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Fly Read: What’s In A Name? Girl Changes Name From ‘Keisha’ To ‘Kylie’

5 Nov

black n proud

My article was written after reading the linked story from Necole Bitchie.

http://necolebitchie.com/2013/11/05/whats-in-a-name-girl-changes-name-from-keisha-to-kylie/#more-257135

Another day- another story of a black person assimilating to appease white people.

Tupac rapped in Keep Ya Head Up: “I remember Marvin Gaye used to sing to me/He had me feelin’ like black was the thing to be.” Do black people even feel this way anymore? Or are we so hell-bent on assimilating that we are losing ourselves? Long gone are the days where black people were unashamedly and unapologetically black. There was a sense of pride in our blackness, now it feels as if we would do anything to remove ourselves from our blackness.

I can’t speak for the girl in this story linked above because it’s clear that she doesn’t understand black culture, her mom is white and there is no mention of her father so it’s understandable that there is no sense of pride in her name because she has no black figures in her life. I am more so upset about the comments I read that showcase black people agreeing with assimilation. Some black people want to be accepted so bad that they will forgo their culture to get ahead. Why is it that we must choose carefully in naming our children? It’s another form of discrimination and I am sick of black people being guilted into changing who we are to appease a white power structure.

We can’t even buy a belt with our own money without being accosted by police and some black people have the nerve to say, “well, it’s Barneys, I would be suspicious too.” Ask yourself why are you suspicious of your own buying power? We have to get some pride back into ourselves and really own our blackness. We should not be ashamed of a name or the perception that comes along with it. Don’t be the kind of black person who is cool with being black until it inconveniences you.

True story: I was getting off the megabus last Sunday from spending the weekend in New York and while I was waiting for my ride and this white guy came up to me asked me if I’m blasian. I said, “no I’m black.” He goes, “you look blasian.” I continued with, “no, both of my parents are black.” Now I don’t get this all the time but occasionally I do get asked if I am black and asian and while some might be flattered by the assumption, I am not. The assumption is that I must be mixed with something to look “exotic” but I don’t want anyone to get it twisted; I am a proud black woman and I will not down play the fact that we come in all different shapes and sizes and we are just as exotic as the next chick.

We are in the days where black people see nothing wrong with forsaking their culture, their people, their history and lineage- all for the sake of getting a job, climbing up the ladder and being accepted. They are telling us that our names, money and hair aren’t acceptable to them and some of us are agreeing and falling in line with our tail between our legs. The reality is that no matter how “ghetto” you think your name is or how “safe” you believe your name is  – it won’t change the character of a racist.

Ask President Barack Hussein Obama

 

 

Carla Thomas

Writer and fly girl

Twitter: @flycarla

Facebook: www.facebook.com/madstyleandgrace

The Fly Girl Guide is changing! Be in the know NOW!

4 Oct

Hi Dolls!

@FLYCARLA here and I have missed updating The Fly Girl Guide but I am still writing and I have great things in the works! I am starting a new website called Style and Grace and it will launch in about a month. Style and Grace is a delightful blend of high- fashion and Christianity. Although I loved updating my fly girls with the latest fashion new, sample sale drama and parties, I wanted to change it up and create something more meaningful.

Until the launch, I still have great things to hold my fly girls over. I have a radio show called Style and Grace radio that takes place every Monday at 10:00AM on www.blogtalkradio.com/styleandgrace. The show is archived so if you can’t listen to it live, you can listen to the show at your leisure. It’s a 30-minute talk show where I pray for my listeners, read scriptures and speak on matters of the heart. It’s a great motivational and inspirational show to help my ladies get through each week with style and grace.

I also started a text message subscription service where I send out daily original inspirational messages to help uplift my sisters in Christ. The messages are funny and REAL! I only send out messages that weigh on my heart! I send out scriptures or quotes to help my ladies laugh and think. It’s free to receive my messages and I only send out ONE message a day. To opt-in text styleandgrace to 555888.

So until the launch of my website please reach out to me via my radio show and subscribe to my Style and Grace text message service. You can also find me on Twitter: @flycarla, Instagram: flycarla and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/madstyleandgrace

I also want to my pray for my ladies! Send prayer requests to madstyleandgrace@gmail.com

Let’s keep in touch and please pray for me as I launch this new endeavor!

Get at me:
Carla@madstyleandgrace.com

Be blessed fly ladies!

