Category Archives: Lifestyle

24Sep/20

Misogynistic Women

MISOGYNISTIC WOMEN

Can we discuss the dynamics that cause women to verbally destroy other women simply for being human? Can we PLEASE talk about how women came out of the woodwork to laugh at and drag Cardi B. for doing what was right for her!!  Come on, let’s unpack this.

The level of cattiness surrounding Cardi’s decision to divorce her husband was damn near unparalleled. She gave her heart to a man she loved. He cheated and she gave him another chance. When he proved to be unable to keep it in his pants, Cardi chose her peace of mind and that of her child’s by walking away. So, why did women across the country rise up to vilify her? Why the disdain? Why, oh why all the judgments? “If she had cooked and cleaned he wouldn’t have cheated. If she was a better wife and not a former stripper he would have stayed home. If she would have xyz then he wouldn’t need to cheat” 

WHY Y’ALL?? Well, let me offer a few reasons why so many fangs came out in defense of the cheater and not the victim.  Could it be that women saw in Cardi what they themselves wish they had? Could it be that the truth Cardi spoke contradicted the lies these women lived? I wanted to take each woman, sit her down and ask “Sis, who hurt you?” because that type of vitriol is borne out of pain. 

It’s extremely difficult for women to see themselves in another woman’s situation when that woman chooses peace and they have not. It’s easier to place blame than it is to heal their pain. It’s easier to claim they found a way to keep their man from cheating than it is for them to face their own mans infidelity. But you know, people in glass houses…right? 

Make no mistake, the women screaming  “you should’ve done this and that” are the same ones who go through their mans’ phone while he’s asleep or in the shower. They are the same ones finding their man sent dick pics to random chicks. They are the same ones sitting home mad asf because he supposedly had to work late but he’s not answering his office phone. They are the same ones popping up on his job to make sure he’s actually there. They are the same ones stressing because yet another chick called her saying she’s pregnant by her man. 

When Cardi said “no more” and filed for divorce, she triggered thousands of women who secretly wish they had the courage to do the same. Thousands of women who are stuck in the turmoil of their man saying he loves them yet cheats every chance he gets. Blaming the victim for being victimized is a trauma response Sis. Spitting hatred at the one who’s hurting is a trauma response Sis.  Blaming another woman for a man’s ashy behavior is misogynistic Sis!! 

How did women get here? How did women forget that sisters need each other? How did women forget that Sisterhood is powerful? How did women end up equating being in a relationship with societal validation? How did women get to the place where they believe struggle love is preferred over affirming relationships? How do women end up choosing drama and chaos over peace? I’ll tell you how; years upon years of unhealed pain. Years upon years of unrecognized and internalized trauma has caused women to turn on their sisters when they need each other the most. However, until they face what’s truly going on in their lives they will continue to project their issues onto others continuing the cycle. 

What did Shakespeare write? “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”…yeah, that part. 

18Sep/20

Diezie Sahn is a Triple Force AND Serving Us Fight Choreo

Born and raised in West Africa Liberia, Diezie Sahn is a promising actor, screenwriter, and director, specializing in martial arts and fight choreography, now based in Atlanta. He has acted and performed stunts in several short films, despite battling a speech impediment, and has received the CMF and  TERMINUS “BEST ACTOR” Awards. His recent Lead role in the P.S.A, “Corona Man,” went viral. Before breaking into the film industry, Diezie lived in an Ivory Coast refugee camp during the Liberian Civil War. He refuses to allow anything to stop him from achieving his goal of empowering others through film.

Taji Mag (TM): What inspired you to become an actor?

Diezie Sahn

Diezie Sahn (DS): I remember vividly at the age of 7, in the town we were living called “12 houses,” my siblings and I were attending a small community school and my mother had been encouraging me to sing in church. She decided that she would register me to perform in the Bible play, “King Solomon”, and I was to play King Solomon. I was completely terrified! Here I was, a stuttering 7-year-old child, who now had to perform in front of hundreds of people at the end of the school year. The entire school would think I was a joke. I was upset with my mother and didn’t care to see what she saw in me, but my mother was relentless. She drilled the entire play with me for days so that I would be prepared for the role. To this day, I still remember my lines. When the big day came, I was beyond ready. That was when I realized that acting and performing was my purpose in life. On stage, I can speak freely through the characters and truly express myself. For the first time, my voice was heard. I felt free and happy.  

TM: What films, directors, and/or actors have influenced you?

