March 31: Death of Nipsey & Selena

March 31 is a day that everyone can remember, especially if you’re a music lover. On this day 25 years ago, Selena Quintanilla was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club and even considered to be her friend. On this day last year, Nipsey Hussle was killed by Eric Holder, by someone he knew as well.

Two idolized musicians was killed by gun violence and by someone they knew. Selena was glorified in the Latino industry and even the Pop Industry and Nipsey amongst the hip-hop community. Not only was he an artist, but also an activist and entrepreneur; he was very involved in his community. Selena crossed over from Spanish music, to American music during her time here. Also while living, she won a Grammy for Best Mexican American Album in 1994 and Nipsey was nominated for Best Rap Album last year.

Nipsey Hussle Re-Enters Billboard 200 | GRAMMY.com
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Selena appreciated her fans a lot and her family even more. Her father dealt with the business side of her career, her sister played the drums and her brother the guitar in their band, Selena y Los Dinos. Nipsey opened a store called The Marathon Clothing in the heart of his hood Crenshaw and sold Crenshaw apparel, amongst other items.

Meet Selena Quintanilla: 5 Things To Know About The Legendary Singer
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The irony of losing two greats on the SAME day, years apart, by gun violence, by some they know is uncanny. Both left a big impact on the music industry and their  presence on earth is still being talked about, especially Selena, and she’s been gone 25 years. Even though Nipsey died just last year, it feels like it just happened.

May Nipsey Hussle and Selena’s legacy be respected and remembered for many years to come.

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Lindsey Walker Talks Thriving Through the Storm in New Book

“Thriving is a choice”

Lindsey Walker is an entrepreneur, publicist, daughter, and importantly a woman of God. She’s has been through so much and she’s only 29 years old. Being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer took a toll on her life but she kept her faith in God and stayed prayed up. With all that being said, she is now cancer-free.

Once she realized that life was too short, she started living and blessed us all with her first book Thriving Through The Storm. In the book, she gets transparent about that journey, her upbringing and even drops a few gems on life. I was given the opportunity to not only read her awesome, but also interview her about it. Check it out below.

At what during your cancer diagnosis did you start living by the phrase “let go and let God” and just overall having faith?

Lindsey: It gets to a point where you can’t control anything. I knew I didn’t have any control over what my life was going to look like during that time period. I’d always tried so hard to control everything but when you’re faced with something that could effect the rest of your life, I had two choices; I could chose to be worried about it or I could chose to let God do what he’s going to do in my life. What people don’t understand is, when you’re dealing with things like a cancer diagnosis or any diagnosis, your mindset is going to be the key to keeping yourself calm. Our bodies respond to everything whether we know it or not. I’ve always had a relationship with God, but at the point I had to ask God to see me through it because it there was nothing I could do.

You’re right, there are some things we don’t have control over, but you always looked at the brighter of things. In your book, you dived into having self-control and all the unfortunate events you went through. You said, “we no longer have control over situations, but the truth is, we never had control.” Can you explain what you meant when discussing having self-control but really, we don’t have control because God is in control.

Lindsey: We’re not in control of outcome. I can do everything to the best of my ability and still fail, especially with me being a business owner. I can run all the ads and do everything that’s in my will house but after I do everything I’m supposed to do, the rest is up to God. It’s a matter of practicing self-control as far as what I can control and what I’m responsible for. As far as being a business owner, I’m responsible for getting up every day and sending reports. As a daughter, I’m responsible for making sure my mom is okay. I can control those things, but I can’t control how my mother feels if I say something to her that she does or doesn’t like. I can’t control how my clients think or how they respond after I’ve done what I’m known to do. I feel like we as people spend so much time planning things out and we think that were in control of outcome, but we aren’t in control of how anything turns out. The only thing we can do is to continue doing what we’re known to do, run our way, do things to the best of our ability and after that, the rest is up to God.  It’s that fine line between having self-control and knowing that you have no control over the outcome or over what happens next.

I really resonated with you talking about experiencing different things in your life that was meant to happened. You said “if you never experienced pain, how would you know if you have the power to heal. If you never experienced rejection and loneliness, how would you know if have what it takes to make it through life on your own.” What brought you to that point? Did you already have that mindset before your cancer diagnosis?

