Category Archives: Celebrities

Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Jay-Z & the N-Word

There supposedly is outrage over Gwyneth Paltrow using the word “niggas” when referring to her besties Jay-Z and Beyonce during a performance in Paris recently. Many think her use of the word was inappropriate. Of course it was, but it was equally inappropriate for two influential black multi-milloniare rappers to title their song, “Niggas in Paris”.

If Jay-Z and Beyonce don’t have a problem with her dong it then neither should anyone else. For Paltrow to not feel any qualms about using the song title to reference them, it must be how they refer to themselves in private as well. Kind of gets you into psyche of Beyonce who once stated Paltrow was who she aspired to be, despite the fact that Beyonce is ultra-successful in her own right.

I have gone on record stating I find nothing empowering about embracing a word that has caused so many people so much pain for centuries. I find it irresponsible for entertainers to use it to sell records. For people as affluent as the Jay-Zs and Kanyes of the world, being called a nigger or “nigga” by a white person is probably no more than a pebble in their shoes, a frustration they peel off as they relax in the confines of their secluded neighborhoods or five-star hotels. For the vast majority of black people ,however, being called a nigger or “nigga” by a white person is much more than that. It’s remembering the time that white off-site co-worker who was so warm and friendly during phone conferences turn cold and distant when she discovered the person on the other end of those calls is black. It’s remembering the time when he or she was the only black person at an employee conference and had to listen to white co-workers crack offending jokes and rap those lyrics to see if they could elicit a response. It’s remembering the time when that black person finally decided to speak to management about it, only to be told he or she was overreacting.

Yes, Jay-Z and Beyonce may not have a problem with it, but I and millions of other people not living in the rarefied heights which Jay-Z and Kanye continually rap about do have issues with it. We are the one who are keeping it real by fighting against the stereotypes that have held us down. We do it to make life better for those who come after us, not the same but in a better environment. As long as we refer to ourselves as niggers or “niggas” other races will feel comfortable referring to us niggers, too. Period. Sure, other races refer to themselves in derogatory terms, but they do this in private conversations. Black artists are the only ones actively promoting negative images of themselves. All in a quest for money and fame while not thinking about the young minds who absorb that nonsense, the urban professionals who have to constantly fight against that nonsense and the older people who had to endure that nonsense. Talk about crabs in a barrel.

Entertaining Articles and Tidbits from the World Wide Web

I am so happy for Viola Davis, Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer for their Oscar nominations. Three performances that brought me laughter, tears and laughter until tears! Click here for a complete list of the Oscar nominations.

Aretha Franklin calls off her engagement. Better this than creating a public spectacle by divorcing or having the marriage annulled after 72 days.

Still can’t believe Seal and Heidi Klum are separated. They seemed really content, but sometimes a happy façade is presented to hide brewing tensions. Seal addresses the separation on Ellen today. As a side note: Shemar Moore was on Ellen yesterday. To heck with the rumors, that is one attractive man. A lucky audience member thinks so, too!

The Kennedy Library is releasing 45 hours of private recordings taped during the final months of his life. Although I was born after the Kennedy administration, I have always been intrigued by his presidency. The tapes offer novice and professional historians a glimpse of the tenor of the times.

These bruises are from a “friendly” game of hockey? Maybe it’s time for Sen. John Kerry to consider new friends!

I watched the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers battle it out Sunday night and was also dumbfounded by the fumbles San Fran 49er Kyle Williams made. This, however, is taking it too far. It’s just a game, people! Relax!

Until next time!

Dear Paula Deen,

Today, you announced you have Type 2 diabetes. You were asked why you waited so long to disclose your condition, especially since you love to prepare fried, rich and buttery foods on your popular cooking program. You graciously answered those questions, even though it is no one’s business. One’s medical history is a private, personal matter and shouldn’t be public fodder. Your medical condition will not affect any aspect of my life as I am sure it will not affect anyone else’s life outside of your family.

I’ve watched you on Food Network for many years and don’t recall you ever forcing anyone to try your recipes or suggesting people eat rich or fried foods on a daily basis. You expressed your love of these foods and I’m sure you still have cravings for them. You know the lifestyle changes you had to make and I’m sure you are still following your doctor’s orders.

I, for one, will continue to watch your cooking shows, read your magazine and try the occasional recipe. Your personal life is just that – YOUR PERSONAL LIFE. I appreciate your public persona and implore you to not change a thing. To me, the people criticizing you are akin to those who blame and even sue fast food chains for causing their children and them to be overweight. Like failing to exercise and eat balanced meals weren’t contributing factors. There is way too much information on the importance of diet for anyone to feign ignorance. No one forced them to eat fast food everyday rather than prepare a healthy meal at home, just like you can’t force people to load their plates with butter. Those are personal decisions.

