Jena Six Teen Shoots Self


Mychal Bell, a teen convicted in the "Jena Six" beating case, shot himself in the chest on Monday. The 18-year-old used a .22-caliber firearm in the shooting, but luckily "his wound is not life threatening", said Monroe Police Sgt. Cassandra Wooten.

A few days before he shot himself, he had just been arrested for shoplifting. Monroe believes that he was upset over the media coverage of the arrest last week.

Bell was one of a group of black teenagers who once faced attempted murder charges in the 2006 beating of a white classmate at Jena High School. The charges for all of the defendants were reduced. (Aol News)

Police said Bell tried to steal several shirts and a pair of jeans from a department store and fled when a security guard and off-duty police officer tried to detain him. After they found him hiding under a car, Bell "swung his arms wildly" and one of his elbows struck the security guard with a glancing blow, according to a police report. He was freed on $1,300 bond. (Aol News)

After reading about this incident, I immediately thought that some people would say that the boys in Jena Six should have been punished the first time for what they did, and now look what one of them is doing.

I was not wrong, check out some of the comments found on other sites:

"Yeah, where is Big Al and Jessie the Nutman. Surely, that cop will be fired for hitting Bell's elbow with his face.This kid is a punk. Was, is and always will be. They beat a white kid up, five or six on one and Jessie and Al thought that was fair.There are hoods in small town as well as big cities. It is an attitude."

"They need to lock him up for a long time. Maybe then he will understand that if you do something wrong you will pay the price."

"This is one of the thugs that Sharpton and the slogan master, Jessie Jackson made so much money on. Too bad he is such a poor shot and did not finish the job. Inept in every way included trying to kill himself. Typical."

"Don't worry. Jesse Jackson will come to his rescue. The white store owner should have let Bell take what he wanted. It's racism."


I guess the people that posted comments deemed all of the Jena Six boys trouble, and believe that they had no reason to react to the below situation:

The incident started a year ago in September of 2006 when black students made a push against white privilege and white entitlement. A tree whose shade was historically reserved for white students had black students sitting under its boughs. The next day nooses were hanging from the tree. Certain white people in key positions of authority dismissed the incident as little more than a school prank.


I'm thinking could the original crime they committed have anything to do with the result of situations that have been occurring for years like the incident that occurred in 2006? Could some young Black boys be stuck in a system that others created?

What do you think about Mychal Bell and his current situation?

What do you think about the comments made regarding the actions that Jessie and Al took in the 'Jena Six' case, and how some people think it wasn't worth it?

(I guess this shows that the fight never ends with one case...we must KEEP going)

-Keep Up!

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Young and Keeping Up- Love Life Live Fashion

Andre Hill and Art Sawyer make the list of Young and Keeping UP with their online boutique that allows everyone to Keep Up with the hottest fashions.

Department stores and even drugstores now allow their customers to go online to shop willingly and freely from their home. So what about those one of a kind fashions you stumble across while in small boutiques in Miami or California? Where brands like Anama, Rebel Spirit and Alador&Smith occupy the shelves and racks. It's guaranteed that you won't find those brands in any department store.

After noticing the abundance of high-end fashion in other parts of the country that were lacked in Michigan, Andre and Art brained stormed on an easy and convenient way to bring those fashions not only to Michigan but to the world.

Andre says, "We thought what if there was a way to make these fashion forward pieces available to those around us? So we took that concept and turned it into, what if we could make these types of clothes available to the whole nation. And that's when we came up with the idea for an online boutique."

Shortly after graduating from Michigan State University the two came up with poppintags.com, an online boutique that caters to fashion gurus such as themselves.

Poppintags.com is a portal to a world where fashion is endless and style indefinite. The site offers a selection of clothes with an urban edge and sophistication for everyone, with an array of merchandise that spans from Miami, to LA, to New York.

"Our brands are made for those who choose to work hard and play hard while loving every minute of what they do. So it was only right that we coined the phrase, Love Life, Live Fashion, and made it our motto." says Art.
Poppintags.com is not only a shopping ground, but also has a feel of a community with its Clothiers Café (clothierscafe.wordpress.com). This part of the site is a place for guests to get the scoop on celebrity gossip and be able to get tips on what's hot for the upcoming seasons in fashion.

After updating stock and an incredible renovation, the site celebrated its grand reopening mid December 2008.
Shopping made this easy you have to ask yourself why aren't You Keeping Up?


Poppintags.com a click away from originality and high fashion
Love Life, Live Fashion- PoppinTags Online Boutique
www.myspace.com/poppintagsretail
- T.Toli

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Sister Toldja presents: Can You Keep Up for at least 7 Days?


When I tell people that my family celebrates Kwanzaa, they usually remark that I am the only person they have met in "real life" that does so. Since my parents began observing the seven-day celebration shortly after it was created in the 60's, Kwanzaa has been something very present and important to me since childhood. The values exemplified by Kwanzaa are excellent and very relevant to the African-American community. I think more of us should "Keep Up" with the Seven Principles, so I was very excited to have the chance to share a brief history of my second favorite holiday (behind International Sister Toldja Day- July 22, start saving now folks!)

