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March 31, 2009

Playwright Lynn Nottage wins Pulitzer Prize

Stories of race and gender prevailed at this year's Pulitzer Prizes, with "Ruined," Lynn Nottage's harrowing tale of survival set against the backdrop of an African civil war, winning for drama Monday and books about slavery, civil rights and Andrew Jackson also receiving awards.

In a rare victory for the short story, Elizabeth Strout's "Olive Kitteridge," a collection set in New England and linked by the forthright title character, a math teacher and general scold with an understanding heart. It was the first book of short stories to win since 2000 (Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies").

Three prize winners centered on racial history, from colonial times to the 20th century.

The general nonfiction award went to "Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II" by Douglas A. Blackmon, Atlanta bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal. Newsweek editor Jon Meacham won the biography prize for "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House," a best-seller about the populist president whose sympathy for the less fortunate never extended to slaves.

"Jackson represents the best and the worst of us," Meacham said.

"It's a huge honor for me," Blackmon said of his Pulitzer, "but more importantly I hope it really validates the idea that this is a part of American history that we have ignored and neglected, and it's time for a really dramatic reinterpretation of what happened to African-Americans during that period of time."

Annette Gordon-Reed's "The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family," which received the National Book Award last fall, won for history. Gordon-Reed's book documents the life and family of Sally Hemings, the slave girl who many believe had an intimate relationship with Thomas Jefferson.

"Race is something that people are quite focused upon," said Gordon-Reed, currently in Sydney, Australia for a conference of Thomas Jefferson scholars and scheduled to give a talk on President Obama. "It's an internationally interesting subject. People here are fascinated by our history."

Minimalist Steve Reich took the music prize for "Double Sextet," while poet W.S. Merwin received his second Pulitzer for poetry, for "The Shadow of Sirius." In 1971, he won for "The Carrier of Ladders" and refused to accept the prize money in protest of the Vietnam War. This time, he'll mark the day more quietly, celebrating with his dog while his wife is out of town.

"I think it's wonderful when it happens, and if it doesn't, I think of all the great people who didn't get honored. And that's a pretty good tradition too," Merwin said.

Nottage's play, inspired by Bertolt Brecht's "Mother Courage and Her Children," focuses on the suffering of women, particularly the inhabitants of a Congolese brothel owned by an earth mother named Mama Nadi.

While the political is never far from the surface, it is the personal that mostly concerns "Ruined," particularly in its depictions of the resourceful Mama Nadi and the young women who work for her.

"I wanted to tell the story of these women and the war in the Congo and I couldn't find anything about them in the newspapers or in the library, so I felt I had to get on a plane and go to Africa and find the story myself," Nottage said in a telephone interview. "I felt there was a complete absence in the media of their narrative. It's very different now, but when I went in 2004 that was definitely the case."

She said "Ruined" was a difficult play to write because of the nature of the material, "because the characters go through (things) so raw and brutal, it was not easy to spend time with them on a day-to-day basis."

"I think of Mama Nadi as being the ultimate businesswoman. She's a survivor," the 44-year-old playwright said. "She is a negotiator. She uses her wit and her wiles to survive a very difficult conflict."

The drama currently is on view at off-Broadway's Manhattan Theatre Club and is a co-production with Chicago's Goodman Theatre where the play had its world premiere late last year.

Associated Press writers Jake Coyle, Erin Carlson and Hillel Italie contributed to this report.

March 30, 2009

Phunk Afrique

Beautiful designs of up and coming designer Funke Ogunde from Nigeria.


Related Articles:

Phunk Afrique Showroom Launch

Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom

The Imperial State Crown was made in 1937 for King George VI, and was similar to the Diamond crown made in 1838 for Queen Victoria. The present Crown is made of gold and includes four crosses pattée and four fleurs-de-lis, with two arches on top, surmounted by a cross pattée. The Crown includes many jewels: 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and five rubies. Among the stones are several famous ones, including the Black Prince's Ruby (actually a spinel) and the Cullinan II diamond, also known as the Lesser Star of Africa. Two of the three pearls dangling from the crown were once worn by Queen Elizabeth I. It is worn after the conclusion of the Coronation ceremony when the monarch leaves Westminster Abbey, and also at the annual State Opening of Parliament.

The collective term Crown Jewels denotes the regalia and vestments worn by the sovereign of the United Kingdom during the coronation ceremony and at other state functions. The term refers to the following objects: the crowns, sceptres (with either the cross or the dove), orbs, swords, rings, spurs, colobium sindonis, dalmatic, armill, and the royal robe or pall, as well as several other objects connected with the ceremony itself.

The crown jewels are held at the Tower of London for the public to view, I didn't go inside the Tower while I was in London. Click here for more information.

March 28, 2009

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Everyone should have a copy of this in their home.

Thanks to Moorish Brooklyn Intelligence

For text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Click here

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris, France that stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the Place de l'Étoile. It is at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The triumphal arch honors those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. On the inside and the top of the arc there are all of the names of generals and wars fought. Underneath is the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I.

