It’s time for a new breakup mix. I always seem to have my breakups in the Fall…maybe it has something to do with the seasons changing and the plants and leaves dying. This mixtape is called “We Can’t Be Friends”. I have to keep reminding myself of the reasons why some people don’t deserve to [...]
Hey Everybody! This is my annual Fall Jams mixtape for 2015. My Fall Jams are usually full of mellow songs and this year I didn’t change the format! This mix is full of juicy R&B songs I’ve been listening to in my car Betty and my sister Divalicious demanded an official mixtape so she could listen [...]
As usual, I hope this mixtape is worth the wait. Every time I go to Memphis, I catch the Memphis Blues. This makes the 3rd Memphis Blues mixtape for me and of course it’s a special one. I had an amazing time during this year’s roadtrip, made all the better by my special guy so [...]
Welcome to my mixtape for the 8th Annual Cupid’s Hunt Podcast Collaboration! This mix is entitled “I Love #Him” for a reason. It is dedicated to a special person but I’m pleading the fifth on that! It was curated from the love songs of the early millennium. I don’t often play love songs so this [...]
Hey Everybody!! This is my Fall Jams 2014. It’s full of bangers, both R&B and rap songs that are probably not safe for work or children, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. It’s also a tribute to my 10 years of blogging. In November 2004, I started my first blog and of course I [...]
I found it so interesting that in the space of a week or so, that we have simultaneously had 2 stories of “exposure” about two Black men that have had very sharply different repercussions. Both incidents caused me to re-evaluate my own feelings in regard to each individual and those they have chosen to be with. I won’t lie. I participated in some slander on social media. If something sounds outrageous or particularly salacious, Twitter and Facebook both provide a medium for one to spout off the first thing that comes to mind. For me it’s usually a question, musical response, or a quick light joke. After this week though, I think I need to blog more and socially interact less.
On the one hand we have Mr. Cee, a well-known married DJ, who after being secretly taped by a gay blogger, decided to admit that he enjoyed male on male sex. He was interviewed and he apologized for his same sex preference. In my opinion, the apology was unnecessary, but apparently Mr. Cee felt as if he had to explain his hidden desires to a largely heterosexual and homophobic audience. His openness was widely received across the spectrum. It wasn’t as if he had not been caught before trying to purchase sex from a man, so I don’t think anyone was that surprised when it happened again. His boss Ebro publicly rejected his resignation, and apparently all is well within the HipHop world because he’s still spinning on Hot 97.
In contrast, we have internet sensation Antoine Dodson, who after years of being open about being gay, decided to convert to a form of Judaism. He publicly renounced his same sex attraction and made the choice to begin a heterosexual relationship with a woman. We all laughed about it until he said he had made his “Queen” pregnant. Then the gloves came off and things got ugly. I looked at Antoine’s Facebook Fan Page and I saw some mean statements and judgments. Twitter was worse. Again, I will admit to also making a small joke myself.
This made me think about a larger issue. When is it ok to come “out” or, for lack of a better analogy, to go back “in”? Why is ok for Mr. Cee to admit his same sex attraction but it is not ok for Antoine Dodson to want an opposite sex relationship? I mean, I was also skeptical until I saw Antoine’s recent video. In it he says that people have often tried to convince him to become straight, but now when he’s decided to be with a woman and he’s happy, he is laughed at and scorned.
That kind of blew me away and made me think hard about my own ideas. I have been sitting here mad at Mr. Cee for lying to his wife about his true desires, but the truth is that she probably already knew what was going on. There are women out there who are accepting of same sex loving men. The same could be said of the woman who is now having Antoine Dodson’s child. As a longtime friend of his, she has known about his lifestyle and still chooses to accept him as he is. So why shouldn’t we?
I am now bothered by what I was thinking about both situations. I’m also a little mad at my own gut reactions that I spoke out loud on social media. Mostly I’m angry that I, to some degree, am a part of this culture, which requires people to have to apologize or defend their decision about who they want to sleep with or be with. I can’t wait until we get to a day when people don’t have to hide or explain. I also need to tend to the weeds in my own yard and stop worrying about others.
I have been the Program Manager of a large Ph.D. program for the last 5 years. It was a position when at the time that I applied, required a B.A. with at least 5 years of a supervisor background and 3 years of experience advising in an academic environment. I not only met and exceeded all of the qualifications; I beat out 860 other applicants for the job. I know because my assistant and I threw out 2 resume boxes for my job a year ago when I celebrated my 4 year anniversary. It was past due. I could have done it at year 2.
