Plots Fired

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Love & Basketball scene, tweet taken from tumblr. as you can see this is not my tweet.

Okay. I know the title is corny. I had to. I found the above tweet circulating on tumblr. This post happened as a result.

I still got mad love for Ms. Gina Prince-Bythewood, director/writer. She redeemed herself in my eyes with “Beyond the Lights”. I understand that Nate Parker is cancelled. So, I will spare you my critique. I understand that some of us are not able to compartmentalize certain personal issues with the artists from the art. However, if you are interested, I wrote a little review about “Beyond the Lights” a few years ago if you are interested.

 

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Gina Prince-Brythewood

‘Love & Basketball’ came out in the year 2000. And, so did “Disappearing Acts”.. we all know the disaster that was. ūü§®¬†That movie had me looking at my crush, at the time, with the side eye, Wesley Snipes. I loved that man so much that I started dating (I say that loosely) a guy I thought looked just like him. In her defense, “Disappearing Acts” was based on a Terry McMillan novel. So, it really wasn’t her fault. Even within that story there were such tender intimate moments. Now, the cluster fuck that was “Love & Basketball”.. hated almost everything about it. I think I heard the characters of “Love & Basketball” were based on a real couple. Not sure how true that is. The movie made me feel so uncomfortable; squirming in my seat uncomfortable. The movie made us look at some issues concerning love we don’t like to look at intently. For that, I respect her so much. One of the things I didn’t hate was Meshell Ndegeocello’s song ‘You Made a Fool of Me” that played in the background during that last scene. Well, the song was indeed placed accurately. No?

 

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Shots Fired – Hour Eight: Rock Bottom (Stephan James, Sanaa Lathan)

I love Gina’s fearlessness as she displays some of the ugliness of our humanity in a beautiful authentic way. All of these stories need to be told. Yes, even the ugly ones. We need more willing brave artists to tell honest, raw, gutterbutt, lovely stories. I see you, Lena Waithe. She is also amazing.

 

Anyway, I forgave Gina. “Shots Fired” was a pleasant surprise. We cool now. You know what I love about her style.. she writes some of the most beautiful love scenes you will ever see; even in “Love & Basketball”. Writing/directing love scenes is a very difficult endeavor. She does it so well. Check out the love scene in “Shots Fired” if you are into that kind of thing. It was steamy HOT, real intimacy. People tend to turn their noses up at romantic stories/storylines. It takes as much skill to execute a love scene as it does a fight scene; just a skill of another kind. I was also here for that cute young tender, Mack Wilds, loving on that dark skin sista who played his wife. Loved it! Just read somewhere that Gina¬†helped write the screenplay for “Nappily Ever After”. I will be there. Lastly, don’t forget to check out “The Secret Life of Bees”.¬† Good stuff. Overall, Gina can tell a story that will move you. That is a promise. Like they say, “you get what you bring”.
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a Slice of paradise in Niagara Falls

I really needed to officially document this wonderful experience on my blog page.

For many years I romanticized a trip to Niagara Falls, USA. Every year I made excuses why I couldn’t make the trip. The main deterrent that kept me from Niagara Falls this long was fear. Fear that the trip would not match up to my fantasies. And, Niagara Falls surpassed my expectations.

View from the Observation Deck

At first glance on the observation deck, I was overcome with emotion. The first words that came to my mouth were, “look at what God did!” The sight literally took my breath away. I had to take a moment to allow the image to wash over me. While on the Maid of the Mist, the mist touched my face and made me feel alive. The water from the falls, during our tour of the Cave of the Winds, felt like heaven. Words escape me. I’m so grateful. Pictures don’t do it justice. I could literally feel the charge of energy running through my veins. I could have walked all day long. I didn’t feel my age, my limitations, my burdensome life back home. My sun and moon signs are in Cancer which represents Water. I felt light, encouraged. Even if you are not a moody crab, I’m sure you will gain so much positive energy from the experience.

The water from the falls tickling my toes. (Cave of the Winds)

The brief boat trip was worth every penny. (Maid of the Mist)

Getting drenched by the falls and loving every minute of it.  (Maid of the Mist)

Maid of the Mist

Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino

I’m so glad my sista made the decision for us to stay at this hotel. We were only 4 blocks away from the falls. The hotel WiFi was excellent along with the service. The cigarette smoke coming from the Casino was a bit much but we pushed through. I even gambled a bit and made a little cash. It’s so easy to get caught up in the gamble trying to get lucky. Cushy comfortable leather seats in the Casino were comfortable as we enjoyed the games in the non-smoking section. The trolley service made it very easy for us to get around to the different attractions.

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Niagara even had a cute little Aquarium we checked out.