The Arc is the linchpin of the historic axis (L'Axe historique) — a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which goes from the courtyard of the Louvre Palace to the outskirts of Paris. The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806, and its Iconographic program pitted heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail and set the tone for public monuments, with triumphant nationalistic messages, until World War I. Continue reading here

March 27, 2009

Mexico celebrates Spring Equinox

Visitors believe the ancient structure holds a special energy at the equinox which they can receive especially if they are dressed in white.

Perfomers in Aztec costume join the ceremony, to perform dances as part of the ritual.

Thousands gather at the pyramid of the sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico to celebrate Spring Equinox.
Thanks to Ayira Bey

Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum

Actress Phylicia Rashad attended the Culture Project’s ‘Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum’ concert at The United Nations on Wednesday in New York City.

On March 25th it was the International day of Remembrance of the victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic slave trade.

"We must acknowledge the great lapse in moral judgment that allowed [the Transatlantic Slave Trade] to happen. We must urge present and future generations to avoid repeating history. We must acknowledge the contributions that enslaved Africans made to civilization. And countries that prospered from the slave trade must examine the origins of present-day social inequality and work to unravel mistrust between communities. Above all, even as we mourn the atrocities committed against the countless victims, we take heart from the courage of slaves who rose up to overcome the system which oppressed them."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Drums and Slavery
In Africa, rhythms, spiritual dimensions and the order of the universe are not generally separated into compartments in the mind of most people. Traditional African societies acknowledge that the drum has a spirit and character that is clearly observable. It is believed by many African communities that voices of great ancestors are hidden inside the wood of trees so they could be accessed whenever men and women need them. African history has been maintained through an oral tradition.

Everywhere, slaves strived to keep the heritage and practice of drums alive. Drums from Cameroon represent various types of African drums. Due to its many peoples and unique geographical location (on the coast, deep in the heart of Africa as well as close to the Sahara), Cameroon is sometimes seen as Africa in miniature. Drums also reflect spiritual, social, ethno-anthropological and artistic perspectives. The historical and cultural significance of drums with regard to the Transatlantic Slave Trade is noteworthy. Continue reading

Eiffel Tower

Every time my mom snapped a shot she left out part of the monument lol
My fav shot in front of the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower (French: Tour Eiffel, /tuʀ ɛfɛl/) is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the Seine River in Paris. The tower has become a global icon of France and is one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris. More than 200,000,000 people have visited the tower since its construction in 1889,[2] including 6,719,200 in 2006, making it the most visited paid monument in the world.[4][5] Including the 24 m (79 ft) antenna, the structure is 324 m (1,063 ft) high (since 2000), which is equivalent to about 81 levels in a conventional building. Continue reading here

March 26, 2009

Quote of The Day

Negro, Black, Coloured are euphemisms for the words "slave" and "property".

Sanu Nefer Amen

Five herbs for your grocery list !

1. Turmeric
Turmeric has emerged as a powerful anti-cancer agent, and that’s mainly due to the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-viral potency of its active ingredient: curcumin. Curcumin has been linked to a slowing in breast cancer cell growth, and the slowing or prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also been shown to foster liver health and lower cholesterol.
Research suggests has cancer-fighting properties, inhibiting and reducing tumor growth. Rosemary also contains a polyphenol known as carnosol, which may protect the brain from free radical damage, stroke and some neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

3. Mustard Seed
Glucosinolates are the base of mustard seed’s distinct flavour and some research suggest these chemical compounds may also fight cancer by inhibiting and/or slowing cell growth.

An ancient spice with an intoxicating and irresistible aroma, cinnamon has received increased attention of late for its anti-inflammatory effects. Research suggests it possesses Type-2 diabetes- and heart disease-fighting powers.

5. Basil
Mix up your exposure by choosing different varieties. Purple basil contains anthocyanins, the compounds that make blueberries such a healthy addition to your diet. Green basil offers flavonoids. Both offer anti-fungal (inhibits growth of bacteria) and anti-inflammatory protections. Research suggests basil may help ease the effects of inflammatory conditions like arthritis and irritable bowel diseases.

March 25, 2009

Join & Win a $1000 H&M Gift Card

Register for for a chance to win a $1000 H&M Gift Card.

Rama Yade: Secretary of State for Human Rights

Rama Yade (full name Ramatoulaye Yade-Zimet) is a French politician, the Secretary of State for Human Rights under the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner. Yade worked at the Paris city hall and the National Assembly before becoming an administrator in the Senate in 2002. She joined the UMP political party in 2005 and became National Secretary in charge of Francophonie in 2006. She credits Nicolas Sarkozy's charisma with making her want to join the UMP.

In May 2007, she was appointed Secretary of State for Human Rights under the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner. Source

Ebony Likes!

(My last 2 pieces of Belgium chocolate, it taste so good. lol)

I like Belgium chocolate from Harrods (London) and Bourgogne Chardonnay wine from (Paris)

March 24, 2009

Jill Scott The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

While I was in London I watched an episode of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency and this show is great, you have to tune in to watch . The season premeire is on Sunday March 29th @ 8pm.

Click here to watch.

Following the 2008 film based on Alexander McCall Smith's novel, the new series takes us back to Botswana and to the narrative's main character Mma Ramotswe (Jill Scott) who runs Garbone's only lady detective agency.

