It is often said that a tree without roots, does not grow and so is the same for a people who do not know – correction – do not accept and understand their history… and in turn, themselves.
Therefore when it was first announced that there would a Smithsonian Museum dedicated to African American history and culture I was beyond excited. I was even more ecstatic when then President Obama finally declared the museum open this past September. Hence it should come as no surprise that the hubby and I made our way back to the Capitol to partake in this piece of history.
This month’s posts have taken a different direction and are geared towards highlighting important issues during Women’s History Month. This week I decided to shine the spotlight on some wonderful women I know who are making history in their own right.
But none of this would be possible without the actions of the history makers who came before.
And just like that the first month of the year is already over! OMG can you even believe it? I’m still over here signing 2015 and it’s already been a MONTH! yeep!
So as we rolling into the shortest month of the year – rejoice, it’s a leap year guys – let’s take a look back at some of the crazy awesomeness that was January 2016.
I haven’t really been very active on here lately. But here’s a quick round up of some of the things I thought were worth sharing.
At the start of this year I promised to work on growing my blog. So in an effort to do so, I took the time to share more of the things I was truly passionate about by creating better content and even made time to celebrate a few milestones with you guys, including a an updated facade and all new features.
This month marked 1 year since I started blogging and to mark the occasion I created an extra special #FunFactFriday.
These are just some of the exciting things coming with the new year. Stay posted for more exciting features and content.
Happenings Around Town
Winter Storm Jonas swept through New York City and shut things down last weekend and for some, this was the perfect excuse for a mini winter staycation. Most parks and streets became winter playgrounds for kids and adults alike.
Broadway Week is still underway this week with 2-for-1 tickets to some of Broadways biggest hits until February 5th, get your tickets, here.
Also worth the buzz is the return of the bi-annual New York City Restaurant Week which also still running until February 5th, so if you’ve wanted to do a fancy, romantic dinner now would be the chance to do it. Check out the full list, here.
It has been a big year in television with attention focusing on On Demand services like Amazon Tv, Netflix and Hulu, whose Original pieces have dominated the ratings and awards alike. I think Cable companies should be getting worried – maybe even thinking about following in the footsteps of HBO, because the competition is real!
Also all new shows and seasons premiered over the winter break:
Zoe Ever After (Season 1- BET), Angel From Hell (Season 1), Lucifer (Season 1 – FX), Agent Carter (season 2 – ABC), Hit the Floor (Season 3 – VH1), Younger (Season 2 – TvLand), X-Files (Season 10), Shameless (Season 6)
and Mid-season returns of Code Black, Chicago Med, Fire & PD, Super Girl, Scorpion, Law & Order SVU, and Suits.
New releases from Macklemore, Kanye West, Sia and Rihanna.
Also Lady Gaga confirms that her new album is in the works and should be released this year.
Festival Season is fast approaching and in anticipation the line-ups for Coachella and Governor’s Ball have already been released.
In tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Black Hollywood teamed up with civil rights groups to host a day of rememberance and celebration with performance pieces of some of the works of the greats.
In juxtaposition, the Oscar Nominations were announced and in another unsurprising turn there we no Black actors/actresses nominated, ironically Black films were nominated however it was their non-Black writers, producers. etc. who were the nominees, resulting in a call for boycotts by several Black Hollywood names including this year’s honoree, director Spike Lee.
In contrast Black Films had a major field day at the Sundance Film festival. Nate Parker in particular won big for his project, with sale of “Birth of A Nation” to Fox Searchlight for $17.5 million.
Women had a wonderful year in print as well as exampled by Elle‘s Women in Television February Covers, Essence Magazine #BlackGirlMagic Triple threat covers.
Ebony Magazine also marked the start of the year with a pivotal December/January cover featuring some of the prominent voices in today’s civil rights and social justice movement.
The month of January features some extremely important health initiatives, most of which I covered in some capacity on the blog.
January is also Birth Defect Prevention Month, which raises awareness about the importance of prenatal care in order to ensure happy, healthy babies.
Twitter users can now view Periscope without ever leaving the app, and Twitter stocks spike with rumors of News Corp – yes that one- interest in acquisition;
Travel to Iceland and Europe just got better with WOW international’s flights for under $200, founded by a former Silicon Valley exec.
