Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday night I attended a No on Prop 8 party in L.A. Invited by longtime friend, filmmaker/producer Darren Stein, the evening proved not only to be a great night for a good cause, but a personal reunion of sorts as well (I hadn't seen Darren since 1990). Held at the trendy Coco DeVille nightspot in L.A., the evening was designed to raise funds in support of opposing California legislative bill, Proposition 8, which would reverse the current right to marry laws for same sex couples.
The evening was festive and educational. Others in attendance were my girl Shana (MJ fans, you know ALL about her) and MTV reality star Tila Tequila
There seems to be a huge focus on this proposition as I saw signs and ads for it everywhere. I don’t typically don political paraphernalia, so I was initially hesitant when given my “No on 8” sticker to wear at the door. No longer a registered California voter, I am not well versed in the state’s proposed legislation. However, upon further examination of the proposition, I completely oppose it. No matter what your feelings are on the definition of marriage, this bill explicitly discriminates on a particular group of the population. I mean really! Would this shit even be o the ballot if it were banning women, or Latinos, or Blacks or Jewish people from getting married? Its like our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are the last frontier where discrimination is socially tolerated. WTF?
Don’t get me wrong here, I completely understand why many support the proposition. If your core beliefs, (religious, etc.) support the idea that marriage can only be between a man and woman, that’s fine. It is not my place to alter your spiritual convictions. God knows, you can’t alter mine. So I GET that. I do take issue however, when your religious convictions impede on the civil rights of others. I don’t think its one’s place to ask another the change their beliefs…that’s not what America is about….at least not on paper anyway. Is this “the land of the free and the home of the brave” …as long as you embrace the proper version of Christian values? Freedom of religion...as long as you embrace the proper version of Christian values? Do as we say…not as we do, right? As long as you embrace...you know. Come on now America, we are so much better than this!
Just as I would not want marriage rights denied to anyone who wants to partake of that madness, it is also not the place of the gay/lesbian community to try to force churches, etc to “accept their lifestyle.” Demand equal protection under the law, yes. Live your life in a healthy and open manner. Everyone is not going to accept or like you. Nor should they. So stop trying to force it. Just LIVE it. If you don’t have haters, you ain’t doing it right! We all can co-exist in harmony. Agree to disagree. Whatever. What we cannot do is have laws that discriminate! I pay the same taxes as you, better our neighborhood with my fabulous taste and clean living and yet I am not afforded the same rights? Oh “hell-to-da-NAW, shawty!” While I personally don’t do cartwheels over the prospect of marriage, that doesn’t mean others should be denied the right. So lets move forward on this people. Unfortunately, ignorance and hatred are (a increasingly smaller) part of our country’s diversity. So California, vote NO on Prop 8!!!!!!!
So when you jump the broom, reach down it pick it up afterwards. You might have to “clock a biotch in the face with it!” Be Proud. Steadfast in your prayers. Live out loud! Always stand in your light!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Ok "Noah's Arc" fans, listen up! I am writing to day from Burbank, California where I am still recovering from a most fan-tabulous evening with Jennia Fredrique, co-star of the movie "Noah's Arc" movie and television series. The movie, "Noah's Arc Jumping The Broom" opened last weekend in select cities to packed cinemas across the country. The response has been overwhelmingly positive for this original film!
My good friend and photographer Deman360 spent the evening with us, graciously filming our interview. Jennia has been a part of "Noah's Arc" since the original pilot and her character, Brandy, is a no-nonsense, don't f** wit me, studio executive diva who might drink a lil too much...a lil too often. Fans love her and she does not disappoint in the newly released theatrical movie.
Jennia strolled into West Hollywood's Basix Cafe looking every bit the part of superstar. Unlike other divas though, this lady was punctual! So much for CP time! Dressed in a cute denim ensemble, her locs flowing freely, I watched all eyes follow her as she headed our way. Humble, hilarious and did I mention 'fall out phyne'?, Jennia was so kewl! That's my girl!
So she sipped coffee as I sipped tea and we began to dish over dessert. From her humble beginnings in Gary, Indiana to her new baby boy, she rightfully takes pride in her ever growing journey. Get into to our interview below where we dish on DL men, meeting Janet Jackson, and why she does not call herself a 'fag-hag'. Be sure to get into our special shout out to B.Scott at the end!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Today the groundbreaking Logo tv series Noah's Arc comes to the big screen in a major way as fans are promised twists and turns aplenty in the full length feature, "Noah's Arc Jumping The Broom."
I attended the first showing in Chicago (film also opens in other select cities nationwide) to a nearly sold out, enthusiastic crowd. The diverse audience featured singles, couples, friends, judys, men, women, gay, straight, black, white, Hispanic...you name it. While waiting for the show to start many of the 'children' were "key-keying" and clowning in nervous anticipation. "I don't know how they gon' make any money on this movie. Depends on how explicit the sex scenes are." I overheard one gentleman. Did he not notice the full theatre? Lawd.
Once the film began we were engaged throughout. Yes, Alex was hysterical. Yes, Ricky was up to his old (and new) tricks. Yes, Chance dished eloquent drama. And, yes, Wade got many a panties moist! That being said, you only have a small glimpse into fierceness of this film. New characters are introduced and some old favorites (Paramount executive Brandy, Baby Gat) return for this incredible wedding weekend on Martha's Vineyard.
What I loved most about what director Patrick Ian Polk did here was that he kept his eye on his goal and stopped at nothing to achieve it. Ya'll know haters galore tore Noah's Arc to shreds when it first appeared. Granted it was not award winning television, but it deserved a chance. The series grew because we supported it! All too often we complain that images in media don't reflect our experience and when we finally get something we just crucify it. But Polk gets the last laugh, because he not only kept going in the face of adversity, but delivered the goods in a big way! Strong character development, compelling twists, ongoing hilarity paired with some very deep moments make for movie that was worth the wait.