With Mma Ramotswe's infamous quick wittedness and infallible instincts, the audience are once again embroiled in the murky world of scandals, misdeeds and skulduggery that come to pass for life in Botswana, South Africa. Continue reading here

7 Facts That Will Change Your Skin

March 23, 2009

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care @HoneyFig

Join us on Thursday, April 2nd from 12-3 pm, for the first in store event of our
Nurturing @HoneyFig series.

For this event we will be spotlighting the Dr. Hauschka line of natural and holistic skin care. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn why this brand is considered the “Grandfather” of natural skin care.

On hand will be a Dr. Hauschka Skin Care representative, who will meet with you one-on-one during a 20 minute consultation; in which you will learn about your skin type and how the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care range can work for you. At the end of your consultation you will receive a natural skin care plan containing a list of suggested products and directions for use.

How to book your appointment:

1. Email:; subject line: Dr. Hauschka@HoneyFig
2. In the email type: your name, skin type, phone number and best time to confirm you appointment time.

Appointment booking:
Upon receipt of your email you will be called to book your appointment, however, spaces are limited and those who email first will have first choice of available times.
Emails received after appointment spots have been filled, will be placed on a waiting list. If a client cannot make their appointment then those on the waiting list will be called in sequence.

About Dr. Hauschka

Established by the Viennese chemist, Dr. Rudolf Hauschka and Cosmetologist Elisabeth Sigmud, the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care range has been advocating the use of natural ingredients in skin care for more than 40 years. With their motto of “Nature’s Treasures Transformed for You” in their products, you will find high-quality plant oils, natural waxes, nurturing medicinal plants, and natural essential oils. Mixed together in just the right quantities and using the rhythmic manufacturing process, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care supports the skin’s natural functions thus resulting in a natural healthy glow.

Looking forward, to seeing you on April 2, 2009!

The HoneyFig Team

4967 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
M2N 5N6
(HoneyFig is conveniently located at Yonge & Hollywood;
3 blocks north of Sheppard, on the east side of Yonge)

Beyond Human: Kanye West in Complex Mag

Source:Complex Magazine/Concreteloop

Look of The Day

Mary J Blige strolling through NoHo.

March 21, 2009

Links March 21 2009

What Is A NEWBO? - Divalocity

Percival Everett’s Book Turned Movie - Black Girl Lost in A Book

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls -

Help Stop Relationship Violence Action Steps for Women -

Titilayo Rachel Adedokun - Opera, Jazz and Musicals Performer in Germany - Black Women in Europe

Christiane Taubira French Politician

Christiane Taubira (born 2 February 1952, Cayenne, French Guiana) is a French politician. President of her party Walwari, she has served as a French deputy at the National Assembly since 1993, and was re-elected in 1997. Non-affiliated in 1993, she then voted for the investiture of the conservative Edouard Balladur cabinet in 1993. In 1994, she became a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), being the fourth on the Énergie Radicale list led by Bernard Tapie. In June 1997, she then joined the Socialist party (PS), and then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (PS) commissioned her for a report on gold search in Guiana.
Christiane Taubira gave her name to the 21 May 2001 law which recognizes the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity. Source

High Life

March 20, 2009

Happy New Year Spring is Here

Snap shot of flowers I took in Marks & Spencer in London.

Musée du Louvre

Entrance into the Museum via the pyramids.
Egyptian Antiquities

Snap shot I took of the Mona Lisa

The Louvre Museum (French: Musée du Louvre), located in Paris, is a historic monument, and a national museum of France. It is a central landmark, located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (neighbourhood). Nearly 35,000 objects from the 6th millennium BC to the 19th century AD are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet).
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are still visible. More info click here

March 19, 2009

Michelle Obama & Alicia Keys @ High School in D.C

"On Thursday, the first lady and 21 other prominent women – including singers Sheryl Crow and Alicia Keyes, former astronaut Mae C. Jemison, the actress Alfre Woodard and the makeup maven Bobbi Brown – scattered to public and private schools across the region in honor of Women’s History Month." Continue reading here

Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2009 Backstage

Unknown lady, I really liked her shoes.

Gong Li, Chinese Film Actress

While I was on my way to visit the Lourve Museum, I happened to walk past the end of the Louis Vuitton Fashion show, and snapped some pictures of models and actresses.

The Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier at sunset

My mom snapped this shot of me, its so off center that it turn out nice lol.

The Palais Garnier, also known as the Opéra de Paris or Opéra Garnier, but more commonly as the Paris Opéra, is a 2,200-seat opera house on the Place de l'Opéra in Paris, France. A grand landmark designed by Charles Garnier in the Neo-Baroque style, it is regarded as one of the architectural masterpieces of its time. The building is located in the IXe arrondissement and is served by the metro station Opéra.

1 History
2 Architecture and style
3 Influence abroad

Pictures from outside and inside The Palais Garnier.

March 18, 2009

I'm Back in Toronto

Picture 1 view of Toronto , while the plane was ready to land. I had a great vacation in London in Paris. I can't wait to go back.


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