2014: Restoration


I think 2014 was meant to humble me in so many ways.

Top 10 In Entertainment | 2014


I didn't really have time to get all fancy and add images like I wanted to this year, I will with the version next year. But for this year I just wanted to give my run down of the movies & music that I enjoyed this year. Some of the stuff on this list might not look familiar, so if it doesn't go check it out, it wouldn't hurt to go look.

Top 10 Movies

My Top Albums of 2015

Rap / Hip-Hop
1. J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hill Drive
2. Big K.R.I.T. - Cadillactica
3. Statik Selektah - What Goes Around
4. Ab-Soul - These Days...
5. Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 2
6. Freddie Gibbs - Pinata
7. Rick Ross - Mastermind & Hood Billionaire
8. Sir Michael Rocks - Banco
9. T.I. - Paperwork
10. Young Jeezy - Seen It All [The Autobiography]

R&B
1. Mali Music - Mali Is...
2. Trey Songz - Trigga
3. Ty Dolla $ign - Beach House
4. Prince - Plectrumelectrum & Art Official Age
5. Sam Smith - In That Lonely Hour
6. PARTYNEXTDOOR - PND2
7. Jhené Aiko - Souled Out
8. Jagged Edge - J.E. Heartbreak II
9. Boyz II Men - Collide
10. The-Dream - Royalty [The Prequel]

Mixtape
1. Curren$y - The Drive In Theater, Saturday Night Car Tunes, More Saturday Night Car Tunes
2. Lil Boosie - Life After Deathrow
3. Raekwon - We Wanna Thank You
4. Slaughterhouse - House Rules
5. Mac Miller - Faces
6. B.o.B. - No Genre 2
7. Ty Dolla $ign - $ign Language
8. Scotty ATL - Spaghetti Junction
9. Future - Monster
10. Migos - No Label 2

Rookies
1. Logic - Under Pressure
2. Boaz - Intuition
3. Stalley - Ohio
4. iLoveMakonnen - iLoveMakonnen
5. Bas - Last Winter
6. Euroz - Memories of The Future
7. King Mez - Long Live The King
8. Cozz - Cozz & Effect
9. Tinashe - Aquarius
10. Sebastian Mikael - Speechless

What do you think of the list? Do you have anything you want to add or take away? Is there something that I missed? Leave a comment below in the comments section.

End of Therapy


I think that the power is the principle.
The principle of moving forward, 
As though you have the confidence to move forward,
Eventually it gives you confidence 
When you look back and see what you've done.
- Robert Downey, Jr.

So today marks the end of my therapy journey that I started some months back, and I'm extremely I'm happy that I decided to go to therapy because it helped a lot. I mean I've had a few setbacks here and there, but for the most part I've been doing way better than where I was at the beginning of the year in terms of personal perspective and personal relationships that I want to remain strong. I've learned that not everything is either this or that and most require time, dedication and hard work when wanting it to last. Basically I've learned to get my patience back along with slowing down my lifestyle.

It wasn't easy admitting that I needed help in the first place, so for me to go in was a big step within itself. I think it's that way for any male, especially for me being an African American male, but after getting over that hurdle it was all green per say. I'm not really going to go too in-depth about what I talked about with my therapist, or even her name for that matter because it's personal, but I will say that everyone should at least try to go into therapy just for a little bit to see how you like it. We all have problems with something in this world, whether it's big or small, we can stand to use a little help with them, no matter the size of the problem.

A lot of people face challenges they don't even realize until something major in their life happens and they don't know where to go from there. How do I know, because I was there at the beginning of this year. I was lost and confused about pretty much everything, so instead of racking my brain on why things weren't working or trying to figure them out myself, I just decided to get help. I had to really work on my pride during this time frame because that was the major thing that was holding me back in terms of accomplishing a lot.

Apparently having a lot of pride is the key trait in the ego of a male and it's more prevalent in the African American psyche. But once I got that under control, it was all good in the hood lol. All in all I can say that therapy was the thing that bought me back to my senses and made me realize how I was tripping and what I needed to work on so that I can get back to being me and treating the people that love me, the proper ways that they should be loved. I'm also glad to have a friend who is also trying to become a psychiatrist, so if I ever start to really trip, and then she can pull me back in if I really need to talk.

If you don't know where to start or think if you can't afford to go, I know there are programs that are income based, free of charge, or your insurance will cover. All you have to do is go online and Google programs in your area, because you know they all differ from state to state. If you have the slightest inclination of needing to go, then go see someone, that feeling is your brain telling you that it's ok to go and talk to someone. Hopefully me being as candid as I am will give you the courage to go speak to someone, even if no one ever knows about it, it could help you immensely, if you let it.

