#blackpanther review

When it comes to comic-book films, Marvel are on the their job as they constantly make great films and when Black Panther was announced, it was a film that was going to be highly anticipated and talk about in particularly for the black community. If you watched Captain America: Civil War, you see Black Panther being featured for the first time. The eighteen movie from Marvel Cinematic Universe follows that film in where T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to an African nation called Wakanda as king following the death of his father. However there are challenges in his new role as past and present events could disturb to the kingdom and the world.

After an introduction of how Wakanda comes to place, we go to the year 1992 in where we glimpsed T’Challa’s father before the present day in where T’Challa goes in a rescue mission. This mission resembles of a mission you may see in Nigeria as he was rescuing girls in where they have been kidnapped by an Islamic group called Boko Haram. The film is slow to pick up but as it continues, it gets steady and you understand the more of the plot in where the gang, T’Challa, Okoye (Danai Gurira, and T’Challa’s ex Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) head to South Korea to attempt to stop arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) after he stole a Vibranium piece in where he could use it to disturb Wakanda.

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#blackpanther #blackexcellence

The storyline however for this feature film is something that’s ordinary but the way the storytelling is formed, it becomes compelling as the film goes on. It has sub plots for the characters in the film in where it’s absorbing and has its significance. For instance you see T’Challa speaking to his late father but from the background it has a resemble moment from the classic The Lion King and the scene looks amazing. What makes it more impressive is this film is directed by Ryan Coogler in where its only his third movie after Fruitvale station and Creed  in where his films has been ambitious and enthralling and it has come to great effect. This film is another example. The soundtrack for this film is stunning as well in the cinematography. Performance wise everyone do their job well particularly the supporting acts. Boseman is efficient as Black Panther, Guira is tough as nails in leading a female guard, man of the moment Daniel Kaluyya who plays W’Kabi was cool and Michael B Jordon who plays kills Eric ‘Killmonger’ Stevens who is seeking vengeance has that confident, swagger, gangster feel in where it works well. Also Winston Duke is ace as M’Baku but a person that may have stolen the show is Letitia Wright who plays T’Challa’s sister Shuri. She brings that aura in where her character is so likable. It beings out energy and she is the equivalent of Q in the 007 films then she shows her brains but also a cheeky comic side.

However they are hiccups in the film. Although the storyline managed to be compelling as it does look ordinary, the finale of the film is a disappointment. The action scenes could have been tweaked a bit more to make the film overall more spectacular. Frankly this film was overhyped which I couldn’t understand why as this film was certainly not a spectacular film. Don’t get me wrong this film is class but I’ve seen from social media that it’s the best superhero film of all time. Have you forgotten The Dark Knight? There are superhero films better than this.

But there’s one thing this film should take massive applaud and it’s the representation of black people in this film. Whenever you watch films, mostly you see black people in a negative aspect. They are criminals, drug dealers or being slaves. For this film you don’t see anything of that, you see black people flourishing their blackness in a positive aspect. Although the film deals with conflicts and how it’s like to be a black person in Wakanda etc, it all comes back in knowing your values and traditions. Black people are allowed to portray their African heritage in where I believe Nigerian culture was featured and to see it in the screen makes you feel proud when watching it. Black Panther, an enthralling film has reached new rights.  It has brought positive cultural representation for black people in where could open doors for other opportunities to include black people and display their blackness in a positive aspect. Legacy for this film may be pending in years to come.

Social Media Can Be The Death Of Us

It’s remarkable how social media has risen so rapidly. Normally you would have to wait 24 hours or so to find it some information on the TV, newspapers etc. but now it’s accessible in social media feeds so you can get the information beforehand. It’s a platform in how we communicate differently from sending a tweet/direct message on Twitter to posting up videos and pictures on Instagram. Social media has become a big source as it’s a platform in where you talk about topics that’s important in where you can raise awareness but also interact with other people who may have the same interests as yours. It also gives you the opportunity to promote your career, your brand as well in job opportunities. It’s a powerful tool.

However social media is becoming too deep. 5-10 years ago you wouldn’t have to worry about it but now you feel you have to get involved to compete. You feel you would have to say something crazy just to get likes and RTs and as a result new followers.  There’s pressure to be part of social media and be a regular user otherwise you feel out of place. It’s become so influential as it’s accessible to many people. And with celebrities like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Beyoncé to establish corporate and sports companies like Manchester Utd, Nike and RBS who have many followers who are also using social media, can use Facebook which has 2 billion monthly users around the globe not only to promote their work but possibly influence a lot of people. As well in that you see people with thousands of followers who think they are a ‘social media influencer’ and it’s mad and naïve for people to do something based on what a person says. You may see someone saying if a man has no licence, he has no ambition and for some women will see this and think that’s true and a man seeing this may feel I have to get a licence so a women will consider me. It’s mad what social media can do.

I feel social media can do more harm than good as people are getting way too involved on this. It was just a platform for people to voice their opinions but now it’s mainly negative thoughts as well in also talking about their personal life in where you think it shouldn’t be broadcast for people to see. It has created trolls in where people say malicious comments to upset a lot of people. Journalists who work for the Daily Mail, Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins are examples. They say outlandish stuff but it has worked in their favour as they received more attention.

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#socialmedia #facebook #twitter #instagram #tumblr #snapchat #pinterest #youtube

It has made people feel disengaged as we seek social media for validation. Instagram is an example in where you post a picture in you hope to get 50 likes but you only get 5 likes. Whereas you see a different picture on your friend’s profile and they get 200 likes and you feel annoyed about it. You start preeing their profile and comparing it to their yours and you feel resentful towards that person as you can see why their pictures has huge likes as their lifestyle is better compared to yours. This will result in low self-esteem and in order to have that lifestyle and to be recognised you feel you need to something on social media. However, it can a decision that’s rash and this what social media can imposed on people. People have taken social media seriously and it’s sad.

