Am I The Same Girl by Swing Out Sister

One of my favorite 80’s British Invasion bands is Swing Out Sister.  And one of my favorite Swing Out Sister songs is Am I The Same Girl.  The song was released in 1992 and can be found on Swing Out Sister’s Get In Touch With Yourself cd.


Swing out Sister had some great hits during the 80’s and 90’s. One of the best Swing Out Sister compilation cd’s is The Ultimate Collection.


The Ultimate Collection contains all of the their hits including Am I The Same Girl, Breakout, Twilight World, Forever Blue and many others.

Verses and Flow Season 5

Season 5 of TV One’s Verses and Flow starts tomorrow (Thursday July 30, 2015) with host Laz Alonso.


TV One brings back the message and the melody to performance art with season five of Lexus Verses And Flow premiering on TV One on Thursday, July 30th at 10PM. Filmed over four, star-studded nights in Los Angeles filled with performances by internationally renowned recording and leading spoken word artists. This season’s musical guests include Avery Sunshine, Charlie Wilson, Chrisette Michelle, Estelle, Jazmine Sullivan, Jussie Smollett, Leela James, Melanie Fiona, Raekwon The Chief, Assassin, Sevyn Streeter and B.o.B.

This season’s music guests:

July 30, 2015
Charlie Wilson


August 6, 2015
Leela James


August 13, 2015


August 20, 2015
Raekwon, Melanie Fiona and Assassin


August 27, 2015
Avery Sunshine


September 3, 2015
Jazmine Sullivan


September 10, 2015
Sevyn Streeter and B.o.B.


September 17, 2015
Jussie Smollett


Check out the Lexus Verses and Flow website for additional information.

University of Cincinnati police officer indicted for murder

On July 19, 2015 43 year old Samuel Dubose was shot and killed during a traffic stop by University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing.


According to reports the 25 year old officer originally reported that he was dragged by Samuel Dubose’s car. Today Officer Tensing was indicted by a grand jury for murder for fatally shooting Samuel Dubose. He was wearing a body camera which showed that he wasn’t dragged by Dubose’s car. According to the video he fell backwards after shooting Samuel Dubose in the head.  Check out the video at The Washington Post.

A University of Cincinnati police officer was indicted Wednesday on a murder charge in what a prosecutor called “a senseless, asinine shooting” during a minor traffic stop. It was the first time such a charge had been leveled against an officer in the city.

The Hamilton County prosecuting attorney, Joseph T. Deters, released a much-anticipated video of the shooting of Samuel Dubose, which he described as crucial evidence that the officer, Ray Tensing, had lied about being dragged by Mr. Dubose’s car. A grand jury, Mr. Deters announced, indicted Officer Tensing on a murder charge, punishable by life in prison, and a voluntary manslaughter charge.

“It was a senseless, asinine shooting,” Mr. Deters said at a news conference, using stark terms to denounce the July 19 episode, Officer Tensing’s claims about it and the officer himself. “This office has probably reviewed upwards of 100 police shootings, and this is the first time we’ve thought, ‘This is without question a murder.’ ”

“He wasn’t dealing with someone who was wanted for murder,” he said. “He was dealing with someone who didn’t have a front license plate. This was, in the vernacular, a pretty chicken-crap stop.”

The death of Samuel Dubose just adds to one of many deaths of unarmed black men and women at the hands of policemen including Walter Scott, Akai Gurley, Natasha McKenna and Eric Garner.  Some of the shootings/chokings have been caught on video. In some cases the videos contradict what was originally reported by the police. In several cases it’s been stated that the police involved in these shootings shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. Seems like any old body can become a policeman/woman no matter what their mental state is. And of course some are just trigger happy like New York City Officer Peter Liang who murdered Akai Gurley.

Officer Tensing turned himself in for arrest, and the university, which had put him on administrative leave, said Wednesday that he had been fired.

Before the video was released the city of Cincinnati was preparing itself for violent reactions. They closed the University of Cincinnati for the day and children attending day camps were sent home. Instead there have been peaceful protests.

Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige cast in The Wiz Live

Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have landed roles in NBC’s musical The Wiz Live.



Queen Latifah has been cast as The Wiz. Mary J. Blige has been cast as Eviline, The Wicked Witch of the West. They will join singer Stephanie Mills who starred in the original Broadway musical The Wiz. Stephanie has been cast as Auntie Em. The casting search is still going on for the role of Dorothy.

Latifah’s musical past includes starring in 2002’s Chicago, for which she was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at the Academy Awards, and 2007’s Hairspray. Blige has nine Grammy awards under her belt, and featured in the movie musical Rock of Ages. They’ll star in The Wiz alongside previously announced cast member Stephanie Mills, who’s playing Auntie Em.

