Support Black Films More Than Ever

13 Mar

With the major success of Academy Award winning films such as Moonlight and Get Out, and even the ongoing success of Marvel’s Black Panther, black films should not only be in more demand ever, but we should also support the films that other black directors put out as well. With Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time already in theaters and garnering 33.1 million at the box office, this is a telling sign that black films (as well as films made by people of color) are something not to pass up.

The journey of supporting black films has always been one of endearment in a time where black roles were heavily limited. Take Melvin Van Peebles for example. He broke away from the Hollywood system and with his own money, he filmed, edited, produced, and arranged the score for his own film, Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song in 1971, which became not only revolutionary, but it would also one of the most important films in African-American cinema, giving way to blaxpolitation and later future directors such as Spike Lee and Robert Townsend.

While on the subject of such directors like Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, and John Singleton, they would carry on the torch of being the leading black directors in Hollywood, whether it was telling the stories of profound figures like Malcolm X, sharing with us the stories of how hard it is to be a black actor in Hollywood Shuffle, or the daily lives of struggles of black men and black families in South Central Los Angeles in Boyz N Da Hood and in Baby Boy. These directors influenced a generation in a time where black leads were near and far.

Even now with new directors like Ryan Coogler, Jordan Peele, Malcolm D. Lee, Barry Jenkins, and a host of others, there is a market for black films to be brought to the forefronts more than ever. Back then, it was hard to get such films to be supported by the general audiences, but now that times have changed, the need for more people of color to be represented in a such medium as film and TV continues to swell. This should not be seen as a trend, but more a scene that will only continue to thrive, as long as prominent and profound stories that relate to not only the black community and other communities of color, but also seeing heroes and leads for a new generation and beyond. There is no greater time than now to support black films in this day and time.

My Thoughts On the O.J. Simpson Interview

13 Mar

Two nights ago, FOX aired  an interview from 2006 with O.J. Simpson about the details on not only the trial of the century, but also the deaths of his wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and their friend Ron Goldman. To say the least, the interview was as eye-opening as it was jarring.

Never would I believe that a man was found innocent of these crimes, would later take it upon himself to boldly speak on the details of the last moments of his wife and his friend in such a macabre yet startling manner. Simpson’s hypothetical answer to the many questions that were given to him were ludicrous and almost to the point where I was left dumbstruck about everything that came out of his mouth. To make matters worse, the interview was done a year after he released the infamous book, “If I Did It.”

When I was a kid in class and watching the O.J. Simpson case carefully, a few students and I voted on whether or not O.J. was innocent. I was one of the few kids that voted for O.J.’s innocence and sure enough he was found innocent. But looking back at how things changed thereafter, you can almost say that the wool was pulled over my eyes, especially when I watched the documentary of O.J.: Made in America, which chronicled the rise and the epic downfall of the former NFL running back and the many antics he took part in after the trial.

Simpson’s confessions, if you want to call it that, made it seem like he was responsible for the deaths of his wife and Goldman. Had it not been for the stellar defense of Johnny Cochran and his team of lawyers, Simpson would already be in jail. All in all, this was a harrowing look into the mind of O.J. Simpson and one example of how you think you know someone on the outside, until you see what they are truly like behind closed doors. If there’s one thing Simpson needs more than anything, is a psychiatrist and staying out of the public eye. Simpson already was released from jail, now all he needs to do is find a way to deal with himself before anything else.

The Many Ways To Stay In Shape While At Your Job

13 Mar

Let’s face it, it’s not easy staying in shape and being active, especially when you’re trying to stay in shape and work at your job. It’s a lot of hectic burdens, stress, and tons of factors that weighs down on you. Here are some ways that you can still remain active and healthy while getting the job done.

Light jogging: Wherever you work, you are almost, if not always, on your feet. So why not make the most of it by dong some light jogging or some brisk walking here and there. It may look weird at first, but once you get into a comfortable groove about it, you’ll no doubt start to feel more mobile than you would ever on the job. You will get more accomplished in both your work and your goal of staying active and healthy. You can burn up to 100 calories or more while doing this a day, but multiply it on the many days you work, you could be burning 500 to 700 calories total.

