Monthly Archives: December 2014

Sorority Affiliations

Often I take the stance of saying nothing, when I have nothing nice to say but in light of the many requests I’ll make an exception. By now, you’ve probably seen or heard of the VH1 show called, “Sorority Sisters.” A group of women convened in the name of their Black Greek Letter Organizations while in college.  I didn’t need to watch it to know it was trash. The trusted Greek Community told me so. There was no display of sisterhood amongst those in the same organizations or those in other Divine Nine sororities. Like all reality TV, it had nowhere to go but down. I personally don’t watch ANY “reality TV.” It is usually poorly SCRIPTED, predictable, false, and even worse not representative of my reality; thus a waste of time in my mind and by default: trash. This show in particular really grinded my gears as it MISrepresents organizations created to protect us as women and unite us in uplifting our community. It is telling women (who may or not know anything about Greekdom and proper standards for any lady in the Divine Nine sororities) it is ok to drink, party, fight and ultimately be petty in the name of our organizations and that is far from the truth!

By using the title, “Sorority Sisters,” our calls and name dropping our organizations they are setting the default precedence for us, a collection of people and illustrious organizations with years of history, NOT THEMSELVES AS AN INDIVIDUAL. The show airing only once has done irreparable damage to organizations that in a sense cannot defend themselves. I do believe Ethel, Minerva, Arizona, and Mary Lou are rolling over in their graves having postmortem convulsions at such a mockery just for entertainment existing solely to degrade black women, at the expense of future generations, for the amusement of other races and profit of everyone BUT US
Lawd if that ain’t enough to stop watching, I don’t know what it is, because all ya’ll “curiosity” got VH1 1.3 million views and slim chances of it going off air. *side eye* I sincerely hope every organization in the National Pan-Hellenic Council bans together and protests, boycotts, sues and whatever else we can because it is abhorrent what these people representing us do in “their letters.” I am over them and hope they get off the air soon. And to all those insisting one cannot protest one without protesting the other shows on VH1…

Sorority Sisters getting booted is just one small step for black women. You can’t say those who watch some form of housewives aren’t allowed to be outraged about this show. Yes, it is a form of hypocrisy, yes one hand washes the other in the entertainment industry and yes, the entire channel is scum and utter rubbish but we are allowed to be more outraged about this one! WHY? Because it is more than women being fools on air. It is women being fools on air in letters and that just won’t do.  In the words of my Special, “just because I donate to the cure of pancreatic cancer doesn’t mean I am for every other cancer existing.” K? Cool. Comment, agree disagree, do what you will and rest assured I will not give this topic another nod of acknowledgment. 
P.S. With all the holiday festivities, I will be taking a MUCH NEEDED mini-vacation. No more posts until January 7th. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Be mindful of who you are and who you want to be. No time like the present to change. God bless!

Day 24 – Mediablackout USA

Day 24 of 25 Days of Werdmas and I am very excited to introduce this guest because they’re making major moves for the community! Introducing my guest, the creator and writer of  MediaBlackOutUsa!! He and his team have been accurately and quickly informing the people (and me) of the injustices happening worldwide and I for one am honored to know the thoughts behind such an important and necessary movement. Check it out below!
Who are you? Tell me about yourself
Hey, my name is Carlton Jackson and I’m originally from Alabama. I’m a hip-hop artist- been doing that for over 15 years. I always had some crazy passion for writing music and story telling. But just recently, I founded Mediablackout USA.

What exactly is media blackout?
We are an underground media website dedicated to helping educate and wake up the masses. We tell you what the major media corporations won’t. It started with one goal in mind- to spread awareness. My team firmly believes in the power of not only knowledge and awareness, but also in the power of our unity as a people.

Our team consists of passionate, concerned, and fearless writers, photographers, videographers, and various artistic minds that all share the will to spread truth. We acknowledge that as a society, we are now facing a crucial time in America where we are on the verge of breaking or making it. It is our call on how the future turns out. It is our responsibility to do right by each other. Which is why we support and join in the frontlines of the fight for equality, honesty, justice, and peace. At the same time, we realize that the fight will be tough one, a long one, and at times a discouraging one. But we also believe that awakened minds are resilient, soldier- strong, and unbreakable.

How long has it been in existence? 
We’ve been around since August 2014, so about 5 months now. It’s still a young website and we are still evolving. 

Why did you start it?
I was really upset about the media coverage on Mike Brown. I felt that there was so much information the people needed to know that wasn’t being exposed. So I started Mediablackout USA to share with others the things I thought they should know. Eventually it grew into what it is now. Mediablackoutusa covers the news the mainstream media won’t.

What were the immediate reactions to it?
Our followers love and appreciate the page/website because now they have insight on issues the mainstream news won’t cover. It also gives them a platform to vent, voice their opinions, and relate to others.

Has it been hard staying current?
Hard? No, not at all. We try to stay up to date on news and trending topics. We are constantly researching and reading. In the beginning, it was hard to gather the news because I was doing it alone. Now I have a team of dope people that I really appreciate. 

