Tag: Blog

Remembering John Singleton (1968-2019)

John Daniel Singleton was born on January 6, 1968, in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in South Central Los Angeles and his work as a film director, producer and screenwriter depicted these turbulent, often violent roots.

Singleton studied screenwriting at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, winning three writing awards from the university, which led to a contract with Creative Artists Agency during his sophomore year.

In 1991, Columbia Pictures bought his script for Boyz n the Hood and budgeted it at $7 million. The film portrayed life in crime-ridden South Central L.A. and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director in 1991, making Singleton the first African-American and the youngest person ever nominated for the award. The film also garnered a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Singleton followed the win with Poetic Justice in 1993 and Higher Learning in 1995. Both films examined modern race relations, and while they enjoyed success at the box office, they were not as highly praised by critics as his debut effort.

Subsequent works include 1997’s historical drama Rosewood, 2000’s Shaft remake starring Samuel L. Jackson and 2001’s Baby Boy. In 2005, he produced the critically acclaimed indie film Hustle & Flow and directed the box office hit Four Brothers.

Singleton was married to Ghanaian princess and actress Akosua Gyamama Busia from 1996 to 1997; they had one daughter together.

In April 2019, Singleton suffered a stroke and was placed in a medically induced coma at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He passed away on April 29, 2019.

My Pet Peeves

Like practically everyone else, I have a few (give or take) pet peeves. Here are a few  –

  • When people don’t have liquid soap in their guest bathroom – what’s up with bar soap in the guest bathroom?! I don’t want to rub my hands on the same bar of soap that every person has touched since the beginning of time. Liquid is always better.
  • When the outside of the trash can is dirty – I know trash is supposed to be dirty (and smelly, and ugly, etc.) & all, but the outside of the trash receptacle should be kept clean, IMO. This indicates a sense of hygiene – no matter how much “mess” you may have, you can still keep it contained without “looking a mess”.
  • My laptop & my cell phone show 2 different times – this is something that’s not supposed to happen, but it does. Every now and then I will see two different times on my screens. Fortunately, it has never caused me to be late or anything, but don’t even get me started on my alarm clock.
  • When people face their babies towards them in a stroller – why on earth would you think that your kid wants to stare at you instead of seeing the rest of the world like you? They have to look at your face all the time during the rest of the day so why subject them to that when there are so many other things to look at? I understand facing them backwards in a car seat or even in a chair (at the dining room table or in a restaurant) but when your kid is in a stroller and you’re out for a run, turn the stroller around so that your child can take in the sights of their surroundings.
  • Leaves the floor wet after a shower – so there’s been some pretty heated discussion around this. Some people believe that the purpose of the floor is to dry your feet & that your towel is to be used for the rest of your body. But I am a firm believer of drying off completely before even exiting the shower stall or bathtub. Each foot can be dried off right before hitting the floor outside of the shower but to avoid any excess wetness on your bathroom floor, a rug can be used to absorb the water.
  • Different smells when a meal is cooking – who doesn’t love to walk into a room with the smell of good food wafting about? I do! I do! A good smelling dish can really lift just about anyone’s spirits except when there are too many good smelling dishes going on at once.
  • People who chew gum with their mouth open – we all know that chewing with our mouths open is bad, but for some reason there are people who think that chewing gum with their mouths open is okay. People who chew gum with their mouth wide open are liable to start popping their gum and making a bunch of smacking noises. It’s annoying!
  • When people complain about something that they do – why complain about a job that you chose?! I know there are aspects to every job that we don’t like, but if you are working/volunteering, etc. then keep the complaining to a minimum, otherwise, find something else to do.
  • Dirty fingernails – just gross!

What are some of your pet peeves?

“I Love You, But My Thumbs Are Tired”

Guys, you gotta stop texting me when I ask you to call me instead! Why is that such a hard instruction to follow? As nice as it is to hear from you in the middle of the day, texting should not be the primary method of communication, especially when you are just getting to know me.

If when I met you, I specifically asked you NOT to text me & you proceed to text me then I automatically know you aren’t good at following directions. I’ve even had men text me, “I know you asked me not to text you, but…. ” SO WHY ARE YOU TEXTING ME THEN??! This is an instant turnoff, guys.

