A Blast from the past!

You guys! This morning I was walking to the elevator and this researcher power walks past me and rushes in and THEN tries to badge and hit her floor/close the elevator doors before I could get on. BUT. Surprise!

I held the button, so I could saunter on, and stare at her until she got off on her floor. It was an awkward (for her) trip. Every time shit like this happens I remember how much I HATE elevator riders SO. MUCH. So much that a million years ago I blogged a completely ridiculous Ode to Why I Hate People On Elevators. And I dug it up JUST FOR YOU:

*AHEM*

I hate the way that people act
to just be in your presence…
We’ve got ELEVEN other elevators banks
is time THAT much of the essence?

I hate the way that people stampede on
I can’t even get myself OFF first…
There is no freakin’ fire, people
Haven’t you heard of manners, JERKS?!

I hate the cell phone talkers
all loud with no propriety…
Don’t you know it’s not polite
to discuss your threesome among regular society?

And doctors who act like they’re alone
while they discuss their patients
You know that is against the rules…
I am not invisible, and yes, I hate you too.

I hate you, too much perfume wearer
riding in this teeny tiny crate
My eyes and nose are swelling up
Who still wears Jean Nate?!

And YOU, Mr. Crusty McSickyface here on the 6th Floor
I want to kick your ass
We’re in a mother fucking HOSPITAL…
Why didn’t you get a mask?!

Why do you have to stand so close, stranger?
All in my personal space…
It’s just you & me in this elevator
Don’t make me use my mace.

Or do we ALL have to pile in together
like some frat boys in a telephone booth…
I think somebody’s touching my ass
and I’m pretty sure I lost my shoe.

I HATE you Perv that works here
stop staring at my tits!
They do not talk, or do fancy tricks…
and I’m getting ready to lose my shit!

I hate you asshole solo rider
trying to push the button to close
I managed to get on ANYWAY
so FUCK YOU.

Yes, I know that last one didn’t rhyme at all
that doesn’t make it less true…
Instead of lowering myself to mean & angry glares
I need to find a different route

See also: Reason I Haven’t Quit My Day Job

 

ANYWAY. I am not a poet (obviously), BUT SHE IS: Rita Dove, First African American Poet Laureate (1993), second to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Dove made her formal literary debut in 1980 with the poetry collection The Yellow House on the Corner, which received praise for its sense of history combined with individual detail. The book heralded the start of long and productive career, and it also announced the distinctive style that Dove continues to develop. Poet Brenda Shaughnessy noted that “Dove is a master at transforming a public or historic element—re-envisioning a spectacle and unearthing the heartfelt, wildly original private thoughts such historic moments always contain.”

In addition to poetry, Dove has published works of fiction, and written lyrics for composers. Dove told Black American Literature Forum: “There’s no reason to subscribe authors to particular genres. I’m a writer, and I write in the form that most suits what I want to say.” Dove’s own work, the popular Thomas and Beulah, was staged as an opera by Museum for Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2001.

Rita Dove has had a tremendous impact not just through the scope of her poetry, but also through her work as an advocate. She saw her appointment as poet laureate as a mandate to generate public interest in the literary arts. She also noted in the Washington Post that her appointment was “significant in terms of the message it sends about the diversity of our culture and our literature.”

dove

  1. I stan a queen who loves herself [see shirt].
  2. And also reps other lady poets of color.
  3. See her last quote.

 

 

LONG, LONG ago you could go see ALLL the Oscars’ Best Picture nominated films in the movie theater in ONE DAY AND you could wear pajama pants, and bring in your favorite blankie/pillow and you could bring in food which was AWESOME, because what I’m NOT finna do is eat popcorn and movie theater hot dogs or somehow soggy but burnt pepperoni pizza for $25 dollars a pop, PLUS try to stretch a $20 for a 16-ounce bottle of water for 12 hours.

But then, the Powers That Be ™ voted to expand Best Picture category to a possible 10 movies, which okay, great, look at all these movies we can now nominate for Best Picture (except A Serious Man, I’ll never forgive The Academy for that movie. I’m clearly not deep enough for that movie and I am unashamed of this). THEN they extended the movie watching to TWO WHOLE DAYS of watching movies PLUS no more bringing in your own snacks, you gotta eat this same bullshit we’re feeding everybody else (unless you leave the theater, which YOU COULD DO, but still) for 12-ish hours per day because also watching two days of movies is a LOT OF FUCKING MOVIES and A LOT OF FUCKING TIME.

But this is LA, and who among us does not know a person, who knows a person, who has a friend whose cousin/sibling/best friend’s mom/partner/uncle has access to screeners or some other way to view Best Picture nominated movies? AND, why would I go to a movie theater if I can talk some friends into taking a mini vacation, renting an airBnB , and watching all of the Best Pics in my comfiest pjs/sweats from the comfort of somebody else’s couch complete with all the food and drinks you can have?