You may say stuff that was uncalled for and even though you have deleted that comment, the damage is done. Jack Mayward was forced to apologise as the tweets, which prompted allegations of racism and homophobia, were published in the Sun newspaper while Maynard, 23, was in Australia. This promoted him to leave I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. People feel they can entitled to say what they want in social media but if you say unsavoury comments, it could cost your job or even your relationships.

However it’s all not bad as I’ve mentioned previously as you can promote your work, your interests and even reunited with people who you lost touch with. Social media has proven its power in motivating people to action as well as a strong resource to influence social, political and economic policies. It’s key to be mindful on how social media and that it doesn’t control our lives. For me personally I don’t want to use every social media  platform that’s available as I know it will become an addiction and used it as a sole leisure activity rather than going out and socialise with friends. Social media has it’s positive traits but has more downfalls that people realised in where people can experience bullying so it’s important to key an eye on how you view social media is it can be the death of us if we let control us. There’s more to life than social media.

The Power Of Music

You know I am happy that an element like music has been created. Music can you feel happy, joyous but also help get you through the dark paths. It’s an expression that makes you feel at ease, reduce stress and feel like you are celebrating.

I remember when I was at high school, I was constantly being bullied and was having a tough time.  I needed something to escape from the anguish and I started writing songs to express how I was feeling when I was at school. Looking back it was songs of sadness but at least it got my mind of things. Being an adult person and still is having the love of music as when I listening to it, shows that without music, I wouldn’t be me. I become a different person and as a result I sometimes get eccentric. People may think that I am weird but that’s what #thepowerofmusic can do. Sometimes I think maybe I should have pursue it more when I was a teenager but at the time I was told by my parent that education is important.

As I mentioned, music is joyous but can be also very influential in where people will not only get inspired too but also influenced in their daily lives.  When I was at uni when I had night out, a song called The Motto by Drake and Lil Wayne was playing.  The lyrics from the song states that “You only live once, that’s the motto n***a, YOLO”. Who would have thought that after the song was played in radio stations, TVs etc. that this song would have made such a big impact! I recall when I entered retail stores, I saw T-Shirts with the name YOLO. I even see friends of mine quoting YOLO in their Facebook bio. YOLO has tone down but looking back I was thinking it shouldn’t really influence a younger generation but it has and I was one of them. And from my previous post Called Trending Perfection Celebrities I stated regarding celebrities “We idolised them and we are very impressed of their achievements and we regard them as role models. We follow their style, their body image and believe in what they say. Celebrities these days can be very influential.”

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#thepowerofmusic

Music can be therapy to some people as it can make you have energy out of nowhere but music can bring out the best of people but also the worst. I am big music lover so I listen to most types of music. I definitely like listening to hip hop music bust sometimes I do query why I listen to this type of music because the lyrics can be distasteful. Rappers mostly rap about sex, drugs, money and violence and its’ glorified like it’s the norm. Yes they feel they have to rap about this based on their struggles they had but young people see the fame and the benefits the rappers have entailed and they are inspired to that. They feel I can be successful like the rappers if I be like them.  Don’t get me wrong, you can get influence by any genre you listen to but for me, hip hop is a genre that is becoming a huge influence. From a Christian respective, it’s important to listen to gospel music more than secular music so we can have positive mind-set and get right with God. There’s nothing wrong in listening to secular music as they are not all bad but music is so influential you could get easily corrupt. That’s why I aim not to listen to music that could lead me think in a way that’s uncommon.

Music can be a gift from God. It can inspire people to better themselves but can get heavy influence from lyrics musicians have used frequently to sell records. Music make you get have a deep connection with the musician’s lyrics that you may act use it solely for your lifestyle and it may bring repercussions. For me, music is like an addiction as you can’t enough of it and you need it to make you feel it ease. Music is escapism. Music is a powerful tool and that’s guys is  the power of music.

#wheninrome review

There have been some films you have always wanted to watch but either you didn’t have the time to watch it or you have forgotten. When In Rome is one of those moves I wanted to watch. From what I’ve seen it looks interesting and when it appeared on BBC Two on the 2nd of January, this was my opportunity to watch. It also gives me the chance to see Kristen Bell as I had a crush on her when I see her on TV programmes such as Veronica Mars and Heroes and films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Couples Retreat.

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#wheninrome# #rome #kristenbelll

This romantic-comedy film that was released in January 2010 starts Kristen Bell as Beth who is married to her job heads to Rome for her sister’s wedding in where she’s engaged to an Italian guy.  At the wedding she meets Nick (Josh Duhamel) and they hit it off. She started to believe that finding love is real but when she goes to find him, her hopes are dashed as she sees him kissing another woman and understandably she gets upset. She mutters to herself in where she steals 4 coins from a special fountain. However what she didn’t know that from the fountain, picking a coin will making people fall in love with you in where she’s pursued by 4 guys Lance (Jon Heder), Gale (Dax Shepard) who is Kristen’s Bell partner at the time before they got married), Antonio (Will Arnett) and Al (Danny DeVito).

From the first 20-25 minutes the film looked alright and maybe it had potential to be a decent film but the film fell down dramatically. The turning point was the 4 guys in where they under as spell thanks to the coins from the fountain in where they are in love with Beth and they start chasing her one by one.  The purist of Beth from the guys was made to look this was a funny chase but not only it was unfunny, it was uncomfortable and unsettling to watch. You would feel sorry for Beth. If you do laugh, it would be laugher of resentment.