You can’t get to know my personality by texting me. You can’t hear the inflection in my voice or hear how my day went if you don’t pick up the phone & call me.  You certainly aren’t focused on me if you text instead of call because hours can go by between texts, but a call can be wrapped up in 15-20 minutes.

I don’t get to hear your sexy voice if you’re always texting me. I can’t crack a joke over text the same way I can over the phone. I can’t sing to you if we aren’t talking. I can’t even focus on what I’m supposed to be doing if I have to keep checking my phone so I can respond to your texts. And I certainly can’t get anything done if I have to keep typing back & forth.

I try to compromise by texting back occasionally but don’t get it twisted – I would much rather talk to you then strain my neck & my fingers messaging you instead. So, why oh why men, do you insist on texting when you know it’s not what we want?! STOP texting me, and pick up the phone instead!

#SaturdayStamps: Charles W. Chestnutt

Charles W. Chestnutt was born June 20, 1858 and died November 15, 1932 in Cleveland, OH.

Chesnutt was the son of free blacks who had left their native city of Fayetteville, N.C., prior to the American Civil War. Following the war his parents moved back to Fayetteville, where Chesnutt completed his education and began teaching. He was named assistant principal (1877–80) and then principal (1880–83) of State Colored Normal School (now Fayetteville State University), but he became so distressed about the treatment of blacks in the South that he moved his wife and children to Cleveland. He worked as a clerk-stenographer while becoming a practicing attorney and establishing a profitable legal stenography firm. In his spare moments he wrote stories.

Between 1885 and 1905 Chesnutt published more than 50 tales, short stories, and essays, as well as two collections of short stories, a biography of the antislavery leader Frederick Douglass, and three novels. His “The Goophered Grapevine,” the first work by a black accepted by The Atlantic Monthly (August 1887), was so subtle in its refutation of the plantation school of Thomas Nelson Page that most readers missed the irony. This and similarly authentic stories of folk life among the North Carolina blacks were collected in The Conjure Woman (1899). The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line (1899) examines colour prejudice among blacks as well as between the races in a manner reminiscent of George W. Cable. The Colonel’s Dream (1905) dealt trenchantly with problems of the freed slave. A psychological realist, Chesnutt made use of familiar scenes of North Carolina folk life to protest social injustice.

His works outranked any fiction written by blacks until the 1930s. Chesnutt’s thematic use of the humanity of blacks and the contemporary inhumanity of man to man, black and white alike, anticipates the work of later writers as diverse as William Faulkner, Richard Wright, and James Baldwin.

Things That Turn Women On

Different things turn different people on. There are a lot of tangible & intangible reasons why we like what we like, but whether it’s rational or irrational sometimes we just can’t help ourselves. Below are some things that turn women on –

  • Intelligence
  • Cleanliness
  • Music
  • Good cook
  • Newness
  • Nice voice
  • Good listener
  • Hand holding
  • Athletic clothes
  • Beautiful eyes
  • Smell good
  • Height
  • Good smile
  • Nice teeth
  • Man-tears
  • Sense of humor
  • Affection

Men, how many of these qualities do you possess? What qualities turn you on?

Black History Month is Over (but there’s always more to learn!)

Unfortunately, Black History Month is officially over (darn!) but I hope that you were able to gain something from my daily Black History posts. I love this time of year because it allows me to introduce lesser known, yet highly influential African Americans in history. We have made so many contributions to this country; I absolutely love celebrating February!

Even though February is now gone, I will continue to post topics that are relevant to the African American community or share articles of interest pertaining to my heritage. I’ll also continue to highlight African American artists throughout the year every Saturday – #SaturdayStamps. Feel free to post photos of any old stamps you may have!

March is here and I have a lot of new topics. I will continue to include articles of interest on subjects like dating, marriage, having children (or not), friendship, church, etc. And the Question of the Day is coming back! I’ve got plenty of great questions that I’m going to throw out there so please Respond, Like, or Re-blog (or all 3)!

Here’s the new schedule:

  • Sunday: I’ll continue with my weekly scriptures & my inspirational quotes of the week.
  • Question of the Day: They’re back starting next week.
  • Monday – Friday: These posts will vary day-to-day, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing! Please Respond, Like, or Re-blog
  • Saturday: African American postage stamps will be posted every week. #SaturdayStamps
  • Instagram (Chocolate_Vent): More from Chocolate Vent!
  • Facebook (Choc.Vent): Articles about any & everything will be posted here.
  • Twitter (Chocolate_Vent): My usual “randomness” throughout the day. Keep up if you can!

