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Monthly Archives: March 2015

A Woman of Many Hats

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Happy birthday to Dr. Dorothy Height!

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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Civil Rights, Family, History, Politics, Race, women

 

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Blurred Ethical Lines

marvin gaye

The family of Marvin Gaye has been awarded $7.3 million in a lawsuit against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and TI regarding the song “Blurred Lines.” FINALLY.

I remember being floored when I first heard of the lawsuit, assuming that Gaye’s estate had been compensated for what I thought was a sample of “Got to Give It Up.” Blurred Lines’ huge popularity was due to its cross-generational appeal brought to you by Marvin Gaye; it would ignite a hand-dancing frenzy in my mother’s generation. Summertime gatherings blared this tune with great grand-children bopping along with Nana! There is no way that anyone could claim that this meteoric hit was not firmly planted in the baseline and vocals of Marvin Gaye. Period.

I am so disgusted. Thicke, Williams and TI are musicians and know the pride of creating something. Further, I know that they must be aware of the trials and tribulations historically faced by black songwriters and musicians who had their works repeatedly stolen. I have lost so much respect for Pharrell. As far as Thicke, I lost respect for him when he threw Pharrell under the bus early on, stating that any potential wrong doing was on Williams because he was too drunk, high and suffering from a broken heart when they recorded to be culpable. TI…whatever…

As I learned of the ruling, I wondered why the award was not larger; the original lawsuit was for $25 million. Apparently, Gaye’s copyright only applied to the sheet music for Got to Give It Up NOT Gaye’s vocals, background vocals or percussion…smdh… Call me pessimistic, but I am guessing Williams knew this going in (as he produced and wrote this “original” song). A joint statement from the trio:

While we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward. ‘Blurred Lines’ was created from the heart and minds of Pharrell, Robin and T.I. and not taken from anyone or anywhere else.

WOW.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2015 in Arts, History, Music, writing

 

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Sex Lives of the Rich and Poor

According to Brookings, they are really quite similar, at least among women. That is until we start talking reproductive choice and protection. I know, I know… a touchy subject, especially when politics is ever-present in the conversation. Apparently, access to birth control is the greatest variable in this conversation.

In terms of policy, the Affordable Care Act has helped some of these complex issues. However, this type of research needs to be used when arguing the intersection of reproductive rights and economics. We all know that women still lag behind in terms of earning power and financial freedom. When coupled with child-bearing, we lose more ground. Inject socio-economic class and the women at the lower end of that spectrum finish last.

In a sense, inequality starts before birth, said co-author Richard Reeves, policy director of the Center on Children and Families. An important part of the policy story is helping parents have children when they’re ready. The life chances of those children will be better as a result.

It can be so easy to judge, but don’t do it until you run the race in another’s shoes.

 

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Work Your Package

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Later this month, I’m excited to attend the 2015 Work Your Package event.

This women’s conference is the brainchild of a talented colleague and began as a book or success guide if you will. It’s a simple concept: creator Ayanna Castro decided to take hard lessons learned and share those experiences with others.  Moreover, she decided that she already had all that she needed to achieve her personal (and professional) goals, therefore she should “work her package.” Castro’s premise is that we can enhance what we have to become extraordinary. .. why not?!?

As I said, it’s a women’s conference; however she plans to tweak it for men after a member of her brother fraternity pointed out that he found the tenets in the book valuable. But for now, she’s focused on the group to which she belongs: we tend to be less confident as a whole, especially when it comes to business. So let’s get to it.

If you’re in the Washington Metro area or don’t mind traveling, ladies may want to check it out. March 28 9a – 5p at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve in Hanover, Maryland. The venue is gorgeous and sometimes we need a little girl time! A girlfriend is coming with me so you should make it a destination! On another note, this is a female entrepreneur working to empower other women, from all walks and I respect that.

And although WYP addresses beyond physical appearance- health & wellness, career, finance, style, personal branding- I am also attending a pre-conference event that is a make-up 101… I could use a few tips… So with cosmetic bag in-hand, I’ll be there Friday night.

 

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Selma is NOW

One day, when the glory comes
It will be ours, it will be ours
Oh, one day, when the war is won
We will be sure, we will be sure
Oh, glory, glory
Oh, glory, glory

Hands to the Heavens, no man, no weapon
Formed against, yes glory is destined
Every day women and men become legends
Sins that go against our skin become blessings
The movement is a rhythm to us
Freedom is like religion to us
Justice is juxtapositionin’ us
Justice for all just ain’t specific enough
One son died, his spirit is revisitin’ us
Truant livin’ livin’ in us, resistance is us
That’s why Rosa sat on the bus
That’s why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up
When it go down we woman and man up
They say, “Stay down” and we stand up
Shots, we on the ground, the camera panned up
King pointed to the mountain top and we ran up

One day, when the glory comes
It will be ours, it will be ours
Oh, one day, when the war is won
We will be sure, we will be sure
Oh, glory, glory
Oh, glory, glory glory

Now the war is not over, victory isn’t won
But we’ll fight on to the finish, and when it’s all done
We’ll cry glory (glory), oh glory (glory), ohhh (glory, glory)
We’ll cry glory, oh glory, ohhh (glory, glory)

Selma is now for every man, woman and child
Even Jesus got his crown in front of a crowd
They marched with the torch, we gon’ run with it now
Never look back, we done gone hundreds of miles
From dark roads he rose, to become a hero
Facin’ the league of justice, his power was the people
Enemy is lethal, a king became regal
Saw the face of Jim Crow under a bald eagle
The biggest weapon is to stay peaceful
We sing, our music is the cuts that we bleed through
Somewhere in the dream we had an epiphany
Now we right the wrongs in history
No one can win the war individually
It takes the wisdom of the elders and young people’s energy
Welcome to the story we call victory
The comin’ of the Lord, my eyes have seen the glory

[Chorus]

– John Legend and Common

When the glory comes, meaning it’s not here yet. “It will be OURS…”

Selma is now! We all have a part to play in glory.

 

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