Tuesday, September 20, 2011

African-American Fashion Designers You May Not Know

By: Songine’ Clarke
In the fashion industry it might seem like there’s a lack of fashion designers that are African American. Well, there are a few designers who are on the fast track to fame or may already be there.
Laquan Smith
Laquan Smith, 23, started his self-titled designer brand in 2008. He started off designing custom pieces for celebrities such as: Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Cassie, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and the infamous top model Tyra Banks. He made his New York Fashion Week debut on February 15, 2010, having fashion greats in the audience including Vogue’s ex Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talley. Laquan is definitely on the fast track to fame and will definitely be the designer everybody is talking about. You can check out his stuff at: http://laquansmith.com/
Patrick Robinson
Patrick Robinson was most known for being the executive vice president of Gap Global Design for Adult and Body. He has also worked for Giorgio Armani, Anne Klein, Perry Ellis, and Paco Rabanne. Patrick is a designer that is known for being behind the scenes, but he definitely has a lot of respect in the industry.
Maya Amina Lake
Maya Amina Lake is the designer of the clothing line Boxing Kitten. This small, but well known clothing line is known for its African print clothing and bright colored dresses. Maya already has a big celebrity following, having Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Solange Knowles, Fergie, and Erykah Badu wearing her clothing. Her clothing has also been seen in publications such as The New York Times, Teen Vogue, and Arise. She is a designer that is definitely on the fast track to fame. You can check out the Maya’s line Boxing Kitten at http://boxingkitten.com/

Monday, September 19, 2011

Review of John Ruffin's Play "All My Single Ladies"

By Samantha Battle

John Ruffin’s “All My Single Ladies” play brought out a packed crowd at the opening night of the two-day showing of his new play starring Darrin Dewitt Henson from HBO’s Soul Food and Stomp the Yard, Anthony Grant, gospel recording artist DeWayne Woods, actress Trisha Mann, Richard Gallion and actor Chris Bolten. The play was performed at the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Chicago.

Ruffin’s play was separated into two acts focusing on the lives of two women who were dealing with relationship problems and finding the right one.

One woman, Kimberly, played by Melinda Bussie, was dealing with the decision of whether or not she should leave or stay in the relationship she’s in, even though it’s not a healthy one with her abusive boyfriend, Raymond, played by Darrin. She has two kids with him and is trying to get her GED so that she can get a job and won’t have to depend on Raymond anymore.

“I think they [the audience] will love and hate my character in the play,” said Darrin. “He’s a very dark person with a huge ego who can be disrespectful physically and verbally at times, but I think the interesting part about him is why he does it, so I think that’s what we’re going to be diving into more with my character—to find out why he’s that way.”

The other woman, Regina, played by Tashika Benson, was dealing with the total opposite, being single, alone and living with lupus. Then the love of her life from five years ago, Eric, played by Richard Gallion, shows up back into her life wanting a second chance, even though he broke up with her. And while all of this is going on, Frasier, played by Anthony Grant, is a man who likes her, wants to treat her right and is right under her nose, yet she doesn’t realize it until towards the end of the play.

“This is a story about relationships, and it’s a story that tells you why there are some single ladies and why there are ladies that probably feel single but aren’t,” said Anthony. “I want people to walk away from this show entertained but coming away with a message that even though you may be by yourself, you’re not alone. I think that people should really focus on the message and have enough courage to just walk away if it’s not for you.”

The audience was filled with laughter and gasps throughout the whole play, and the cast and director received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Women’s Business Development Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Business Conference

By Iya Bakare
Over 2,000 participants gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Business Development Center and Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference on Wednesday, September 14 at McCormick Place-West in Chicago. Founders S. Carol Dougal and Hedy M. Rather established the Women’s Business Development Center in 1986 to create business opportunities and promote entrepreneurship for women. Dougal and Ratner also created the Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference that same year to form a medium where women can both network and celebrate the business successes and accomplishments of one another. 
This year’s Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference featured workshops, roundtable discussions, a business and buyer’s mart and other networking opportunities. In addition, the conference featured the Women’s Forum Breakfast, moderated by the Chicago Sun Times financial expert Terry Savage and the 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon, emceed by NBC Chicago’s Alison Rosati. Panelists on the breakfast forum included Leylani Cardoso of Bolzano Handbags, Maxine Clark of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Cathy Hughes of Radio One and Lynn Tilton of Patriarch Partners. Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered the keynote address at this year’s Hall of Fame luncheon. Honorees were Teresa Ging of Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique, Inc., Marilyn Jones of Consolidated Printing Company, Sharon Hoffman Avent of Smead Manufacturing Company, Bank of America and U.S. Small Business Administration. 
For more information on WBDC, visit www.WBDC.org

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicago: I Love You!