Minnesota dentist kills popular lion

Zimbabwe’s most famous lion, Cecil, was killed by a cold blooded Minnesota dentist earlier this month.


The 13 year old lion was the biggest tourist attraction at the Hwange National Park. Cecil was lured out of his sanctuary, shot at with a bow and arrow, killed with a gun, skinned and beheaded. Damn. The killer is Dr. Walter J. Palmer who paid $50,000 to kill the lion.

Cecil, well known to those who visited the Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe for his jet black mane, was beheaded, according to conservation officials. His corpse was left to rot in the sun.

Zimbabwean officials said that Dr. Walter J. Palmer, an American hunter known for killing big game with a bow and arrow, killed Cecil, and was being sought on poaching charges.

Johnny Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Cecil was lured out of a protected game preserve one night in early July by a hunting party that tied a dead animal to a car.

The first shot, which the authorities say came from Dr. Palmer’s crossbow, was not enough to kill the lion. Cecil was tracked for nearly two days before Dr. Palmer killed him with a gun.

As expected folks all over the world are outraged. Dr. Palmer is getting blasted all over the internet. His Yelp page has been inundated with angry commenters, this dental website has been taken offline, he’s been blasted on social media and his dental office is closed.  You can’t blame folks.  After reading the way he killed Cecil it’s no wonder folks have their pitchforks ready for this animal killer.  And I say this cause Dr. Palmer has a history of killing wild animals.

Hunting blogs feature images of him proudly showing off a 175lb leopard, which he killed with an arrow in Zimbabwe in the summer of 2010.

Other images show him posing with elk, and even with a huge endangered sheep – the Nevada Bighorn.

Two other people involved in the killing have already been charged in the killing.

“It is alleged that the hunter connived with the Antoinette land owner, Mr. Honest Trymore Ndlovu to kill the lion,” reads a joint statement from the parks service and the Safari Operators Association. “Ongoing investigations to date suggest that the killing of the lion was illegal since the land owner was not allocated a lion on his hunting quota for 2015. Therefore, all persons implicated in this case are due to appear in court facing poaching charges.”

Professional hunter Theo Bronchorst and land owner Honest Trymore Bronchorst will appear in court Wednesday on poaching charges, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo told The Post.

Dr. Palmer needs to be extradited back to Zimbabwe to face charges as well.

Bobbi Kristina Brown passes away

Yesterday the Houston family announced that 22 year old Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only child of Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston passed away.




On January 31 of this year Bobbi Kristina was found face down and unresponsive in her bathtub. She was hospitalized and eventually transferred to a hospice where she passed away.

According to Entertainment Tonight, Bobbi Kristina passed away surrounded by family at the Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth Georgia. In a statement to ET, the family thanked everyone for their love and support these past few months.

Bobbi Kristina’s death comes three years after the death of her mother who was found unconscious in a hotel bathtub in Beverly Hills. Whitney Houston passed away on February 11, 2012.

Brown was born to much celebration on March 4, 1993. At 6 months old, she appeared in a televised Barbara Walters interview with her beaming parents, discussing their marriage. Walters asked Houston if she wanted more children and she responded while doting over her daughter, “Especially after seeing her. Seeing what we can do together.” It was later reported that Houston had experienced problems conceiving, resulting in Bobbie Kristina’s remaining the only child the performer had with her then husband, former New Edition star Bobby Brown.

Bobbi Kristina is survived by her grandmother Cissy Houston, her mother’s cousin Dionne Warwick, her uncle Gary Garland and many other relatives.

Rest in Peace Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Standoff in Boulder County Colorado

There was a standoff recently in Boulder County, Colorado.  The standoff was between county sheriffs and a tiny owl.  Yes a Northern Saw-whet owl.

A fierce showdown between Boulder County deputies and a teeny owl on Thursday ended in thousands of “aww”s after a photo of the standoff went viral on Twitter.

The Colorado deputies were driving along a road near an undisclosed campground when they came across this fluffy beast known as the Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Good thing the owl wasn’t black. Just sayin’.

Sandra Bland is laid to rest

Funeral services were held yesterday for 28 year old Sandra Bland. After a traffic stop Sandra was arrested and held in a Texas jail for 3 days. She was found hanged in a jail cell on Monday July 20.  Autopsy reports claimed her death was by suicide.



Sandra’s funeral was attended by family, friends and even those who didn’t know her at the DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle, Illinois.



Among those who spoke was Sandra’s mother Geneva Reed-Veal.

