Follow-Up to Good Hair: Still Being Mocked & Who Went To See It?

I know somebody actually paid money to see Chris Rock’s “Good Hair” MOCKumentary. The question is how did it fare? Did your curiosity take over and you simply had to go? The pre-release buzz was so great that even some black men went to see it – which of course tells me there was some serious foolishness going on.

Rock came back to Oprah’s couch table Friday so they could discuss the “angry” emails she received. Well there was legitimate critique of this work by numerous writers, bloggers, etc. with the discernment to see how Rock lacks the emotional maturity to cover a subject of this magnitude with the respect it requires. She was very selective in what she chose to read on air. I know she didn’t read my email to Harpo that’s for sure. The criticism isn’t about the subject but about airing dysfunction publicly and who is telling our stories and why.

If you notice Oprah is mocking the very women who objected and seems to be falling into the guard dog, soldier for black men role as she attacks another black woman for not blindly supporting her “man”. Some have suggested that Oprah is a wholly divested from the “dead” black community mentality but if her latest actions are any indication she’s not removed from “save the black man” mode. From breaking bread with the unrepentant former drug dealer (who glorifies it in his latest song with Alicia Keys) Jay-Z, to her continued support for Rock, Tyler Perry & Steve Harvey I have to wonder who she’s trying to reach out to. If it’s to others still thinking in terms of race above all personal self-interest then her embracing of them should bring relief to those that have long complained about her “not doing enough”. Which is code for telling and expecting black women to run to the rescue of everyone (uplifting black men especially) to their detriment while offering nothing in turn.

Where is her support for projects that don’t mock black women or have us in “suffering and struggling through oppression” mode? She can do whatever she likes but this one-sided view displayed of black women really bothers me. Between that limited view and perhaps catering to an audience of those that don’t have a problem with these men not offering anything of value to the collective, those of us who want to see compelling yet uplifting stories are left out.

So back to the subject at hand, Regina Kimbell’s lawsuit was (predictably) tossed. **I was given wrong information and can happily report the case is a go!!** As it turns out when she allowed Rock and his producers to view her documentary My Nappy Roots they weren’t required to sign a non-disclosure agreement beforehand and wouldn’t do so afterwards. It makes proving a copyright violation that much more difficult. This hearing will determine whether the case can proceed so let’s keep our fingers crossed. This is the first step of a long road and appeals process.
Even the most savvy businessperson can get the shaft in Hollywood. Black women especially, we must be reminded time and time again to know our surroundings and the learn the rules of engagement in various social and business settings. People whose interest lie in making money are not our automatic friends and a person with a recognizable name is not our automatic ally. It would’ve been a different set of circumstances had they violated an agreement though as some of you may know from previous experience a contract is no guarantee of compliance or protection. Still it’s better to have something.

If you’re curious about her project though you can view a 15 minute clip here. Password: nappy. There’s also a Facebook fan page you can sign up for. If your interest lies in exploring the spectrum of choices black women make in determining how to style their hair AND you want a true cultural/historical analysis (which is absent from Rock’s trickle-down version) then go purchase this documentary instead. I’d love to see Ms. Kimbell try to get a distribution deal as the subject is now of interest to a wider audience (i.e. white people). It’s time to make lemonade out of lemons. I also think Rock has got enough negative publicity (rightfully so) that less people will actually pay to see him making an a** of himself than he thinks. Those free screenings were packed for a reason.

Now back to the show commentary. When Oprah reads the email (which got a cut off a bit but I’d heard enough) from the woman who discusses how black men like to run their hands through silky hair I felt slightly dirty for listening. This poor woman is stuck in DBR-Ville, wasting her time fighting for those black men who have long left to go pursue their own interests. Predictably I bet we could surmise her life has consisted of giving too much and not getting anything in return or worse continuing to be used by some man for sex/food/shelter but not getting any of the benefits of true companionship. She may even think she wouldn’t be found appealing to men of other groups.