Working on your quads: No one wants to miss a leg day when it comes to being active and staying in shape, so while on the job, here’s a little something that you can do to get your little leg day workout on. Find a step stool and something tall to reach. People will see that you are trying to find a document or a product that needs to be rung up, but really, you’re only working on your quads. Do this at least ten times or so. Just make sure no one comes up to you asking if you need assistance. Just tell them it’s fine and that you got this.

Bicep curls: Lifting stuff is always part of a job no matter what. You can also use that as a means for exercise and one good way of doing so is bicep curls. Say for instance, you have two moderately weighted items in your hands and you begin to work on your biceps. That’s good! You should do at least ten reps or more. The more reps you do, the more it will help with your muscles. It’s a good way to work on your upper body strength and arms.

Stretching: Ah yes, the tried and true method of stretching. You can’t go wrong doing a little stretching here and there at the job because it only releases the stress and tension in your body, but it also keeps you limber and loose throughout the day. Do at least three to five minutes of stretching on your arms, legs, and even your back. The more of you stretch, the more calm and poised you’ll feel when tasked with a project.

The Stairs: Finally, there’s taking the stairs. It can be a pain walking up and down those steps (which is why everyone uses the elevator), but if you’re committed to staying in shape, you may want to use the stairs for exercise. Start off by walking before gradually jogging, but if you’re already into your workout goals, go ahead and jog down those stairs. Just make sure to have on sneakers (for those of you who don’t want to have aching feet while on the job). While you can burn up to 21 calories on the steps in one day, but climbing it several times a day or even weeks, you can burn up t0 100 calories.

So there you have it, the many ways you can stay in shape while at your job. You can also improvise other exercises at the workplace like light jumping jacks, lunges, and various calisthenics. Staying active on the job is one thing, but staying active on the job while staying active in your health will truly go a long way.

Should You Forgive Others Who’ve Wronged You In The Past?

13 Mar

How long have you told yourself that you would never forgive someone for how they’ve mistreated you? How many times have you said that no matter how much that person has changed over the years, I will always see them as them as someone who tormented me or belittled my trust? More times than not or every once in a while when a bad memory from the past pops up in your mind I bet. Why should we continue to hold on to these bad memories? Why should we abhor these malicious feelings? Shouldn’t we forgive them and move on?

For some of us, yes, and for the rest of us, no. Forgiving others is a healthy way to let go some of the hardened burdens over your life, but it’s more of a process than just simply uttering the words “I forgive you.” For one thing, forgiveness is something people tend to take for granted. Just because you forgiven them doesn’t mean that they’ll go back on their word or won’t do the same thing again. Some people just see forgiveness as a weakness or an afterthought. Some people who’ve harmed or harassed you just take it and ignore it, however, there are those who want to make a change in their lives and want to start anew.

Considering that the person has changed long after they’ve been a bully towards you, constantly harassing or singling you out, they want to make things right, but just don’t know how. For much of their upbringing, the would be bully or harasser lived a rough life, whether it would be abuse, feeling like they are not good enough, or always feeling jealous and unworthy. These factors create a person who lash out because they have no other outlet or medium available for them to express how they feel inside. Some secretly look for help in others, while some remain the way they are and it carries over.

Insecurities are a huge factor as to why people attack others and why most won’t forgive. To the harasser, singling out someone and throwing their insecurities on them makes them feel powerful, but it only makes them feel more weaker. Another thing is always comparing yourself or making light of someone else’s situation for a good laugh. These are things that both the harasser and the harassed need to face on their own before they meet each other halfway years down the road and ask for forgiveness.

You can’t hold on to a grudge for many years and expect to function normally. It’s like holding a hot piece of charcoal in your hand and expecting it not sear your flesh. You should forgive those who wronged you and move on. For all you and I know, that person is probably well off from when you last saw them or probably in a worse position than before. It’s better to set aside that bitterness and put it aside and forgive. It’s nothing worse than continue to hold onto something that’s happening years ago til it becomes a crutch and it weighs down on you. It’s better to forgive, but it’s also better not to forget as well. All in all, forgiveness is a release that we all must cherish, for better or worse.