By: Isis Nicole

Home is where the heart is but nothing in Cincinnati compares to a beautiful city like Chicago. Now, don't get it confused, I don't want it to seem like I'm betraying my city, but it's the truth! There are so many great things about Chicago. I love the noise. I love the architecture. I love the wind. I love the diversity. However, all those things don't compare to the amount of love I have for the food in this city.

This is definitely the place I want to spend more of my life before I start my adventure on the east coast. I've been going to college in Chicago for four years and during that time, I’ve done a lot of growing up. I started off feeling alone because my family wasn't near, and I wasn’t familiar with my surroundings. I started to make friends once I begin to break out of my shell. I met new people and gained this sort of Mid-western "hauteur." Okay that word is a little strong, but I did increase my confidence being so tiny in such a big city. 

It’s the perfect mixture of peace and play; however, I do wish there was more of a vibrant energy toward fashion. It’s very business casual meets street chic (to be cliché). Other than that, I would definitely recommend Chicago to anyone hoping to be blown away, so pack your bags and visit! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fashion: Breaking ALL of the Rules

By: Ebony L. McCline
During a casual conversation with a family member, she mentioned that she was wearing white today, which happens to be three days after Labor Day. The first thing that came out of my mouth was, “Why are you wearing white after Labor Day anyway?” 
Her reply, “I can wear whatever I want, whenever I want.” 
This small interaction got my mind racing. Then, I started to think of all the fashion “rules” that I break, probably on a daily basis. I realized I have the same mentality to some extent. There are still some rules I refuse to break. For those free spirits who wear what they want when they want, I’m sure you’ll agree with most of the following. However, for those who may be a little reluctant to be rebellious, here are a few options to think about if you’re willing to take a risk. 
No White After Labor Day
As of late, this rule has become easier and easier to break. With the introduction of “winter” white into the mix, it gives women all over the world an excuse to wear it all year around. 
Black/Brown Combo

For some reason, it has been drilled into our brains that wearing black and brown at he same time is a crime of fashion. In most cases, it’s one color or the other. It seems logical to wear a brown belt if you’re wearing brown shoes, right? Depending on the entire look, it could work if you mixed it up a bit. It just depends on how much of a risk you’re willing to take. 
Color Crazy
While some may try to pass off wearing any color they want as “color blocking,” it just doesn’t work for everyone. Now, it’s true that we’re all individuals with our own unique style, but “color blocking” is a technique and when it’s done well, the results are visually appealing. So, unless you have the time to put colors together that work for your particular body type, then you might not want to go that route. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chicago’s Lakefront

By: Songine’ Clarke

In any city, it's pretty common to have a favorite place to visit. Sometimes it's a specific place like a restaurant or an attraction. However, it can also be some place simple, where there's no price to pay, but the experience it just as much rewarding.

Lake Michigan is probably one of my favorite places in Chicago, and it just so happens that it's a popular past time for those who grew up in the city. I just love standing on the lakefront, staring at the large body of water in front of me. It gives me such peace, it can be romantic, and it can be inspiring to look at (when the weather is nice out). I love going to the lakefront to think and just clear my mind. Just staring out at the water can make you think about how blessed you are to even be able to live in a city like Chicago (despite of some of the challenges the city face). I'm not a native of Chicago, but I think once I’ve been here for awhile, I still wouldn’t be tired of the lake. It’s part of what makes Chicago so special. What’s your favorite place to go to in your hometown?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Fashion Trends

By: Songine’ Clarke
As we transition from summer to fall, the weather is slowly but surely changing. When the seasons change, our wardrobes tend change as well. So, there may be some people wondering what to wear this fall. Here are a few items and colors you may want to keep in mind.
Cool Colors
Since the weather is getting cooler, bright colors are not such a good idea. In the summer, everything is bright and upbeat, so your wardrobe tends to be the same. In the fall, things tone down a little more and your wardrobe should reflect this change. You can still wear your oranges, yellows, and pinks, but just wear the “toned down” versions of those colors.
Denim shirts, denim button downs, denim dresses, and denim jackets all are in this fall. Denim jackets are a great necessity. They can be paired with a dress or another look. It’s such an American classic that I can appreciate.
A blazer is an essential for anyone. It can turn a regular outfit into a classy one in just a matter of seconds. Any color blazer is good, but my favorite would probably have to be a classic, black blazer. A black blazer can easily go from work to a night out on the town.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance “Hustle Hard” Review

