Aug 21 - Sep 3, 2014

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Hot Internet Series: An African City

an african cityThe POH Snippets reader who suggested that we review “An African City” called the web series an African version of “Sex in the City.”  Having not ever seen the television show, I will say “An African City” is as punching as the movie “Waiting to Exhale” and as funny as the TV shows “Living Single” and “Golden Girls.”

The first episode debuted March 2, 2014. It follows the lives of five beautiful and successful women who confide in one another about their love-lives (or lack thereof) and find new ways to deal with being a 21st century woman in Africa. Each of the women recently resettled in Accra, Ghana after living abroad for most of their lives. The characters are drama queens, yes, but they do make interesting and hilarious commentaries on contemporary African life. Each segment is less than 16 minutes long.

Episode One begins with Nana, draped in western wear and flair, is mistaken as a foreigner by an immigration officer. Later she reinforces this image when she says, “I don’t know how I am going to survive without Starbucks Coffee.” She questions her decision to return to Accra as she confronts the thoughts of Accra’s water rationing and electrical outages much like Racine would in “Living Single.” 

Sade, who loves her wigs as much as comedian Sheri Shepherd, is the least uninhibited one, like Blanche Devereaux of “Golden Girls”.

However, the five Western-accented women also talk about the things they are enjoying in the homeland such as having coconut drink from a coconut versus a cardboard box.  And they relish being able to buy everything from sun glasses to toilet paper from street hawkers while sitting in their cars.

Then, they get down to the business of men. Sade, who loves her wigs as much as comedian Sheri Shepherd, is the least uninhibited one, like Blanche Devereaux of “Golden Girls”.  “It doesn’t make her a prostitute, but a woman with a strategic agenda,” she advises one of her girlfriends on having a man to buy her what she wants. Bleaching creams, perms, traditional weddings vs western (White/church) weddings to breaking up on Twitter - - they seem to cover every contemporary issue in an entertaining manner just as Terri McMillan accomplished in “Waiting to Exhale.”

Of course, there are plenty of one liners that having little to do with dating or sex, such as when Sade tells a waiter that her friend is a vegetarian and wants no meat “including goat meat!” She concluded, “Just the leaves like a horse.”

Grubbs Pharmacy SE
Now Carries Fruit

Having fresh fruits and vegetables readily available and that you eat every day will improve your life. But, what if the fruits and vegetables you need are not easily available?

To help solve the availability problem, Grubbs Pharmacy at King Avenue and Good Hope Road, SE partners with DC Central Kitchen to provide fruits and produce at better than competitive prices. And during the winter, added co-owner Bill Fidel, “we have nutritious fresh soups, not made from a can or package.”

U.S. Election 2014

Is anyone registering voters in Ferguson, Missouri?  The town outside of St. Louis is 67 percent Black. The mayor is White. The police chief is White. The police force is 94 percent White. Only one of its six city council members is Black.

A grand jury indicted Texas Governor and Obama critic Rick Perry for abusing his office and trying to coerce a state official into dropping an investigation of corruption in his administration. It appears that Perry is planning to run again for President in 2016.

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Afro-Norwegian Singers Hit USA

nico and vinz 
Nico and Vinz write and perform songs in English that joyfully speak of life, love, and identity. What makes them unique is that they identify as Norwegian with roots in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. “We are Norwegian and African,” Vinz says.

In North America, they just completed gigs from Washington state to Nevada.  They also appeared on TV’s “The View”. 

The group’s musical success started In June 2011 with the release of their debut single, “One Song.” The  tune peaked at #19 on the Norwegian Singles Chart. The song’s video earned them a Spelleman Award (The Norwegian equivalent to a Grammy). 

In “Am I Wrong,” that flew to the top of the charts in Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden last year, they speak about the universal theme of following your own heart. Added Nico, “It is our hope that people who are asking ‘should I go the safest way that everybody says I should go, even though my gut says to go where my true happiness lies?’ - - to be happy? We want to inspire them to follow their heart.”

Listen to:  Am I Wrong

Remembering Colonel Young

 colonel charles young
Mason County, Kentucky residents joined the National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations (NCBVO) and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity to restore the birth cabin of Colonel Charles Young. Young was the third Black to graduate from the United States Military Academy (West Point).

He was born into slavery in a log cabin in May's Lick, Kentucky in 1864. His family later moved colonel charles youngacros the Ohio River to Ripley, Ohio.  He went on to graduate from West Point in 1889, served as a Buffalo soldier, and military attache' to Haiti and Liberia.  He was an acting superintendent of Sequoia National Park, and an honorary member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

The coalition also plans to erect a bronze statue of Young on horseback in Maysville. "I say we're bringing him back home (in bronze)," said Charles Blatcher, founder and chief executive officer of NCBVO.  The group is also lobbing to have him promoted posthumously to the rank of brigadier general.