Dr. Malauna Karenga, a community activist and professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University , created Kwanzaa in 1966. It began as tool of healing for the community torn by the Watts Riots of 1965. Dr Karenga also said he wanted to "...give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." He borrowed elements from the harvest celebrations of various African cultures, including the Ashanti and the Zulu, for ideas. The name is taken from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which is Swahili for "first fruits".

There is a principle assigned to each day of Kwanzaa, which begins on December 26th. You light a candle on your kinara (candleholder) and discuss the meanings of the day's principle with your friends and family. While we pay special attention to the Seven Principles-known collectively as the Nguzo Saba in Swahili-during Kwanzaa, they are certainly to be reflected upon throughout the year.


The Nguzo Saba are:

Umoja (Unity) To build solidarity within our families and communities.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity) To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith) To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.


Kwanzaa celebrations typically include music (especially African drumming), dance, poetry, feasting (you know how our people love an excuse to throw down!), etc. Some people mistakenly believe that Kwanzaa is a Pagan or anti-religious holiday, likely because it falls close enough to Christmas to seem like it's competing with the Christian Holy day and because there is an emphasis on celebrating ancestral spirits that some religious folks find off-putting. However, Kwanzaa is a non-denominational holiday that was meant to be celebrated by people of all religions. Many churches celebrate Kwanzaa and have found ways to relate the Seven Principles to their message and worship.

There are many books and websites devoted to the celebration of Kwanzaa. This year, writer and filmmaker Molefi K. Asante released "The Black Candle", which is a documentary exploring the global celebration of the holiday and is narrated by none other than Maya Angelou. This year, share the gift of Kwanzaa with your friends in family! You can plan an extravagant Kwanzaa Karamu (Kwanzaa feast) or simply take the time to discuss ways in which you can connect the Nguzo Saba to your daily lives. As a people who were snatched from Africa with no claim to our original culture and traditions, Kwanzaa gives us an excellent way to connect with our history and build a better future for our people.



- Sister Toldja

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Happy Holiday's From the Keeping Up Family!

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Sartorially Savvy Fashion Tip of the Week: Layers, Layers, Layers


Greetings gentle readers, Sartorially Savvy here with this week’s way to sartorially “Keep Up…” As the winter months are here, many of us in colder climates find ourselves bundling up to keep warm with coats, hats, scarves, gloves and extra layers… The final being the subject for this present piece of prose.

Not only is layering an effective way to bundle up and keep warm, but it’s an extremely effective weapon in the well dressed person’s arsenal. Layering can change the entire look of an ensemble, for the good, or for the bad. Improper layering can make you look like a hobo pan handling for change, w/a sign that says, “Why lie, I need a beer”, whereas effective layering can take an ensemble from bland and boring to impossibly chic, and from dressed down to dressed up.

In order to effectively layer, an understanding of layering pieces is necessary. Layering pieces are generally those that you pair with something else to add texture, color, sophistication, and complexity to an outfit. Take for example an outfit consisting of jeans and an oxford (or button down shirt, if you will), basic, classic, simple, stylish, all of which are fine, however, if you add a blazer, vest, cardigan, or sweater, (crew or v-neck), you’ve instantly added a different texture, and an air of tailoring to your ensemble.

When layering, you always want to remember that fit is STILL quintessential. The pieces with which you layer should fit as well as everything else, there’s no reason to buy something big to put over something else.

So, let’s discuss some classic and easy pieces you likely already have in your wardrobe that make effective and stylish layering that much more effortless. This is both applicable to ladies and gentlemen except where noted. In addition to the aforementioned (blazers, vests, cardigans and sweaters), some other useful layering pieces include, polos and leggings (ladies) (GREAT with taking a tunic, or longer shirt that might be too short to wear as a dress on its own, and turning it into a mini dress, while still getting ample coverage or taking something from day to evening).

Let’s take a page from last week’s piece about color… Layering is the perfect opportunity to play with color… especially color that *POPS*. Always choose a color that is complimentary to your existing pieces, and have fun with it!! “Matching” is not important here as long as the colors and pieces go, or compliment each other. You can end up looking like a reject from a 90’s boy/girl band wearing head to toe matching pieces… ‘s not a good look.

Only one word of caution regarding layering though… well actually 4… But you get the point: DON’T OVER DO IT. You don’t need to put the oxford with the sweater with the vest with the blazer all at once. This will take you back to that hobo look we discussed a little earlier, and not hobo chic either. One or two layering pieces are all that’s needy to effectively, stylishly and successfully pull off layering… So remember, the next time you’re looking in the mirror, saying to yourself, “what’s missing…” think about add that great blazer, bangin’ vest, killer cardigan, or perfect sweater… it could just take your look somewhere you didn’t think it could go. Until next time gentle readers…

Stylishly Yours,
Sartorially Savvy
“Fashions fade, but style is eternal” ~Yves St. Laurent

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Terrell Owens Raises Money for 81 Underprivileged Families

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Guess who's Keeping Up with charity work? That's right, you guessed it! Dallas Cowboy Terrell Owens (more affectionately known as 'T.O'). While celebrating his birthday, Owens raised thousands for his Catch A Dream Foundation during an annual charity event in Dallas last week. The event was sponsored by Dr. Pepper, Venom, Country Crossing, Bama Jam, Albertsons and JC Penny.