DS: Every film I’ve ever seen growing up influenced me in some ways. Western films, the Asian martial arts films that were popularized at the time, and Nigerian (Nollywood) films. I was intrigued by the Asian films because of the action, the western films introduced me to real acting, and the Nigerian films opened my mind to telling our own African stories.  
I believe that life is a busy intersection we all crossing through to create a path that fits each of us. My influences are the ones like myself who didn’t allow stuttering to stop them from becoming great: Bruce Willis, Steve Jobs, Samuel L Jackson, James Earl Jones, Legendary B.B King, Steve Harvey, Harvey Keitel, Kendrick Lamar, Elvis Presley, John Gomez, Marilyn Monroe, Emily Blunt, Julia Roberts. The list goes on! They inspire me to persevere. 

TM: What type of films do you most look forward to creating/participating in? 

Diezie Sahn

DS: I look forward to playing James Bond one day or I’ll create my own James Bond-style movie with an African actor as the lead. I’d also like the opportunity to play a superhero.  I think it would be awesome to see an African man in the sky doing something out of the normal beside flying to out of his country. 

Follow Diezie Sahn’s journey at on Instagram!

18Sep/20

Indie Artist XAV. Invites Us to Get “Jiggy” in Melodic New Single + Visual

Harlem born and raised, indie rapper-producer XAV. released his debut single “Jiggy” in July to fans who have been patiently waiting for his first single as a solo act (XAV. is one half of the group Xav and Ola). The single was written and produced by XAV. with a seamless feature from fellow Cleveland-born rapper, Trill Mah, who adds to the melodic aesthetic of the track with their own witty, sharp lyricism. The single, “Jiggy”, is a lighthearted track that is the perfect addition to your summertime playlist. In the lyrics, XAV. lets us in on his more playful side as he’s detailing his interest in a young lady, eager to know if she’s interested in getting jiggy with him.

XAV Jiggy

Stream “Jiggy” on all DSPs

The visual for “Jiggy” was shot before we ever heard the phrase ‘social distancing’. In true indie-artist fashion, XAV. tapped into his community to vividly transform his single from lyrics to screen. Friends and fellow artists gathered to take us back to a time when tripping and vibing with your friends at house parties and on rooftops was a reality. The overall vision was flawlessly executed by Indian female filmmaker and photographer, Tashi Bhutia, who directed and edited the visual. 

Quarantine has been a personal experience of ups and downs for all of us. XAV. is using this time to continue to create and engage, whether that means releasing new music, talking trash on XBox, or using his platform to be outspoken about systemic racism and police brutality. For XAV., the debut single “Jiggy” is only the beginning.

“I do this 100% indie with love, creativity and thoughtfulness,” says XAV. “I hope you feel that in the song and video. There’s so much that I have been working on during this time and want to continue to create art that speaks to the humanity of my community. I want to make sure that I am creating art that allows us the freedom to vibe without restriction.”

To keep up with all things XAV. be sure to follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

18Sep/20

Taiwo Aloba Releases Chapbook, “Surulere, Lagos”

Taiwo Aloba is proud to offer her latest chapbook, Surulere, Lagos, that has hit Amazon in September 2020. In Surulere, Lagos, Taiwo Aloba offers a map to the city life of Lagos. With deep roots in her African culture, the New York-based writer guides her readers through a series of honest and reflective accounts of growing up in Lagos. Born and raised in Lagos, Taiwo Aloba believes that her poetry mirrors her perception of the world. She explores topics like identity, culture celebration, corruption, systemic violence, and religious fanaticism. 

Surulere Lagos Taiwo Aloba

“I am so proud to offer you all a feast in my new work. “Surulere, Lagos” is now available on Amazon: @amazonkindle @amazon (Ebook and Paperback). I threw all of myself into it. I  wrote, edited, and published it. It is a labor of love and creativity. Surulere, Lagos is truly a gift, and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.” – Taiwo Aloba. 

18Sep/20

Virtual 51st Annual Af-Am Day Parade Happening This Sunday

The African American Day Parade, Inc. (AADP), one of the largest and oldest parades of Black American culture, will virtually host the 51st Annual African American Day Parade on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 12pm. It will be hosted live across Facebook, Youtube, our website homepage, and Scratchvision. The 51st annual parade will honor individuals and organizations that have made key contributions to the African American Community through Business as this year’s parade theme is “A Tribute to Black Business”.

Sponsors of this year’s parade include Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), WBLS, TWU Local 100, Scratchvision, the National Association of Black Accountants, and Mech Multimedia Agency. “We are excited to virtually celebrate Black culture,” exclaims AADP Chairman and Board Certified Chaplain at MSKCC, Yusuf Hasan. “For over 50 years, this parade has served as a vital platform for showcasing our heritage and history from our perspective. We feel it is extremely important to continue in this legacy as it uplifts our people.”