The tarnished script doesn’t help the film as it’s so filthy. We have Beth’s boss, Celeste (Anjelica Houston) aiming to be a wannabe Meryl Streep in The Devils Wears Prada but it fails miserably. And the two leads Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel who are not awful in this film who have little chemistry but as its chemistry that makes them fall in love each other and I am thinking how is that possible as the film doesn’t give it justice. Scene after scene made the film look disastrous. The only positive thing you could say about the film is how beautiful Rome looks.

JOSH DUHAMEL (left)  KRISTEN BELL (left)
#kristenbell #joshduhamel

I have watched films that are not good but this film is in a category of really bad films. Romantic-comedy films are not normally good films but I was intrigued in the film. It became a film I wouldn’t want to see again. It’s a distasteful, forgettable, shocking film and one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.

 

Momentous 2016. Tremendous 2017

Astounding. Unbelievable. Ridiculous. Shocking. That would be some people will be describing 2016. For me I would call the year 2016 momentous as 2016 has been really some year as extraordinary things has happened around the world.

On June 23, the UK had to decide whether we should leave the EU or not. The main issue of this EU referendum  was immigration if we left the EU and economy if we stay in the UK. And when the UK decided that we should leave the EU, there was a shock because it was unexpected as no one was anticipated that the UK people will vote to leave.  But what I do know is this before and after the EU referendum vote it has caused some much division and tension. From what I have seen from social media, friendships have been ended because of this which is sad, people are ashamed to be British but also with that bigotry.  There were protests in London outline the outage of the result in where “some people are calling for a second referendum at such a time in the future”. But what shocked me there’s has been an increase of hate crime since the vote in where Racist or religious abuse incidents recorded by police in England and Wales jumped 41%.

But 6 months after the vote, Brexit is still discussion and with the high court rejecting the decision for the government to trigger Article 50, some people doubt whether Brexit is actually going to happen. However an appeal has been made  to the Supreme Court with a judgement expected in January.

Days after the EU referendum, there was a football tournament Euro 2016 in where England was playing Iceland with a population of over 330,000. England was expecting to beat them but they lost 2-1. England was out of Europe twice in one week. People were ashamed to be British because of the result of EU vote, well it should be aimed at the England players as they delivered a total abject performance.  A low moment and an embarrassment for the country.

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#england #iceland #euro2016 #celebrations #despair #englandoutofeuropetwice

The tournament itself was mediocre in where Portugal won it which I can’t believe it still thinking of it as they are an average team (sorry Portuguese people who are reading this) but they did what they have to do.

But what was remarkable was the US elections in November in 2 unpopular people Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump had to chance to be in the White House. Despite being unpopular, forecasts predicted that Clinton will beat Trump to the White House but like the EU referendum they were wrong as Trump wins the vote. Like many people I was astound as Trump is a racist, misogynist, vile person and it’s clear in the public eye yet people still voted him to be the next POTUS. It’s a sequel to Brexit but the American version as like in the UK, voters from a different class or generation felt they are being left behind so they want to seek an alternative opinion and Trump was the answer in terms of what he saying.

My tweet below shows what I think of this.

We had the celebrity massacre as there were so many celebrity deaths like Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Muhammed Ali, Terry Wogan, Ronnie Corrbet to George Michael who died on Christmas Day and Carrie Fisher who her mother Debbie Andrews died a day later.  And then there were attacks in France, Turkey, Germany and the civil war in Syria which has lasted for over 5 years although ceasefire across Syria appeared to be holding.

2016 has been a dark year but it has been a development year for me as for my Christian faith I’ve been out and about in where I have been in conversations with people I haven’t meet before in where I have given them leaflets to come to my church group on a Sunday in where we have discussions on relationships and God of course. I think without the group I don’t think I would have the confidence to speak to people about Jesus. I am not at the stage in where I’ll be at shopping centres in where I speak aloud about Jesus and not sure if I will do it but what I am doing is a start. I’ve done a free 2 days coaching course in where I was learn and use coaching techniques on someone to help them achieve their goal.  Even though I didn’t pursue the coaching course further, this course did made an impact in my life as it helped me get my first ever girlfriend so thanks coaching course lol.  Unfortunately that didn’t last for long as I got dumped by phone which wasn’t cool. It crushed me and I was down heartened but despite this I have learned things from the relationship in where I am going to put right in the next relationship.

Although I have developed, I haven’t achieved things I wanted for example have my own flat or a new job as I’ve worked pretty hard in my current role which will help get that stepping stone but that hasn’t happened. Not only it has been frustrating but also demoralising as I seen my friends having stable careers and in stable relationships. I don’t think I am the only person to do this but we compared our lives to our friends and see what they have achieved and we try to cope their lifestyle like it’s a competition. I think that’s dangerous as it could lead to being impatient, insecurity and as a result make rash decisions.

I saw this post on twitter and I think it reflects on how we should be viewing our situation.

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#life #dontcompare #bepatient

2017 has arrived and people will be making their New Year’s resolutions and say this New Year is the year for me but they say it year after year after year. But in order to make this year tremendous, you must continue to press your goals as no one is going to stop you from achieving your goals expect YOU. It’s important to stay motivated and not get influence from your peers including your family.  Although 2017 has begun you shouldn’t wait for the year to start your plans. You may feel you had a rubbish 2016, but if you did start making moves big or small last year it can work in your favour in 2017 and the end of the year you will be thinking good I’ve done something in 2016. Whatever happens, make this year a #tremendous2017 in where this year will be the best yet in where your goals and ambitions will be a reality.

