Friday's Top Ways to Keep Up...Famous Quotes That Might Help You Keep Up!

1. "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential. " -Barack Obama

2. "We used to talk about wanting to get some money, but that's when hip-hop was based on your dreams and your fantasy. The whole thing now is the dreams and fantasies were achieved, and you don't want to make it the focal point. You can't keep beating that dead horse. " -P. Diddy

3. "when i started flirtin with the hustle, failure became my ex, now im engaged to the game, and married to success" -Lil Wayne

4. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek" -Barack Obama

5. "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." -Mahatma Gandhi

6. "Though I am grateful for the blessings of wealth, it hasn't changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I'm just wearing better shoes." -Oprah Winfrey

7. "The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be." - Oprah Winfrey

8. "For Africa to me... is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place." -Maya Angelou

9. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

10. “They say a midget standing on a giant's shoulders can see much further than the giant. So I got the whole rap world on my shoulders, they trying to see further than I am.” -Jay Z

11. "When the grass is cut, the snakes will show" -Jay Z

12. "The future belongs to those that prepare for it today" -Malcolm X

13. "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

14. "Don't look at your goals as dreams, but look at them as a prediction of the future" -The Socialite

15. "For years I thought I didn't have a real story...little did I know I was writing the introduction to an amazing novel." -The Socialite

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Lesson of the Day....

I wonder what God has in store for me today? Yesterday he showed me that so often we set standards for ourselves, yet we allow others to lower them.

We then sit around and wonder why we don't get the respect that we request.

Its not until we understand that its not a request that needs to be made, but a change within ourselves.

No one can see how high your bar is for yourself unless you show them.

People will treat you the way you treat yourself.

Standards are meant to rise not be lowered because of your failure to see your worth and your attempt to settle for what you think you can get.

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Lesson of the Day...

I wonder what God has in store for me today? Yesterday he taught me that it is you that stands in your way...no one else can.

Take a moment to evaluate how many barriers you have placed in your own path.

Remove them asap...

It is your own thoughts and actions that prevent you from moving forward.

When you finally clear your path imagine how much easier it will be to see...

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Recipe of the Month... June: Kings Choice!




(Perfect Pair Series)

June is a very special month as we all know that Father’s day is this month. So often we take for granted the men who step outside of their responsibility and go above and beyond the call of fatherhood and actually become great Dads!!! More often we forget those men who are not yet fathers but extend their hand to help build the empire, because it’s true what they say…It take a village to raise a child. We want to pay homage to the uncles, brothers, mentors and community leaders as well. So this month we honor them as the Royalty they are and make a meal properly fit for not just Great Father’s but Great Kings!

Marinated Bison Steak, Grilled Veggie Kabobs & Spicy Corn (serves 2)

Ingredients:

2 Bison Steaks (you may substitute any steak of your choice)
½ lb corn on the cob
1 red onion cubed
1 green bell pepper cubed
¼ cup Baby Bella mushrooms
¼ cup fresh pineapple cubed
¼ cup Aged Balsamic Vinegar
¼ cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
2 table spoons extra virgin olive oil
2 table spoons softened butter
4 teaspoons salt & pepper
3 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar


Take the vinegar, rum, 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, and cinnamon and mix well. Pour the mixture into a zip lock bag and marinate the steaks for no less than 4 hours and no more than 24 hours. Once steaks are marinated place them on a medium temperature grill and cook for 3 minutes on both sides. Take the softened butter and add 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder. Mix well and roll the ears of corn in it until completely covered. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and place on your grill for 30 minutes until tender. Take ur veggies and pineapple; toss them in the EVOO, add 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, and paprika. Mix until veggies are completely coated…skewer them and grill until tender. Once everything is thoroughly cooked plate and enjoy!

This months “Perfect Pair” is the K. Walker. This drink is simple in ingredients, smooth in taste, strong in stature and Undoubtedly Delicious in every aspect. It was created by a Great King Khaliel Walker who opened up his cabinet one day only to find a few ingredients, he then opened up his mind and decided to create instead of complain. That creation was the K. Walker and the beginning of a movement. Being an adventurous soul I tried the K. Walker and immediately fell in love. I must say people it is the most fitting crown for any Kings meal!