Keep your head up, lady. I’ll be tuning in to Paula’s Home Cooking this weekend.

SatisFaction: Erotic Fantasies for the Advanced & Adventurous Couples by Karrine Steffans – A Review

SatisFaction: Erotic Fantasies for the Advanced & Adventurous Couple is the latest offering from the Vixen series of tomes from author Karrine Steffans. Yes, that Karrine Steffans who is also known by another moniker that I refuse to perpetuate.

First, and most importantly, this book is not for the faint of heart. Don’t overlook the subtitle. This self-help book is most definitely geared for experienced couples looking to spice up their romantic routines. Divided into twelve chapters, Steffans gives readers a 1-2-3 punch: the fantasy, the reality and hypothetical scenarios.

Each chapter begins with the fantasy. The fantasies are highly charged erotic stories with none of the flowery prose found in most mass-market romance novels. Steffans calls a spade a spade and aggressively sets the tone for the entire chapter. If your sensibilities are easily offended, I would suggest skipping the fantasy section altogether. If they aren’t, then get ready for a pretty wild ride. You’ve been warned.

The reality section follows the fantasy. It is in this section that Steffans’s writing voice shines. At times as equally as charged as the fantasy, her conversational tone is reminiscent of a best friend lunch date, the kind of no-holds-barred approach to topics that usually only good friends discuss with one another. The reality section also has useful points to remember when incorporating the fantasy into one’s sex life.

The scenario sections are called Vixen Logs or V-Logs for short and are a further extension of the reality section. In these sections, the author paints a full picture of a couple as they make the decision to play out the fantasy, their feelings during the fantasy and the after effects. Per Steffans, these are cautionary tales of what can go horribly wrong if the fantasies are not completely thought through by the couple.

Many may question Steffans’s ability to offer relationship advice. While she may not have a PHD behind her name, she clearly shows that she has experience and a boatload of common sense to guide her. At their base, isn’t that what most self-help/advice books consist of? Experience coupled with common sense? I also like the fact that Steffans targets this book towards consenting, married couples. Couples who have been together a while and have built a trust level that is essential to successfully acting out these fantasies.

Given that this subject matter is a bit, well, advanced, I can’t recommend it to everyone. However, if you and your partner want to add a little va-va-voom to your relationship, this book is a good place to start. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.


A Child Should Never Be A Secret

Oprah Winfrey announced today that she has a younger sister, something she had only become aware of within the past few months. It was a family secret that only her mother and cousin knew. Wow.

I have some experience with family secrets and discovering a younger sibling. I was fifteen when I learned I had a younger brother. My father had a son with another woman. It wasn’t as exclusive a secret in my family as it was in Oprah’s. My mother knew and so did several other family members. I was the only one left in the dark.
Like Oprah, I finally met my sibling and hopefully, like my brother and me, she will develop a bond with her sister.

I’m not writing this to show a type of kinship with a celebrity or elicit compassion, empathy or understanding. I’m certainly not writing it to air my family’s dirty laundry. I am writing this for one reason and one reason only – to call a time-out on major family secrets.
Every family has its secrets, those things that the elders only whisper among themselves and will carry to their graves. I don’t believe children have the right to know everything. Some things are best kept in the past. Some things. Not a child.

One’s life is turned inside out upon learning of a secret sibling. For me, there was a sense of betrayal on two fronts – the first is obvious, that of my father to my mother and then to me by both parents for their failure to tell me. There was also a sense of loss on two fronts – my life, my world, as I knew it would never be the same plus I had been cheated of precious moments with my brother. And I was angry but honestly didn’t understand why and at whom. Was it the betrayal? The loss? My parents? The kid? Luckily, my anger subsided and my relationship with my parents went on as usual. I’ve had many years since then to think about it and now understand and accept the many layers at play in my own family drama.

My brother and I eventually met and forged a beautiful relationship. Was it easy? Of course not, situations of this nature are rarely easy when emotions are involved. It won’t be easy for Oprah and her sister either, but it’s possible. One thing in their favor is their maturity. They are able to understand things at a level that is impossible when you are a teen or young adult.

If you are currently harboring such a secret, please confess it to your loved ones. Get past your feelings of (fill in the blank) and let your family know. It will be a burden lifted from your shoulders plus your family deserves to know it’s true history and genealogy. Your intentions in the beginning may have been to spare hurt feelings but the longer you hold on to it the harder it will be to explain when the truth comes out. The truth will come out. Let your family hear it from you.