My Daughter Brought Me Closer to God

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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Two years ago on the fourth of July, my daughter brought me closer to God.  I remember sitting with my daughter in my lap on the porch with our family watching fireworks light the sky.  Each time a firework would go off, my daughter would bury her little face in my neck when the thundering noise would frighten her followed by a quick contradictory laugh.


 “Nevaeh,” her uncle called.  “Nevaeh, come here…come see what I have.” My daughter looked up to see her uncle holding a streamer.  She quickly ran over to take a look. Just then, my neighbor lit a firework, must have been 10 feet away.  Within seconds it sounded like a bomb had landed in the front yard…stunned, I looked for Nevaeh and there she was laying face down at the bottom of our concrete stairs. 

My world stopped. Every thing moved in slow motion.  My daughter didn’t just fall down a flight of stairs?! I remember my hands shook uncontrollably as I reached out to pick her up.  I slowly turned her over  as she gasped and flailed about…frantic for air. Next, she opened her tiny mouth and a piercing cry escaped her lips—a cry I had never heard before. 

While my sister drove to the hospital, I was in the back seat frantically trying to calm her. There was blood all over her shirt, everywhere…no matter how much tissue I held to her mouth, it wasn’t enough.  She would try to rub her head and I kept saying… “Baby, I wish I could take your pain.  I wish you could just give it all to me.”  After all, couldn’t I deal with the pain better? Wasn’t I more equipped?

We went through the normal procedures that night.  The ER nurse treated her lip and gums that had been split.  This is all my fault. I watched as the nurse laid her swaddled body on the hospital bed and followed as they moved her to radiology.  This is all my fault. Tears stained my silk blouse as I helplessly watched them give her a CAT Scan.  I felt like I had failed as a parent, while feelings of guilt washed over me—This    is    all    my     fault.

By the grace of God, they released us within 4 hours.  Her test results came back normal and we were prescribed some pretty strong pain relievers for the bump beginning to form on her head as well as proper packing for her mouth.  I cried for the 15th time that day and tried to not think about all that could have been.

On the way home, watching my daughter sleep, I began to think about God, Abba—our Father.  I began to think about His love...His unyielding and sacrificial love. I began to think about how many times He watched us hurt ourselves in our disobedience and felt pain for us.  How God must have wanted to take Jesus’ pain away as he watched His Son on the Cross.  How it must have felt to watch His Son experience insurmountable amounts of pain as they nailed His flesh into the wood and placed thorns about His head…as they stabbed his side…How God most have wanted to hold Jesus in His arms …to console Him, to show Him He did not forsake Him that day on Calvary…yet knowing what Jesus’ purpose was, God waited like a parent in a waiting room…

Through my daughter’s pain, I experienced a slight revelation to the personification of our God Almighty, El Shaddai. I began to thank Him like never before. God is not a man where He cannot bare our burdens…where He cannot take our pains…and give us joy.  Because what does he say?

Psalm 68:19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Selah 
Exodus 18:10 He said, "Praise be to the LORD, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians.
1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
 Jude 1:24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—
 Psalm 30:5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

I am enjoying the rollercoaster ride of my faith, and of a being parent.  I have hereby humbled myself to lessons learned through the joys of parenthood.


SHALOM.


Teena Marie Dies at 54

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010

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Having just come from a hoax on Twitter on Morgan Freeman's alleged death, I was a little skeptical on the new's of Teena Marie's passing, but sadly--it is a reality.  The confirmation came Sunday from publicist Jasmine Vega, who worked with Teena Marie on her last album. Her manager, Mike Gardner, also confirmed her death to CNN.

I had the pleasure of meeting the "Ivory Queen of Soul"  who is best known for her hit songs,  "Lovergirl", and "I'm a Sucker For Your Love", while working on Showtime at the Apollo many years ago.  I'm sad to say her daughter, reportedly found Marie's body at her home.  The cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

A death in the family is hard, but what makes it exceptionally hard is it is directly following a major holiday of which a few hours ago Marie posted on Twitter, ""May Gods Light always shine on you and your family! May you have the most joyous Holliday season ever! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"

My prayers are definitely with her loved ones.  




After 10 years, Carine Roitfeld is Leaving French Vogue Magazine!

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010

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I first learned the news of Carine Roitfeld's departure from visiting one of my favorite blogs, The Sartorialist at blogspot, ran by Scott Shumen.  Naturally I did some investigation, and it's true...after 10 years as the editor in chief of French Vogue, Carine Roitfeld has announced her departure from the magazine at the end of January. 

