Before the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there was Rev. Louis Coleman
Welcome back to the #MustLoveBeards series here at Taji Mag! We took a short (much-needed break). One of our subscribers suggested a profile that was quite different than the men we have featured to this point. Our #MCM is the dearly departed elder Rev. Louis Coleman.
We all know that there is a serious generation gap in our community. Much of the wisdom gained by those who lived during the time of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ella Baker is locked away, waiting to be revealed. The power of technology (specifically social media) is often wasted on memes that divide us rather than unite us. Rev. Coleman’s entire legacy was built on defying these norms.
As a human rights activist and anti-police brutality hero, he fought daily to build up the power of young people in the south. When 19 year old Michael Newby was shot in the back by police, it was Rev. Louis Coleman who reached out to high school and college students to offer not only support, but also a plan. He led the Justice Resource Center in Louisville, KY for years. There, young people could receive job training, learn about the civil rights movement directly from people who lived through it, and fellowship with other community activists.
Rev. Louis Coleman was more than a leader. He was a man who took action. Up until his death in 2008, he worked diligently to bring about community change through legislation and protest. He was a great visionary who welcomed folks from all background to join in the cause for social justice. His love for Black people went beyond his hometown. He was on the front lines after Hurricane Katrina. He fought against the wars our young folks were forced to fight.
Dick Gregory once spoke of Rev. Coleman, commenting that “nobody covers as much territory and spends as much time of his life for the liberation of suffering people.” We venerate Rev. Louis Coleman. The work he put in over more than three decades continues to impact people he never even met. We hope to be at least half the advocate he was for Black people.
Don’t believe the hype despite what you read in a pagan blog. I have spoken to the organizers of the Dawtas of the Moon: Black Witch Convention, and their statement is as follows:
My exact answer that I submitted in writing was as follows: “Since we are having the event in a public space, I cannot say that they cannot come. However, they need to understand that if they make a choice to come they need to recognize that they are in OUR sacred space.” When I hosted the Enter the Womb event, we were on private property which gave me the opening to say no non-women of color and with me renting a public venue, I was not quite sure of how I would be able to carry that for legal reasons. So I used the wording I felt would cover that. However, after doing further research and realizing that we are an organization with specific memberships I am in my full right to say that if you are not a women of color, do not waste your money because I will not refund it.”
So to reiterate…..If you are not a Women of Color, do not come. If you buy a ticket we will dismiss you without refunds because you were told in advance that this event is not for you. If you are a brother…wish us well and send us your love. Make sure your wife, sister, dawta, mother have all their needs met so they can attend this event. ~ Mama Omi of Dawtas of the Moon
You see, I don’t want to spend time trying to explain to non-POC women the intricacies of my life. When the topic of this conference came up, I had to take the time to explain things to them that were exasperating, and ones that I really think they should know.
Part of the lesson I had to teach was that Black Witches/Workers/Healers get it from BOTH ends. Our own people shun us because they have been brainwashed by the church. Even though our practices and beliefs are thousands of years older than theirs (and well documented), they believe and judge us based on a book that was written 300 years after Christ died, and they only believe it because someone told them that they were going to hell of they didn’t.
Incidentally, I keep looking for the physical evidence of my former religion, but I can’t find any. If you can, let me know because I can find plenty of evidence of the religions I follow.
I had to take the time to exaplain how disappointing it is that I’ve been told by Black people that those who practice the ways of our Ancestors are savage devil worshipers. I’ve had family and friends (who I believed had better sense) tell me that they were not comfortable staying in my home anymore, much less having a conversation about my religious beliefs. They change the conversation, walk away, hang up on you, and leave Facebook group conversations without so much as a goodbye.
Now ain’t that a bitch considering I’ve spent my life having theirs shoved down my throat whether I wanted to hear it or not?
This is not to say whites don’t experience that as well, but because of our culture’s deep entrenchment in Abrahamic religions, and our values of keeping families intact that have been ripped apart for so long, these things add extra pain to this kind of ostracization.