Lindsey: Yes and no. I pusher and ambitious. I don’t really take no for an answer or don’t give up too much. It wasn’t until my diagnosis that I realized; it takes on a new meaning when you are faced with something you don’t know the outcome of but there is beauty is every situation. Think about the worse thing you’ve been through; you have a choice to look at the good in it or bad. I could’ve looked at the diagnosis like “this is all bad” but I was so blessed to have a grandmother and mother to help take care of me and to have so many resources. Me getting closer to God and praying for other people, those were the beautiful moments. You have to chose to find the joy and beauty in everything. There is joy in every circumstance. If you’ve never been through storms, how would you know God is a healer?

You were very selfless when you explained that, you would endure the pain [cancer] so you wouldn’t have to see your mother or grandmother go through it; even if it meant that your future children or husband wouldn’t have to go through pain, you’re going through it for them. Were you always that selfless?

Lindsey: I love people, I genuinely have a heart for people; to see them thrive, to see them win, to see them in their zone and be the best people they can be. When it comes to my family, I love hard and its one of the most beautiful things about me and most complex things about me. I was/am so grateful that my future husband and kids didn’t have to see my endure what I went through because it’s a lot. My heart aches when I think of anyone having to go through that. I didn’t want to go thru it either. It would’ve hurt me so much more to see my future kids and husband go through what I went through. Its not an ideal situation, I hated It, I would not wish any of it on my worst enemy, but it was necessary. I guess you can say I’ve always been this way, but it was heightened. I’m just extremely grateful.

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Was there anyone whom you were close with before your diagnosis, but after the diagnosis they fell off the face of the earth? 

Lindsey: I was extremely blessed to have an awesome and beautiful people around me. Yes, there were people that I thought were going to be there that weren’t there a much. A couple of friends would come get me to make sure I was okay. There was someone that I knew was going to be there but unfortunately they weren’t but, in that moment, I couldn’t be concerned about who was and wasn’t really there because I had to fight for my life.

Question: You said “what if I told you, unless you have ups and downs, you aren’t living at all, you’re walking on eggshells trying hard to strive for perfection that you’re killing yourself on the inside.” You stated that you never took vacations and barely took care of yourself. Would you say that you were a workaholic versus a person walking on eggshells before your cancer diagnosis?

Lindsey: I think I was both. I definitely am a recovering workaholic. At the same time, when I was speaking on that; some of us spend so much time trying to be perfect and trying to live up to expectations that we forget to live in moment and worry about making mistakes. We fall under pressure of what we allow people to place on us. We don’t realize how much of a weight we carry with that. If you’re busy walking on eggshells, are you being truthful to yourself? You miss out on lessons when you don’t make mistakes. Our failures are lessons life teaches us. But if you’re so caught up on trying to be something people want you to be, you miss out and realize you should’ve done what you wanted in the first place.

Question: When you were going through chemo you couldn’t work, but you somehow maintained to work with just a couple clients. HOW in the world were you able to do that especially being tired from the chemo?

Lindsey: To be honest, I think about that a lot, but its through God’s grace that I was able to do that. God gave me the idea for a new service to roll out for people that need PR help but they couldn’t afford a retainer so I started doing a service that mapped out the blueprint of what they needed to do; because I had that service that was different from my normal services, I was able to take my time with things. I outsourced a lot, so I had a couple different account executives and contractors that would help me on projects. Thankfully I was able to have the resources to pay them for their help.

Question: I REALLY loved when you said, “who I was isn’t who I am right now, and who I am right now isn’t who I will be in the future.” Who are you right now?

Lindsey: I am ever evolving, I am, I’m healing I’m growing, I’m loving. I am a better business owner, I’m a better me than I was before. I’m just a better version of myself.

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Question:I don’t have to agree with God to trust him”—I’m sure you seen that power when you were diagnosed with cancer and going through chemo. Would you say that’s the part of you that has faith in God?

Lindsey: Yes and it’s funny because I remember writing those words and it really hit me that we can love and trust in God and know he has our best interest at heart but that doesn’t mean have to agree with his methods. So no, I don’t agree with having a stage 4 cancer diagnosis at the age of 27. I don’t agree with me having to go through things I endured prior to that, I don’t agree with a lot of things but I know and trust that every single moment is working together towards my good.

Question: You were really transparent with your relationship with your dad. You talked about your childhood with him and a gap when you two weren’t talking and when you were diagnosed with cancer, he came to the hospital. You said a huge part of your healing process is having boundaries and learning to protect your peace. Would you say that now that you are cured and things are going better in life, your two’s relationship has gotten better, or is it stagnant or you all are still working it out?