And that is how Oscar Movie Madness ™ was borned! Because I’m lazy! And cheap! (But not too cheap because DAMN DO THESE BITCHES KNOW HOW TO DRINK)

Anyway. Last year for Oscar Movie Madness, I did a WHOLE ENTIRE POST on The Black Panther and all the black history it made. But guys. This black ass movie, with all these black ass actors also became the first superhero movie to be in the running for Best Picture!

AND. THAT ISN’T EVEN THE FACT YOU GUYS. The fact is that Ruth E. Carter, costume designer, is the first Black person to be nominated for best costume design (1993: Malcolm X, 1998: Amistad, 2019: Black Panther).

That’s the fact. It only took me 421 words to get to it. But because I’ve been in and out of the office, I had more work, so I had less time to give y’all a fact BUT ALSO, the facts that y’all get after my ridiculous vacations are gimmes for the most part because i always have so much to do when I get back AND I’m more than likely tired because I NEED VACATIONS FROM MY VACATIONS.

So. While I could go on and on about Ruth E. Carter and how the first black person (woman) to win an Oscar sat at a segregated table in 1939 and 80 years later there are still black people (*cough*women*cough*) who are about to kick in other doors that have previously shut to them, I won’t. Today. Because I don’t have time. And by don’t have time, I mean that I am just WAITING to brag on her/him/whoever AS SOON AS THEY PUT THE OSCAR IN THEIR HANDS.

 

 

 

I started doing these at work for co-workers while I was avoiding ACTUAL work (cough. I’m certainly not doing that now. I am very productive and busy doing work things). Back before my sissie got all fancy, she’d (very) occasionally help me, so y’all would sometimes get them on days when I wasn’t workin’ away.

BUT THEN, she didn’t have time for the riff raff (aka: ME) and I was on my own*. So that means, that I do them when I have time. And my weekends are my own, so when I’m not here, neither or your facts. WOMP WOMP.

This weekend I scooted up to NorCal to hang with The Boy and see friends/go to a concert. I had some downtime/insomnia, so I also watched The Grammy’s. Which means that YES I watched Diana Ross wish herself a happy birthday.

Anyway. So ‘member when I told y’all that I never know what I’m gonna do my facts on until I start writing them? That is mostly true. Today though, I definitely decided to do a BHFOTD on Motown.

Which. Guys. Motown was originally founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959. So, technically, it’s Motown’s birthday (as sung by Stevie Wonder, Motown artist who was AT the 2019 Grammys)!

:::clears throat:::

Berry Gordy got his start as a songwriter for local Detroit acts such as Jackie Wilson and the Matadors. Wilson’s single “Lonely Teardrops”, written by Gordy, became a huge success, but Gordy did not feel he made as much money as he deserved from this and other singles he wrote for Wilson. He realized that the more lucrative end of the business was in producing records and owning the publishing. So, in 1959, Billy Davis and Berry Gordy’s sisters Gwen and Anna started Anna Records. Davis and Gwen Gordy wanted Berry to be the company president, but Berry wanted to strike out on his own. On January 12, 1959, he started Tamla Records, with an $800 loan from his family and royalties earned writing for Jackie Wilson.

Early Tamla/Motown artists included Mable John, Eddie Holland and Mary Wells. “Shop Around”, the Miracles’ first number 1 R&B hit, peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. It was Tamla’s first million-selling record. On April 14, 1960, Motown and Tamla Records merged into a new company called Motown Record Corporation. A year later, the Marvelettes scored Tamla’s first US number-one pop hit, “Please Mr. Postman”. By the mid-1960s, the company, with the help of songwriters and producers (Did you know that Smokey Robinson – ALSO at the 2019 Grammys – was a producer at Motown? Me either.), had become a major force in the music industry.

Motown specialized in a type of soul music it referred to with the trademark “The Motown Sound”. Crafted with an ear towards pop appeal, the Motown Sound typically used tambourines to accent the back beat, prominent and often melodic electric bass-guitar lines, distinctive melodic and chord structures, and a call-and-response singing style that originated in gospel music. In 1971, Jon Landau wrote in Rolling Stone that the sound consisted of songs with simple structures but sophisticated melodies, along with a four-beat drum pattern, regular use of horns and strings and “a trebly style of mixing that relied heavily on electronic limiting and equalizing (boosting the high range frequencies) to give the overall product a distinctive sound, particularly effective for broadcast over AM radio”

More importantly, Motown, an African American owned label featuring mostly black music, contributed to the racial integration of popular music that achieved crossover success.