So do you think I want a whole day of that shit when what I really want is to be around women who get me?
In my Bey voice, “HELL NAW.”
When I began to study Vodou, other ATRs, and aspects of the Occult (which by definition means “hidden” for nothing more than the above stated reasons), I thought I was entering a place where people had open minds and were welcomed. I found out very quickly how wrong I was. There were few places where I felt welcome, and often I was asked questions like I was the only Black occultist on this planet.
The funny thing is, life is the same for Black people in the occult as it is anywhere else in the world. You get to be the spokesperson for all Black people. Racism doesn’t disappear because someone no longer worships an Abrahamic religion. The venue of this treatment simply changes. It doesn’t go away.
To say I was disappointed is a massive understatement.
There is still a portion of the Pagan population who are racist as the day as long, and, to add insult to injury, we have cultural appropriators running roughshod through our religions and traditions trying to change things about them that make them uncomfortable.
When the writer of the blog referenced above was uncomfortable with Mama Omi’s words, she CHANGED THEM.
“When we call them on it, we are accused of being segregationists, and even racists. It only shows me than many don’t even KNOW what the sociological definition of racist is. You do know you have to have the ability to systematically oppress people, don’t you? Ask any Black person the last time we were able to do that.
Please, I’ll wait.”
We have not been able (or really tried that hard for that matter) to keep non-POCs out of ATRs, so please, please, please tell me how we have oppressed whites by simply saying, “you can’t sit with us” for ONE FUCKING DAY??? Oh, I know what is at play here.
They realize that we might actually like it and start doing it MORE OFTEN.
(You do know that is why there are loitering laws that are always directed at Black people. If you cannot gather, you cannot plan anything.)
Can non-POC still sit “other” places? Yes. Isn’t that what we were always told? How is that “separate but equal” sitting with you now that the shoe is on the other foot? It hurts like your ass has bunions, doesn’t it?
And no, men of ANY COLOR will be in attendance at the conference. I don’t care if you are Black, Brown, and down. The fact that a brother has to point out the fact how we are continuously ignored in the movement on national TV is shameful.
We want, no we FUCKING NEED, a safe place to go to be with women who experience the same things and face the same struggles. And it is not because Black women are not diverse, it is because our oppressors treat us THE SAME!
We have a need to gather, to love, to commune, to bemoan our condition, to find SOLUTIONS, and just to fucking BE!
No, I don’t need “Becky with the Good Hair” or “Mister/Hotep” looking over my shoulder and writing everything down/recording it on an iPhone while I do it.
It just ain’t gonna happen.
So now, I am delighted to see that there is a place for US where we can discuss the strange dualities of the church and Paganism. Where we can be Black and Brown women of all types. Where we can see our diversity even if no one else can. Where we can share, love, support, and grow. I hope that all sista witches support this. To register, please purchase your tickets here:
Centering around the idea of an Ancient Future while embodying the aura of Emperor Haile Selassie I & Empress Menen Asfaw. They’re showcasing the presence of our luxurious Regal lineage as Afrikans, and amplifying the importance of balance & unity between a wombman & a man.
We constantly hear complaints about melanated people not being represented in a positive light, or even represented at all on most television series. The biggest cure for this is creating our own content — produced by us, written by us, played by us. We’ve listed some really dope series below doing just that. Taking control of our narrative! Black Web Series are becoming more and more popular as online viewing and streaming are normalizing. Here are some shows making waves.
We can’t have this post and not list all of the dopeness that is Black&SexyTV (B&STV) first. They are well deserving of the recognition as trailblazers in the genre. They’ve been relatively transparent about their process with their fans who have been on the journey with them since 2012. Through all of their trials and tribulations, they are polishing their brand and readying it for major moves. They are currently in production for the movie of their award winning series, RoomieLiverFriends; also in production for their series The Couple to be on HBO; and have season 1 of one of their newest series, Chef Julien, playing on Centric. For those of us anti-television viewers, Black&Sexy has free minisodes on YouTube, with full episodes via their paid Subscription on VHX. Their platform is available for ROKU, ChromeCast, Android, and iPhone users as well. Here’s a list of their shows you need to catch up on. Hell, be sure to watch the older series as well since all of the characters in the Black&Sexy Universe are connected and make cameos on other shows!