You can now learn how to code on your smart phone. Forbes has recently released an exclusive list of 15 useful apps to help you learn design and coding on your smartphone.
Grace Coddington will step into a new role at American Vogue which allow the fashion maven more freedom.
America Apparel is finally moving forward after wrapping up their court case with their former CEO last week.
Maureen Chiquet, one of the very few female CEOs of a fashion house has left Chanel;
Barbie gets a makeover that has been long over due. Young girls can now have the Barbie of their choice that looks like them in every way they choose! Great job Mattel!
Better get to saving those loose pennies because Birkins and other luxury leather bags are now worth more than their weight in gold. Literally.
There seems to be a major crisis in some of the country’s states. In a 1st world country, there are citizens who have become sick from the water coming from their taps and while many know of the Flint, Michigan, situation it is also being reported that the same issue is being faced by citizens in St. Joseph, Louisiana! This really makes you wonder what’s really going on in these states. Hmmm?? *serious side eye.*
Germany’s Angela Merkel has mad it clear, Syrian refugees are to return home once the war is over.
The mosquito borne virus, Zika, which has afflicted South American countries like Brazil, where the virus has been linked to increased cases of microcephaly in new borns, has been popping in cities here state side, with an increasing number of cases being diagnosed every week. The virus has the potential to cause a pandemic as scientists warn that it is likely to afflict countries with the Aedes mosquito population, including the Caribbean.
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Around the Web
The Smithsonian’s Black History Museum is set to receive a $10 million gift from philanthropist David Rubenstein, who will also be loaning the museum, which i set to open this September, two documents signed by President Abraham Lincoln: the 13th Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation.
Human Trafficking Awareness Day was this past January 11th and underscored some of the scary and mind-boggling facts about one of the world’s largest illegal trades.
FLOTUS Michelle Obama celebrated her 52nd birthday this month;
Some of the world’s oldest fossils were found in Kenya, read more about it last week’s Weekly Rewind.
North Korea has manufactured alcohol that will leave you without a raging headache no matter how much you drink, this is according to reports from the state’s newspaper, The Pyongyang Times.
A Look Ahead
The countdown is on for the Fall/Winter 2016 New York Fashion Week, which begins on February 11th – 18th.
February 2nd is Ground Hog day! Here’s to hoping Spring is on it’s way – if this week’s weather is any sign, things are looking great.
February is National Black History Month and I am beyond excited!
It’s time to take another look back at this past week as we get ready to wrap up this month. Here are some of the crazy things that have happened thus far.
As the blizzard dumped mountains of cold, white powder on my fair city I could not help being as excited as a kid on a snow day to get outside to snap a few quick images before cuddling up to wait out mother nature.
Also featured was a sweet surprise from the hubby, (pun intended) from Desserts by Michael Allan. For any fans of the family owned business formerly of Bed-Stuy they have recently taken up residence at 1149 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225. If you’re looking for sweet treats, a new brunch spot or a unique gift, check them out. They are truly amazing!
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 87th birthday, I shared a post about his legacy and how it helped shape America’s history through the Civil Rights Movement.
This week I introduced a new element to the blog, #WorkItWednesday which featured a health and wellness post. Future posts will cover all things health and fitness, as well as work related posts and answers to commonly asked questions.
Also featured on the blog in place of this week’s #FunFactFriday, was yet another new element, Go.See.Do, which features fun things to go, see and do around the city.
The scripted science-fiction television series returns for it’s X-Files returns for it’s 10th season on the small screen. If it’s been a while for you like it has for me here’s to an X-Files marathon.
VH1’s hit series Hit The Floor Returns for it’s 3rd Season after a year’s hiatus, and was ushered in by a weekend long marathon of episodes to help jog you memory in anticipation of the new season. Missed the marathon, catch up online at the channel’s website.
Toni Braxton’s autobiography produced by the artist and Lifetime Television also hit the small screen and did not seem to doas well as anticipated. The network saw numbers and responses similar to it’s attempt at the Aliyah bio pic it created with Wendy Williams. Maybe they should have asked Angela Bassett to direct because her Whitney Houston bio was amazing.