The star studded Second Annual Celebrity Charity event was hosted by comedian/actor Guy Tory in Dallas, Texas. The celebrities that were in attendance included former Cowboy Deion Sanders, Common, Angela Simmons, Solange Knowles, Atlanta Housewives Lisa and NeNe, Jill Marie Jones, Dallas Mayor Tom Lepperd, Dwayne Carawy, Senator Royce West and Councilman Tennell Atkins who presented proclamations and a host of other celebrities and athletes.

Not only did the birthday boy and his guests raise more than $100K during the event's live auction, Owens was also granted the Key to the City my Dallas Mayor Tom Lepperd!

The December to Remember took place at the Gaylord Texan Resort’s fabulous Glass Cactus Nightclub. The event included 500 of Terrell’s biggest fans who joined him in raising money for 81 underprivileged families in the Dallas area for the holidays. Money wasn't the only thing TO had time to give to this amazing cause. Hundreds of bears were collected by guest who attended to be donated to the local families.

The event began with a private reception and dinner held for 180 guests including the lucky bidder who purchased a Dallas Cowboy helmet signed by Terrell Owens, Deion Sanders, Coach Phillips and Pac- Man Jones for $8,100.

Topping off the wonderful night, Terrell said a few words to the crowd and thanked his publicists Kita Williams and Monique Jackson of Team Image for the flawless execution of the event and their support.

When I have the opportunity to give to someone less fortunate than myself, it's an indescribable feeling. I wanted everyone attending this event to experience the same great feeling that I do when I have the opportunity to bless someone else,” exclaimed Owens.

Several of the emotional letters submitted by the chosen 81 families were read aloud as well. One of those 81 families will be selected for a private shopping spree with Terrell at a local JCPenny store.

The highlights of the evening include the surprise tribute song from Terrell’s baby sister Sharmaine Stowes, a surprise birthday message from Will Smith and live performance by LUDACRIS!

The Terrell Owens Catch A Dream Foundation is a non profit organization created to erase hunger and the lack of basic daily needs from households throughout our nation by providing the necessary resources children and youth require to realize and act on their dreams. Join Terrell in the gift of giving by visiting his website at http://www.terrellowens.com/ for more information.

The Keeping Up Staff would like to give a huge congrats (and a Happy Birthday!) to Terrell Owens for his accomplishments and showing all of us how to Keep Up and give back to the community!!!

Tell us what you think of athlete's who have foundations or charity events to give back?

-The Renaissance Woman

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Young and Keeping Up- A. Pinks "Held Me Down"

For all of you that have been readers for some time now, you might remember a past Young and Keeping Up artist, A. Pinks. Well he has continued to grow since that last time he was featured. He debuted his brand new single "Held Me Down (Hip-Hop) on MTV2's "Sucker Free" on 12.16.08. This is the first single off the Look What I Can Do (EP) due out early spring '09 on Coalmine Records/JumpStreet Presents...


At Keeping Up with the Huxtables we love to see our Young and Keeping Up features continue to reach new heights. I hope that the Keeping Up family will join in with me in saying congrats to A. Pinks.

Also let us know what you think about the song.
A. Pinks Performing Live in NYC on 12.27.08 Rock, Art & Hip Hop @ Blaggard's Pub 8 West 38 Street Btwn 5th & 6th Avenue

"Support is key to the success of our people"
-
Keep Up

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I am Black and I have Curves!- Fashion from Sartorially Savvy




Greetings gentle readers Sartorially Savvy here!! First, I’d like to thank each of you who read my first attempt to “Keep Up…” I very much appreciate and am humbled by the response that has come from all of you!!! So, from the bottom of my well dressed heart, THANK YOU!!!

I’m here with this week’s way to sartorially “Keep Up”!! Last week, I was asked by a reader how, she, as a full figured young lady could take my advice and apply it to her and her size. I was sure to tell her that EVERYTHING I wrote last week was applicable to everyone of every size, but that I’d try to reach out to the big girls, b/c as Big Boi put it, “big girls need love too” So, to the big girls; Remember last week when I told everyone how important fit was? This is especially applicable to you. If something fits you, it looks elegant, made just for you, it accentuates your assets and hides your flaws. When something is ill-fitting, it looks as if you don’t know how to dress your body, and likely draws attention to the very thing you were trying to hide. 2 secret weapons for the big girls are wide-leg trousers/jeans, and wrap dresses. Use them to your advantage!! The wide leg trouser creates a long lean line, making your legs appear as if they go on for days, making you look thinner and keeping the silhouette lean. This is applicable in both your trousers/slacks and your jeans look for cuts that create this effect. A wrap dress creates a different, but still extremely complementary silhouette. The wrap dress wraps at your naturally smallest point, your waist, draws attention to and flatters the waist, and has a skirt that flows away from the body, camouflaging what are typical trouble areas, the tummy and hips and thighs. This is an extremely feminine and sexy silhouette. These are just 2 weapons in the arsenal for big girls, they work for all women, voluptuously curvy, or model thin. Use them to your advantage!!!

