Happy Birthday Dizzy Gillespie

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



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



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



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



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



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:


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



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



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



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



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



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.