I have recently started counting calories, so that means I may no longer keep a strict number of how many things I discuss in this here Sunday thing of ours (this week is 8 vs the usual 10). This lifestyle change has also impacted the scheduling of the release which is now “sometime on Sunday.” Thank you for your understanding lol
8) BRANDON BLACKWOOD VS. BLACK TWITTER
This past Tuesday, Black handbag designer Brandon Blackwood was ripped to shreds (to match his bags?) by Black Twitter after some people reported receiving some poorly made product.
As you can observe the shipped out product was quickly and sloppily made, looking nothing like advertised. There is no ombre, no care nor consideration. I feel like, when your brand shares your name…you ought to do better.
Others chimed in with similar experiences even pointing out the unhelpful and kind of rude responses from the brand/their customer service. According to Business Insider last month, Blackwood was on target to gross $30 MM this year…so certainly he can do better than this?
Blackwood also went viral the week before when a friend of a model who appeared in his campaign complained that her friend only got $300 and didn’t even get a bag! Blackwood clapped back:
After all the drama, Blackwood attempted to make things right. He offered full refunds to anyone who is dissatisfied with their “End Systemic Racism,” bag as well as made amends and payments to the previously underpaid model.
I’ve never publicly spoke about those “ESR” bags, but I do find them slightly corny in my opinion. The whole thing felt weird to me…I also would never wear a “Black Lives Matter” t shirt…I will just live my black ass life.
I suppose it’s a good idea in theory…to get the message out there. Plenty of people like the bags, and I love that for them. I wonder if they also wore Dashikis to go to see Black Panther? However I feel like the “End Systemic Racism” bag hits harder if white people wear it, like a black square on their Instagram.
7) NFL RACE NORMING
One of the most dangerous organizations in the country has done it again. This week the NFL came out saying they will stop “race-norming,” which is the assumption that black players start out with lower brain function; possibly as a way to not have to payout hefty brain injury lawsuits.
Other than prisons, organized sports — especially football, are the clearest indicators that the slave/owner mentality is still present. This organization has practically been using eugenics in the treatment of their employees…without which, there would be no league!
Of course we already knew the NFL was racist, but this feels even sicker than what we’ve seen prior.
6) ME FOR PRAISING VANESSA CARLTON
After doing some thinking, reading and researching on the situation… I’m not sure if I want to praise Vanessa Carlton for clearing the song. See last week’s issue (#1 “Great” for reference). I kind of glossed over the serious nature of what the song implies, without knowing the full, devastating history.
In short, there’s essentially a gang war happening in Jacksonville, Florida. Both sides of the gang have been taunting each other, making songs about fallen gang members on the opposite side who they’ve allegedly “smoked.” Aside from snitching on themselves, the songs…although catchy, are just perpetuating the violence. As I did say last week, art imitates life…but sometimes the art can provoke and end lives.
On top of that, even though both Vanessa and the rappers are getting money off the song…it feels weird for her to be make profit off of black pain and defend it. At the end of the day, black men are dying.
For a quick deep dive on the situation in Jacksonville take a look at this video below.
If you want even more information, watch this longer video here
NEITHER HERE NOR THERE
5) SWIZZ + TIMB’S VERZUZ REMATCH
I’m not quite sure who asked for this, but Swizz and Timbaland did a rematch of their Verzuz…I guess on the 1 year Anniversary? It was okay, although I am very excited and proud of their success and sale of the Verzuz brand to Triller.
It seems like Swizz went to Harvard Business School and came out bussin’! Earlier this year, Swizz and Timb sold Verzuz to Triller while still owning full creative control. Another great thing about the deal, is that every artist that performed on Verzuz now owns a piece of Triller.
