Jenn Harris Does It ExpediTIously

Mane.

Can I tell y’all something? On a real tip?

I am a fan of TI. I really am, and have been for a while now. I am impressed by his growth, and his transitioning from hustler, to rapper, to actor and activist. I am little sister proud of Mr. Clifford ‘TI’ Harris.  I still write and study to three of the following tracks (in no particular order):

-Big Sh!t Poppin

-King Back

-What You Know About That

-Motivation

 

Aside from his personal shenanigans with the outside kids, his wife leaving,  getting arrested outside his own house, and you can’t forget when fam when to jail (bruh!), when I saw him make this turn towards social justice, activism and attempting to a voice within the current culture? I was for him even more.

There is something about his voice that reminds me of home:  accent unapologetic, raw and not quite as polished as white folk would like you to be–but it’s the truth anyhow.

The current culture also knows TI is fan of college level vernacular, and this hybrid slang of what I call hustler vernacular linguistic acrobatics. There is a element of truth uncut to what he says, with the hint of  ‘don’t try me about this shit’, that you can’t help but believe him on!

When I little birdie told the kid that TI was doing his podcast, the name of which is a word he uses often? With the swag culture offers? Bruh. I put it on my calendar! I listened to it this morning!

The language is frank, and I had the feel of coming home when I listened to this first episode. It was like putting my ear to the door of listening to my father and his brothers talk:  this mix of righteous and ratchet. But, with enough truth to keep me listening.

Aight,TI.

I see you.

 

Click here and be a part of this movement…ExpediTIously.

[image from The Source (thesource.com)]

In Memorium: To The Dudes That Saw There First Pretty Black Girl In JET, & All The Black Girls That Wanted To Be On The Cover of EBONY

 

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I remember my mother subscribing to EBONY and  ESSENCE Magazine when I was a girl. I remember I would pour over these magazines before I would give them back to my mother. I would even carry a copy of either or both of these magazines in my backpack or purse. They would be devoured at lunch, after classwork or waiting to be picked up by my parents after school from 6th-8th grade.

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EBONY was a part of my middle school girlhood. I was a part of the ritual of going to beauty salon with my Mama. It was part of knowing who was doing what, and how many people we could identify! I remember what it meant to pick that up, see it in my house, and even in my classrooms at Yeatman Middle School on the Northside of St. Louis, Missouri in the St. Louis Public School District. I even remember some of the guys in my classes sneaking looks the JET Beauty of the Week!

That is how far back it goes. And this was only the mid-1990’s, fam!

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And this week? I find out that EBONY and JET are firing freelancers, getting rid of other staff and these historic portions of Black media are…going away. These publications are one of the reasons I wanted to be a writer. Why I wanted to be a journalist. Why I was a fierce reader. These publications, shaped my Black girlness and emerging womaness, while collecting my collective ethnic, cultural history.

To know that this is being erased, taken from collective Blackness is the resurgence of all things melaninated, dope and from and in front of Black Jesus?! This ain’t fair!

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THIS IS NOT FAIR!

Roland M. Martin was talking about this on his YouTube Channel today. We know the Johnson Publishing Company, the family company that owns EBONY and JET, has had financial issues for past few years. This is no secret. But! The news that is being unveiled  now suggests that the company which has a 70-plus year history, is about to fold! Like how can this be happening!

Roland Martin was saying that there are a lot of Black media groups that have not made the adjustment to podcasting; consolidating with other media groups; valuing the building over the product the building produced. But, there is a truth to this. But the fact is we need our histories too! We need our legacies preserved too! We need to adjust with the times, too!

Twenty-five years ago? I snuck these magazines in my backpack! Now, download this from the site and follow 9 other podcasts just like it! On my iPhone! Does that mean I don’t like the physical copy? No. I still by physical magazines! But it’s the convenience, dear ones.

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Just like this blog is for you right now.

But, my heart, dear ones, is grieved. I am so grieved! First the HBCU’s and now this. First the GoFund Me’s and Crowdfunding for Bennett College, and there’s about to be no more EBONY or JET in same year Blackness is about to be supernova?! This is a hellafied Faustian baragain, y’all.

Bruh, I am looking forward to being on the cover of a magazine of and because of these 26 letters I whip together all the time! I wanted my face, my staff’s face on the cover of EBONY! That is the one magazine everybody Black still reads and their grandmother and ‘nem keep in the curio cabinet! That is cultural history, beloveds.

 

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I don’t know how we come back from this one. But, I don’t want any more Black creatives or creative outlets to take unnecessary losses, dear ones. We keep saying what we do for the culture–then let’s start preserving it.