K. Walker
Ingredients

1 cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
3 teaspoons Grenadine
2 Cups Dr. Pepper Soda

Mix all of the ingredients and pour over ice. It’s just that simple people…make, drink and be happy!


From My Kitchen to Yours
The Culinary Goddess

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Not Keeping Up: Having Segregated Proms


Guess who is not Keeping Up? Georgia's Montgomery County has managed to not step into 2009 and instead choose to stay in the 50s and 60s. Although, Montgomery's school system has been integrated since 1971, every year they hold racially segregated proms.

Racially segregated proms have been held in Montgomery County — where about two-thirds of the population is white — almost every year since its schools were integrated in 1971. Such proms are, by many accounts, longstanding traditions in towns across the rural South, though in recent years a number of communities have successfully pushed for change. When the actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for last year’s first-of-its-kind integrated prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi, his home state, the idea was quickly embraced by students — and rejected by a group of white parents, who held a competing “private” prom. (The effort is the subject of a documentary, “Prom Night in Mississippi,” which will be shown on HBO in July.) The senior proms held by Montgomery County High School students — referred to by many students as “the black-folks prom” and “the white-folks prom” — are organized outside school through student committees with the help of parents. All students are welcome at the black prom, though generally few if any white students show up. The white prom, students say, remains governed by a largely unspoken set of rules about who may come. Black members of the student council say they have asked school administrators about holding a single school-sponsored prom, but that, along with efforts to collaborate with white prom planners, has failed. According to Timothy Wiggs, the outgoing student council president and one of 21 black students graduating this year, “We just never get anywhere with it.” Principal Luke Smith says the school has no plans to sponsor a prom, noting that when it did so in 1995, attendance was poor.


Thanks Montgomery County High School for not Keeping Up! Your kids go to the same school, but they can't party together? We all know that racism still exist, but you are extreme right now. Please do better.

-Keep Up!

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The Ball is in your Court...It Can Only Be One!


I know that the Socialite rarely gives credit to the world of sports, mostly because the rest of the world focuses on it like its God. But looking at this years play offs, I can honestly say that I am so proud of my black men. It is so great knowing that black men are some of the most athletic people in the WORLD. It has been an amazing time watching athletes like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James fight for the title of the best basketball players in the league. The amount of talent and skills they have is ridiculous. It would be hard to knock either one of them out of the title for the best. They are truly inspirations to young guys out there to work hard to "Keep Up" and don't stop until you reach the top.

But some true inspirations have been the Nuggets and the Magic. With the entire world routing for Bron and Kobe to play in the finals, the Nuggets and Magic are not letting them get there easily. With the Nuggets bringing their series to a tie, and the Magic leading theirs, I can't help but say these dudes truly have heart.

One of the greatest things about the NBA Play Offs is that you can learn a few lessons from these guys. They show you that besides the necessary skills needed to succeed in life, you need determination, dedication, and heart to truly WIN. They also show you that no one can determine your fate, the BALL is in YOUR COURT!

Thanks guys for helping us "Keep Up"! You truly have heart and may the best team win...better yet the team that WANTS to win the most.

How will the Magic-Cavs series play out?


Magic in game 5

Magic in game 6

Magic in game 7

Cavs in game 7


How will the Lakers-Nuggets series play out?


Lakers in game 6

Lakers in game 7

Nuggets in game 6

Nuggets in game 7


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Take A Huge Jump into Life...You just Need To Find Your Parachute!

The Socialite and friends try White Water Rafting


So often we forget that life is meant to be enjoyed. We spend the majority of our lives working nine to fives, some of us just to get by. We occasionally go on vacations, and happy hours a little more often. But when do we take the time to step outside of our comfort zones and do things that we have never done before? Last week I talked about being more adventurous with what you eat. This week it's all about exploring risky activities.