Where do you look for the news you feature?
We have multiple reliable sources that submit stories to our email and our Instagram DM (Direct Messages). We always do more research before we post an article though. We want to make sure things are accurate.

Would you say you’re anti-white?
We are anti-racism. It’s just that racism is usually towards blacks, making our website somewhat of a Pro-Black page. We cover injustice with all crimes involving all races. Unfortunately, 90 % of our stories are black crime related because 90% of the crimes against society by authority are against black people. If we didn’t expose these stories, they would be swept under the rug- slowing down the momentum of the movement we are currently witnessing.

Do you agree with the statement “black people can’t be racist”? Why or why not?
No. I believe all people can be racist. I look at it like this; It was only 50 years ago when blacks and whites could not attend the same school, drink out the same water fountain, etc. As black people, we had to fight for our human rights and are still fighting, so of course there are some black racist people that still think about what they’ve been through- there’s still anger and hatred embedded in some people’s roots. Our people went through hell.

Where do you see media blackout going?
I have a vision for Mediablackoutusa to be one of the top leading news platforms for media. We have grown quickly in just 5 months and with hard work and dedication, I can see us going further. We aim to be the go-to site for the awakening.

What has been the most gratifying moment you’ve had since starting it?
We broke the “I Am Darren Wilson” Story. We published that story first. This is when we knew we were officially a media outlet- we knew we had viewers who not only visited us but contributed. They trust us with their information. Also, to see our Mediablackoutusa name/logo on the mainstream TV was pretty cool. Knowing we have celebrities and well-known public figures following our page is gratifying as well. It’s these moments that make you realize you have something great to work with.

What message are you trying to send with your site?
Feed your mind. There is more out there than what they are telling you and MediablackoutUSA is the platform that wants to expose all that to you. We don’t care too much about being too politically correct. Politically correct isn’t real. We care about being real. We want to encourage our viewers to read, educate themselves, and discover truth.

Have you see any indication that they message is getting through?
Yes, because our following continues to grow and people have strong debates on our page through their comments. We care about our readership so we try to stay on top of their comments. We want their feedback. They are the reason we have MediablackoutUSA. They and truth are priority. 

How do you feel about the Eric Garner case?
I feel cheated. I feel unsafe and disappointed. The cop should have been indicted. The video clearly shows the officer using an illegal chokehold or Eric Garner while he was saying “I Can’t Breathe”. It’s not only an injustice that he wasn’t indicted, I take it also as a warning. I just don’t understand it. If it was also ruled a homicide, what other evidence do we need? How many more of us can they get away with killing off?

What do you think needs to be done to fix the injustice of police brutality?
I think it goes beyond our police departments. It is a corruption involving many levels of the state and federal government. To start, body cameras would be a smart move, but Eric Garner was killed on camera so I don’t know how much that can help. However, I do think it will instill some kind of fear into police. I also think there needs to be a disclosure explaining each cops mental history. Where do they come from? Who are their parents? Was his father racist? We need a full reevaluation of police hiring process. The people in the community should be able to trust law enforcement. Give us the same chances and opportunity that you would do for a white person to drop his/her weapon and be disarmed correctly. Why shoot to kill? What are they being taught that makes them think it’s ok?

What do we as black people need to do to improve how were viewed by society?
We, as black people, have to look at the harm our brothers and sisters have done to our own community and each other, we have to acknowledge that first. More black people have to start going to college, graduating and proving this system wrong. We also have to stop sitting back waiting for the next Martin Luther King or Malcolm X and step up and start being leaders ourselves. We have to cut down on black on black crime in order for these people to actually take us serious. That’s the first question they asked is “What about black on black crime?” OK we know that’s a problem, but a bigger issue is some of the people we pay to serve and protect us take advantage of their authority. Young, unarmed, black men end up losing their lives behind that. We need to smarten up and show them a prepared opponent.

What are your thoughts on other media outlets such as VH1 and BET giving such negative views of blacks?
I don’t look at them as news outlets. They are on a different platform than mediablackoutusa. They are an entertainment industry, which is fine, but they should not take responsibility for educating or influencing the masses. Their number 1 priority is to get paid off ratings and advertisements. That’s just the system we live in like- j.Cole said it.

Do you see your site ever becoming more such as a magazine or TV show?
Yes its possible. One of my friends and I have been discussing a magazine situation so that may be next.

I was so excited to hear back from this guy! I love the website and instagram profile and the interview was dope! UPDATE: they have an app as well. DOWNLOAD IT! You can’t tell me this interview wasn’t dopeness! YOU SHOULD FOLLOW THEM! As a matter of fact, if you’re not already, YOU’RE LOSING! This is where I go for news that relevant to me! There is nothing worse than turning on the TV only to see faces similar to yours as either the reporter or the suggested criminal. Join the movement, get uplifted. That’s why it’s here. I loved this interview and am sorry my event is coming to a close tomorrow. God bless you readers! Follow and subscribe! Merry Christmas Eve!