I love my job. I plotted and planned how to get here 8 years ago and everything fell into place no matter what state I lived in at the time. Most people of the people that I talk to, know that I have a “good” job meaning a decent salary, ample time off, and good healthcare. Another great benefit is that I really enjoy what I do. I love working with my faculty and students. All 365 of them. I can usually call them by name when I see them and I can remember something special about each one. I’m not teaching them about the ins and outs of their discipline. I couldn’t presume to give them academic advice, but when it comes to navigating the red-tape or the financials of higher education, they have no one better. I help them fix problems, genuinely celebrate their achievements, find residences and jobs, listen when they need an ear, share when they truly want to know about me as a person, and I do it every day with a smile on my face.
Deep down, I am one of them. I am in this limbo between student and professor. I’m in a constant learning environment. I end up in endless conversations and I learn something new every day. I also have a long standing goal of achieving a Ph.D. myself in English Literature. I returned to school to try and finish a MA by May 2014. I know I will have to take a huge pay cut when I make the final transition to a Ph.D. program. It doesn’t matter though. I’m looking forward to not working a 9-5 and spending my time teaching college English.
As a result, I pay attention to changes in the industry that I am trying to make a future footprint in. I read an article that was published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, one of the largest “paper” newspapers and websites geared toward those who work in academia. The title was “10 Ways to Get Yourself Fired” and I clicked to read it. The first portion showed me that it was geared toward the new want-to-be professors, basically people like me. I didn’t get far, but I was agreeing with him, until I got to point 3:
Trusting the help. Secretaries are sometimes your allies, often your enemies, but never your friends. Resist the urge to hang out and chitchat with them—other faculty members will assume you don’t have enough to do or are shirking your duties. Don’t Facebook friend any of them (actually, don’t friend anyone in your department). The secretaries work for your boss, who gets to patrol your personal life by proxy if you friend them on Facebook.
Do not believe that just because they open up to you about their dating woes or parenting issues that there is an equal relationship there. They have job rights; you do not.
Oh…I’m “The Help”?
Is that what we are calling Administrative Office Staff these days amongst the faculty?
I am no “Secretary”, although I occasionally get mistaken for one. Gone are the days of using a typewriter to manufacture memos and making coffee for your male boss. When called a “Secretary” (Believe me…it still happens), I usually rebuke folks when necessary, but they are usually 80 year old professors who probably should have retired 10 years ago. By using the term “The Help”, I could clearly see who the writer of this article was referring to. Me and my staff of 11 people: all of whom are all people of color and/or persons in need of financial assistance. When I read the article, I was heated beyond belief. I shot off a quick comment (edited quite a few times), and posted it on my Facebook page:
I am offended by the “Trusting The Help” portion of this article. Not only is it racist but also sexist. I am a Black female Administrator of a large PhD program and I am appalled by how you have reduced my role as well as painted those in my profession in a horrible light. I hope the next time you write something similar you would choose your words more carefully. Also, the term “secretary” is a very antiquated term. That position title should be in the trash with typewriters and mimeographs: never to be used again. The proper way to address the office staff that report to the Chair of a department would be to call them “Administrative Assistants.
As a “full-time lecturer in the humanities at a state university in the East”, “Mr. Dylan Pomerantz” should truly be ashamed of himself. I wish I could say that his attitude was only limited to his sardonic, racist, classist self, but this article only reveals the ingrained privileged attitude that still exists in Higher Education. Office staff of color are routinely dismissed and/or ignored. I can’t tell you how many times faculty members and students have had conversations near my work area, that did not involve me, yet were carried on like I wasn’t sitting there trying to work. I am too often reminded of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man : “I am invisible, simply because people refuse to see me.”
In looking at the analogy “Mr. Pomerantz” chose to use: “The Help”, I am still drawn to the similarities between the movie and my job. I can actually see how he made that mistake. It is true that I comfort and encourage students, the same way the black nannies did with the white children in the film. I have hugged and commiserated with a lot of them. When one student found out she was leaving the program and would have to return to her country, it was me on the floor with her for 20 minutes as she cried. It is to me that they know they can come to for an honest answer, a kind word, the pushing needed if I find that they are falling behind on something bureaucratic, or something simple as my opinion on an outfit. I guess in “Mr. Pomerantz’s” eyes, I am “The Help” to my students the same way my grandmother was when she worked as the “The Help”. Growing up, I heard countless stories about the white children she took care of while she worked as a Nanny on the Upper West Side in the 70′s and 80′s. She loved each and every one of the children she took care of and still has their pictures in her photo albums. I can only remember the last little white boy named Luke, but when I visit and pull out the books, Grandma can still name each one.
