ed. x vol. i

 

welcome to the edition x of the brown pages. they are thick. cause you know, it's been a minute since the last edition. so take a moment. breathe. maybe grab some tea, a pbr, water, a snack. as i always say the juice is in the details. Enjoy 'em!

Jeezy's Juke Joint

Did you miss our annual weekender in Chicago? This year felt even more kinetic with the addition of Miss Toni Elling, a black burlesque legend from Detroit. Who loved on all the performers and sprinkled her wisdom and joy everywhere she went. 

Thank the Lorde for Shimmy Laroux who captured our conversation with Miss Toni on video. It's to the right. Among the  cast photos taken by greg bell & and divine xo photography.  

good choice!

pro tip for my desktop top viewers. get busy with that mouse. hover over images for hidden content. 

go Mary!

An Ode to

 

“Nina sang for all her pain, her joy, her confusion, her happiness, her sickness, her fight.  She fought through all the stereotypes. She fought for her identity. She fought for her life.

-Mary J Blige | Nina's Induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

 

black skin on midnight waves. a rippling of reflections. you see fragments of yourself in nina. as i in you. in lorde.

 

i recently heard one of the author’s of the book, lifting as we climb,express  her anger and disinterest in history as it is often told in our education system. an erasing. a literal destruction of black history. an omission.

Wondering we're talking bout

Everybody know what dis song's about

They be trying to hide the history

But they know who we are

Do oh you want to see

Everybody rise to this degree?

Raise ya hands high if you agree

Just say yes siree oh

Yes siree

If you agree say

Yes siree oh

Yes siree (erykah badu)

since learning of lorde. i’ve been even more invested in unearthing and preserving black women’s legacies. our stories. our struggles and victories.

 

mary, have you heard of audre lorde? read her work? i ask because so much of what she wrote is felt and heard in your voice. i think you know something about survival. about “standing upon the constant edges of decision. crucial and alone.”

 

your name will be remembered among nina’s and lorde’s. i created a piece of performance art, called ,”Go Mary!” about you. in honor of you.

 

think drag meets impersonation meets mash up meets satire meets burlesque meets church meets meme culture

i’ve loved your music since hearing real love in my youth. blasting from a boom box. flipping the cassette tapes over and over. listening to what's the 411? on repeat. as i dug into your music and your life i realized how broad your discography swept. 

13 albums spanning the course of 25 years.

you forged a space for your music where there wasn’t one. creating a genre that would allow for folks like aaliyah to shine.

you were among the first hip hop/r&b artist to be invited to the met gala. (gaining success and recognition in a time when hip hop and r & b artists were still judged by where they came from)

how many black women have wiped their tears to your voice? found strength through your affirmations? 

through channeling your spirit:  i found some slick dance moves. a human attempting to find connection and love. i found another black woman using her light to heal not just themselves but others. i found a good pair of hoops. joy and laughter. some swag. i found audiences that loved you and your music. i found a dope pair of knee high boots and a newfound appreciation for my thighs.

 

“it’s up to us to choose,

whether we win or lose

well i choose to win”

 

i want to ensure that not only is your legacy preserved but that you are praised. i think it would be life shifting for all who is down to take an evening and praise mary j blige. bring you offerings. to properly thank you for "dancery." sing your songs like hymns. have a praise break to family affair. have a preacher break down the meaning and how to apply your songs to daily life. your life + your work have much to teach and damn it if i gotta sing into a drumstick to help with showing folks that, then i have officially made it apart of my ministry!

i return often to the below material to refine, revist and refresh Go Mary! here's a bts glimpse.