Day 23 – Signed, Sealed, Delivered Project

Day 23 of #25daysofwerdmas and this one will facilitate change. I cannot wait for you all to read it. i came across it on instagram (again, IG is the real MVP) I introduce to you the creator of the SIgnedSealedDelivered Project, Ms. Lauren George!!
Who are you? Tell me about yourself
I am Lauren George, currently a psychology graduate student at Stony Brook University. I am 22 years old, born and raised in New York; I come from a mixed background mainly Native American and Puerto Rican. I am a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. I am a firm believer on community service and education being a foundation for success.

 What is your exact movement? explain to those who may not know.
The Signed Sealed Delivered Project is a movement that will engage people in contacting people within our government to make a change. To sum up the project each person participating will be writing letters (as many or as little as they like) to people within our government (both federal and local levels) on issues concerning inequality (i.e. gender, race, sex) in the United States. The goal is to be heard in a civil and peaceful way, a way that our youth can look up to, leading by example if you will. I am asking that the envelopes have “Signed Sealed Delivered Project” on them and also that within these letters we offer our concerns, views, and solutions to these pressing issues. Personally, I’ve decided to dedicate my first 100 letters to President Obama. Feel free to also use emails if you want to participate. I will be using the hashtag #signedsealeddelivered when I post a picture of the progress & ask that anyone participating do the same. Do not feel obligated to do all 365 days, that’s my personal goal do as much or as little as you’d like.

 What made you come up with this idea?
I’ve had this idea for a while now, but I’ve been nervous about implementing it and how people would receive it. With everything going on recently (i.e. Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and Eric Garner) I felt it was my duty to give people a constructive way of expression. Also I’ve seen way too many amazing ideas and beneficial knowledge on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; these are great for sharing but we’re not really reaching the people who can help. There’s been too much loss already; the violence on our end has to stop. Sure people know they can write a letter but some people need that little push.

What do you hope to come from this idea?
I hope that we are actually heard. I hope that people follow through with this endeavor instead of solely posting to social networks. I hope there’s a change.

 How do you want people to respond to this movement?
Positively, even if our views are different all I ask is that you write to people who can actually do something about it. It can’t do any harm. At the end of the day, I want people to take it as a release.

How can people support this movement?
People can support this movement by participating in writing letters or emails, using the hashtag #signedsealeddelievered, and spreading the word about this movement.

What topics will you specifically be touching on in your letters?
Well, my first letter touched on how afraid I am for the future of little boys of color, the obstacles they’ll have to cross and discrimination they will face daily and all of my letters will have solution to the problem I discuss. Honestly, I never know what my letter’s going to be about, I take it day by day sometimes I might just draw something and not use any words. I’m not exactly sure how this is going to go yet, all I know is I’m excited to see how it unfolds.

Are you hoping to hear back from the President?
I am approaching this project with no expectations; honestly I didn’t even expect people to want to participate in this project. Of course, anyone would love to hear from the President, but I’m not getting my hopes up. That’s not my main objective.

 Do you have any history or background in politics? 
Nope none at all, and I have no plans to embark on politics either.

I don’t think I can ever really express how beautiful, strong and intelligent the women of all D9 organizations are! Just look at this young lady! She is beautiful and making a positive change in our community. Not only am I participating but I challenge every reader that reads this post to send AT LEAST ONE LETTER! You can do that. It’s not hard and frankly you have time. If you have time to be heart broken about the state of America and the genocide of a people at the hands of our protectors I say WRITE A LETTER! Only the people oppressed can express the necessary measures for liberation so go tell someone who can make it happen. #signedsealeddelivered If you’re unsure how to do so, Google is your best friend sis. Please follow lauren @lauren_geex2 on IG and use her hashtag when you participate! Please comment, reach out and subscribe dear readers. Can’t wait to hear from you! See you tomorrow!
Few Tips to Writing the President:

  • Always include a return address
  • Be concise, he is a very busy man
  • Use the written address below or this email

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
God bless and happy mailing!

Day 22 – Real T@lk

Day 22 of #25daysofwerdmas and I could cry. Christmas cometh, this event’s ending cometh and a lyrical genius agreed to my interview! Ladies and gents, I present to you, Real T@lk!!!
Who are you? Tell me a little about yourself.
I am Brandon Alexander Williams. On the mic, they call me Real T@lk. I’m a poet and MC extraordinaire. I was born in a car on the way to the hospital. As a result, I love to travel and I can’t sit still.

When did you first realize you could write?
I could always write. In elementary school, I wrote a book called “The 12 Falcons”. Around 8 or 9 my older brother Donald and I used to freestyle parodies to current R&B and rap songs similar to “Weird Al Yankovic”. By 10, I used to sit in front of the television set speaker and record music videos from BET and MTV. I’d then play and rewind the songs and write down the lyrics so I could learn the words. If I didn’t recognize larger words, I spelled them to the best of my ability phonetically, then looked them up in the dictionary. This assisted with my vocabulary.

