The Socialite Leaves the Country...

Hey Fam! The Socialite is heading out of the country and I will not be able to blog for a week :(
But I am hitting the scene in a whole new way, and will make sure that I give you all of the highlights. Please join me again on December 2nd!

Please continue to vote for me to land this amazing blogging gig where I will be able to blog about my good mood. I will not be able to remind you throughout the week, but I know that my Fam has my back. :)

Have an amazing week and remember that

"Life is what you make it, and if you want to smile....give yourself something to smile for."

Come back tomorrow and I will leave you with a few last minute tips for the week!

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Opening Night at the Apollo...DreamGirls


The Socialite hit the scene last night, courtesy of one of my amazing friends...King Socialite William Bryant Miles. He invited a group of us out to opening night of DreamGirls at the world famous Apollo. It was actually the first time I stepped inside of the theater, and as I climbed my way up what seemed like a million steps, I could feel the energy of the great performers who had graced this great stage once before.

After already seeing the movie of course, I was extremely excited to enter an experience that I was confidence would have me standing on my feet at the end of the night giving a standing ovation. I was not disappointed as the cast were able to truly capture the essence of the story, and take my mind away from the cast of the movie. Moya Angela, who played Effe White, gave a stellar performance, and her supporting cast, did great at supporting and carrying out the story.

The story started off in 1962 and The Dreamettes, a hopeful girl group from Chicago, enter the Amateur Night talent competition at the famed Apollo Theater. You can imagine how it must have felt actually becoming the audience at the Apollo. It was like we were apart of the show. I encourage everyone to head to the Apollo and become apart of the Dream...DreamGirls!


-Keep Up!

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Photos Where Black People Were Awkwardly Cropped In...

It is so offensive when companies decide to crop Black people out of ad campaigns because they do not think it will appeal to certain markets. I think that it is ridiculous that that we still live in a world where we all haven't accepted diversity. But it is even more ridiculous when they try to crop black people into photos to appeal to diverse markets. Just make another ad, or maybe you should have been diverse in the first place. Take a look at some of the photos that http://www.11points.com/ found of awkward photoshopped pictures.

That man is so random in the back of the boat and has on white????


Photoshop gone bad. There is no way anyone could possibly think that Black girl was originally in that photo. Everybody is facing each other, or leaning on each other. She is so random.

Looks like they forgot to change her belly black.


His face looks really large and those are clearly not his kids. lol



We thank these companies for trying to be diverse in their campaign ads, but these were indeed awkwardly done.

Which photo is the most awkward to you?

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The five men facing trial in the Sept. 11 attacks will plead not guilty so that they can air their criticisms of U.S. foreign policy. Maybe you could have just stated your criticisms before you killed hundreds of people...just a thought. Speaking of people dying, there was an underground gas explosion that left at least 104 miners dead in northeastern China. That is horrible, and my heart goes out to their families. I wish that my heart could go out to the men and women that protect and serve more often, but they keep abusing their power. The Bay Area Rapid Transit system, which has been under fire since a transit officer was videotaped killing an unarmed passenger early this year, faces renewed controversy from a video that shows a man crashing into a plate glass window as he was being arrested.

Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin asked Rep. Patrick Kennedy not to receive Holy Communion because of the Democratic lawmaker's support for abortion rights. Should you really be denied Communion because you are pro-choice? Religion amazes me more and more each day. This next story will surprise you also. A possible rise in sea levels by 0.5 meters by 2050 could put at risk more than $28 trillion worth of assets in the world's largest coastal cities. I wonder how much eBay is going to have to pay out? Online auction giant eBay apologized Sunday for a daylong glitch that inactivated the search function on its Web site, and said it will compensate sellers for their losses.

Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician at the center of the homicide investigation into singer Michael Jackson's death, has resumed his practice. Speaking of Jackson, Michael Jackson made history by winning four American Music Awards on Sunday night, but he couldn't beat Taylor Swift as the year's favorite artist. I think that Taylor winning over Michael had to be another stunt done by award shows; please tell me it was. Where was Kanye when you needed him. That was a shocking win, but this next win is great! A historic row between Lenox and Seventh Aves. will be among the first affordable housing blocks in the country to undergo a green overhaul. Go green and go Motown. Motown caps 50th Anniversary with a hometown gala. Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, along with Aretha Franklin, Kid Rock and Motown's original kid, Stevie Wonder, came to Motown's original hometown for the Motown 50 Golden Gala.


-Keep Up!

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5 Things That Should Make You Smile...

I was watching the Ellen Degeneres show, and she mentioned that everyday people should laugh or at least smile. It seems like something so small, but there are certainly people that go days without doing either. I agree with Ellen; I think it is something that is very important. Make sure you find a reason to laugh and smile everyday. Most importantly, make sure that you find a way to make someone else do so. I have decided to try and make my readers do just that. Here I go...

5 things that should make you smile:

1.




A father and a baby always make me smile!

2.

3.

4. Why is Stevie Wonder always smiling? Because he doesn't know he's black...

5.

I hoped you smile at least once! I also hope it left you in a good mood, if only for a second.

Also, please take time to vote for me to land this amazing blogging gig to blog about how I maintain my good mood. Just click on this link http://www.sam-e.com/job/profile/58 and vote daily until Dec. 7th!