By: Isis Nicole

I don’t usually get a chance to watch Fox’s competition show, So You Think You Can Dance, but I did get to see finalist Tadd Gadduang and Season 4 champion Joshua Allen, perform a choreographed routine to Ace Hood’s “Hustle Hard,” and it blew me away. I think I was for one, impressed by the mixture of masculinity and gracefulness on such an aggressive beat. I also loved how their movements expressed the song and it wasn’t cheesy at all. Performances like that one makes me wonder how anyone couldn’t appreciate the arts. If you’re not a fan of dance, at the very least, you can respect the hard work, dedication, and blood, sweat, and tears that are left on the stage. Both of these men did an amazing job. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Father’s Role

By: Ebony L. McCline
A while ago, I wrote a piece, “Daddy’s Little Girl,” in which I described how affected I was by not being fortunate enough to have my father in my life on a consistent basis. I expressed my deep-rooted desire to be a “Daddy’s Girl.” A few years later, as I approach the prospect of having children of my own, I tend to dwell on just how important this same thing may or may not be to my own children, vowing to always keep both parents in their lives. 
I find myself examining the types of households that surround me. The reality is that the majority of African-American families are headed by single mothers, which has unfortunately become the norm. Then, I take a closer look and realize the sheer number of mothers raising boys/young men with little or no help from the fathers. Being the product of this very situation, it concerns me that the cycle is continuing. 
Honestly, even though it's clearly being done, the likelihood of a woman raising a man the same as a good father would is quite slim. As much as little girls need their mothers for “girl” stuff, the same is true for little boys when it comes to their fathers. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely acknowledge the fact that just by having a male figure present (a grandfather, a uncle, or a God-father) may make a bit of difference. After all, it’s still a father figure, right? While this may hold some truth, I can still contend that the love of a father can’t be substituted no matter how hard someone tries. 
To the women of Generation Y, accepting the fact that the father of your child isn’t around is not acceptable. To the men, not being present in your children’s lives is definitely unacceptable and bouncing in and out at your own convenience is even worse. The point here is to break the cycle that has being going on for far too long. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to College Do’s and Don’ts

By: Songine’ Clarke
School is starting again and usually the first few days of a new school year are the most exciting for a college student: new classes, new people, a chance to get involved on campus, and a new year. To start your school year off right, there are some “do’s and don’ts” for college.
Do: Get Involved
Don’t: Bite off more than you can chew.
It’s great to get involved in a school club or two, but don’t stretch yourself too far. Concentrating on your grades and relaxing are way more important.
Do: Go out every now and then.
Don’t: Go out every day.
Definitely go out every now and then to have fun and let loose a little because college can be stressful. However, going out everyday could be a distraction, leaving you tired all the time. So, make sure there is a balance.
Do: Keep your old friends around.
Don’t: Limit yourself and not make new friends. 
Most likely there are a lot of new students at your school. Remember, just like you, they don’t know the ropes. So, they will need your help and most likely a friend. You can be that helping hand and friend to a new student. If you were new, you would definitely appreciate the help.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life AFTER College

By: Isis Nicole
As autumn nears, I’m starting to freak out about the start of the semester. After all, it will be my fourth year as a college student. When I was a senior in high school, I looked at graduation as a golden ticket to paradise, with paradise being college, or as I like to call it, my home away from home. 
Now that I’m a senior in college, home away from home seems like the gateway to responsibilities. Bills on top of bills, bank loan denials, career struggles, and less time to catch up on my much-needed beauty sleep. It's weird how you wait your entire childhood to become "grown," but when you get there, it's an entirely different story. Most of your adulthood, your wishing you were a kid again, right? 
However, if you look at the bigger picture, growing up doesn’t have to suck. I’ve seen adults before me make the impossible, possible, and I’ll be damned if I get wrinkles and gray hairs by the age of 22. In my eyes, life after college will mainly be determined by how I make the most out of it. Today is going to be treated like a blessing. I have faith in the evidence of things not seen…don't you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Blake Martin Experience: iCandy Show 2011

By: Mariah Craddick

Before even stepping into the auditorium at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago for designer Blake Martin's iCandy fashion show/dance concert, I had been warned—numerous times.

"Come with an open mind," they told me. "You're in for a 'treat,'" they'd say—with me not really knowing what they meant by it. But by the end of the night, it all made sense.
A Blake Martin show is something so unique and so daring that you might sometimes find yourself wanting to cover your children's eyes--or even your own. Yet still, with everything that takes place on stage you might find it hard to pry your eyes away.
For his show this year, Blake went for a "candy store" theme--though the show, which lasted about three hours, eventually veered off into other directions. Songs like Aaron Carter's "I Want Candy" and New Edition's "Candy Girl" filled the air as models of all shapes and colors sauntered down the runway.
For nearly every segment, or "scene," the models would come out in fashions designed by some of the up-and-coming young designers in Chicago. And if the nearly naked models didn't keep your attention long enough, there were dancers in the background holding it down, making it all come together.