Who is your biggest lyrical inspiration?
Andre`3000 of OutKast, Eminem, and Busta Rhymes.

What do you see for your future?
I see myself giving lectures and having multiple motivational speaking engagements, touring as a poet and author. In the near future, you can expect my 6th opus, “Quarter-Life Crisis”, my first book (“Mr. Write”) and my 2nd stage play entitled “The S.H.A.F.T. Project”. 

Do you consider yourself just a writer? a rapper? just a lyricist or more?
I receive all of those titles. The titles that I like the most are: Writer, Poet, and MC. 

Who are your top five favorite artists?
OutKast, Eminem, Kanye West, Phonte, and Joe Budden. In no particular order.

To date, what would you say has been your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment had to have been my first stageplay, “The Yard: An Acapella Hip-Hop Musical”. I wrote, acted in, and produced it in 2009 at my alma mater Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.

What advice would you give writers just starting out?
Get your 10,000 hours in! (Look up “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell and you’ll know what I mean) Create, create, create! Fail as much as possible. You learn more from failures than successes. For example, if you shoot a one-handed, full court shot and make it all net, it’s amazing. However, you don’t know how you did it; and in order to become better at shooting one-handed, full court shots, you must miss a ton of them.
Whatever your goal is, you must practice, practice, practice. A wise woman told me that “Practice makes permanent; not perfect!” If you eat an apple once daily, you don’t become perfect at eating an apple, it becomes a habitual, on purpose, part of your routine. Got it? Now, remove “one-handed, full court shot” and “eating an apple” from the previous statement. Now insert your dream. There you go!

What does it take to make it to where you are as a lyricist? 
I’m a humble student of the culture. It takes about 10,000 hours. However, you can’t just listen to MCs and poets, you have to write and perform and expand your lexicon. Around freshman year in college is when I recalled a lot of the literary devices that I learned in high school and previous english classes and was able to identify them in my raps and poems. This made me a great lyricist. Doing is one thing, but doing and knowing what you’re doing is what makes one a teacher. Overstanding as opposed to understanding. I’m long-winded. I hope i answered the question well. Lol.

What is your ultimate dream/goal?
To edu-tain. My dream goal is to be an professor/lecturer teaching a lyricism course at an arts institution of higher learning.

What do you do in your free time?
I cook and watch documentaries. I DJ, and I write comedy sketches and jokes.

Is speaking your full time job? if not, where else do you work?
Yes it is! GOD has blessed me enough to sustain a decent quality of living. However, I work part time as a stagehand in Atlanta, GA. This gives me audio, staging, lighting and sound building skill sets that will come in hands when I go to plan a huge tour and when I put on my next stage play.

What gives you the most joy?
Showing love and making others happy. This past 2 years, I’ve experienced first hand why it is truly better to give than to receive.

When you think about the future of music what do you think?
My new motto is: “Ignore it if you think it’s wack, support it if it’s dope, and just leave it at that.” I think the future of music will continue to grow. For that I am satisfied. If it ain’t grown it’s dead, ya dig?.

What are your thoughts on the state of lyrical content in music today?
I think in the mainstream of the hip-hop genre, lyrical content is not as complex as it was in the “golden age of hip-hop” (i.e. The 90s). During the golden age, every artist at the forefront had undeniable talent. Today, I can count on one hand (maybe two) how many mainstream hip-hop artists that have undeniable talent. The talent is most abundant among the independent and underground. For that reason, I wish to remain independent unless the deal makes sense financially and I am able to maintain my creative control. 

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! Did you read that and get excited!? That got me pumped ya’ll. I am super amped. I feel motivated, I just met my new life coach. I mean seriously ‘ are you not entertained?!’ Please tell me in the comments below. Get up with this guy on social media @ realtalkraps.com IG realtalkraps and soundcloud.  *Clutches pearls* I swear I love my job. This is why I do this, because as much as I want to touch people, so many touch me! *Wipes one thug tear*  And now the man has gone into baking. If you’re anywhere near him try out his cheesecake minis! They’re bomb and follow his instagram @letthatboybake #letthatboybake is the move. Trust me! Subscribe dear readers and know I love you! 

Day 21 – Ty Hobson Powell

I was so excited to interview this young man. Day 21 of #25daysofWerdmas feature is Ty aka KappaAlphaTy! 
I had the privilege of reading about Ty in an article online before I met him. It said a 16 year old black male had received a BA in Psychology, History, Government and Public Policy.  I thought  it was great to see more people actually highlighting the great intelligence of black men. Well actually my first thought was “sheesh Janae, step your game up.” lol and then my second thought was “yay! Black males getting recognition!”  He also has a masters in Counseling and is currently working towards a PhD in Global Affairs. (Can you say great role model or what?) Ty is practically a child prodigy although he doesn’t think so and I am happy to call him a friend. Unbeknownst to him, he challenges me to do even more although he insist I am cooler than he is. I can’t wait for ya’ll to read and see he is indeed cooler than me. Check it out below!

