Kendrick Lamar, WE are not here for this!

by Francine Holmes

So after reading the NY Times article : “Artist Says Kendrick Lamar Video for ‘Black Panther’ Song Stole Her Work” I saw the onslaught of opinions on the matter, ranging from: ‘Art by nature is inspirational’ (OK!)  ‘Viktor’s work is also similar to Gustav Klimt’ and my favorite, ‘Welp, she (Viktor) should have taken the studio’s offer’ (Really!? we are doing this?)

Let’s not get lost in semantics, the mere fact that she was approached proves that they wanted her work included in this project! So, after the negotiations fall through – my guess is that they were not willing to compensate her on her asking price – they go ahead and make a replica of her work with impunity? How is anyone justifying this?

It’s 2018 and black women are not here for these behaviors anymore.

So, her style, her very “unique and quite recognizable” style is used and now she is not compensated AT ALL!!!? Come on!

Ms. Viktor said, “Why would they do this? It’s an ethical issue, because what the whole film purports is that it’s about black empowerment, African excellence — that’s the whole concept of the story. And at the same time they’re stealing from African artists.” Miss Viktor is absolutely right, you can’t claim to want to empower blacks/Africans and screw them over! And now that she is complaining and speaking out against someone that is as popular as Kendrick Lamar, and the connection to a highly-favored project like “Black Panther”, the victim is now made out to be the villain as demonstrated by some of these social media responses. Some are hastily calling her salty and petty about what could potentially be considered simply using “her style” instead of actual stealing (what it is!!).

If Kendrick Lamar is not directly to be blamed for this unmitigated plagiarism, then his team or whoever should be held accountable for this outrageous infraction; by giving the woman credit for the use of her work and compensate her the original amount she requested.  It’s 2018 and black women are not here for these behaviors anymore.


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No resolutions, leave it in 2017

By Francine Holmes

I am sure by now most people who’ve made the customary new year’s resolutions are gradually doing that slow backpedal of excuses as to why they’re breaking them. Well to that I say: “No, no no, NOT I!” I am tired of not keeping up with my resolutions, so I didn’t make a single one. Looking back, 2017 had several momentous events that made me pause as a woman of color, a daughter, a friend, a wife and especially a mother. To name a few, president Trump and his whirlwind drama, the devastating hurricanes, women fiercely standing up to the patriarchy with #metoo #timesup, the long overdue NFL players’ black lives matter protest, and the list goes on. So, I instead collected all of my thoughts and intentions into hopes for a better 2018, but nothing happens without action. As a side note, I know there has been some contentious debates over this issue, I will make my position very clear! Trans-women are women, period! end of discussion. So, here are some that I see as universal hopes that women of color can either identify with or strive to put into action for a better 2018.

 1. VALUE YOURSELF  Foremost above all, we have to know our worth and the value of our contribution, and let me explain what that means, because value and worth can be quite abstract without context.  They can mean, You’re worthy because yourself and others care, appreciate, and love you for who you truly are unconditionally. It is also understanding that the whole of you, your time, attention are precious gifts, and in your allocation of those gifts, it is perfectly fine to be unapologetically selective. This logic applies to anything, as the importance of not being so hasty to settle for less, or rather, just what you can get! You deserve the best so strive for just that by not shying away from opportunities out of fear of the unknown. Reach for those goals and always remember that you are valuable. Along the way, learn to appreciate what you have and what you bring to the table, don’t  dwell on what you don’t! This is a hard one, arriving at a place where you don’t measure your success against others. Remember, we all have different starting points, we are all unique in our own right, we cannot have the same journey so measure your accomplishments by the goals you set, not those of others.

2. YES WE CAN! We all have that perpetual internal voice of self-doubt in our heads. My internal shade thrower has an old African woman’s voice, with disdain on her face, pointing her hand at me, palm up saying “Look at you! Just look at you” in that moment, doubt and a laundry list of reasons as why my ideas aren’t great and all the ways I can potentially fail; automatically washes over me. Well, in 2018 we have to stand firm, turn down the volume on that voice, tell it to take several seats and turn up by believing that we can accomplish all that we envision. We must take that first step and fully commit to making our vision happen no matter how small that initial step.

3. SISTA, I GOT YOU!  This very important! black women are often the bearer of all burdens, with all the hats we have to wear in addition to societal standards and micro-aggressions. Yet we are expected to remain strong in the face of it all to our detriment. Mental health is a major component of our overall wellbeing, seek professional assistance if you’ve been struggling emotionally or psychologically, there are people who are trained to listen and provide you with the tools to alleviate some of these burdens. ( Let’s stop the stigma associated with mental health continue to drag us further into the abyss.

While we’re busy holding everyone up, who’s propping us up? Who has our back? Think Sandra Bland, Tee Tee Dangerfield, Erica Garner, Karen Smith, Brandy Seals, Omarosa (yes her too). We are being assaulted oWOKE3n all fronts, so enough is enough. We are a vulnerable population, and assistance isn’t always readily available to us.  It is time for us to receive some attention, let us no longer be concerned with the optics and respectability politics. Again, we cannot do it alone, so let’s start by building a support system. (The operative word is “build” it doesn’t happen overnight or without effort). If you live in the tri-state area, a meetup group called W.O.K.E (Women of Kolour Empowered) is a wonderful resource to meet women of color to make connections and have worthwhile discussions. Sister-up! Let this upcoming year be the year of connections. Network, reach out to support, engage with, befriend, mentor a sista! Because let’s tell it! It is getting too real out here for people of color, especially women. It is time to foster the sisterhood in a meaningful way, look out for a sister and be her keeper, look out for the signs and check in on her, rather than drag her along with the rest of society!

