Beyoncé’s FORMATION

Beyoncé’s FORMATION

 

As far as I’m concerned this video is the very epitome of what music video’s should be:

POWERFUL

BRAVE

CREATIVE

ORIGINAL

I don’t watch many music video’s and I’m not particularly a fan of Beyoncé’s music but I MUST SAY I was completely overwhelmed with elation, pride and yes admiration for this audacious message to celebrate black beauty, roots, ambition, creativity, determination and her VERY CLEAR stance on inequality, police brutality, racism and the rumours circulating about her beliefs. The video features her gorgeous daughter Blue Ivy, tons of striking images of black people, including her beautiful dancers who are all black women with natural hair.

The video has also been filmed in New Orleans which is most definitely no coincidence.

FORMATION is the ULTIMATE Black Power anthem and is completely unapologetic in the message it is seeking to convey. It is completely political and I absolutely admire it.

The #BlackLivesMatter matters. Even to Beyonce’!

#SALUTE #FORMATION

WATCH IT NOW!>>>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrCHz1gwzTo#action=share

 

 

A dissection of the ‘N’ word

A dissection of the ‘N’ word

 

As I’m sure you’re aware, this blog isn’t a political one.

Though I do have some political views I decided when I started this blog that this wasn’t the place to voice them, but a few days ago I came across a discussion on a blog that I follow: https://theeditorsjournal.wordpress.com/ on race, and more specifically, about the use of the N word, which is something that I have a passionate vehemence to mostly (and quite rightly), because I myself am black and there is a turbulent and painful past associated with the use of this word.

Said I:

The N word isn’t like using a sexist word like “bitch” or “hoe” to describe women. It isn’t like using a homophobic word like “faggot” or “poof” to describe a homosexual. It is a word that goes beyond innapropriate teasing or bullying and is steeped in the historical oppression of black people. The N word is about generations of sustained abuse against a whole race of people. And it’s painful because it deny’s a person’s past, present and future. It deny’s his mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, maybe even his wife and children. It doesn’t just insult one person but the very fabric of who that person is and where he comes from.

To black people, the N word means “rape”, it means “murder”, it means “kidnap”, it means the denial of rights and of education, it means psychological abuse, it means “oppression”, it means “slavery”, it means “genocide”, the holocaust and more. It means so much more then you could ever possibly understand unless the word is meant to describe YOU. Unless your family went through the horror of some of the most despicable acts to have ever been committed by human beings and survived it.

The N word was not created by black people. It was created by white people to make them feel superior to black people who they wanted to feel inferior, and who they wanted to be subservient to them.

The “ignorance” (because that’s what it is), of black people (usually rappers it has to be said), who use this word to describe themselves and others cannot be compared to white people, who historically used it to inflict pain and suffering on a people for hundreds of years. It does not compare. It cannot compare. And anyone who continues to use this reasoning as an excuse to use this deeply offensive and painful word needs to ask themselves why they are using it in the firstplace??

If you are not black, then you may never be able to understand. I can accept that. But I would expect that if you are a human being who has love and respect for all human beings as your equal, to accept and respect that black people never want to be described in this way.

In this day and age, I would only expect racists, who know full well what it means, to use this word, and they don’t want to know better so I expect no better.

I also don’t expect better from ignorant rappers, and neither should you, however I think you know how ridiculous it sounds to compare the two.

And just to introduce myself quickly: I am a black woman from the UK. I have always felt proud to be black, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, BUT to be black anywhere in this world is bloody hard. If you have never been oppressed or discriminated against, then I’m sure things appear pretty rosy to you, and of course they have improved somewhat, but I can tell you now: it ain’t easy, and it ain’t all rosy – as a black person you have to rise above it almost everyday, you get hurt almost everyday, insulted almost everyday, and it’s tiresome. It becomes tiresome.

As for me, I just want everyone to live in peace and harmony. I think racism, homophobia, sexism, the lot, is completely pathetic and they ALL need to be left in the dark ages.

Moreover,

I can assure you, most black people have a deep compassion for all groups of oppressed people because we have been, and still are in many cases discriminated against or oppressed. And black people have been discriminated against by almost all groups of people throughout history, not just by whites.

I have a very acute understanding of what it means to be excluded or made to feel inferior, but I personally choose to live my life with love and compassion. I do not choose to live with hate or fear because I love all human beings and I know the only way to peace is freedom for all. What hurts me though is when I see that the same equality is not necessarily afforded to us all.

No matter how some people may choose to use the N word, it is steeped in the blood and pain of millions of people and it always will be. It was a derogatory label used by and created by racists. Why would anyone wish to be associated with such an atrocity?

I have never and would never use any derogatory words to describe any group of people and it makes my blood boil when I hear others doing so.