-Keep Up! Have a great weekend.

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The Philadelphia Tribune, the nation's oldest and the Greater Philadelphia region's largest newspaper serving the African-American community, will celebrate its 125th year on Saturday. What an accomplishment for this newspaper and for this next artist. Jay-Z earned his fourth No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart Thursday with "Empire State of Mind," his collaboration with Alicia Keys. Too much is given, much is required. MillerCoors -- the North American marketing arm of Colorado's Molson Coors Brewing Co.-- said Wednesday it has donated $1.3 million to support 47 historically black public colleges and universities. So much good news, but this next story might make a lot of viewers sad. Oprah Winfrey will announce on Friday's "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that she will end her talk show in 2011.


-Keep Up!

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Quote of the Day...

"One and God make a majority." -Frederick Douglass

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A film that will change your life....A Way For Your Soul!

This short film is a must see! Please take time to watch this video all the way through and it will truly wake you up if you were sleep. Please pass this video on to other's, especially our youth.

On March 15, 2009, Reggie’s short film "A War For Your Soul" was independently released on the internet, and has catapulted as a “stirring, epic and inspirational” video for today’s generation”. Over 1.5 million internet viewers have watched “A War For Your Soul” in seven months.

A War For Your Soul-regular version from Erisai Films on Vimeo.



Let me know what you think!

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Winnie Mandela and Jennifer Hudson











-Keep Up!

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Quote of the Day...

"As I give, I get." -Mary McLeod Bethune

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A Perspective on "Precious" the Movie and a Shocking Experience.

Written by Michelle Arrington


With the anticipation of the movie Precious coming out, I forced myself to read the novel Push on which the movie is based. A friend/soror of mine, Talika, mentioned to me on several occasions that the book was really good and so I took a leap of faith, because truthfully I usually don't read novels like that, and read the book. I enjoyed it. It was a hard read because of the subject matter that it deals with - sexual abuse, incest, physical, emotional and mental abuse, poverty, illiteracy, etc. Although it is fiction and at times exaggerated, the stories told in the book are someone else's reality. After reading the book, I felt prepared to see the movie.


On 11/15/09, I went to the movies with a friend/soror, Alison Brock, and she too had read the book and we both went into the theatre with a mentality of seriousness based on the central theme of the book. What occurred in the movie theatre with the other patrons truly, truly disturbed both of us. From the beginning to the end of the movie, there was consistent laughter as if we were watching a comedy.


At first I was annoyed by how many people had not read the book and were shocked at the scenes and language. Now, I don't read every book that is made into a movie, so I'm not knocking people who don't either, but did you not read a preview, scan an article review, something to let you know what the movie was about? Secondly, several people thought that it was wise to bring children into the movie theatre. Lastly, the constant snickering, laughing out loud, and jokes about the physical and sexual abuse of the movie, deeply disturbed and saddened me. I do recall a few (literally meaning 3) light moments in the movie, in the classroom with the other students, so I had to do an assessment to make sure that I wasn't tripping.


There was laughter when Monique's character ran up the stairs to beat her child, and when the character was sexually pleasuring herself and then called her child to come in the room to finish her off. There was laughter & excitement when 2 children begin to fight. There was laughter when at the end Monique explained why she let the sexual abuse proceed and her thought on her child stealing her man. All of these scenes were extremely dark and disturbing to me. And these were grown people laughing.


And so it led me to believe a few things about the black community and our problems:


1. We need to seek MENTAL help for our issues and our constant silence on things that affect our lives, and that are destroying our people and our communities. It is okay to admit you have a problem and to seek professional help for that problem.


2. We need to understand that although prevalent in our community, sexual abuse, incest, physical violence - these things are not humorous or to be taken lightly. My God, where is our sense of decency and decorum. Why are we not disturbed by violence anymore? Since when did it become funny? While Precious was a movie, the young woman who was gang raped last month while 20 people stood around watching, was Reality. The mother who just got arrested this week because she sold her 5 year old into prostitution, is Reality. WAKE UP people.


3. It is our lack of apathy and our refusal to discuss these issues that allows the immaturity on the seriousness of these issues to remain constant in our communities. Have we become so de-sensitized to violence and sexual abuse that now we find laughter because we are so uncomfortable with dealing with it?


These are just my 2 cents because I was truly disturbed by what I witnessed and heard. Hopefully, the same people laughing will garner the confidence to address the demons inside of them that allows them to think this movie and the subject matter was funny. Hopefully, it will inspire them to mentor a young person who needs help. I heard the star of the movie, Gabrielle Sibdeau, say this morning on an interview that she hopes this movie will serve as a psychological tool in our communities to help others discuss these issues and to start dealing with them.


Or maybe the audience I was watching it with, will just hope it wins an MTV Moon Man Award for best comedy.


-Keep Up!

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Somali pirates attacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama for the second time in seven months. I still don't understand how these pirates are taking over huge ships. Don't the crews on board have weapons to protect themselves, especially after all of the previous attacks? That is not the only thing that has me wondering what people are thinking sometimes. In this next case it makes me wonder if people are ever sensitive. A spokeswoman for Jaycee Dugard says only Dugard and her family should decide when and if a film is made based on the 18 years she spent with the man charged with kidnapping her. This statement came after the announcement that production for a movie would start next month. Talk about statements, you want to buy American this year, good luck! In previous recessions there were labels that pointed you towards the products made by American jobs, but not this year. They say now most American consumers are more interested in price and reliability, and are not as nationalistic as other countries in the world.