Tis the season to look AMAZING!!! It’s the holiday season and with it comes holiday parties, gatherings, and festivities and thus opportunities to look your absolute best. This is the time of year to break out “the big guns” in your closet. Those of us who are striving to “Keep Up…” know that a holiday sweater is simply unacceptable attire. So for those holiday soiree’s, break out that amazing cocktail dress you’ve been trying to figure out where to wear ALL year, fellas, throw on that navy velvet blazer, now’s the time to glam it up a little bit. A particular favorite thing to do of mine around this time of year is color saturation. Wear colors that POP, jewel tones, deep, rich, opulent colors; your eggplant’s, navy’s, crimson’s, burnt sienna’s, cornflower blue’s, emerald’s, hunter green’s. These all work EXCELLENTLY this time of year. The trick to pulling them off, however, is moderation. You can’t go out dripped head to toe in eggplant, but you CAN do an eggplant sweater, pair it with grey slacks, or dark denim jeans. Pick one piece of your clothing, that you want to be the focus, and put your color there. For the fellas, it’s much easier to do this on top in the form of a sweater, oxford, blazer, vest or jacket of some sort. Ladies, you can do this either on top or on bottom, however, I recommend that if you focus your color on bottom, it be in the form of a skirt, it’s kinda difficult to pull of a pair of crimson pants. You can use your accessories wisely this holiday season, maybe put on an extra piece of jewelry (a little bling J) or longer more luxurious scarf, or maybe an interesting pair of gloves, bag, or shoes, add a little glamour and drama. So remember ‘tis the season to be jolly AND well dressed!!



~Sartorially Savvy (“Fashions fade, but STYLE, is eternal” –Yves St. Lauren)

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Holiday Cocktail Hour- Recipe of the Month from The Culinary Goddess


Tis the Season to be Jolly and what better event to show your joy than a Holiday Cocktail Hour with friends? The best way to show your friends a good time for the holidays without spending too much money or using too much time is to do what I do. Host a potluck Dessert and Cocktail night. Each of the invited guests is responsible for bringing one dessert and matching drink for the guests to sample. This way each of the guests becomes a chef and you can enjoy the festivities. Below you’ll find my favorite dessert and drink combination for you to serve at the party.

Peach Cobbler-tini with a Wine Shooter Sampler

Ingredients:
2 lbs Sliced Peaches in heavy syrup
3 boxes Pillsbury Pre Rolled Crust
Brown & White Sugar (to taste)
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla Extract (to taste)
1 Stick of Butter
3 teaspoons Flour
Bottle of Moscoto, Semi Sweet Reisling, White Orange Muscat (chilled)
*Martini and Shot Glasses to serve*

Pre-heat your over to 350 degrees. Drain your peaches and reserve half the syrup. In a large pot cook your peaches, ¼ stick of butter, sugar, vanilla, and spices until heated all the way through and is satisfactory to your taste buds. In a deep baking dish unroll 1 box of crust and spread evenly. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and brush over the crust. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Ladle in the peach mixture until the crust is covered. Unroll another layer of crust. Brush with butter and bake for another 15 minutes. Ladle in the remaining peach mixture and cover with crust. Gently place ½ inch slits across the top of the crust and brush with butter. Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Allow to rest.

Unroll a box of crust and slice into thin strips and set aside. In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the strips of crust until golden brown. Remove the strips and dust with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Allow to cool.

Take the martini glasses sugar half the rims and cinnamon the other half. Gently scoop out the peach cobbler and place in the glass with a cinnamon sugar crisp. Pour the chilled wine into the shot glasses and serve!




Happy Holidays
From My Kitchen to Yours
The Culinary Goddess

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It's a Recession but I still can afford Weed and Louis!





During this recession so many people have been effected. Hundreds of people have lost their jobs and families are struggling just to make ends meet. But I wonder what people are sacrificing? Even during the recession, people tend to be living up to the stereotype of Blacks not knowing how to spend their money wisely. I have run into so many people that love to call out "its a recession" when it comes to spending certain things, but how silly is it when they will continue to buy things that they do not really need.


I know this guy who got laid off, can't afford to eat, but still manages to buy weed. I just do not understand how you cut back on everything but smoking. I know people that are using credit cards to purchase items because they do not have the cash. They are not buying necessary items, but pricey items that they wouldn't have been able to afford even if it wasn't a recession.
So now you have millions of people that are going to leave the recession with large amounts of credit card debt, but for unnecessary reasons.

I am the Marketing Manager for a tutoring program that cost. The program is brilliant and very beneficial. One objection that we are getting around this time is that it is a recession. I think that is a great reason why one wouldn't want to spend money on a tutoring program. But when your child is struggling below grade level, and you rather invest in the new Wii game, tennis shoes, and a Louis for you, then I question your investments.


So we still want to look fly, eat fancy, and party like a rock star? Well we have to get our priorities straight first. We also need to learn how to be creative:


1. Women learn how to do your own hair. Invest in a nice flat iron. It might cost a lot up front, but will save you more from having to go to the hair salon on a regular basis.

2. Buy food from the grocery store that you can cook in large portions that last throughout the week. Spaghetti is a good option.

3. If you still want to party, do what we call pre-game before going out to a party. Buy a bottle of liquor to drink at home, then when you go out you wont have to spend that much on drinks.

