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

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…”

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Single Ladies": Art Imitating Life?

By: Ebony L. McCline

Despite the age, for many African-American women living the "single life" is very much a reality. While the reasons may vary, this is especially true for those women who are professionals. You know, the women who appear to have it all when it comes to their careers. For most of these women, having it "all" comes at a price, then the age old question comes to mind: is it going to be a successful career or a happy family? Of course, this is 2011, but let's be real, just as much as we see teen pregnancies, we also see single, successful women of all ages without any children. To this very day, I still wreck my brain trying to figure out if you can truly have both. Most of the time, it comes down to sacrifice, which one is most important at a particular time in your life?

It's not as if single women can escape this reality that is harsh for some, because there are constant reminders everywhere. It's the topic of phone conversations, talk show discussions, it's all the rage on social networking sites, and it's played out in movies and now on VH1's new series, "Single Ladies." Just two weeks ago, the telling series premiered, stirring up quite a bit of conversation. 

The first thing I thought was that the series is definitely an example of art imitating life. With a star-studded cast of beautiful actors/actresses, "Single Ladies" is one show that has the ability to have some promise. As much as the story lines can be a bit far-fetched, at the core, it all makes sense. Unfortunately, I'm sure viewers can actually relate. The point is made that women, especially African-American women, are single for their own individual reasons. 

Logically, you would assume that the older you get, the easier a lot of things would be, but that seems to be so far from the truth, especially when it comes to relationships. One thing is for sure, as much energy that is put into talking about being single and trying to analyze your "status," that same energy could be channeled towards being productive in that same area. Maybe the issue is that most women would rather "talk" about it opposed to being about it. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Are Children Growing Up Too Fast?

By: Isis Nicole

The day I returned to my hometown, I was amazed at the sight of my 7-year-old brother playing with his Nintendo DSi. I tried to be the cool, older sister. So, I decided to share my gadget owning days in an effort to relate. Back in the day, I had a Gameboy Color and a Polaroid i-Zone. I went on and on about my experiences and to my surprise, he interrupted my story with a click of a button. My photograph was taken instantly and morphed right onto the screen. He made my image look deformed, laughed, and said, “Ice, I’m gonna put you on YouTube.” I wondered, how in the world does he know about YouTube? Furthermore, how does he know about blackmail? More importantly, why does he have internet access?! He’s only seven! 

Not too long after the run in with my younger brother, we both met up with our six-year-old sister. She wasn't flashing pictures in an effort to blackmail me, but she was having a fit about her Nintendo DSi battery dying. “I need to connect to Jordan,” she said. I was confused. It was mind bottling that they were so comfortable with technology, like mini experts. 

Here I am, a 20-year-old college student with a box full of stuffed animals, trolls, and notes, while my younger siblings are already concerned with social networks and video games. I can’t be too upset, because unlike most children their age, they still play outside for hours. As long as they still get fresh air and a chance to use their imagination, I’m okay with them having a blast playing Mario. I mean, all I got were board games, cheap graphics, and plastic.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Another “Hangover”

By: Ebony L. McCline

Prior to this past Memorial Day weekend, many people waited, for what seemed like forever, to see the highly-anticipated sequel to "Hangover." Last week, the wait was over, as people all over the country crowded movie theaters with the hope that this sequel could live up to the original. 

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to compete with an original, especially if the original was so good. In this case, "Hangover" is one movie that will go down as a classic when it comes to comedies. So, when word got out that there would be a part two, people were definitely excited about it, even if they had reservations. 

This spring alone, we’ve seen the same story lines done over and over again in movies like "Scream 4" and "FastFive." Somehow, viewers just keep coming back for more, even when they know the outcome. Whether you had high expectations for "Hangover 2" or not, you have to admit that it did a pretty good job considering what is was up against. 

Although the story line is almost the same, the location changes, which adds a different element. The fact that the same actors return is a plus, as well. Without giving too much away, each actor takes his character to the next level, while staying true to himself. Bradley “Phil” Cooper adds the looks and the same serious, yet comical relief. Ed “Stu” Helms is still quirky. Zach “Allen” Galifianakis brings everything to the movie, and without him, it just wouldn’t be the same. Justin “Doug” Bartha plays a small role in this one, but he’s still just as responsible as you remember. 

In just one week, "Hangover 2" grossed more than $200 million. This is one sequel that is definitely a must-see.