Details
The African American Day Parade, Inc. (AADP) will host the 51st Annual African American Day Parade Virtually
Sunday, September 20, 2020, at 12pm
Tune in via: AADP website, Scratchvision TV),
FaceBook Live, YouTube Live

18Sep/20

BAM partners with Rambert Dance Company to present the real-time, live-stream world premiere of Wim Vandekeybus’ Draw From Within, Sep 26

Photos by Camilla Greenwell

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) partners with Rambert Dance Company to present the forthcoming real-time, live-stream world premiere performances of Wim Vandekeybus’ Draw From Within. The show will be streamed direct from Rambert’s London studios and performed across time zones for international audiences. The newly commissioned production is currently underway and is being created while adhering to the latest UK health guidelines to ensure the company’s safety. Using all of the company’s spaces from the loading bay to the studios to the corridors and even the roof, Draw From Within will be performed live in the Rambert building and streamed in real-time to ticketed audiences around the world. The new work will be broadcast to NYC audiences via Rambert’s new cross-platform web application Rambert Home Studio at 8 pm EST on September 26, 2020. Live performances are also scheduled for audiences in Seoul, South Korea on September 24 and the UK on September 25.

World-renowned Belgian choreographer and filmmaker Wim Vandekeybus has brought the prestigious UK company back to life after lockdown and transformed its state-of-the-art studios on London’s Southbank into a fantastical world. Taking viewers on a surreal and exhilarating odyssey, the experience will be an assault on the senses akin to being within the piece itself. Set to a heady and eclectic soundtrack and featuring Rambert’s awe-inspiring company of dancers, Draw From Within promises to make an impactful mark on the fast-developing digitally-driven cultural landscape.

Photos by Camilla Greenwell

To support the performing arts economy at large, Rambert is encouraging audiences around the world to support their local partnering institution or theater through their ticket purchase for Draw From Within.

Tickets are $13 and go on sale Tuesday, September 15 on BAM.org.

BAM Members will have access to a special pre-show discussion and Q&A with Rambert’s Artistic Director Benoit Swan Pouffer and BAM’s Charmaine Warren, included in the ticket price.

18Sep/20

Ancestral Lament – a Photo Story

A warrior goddess escaping to find peace in memories of her tribe in the midst of the present-day chaos.

Photographer: Chante Ramsey, VySyn Photography
Model: Toni Faith
Make-up: Jessica Wilson
Headwrap: Danielle Moore
Concept: Chante Ramsey, VySyn Photography
Location: Central Park (formerly Seneca Village)

14Sep/20

Lack of Love

Love is rooted deeply in the Black soul. Go back to history — Black enslaved mothers cut the throat of their own to spare them the pain and torture of the unknown journey. Most call that savage but eternal love for someone enough to protect their body from ugliness, hardship, and brutality sounds similar to Black culture.

The most intense display of modern love from a Black mother I’ve encountered was on Instagram. There was an imprisoned woman defending her case to a white judge about why she killed her child. The mother was retelling the horrendous and explicit story of molestation her youngest child endured. As this distressed mother spoke about the excruciating details to the unsympathetic judge, the woman was treated as a typical case in the Supreme Court. 

I will spare the details of sodomy, dishonesty, and betrayal but I will discuss the love this mother felt for her defenseless youngest. As the judge demanded reasons for her crimes, she stated over and over that she was simply “showing the boy how it felt.” This woman was referring to inflicting the same torment her youngest felt on her oldest son. Every evil driven deed the mother found out she foisted, her personal karma. 

White patriarchal standards of living in the United States has bred a group of overworked, stressed, money starved, and often unfocused single mothers. When a mother as such is put in a predicament to choose between providing or giving up rights to her family, the answer is evident. As the epigram in the Black community goes “you make do”, which is exactly how the older child, in this case, took advantage. 

Entrusting the responsibility of the youngest to older siblings is usually a struggling parents’ only option. When a mother’s faith does not protect her youngest she feels incompetent. This mother passionately talked about how she wanted her son to feel her baby’s pain and how she wished she knew. The more dark corners this story took the more this mother talked about the disdain and hatred for her eldest children. As one performed the unthinkable crimes the other sat back with the knowledge and heedless attitude. The lack of vigilance and literal deadly actions of her kids drove her to hate, to murder. 