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ivan brown realty


 carla hall in DC
Chef Carla Hall Chews the Fat with
The Washington Post Food Writer Tim Carman
at The Hill Center

Washington, DC
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's
Annual Job Fair
Washington Convention Center
Thu, Aug 21, 10a-3p

U Street Oral Music History Presentation
includes slideshow and live performance
Busboys and Poets
14th and V Sts, NW
Thu, Aug 28, 6:30p, free

Benefit gospel concert to
pay for shipping to Gambia
Antioch International Missions
Antioch Baptist Church
13205 Old Marlboro Pike
Upper Marlboro, MD
Aug 30, 2p-6p, $20

Chef Carla Hall Chews the Fat with
The Washington Post Food Writer Tim Carman
The Hill Center
921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Sun, Sep 7, 4p-6p, free

The Civil Rights Act of 1964:
A Long Struggle for Freedom (exhibition)

Library of Congress – Jefferson Bldg
10 First St. S.E.
Opens Wed, Sep  10, 2014
Closes Sat, Sep 12, 2015
Mon-Sat, 8:30a-4:30p,free 

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
1525 Russell Street
Opens August 26

Miller Bakery Cafe, Green Sense Farms
and Whole Foods Market Present
Farm-To-Table Wine-Paired Dinner Experience
Miller Bakery Cafe
555 S. Lake St
Sun, Aug 24, 5p-8p, $51+ tax and gratuity

nat king cole mural chicago

Bronzeville Legend Photo Mural
"'King' Nat at Home, 2014"
Centers for New Horizons
4301 S. King Drive
Sat, Aug 23, 10a-12p, free

king of pop festival - gary

Michael Jackson “King of Pop”
Tribute Festival of the Arts

2300 Jacskon Street
Th, Aug 28-Sat, Aug 30, free

New York
Central Park Conservancy Film Festival
North of the Sheep Meadow, Central Park
Aug 21 - Ghostbusters
Aug 22 - Rear Window
gates open at 6:30pm; movies start at 8pm, free

Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival
between DeKalb and Myrtle Aves
Sat, Aug 23, 2p, free

AfroPunk Fest
Commodore Barry Park
Nassau Street
Sat, Aug 23-Sun, Aug 24, free

Activist New York
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave
open until further notice
10a–6p, suggested $10 adult

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Next: TransPeople Rights?

earline budd 
This is the second of a two-part series that is built upon our November-April 2000 print issue.  In that issue we explored the diversity of human sexuality. The exhibit, “Is it a Girl or a Boy?  Gender Identity and Children’s Clothing” at Richmond’s Valentine Museum inspired the exploration. 

Since that release, America has evolved from discussing the diversity of human sexuality to codifying same gender loving rights along that of women, Blacks, the mentally and physically challenged, and others.  Now, the new frontier is codifying the rights of other sexual minorities.

In this series, we share the stories to two intriguing transpeople.  In the previous Snippets we shared the story of Nigerian-American Dr. Rizi Timane – Female to Male.

African-American Earline Budd
Male to Female

Before I interviewed Earline Budd for the article, “Dressing to Suit Her Heart,“  for the November 2000 – April  2000 print issue, I lacked compassion for transgender people.  I could not understand why a man, who is not “forced” by society’s expectations, would want to take the time to put on make-up, high hills, and to find and get a new hairdo every month.   However, when she told me, “my father chased me from 13th and T, NW to 14th and U, NW and hit me in my head with a hammer - - in the front,”  I was convinced that anyone who would go through so much pain to be atypical had to be authentic.

The DC council unanimously passed a law that makes it easier for transpeople to change the sex listed on their birth certificates.

A lot has changed since then.  America has evolved, too.  However, I continue to learn and grown. In Time magazine’s cover story on Laverne Cox, the first openly transgender woman nominated for an Emmy award, there was one line that I had to chew on: "sexual orientation determines who you want to go to bed with and gender identity determines what you want to go to bed as."

“When I was about 12, I got reprimanded for having sex with a male neighbor.  Between the ages of 13 and 14, I had fully transitioned to wearing women’s clothing and I was still attracted to men,” Budd confirmed the line from Time.  She even had a relationship with a “butch” (masculine) female.  But, the relationship did not work for Budd, because the love interest still “was not a man,” continued the now 56-year-old, HIV+, community activist.  “Though my dad found it amusing and wonderful.” she chuckled,  I had to tell my Dad, “it’s not like that.”

For Budd, who was once homeless and addicted to drugs, life has become easier since our talk in 2000. “There have been some great strides, but we still have a distance to go,” she opined.  She likes the marriage equality laws since now she has the opportunity to marry  the man of her dreams, when that comes true. But she is also grateful that the DC council unanimously passed the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013 that makes it easier for transpeople to change the sex listed on their birth certificates.

But given all that life has thrown at her, Budd says the greatest gift has been life. “I never thought I would see 50 anything.  When I look back, I can say I am truly blessed.”

50 Shades of Sexual Identities

Last year, Facebook changed it gender options from two to 50 plus. It’s estimated that there are 1.5 million transpeople (0.5 percent of the USA population) in the United States.  Here Are All the Different Genders You Can Indicate on Facebook.

lMaryland, DC and 17 other states have laws barring transpeople discrimination, the federal bill Employment Non-Discrimination Act, passed the Democratically-controlled Senate, but the bill is sitting in the Republican-controlled House.  

Germany became the first European country to allow parents of intersex children -- those born with both genitals -- to mark their birth certificates with an "X."  And this year, India officially recognized Transgender as a third gender identity.

Also See: What's Next TransPeople Rights - Part I of II?

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Sensational Nightingales in Concert

 sensational nightingales

The Sensational Nightingales, and Juanita Hellams and the Gospel of Faith will join the Antioch Baptist Church Missions for a benefit concert to pay for a container of goods for shipment to The Gambia, West Africa.  The event takes place at Antioch Baptist Church, 13205 Old Marlboro Pike in Upper Marlboro, MD.  The four-hour concert starts at 2p.  Tickets are $20. For more information, call 301-627-7844.

naturally blond black child 
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african school children dancers 

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