If you're reading this and you've been in therapy before, has it helped you? What advice would you give to someone looking to get into it? Share your stories below.

Until next time guys.

R.I.P.


I wasn't really planning on writing this blog, I was just scrolling through Tumblr and I was looking at all the cool pictures like I always do. But then I came across the picture below and it's just crazy to think it's been that many people in two years, with plenty more not reported or blown up on social media. Just taking the time to look at the picture, which I wish I knew who made it so I could give them credit for, just reminds you of all the senseless killing that's going on.

I'm not here to talk about what's going on, I'm not here to get into a debate about what we should be focused on. In the wake of the Mike Brown decision and the Eric Garner decisions, I just want to take the time to just pay some respects to people lost to police violence. A lot of these people were parents and children to someone who will never get to see them again. This isn't even close to the number of people that lose their lives in this country due to unnecessary and unjust violence. Will this ever end? Maybe, one day it will, but for now, I'm just going to pay some respect to my fellow brothers and sisters that are no longer here.

As this year closes out, I really hope that things will change, I really do. I know it will be counter productive to say that things probably won't, but one can hope. But like I said, until then, let's just take some time to ourselves and think about these fine people. Then take some time and spend it with your family this holiday season, because at the rate things are going these days, you never know when your time is going to come.


Any feelings on any of these cases of police brutality or just violence in general, leave them in the comments below.

Until next time guys.

Annie Bertha


My cousin went deep into the archives to find this picture.

I rarely show people my personal side because I protect my family at all costs, but this picture really hits home on so many levels. That there is Annie Bertha Hines, the woman that we all loved and adored as kids. She had many a whoppings for me when I was younger and she was always there to reel us back in when we started acting too wild. Her imprint is on all of us and it's clear as day that we have that stubborn trait that she liked to show so often. I won't lie to you for a second if I say I can recall every little detail from every little interaction that we had with her. I just remember that when I went over there it wasn't any of that foolishness that we thought was going down. My brother loved her to death, he was always there to help her when she needed the help and was always there to be leaned on.

Still to this day, one of the worse days of my life was when she passed on my twelfth birthday. I didn't really see that coming at all, still a little distraught when I think back to it. But that's life though, you can't tell when a person is coming or when they're going, you just have to be prepared for it when it happens. Seeing this picture brings back so many memories of when we would go visit her and not so many fond ones I would like to soon forget. All in all, this is the woman that many of my cousins and I embody in some shape or form, and this picture is something that I will cherish forever.


Who is the one person in your family that everyone embodies in some kind of way? What are the fond memories that you have of them? Let me know in the comments below what stories you like to share.

Later guys.

George Stinney


Growing up in South Carolina as a African American male was pretty real when I was a youth, there are couple of instances where I've ran into the Klan, Neo Nazi's and even racist cops. There were always the stories of the civil rights and other war veterans detailing how it's hard out here for men of color, but as a child there was always a story that was bought up to get me in line when I was acting a fool, and that was of George Junius Stinney, Jr.

I understand that there are people that don't know about this story or even aware that something like this actually happened in this country that is supposedly about fair justice for all. So just to give you a quick rundown, I pulled the story off of Wiki for you to become familiar with it:

"Stinney, an African-American youth from South Carolina, was convicted in a two-hour trial of the first-degree murder of two pre-teen white girls: 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker, and 8-year-old Mary Emma Thames. However, no physical evidence existed in the case, and the sole evidence against Stinney was the circumstantial fact that the girls had spoken with Stinney and his sister shortly before their murder, and the testimony of three police officers that Stinney had confessed. He was executed by electric chair. Since Stinney's conviction and execution, the question of his guilt, the validity of his confession and the judicial process leading to his execution has been criticized as "suspicious at best and a miscarriage of justice at worst."

The part of that story that you don't hear is how he was executed, a 14 year old boy, who could barely fit into the straps of the chair was executed. I was going to detail the stories of how people in the execution room were just dismayed at the very sight of what was going on. Even the Klansmen disguised as police officers were just in shock by what they just did. Even back then, in the height of racism, executing a child who didn't know anything about the world, let alone the justice system was convicted in less than two hours.

These are the stories that they don't teach you in school, these are the things that are written from the history books when they talk about how great this country is. So when they announced on December 17th, 2014 that after all of this time that his conviction was finally overturned, my only thought was, for what? This happened over seven decades ago, who is this benefitting? Is this just another ploy for people to try and ease racial tension? Is this just another way for people say, "well it’s over and done with now, so let it go"?