:::closes Wikipedia tab:::

So anyway. Back to the Grammys. They opened with Camila Cabello (Cuban American) singing her hit single (I guess, chile. I never heard of her before Sunday) “Havana” with surprise guests Ricky Martin (Puerto Rican) and J Balvin (Columbian). Which, also, can we all talk about just how FINE Ricky Martin, remains, ooooo? No. Okay.

Image result for camila cabello grammys 2019

There was a Dolly Parton tribute! Honestly, I have always loved her. (heh. It’s still black history month y’all. Even though it’s been a dumpster fire as of late)

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There was also a tiny tribute to Ms. Aretha Franklin, with Yolanda Adams, Fantasia, and Andra Day. [Something Something Full Tribute To Ms. ‘Retha Coming Soon ™]

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And I was like, WOW. Look at Recording Academy, you guys are really REALLY nailing this tribute/representation in music business! Because Honestly, Yolanda and Fantasia are probably some of the best voices to sing an Aretha Franklin song. Like, WHEW. They can SANG A SONG. (Andra Day was wearing the cutest little outfit too!)

So back to the Motown tribute. I cannot think of a better way to congratulate Motown on 60 years of black music that made bands like The Jackson 5 and Diana Ross (and the Supremes *cough*) household names, and not just “race records”, than to do a musical tribute featuring past Motown Artists and new and upcoming black artists singing the songs that made Motown famous. Like, Motown was black owned company in a time when their singers had to use the service entrance, singing black ass songs that your parents (okay, MY parents/your maybe grandparents) grew up on. This was definitely something to honor during Black History Month.

Good job, Grammys!

Image result for jennifer lopez grammy tribute 2019

[mostly black male backup dancers looking adoringly at white Latina]

Image result for jennifer lopez grammy tribute 2019

[only black woman backup singer/dancer]

 

 

*yes. I know she wasn’t on the Motown label. I don’t curr. SHE IS AN ICON. AND I CAN ADD HER WHEREVER I WANT. BUT ALSO: Michael McDonald WAS under Motown at some point, so. I still get this one.

WELL. I DO. Because it seems to be a lot truer than people think. In my case probably more than others, but to be fair: I live in LA and I used to go out an awful lot (HEY. SHUT UP. I mean OUT OUT, not just “I go to a pile of concerts” out) And I have definitely managed to connect people this way every once in a while. For instance, I once connected my sissie to Maurice White (singer of one of my favorite bands: Earth, Wind & Fire) in like three degrees.

BUT. I feel like this week has an ongoing theme and that theme appears to be Janet Jackson (and Super Bowl half time performers), AND I can never EVER resist a chance to poke at my sis, so it would be ridiculous to NOT connect some dots. Are we ready kids?

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that my sis used to date a rapper wayyyyy back in the day? That guy? Was Ras Kass.

And Ras Kass’s song, Ghetto Fabulous featured Dr. Dre.

Who collaborated with 2Pac for California Love

And he was in a movie with…Janet Jackson.

(Listen, if you don’t know WHAT movie, there really isn’t any hope for you)

 

HOWEVER. None of these these could be the BHFOTD because I already did a fact on Ms. Jackson, and Can you imagine 2Pac or Dr Dre doing a Super Bowl performance?  HAHAHAHAHAHA *cough*

BUT. Janet Jackson has a song called Burn It Up, featuring ANOTHER Super Bowl Performer: Melissa “Missy”/”Misdemeanor” Elliott.

Missy  Elliott embarked on her music career with all-female R&B group Sista in the early-mid 1990s and later became a member of the Swing Mob collective along with childhood friend and longtime collaborator Timbaland, with whom she worked on projects for Aaliyah, 702, Total, and SWV. Following several collaborations and guest appearances, she launched her solo career in 1997 with her debut album Supa Dupa Fly, which spawned the top 20 single “Sock It 2 Me”. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, the highest-charting debut for a female rapper at the time. Her 2nd album, Da Real World produced “Hot Boyz”, whose remix broke the record for the most weeks at No. 1 on the US R&B chart TO THIS DAY. The release of the next 3 albums resulted in 5 Grammy Awards and her being the best selling female rapper of all time (in 2017).

Additionally, Missy’s experimental concepts in her music videos changed the landscape of what a hip-hop video had as themes at the time. Her catalogue of songs have included themes of feminism, gender equality, body positivity and sex positivity since the beginning of her career, being one of the first to center on these topics among hip-hop and R&B performers. Performers such as  Destiny’s Child, Eve and Macy Gray have credited her for “clearing a path” in the American music industry towards “their own pop pre-eminence.”

ALSO. Missy is the ONLY female rapper to have six albums certified platinum by the RIAA, and the FIRST female rapper to be inducted into the songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2019.