On Saturday I got the chance to go White Water Rafting. It was an experience that combined fun times, trust, fear, teamwork, and overcoming obstacles. At the end of the 14 mile, five hour experience, I came out feeling like a new person. They say you have to take major risk in life to truly discover what you are capable of doing.


You also find out who you really are. Water Water Rafting did the following for me: Fun times brought the hidden kid out of me, something you should never lose. Trust activity allowed me to really understand my friendships and who I surround myself with. Fear is the only moment where I didn't have time to be fake, and my true self jumped out. Teamwork made me understand that I can't get through life by myself. And Overcoming obstacles took me one step closer to becoming the winning person I want to be!


What will you do today that you didn't do yesterday? Will you stick to your normal routines? Will you go through life wishing that you were able to see what you never saw before? Will your memories be filled with boring thoughts, or out of pocket experiences?


Below is a list of different types of activities. Which have you tried? Which ones would you try? Tell us if you have tried things not on this list.


White Water Rafting

Skurfing

Barefoot Water Skiing

Body Boarding

Canoeing

Fishing

Flowboarding

Jet Ski

Kayaking

Kite Surfing

Parasailing

Rowing

Sailing

Skin boarding

Surfing

Wake boarding

Wake Skating

Water Skiing

Wind Surfing

Yachting

Hiking

Biking

Sky diving

Bungee Jumping

Mountain Climbing

Dirt biking

Mountain biking

Scuba diving

Hang gliding

Cave Diving





After reading this...make a list of things that you would like to try. Enjoy the land that God has given us and LIVE YOUR LIFE!



-Keep Up!

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They have Black and White People Furniture?

The video below is an advertisement for a furniture store. The ad has sparked a lot of controversy recently, and has some calling it racist. Take a look at the video and tell me what you think.









(As seen on Aol Black Voices)

For those of you who think this video is racist, we'd like you to distinguish between "racist" and "racial." Racism is "hatred or intolerance of another race or other races." Racial is "of, relating to, or based on a race." This video is very obviously racial as opposed to racist. This video doesn't promote or feature hatred or intolerance. Rather, it's the very opposite. This commercial promotes inclusion and reconciliation, if not in a comical way. To point out the obvious, the irony in this video is that it's completely ridiculous for people to relate furniture to their race. People of all colors are welcome at the Red House, which is something that is taken for granted today, but there was a time in the not-so-recent past during which things as simple as a water fountain were NOT for everyone. Source: Rhett & Link



I personally think that the video is just stupid. It's not racist. But like the above comment states, why would the color of your skin be associated with buying furniture. Everyone is welcome would have worked!



What do you think of the commercial?

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Forbes 20 Wealthiest Black Americans- Who is Keeping Up?




Oprah Winfrey tops the list of Forbes 20 Wealthiest Black Americans in 2009.


The Oprah brand continues to hold its value despite the recession, as viewers tune in for money-saving tips, celebrity interviews and relationship advice. Rural Mississippi native worked the television news circuit in Nashville, Tenn., and Baltimore, Md. Transformed faltering Chicago morning program into popular talk show. Launched The Oprah Winfrey Show nationally in 1986; now airs in 144 countries, brings in 44 million U.S. viewers each week. Her Harpo Productions helped create the Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray shows; Dr. Oz show due out this fall. Media matriarch planning to launch Oprah Winfrey Network early next year. Foundation recently donated to schools in Newark, N.J., and Atlanta. (Forbes Magazine)


The interesting thing about this list is that is all 1st generation money and most of the other wealthiest people in the world come from old money. It just shows that we have had a huge set back, but their are people that are raising the bar, setting new standards, and showing us what it takes to be successful.




This is nothing but motivation to truly Keep Up! Where will you fall on the list?