4. Buy the basic clothing items that Sartorially Savvy suggested in the previous article, and learn how to mix and match. (creativity is key)

5. Write out a budget, it will help you manage your spending.

6. Carry cash instead of your credit card. It is harder to spend cash, then to just swipe your card.

7. Create list when you do any type of shopping. It will save you from impulse buying.

8. If you are an avid reader, start going to the library again, instead of the bookstore.

9. Eat out less!!!!


Please share with the rest of us some tips you have used to cut back on spending. The more creative the better...It's a recession and we need all the help we can get!


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Part 2: Fashion Tips from Sartorially Savvy- Basic not Boring!

Basic DOES NOT equal Boring




In sticking with our housing analogies, here’s another: Every home must have a foundation, something on which it stands, the base on which it is built, likewise is true for one’s wardrobe. Basics are the staple pieces that we build our wardrobe upon, those things that never go out of style, look great with everything, and we keep for years. Ladies, your little black dress, wide leg trousers, trouser cut denim jeans, pencil skirts, camisoles, polo shirts, cardigan sweaters, blouses, leather jackets, and the like. Gentlemen your cable knit crew neck sweaters, v-neck sweaters, polo shirts, button down oxfords, leather jackets blazers, khaki pants, wool slacks, and dark wash denim jeans. Basics are the quintessential starting point for efficient and well built wardrobe. Basics should also be your investment pieces (more on that in a sec!) Imagine if you will, if you only bought what was in each season, and constantly shopping to stay current and replace what you had just purchased the season before. And in this economy, I don’t know too many people who can afford such habits.

Another example of this that probably hits a little closer to home is the phenomena of purchasing something new to wear every time a social engagement occurs. Throughout our respective high school and perhaps college, I’m sure we’ve all had friends, or perhaps even done it ourselves: The day of the party, concert, gathering, etc., said friend (or you are) is at the mall, running through every store, trying to find something to wear. And it’s been my experience that if it’s a young lady, she’s buying something that she’ll never wear again. Here’s where your basics come into play: instead of going out and buying something that perhaps you’ll never wear again, if you have a wardrobe that is aptly stocked with basics, you can pull something that perhaps you’ve worn before, combine it with something that maybe you’ve also worn before, but haven’t worn them not together, and spend the money you were going to on an entire new outfit, on a hot pair of shoes, a trendy scarf, hat, piece of jewelry or some other accessory to make your ensemble POP in a way that it hadn’t before. That way, now you have something new to add to your closet artillery and you’ve saved a few dollars you can spend on drinks or something else! Now, in terms of basics being your investment pieces: Basics are things you want to be able to wear repeatedly, and will stand the test of time. That being said, it is wise to invest a little bit more into quality pieces that you will have for years to come, and that won’t show signs of wear and tear like some cheaper things will.


So, if you only take away 2 things from Part 1 and 2 remember this: FIT is everything, and build your wardrobe with BASICS, and you’ll be well on your way to sartorially “Keeping Up!” And if anyone has any fashion/style questions they’d like answered, please, leave comments and I’ll do my best to answer as many as possible!!

“Fashions fade, but STYLE is eternal” (Yves St. Laurent)
~Sartorially Savvy

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Part 1: Fashion Tips from Sartorially Savvy- Fit, Fit, Fit

Greetings gentle readers, Sartorially Savvy here. This is my first foray into the blogosphere so, please bear with me and be kind. That being said, first I must say I am honored to have been asked to contribute to one of my favorite blogs, by one of my oldest friends, The Socialite. I’d like to begin with a little blurb about myself and my perspective, and we’ll go from there… So, here we go! The word “sartorial” means of or having to do with clothes or clothing, and savvy, well, let’s hope that those of us trying to “Keep Up…” already know what savvy means! With a little luck and *hopefully* some positive feedback from the readers, I’ll be the resident style/fashion columnist here at “Keeping Up…” For some people, fashion and style are more than just a part of life, they ARE life. I’m one of those people, from major label designers, to vintage, to the up and coming, I consider it all a part of my DNA. I’d like to think that being the best you, and living your best life are quintessential parts of “Keeping Up…” so, I’d like to take this initial blog to prescribe a few tips that’ll help you put your best sartorial foot forward, some of them are things you might know, if so, great, if not then consider yourself being put on game…

Fit, fit, fit:

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In real estate they say, “location, location, location” meaning location is everything, a 7bdrm 5000sq foot house may sell for 750k in Detroit, but in New York City, that same house sells for 10x as much. The same principal is applicable sartorially. Something that fits you looks infinitely better than something that does not. Two young ladies could be walking down the street, one in an over sized, ill-fitting Chanel boucle suit, and the other in an H&M suit that fits her like a glove. The young lady in H&M will look far better and come off far more stylish than the young lady who looked like she was playing dress up in her grandmother’s suit. Furthermore, the young lady in the ill-fitting ensemble has done herself a greater disservice by making a Chanel suit look cheap, which is another attribute given off by wearing garments that do not fit you.