So there’s your facts ladies and gentlemen. Never underestimate my ability to pull a fact outta my ass, connect some very random dots or drag my sister into my foolishness when she’s probably somewhere workin’ it.. I mean working.

BYYEEEEE…

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the other day Spank and I were having a very random conversation about LL Cool J and his GAP commercial that was FUBU commercial and how this NEVER woulda happened if they had even ONE black person in the room.  And she responded by telling me about a movie made about transgendered folk with NO TRANSGENDERED INPUT and she was not with this at all. Like, AT. ALL. She went on to say that obviously the best person to tell a story about a community would be a person from that community (see: reason I didn’t go see Green Book even though my boo Mahershala Ali is in it and for him I’d definitely… you know what? This isn’t what I came here to talk about), and instead Hollywood keeps giving country to white people when other people are RIGHT THERE ready and willing and CAPABLE of telling their own damn story (that does not center white people…Oh)

And one such person is Janet Mock. Writer, television host, director, producer and transgender rights activist.

Janet (who chose her name after Janet Jackson – I swear that Janet Jackson popping up in all of these facts is pure coincidence. Anybody who knows me well, knows that I do not plan these facts even though I keep saying that I will) began her transition from male to female as a freshman in high school, and funded her medical transition by earning money as a sex worker in her teens.

Mock started working at People magazine, where she was a staff editor for more than five years. Her career in journalism shifted from editor to media advocate when she came out publicly as a trans woman in a 2011 Marie Claire article, written by Kierna Mayo in Mock’s voice. She went on to become a contributing editor at Marie Claire, where she has written articles about racial representation in film and television as well as trans women’s presence in the global beauty industry. In 2012, Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, signed Mock to her first book deal for a memoir about her teenage years which was released as Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More in February 2014. It is the first book written by a trans person who transitioned as a young person. Feminist critic bell hooks referred to Janet’s memoir as, “Courageous! This book is a life map for transformation” while Melissa Harris-Perry said, “Janet does what only great writers of autobiography accomplish—she tells a story of the self, which turns out to be a reflection of all humanity.”

This Janet has also been a VERY BUSY BEE, so some highlights:

  • In 2012, she started a Twitter hashtag to empower transgender women, called #GirlsLikeUs, which received attention from several queer-media sites.
  • In 2014, Mock was featured on the fifth anniversary cover of C☆NDY magazine along with 13 other transgender women – Laverne Cox, Carmen Carrera, Geena Rocero, Isis King, Gisele Alicea, Leyna Ramous, Dina Marie, Nina Poon, Juliana Huxtable, Niki M’nray, Pêche Di, Carmen Xtravaganza and Yasmine Petty.
  • In 2017, Surpassing Certainty, Mock’s second memoir, was published. The book’s title is an allusion to Audre Lorde, who wrote, “And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”

But my favorite thing is this: Janet is a writer, director AND producer on the TV Show, Pose on FX. She is the FIRST Trans woman of color (ahem, Black Woman) hired as a writer for a TV series in history. The series has been congratulated for casting actual trans women in trans roles and for accurately depicting a unique queer subculture. In 2018 Mock directed the episode of Pose titled “Love Is the Message”, thus making her the first transgender woman of color (Hi there! Stop saying woman of color when you mean Black woman Wikipedia! Please and thanks!) to write and direct any television episode.

I know you’re thinking to yourself WTF you mean, highlights?! Like, that’s a pretty big milestone yeah? BUT HERE IS THE THING. 2019 just got started! And it looks like she did too!

Anyway. That’s today’s BHFOTD, folks. Janet Mock is here to slay.

mock

 

Protesting the NFL means that I did not see one second of the Super Bowl this year, not even the halftime show which I kinda wanted to see because The Root wrote an article calling Maroon 5:  “The Great Value Rolling Stones”, and “The Dollar Tree Beatles” … and HAHAHAHAHAHA. But then I realized that I’m not even interested enough to even give them halftime ratings. AND I heard that Adam Levine took off his top ON PURPOSE and not at all “accidentally” and well, THEN I was like UH OH. THE FCC IS GOING TO BE UP. IN. ARMS ‘bout dis. And it turns out, nothing. Hm. I wonder why this is different? HAHAHAHA, no I don’t.

Image result for justin timberlake gif

SO THEN, I was thinking to myself…what should I talk about? Because also, A WHOLE BUNCH OF SHIT happened over the weekend. But then I remembered I was here to talk about HISTORY*, not the present. And because it was Super Bowl weekend and apparently #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay exists, but I’d already talked about her (like, seriously dudes. I had ZERO IDEA), I decided I’d talk about another lady with four names who ALSO performed at the Super Bowl (in1996):

Diane Ernestine Earle Ross. Singer, Actress, Record Producer.