By the time my students have achieved their goals, not only do they return to visit me to share their news, but I have been thanked in at least 50 dissertations and theses. Gifts from all over the world, my students never forget me or fail to acknowledge my assistance in helping them reach their goals. “Mr. Pomerantz” is telling them that they need to change that attitude when they become professors. He wants them to ignore the person who plays my role in whatever department they end up in. Because they are now adjuncts or “contingent employees”, he wants them to cease the relationship they may have enjoyed in undergraduate or graduate school with a person like me. What “Mr. Pomerantz” doesn’t understand is that my kindness does not only extend to students. I help professors too. Trying to schedule their classes so that their classes don’t get cancelled for lack of bodies. Encouraging students to take their courses. Sending email reminders for information that they could easily find on their own. I could go on but I don’t want to reveal all of my magic.
Maybe “Mr. Pomerantz” is right and the attitude shift toward “the help” is necessary for students to become professionals in the field of their choice. The way the majority of the faculty acts toward me and others in the “back office” of universities is atrocious to a fresh eye, but it is an ingrained behavior that has never changed toward people who are employed in what are perceived as subservient positions. A word of caution though, if PhD students listen to this drivel, or adopt what he says as the best way to act in their new jobs, it won’t turn out well for them. “Mr. Pomerantz” is right about one thing: “They have job rights; you do not.” I do have rights. If I want to help you in any way outside of my job description, it is my prerogative. I belong to a union. I am a person to be respected and treated like a human being. Whether you get the job or not, “I” will still be here if “I” want to be.
I have loved books since I was a toddler. My father said that if I loved him…I would read…and so I did. Growing up, I could always be found with a book in hand or close by. I fell asleep with books in my hands, holding my place in the text with stiff fingers but a firm hand. I read when I ate, barely looking at my food, and my Grandma would often remark, “Margaret..you will probably eat a roach one day because you’re always staring in a book!” I adore reading..what can I say?
I still remember when I first came across the word Nigger in a book. I was in the fourth grade and I had “borrowed” a book from my mother’s friend downstairs. I promise you I returned it. My mother would visit and talk smack, and when they turned their backs, I would swipe through and hide in my pants whatever books I could get my 9 year old little fingers on. I think she might have known because she always had juicy books lying around. One afternoon, I copped “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston. Later that night, by the time my eyes got to the line “De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.”, my little body was almost ready to explode. None of my Little House on Prairie Books, textbooks, or fairytales had language like this. It almost seemed wrong actually seeing it in print, but by the time I got lost in Janie’s story, I became acclimated to it and pretty much forgot about it.
Until the second time it happened.
I was in the 9th grade at Hunter College High School and experiencing the “cultural mulatto-ness” described by Trey Ellis in the “New Black Aesthetic”. I was the only black child from the inner city, in an English class of white gifted and privileged children, and while it could be uncomfortable at times being on display, I protected myself by writing great papers but avoiding class discussion. When we read “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, I let my classmates run the dialog, no way was I going to discuss race out loud with them. On the third day of the conversation, my beautiful black English teacher, that I had begun to admire, turned to me and said “Ok so Margaret, tell the class what it felt like the first time somebody called you a nigger..”
You could have heard a piece of lint drop. 16 pairs of blue, green, and brown startled eyes locked upon me, and I wished I could have dissolved and melted through the carpet. I got really angry about being put on the spot, so I narrowed my eyes and coldly said, “Well no one has called me that until now. Give me a minute.” She grabbed her chest, gasped loudly, and for a second I think I saw what a physical apology looked like. She apologized more profusely after class and I never told on her. What could I have said anyway? She and I both knew that in my working class neighborhood, me and my friends said nigger all the time. My mother said it, my aunts said it, me and my cousins often cracked up about the fact that our religious Grandmother tried not to cuss but would call somebody a nigger in a heartbeat.
But that was different. And what she did was different. Maybe it shouldn’t have been. But it just was.
Always first on the scene, Miss Info dropped a new track by Robin Thicke last night entitled “Another Night” . Produced by the Neptunes, it has a two step feel to it. If this is any indication of what Pharell is bringing over the next year, I am really excited for a resurgence of dance R &B music.
I really dig it. what do you think?
Two days ago, DJ Spinderella had a twitter rant after learning Lil Wayne had decided to become a DJ. She had words for a lot of celebrities like Alicia Keys aka DJ Mrs AK-47 and Kanye West aka DJ Yeezy World Peace. Check out the timeline which I was able to get from Carlton Jordan:
I understand Spin’s frustration, I also give celebrity DJs the side eye. How does one wake up and say “Today I’m going to be a DJ because I have the money to buy equipment and I have a lot of music.” Huh? To me that’s disrespectful to the craft of being a disc jockey. It’s true that they aren’t taking any money out of my pocket because I haven’t djayed a bar/lounge in years, but for those big name DJs this creates a huge problem. Clubs would increase their patronage with a big name DJ but are you paying to party or look at Kanye all night. I can only imagine how much it would cost to listen to Lil Wayne spin, but if he’s garbage, what did you really get?