The 56-year-old, renowned as one of the most influential names in fashion, initially began her career as a model before switching to styling and eventually becoming Tom Ford's muse. She landed the role of French Vogue editor in 2001.


In a telephone interview with the New York Times' Cathy Horyn, Roitfeld explained: "It's 10 years that I'm editor of the magazine. I think it's time to do something different."  As the fashion typically loves a good scandal, there is none to report as of yet. All that is said is that Roitfeld is leaving to pursue personal projects. 


 Vogue will announce Roitfeld's successor, within the next couple of weeks.  

Racial Anti-Abortion Ad in Austin

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Friday, December 24, 2010

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This national ad disturbed me.  On one end, I appreciate it being a nice relief from the sickening abortion ads and of course, I am pro-life...but to specifically have a campaign that targets abortion in minority communities that's ridden with guilt is astounding and irritating.  The sign says, " The most dangerous place for some children is in the womb," why not just have a campaign called the guilt campaign?  I think what's more important is letting young lady's know that first, God has forgiven you, but perhaps the larger part is forgiving yourself and taking preventative measures against unplanned pregnancy.

We don't need anymore campaigns that highlight abortion factories as "Planned Parenthood." One abortion every 15 minutes...teens in and out, without the proper knowledge of what they have done, subjected their bodies to, or how to prevent a pregnancies in the future.  Might I add that the founder of Planned Parenthood is recorded saying the goal is to, "stop the reproduction of the unfit" and that an African American baby is three times more likely to be aborted than the rest of the population.

Here's the problem...we have young lady's who are placed in compromising situations, who have experienced rape or molestation which alters their perception on love.  We have young lady's brought up in a household where it's "cool" to get a baby daddy.  When that young lady gets pregnant, decides to have an abortion because visually (thanks to the awesome campaigns) where are the counseling or educational classes?

This is a widespeard issue that needs a resolution. The solution, however, does not include propelling abortion clinics to be the first option. If treated at the source--starting with parents and "health" education, we're better equipping our young ones to make "grown up decisions" and handle themselves in a manor that is both respectful to their bodies, to God, and their future. 


Student Cons His Way Into Harvard

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010

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Adam Wheeler, 24,  lied his way into Harvard and benefited from more than $40,000 in grants!
Sound's like another movie is about erupts...click here to read the full story.

The Kardashian's Holiday Portrait

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010

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 VS...

...go figure

Winona Ryder--1st to Admit Mel Gibson Was allll Messed up

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010

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“Black Swan” star Winona Ryder remembers Mel Gibson being “anti-Semitic and homophobic” long before his taped racist rants were broadcast across the world.


She says in the January issue of GQ, ,  “Fifteen years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties. And he was really drunk and I was with my friend, who’s gay. Mel made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish."


Melly Mel just can't get a break...

Elizabeth Edwards Has Passed

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2010

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Just as news hit the blogosphere surrounding Elizabeth Edwards' doctor's releasing a statement saying she had a few weeks to live, it has now been confirmed that the estranged wife of former Vice-President John Edwards', has passed.

It is no secret that Edwards has been bravely battling breast cancer since 2004. This week Monday, it was reported that her cancer had spread to her liver and that she was no longer receiving treatment.

John Edwards and her 3 children were beside her at her time of death. The funeral for Elizabeth Edwards is open to the public and will be held at Edenton Street United Methodist Church at 1:00PM.

The church is the same one where the funeral for Edwards's son Wade was held when he died and Edwards will lovingly be placed beside her son in the nearby Oakwood Cemetery. My prayers are with the Edwards family for their strength!

Loneliness During the Holiday Season

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2010

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The holiday season is a time of giving, cherishing time with family and friends--the epitome of hope and joy.  But let us remember that while we are enjoying the fruits of the holiday's there are some who smile while inside they are hurting--because to them, the holiday season is synonymous with the passing of loved ones, lost relationships, or dark childhood memories.  

Loneliness is the only prison where we sentence ourselves and voluntarily carry out that punishment.  It’s a difficult place when we position ourselves to sit in areas of desolate solitude all the nurturing ourselves—hoping the holiday season will end with haste.
  
If you are wrestling with the seeming insoluble virus of loneliness, know that there is a cure. And the cure isn’t some mystery that only can be obtained by in-depth counseling or seminary…but it involves a willingness to be guided down a path towards a healthy and wholesome you. 
  