What I found interesting was how Rock again tried to dismiss the core issue of what she was expressing by making a joke out of it. He discusses how he used to constantly have his hands in the hair of the non-black women he’s dated (and cheated on his wife with as has been rumored) in a different portion of the show but he wants to try to invalidate her complaint. No, black women should not be “competing” with white women over black men. Or any other woman for that matter. Yes, other discerning women do recognize the weakness amongst many black men who seems to delight in the presence of any non-black woman regardless of her caliber. They make it so obvious! There are far too many good men out there looking for their Mrs. Right. Yes…a wife NOT a wifey. It’s up to us to discern caliber over trash and how to play to win. That’s so much better than what this woman is experiencing.

The other segment has a professional woman discussing how she doesn’t want to be open for ridicule or rudeness. Oprah then proceeds to tell whites that seeing this MOCKumentary doesn’t give them license to make assumptions about how black women style their hair but the damage has already been done. That ship has sailed. Black women’s bodies are already on display and many whites still think they have a right to invade us out of curiosity. As if we’re zoo specimens. Also since we’ve been so callously displayed as degraded sex objects by black men via hip-hop, etc. our image has already taken a huge beating.

It was also very disingenuous for Rock to make some fake moral statement about how secrets destroy people in relation to his documentary. He simply refused to discuss the influence of patriarchy and the desire for certain black men to escape their blackness by rejecting black women as mates as the root cause of this pursuit of “good” hair. It really isn’t about white people. For many it’s still about finding appeal amongst black men (specifically African American) which is a wasted effort as far as I’m concerned.

**By the way I want to do my own documentary about a subject matter sensitive to some black men: the myth of the giant penis. I can be chased down the street by Vienna sausages because oh my goodness that would be so funny. It’s all in “good” humor, right? I’ll get a panel of women to discuss how there’s no real size difference amongst men of all groups. I would expect the same level of understanding and hands-off approach afforded to Rock.

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Saturday Design Porn

I’m not above writing a provocative title folks. I love my design shows! Here’s a rehab of a master bedroom that has given me so many great ideas.

Since the show doesn’t reveal their budget I assume that they’re spending a lot of moola. There are those budget design shows but often they have their own staff do the majority of the work. I need a true cost assessment. Here’s an insider tip: buying furniture from North Carolina will save you a bundle. It’s the outlet capital of the US for home furnishings and often shipping is nominal.

I really like the ceiling lamp featured and immediately thought of Ikea.
IKEA PS MASKROS Pendant lamp
Maskros Pendant Lamp courtesy of Ikea
Since we spend so much time in the kitchen, er those who cook do anyway a well-designed space is a must. It should also be well-stocked but any foodie or budding gourmet knows that. Quality cookware is a must for example. I’m partial to All-Clad. The immediate costs will pay off with longevity of use of these products. For those with kids and those trying to cut back on expenses cooking can be part of your family rituals or at the very least a time to experiment with flavor combinations. Who’s up for a savory and sweet exploration?

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Believe It and Live It: Khadijah Williams


Have you read the story of Khadijah Williams? Ms. Williams is now completing her first year at Harvard University in Boston. Her story of determination and mental discipline is not only inspiring but a model for all of us to follow. She grew up living in numerous homeless shelters and obviously around some less than stellar people and circumstances. She talks about spending hours at the public library feeding her mind with things that challenged and uplifted her. I can relate. I used to have stacks of them under my bed that I’d checked out – sometimes forgetting how many I had but I almost always had a book in hand.

She also seems very positive and humble. She didn’t let this opportunity slip by either worrying about rescuing other people for had she “drowned” how could she have been of any benefit to anyone else? How many of us have made excuses about the things we could not do? How many of us have had moments we just didn’t believe we could do things based out of fear? I know I have! I think she had an angel on her shoulder protecting her growing up…but don’t we all in some way? I think we all have obstacles that present themselves in our lives. There’s a point where we have the opportunity to reassess and can move on. Don’t let it pass you by. As human beings we’re far more resiliant than we recognize sometimes. If we seek help and are willing to put the work into things I don’t see why we can’t achieve things beyond our wildest dreams – especially those of us who live in the so-called developed countries. For the most part our basic needs are being met. We don’t have to travel miles for clean water for example.

Let this be an moment of encouragement for all of us as we continue the journey of our lives! There’s a very famous expression one of my teachers used to have hanging on the wall in her classroom: TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

Believe It and Live It!!
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Chris Rock Pulls A Steve Harvey: Stop Stealing From Black Women!