Places to Visit During Spring Break

12 Mar

Winter is beginning to thaw away and spring is starting to bloom, which means spring break is around the corner. For most of us, spring break is just a pre-cursor for summer vacation and that it only lasts for a week. However, your spring break doesn’t have to end in a week. You can actually make it worth your while. Here are some places that you can visit during spring break.

Vegas: Vegas is one of top tourist spots known the world over and while the recent tragedies from last October are still fresh in our minds, that can’t stop Vegas from being a destination for one and all for spring break. Though usually, the weather in Vegas is always in the hundreds, but during the spring time, it’s more in the mild sixties through the eighties, which should be good for those who don’t wish to sweat all the time. While taking in all the fun and the excitement of Vegas, make sure to stay in hotels like the Rio, Circus Circus, the Luxor, the Venetian, and especially the Bellagio. Take it from someone who’s been to Vegas twice and speak on experience. This is a place to not only hit the slot machines, but also hit up shows, clubs, and restaurants. As they say, what happens in Vegas…well, you know the rest.

Tampa Bay: Florida is another destination for anyone looking to take a spring break trip of their own. Mainly, everyone goes to either Panama City, Daytona Beach, or Miami, but the one place people should look more into visiting when they come to Florida is Tampa. Why Tampa, you ask? Aside from visiting Busch Gardens and spending time on its many marinas, Tampa offers a good nightlife scene, specifically in its historic Ybor neighborhood and district and Channelside Drive. Think of Tampa as the little brother to the other central Florida city Orlando.

The Bahamas: If you want to take a cruise during spring break, the hotspot of choice has to be the Bahamas. Everyone loves island hopping and the Bahamas provide a lot of it. From Andros to Grand Exuma, Abaco to Harbour Island, and even Paradise Island, there’s a lot to do and discover in the Bahamas. You can party with the junkanoos and even spend time in the famous Atlantis hotel and resort.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica: While on the subject of the Caribbean during spring break, you can find yourself in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Much like the Bahamas, Ocho Rios have a lot of beaches, and many hotels. If you wish to stay in Ocho Rios, I recommend staying at Sandals, or somewhere like Reggae Hostel or Sandcastles.

Cozumel, Mexico: If you’re more into a latin feel for spring break, going to Cozumel  is right up your alley. Cozumel is another spring break hot spot that you can check out for the drinks, the beaches, and even its luxurious night life. Cozumel also offers an intimate setting with its charm and inviting nature with a mix of ancient and modern buildings juxtaposed with one another.

The next time you want to make plans for spring break, take a look into visiting any of these places. I guarantee you that will have more than just a great time.

The Many Ways to Combat Depression

12 Mar

Depression comes at us like an unexpected attack from nowhere and tends to linger around for periods of time. Depression comes in many forms and in many ways. It could be a loss of a job or someone dear to you, something from your past, or a fine-looking individual with excess baggage and brings a lot of drama to the table. Whatever it could be, it can lead to you feeling down and under a lot of stress, and taking an excess amount of pills just won’t cut it. There are ways to pick yourself up from this and how you can use the following methods to combat your depression altogether. Think of these methods as stress

Exercising: Perhaps the best way to combat your depression is by doing some physical activity. Exercising as much as often can reduce your anxiety and improve your overall mood and you’ll begin to feel that invisible weight being lifted off your shoulders. Manage to exercise for an hour, mainly jogging, for five days each week and you’ll not only see the depression melt away, but you’ll also feel good about yourself, too.

Reaching Out To Someone: Just because you’re in depression, doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone. There are other people who going through the same thing as you are. Just know that you are not alone when it comes to depression. Take time to reach out to someone and speak to them, whether it be a family member, friend, someone in your workplace, or someone who’s going through something similar to you. It will help you communicate more and open yourself to others about you.

Give Yourself Affirmations: There’s nothing more empowering than to give yourself some positivity throughout your day. Should you ever find yourself having an episode of depression brushing against you. Always tell yourself that “It’s going to be okay,” or something like “I will not allow anything to hinder me at all.” These are some examples of affirmations that you can use to build yourself up with. What you say is what you put out to the universe. Just remind yourself of that.