What? DIANE? Well, according to Ross, her mama actually named her DIANE, but because people don’t listen, it ended up being recorded on her birth certificate as Diana.  In fact, she was listed as “Diane” during the first Supremes records, and she introduced herself as “Diane” until early in the group’s popularity.

Anyway. Back to my facts. Ms. Diana Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, which, during the 1960s, became Motown’s most successful act, and are the best charting girl group in US history, as well as one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. The group released a record-setting twelve number-one hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100, going on to become Motown’s most successful vocal act throughout the sixties. Following significant issues with her comportment, weight, and alcoholism, Florence Ballard was fired from the Supremes by Gordy in July 1967. Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes, making it easier to charge a larger performance fee for a solo star and a backing group, as it did for other renamed Motown groups. Gordy initially considered Ross leaving the Supremes for a solo career in 1966 but changed his mind because the group’s success was still too significant for Ross to pursue solo obligations, but by 1968 Diana was performing a solo artist on TV specials. By 1969, she started recording her initial solo work.

Following her departure from THE SUPREMES, Diana released 5 albums in the 70’s, including two soundtracks (Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany). By this time, she’d also ventured into acting: Lady Sings the Blues, Mahogany, and The Wiz.

AGAIN, because Ms. Diana “The Boss” Ross is a FUCKING LEGEND (and even with all the shit I’m leaving out, there’s still SO MUCH), and I have actual work to do, please to enjoy these fun facts:

  • Diana worked at Hudson’s Department store, where she was the first black employee allowed outside the kitchen.
  • She was the first entertainer in Japan’s history to receive an invitation to the Imperial Palace for a private audience with the Empress Nagako, wife of Emperor Hirohito.
  • She was the first African-American woman to co-host the 46th Academy Awards, with John Huston, Burt Reynolds, and David Niven.
  • Dreamgirls was not about the Supremes. Or Diana Ross specifically. It was just super coincidental that the plot of the musical was VERY SIMILAR to true life events of the Supremes. Down to the character of Deena Jones leaving the Dreams in 1972 to pursue a career as an actress. Like Diana. Who starred in her first motion picture (Lady Sings the Blues) in 1972.
  • Motown: The Musical is a Broadway show that is about the creation of Motown AND Berry Gordy’s romance with Diana Ross.
  • Diana Ross’s sister, Barbara Ross-Lee was the first African American woman to be appointed dean of an American medical school. Yes. I know that this could really be a separate fact, but this is already SO LONG (that’s what she said), that I’d figured I’d give y’all a two-fer in case I don’t get to this tomorrow. Also, did you know that Barbara Ross also had that same long ass gorgeous pile of hair? She did! So I guess it’s no surprise that a bunch of racists from East Virginia Medical School got her confused for her sister.

And. In case you’re wondering what she’s up to these days: On February 10, 2019, she’ll be honored by the Recording Academy at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards.

Not all the BHFOTDs are gonna be short and sweet like me, but lest you think I want the last thing you see to be a story about a bunch of racists doing racists things, please enjoy one of my favorite clips from The Wiz, featuring Ms. Diane/a Ross.

 

 

 

*So yeah. I know that I said I was here to talk about HISTORY and not the present, but technically 1984 is the past AND as it turns out when you let people be racists in 1984, turns out they have kids who become racists in 2011. Go figure.

 

 

 

It’s 57 degrees in California which is equivalent for Californians to the polar Vortex in the Midwest, so what else would I be talking about except… baby suits. (Bathing suits for those who don’t know that when spank was learning to talk she couldn’t pronounce BATHING SUITS and it stuck.)

Here’s where I’d normally post a picture of me in a baby suit. BUT INSTEAD, Imma post the reason you’re not gonna get that:

PartyT

(My SIL understands me AND my boobs)

That’s right kids! It’s the first day of Black History Month and I’m kicking it off by talking about how my boobs don’t know how to stay in their assigned seats! And if you’re new here (and you might actually be! I added some suckers new friends to the list this year!), WELCOME. Welcome to “Lookit Stuff Black People Did/Do” Month via a somewhat questionable peek into my brain.

And if you’re NOT new here, then WELCOME BACK, and you know that even though I said this post was about MY boobs, you know that it’s really not. It’s about Janet Jackson. (That part you probably didn’t know, but that’s why *EYE* write the facts and not you), which is kinda perfect since the Super Bowl is this weekend and I’m not gonna guarantee y’all a Super Bowl post because I still haven’t been supporting professional football and MIGHT NOT watch the game.

Anyway. Back to Janet. Ms. Jackson, if you’re me nasty.