Netflix members will soon have to choose between quality and their pockets as the inevitable price hike. Subscribers who’ve been getting by with the “grandfathered” rate of $7.99 a month, will soon be asked to shell out $9.99 a month, or they’ll lose their high-definition streaming capabilities. i.e. Keep the lower rate and get downgraded to standard-definition streaming only, or pay the same as new customers ($9.99) and get the same “high-definition” benefits.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s new single, White Privilege, hit home as the artist continues to use his platform to start conversations about social issues. If you’ve heard the freshman album, The Heist, you know the artist does not shy away from the tough stuff raising topics like racism and race relations in America, as well as questions about LGBTQ rights.
Chandelier singer Sia’s new album, This is Acting hits stores this week on the 29th. If you haven’t already heard any of the music off the new album I suggest you take a gander at the video for the single, Alive.
Rihanna teases Anti album on twitter ahead of the start of her new promotional tour sponsored by Samsung.
In tribute to the late, great Martin Luther King Jr. several of Black media’s bug names and activist were in attendance at the #MLKNow event. Put together by the Campaign For Black Achievement and Blackout for Human Rights, at the Riverside Church in Harlem, and hosted by film-maker Ryan Coogler (Creed/Fruitvale Station) who also one of the event’s co-ordinators, served as an opportunity for necessary discourse, a celebration of the civil rights legacies of some of the greats, and paying homage to Dr. King’s vision and commitment.Featuring musical performances from Bilal, Saul Williams, and India Arie, celebrity speakers as well as panelists like Rahiel Tesfamariam, Linda Sarsour, Dante Barry, Gina Belafonte, and Leon Ford Jr., and actors Michael B. Jordan, who delivered an impassioned recital of Fred Hampton’s “Power Anywhere There’s People,” and his Creed co-star Tessa Thompson’s recital of Angela Davis’s “Victory Speech.” Also on hand were Broadway veterans Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anika Noni Rose also gave their respective takes on the historical words of Martin Luther King Jr., and Sojourner Truth— along with Andre Holland’s take on Malcolm X, and Condola Rashad who delivered Shirley Chisolm’s 1972 presidential campaign announcement.
Actor Chris Rock recited James Baldwin’s famous 1963 letter to his teenage nephew, “My Dungeon Shook” and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer gave a thought provoking delivery of King’s famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech—his last ever given, in a mind-awakening tribute to the history of the movement.
The Oscar nominations have been released and in true fashion there were ofcourse a few noticeable issues – for one yet another year of film nominations lacking diversity, recall #OscarsSoWhite. To add insult to injury despite nominating some of the past year’s successful Black films, like Creed and Straight Outta Compton, it was not the stellar Black actors/actresses or faces behind the magic who received the nods rather their caucasian writers, producers or co-stars. This has resulted in some much needed discussion and/or debate with some stars, for example the Smiths, and Spike Lee, who is set to receive and honorary award, boycotting the event altogether. There has even been a call by some fans and fellow actors for this year’s host Chris Rock to not do the event!
With their final year in the White House winding down the Obamas are having a roller coaster year, from gun control reform, to a wide range of other social issues, to the impending graduation of the eldest first daughter. To add to their achievements come the autobiographical film, South Side With You, which chronicles the beginning of a friendship turned love story over the course of time and allows the audience a glimpse of the very private relationship of the Obamas. The film which debuted this past week the Sundance Film Festival stars Tika Sumpter – who also worked as a producer for the project written and directed by Richard Tanne- as Michelle and Parker Sawyers as President Barack Obama. No word yet on plans for the film just yet, but in the mean time, check out the trailer.
January is national Cervical Health Awareness Month. This month focuses on raising awareness about gynecological illnesses and cancers that afflict women beyond breast cancer and also serve as a means for educational discourse about women’s sexual health. Note that the HPV vaccine is been given to pre-teen and teenaged boys and girls to help prevent HPV related cancers, the most common of which is cervical cancer. To learn more about how you can protect our teens and young adults, please check out the National Cervical Cancer Coalition’s website.
Twitter stock surged this week as rumors of News Corp interest in aquisition set the financial world ablaze.
Grace Coddington to step down as Creative Director of American Vogue effective immediately. she will however maintain her relationship with the publication and still has influence over it’s works as she remains contracted to produce at least four editorial spreads a year for the publication. Coddington will assume the role of creative director at large and will retain an office at Vogue’s offices at One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. However this new title allows her to take on additional projects outside the magazine, including an upcoming fragrance with Comme des Garçons.