Honestly I don't even know, I really don't. Everyone has known since the second they sentenced him to execution that it was wrong. I mean it's a great thing that the family has finally gotten the justice that it was looking for so many years of a man that could've been a great grandfather by now. But it's just a shame that it took this long, and it's a shame that people swept it under the rug as just another headline, what's actually even worse is that they are still publicly executing our children on the streets.

I just wanted to touch on this topic because it was something that was prevalent from my childhood growing up in South Carolina, I never forgot about that because I worried most days that it could be in that chair if I ever slipped up and made a slight mistake. Just another instance on how this country is still messed up to this day and that actual change in thinking and doing is needed here.

What do you think about the overturn, is it too late or right on time? Leave a comment in the section below with your thoughts.

Until next time guys.

Dear Uncle Phil


Dear Uncle Phil,

There are the typical TV dads, and then there are the iconic ones. You have the Cliff Huxtable's, the Carl Winslow's, and James Evans, but to me you stood out because I grew up watching you on TV. You bought a new light to parenting that wasn't seen before. You were kind, funny, interactive, steadfast, and even stern when need be. But the most endearing trait about you was the fact that you gave everyone love unconditionally and equally, even the new Aunt Viv. There were moments of extreme moment where they really needed to lean on you, like when Will's father left him again, or that time when Carlton was shot and when Trevor died for Hilary. You did a pretty great job of raising Ashley and Nicky; they came into their own very well. You also never lost sight of who were, and where you came from. You often reminded people that you were from Yamacraw, North Carolina and all of the things that you've done to support African Americans in the 60's during the civil rights movement on the way to becoming The Honorable Phillip Banks. All in all, you are missed as one of the greater TV dads because some of us actually learned valuable and important lessons in how a man is supposed to treat his family, all the while being his own individual. Now that you're no longer here with us on this Earth, it's up to men like me and the ones after to follow in your footsteps of support and love towards everyone that we love and need our help. You can rest easy knowing that there's at least one man willing to take up the mantle of loving his family like you did. I'm going to go because I'm getting a little teary eyed thinking of all the times you've held the family down and how much they love you. I'm going to quote some lyrics from this rapper named J. Cole who also has the same sentiments that I have towards you, rest easy.

- Dev 

First things first, R.I.P. Uncle Phil.
For real, you the only father that I ever knew.
I get my chick pregnant, I'ma be a better you.
- J. Cole

Personal Preferences


Everybody has their opinion on what's 'real,'
And what's they choose to listen to and their personal preference.
Whether they're 2 years old or 200 years old.
And people can listen to whatever they want.
- Lupe Fiasco

Now to say that one person on this planet has no kind of personal preference when it comes to dating is not only untrue, but redundant. Now what IS stupid to ME are the people that go all OD and into every little nook and cranny about a person that doesn't all them to date them at all. And to say in response to that line, "well you're just like everyone else who judges someone based off what their preferences are", no the hell I'm not. If you tell someone you don't want to talk to them because they breathe 12 times in a minute, then you sir or mam, are a jackass.

Now it's ok to know who you are, to be fully within yourself as a person to know what kind of person you want. Usually that comes from maturity, time & just plain old trial and error. That's where a sense of what kind of person that you want in life and that's fine and dandy, as long as you're willing to mold yourself to what is reality. I mean no one is going to meet your exact match to what you want out of a person, that's just never going to happen. In reality it's not suppose to happen in my opinion. You're suppose to be able to know what you want and be open for change, because at the end of the day regardless what anyone says, change is good for you.

I think with the rise of social networks and all these available apps to people on their smart phone, people tend to voice opinions that aren't exactly, sound. I know you have your right to voice your opinion on any account that you create, it's your right. But at the same time it's just so annoying to see when people just blurt out stuff that they think sounds cool. Most of those opinions are purely based on what the crowd is going with, which is in turned coined by someone that everyone thinks is popular, which has always been the case. But somewhere along the line, it gets to the point where you just sit back and just marvel at the people who just seem to feel the need to flock with the crowd.

I mean it's ok to be different, it's ok to have your own sense of who you are and what you want in life. It doesn't have to match up to anyone else's. THAT's a real preference, something that you take the time to look up, research, go through and learn from, anything that requires your own thought process. It's just so sad that so many women, and so many men get thrown to the wayside because they don't meet someone's opinion, at the time, of who they should be. But that's what I realized what life is like. There will always be those who determine that life should be the way they want it to be, based by lessons & life experiences.