Suicide Squad Review

This year has been a year of comic book superhero films. Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice, Deadpool, Captain America Civil War, X Men Apocalypse and Doctor Strange which is out later this year. This month was the release of Suicide Squad and I watched it the first day of release.  From the title, this film is not a happy go lucky film.

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#suicidesquad #supervillians #dccomics

The plot involves a bunch of supervillains assembled by Amanda Walker (Viola Davis) to help tackle high level mission threats that could disband the United States government and the world in exchange for lessen sentences. Directed by David Ayer who has made underrated films End Of Watch and Fury starts off the film with sub stories of each of the villains. Deadshot (Will Smith) the world most wanted assassin, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) an ex psychiatrist turned to a crazy supervillain thanks to the help of the joker (Jardo Leto) who she fell in love with in where it’s a dysfunctional abusive relationship, Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) who can detonate deadly boomerangs, fire ability mental human ex gangster El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and Killer Croc (Adewable Akinnoye-Agbaje) who’s suffered a skin condition and has crocodile features. From that you feel this film is showing for greatness but the plot becomes sluggish.

You may be given the impression that the supervillains are going to enable missions from around the world but instead it’s close to home as the squad who is led by Colonel Flag (Joel Kinnaman) has a girlfriend Dr June Moone (Cara Delevingine) is possessed by evil demon called Enchantress who aims to get rid of the human race. The team then head to Midway City to fight some CGI minions. With this film, you maybe think that Ayer wants to develop a film in where the supervillains will eventually become superheroes. But the problem is there are not superheroes. It’s a darkly film and as Hayley Quinn points out “We’re bad guys. That’s what we do.” There’s no character in where we can root for. This could be the fact that there is a lack of character development.  If there was more depth to the back stories of the characters this would make a difference in how the film will planned out. Instead, watching Suicide Squad remind me of watching Sucker Punch which was directed by Zack Snyder (director of Batman V Superman) in where I felt I was watching a video game rather than a film and this was reciprocated in Suicide Squad.  It’s just a bunch of supervillains killing bad guys and that’s it.  This makes the plot bland and the film predictable.

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#harleyquinn #badass #crazy #crazygirl #goodgirlgonebad #suicidesquad

However it’s not all bad. The film is pretty fun with enjoyable action scenes. The actors who played the characters do a good job. Will Smith and Viola Davis do a respectful job in their roles. Although Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker which was not only magnificent but also sinister and unsettling which is something you won’t see  a performance like that  ever be achieved, Jardo Leto portrayal of the Joker is something that has a swagger gangster feel which at times can be scary as he has a psychotic side. Does it work in this film? Yes but in some parts but not all and it could be the fact that he’s trying to element Heath ledger’s Joker performance and the character is in love as watching previously Batman films, we don’t usually see a character like this before. It’s different but also unusual. However this is not a batman film.  But there’s one person who delivers a top notch performance in this film, it’s Margot Robbie. Her character Hayley Quinn is something that makes you have an attachment towards her. Her energy, her presence, her craziness is something that makes her more appealing. This could that she’s wearing very short hot pants in where it shows infatuation and sexual desire and fantasy for men. I don’t think it’s necessary for her character to be sexualised in that manner but unfortunately we live in the world in where women are deemed as sexual objects. But don’t take anything away from her performance.

You would have hope that this DC Comic film would put the DC back to glory and although it’s better than the lacklustre dull Batman V Superman, it has a long way to be in line with the Marvel film releases this year. It could have been so much more.

 

B.A.S. (Blacks And Seeking)

People strive to better themselves and improve their inner self while people strive so they can fit in the crowd, be accepted and not be an outcast. Unfortunately some go to extreme measures to be included.

On April 25th 2016, Lil Kim was trending on social media. If you don’t know how Lil’ Kim is she’s a black Hip Hop Artist who had a relationship with the late Notorious B.I.G.  I checked to see why she was trending and I noticed that from her photos that she has bleached her skin in order to have a complexion of a Caucasian white woman. When I looked at the pictures I was in shocked but also in disappointment.  She looked fine how she was and she didn’t need to do this.  However if you look at this tweet below you will see that black men is apparently the cause of Lil’ Kim bleaching her skin.

Also I have seen there’s quotes from Lil’ Kim regarding her low self-esteem and how black men felt about her.

Whether her quotes are true or not, unfortunately black men do talk down to black women.  Black women are stereotype as an “Angry Black Woman” and they have an attitude. I disagree with that stereotype as all races can be angry and have an attitude and not just black women but unfortunately they are known as that and black men speak it about continuously . They also say that they are not attractive enough and so on. An issue I think that’s a big problem is the light skin/dark skin thing. I know some guys and women would rather to go out with a light skin person who’s in a mixed decent rather than dark/brown skin person. Yes it’s ok to have a preference but to discriminate our own kind is wrong.  We all have black features whether we are light skin, dark skin or brown skin. With this into consideration, this has caused division for us black people as we don’t appreciate each other.

I was on a dating website and look at a black woman profile and she mentioned she will  only consider Caucasian guys. Out of curiosity, I messaged her to find out more. I enquired on how come she’s not into black guys and she said she just not interested.  There has to been a reason so I asked more and she said some black guys have hurt in the past which is why she wants to date white guys. I said she shouldn’t generalise black guys as we are not all like that. She replies “I know they aren’t all the same but for the sake of my sanity I’m not going there again.” I was dumbfounded when she said that and now I am thinking about it as I write this I still am.  It’s not the first time I have seen a profile like this and won’t be the last but it breaks my heart when I hear these stories where a black woman’s confidence is dented by a black man.