The Birkin worth more than gold? Recent articles highlighted data that shows that “vintage”/”classic” luxury handbags are worth more than metals (gold, silver) and stones (diamonds rubies, sapphires.etc.) .i.e. they have a greater value than your great grand-mother’s heirlooms. So for all you ladies with your Birkins take special care because your investment may well be worth it’s weight in gold someday – literally.
America’s Next Top Model lives another day – on a new network? It seems that despite Tyra Banks being done with the long running show recently cancelled by CW, the shows producer Ken Mok has rallied a new contract with VH1. No news yet on whether or not Banks will be involved with the project in any capacity but rumor has it she may make a surprise visit or two.
It seems that things are quite awry in Michigan. First it was the city of Detroit declaring bankruptcy, then the cutting costs created the Flint water crisis, resulting in hundreds – possibly thousands, of citizens including children, ingesting toxic levels of lead due to the highly corrosive water running through their pipes – an avoidable problem that would only run the city $150 dollars a day- and yet again the city of Detroit is in the news for the deplorable condition in which their teachers and students have to work. It begs the question, what’s really going on in the state’s legislature – this surely cannot solely be a local issue. And why do these issues seem to fall upon communities with a large African American population?
In other news, The Donald is back to hating his favorite news network. Trump who has since the start of his campaign maintained a love/hate relationship with Fox News Network, and anchor Megyn Kelly is calling for Kelly’s removal from the panel that will moderate the upcoming Republican debate, or threatens to boycott it. Well Fox has made it abundantly clear that no personnel changes will be made for the debate, so, Mr. Trump, the ball’s in your court.
Winter Storm Jonas wreaked havoc over the weekend dumping several feet of snow as it bombarded the East Coast causing major city shutdowns.
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Rent The Runway – Final 72 hours Clearance Sale
Express – Buy 1 Get 1 $29.50 jeans
Charlotte Russe – Free shipping plus 30% sitewide
Around the Web
The fossilized bones of a group of 27 murdered humans dating back 10,000 years have been found at Nataruk, 30 kilometres west of Lake Turkana in Kenya. Found by the Cambridge University’s Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, contains 12 relatively complete skeletons, also found were the bones of at least eight women and six children. Radiocarbon dating was used to date the massacre to 9,500 to 10,500 years ago, around the beginning of the Holocene following the last ice age.
North Korea’s official newspaper, the Pyongyang Times, has announced the nation’s latest creation: a liquor that doesn’t cause a hangover, no matter how much you drink. Manufactured by the Taedonggang Foodstuff Factory, Koryo Liquor allegedly contains ginseng and glutinous rice, “cultivated by an organic farming method in the country.” and the makers claim it is between 30 and 40 percent alcohol by volume.
A Look Ahead
The Fifty Shades of Grey parody, Fifty Shades of Black starring Marlon Wayans as Mr. Black hits theatres this weekend, January 29th. While I usually reserve my expectations for Wayans’ films the trailers for the film seem pretty hilarious.
Restaurant Week (winter session) is back and I can’t wait to check out some more of my favorites on the New York City Foodie circiut. Who can beat amazing ambience, with stellar lunch/dinner menus all prix-fixe!
Broadway Week is back in town. The New York City Broadway Week is the perfect opportunity for anyone who’s interested in checking out some Broadway’s biggest hits without burning a gi-normous hole into their pockets. With 2-for-1 ticket deals get ready to catch shows like Hamilton, The Color Purple, Wicked and Disney’s The Lion King -hurry because tickets sell out fast! I can’t wait till the hubby and I have a day off to catch The Color Purple.
Target has done it again with another amazing collaborative collection about to hit stores soon. This spring’s Target x Who What Wear collaboration is an amazing collective of trendy essentials styled and designed by the ladies of the blog Who What Wear! I anticipate another sold out collection – looks like I won’t be the only one sitting up for that midnight availability online.
Hope you guys had a great weekend. Let’s make this week a productive one and and the first month of 2016 with a bang.
Return of one of my TV faves- TvLand’s younger in one of my newest blog additions, Ready. Set. Record.
An important #FunFactFriday about the importance of Blood Donation in honor of Blood Donation Awareness Month and sharing a few interesting facts for any of you who would be interested in getting involved.