“When Black Women stick together, we are the most powerful force in the universe.”-Alfre Woodward

And those are my hopes, that cognitive, interpersonal and behavioral changes can set things in motion for the best, without any judgment and pressures derived from resolutions. Let’s do the best we can, WE CAN DO THIS and let’s make 2018 count!



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Happy New Year

By Francine Holmes



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Happy Holidays

by Francine Holmes


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Back in stock!!

By Francine Holmes

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Cyber Week

By Francine Holmes


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Happy Thanksgiving

by Francine Holmes


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Calendula & Orange Flower- Treatment Gel

by Francine Holmes

Calendula & Orange Flower – Healing and soothing treatment gel. Get and maintain great complexion when used regularly.

This gel rids skin of acne-causing bacteria and excess impurities. Get yours today

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Ms. Brazile, who sent you?

By Amy Smith

In response to Ms. Brazile is reclaiming HER time!

   In today’s Corporation clap black news, I got to read an excerpt of Donna Brazile’s new book called, “About Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.”

Hey Donna, how you doing? and hope all is well. But girl, seriously, who sent you?

It has been said that “perception is our reality”, however, sometimes our perception lack facts. Now, I’m all for good sipping tea; but Ms. Donna Brazile’s tell-allimg_7123-1 book is nothing more than revisionist recaps of  “yea girl, I’m in my feelings, unemployed, and I gotta get my coins by any means necessary.” (Kanye Shrug)

I have followed politics since I was a sophomore in college. Impressionable and not well versed on how and where I stand on issues; I saw this woman, a BLACK woman on TV speaking for Al Gore as the campaign manager. I was like yes, finally a black woman who I get to see on a national stage that is passionate about politics just like me.

We all know what happened after that campaign, but I became a fan of Ms. Brazile. Every time I watched cable news, I was so eager to hear her commentary on today’s events.  I was disappointed when learning that during the 2016’s presidential election that during the Democratic primaries; she furnished debate questions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign when she and Bernie Sanders were debating at a TV One town hall debate. It was reported that Wikileaks hacked into the DNC computers systems and released the emails publicly. The real culprit in this was Roland Martin, who gave Ms. Brazile the debate questions since he was the moderator of that particular debate. Then, Ms. Brazile passed it on to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Listen, Donna, I get it. You worked your ass off to get to where you were. You saw an opportunity, and you went for it even though it goes against what you believe.  If you’re a student of history, you will understand the motives of those obsessed with power or those who want to be closely associated with it. Yeah, she was on CNN as a political analyst, but she wanted more. And I ain’t mad at her for that.  But Donna girl, you can’t do it like white men. They have Privilege and status and WE don’t. So the first person that they will throw under the bus (drum roll) you, the black woman.

Everyone knows that making sausages are messy. But when it gets on that plate, it looks and tastes good.  I’m all about making coins; understand that while you’re making coins and burning bridges, you better hope it’s a large pretty coin. See Debbie Wasserman Shultz has been quiet since she stepped down. She’s still employed and in Congress, just saying.

I wish Ms. Brazile the best, but let this be a lesson to all, keep your integrity at all costs. The bottom line is the Democratic Party has to unite because we can’t have another 7 years of this tyrant rolling back social progress just because he feels like it.
Like my girl, Francine says, “Girl, think long term.” Donna should have had a friend to tell her that.

img_7124-1Amy is a freelance writer that loves all things political, fashion, art, and social justice. She resides in NYC and works as a therapist. 


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Ms. Brazile is reclaiming HER time!

By Francine Holmes

Yes!!! to all of it, from the moment I read the piece that Donna Brazile wrote for Politico MagazineInside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC” and some of the backlash from it. I knew that my perspective on this matter was not going to be spiritless.  I am channeling …?? I am not sure who just yet with this, but whoever she is, she is not having any of it! and neither is Ms. Donna. She is reclaiming her time, burning remaining bridges, she is going to tell it, and she is going to TELL IT ALL!! I am buying “HACKS” TODAY!!!  As obvious by the title, I want to know what really happened? no pun intended; after reading Hillary’s book. Granted Hillary gave some side eye worthy ‘reads’, but honestly, the ‘Tea’ was not that hot, and the ‘Lemonade’ was crystal light!


Now I know auntie Donna is in her feelings about her unfortunate fall from grace, so I expect her tea to be piping HOT! And why wouldn’t she tell us all of the backroom deals?

Yes!!! Ms. Donna! She is reclaiming her time, she is going to tell it, she is going to TELL IT ALL!!

This woman compromised her integrity and illustrious career for Hilary Clinton!! All too familiar for the black woman to take action at her own expense to protect or to save the white woman! Why? Because she probably had unrealistic expectations that her gesture would have had a different outcome! Where is Hillary? You ask!? What is she doing with her residual clout, to reinstate Ms Brazile back to some semblance of respectability after she fell on that sword for her !? I can guarantee Ms Brazile’s advance for her book, or speaking engagements fees aren’t anywhere near what they would have been, had she not handled that grenade and destroyed her career!  Yeah!!  Am all out of metaphors!!! At this rate she no longer has allies, so what other choice does she have but to write a tell all? And I can’t wait!! 


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