Loneliness is cured by a bold desire to reclaim your life despite your circumstance, to acknowledge that God is right beside you despite your individual situation or what others may tell you. 

Remember that God is right there to pick you up and mount up as wings on eagles, where you will run and not be weary you will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

 Deuteronomy 4:31 (New International Version)
31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath
1 Samuel 12:22 (New International Version)
22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.

Psalm 27:10 (New International Version)

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
   the LORD will receive me.

Psalm 31:7 (New International Version)

7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
   for you saw my affliction
   and knew the anguish of my soul.

Psalm 46:1 (New International Version)

 1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 55:22 (New International Version,)

22 Cast your cares on the LORD
   and he will sustain you;
he will never let
   the righteous be shaken.

Psalm 112:4 (New International Version)

4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
   for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous

Psalm 147:3 (New International Version)

3 He heals the brokenhearted
   and binds up their wounds.


World AIDS Day

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

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AIDS…the mere mention of the word conjures fear—fear stemming from not properly being educated on the contraction of the virus.  The harsh fact of the virus remains; last year, nearly half a million babies were born HIV positive.  Currently more than 33 million people worldwide are suffering with HIV and over 7,300 more are infected every day…what’s even more astounding is that 1 in 5 does not know they have the virus.

Karen Timberlake, Department of Health Services Secretary said. “Anyone can become infected with HIV, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, gender identity, or socioeconomic circumstance. Some of our communities are especially hard hit by HIV, making it vitally important to focus our efforts on helping people with the greatest need for prevention and treatment services.”

Our church realizes the impact we can make and have therefore teamed up with Save Africa’s Children in partnership with ONE Campaign and are aggressively working towards expelling the virus by 2015.
We invite you to partake in our service tonight! We would love to have you hear to help us join in the fight to raise awareness.
West Angeles North Campus
3045 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018
@ 7:00PM

If you cannot physically join us, then why not team up with us online? Visit us at webtv.westa.org/live we’d love to have you.

Adam Sandler's Turkey Day

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2010

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A Visionary: Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, 1st Pastor in 100 years to Unite 1200 Churches Online

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, November 20, 2010

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Every Pastor is expected to call upon the Godly wisdom and past experiences of previous Church leaders to help chart the pathway to the future for their congregation.  But the extraordinary presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) denomination has searched beyond the immediate horizons.  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake called on his deep historical knowledge and wisdom, combined with his vision of the challenge the church faces in the technological present and made a decision that would expand the church’s reach and offer opportunities for a greater sense of community within a global landscape.

Because Bishop Blake is a true visionary, in 2006 he saw a future for the church that could safely be entrusted to his younger, technologically gifted staff. In a time when few Churches actually employed a Web Team, Bishop Blake recruited his own team at West Angeles COGIC and challenged them once to take strides in technological innovation for West Angeles COGIC, and yet again—in strategically laying a foundation for online worship for the 103rd Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri.

Every year, thousands of saints across the world congregate for the Holy Convocation--hoping for a shift and expecting a deeper revelation than ever before.  Historically hosted in Memphis, Tennessee; the atmosphere was thirsting for a renewal. Like the multitudes of old, the numbers this year were doubled and tripled--through technology. For every saint physically present, there were two gathered in worship around their computer screen.


In the past, The Church of God in Christ, with members both nationally and internationally, were never able to experience such a unifying event online until last week.  But now, because of the age of technology and Bishop Blake’s prophetic vision, members from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Africa, and the United States were able to sit from the comfort of their home and join into to each service.

Many wrote in their thankfulness in having the opportunity to partake online because of physical conditions, financial strains,  and other unfortunate circumstances that forced them to stay home. Not only were member able to view each service, but were also given the option to simultaneously chat about and share their experience across the social spectrum.  Hits to the site was nothing less than miraculously synonymous with the events in the book of acts as a charted total of 10.5 million hits to cogicislive.com were recorded. And now that the Holy Convocation has ended, members still have the opportunity to fellowship with one another through cogicislive.com/myexperience

Charles E. Blake, known as the Presiding Bishop for the Church of God in Christ denomination, and council member to President Obama’s Faith Based Initiative, can be now known as the futuristic Bishop of technology.

Tony Parker Cheats on Eva Longoria

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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GASP! Now...I don't think anyone saw this coming.  Hollywood doesn't really give much hope to the monogamus, committed, till death do you part, romance.

