bee bop beep

If you didn’t know, The Internet is like the best band ever. [Ok, maybe second best. After The Gap Band.] They’re into making funky/soothing magic [they call it experimental soul] melodies with the angelic lead vocals of Syd tha Kyd. They have a new album and I’m anticipating it’s gonna be just as amazing as their previous projects. Maybe even better??! Eek! Check em if you enjoy eargasms and mellow, sexytime music.

You’re welcome 🙂

summa summa summatiiime

float

Along with a third birthday, summer is here! Yaaaay! Summer is my second favorite season [a close 2nd to spring] for many reasons:

One: I love warm weather. {It’s the southern Cali and African in me, boo.} I’ll take a hot beach over snowy mountaintops any day.

Two: I can be pretty much be naked all the time. I love a onesie or sundress or shorts and a tank to keep me cool in the dog days of summer. Plus I can skip the whole bra thing half the time. Heaven!

Three: Festivals! Spring and summer boast the most festivals, so that means being outdoors, lots of music, food and local art[ists] to appreciate.

Four: More fruits are in season. I live for melons, y’all. I trade out morning pancakes for a big bowl of nature’s candy all season.

cold pops2

Five: Beach days and pool parties and barbecues! I’m sure you read my post about body shaming a few weeks back so you know, regardless of your body type, you are ready for the parties and beach days summer hosts. An article on blackgirllonghair.com boasted 25 Black-owned swimwear brands to shop. Twenty-five, y’all! I didn’t know there were even that many! Give them your dollars if you don’t have a suit yet; they each have some really sexy, unique pieces.

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Happy summer! Make it sweet!

week 25 \\ 2015: 3

Whoop! I almost forgot but graysuede.com is THREE now! How the years flew by.. I have thought, many a time, that I should just shut it down because nobody reads. [Seriously, wtf, adults can’t take the time to read a one-sentence photo caption these days.] But I stopped caring because I have been shown so much love and I just really enjoy writing. And I have truly transitioned from solely a fashion blogger[still my first love] to a life blogger. So happy to still be going at it and to have so many awesome lovers and subscribers! I appreciate you!

a day for fathers

In a time like the present, WE need to continuously celebrate and perpetuate Black love.

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It will be a long while, if ever, that the media sheds a flattering light on our bonds. We can’t leave it up to them anyway; they prefer to show brothers cheating and emotionally unavailable to sisters, yet happy with non-Black women, single [and often materialistic/sad/lonely/bitter] Black women, and violence, anger and turmoil instead of love and laughter and unity-the things that so many of us actually do in our real lives.

So I borrowed some lovely photos to share. I hope they make you smile like I did!

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“Dads are most ordinary men turned by love in heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, signers of songs.” -Pam Brown

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Contrary to popular belief, the Black fathers that aren’t being killed or imprisoned are supportive and PRESENT.

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dad2

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Earlier this month, I saw a Black dad with his two young sons at Ikea of all places! [For those of you who don’t know, Ikea is huuuge and there’s a lot of cool stuff to look at. So basically a child’s paradise! Haha!] But I heard one of the boys tell his father “you’re the best dad.” I just thought that was such a sweet moment that I got to witness.

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just

cuz I thought this was appropriate for today and I really like J. Cole 🙂

More music like this, please.

More visuals like this, please.

More artists like this, PLEASE.

Happy Juneteenth!! ❤

week 24 \\ 2015

Sometimes this world can be a funny place. It’s mostly people that make it funny. They tell you they are there for you. They make empty promises. They smile and laugh with you. They ‘encourage’ you. They say “I’m on your team.”

But then when cah cah hits the fan or you have a rough patch and these ‘funny’ people are nowhere to be found, an insecure, naive spirit can be dumbfounded.

All I’m saying is, there are very few people that actually got you. There’s a pint sized amount of unconditional love that everyone, if they are lucky, will experience in their lifetime.

So just make sure that you don’t take this shit personal. I promise you it is a reflection of the person and not a flaw in your own character. Keep these undependable, self-serving, face value types far far away from your good heart and energy.

black every friday: eleven things Black women aren’t “allowed” to say

article adapted from Anna Gibson for forharriet.com

A brilliant article by Bustle recently detailed 10 things that women aren’t allowed to say. The list was extremely relatable and recounted everything from “That’s sexist!” to “I don’t want to have kids.” However, because of intersectionality, there are many ideas and opinions that Black women are also told we’re not allowed to have. Below are ten of the things Black women are frequently told we’re not “supposed” to say, and why this censoring of our thoughts is not OK.

stressed

1. “I’m stressed. I need to take a day off.”

Even though Black women statistically have higher rates of hypertension and anxiety, we are often told to suck it up and go about our day. There are kids to raise, a family to feed, and a job to excel in. More often than not, our needs take a backseat. We end up over-extending ourselves, which leaves us ripe for burnout. Instead of trying to do everything at once, we need to carve out time for self-care. Perhaps we should indulge in a bubble bath after a hard day, or get a relative to take care of the kids for an hour or two. We need this as human beings. We weren’t created to be run into a rut.

2. “We need to see a family counselor.”

