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11 Best Holiday Gifts for Him

27 Nov

Christmas giftSome of you crazies are going shopping on Black Friday. I can’t deal with the madness. I will be posted in my comfortable bed writing an article on Hilary vs. Bernie and the Black vote (coming soon…look out for it). But, y’all have fun, and pick out something nice for me.

If you’re joining the holiday shopping rush to find bae a gift, I’m here to help you out. I’m a pro at shopping for my boyfriend. Everything I buy him, he loves. He wears last year’s Christmas gift (a nice pair of shoes) to every event he attends. All his other, mediocre shoes haven’t left the closet in nearly a year.

Before that, I’ve bought him concert tickets to see Kendrick and Kanye, nice sweaters, jackets, leather journals, and more. In high school, I got him a teddy bear with a jersey that matched his football jersey, which I sewed by hand. Basically, I’m the best. I haven’t picked out this year’s gift, but I’ll probably pull from these options.

So if you’re stuck, try out some of these gift ideas:

For the Instagram/Tumblr models

  • A nice outfit

Sweaters, shoes and ties always win. These options are especially great if your boo needs a wardrobe upgrade.

For the goal-oriented guys

  • A domain name for his website
  • GRE/MCAT/LSAT/GMAT study materials
  • Business cards
  • Workout equipment
  • Gym membership

I wish somebody would front me the $800 for my sign language interpreter certification exam. I would be eternally grateful for it. Gifts in this category show that you support your partner’s big dreams. Pair all of these gifts with a nice sweater or something tangible he can unwrap.

For the beer connoisseurs

  • Beer glasses
  • Tickets to a beer festival

Make sure you buy the right kind of beer glasses for the particular beer he likes to drink. Or, if he likes several types, get a whole set. I saw a few sets on Amazon that were reasonably priced.

For music lovers

  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Concert tickets

I really don’t think you can go wrong with either of these options. Who doesn’t like music?

The last resort
I know they say gift cards are tacky, but I’m 100% in favor of them. I like to buy gifts I know someone will enjoy. And if I’m not sure what they want, I buy them something small and pair it with a gift card. Then they can pick out whatever they want.

 By the way, I focused on “gifts for him” because many people complain that it’s hard to shop for guys. However, these gifts work for all genders.

 FYI, if you’re looking for a way to support Black-owned businesses during the holiday season, check out this list of places to shop. Or try these Black creators on Etsy.



Why You Should Hop on the Janelle Monáe + Wondaland Bandwagon

25 Aug

WondalandJanelle Monáe = Natural hair goddess + activist + amazing singer + spunky dancer + leader of Wondaland Records.

She and her Wondaland crew, artists she hand-picked to join her label, have been touring the country showcasing their new music.

And they are FIRE! 🔥 🔥 🔥

I got a chance to see them last week when they stopped in Los Angeles. Unlike other concerts and music festivals I’ve been to, where the artists play there music in the background while they lazily half-sing along to the lyrics, Janelle actually gets into the performance. She sings live, dances along, and has a lot of fun on the stage.

Everyone in Wondaland, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, St. Beauty, and Deep Cotton, also has an electrifying stage presence. Between the vocal skills of St. Beauty and Roman GianArthur to the fun lyrics of all of Jidenna’s songs, to the energy Deep Cotton had on the stage, the show was EPIC.

These up-and-coming artists are extremely impressive.

You may have caught this beautiful man in Janelle’s “Yoga” video, or, checked out his song “Classic Man” and the remix with Kendrick Lamar. Not only does he have the face of an angel (a very sexy angel) and the style of the gods, he’s pretty fun to watch on stage. He cracks jokes and his songs are all catchy.

Roman GianArthur
When I first heard Roman on Jidenna’s “Classic Man,” I thought he was another rapper—but actually, this man has a smooth voice. With guitar in hand, his songs will give you the feels.

St. Beauty
Everything about St. Beauty is, well, beautiful. They have soft, angelic voices and striking looks p. They’re hair would be included on anyone #NaturalHairGoals Pintrest board. Basically, Black Girl Magic oozes from their pores.

Deep Cotton
I couldn’t quite make out what Deep Cotton was singing above their loud rock music, but they were quite entertaining to watch. They are the epitome of the “carefree black man,” and they enter a genre that isn’t quite as welcoming of black men.

Not only are all of these artists talented, but also, they contribute to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. In every city the crew performs, they also march and protest with local organizers and activists. They’ve also put a new song called “Hell You Talm Bout,” which highlights recent cases in police brutality.

Wondaland = Talent + Consciousness

After seeing the show, I’m about to go buy their EP, the Eephus.

By the way, they have a few more shows coming up. Visit their website to see if you can get tickets.

How to Manage Your Emotions After Hearing About Yet Another Case of Police Brutality

5 Aug

Every day it seems another black person is killed by the police. We all know the statistics. We’ve all seen the video footage. We’ve all felt an increasing outrage at the fact that black people live in danger from a system that neither protects nor serves.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven to work pissed off about another case of police brutality. And the only thing I can do about my anger in that very moment is crank up Kendrick Lamar as I roll into the parking lot not giving a single fuck about who hears the blaring music. Then I stroll into the office and pray to God no one asks me how I feel about the incident before I’ve calmed down with my morning tea.

But like protestors quoting one of Kedrick’s latests: “We gon be alright.”

To help manage your anger, fatigue and other feelings about current race relations in the U.S., these two creative examples of black excellence have a few solutions (that also happen to be funny):

Calling in Black

Racial Discussion Fatigue Syndrome

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