Five Howard University students will travel to Miami this week to present to NASCAR officials their latest findings on ways the stock car racing league can attract young fans. The students are finalists in the "NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion" program, an initiative designed to connect college students to the business side of racing. Sounds like an amazing program, and this next project is just as hot. The U.S. Department of Education has granted $603,802 to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to fund the museum’s Cooperative Underground Railroad Education Partnership with Eastern Michigan University. I love to see Black people making moves. Via a partnership with Vitamin Water, 50 Cent's free iPhone app allows users to create and share their own mixes of the rapper's latest single, "Baby By Me," off his new album Before I Self Destruct.


-Keep Up!

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President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao met and showed cooperation on the the economy, climate change, energy and to varying degrees the nuclear threats of Iran and North Korea, but still showed division over economic, security and human rights issues. Speaking of important issues, when it comes to paying for a health care overhaul, Americans see just one way to go: tax the rich, according to a new Associated Press poll. The results of this poll are not surprising, but the results of this next case is something that always seems to amaze me. A team of 16 surgeons and nurses successfully concluded separating twin Bangladeshi girls who had been joined at their heads, sharing blood vessels and brain tissue. The doctors say the girls have a 50/50 chance of becoming brain damaged. I am praying for the best!





-Keep Up!

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Quote of the Day...

"You must invent your own games and teach us old ones how to play." -Nikki Giovanni

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Some Try to Reach Many...You Should at Least Try to Touch One...

This Saturday I had a chance to meet a young lady who will be my mentee, hopefully for a long time. I went into the program on Saturday with butterfly's, eager to to meet a young lady that I could motivate and inspire to pull out the greatness inside of her. I was nervous that I would meet someone that I would not be able to connect with, let alone inspire. It was a good thing that God answers prayers, and puts the right people in your life to help you reach your highest potential. I was matched with a young lady who appears to be just like myself on the inside, but is just looking for someone to pull it out of her. I am honored that God has blessed me with the opportunity to attempt to be the one to try.

I felt it necessary to share my experience on Saturday, and to remind people of the importance of mentoring to our youth. Below I will give you a few reasons why you should drop everything you are doing and find a youth or mentoring program that you can volunteer your time to, or maybe find someone in your neighborhood who could use your guidance.

It takes a village to raise a child: It is not enough to depend on a mother and father to help a child reach it's full potential. There are so many things that people in the community could offer a child that a parent may not be able to. You could be someone that is in a career field the child wants to be in. You could have went to college, and the parents did not. Also, sometimes children ignore the advice from their parents, because they write it off as "they are just trying to control me." It takes a village to raise a child, and you are apart of that village!

To much is given, much much more is required: If you have been blessed in anyway, there is no reason that you should not be returning the favor to someone else. There are lessons you have learned throughout your life; why would you not be willing to share that with someone younger than you? The moment you think that blessings stop with you, is the moment your blessings will be taken away. Help someone today.

Our Future is in their hands: When we get older the generation under us will be running the world we live in. If we do not help to guide them in the right direction, what will our future look like? It is our duty to train the leaders of tomorrow.

Today's issues:

1. Children are still in gangs
2. We are still losing our youth to violence
3. The amount of black males in college is still lagging behind the rest...
4. A large percent of our black children will live in poverty
5. The school systems are not living up to their potential
6. There are still single parent homes
7. Our youth only sees sports and entertainment as their escape
8. Their role-models are on television
9. The majority of them will never see outside of their home towns
10. Their goals don't go beyond living to see the next day...


For every moment you sit waiting to volunteer your time, is one more moment where a child is lost to the system. A second of your time to one child, is worth so much more to a child than a second. If you do not help a child today, it could be too late tomorrow. A child is shaped, and the person that contributes to how they are shaped could be you. If we don't start with our youth, it could be too hard to reach them when they hit 18.

Who will you help today? If you still push off helping after this....well, I hope that child you were suppose to help makes it to see another day.

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-Keep Up!

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Keeping UP Tip: Making Your Space Feel Like Home...

I have almost finished decorating my living room and have found a few ways to make it look nice, but not have to spend a fortune doing it. Here are a few things that I did:

1. Create a focus point for the room. Also, make sure to catch sales. I purchased a a sofa during a special in store sale. I ended up getting the sofa that was originally $1050 for $750. I decided I was going to make my sofa the focus point of the room. I picked a red sofa in a mostly brown room. This was also the most expensive piece in the room.

2. Modern is always eye catching. I purchased a plasma TV to add a modern touch to the room.

3. You don't have to spend a fortune on every piece in your house. My coffee table, TV stand, love seat, two stools, and dishes all came from Ikea. The plasma TV and sofa is what makes the room look like I spent a lot of money on the entire room. It made it easier for me to slip in the Ikea furniture.

4. Be creative with your space. There are also built in shelves over my kitchen counter. I decided to make it a bar. To keep the bar full, I purchased really cheap bottles of wine, and slowly filled it in with bottles of top shelf liquor. The key is to find something in your house and be creative with the use of it. Most of the time there are areas in your home that can be dressed up that doesn't require you to go out and buy a whole lot of furniture.

