Everybody Hates CiCi

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2016 - After PartyThere seems to be a misconception in the black community that a girl can’t mature and “Level Up.” Hit R&B singer, dancer, and model Ciara has been the subject of criticism as of late. As early 2000s rapper Slim Thug took to radio air waves dishing his opinion on how Ciara can’t truly be happy with Russell Wilson because she is accustomed to thugs, and bad boys and Russell Wilson is well…a square.  Here is the video of what the rapper spit out about the talented songstress and her marriage.

Slim Thug Interview

But what is seeming to be so troubling is how black men can’t accept the fact that somebody accepted Ciara for the woman that she is. Along with her child. Yes! A single black man married, a single black mother and made her a wife. They also had a child of their own.  What Future didn’t see in her Russell did and now they have a beautiful family together. What woman hasn’t made poor dating choices throughout her life. She went from a girl to a woman. God forbid she matures into a “grown woman” status. Hence, the title to her new hit song, “Level Up.”

 

 

ciara-and-future-instagram-7Ciara seems to be a subject of criticism since the beginning of her career. She has been talked about simply due to her height, and not being born a full blown woman which was soon debunked. But what we can’t figure out is why she needs to be labeled as “damaged goods,” just because Future (Ciara’s ex and son’s father) deemed her unworthy although he has several children of his own. It seems like Future is the one who needs to think about his own future with all the kids he’s making. Besides why would Ciara need to be with Russell solely because of his cash when she is making her own just fine. It seems to us that when ever people are happy there will always be haters waiting to throw salt in the game.  Russell Wilson may be what other bad boys consider ‘simp’ but only if they knew these are the men that real women truly want. Not the smooth talking, future faking, baby momma having, trail of babies everywhere with no future guys.

Ciara wanted a man with a ‘future,’ and she finally got one is what it seems like and now that she is glowing and leveling up in life everyone has something to say. Well, Cici go ahead and be happy with you and yours.

 

Misty Copeland: An Unlikely Ballerina

MistyCrossover

On June 30, 2015, Misty Copeland made history by becoming the first African American woman to be appointed principal dancer by the American Ballet Theatre Company.

Misty didn’t start dancing until she was 13 years-old, which for ballet is considered a late start, by taking a free ballet class at a local Boys and Girls Club. However, some have titled her a ‘prodigy’ in the ballet sense because she was already winning dancing awards and gaining recognition by age 15. She then went on to accept a couple full scholarships for some intensive programs, one of which was for ABT. Among 150 dancers, Misty was one of 6 girls chosen to join ABT’s Studio Company. She then went on to be chosen as soloist for Swan Lake with the company and was promoted to principal dancer after that.

There are many things that set Misty apart from your ‘average’ ballerina. For one, her late start to ballet and her ability to quickly learn the techniques. Another is what some have said to be her ‘unusually muscular and curvy’ body (for a ballerina). Also that she is African American and a ballerina, two descriptions that don’t find themselves paired too often. In a company of 80 dancers, Misty was the only African American ballerina at ABT for the first 10 years of her career. If this was not enough, Misty Copeland has also been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine this year. Misty’s ad with Under Armour showcases her amazing dancing and has more than 8 million views on YouTube. She has danced along side Prince while he performed and accompanied a couple of his tours. She also has co-authored a children’s book, ‘Firebird’ and written a 2014 memoir, ‘Life in Motion; An Unlikely Ballerina’, which has been optioned for a movie.

Misty throws herself into every opportunity that comes her way, blurring the lines of pop-culture which can be: short lived spurts of what is the newest and hottest trends, with a classic art form such as ballet: described by Misty herself in a PBS interview; ‘(the ballet world), I don’t think is an art form that’s quick to change or to adjust and evolve’.

Misty’s next prospect is making her Broadway debut as Ivy Smith in ‘On the Town’, which includes, not only dancing but, singing as well. She hopes this new challenge will further her in her ballet career.

Her Twitter page is freckled with congratulations after the news broke about her becoming principal dancer. With tweets from Star Jones, Taye Diggs, pics of the Under Armour team delivering a truck literally FULL of flowers to her, and even tweets from Oprah!