Do yourself a favor and get out to see this one if its playing in your city. If not, be sure to pick up the DVD on December 16 when it hits stores. And no, don't get a bootleg copy...that is so fatigued! Support people...SUPPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Get into the video shot on location at the Chicago opening. The movie also features music from Michelle Williams' album "Unexpected"-- another project folk slept on. Lawd. Lawd. Lawd. Anyway, be encouraged! Always stand in your light!
Friday, October 17, 2008
After two weeks of postponed shows, foolish rumors and migraine headaches, superstar Janet Jackson took stage in Washington D.C. doing what she does best...raising the standard of live concert performance! From the moment she took stage grooving to "The Pleasure Principle" we knew Ms. Jackson was not here to play. Nonstop energy, elaborate costumes (which look much better live, by the way), 'killer' choreography set the tone as Janet sang hit after hit after hit.
The diverse audience savored every bit on Janet's "splendiferous-ness" (see B.Scott for that definition). The more mature audience members really were thrilled when she sang the pre- "Control" hits, "Young Love", "Say You Do" and "Don't Stand Another Chance" (written by brother Marlon and Micheal did background runs on the remix!). From there she took us through all album projects to the current release, "Discipline" which she pulled the guy onstage from the audience (I was that lucky man on a previous tour) and hoisted him up, having her way to the crowd's sheer delight.
Fan of Damita Jo or not, there is no denying that at 42, this woman is still on top of her game.
Fellow bloggers Darian Aaron and Andre Allen converged on the Verizon Center after each beginning our day in separate states. The video here features fan reaction and is followed by several other videos of the show! See this video on the absolute hell we experienced after the show while trying to complete these blog posts. IHOP anyone? Enjoy!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
This weekend I attended the Brothers Loving Brothers Dating Game mixer in Atlanta. What an amazing evening! Sponsored by ARCA and The Prevention Team and hosted by my good friends, singer Anthony Antoine blogger extraordinaire Darian Aaron, this event was an excellent time of fellowship, education and laughter. The men (and women) in attendance were very engaged and great sports. Check out the two part video from The Dating Game below...it was a hilarious mess...and I mean that in a good way! ARCA offered FREE and ANONYMOUS testing for various STD's including HIV and Syphilis. Their professional staff were extremely caring in insuring those who chose to test were comfortable with minimum inconvenience.
In a community where men are often ostracized and often emotionally isolated, this mixer was a safe haven where everyone could interact freely. No club scene, no judgement, no 'shade'...just productive, beautiful 'brothas' doing their thing. Do you understand the power of walking in your personal truth?
Great food and deserts provided by Atlanta's "A Pound Of Cheese (cheesecakes, pound cakes and more)"...believe me when I tell you sista girl put her FOOT in 'dem cupcakes and brownies?!! Believe me! Owner Ruby Woodruff (404 392-7028) is no joke!
In addition to the Dating Game, there was also a screening room where SGL classic films played, including "Paris Is Burning." The more relaxed feel of this room was further enhanced by the presence of Massage Therapist Lamar Anderson (678-508-3785) who gave complimentary massages (yes, the brothas did tip. lol. You know how ya'll can be!) His motto "Blessed Hands That Make A Difference" proved true! This brother knows his stuff (ya'll know I'm partial to my regular therapist, but Mr. Anderson gave him a run for his money)!
There is no need to sit around online cruising potential dates "bored" all the time. There is alot going on out there for SGL men who don't worship the club scene...especially in cities like Atlanta. Thank you again to Darian and Anthony, you guys have no idea what an uplifting service this is to the community. Thank you for STANDING IN YOUR LIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
This week Chicago had incredible weather so I strolled on the lakefront and hit the Adler Planetarium (it was free on Thursday). A great place for kids, the Adler is also quite educational for adults. The little bambinos were not out of control either, which I could appreciate.
Here are a few shots from inside the Adler as well as a video of "The Fear" a group of vampires whizzing through the City on Segues promoting their annual Haunted House at Navy Pier. Very personable and entertaining, especially for vampires, their Haunted House is worth checking out if you are in the Chicago area.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I attended the annual Auburn Avenue street festival this weekend near downtown Atlanta. The "Sweet Auburn" neighborhood, known for its rich civil rights history, hosts this highly anticipated street fair. The street festival has downsized considerably from previous years, but the spirit and joy of its participants is as jubilant as ever.
From the birth house of Martin Luther King to the famed Ebeneezer Baptist church, Auburn Avenue is foundation to many of the freedoms shared in this our country today.
This street festival offers plenty of music, art, food and beautiful 'colored' folk. Where else can you wait in line for fried chicken while donning your "Obama We Can Change" t-shirt; dance to reggae, rap, gospel and register to vote? You could even hear up and coming teen rapper Lil' D rhyme about the importance of education, goals, and respect of women as opposed to rims, blunts, bling and big asses (not that there is anything wrong with a big ass...we just need a lil more variety in our music, you feel me?). No shootings. No fights. No belligerent drunks. Just a beautiful celebration of people just out doing their thing...ATL style!
Sweet Auburn is home to the Martin Luther King Center and has been featured in the film, Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls. Like many inner city neighborhoods though, gentrification means goodbye to the long time lower income residents and hello to overpriced condos and lofts. This part of Atlanta is no exception to the changing America city landscape. Thankfully all of the physical history has not yet been destroyed.
I hope you enjoy the footage I shot. Always stand in your light!