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Cave of the Winds

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Cave of the Winds

The weather was perfection. For that, I thank God.

During my last moments with the falls, I cried. I didn’t want to leave. I will be back soon. I want to thank my sista, Kiwi. She made my birthday a cool, relaxing, fun time. Love you! I also want to thank my mother for taking care of my daughter during my absence. I’m so so grateful.

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Saying my goodbyes.

Chosen (Part 2) – Black Panther FanFic

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Chosen (Part 1)

“What is your name?”

“My name is Ayoka Boahinmaa.”

“Beautiful name. What does it mean?”

“Ayoka means a joy bringer and Boahinmaa means one who has left her community.” He waits for more explanation, but she is not ready to give that story. “It’s a long story.”

“Well, my name means simply one who sees the truth.”

“Ayoka Boahinmaa, I would like to take you out to dinner, but I don’t have much time to court you properly.

“What is the rush?” He ignores the question.

“Can I offer you something to eat from the kitchen?” she nods. N’Jadaka sends word to the chef to bring something special.

Not that Ayoka doesn’t feel like she would make an awesome lover for any man. This man is the King of Wakanda. She couldn’t help wondering out loud, “Why me?”

N’Jadaka seemed to be shocked by her question. “I like your energy. You make me feel good; at ease. And, you are gorgeous; my kind of beautiful. I don’t expect you to fall in love with me overnight or anything, but I must warn you,” he says smugly. “I expect that you will fall and there will be animalistic lovemaking, marriage, and babies.”

“Whoa! In that order?!, Ayoka jokes. “You have all this figured out.”

“What would be your preferred order?”

Looking directly into his eyes, Ayoka says, “animalistic lovemaking.” *long silence*

N’Jadaka laughs hardily.

“Hey. I’ve never had sex with a western foreigner. I’m curious.”

“Well, they say in my country that curiosity killed the cat and I assure you I plan to,” N’Jadaka says with a sly grin. “You don’t want to have my babies?”

“Honestly, I’ve never pictured my life with babies. And, marriage is an unnecessary technicality.”

“Nah, that’s just because you never met me.”

Smiling at his cockiness, “Why are you so interested in starting a family?”

His whole demeanor changed. “I’m afraid I may not be around long. I must leave a part of me behind.”

“Are you ill?”

“No. Some of your people are not happy I have taken over the throne, you know, killed the King. They don’t agree with my plans for Wakanda refusing to listen to reason. My way is the only way.”

“What way is that?”

“Liberation through war. Freedom must be taken.’

“I don’t understand. Our people are already free.”

“Yes. Wakandans think they are free and safe; their freedom is based on a¬†fallacy. The fallacy that is hidden in this pseudo-freedom. They have believed in this way of thinking for centuries; to hide in plain sight while the rest of the world burns. Many black people across the African diaspora are not free due to lack of resources. Our people have been kidnapped, sold, enslaved, killed, and under continuous discrimination. They are in desperate need of Wakanda’s help. Acquiring the throne was the only way to bring aide to my people. America is sick with racism and my fellow African-Americans are suffering tremendously. I feel like I’m talking too much. How do you spend your days?”

I force myself not to flood him with questions. “Well, my life is not as politically driven. I am a piano instructor. I teach 4th to 7th graders at the local preparatory school how to play the piano.”

“Why piano?”

“The piano was my father’s, first love. He insisted that I learn under his tutelage. Luckily, I grew to love it and now I can’t live without it. Unfortunately, he is unable to play piano like he did when he was younger. Do you want to learn to play the piano? I provide private one on one lessons.”

He smiles, “nah, I’m musically inept. Believe me. There is no hope for me.”

“You would be surprised. I’ve heard I’m quite magical. There has never been a student incapable of learning under my instruction.”

“You are so sexy. ”

“Why do you say that?”, while blushing.

“Your confidence. It’s always been my weakness. It can be hard to find a woman with true confidence back home. Our society does not encourage unapologetic black women to be confident, especially not plus size women.”

“Plus size? What does that mean?”

N’Jadaka realizes that Ayoka doesn’t understand some of the American vernacular. “A woman’s size is heavily policed and judged in my country. Women feel so much pressure to be thin that many opt to get surgery to change their appearance. Europeans dominate media. They flood our minds with images of white beauty standards. Even our hair in its natural state is frowned upon when attempting to attain employment.”

Ayoka gives all of this a lot of thought. His home sounds so sad and oppressive.

Suddenly there is a knock at the door. The chef brought an array of traditional West African dishes; jollof rice, beef, plantain, fufu, peanut soup, and puff puff for dessert. N’Jadaka waits patiently while she washes your hands in the bowl of water sent with the dinner and then he does the same. The King waits while she picks out her dinner choices. He went for the obvious; jollof rice, beef, plantain. She eats her fufu and peanut soup for in silence; digesting their previous intense conversation. She looks up and catches him watching her dipping her fufu in the peanut soup. “Do you want to try my food?”