This was probably the first time I'd ever seen someone couple a runway fashion show with a dance concert--and do it seamlessly. That's the genius of Blake Martin. Blake has already garnered quite a following in the Chicago area and will be surely making a name for himself worldwide in the near future. This was also the first show of his that he danced in himself. He came out for the "Vogue" section, hitting the moves harder than most of the other dancers on the stage--truly showing why he's the boss.

Hosted by local celebrity and Chicago radio personality, Demi Lobo, the show did a great job of incorporating audience participation by having dance competitions and runway walk-offs in between scenes. The show ended with everybody on their feet, screaming and shouting their praise. The tireless hours and effort put behind the production definitely paid off and by curtain call, Blake had found himself a seat on the end of the stage, waving goodbye to everyone as they left.

Surely, being the producer/choreographer/dancer/complete visionary that he is--the stage probably feels the most like home to him.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Enjoying What's Left of Summer

By: Songine’ Clarke
As summer comes to an end, quite naturally everybody wants to enjoy what’s left of it. These last few weeks should be memorable, right? You want to have fun, but you don’t want to wear yourself out. Here are a few things you can do to make your last bit of summer great.
During these last few weeks, lounge around the house every now and then. Take advantage of being able to sleep in, catch up on a TV favorite show, re-organize your closet, clean around the house, or give yourself a little spa day.
Quality Time
Whether you’re out “painting the town red” or having a small get together at your house, having that bonding time with your friends is essential.  Talking about your summer and what’s going on in your lives is a great way to "de-stress" and have fun.
Do something that you wanted to do
Was there something you wanted to do, but you didn’t get the chance to? Well check out that art exhibit you haven’t got the chance to see, a concert, or see that new summer blockbuster you keep putting off.
Whatever you do just make sure you enjoy your last bit of summer!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Romances

By: Isis Nicole
As a single, young lady, the occasional date is easily becoming a favorite past time of mine. However, summer flings are like water parks that I don’t care to visit. You know how water parks look awesome from afar, they even look fun for those people who aren’t deathly afraid of water. For me, it’s terrifying, because I can’t swim. So, quite naturally, I could drown. The same is true when it comes to summer flings. They are just not my thing. 
The act of falling in love is something that should definitely be cherished and not taken for granted just to occupy a season. It’s easy to become infatuated with someone during the warmer months. The weather is near perfect, their are minimal obligations for some, there’s lots of travel, and during the summer you can be someone else for a short period of time, if that’s your choice. In a sense, the summer is a fantasy. When the weather breaks, reality hits.
So, are seasonal flings intended to stay just as that, or is it allowed to grow into something more when the weather starts to change and the leaves began to fall? I’m pretty curious myself because what happens when these “flings” still have that flame well into the next season? If the compatibility and chemistry is out of this world, must the romance end when September rolls around? I suppose calling it off isn’t totally out of the question if two lovers make their intentions crystal clear. Oftentimes, a summer fling lives off distance and adventure, only useful to ignite sensuality. What a shame and waste of something so good!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chicago Stylists Featured in Fashion Affair

By: Iya Bakare
On Sunday July 31, guests gathered at Block 37’s Akira in downtown Chicago for a Fashion Affair Stylist Showcase. Chicago native and Akira stylist Aaja Corinne styled models on some of the boutique’s hottest looks for this season. Prior and after the fashion showcase, guests sipped on mimosas as they shopped and took advantage of sales on this season of Akira’s collection. 
The models wore accessories from the lines of two local jewelry designers, Brittany Jett and Deleay Lashay. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Young Entertainers Taking Over the "Business"

By: Songine’ Clarke
Lately, it appears to be a swarm of young entertainers taking over the entertainment business. Most of which are off-springs of some well-known, successful adult names that we are accustomed to seeing. 
There’s Jada and Will Smith’s children, Willow and Jaden, Rev Run’s son, Diggy Simmons, and Usher’s mentee, Justin Bieber. Then, you also have others like "Mindless Behavior" and some child actors who are making their mark like China Anne McClain from "House of Payne," who now stars in her own TV show on the Disney Channel. These are some of the biggest, young entertainers in the industry today. 
These young people are so successful now, that you can’t help but to wonder will their success continue well into adulthood. We all know that there are some child stars who are just that, child stars. Then you have those select few who are around far beyond their years. People like Michael Jackson, Usher, and Beyonce’ are just a few who have had the chance to experience longevity as entertainers.
I think the young entertainer's success all depends on their fan base and their motivation to continue to produce great work. Having great fans that will continue to support their careers is sometimes all that is needed, but the key is to keep the fans interested and happy.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Casey Anthony: How Much Is Too Much?