5. Add a little flavor...something different and unique. I decorated my windows with unique brown bamboo shades that I found at a cheap hardware store in Harlem. They were cheap, but the bamboo look adds so flavor to the room, instead of plain white shades.

I am not yet finish with the room, but it is already off to a great start. It is very important that you turn your house/apartment into your home. If you enjoy the space that you have to live in, you will begin to enjoy life more. It is important to understand that you don't have to spend a fortune on making things look great.

Let us know how you have decorated one of your rooms and some tips that you have for other's

-Keep UP!

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An Evening with Dr. Maya Angelou and Friends...

This weekend the Socialite hit the scene and attended an event that speaks volumes to the purpose of this blog. I finally felt like I attended an event that represented what our race should be focusing on collectively and that our ancestors would be proud of. On Saturday I attended "Saving the Race: The Human Race"...an evening with Dr. Maya Angelou and friends. The event was held at the famous Riverside church in Harlem, where Dr. King once spoke...how fitting!

The event was a call to intra-racial healing and inter-racial reconciliation. We joined that night to turn our attention to the work of freeing ourselves, and the world, from the myth of Black inferiority. This was the beginning and a launch of a grassroots movement of healing. At the end of the night they invited us to stay on the path to healing and wellness by visiting www.communityhealingnet.org often as they expand the network of people working to build the movement for emotional healing and renewal....changing how we see and feel about ourselves.

The host of the event was Tom Joyner, from the Tom Joyner Morning Show. The event started with a performance by The Faison Firehouse Respect Project, which weaves together such pertinent issues as teenage pregnancy, absentee parents, date rape, racism, poverty, peer pressure, illiteracy, cultural identity, community, gang crime and violence. Saturday they reminded us about the suffering our race is going through, and how oftentimes it seems like we are "living in hell on earth".

Common, Grammy Award winning Hip-Hop artist and noted actor, hit the stage next. He started off his speech by quoting Rapper Drake's "I just wanna be successful". He went on to talk about how all of our youth needs to strive for success, and it is our duty to encourage them. "Greatness is not just achieving for yourself, but achieving for others" and "Work so that your legacy is beyond your time" are two lines that really spoke to me in his speech. I love that Common shows us a representation of someone who stayed true to himself and worked hard to get to where he is today, despite many doubts.

When Maya Angelou hit the stage, I was immediately amazed. She entered with such grace and as soon as she began to speak, it was like poetry in every sentence that she let flow out of her mouth. She talked about this being the time when we all need to come together to start a movement towards changing how we see ourselves, and working towards changing the current state that we are in. "We did not create demeaning terms such as the n word, but out of ignorance we use them." is a statement among many great statements that reminded you of how much we are ignoring the struggle that is in front of us.

The night also included Red Hurley, an Irish singer, known as an Irish national treasure, and the Harlem Gospel Choir, the most famous gospel choir in America today. The night ended with a performance by The Faison Project again, ending the show with Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror." What a perfect way to end an event by telling people to make a change within themselves if they want to see change! The event was amazing and I encourage you to help continue their efforts by visiting www.communityhealingnet.org

-Keep Up!

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Quote of the Day...

"Every time you win, it diminishes the fear a little bit. You never really cancel the fear of losing; you keep challenging it." -Arthur Ashe

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Lisa Leslie helping us "Keep Up" with Liver Cancer


The Socialite recently had a chance to chat with Lisa Leslie, former WNBA player, about how she was Keeping Up and discuss some serious matters regarding the recent lost of her step-father to liver cancer, and some advice she has for those that might be suffering from the same type of cancer. Lisa Leslie is teaming with Covidien, a world leader in advanced energy-based surgical systems and solutions, to launch www.MyLiverCancerOptions.com, a new educational Web site which provides information to help patients and their families understand the treatment options available to manage liver cancer.


Leslie has helped us Keep Up on the court, as a mother, and now she has hit the road to help us Keep Up with Live Cancer.


The Socialite: Congrats on being a four-time Olympic Gold Medal winner and three-time WNBA most valuable player. You are such a positive role model for females all over the world. What did it feel like when you made your first dunk?

Lisa Leslie: Excited, especially because we were at home playing at the Staple Center.

The Socialite: I am aware that you have decided to retire from the WNBA, do you mind letting us know why?

Lisa Leslie: I wanted to leave the game while I was still able to contribute offensively, defensively, and block shots.

The Socialite: And do you see yourself having a role in the WNBA, such as coach, or on an executive level?

Lisa Leslie: You never know, I definitely hope to stay involved with women's pro basketball.

The Socialite: How do you feel about the popularity of women's sports; do you feel like it could ever reach the level of the NBA?

Lisa Leslie: We are always hoping to grow as a sport, and its been great because the product we have put out on the floor has been much improved every year; the players have gotten better and better. So hopefully one day we hope to have the fan base and following that the NBA has.

The Socialite: How did you balance being a world-class athlete and mother?

Lisa Leslie: I have a wonderful husband and family that is supportive, and will watch my baby when I have to work. But oftentimes, I pretty much work half days. I get up, lift weights, and work out. When I get back home, I get groceries, I cook dinner, clean, and put my baby to bed. So I enjoy doing all the motherly things that most moms do...just what working moms do.