He looks up with mischievous eyes. “As a matter of fact, I do. But, I’m not sure how to eat it properly. Show me.”

What a shame. She moves closer to him, she pulls a piece of fufu from her plate and then dips it into the peanut soup. She slowly brings it to his mouth. Staring at her he eats the food right from her fingers. She waits to see if he likes it, “Nandi, kunene?” And, then he leans in to kiss her gently on the mouth. “Indeed, delicious.” She is shocked that he knows her language.

She pulls her focus from his piercing eyes. “Now, you try it. You must use your fingers.”

He leans over to pull a piece of fufu from her plate, dips it into her peanut soup and brings it to her mouth. “Zidla.” Her heart is racing and embarrassed at the possibility that she may have sucked his fingers a second too long. She looks down blushing and clears her throat.¬†“Well, as you can see I love to eat.”

“I see. I love to eat as well,” grinning.

He brings her attention back to the puff puff waiting to be devoured. “Let’s not forget dessert.” They both stare at each other hungrily.

Chosen – Part 1 (Black Panther fan fiction)

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His POV

The overwhelming feeling of dread is overshadowing my victory. I have this strong desire to create something, someone. I know this is not truly my home and I don’t know who I can trust. I don’t know how long I will be able to rule here before T’Challa’s supporters take me out. I must leave a piece of me behind. I must hide a part of me in Wakandan soil. It must be groomed. I must do this swiftly. The liberation of my people can not end with me. It must continue through my line. My child will know who I am. It took a long time for me to get here and it’s imperative that I cover all bases. No matter what happens tomorrow after I give my orders, I will leave my seed planted here in this foreign land my father called home.

The women before me represent the possibility of a future. They are all lovely in different ways. I don’t necessarily have a particular type. However, I do recognize aura and energy. And, the confidence oozing from the thick one with her midriff showing reminds me of home. I want to grab her just to see how soft she is under my rough edges. I can’t stop looking at her as I try to will her to look me in the eyes. I understand not looking me in the eye is probably her attempt to show respect, but I bet she is not this bashful in private. Her dark brown skin glows even under the moonlight seeping through the council room. I can tell she takes care of her appearance. Her ample curves arouse me. Her head wrap hides her hair, but those lips… Enough of this, I know what I want.

I signal for W’Kabi to come over. I’ve had enough of the pathetic sobs of loyalty for a man they once called King. I am their King now. W’Kabi and his men escort the grieving women from my presence leaving me alone with her. I wonder if I intimidate her or arouse her as I look her up and down. I walk over to her. She is silent. She doesn’t ask what her business is with me in this castle nor does she give me the cold shoulder. I just want to see her eyes. I want her to know my plans and my desires so she can teach my offspring. I want her to know my name.

Her POV

The King scans every Wakandan woman brought before him meticulously. He worked from the throne in intense silence which only made all of us extremely nervous. The intensity in his eyes caused a stir of conflict within me. I was afraid yet curious. I want to know him intimately even though I know he was the cause of T’Challa’s death by ritual combat. Who is he? I try to keep my head down only stealing glances whenever he looks away. Guilt fills my mind forcing me to stop staring. He seems to take extra time studying my appearance. He eventually moves on to inspect the other distraught ladies brought before him. A slight smirk came over his face as if he knew a secret. He signals for W’Kabi. As we stand in wait, the King speaks to W’Kabi in whispers.

Sobs and whimpers continue to fill the air with the knowledge of T’Challa’s untimely death freshly etched in our minds. The tribal markings on his ample chest and hard abs are displayed like a badge of honor. His hair is oiled and braided. He is truly beautiful. His tough exterior seems to be solid through and through. Is he truly Wakandan? I wonder. W’Kabi and his men escort the other ladies out of the council chambers. I’m usually not picked for King service but I guess this King desires something a bit plumper. He slowly walks over to me. My heart is racing. I can feel his energy. As he stays in front of me, I keep my head down. Maybe he will dismiss me too if he sees I’m unresponsive. But, instead he tenderly grazes my cheek and then lifts my head forcing me to face him. He finally breaks the silence.

“Look at me”, he commands. Finally, our eyes meet. The fire in his eyes entices me. “Do you know who I am?”

“You are the new King.” He smiles. I had to smile in kind because it was contagious.

“I am King N’Jadaka, Son of Prince N’Jobu.” He pauses allowing this new knowledge to wash over me. “Say my name.” I wonder if this is a serious request until I see him raise an eyebrow waiting to hear it roll off my tongue.