On the other hand, I had a discussion with my close friend about black women last year and him and I feel that black women don’t want to date black guys. Maybe because we hear that some black women say that a white guy can treat them better than a black guy. I rebuke that statement.  There is no scientific evidence to proclaim that a white guy can treat a black woman better than black guys. Black men can treat black women like a queen. It’s the same for Asian guys, Mediterranean guys and Latino guys. Every race can treat someone well. So if a black woman think dating a white guy will automatically mean that he will treat me better than a black guy will you are wrong as regardless of their race us men are unfortunately pricks.

When us black folks seen white folks being portrayed in the media or in the society, you can see they are successful in their careers but also see that white privilege is on point. This has made impressions that if we act in a certain way, talk in a certain way or be with a white woman/man, it will give us the opportunities to excel in life and better treatment in society.

As I mention that Lil Kim has bleached her skin, a number of black female celebrities have done the same thing. Mica Paris stated in her Daily Mail article in where she highlighted Beyoncé in where she has lighten her skin to be in a reflection of  a Caucasian woman it imprint upon every impressionable young woman of colour the message that she is not good enough as she is, it also suggests that, despite her meteroic success, Queen Bee thinks she must alter the very fabric of her being to make herself more palatable to the masses.  And with the rise of skin bleaching products, it’s been heavily used in African, Caribbean and Asian countries in where a staggering 70% of Nigerian women admit to admit to using skin lightening products.

But Hydroquinone which is common in skin bleaching products can cause side effects in where it can cause skin cancer. This is now banned in Ghana, as well in Australia, US and Japan but it worries me that some black people are willing to this as apparently in Africa, men and especially women with lighter skin are favored over those with darker skin, leading to better opportunities and treatment in society. However, this is a dangerous game if they think this is the case.

An abstract called Race, Class and ‘The Harmony of Dispositions talks about the identity of black middle class and their comparison to white middle class. Despite being middle class, from a study black people felt they have little control and power. This may because white people who are in the same class don’t feel they should be in the same category and as a result limit their opportunity.

This has led to mention this quote. “They engage skills from their ‘cultural toolkit’ (Moore, 2008: 498) such as code-switching and changing accent (Cassandra, Training Company Director) or speaking the ‘language of whiteness’ (Jean, College Lecturer) to fit into and navigate white space. This is risky work because while they possess ‘appropriate’ capitals (education, qualifications, accent, dress) and seek to deploy them to their advantage, recognition and acceptance (by whites) that their capital carries legitimacy is not guaranteed.”

In this world, White is deemed right and Black is deemed wrong and for some black people, they may have been told that to be accepted into this white world, we would have to lose our blackness and engaged in their whiteness. But is it worth it?

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#Beyoncé #blackpanthers #blacklivesmatter #blackpower

Beyoncé was a headline act during a half time show at the Super Blow 50 this February in where she performed a song called Formation. It had a political message as she made a tribute to Black Panthers.  People praised her message while some was critical. Tomi Lahren is a TV host in where she expressed her views from a news platform called The Blaze. She made a commentary regarding Beyoncé’s performance and it received an uproar. Why? Because her views were deemed as a racist but I have a YouTube clip for you to see for yourself.

 

I don’t know if she thought of this but with lightening her skin to be in a skin of a Caucasian woman, Beyoncé may think no racist remarks from her white peeps.  Well she was wrong as despite of this they view her as a black woman and a black person are known as being lazy, aggressive, uneducated and violent. Again I rebuke that stereotype as all races can have these traits and not just black people.  But perceptions and stereotypes is something that will not go away and unfortunately the labels black people have will not disappear. It has been around for centuries as black people were forced into slavery and face discrimination and racial abuse because of the colour of our skin and still it affects us today. So really what we do in lightening our skin or changing our appearance or speak in an accent for validation, it won’t make a difference as to them we are not valuable and they don’t care even if we do change our lifestyle.  In terms of education, I am not saying that you should not get an education. You should as it will open opportunities, but what I am saying is we shouldn’t change our personality, culture for anyone as if we do our effects may not be recognised.  Also I know some white people who maybe reading this and think that I am demonising. Well I am not. I am talking about the struggles black people experience.

To conclude, black people shouldn’t be seeking approval from white people as what we do won’t make a difference. But instead of trying to impress, we should EMBRACE our culture, EMBRACE our blackness and EMBRACE our heritage. Be proud of the country you have come from whether you are from African country or from a Caribbean country.  Don’t seek things to get acceptance by others as they will take advantage. We should not be consumers and not be used as a propaganda in terms of entertainment and instead take control of our being, our kind, our race. Unfortunately, being a black person is tough as we faced prejudice and discrimination and as result we lose our identity but being a black person is great. We are smart, intellectual and attributes that any person of race would like to have and embrace.  Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali are examples of great black people who wanted to make a difference.  We have a wonderful culture as now the western world are embrace our culture although it’s now formed of cultural appropriation and at times some countries use it in a way from their own benefits. But the fact that our culture is being used shows something good is happening.  Most importantly we should support for one another as frankly we are not. We are divided as the media divided us based on the news regarding blacks within the society. We shouldn’t let this happen and destroy our race. We shouldn’t talk down our race, not self-hate and instead show encourage, wisdom and use our strengths to show that being a black person is a great so we can be a role model.  We should be proud of who we are and where we come from because Black Is Beautiful. I am proud to be a black person and so should you.