Garments that are too big or too small are cheapened instantly if they do not fit properly. This brings me to one of the best kept secrets in the fashion world, the tailor. Gentlemen usually have the upper hand in this arena because our suits have been tailored from a young age, however, ladies; I implore you, do not sleep on having a good tailor. Say for example you run across a bargain on a pair Rock & Republic jeans… only problem is, they’re too long!! Instead of rocking them and walking all over the backs of them, shredding them and making them look cheap, take them to the tailor and have them shortened to the perfect length for you. They’ll look as if they were custom made, and custom made clothing exudes “expensive” and “classy” so, everyone will think you’ve spent FAR more on these jeans than you have. Often, people think that having a tailor is an expense that only the rich and famous can afford and only occurs at high end boutiques and department stores: another misconception!! You can get most basic tailoring work done at your local dry cleaners! Have you ever noticed the mirrors and step-up platform at most cleaners? That’s where they take your measurements to amend the garments as necessary. From having something shortened, a hem let out, taken in, or even in some cases lengthened, it can most likely be done at your dry cleaners for a small fee.





“Fashions fade, but STYLE is eternal” (Yves St. Laurent)
~Sartorially Savvy

Part 2 to follow later on today...

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Where it all makes sense...Charles Hamilton "The Pink Lavalamp"

Keeping Up with the Huxtables

Charles Hamilton


Has anyone been on the three month journey called the "The Hamiltonization Process"? If you follow rapper Charles Hamilton then you know what I am talking about. The artist signed to Interscope who has truly captured the online world with his talent, and created a fan base ready to follow him to where ever his music takes him next.

Charles finally lead us to the night where it all makes sense, which was the theme of the party that I attended Monday night. At the event Charles Hamilton shared with us his most complete body of work to date, "The Pink Lavalamp".

As you entered the Red Bull Space, the room was slightly lit with a pink tint to it. You were immediately surrounded by a crowd of industry heads and Hamilton fans. The crowd didn't prevent you from making your way to the open bar right away to grab your first drink for the night.

As you stood around mingling with the unique crowd, you couldn't help but notice the life size sonic running around the party, which besides the color pink is something that Charles says represents him. He states in thePearl Magazine, "as for Sonic the Hedgehog, well sonic means ‘sound’ and hedgehogs bury themselves underground, so 'I’m Sonic the Hedgehog because I bury myself into sound,' he said."

As the party continued, finally Charles Hamilton hopped on the mic and begin taking us through a journey of his music. He directed our attention to the back screen to watch his music video to his song, "Brooklyn Girls". If you haven't heard the song take a listen below:




Throughout the night he continued to rap different songs from his album and the crowd seemed to be feeling it. The best part for me was the area where you were able to take pictures, and take home your snap shots for free! Way to capture the moment...


As the night came to an end, the event planner of the night, Tamika McCormack, didn't leave us empty handed. We left the party with gift bags and a copy of Charles Hamilton's CD!

There were a few people that night that made the list for Young and Keeping Up...

Charles Hamilton and Tamika McCormack...good work guys!

Keeping Up with the Huxtables
Tamika McCormack-The event planner

Keeping Up with the Huxtables
The Socialite in pokkadots with a few of her friends.

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The 5 Fears of a Man...and Why They Won't Commit

A Male's Point of View:


Keeping Up with the Huxtables

In response to the Socialite's article about in search of the perfect match and her advising women to stop searching and just wait, I know many women are wondering how long they will have to wait? They are probably also wondering what takes men so long to take the step towards commitment? I must sum it up in one word--Fear!

As a man you may think, " Fear, I'm not afraid of nothing. I just don't feel like doing...". Of course fellas you feel that you can do whatever you like without an explanation simply because you are the "Man"; so what do you have to fear? However the bottom line is that as humans we all share the common emotion of fear. Here is a single man's list to the Socialite's question all pertaining to that one word FEAR.

1. Fear of Intimacy- The fear of intimacy and emotional closeness simply because of the fact that our mate will seriously hurt or destroy us. The way to protect our emotions is by keeping a distance from committed intimate relationships. Keep in mind, men can be vulnerable as well.

2. Fear of Abandonment-The unshakable belief that our mate will desert us (physically) and will not really care about us (mentally). Now I know your thinking, "Are you even a man? You should be able to handle this." But in all honesty deep down this thought is possible and does exist within a man. We know that women can play the game just as well as the fellas or even better. We have to protect ourselves.

3. Fear of being Selfless- The idea of having to tend to someone else's desires, concerns, and cares is very overwhelming. Once committed to a relationship a man can no longer worry for himself or even work for himself. Your mate has to be considered in every action that you take. As a result, the thought of losing independence to a woman or submitting to a woman's needs can take a toll on a man's time for himself which leads to less time with the fellas; no time for sports, no time to chill...Just less time in general. Which takes me to point number 4.

4. Fear of Wasting time. Ladies, I know you're thinking, "I'm no waste of time." However, that's not what I'm saying. This point reverts back to point #2. What if she isn't the one. The girl that you've wined and dined, and took home to meet mom, wasn't in the relationship for your best interests. Better yet, what if she is a completely different person than the person you initially met. You've invested all of this time into this ONE girl and she's just not what you are looking for at the moment.