The Socialite: I am sorry for the lost of your step father. I just lost my mother also. How long was your step father in your life?

Lisa Leslie: About 6 years

The Socialite: I know your father had liver cancer; are there any signs people should look for when it comes to live cancer?

Lisa Leslie: I can't say any specific signs, but once you are diagnosed, you can go to http://www.mylivercanceroptions.com/. With my step-father we didn't really have any options. I teamed up with Covidien, which is a health care company. http://www.mylivercanceroptions.com/ is where you can find out more information.


The Socialite: Are there any steps that your family and father took or did not take that may help other people with dealing with liver cancer?

Lisa Leslie: We didn't have any options. When he was diagnosed, he was gone in 3 months.

The Socialite: You have been traveling around to different hospitals nationwide to spread awareness; what have been the responses and what have you learned?

Lisa Leslie: I've learned that since 1975 the number of cases have tripled in the U.S. I also learned that more men are susceptible to having liver cancer, ages 55 and older. In addition, the myth that people who use alcohol and use drugs are more likely to get liver cancer is not true. Those people are at high risk, but they are not the only people that are susceptible to liver cancer. It can be environmental or things that you come in contact with because all of our blood pretty much flows threw our liver.

The Socialite: Is there any major events or fundraisers you want to let people know about?

Lisa Leslie: No, if they log on to the website, there is a lot of different things regarding health care and family where people can find out more information, if theirs things they need to do, and even contacting their local physicians.

The Socialite: I know that you have been very busy with this incentive, but is there anything else you have been working on?

Lisa Leslie: Trying to get the Lisa Leslie Basketball Academy off of the ground, and you can find out more information about that at http://www.lisaleslie9.com/


The Socialite: Is there anything else you would like people to know about liver cancer?

Lisa Leslie: I just encourage people who know of anyone that's struggling with the disease or has been diagnosed to visit the website, and find out what their options are before it is too late.

-Keep Up!

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COVERGIRL Queen Collection Contest...Winners Have Been Announced

Last month I'm Keeping UP and CoverGirl Queen Collection ran a twitter contest where 5 girls would have the opportunity to try out COVERGIRL Queen Collection Vibrant Hue Shine lip color and COVERGIRL Queen Collection Natural Hue Minerals bronzer.

5 lucky girls have been selected at random, and will be revealed on here and twitter. The winners will have 24 hours to claim their winnings. The winners will need to send me their addresses and their names to bwomack@imkeepingup.com

And the winners are....

@brenee83
@RVSnewark
@tcummings
@beamerdreamer
@hautemommie

Congrats lady and I hope you enjoy trying the CoverGirl Queen Collection.

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Sharon McDonough, a New York woman, was arrested for allegedly kidnapping and murdering her neighbors' pets with the help of her children, after authorities found carcasses of at least 20 animals in her backyard. That is just disturbing, and this next story is a little also. Claiming Barack Obama as "white power in black face," hundreds of African-Americans marched on the White House Saturday to protest policies of the first black US president, and demand that he bring US troops home. The US may be having some issues, and African must be having some financial issues also. China is going to give Africa $10 Billion dollars in loans. More on good news, The film "Precious" has a huge box office opening, opening in 18 theaters and earning $1.8 million (or $100,000.00 per screen, more than 10 times the average for a new film).
-Keep Up!

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Quote of the Day...

"Giving back involves a certain amount of giving up." -Colin Powell

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Friday's Top Ways to Keep Up

Music:

Video of the week



Books:

I am currently reading "Forty Million Dollar Slaves" by William C. Rhoden

I encourage everyone to pick up this book, which focuses on the African-American athlete and his journey. It points out the current position of the African-American athlete and how one could consider them slaves in the industry.

Movies

Released week of Nov. 2nd:

Disney's a Christmas Carol
The Box
The Fourth Kind
The men who stare at goats
Precious
Splinterheads
Endgame
Collapse
The Evening Sun

Health

Know you heart, know the risk.

Here a few tips that Jennie Garth from CNN gives to ensure that you are taking care of your heart, and you don't get some type of heart disease.

  • Remember to make a doctor's appointment every year, perhaps around your birthday.
  • Stay active for your heart and make physical activity a family affair.
  • Commit to planning balanced meals and teaching your family about healthy food choices.
  • Choose to breathe clean, fresh air. Kick the smoking habit once and for all.

Technology

If you didn't know yet, blackberry now has applications like the famous iphone applications. All you have to do is go to blackberry app world and find a list of apps for free and for you to buy. I already downloaded Pandora, which allows me to play different music stations. Take a look at the list and let me know if anything is worth downloading. The apps still aren't up to the standards of the iphone, but just give it a little bit!

Food

Earlier this week I went to a restaurant in New York called Sushi Zen.

108 W 44th St

New York, NY 10036-4011

(212) 302-0707

The food was such a delight. I recommend making reservations, because the place is always packed, but well worth the wait if you have to. When you open the menu it lets you know that you are about to go through a journey through Japan, and you do just that. If you love sushi, you will like this place!

Relationships

We all get stressed out sometimes when it comes to dealing with our mates. Try the following exercise to dead some of the tension that the relationship might have. My mate and I wrestled and had a pillow fight to release some of our tension towards each other. It was clean and friendly playing...we released our anger without having to yell or hurt each other. We also had so much fun!