My thing here that I want to convey to people is that life is too short, don't spend an abundant amount of time on people that are clearly unhappy with their own life. Don't listen to those people who spend an extraordinary amount of time downing other people because they've been wronged. Don't listen to all of those meme's you see on Instagram about being this or that, and happy alone. Life isn't about being alone, life isn't about selling yourself short because you want to avoid being hurt.

If you have preferences, then that's cool, that's great. Don't live by them and die by them, because like rules, preferences were meant to be broken, changed, or ignored all together when something has the potential to be great in your life. Be YOU, live life, go to different places, just feel alive. Because at the end of the day, all those memes will disappear, and all those people that told the masses how to treat someone based off being hurt will be gone.

Life is cool with personal preferences, it's even better when you learn to be free of them.

Growth.

I'll just always be who I am while people come in and out of my life; the world keeps turning and I keep loving. I don't expect folks to love me, love takes hardcore gentleness; people who love are special. People don't understand the shit you go through to arrive to love of self. It's a painful and tiring journey that you do alone, and once you love yourself there is no turning back, no compromising, nothing. And you lose a lot of folks in your life because of that, they don't understand why you're not hanging on their every word or fitting into the mold they created for you. That upsets them and you turn into a person they can't fuck with. They can't believe you've gained the courage to sit with yourself and smile.

CLAIM YOURSELF!

In a world full of people trying to claim each other, OWN one another, get a hold of yourself and don't let go for anyone. Love is nothing if you don't have it for yourself. You are the source, you have to be claim it, be it, don't compromise. People will have you out here feeling less than because they can't understand you; move away from that shit and get into yourself. You're the source of power in your life, you make shit happen. Quit selling yourself to folks who walk around selling themselves. I have enough love for myself and for everyone else who fucks with who they are.

My cup runneth over.
So I obviously screen shot this back in October and never used them. I actually just realized that I had this sitting in my phone and decided to bring it to the blog. I honestly don't know why I didn't use pic stitch, maybe it's because I'm a weirdo lol. Adrianna tweets are typically on point, if you go through my favorites, you'll see that I've saved numerous ones. These set of tweets though really stood out to me because it was true. Now that I've went through some processes and revelations, these tweets mean more to me when I snapped them.

What she's peaking is the pure truth, it's like when you reach that point in your mind where you elevate yourself to a position where you just want different things out of life, you start looking at it differently. When that happens to you, when you finally open your eyes, all the negative things, all of the situations and people holding you back from being great, no longer matter. You get into this zone where very little bothers you, where not even the greatest challenge can faze you or make you the least bit uncomfortable.

Your mind becomes more at ease with who you are and the decisions you've made throughout your life. When that process becomes more and more fluid in your life, it allows greater things to enter your life. You build healthier connections, and it allows you to revisit your past and make positive lights out of situations that plagued your mind for so long. You know how to handle every little problem, and it allows you also to realize which ones are worth handling and which ones are worth just putting to the wayside.

All in all, it's just a great feeling that washes over you. You don't worry, you don't care about the unnecessary, and most of all, and you love yourself to the fullest. Loving yourself puts all of those things into perspective and once it does, and your vibes get put back out into the universe, you start noticing the things around you becoming affected by your positivity; it's like its borderline contagious.  And just like she said, all of those people that are so use to being in this little box that they have made for you, they don't understand the growth that you're experiencing. They're going say you've changed, they're going to call you different and most importantly, they will talk about you behind your back and say how much you've switched up on them.

But that's the final hurdle to get over, when you can shed yourself of those people that wish to keep you in the mud or the same spot in line you had, then you'll be able to go out and see the world for what it is. It's a very beautiful place when you let it be, with a lot of awesome people. There are going to always people that will do what you want to do, you just have to make sure that it's for the positive reasons and not for the reasons that are selfish and negative towards you.

People tend to think that you have to be selfish to get to this level, but when you elevate your mind, you realize that it's not being selfish, it's being real. It's being real with yourself, those around you and the world that has to hold your massive new outlook. There's no middle ground, people will either like the direction you are taking or they won't because they simply don't understand or want to accept it. Either way, it's up to you to keep pushing and making yourself better and better every single day.

Remember this one thing that Adrianna said, CLAIM YOURSELF! When you do, you'll see things change dramatically.

What do you think about love of the self? Do you think it's something more, or something different, let me know in the comments below.

Until next time guys.

When I Rise ..


When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mind
Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
- Bill Withers

For some odd reason, people like to think that I don't sleep. Yes I may go to sleep some nights at 11:30pm and wake up at 4:30am or even go to sleep at 3am and wake back up at 6am, I don't know why I do that, I just do. My body is all sorts of jacked up. Either way, I eventually sleep, and when I do, I have to wake back up. When I do wake up, I have the same routine that I go by every morning to ensure that  I don't miss a beat. It's very important to me because I pay homage to a lot of people that are important to me.

