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criticism-smartbrowngirl

Part of being a #SmartBrownGirl is always striving to do better, even in areas that are not easy to confront. Criticism is high up on the chart of difficult to broach subjects and post my Lack of Support and Losing Friends post, I’ve had every intention of covering this topic. But it’s touchy, so I’ve dragged but we are finally here. The Lack of Support video got a ton of support, the feedback was largely in agreeance and grateful that I shared my story. There were a handful of people flat out suggested I don’t know how to take criticism and was too sensitive. They are untitled to their opinion as that is part of me sharing myself on these interwebs, but I do not agree with them. However, they were not the only ones who I felt missed the real point of that video. Even some who agreed with me missed the point because I don’t want to foster the idea that your friends as soon as they disagree with you or tell you something that you don’t agree with should be immediately cut off. The content of what those girls, during that lunchervention, said to me was not the main issue. It was their delivery, set up and then lack of understanding that was the issue.

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btvf-devo-harris-adventr

#BTVF is Behind the Valencia Filter, where I profile successful people of color in industries that are not glamorized by the mainstream. This one sits more on the fringe of that sentiment but I felt it was still a worthwhile interview to bring to my audience.

Devon Harris, formerly known as Devo Springsteen, is a Grammy award-winning producer who helped his cousin Kanye West start the G.O.O.D. Music Label. Devon attended undergrad at University of Pennsylvania, where he introduced his college roommate, John Stephens (now Legend), to his cousin and the rest became history. I met Devon during my brief stint at G.O.O.D. and have followed him as he launched his own music group and then dropped out of music to pursue an MBA at Columbia University. I was in the midst of considering an MBA, when I last talked to Devon and he mentioned he was working on a book. So I thought it would be great to reach back out to him, as I had just published my own book, and wanted to find out how his pursuit towards authorship was going. Turns out Devon had put the book on the back burner while honing his writing skills and launching his own tech start up Adventr.tv.

Devon talks about running your own tech start-up, knowing when to take a step back and take your time, creating his own bandwagon rather than riding others, and we have a brief discussion about his famous friends. Check it out below.

Click Here to Watch Video…

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On Living in Washington, DC…It Sucks

living-in-dc

Getting around to doing this video took me several tries. Long story, short…tl:dr…I strongly dislike the District of Columbia. Actually I hate DC. There is absolutely nothing about living in DC that I like. Ok, I like my barber and Founding Farmers…everything else, yeah won’t be missed. But I did not want to come across super negative/bitter in the video, hence why it took me 7 attempts to finally get a recording that I liked, because my experience is not the universal experience. Albeit the comments on this video have showed the majority do agree with my opinion on the nation’s capital. So let’s get to breaking it down, why Jouelzy can’t wait until August 25th when she’ll be boarding that one way flight to Houston.

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My 23andMe Ancestry DNA Results #TracingRoots

23andme-results

Post my video with Evelyn From the Internets on the relationship and cultural differences of Africans in America and African Americans (or Black Americans as some prefer), we sparked a very interesting conversation on YouTube. Tons of personal and introspective comments were posted on the video as folks detailed how they deal with their cultural representation of being Black in America or being Black in America while being from another land. That was exactly the convo I wanted to engage my audience with, but mixed in that was also essays and thesis reports as some ethnocentric folk attempted to re-write history and deny that the African slaves were forcefully brought into the United States of America into the 19th century up until about 1820 – not even 200 years ago. But enough people noted both African & Black American, that I and many others who prefer to be called African-American have no connection to Africa or that we can’t even prove that we are of the African diaspora. I don’t entertain the Hebrew Israelites that sit on the corners of 125th St with bullhorns blasting about White people being devils and how we’re really from Israel. So I wasn’t bothering with those comments. Historically and factually speaking slaves were taken from the coast of West Africa with Igbo, Congo, Mdundu(s) being some of the largest ethnic groups imported to America into the 1820s. But since folks like to refute words, I decide to take a DNA Ancestry test and prove scientifically that I am a woman of the African diaspora.

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lena-qa

The first ever #SmartBrownGirl Q&A and it was Live! Big ting a gwan! Super happy to be able to introduce Lena Waithe to my audience as she is on raise in a very big way. I don’t even know that that encapsulates the buzz around her and the success she has already achieved as a young woman of color behind the scenes in Hollywood. Currently a staff writer for Fox’s crime-comedy Bones, Waithe is also the writer behind the hilariously popular Sh*t Black Girls Say video(s) performed by Billy Sorrellis. The success of that skit lead her to release the pilot presentation of her original series, Twenties, a semi-autobiographical tale of three young women of color coming into their own, has been picked up by BET to shoot an official television pilot.

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sunday-sounds-texas-browngirlstravel

Cause *breath* you’re *breath* no *breath* angel *breath* either *breath* baby…
Cause *breath* you’re *breath* no *breath* angel *breath* either *breath* baby…
Cause *breath* you’re *breath* no *breath* angel *breath* either *breath* baby…
Cause *breath* you’re *breath* no *breath* angel *breath* either *breath* baby…
*beat drops*

How many Beyonce remixes could I work into the first #BrownGirlsTravel vlog. I mean we did a road trip in a cute Kia from Austin to Houston, Texas. I felt like this vlog was the right time to heed King Bey’s words and “bow down bishes.” [click to continue…]

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