Staying Happy

Keep a clean house! I always feel down when I come home to a messy room, have to step over clothes to get into a closet, have to wash a dish every time I want to eat...things like this is annoying. Studies show that a clean environment makes a happy person.

-Keep Up!

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Perspective- What Has Your Job Done For You Lately?

Written by Catherine C. Powell

I work as a program assistant for a nonprofit organization in southern Maryland that serves low- to middle-income individuals/families. Dealing with people in a different socioeconomic class than my own has opened my eyes to a knew outlook on life. The choices, decisions, attitudes, and beliefs of the people that I have encountered have changed how I view society, relationships, and the meaning of the words freedom and responsibility.

There were many times in the past when I was not grateful for my job. I had a blind eye to the fact that I was witnessing so many life lessons, and that I had led, and continue to lead, a very blessed life.

From what I've learned, here is what sticks out the most:

1. Treat Others- i.e., get into the habit of helping others. I have learned that giving into the urge of feeling like you should do something for someone can mean the world to that person, especially someone who is continuously weathering one storm after another, battling setbacks, and whose existence is sometimes viewed as no more important than the ants on the ground.

2. Everything is Temporary- Nothing material is promised or guaranteed. One day your bringing home $1000 a week, and two weeks later your in line at a food pantry writing "unemployed" where you used to put "English teacher" or "truck driver." The only constants are your values and beliefs, and even those are subject to change depending on your situation. The key is to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong enough so that your values and beliefs transcend your situation.

3. Less Money, More Problems - Having money enables you to alleviate many problems that keep those without money trapped in bleak situations. Having more of an expendable income provides easier access to education, health care, career advancement, and personal growth.

4. Hand Up, Not a Hand Out - I don't totally disagree with this statement, but what I do realize is that there are some people who will never overcome their situation or obstacles because they don't want to and thus they will always need a handout. They have become so entrenched in their beliefs or situation that they are rigidly complacent. Can they change? Of course they can. But it's a choice some people do not and will not make.

6. By Helping Others You Help Yourself - One of the nicest compliments I've ever received was someone saying that I was a "nice person." Extremely simple and cliche, but it has profound meaning. I wasn't "nice" because I allowed them to cut in front of me in line or because I told them that their tag was sticking out of their shirt, I was "nice" because I helped them fill out paperwork to keep their electricity on or swiped my jobs credit card at the gas station so that they could get from A to B. Are all of the things apart of my job description? Yes, but I do them from my heart and they can tell. I can't express how much being called "nice" inspired me.

What have you learned at your job about yourself, people in general, and society? Is your job fulfilling not only your physiological but psychological needs? What are you doing outside of work to further fulfill your purpose or to give your life more meaning?

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Keeping Up Daily...Top Stories to Help Us Keep Up

Bringing you the morning news....the fastest way to Keep Up!

(Utah's first African-American Mayor. Photo taken from The Black Report)


The unemployment rate has reached 10.2, and this is the first time since 1983 that it has surpassed 10%. If that isn't shocking, this next story might be. Army psychiatrist trained to help soldiers in distress turns on his comrades in a shooting rampage that killed 13 people and wounded 30 in Texas. I know this left a lot of people in tears. Speaking of tears, from a babies very first days, the cries of newborns already bear the mark of the language their parents speak, scientists now find.

President Barack Obama is set to sign a $24 billion economic stimulus bill providing tax incentives to prospective homebuyers and extending unemployment benefits to the jobless. Looks like someone unsigned a deal. The University of Central Florida has lost its $3 million exclusive contract with adidas after basketball player Marcus Jordan's insisted on wearing his father, Michael's, Nike Air Jordans for the school's opening basketball game. It is kind of like a tribute when the Jordan son's wear their father's shoe. Estelle, Ludacris, and other's pay tribute to soul singer Otis Redding in a two-hour performance at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.

ABC officially announced Thursday that its upcoming Janet Jackson interview will be taped at her Malibu mansion, marking the first time the singer has allowed television cameras into her home, and the first interview since the death of her brother. The interview is set to air on Nov. 18. The queen of interviewing, Oprah Winfrey, says she's keeping singer BeBe Winans off her show until domestic violence charges against him are resolved. The gospel singer had taped appearances on Winfrey's "karaoke challenge" and was on last Friday. On good news, Saratoga Springs made history Tuesday night, becoming the first Utah city to elect a black woman as mayor, naming Mia Love Mayor.

-Keep Up

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Keeping Up Tip of the Day...Game Night!

Everyone wants to know how to live life to it's fullest. One thing that I suggest is sometimes going back to your youthful days. These past two weeks I have been doing just that. I incorporated a few game nights into my week, where I enjoyed playing monopoly and taboo with friends. This took me back to a time where my days were filled with my favorite childhood games, spending time with my friends, and tons of smiles and laughter. I was surprised that those same feelings game back. Despite my competitiveness taking over at times, I felt like a child again without a care in the world. I was able to ignore all the hardships that come with being an adult. Yesterday, I also went back to my college days when I participated in a card game called "circle of death"...a drinking game of course. Although I don't think my body can handle multiple glasses of vodka anymore, it was still a ball of fun!