When you have such a traumatic history, this pain and sense of displacement is passed down through the generations and it takes an immensely strong person to not feel deeply offended by the use of such a word. It doesn’t matter what some “rappers” may attribute the use of it to. This is real life.

Sometimes, one has to accept that you may never truly understand the way another person feels, but it doesn’t stop you from respecting or accepting it.

I personally may never know the struggles of homosexuals, disabled people or specific religious groups, but I do know the struggle of being a woman and I can assure you it is nowhere close to the struggle of being black in this world.

Nontheless, I like being me 🙂

Silk La Fox

 

Mummy Spoiling Ahoy!

Mummy Spoiling Ahoy!

Happy Friday Bloggee’s and Bloggette’s!

I hope that you’re all gearing up for some serious Mummy spoiling this Sunday?!

I’m planning on taking my Mum to a cultural exhibition on at the Oxo Tower in Southbank about Jamaican History (which sounds like it’s going to be great!), then we’re going onto Westfield for a look around the shops as my Mum wants to buy some clothes for our family cruise holiday in May. It’s so close now that I can almost touch it. So exciting! 🙂

Then we’re having dinner and finally, I’m taking her to a comedy and entertainment show in the evening. Phew! It’s going to be a very funpacked day.

My brothers and sister are coming too so it’s going to be a real family affair this Mothers Day. I always love spending time with my family and there’s nothing quite like (or more rewarding), then spoiling your Mum.

On another note, could there be a better looking Mother?! (see below)

This is an effortless, natural, superior beauty that is impossible to buy. Salute!

Jada and Mum (below)

Jada and Mum

 

So what have you got planned for Mothering Sunday? Dinner? A bit of Pampering? A Show?

Let me know!

Until we meet again,

 

Tori

Books, Glorious Books!

Books, Glorious Books!

 

Reading has become somewhat of an addiction for me. Even though reading (and writing stories) was very much a part of my life when I was younger I stopped at some point and didn’t start reading regularly until a few years ago, and now I can’t stop!

It started off after reading the trilogy of The Game of Thrones by George Martin, which I rented from the library and I enjoyed so much that when one book had come to an abrupt and unexpected end (due to the fact that about 50 pages at the end of the book were lists of the individual characters and their respective ‘houses’), I actually travelled to different library’s on the same day after work in order to get the next book in the trilogy. The thought of not having the next book to read immediately filled me with such dread that I was prepared to do anything that was necessary to acquire the next instalment. Indeed I even named my new kitten after a character in the book: Sansa. When the books came to an end (because good ole George hadn’t finished writing them all yet!), it was an almost painful experience. I was SO engrossed in the characters and the story that I just couldn’t comprehend the thought of having to wait another year or so to continue reading. So I began looking for another trilogy, not necessarily fantasy, because I couldn’t imagine that any other author would catch my imagination as intensely as George had, and my boyfriend suggested that I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I had seen lots of people reading the book on the tube on the way into work, but had just assumed that it was just another boring, overhyped book of which I was likely to put down after the first 2 chapters. But it turned out to be a wonderful read, past paced, intriguing and adrenalin pumping, also, I had never read anything like it before. I was hooked. Alas, just like the Game of Thrones, it came to an end far too soon. Next, I ventured into the world of historical fiction. I was talking to my boyfriends Mum about my frustrations with never knowing what book to read next, as I hate being disappointed with books, and have absolutely no patience with reading dull, predictable and unimaginative stories and she suggested that I borrow one of her books which was based on the Tudors. The author was Philippa Gregory. I’d never heard of her before but from looking at the front cover of the book (it was The Other Boleyn Girl), I wasn’t all that keen. It looked like it might be dull, very dull indeed. I didn’t have an interest in reading romanticized stories, I was more interested in stories that had grit and intrigue, featuring interesting characters that had interesting personality’s. And I was not convinced that a story based in the 15th century  would suffice. Alas I was wrong. The story, but mainly Philippa Gregory’s way of writing about the story and all of the historical characters that she featured was riveting stuff. Infact it was quite hard to believe that some of it actually went on! It seemed even more dramatic than I’d ever hoped for, with adultery, womanising, incest, murder, witchcraft and torture paying prominent parts. That it was true, with a few fictitious adornments was amazing to me. And it was by no means boring. I was completely won over.  After reading the story about the Boleyns, namely about the scandalous behaviour of the Boleyn sisters Mary and Anne, I went onto read The Boleyn Inheritance. It was hard for me to get the books when I needed them so that I could read them in order so on the occasions when I couldn’t get the next story in the trilogy I would replace it with another. I was following the story quite well though, and of course some of it I remembered from my History classes at school (I loved History). But I had never studied The Plantagenets before so it was interesting to read about there position in history, and how and in what order they were related to the most famous king (perhaps of all time) Henry VIII. Perhaps my favourite book of them all was The Other Boleyn because it was just so scandalous and unbelievable (whilst mostly being real), that I couldn’t put it down.