Lindsey: My father is my father. I will always acknowledge him as that. So, there has to be a level of respect due to the position he has in my life. Currently, I’m still processing everything, so I’m deciding to work on our relationship on my own terms. I will say that it’s a work in progress.

Question: What’s next for you now that you’ve thrived through the storm?

Lindsey: I’m very intentional about the way I treat myself, and the way I allow myself to be treated. I have these huge goals I want to hit within my business such as being able to expand, reach more people and work with different clients. With this story, I want people to know they have what it takes to thrive through the storm as well. Life is what’s next for me. Enjoying every moment, being intentional, going through the journey and realizing that healing is an ever-evolving process. Its not something you can do overnight. I’m very intentional with making sure I’m healthy and I’m internally okay and being the best publicist, and author that I can be.

Question: Since you did such a great job with this book, would you consider writing another book?

Lindsey: Yeah, I’ll definitely right another book! I started writing this book the beginning of February 2019 and finished by March 16. My friend Chanel Martin, who mentioned in the book, has a challenge on Facebook called “Write with me” that she started as an accountability group. she actually published a book and encourage me to write it. Going through the process was therapeutic to me and helped me start my healing process. I would definitely write another book; I would hope that the next book would be about teaching how to balance entrepreneurship and being a wife and a mom. Hopefully that’ll be what the next book is about, l definitely want to explore those roles in my life.

The book officially comes out March 24th, so make sure you support thee great Lindsey and get some guidance on your journey and storm that you’re going through.

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credit: Courtnee Walker; Lorraine Image Photography

 

Women’s History Month: Lena Waithe

March is Women’s History Month and what better way to start it off then to have Lena Waithe on the cover of Paper Magazine, along with her the cast of both her shows on BET; Boomerang and Twenties. 

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She was the first Black Woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on Master of None in 2017. Any Black Woman to be the first of doing ANYTHING is an accomplishment.

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Lena’s other great works includes:

queen and slim

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  • Dear White People 
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She’s continuously being a bad ass in the LGBTQ community and and film industry. Kuddos to Lena!!

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“The Photograph”: Generational Behavior

Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield starred in the romantic comedy The Photograph and it was a beautiful love story, but with a deeper meaning.

Mae, played by Issa Rae, lost her mother at the start of the movie. She didn’t know much about her mom’s life until she left her a letter explaining things. Mae’s mother Christina was invested in her work and less into love and emotion. She didn’t show much emotion around Mae and in her defense….it was because her mother didn’t show her much love.

When Christina, played by Chante Adams, was dating Mae’s father Issac, played by Y’lan Noel, her mother discouraged her from dating him because he was content where he was in life and wasn’t making much money. Her mother gave her the impression that she needed to be with someone who could take care of her…so she could move out the house. Christina’s mother told her she was getting too old to be living with her. That is what pushed her to move out the house, better yet the state and pursue her photography career in New York. Christina’s mother lacked emotion with her and felt that being taken care was more important than love.

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Once Christina had Mae, of course she’s going to teach her daughter what was mimicked to her, which is how to NOT properly love someone and somewhat be scared of commitment. Since Mae wasn’t shown much love as a kid, the feeling of commitment scared her. Mae said she broke up with a guy because he proposed to her. She is/was more content with living in the moment and not being married. She had a change of heart eventually once she got to know Michael, played by LaKeith Stanfield. He and Mae connected when was doing a story on a man who worked in the oil industry during the oil spill and he came across pictures shot by Mae’s mother and even a picture of her. The guy used to date Mae’s mother Christina. Michael was intrigued by Christina’s photos that he decided to find more of her images, and when he did, that’s how he met Mae.

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When Christina passed away, she left Mae a long letter and another to give to her father. Mae learned so much about her mother in a letter, than she learned about her her whole life. In the letter, she found out who her real father was and their love story. The man whom she thought was her father, wasn’t and the man who is her father was the man whom Michael did a story on, Isaac– hence, the reason why he had a picture of Christina in his home. Unfortunately, Isaac didn’t know that Mae was his daughter but they started to form a relationship towards the end of the movie. Christina had left her hometown in Louisiana to pursue a career in photography in New York. She left without telling Isaac and months later when she returned for her mother’s funeral, Issac had married someone else (HOW QUICK IS THAT!)