Through the past 4 years B&STV has had a plethora of series. Most that are still in rotation, some that they moved on from, and others that they have rebooted. Since the B&STV Universe is all connected, it’s fun (and important) to even watch the older series. I’ve broken them down categorically as best I could for this beautifully overlapping spider web of shows!
Still in Rotation:
RoomieLoverFriends was my first introduction to the B&STV Universe. It captures the highs and lows of roommates/lovers/friends Tamiko and Jay as they navigate the waters of living together, crushing on each other, and dealing with outside and personal influences.
Sexless follows the lives of 4 best friends who deal with being “Sexless” in their 20s. Stacy & Farrah are virgins. Nolita is attempting to wait until marriage. Wendy is looking for a serious relationship.
Chef Julian is a spinoff from Sexless that gives the dating narrative from the male perspective of Julian, Wendy’s beau from Sexless (see how the web weaves through episodes).
HelloCupid is a crazy story of two friends, Whitney & Robin, who catfish a guy they found on the HelloCupid dating app, who they both end up liking. The story goes so much deeper, but I’m trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible. It’s so much better to watch it and be surprised. The upcoming season features other characters from other shows of the B&STV universe (hence why it makes it so much better to watch EVERY series).
Rider/Nite Rider tell the hilariously outrageous stories that Rider drivers (think Uber or Lyft) experience. Rider has the chill, daytime passengers. Nite Rider always has some craziness… You’ll definitely see some familiar faces from other shows (yup, you guessed it, spider web).
The Number Reboot is a revived series from the original series The Number where Melissa and her fiancé reveal to each other their sexual partner count and her fiancé is thrown for a loop. *Spoiler Alert* In the Reboot Melissa and her fiancé have parted ways and she has now shared her number with her new beau Kevin, who we first met on HelloCupid (more spider webs). This series meshes pettiness, comedy, and emotional attachments like no other!
Yellow is the tale of poor Austin who can’t seem to catch a break and forever experiences life based on his yellow complexion verses his merits. *Not So Spoiler Alert* We find out Yellow is coming back soon with a twist via one of the episodes of Rider!
The Couple, isn’t exactly a reboot, but I’ll place it here because it will feel like it due to it being years since the series last aired and HBO opted to pick it up. This was the second B&STV series I watched and I could relate so much because of the odd hilarities from my own relationship. Guy and Girl depict both the mushy and aggravating sides of living with and committing yourself to another person.
That Guy was definitely one of B&STV’s most popular series. The drama levels were off the charts. It was a dope replacement for the garbage spewed in reality tv and the sudorealism of soap operas. It’s essentially about the personalities, relationships, and roller coasters of Judah and his friends. The spider webs and spoiler alerts are too intense to give more details, so you’ll have to watch for yourself.
Becoming Nia is the spinoff from That Guy that gives the perspective from single mother, Nia, who has a child with Judah and has to navigate being a mom, her feelings for Judah, her self esteem, and the hardships of all of that on a struggling entrepreneurial income.