#charliegrowthpain #blacksandseeking

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Be A Winner

Hey guys. Thought I should share some piece in where I hope you can be motivated, never give up in your current situations and most importantly Be A Winner. So what made me inspired to write this? Well a month ago, I had an important week as I had 2 interviews and felt it could change my life for the better so had to prepare for it but things didn’t go my way. My laptop malfunctioned and the information I prepared for my interviews was on it and didn’t have a copy. I was freaking out but reassurance myself, be determined and to be successful in the job interview. I did my best but unfortunately I wasn’t successful in the job interviews. Although disappointed, I call myself a winner. Why? Because I have achieved the goals I wanted to achieve. I went to university and graduated with a degree, organised a fundraising event in where I raised over £100 and despite not being successful in my job interviews, I have a job in where I was successful. I kept thinking of goals that have achieved in my life so I won’t get dishearten and you should do the same. Yes there’s goals we would like to accomplished but we should have be happy of what you have achieved so far and with determination, hard work and presence, the goals that we really want to achieve will become a reality.

Unfortunately, when there are sets backs things instead of battling a way through, some people like to give up too easily. An example is when a person aims to be singer but keeps getting rejected in getting a record deal and as a result they give up. Yes some people may not get their dream job but you must deal with the disappointment and keep moving forward. Rejection is part of life.

430835_314662398635361_1680669633_n[1]
#life #obstacles
Last year, I got a job working in retail. A few days into the job, it became overwhelming as I was constantly filled with information of what my job entails. The working environment was tough and I was already severely under pressure and it wasn’t even a week. I was struggling but was determined to pull through. There were two people who were in the same interview as me in where they’ve got the job, started their jobs a week earlier than I did. However, a week later into my job, they quit after 2 weeks. I was in shocked that they have quit that soon. I wasn’t able to ask why the person resigned as I didn’t see him but was able to ask the other person and she said the culture of the organisation was too serious, the management team was discouraging and as I mention before I was severely under pressure, so was she. It was too much for them which made them leave.

It’s a shame it happened but to be blunt, not everyday things will go according to plan. They will be stressful days and at times you want to walk way but you have to find a way to overcome difficult situations. I didn’t quit my job. I kept fighting on and overcome obstacles. If your workplace has working conditions that are too severe and you have to leave then leave. However it’s important to have a positive mentality rather than a negative mentality in difficult times. You should never give up on something you work hard for.

This can also be said for relationships. In a relationship, you will have great times with your partner but also experience bad times. However we live in a world, in where some people will stick for you for the good times but are non-existent for the bad times and as a result some people take the easy option in ending the relationship. In my opinion, some people have high expectations when it comes to relationships and it’s because of what you see from films and TV programmes in where relationships are deemed as perfect. Also the rise of social media makes some relationships dysfunctional as instead of communication face to face, thoughts and feelings are now expressed through messages etc. Every relationship is not perfect as each person has their faults and failures and if you ending a relationship for a lousy excuse, then you are a fool who didn’t value the relationship.

In order to have a successful relationship, you must support your partner in the good times and especially the bad times. If you continue to avoid your problems instead of sorting them out, you won’t grow as a person. If you feel the relationship is worth saving for and you are determined to make it work, then seeking a counsellor may be an option. This can resolve your differences, having a better understanding between yourself and your partner and most importantly have better communication. If it doesn’t resolve your differences and as a result you and your partner have broken up but it has helped you in future relationships then its better in improving yourself as a person than having nothing at all.

My motto is: Don’t be a quitter. Be a winner. Fight for what you want in your life. Quitters are for losers.

It may take weeks, months or even years for you to achieve your goals but with determination and dedication, eventually you will get there. Yes it’s difficult to be positive all the time but positive thinking = positive minds = positive goals. Eventually someone will say to you that you are successful in your job application. Eventually after rejection after rejection, a bank will lend you a loan so you start your business. Eventually someone will be happy to be your girlfriend/boyfriend as there’s someone out there for everyone. EVENTUALLY IT WILL HAPPEN. You have to believe that your hopes and desire will happen.

There are some people who give up on their dreams as they are influenced by their friends or what they see from the society for example there’s limited opportunities for BME to succeed. Although it may be the case, it shouldn’t stop you succeeding. Don’t limit yourself from what you see from the media that makes you have some doubts. Surround yourself with good people, keep pressing towards your goals and most importantly Be A Winner. Hopefully this will inspire you but if not below is an inspirational speech from the movie Rocky Balboa starting Sylvester Stallone. It’s very moving.

 

Balboa quotes
#inspirational #motivation #speech #rocky #rockybalboa #movies

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Why Common’s Be album should be considered as one of the greatest Hip-Hop albums

So for the last couple of weeks, I have been listening to old school hip-hop music and I came across an album called Be from Common. I have listen to it before a couple of years ago and I thought this album is great but then I’d listen to the album again, I didn’t think it was great album. I believe it was a magnificent album. The album that was released in 2005 was critically-acclaimed in where it was nominated for 4 Grammy awards. It was listed as one of the best albums of that year. But 10 years from release and I think to myself why this album hasn’t been considered as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time? Yes they are albums that are better than Common’s Be in the last 20 years but Common has created a flawless, consistent, inspiring, well lyrical album and should be considered as one.