Oprah Winfrey

Net worth: $2.7 billion

Source of wealth: Harpo Productions


Tiger Woods

Net worth: $600 million

Source of wealth: golf, endorsements


Robert Johnson

Net worth: $550 million

Source of wealth: BET, investments


Michael Jordon

Net worth: $525 million

Source of wealth: Basketball, Nike, endorsements


Magic Johnson

Net worth: $500 million

Source of wealth: Restaurants, real estate, investments


Bill Cosby

Net worth: $450 million

Source of wealth: The Cosby Show, entertainment


Sheila Johnson

Net worth: 400 million

Source of wealth: BET, investments




R. Donahue Pebbles

Net worth: $350 million

Source of wealth: real estate


Berry Gordy

Net worth: $325 million

Source of wealth: Motown, Jobete


Quintin Primo III

Net worth: $300 million

Source of wealth: Real estate


Don King

Net worth: $290 million

Source of wealth: Boxing promotion




Janice Bryant Howroyd & family

Net worth: $250 million

Source of wealth: Staffing, investments


Herman J. Russell

Net worth: $200 million

Source of wealth: Construction, real estate


Ulysses Bridgeman, Jr.

Net worth: $200 million

Source of wealth: Restaurants


Tracy Maitland

Net worth: $150 million

Source of wealth: Investments


Alphonse Fletcher, Jr.

Net worth: $150 million

Source of wealth: Investments




Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter

Net worth: $150 million

Source of wealth: Entertainment, investments


Kobe Bryant

Net worth: $140 million

Source of wealth: Basketball, endorsements


Shaquille O'Neal

Net worth: $130 million

Source of wealth: Basketball, endorsements


Kenneth I. Chenault

Net worth: $125 million

Source of wealth: American Express





-Keep Up!

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Happy 25th Anniversary Cosby Show!



Thanks for giving us a black family that we can inspire to be like! Thanks for helping us Keep Up...

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Going from Picky to Adventurous (You grew up on McDonalds?)

Why is it that black people tend to be so picky when it comes to food? Being decedents of slaves who had to eat what they could get, I can't understand why people don't want to try different types of food. I can understand when one has lack of exposure to a certain kind of food, so they stick to what they know. But once you are exposed to something new, I encourage you to try it!

If you are trying to "Keep Up" in this world you need to be willing to explore more than your basic foods. If you are trying to travel the world it is going to suck when you spend most of your trip in search of a McDonald's. If you plan on making major business deals and going out to dinner with your clients, you don't want to sit there and just drink water; that deal might not go over as well as you think.

So for those of you that don't want to be locked in a box, below are some steps on how to take baby steps to being a more adventurous eater. But first let's see how adventurous of an eater you really are.

Look over this list
Check all items you've eaten.
Cross out any items that you would never considered eating.
(I have put the things that I have tried in bold and I have not crossed anything out, because I would try it all!)

1.Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5.Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7.Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10.Baba ghanoush
11.Calamari
12. Pho
13.Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15.Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18.Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20.Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22.Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24.Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28.Oysters
29.Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31.Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a big fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47.Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58.Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69 .Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80.Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95.Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake



1. Want to try sushi? Try California rolls first or shrimp tempura. California roll's have your basic crab meat in it, and most people love shrimp! It is alot easier than popping raw tuna into your mouth on your first try.

2. Since most people like chicken, when you go to a foreign restaurant look for the chicken dishes on the menu. Most places have chicken dishes, and simply cook them in different styles. Start with chicken first!

3. Start small! Order an appetizer from a restaurant or ask to taste something that someone else has. It's the best way to ease a timid eater into unfamiliar taste territory.

4. Eat while you are really hungry! A lot of times hungry people will eat anything in their path.

5. Order a reliable dish alongside an adventure food. Having a dish of rice on the side when you're trying a new main dish or a brand new vegetable combination really works.


-Keep Up!

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Blackberry Storm Happy Hour!


Hey New Yorkers! The Movemakers & Harlem U invite you to join them for an exclusive party event for dynamic people who live dynamic lives, the Blackberry Storm Happy Hour!

Enjoy great drink specials, tasty hors d'oeuvres, and a hands-on experience with the new BlackBerry Storm - the world's first touch screen BlackBerry!

You will even have a chance to WIN the BlackBerry Storm!!!