Well first before anything, I need to take a minute and gather myself and realize that I have awaken from my peaceful slumber. Depending on what I need to do, whether it be taking a drink of water because my mouth is dryer than the Sahara, or I need to get up and use the bathroom. After that's done, I climb back into the bed and lay there for about a couple of minutes, just getting myself together, not really thinking about anything. I sort of just sit there in the peace and quiet and relax, letting my senses adjust to being awake.

Then I say a little prayer to myself for everyone, not people I just know. I like to do that because you never know who could need a prayer, regardless if they are religious or not. My prayer includes that, then I say something about starting the day off right and leaving all the negativity in the previous day. Then finally I say a little prayer for the people that I do know and love, especially if one of them is having a problem with anything, I put that at the top of that order. So that's the first thing I do in my day after gathering my bearings.

Then after I do that, I proceed to get up, stretch, let out the initial morning yell, and do the do. Make up the bed, straighten up, make sure all that I'm taking out for the day is on the bed. Think if I need to do anything for the day, and if so, what I would need to do it. Then I brush my teeth, then hop in the shower. As I am in the shower doing my best rendition of either a rapper or singer, I remember either something I have to do or something that I wanted to write about from the day before or my dream. So I try to keep that on my mind when I'm in the shower, so when I get out, I can adjust.

After doing the proper maintenance to myself, I get dressed and all that good stuff. Now this is the second most important part of my day after praying. This is because when I get dressed, I put on my dog tags, black bracelet, and kiss my good luck charm. People ask why do I wear my dog tags still even though I'm not in the military full time anymore, and the reason for that is because a lot of good men died while I was in, and a lot of them I met during training. I know you can go and buy dog tags for a couple bucks, but those dog tags are the ones I earned with some men that had their will tested by some pretty rigorous obstacles in training, that not everyone goes through. So I wear them for them. I wear my bracelet for all the ones that are deployed and doing hardship tours and getting it in. Reminds me to always appreciate what I have, and who's protecting my best interests. Then I kiss my good luck charm because it keeps me sane and focus throughout the day. Just a daily reminder that I have a goal that I am working towards and to never lose focus.

After doing that I straighten back up, make sure I'm not forgetting anything. I take one final look around my room, go downstairs, get something to drink and snack on, sometimes I cook. But after I do that, I'm out the door for the day, and usually not back til I get done with things. That's pretty much how I start my day in a nutshell. It's pretty routine and organized, I like it that way because it keeps me from missing a step a lot of days. When you're just rushing or you don't know what's going on, I found you tend to make a lot of mistakes.

Do you have a morning routine? If so, let me know in the comments below.

A Woman's Greatest Gift


Came in with all this money,
I know that they all want it.
But you're the one who gets it,
Should've paid more attention.
- Rico Love

I realized now that I never really understood love.

I was having a conversation about what a woman's love actually meant with one of my fellow bloggers when looking for new topics. At the time I didn't really have an answer to that effect about my understanding of what a woman's love meant to me. I use to think that I could love a woman more than she could love me because of the things that I've experienced in life. I really thought that I could out love a woman based off the mere fact that I knew how to love her and I wanted love more than she did. Then the thought of that changed and I realized how stupid that sounded when I analyzed it. I didn't want to love a woman more than me; I wanted our love to be equal because that seemed like the right thing. We both put the work and we both get the results out of it, then I realized how wrong I was on that front as well. After sitting down and having an in depth discussion about how a woman loves and the passion of which it was explained to me, and I came to realize this:

A woman will always love a man deeper than he can ever comprehend.

The conversation went started off with the guys giving their perception of what love is to us, and of course the women gave a slight giggle. We were a little clueless as to why they were laughing at us, and they replied very simply with "because you guys are so clueless, naive and lost that it's cute". Of course we were a little offended by the comments, but all of us being thinking men in the room knew there was much more to that statement and a subsequent explanation of it. There were four of us guys there and three women there, (both couples and I was the odd one out lol), and all of the women looked at each other and one was elected to answer our inquiry. Her answer went as followed:
"When a man finds a woman that he loves, not the kiddy love, not the googly eyed love, and not the have sex and think I'm in love kind. I'm talking the I will lay my life down for you love, I will sacrifice my dreams for you to see you happy love, the I will travel to the ends of the earth to save you kind of love, the nothing that will keep me from you type love. When a man finds a woman that he loves that much, he will get that 10x over from the woman he is so enamored with. No offense but when it comes to love, all men are a bag of rocks, just slow and one dimensional in your thinking. And that's quite alright, because the woman that loves you will know this and that's apart of loving a man, him not knowing the actual depths of our love.