On Demand Tv is In – with streaming services killing the nominations at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. Ratings numbers are through the roof and Netflix, with a line-up of more than 20+ original shows due out this year alone, and let’s not forget Hulu and Amazon Tv doing their thing, cable may soon be obsolete. Hint, HBO has already gotten onboard with the idea of being a solely streaming service.
Taraji P. Henson’s won big at the Golden Globes becoming the third African American Woman to win the Award for BEst Actress in a TV Drama;
Shameless is back and well – more shameless than ever with more crazy off the wall antics and plot lines than one can even begin to imagine!
Elle‘s Women in Television honors some of the hottest names on the small screen right now, Taraji, Viola, Priyanka, Olivia (Wilde), Julia.
Sam Smith won the Golden Globe award for Best at the 73rd Annual award show celebration.
For all you Music Festival fans the official Coachella Artist List is out and tickets are already on sale!
Festival junkies rejoice as the 2016 Governor’s Ball artist list is out!
Music Superstar David Bowie passed away this week at the age of 69 after a battle with liver cancer. May his talents and music will always live on.
The Revenant finally took up speed at the top of the box office list last weekend beating out Star Wars: The Force Awakens which had sat at the top since it’s December 18th release. This momentum could only see improvements after Leonardo Di Caprio’s win at the Golden Globes – and now 12 Oscar nods, including Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), and Best Supporting Actor (Tom Hardy), but this is an exceptional hold.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has fallen to the third place in this weekends box office listing but this comes after 5 weeks running strong and in the wake of The Revenant‘s big wins and nods. That however has no effect on it’s earnings though as the film has hit $1 billion overseas and is aimed at grossing ~ $2 billion worldwide, so no worries!
JLo keeps it young and fresh on the February cover of Instyle magazine and tells of some of her secrets to her continued youth, happiness and success.
With all the controversy and debate around #BlackGirlMagic – from Elle‘s (maybe ill-advised feauture article “Here’s My Problem with #BlackGirlMagic” by Dr. Linda Chavers and Ashley Ford’s rebuttal “There is Nothing Wrong with Black Girl Magic” for the same publication), to the twitter comments and “conversations”, Essence magazine chose to emphasize the hashtag’s significance to Black culture by highlighting some of the awesome black girls who are currently being great!
p.s.don’t miss Amandla Stenberg with her #BlackGirlMagic on the cover of Teen Vogue.
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Get Educated. Get checked. Know your family history. Protect your eyes.
Twitter users now able to view periscope videos without leaving app. So yea for catching up on all the cute videos in the world you love to see.
So finally those Hedi Slimane rumors can be put to rest – earlier this year the rumor mill was abuzz with news that Creative Director for the Fashion Houe, Saint laurent was leaving the company – however that has since been debunked.
Stella Mcartney celebrated with her Pre-Fall 2016 bash where celebrities were out in their numbers, and featured live performances by Pink and even Johnny Depp, showing off his musical chops;
There was a new twitter movement trying to convince all French individuals to wear yamakas in a show of solidarity against anti-semitism.
Jason-3, a U.S. – European Satellite has launched from California and will measure the shape of the global sea surface to an accuracy of better than 4cm. It will also track currents, tides, winds, wave heights, and will help forecast the intensity of storms. But with a new mission of also maintaining the reference data-set on sea-level rise as a response to continued Global warming. Thus far it shows the world’s oceans to be rising at more than 3mm per year!
Around the Web
This week, January 11th marked the recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Day. This day served as a reminder to the world about the statistics surrounding one of the most notorious illegal trades.
You can now fly to Europe for less than $200 using Icelandic airliner Wow Air. Created by a former Silicon Valley techie all flights connecting to several major European cities go through Iceland. You can now take that Euro trip without breaking the bank. Your options for flying out of the U.S. and Canada are still pretty limited as flights only leave from Boston, Washington, Toronto and Montreal, and now Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Happy 52nd to First Lady Michelle Obama!
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A Look Ahead
Tomorrow, January 18th marks the commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 87th birthday. The federal holiday is marked as a day of remembrance of the late religious and civil rights leader’s legacy and contributions to American History.
Hope you guys are enjoying the long weekend, and hope you have a fulfilling and productive week.
Along with the recognition of International Women’s Day, 80,000 Americans; young, old and in-between; marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in awe and tribulation, marking the memory of the violent confrontation between police and peaceful protesters, which fueled the urgency for the 1965 Voting Rights Act.