I remember watching the episode of How To Get Away With Murder, in which Annalise’s mother (played by the exemplary Cicely Tyson) practically spat at Annalise, “We’ve dealt with our problems on our own… We don’t need to go to some head-shrinker!” Distrust of medical institutions is nothing new to the black community. Many of us grew up in a family where we don’t talk about our problems with anyone, and going to a therapist is considered weak. In truth, it could be the very thing that keeps a family together, helps a marriage, or even saves a life.

3. “Black girls rock!”

For whatever reason, Black women loving ourselves seems to threaten everyone around us. You can see this everywhere from the #BlackLivesMatter movement—both in how it was hijacked by white people to say #AllLivesMatter, and how it leaves out Black women—to the Deadline Hollywood article which claimed that TV representation is becoming ‘too ethnic’. It’s imperative that we find creative mediums through which we can celebrate our beauty and ourselves. We need to support and celebrate Black women creatives and business owners.

4. “That’s racist.”

Obviously this isn’t something that Black women have to deal with by ourselves. However, it can’t be denied that we’re often accused of “pulling the race card” when we have very real concerns about the racial discrimination we face in our day-to-day lives. Despite this, we can’t just crawl into a cave; we have to make our voices heard. However, this can lead to a completely different problem…

sad

5. “I’m angry about ________.”

In many cases when we do voice our concerns about an issue that affects us, we are often regulated to the “Angry Black Woman” stereotype. This can place us between a rock and a hard place in many social settings. On one hand, we want our voices heard; on the other, we don’t want to seem too “aggressive” or we’ll isolate ourselves from the people around us. This can make for a difficult social balancing act for us Black women.

6. “I deserve more.”

Black women are often regulated to one role and expected to play that role very well without being acknowledged for it or given the opportunity to show our many other facets. Maybe we find ourselves being a mid-level supervisor or manager for years as we watch our white counterparts glide up the ranks. Maybe we never get to voice our concerns or get talked over at the latest meeting. Regardless, it can’t be denied we often have to do twice the work of our white counterparts to get recognition or even respect.

7. “I love the skin that I’m in.”

Whether we’re dark- or light-skinned, we all have to deal with various forms of shadeism [aka colorism]. The brown paper bag test implemented historically demonstrates how much work we need to do to just be comfortable in how we show up in the world. Luckily, we’ve had movements such as #DarkGirlsRedLip and documentaries like “Dark Girls” to help us process our pain and find healing.

8. “I’m ready to take my sexual autonomy back.”

It’s estimated that 83 percent of Black people identify as Christian. Because of this, freedom of sexual agency is shunned. Whether it’s coming out as LGBTQA to strict religious family members, or deciding to practice a more sexually fluid form of polyamory, it’s often frowned upon for women to openly embrace what appears to be an often “uncouth” form of sexual expression. We’re making strides in this area, and a growing number of new blogs and Facebook groups are a testament to this transformation in our communities.

9. “I’m not having a good day today.”

This is actually very similar to number one on our list, however, it’s important that we recognize how Black women’s mental and emotional well-being is affected by our day-to-day lives. Black women have so much on our shoulders. We suffer from higher rates of anxiety, depression, and a number of other mental health issues. Given all that we have to deal with, safeguarding our mental health is key to our development. Luckily, there are a number of amazing resources to help us do just that.

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10. “Black women should stick together.”

I know this one may seem like a no-brainer, but there are tons of people who seem to enjoy seeing Black women fight one another [including us]. This could be on websites like WorldStarHipHop.com or in the media where we see Black women shading each other every week on our favorite shows. We need to work on our sisterhood. These catfights are destroying our image and creating an environment of discord that’s tearing our relationships apart. Only by connecting with our sisters can we find diversity and healing in our communities.

black love

11. “We need our men to do better by us.”

Black women are expected to show up for Black men without fail, without hesitation. But how often do our men show up for us? Whether it’s literally failing to show up to marches when we’re killed by the same systems that are killing them, or ignoring the ways in which misogyny, rape culture, and sexism affect us daily—some of our men have forgotten that we need the same love and protection we offer them. And when we tell them so, we are attacked, ridiculed, and dismissed.

Anna Gibson is a Buddhist practitioner and journalist who hopes to provide a safe space for people to tell their stories. You can find her on Twitter @TheRealSankofa, or on Facebook where she’s hiding under the name Introspective Inquiries.

photo cred: Essence magazine, Sisterhood Agenda, lipstick alley

Read more: http://www.forharriet.com/2015/05/11-things-black-women-arent-allowed-to.html#ixzz3bOYSvEpn
Follow: @ForHarriet on Twitter | forharriet on Facebook

my $.02

Too often are Black women blatantly ignored, deemed as unsavory and hyper-sexualized in media and even by our own counterparts. So sad! Also, I think we often forget that our fellow sister has real emotions and is allowed to feel depressed or angry or vulnerable or unworthy. Those things matter. This piece is just a reminder that, although we are super resilient, we can’t always be the strength carrying all the weight. We can’t always put a smile on and push through. But I promise you, once we get right within-whooo! these little hills we’re moving now will turn into mountains!

If nothing else, my beloved readers, I hope you related or at least learned something from this post. ❤