Janet Damita Jo Jackson, the youngest child of the Jackson family, is a singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. A prominent figure in popular culture, she is known for sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, and elaborate stage shows. She began her career with the TV series The Jacksons (1976) and went on to appear in other shows through the 70’s and 80’s, including Good Times and Fame.

After signing a recording contract with A&M Records in 1982, she became a pop icon following the release of her third and fourth studio albums Control (1986) and Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989). Her collaborations with record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis incorporated elements of rhythm and blues, funk, disco, rap and industrial beats, which led to crossover success in popular music.

In 1991 Jackson signed the first of two record-breaking multimillion-dollar contracts with Virgin Records, establishing her as one of the highest-paid artists in the industry. Her fifth album Janet (1993) saw her develop a public image as a sex symbol as she began to explore sexuality in her music. That same year, she appeared in her first starring film role in Poetic Justice and has continued to act in feature films. Jackson then released her sixth studio album The Velvet Rope (1997), which is distinguished for its innovative production and dark lyrical content. By the end of the 1990s, she was named by Billboard magazine as the second most successful recording artist of the decade after Mariah Carey.

Ok. Now that we have the backstory (because when you are a Mother Fucking LEGEND, there’s a lot of information to sort through), let’s get to the lightning round. DID YOU KNOW:

  • Janet Jackson has the most albums with five or more Top 10 hits.
  • She holds the record for the most consecutive top-ten entries on US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart by a female (black/white/whatever) artist?
  • In 2008, Billboard ranked her 2nd most successful dance club artist of all-time after Madonna (who is dead to me. So that makes Damita Jo No.1. Why do I feel this way about Madonna? I’m glad you asked!)
  • Her album Janet opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making her the first female artist in the Nielsen Soundscan era to do so.
  • Jackson’s second hits compilation, Number Ones (retitled The Best for international releases), was released in November 2009. The album’s promotional single “Make Me”, produced with Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, debuted in September. It became Jackson’s nineteenth number one on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart, making her the first artist (black/white/whatever) to have number-one singles in four separate decades.

Present day: Ms. Jackson is still performing and making movies and being philanthropic AF! Took her some time to get back into music. WHY IS THAT, you ask? I mean, Janet Damita Jo Jackson was doing her damn thang and then all of a sudden…silence. Again. SO GLAD YOU ASKED.

AHEM. Janet was chosen by the NFL and MTV to perform at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime in 2004 with surprise fuckboy Justin Timberlake (yeah, I said it). She performed a medley of songs, before singing “Rock Your Body”. As Timberlake sang the lyric “I’m gonna have you naked by the end of this song”, he tore open her costume, exposing her right breast to 140 million viewers. Both performers apologized, but only one was blacklisted. And ONE went on to perform again in 2018.

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Anyway.

This is how I combined a story about my boobs with Janet Jackson, the Super Bowl, AND Black History. I don’t NORMALLY make BHFOTD this long, but sometimes I do. AND I DO WHAT I WANT. You didn’t really think I wasn’t gonna add my favorite Janet Jackson song, did you? (Also, Janet (her boobs) and her brother throwing up the middle finger is a WHOLE. ASS. MOOD.)

Happy Friday/Black History Month boys and girls!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my tour through black history month! USUALLY I have more time, but THIS HAS BEEN A BUSY MONTH. And I’m only one person.

It happens. But I feel like I’ve failed you! I didn’t even give you your annual Why I Hate Disney post!

I mean to be honest, I could still do that easily. Between the surge pricing to go to Disneyland AND the insane amount of money it costs to eat crappy pizza and…

You know what? I’m not going to do that this year.*

But I WILL talk about why I do this. Because [full offense] people need to know that Black History doesn’t begin with Harriet Tubman and end with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther (the) King, Junior. And here some people *cough*whitepeople*cough* tell it, dassit it. DO BETTER, SCHOOLS.

And ‘cause trick love the kids y’all. I believe the children are our future and alladat.

And because I do. I’m ending this year’s BHFOTD with a story about students:

In the third week of April 1969, 100 young Americans in the Afro-American Society (AAS) at Cornell University took part in an illegal occupation of Willard Straight Hall. The takeover was spurred by a faculty-student judicial board’s decision to punish black students for a disruptive protest the previous December, and by a cross-burning at a black women’s dorm. In an attempt to take the building back, white Delta Upsilon fraternity brothers entered the Straight and fought with AAS students in the Ivy Room before being ejected. Fearing further attacks, the black students brought guns into the Straight to defend themselves. Members of Students for a Democratic Society — students far to the left of many of the black students inside — formed a ring around the Straight to lend support.

After the AAS marched out of the Straight a day later, thousands of other students and a core of progressive faculty formed what became known as the Barton Hall Community. This occupation effectively shut down the campus until the faculty reversed its initial position, and ratified the administration’s agreement to drop the penalties from the December protests.

