Sula Book Review

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I just completed Toni Morrison’s novel Sula. This book is so well- written, I have to once again crown Toni Morrison as a Queen of Writing. Continue reading

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Chronixx in Antigua

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Reggae artiste Chronixx (right) alongside his father Chronicle performing Big Bad Sound Source: Jessica Russell (Me)

 

Chronixx performed live in Antigua for the first time at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium and he was amazing. Chronixx and The Zinc Fence Band were on point like a newly sharpened pencil.

The thing I liked most about Chronixx’s performance is the fact that he sang his songs right through. If you are familiar with how many Caribbean artistes performed you’d be familiar with the notorious “pull up” and in my little bit of experience this usually winds up being anticlimactic. You want the pull up to result in the artiste going harder than before and taking you on a euphoric journey through one of your favorite songs but then you swiftly realize he/she restarted the song only to never finish it. Chronixx did do “pull ups” and went into some other reggae songs while performing which resulted in roars from the audience. He sang a little bit of Driver by one of my faves Buju Banton and Tenement Yard originally by Jacob Miller which he later redid along with Miller and Inner Circle.

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Chronixx performing in Antigua at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium Source: Me

At one point he was singing a song (I can’t remember the song’s name) and when he mentioned “Haile Selassie I” he did so in the way he sings it in Big Bad Sound which is one of my favorite songs by him. I thought at that moment he would have gone into the song just to tell you that his mash-up was just AMAZING. He wound up doing Big Bad Sound later on in his set alongside his father Chronicle who has amazing vocals which offers Barrington Levy kinda vibes.

Another thing I loved about Chronixx’s performance was the fact that he did not engage in a bag ah long talking. Meaning, he came to sing and sing he did. There were times when he did drop some information on his personal beliefs but he stayed on the path of delivering the songs people came to hear.

The first time I saw Chronixx (he did not perform then) was at a guest lecture put on by culture enthusiast and now retired lecturer Dr. Carolyn Cooper at the University of the West Indies campus in 2015 . I also saw him perform for a short time at Major Lazer in Kingston in December 2016. Seeing him now, it’s great to see how both he and myself have grown over the years. I mean, he went on to get nominated for a Grammy Award since then.

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Chronixx at Guest Lecture at UWI Mona in 2015 Source: Me

Big up to Chronixx and his band. I wish him all the best in his endeavors. His future looks pretty bright and I’m sure he is determined to reach as far as he can.

Giovanni’s Room Book Review

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Yes, I have now made it through 2 books for the year which means, I am 3 books behind. But at least I am making a lil progress and I am proud to say I completed reading my first James Baldwin book! Hooray!

The name of the book I read is, Giovanni’s Room. It tackles the struggles an American man has with his romantic feelings towards men while living in Paris.

Now this book is known as a “classic gay novel” and I actually thought I would find it difficult to connect to the story… but I didn’t. This book made me feel. I felt the feelings of fear, confusion, resentment and the desire to be loved and that my friends is why I think this is a great story.

The book features themes which I think anyone can relate to. I have not lived a life vaguely similar to the characters in this book but I felt like I knew and understood them. David is living a life trying to deny he is sexually attracted to men. He meets Giovanni while with a friend of convenience named Jacques. Giovanni works for Guillame, a prominent French man who is gay and tries to buy sex from hot guys. David and Giovanni begin a steamy love affair while David’s girlfriend Hella is away in France.

Giovanni is needy. He is needy for David’s love and affection but David is more in need of a life that is socially acceptable and living as a straight man is more palatable for him. Where this leads the characters…you’ll have to read the book to find out but do not underestimate the raw emotion and human reality which will be exemplified in the conversations in this book.

Giovanni’s Room isn’t a book I think most will read with delight. I reckon it to be quite somber, however, it is a somber book I think you’ll be glad to have read.

The Fight is Real

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There was a time in my life when I couldn’t bother to argue and I just accepted colors in the region of beige as being nude. But other black people did not and look what we have in the picture above. DSW acknowledging that white does not define the standard of humanity. Nudes come in different shades and dark brown is a true nude to someone out there. Continue reading

Favorite Current Songs

I really haven’t had a decent list of songs I felt strongly enough about to write about for some time. However, I have been inspired and so I have compiled a very short list. I hope you like them.

  1. Anointed by Miguel. This song is the reason for this list. I have had this song on repeat since last night. There are points in the song where he takes it up a notch for example at 1:05 and I am feeling demigod-ish at those times. The instruments, lyrics and Miguel’s voice come together to create the divine.

 

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Struggling

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Photo From: Midlife with Crisis

 

 

It’s the second month of the year and I have read ZERO books. I feel incredibly unmotivated. I have started Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist and I believe I took a gander back at 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup and babay! I was struggling through the both of them so I put them down and took them off of my “Currently reading” list on Good Reads. Continue reading

Have a bit of Ambition

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Image from Project Life Mastery

 

With the start of a new year, people generally take the time to reflect on what they’ve accomplished in the previous year and make plans for the new one. There was a time when I would consistently make New Year’s Resolutions but then I stopped for a while because I thought any change that I wanted to make, I could make immediately.

However, there are some things that require that powerful four letter word- T-I-M-E. Maybe you would like to go on an exotic vacation but you are making car payments and need to wait until those 5 years have expired, maybe you want to apply for a new job but the position you’ve been eyeing requires years of earning a professional certification or degree. So, with this in mind,  it is wise to think about the opportunities that come with a new year.

Maybe you always wanted to learn Spanish, there is probably registration going on right now, maybe you want to go back to school, you have months to get ready for the next semester. Take advantage of these opportunities. Continue reading

I made it :)

I made it through my 2017 Book Reading Challenge. I read 11 books. You can check 2017 Book Challenge and UGGGHH! 2017 is coming to an End! for a background on my reading challenge. I am glad to report however that I exceeded my goal. I complete The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde and George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

I am so proud of myself to have been able to unveil what has been in books of great renown. The books I’ve read this year, I believe, have their reputations for good reason and I feel am so thrilled to be able to say I know what these books are actually about.

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Finding my Black Beauty

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Painting by Lois Mailou Jones from Katie Lazo’s Art Blog

 

I have been becoming more comfortable creating my identity. I have been shaking off more of the ideals placed on me by others and ideals I have placed on myself. In relation to my blackness, I have been feeling more confident in believing in the beauty of my blackness even when support from others is lacking. Continue reading