#common #be #hiphop #album #classic #rembarkable
#common #be #hiphop #album #classic #rembarkable

Each track from the 11 track album which lasts 42 minutes is well constructed, meaningful and most importantly engaging. The album starts with an intro which I think it’s one of the best hip-hop intros I ever heard as its beautiful played with strings with an uplifting bass. His opening lyrics start off with “I want to be as free as the spirits of those who left/I’m talking Malcolm, Coltrane, my man Yusef.”This gives you the optimism and confidence that this album is going to be one of his best albums of his career and indeed it was.

The next track “The Corner” is one of the hardest tracks he has done in where his lyrics is gripping as he tells the struggles of poor neighbourhoods in where says “We write songs about wrong cause it’s hard to see right.” His commentary throughout his song show the songs from the people living in the streets were their breakthrough from the streets although it wasn’t hopeful and the beat of the song make its gritty of a song that’s authentic. On ”Testify“, he delivers his flowing ability on an entertaining track of a story from the courtroom in where a wife is hoping is that her husband doesn’t go to jail but it comes with a twist.

What makes Be remarkable is the production that makes the album very listenable and the credit deserves goes to the late J Dilla and particularly Kanye West who majority produced the album in where he produced 9 of the 11 tracks. You could say it’s arguably one of his best works as a producer. One of his work includes “Go” in where Common fantasies about a female in a sexual way. It’s a glorious track from an album that has soulful hip-hop feel with elements of jazz.

But why should this album be considered as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time? Well not only it’s a classic as it’s unique and inspiring. Common is taking us in the journey in where he’s speaking directing at us and for us to make a stand and reach our goals despite our transgressions and struggles. “Real People which has a jazz feel is an example in the raps “So dreams we say out like speakerphone just to keep em on/It’s like a colored song that keep keepin on.” Although some of his lyrics in this song did cause some controversy when he raps “Black men walking with white girls on they arms/I be mad at ’em as if I know they moms/Told to go beyond the surface, a person’s a person/When we lessen our women, our condition seems to worsen.” He’s showing his dissatisfaction of interracial relationships and feels black women will be undermined further more as the black race is not valued in this society.

And from the final track “It’s Your World” in where in part 1, Common talks about his own struggles but also a woman he know who had dreams of being a singer but she’s now an prostitute in where he show his displeasure. It may be a low key song but the lyrics are priceless especially in part 2 when his father deliver his message of spoken word in where he states “Be invited, be long-living, be forgiving, be not forgetful.”

#common #rapper #underrated
#common #rapper #underrated

And that makes the album utter remarkable. It’s never dull thanks to his lyrics which are top notch. Each track has a message and he’s delivering his spoken word through rapping and that’s why some people think he’s a righteous man based on what he says. It’s like he’s a teacher and we are his pupils. He has raised the bar in his narratives and raised new heights when the album was released.

Despite being well received, I feel it’s an album that’s underrated and doesn’t get enough recognition. In the same year, Kanye West released Late Registration which may have overshadowed this album as it was a masterpiece in where it won numerous of awards and transformed his career for the better and also for the worst during the years.

However, Be is an album that should also get the same recognition. It deserves to be in the list of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. Maybe not in the top 10 but definitely in the top 30. It’s consistent, flourished, groundbreaking and masterful.

So if you are frustrated of the current hip hop music scene right now listen to some old school hip hop and this album particularly. It will bring you back to the days in where hip hop was immaculate.

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The Misdeeds Of The Media

I never thought that Akon would be in my piece but you will see why he should be. I was scrolling through social media a few weeks ago and as I was looking, Akon appeared. Why? Because he was forming a Solar Academy to help bring electricity to 600 million people who are living in African countries. But instead I scroll down as like it was nothing but I saw it again on another social media platform so I had to check it out and do some research and read more about it. I thought to myself that’s noble of Akon to do this. Akon a singer/rapper/producer who had chart hit success on songs like Lonely, Smack That and Beautiful hopes the scheme from his company Akon Lighting Africa will help African countries harness the power of the sun — a seemingly foolproof plan given that the continent has 320 days of sunshine a year. Also the scheme aims to targets future African entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians. This will boost employment as the population of Africa is 70% under the ages of 35. Co-founder Samba Bathily said: “We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise and that is our objective.”

#akon #akonlightingafrica
#akon #akonlightingafrica

It’s this sort of news that deserves widespread attention as someone is doing something noble but will it? No. Bruce Jenner was the main focus elsewhere at the time. He was an Olympic athlete who was married to Kris Jenner in where her daughters are Kim, Kourtney & Khloe Kardashian. Jenner revealed at an interview this year he’s going to be a transgender woman and in few days into June, Caitlyn Jenner was released in a photo shoot for Vanity Fair that was later published in their magazine.

Caitlyn Jenner will be in the Guinness Books of Records as she shamed a record as the faster person to reach 1 million followers on Twitter. It took just four hours (and three minutes) to reach the milestone, usurping US president Barack Obama who broke the record just two weeks ago with his new @POTUS Twitter handle. Her photo tweet has been retweeted 240,000 times and I am expected that it will rise. I have looked on twitter on what people have been saying and it’s been positive. People have said that she looks hot, she looks stunning etc. In my opinion she looks good but to be honest I find this transgender thing odd and uninteresting. Yes she may have struggles through her life when she was a man but there’s stories that more important than this. The Akon story is an example but it’s ignored by the media and I find this baffling.

#caitlynjenner #transgender #transgenderwoman
#caitlynjenner #transgender
#transgenderwoman

However I believe there are three reasons I think this story was ignored:

  1. Caitlyn Jenner is White. Akon is Black.
  2. The media feel the Akon story is not worthy to broadcast.
  3. Western world and America feel Africa is known for being poor and having diseases so they want to bring news that associates with it.