A woman is charged with keeping the home while you're protecting and providing for it. Then will come a day when you will add to that family and that love and she will have to bear your child, that within itself sets us apart because we have a human inside of us that we have to love and nurture for 9 months until they come to this world. That's how deep a woman's love is, it's not just a mental or physical thing, and it’s a spiritual and soulful thing. All of those things that you make us feel affect us, every single thing, whether you know it or not. When you make us cry we feel it on levels you can't comprehend, when you make us happy we feel it on levels you can't comprehend, when you love us, we feel it on levels you can't comprehend.

That's why when you hear "treat a woman's heart as if it's the most precious thing in the world" that's because it is. We are the starter of civilizations and the nurturers of those same worlds. We take care of the mental, the physical, the emotional and the spiritual side like nothing else can on this planet. If you look close, and choose to believe in that love, a woman can heal even the deepest of problems without ever saying a word. But if you mistreat that love, you can tear a woman's world apart without ever realizing it. THAT's how we women love, THAT's why most men don't grasp the idea of why it's so important to treat her right. But when a man has the faintness of clues, or simply glimpse into that world of love, he will be elevated and he will be better for it."
That literally blew my mind to sit and think and understand that one woman who loves you more than life itself, and so much that she's willing to create life with you. That's a really beautiful thing to think on and something that changed my outlook on some recent situations. After that explanation, we were all left a little speechless in the sense that we were in deep thought about what just was said, even with the females. I'd be lying to you if I said that it doesn't still flow through my mind til this moment in time. This is the first time that I actually have nothing else to say because that said a lot within itself. Fellas, I want you to sit and think on this one and let it marinate for a second.

Ladies if there is something else that you can add to that effect, or you disagree with her, let me know in the comments below. Fellas let me know how you feel about that, do you agree or disagree?

Until next time guys.

Rants & Raves X


There been times when I thought I couldn't last for long,
But now I think I'm able to carry on.
It's been a long, a long time coming,
But I know a change gon' come, oh yes it will.
- Sam Cooke

Top 10 Black Holiday Movies


Hey there guys, I'm back again with another movie list of my favorite black holiday movies. Now while most of these movies may look familiar to you, some might not. So with it being the snowy winter season, why not take the time to rent them and watch them at your leisure when you're in the house for movie night. If you have any movies to add to the list, feel free to leave a comment or hit me up on the contacts page. Enjoy!

(Updated November 2015: I've linked the amazon pages for each tittle so you can find how to buy it easier and also added a couple of titles that are lesser known but might be enjoyable under the complete title listings. I did this to provide some variety and to bring attention to other black holiday movies out there.)



This isn't a black movie in terms of cast or anything, I put this on this because it was really popular with the kids in my neighborhood when I was growing up. Sinbad is in this one and he plays a great "villain" to Arnold Schwarzenegger . It's a pretty fun movie that will get kids excited about Christmas. If you're one of the many guys that saw this during the holiday season in the 90's or had it on VHS like I did, then this will take you down memory lane. There's a sequel called Jingle All The Way 2 that we're just going to act like doesn't exist.


Star studded cast with Loretta Devine, Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba, Regina King, Sharon Leal, Columbus Short, Lauren London, Chris Brown, Laz Alonso, Keith Robinson, Jessica Stroup, Lupe Ontiveros, David Banner, Ronnie Warner & Mekhi Phifer. This is the same format of holiday movies but wit ha couple of great performances in there. I've personally seen this movie just once over the last couple of years, but I'm going to pop it on the days I get snowed in and get reacquainted. It had a lot of funny moments in there from what I can remember of it.



I have a funny story, I was actually sitting down one Friday when class was canceled because the teacher didn't feel like driving in the rain. So I was just flipping through the channels looking for something to watch til lunch, and I came across this because I saw LL Cool J and didn't recognize the movie. Then of course when I saw Queen Latifah I just stopped and watched it. It's a pretty good movie when you watch it for the first time, after that it's just cheesy. But for the most part it hits on all cylinders in terms of being a warmhearted movie. I don't think too many people have seen this either so I'm not going to spoil it for everyone. If you're looking for something to watch that's not the same movie as every year, watch this one.