Who are you?  Tell me about yourself
Ty Hobson-Powell.  19 years old. From Washington D.C.  Just tryna do my thing.  I love everybody who loves me.  That’s the basics.
 
Do you consider yourself a child prodigy?  Why do people consider you a child prodigy?
Not at all.  A prodigy is a natural born genius; their brilliance is inherited.  Everything I have I worked for.
 
what are your life goals?  What do you plan to do with your all your degrees?
I just want to live life on my terms.  And I would like to have the financial security to do it.  Retirement and a family by 30.  Travel the world.  Change the world.  Before I die, I just want to live.
 
How do you feel about President Barack Obama?  Do you think he is doing a good job?
He is a decent president.  I respect his presidency.  Of course, his administration has had some missteps but that’s the nature of the office.  Every president before him did as well.  He’s the most disrespected president in history.  Given the fact, the he’s enduring that, he’s holding it down.  

How do you feel about the state of African Americans currently?  What do you think could be done to better it?
We’re cool now.  We have a long way to go.  Education & parenting goes a long way.  We have to improve in those areas. 
 
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
10 years?  29?  A year away from retirement.
 
So far, what has been your greatest life achievement?
Inspiring others.
 
Do you accredit God to your successes?  Are you a Christian?
God is my RocK and my Salvation.  I am a Christian.
 
Do you have a girlfriend?  Are you looking?  Do you feel it’s hard to find love with the level of achievement and drive you have?
Single and living life.  I’m looking and when I come across someone that captivates me on that level, I’ll make it a thing.  And yeah I guess.  It’s hard to find love period. 
 
Why did you join kappa alpha psi fraternity incorporated?  How do you feel about the current state of BGLOs (black Greek letter organizations)?
History.  BGLO’s have fallen from their former nobility but young Greek leaders can shape the future and I’m optimistic that we will. 
 
Are you a motivational speaker?  What do you usually speak about at events and how should people contact you about speaking at their events?
I am a motivational speaker.  I talk about whatever.  Life.  School.  Specific themes.  Whatever.  Inspiremovement2k14@gmail.com.
 
Have you ever considered writing a book?  If so, what about?
I’ve already written a biography I just have yet to publish.  I also have other writings completed. 

Can you see his dopeness? I felt it. Follow him on Twitter @kappaalphaty. You can also contact him via social media outlets and the email address above for speaking venues. His story is amazing and I hope you reference him when encouraging the next generation to be better. Did you like the interview? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe readers! See you tomorrow for our next feature!

Day 20 – Ab4C

Day 20 of #25daysofWerdmas still going and I am even more excited about this interview! Here is David Ramsey, a gospel rapper by the name of AB4C!
Who are you? 
I am David Ramsey, Father, Husband, Man of God Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I collect tattoos and sneakers.

When did you first fall in love with hip hop?
I fell in love with hip hop when I heard Gospel Gangsterz and Juvenile. It’s a crazy mix but they both spoke to what I was seeing on a day to day.

How long have you been writing music?
I’ve been writing for about 8 years. Recording for about 3.

What makes your music unique?
I try to speak about what I see and have been through. Alot of my music will reflect what I am going through at the time. I try to be the real life application of my faith and testimony.

What do you see for your music in the future?
As for the future, I have no clue. I have not done music to accomplish a specific goal. I do it solely to share my view and understanding of the bible, life, and faith.

How would you classify your music? is it all christian rap?
I wouldn’t know how to classify it honestly. I am not sure where I fit in the Genres. Hopefully, I am carving my own lane of relatable music for everyone.

Who is your top 5 rappers?
My top 5 would be Jay Z, Slick Rick, Biggie, Swoope, Chamillionaire.

If you could have a sit down conversation with one rapper (dead or alive) who would it be?
It would have to be Biggie. I would want to talk to him to try to figure how or what he had in him that gave him the vision for his album. He essentially called his death. Was it a random prediction or did he really have that feeling?

What is the biggest challenge you’ve encounter thus far in the music industry?
The biggest challenge is getting people to listen. People only listen to those who are cosigned. So getting people to spread your music is always effective but difficult initially.

Where can people find your music and contact you to do shows?
I can be reached on all the social networks. IG is @ab4c, Twitter: @absolut4christ, facebook;. All the music links are posted on these sites and he can be reached through them all. Also via email at absolut4christ@gmail.com for booking.

He was gracious enough to let me see his single cover and hear his EP exclusively. I can honestly say I liked it. I loved the beats behind his music, I easily found myself bobbing along and singing the chorus. I think you will like it. I highly encourage you to listen to it and give it a chance. J Cole and Jay-Z were once in this position and now look at them. This is worth a listen for sure. My fav without a doubt is The Fix. I was dancing within the first thirty seconds.  I highly encourage you to listen to it and buy the EP on itunes here or bandcamp here. I already did! To listen to his previous music, check his soundcloud here! Hope you enjoyed. Let me know below! 