In addition to all of these dope web series, B&STV provides talk shows, behind the scenes, get to knows, and even their own award show where the fans vote for which characters and actors should win the BLEXY award! They’ve also expanded to feature and sponsor shows from outside producers (“The Process”), including their annual HBCU sponsorship which first went to a Howard University student (“Doing It Wrong”… HU!!) These shows include:
The After Party, Herbs & Honesty, The Underground, Bedtime, Black&Sexy Music Moment, Buy Black for 30, The Process, Doing it Wrong, Blexy Awards & Battle of the G.O.A.Ts
More Black Web Series that you should definitely watch and judge for yourself are… (In no order of excellence, but ranging from romance drama to hood classic…)
Unwritten Rules was based on the book, “40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule: The Diary of a Nigger, Negro, Colored, Black, African-American Woman” (Butterfly Ink Publishing, 2004), and guides us through the comedic realities of Racey Jones, a Black woman in a predominantly white workplace. In all of it’s 3 seasons, I laughed, I got angry, and I laughed some more.
Everything I Did Wrong in My 20s
Everything I Did Wrong in My 20s was 2 seasons of reflecting on life once you hit the dreaded threshold of 30, dun dun dun!! Seriously, you all need to chill and stop acting like 30 is the new 80, you’ll be fine… That’s exactly what the main character in this series starts to discover.
Robin and Charles have known each other since Middle School, but have their first date in their late 20s. As the day of surprises unfolds, they quickly realize there is more than friendship in their future.
Six millennials, living in New York City, all have differing ideals and desires when it comes to life and love. The show centers around their dating encounters, the debates they have among each other, and their day-to-day struggles. We also watch as they each secretly meet with a therapist and share their true feelings about different statistics within the dating world.
Makeup and Breakup the Series
The ups and downs of mixing relationships.
Brothers With No Game
Brothers With No Game follows 4 blokes, childhood friends, through their social and romantic lives.
No Love Lost
Divorced couple navigates life and relationships while still living under the same roof.
How Men Become Dogs
It’s not often you see a group of African American men who’ll be completely honest about their experiences with women, particularly when those encounters reveal them being cheated on, lied to or left behind for someone better. When we think of love in movies, we tend to think of women who endure pain at first, find their long lost love in the middle and finally live ‘happily ever after’ in the end. Unfortunately, in real life that’s not always the case… especially for men. See for yourself…
The complexities of love and friendship from a group of urban mid twenty somethings.a
Anonymous (The Diary of the Other Woman)
Anonymous (The Diary of the Other Woman) an edgy, seductive and captivating web series that will grab your attention and keep you wondering what will happen next. Its vivid content, subject matter and diversity gives it everything that you want in a series but have yet to see. This series is going to touch on subjects that are sensitive to some and most people will be able to relate to & it will always keep you wanting more…
In the series premiere, Simone is considering another man while her husband, Braden, works to keep his past a secret. Then the drama unfolds…
What happens when your man is locked up? And you’re on the outside trying to maintain life? What decisions do you make?
What Happened to Love
A dramedy based on the state of love and relationships.
A comedy about being fresh on the dating scene and going on first dates again.
A twisting and turning drama about intersecting relationships.
When the realest person on your team is your woman, you gotta respect that. This is street romance in its rawest form. Many people talk about or say they want that ride or die love… but it’s a rare occasion when they actually mean it.
A look into the different paths people take on the streets of Brooklyn.
A courageous young man who commits to defrauding checks must find out and realizes that his loyalty comes with a price.
In this urban base crime drama Chalice “HOOD” Pruitt struggles to put his life back together after serving eight years of a twelve year sentence for his role in the murder of Diane Clark wanting nothing more than to have a relationship with a daughter he has never met HOOD desperately tries to find the balance of being dedicated father and the next air to the Pruitt family criminal legacy.
Living the Trap King lifestyle.
A story based on Love, Lust, Heartache, Music and Inspiration.
The Worst Of Us
When an accidental murder is committed by one of five siblings they make a poor attempt to cover up the gruesome crime. Roz Hood, the eldest of the quintet, also a convicted felon, uses her feminine wiles to seduce Barks Daily, brother to the victim, in an effort to throw him off her sexual deviant sister’s trail.
We’d also like to lay mention to www.ColoredContent.com which hosts a lot of these shows and more on their platform, as well as TheVillageTV which is producing a string of shows to launch in July!