By: Ebony L. McCline

If you are not the least bit familiar with the name Casey Anthony, then you must have been living under a rock for the past few months. A few weeks ago, news swirled around the trial that would put this mother behind bars for what some may deem too short of a time period for allegedly being responsible for her daughters death, which occurred three years ago. However, she was found not guilty of manslaughter and murder of the child. 
If the details surrounding the entire incident aren’t enough to stir up a few debates in your circle, the fact that Casey could possibly receive millions of dollars as a result of the attention that this unfortunate situation has received should at least ruffle some features. It’s no secret that once something gets a lot of attention from the public and more importantly the media, it starts to get larger than life. This particular situation, as well as others similar to it, also seems to have another effect: those persons who happen to be in the public eye as a result of something like a high-profile trial eventually get the chance to profit form it, too. Sometimes there are movie/book deals, they are thrust into the public eye, which can be appealing for some, and oftentimes, they have the option to charge an insane amount of money for an interview. 
With the Casey Anthony case, this notion seems to remain true as speculation continues to swirl. While the trial is still fresh in everyone’s mind, it’s a no-brainer that all types of media outlets are trying to be the first to strike it rich with an interview from her. It’s pretty much safe to say that she could practically charge whatever she pleases to the highest bidder. So, what does this say about the type of society that we live in today? 
It has always been clear that we are a culture that is consumed by all things that have to do with entertainment, whether it’s negative or positive. To know that there’s a possibility that someone could profit financially over something so tragic is truly disturbing, but it’s a cruel world and we’re just living in it, right? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

“Sugar Babies:" Is It Worth It?

By: Isis Nicole
I was first introduced to the lifestyle of “sugar babies”  after an episode of “The Tyra Show,” but I was recently reminded of this awkward reality on MTV’s “True Life: I’m A Sugar Baby.” Now, the term is technically defined as a woman who doesn’t mind exchanging herself or her time for gifts or money. While women usually fall into this category, it’s still possible to find men who are willing to do the same thing. 
As I watched, “True Life,” it didn’t disturb me when two young adults (one male and one female) admitted that their whole purpose is to find someone who could pamper and take care of them. Obviously, that’s what being a “sugar baby” is all about, right? What did surprise me were their reactions, when their “sugar daddies” wanted something in return; to me, that’s unspoken and sort of expected. Let’s face it, nothing in this world is free no matter how it may seem. I’m not sure if maturity is a factor, but these individuals just seem to appear pretty naive. No one is going to be okay with spending their hard earned cash, taking vacations, and paying bills but not getting anything of significance out of the deal.  
The whole “sugar baby” exchange just seems like a risky business that broke, young adults turn to because they may feel like there aren’t any other options. I’m almost sure that it’s not worth it. It’ll be more rewarding to just get a job and be responsible for yourself. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

College Woes

By: Ebony L. McCline
From the time you are able to truly understand what school is and it’s importance, it’s usually drilled into your brain that higher education is not just an option, it’s a must. Not too long ago, a high school diploma was sufficient, and most people didn’t think twice if you mentioned the fact that you didn’t have a degree. However, times have definitely changed. At the very least, a college degree of some sort is almost always standard, and a Master’s/Ph.D in a particular field of study is preferred. 
So, what happens when you don’t have the funds that some others may possess to further your education beyond the basics? Let’s face it, not everyone could afford to flush out tens of thousands of dollars each year, even if it’s more like an investment. While we’re constantly told that without a college degree, we probably won’t get that job of our dreams with the perfect salary to match, most of our parents neglect to start saving for our future, which means that when that time comes, that's one additional thing added to the list of concerns. Some people may recommend scholarships or grants, which all “sound” good on the surface, but are not easy to maintain or get for that matter. For most college bound students, loans are the only option and depending on various factors and the type of school loan you’re applying for, this particular process isn’t as easy as it sounds either. 
With all that said, there are still those unique individuals (outside of entertainers) who are still very much successful without a college degree. So, if college is not an option just yet due to finances, carefully evaluate other options to see which avenues are best for you and your particular situation.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grandparents: 2k11 Edition