Another reason could be that the news wasn’t reported by the local or national press for it to be released but I believe the second point I made is genuine. The media are selective in what and what shouldn’t be published to the public and for a black man like Akon doing a great thing, the media for some reason find it uncomfortable. Rarely will you see ethnic minorities being appreciated by the media and if you do, it’s limited. Instead you see minorities being portrayed in a negative way. As Teun A. Van Dijk states from Power and the News Media.. “news on ethnic affairs remains focused
on a small selection of preferred topics, including immigration, crime, violence, cultural differences, and race relations.” From that, I feel ethnic minorties are only know for these topics and nothing else.

A month ago as I was on my way home from work, I saw a picture of black man at the front page of the London Evening Standard and I thought finally something positive. I was wrong. The article was about Ben Fiberesima who is referred by the standard as a gangster who launched a successful career as a male model and musician while on the run in Australia has been snared in an extraordinary police sting. Although I find the article intriguing, I was disappointed as once again black men are stereotyped as we are viewed as aggressive, violent and uneducated.

Media Tensions

A female friend and I had a discussion in where we talk about the Daily Mail. She mentioned to me about an article in where Muhammed is the most popular boy’s name in the UK in the year 2014. I’ve heard of this article as a person mention this on Question Time and I told my female friend I didn’t agree with the article. However I wanted to read the article myself so I did and what the Daily Mail says that according to Official National Of statistics (ONS) The article says “When all the variations are added together, including Muhammad, Mohammed and Mohammad, the name comes out top with 7,445 counts.”

Other newspapers follow suit thinking it was true but it was incorrect and The Guardian recognise that.The Guardian says it was from a sample based on a website called babycentre.co.uk for 56,157 members of the site who gave birth in 2014 and that the most popular boy’s name in the year of 2013 from ONS was Oliver. We will found later found this year if Muhammed is the most popular name in UK but I doubt it will be as it doesn’t make sense that that name will popular in the UK in where its predominately white. Yes it may be popular within the Muslim communities but not of parts of the UK. It was an error by the Daily Mail but they haven’t notified the readers about their error. Maybe they didn’t want to because they want to create headlines. As I said it was mentioned by someone on Question Time and I felt it was a negative impression on the storyline as that person may think Britain are losing their values. You may think it wasn’t the Daily Mail intentions but they would have notice that the Muslim communities are in under pressure because Muslims groups have killed people based on their faith e.g. Boko Haram, ISIS so they may think this is story is an opportunity for Muslims to be verbally abused and to raise racial tension.

The media can be influential as you can learn things and keep up to date on current affairs when watching the news/newspapers but the media can brainwash a lot of people as they exaggerated and mislead their stories and people will make assumptions on ethnic minorities/gender/countries/region. This can be known as manipulation by the media. Continuing from Power & The News Media.. “manipulation as a form of media power enactment is usually evaluated in negative terms, because mediated information is biased or concealed in such a way that the knowledge and beliefs of the audience are changed in a direction that is not necessarily in its best interest.” I feel this is established to create fear but also raise tension on variable groups.

Besides the press, music, films and TV programmes also provide stereotypes but now you see an increase of reality programmes on where they exploited people who are from a lower class or who have disabilities. Benefits Street is a documentary programme series which was distributed on Channel 4 in where it follows people who are on benefits but it has been heavy criticised as it provides a negative portrayed of benefits claimants. Residents who took part says Benefits Street TV show lied to us.

These are the misdeeds of the media from tabloid papers to broadcasters are willing to do these things just to get ratings. If I can provide some recommendations for the media it would be:

  1. Although some of the reports the media have delivered are credible as they have exposed corruption like the Fifa corruption, they have reported unnecessary news to demonise an issue e.g. mental health and instead of doing that, they should organise meetings to discuss why it is stigmatised and come up with solutions in how they can tackle the issue. A campaign might help.
  1. From Everybody A Little Bit Racist; An Explanation of Unconscious Racism it states “Stereotypes are translated into our social perceptions, or societal ‘attitudes’ toward an individual or group.” As the media conducted poor research on current topics you get biased, inaccurate information on a particular group and as a result people will stereotype. In this country, the major issue is immigration and apparently it’s all the eastern Europeans fault yet Immigrants From Eastern Europe Pay 12% More In Taxes Than They Receive In Benefits. Whenever you read/watch the news the journalists who report this are predominately white and as a result you only get one perspective. I feel increasing diversity within the media would be worthwhile as you will get different perspectives from BAME as well people who are from countries like Poland & Romania in where their countries are stereotyped. I believe it help change peoples’ assumptions.
  1. The late Nelson Mandela says this inspirational quote. “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” We live in a society where there’s a denial of racism e.g. Charleston, people are ignorant and generalising a specific group/race based on their experiences they had with an individual in where it’s increase by their friends and family and as a result stereotypes lead to polarized judgments.” [29] and if you are from poor backgrounds, you are not accepted. Although to combat issues like this can be very difficult, education is crucial is it gives you knowledge so more education and extensive knowledge is needed in where it’s access for all backgrounds so it can challenge stereotypes and reduce prejudice.

The media have a big part to play as they are influential and it can have an impact on the society. It would be nice if the media take some responsibility in what they are doing as l feel the media’s aim is to cause fear and raise tension in where it displays racial attitudes. But will they? Unlikely as good news is bad news but bad news is good news and unfortunately bad news is winning.

Articles

Power & The News Media In D. Paletz (Ed.), Political Communication and Action. (pp. 9-36). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1995.

Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist: An Explaination of Unconscious Racism  Hughes, A, L 2014

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