Listen to Soothing Music: Listening to relaxing and soothing music is another good way to relieve yourself from depression. Find yourself a place to meditate and listen to some jazz, world or traditional music, or even the sound of rain falling. You can even listen to some gospel music if you wish to. It’s all about finding your center and easing your mind from all the things that plague your mind and worry your spirit.

And there you have it, the many ways you can combat your depression. I know there are many ways you can come up with to handle your depression, but if you use any of these methods, I can assure you that you will be a much better person.

Can You Still Have A Relationship Beyond The Physical

11 Mar

In every relationship, a physical attraction is always the foundation of starting a union of something special. While that still may be the case for some relationships, other relationships and unions seem to go past this level and go towards other attractions. For some, it’s a spiritual attraction, while some go towards a more intellectual side.

Most relationships are always one on one, tangible and always wanting attraction and affection. Say for instance, you’ve been dating for a few years, seeing that person and going on dates here and there until other things pop up in life that makes it difficult for you and your other to date. That’s the physical, but having a relationship shouldn’t just end there. You want to continue having that relationship right?

Ask yourself this: Do you and the person that you are seeing live in the same city, even though you live in different parts of that city? Do you still have an interest in dating that person even though it’s been a while since the two of you have dated? If you said yes to one or both of these, chances are that you still want to keep that relationship going, there are ways that you can do this.

First thing is to always keep in touch no matter what. It can be through text messages, phone calls, or even online phone calls like Skype or on Facebook. You want to keep that interest alive and not let it drop. Another way you can keep your relationship going is having a spiritual relationship. Getting in tune with who you are and what you want out of this relationship is something that you and your significant other must do together or on your own spare time. Take time to center yourself and center your relationship on how you can improve it and how many ways you can increase it beyond the physical.

Being in a relationship may be all about the physical attraction, but there are more that lies beneath the surface. Always make sure that your relationship isn’t so easily forgotten about, to the point where it hits and you try to call that person you’re dating, only to realize that they’ve moved on and its too late.

Five Alternative Places To Meet Your Significant Other

11 Mar

We all go looking for love in various places. Sometimes it’s the more usual venues like a church, a bar, or even on social media. While these places may be hotspots for us to meet nice people that we are interested in dating, those same people most of the time, are far too different from the person that you met at said church, bar, or social media. I want to give you some alternative places as to where you can meet a potential date and significant other.

The Gym: When we go to the gym, the one thing that we all come to do is workout, do cardio, and take selfies of ourselves in the locker room showing off our progress of losing weight and gaining muscle. But for the most part, the gym could be a great place to meet some new people. Strike up a conversation with someone who’s not only a workout enthusiast, but also share the same interests as you. Don’t come off as someone who’s just scoping people out just because they’re getting their workout on. Make sure you don’t get distracted.

The Supermarket: I know what you’re thinking, how am I going to meet anyone at a supermarket? Well, let me paint the scene. Say that you are going on a grocery store run, looking to buy milk, eggs, bread, and what not, and while shopping down one of the aisles, you come across someone that you catches your eye. It’s not often that you hear stories about people finding love in a supermarket, which is why it’s so rare. Again, this is an alternative from the usual places where you would meet someone to socialize and hook up with. You may never know when you’ll meet the one down the produce section or waiting to sample a taste of Boar’s Head ham.

At A Party: This is totally different from meeting someone at a club. Going to a party could actually be a good place to find someone to not only dance with, but also interact with other people. It could be a party where only a few people get together and watch a movie or a game, or even a house party with over 30 people invited, make sure you’re social enough to step out of your comfort zone and interact with a few people. You’ll never who’ll be interested in talking with you, if you don’t put yourself out there.

Taking art classes: Now this one is something most people don’t do a lot of. Art classes like painting for example is another good way to meet other. You don’t have to be a Rembrandt, a Picasso, or a Bob Ross to impress someone with your skills or lack thereof, but it’s a good way to introduce yourself to not only the world of art, but also to get know someone who is also taking this class and for you to find out their interest outside of art.

The Library and Coffeehouse: Finally, this one is more for the quiet types, who still want to find a way to mingle. Libraries and coffeehouses are places that most people need to look into more as an alternatives for those looking to find someone to date. Not only are these places quaint, but they’re also intimate, making the atmosphere more suitable to get to know someone. This would be an ideal alternative from meeting someone at a church, bar, or on social media.