I knew it!!!

Rock is being sued by filmmaker Regina Kimbell for copyright infringement for swiping her film My Nappy Roots with his insulting “make fun of black woman hair angst” rip-off. I hope she has a good lawyer. If he can’t get the case dismissed outright he’ll probably seek to settle it with a non-disclosure clause attached.

Why is ANYONE surprised? Black men pushing out or outright hijacking black women creators of stories that are supposedly of benefit to us is all the rage these days apparently. Tyler Perry did it to Nzingha Stewart with For Colored Girls. Now here comes Rock with the uppercut! One can argue about access and clout and financing and blah blah blah but the BOTTOM line is these men are out to make money at our expense – and can’t even be bothered to come up with an original concept themselves. They think they have the right to sell our stories back to us through their flawed perspectives while erasing us from participating in the first place.

As long as we FOOLISHLY support these parasites we will continue to be fed off of!

Kimbell showed (why Regina why?) Rock her 2005 documentary in 2007 and he’s taken her idea and run with it. Allegedly. Much in the same way Harvey is being sued for plagiarism by author Sharon P. Carson over her book, “Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man”. Yes it’s the same title – but her book has actual empowerment themes. His watered down version doesn’t even compare. Rock’s nearly 1.5 hour MOCK-U-MENTARY cracks jokes against black women throughout the entire piece – because being chased by a giant ball of hair is so funny.

Nor does his documentary address the core of the issue why so many women suffer the effects of a colorist and sexist black community. He claims it’s supposed to be “good” for us but actions speak louder than words. So many black women question their worth because of the self-hate and subjugation of weak-minded black men. It’s due to women having to navigate through a patriarchal society where male approval carries a lot of weight. It’s because these men as a collective choose to opt out of their blackness wherever they can and ridicule us at every opportunity. Still so many black women are ignoring the obvious. It’s due to the lack of boundaries being set and the “go along to get along” mentality.

While it’s true hair care products and their ilk is a billion dollar industry so is the porn industry. So is food processing. So are many other industries that seek to chip away at our self-esteem or make us question our worth. The bottom line is intact families with confident parents who want their children and have a solid spiritual practice and values wouldn’t be so easily assaulted by some faceless corporation and its interests. Turn off the tv. Don’t read that magazine. Stop funding those that tear you down. Remove the oxygen from the leeches and they’ll wither away. Don’t put race construct above your elevation and thriving. It’s all business to them and as long as you are willing to hand over your hard-earned cash they’ll take it to bash you with. So the cycle continues.

Other groups of women are assaulted with similar messages yet their communities are not in the state of decline like the dead black community is. They still have a culture that uplifts the women in the group (racial construct). The focus cannot only be sent outward to blame others (i.e whites and racism) for what is at its core an internal problem of hatred of the things that make us uniquely black. It goes from labeling women with certain skin tones as being undesirable to longing for hair that blows in the wind with ease. It goes from some women proudly announcing how they don’t “need” a man to the expectation from some men that they should work, cook, clean, raise children, provide sex and other resources all without benefit of marriage. We’ve been railroaded and run over. Aren’t the miles of tire tracks across our backs enough? Instead of seeing the forest for the trees and GETTING OUT too many black women remain, clinging to totems of a by-gone time and battle and belittle each other instead.

More and more are getting it though. These “famous” men couldn’t really have that many career opportunities if they have to constantly steal borrow ideas from the black women. If we cut them off they wouldn’t have a career in fact – or at the very least would NEVER pull the crap the do. For all their “jokes” there’s always certain people they never offer up for laughs. It wouldn’t be tolerated. Hollywood (and the corporate world) may be harsh but nobody likes a low-down dirty dog who can’t properly compete against other men and shifts their focus to fighting women for crumbs. Oprah may need to reevaluate her ability to stay neutral as this is 0-for-3 to giving unfettered access (and her “sanctioned” blessing) for these projects.

Speaking of that – where is all this “black love” for BLACK WOMEN?! This hijacking of our ideas and cannibalizing the purity of these projects for some messed-up version is going to continue as the bottom-feeders continue to get more desperate. Black women who have creative skills are going to have to get way more business savvy, social media acclimated and STOP ASSUMING ALL BLACK MEN HAVE OUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART!!