5. Fear of Self- This speaks to the man's ego. There is nothing like a man having his ego crushed. All people have flaws, but men don't like their flaws to be exposed. We are aware of our flaws, but having someone there to acknowledge our flaws and hold us accountable for those flaws deter with a man's pride. Also, the modern day woman has established herself firmly in society. Many women have reached or surpassed men in terms of being self sufficient and independent. If a man is not secure about his financial status to cater to his woman's needs and desires he won't pursue as aggressively(We all know women love to to be cared for). Lastly, a man may not trust himself with being committed and doesn't want to bother in hurting his mates feelings until he is mentally secured in his ability to being a one woman man.

Although society generally does not associate the word FEAR with being masculine, it's an emotion that can and will hold back ANYONE if they are not ready to do ANYTHING! In this case, it is related to male/female relationships and it is justifiable as a reason and not an exuse. Better yet, can you fault a man for not knowing what he wants in life when it comes to relationships. All of these reasons have a correlation with one thing-TIME! If the time is not right than we have to accept that premise. Timing is key in every decision that has to be made by a person. I think women should consider these reasons and try to be patient with us. We all have the desire to love in our hearts, it just takes a lot for us to give it so fast. It's nothing wrong with not knowing being that we all have potential.

Now I know that there are many more reason's why men take so long to commit...so ladies and gentlemen what do you think? To supplement these 5 FEARS check out some movies about black love and analyze the male character (s) traits in relationship to the female character(s). And let us know what you think?

Some suggestions:

The Wood
Why did I Get Married
Love Jones
Brown Sugar
Soul Food
The Brothers
Baby Boy

-Mr. Knowitall

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Friday's Top Ways to Keep Up with the Huxtables

1. Become more knowledgeable about other cultures.

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Today I will give you a little information on the history of Sushi and some ways that you are really suppose to eat Sushi.

Brief History: "Sushi can be traced back to the 4th century BC in Southeast Asia. As a preserved food, the salted fish, fermented with rice, was an important source of protein. The cleaned and gutted fish were kept in rice so that the natural fermentation of the rice helped preserve the fish. This type of sushi is called nare-zushi, and was taken out of storage after a couple of months of fermentation, and then only the fish was consumed while the rice was discarded." http://sushi-master.com/usa/whatis/history.html

After awhile people begin to enjoy the rice and fish as a dish, and not just to preserve the fish.

Tips on eating Sushi and common mistakes (read even if you eat it all of the time...I am sure us American's have developed our own techniques.)

1. A lot of people mix the wasabi in their soy sauce dish. The two are not supposed to be mixed. Nigiri-zushi, rice topped with fish or another topping, comes with wasabi placed under the fish by the itamae, and reflects what he feels is the proper balance of wasabi to fish. Some of us like a little more, and you can always sneak some separately on the fish or with it.

2. It is okay to eat sushi with your hands. Sashmimi is only to be eaten with chopsticks.

3. Pick up the fish off of the rice and dip in soy sauce. Dipping the entire thing in the soy sauce leads to it falling apart.

4. Eat sushi in one bite.

5. Ginger is considered a palate cleanser and eaten between bites or different types of sushi. It is not meant to be eaten in the same bite as a piece of sushi.

6. Technically one doesn’t drink sake with sushi (or rice in general) only with sashimi or before or after the meal. It is felt that since they are both rice based, they do not complement each other and therefore should not be consumed together. Green tea is a great option with sushi or sashimi.
http://www.sushifaq.com/howtoeatsushi-etiquette.htm


2. Weekly Recap of Blacks in the News:


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Simpson sentenced to prison for at least 15 years for his conviction on charges related to a botched attempt to recover sports memorabilia.

Lil Wayne gets eight grammy nominations

On December 1st, 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. (moment in history)

Obama's mother in law might be moving into the White House

Cadillac Records is in theaters today! (Dec. 5th)

Supermodel Selita works the runway at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show

Civil Rights Music Legend Odetta Dies at the age of 77


3. Tips on how to eat a healthy diet:


Keeping Up with the Huxtables

There are 5 basic food groups and eating a healthy diet consists of eating a variety of foods from each group. A lot of people try losing weight by eliminating certain foods; it only makes you miss out on some of your vitamins.

1. Bread, potatoes, pasta, rices, noodles, and breakfast cereals: Should be the main part of all of your meals.

2. Fruit and vegetables: 5 portions a day

3. Milk and dairy foods: 2 to 3 servings per day

4. Meat, fish, poultry and pulses: 2 servings a day. (Fish should be apart of your diet at least 1 to 2 times a week)

Ways to help you keep on track:

1. Keep a food journal or tally board. I just started marking a tally next to each category to ensure that I eat something from each.

2. Keep track with friends. At work we put our names on a board and mark a tally every time we drink a cup of water. We have to drink at least 8 cups a day.







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Artist of the Week- Rachel Crouch


"This piece was done with a Special Edition Washington DC newspaper that sold out in the first hour it hit the stands... The day after Barack Obama was named our new President!"





Rachel C. was born in Chicago, a graduate of Howard University, and currently holds a position as a math teacher at Oak Hill Juvenile Detention Center.

Check more out more of her work @ www.rachelcrouch.com


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Young and Keeping Up- Crystal Bailey gets crowned Miss Black Virginia USA.