Within Cornell, the takeover has come to be seen as an event that gave birth to enormous social, governance and ideological change. Students assumed campus leadership when galvanized by obvious wrongs that rally a clear majority of students, like the Vietnam War and gun control apartheid.

The end of both, BY THE BY, was hastened by disruptive campus protests. [They’re workin’ on the third thing, guys. Give ‘em time]

ALSO. I guess I’d like to say that it’s interesting how kids are “just kids” until they’re out here doin’ the damn thing. Like kids do. There’s that whole thing about not learning from the past [which clearly some people ::side eye:: have not]. But I’d like to submit that some people ARE learning. And holding lie-ins outside the [VERY] white house. And clapping back on social media. And Ferguson taught them.

ANYWAYS. Thanks for reading “What kind of BS does Briya have to say today?”/ BHFOTD! See you next year, or whenever I feel like work is bullshit and I wanna share some stuffs with y’all, or harass my sissie or whatever. As usual, please note the internet is free and anytime you wanna learn you something you can google that shit up.

 

 

*mostly because Disney is on the way to redeeming itself by making an ACTUAL BLACK GIRL PERSON A DISNEY PRINCESS. NOT A FROG. OR A LION. A PERSON.
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE MF’ING MOVIE UNTIL THE END. I SAID WHAT I SAID.

 

 

I took Monday off because I spent all weekend watching (and occasionally sleeping through) Oscar Best Picture nominated movies.
It’s tradition.

I used to do it at the movies theater, because some movie theaters offer a chance to see all the Best Pic noms back to back
They USED to let you bring in food which is awesome because I’m not eatin’ movie hot dogs, cardboard pizza and candy for 12-ish hours.
But then they stopped because “buy our shitty overpriced food you guys, no more B.Y.O.”
AND THEN, a friend started hosting movie madness at her house which meant I could really eat whatever I want
(and by that I mean WHATEVER SHE COOKS, PLUS ALL THE DRINKS) …and wear pjs
AND BRING MY FAVORITE BLANKET. Yes. I do all of those things. Because that’s what being grown is really about.

Anyways. There were a LOT of movies.
But apparently not a lot of actors.
You ever watch a movie and then realize that RANDOM DUDE was in the movie you just saw?
Yeah. That was us this weekend.
Isn’t that…
…The brother in Get Out as the Billboard guy in that other movie?
…The guy in Lady Bird is the brother in Three Billboards movie?
…That dude in Lady Bird is that kid in Call Me by Your Name?
…The Dad from Call Me By Your Name is the doctor from Shape of Water is that dude from The Post?

It was like playing the easiest game of six degrees ever.
If the actor was not black. Which. They weren’t (for the most part. We’re just talking Best Picture, here) I mean, Oscars may not be #SOWHITE but they are definitely still #WHITE-ISH

MY two cents (and that’s probably all it’s really worth) is that Get Out should win Best Picture. It’s well written, and horrifying and a pretty interesting take on race relations
Which honestly why I don’t think it will win.

But that’s not going to stop me from tossing you a gimme on Jordan Peele.
Because days off means that I come back to a bajillion emails and a ton of work to catch up on*

*opens Wikipedia page*

Peele rose to fame starring in the Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele and for five seasons as a cast member on Mad TV. In 2014, he had a recurring role in the first season of the FX anthology series Fargo, based on the 1996 film of the same name.

Peele had a career breakthrough in 2017 with his solo directorial debut, the horror film Get Out, which earned critical acclaim and was a box office success. He received numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations for Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Original Screenplay, becoming just the third person to receive the three nominations for a debut film, and the first black person to receive them for any one film. He also earned the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at the 2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards and nominations for a DGA Award and BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay.

*closes Wikipedia page*

I really do be lazy AF sometimes. But I toldja the important part, so my work here is done.

 

*but because whenever I come back to a pile of work to do, I tend to get caught up in nonsense, how does everyone feel about a quick round of six degrees of Jordan Peele featuring all the black nominees for this year?

(For the sake of brevity – Dee Rees/Virgil Williams/ Mary J. Blige are all from Mudbound, so Mary J it is!)

Common (Marshall, Best Music/Original Song) was in The Odd Life of Timothy Green w/ Ron Livingston who was in Pretty Persuasion w/ Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water, First black actress to be nominated twice after previously winning. First black actress to be nominated two years in a row.)

