Come Through Uncle Denzel!

omari-hardwick-says-denzel-washington-saved-him

By Imani Brammer

We’ve all had moments when we’re in a difficult place and wish that a rich person could simply scoop us up and give us what we need. For many, that’s just a dream, but for Power actor Omari Hardwick, that was a reality.

During an interview with The Real’s Loni Love, Hardwick dished on his humble climb to Hollywood. While working as a substitute teacher and football coach at L.A.’s Campbell Hall High School, Hardwick served as a mentor to one of the football players. The player however, happened to be John David, Denzel Washington’s son.

“So that sort of gave me an inroads to this avuncular figure in Denzel and an aunt figure in Pauletta,” the actor said. “They gave me shelter when I didn’t have a place to stay or whatever but they sort of allowed me just to be close enough to the family so I sort of transitioned into getting an agent…the whole thing…doing all these odd jobs, pursuing firefighting as a back-up or pursuing it at least.”

Ultimately, Hardwick resorted to rejecting the firefighter offer.

“On the day that I said no to the fire department was the day that Spike Lee offered me my first gig,” he said.

If it weren’t for Washington, who knows where Hardwick would be in this moment. Let’s all give a huge thank you to Uncle Denzel!

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As a Jamaican-American, Am I Appropriating African Culture?

By Imani Brammer

Like everyone, I recently read an article written by writer Zipporah Gene, asking Black Americans who proudly wear mimicked tribal marks, bright kente cloths and elaborate dashikis to stop appropriating African culture.

As a first generation Black American of Jamaican descent, the topic puzzles me, mostly because there are two sides to the heart of my opinion. However, for the sake of sensitive human beings, I’ll start with the first half of my sentiments, the one most likely to be applauded. Then slowly, I’ll ease you into the second half. Please equip yourself with a grain of salt. It may come in handy.

I was taught to indulge in self-love at a young age.

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5 Ways Bruce Jenner’s Transgender Journey Teaches A Huge Lesson About Self Acceptance

By Imani Brammer

Bruce Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer for an exclusive two-hour interview, where he detailed the difficulty of his life as Bruce and the yearning desire for a life as a woman.  For 65 years of his life, Jenner has deceived the public about his identity, but more importantly, he betrayed himself. At last, Jenner’s feminine soul caught up with his false masculine persona and he is finally ready to lead a fulfilling life as the person he is meant to be. Jenner’s bravery and humility can teach us a lot about self-acceptance. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Bobby Shmurda

By Imani Brammer

Dear Bobby Shmurda,

I have danced to your song “Hot Nigga.” It’s on my iPod and I love when it plays. What does this mean? It means that I enjoy a catchy beat, a nice flow and even better, a fun dance to complement it. However, for a while, I didn’t know that you were rapping about murdering people. I was simply lured in by your beat, flow and dance alone. The lyrics were dissonance: mere noise that did not register in my mind. Though mainstream rap is often frowned upon, not all the time am I compelled to listen to politically conscious music like Common and Mos Def (though I adore them both, and also have them on my iPod). Sometimes I want to simply hear a beat, hear some words that flow and dance without digesting or internalizing the lyrics. However one day, when I was listening to your song without dancing, I actually heard what you were saying and it disrupted my fun. I can no longer listen to your song with a clear conscience. I try to deliberately block the lyrics, but hearing myself say, “errbody catchin’ bullet holes,” is just not OK. I am too well aware of your mental disease to even enjoy this track like I want to. Not only are you spewing disease, but also you are spewing self-hate and in the words of a Caribbean: fuckry.

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Reactions to Ebola in America Labeled as “Ignorant”

By Imani Brammer

With a wave of fear sweeping over the nation, there has been an energy of caution, darkness and uncertainty that is looming over our heads and permeating through our thoughts. Recently, Twitter has been overflowing with such Ebola hysteria, that it has even become comedic. This is all due to the recent and very first case of Ebola in New York City. From one state to the next, many people have been plagued with terror and the silent thought of, “please don’t come here.” Unfortunately, Ebola is continuing to make its deadly rounds.

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Raven-Symone Defends Her Views and Gives Advice on how to Create the Perfect Diary

By Imani Brammer

Raven-Symone’s recent chat with Oprah upset the masses. Although she can appreciate the public’s opinions, she will not recant her own. In fact, Raven-Symone is grateful that her comments have sparked a critical conversation about race in America. However, Raven’s strong convictions do not deny her of feelings. She took to Facebook Saturday to let everyone know that she is feeling bullied. She made it clear that critical conversations do not have to involve harassment and cyber attacking.

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Kitty Kash On Sex Appeal And Being Healthy

By Imani Brammer

Young Brooklyn DJ and mix tape artist, Kitty Kash, whose soft, airy vocals permeate through Soundcloud and who’s presence have graced the pages of Vogue.com, has recently sat down in an interview with The Fader, where she detailed how every aspect of life is incorporated into her style.

This young Brooklynite, who once adored Roc-a-Wear sweat suits sported with every color Timberland you could imagine, has evolved, blending elegance with street, creating a funky yet clean persona. In her latest visual album, “Love the Free Vol. 2,” wearing Chromat garments, her style is a playing field of boyish edge with effortless sex appeal. Kitty Kash, a forward-thinker, does not hold seductive appeal synonymous to showing skin—at least not all the time.

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