By: Isis Nicole

Ever wonder about the old folks of the past? You know, those who were born in the good old days; the wise generation that are pre-technology, social networks, and all that other good stuff. There was once upon a time when “Granny” use to be that little old lady in a floral nightgown, bright lipstick, and her hair adorn with flakes of grey. She also had an insane amount of photo albums, and not to mention, she had stories to tell that went back for what seems like ages. Grandpa was never too far away. You know, that sweet, wrinkled old man?
Well, not anymore. I guess I should say at least not my grandparents. Out with the rocking chairs and in with the wonders of youth, because grandparents all over are more vibrant than ever. Now they are re-defining what it means to be a grandparent by throwing parties, vacationing on their terms, and even taking up the risk of online dating. Yes, DATING!!! 
Honestly, I’m proud of this transition. It puts a smile on my face when I see a 70+ year old grocery shopping or exercising at the crack of dawn. One of my grandmother’s is fairly young, so for the sake of argument let’s not include her.  However, my great grandmother is a different story. I went to her house a few weeks ago, and she left such an impression on me. She’s healthy and active, and she even tried to offer me a “drink!” 
It’s definitely motivating to see that life is still fun for those who aren’t physically young. Mark Twain said it best, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.”

Thursday, July 14, 2011


By: Songine’ Clarke
Twitter is a popular social media site where you pretty much tell your followers what’s going on in your life at the moment. Picture one huge text message that never ends, and that's Twitter in a nutshell. Some tweeters (people on Twitter) tell every detail of their lives; what they are doing, who’s with them, what they eat, and sometimes a little too much information. 
You have some people who refrain from tweeting every single second they get free, but for every one of them, there’s about 10 more who tweet their hearts away all day and night. It makes you wonder if Twitter is taking over your life. I must admit, there are those times when something great, weird, or funny happens, and you don’t have anyone to share it with; so, why not tweet it, right?  With that said, there is a limit to what a person should tweet. I’m sure many people would beg to differ on that point. However, some things in your life should remain private. 
If you want to tell your followers about a sale at Zara, then go ahead and tweet it. If you want to tell your followers about something you saw at Zara in a certain section, the size, and the color of an item, that may be a little too much information. The moral of the story is to be a wise tweeter ladies and gentlemen.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Keep Your Friends Close & Your Enemies Closer

By: Isis Nicole
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they’ll face jealously and backstabbing. As of late, this has been commonly referred to as “haters” by today’s generation. For females, this seems to be especially true. While people who blatantly hate you sometimes make it known, there are those who tend to be fake. What’s even more interesting is that the ones who are the closest to you tend to hate the most; these people are sometimes referred to as “frenemies.” 
“Frenemies” can be the most difficult people you ever encounter simply because their disdain for you can be very understated. The most unappealing aspect of having a friend who also happens to be an enemy is that you may not realize that in the end, they don’t have your best interest at heart. These relationships are pointless, but many times, they are hard to detect.
How to spot one? Well for one, “frenemies” do not typically pop up like an unnoticed stain on your new outfit, although the situation may indeed feel that way. They are much more clever. Unfortunately, they blossom over time; therefore, there's a great possibility that they are very aware of your secrets and weaknesses. How to deal? You can call them out, facing the issue head on. An alternative is for you to get even, but once you’re past a certain age, that can be thought of as immature. Plus, you would be wasting your precious time and energy. Ultimately, it’s up to you. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Bey" is Back with "4"

By: Ebony L. McCline
While some artists drop albums at least once a year, there are a select few who take their time between projects. These unique individuals recognize that it takes time to create an album that shows growth and their development as artists. Also, they make sure their fans will appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears that they put into their work. Not to take anything away from those artists who release albums more frequently, but I’ve come to appreciate those who realize that all good things take time. 
Luckily, for #TeamBey, Beyonce’ took enough time (about three years) off before releasing her latest album, “4.” While “Dangerously In Love” and “B’Day” could both be arguably considered her greatest pieces of work, “4” has the potential to hold a torch to the two. In two words, “4” is “classic Bey.” For those who admire her work, her fourth solo album delivers those same upbeat, dance tracks mixed with some sensational ballads that have the power to bring tears to your eyes. 
With all the significance behind this album, it was clear from the start that she would put her all into this project. Before the album was released last Tuesday, singles like “1+1,” “Best Thing I Never Had,” and “Run the World (Girls)" gave way to what her fans could expect from her this time around. However, it’s ballads like “I Miss You,” “I Was Here,” and “Rather Die Young” that steal the show. Rest assure, “4” works as a form of relationship therapy, which is characteristic of Beyonce’. It’s something for those couples who are just starting out, those who are doing great, and those who are at a crossroads. 
Selling a little over 300,000 copies in its first week, “4” will no doubt be another platinum album that Beyonce’ can add to her collection. What’s interesting is that it’s already TRIPLE platinum in Brazil, and it’s #1 in the UK. It’s safe to say that international fans are showing her way more love.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Marriage: Too Young?

