Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Learning My African Heritage: Rwanda

Mountain gorillas at Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park. Up to 8 people at a time can see them in their natural habitat! {Image Source}

I'm learning about my Rwandan heritage so you all are going to learn with me! If you follow me on Youtube or Instagram, then you saw that not too long ago, I was able to trace some of my lineage on my mother's paternal side all the way back to (the Tutsi tribe of) Rwanda! I was so excited and immediately started the journey to learning about the country and culture. I can't tell you, as a Black American that's a byproduct of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, how much more pride I have now that I have a more intimate connection to Africa. Maybe I should write a post about it, because not that it would save the world, but learning just a fraction of where some of my ancestors came from gave me something back that I feel was taken away from them.
Rwandan flag (since 2001)

Any who, onto the topic at hand, sharing what I'm learning about my heritage.... One thing I find very cool is that many Rwandans are multilingual. French and English are the country's official languages but the principle language, that practically every Rwandan speaks, is Kinyarwanda. Many easily speak three languages. I'm determined now to learn French (I took Spanish in my formative years) and eventually Kinyarwanda. 
Intore dancers {Image Source}

Friday, June 20, 2014

Music That Can Mac: Asante Amin

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 It's Friday again, we made it! If your week was anything like mine (read: CRAZY BUSY), you are so ready for the weekend. I haven't shared any good music will you all in a while so let's get to it. This artist is a super talented dude and I have had the pleasure of meeting him. Asante Amin is wildly talented, he plays the saxophone, teaches music and lessons to kids and is a super creative mind. Check out his Soundcloud page . The song shared below is an older track but it's so silky, smooth, funky and delicious. Get into it!



Who is NYC is going to the Curl Fest this Sunday in Prospect Park? I will be there with many of my curlfriends enjoying the day and event. Hope to see some of you there. Be safe and stay naturally fly. Have a wonderful weekend!

Milan

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Maleficent Messages: My Review and Thoughts on the Highly Anticipated Movie

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WARNING: If you haven't seen the movie and plan to see it, you will NOT want to read this post until afterward because I talk about parts in the movie and I also talk about the ending so you've been warned!

I kept hearing nothing but good reviews about Maleficent from friends and co-workers so when I got invited to see the movie with some friends, I obliged. Maleficent was the evil lady in the Disney classic, Sleeping Beauty (she's the antagonist in the classic) so in this film we get her side of the story to learn why homegirl was so damn evil and had it out for Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty. I always like to hear all sides of any story if I can; I'm so fascinated by how events are interpreted different ways by each person that's a part of it. It's the psychology lover in me that likes to understand how different factors affect and shape the mind and outlook on life; why people act the way that they do. The quality and imagery of the film was beyond amazing, the costumes and effects were great and from a professional makeup artistry standpoint, I totally loved the makeup and prosthetics like her ears, contact lenses and the extra cheeks to create those severe cheekbones for Maleficent. I loved the imagery of it all because I love fantasy type of stories that involve mythical adventures, creatures, fairies, etc. Outside of the great visuals, I appreciated the film's important messages portrayed. Below are some prominent themes I picked up and liked right away from the movie.


Revenge May Feel Good Immediately but Doesn't Dissolve the Pain Long Term: What You do or Say in Moments of Pain or Anger  Cannot Always Be Undone

Monday, June 16, 2014

Liebster Award Recipient

I was nominated by Robbie of Brave Turquoise to receive the Liebster award last month, thank you! I haven't participated in one of these things in forever but I'm feeling talkative so here goes. I have to answer the questions she left and share 11 random facts about myself so let's get into it.


1. What’s your #1 fear?  Fear of not being in control (of things in my life). It's like I know better but I still have to remind myself from time to time that just because things don't play out the way I thought them out in my head doesn't mean they won't happen. I have to trust God/the Universe, they know my desires and want what I want more than I do. :-) 
2. What’s the strangest thing you want to do before you die? Hmm, I don't think I have anything strange, per say, that I want to do before I die. I just have A LOT of things I want to do. One big thing I want is my own scholarship fund for students of color to pursue degrees in the arts, the fund would eventually be able to send 1-4 students to a university or college for their art studies all 4 years.
3. What is one song that people would not expect you to know all/most of the words to?  Any song by Rick Ross!  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Most Subversive Thing I've Ever Done

Color Run Queens 2014 with my Partners in Crime

I recently became a contributing blogger with the wonderful organization, Bodybinds. Yay! Bodybinds creates handcrafted, bondage style lingerie and accessories for women and their brand is a lifestyle that encourages us to take pride in our bodies and femininity.  The models on their site are everyday women, not professional models and I love that because it reinforces and celebrates that don't have to subscribe to a certain look to be fly enough to wear lingerie. We fly innately, simply because we're women- hello! Their items can be worn behind closed doors or out in the world as fun accessories with your clothing. I'm so humbled and excited to be a part of the team and share my words with the community there. They had a 'meet the bloggers' mini series of posts for each contributing writer and one of the questions was, "what is the most subversive thing you have ever done?" As a woman with a voracious appetite for reading and writing, I think I'm very well versed and have a pretty large vocabulary but I wasn't familiar with this word or the meaning behind it. I even looked it up in the dictionary, but at the time, I still didn't understand it and said so in my response to the question.

I took the time to look up the definition again recently and was redirected to the word subvert. According to Merriam-Webster.com, it means to 1. overturn or overthrow from the foundation: ruin. 2. to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance or faith.  I realized that I had basically been asked what's something I've done where I colored outside of the lines or social rules lines; what's the most bold thing I had done.

The more I thought about it, one of the most subversive things I've ever done is let go of striving to be or appear perfect in aspect of my life:

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