After 3 years of marriage, Eva Longoria has filed for divorce.  Multiple sources tell Us Weekly that the couple's marriage fell apart when Longoria discovered the basketball star was having an affair with a mutual female friend for nearly a year. Among her alleged findings were hundreds of text messages between Parker and the unidentified other woman.
"Eva is heartbroken by the betrayal," one insider tells the mag.

Parker reportedly pleaded for forgiveness after admitting to his infidelity.
"Eva truly thought she was going to grow old with Tony and have children with him," says an insider. "She's inconsolable."
The actress filed for divorce in Los Angeles Wednesday, citing the standard irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split.
Longoria, 35, and Parker, 28, married on July 7, 2007 in a 17th century castle outside Paris.

TSK TSK TSK...of course this asks, "will a man always be a man?!"

I've Been Away

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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Hey all,  I've neglected the blogging world for a total of 15 days.  My apologies...I had to back to back trips and then I got a lil sick, but I'm better now.   I'M BACK!

Happy Birthday Dizzy Gillespie

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

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Today, Google pays tribute to the great Dizzy Gillespie. John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie is one of the most influential figures of jazz. He first revolutionized jazz as being one of the inventors of bebop, and the richness of his rhythms carries through multiple forms of music,  Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, and Brazilian in particular.

The sounds of Dizzy are easily recognizable by his passion and his somewhat obscure melodies flowing from a broken trumpet that someone fell on backstage at one of his earlier shows.  And although his music would proceed his face, no one could mistake the great bellowing cheeks as his trademark. 

Later he played with all the hot shots in jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Earl Hines, Billie Holliday, Thelonious Monk, and Bird Parker to--to name a few. ;)

Perhaps, the upcoming years, after his death could be best described by Dizzy himself, "The music of Charlie Parker and me laid a foundation for all the music that is being played now. . . . Our music is going to be the classical music of the future."  Today he would have been 93 years old.  Thank you for your musical genius, Dizzy. 




Who are "The Poor?"

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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Often times I feel like a forced bystander when I hear a family, a country, or a continent described as "the poor."  The term "the poor" forces me to think of those who got dealt a bad deck, set-back, or disadvantaged. I never understood why PEOPLE, living, breathing, smiling, caring, wonderful PEOPLE were classified in a way to remove them from our minds. 


Every time an infomercial comes on we think, "hmmm, I really ought to help those people" as if somehow we're privileged and above it all when the truth of the matter is, we are a country built on the backs of FREE LABOR, earth shattering, ripping lives apart--stolen labor. Let's also not forget that during WWI AND WWII, if we hadn't sold arms and ammunition to "allies" causing nations to owe large amounts of money to the US where would our wealth be? If we hadn't gotten in bed with countries devastated by bombs for "reconstruction," and charged them insurmountable amounts of money to rebuild, where would we be? Oh, and let's not forget us controlling governments of a number of countries which, as if by surprise, subsequently puts the US in the position to control their economy.  


But to bring it back, our mental recognition of "the poor" bothers me, and I say "our" because I can be accused of that as well. I think Nikki Giovanni said it best in her poem "Nikki Rosa," although somewhat racist.



Childhood remembrances are always a drag   
if you’re Black
....
and if you become famous or something
they never talk about how happy you were to have   
your mother
all to yourself and
how good the water felt when you got your bath   
from one of those
big tubs that folk in chicago barbecue in   
and somehow when you talk about home   
it never gets across how much you
.....and I really hope no white person ever has cause   

to write about me
because they never understand
Black love is Black wealth and they’ll
probably talk about my hard childhood
and never understand that
all the while I was quite happy


If we replace the two subject matters " black," as "the poor" and  "white person," (journalist) as 
"society as a whole" then perhaps you'll feel me on this. Instead of categorizing them as "the
 poor" let's deal with what it is...POVERTY.  Lands stricken by consistent civil wars, stolen 
goods, and maliciously deceptive government. 

Take a look at the video below of Jessica Jackley giving a speech at the TED convention.  Jessica Jakley is the co-founder of Kiva.org, an online community that helps individuals loan small amounts of money, called microloans, to entrepreneurs throughout the world.


Let me know what you think.





I think, overall...what we need is a holistic approach to poverty with specialized organizations. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think providing consistent food, healthcare and shelter is definitely an important complement to what was discussed here.