Happy reading & please leave comments. I love hearing from my readers!

#TheologyThursday: James Cone

Professor James H. Cone, known as the founder of black liberation theology, was the Bill and Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. He attended Shorter College (1954-56) and held a B.A. degree from Philander Smith College (1958). In 1961, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary and later earned an M.A. (1963) and Ph.D. (1965) from Northwestern University. Dr. Cone was conferred thirteen (13) honorary degrees, including an honoris causa from the Institut Protestant de Théologie in Paris, France.

Among his numerous awards were the American Black Achievement Award in religion given by Ebony Magazine (November 1992), the Fund for Theological Education Award for contributions to theological education and scholarship (November 1999), the Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion (2009), the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award in recognition of seminal theological scholarship from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (2010).

Dr. Cone was an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He is listed in the Directory of American Scholars, in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Religion, Who’s Who among African Americans, and Who’s Who in the World. He was the author of twelve (12) books and over 150 articles and lectured at many universities and community organizations throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He was an active member of numerous professional societies, including the Society for the Study of Black Religion, the American Academy of Religion, and the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) in the Philippines, and was a founding member of the Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion (SRER).

Dr. Cone was best known for his ground-breaking works, Black Theology & Black Power (1969) and A Black Theology of Liberation (1970); he was also the author of the highly acclaimed God of the Oppressed (1975), and of Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare? (1991); all of which works have been translated into nine languages.  The 30th Anniversary of the publication of Black Theology & Black Power was celebrated at the University of Chicago Divinity School (April 1998), and a similar event was held for A Black Theology of Liberation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (April 2000) and at the Catholic Theological Society of America (June 2001). His research and teaching were in Christian theology, with special attention to black liberation theology and the liberation theologies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  He also taught 19th & 20th century European-American theologies. His 2012 book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, received the 2012 Nautilus Silver Award in Religion/Spirituality-Western Traditions. It was an Amazon.com #1 best seller in religion in February 2012. Naming it one of the top religion books of 2011, Huffington Post editors said: “One of the great theologians of the late 20th century, Cone forces us to look hard at suffering, oppression and, ultimately, redemption.”

Dr. Cone passed in 2018.

How Much Should A Single Woman Compromise?

As you get older, you start wonder what it is exactly that is keeping you from meeting that “special someone.” You see your friends, younger family members & your co-workers get married and even get re-married and you wonder why haven’t you been able to find the love of your life yet although it seems like everyone else has. To know that people are on their second and even third marriages while you’ve never even been married once can be a painful blow not only mentally but also emotionally. How is that some people can find multiple partners, yet I am unable to have just one?

It makes you wonder if there’s something wrong with you or if you’re standards are too high. Why is it so difficult to find the person who is just right for me? Grant it, everyone wasn’t meant to be married and others have chosen to never get married (like a priest or a nun) but when you want something really badly & don’t have it seems like you’ll never have it, it’s only natural to look introspectively.

Naturally, my journey of looking inwards begins with me. How do others perceive me? Am I putting myself out there enough? Or maybe too much (can’t keep going to the same watering holes expecting to meet new people). Do I look & dress the best I possibly can when I go out? Do I reek of high self-esteem or are men turned off by whatever vibe I might be putting out there? Am I making an effort to be the best woman I can be to attract the right type of man (attracting men is easy; it’s all about attracting the right man)? These are all questions every woman should be asking herself when she’s not meeting the kind of man she wants to meet.

Next, I look at my standards. Should I be willing to compromise my standards? And if so, which ones? –

  • Should I start dating men with kids?
  • What about dating men who don’t have any formal education?
  • Should I be okay dating men who are inconsistent & don’t call or take me out regularly?
  • What about men who text a lot even though I’ve made it quite clear that I prefer phone calls instead?
  • Is it too much to want to be with a man who actually attends church?
  • Can I meet a man who doesn’t automatically expect sex (either before or during a relationship)?

These are only some of the standards that I don’t want to compromise & shouldn’t have to. Why is that too much to ask for?