Octavia was ALSO in Paradise w/ Russel Brand who was in Rock of Ages w/ Mary J Blige (Mudbound, First black woman to receive multiple noms in the same year, First PERSON to be nominated for acting and writing an original song in the same year, her nomination made Dee Rees the first black woman to direct a film in which an actor was nominated for an Oscar)

Who was in Black Nativity w/ Nas who was in John Q w/ Denzel Washington (Roman J Israel, Esq. , Best Actor, Most nominations for a black actor)

And Denzel was in Cry Freedom w/ Louis Mahoney who was in Jonah with Daniel Kaluuya who starred in Get Out (2nd British actor to be nominated for Best Actor) w/ Ian Casselberry who was in Keanu with Jordan Peele, who ALSO wrote and directed Get Out, but I always get carried away on these things so looks like they got more than one connection.

And the green grass grows all around all around and the green grass grows all around.

 

Okie Doke folks. ONE MORE DAY of learnin’ about some black people and stuff black people are STILL doing. See you tomorrow!

 

Do you ever wonder about nick names? Because I do. Because OF COURSE I DO.

I am ever called my name (and Briya, IF I ALLOW IT).

Please also know that I only ever respond to my name, unless of course you’re the Starbucks barista because honestly I don’t have time in the mornings to spell out my name and if y’all could see the daily variations of my name when you say HELLO SABRIYA to me pretty much every damn day, while I’m wearing a badge WITH MY NAME ON IT, you would just…

*cough*

Sorry. Off topic.
Anyways. I always wondered about how Richard became Dick.
Because also, OF COURSE I DID.

So anyways, lemme tell you what I read on the internets:

How Dick became a nickname for Richard is known and is one of those “knee bone connected to the thigh bone” type progressions. Due to people having to write everything by hand, shortened versions of Richard were common, such as ‘Ric’ or ‘Rich’.  This in turn gave rise to nicknames like ‘Richie’, ‘Rick’, among others.  People also used to like to use rhyming names; so someone who was nicknamed Rich might further be nicknamed Hitch.  Thus, Richard -> Ric -> Rick gave rise to nicknames like Dick and Hick around the early 13th century.

While few today call Richards ‘Hick’, the nickname ‘Dick’ has stuck around, and of course has come to mean many other things as well.  Its persistence as associated with Richard is probably in part because around the 16th century Dick started to be synonymous with ‘man’, ‘lad’, or ‘fellow’, sort of a general name for any ‘Tom, Dick, or Harry” (with Dick at this point firmly established as an “every man” name).  It may well be that this association with ‘man’ is in turn how ‘dick’ eventually came to mean ‘penis’.

I know. WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS, BRIYA?
Because I just am. And I ain’t sorry.
And I how else am I gonna talk about to talk about a man named Nat (pronounced Nate – yeah, I dunno either) “Deadwood Dick” Love?

AHEM.

Nat Love (pronounced “Nate” Love) (June 1854 – 1921) was an African-American cowboy and former slave in the period following the American Civil War. His self-reported exploits and claims (as found in his published autobiography) have made him the most famous black hero of the Old West

Love was born a slave on the plantation of Robert Love in Davidson County, Tennessee around 1854. Despite slavery-era statutes that outlawed black literacy, he learned to read and write as a child with the help of his father, Sampson. When slavery ended, Love’s parents stayed on the Love plantation as sharecroppers, attempting to raise tobacco and corn on about 20 acres, but Sampson died shortly after the second crop was planted. Afterward, Nat took a second job working on a local farm to help make ends meet. At about this time, he was noted as having a gift for breaking horses. After some time of working extra odd jobs in the area, he won a horse in a raffle, which he then sold back to the owner for $50. He used the money to leave town and, at the age of 16, headed West.

Love traveled to Dodge City, Kansas, where he found work as a cowboy with cattle drivers from the Duval Ranch (located on the Palo Duro River in the Texas Panhandle). He trained himself to become an expert marksman and cowboy, for which he earned from his co-workers the moniker “Red River Dick.” In 1872, Love moved to Arizona, where he found work at the Gallinger Ranch located along the Gila River. He claims in his autobiography that while working the cattle drives in Arizona he met Pat Garrett, Bat Masterson, Billy the Kid and others.

After driving a herd of cattle to the rail head in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, he entered a rodeo on the 4th of July in 1876. He won the rope, throw, tie, bridle, saddle, and bronco riding contests. It was at this rodeo that he claims friends and fans gave him the nickname “Deadwood Dick”, a reference to a literary character created by Edward Lytton Wheeler, a dime novelist of the day.

In 1889, Love decided he needed to leave the cowboy life. He married his wife Alice and settled down, initially in Denver, before finally moving to Southern California. In 1907, Love published his autobiography entitled Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as ‘Deadwood Dick’. [NOT a Tale of Two Dicks. How do you end up with TWO nicknames with Dick in the title? These are Questions That Need Answers]

ANYWAYS. Love spent the latter part of his life as a courier and guard for a Los Angeles securities company. Love died there in 1921, at the age of 67.