When Patty Jackson, WDAS radio personality, announced via Facebook that Teena Marie had passed, I couldn't believe it. She was too young...I was too young to let her go.Teena Marie used to remind me of Saturday mornings around the homestead when my mother would click off the television, thus ending our cartoon marathon, and blast the It Must Be Magic album from the stereo speakers.
It was our cue that mommy-time has arrived and we better start our choirs. It would take years for me to disassociate Square Biz with Pine-Sol and Scrubbing Bubbles - not until I was a junior in high school, when If I Were A Bell became the signature
anecdote to my first experience with love - and heartache. And then again as a freshman in college, feeling homesick and the likes. I remember ordering her "Best Of" album
from one of those mail-order music buying clubs (you know the clubs, where you get 10 CDs or cassette tapes for a penny?). I played DeJa Vu'
so many times that one day, one of my college roommates asked me about my obsession with this "white girl."Teena Marie; a white girl? Nawh. She's just light-skinned. As pointed out by my girl, Summer M, of Black Youth Project:"Perhaps my mourning leads to more hyperbole than usual, but the term “blue-eyed soul” does not apply to Teena Marie. Hall & Oates? Yes. Lisa Stansfield? Sure. Amy Winehouse? Yep. But Teena Marie? Nope. I’m not the one to deny that ‘hood passes have been issued and/or revoked--because they have. But Teena Marie was never issued one. ‘Hood passes are for those just passing through, for those appropriating aspects of black culture for a hit or two, in search of some “street cred” and nothing more but a side-eye from the natives. Not Teena Marie. Teena Marie lived there, with us, and she never left. (Which is probably why some of my white readers--if I have any--may have had to employ Google by the end of my first paragraph. There are no hyperlinks to biographies in this entry, you either know or you don’t.) Square biz."Amen.
For my first love....
The New Recruits is a somewhat recent film, produced by Ironbound Films
for PBS, which highlights a battalion of jet-setting business students, who are also fellows in the Acumen Fund program, armed with a radical plan to end global poverty - by turning poor people into consumers.Ah, yes: good ole' capitalism. There is only one problem (okay, many but hypertension does run in the family, so I won't stress myself out too much): How do you sell shoes to a person with no feet?Seriously, using capitalism to right the wrongs, which often happened because of capitalism, sounds - for a lack of a better word - ass backwards. But I will say that the segments featuring Suraj Sudhakar, fellow in this program now working in Nairobi Kenya to sell, of all things, public pay toilets,
were quite interesting. In one scene, Sudhakar, who is frustrated by the lack of progress to get these toilets in places that need it the most (i.e. the slum of Nairobi), is at dinner meeting David, the founder of Ikotoilet. David, who has been pushing his line of public pay toilets in more affluent sections of the city, shares with Sudhakar his theory of how capitalism can work for the betterment of all society."The theory I hold is that everybody would want something called fashion, if only they can afford. There is the issue of really making the subject a bit sexy. "Have you seen those toilets in the city? That's what is coming here. You mean that is coming here?" But if it was the reversal, it would be impossible to sell. The Ikotoilet would be like it was designed for the poor man and I don't want to sell it that way. People need to be proud. When we do the first Ikotoilet in the slum, everybody will be saying like, "What is in Nairobi--we have it!
Yes, poor people needs to be and feel empowered through economics. And it is also true that people do tend to value things more if they pay for it, as oppose to getting it for free (that I learned while community organizing). However, the reality is that a lot of the products featured in this documentary were priced way too high for folks struggling to put food on the table. And generally speaking, if folks can't afford the very thing that they desire, they often resort to another unintended byproduct of social capitalism - social crime. But as always, don't take my word for it, view the doc in its' entirely below and let me know what you think.
...there was Lucille Bogan aka Bessie Jackson.
Warning: be careful of fakes. Official pumpkers come signed by the bootlegger
I have been seeing pictures of these hybrid-monsters floating around Facebook for a few months now. On closer inspection, you can pretty much guess that they're bootleg. I mean, the glued on "swoop" should clue you in to the possibility, that they were probably manufactured by the tiny hands of malnourished children in a sweatshop, somewhere in the southern Guangdong Province of China. No I'm not talking about the that
factory, which makes the real Nikes, but the sweatshop down the street (I kid Nike because I don't want to be sued). Besides, Nike doesn't make high-heel pumps because...well,
they're a sneaker company. And the last I checked, you can't ball in pumps. Nevertheless,
a quick Google search has revealed that these pumpkers
(copyright pending, so don't bite. You hear that, malnourished Chinese sweatshop children?) are becoming very popular in 'hoods, trailer parks and low-budgeted rap videos all across the country. Ok, that probably wasn't a nice thing to say but seriously, they're butt-ugly. Anyway, I have two questions for the wearers of pumpkers:1. Why?2. What? Seriously, are you listening to yourself? That makes no sense.I still love you though.