This weekend prepare a day or two of childhood/college games with your friends. This will give you a chance to relax, have fun, and spend time with your love ones.Try incorporating some new rules that might make the game more adult like. Come back and let me know how it feels to go back to the days where your biggest worry was a term paper or which food you didn't want to eat at dinner. Take time to enjoy the simple things in life!

What were/is your favorite childhood or college games?

-Keep Up!

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Quote of the Day...

"It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning." -Colin Powell

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Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too...

I remember seeing Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, and thinking this is the best film Perry has come out with so far. It put a light on an area that our country struggles with all of the time. It showed us the problems that many marriages face, and some solutions to helping couples get through the ups and downs that a relationship is bound to face. With the percentage of divorces on a rise, movies like this can help you see into your own marriages, and hopefully guide you down a path of a successful relationship. This is why I am excited that Perry has come out with Why Did I Get Married Too. Check out the trailer below.

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too




Have you seen the first movie? What did you think about it?
What are some of the reasons you would get a divorce?

Let's Talk!

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Is Obama Inspiring Black Men to Keep UP?

Is Obama inspiring black men to step up? A recent article pointed out some facts that could indicate that this is indeed happening. John Blake of CNN points out:

  • Three of the nation's largest black fraternities have formed a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The fraternities -- Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi -- are holding a summit in Atlanta, Georgia, in December to decide how to recruit more black men as mentors.
  • About 800 more African-American men have become big brothers since Obama's election
  • A record number of black men -- 650,000 -- participated this year in an annual Million Father March.
  • A foundation headed by billionaire George Soros, an Obama supporter, is investing $15 million in a three-year campaign to help black men.

Hearing some of these numbers makes me smile. When I was in college I use to mentor for a school called Bruce Monroe, and everyday I hoped that more black men would walk threw those doors and request to become a mentor. There were so many little black boys dying to have a strong black male figure in their life. If Obama is indeed helping black men step up, then if he doesn't do anything else, that is a lot in my book. It is like Obama has become the black male figure that black men across the country were looking for. I hope that everyday he is a reminder of how a little black boy being raised in a single parent home, barely seeing his father, can still achieve without making excuses for his situation.

If Obama hasn't made you step up, or you simply want to be involved, I have included a few organizations that you can volunteer for:

Big Brothers Big Sisters

100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Volunteer at your local YMCA

Search for mentor programs in your local school

Do something today....because tomorrow might be too late!

Do you think that black men are stepping up?

-Keep Up!

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Keeping Up Daily...Top Stories to Help Us Keep Up

Bringing you the morning news...fastest way to Keep Up!

(photo taken from Guardian)


The Yankees take took their 27th World Series title after beating the Phillies last night! As the Yankees titles increase, so does the bodies found in Anthony Sowell's house. There has now been 11 bodies found in this serial killers house in Cleveland, and has people wondering how this could go unnoticed for years, and did police simply ignore missing people reports? Things just keep increasing. the Senate voted on Wednesday to lengthen unemployment benefits by up to 20 weeks and to extend the $8,000 home buyer tax credit.

A 14-year-old California boy Raul Renato Castro told police he drowned his 4-year-old neighbor on Friday because the child had threatened to tell his mother the older boy had molested him. Talk about a case, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to review the 2007 conviction of a former Ku Klux Klan member in the 1964 kidnapping and murder of two black teenagers, leaving in place the trial judge's decision to let the prosecution go forward more than 40 years after the crimes, despite questions about a five-year statute of limitations on kidnapping. That is bad news for the defense team, and there is also bad news for the Essence team. After relaunching their Website last week into a more blog-like look, Essence magazine laid off its Web team today citing budgetary reasons.

On good news, 2009 SOUL TRAIN AWARDS' Show Taping will be on Tuesday, November 3. More good news, President Barack Obama launches yearly summit to hear the concerns of American Indians. Not sure if you can call this good or bad news, but John Allen Muhammad, DC Sniper, is set to die by injection in a Virginia prison Nov. 10, seven years after he and his teenage accomplice terrorized the area in and around the nation's capital for three weeks.

-Keep Up!

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Quote of the Day...

"Just Do It"

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For the Love of Happiness..Or the Love of Money

If America was to become a country where we focused more on working to live a happy life, instead of living to consume, how much different would our lives be? I recently became addicted with how the Danes live, and wondered if America could ever be like other countries? Do we want to? Money is at the top of our list of wants, and happiness is at the top of other's. We live in a country where people will kill to be rich, and I mean that literally. I am starting to think that America is going to self-destruct. It scares me to think that we have all become slaves to a life that beats us down everyday. We wake up and can't wait to be able to compete against the next American by having the nicest material items. We rarely focus on family time, health, or simply going outside to enjoy the air. We spend hours behind our desk, determined to hit a level where we can "ball out of control".

It bothers me that the majority of Americans are so depressed with life. We complain about everything...taxes, bills, traffic, people, places, things, love, how we look, and the list could go on. How can we live a life where the majority of it will be spent being angry in hopes that money will buy our happiness. "Get rich, or die trying" has forced a lot of people to miss out on the beauty of life because they have buried themselves in working towards material wealth.