By: Songine’ Clarke
At the age of 21, I currently know 11 people who are either married or engaged to be married. All of these people are in my age bracket. Some people would say they’re too young; therefore, they’re not ready for such a commitment. Some people could even argue that they are too young to have a clear understanding of love. For every person that may question these relationships, there is possibly one person that would argue that love has no limits, including age.
I'm one of those people who's is split down the middle. I say love truly has no age limits once you reach a certain level of maturity, but there’s the other side of love where you have to ask yourself are you ready for the commitment? Are you ready to truly take someone "for better or worse" and become one with the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with?
It's said that the divorce rate in America is about 50 percent. So, if you do the math, for every two couples who are married, at least one of them will possibly get a divorce. This point alone may deter people from pursuing marriage despite the age. Furthermore, statistics show that the highest percentage of divorces is among women between 20-24 years old.
I believe no one is truly 100 percent ready for marriage. It’s a learning process that you and your significant other have to go through together. There will be hard times and there will be trials. Unfortunately, there are times when some couples can’t make it through those trials. Then, there are other times when there is joy, happiness, and excitement once you realize why you are with that one person. So, I guess the question is not is there a such thing as too young, but are you ready for all that comes with marriage? 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Embracing Your Inner Child with "Cars 2"

By: Ebony L. McCline
As ironic as it may seem, somehow, the older you get, the more in tuned you tend to get with your inner child. When it comes to activities and how we entertain ourselves, this notion becomes more apparent. At times, it appears as though young adults are more prone to be intrigued by things like water parks, board games, and animated movies, which are typically associated with children.
With that said, I was immediately satisfied with the news that "Cars 2" was due to hit theaters this summer. Although the original was exceptional, the sequel was just as entertaining, delivering a sequence of laughter and one hilarious scene after another. 
As expected, Tow Mater, Lightning McQueen’s best friend, stole the show. This time around, the setting for this adventure went beyond Radiator Springs to places like Japan and Italy.
While young adults may not be the target audience for "Cars 2" or any other animated movie for that matter, the story line sort of gives way to the opposite idea. For a “children’s” movie, there was a little violence, which was a bit unsettling, but other than that, it’s a must-see. 
It’s definitely worth the trip to the movie theater. You may even want to consider bringing your children along for the ride!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deleay Lashay Gives Back

By: Songine’ Clarke
Marissa Kendrick, jewelry designer of Deleay Lashay, is setting on a new venture - a camp for teenage girls.
I decided to come up with the camp after noticing the high rate of teen pregnancies, low rate in education and self-esteem,” Kendrick says. “I hope the girls will learn how to be bossy in this world, meaning work hard for whatever their dreams are and know that they are in charge of their own happiness. I hope they learn to understand that true beauty comes from within and learn the meaning of what being a true conversation piece in life is about.”
 The jewelry designer hopes to have more events like these in the future. “There are a lot of young girls out there who need guidance and direction and we as women need to reach out to our girls who will one day be women.”
 The camp will be on July 11th-13th and will be at Grant Park in Chicago. To get more information about the camp, visit www.deleaylashay.com.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Does Age Really Matter?

By: Ebony L. McCline
Usually, when you first meet someone, one of the first questions you have is regarding their age, especially if you can sense that their is at least some sort of physical or emotional attraction. More than likely, the reasoning behind this question is that you want to assess the situation. You know, figure out if the potential "Mr./Miss Right" is too old/young for you. It’s even more surprising that women, in particular, have age requirements. Some won’t date younger at all, while others have the bar set in either direction.
As I get older, I’m forced to contemplate the significance of age, and its importance or lack thereof when it comes to considering a long-term relationship. With that said, it’s also essential to consider the notion “age ain’t nothing, but a number.” After all, just because someone’s a certain age doesn’t necessarily mean that their mentality is equilavent to its numerical value. So, I’ll go out on a limb to say that a person’s mentality weighs a little more heavily than his/her exact age. However, I do realize that this may not always be true.
Now, your own personal beliefs may very well be influenced by society. From the time we first start dating, we’re sold on the idea that the man should be taller, bigger, and older. It’s the “perfect” image, right? So, when a woman dates a younger man, quite naturally, it takes most people by surprise. This is especially true if there’s a significant age difference. To be completely fair, the same could be said about men who date younger women. 
They say the older you get, the more age is not a factor, but I don’t necessarily know that there’s much truth to this statement. No matter how much you believe "to each its own," people will talk or have an opinion on just about everything you do. Unfortunately, it's hard to live life not caring about other's expectations, but just remember if people are not talking about you, then you're not doing something right. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Just Friends?"