I speak of this mother because she is a representation of another communal vernacular – “working to the bone.” The long hours spent at a low wage job to provide for her children when she should have been raising and nurturing or had the financial means to have an adult watch over them caused her the opportunity to raise them indefinitely. This mother now joins other Black women who have been thrown into the prison pipeline system that is funds focused as opposed to rehabilitation focused. The way the Black woman loves is through action. When that mother lost her competency and her youngest baby to one of her own, she snapped. Patriarchal burden trounces Black love, again.

09Sep/20

New Series, Woke, Reminds Me of That One Friend Everybody Has

Woke — “Rhymes with Broke” – Episode 101 — When up-and-coming cartoonist Keef Knight has a traumatic run-in with the police, he begins to see the world in an entirely new way. Keef (Lamorne Morris), shown. (Photo by: Joe Lederer/Hulu)

SYNOPSIS: Inspired by the life and work of artist Keith Knight, comedy series, Woke, takes an absurdly irreverent look at identity and culture as it follows Keef, an African-American cartoonist finally on the verge of mainstream success when an unexpected incident changes everything. With a fresh outlook on the world around him, Keef must now navigate the new voices and ideas that confront and challenge him, all without setting aflame everything he’s already built.

Funny, relatable, timely, and entertaining are the words I use to describe the new comedy Woke from Hulu. I had an interest in the concept once I saw the trailer, but after watching a few episodes I can easily say Woke is worth viewing. The series is fitting for people who understand what it means to be woke and for those people who haven’t had their third eye open. Do you ever wonder why some Black people you know don’t understand why Black Lives Matter until they are racially profiled? The series Woke gives perspective on what it may look like and I am glad it exists! Here are a few reasons why!

Acting A Fool

From Lamorne Morris (BLOODSHOT, New Girl, who portrays the blissfully ignorant protagonist, Keef) to the voice-over talents of J.B. Smoove, the series has likable characters. I’m not going to lie, Keef made me call him an asshole like 5 times in my head. Of course, that is until he gets a dose of reality after the police basically assault him. I really like the way Keef is taken from an “it’s not my fight mentality” to “I have a talent and a voice I can use to fight racial injustice”. We’ve seen this narrative too many times with successful Black people. You know… the same Black people that distance themselves from Black culture but want back up when they have been discriminated against. 

The topics and concepts within the series are definitely relatable – like people advocating for animal rights more than human rights or white people asking you about Kanye or reparations at a social mixer. All of it made me shake my head but really connected me with Keef. There are some good examples the show uses about securing the bag and remaining true to yourself. The John Legend reference was particularly intriguing and it really made me think, “You know, John Legend might’ve done that!”

Clovis (T. Murph) and Gunther (Blake Anderson). (Photo by: Joe Lederer/Hulu)

We All Have That One Friend

The friends of Keef, Clovis (T.Murph) and Gunther (Blake Anderson), both remind me of the friends that pretty much every Black person has. Clovis is the friend who always has your back, keeps you in check, and does what he can for one night stands. I found the character’s social awareness and psychology of people almost academic yet he is unable to use it to fix his own personal issues. 

Gunther is the white friend who is down to support Black people. He had me rolling at the time Keef was being arrested by the police. I like the fact that the writers didn’t have him appropriating Black culture and just made him a cool human being.  

Ayana, played by Sasheer Zamata, is the Black editor for the local magazine. She is a good associate and, hopefully, a friend in the series that won’t allow Keef to escape this reality for his own good. 

All of these characters are compelling and have very interesting character flaws that I can’t wait to see how they deal with.

Woke, Not For Cartoon Network

Ok, I know shows that consist of animation and live-action can sometimes be a little corny – ok some are corny as hell – but Woke is straight-up hilarious and for adults only. Much kudos to the casting director for choosing Black comedians to voice the animated characters, especially J.B. Smoove voicing the Marker character, who serves as Keef’s conscious. No matter how big the voice-over role, Smoove is always a standout and always funny. Comedy legend Cedric the Entertainer, Sam Richardson, David Keith, Nicole Byer, and veteran Eddie Griffith all made voice-over appearances that had me dying laughing. I am curious to see what other celebrities will appear as guest voiceovers. My hope is Samuel Jackson makes a guest voice cameo.

Given the emotional/mental stress many of us may have during this time of the pandemic and racial injustice, Woke is the perfect series to escape with laughter. I recommend adding Woke to your list of series to watch on Hulu

Woke — Inspired by the life and work of artist Keith Knight, comedy series Woke takes an absurdly irreverent look at identity and culture as it follows Keef, an African-American cartoonist finally on the verge of mainstream success when an unexpected incident changes everything. With a fresh outlook on the world around him, Keef must now navigate the new voices and ideas that confront and challenge him, all without setting aflame everything he’s already built. (Key Art Courtesy of Hulu)