Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our Children, Our Future: Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

By: Ebony L. McCline

As of late, many thoughts have been flowing through this brain of mine but one seems to bother me the most. As a person that has many family members who aren’t “skinny,” weight and healthy food choices are always a part of some conversation when we all get together. I look at the youngest children in my family and all I can think about is where did we go wrong?

I look at my younger cousins and I see the food choices they make on the regular: pop over juice, juice over water, chips over carrots, and candy over fruit. Although it’s rather disturbing to me, I’m at odds with myself when trying to decide if depriving them of these items is a great idea. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know right from wrong, but is it fair for me to say that they can’t have chips when I practically lived off chips when I was their age? Not to mention, I took multiple trips to the corner store as a child and none of my purchases consisted of water, carrots, fruit, or even juice for that matter.

I like to think that part of being a child is being able to eat whatever you want. We’re told that our metabolism is fast, our “baby teeth” will fall out and that it’s just “baby fat” that won’t follow us into adulthood. However, this notion is seeming more like a myth these days. In fact, I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad when I saw a little girl on the treadmill in the gym yesterday.

Times have definitely changed and today, we’re seeing more overweight children and many celebrities, activists, and politicians who are supporting initiatives for children to live healthier lifestyles. However, in the meantime, as parents, family members, and someone that these children interact with on a regular basis, maybe it’s time to take matters into our own hands.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Marsha Ambrosius' "Far Away" Hits Close to Home

 By: Isis Nicole

“Far Away” by Marsha Ambrosius without a doubt leaves a powerful impression on friendships, relationships, love, and loss. The song itself is a genuine piece and the visuals compliment its sincerity. As I was watching the video, I kept thinking to myself, what a beautiful way to address something so sensitive in the lives of just about everyone. No matter where you stand regarding sexual preferences, it’s not impossible to agree on the reality that hate crimes are ignorant and that it would hurt to lose someone you love.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Everything Doesn’t Need an Upgrade

By: Ebony L. McCline

While catching up on some news, I ran across some rather disturbing information. Apparently, Monopoly is the newest casualty in the world of technology.

The joy of holding paper money in your hand is gone. The great feeling you get when you land on “community chest” or “chance” is gone. The freedom to move your own body as much as you want is gone. Instead, a debit card will let you know your balance, “community chest” and “chance” is all done electronically, and an infrared sensor will detect your every move. So, that trip to the bathroom may be out of the question. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that there’s a huge tower that sits in the middle of the board. You know, the middle of the board where you use to roll the dice, which is no longer a feature.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of technology, but while stumbling upon this information, I was quite disturbed for a number of reasons:

1. Looking at your huge pile of money, while the person who landed on your property has a thin, sickly stack of bills is the best part of the game. Take that away, then where’s the excitement when someone lands on your property. The idea is to make the most money and have other players envy you. A debit card doesn’t have the same impact.

2. Having no dice in monopoly is like having a laptop with no internet service. What’s the point? Rolling actual dice makes you feel like a big shot, especially when you get doubles!

3. I know I’m not the only one that gets excited when I land on “chance” or “community chest.” As soon as I pull the card, I always look at the other players to make sure they’re not trying to look at it, too. I know, it’s weird, but it always feels like it’s a secret, at least until you read it out loud.

4. Last, but certainly not least, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with sitting in one place for too long. For this reason, I’m equally not as comfortable with having a 10-inch computer tower telling me what to do. Maybe my mom turned her back and I want to move 10 spaces and not two, that’s MY prerogative, right?

Maybe I’m just getting old, but I’ll always prefer the “old” version that’s sitting in my hall closest. I’ll leave the “new” monopoly to the younger generations!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Single Girl Swag on Valentine’s Day!

By: Songine' Clarke

Being single on Valentine’s Day for as long as I can remember, I’ve found ways of dealing with not having a special someone on Valentine’s Day. There are plenty of ways a single can bear without having a Valentine on this holiday. If you’re able to treat yourself to a day of being your own Valentine, you should. Whether it’s getting your nails done, buying yourself that perfume you love or buying yourself a nice piece of jewelry; there’s no need to have someone shower you with gifts. If you can’t lavish yourself with gifts, then you can find friends who are single this holiday as well and just have fun. There’s also the option of staying in the house and having ladies night or going out with the ladies to “paint the town red.” If you don’t do anything this Valentine’s day, I would like for you to at least do this one thing: try to be content with being single this Valentine’s Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It’s Supposed to Snow in the Winter, Right?

By: Ebony L. McCline
For the last week, the talk around the country has been all about the weather. I don’t know about you, but it’s starting to drive me insane. The snow itself doesn’t bother me, but the talk about the snow does. It probably bothers me too much. In fact, anytime someone attempts to talk to me about “all the snow”  or the “below zero temps,” I respond with a dumb look that says, “Hello, it’s winter!” 
I’ve lived in Chicago for 25 years, yet it still amazes me how each winter, Chicagoans act like the cold and all that comes along with it is something brand new. Now, don’t get me wrong, the snowstorm that we endured last week was classic, for lack of a better word. In most places, there was at least 2 feet of snow that blanketed the streets, sidewalks, expressways and cars. Businesses closed down early on Tuesday, the city shut down on Wednesday and by Thursday, some schools and businesses were still closed. So, it had to be epic, right? 
Epic may be the appropriate adjective considering Lake Shore Drive and Chicago has been getting so much attention lately. To my surprise, the two were trending worldwide on Yahoo and on Twitter simultaneously. As promised, I’m sure this is one winter that will go down in history and finally I can add this to the list of things that I lived to see right after the first African-American President. Oh, yeah, he’s from Chicago, too. 
It usually takes quite a bit to surprise me, especially when it comes to something as uncontrollable as the weather. So, I tend to stay as far away from the “weather” conversations as possible. It seems like a waste of time to talk about something that is undoubtedly out of our control. However, what would surprise me is if Chicago got 2 feet of snow in July. Yes, that would definitely surprise me. Only then, I would attempt to engage in a “weather” conversation. So, until that happens, spare me the agony. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Review of “What Happens in My House” by Patrice Howard