Willow Smith's Official Video

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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Willow Smith's official video for "Whip My Hair" debuted yesterday, October 18th, on BET'S 106 and Park.  I would have posted this yesterday, but I took a "blog break." Yes, I'm allowed. The video was directed by Ray King and I'm assuming from the video, Willow's goal is to bring some life into an otherwise bland world.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

I Just Wanna Be Successful (no pun intended Drake)

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, October 17, 2010

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I want my success to have the same characteristics of a fountain.  Pulling in and pushing out a wealth of knowledge.  Giving back the quarters of wishes thrown into me.  Captivating crowds with an alien act of sharing, but better yet….seducing. Because that’s what knowledge should be…foreplay. 

I want an explosian of an exchange like Kings Fahd’s fountain in Jeddah and emulate strength like the Archibald Fountain in Sydney. Perhaps the transference of my success could spellbind admirers like the Tivoli Fountain in Italy or I could show up and show out like the Bellagio Fountains in Vegas.


Whatever the case may be, I’ve always been an advocate in returning what I’ve been given and for better lack of words...getting off on it. 


HT: Smith

Alica Keys and Swizz Beatz Welcome a Baby Boy

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Friday, October 15, 2010

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The musical duo gave birth to a baby boy named Egypt Dauode Dean (Dean is Swizz' last name) late in New York's St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital. 

Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys began dating in 2008, while he was still married (sorry, just reinforcing facts here), romantically involved around May of 2009 and announced their engagement in May of 2010.


Swizz tweeted:


"

SWIZZ BEATZ
I'm so thankful for everything I been blessed with in my life wowwwwww! "


This child is a first for Alicia Keys and a fourth for Swizz Beatz.  (Inhale...exhale, Mashondra--you'll be alright, mama).  
 

Police: Women at College Party Possibly Drugged

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Monday, October 11, 2010

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I can't express over and over again how important it is to fully equip and arm our children when they go out.
Here are some tips from their guest, Bill Stanton--safety and security expert:

1. If you are having a drink, watch where the bartender makes the drink: if you don't see it, don't drink it.
2. Girls, travel in two's or three's
3. Women, take a look online to fully see the statics of women who are taken advantage.

More importantly, he says, "this is the age that is no longer, 'Drugs, Sex, & Rock N' Roll, it's the age of Drugs, Sex, & Control'"

Alexander McQueen protege Sarah Burton Steals the Show

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010

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Sarah's  words after the tragic death of McQueen were, "The creation of modern, beautifully crafted clothes was at the heart of Lee’s vision. I intend to stay true to his legacy,”   Burton staying true to her word debuted the label's Spring 2011 line  filled with elaborate detailing, perfectly executed construction, and whimsical detailing. 


Sarah Burton was once McQueen’s second in command, the first and only design assistant giving commercial direction to Lee’s incredible genius. It was a partnership that worked- with Burton heading up womenswear for 14 years. She was the label’s intern who never left.

A master of tailoring who trained on Saville Row, Burton also carried forward these qualities with the folding and suit cuts on display. The overall tone to the show was a bit softer than McQueen however, there's no dramatic details paired with true craftmanship, on the leaf grating, woven and tulle numbers in particular, would surely have done McQueen proud.

The Weather Channel

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

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Am I the only dummy who's wearing sandals on a rainy day?  Just for giggles, here's today and tomorrow's forecast.

CMillian is Pregnant...Again?

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

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Christina Millian allegedly announced over the weekend that she is pregnant again.  The pseudo singer was photographed at Coldwater Canyon in Beverly Hills over the weekend with baby V for a bday celebration.

Now, I've always wanted to like @CMillian, she does have a little talent...BUT if she is pregnant again, it's safe to say she's focused on an alternate career route.  

I'll keep you posted on the details.

My People

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

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I don’t have a “my people.” At least not in your conventional since. “My people” used to be who surrounded me in my neighborhood with similar features.  It used to be the ones called black, although black seems to be the only word associated with different hues of golden browns to enriched mahogany.

The cliché of “my people” have now dwindled away. I do not identify with the stagnant ideas, notions, or the methodology of trying to get over.  I don’t identify with the hook up at the gas station, the “I’ma just get a rich baby daddy,” or “I know someone who can get that Evo for free.”  I don’t identify with the mockery made of my love of asymmetrical designs or abstract patterns—and what sucks is if I told them the truth of it being a Gucci design, they’d be on it by name alone.

I have now embraced a new set of people-ones who have emerged through a cocoon surrounded by bullshit and have reawakened into the ones that are hungry.  Ones that are focused on the upward climb instead of a downward spiral of all things flashy.  My people are not categorized by color or gender, label or vintage, prius or maserati--but for they that treat their goals as children—nurturing them, investing in them—A TRUE “no child left behind.” My people are infused with positivity and admit they know nothing and in that admittance, they have become geniuses.