Host: The Movemakers & Harlem U

Network: New York, NY

Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Location: Taj Lounge

Street: 48 W 21st St

City/Town: New York, NY

-Keep Up...by networking on the scene! See you there. ;)

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Friday's Top Ways to Keep Up: The Film Industry


The movie business is often said to be more SHOW then BIZ; however,whether you are a President of Production or a Production Assistant, it takes serious hard work and dedication. So before making the move into this business, set aside any expectations of dining with Will Smith and having a front row seat at the Oscars! If the glam life is your allure, you will not survive. You must have your priorities in place and manage your expectations; indeed, this is the business that inspired the term "overnight celebrity," but for every success story, there are millions that do not make it. Don't let the statistics discourage your; rather, use the reality of the situation to motivate a honest conversation within yourself that is able to balance expectations and ground you in your hopes, dreams and what legacy you hope to leave on this industry and the world! Below are Five Ways to Keep Up in the business - see you at the top!

1) MEET AND GREET: NETWORKING 101

It’s not often what you know, but who you know - that is the stark reality of the film business. Film jobs are in high demand, with a very limited supply; thus, a lot of great job opportunities are spread word of mouth via existing relationships. Needless to say, you’re not likely to find your dream job in an online positing! You have to get out and meet people. I encourage getting to know assistants at agencies and production companies – they are often connected to other assistants and thus, know a lot of entry-level job opportunities. Not to mention, everyone in Hollywood starts their career off fetching coffee, you never know where that assistant will land!

2) INTERNSHIPS ARE YOUR FRIEND
Internships are far easier to secure then jobs, which is why you must utilize them! Think of your dream company and apply to an internship ASAP! I have secured most of my post-college positions from people I met while interning in college, so do not take these positions for granted. While interning, always try to connect with at least one executive and remain in touch with them, this will help jump start your network of people and certainly come in hand when you are looking for a job post-college. Lastly, just because you’re getting coffee and making copies does not mean you can be nonchalant – do your absolute best, believe me, they take notice!

3) FIRST JOB? CONSIDER THE BIG 4
Working at an agency, particularly one of the big 4 agencies, is a great introduction to the business. The Big 4 are: William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, Creative Artist Agency, United Talent Agency and International Creative Management. Agencies are considered the industries training ground for up and coming producers, agents, directors etc. Working at an agency goes a long way on your resume and the networking possibilities are endless – so definitely apply, apply, apply. Lastly, I must stress humility, humility, humility –translation: be prepared to start in the mail room.

4) KNOWING THE BUSINESS
The William Morris Agency and Endeavor Agency recently merged. Did you know that? If so, great – if not, go to http://www.variety.com/ ASAP! But seriously, if you are going to be in the business, it is essential that you know all the power players, companies, actors, directors etc. The best way to track new developments are to read the daily industry trades, Variety being one of them. The Hollywood Reporter and New York Times Arts section are great resources as well, not to mention the millions of blogs out there. In short, know everything; it’s extremely important to be able to hold a conversation about everything from up and coming directors, to the Cannes Film Festival and even specifics like Rob Marshall’s latest film.

5) ANOTHER DEGREE?
It is true, you do not necessarily need an advance degree to work in the film business; but the opportunities presented as a result of obtaining advanced degrees can make it worthwhile. Institutions like NYU, USC, Columbia, UCLA or AFI have a reputation of producing the industry’s next power players; hence, to ensure that reputation remains, they work very closely with their students to ensure they have the tools to succeed. In short, it is not a necessity, but don’t rule it out.


-Keep Up! (Tips came from Khaliah Jackson of Jean Doumanian Productions)

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Young and Keeping Up- 810


19 and from Baltimore, Maryland, 810 is Young and Keeping UP! 810 is an up-and-coming artist and has a flow that speaks in volumes. His style allows him to tell a story in a way that forces you to picture the moment he just painted for you. Keeping up with the Huxtables will be following 810 and can't wait to see how far his music will go.

Take a moment to listen to one of his new songs from a project he is currently working on called "Glass half Full", coming out late July/August. The song is titled "U Won't Like This".