I have this movie high on the list because it surprised me when I watched it. I really thought it was going to be a really cheesy movie when I saw it on BET, but when I actually sat down and watched it, it was pretty good. This is another movie that most people didn't even know existed without catching it on BET's movie night or Disney Channel's airing of it. Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union deliver some great roles in this one. They have a solid cast with Charlie Murphy, Faizon Love, Katt Williams, Queen Latifah, Terrence Howard accompanying them. If you haven't seen it yet, then check it out, it's definitely one of the better Christmas movies out there today.



Another classic from the 90's. If you've never seen Whitney Houston act, then this should be one of the movies that you check her out in. I will admit that I've seen this only once or twice verses the other movies on the list, but that's just find for where it's at on my list. This movie has it all from warm moments, to the sad moments and the heart felt singing. I won't say much on this movie because I know there a lot of people who haven't seen this title. Switch it up this holiday and check something out that you haven't seen that you will like. The cast is stacked as well with everyones favorite main man Denzel Washington leading the way and Courtney B. Vance, Gregory Hines, Jenifer Lewis, Loretta Devine, Lionel Richie& even Cissy Houston showed up in this one. If that isn't enough incentive then you should probably know that the movies soundtrack is the best selling Gospel album, like ever.
 


Now when I was looking for holiday movies to put on this list, I completely forgot about this movie. This is actually Eddie Murphy's second featured role and it was wildly successful throughout the country grossing 90 million. It was so successful that Wall Street actually implemented some trade regulations and named it the The Eddie Murphy Rule. But regardless of those facts, the movie is just a great movie about what it's like two switch two people on two different perspectives of the world. Filled with comedy and some serious moments. It's a great watch.



Believe it or not, this is a Christmas movie lol. The whole premise is to get money back that was stolen from them by "Santa". Just like all of the Friday's, this a great movie full of laughs and quotable lines. With the familiar cast of Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon Don "D.C." Curry, Anna Maria Horsford, Clifton Powell & the addition of Terry Crews, Katt Williams, K.D. Aubert & Rickey Smiley they all balanced each other out perfectly. I like to laugh so that's why this is so high on my list. If you're looking for something that deviates from the normal holiday movie format, then this is your go to movie, it's sure to put some smiles on your face this holiday.



When I first saw this trailer, I instantly thought the movie was going to be another one of those corny sign along that come out every year to DVD around this time. What I got instead was a movie that was so much more. All of the actors from Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Nas, to new comer Jacob Latimore all held their own when it came time to for their solo. There was not a moment I wasn't thoroughly impressed by any of them. The moments that were suppose to be emotional were and the ones that were suppose to be uplifting hit it. The singing is just off the chain in this one. The only knock that I have against it is all the talking during the end credits, I feel like the movie could've ended on the last scene, other than that, the movie was perfect.
 


 
When they announced this sequel it was quickly hyped and ready to be seen by everyone because the first one is consider a classic amongst most African Americans. We knew the same struggles the cast members, Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa & Regina Hall, faced from the first one so the movie had a sense of familiarity to it. But what the movie did capitalize on was having that same familiarity and adding a sense of surprise and new elements, and when the movie took a complete left turn, it became a automatic tear jerker. I will admit that Marsha Ambrosius & Anthony Hamilton's duet cover of Stevie Wonder's As bought a legit tear to my eye. I'm not going to say much on this movie because it just came out last year, but if you haven't seen it, go do so, you won't regret it.
 


There is no greater African American holiday movie than Soul Food. When it comes to the plights of a family and their struggle to get a grasp on family secrets left behind by the head of the family, Mother Joe. They soon realize, after her many teachings and wise words from before the grave and well beyond it, that life isn't as bad as they think it is when they stick together as a family. With the cast having no shortage of stars such as Vanessa L. Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer, Brandon Hammond, Jeffrey D. Sams, Gina Ravera, & Irma P. Hall as Mother Joe. The acting in the movie doesn't miss a beat on any level. For us, Soul Food is a timeless movie that we can watch year in and year out, the ultimate feel good, holiday movie for your family.
 
What do you think? Any movies that you would like to see on this list? Any you think are ranked too low or too high? Let me know in the comment section below, I'm always glad to hear from you guys.

Until next time!

When Enough Is Enough


It took me a couple of days to write this.


The Eric Garner decision is just a flat out admittance by the judicial system, that it is a flawed and inadequate process. I want to back track though for a bit, I want to talk about the two youngest people you see on the list above. Aiyana Stanley Jones & Tamir Rice. What infuriates me beyond the point of words and just raw emotion is that these were children, not pre-teens, teens, young adults, adults, elders, they were CHILDREN. A seven year old girl, and a twelve year old boy, both stripped of their right to become adults in this society. That is the point in all of this, those were children and the fact that any system that's supposed to govern law that serves as the protection of their citizens against such threats, allows their killers to walk away, taken care of.