She doesn’t let any of this go to her head however. When interviewed on CBS following the announcement of becoming principal dancer in a July 6th interview, Misty humbly stated, ‘…I’m just standing on the shoulders of so many who have set this path for me, and they may not be seen or recognized or have been given an opportunity to have a voice but I’m here representing all of those dancers…’

An interviewer then asked, ‘You know what I love about your story is, you really owned this moment. You didn’t just say I’m a ballerina who happens to be an African American. You understood the symbolism of the moment. What do you want people to see when they see you?’ to which Misty replied, ‘I wanted to set an example for what the future of dance holds. I think ABT is setting that standard now for classical ballet. You can dream big. It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you come from, what your background is…that’s the example I want to set and what I want to leave behind.’ She went on to say, ‘I think this is just the start. It doesn’t mean that the work is going to end. It doesn’t mean it’s going to get easier for the next generation…that it’s going to be a walk in the park. But I think it’s going to open up those doors for people….’

She added to this thought in another interview with E! stating that ‘Barrack Obama being president of the United States doesn’t mean racism has disappeared’. She explains how she and all of us have more work to do.

‘Being a black ballerina, definitely, is everything. My life and my path as a ballerina would be completely different if I wasn’t an African American woman. It has provided more obstacles, I think, than I knew when I discovered ballet at 13 years-old but at the same time it has made me want to persevere even more and I think it has made me a stronger person because of it. There’s so many more obstacles to overcome, but I absolutely love classical ballet’.

 

References:

All retrieved on July 13, 2015:

http://www.mistycopeland.com/home.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/misty-copeland-on-new-broadway-role-on-the-town-first-black-principal-dancer-at-american-ballet/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misty_Copeland

http://nypost.com/2015/07/13/misty-copelands-tough-balancing-act/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRJ8oDSy21Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-VgXR_rl9U

Mayor Johnson at sac state

Mayor Talks Jobs, Downtown Kings Arena at Sac State

 

On Monday, September 29, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson held a city town hall meeting on the campus of Sacramento State University courtesy of their social sciences department. He spoke about issues concerning citizens the most. Johnson started off by recalling times growing up in his hometown and neighborhood of Oak Park and receiving high grades but not being well-prepared for college. He joked about not being able to spell the word, “euphemism,” at the time when he was a student. Johnson also talked of how Sacramento High School which is now ran as a Charter school has a 93% acceptance rate of its student being accepted to four year colleges. Between Johnson and wife, Michelle Rhee, they plan to make Sacramento a strong educational system for all kids.

mayor johnson

Johnson also spoke about the Downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings that will have a major impact on the city. It will not only house the city’s basketball team but soon a soccer team, and several other entertainment venues as well as creating several thousand jobs.

“You’re going to have eleven hundred construction jobs. A number of permanent jobs around the arena. Our restaurants, retail and our entertainment is going to grow and develop jobs. This is really good for Sacramento,” Mayor Johnson said.

The meeting ended on a more pressing matter, Johnson talked often about creating a ‘Strong Mayor,’ for the city with hopes of not running Sacramento like a governance city anymore. He says he just doesn’t agree with not being held accountable for electing a Chief of Police. Johnson wants the voters to feel like their opinions matter and believes that this can’t be done if someone who is not on a ballot gets to make all of the decisions for the city.

attendees

“The person you vote for you want them to have a full democracy to carry-out what he or she says. The city manager is not elected. But that’s not who people vote for. People vote for the Mayor of Sacramento. I want them to understand a full democracy and accountability.”

He feels that by implenting Measure L is a way to give mayors a boost of authority in the mayoral chair in City Hall. If this bill passes, Johnson plans on making Sacramento 3.0 which will run this city like the major cities in California; Oakland, Fresno and Los Angeles bringing vitality to the city, making it more enjoyable for the citizens to live.

Mayor kevin johnson

“We picked a new Chief of Police a little over a year ago, that person was selected by the city manager. They didn’t ask me what my opinion was, I didn’t get to interview the candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’m the mayor, everybody thinks I’m the one doing this like I don’t have anything to say.”

“You want to get a mayor to carry out their vision. That’s just one example of where I have no say so what so ever. I think Sacramento should be ran better than that.”