Day 19 – Mr. Opportunity

Day 19 of 25daysofwerdmas brings an inspiration to me and hopefully you as well! This man is an author, speaker and thought leader! He goes by the name of MrOpportunity and is the executive Director of the Next Big Thing Movement. Give it up and scroll down to read my interview with, George “MrOpportunity” Olokun!!!

Who are you? tell me about yourself
Reflecting on the 29 years of my life, I have been blessed with an abundance of opportunities that have allowed me to travel across the  nation and the world to speak for several thousand. Since my college days I have been able to utilize my oratorical gifts to help transform lives, which has helped me to develop my gift and become a highly sought after personal life trainer. Earlier this year I was recognized as a well respected thought leader and ranked among the top 100 Notable Speakers in the Nation, well versed on just about any subject and will move just about any crowd. Among these awards are a prestigious Top 40 under 40 and most recently TOP 30 under 30. Since 2010, I have published three books, the most recent being Exit Strategy was recently submitted for a potential 2015 NAACP Image Award Nomination. In a visionary space, I have been able to set the vision for many organizations that help to cultivate the lives of the current and future generation.The success of these organizations can only be attributed to the core focus on social awareness and educational advancement. Beyond anything that I’ve been blessed to personally achieve I am so very grateful for having found my purpose in life at an early age and for having a very supportive family behind me.

When did you first realize you had the ability to influence people?
When I was younger I realized that there was something that separated me from others. In high school I was always the preferred voice of reason amongst my friends. When I entered college at Florida A&M University, it seemed like my influence grew and it became more apparent to me. I believe when I decided to own that.

When and how did you first publish your book?
I began traveling on the road to publishing my first book back in the fall of 2008 and reached that milestone in July of 2010, that book went on to become a bestseller.

How did you make your book so successful?
The success of my books is based on how well the content resonates with the potential consumer through the marketing campaign for each of the books. I believe strongly in selling the message more than focusing my sell on the product.  It is also very important that my supporters get to hear a personal message from me and get to feel my heart through my words.

When did you become a motivational speaker?
In 2006, I delivered my first speech to a crowd of about 1200 people and fumbled all through that speech, it was horrible. That moment will forever be in my memory because it served as the fuel I needed to never want to have an experience like that again. I then spent the next two years away from the stage and microphone. In July of 2008, a conference coordinator reached out to me, to speak in Maryland at a leadership conference.  Shortly after I confirmed and purchased my flight, they canceled me as the speaker, but I still decided to travel and just attend the conference. When I arrived, the coordinator came to me and expressed that the speaker that they had replaced me with had just canceled on them and so she begged me to please stand in as the speaker. Had I not removed my ego from the equation I would have missed out on an opportunity to reclaim my spot in the speaking arena. I reluctantly agreed and that speech received a standing ovation.

Did you know as a child you will be this famous and successful?
Being famous and successful is probably one of the most common connectors among most of us and to say I never knew I would be or that I wanted it would not be truthful. However the root of that want has developed more and more over the years. I believe that success can only be quantified by the person and that being famous must be centered around the need to have a larger impact and not serve a selfish desire.

What advice would you give to writers and people who know they have more to share?
Start the journey,  make sure you are willing to stand firmly behind your work and understand what power you have to impact the mind with your words and creative insight.

To date, what has been your greatest life achievement?
Thus far my greatest achievement would have to be the hundreds of people I’ve been able to be a personal engaged mentor to over the past 11+ years through my life path and through Mentor One, an organization I founded back in 2003.

What do you think your purpose in life is?
I am solid in my knowledge of my purpose and am humbled by it. My purpose in life is to pour positivity into the world and assist people in obtaining and identifying their best life. Helping people unlock their passion and give a voice to their purpose.

What advice would you give your ten year old self?
I would tell the ten year old me to continue enjoying life,  don’t worry about the little things,  and be prepared for the heavy mantle that God has ahead for you.
I found him very humble because although he has several accolades he was willing to pencil me into his busy schedule. I literally want to be like him, hopefully my books become best seller and I continue inspiring people with my words. I want to travel the world and touch people the way God touched me. I trust He will bring it to fruition. In the meantime, did you guys enjoy? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe. You can keep up with Mr. Opportunity on IG @mropportunity and of course his site, www.mr-opportunity.com! Get into him. God bless you readers. See you tomorrow!

Day 18 – Christian Byshe

Who are you? Tell me about yourself
I am Christian Byshe’, a natural hair blogger/vlogger and brand ambassador but most importantly I am a mother to a beautiful little girl and a fiance’ to a handsome man.

How did you get into blogging? youtubing?
Going natural started all of this for me. I immediately had the urge to share my journey with others so I did and now 5 years later, I am still sharing just on a larger scale. I love it.