So there you have it,  the five alternative places to find a significant other. You don’t always have to go to a church, a bar, a nightclub, or go to social media most of the time, learn to mix it up and find ways to engage with others. Who knows, it could lead to something fruitful and prosperous.


Why You Shouldn’t Pour All Your Money On One Date

10 Mar

When guys go on a date, they often spend way too much than they normally should. Often times, they try too hard to impress the woman they’re dating by being ostentatious and flashy, only to come up short when the tab comes. But rather than being Daddy Warbucks with the dollars and only ending up with no second date, there are some things to take into account.

First of all, spending lavishly on one date shouldn’t be the thing to do in order to impress someone that you’re looking to go out with multiple times. Sometimes, it’s best to skip on dinner and a movie, when you clearly do two things at the same (CineBistro anyone?). You can go on a date and still be kind to your wallet. For one thing, there should be no shame in having a sensible date like getting coffee or ice cream, or even going somewhere scenic like the park or the beach at night. These are the type of first dates that you should aim for before going all out with a lavish dinner and a movie that cost more than $7.50 a ticket for admission. It also doesn’t hurt to go to a museum and take in all the culture and be educated, too.

So you still want to do the dinner thing? That’s fine, but again, don’t try to shoot for the moon by going to a five-star restaurant, when it will only end in disappointment. Save that for occasions. Start off with recommended restaurants like a Chili’s, an Olive Garden, or somewhere local. If you want to eat and have a good time, why not go to a Dave and Buster’s. Just make sure that when the bill comes, you pay half and he or she does the same.

There’s nothing wrong with going dutch, especially in these economic times. We all want to save money, but at the same time, we want to go out and have fun. Splitting the bill and going dutch is the more reasonable option. It means that you are being responsible for yourself and your money, not being cheap and frivolous. Just because you’re on a date, doesn’t you have to pay your way plus his or her way. If they’re responsible like you are, they can pay for themselves. Don’t pay no ones way just to come up with nothing. That would put you in a bad spot.

So the next time you want to go on a date, consider your wallet before going all out for the one you love. Be sensible about where you want to take your date, rather than thrusting yourself into a situation that will only lead to embarrassment. Don’t do both a dinner and a movie (unless you go to CineBistro), pick one thing and choose the other for the next date, assuming that the both of you are responsible with your money and how you see each other. If you can pull this off without any surprises or circumstances getting in the way, chances are that you’ll be guaranteed a second date and many more to follow.

Why Aren’t Relationships 50/50 Anymore?

10 Mar

When it comes to most, if not all relationships, the key to having to a successful one is being equal with one another, or in this case 50-50. Nowadays, relationships are less or more than what aforementioned equation is required. For some of us, we always have to give more to be around in a relationship and for some of us, making a relationship all about yourself doesn’t help either. In this day and age, 50-50 relationships are often hard to come by.

In the song “When Somebody Loves You Back” by Teddy Pendergrass, Teddy expresses that he wants a 50-50 love and nothing more. Sure, back in the day, a 50-50 love was the norm, but times have truly changed and people want special attachments, special conditions, things that they believe would make a relationship last for them. Those kinds of requirements don’t benefit the person wanting to be in a relationship and it will lead to toxic results. A person in a relationship putting themselves over someone that loves them doesn’t work out either.

Most relationships these days are often about more negative compromise rather than understanding the person you’re with inside and out. It’s better to let someone that you’re interested in being with know who you are, what you are about, and vice versa. This also goes for marriage as well. 50-50 relationships are about being on the same accord, but as with most relationships, being one accord means having to put the significant other over yourself, which often leads to the person taking advantage of you because of this.

If you want a 50-50 relationship, make sure the person that you are dating isn’t trying to take advantage of you, or putting yourself in a subservient position that belittles your worth and value altogether. A 50-50 relationship is about knowing each other and being okay with each other’s companies and working to improve each other. There’s no worse feeling than looking for a relationship and being on the lesser side of it, when you can be on one accord with someone that loves you. It’s all about balance and how the chemistry blends between the two of you.