Month: June 2015 (Page 1 of 4)

David Oyelowo is Terrifying in Nightingale


Well. That was disturbing.

I think I might even have nightmares. It takes a certain type of talent to carry an entire film with only yourself and a single set, but David Oyelowo, of Selma fame, plays it off to shocking effect. I stumbled upon Nightingale a few nights ago while burning the midnight oil, intent on simply having the movie play in the background while I worked. But I found myself caught up in the gripping tale as I watched Oyelowo’s psychotic character document himself on social media videos, engage in conversations with a mirror, and conjure up elaborate relationships that devastatingly jarred with reality. This film is black, haunting, and unredeeming. You may want to watch this with a friend. And sleep with the lights on.


The Confederate Flag is Pointless. Take It Down.

#BreeNewsome #TakeItDown

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Bree Newsome did what has needed to be done since the Confederate flag un-graced the South Carolina Capitol during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in 1962: Removed a flag that had turned from private remembrance of Confederate soldiers lost during the Civil War, to a very public symbol of hatred, reactionary law and white supremacy in America after World War 2. I tried to understand why some Southerners held so steadfastly to a symbol that has garnered so much derision, fear and repulsion; a symbol that has been comfortably taken up by racists, reactionary conservatives, and most telling, the self-proclaimed white supremacist shooter of the Charleston 9. But my search for understanding only begat more questions. The rallying cry of conservatives who love this Confederate flag is that of Southern pride. But pride of what? The fight and subsequent loss in the Civil War? Are they proud that they fought so vigilantly so that they could not be a part of what we today call the United States of America? They claim that they fought bravely for the protection of States rights -not the maintenance of slavery – and that alone is a reason to be proud of the display of the flag.

But how curious that the conservative argument for such a blatant display of treason conveniently downplays the role of slaves in the war, as if slavery was a minute part of economic and social importance. It is such a ludicrous argument that the Civil War was not about slaves, but about states’ rights. The South so obviously fought for their state’s right to hold slaves, the labor of which brought incredible wealth to the region, and America.

Conservatives love to remind people that only less than 25 percent of Southerners held slaves, but conveniently leave out that this small percentage of slaveowners controlled the enormous wealth, politics, and social status quo of the South. And basic high school American History taught us that a major contention of the Civil War was the Three Fifth’s Clause, giving the South less of a tax liability, and therefor more wealth and power. A loss of that power would obviously create a cause for contention among the warring factions of States. Slaves were indeed a very major component of the Civil War and conservatives need to stop kidding themselves about that fact.

Would we be so understanding if a group of German people displayed a Nazi flag with honor as they reminisced about their country’s horrific extermination of human life? I struggle to see how maintaining the Confederate Flag is any different.

It’s time to let it go. The Civil War was fought and lost by the Confederate States. There is no honor in being treasonous, and there is no honor in stealing the labor and wealth of Black Americans. People have appropriated it’s symbol and thrust its colors in the name of a shameful past that warrants no cause for celebration. It is a solemn moment in American history that needs to be left in museums, history books and private collections, if not destroyed altogether.

2015 BET Awards: Turnt Up

Man listen. I usually don’t get hyped about awards shows, but then things like this happen –


And can we get into Kendrick Lamar’s performance of Alright? That powerful performance was a bold message that I could literally feel through the screen.

I also really dug how Jidenna kept the  activist tone alive with his use of the iconic 1960’s protest posters that Boldly proclaimed “I AM A MAN.” I see you, Jidenna.


Oh yes, the ladies of the red carpet did their thing too.

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And remind this fly teen who designed her own bomb prom dress? Well she did it again for Actress Naturi Naughton. Girl is doing big things!


Lavish Movies: Fresh To Death


In the world of hip-hop, fashion is a language,” says Jenkins, 43. “But I also wanted people to understand the climate and the environment that created hip-hop.
-Sacha Jenkins , director of Fresh Dressed


Fashion has long been a staple in Hip Hop, as far as I can remember. I often reminisce about the cool kids tagging their sneakers and stopping at the airbrush spot in the Colosseum in Jamaica Queens, personalizing their jackets and leather high tops to perfection. I remember how those same street kids inspired the likes of the big fashion houses like Tommy Hilfiger, who turns those styles into multi-million dollar profits, to which little credit was given for the true innovators. Fresh Dressed is a must-see for those interested in the fashionably-inclined leaders of hip hop – you!

Don’t have a local indie theater playing it? You can catch the documentary on

Fresh Dressed from Fresh Dressed Movie on Vimeo.

So Much To Do: Harlem Arts Festival 2015


This uptown art and music event is such a blast for adults and kids alike. I went last year and couldn’t even get it all in with the one Sunday afternoon I planned. Be sure to try and sign up for free tickets to see Broken City, an interactive public theater event presented by PopUP Theatrics. I’d stop by artist Alice Mizrachi’s tent (above). My daughter was gifted with a beautiful rose last year, among other things of beauty from the amazing array of art classes given by working artists.HAF2Bed of Roses in Mizrachi’s tent

Plus, there will be plenty of tasty treats to enjoy while you take in all of the visuals. Check out the full music lineup here.


My daughter with her creation


Psst: Click on this map to enlarge and print


What: Harlem Arts Festival
When: Saturday and Sunday June 27-28, 3pm-8pm
Where: Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem

Lavish Beauty: A Pony Is All You Need


Sometimes, it’s just like that. As temperatures soar, hair sticking to your neck is just not an option, and complicated updos are just that—complicated. Some water, aloe vera gel and coconut oil are just what your edges need for this simple style that will take you from the pool to brunch and back again.

The Hotness: Sophie Anderson Foldover Clutch

I love the simple graphic quality of this South American, handwoven bag by Sophie Anderson. Earthy, stylish, and fabulous.


Camille Handwoven Geometric Pouch, $295, Moda Operandi

Pssst: An extra 10% off using code HONESTLYMODAWTF

Iman is Almost 60 and Puts Us All To Shame

I’m not complaining about the extra pounds. They’re like a natural botox. -Iman


The iconic Somalian supermodel posed in a stunning shoot for Vanity Fair Italia and talks about health, beauty, her 23 year marriage to David Bowie (I still can’t get over the coolness of that duo!), and getting what she wants. Indulge.

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And The Winner Is…


Congratulations Thais Magalhães, winner of the LAVISH birthday gift!

Thais, please send your information to: to claim your prize using the email you registered with! Your prize will be processed in 10 days.

Weekday Swag: Jada Covers Haute Living Magazine

Jada Pinkett-Smith is radiant in white and gold for the July 2015 issue of Haute Living Magazine. Grown and sexy doesn’t get better than this. Indulge.

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