fall essentials: new balance

New-Balanceif you’ve been following politics & fashion for awhile, then you should know that i bang hard with hi/low mixes.  i love the idea of taking something sophisticated and pairing it with more casual pieces.  with that in mind, it’s no wonder that fall new balances stole my heart.  you can find these twists on the classic 574s over at infinity shoes.SNEAKER COLLAGE

weekend wear: stylist edition

i had the opportunity to flex my stylist muscles this weekend and pull together looks for a music video shoot.  the song, featuring brothah malik and jonathan lyes, was produced by female producer onrae lateal for her new ep, libra season.  we shot the video for the first single, infatuation, and the director, nabeeh bilal of creative junkfood, asked the styling be kept simple given the song’s natural beauty theme.

DSC_5770 DSC_5777 shot on a local campus, i envisioned the rapper, brothah malik, as a socially conscious grad student leaving class wearing a vintage levis jacket and jeans. i turned it up for his love interest/dancer, najwa womack. DSC_5784

hat, h&m | jacket, forever 21 | leotard, american apparel | skirt, rachel roy | tights, target | booties, forever 21 | bag, vintage

DSC_5785DSC_5790 DSC_5800 DSC_5813 DSC_5834 DSC_5845shot out to creative junkfood for their artistic genius behind the camera. be sure to check out libra season and stay tuned for the video debut!

nerd life

intelligencei really love public radio.  ashamedly, i mostly listen for soundbites to regurgitate during intellectual discussions.  like a kid playing double-dutch, i can’t wait to jump in to show off my newest piece of knowledge.  collecting random tidbits about a wide array of subjects such as sports (the eagles beat the rams, 38 to 24 on sunday), foreign policy (al nustra is being called the most successful rebel group in syria) or animal behavior (dolphins are actually not as smart as you think) became my charge in life once i turned 30. with my quest for knowledge in mind, here are a few of the public radio programs that enhance my nerd life:

tell me more

i cried during the last episode of tell me more.  michel martin, the show’s host, is the black nerd girl’s journalistic hero and should be praised for bringing diverse voices to a commonly white, privileged space. no worries, the old shows are archived.

fresh air

fresh air has replaced tell me more as my favorite show on npr. i can’t think of a radio program that offers a stronger pulse on mainstream america.

microphone check

did you know npr has a hip hop show? yea, i squealed too when i found out. the latest episode features a group that had a major influence on my life: outkast.

on being

i wonder if krista tippett, on being’s host, will adopt me.  if not, i’ll settle for replaying my favorite episodes of her show about spirituality, mindfulness and emotional well-being non stop.

democracy now

amy goodman is the trillest of them all. democracy now is a daily news outlet, completely independent, that gives hard-hitting news from a progressive lens. tune in every morning at 8 am to get your entire life.

what are some of your favorites?

janet mock + tracee ellis ross on larry king live


my shero janet mock interviewed tracee ellis ross, star of the new sitcom blackish, on larry king live.  the interview covered everything from race to natural hair to big butts, all wrapped in tracee’s effortless humor. interesting tidbit, blackish isn’t meant to convey being “kinda black,” but instead the “isn” black folks deal with.

the face of domestic violence

popular model and blogger danii phae bravely shared images of her alleged abuse by ex-boyfriend j$tash.  in a tumblr post, she described him as someone who abused her “verbally, mentally and emotionally.”  according to danii he became physically violent on september 15th after she confronted him regarding his infidelity.

my heart goes out to this young sister who is facing such a difficult struggle.  her courage is beyond commendable, especially because her popularity gives her every reason to hide her abuse.  instead, she’s using the very platform that helped make her famous, the internet, to empower others and “speak up against domestic violence for those who can’t due to the manipulative acts [their] abusers inflict.”

i shouldn’t be shocked that many of the comments people are making on black gossip sites about the story don’t involve empathy, but instead offer examples of violent women who shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind the “boys don’t hit girls” rule. this entire line of reasoning is misplaced and problematic because it doesn’t actually address the facts that danii alleges. instead of dealing with the image she describes of a man repeatedly hitting a woman in the face until she lays unconscious in a pool of blood, people quickly developed a scene out of a tyler perry movie where a crazed danii phae must have scratched, clawed, destroyed furniture or thrown hot grits on her ex-boyfriend to deserve being physically abused. it’s now her burden to prove she didn’t act in a way that would have warranted her physical punishment.

the type of victim blaming just described is among the many drivers of domestic violence in the black community.  stereotyped as having bad tempers and emasculating our men, it’s easy for black women to be the presumed aggressors in instances of domestic violence, even when facts don’t point in that direction. instead of holding men accountable, we spend time talking about how ray rice was punished too severely and rhianna’s temper pushed chris brown over the edge.  without more accountability,  examples like danii’s won’t be taken seriously.

j$tash has denied her account of the story, but refused to make extensive comments due to pending legal action.

viola davis defines herself

according to a new york times article critiquing television writer/producer shonda rhimes, viola davis is less “classically beautiful than kerry washington.”  the star of rhimes’ new show, how to get away with murder, stopped by the view to respond to the negative comment:

“I’m glad that Shonda Rhimes “SAW” me and said “Why Not.” That’s what makes her a visionary.  That’s what makes her iconic.  I think that beauty is subjective. I’ve heard that statement  (less classically beautiful) my entire life.  Being a dark skinned Black woman, you heard it from the womb.  And “classically not beautiful” is a fancy term for saying ugly.  And denouncing you. And erasing you.  Now…it worked when I was younger.  It no longer works for me now.  It’s about teaching a culture how to treat you. Because at the end of the day, you define you.”

19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivalsclearly, one of the most beautiful things about viola davis is not just her physical appearance, but her eloquence.  watch how to get away with murder after scandal on thursday nights at 10 pm.