And although it saddens me to leave some behind, I’m fascinated by who I’ll meet along the way. No one ever said hard work would be easy, and perhaps if it were easy—we’d never realize when we’ve made it.  

Willow Smith Signs with Jay-Z

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2010

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Willow Smith, the 9-year-old daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, has released her first single, 'Whip My Hair,' which has already been viewed over 300,000 times on YouTube after 2 days of being released.
Jay-Z said in an interview with Ryan Secrest this morning:  
"I heard the record first before I knew that it was recorded by a nine year old and I was like, man that record's a smash," Jay-Z said, "I believe in superstars. I believe on big records on superstars and I think she has both."
"She has a child's innocence but she has a clear vision of who she is and who she wants to be," Jay-Z said, comparing Willow to a young Michael Jackson.

Many people suggest she’s too young to step into the music game…but let us not forget that beauty’s like Britney Spears, and Fergie all started out around 9 on MMC. AND Raven Symone put out a single when she was 8 written by Missy Elliot called “That’s What Little Girls Are Mad Of.”


At any rate, I'm feeling this one...Justin Bieber eat your heart out. 

You're Not Dating Him...You're Dating His Woman

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010

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Ladies, no one is really saying this…but I’ll just say…when you’re dating a man that’s involved with someone, you’re not dating him…you’re dating HIS WOMAN.

Now, take a deep breath and think about it.  AND I MEAN REALLY THINK ABOUT.  You feelin’ him because he compliments you? Because he knows how to tell you if your eyeshadow looks amazing? Because he says, “you wearing them shoes.”  The point is…he knows how to say certain things because HIS WOMAN has pointed them out. Because she has molded him into the perfect, articulate,  mature, well groomed man that you and your girlfriend’s  3-way call cuz you can’t believe he says (let me roll my eyes) all the right things.

As we get older, it seems we’re more desperate to not want to be alone.  But please, for the sake of REAL woman…stop messing with that taken man.  How dare you force yourself to believe, “baby, I only wear the ring to keep the chicken heads off.  I only want you,” knowing darn well you cringe every time the light reflects off it.  How dare you go get your vajayjay waxed just “in case” his needing a shoulder to lean on translates into needing a wet hole?

Stay strong ladies. Your days away from that special breakthrough that you need, just believe in yourself.  Mr. Right will come along...but only when you’re on your own individual path to success. 

Where Are You From?

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010

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I was born in books...a subject only a writer could conceive of. One who understood words as verbs. Laced with perfect metaphor; Therefore, poetry in motion. Intricate from a BC tapestry, now tied with the Most High’s Ancestry.

Is Chris Brown A Problem For "Takers"?

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2010

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News across the web is centralizing on Chris Brown possibly being a problem for Takers.  Although one of the producers for the film, Will Packer, said Brown’s legal troubles had nothing to do with the release date, the facts are clear.  Filming for Takers began in 2008 and has been delayed MULTIPLE times. His optimism is comforting to Brown’s career as he says, “I think this will give him the opportunity to have the focus on something positive he has done, which are hard work and a great performance," Packer said.

In weeks leading up to the release of Takers, Brown’s face has actually been removed from most of the advertisement…sheesh.

And according to CNN, pop culture expert, S. Tia Brown says, “the marketing has been smart in that while the film has a majority African-American cast, it has managed so far to avoid being typecast, while still courting that demographic.”  She also goes on to say, “"It was shot in a way which doesn't make you think 'black movie,'" Brown said.”All of the guys are in custom suits and they are classy crooks, not drug dealers or something stereotypical."  Now…I typically love the words that effortlessly flow from Ms. S. Tia Brown…but let’s be real…this whole movie is a stereotype. I’m glad they not saggn, with gold teeth, sucking on chicken bones in the back of a car to small for 24’s…but the majority of the film’s actors are black…playing bank robbers.  It’s not the kind of blatant disrespect in my previous post, but more visually gentle in a Hollywood sort of way. 

There’s no question that the gentlemen bandits look fabulous strolling away from explosions but really, the film itself took a bunch of second-string actors too young to get a role in 'The Expendables' and put them in a very average cops and robbers flick.
Kudos to my baby daddy-Michael Ealy…always a good a sight for me.  Wait…did I just type that? 



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