After listening to this song...I couldn't help but want to answer the question he left us with at the end of the track, "My mind just battled my heart...you tell me who won?"

810 congrats for being Young and Keeping Up!

810 - U Won't Like This (Prod. By Mydus) http://www.zshare.net/audio/59970918d7ffbb37/

Contact 810
Aim : Mattofella
http://www.myspace.com/810musik
http://www.810muzik.blogspot.com/

Check out his myspace to read more about 810 and hear some of his songs!

Also let us know what you think of him! Feedback is what is needed to motivate and inspire us young people to continue to Keep Up.

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Is Gay the new Black?


There has been a lot of controversy since the introduction of Proposition 8. People are asking is there some type of comparison between gay rights and black rights? It has many asking is gay the new black? Is our struggle for civil rights the same?

This is something to think about. One side says that both gays and blacks struggle for civil rights, both are discriminated against, both deserve to be treated the way all Americans are treated.

But another side states that the struggle is much different. Some people argue that you have no control over the color of your skin, but you can control being gay. They don't think that gays should be discriminated against, they simply do not think it is the same struggle. Although, many would argue that you cannot control being gay.

I still remain confused on if it is the same struggle or not. I do not know what it means to be gay. I do not know if you are born with it or if it is something that you choose to do. I do not know what it means to wake up and be laughed at because of the person I am attracted to. I understand that it has to be a bad situation to be in when you cannot live your life the way you would like too.

I do know as a black woman where we started in this Country and how we were not even looked at as a whole person. I also know that we cannot walk around and pretend we are not black...it is written all over our face.

Although, you might not be able to change if you are gay, and shouldn't have to, you can pretend if only for a moment that you are not. As a black person we are who we are, and even if we wanted to hide...we couldn't. So maybe it isn't exactly the same struggle!

But regardless if it is the same struggle or not, all Americans should be treated equally. We have a constitution and we have to live by it. I stand behind the struggle for gay rights! I just don't know if I want to go around saying gay is the new black. Jews, blacks, gays, women, and anyone else that has ever been discriminated against, is a fight that needs to be fought, but I don't think any of us had the exact same struggle.

What do you think? Is the Gay the new Black?

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Congrats to www.imkeepingup.com for winning the Noblesse and Splash Award

Hey Keeping Up Family! I apologize for my week break. You know sometimes I need to take my moments to be alone with my thoughts. I promise to not leave you for so long again. Well, apparently nothing else stopped while I was gone. To my surprise I was presented with some pretty cool awards that I can't wait to share with you.


THE NOBLESSE OBLIGE AWARD and THE SPLASH AWARD



Criteria for receiving the Noblesse Oblige award:

1. The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervades amongst different cultures and beliefs.

2. The Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage and offers solutions.

3. There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture and Sciences and Beliefs.

4. The Blog is refreshing and creative.

5. The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.

The Criteria for receiving the Splash Award:

A blog that allures, amuses, bewitches, impress or inspires you.

I was given these awards by my fellow blogger Rippa, over at The Intersection of Madness and Reality, a blog that inspires you to be free with your thoughts about life and not be afraid to express them. His use of satire presents our social issues in a way that reminds you that life isn't as serious as we make it. But he never allows you to lose touch with reality. I love reading his point of view and I am honored to be given an award by such a great blogger. Below is what he had to say about me:

The Socialite is a sister who has been doing her thing for over a year now. Inspired by the loss of her mother to start this blog as therapy, has earned her the title of being the Best New Blog 2008 by the Weblog Awards. From the first time I ran into her over at The Urban Blogger, I knew she was something special. She covers pretty much everything within the Black culture, and yet she's light on the gossip. She deals with everyday issues facing our community, and she forces readers to think of solutions. You cannot leave this blog after reading and not feel that just for a few minutes you were a part of something special.

For accepting The Splash award, the rules are:

* Put the logo on your blog post.

* Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.

* Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

* Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.

