Beyond Black & White » Jamila Akil http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Fri, 27 Mar 2015 05:06:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Blessed? Amazing?! Wonderful?!! How Is Your 2014 Looking So Far? http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/january-end-accomplished-thus-far/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/january-end-accomplished-thus-far/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 19:32:35 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=28219 Thus far, my year has been all of the above and more! How many of you made New Year’s Resolutions at the end of 2013? Well, now that one month has passed since those resolutions were made its time to have a period of reflection. Look at your resolutions. What did you accomplish in the […]

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Thus far, my year has been all of the above and more!

How many of you made New Year’s Resolutions at the end of 2013? Well, now that one month has passed since those resolutions were made its time to have a period of reflection.

Look at your resolutions. What did you accomplish in the month of January that brought you closer to achieving your goals for 2014?

For my part, I’ve made quite a bit progress. I don’t yet have the qualifications that I had intended to earn but I have done some additional studying for my Google Analytics Individual Qualification and project management

I didn’t go visit my best friend in Iowa, but I did have lunch with another friend and she gave me an invitation for her wedding in March. Goodness, I forgot how expensive it was to attend a wedding. And for me it’s going to be even more expensive because I have to be extra cute since I’ll be attending with no date. If I don’t look extra-cute then everyone will be like, “yeah, she’s not that sexy, that’s why she doesn’t have a man.” Plus, who knows who I might meet at the wedding? I’m sure the groom has some single male friends who will be attending (or, some friends who will be there with their girlfriends but the relationship is on it’s last legs and if I time it just right…I’m kidding! I’m kidding!)

I purchased a new car. Woohoo! It’s a 2013 and I love it. It only had 36 miles on it when I drove it off the lot. And best of all, I got a new job!

This is what I actually look like while dancing. #dontjudgeme

This is what I actually look like while dancing. #dontjudgeme

I hope you’re making progress towards accomplishing your goals, too.

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t finish all of the tasks you set out to finish this previous month. There are still 11 months left in 2014. If you are not where you want to be, reassess and change course as necessary in order to accomplish your goals.

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Parisian Figure Skating Pair Vanessa James and Morgan Cipris are Hot Enough to Melt the Ice http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/parisian-figure-skating-pair-vanessa-james-morgan-cipris-hot-enough-melt-ice/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/parisian-figure-skating-pair-vanessa-james-morgan-cipris-hot-enough-melt-ice/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 07:04:21 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=28498 The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics are underway, which, for ice skating aficionado’s means multiple chances to watch lithe athletic women being hoisted in the air by their equally lithe and athletic male skating partners. One pair to watch is Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres who are representing France. Don’t they look cute together? James partnered […]

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The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics are underway, which, for ice skating aficionado’s means multiple chances to watch lithe athletic women being hoisted in the air by their equally lithe and athletic male skating partners. One pair to watch is Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres who are representing France.

Don’t they look cute together?

Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres warm up before practice at Budweiser Gardens in preparation for the 2013 World Figure Skating Championship.

Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres warm up before practice at Budweiser Gardens in preparation for the 2013 World Figure Skating Championship.

James partnered with Morgan in 2010. Before that, James skated with parners Yannick Bonheur and Hamish Gaman.

Vanessa has lived in quite a few countries. According to her official Sochi Olympics information page:

Born in Canada, she [James] grew up in Bermuda until her family moved to the United States when she was 10 years old. In 2007 she moved to France, and gained French citizenship in 2009. Through her Bermudian father she also holds British citizenship, and represented Great Britain as a singles skater

Twenty-two year old Cipres was a single skater before pairing with James; when not skating he’s a student.

Check out video of Morgan and James at the 2014 European Championships

(Hat Tip to BB&W reader Chocolate Fashionista for the alert on Morgan and Cipres.)