They don’t.
The proof is in the pudding….and it’s dried up and rotten.


Tyler Perry Will Botch For Colored Girls

NYPD Coverup in Andrew Kelly’s DWI Killing Of Vionique Valnord?

courtesy of Gothamist

You know since all the focus has been on one cop, two cop, three cop CYA by the top brass with the subsequent “blue wall of silence” and protecting the brand by any means necessary it’s very easy to forget the VICTIM. Who is was African-American woman from Brooklyn. Even I had to look up the name of Vionique Valnord who was mowed over by the drunk cop after attending a wedding. The majority focus has been on the cop(s) involved in the coverup and she’s been virtually erased from the conversation. The media could be referring to her as Jane Doe. That cop and his buddies decided to tamper with evidence and give false statements to make it look like an random accident. Allegedly. She died.

This same drunk cop who bragged about trying to save her life is a LIAR. Allegedly. He’s been charged with vehicular manslaughter. Even NYC Mayor Bloomberg has publicly blasted them – and you know that rarely happens! Well we have the court system where the prosecutors and police and judges all know each other. Justice is blind. Allegedly. So as the suspensions pile up and the supervisors’ attempt at making this go away FAIL MISERABLY (let’s hope so) I sense a big fat payout in civil court will be the end result but zero criminal justice. It will never replace the life of a woman SENSELESSLY and UNNECESSARILY cut down in her youth. Cops are supposed to be held to higher standard. Allegedly. Protect and Serve and all that…BS. You don’t actually think this is the FIRST time something like has happened do you?

How many other cops pass around water and gum in an attempt to mask drunkeness, blame the weather and REFUSE to be tested for blood alcohol levels – or delay them until they’d be rendered ineffective? How many passengers flee said scene to avoid involvement when they did nothing to stop the drunk person from getting behind the wheel. Oh…they may have been even more intoxicated…but not enough to miss a pedestrian being struck and killed. EVIDENCE TAMPERING and PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT by the cops has occurred. Yeah, I said it!

Otherwise why would they have been suspended? Of course arresting someone for a crime and convicting them requires a specific set of circumstances. People charged with crimes who are GUILTY of said crimes can be found “not guilty” when there isn’t enough evidence to prove the prosecution’s case. Which brings me back to the evidence “mishandling”. Who’s actually interested in justice here aside from the family? I won’t be holding my breath for the Civil Rights organizations to do anything either. It may be white cops involved in a crime against a black person but it’s the “wrong” gender for them to care enough about.

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Mitrice Richardson Still Missing After 18 Days: Are The Police Hoping She Stays "Lost"?

In what has to be one of the worst cases of neglect and CYA the authorities claim to be “baffled” as to what happened to the missing 24 year-old after they released her from booking. I’m wondering now IF she was actually released the way the police claim and what condition she was in when they did so. Sure it’s all pure speculation on my part but if you get arrested for skipping out of paying a meal under $100 at a Malibu restaurant and have family and friends willing and able to help, you should not simply disappear into thin air afterwards.

Mitrice’s family claims she has mental deficiencies that would have clearly manifested themselves. The restaurant owner – who’s gotten a lot of negative press has gone on record to publicly trash Mitrice’s mother to stem the backlash. What a way to stay classy. Not that what she did wasn’t breaking the law but an $89 bill wasn’t grand theft larceny. This certainly isn’t going to make attending a restaurant any easier when there’s often a negative connotation that certain blacks won’t tip well – but that pales in comparison to this situation.

It simply doesn’t make any sense for a young woman with no money or a cell phone to be wandering the streets at 130am – which is the time she was released by the cops. I’m wondering how she got to the restaurant and whether she had a purse with her to begin with. That would raise a red flag with me. Either the family is being dishonest or the police messed up in not recognizing Mitrice’s diminished capacity. I can’t help but think of the possible parallels between this young woman and Maia Campbell. Clearly there’s more to this story than meets the eye. We’ll continue to observe and hope for the best.

Here’s an interview with Mitrice’s dad on Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell – one of the few media outlets giving national coverage to this case by the way. Also you should note the ratings for her show have traditionally fared better than Glen Beck’s. I only mention this because of what I think was the misguided black male protectionist-oriented focus on targeting him to begin with by some wanna-be Civil Rights organization. The attention may have gotten advertisers to pull out of that particular show (but not with the entire network) yet it tripled his ratings.