What confuses me is how so many rich people end up committing suicide, how people get money and end up going to jail like TI, how people end up killing other's to get more money, how people can get money, but still continue to work all of their lives? So are you telling me that money doesn't buy happiness? I am sure that it makes life so much easier, but easier because of how America is set up. Is being an American the ideal way to live? If I had all the money in the world, but never spent much time with my family, and then one died, would money take away being sad? If you had all the money in the world because you married someone that was rich but abusive, and then you died, would the money still be worth the pain? If you worked hard every day to live the American Dream, and never reached that goal, would you be able to say you still lived life?

I think that we need to re-evaluate what we live for in America...I have already started. Life has so much to offer, and I think we miss out on it everyday as we concentrate on the wrong things. You do not need billions of dollars to live the best life. Of course there is nothing wrong with having money, but when you get it, will drowning yourself in material things make it better? Some people die lonely with money....will that be you? Begin to focus on your family, friends, fun times, mother nature...if you aren't living now...you never will!

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Young and Keeping Up...Entertainment/Media

Interviewed/written by Darren Smith


Name: Amanda Rodrigues Smith


Industry: Entertainment/Media/ Public Service


Location: Baltimore, Maryland (Hometown) by way of many places


College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Journalism and Mass Communication


I am "Keeping Up" because I am a cultural ambassador and aspiring journalist.


What I actually do is use associations in entertainment media

I look up to Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, Inc. He uses technology and communication to inspire, and makes complex inventions simple and palatable that everyone can use and potentially access. That's the essence of an effective communicator - creating a product or concept that everyone gets! The signal is equally as important as the message. Innovation thrives because when applied it is both resourceful and practical. I enjoy this synergism. It's magical to see him and what he inspires in action.

My first job was actually an internship. I was a Market Research intern at BET Networks in Washington, DC under my mentor who's now the Senior Vice President of the department. At 16 years old I became their first ever and only high school intern. I did everything from ratings analysis to producing on-air segments for BET News.

My first job out of college I was cast in the show Model Latina Miami, which is an original series of SiTV Network that airs nationally on Sundays at 9PM, and now I represent SiTV as a Network Ambassador and convey the importance of the American Latino demographic to media consumers, sponsors and advertisers alike. Culture is a very important dynamic of the Network and my involvement in the show, so I get to elaborate my Brazilian and Jamaican heritage while also highlighting my personal achievement and that of my community. I am one of the only American-Brazilians to appear on the show, and the only Afro-Latina cast member. In addition to national exposure and the opportunity to work with and for major brands like Herbal Essences and Verizon Wireless, on-air spots and modeling, I've also been very active on the public service forefront, making a difference and stressing the importance of a diverse media. I recently attended the Pathways Out of Poverty Summit during Congressional Black Caucus Week and also showed support for the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund during Congressional Hispanic Caucus Week. I'm off to Chicago next for Latino Fashion Week, but I take my responsibility as a role model and public figure very seriously, which starts at being aware and involved in all areas of public interest, not solely entertainment.

The biggest thing that brought me to this point in my careeris a combination of my talent, humility and earnestness. Growing up, each of my role models were journalists, Peter Jennings, Bryant Gumbel, Ed Bradley, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw. I always aspired to join the ranks of elite journalists who mastered their craft by staying true to their conviction and commitment to truth. The day that I entered the School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina, I knew that regardless of where I'd been, where I was raised or what others thought--I was qualified and had an equal opportunity to make a difference through my writing. And it wouldn't have been possible without a quality education. My college education was my biggest career move! I value education and hardwork and can't see a future as rewarding as the one I have now without both. As president of the Carolina Association of Black Journalists for two terms, I kept that legacy of diligence and excellence in mind and believe that my greatest contribution (to date) - my biggest career move was using that opportunity to encourage and engage young writers from disadvantaged communities to find their voice in journalism.

My Best quality is my ambition and historical reverence. I love history, and I know mine!

My Worst quality is not being able to say no. If it's for a good cause, I'll do it.

People might be surprised to know that I am a classically trained violist and that I sang with the hip-hop a capella group, Harmonyx! I can also dance ridiculously well, Samba, Salsa, Hip-Hop!

I hate that people think that I'm reserved. I'm serious when it comes to work but outside of that I am very social, down to earth and have a pretty free-spirit approach to life.

Latest reads: Choosing Civility, The Alchemist, Eat, Pray, Love; Intro to Conversational Italian

Blogs/websites I follow NPR, The Root, Bossip, NYTimes.com, BBC, TMZ, Globo, Concreteloop

Magazines I read Harper's Bazzar, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Ebony, Essence,Arise, Nylon, Vogue, Fader, Rolling Stone, Times, Latina, Vibe, Giant, iD

The best thing about I do is that my ideas and passions matter, and I make a difference in the world.

Quote I live byhere's two that I'll combine.. "Thinking is a form of action." "Just Do It!"

What advice do you have for people trying to "Keep Up" in your industry: Finding a career is destination, not a journey. Don't underestimate the importance of life experiences and knowledge, regardless of your industry, because that will ultimately make you better at what you do. Being able to communicate with people about different topics of interest and in different languages is an important skill to have also. I speak three languages, Portuguese, English and Spanish. Being able to express yourself and articulate your thoughts is an asset that will open you to many worlds and opportunities.


Amanda Rodrigues Smith is Young and Keeping Up!

Contact:

www.sitv.com/modelaltina, twitter: jadoreamanda

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