Friday, May 28, 2010

White Girls Dipped in Chocolate...

According to a talent agent in New York City, that is what some fashion designers are looking for in Black models. For the past couple of years there's been a lot of talk about the lack of African American models on the runways during Fashion Week and in the high fashion magazines. I've wanted to cover this issue on Cocoa Mode for a while but before I could I had to answer the question, "why does it matter?"

Like it or not, young African American girls rely on mainstream media (television, movies and magazines) to show them what beautiful looks like. Imagine how these girl feels like when all they see are images of a women, that no matter how hard they try, these Black girls can never duplicate. Or worse, the only time a Black girls sees a woman who looks like her, she's in a music video, ass out and droppin' it like it's hot. The scary part is once you are conditioned to believe that your value doesn't extend much further than your backside, you begin to act accordingly. So as someone who is determined to keep these young girls "0ff the pole" I say this:

Yes, it is time for us to go beyond the conventional mainstream media and begin creating more outlets like Essence and Heart and Soul that feature African American women cover to cover. Unfortunately, I can't think of a single African American man, woman or child who has stepped up to fund such a venture. So until more people come forward what's a girl to do?

Monday, May 17, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Yellow Curry-and-Pineapple Stir Fry
Sweet and Savory, my favorite combination.
The little one kinda liked it too.

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 carrots, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup mushrooms
1/4 pound snow peas (I used green beans)
2-5 tablespoons curry paste
2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
4 cups white or brown rice cooked
1 cup baby corn

In a pot of boiling water, partially cook the onion, carrots and peas about 3 minutes. Plunge the vegetables into cold water, drain and set aside. In a large skilled, heat the oil. Stir in the bell peppers curry paste and pineapple, and cook, stirring 1 minute. Add the rice and stir-fry 5 more minutes. Stir i the baby corn and the cooked vegetables. Cook until hot.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank God he didn't say Lil' Wayne!

Whenever I'm getting to know someone, among the first questions I ask is "what kind of music do you listen to"? I believe musical preference is a pretty good indicator of the type off person you're dealing with. Not to mention a good way to determine what (if anything) you have in common. So over the weekend while moving about town with a new friend I was surprised to hear him admit that in addition to R&B, Jazz and Reggae (thank God he didn't say Lil' Wayne) he kinda digs Opera. I have to admit, I'm not a big Opera fan but I do appreciate the complexity of the form and I respect anyone who has the patience to try to understand it all. So this morning with Opera still on my mind, I did a bit of research on the presence of African Americans in opera and came across these amazing stories:

Sissaretta Jones

I discovered Sissieretta Jones on one of my favorite blogs, Ms. Jones was featured in a blog about the history of natural hair styles worn by African-American women. Sissieretta Jones was a celebrated soprano and the first African American performer to perform at Carnegie Concert Hall. You can learn more about Sissieretta here.


I was first introduced to this opera, after my sister, who is named after Treemonisha, was born. African-American composer Scott Joplin wrote Treemonisha around 1910. It would be almost 60 years before the piece would be performed in it's entirety. It is still performed around the world, most recently the cast played to sold out crowds in Washington DC and Paris, France.

Denyce Graves:

The modern day diva. I've had the privilege of seeing Denyece Graves perform a number of times, most recently at the memorial service for Dr. Dorothy Height. The Washington DC native is best know for her (hundreds of) performances as the title role in the French opera Carmen. She's overcome poverty, a career threatening injury and a heartbreaking marriage only to find happiness and success, making her life as inspiring as her voice. Oh, and did I mention sista-girl is fierce!!!

So the next time you're searching itunes for different and interesting songs, check out the opera category, you just might enjoy what you hear, or at the very least be able to impress your friends with how cultured you are.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

25 Questions Every Woman Must Ask: # 16

What am I waiting for?

In January, 2009 I put together a list of 15 things I wanted to accomplish in the new year. Number 5 on the list was "see a Broadway show". As a child I'd spend all of my free time in theater camp, acting class and on stage. I wanted little more than to be an actress. Broadway, I thought, was my destiny. Like many teenagers, I got distracted and before I knew it I was an adult and past my prime, however my love of theater is still as strong as ever which is why I decided it was past time for me make like George Benson and head North to NYC. I told a friend about my plan and we agreed that we would make it happen. Months later I was still waiting on my friend to find the time, money and motivation to make the trip. Next thing I knew it was December and I was still waiting. Fast forward to January 2010 and a new yearly "To Do" list. Number 1 on the list: "Do everything on this list and don't let ANYONE or ANYTHING get in your way!" In April, I decided I was going to Broadway no matter what! And just as I set my intention, the universe (God) started to work it's magic and not only was I able to witness the most incredible show I've ever seen but I also got to spend a fun filled and friggin' fabulous weekend in New York City with some of my favorite people in the world. From the moment the weekend ended I promised myself that whenever inspiration hits I will honor it by trusting that the source of that inspiration will provide me with everything necessary to make my dreams into reality.

Never again will you find this chick waiting around for someone to occupy the passenger seat and neither should you. Instead, pack your bags and take off! You never know, you may meet someone far more interesting on the way, I did. :)

So I ask you, what are you waiting for?

Me and my homies in New York City. April, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

She Said.....

"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." - Maya Angelou