I am pleased to announce that Crystal L. Bailey was crowned Miss Black Virginia USA. As a graduate of Howard University, a law student at William & Mary School of Law, and a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., she has always represented the excellence that is needed to carry out her new title. I can remember watching Crystal at the Alpha Phi Alpha Miss. Black and Gold pageant, and seeing the real passion she had for promoting the importance of the performing arts. It is no surprise that Crystal continues with her dream of getting the youth more involved in the arts.

Keeping Up
with the Huxtables would like to give a personal congrats and cannot wait to see the impact that she has on the African American community through her platform. Thanks for Keeping Up!

Make sure to read a little bit about the history of the Miss Black USA pageant below.


Press Release:


On Saturday, November 29, 2008, twenty-four year old Crystal L. Bailey was crowned Miss Black Virginia USA in Danville, Virginia at the North Theatre. During her reign, under the platform Class ACT (Arts Can Transform) Ms. Bailey will seek to promote the performing arts by informing Virginia's youth of the rewards and benefits of participating in the arts. According to Ms. Bailey "the arts give our youth the impetus to think "outside of the box", which is essential to our nation's progress."


The Miss Black Virginia Pageant is an official preliminary competition of the Miss Black USA Organization, a national scholastic pageant competition sponsored by acclaimed actor, producer and director Tyler Perry. Founded in 1986, the Miss Black USA Organization seeks to provide educational opportunities for outstanding young women of color and to develop the "whole woman": mind, body and spirit. Locally, under the theme "Crown for One ? Experience for All", the Miss Black Virginia Pageant will award annual scholarships to not only the title holder, but to the top three contestants as well. This year's Miss Black Virginia Pageant holds historical significance, for it marked the first time a pageant was held to select Virginia's representative to the National Miss Black USA pageant to be held in Washington, D.C. in June of 2009. The Miss Black Virginia Pageant was the capstone of an entire week full of activities ranging from a community service project to participating in a local television program in Danville, Virginia. The week culminated with a spiritual coronation for Ms. Bailey at the Camp Grove Baptist Church.

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There are Walking History Books...


So often we complain about how our true story is never told. We rely on the news to finally come around and portray a more accurate picture of the African American community. We wonder why our history is locked away in the past.If you wake up and look around, you will see that the key to knowledge about our history is all around you.


This morning I was walking out of my apartment building to go to work, and an older lady asked to walk across the bridge with me towards the Bronx. As we were walking, she asked me how I was enjoying staying in the Riverton Apartments. I responded with a short answer, "I like it and I am comfortable". As the conversation went on, I found out that she had been in the apartment building for over 20 years.


She begin to explain to me the history of the Riverton Apartments located on 135th and Madison, in Harlem. It was built in the 1940s and was mostly occupied by Black professionals. She explained to me that if you were not light skin, you definitely had to be middle class and above. She told me how it was one of the first places in Harlem where Blacks with money migrated to live. Here I was thinking that I lived in the new renovated projects.


Have you ever taken the time to talk to our walking history books? There are so many elders that hold the knowledge of our past, yet we never take the time out to just talk to them.


Goals:


1. Take the time out to talk to at least one elder in your family or community.

2. Ask them questions about their childhood, family, accomplishments, and things about their community.

3. Share the knowledge you learn with someone else.

4. Save these stories for your kids to pass down also!


Stories to tell younger kids in your family in detail:


1. How you felt and what you did the night that Barack Obama became President-elect

2. Your high school and college years

3. A special accomplishment in your life

4. What was your experience during 911

5. What you did to help out with Katrina

6. What you did to prepare for 2000 (when we thought everything was going to crash)




In comment section:


1. Share with us something that you have learned from an elder that we might not know.


2. List a moment in recent history that should be told to our youth in detail.


3. What is one question that you would ask someone who lived before the 1900s?


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Should There be an Obama Holiday?

I hope everyone enjoyed their Holiday break! Speaking of holidays, should Barack Obama get a holiday named after him? I know that it is too early to ask this question; for he has not even taken office yet. But do you think he should get one? I think about a great leader that came before him named Martin Luther King. I look all around me and can see streets, schools, and buildings named after MLK. I remember hearing the stories on how people fought hard for a holiday to be named after him also. I think about how we take off work that day, and a lot of people dedicate that day to service. Is Barack following down that same path?

The day after Obama got named president- elect, there were a number of babies that were born with the name Obama. Recently, Ludlum Elementary School in Long Island, changed their name to Barack Obama Elementary, becoming the first school in the nation to have their name changed to the president-elects. Students expressed how proud they were to go to a school named after him. The students were actually the ones that wanted the change, and wrote letters on why the change should be made.



I am sure that his name will be attached to many things to come...but should he get a holiday?
Lincoln, Columbus, and Martin have holidays. These were men that played a significant role in American history and I think that Obama does also. I want to wait until he has some accomlishments as President, but if he gets one...

This is how we should celebrate:

1. Day off
2. A day of service
3. Join with another race in doing your day of service. (for Obama brought a nation together)
4. Every school should do a huge service project also.
5. Of course EAT!

Do you think that Obama should get a holiday named after him and why?

How do you think that Holiday should be spent?

What do you usually do on MLK day?

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