Where did you learn about hair and makeup?
Trial and error baby! Lol I look back on pictures when I THOUGHT I knew how to do my makeup and cringe but I’ve come a long way, thank God. I look to other youtubers and beauty gurus for advice and guidance.

How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging consistently for a year. I blogged off and on for years before that though. I just couldn’t commit back then.

What have you learned since blogging and vlogging?
I have learned that you have to pay attention to the needs of your readers and supporters. You can’t ignore them because they are the force that keeps you moving forward. So show appreciation and stay consistent.

Do you make your living for that or do you work somewhere else?
Blogging/vlogging supplements my income significantly but I still work a full time job as well… for now. 🙂

What advice would you give to women interested in doing the same thing?
I would say first identify what your audience is and what you want to say to them and then stay true to it. Being unfocused causes you to feel misguided and directionless. So know what you want to say and who you want to say it to.

Why do you blog/vlog? What do you want readers to get out of it?
I vlog to share my lessons, victories and hardships. I don’t want women to feel alone in their struggles or like they’re the only ones fighting any particular battle.

How long do you see yourself doing this? where do you see it going?
Forever. I really love it and the satisfaction it gives me. I just hope I continue to grow and mature within my craft.

How many takes does it take to get the videos on your channel
ha! I edit the crap out of those vlogs before they go live! 

Day 18 of #25daysofwerdmas and I am stoked. Anything natural hair gets me a little close to my geekiness about books. This next young woman is stunning, educated, be-u-ti-full (with two l’s *wink wink*) and a highlight in my natural hair journey. I found her later in my journey BUT STILL I am thankful. She has a blog and teaches me the way of blending, because without these genes I have no idea what I would do with makeup! Introducing Christian Byshe’!!!
Clearly she is awesome and you much must must check her blog out here. Her IG here and get yo liiiiifffeeee! I can’t tell you how to beat your face for the gawds but I can tell you where to go to learn. *hint* Check out Christian Byshe’. I hope you enjoyed her interview and will stick around for more. There is a little less than a week left to Christmas! Subscribe, comment, repost dddduuuuuhhhhhh. 

Day 17 – AshleyEmpowers

Day 17 of 25daysofWerdmas!!! You know how you get so excited about something you have to tell your parents? That’s what happened when my guest today said yes to my interview. I literally squealed and told me mom. I am not ashamed and you will not judge me. Trust me you’re going to love her, welcome Ashley Brown!
Who are you? Tell me about yourself. 
My name is Ashley Brown, I live in Dallas, TX. I’m a wife, blogger & speaker whose passion is to inspire the upcoming generation to live a purpose driven life.

When did you start Ashley Empowers and why? 
I started Ashley Empowers in 2014 because I have a positive message to share. By the grace of God, my “mess” has become my message and I am on a mission to help other women get there as well!

How did you God tell you what He wanted you to do? How did you initially respond to His calling? Did you see all this coming from it? 
God shows me what He wants me to do through inspiration & by putting things on my heart. I simply follow my passions and He continues to open doors. I had no idea that Ashley Empowers would grow so rapidly but I’m grateful God is using my voice to inspire this generation.

Who told you about dating in purpose? How long did you do so before marrying your husband? 
Growing up, I didn’t have any positive examples of what a Christ-centered relationship looked like. As I got older, God began showing me couples who were thriving living for Him and it inspired me to do the same. I knew that I wanted to let God write my love story and when I was 23 I surrendered that area over to him. God healed me from my past wounds, renewed my mind and began preparing me for marriage before He sent my husband. My husband was the first relationship I ever had where we “Dated With Purpose”.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to anyone attempting to date with purpose who thinks they’ve found their Courtmate?
My advice would be to be prayerful and set boundaries right away. Also, practice unconditional love, acceptance & compassion with everyone you meet, not just with whoever you are in a relationship with.

What’s been the greatest challenge for you in your empowering movement?
The greatest challenge has been “putting myself out there”. I share a lot of information about myself on my blog and YouTube channel and sometimes you wonder what people may be thinking about you. I overcame this by being Spirit-led with everything I post. I know God wants me to share my story so others will be inspired and see His grace and faithfulness, so I no longer worry about what people think.

(If you don’t mind) how old are you? How long did it take you to find your purpose?
I’m 26 & it has taken 26 years for me to be aware of my purpose. My purpose is to share Christ love everywhere I go. It doesn’t matter if I’m at work, blogging or simply in line at a grocery store.

What would you encourage others to do when looking for their own purpose?
I would say to SEEK GOD FIRST IN ALL THINGS & surrender all your worries & cares to Him. I used to chase my purpose and never consult God. Now I chase God and he consults me on my purpose…it’s a beautiful thing.

 How has your life and fulfilling your purpose changed now that you’re married?
It’s gotten so much more exciting! My husband helps me with my visions and ideas and I get the pleasure of helping him with his.  

