Common Speaks On ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ : ‘I Can’t Condone That’

Common says that he and the black community failed R. Kelly’s victims by not listening to their stories sooner.

via Complex:

In an interview with TMZ, Common shouldered his share of the blame for Kelly’s continued success in spite of numerous stories of abuse. The Chicago native said that many people were willing to overlook Kelly’s misdeeds to remain fans. 

“I’m guilty of that too myself because I didn’t stop and be like, ‘Yo,’ and speak against this,” he said. “R. Kelly’s from my hometown. At the end of the day, he’s a human being. He has his issues and we see that, but I can’t condone that and I shouldn’t be allowing that to happen. We failed our community as black people.”

“We failed as a community because we knew these things were happening,” Common continued. “And instead of trying to be like, ‘Yo. Let’s go and try to resolve this situation and free these young ladies and stop this thing that’s going on,’ we were just like, ‘Man, we rocking to the music.’”

Common is not the first Chicago musician to speak out against Kelly. In an old interview that was used in the Surviving R. Kelly series, Chance the Rapper admitted he regrets working with the R&B singer. He said that his hypersensitivity to the oppression of black men caused him to overlook the suffering of black women, particularly R. Kelly’s accusers. 

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‘Power’ And ‘Woke’ Take Lead As The Most Popular Fashion Words Of 2017

While being woke is almost a constant state of being for many of us particularly in the Black community, the term “woke” has made a major impact this year. It was added to the dictionary earlier this year, and according to Lyst, it was also the second most used word in fashion in 2017. “Power” topped the list for the number one.

Considering the disappointing loss of Hillary Clinton to President Donald Trump and Clinton’s influence on the resurgence of power suits in addition to the impact of the Women’s March on feminist fashion and powerful slogan tees like Dior’s “We Should All Be Feminists”, it’s no surprise that “power” and “woke” took a front seat in the fashion world.

Many designers have used their influence for good this year by protesting change, encouraging activism and taking stances against racism, sexism and more, and that’s a cause we can all get behind.

This article was orginally posted on Essence.com

Single Woman from Lance Gross’ Infamous Holiday Photo Finally Speaks

A few weeks ago a pic was posted of Lance Gross, his wife Rebecca and their friends went viral, I mean it really broke the internet…. sparking widespread debate on color. In the photo, Gross and Rebecca sit with three other boo’d up couples, all featuring light-skinned women. Then to the far left is a dark-skinned woman sitting by herself. It spread like wildfire and opened a wound that the black community has been trying to bandage

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In an in depth interview with Madame Noire the sista from the photo is finally out on why ” she even took the pic” , and what she thinks of the reaction. LaNaadrian Easterling is a long-time friend of Gross’, and has a doctorate in psychology.

On her relationship with Gross, and how the photo came to be;

“Even though the trip has been an annual tradition for more than 10 years, I started attending about six years ago. With the exception of Lance and Rebecca, most of the people who came on the trip were single. Over time, most of my friends have gotten married and had children, so the trip has evolved from a group of friends, to a family vacation.

Years ago, the actual picture started out with a bunch of single people and evolved into a couple’s photo when people started bringing their significant others. The first year I noticed this, I jokingly told my friends, “Y’all aren’t going to leave me out of the photo just because I didn’t bring a date this year!” So I joined the picture and hugged myself. Every year, we continued to take this silly picture, and I tried to outdo myself from the year before by making a really awkward face or hugging myself. It was all in good fun.”

On whether she is single;

“Yes, I have a boyfriend, and he is an amazing, intelligent and successful Black man. However, at the time of the trip, we had only been dating for about six months, and he had not met my daughter yet. As her mother, I am extremely protective, and I do not introduce her to men that I am dating until the relationship has progressed to a point where I feel like it is appropriate for that introduction to take place. The Big Bear holiday trip was not the time nor place for that initial meeting to occur.”

On the reaction to the photo;

“I think it rubbed salt in a very sensitive, deep-rooted, painful and complex wound in our community, especially for Black women. I noticed several recurring themes in the responses: Questions about my relationship status and questions about why I would choose to attend a couple’s trip if I was single; Thoughts about why the “dark girl” was single and why the “light-skinned girls” had a man; Debates about whether or not the other women in the photo were Black or Black enough; Suggestions that my friends and I staged this photo on purpose, with the intention of emphasizing that I was single because I have a darker complexion than the other women.

I want to make it very clear that I 100 percent understand colorism, and many other issues that we face in the Black community. I know that self-hatred, or what I refer to as negative self-identity development, is a serious problem in the Black community that has plagued our families for centuries. The assumption that my complexion is the reason why I may be single and unhappy is an unfair mischaracterization and further perpetuates the colorism that many were upset about themselves. Colorism impacts all people of color on both ends of the spectrum. Many of the women in the photo have been told their entire lives that they aren’t “Black enough” and have been rejected from people in our own community, sometimes facing this issue within their own families. Furthermore, it really bothers me that in 2017, people are still angry with who Black men choose to date. Black men and women have the right to date or marry whoever they want to marry, and to love whoever they want to love. As a Black woman, I couldn’t care less who my brothers choose to marry, whether that be a light-skinned Black woman, a White woman, an Asian woman, a Latina woman, or a man! Who they date or marry doesn’t make me any less beautiful, attractive, or desirable”

Go to MadameNoire.com for the full interview.