Mitchell’s show now has a focus on what she terms the “War Against Women and her coverage doesn’t exclusively focus on white women as the sole victims of crimes and neglect unlike say Nancy Grace and 99.99% of the corporate media. This is what we need to be supporting instead of focusing on a wanna-be Limbaugh who displays a negative obsession with the president for ratings and money. Real women are being harmed, neglected and overlooked and very few have protectors.

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Housing Options In A Tough Market

As with various cooking shows I love the design shows. I think it fulfills some sort of nesting desire. I also like the idea of being inspired to aspire to elevate oneself be it in preparing a meal to having a life that may be better than one can imagine. It’s all about working through our fears – and the art of negotiation. Here’s a segment from a design show where a family employed serious cost-cutting measures when building their home to accommodate two disabled members. Their reuse of products was very clever and this is one of the nicest pre-fabricated houses I’ve seen.

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Raping A 13-Year Old Doesn’t Count Because Whoopi Says So?

Some people take their protectionism of exploitation, abuse and rape committed against women and children to a new low. It’s not just Whoopi Goldberg I’m referring to. If you’ve watched any episodes of To Catch A Predator then you know what I’m talking about. The men (and increasingly women though they’re not featured on that show) who do actually get caught, arrested, charged and prosecuted all have similar stories. The child “told” them they were older. Or the perps “thought” they were older. It’s their first time doing “something” like this. They just wanted to talk. The child “knows what they’re doing”. They have daddy issues or were victims of abuse themselves. Or worse – that it was consensual. In the case of Goldberg’s statement on the View last week how she didn’t believe what Polanski did was “rape rape”. Meaning what exactly? It didn’t occur in an alley or was enacted by a stranger? I understand she’s tried to clarify her statements but I think we got it the first time. I wonder how a grandmother would diminish the actions of a then 43 year-old child predator (who moved on to a 15 year old afterwards) and has publicly stated he doesn’t find normal sex interesting and if she’s ever read the court transcript? No, his wife’s murder doesn’t excuse him as one has NOTHING to do with the other.

Of course when I think of the ongoing brouhaha surrounding Roman Polanski’s arrest I think of R. Kelly’s acquittal. Much in the same way many whites felt that OJ got away with a crime I burn up over Kelly walking around freely. Like OJ it’s just a matter of time as that arrogance only grows and eventually he’ll cross a line even his current crop of foolish supporters won’t be able to stop. I realize there’s so many more people are out there free to wreck havoc on others, some famous and some not. Just for the record being found legally innocent (or guilty) doesn’t always correspond to actual innocence (or guilt) of a crime.
I also think about Letterman’s admission of his “dating” women who work for him. Some DBR (damaged beyond repair) idiot had the nerve to tell me that they “work in that field” and I was legally off-base for stating a subordinate could be exploited sexually in a work environment even if they’ve “consented” to it. I think about the public revelation of Mackenzie Phillips being raped by her father and her “consenting” to continuing a sexual relationship with him for the latter part of a decade. I wonder if we’re in the Last Days and whether it’s going to be over sooner than we think.
Despite the current denial by seriously confused people Polanski was found guilty. He took off but has lived a life of comfort in France ever since. I wrote about his arrest in Switzerland last week. Any discomfort he’s experienced at being “inconvenienced” by the consequences for raping Samantha Geimer is a blip in comparison to her ability at moving on from he did to her. Kelly SHOULD have been convicted as well but the deniers and excusers put male privilege and race in particular above justice. With a little “oh but he’s so talented” sprinkled on top for effect. Kinda like how Polanski is still being supported by many especially when films like The Pianist win awards (Oscars) and get international distribution.
There was a petition signed by numerous excusers and deniers in support of Polanski, some of whom happen to be a few of my favorite actors/directors. Thank goodness there’s backlash for this support as I’m hugely disappointed at some of the names on the list. It makes me wonder what type of misconduct has occurred with them that wasn’t reported or given any attention because reading the actual court transcripts of what Polanski did should make any normal person sick. Since I no longer financially contribute to those that denigrate me I will now be able to use my funds more wisely – and cut them off! How can anyone blindly support them now that these people have publicly declared WAR against the innocent.
Here Are A Few Names You May Recognize
Woody Allen (Not a surprise!!)
Pedro Almodovar
Wes Anderson
Asia Argento
Darren Aronofsky
Monica Bellucci (She portrayed a rape survivor in the film Irreversible)
Alfonso Cuaron
Ethan Cohen
Jonathan Demme
Stephen Frears (The female lead in Dirty Pretty Things is sexually exploited for a green card)
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Harmony Korinne
John Landis
David Lynch
Michael Mann
Jeanne Moreau
Julian Schnabel
Barbet Schroeder
Martin Scorsese
Tilda Swinton
Tom Tykwer
Wim Wenders
Isabelle Adjani
Taylor Hackford
Isabelle Huppert
Neil Jordan
Sam Mendes
Mike Nichols
Salman Rushdie
Steven Soderbergh
Diane von Furstenberg
Harvey Weinstein
As with the case of Whoopi who didn’t sign the petition but has come out in support of Polanski we can add Penelope Cruz to the denier and excuser list as well. Debra Winger kicked off this party to begin with. There is growing interest in staging some sort of protest at the View being that its audience comprises mostly of women. Do you think you would have liked being given alcohol and drugs to be sodomized? Or filmed on tape being used, abused, peed on and handed a few bills after the fact? Are you aware the average age of a prostitute is 14 thanks to child trafficking? How do you feel knowing millions of children are kidnapped and forced to do sex work? I see ALL of these situations as the SAME – they’re just manifested differently.
When a society makes light of and fails to protect children it is on its way to extinction.