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It’s Official: Tyra Banks Has a New Boo http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/official-tyra-banks-new-boo/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/official-tyra-banks-new-boo/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 17:20:17 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=28471 Tyra Banks, model and creator of the reality TV show for aspiring models America’s Next Top Model, was photographed getting her smooch on in a restaurant with photographer Eric Asla. After their romantic lunch date that included plenty of kissing and whispers, they took a stroll. Asla is Norwegian and after he left Europe and […]

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Tyra Banks, model and creator of the reality TV show for aspiring models America’s Next Top Model, was photographed getting her smooch on in a restaurant with photographer Eric Asla.

eric asla, tyra banks, america's next top model, dating, boyfriend, romance, kisses, interracial, marriage,

Asla and Banks sharing a passionate kiss.

After their romantic lunch date that included plenty of kissing and whispers, they took a stroll.

Asla is Norwegian and after he left Europe and came to the US he was successful enough at his trade to become an assistant to famed photographer and video director Herbert “Herb” Ritts. Since his assistant days, Asla has had images published in such publications as Allure, ELLE, Glamour, The New York Times, and Vogue. Eric resides in Los Angeles and has 3 daughters.

The romance with Asla appears to be the first relationship that was serious enough for Banks to go public with since the end of her 4 year relationship with banker John Utendahl. Tyra was seen on what appeared to be a date with rapper Drake some time ago, but clearly that May-December relationship didn’t last (if it ever even seriously got started).

Banks is 40 years old and although currently childfree has said in the past that she wants marriage and children. Perhaps Asla is The One to make those hopes a reality.

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Vintage Black Glamour Is Coming to a Coffee Table Near You http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/vintage-black-glamour-coming-coffee-table-near/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/vintage-black-glamour-coming-coffee-table-near/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 07:11:31 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=27005 Beauty. Class. Style. Grace. Talent. Nichelle Gainer, writer and proprietor of the tumblr site Vintage Black Glamour, is set to publish a coffee table book on black glamour, style, and history, in Spring 2014. The book, which bears the same name as her tumblr, will contain vintage imagery of black icons from the twentieth century. […]

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Beauty.

Class.

Style.

Grace.

Talent.

Nichelle Gainer, writer and proprietor of the tumblr site Vintage Black Glamour, is set to publish a coffee table book on black glamour, style, and history, in Spring 2014. The book, which bears the same name as her tumblr, will contain vintage imagery of black icons from the twentieth century.

Vintage Black Glamour will be over 200 pages and contain over 150 photographs, many of which will be rare and previously unseen archive images of black entertainers

Register your interest in the book on the website to help this piece of work come to life.

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How Much, If Anything, Do the Beneficiaries of Profits From Slavery Owe to the Descendants of Former Slaves? http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/much-anything-beneficiaries-profits-slavery-owe-descendants-former-slaves/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/much-anything-beneficiaries-profits-slavery-owe-descendants-former-slaves/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 17:13:36 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=28314 Turns out Benedict Cumberbatch’s fine arse is the descendant of plantation owners who got super from owning sugar-cane producing plantation in the Caribbean. A newly appointed city commissioner in New York, Stacey Cumberbatch, told the New York Times last week that she believed British actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s fifth great-grandfather owned her ancestors on an 18th-century […]

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Turns out Benedict Cumberbatch’s fine arse is the descendant of plantation owners who got super from owning sugar-cane producing plantation in the Caribbean.

A newly appointed city commissioner in New York, Stacey Cumberbatch, told the New York Times last week that she believed British actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s fifth great-grandfather owned her ancestors on an 18th-century sugar plantation in Barbados. They “are related,” the newspaper noted, “if not by blood, then by geography and the complicated history of the slave trade.”

The actor, now playing a slave owner in the film 12 Years a Slave, has in the past acknowledged his ancestors’ slave ownership, and revealed that his mother once urged him not to use his real name professionally for fear of becoming the target of reparations claims by the descendents of slaves.