I also really liked The Lady of the Rivers, the story about Elizabeth Wydeville (Lady Grey) and her rise to becoming The Queen of England. Some of it was a little fantastical, as I’m sure the magical element to the story was a little overexaggerated if not added in for effect, but overall it was a very fascinating story with some really strong characters.

The Kingmakers Daughter was written about the daughter of  Richard, Earl of Warwick and her surprising (but shortlived) rise to be Queen. She was only Queen for 2 years.

The White Queen, not to be mistaken with The White Princess, (which is about her daughter Elizabeth Plantagenet who married Henry VII), is about the reign of Elizabeth Wydeville, the York Queen who married Edward VI of York.

The Constant Princess is the story about Queen Katherine of Aragon, who had the well documented marriage with King Henry VIII and who consequently was pushed aside to marry Anne Boleyn. It was a great story of steely reserve and endurance. Speaking as a woman in the 20th century, it’s almost completely inconceivable for me to think that women weren’t allowed to do or indeed say anything back then. They simply were not heard. They were considered inferior in every way and therefore their thoughts and opinions didn’t matter. The only thing they were good for was breeding. And that’s not me being crass, that’s me being real. I loved the fact that all of Philippa Gregory’s books were about women in the historical era, and there absolute strength and resilience. Through her it showed how inequality was allowed to manifest, and how much (though not completely) it’s changed since then. I kept on thinking whilst reading that I just wished, I wished I could be there in that time (not to be part of it because I have a great love of cleanliness, beautiful smells, warmth and comfort), but just to SEE. Philippa gets your imagination going but if just for a moment I could be there like a fly on the wall looking down, I would love that.

The Queens Fool, a story about Edward VI’s fool Hannah Green was okay. I didn’t enjoy it all that much because it seemed a little unrealistic to me. She was employed by Edward to amuse and entertain (as his holy fool) and got caught up in the sisterly rivalry of Elizabeth and Mary I.

The Virgins Lover is about Queen Elizabeth I and her ongoing, distructive obsession with Robert Dudley. It sees her undecided as to whether she should marry against her will as she was in love with Dudley, or marry down (Dudley) and disobey and anger her advisors and people. Elizabeth was a very strongwilled and stubborn person, and in the end she dies a virgin and thus leaves no one to succeed the throne. I liked this book but I did find all of the sordid things she got up to with Dudley and the supposed intensity of there love a little over the top and thus unrealistic.

The Red Queen is the story of Margaret Beaufort, the strongwilled and  influential Mother of King Henry VI, and her efforts to get Henry VI the throne of England, despite him not having the strongest claim to the throne and being in exile in Brittany for many years.

The Other Queen is the story of Mary The Queen of Scots following her fleeing Scotland on Queen Elizabeth I (her cousins), false promise of sanctuary, and the suspicious and unsteady relationship between the two monarchs. Philippa goes into detail about the strained relationship between Mary, and her guardians wife Bess of Hardwick. This book is a great read.

I have now finished all of Philippa’s books in this trilogy, bar one which was only just released a few weeks ago: The Kings Curse http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-king-s-curse but I will definitely be acquiring it soon!

 

Listed in order of reading (I think, please don’t quote me on this):

 

The Lady of the Rivers http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-lady-of-the-rivers

The White Queen http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-white-queen

The Kingmakers Daughter http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-kingmaker-s-daughter

The White Princess http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-white-princess

The Constant Princess http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-constant-princess

The Other Boleyn Girl http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-other-boleyn-girl

The Boleyn Inheritance http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-boleyn-inheritance

The Queens Fool http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-queen-s-fool

The Virgins Lover http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-virgin-s-lover

The Red Queen http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-red-queen

The Other Queen http://www.philippagregory.com/books/the-other-queen

 

If you haven’t read any of these books already, then you should definitely pick yourself up a copy, and let me know what you thought. And if you have already read one or some of them then please let me know your thoughts.

I think I’m going to move onto another fantasy trilogy next as I can’t seem to get any books from similar authors from my library on this subject matter. I am reluctant to buy anymore books when I can get most of them from the library. I’ve just finished reading a biographic novel by Alison Weir on Elizabeth of York. It was pretty good, but FULL of detail (which I understand for the purpose of authenticity needed to be done but it could be a little tedious at times). But the book was good in that it gave such a detailed account of the period that you were left in no doubt that the characters did exist as they were described.

Elizabeth of York  http://alisonweir.org.uk/books/bookpages/eliz-york.asp