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Letterman Extortion Focus Ignores His Sexual Misconduct

I know this is apparently the biggest news story of the year, but is it really such the crime against humanity as it’s been implied? David Letterman was allegedly approached by the ex-boyfriend of one of his staffers who demanded $2M to keep silent about his past sexual relationship with her. So Letterman “revealed” that he’s had sex with numerous women who work for him and that gets swept under the rug. Can you say Fall Guy?
Considering the fact Letterman had briefly mentioned how he almost got “fired” during the Madonna interview a few days ago I think it’s very interesting indeed how male privilege and white protectionism kicks in during certain times. Letterman was referring to the Palin incident when he thought he could drag her daughters into his criticism of her and got the smackdown of his life. It has still had a profound effect on him since he obviously thought he could publicly degrade white womanhood but found out otherwise.

What I now find very interesting is how used he is to degrading them in his personal life. Or should I say professional life. No wonder he was surprised. Look what he’s been allowed to get away with for the better part of nearly three decades? He has a history of “dating” the women who work for him. What male boss is allowed to troll for dates and girlfriends from his pool of employees without violating some laws?

His current wife is a former staffer in fact. I think there’s something in the CBS water because isn’t the head of the network married to one of his staffers as well? (Les Moonves and Julie Chen). The fact that Letterman owns his show yet is so intimately involved with staff under employment contracts with the network – owned by Viacom speaks volumes about what guidelines are supposed to be in place to protect women as opposed to what actually goes on.

Whether these women enter into relationships “willingly” isn’t the point. Remember when Bill O’Reilly was busted for sexing one of his female producers, had abusive conversations caught on tape and Fox had to make a multi-million dollar payout? It also seems to me there must be some serious employment discrimination going on whereby certain women are hired to begin with. There’s the question of diversity – or really the lack of – when the women chosen have similar backgrounds. It’s one thing for a savvy woman to position herself to have access to a powerful man. It’s something else entirely when part of the unspoken job description involves giving sexual favors and attention to one.
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Old School Friday – Can’t Get Enough of Barry

No this isn’t about the Prez! It’s Barry White Week! WooT!!!

Who doesn’t love Barry White. His dulcet tones wrapped themselves around some of the most lovely lyrics about LOVE. He even had an orchestra called Love Orchestra. This was a man who left his criminal past behind him, changed his mindset, tapped into his talents and graced us with some of the best songs in popular music.

It’s so hard to choose one song of Mr. White that is better than the other.

My First, My Last, My Everything

I always liked this cover of Never Never Gonna Give You Up. Yeah the video was risque.

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