Where the generational behavior comes into play is the fact that Christina’s mother didn’t really seem affectionate with Mae and showed her tough love. Don’t get me wrong, tough love is fine but when it’s more tough love than affectionate love, that can have a long term affect on you and how you raise your children. Christina lacked some form of emotion when it came to her relationship with Mae, due to the way her mother was with her. Mae recalled a time when she was going away to school and her mom was too busy to take her to the airport. Mae’s step father told her that when he came home from dropping her off at the airport, Mae was crying in a corner because she was sad to see Mae go but she had a hard time showing emotion and was not good at goodbyes. Her mother was also a workaholic and expressed in her letter to Mae, “I wish I was as good at love than I am about working;” meaning, her mother was more into her work than she was with being present and transparent in her relationships with people such as Mae and even Isaac.

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Luckily Mae learned from her mother’s mishaps in relationships and decided to break the generational disconnect of loving someone and showing it with Michael. This movie is a prime example of “be who you want your children to be.” Tell them to learn from you mistakes and show them how. Leaving your child lost and left with question is not the way to go. Don’t hold back, show them love, be transparent with them.

What are your thoughts on the movie?

Comment below and let me know.

Black History Month: Katherine Johnson

Mathematician Extraordinaire Katherine Johnson suddenly passed away at the age of 101 today. With it being Black History Month, it’s only right to recognize her accomplishments.

In 1953, Katherine began working at NASA, starting off doing computing work in the research lab then moved up the career ladder. In 1961, she helped with analysis work on Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 Spaceflight.  For the 1962 Friendship 7 flight, which was the first to orbit earth, Katherine ran calculations by hand in order for the flight to be a success, and it was!

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One of Ms. Katherine’s biggest accomplishments was helping with the Apollo 11 spacecraft, in which men landed on the moon in 1969. Her work with NASA was told in the 2017 movie Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson as Ms. Katherine Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson.

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In 1986, Katherine retired from NASA and in 2015, President Obama honored her the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contributions to NASA. 

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Ms. Katherine Johnson, along with Dorothy Vaughan and  Mary Jackson broke racial and gender barriers during their time at NASA. Katherine Johnson will be remembered as a genius, role model and one of the many faces of black excellence.

RIP to her and may her memory live on. 

 

 

sources:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/katherine-johnson-nasa-mathematician-depicted-hidden-figures-dead-101-n1141566
https://www.npr.org/2020/02/24/517784975/katherine-johnson-nasa-mathematician-and-an-inspiration-for-hidden-figures-dies

Black History Month: Chuck Berry

St. Louis’ own Chuck Berry is known as the Father of Rock and Roll. Chuck started performing in the early 1940’s and not only was he a performer but he also graduated with a cosmetology degree; was a freelance photographer and worked at a car plant. HE DID IT ALL!

His first single was “Maybellene” and was considered to be the first rock n’ roll song. Then followed “Roll Over Beethoven” in 1956, “Rock And Roll Music” in 1957, “Johnny B Goode” in 1958, and more to follow. He created his signature dance “The Duck Walk” in 1956.

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During his time, Chuck broke racial barriers by being a black man performing country songs in front of a white audiences and even getting black people hip to his country songs. Chuck expanded the music style to both races and was well-known across the world…even NASA recognized his music.

Chuck was a dedicated performer and will always be known as the FATHER of Rock and Roll.

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sources:

https://www.biography.com/musician/chuck-berry

https://www.clashmusic.com/features/10-things-you-never-knew-about-chuck-berry

https://www.everythingzoomer.com/arts-entertainment/2018/03/18/chuck-berry-fascinating-facts/

Black History Month: Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge was a singer, dancer and actress from the 1930s through the 50s . She got into the show business alongside her sister Vivian. In the 50’s she scored the leading role in Carmen, in which she was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Award (The Oscars). Yes, Hattie McDaniel was the first black woman EVER to be nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role in Gone with the Wind, and the first black woman to WIN that award; but Dorothy Dandridge was the first black woman to be nominated for a leading role. (Not knocking Ms. Hattie McDaniel)

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Even though Dorothy didn’t win, she did set the standard that African American women can be nominated for a leading role. She even turned down a few roles that portrayed black people in a bad light. She declined roles such as slaves, savages and servants that were only offered to black people. 

In 1954, Dorothy was featured on Life magazine AND she was the first BLACK woman to be on the cover.

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Ms. Dandridge definitely set the bar when it came to roles during that time and she should be remembered as a trailblazer.