Tag Archive | inspiration

Average Black Girl

So I just came across this video on Facebook of Ernestine Johnson  reciting this poem on the Arsenio Hall show. The poem is so relevant and also relative as it highlights the backhanded compliment that so many black girls (myself included) have received. Being told by someone that you “talk white” (what is that anyway?) or that you’re not the average black girl only reinforces the stigma that black girls are somehow less than. It falls right in line with being told that you are pretty for a black girl. Ernestine so eloquently put into words how many girls feel. I can’t wait to see more of Ernestine’s work in the future.

Advertisements

A Supreme Bright Other

WARNING: The following film contains scenes of drug use. Viewer discretion is advised.

Last Tuesday Jhené Aiko released her third and final installment of her 3-part project, M.A.P. (movie, album, and poetry book). 2fish (a poetry book) has been highly anticipated since she released a surprise album Trip, on September 22nd. She released a short film by the same name just two days before.

Trip (the movie) follows the life of a young woman named Penny as she tries to navigate through life after losing her brother. She reluctantly takes a road trip with a stranger, and experiments with different types of drugs. While on the trip, Penny begins to accept the fact that her brother has passed and finds her way back to herself. The movie is emotional and captivating, containing original poetry written by Jhené Aiko.

Trip (the album) closely mirrors the movie, as Jhené processes her own feelings and emotions in dealing with the loss of her brother in real life. The 2 disc album serves somewhat as an audio diary as she expresses the pain of losing her brother. The album covers feelings of suicide, love, drug use, and hope.

I’ve been listening to Jhené Aiko’s music since her first single, “Dog” on B2K’s Pandemonium album, so I’m extremely proud of her. Being able to pull off a short film, an album, and book on top of touring is absolutely incredible and proof of Jhené Aiko‘s dedication to her art. She is in every sense a “supreme, bright other.” She also announced via twitter that she has been sober since the release of the album, so big kudos to her. I hope that she continues to find success and every good thing that comes along with it in the new year, and the years to come.

-xoxo

 

 

The Greatest

Back in 2015, I wrote a post about alcoholism, which highlighted songs from both singer, Sia and rapper, Kendrick Lamar. Two years later I find myself doing it again, only except this post is on a different note. In this post I’ll be highlighting Sia’s 2016 single, The Greatest, which features Kendrick Lamar.
First of all, I was so excited when I heard that Sia and Kendrick Lamar were on a song together. They are both extremely talented artists. In the song, Sia sings, “I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive.” That’s basically the premise of the song, being free, alive, and great. This song has such an incredible message for anyone who’s ever felt like giving up or quitting. She even repeats, “Don’t give up” several times throughout the song. This song is so encouraging and it’s a song that everybody can relate to. It’s definitely been on repeat on my playlist! The music video is so haunting yet artistic, I just can’t stop watching it. The choreography is absolutely phenomenal. The kids are amazing. I’m sure by now everybody’s heard the song and seen the video, but if you haven’t (welcome back to earth. lol), go check it out! The Greatest is definitely one of the greatest songs written in the past couple of years, in my opinion. I love songs with a positive message. There’s so much negativity and horrible things happening in the world, for some people, music is their only escape. If you ever feel like giving up, remember that you’re alive for a reason. You have all of the freedom to be yourself and nobody can ever take that away from you, no matter how hard they try. In Kendrick’s verse, he talks about how his scars and letdowns only made him stronger. I don’t believe that Kendrick is an exception. I believe that anyone can turn their stumbling blocks into stepping stones if they don’t give up.

Scars To Your Beautiful

Last year, singer-songwriter, Alessia Cara released her third single, Scars To Your Beautiful. If you’ve never heard it, please come out from the rock you’ve been living under! Scars To Your Beautiful has such a positive, uplifting message for girls and women of all ages. It’s a nice contrast to so many other songs that degrade women and glorify their body parts, but never the woman as a whole.
In an interview with Lipstick.com, Alessia shares how overcoming her own struggles with hair loss helped to serve as inspiration for the song. Peaking Billboard’s charts at number 8, the chorus sings, “There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark. You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are. And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart. No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful.”
Those lines alone, make for a perfect song. There are far too many girls out there that judge themselves against some made up standard of beauty that doesn’t exist. They’re  implanting and injecting themselves according to whatever the newest trend is. I’m all for people being happy with how they look, but happiness is only temporary, and I’m concerned about how those girls will feel about the way they’ve made themselves look once the trend has died. Will they go on in pursuit of the next hot thing, believing that their own look is now subpar? Or will they finally draw the line and say enough is enough?
I am extremely grateful to Alessia Cara for this song; which is well on its way to becoming a timeless classic, and I wish her much success on her future projects. I’ll definitely be keeping an ear out.

Katanu Kay

#Dreamland (Not for sale at the moment)

A post shared by mellow_bones (@kai_sanna) on

I love art.  It doesn’t matter what form it’s in; music, fine art, dance, whatever. I just love it, and when I find something that speaks to me, I want more. That’s how I came across the work of Katanu Kay.

So I was sitting at home, feeding my Pinterest addiction, (yeah, it’s a real thing. I think.) when I came across a pin of a young woman standing beside a painting. The painting was of a lion with a mane made from beautiful African fabric called kitenge. Immediately, I was awestruck. So naturally, I took to Google to find out more about this amazing artist. I was even more impressed to find out that Katanu Kay is a 19 year old student in Kenya. She has over 5,000 followers on instagram, where she shares and sells her breathtaking paintings. Not only does Katanu paint beautiful images, but she also sculpts them. Needless to say, Katanu Kay is definitely an artist to watch out for, and at only 19 years of age, she has nothing but success ahead of her. Go girl go.

To see more of Katanu Kay’s work visit her instagram account @mellow_bones. Thanks for reading. Xoxo

About a Ballerina


In December, Misty Copeland was named one of Barbara Walters’ most fascinating people of 2015. There’s no doubt that she deserved it, she became American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American principal dancer. Misty is only ABT’s third African-American soloist, the first in twenty years.
The first time I’d ever heard of Misty Copeland, she was on the Arsenio Hall Show. After seeing her perform, I was captivated. Misty’s story of her rise to stardom despite adversity is very inspiring. Misty Copeland is not your average prima ballerina. She didn’t start dancing until she was thirteen years old. Most dancers would say she was already at least ten years behind. The odds were stacked against her. Misty has been told that she has the wrong body for ballet. At 5’2″ she is considered to be too short. She has been told that her legs are too muscular, and her chest, too large. Misty did not let these discouraging words become a stumbling block for her. Instead, they became a stepping stone. Misty Copeland is a prodigy.
Misty was introduced to ballet at the Boys & Girls Club in San Pedro by Cynthia Bradley, who taught a free class once a week. Soon, she began taking classes at the San Pedro Dance Center. By the time she was fourteen, Misty had won her first solo role and the national ballet contest. She mastered dancing en pointe in just three months as opposed to three years. In 1998, she won first place in the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards. She then studied at the San Francisco Ballet for a six week workshop under a full scholarship. Misty became a member of ABT’s Studio Company in 2000, and a member of the corps de ballet a year later in 2001. By 2007, she was a soloist.
Misty is a perfect example of courage and determination. She was raised by a single mother, living in a motel with five siblings. She was an African-American studying an European art form. She was told she would never make it. She dared to dream and then she beat the odds.