By: Frances Moffett

“What happens in my house, stays in my house.”
For many African-American households, this saying could have been engraved on a plaque hanging right above the front doorway—a stern reminder that everything that goes on between those walls is to stay there. But this same saying can also lead to years of lies and secrecy, which is what rising author Patrice Howard details in her debut novel, “What Happens in My House.”
The book introduces you to the Seaborn family, a tight, close-knit unit whose roots were laid in the church. The story begins with the main character and narrator Noelle discovering that her teenage sister is pregnant. On her search to determine who the unborn child’s father is, she finds out that there is more to the situation that she initially thought. Noelle eventually unlocks a history of secrets including incest and sexual abuse—something she hadn’t expected from her “God-fearing” family.
Soon, she is faced with the decision to continue to sweep these transgressions under the rug or reveal the truth. The story follows Noelle and her family as they come to terms with the ugliness with which they are faced.
“What Happens in My House” is an enthralling work that tells a story we often don’t hear in the African-American community. It embraces the taboo subject of sexual abuse and gives a real account of how it affects not only the victim but those who live with and love that person. It also attests to the real-life notion that not all stories end with a “happily ever after.”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


By Isis Nicole & Bonita Holmes
‘Twas a ‘SENSATIONNEL’ evening in Chicago at the Sheraton Hotel, filled with gifted beauticians, beautiful models and fine dining. Up until the SENSATIONNEL New Year’s Party, this previous Sunday I had only imagined the makings of a quick weave hair show. Let me tell you folks, my imagination was fulfilled. Entering into the event just a few minutes shy of being on time, I got a chance to peek at the young women gathered around the foyer emulating the dress of animals found in jungles. By this time, I could tell that this was just the beginning of my electrified hair fantasies. 
Posters of women with neatly styled SENSATIONNEL brand hair filled the second floor of the Sheraton Hotel while media, hairstylists, beauticians, models and onlookers awaited the start of the show. Women with pink collared shirts and short professionally styled hair directed guests to their seats. The ballroom featured at least 100 tables elegantly decorated with dinnerware, white tablecloths and neatly crafted centerpieces. More posters of women modeling SENSATIONNEL brand hair filled the ballroom, while gift bags worth over $150 nearly consumed all walking space. SENSATIONNEL models opened the show with a performance of the song, “Whip My Hair” by Willow Smith. The party had begun.
SENSATIONNEL models were selected through YK Management Inc., a Chicago-based modeling agency, started by Yoshimi Kiosha in 2009. “SENSATIONNEL hair hired me to select the models for the event,” said Kiosha, who considered the SENSATIONNEL hair show to be among some of the high-end shows she’s ever done. The models wore black leggings, brightly colored wigs and black shirts with glittered writing that read Bump, Start To Finish, Premium Now and Goddess—all hair brands by SENSATIONNEL.
The show started with a performance by the Capri Beauty College who gave the audience a Barbie-themed showcase. Each model rocked a unique, polychromatic hairstyle, tutu skirts and swayed across the stage mimicking Nicki Minaj songs throughout. After a performance interval, Ms. Roberts Beauty Academy took the stage with a lion king-themed performance that featured exotic animal-like hair. This performance was the only one that featured plus-sized models. Lastly, the Dudley Beauty College gave a celebrity themed performance, which featured those impersonating Etta James and Ike and Tina Turner.
Following SENSATIONNEL’s hair show was a tap dance routine by Chicago’s own, Madd Rhythms. Each dancer entered the stage unaccompanied merely to create a unified group. What really got the crowd’s excitement flowing again was their tap dance break down to Chicago’s house music. Madd Rhythms’ performance was clever, full of energy and stayed true to its Chicago roots. Later that evening, hip hop dance group The Industry hit the stage with a routine that unfortunately was not as hard hitting as the rest of the show. Nevertheless, The Industry stayed dedicated to the fierce and fun ambiance of the night exclusively with a smile.
Then, there was dessert. Singer and Actor Terrell Carter, known for his appearance in Tyler Perry’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” graced the stage tall, dark, handsome and in an unbuttoned shirt. Ladies sighed and smiled as he continued with a love song, “Better Than” inspired by his ideals on how to treat a woman. His voice was passionate and powerful with remnants of church.
Closing the performances was singer Shirley Murdock who was the absolute icing on the cake! I have to be honest, I was a little surprised when she started off singing her hit single “As We Lay,” but it was a pleasant experience she and the audience shared as they reminisced with the words of the song. Her voice was uplifting and her presence was that of a diva. She owned it! Shirley Murdock then took a moment out to encourage the audience with the song “Stand.” Her voice filled the room strong and heartfelt, leaving some beauticians standing on their feet. It was the perfect ending to a happy new year.