By: Isis Nicole

It is the age old question: can women and men be just friends? While this is one question that has plagued people for generations, I'm going to settle all of the disputes. I’m just going to come right out and say it. Yes, it is possible for men and women to just be friends. Who am I to say that the thought is unimaginable or impossible? The fact that two people aren't the same sex shouldn't necessarily mean that they are incapable of having a platonic relationship. 

With that said, the best way to maintain a healthy friendship that involves members of the opposite sex is to eliminate and/or conquer the physical attraction. Oftentimes, this is easier said than done, but if you can get around this tiny detail, it could possibly be smooth sailing from that moment until forever. Now, let's break it down for a second. Getting past the physical can mean a lot of different things. However, it boils down to whether or not you're going to act on "it" or not. 

Back in the day, when there was absolutely no pressure that came along with being friends with the opposite sex, we found a way to make it work, right? That was the time when boys and girls were buddies and pals. So, why can't the same be true in adulthood? Friendship does not have to mean romance. We have the choice to either allow a friendship to transition into something more or to uphold its genuine emotion. 

In my case, I like the fact that my friendship with males aren't romantic at all. My male friends are like brothers. They are there when I need advice and my partners in crime. Sure they may witness a heartbreak and may even try to mend it, but that's as far as it goes.

In the words of Don O'Meara, Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati-Raymond Walters College, "Platonic love does exist." We just have to decide for ourselves what's appropriate and what's not. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer May Mean Something Different to Some Chicagoans

By: Ebony L. McCline
The summer months always bring this kind of relaxed, stress-free sort of mindset. It’s a time to let go. It’s a time for less clothing and more adventures. It’s the time that we anticipate all year long. After all, for most people, there’s no school, minimal work, lots of travel, and loads of fun. 
When you live in one of the nation’s major cities, like Chicago, the traveling might seem more appealing than staying in the city for the summer trying to find ways to have fun while remaining safe. It’s no secret that Chicago has been on the nation’s top list for many things within recent years. Most recently, it was for the highest gasoline prices, but what’s even more unsettling is its mark as one of cities with the highest crime rate. 
If you grew up in Chicago, then it’s probably easier to believe some of the alarming statistics, and as most Chicagoans know, the number of deaths happen to increase during the warmer months. The recent hot days have gave way to various shootings and even in March, when there were only two consecutive unseasonably warm days, there were 19 deaths within that 48-hour time frame. With that said, the city’s crime rate has continued to decline, with April marking the 28th consecutive month that the violent crime numbers were down. 
Even though there’s crime everywhere, it’s unsettling to know that you truly cannot let your guard down and just enjoy a city as beautiful as Chicago in its prime. So, while most people love the city as a vacation spot during the warmer months, most Chicagoans find it a little bit harder to love it during that same time frame. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Word for Word: New Poets to Check Out

By: Songine’ Clarke
I am a big fan of poetry. So, whenever I find new poets, I love sharing their talents. Three poets that I am really interested in right now are Joshua Bennett, Jasmine Mans, and Janette…ikz. 
Joshua Bennett
Joshua Bennett is a spoken word artist from Yonkers, N.Y. As a recent college graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, Joshua is talented. His most famous poem, “10 Things I Want To Say To a Black Woman,” is about all the positive things he wants to say to black women: “It’s something about the way light dances off your teeth. The way the moon gets jealous when you mock her crescent figure with the shape of your mouth.”
Jasmine Mans
Jasmine Mans is a poet and writer who made appearances on “Def Poetry” and "HBO presents: Brave New Voices." Jasmine Mans performed a piece called “Nicki Minaj” at the 2010 Stomp Da Madness at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. With lines like “Leave you noose necked hanging from Zion they will Lauryn Hill you, the mis-education of a Barbie doll coming soon,” this poem turned heads.
Janette McGhee a.k.a Janette…ikz is a spoken word artist from Long Beach, Ca. She has made plenty of appearances on P4CM (The Passion for Christ Movement), where she recited “The Truth without Photoshop” and “I Will Wait for You”. In “I Will Wait for You,” she talks about how she will wait for the man God intended for her to be with instead of being disappointed by the “carbon copies.” She also makes it known with lines like “Cause it was ME who let him in…Claiming we were “just friends”…It was already decided for me by the first date, that even if he wasn’t, I was gonna make him ‘The One’…You know… I was tired of being alone, and I simply made up in my mind, that it was about that time…so I decided to drag him along for the ride…”