world,  maybe the most vital part of it all is maintaining the happiness you draw from it that ultimately makes it that something you love.

 These are the photos that have captured my mind and have a liberating, hazy, western aesthetic which is what I'm trying to model my life after right now :-)

Tony Hawk, 1980s
Salvation Mountain, Niland, California
"It’s like a sacred place in your mind. It’s personal for everybody. For me, it’s childish. It’s like having no responsibilities."-Jake Johnson

Steve McQueen, Stills from Ashes, 2014

Jerry Hall by Antonio Lopez, Texas, 1972

File under future makeup looks

Lucky Strike, 1987
-Kieth Haring

My outfit from last Friday that didn't withstand the cold but looked as if I just stepped out of a desert  I only wish I had a bolo tie to accompany my lonely collar.
Top: Thrifted
                  Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
     Pants/Belt: F21

"109" by Toro y Moi, or as you all should know by now my husband as previously confirmed , has this surfer, dusty drive to it that fits the misty, dreamy vibe. It's like kicking up dirt to reveal the clean truth of what lies beneath the surface--an ocean wave washing on shore and leaving behind nautical remnants of what's really floating in the sea besides tiny fish and turquoise H2O.