Keep in mind that most of these shows are working on negative budgets or whatever they’ve gained from crowd sourcing and/or membership dues. If you have it in your pockets, please invest in these shows because representation matters. We can’t keep complaining that “they” don’t cast us while doing nothing about it. I’m all for creating your own instead of waiting on a generous hand, especially when that hand is most famous for the mass genocide, impoverishment, and imprisonment of our people. Here we have us doing for us, so donate, subscribe, share, yell it from the roof tops. Cut back on cable channels that you don’t watch and give that money to them. Hell, I quit cable all together years ago, and definitely prefer online viewing and being able to give to Black&SexyTV every month instead. Pockets looking linty? Guess what! Clicking the like, subscribe, and share buttons don’t cost you a penny, but it means the world to these content producers! Go indulge!
Let us know your favorites in the comments and tell us any we’ve missed to update our list!
Okay, you got us. This is pure speculation, but why else would NONE of Netflix be working the Saturday after the release of the highly anticipated series, Luke Cage? Lucky for us, we binged watched it before Netflix glitched.
** LUKE CAGE SPOILER ALERT **
Reading beyond this point without having watched all 13 episodes of the most Blackity Black series in years is all on you…
We watched proudly as a strong Black Man, who refused to be called nigga, came to grips with his unexpected abilities. If you’re a comic junky, you’ll enjoy it for purely that. If you’ve seen any of the news surrounding the Black community since 2014, you’ll be mmhmm-ing and uhhhuhh-ing for 13 straight episodes. The not so underlying tone is a Black man in a (usually Black) hoodie, framed for charges/crimes he didn’t commit, who is constantly being shot at. Aka. Ode to Trayvon Martin.
Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter, sees the dirtbags that rule Harlem and eventually decides, with the push of barber shop owner Pops, to do something about it. The show taking place in Harlem is gold gem #2, #1 obviously being the BEAUTIFUL predominately Black cast. The vernacular is real and relatable enough, where you don’t feel like anyone is stereotyping. It felt like a family reunion with all of the colorful family members most of us can relate to in some form or fashion. The interpersonal relations were also real. For a fictional series, everything felt real enough to the point where you get wrapped up in it and almost forget you’re watching a scifi show. That is until he punches someone into a wall.
Yes, Luke Cage whips a lot of ass and it feels like vindication for all of us. Backstory (based on the show): Luke went to prison due to a frame job. His CO convinced him into joining the prison fight club. All the while, the doctors of the prison were watching him and other potential prisoners closely for an experiment they were conducting. Luke got injured badly and the doctors placed him into the tank that was meant to rapidly heal, but of course something goes wrong and electricity surges everywhere and by the time he woke up he had super strength and his skin was impenetrable. Essentially, he was “bulletproof.” They broke down the science, but we won’t give everything away…
He broke himself out of prison in Georgia as Carl Lucas, swam to shore, and resurfaced as Luke Cage in Harlem. He worked a day job as the janitor at Pops barber shop, and a night job as the dish washer/substitute bartender at Harlem’s Paradise. His day job and his night job eventually both come colliding and he could no longer hide in the shadows. Since we want those who said “eff yo spoiler alert” to form their own conclusions we’ll stop here, but the ins and out and plot twists make this series an amazing roller coaster. The villains are as fun as heroes. To see how little loyalty there is among villains and to watch the community come together (eventually) in support of their hero, all mixed in with musical cameos, Black women with natural hair styles, and life lessons dropped on EVERY episode, makes this is proud moment in Black history.
#RepresentationMatters. Luke Cage and Misty Knight are as important characters as Black Panther and the whole Wakanda nation. Although Taji is ALWAYS here for stories about us created by us, we’re also here for when the larger platforms represent the community as close as possible. There were some notions we could have done without, but we won’t let that 7% outweigh the 93% of dope Blackity Blackness. So hop on your Netflix, or borrow someone’s password, and clear your calendar for 13 hours. Thank us later 😉