You’re an inspirational speaker right? How did you get into that and what do you speak on? 
Yes, I speak on entrepreneurship, dating with purpose, or customize messages to fulfill the audience’s unique needs. I began my speaking career after winning pageants and speaking to different audiences as a title-holder. After I retired from doing pageants, I have gotten many opportunities to speak in the U.S & abroad.

How can people contact you for speaking engagements and stay abreast with your movements? 
Sure! I’m on social media @AshleyEmpowers. My blog is www.ashleyempowers.com & you can check out all the latest episodes of “Dating With Purpose” at www.YouTube.com/AshleyEmpowers

Ya’ll know how I feel about purity and by default dating with purpose and courting! Ashley has been one of the main people I have encouraging me on my personal purity journey unbeknowst to her. It was a pleasure to speak to her, any gathering of believers is a blessing. I hope reading the interview blessed you as well. Often I hear people have doubts on courting and dating with purpose because it’s not “proven.” I say to you that dating without purpose has more statistical proof in failing. My God said, “try Him” and He has been proven time after time. Check out Ashley’s youtube channel to see a few of the many successes in “Dating with Purpose”. It was an honor to talk with her and hopefully we talk again in the future! *fingers crossed* follow her on IG and Youtube guys and then subscribe to stay in the loop! 25 days of werdmas rocks! See you tomorrow and don’t forget to comment!

Day 16 -YogaRachael

Day 16 of 25daysofwerdmas and I cannot lie, I AM JUMPING FOR JOY! Another one of my yoga inspirations agreed to do an interview! I am not one to harp on color but us colored women have not always been welcomed openly into the yoga scene so it is always refreshing and appreciated when I find one and she’s killing it!!! Can’t wait for you to read what this light had to say, featuring Yoga Rachael!!
Who are you? Tell me about yourself?
I’m Racheal, I live in SoCal, I’m 23 years old and I’m on a journey learning to love me and I hope to inspire others to do the same! I joined the USAF in February of 2013 and I serve my country proudly. I believe God and His Word, I just hope that in all I do His will for my life be complete!

What does yoga mean to you?
To me Yoga means being free to do whatever I want. Upside down, right side up, in a bath-suit, in jeans, being still in silence or moving to the beat. Yoga for me is living.

When did you start yoga and why?
I started Yoga in 2012 basically because I was bored! 

How has yoga changed you (physically, mentally and spiritually)?
I’ve become a lot more patient! Like extremely more patient lol Yoga and my walk with God  and the two best things that have ever happened to me. While my relationship with God keeps my mind and heart strong, Yoga does the exact same for my body. Perfect combo!

What is your favorite type of yoga and yoga pose? 
I love Ashtanga & Vinyasa! And my favorite pose hands down is adho mukha vrikshasana (Handstand) !

What do you say to people who think they can’t do yoga because they’re a christian? 
I’d say “Yoga isn’t a religion, BUT you can add your religion to your Yoga. It’s what YOU make it!”

What do you say to people who say they can’t do yoga because of their body type?
That body type has ZERO to do with the practice and Journey. Yoga doesn’t “look like” anything. It’s Yoga. Period.

Do you do any other exercise outside of yoga?
Yes! In addition to my practice I do quite a bit of Calisthenics.

How often do you do yoga? What keeps your coming back to yoga?
Umm I’d say about 4-5 days a week usually. But sometimes my body wants to rest. So I listen to it. I think the longest break I’ve taken to date has been about 2 weeks or so.

Do you teach classes? if so, when and where?
Not yet! 😉*wink wink*

What has yoga taught you?
It’s taught me that there are no ends, but endless beginnings.

What are other women’s response to you doing yoga and your yoga journey?
Most become very intrigued lol But overall I get asked, “How do I start!” Or “I want to learn!” Which I think is super awesome!

Where do you see yourself in five years?
5 years … living on an island with my husband eating a load of pineapples. haha but seriously. I just want to travel, teach, and show the world that true success comes from God. And that with Him any and all things are, in fact, possible. 

To date, what has been your greatest life achievement?
My greatest life achievement, Wow! I think to date it would have to be realizing the importance of becoming and remaining humble: because nothing I do is really about me. 

Yas! YYYYASSS! Don’t you just love her?! I didn’t even know she was a Christian! Look at God! Look how Children of Light find each other! One of the few objections I hear when I mention yoga and the good things it has done to my body is,  ”Why would you do that? It’s hindu tradition.” That is not only bothersome but it’s false. Yoga is a quiet space where I can meet the Lord and replenish my spirit. Yoga is what you make it. You don’t have to wrap your legs around your head. You can stay in downward dog all day if that’s what makes you comfortable! So I am thankful for this interview and I HOPE YOU GUYS LOVE IT AS MUCH AS I DID!!!  Get into her @yogarachael on IG and when she gets licensed I AM GOING TO BE ONE OF THE FIRST LINED UP FOR CLASS! Her site yogaracheal.com is pretty dope too. Check out my other features and more by subscribing (at the bottom of the page on mobile and on the right on computer site)!!! Be blessed loves!