We woke again to news of another unarmed black man shot to death by Tulsa Oklahoma Police as he tended to his vehicle malfunction. Let’s say his name together as we painfully live this moment: Terence Crutcher. This will be our first step in reigniting the police brutality and Black Lives Matter conversation.
We are near the end of September, and I can’t help but recall the hurt that many of us honed at the beginning of July during the police brutality cases of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling. I yearned for the month to close and to never to relive those horrific videos again. At that moment, I realized I was living history. That very moment took me to retrospect when my fiancé and I invited my parents and grandmother out to the movies to view Selma. My grandmother adamantly said, “I don’t want to see it. I lived it.”
And here we are today, awoken, yet again, and living a brutal shooting of a 40-year-old “God-loving father who sang at church every week, and had enrolled at a community college in Tulsa where he hoped to earn a degree.” He is human. He was human. What many fail to realize is, there are much more like him. Black men and women alike.
Lest not forget, that hurt is an emotion that we all feel in actuality, empathetically or sympathetically. Lest not forget, that we all, no matter our ethnicities experienced humanities mortifying moan during those July weeks. I didn’t want to see those gut-wrenching, graphic videos again. In congruence with my Grandmothers straight-laced statement, I lived them when I saw a child console her mother from the back seat. Here we are today, revisiting the agony through the murder of Terrance Crutcher. So, this time, what will you do? How will you facilitate conversation? Unfortunately, you’re living history, and you don’t have another choice but to participate. Colin Kaepernick is a game changer and a leader as he promotes justice and equality on such issues. He is living historically and heroically.
The day my grandmother declined our invitation, I assumed she was just being relentless to our request to get her out and about. Until I put on my Olivia Pope “white hat” and actively engaged in my first #BlackLivesMatter vigil. I was emotionally engulfed in the amount of people who were living historically. People were praying to the deity of their desire. People were speaking out despite the criticism of labels that would be placed upon them. People were gathering in numbers despite national security being heightened. Fearless. Gladiators. Game-changers.
Critics say that people “protest for no reason.” Critics say, “They only protest once in a while.” Critics say, “What will you do to help?” There are a plethora of ways to help. You’re an actor of history. Use your role wisely. This blog serves as no script for your story, simply a motivator for individual emancipation.
I never asked my Grandmother any details of her living the civil rights era, but I do know she was active in many facets of it: voter registration, etc. My grandfather even ran for offices in their small town. My mother was one of the first to integrate schools in their town. My aunts and uncles all got a college education. As descendants, my cousins and I have all risen to the occasion. Whatever positive change looks like to you, exhibit it. Become a catalyst in history, not just a component.
As a reminder, we are all living history, the good parts and the bad. No one protest will heal history, but it will tell history. So, next time, you’re told what you’re doing is pointless, be reminded that you are directing your movie. A riveting one at that. One so good, you don’t need to watch again.
Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network, most recently, aired an episode of Where Are They Now September 10th, 2016 featuring the infamous group, Boyz II Men. The next day, they were sending reverberations of soul music through Nashville with the accompaniment of the Nashville Symphony. The most authentic music anyone could witness was happening as the group’s members didn’t sound a day past their days as high school peers, shaping the tone of boy-band, girl-group days to come. Artists influenced by the group includes Beyonce, Justin Beiber, Usher, Justin Timberlake and more.
It has been an interesting road for the group that younger generations didn’t quite get to experience. They started in 1985 as high school classmates and by ‘88- ‘89, they were official and would be labeled as the best-selling R&B group of all time. The group won 4 Grammys, 9 American Music Awards, 9 Soul Train Awards, 3 Billboard Awards, and a 2011 MOBO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
During the Nashville showing, the experience that the group gave was timeless. As expected, they began with the chivalrous approach that modern artists don’t always exhibit. In spruced suiting, the was quartet turned trio, greeted the audience with a classic tone: “Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, we are Boyz II Men.” The experience even included Roseshire, hand-manicured roses that the group gave away to beloved fans coupled with sentimental serenades. In case you missed the experience, there’s still an option for you to have a piece of the moment when you order the specialized roses . They come coupled with a hand signed card by all 3 of the group members.
With more than 2 million fans on Facebook, 230k followers on Twitter, the Nashville portion of fans filled the Ascend Amphitheatre to serve as a mighty chorus. Lasting Member, Wanya Morris told Oprah: Where are They Now?, “One of the challenges of fame would be-be, I guess, staying famous. We couldn’t even forecast the actual success that we’d have hence not really recognizing the type of success we had until things actually died down.” He adds, “We’re in an instant coffee type of society where things happen so fast. Gone are the days of hard work into longevity, and talent. It’s just so easy now to be famous.” He also reiterated this at the commencement of the Nashville show, telling the audience, “We will lose what we call real music if we don’t support organizations like this (Nashville Symphony). Strings and oboe don’t come out of a keyboard.”
A day already filled with so much emotion in remembrance of September 11th was surely turned into a night to remember as Boyz II Men proved “Where They Are Now”: during the Nashville showing. 25 years as leaders in the industry, they continue to give a personal experience that you may be missing in most concerts. For the next few months through December, the Grammy Award-winning group will be showcasing their timeless talents at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
10+ years ago we were so blessed with the great technological manifestation of social media. It really is quite fascinating that we can be there with our loved ones for pivotal moments and in some cases, real time. To take in life through photographs, articles, blogs, videos and so much more is truly a revolutionary act for all generations. We, millennials, are good for something. We are bringing teaching our ancestors and our predecessors the ways of the world, from various perspectives that older generations couldn’t even imagine and newer generations haven’t quite figured out how to best practice. In light of that notion, social media often gets used for the portrayal of our finest things and the best of our lives. Moreover, it often gets used in questionable ways by users who could simply use some social media usage tips. I’ve been working in social media for more than six years and have seen major brands and small brands scrutinized for how they utilize social media. The power of it is exponentially astounding in its effect. Therefore, I present to you: 5 Ways to Best Use Social Media.