As far as the actual Verzuz I have two comments:
1) Twenty minutes into the event, which started on time (!!)… Timbland sweated out his $1,290 yellow silk Fendi Shirt
2) I had no idea Swizz Beats produced “I Wish I Didn’t Miss You,” by Angie Stone (A BANGER)
4) “40 YEARS” SINCE FIRST US AIDS CASE
Yesterday, the news kept reporting that it has been 40 years since the first cases of AIDS were reported in America. I suppose technically that is true…but not really because those cases in 1981 were actually not the first.
I can’t remember when I first learned that the first case of a HIV/AIDS death was actually Robert Rayford, a 16 year old black boy in 1969 St. Louis…but it’s a fact I’ll never forget. Of course at the time, doctors had no idea what AIDS was and it took them until 1987 to make the connection in this case.
Robert Rayford began showing symptoms in 1966 and entered the hospital a few years later. I’ll spare you the horrifying details of the case but I implore you to do your googles. Some people noted that at the time, St.Louis was a major international hub for TWA airlines… as many early AIDS patients had connections to travel.
Rayford didn’t speak much with his white doctors, who assumed that he was a child prostitute and/or a closeted homosexual due to the location of some of his wounds. Others believe maybe he could’ve caught the disease from drugs, not sex. Check out a really interesting and well researched blog post for more information about that. Rayford would succumb to the disease in 1969.
In the late 80’s, after we knew what AIDS was…Dr. Robert Garrey of Tulane University tested Rayford’s remains and basically confirmed that he had the virus. In even sadder news, I just recently read that the last remains of Rayford were lost in Hurricane Katrina.
I put this in neither here nor there because although there is a lot of sadness, death and unnecessary shame associated with the disease… we truly are living in a much better world for those affected than we were 40 years ago, thanks to the hard work of scientists.
3) ATLANTA’S MET GALA: P’S BIRTHDAY BASH
It was a Peach State Prom this week for Quality Control CEO, Pierre Thomas…lovingly known as “P.” Everybody was out, even wild cage animals. P was escorted the entire night by Diddy who was kind of acting like he was his date…or like it was his party.
A highlight for me was this man who had “That Nigga” etched into his suit jacket:
I think Yung Miami was definitely the best dressed in her party and after party looks:
2) TEXAS GIRL GOES ROGUE AT GRADUATION
This week the Valedictorian of Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, went totally rogue and didn’t recite her approved speech but instead made a powerful statement about abortion.
In her speech, Paxton Smith discusses the recently passed Heartbeat Bill which bans abortion past six weeks. She expresses the sheer terror of what this means for all women in the state, who seemingly now have zero control over their bodies. Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks. She talks about her fear for the future…what if my contraceptives fail? What if I’m raped?
Although she got a good amount of applause, I love when rooms are made uncomfortable. I am obsessed with people speaking their mind, for the good of all. Definitely watch the video about, because she did what had to be done.
1) NAOMI OSAKA TAKES MENTAL HEALTH BREAK
Speaking of doing what had to be done… shout out to Naomi Osaka. This week she made headlines by taking a mental health break and withdrawing from the French Open.
Before officially withdrawing, she first said she wasn’t going to do press because of the effect on her mental health. She was willing to pay the fine. After that made some chatter (the very thing she seemingly wanted to avoid), she made the decision to just withdraw.
I don’t watch tennis but I might have to start when she returns. I love everything about this. Except her declining mental health. Not only is she already rich, so she can afford not to work…she’s also young as hell and has her entire career ahead of her.
More importantly than that, she’s putting herself first. Which is something that we all ought to do. It’s not meant to be selfish, or to slight other people…it’s meant to replenish you.
Sidebar, I love how Venus spoke on the situation and how she handles press:
But back to loving yourself, please do. The title of the email is the type of time I’m on. A lot of times, we love to focus on others…making them happy, caring what they think, doing things to impress them. None of that matters when you’re not locked in with your soul.
I’m not saying that the relationships in our lives are meaningless, I’m just saying that the most important connection that you will ever have (outside of God) is the relationship you have with yourself. So make sure you are taking time to really get to know you and give yourself what you need to flourish.
After all it’s not you, it’s me. :)