“That baby did not take herself out of here,” said Geneva Reed-Veal, Ms. Bland’s mother, during the funeral here at DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Ms. Reed-Veal spoke at length, telling mourners about a recent road trip she had taken with her daughter. On their way to visit relatives in Tennessee, Ms. Reed-Veal said, Ms. Bland told her she had found a calling and planned to pursue it by returning to Texas, where she had attended college.

“Her purpose was to stop all injustice against blacks in the South,” Ms. Reed-Veal said at the funeral.

Others spoke about how excited she was about her future. For many it was a celebration of her life.

Saturday’s funeral was mostly a celebration of Ms. Bland’s life: her commitment to her sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho; her involvement at church; her skills on the trombone; her college degree in agricultural food sciences; and her recent social media posts critiquing race relations in America.

“We’re not funeralizing a martyr or a victim,” said the Rev. James F. Miller, who officiated. “We’re celebrating a hero.”

Words were also spoken about the suspicions surrounding her death and the Texas officials investigating her death. Mourners were also encouraged to continue using social media to seek justice in the death of Sandra.


Rest in Peace Sandra Bland.

Check out the entire article at the New York Times.

The August 2015 issue of Ebony Magazine

If you haven’t seen it check out the August 2015 issue of Ebony Magazine which is available at newsstands right now.


The cover, America Loves Black People Culture speaks volumes about America’s love and appropriation of black culture yet rejects black people. Like when Amandla Stenberg commented about Kylie Jenner rocking cornrows on Instagram yet failing to use her privilege to bring attention to police brutality and racism.


I caught wind of the social media “beef” between Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg and celebutante Kylie Jenner earlier this week. When the latter shot back “Go hang out with Jaden” in response to Stenberg’s criticism of her latest sampling from the deep well of Black girl steez, I thought to myself, “Ooh, I hope he replies.” And then I felt guilty for 1) even knowing that both girls had been linked to the Pinkett-Smith child socially and 2) wanting a teen battle of words to escalate. Nonetheless, I do know too much about all these crazy kids, I think Jaden is hilarious, and I’m still waiting for that clap back.

Alas, there has been some immediate lashing out against Stenberg for her comments under an Instagram picture of Jenner rocking cornrows, which was predicable. The remark (“when u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter”) nodded to a hashtag from a few days ago that was hijacked by Black Twitter and satirized White female privilege and notions of superiority over Black women and girls.

Jussie Smollett in Kode Magazine

Empire star Jussie Smollett did a photo shoot for Kode Magazine.  Check it out below.


Photos By | Scott Hoover

Fashion + Art Direction | AllanTroy of The Kurators

Grooming | Maria Gomez

Kode | Jamal’s story is so heart provoking and inspirational. Its not common to see a gay black male being portrayed. Was it a lot of pressure preparing for the role?

Jussie | Well because the character is based on Lee Daniels, it wasn’t really a pressure, but more of a responsibility to simply tell the truth. That’s something I embrace and love about playing Jamal. He’s such a layered character who is not clear cut black or white, there’s so many shades of grey to who he is, ya know? I love him.

Kode | Were you expecting such a huge response on Empire when first starting?

Jussie | You know as an artist you pray and you work hard, but you can never really be certain that something will resonate with people the way Empire has. Some of the best projects made are only seen by those who make them. But I did know that it would be critically acclaimed because of the incredible cast, and obviously because of Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. But what it’s becoming is mind blowing!



Kode | Give us a day in the life of Jussie before the Empire fame?

Jussie | Life was kind of the indie version of what it is now. I was actually recording my album in a home studio off of Fairfax with my producer David, while hustling and working a bunch of different jobs so I could pay my bills, to continue doing what I knew I wanted to do.

Kode | Do you have any solo music coming out soon or are you just focused on acting at this current moment?

Jussie | I’m always focused on my music because it’s such a huge piece of my heart, right now my focus is on creating the music for Empire Season 2, but once I get a little down time I will focus more on my personal project.

Kode | What’s next for season 2? Hopefully more celebrity appearances right?

Jussie | Definitely more celebrity appearances, but not in the way that you would necessarily think. It’s really clever the way the stories are all being worked in. There’s also going to be some dope moments of true, raw new talent that’s going to blow your mind.

Kode | What’s something you can’t live without?

Jussie | Love.

Kode | How would you describe your personal style?

Jussie | Carey Grant had sex with Basquiat and had a baby named me.

Since #Kode6 is our #WetHot issue, we thought we would ask you something steamy, Boxers or Briefs?

Jussie | Boxer Briefs, normally briefs with a suit. Never boxers, I can’t stand boxers, go to stay lifted.









Nia Forrester

Woman-Centered Fiction Writer for Today's Woman of Color


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