* Remember to link to the person from whom your received your Splash award

I would like to present the Splash Award to the following blogs:

1. Batch Please: Norell Alesse over at Batch Please is one amazing blogger. When I think of someone who inspires me to work harder on my blog, the first person that comes to mind is Norell. She has been blogging for over three years and has reached heights that some may never see until at least five years into blogging. She helps us "Keep Up" in the latest fashion trends, but understands that most women can't afford the latest trends that we see on celebrities. With this understanding, she takes time to locate our favorite trends at cheap prices, helping us to Keep Up no matter what. With a ton of links from other sites, fashion labels dying to be linked to her site, and women of all races relying on her for the latest trends, you can't help but say "Batch Please....if not her site...then who?"

2. The Beautiful Struggler (Me, Myself, and Eye): If you haven't read the opinions of Sister Toldja then you missin out on one of the funniest, realist, and enlightening women to grace the blogger atmosphere. Sister Toldja has a personal blog that talks about any and everything, making sure to highlight the beautiful culture of the African American community. A strong believer in uplifting the black race, she presents her views in a way that provides humor to our issues, but makes sure to remind us how serious our current state still is. I highly encourage you to visit her blog if you want to take a moment of your day to laugh and live vicariously through a person who understands the meaning of enjoying life for how it is presented to us. If not her site....then who?
3.
FreeMan Press
: If you want an opinion from someone who doesn't give a F@** what others think...then this is the blog for you. Everyday FreeMan gives his opinion on the state of our race, often saying things that many of us think, but are afraid to say. He keeps it real, not fearing what others might think or say. The majority of the time he hits it right on the nail, but always welcomes others thoughts and opinions. The beauty of his blog is that he offers solutions to every issue that he brings up. FreeMan I remember the day that I inspired you to do that ;) lol. His solutions always encourages us as a race to step up to the plate and make things happen for ourselves. If you want real...he is it....if not him...then who?

There are many other blogs that inspire me. Some have already received the award. But the three at the top I think are under recognized. Check them out and show them some love.

Thank you for the awards Rippa and congrats to the new Splash Award Winners! Pass it on....

-Keep Up!

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Brandon Hines and Trey Songz



Seek Success
If you have aspirations of becoming a success in the entertainment industry then you must acquire strong ambition. Talent must be present, but once identified do everything in your power to develop it! Edison stated that success is 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration. Study. Set your end goal and focus all of your thought and energy into that goal. If you wish to become the greatest vocalist, writer, win the most Grammy’s or even if you just want to be known; fix your Mind’s eye on that goal and do the necessary work to obtain it…never stops! Develop discipline, character and tunnel vision.

Perfect Your Craft
If you love singing, songwriting, production or the business aspects of entertainment then learn all that you can about your craft. Submerge yourself in your craft; read books, search the web, take in all the knowledge you can find concerning music and the arts. You are in control of your own fate. Your success is contingent upon your preparation and persistence. Ask questions, seek help but never worry or fear…your time will come. Be prepared!

Don’t Wait For Shhhiiiit!
Spend time thinking and meditating about who you are. What is your purpose? Why are you needed? Develop your brand, have a clear picture of how you will appeal to your audience. Develop a trust worthy team and study other successful artists and teams. A major label won’t make you,. Fuck the Labels-Take your fate into your own hands and go hard; test your music and be real with yourself. Everyone will be interested in the artist that is self-motivated. Build a team, devise a strategy, and plant seeds everywhere. Take note of what fans and supporters like best about you and hone in on it. Use the Internet to create a buzz. Create a demand for your material. Distribute music yourself.

Important Things To Remember
Believe in yourself! Develop strong faith!
- BELIEF lifts your talent
- PASSION energizes your talent
- INITIATIVE activates your talent
- FOCUS directs your talent
- PREPARATION positions your talent
- PRACTICE sharpens your talent
- CHARACTER protects your talent

My Vocal Warm-up Tips
-Take multi vitamin
-Calisthenics exercise (push ups/ sit ups) 30min
-YouTube “vocal warm up” (find a instructor)


- Brandon Hines


http://www.myspace.com/bhineslovemusic

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