I recently went to the Brooklyn Bowl to hear Talib Kweli spin. Questlove was originally supposed to spin and after the last time I heard him, I knew I needed more. He cancelled and Kweli took his place. He had absolutely no technique. The music choices were all over the place and his transition made grimace. Still, because I love music so much, I tried to enjoy myself.
In my opinion, unless celebrities are willing to take the craft seriously, they should leave the djaying to the professionals. In some cases like Idris Elba or Mike and Pauly from Jersey Shore, they really practice and study. From what I hear about Kanye West’s first gig, he played a nice eclectic mix of music but I hope he understands that it takes more to DJ than a Serato box, a laptop and a playlist.
New Beats By Dre Headphones designed by Oscar De La Renta
These were MADE for DJ Diva..they just don’t know it yet ;)
I love this video…Get it Grandma!
Miss Aretha Franklin is getting married for the third time at 69. It seems the songstress is in love enough to tie the knot again. To some it may appear to be useless, but from what I’ve learned from my own grandmother, a woman never ceases to want that promise of an everlasting bond with a partner.
4 years ago, when my grandmother was 75, she shocked all of her direct descendants (including me) when she announced that she was going to marry her long time male friend. On New Year’s Eve 2007, everyone who could, made the pilgrimage to Memphis, TN to see our matriarch get married at the family church. The same cousin who married me, said the blessed words over the couple and there wasn’t dry eye amongst the family as they said “I Do”. For the first kiss, my grandfather grabbed my grandmother so fast, he startled her. I couldn’t blame him, after all, she had made him wait 30 years before she said yes. They are the happiest couple you ever did see and according to Grandma, “The pig in the blanket still works!”
Grandma talks about other vibrant 60-80 year olds in her church who still want to get married and enjoy relations with a man. The problem seems to be that the men in their age group tend to gravitate toward women under 60, leaving the women without prospects. I feel bad for them but as I approach 40, I see the same trend. A close DJ friend of mine, who has been a confirmed bachelor forever, recently got married at 50 to a woman in her 30s and they are expecting a baby any day now. I can’t help to think about the women in his age group who would have loved to have been married to him.
Like my grandmother, I tend to enjoy the attention of younger men. Although I’m single, I’m think by the time I’m ready to settle down again, I won’t have much of a problem. And maybe like Miss Aretha and my grandmother, the third time will be a charm for me too.
Hey Everybody!!! I am so excited for this mixtape!!! DJ Red Alert graciously handed down some dope promos to help enhance my Fall Jams 2013 mix. This mix is full of new R&B and HipHop jams that I have been listening to since I dropped my Summer Jams 2013 mixtape. I can’t tell you how [...]Click Here For More!
www.EddyShades.com Wednesday, June 23 Eddy Shades Media Presents: Blame It On Wednesdays Afterwork at Roam Lounge (Brooklyn Music Festival Press Party) 5 East 19th St. btw 5th Ave. & Broadway Doors open at 6:00pm FFREE ENTRY ALL NIGHT | OPEN BAR FROM 6PM-7PM | 2 for 1 DRINK SPECIALS FROM 7PM-8PM | COMP BUFFET | [...]Click Here For More!
SUNDAY NIGHT LIVE The World Famous NY Comedy Club 241 East 24th Street Btwn 2nd & 3rd Aves $5.00 Cover (online and/or a mention of The Industry Cosign) $15 cover @ The door Click here for discount tickets & Show Information FOR RESERVATIONS CALL 212-696-5233 Showtime 8pm 2 DRINK MIN. June 13th, Sunday Night Live [...]Click Here For More!
Saturday, June 12 Eddy Shades Media Presents: Saturday Night Live with NFL Allstars at BB Kings (Ladies No Cover Before 12:30am with RSVP) Address: 237 West 42nd St. btw 7th and 8th Ave. RSVP:Miracleon42nd@EddyShades.com Sat_Night_Live Witness the #1 Saturday Night Party in the Tri-State! Last week, hundreds of sexy ladies partied w/ Juelz Santana & [...]Click Here For More!
Friday, JUNE 11th 2010 FLAWLESS FRIDAYS Presents… “FRIDAY’S CRUSH” @ HK Night Club (Roof Top will be OPEN!!!) 405 W. 39th (9th & 10th Ave.) You Said We Couldn’t Take Over The Friday Night Scene…. WE DID!!! You Said Musically The Party Couldn’t Get Any Better…. IT DID!!! You Said The Lines Wouldn’t Be Wrapped [...]Click Here For More!