“King N’Jadaka, how can I be of service to you?”

“You will find out soon enough.”

Chosen (Part 2)

A moment in Art at a glance with BE:

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The L’s art took this week will not be discussed at this moment. I just can’t right now.
Janelle Monae’s album “Dirty Computer” is really refreshing. Yes. I am an American dream. Say that sis! I am a walking contradiction too. I feel all that. Thing is … I love “I Like That” so much. But, I always find it weird that artists who were subjected to bullying would speak so candidly about it in their music. I don’t know. If you bullied me and I made it big, the bully would be sitting back like I wonder if she even knows I’m alive. I wouldn’t give them one bar, one lyric. Nada. But, I get it. You must speak your truth.
 
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“The Handmaid’s Tale” .. shit’s gettin real. Like I said, the book scared me with its truth given the direction this society seems to be headed as it pertains to women. Be afraid. Be very afraid. “YIBAMBE, LADIES! YIBAMBE!”
 
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“Westworld” .. okay. aight. look. I’m not going to deny it. I don’t know what the fuck is going on right now..LOL One moment you think you understand and then the next you’re like .. HUH? I have to admit. I’m in love with the concept. And, the theme music is superb. So, I’m not giving up. Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton are everything.
 
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No spoilers: I promise.
“Infinity War” .. I don’t know. According to a tweet on twitter, I’ve been advised to go back and have the 3D experience just to check out T’Challa’s hammer..LOL So, I have to watch it again strictly for research purposes. I’m sure you understand. Just know, I enjoyed Infinity War. Yep, right along with the white guy sitting next to me. He really thought my whisper commentary was hilarious. Because Thor made me say some not so appropriate thangs under my breath several times. That man right there yo.. sheesh! But, overall it was funny. Iron Man’s suit…YES! I literally yelled out loud. And, Spider Man’s suit..I wasn’t ready. At times, I felt like they were trying to tell too many different stories. That may have something to do with how many marvel characters are in this film. There is a lot of ground to cover. When they arrived to Wakanda, everything seemed rushed. But, it all came together. I want to discuss the vibes Thanos gave me and other things I observed, but it would reveal spoilers. I will wait until more people watch it.
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This just in: Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) released tour dates this morning.
 
Good day!

“she’s gotta have it” short & sweet review

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so, I really wanted to like “she’s gotta have it” on Netflix. but, I should have known I wouldn’t like it because I hated the movie. the corniness of spike lee’s satire and his over the top approach concerning serious topics has always rubbed me the wrong way. all the men are totally ridiculous. they all gave me gay vibes and it was so distracting watching them do ‘i love pussy’ gymnastics trying to be convincing. greer? mars? mars, my G?? come on now. who would even believe that craziness?! not I! the writing was painful. the acting? look, Dewanda Wise is frikkin’ awesome to me and she is absolutely stunning. she did the best she could with the material she was given. i made it to episode 3.

in conclusion: I hated it!

1 star out of 5

“Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi: Book Review

 

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UK book cover

 

I decided to finish reading the last couple of pages of this book at work during my extended lunch break. And, now I’m in tears. This book took me on an emotional roller coaster. Given the racial climate here in the states, “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi was almost too much for me to bear. At times, I had to put the book down to catch my breath. Homegoing is about two sisters¬†with very different journeys on two different continents. One sister,¬†Effia, ¬†was married off to a British slave master while the other sister, Esi, was sold into slavery forcing her to brave the middle passage. We go on a journey from the Ghana coast to the Harlem concrete.

Each chapter was from the point of view from a family member from each half sister’s lineage. Yaa Gyasi really delves into how everyone played a part in the slave trade; the British, missionaries, and the Africans. I cringed as people were forced into slavery so easily due to any battle lost. Sometimes I wonder if things would have been different if the Africans knew of the horrors their people would face in America. Even though this book spoke of the degradation of slavery, each chapter was also peppered with beautiful sad love stories. I learned many things about the British and how they interacted with the African people. They often married the local women while on the coast to do their slave trading business because they were away from their homes for long periods of time. I also learned about how superstitious¬†Africans were and how those ideas can shape someone’s life into a nightmare. Marriage was also an important theme in this book. I got a clear understanding of how marriage was approached back in the 18 century and how it changed throughout the generations.

My only gripe with this book, along with many others, is that it’s not long enough. I needed more details about the lives of each character. Basically, Yaa Gyasi left us wanting more. The love of Kojo and Anna was the most beautiful and tragic of them all. This couple deserves a book all their own. I was amazed at the strength of the characters. I often wondered if I were put in these situations if I would have survived. Would I still be able to love? I’m still not sure. This book is as beautiful as it’s UK book cover. I give it 5 stars out of 5.