XOXO,

Carla Thomas

Fly Read: Show Yourself Approved

3 Jul
Image found on Necole Bitchie.com

Image found on Necole Bitchie.com

I was my making my rounds on my favorite blogs and reading the reviews of the BET Awards and the story about Meagan Good and her dress was a recurring article. The commentary about Meagan Good’s dress really hit home for me because I had a similar situation. I recently moved back home and am having a hard time adjusting from living by myself in New York to living with my parents back home in Baltimore. That being said I got into a huge argument with my mother about three weeks ago because she thought I was inappropriately dressed to attend Bible study and therefore would not take me. I felt like a teenager being shunned and reprimanded because of my outfit. I had on a romper topped with a huge over-sized sweater and flats. The argument was probably one of the most serious arguments I ever had with a parent and I was so angry for two reasons: one, I am a grown woman and I can wear whatever I want and two, here we go with a Christian who is my own mother -judging.

I was heated. When I was in New York I attended Bible study every Wednesday afternoon and since I’ve moved back home, it’s been more of a struggle due to family dynamics to attend church and receive the Word as I would regularly while living by myself. Unfortunately I yelled at my mother about how she was nothing but a hypocrite. At that time I really felt in my heart that she was. Here is my own mother concerned about my attire more than my salvation. I’m not trying to be holier than thou but here I am a young woman who is yearning to go to Bible study on a Friday evening. To me that is enough, there is no more discussion, we should have just went to the Bible study. To her, an old school Christian she was more concerned about the image I was portraying. I yelled, “what image? That I’m a young adult at a Bible study on a Friday night?”

More importantly I did not feel uncomfortable or under dressed, she was more concerned about her comfort level. I went on about how Christians are so quick to judge someone without examining the true intentions of someone’s heart. Christians should only be concerned with their salvation and bringing others to Christ. What someone wears has nothing to do with where they will spend eternity. I spoke of the criticisms of Meagan Good’s dress on Twitter and one follower said two things, which reiterated my point of Christians focusing on the wrong things. I tweeted that we need to be less worried about what someone wears and more concerned about their soul and salvation, she replied with, “would you be comfortable if your first lady had it (Meagan’s dress) on? Her comfort is in question, the comfort of her husbands congregation is question.”

In 140 characters I replied with, “I’m not sure if my comfort has anything to do with her wardrobe. I am more concerned about how she serves in church.” My follower then said, “and that’s true beneath it all, sure. However her husband is a well-known pastor that’s the issue people have.” But the real the issue is in this statement, “and that’s true beneath it all.” It’s the truth-not beneath anything. The truth about being a Christian is to serve and tell others to taste and see how good God is and not to be concerned about the material things such as a dress worn to an award show.

The reality is that there is a war going on in this world and there are people who walk past a church every day wanting to go in but do not because they are afraid of being judge. The argument with my mother continued that there are Christians who get saved and then sit on this high horse acting as if they don’t have a past and now are fronting that they are all holier than thou. No one can bring a person into the church by acting like a cute saint, how can someone see how God changed you and now uses you if you are sitting there as if there was nothing to fix? God rode in to Calvary on a donkey not a stallion meaning you don’t have to be perfect to be used. He uses the Meagan Goods to bring young persons to church.

We have to get past this image of what a Christian should look like because it is deeper than a wardrobe. Our salvation is serious and saving others and bringing others to Christ is when you are being about church business especially if you are a first lady. I told my mother that I am not a nun but what I am is a child of God who yearns to serve God in spirit and in truth. My relationship with God isn’t a show and I’m not interested in putting on a show when I attend church, therefore she needed to get over this romper.

This whole controversy says two things; a woman’s body will always be a topic (you can be sexy but not too sexy and you can’t make anyone uncomfortable) and two, we are focused on the wrong things. Here we have Meagan Good who speaks freely about God being condemned yet someone who blatantly disrespects God by calling himself, Yeezus gets a pass. I was reading commentary on Twitter about the BET Awards and when Tamela Mann started singing, “Take Me To The King,” I saw tweets from people saying that they hate the gospel part of the award show and how they turned the channel. This battle as a Christian is serious and it is more serious than a wardrobe choice.

It’s ridiculous that a stripper can get a pass but a woman who publicly professes her love for Christ is called everything but a child of God because you can see side boob. After arguing with my mother I ran out the house in my romper so determined on attending Bible study even if she was not going to take me. I grabbed my Bible and starting walking down the street towards the main street in which I knew I could take the bus to church. As I’m crying and walking I past a gas station and a high school friend who lived down the street saw me. I hadn’t seen this friend in years but he was right there at the right time asking if he could give me a ride. In the aftermath of a serious argument all I could think of, was look at God. He knew my true intentions! I was a crying mess walking down the street and he brought someone along to give me a ride to church.

I told him about the fight and he goes, “she had a problem with you wearing this?” What she thought was inappropriate, my high school friend, who confessed that he hasn’t been to church in over seven years saw a determined woman making her way to a place that he hasn’t stepped foot in, in almost a decade. He was a blessing and I was a blessing to him by showing that I’m a young and active in the church.