Benedict’s family made so much money as slave-holders that the young Cumberbatch was able to attend a 33,000 pound a year private school, paid for in part by money passed down from those slaveholders. For his part, Cumberbatch says his role in movies like 12 Years a Slave are partly done to atone for his families past, an explanation I’m not buying. Comberbatch may think he’s atoning for the past crimes of his ancestors, but in reality he’s just making himself feel better while getting richer and more famous. If he really wanted to atone he could donate any inheritance hes due upon his parents death (or any monies they’ve already given him) to charities benefiting those whose ancestors worked on plantation in the Caribbean.

But, I’m not arguing that Cumberbatch should give any money back. As horrible as how that money was accrued, it was accrued legally since slavery was legal at the time. Furthermore, I think there are much better ways to help those whose life prospects have been statistically diminished due to the enslavement of their forefathers. After all, if Cumberbatch is still benefiting from the money accumulated by his fifth great-grandfather, then it shouldn’t be a stretch for to you understand that people are still suffering today because their fifth great-grandfathers (and grandmothers) were slaves.

I, for one, believe that the way we slowly eradicate the unearned benefits which white people reaped from slavery is by creating a more just, more equatable society today. We do this by creating scholarships and grants so that no one is denied admittance to the best pre-collegiate schools due to inability to pay tuition. We push to create access to quality healthy care for all, despite ability to pay. We take mental health care seriously. We force the various housing authorities to monitor and punish those who rent slum housing to poor people. We make sure that there is a free-at-the-point-of-access college option available to everyone. (Show of hands…who remembers when California had a free public university system?) There is so much that can be done to make the world a more just place. We just have to be practical, and we have to be honest about the fact that the wrongs of the past have not entirely been righted, not yet.

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OK, So You Possibly Hate (Or Love) Beyoncé’s New Album, But At Least You Now Know Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Is http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/ok-possibly-hate-love-beyonces-new-album-least-now-know-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/ok-possibly-hate-love-beyonces-new-album-least-now-know-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 17:04:26 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=28320 She deserves the hype. And by “she,” I’m referring to Nigerian feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Beyoncé’s recent eponymous album–and the woman herself–have been dissected, and hyped and argued over to death. One of the most eyebrow-raising song’s on that album was the song “***Flawless,” which had originally been released under the title “Bow Down/I […]

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She deserves the hype.

And by “she,” I’m referring to Nigerian feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Beyoncé’s recent eponymous album–and the woman herself–have been dissected, and hyped and argued over to death. One of the most eyebrow-raising song’s on that album was the song “***Flawless,” which had originally been released under the title “Bow Down/I Been On” and lacked a quote from Adichie taken from a TED talk titled “We Should All Be Feminists.” I found the original track to questionable material, especially from a woman (Beyoncé) who referred to herself as a feminist; the original song was offensive not just because it used the word “bitch”–a term I don’t believe automatically makes a person anti-feminist for using, although I consider the term “problematic”–but because it referred to Beyoncé telling her homies to “smack that trick.”

But I digress. “***Flawless” is a much better track than “Bow Down/I Been On” in large part due to the removal of that smacking tricks line, but also because of the addition of Adichie, an addition which made the intent of the song much clearer. Adichie hasn’t commented on the inclusion of her voice to the newer track, which makes me wonder what she thinks of the actual song. Hopefully Adichie will one day voice her opinion “***Flawless” and what she thinks of the song after her quote was added.

Listen to Chimamanda’s full TED talk titled “We Should All Be Feminists” below. It’s a 30 minute video but well worth the time to view in its entirety.

If feminism isn’t your thing, check out Adichie’s other famous TED talk, a talk which she gave in 2009 titled “The Danger of a Single Story.” A synopsis of the speech states, “Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding”

I’m currently reading ‘Americanah,’ published by Adichie in May of 2013. ‘Americanah’ follows the unfolding life and loves of Ifemelu and Obinzi, two Nigerian’s who fall in love as youths only to find themselves parted as adults by the passage of time and the distance of oceans. Over the years of their separation, Ifemelu maintains a blog about race relations in America from the perspective of a black-but-not-black-like-that woman. Chimamanda has also written ‘Purple Hibiscus,’ her first novel, and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun, which has been turned into a movie starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

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