The same goes for Michael Brown. A teenager, trying to go to college to make something better of himself, only to be gunned down and left in the middle of the street as if he's some kind of animal that was put down. The fact that there are glaring holes in this case that even the simplest of minds can see is not only egregious, but it's flat out declaration of war against people of color in this country. Not once was Darren Wilson ever treated like a suspect but rather a hero, a savior if you will. He hid all the way until the day of the announcement where he was allowed to freely walk into his Police Department, resign and get a nice compensation package I'm sure. Then the announcement came, that was just bullshit from the waiting period all the way til the end of it. Oh let's not forget that ABC has paid Darren Wilson $500,000, half a million dollars, just to have the exclusive first interview.

So not only are our children targets of racial discrimination, they are also bounties, paid out from the highest bidder.


That was the hardest thing I've probably ever had to write. Just thinking about how our children, the future of our race, are being gunned down with no consequence and no remorse. Reading how they were so young and how people benefit from their deaths, and not the families for simple things like funerals and other things that they actually need. It's sad, sickening and downright a disgrace. But as I was reading the reactions on twitter and the outcry, the picture above came across my timeline. And another point clicked into my head, if they aren't killing our children and keeping them from growing up, they're killing the mothers and fathers of the family so that they can't lead the children to better days and better ways of living.

The whole thing in this country is that while it may be the land of the free, it's not. The opportunities for growth are not prevalent unless you play a dog and pony show. That's where Eric Garner & Rakia Boyd come into play. Rakia never had a chance to become a mother, her life was taken at the mere age of 22 by a police officer, off duty at the time, discharging his weapon in a fashion in which he wasn't taught. She was shot in the back of the head and subsequently passed away within 24hrs. She had no involvement in the altercation that took place; she was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. She will never be able to enjoy the pleasures of being a mother, and her parents will never enjoy the feeling of being grandparents.

The case of Eric Garner is a tough one for me. To actually sit and see the video of him dying isn't something I could watch more than once, and the fact that there is actual video proof of an officer using excessive force along with a chokehold that is banned by the police department. It's just disturbing that there is evidence of a clear manslaughter and the "grand jury" decided to no indict the officer. He was a father and husband who was clearly trying to make money anyway he can to support his family. I would've understood if he was out there punching cops in the face and body slamming them on the ground, he did none of that, he simply had his hands raised in the sky and the police officer came up behind him and proceeded to choke him out. My view of resisting arrest is when someone is physically endangering a police officer’s life, none of which happened.

I saw the following tweet that hit the nail on the head:


What really disturbs me about all of this is the fact that there are African Americans making excuses as to why this shouldn't happen from our end. I've heard "well maybe we should get our kids off welfare and they'll act better", "maybe if you're not out here trying to sell dope and gangbang then maybe you won't be profiled", oh and my favorite one; "if you just behaved yourself, then you won't be a target". Never mind the fact that these African Americans aren't seeing the bigger picture here, it's the manner at which they convey it and think nothing is wrong with the way they are thinking.

There is no secret that the system is designed for us to lose, there's documented proof of this throughout history. Right along with the systematic destruction of the Native American culture through the theft, imprisonment and cultivation of their natural resources in this country, those are the facts. It's just a side situation when the whole world is watching and you have terrorist organizations saying they support us, even though we all know it's because they want to cause divide within our country and create panic and unrest. But the point being is that everyone sees that it's wrong, everyone knows that it's wrong, and everyone wants change, well most of us anyways, and the government has yet to do anything about it. Looking at the names, looking at those children's faces and seeing the hurt in the eyes of my community is just a sad situation, especially in this day and age. Things are going to get worse before they get even close to being better. It's going to take a lot, and people are finally ready to give it so they can see change.

 

But there are things that I do hope never come true, the meme above describes my sentiments exactly. Right now I'm just a man who's in his thoughts about whether or not I want to create and raise a family in this day and age, because as the way it looks now, even I am not safe from death and racial persecution in this country, and I don't want to raise a family in this. For now we have to keep pushing our efforts to let it be known that we matter too in this country, that we are tired of being prosecuted, judged and executed in the streets by the same people swore to protect us. Like I said in my previous blog, the time is now for action and people all over the country are stepping up to support the cause for change, but there is a lot more work to do. If you're African American, just remember that you matter too, and don't ever let anyone else tell you otherwise.

How do you feel about the unfolding events within the past year, what do you think needs to change within society so it can better function as one. Leave a comment below.

As always guys, until next time.