1. Share Positivity
Breaking News is happening every day. It may be tough for your audiences to deal with so much negativity. Be sure to shine your light in this world. Focus your social media content on being real, but finding the silver lining. For example, for 9/11, try posting something personal, yet commemorative.
EXAMPLE: “I remember sitting in my 7th-grade class, not really understanding the truth of the moment, but feeling the moment through my teacher’s actions. It was also my sister-in-law’s birthday, but my young mind stayed steady in the moment as I watched smoke blare from the twin towers. It wasn’t until I got older that I learned to be extra cognizant of acknowledging both occasions appropriately. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones. September 11th was the day I learned to hold mine a little tighter and love a little harder."
2. Use it as a tool to Learn
According to Inc.com, top business leaders, such as Oprah, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and more often spend five hours per week doing deliberate learning. That includes reading, reflecting, practicing and more. Use social media to learn something new. Take a twitter poll. Make a poll. Ask a question to be enlightened on a matter. Share LEGITIMATE articles.
3. Minimize Hounding People
Don’t get me wrong, Social Media can be used to sell things but only on appropriate channels and in appropriate ways. Show your audience how your products have worked for YOU! Then, just share a link of how they worked for you! Don’t “SPAM” people by tagging them in things over and over again or hassling them.
4. Refrain from Bragging
It’s okay to represent yourself and your lifestyle. Be tasteful in how you showcase material possessions. A bag or your body is not all you have to offer. You may be great and 99% perfect, let your audience decide that, not you. Share real moments!
5. Keep Your Personal Life Personal
A picture and a caption are my rule of thumb for social media. Keep it general. The things going on with you, your family and friends, GOOD or BAD don’t have to digress on social outlets. It often leads to cyber bullying and negativity.
P.S. I don’t write the rules. P.S. I don’t “right” the rules. Do what you will with what you want. No judgments on my behalf. I serve as a consultant.
Your Favorite Social Media Manager
Triple P.S. I am taking clients if you’d like help self-branding or business branding.
Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's throwback Thursday to Sunday night when MTV's 2007 Sweet Sixteen star, Teyana Taylor, showed us how to we should be living out the last few months of twenty-sixteen. Taylor was, in fact, the breaking news that the world was waiting for as the VMA's gave notorious rapper, Kanye West, 4 minutes to do whatever he wanted to do.
Apparently, a lot can happen in 4 minutes. Teyana Taylor happened in the mounting seconds as she undeniably and most notably changed the health and fitness goals of people all over the world as she danced her way around workout equipment and mopped the floor with her moves. A host of hashtags and memes hit the internet all surrounding this notion.
Taylor told E! News, "Dancing is my workout. I just dance. I almost feel like dance is so underrated in the fitness world." You must also note she doesn't diet either. Perhaps, we should've learned this from the way she celebrated her sixteenth birthday! It was then, that her 80s' themed birthday party should have enlightened us on the chart-topping actress's tricks.
For those of you yearning for the exact same body. I think the concept here is simply to celebrate life and love through whatever makes you happy not to obtain Teyana's body. It's important that you take this mental note as you watch the video.
According to XXL Magazine, "Taylor said she landed the lead role thanks to an impromptu conversation with Kanye.
“It was actually crazy because I was in the studio recording and Kanye came by to the other studio next door to record and asked me to come over real quick,” she explained. “And he was like, ‘Yo, you killed the Lil’ Kim tribute.’ And we talked about that a little bit and then I don’t know how we got into a conversation about me and Iman [Shumpert]. We just started talking and I was just rambling and rambling about Iman and to him, it was a dope moment to just see love like that, to see that you can really have it all.”
"It was definitely something deep. The whole video is deeper than people probably processed it. So I feel like it's up for the people to figure it out. I get it, but I want them to really figure it out and really understand what's going on. And for them to understand, they're going to have to watch it 20, and 30, and 40 times."
Leave it to the creative genius, Kanye to vaguely, yet epically inform us of a bigger picture in just 4 minutes. West proved, yet again, how genius he really is. The Teyana Taylor Effect was a moment that some might even say overshadowed Queen Bey's momentum and Rihanna's multiple performances. After all, its Thursday and we are still talking about Teyana Taylor! Take notes my friends: A lot can be done in 4 minutes.
Kanye introduced us to his workout plan in 2004 on the album the College Dropout. This blog is not about the perfect workout plan or Taylor's body entirely. It's about how the magically coded deeper meaning of "Fade" to help us all work our way into a Sweet '17 as the best versions of ourselves!
In reference to the 90's style video and the lioness imagery of Taylor, her fiance Iman Shumpert and their baby, Choreographer and Artistic Director Jae Blaze's told Pitchfork, "She has worked her way into that, and she's in a great position right now in her life. She has her family. She's being held down by her amazing husband. She has a beautiful daughter. You know, the lioness always protects her baby. I think it really is about her coming into her fierceness. And that's where she is in her life right now. She is blossoming."
Don't walk away from the Teyana Taylor Effect thinking that her body is the only thing you should try to achieve. Try to achieve the best you! What will you do in 4 minutes? Taylor just landed two epic tv gigs.
The things I write about are the love of my life and the life of my love!