All which goes to show that you never know how God will use you. While some are waiting to be cute saints, others like Meagan Good are walking into their purpose with a plunging neckline. In hindsight and after tearful apologies from my mother and myself, we both admitted to being extra. As a child I am supposed to practice obedience and as a Christian my mother realized that she was being judgmental.

There are some modest dressed hoes and some inappropriately dressed Christians but if you are a follower of Christ, we must realize the severity of bringing people to Christ. It’s more than a wardrobe selection and how you think someone should look. While people didn’t approve of Meagan’s dress choice, ask yourself if you are showing yourself approved to God.

Carla Thomas
Writer and Fly Girl

Fly Read: How You Doing?

26 Jun

patience

I just got in from walking down the street to see a neighbor; we went to elementary school and high school together. I knocked on the door and while he wasn’t home I talked to his younger brother who I haven’t seen in years. I asked him, how was he doing and he responds with an, “I’m alright.”

“I’m alright” or “I’m okay” or “I’m maintaining” seems to come immediately after asking a Black person how they are doing. It’s as if we are never doing more than alright or okay. We are living at a level of mediocrity mixed with a system that doesn’t assist in our improvement. We can’t even go to the grocery store without seeing a story on how bad we have it as a Black person in America. The cover of Newsweek has a story from Joshua DuBois who was President Obama’s first director of the White House faith-based initiative, and is now an author, teacher, speaker, and CEO of Values Partnerships.

The story is entitled, The Fight For The Black Man is another story of what is so wrong with Black people. I get it we have issues. Deep-rooted issues that go further than this article or an article in Newsweek on a magazine stand. Talib Kweli says it best in his song, “Get By” everything we do is just to get by. The system was not meant for us and guess what? White people will never get it nor understand why we are so impoverished and honestly, the media and stories like the Newsweek cover will continue to perpetuate the same stereotypes and/or truths about Black people without offering any type of situation.

Some Black people have gotten so used to seeing their selves in one dimension that they are starting to believe that we all act in one accord. How many times have you been in a situation where you are the minority and others believe that you speak for all Black people? The normalcy of being Black in America has been shattered. According to an agenda pushed by the government, the media and the entertainment industry, all Black men are in jail, all Black women are ratchet and not too many of us are doing better than okay.

I lived in New York and the thing about living in New York is that on one single train ride you can see the disparity of all people. I traveled from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side daily and I saw White people strung out, Black people high and Hispanic people asking for money, in this economy we are all doing so-so and all the government can talk about is what to do with a woman’s body.

As Black folk we have to be each others sense of hope, we have to inspire on the level that a village raises a child. We have to be the hope that our youth sees because they are not going to turn on the television and see it. It’s a personal fight and it doesn’t need to be thrust in our faces on some magazine with another sob story. Yes, Oprah I am talking to you with the showing of the documentary, Dark Girls.

There was a sermon from a young preacher at my church in Brooklyn that stated that God uses all persons, we don’t have to reach a certain pinnacle to be used. God rode in to Calvary on a donkey. He should be using us everyday exactly how we are, we should not be waiting to be great to be used, and we can make a difference right now.

It’s about time that we build our self-esteem in spite of our situation; we are the capstone of this country. We have a hard fight but at the very least, we can be kind in spirit, slow to anger, quick to love and doing a hell of a lot better than alright or fine.

Carla Thomas
Writer and Fly Girl

Fly Read: I Kissed Dating Goodbye

12 Jun

kiss

I refuse to let loneliness get the best of me. At times I feel like that scene in Peter Pan where he wrestles with his shadow, it’s like loneliness is trying to pin me down in a Miguel head lock. Loneliness is a human trait that everyone feels from time to time and sometimes loneliness can consume a person.

Honestly I gave up dating and I only seek to serve Christ. I often have associates try to get me to go online to look for a mate, Christian Mingle is the website people always suggest that I try. And while I don’t knock anyone who looks for love online, I can’t sell myself for the sake of being tired of being lonely. As a writer who spends all my time online, I’m already selling a brand but my heart is not for sale.

I used to work at a wine bar on the Upper East Side; it was an intimate restaurant that served great Italian food. This particular restaurant was a maven for singles on a blind date; most guests who walked in and were greeted by the host had no idea who they were looking for. I was always curious if the persons on a Match.com date really connected or was the connection based off of loneliness? Did they have similarities or was the similar feeling of loneliness enough to build a relationship on?

As I watched my big brother get married last Friday, I thought about my future and dating. Last Christmas my brother brought me a book entitled, I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris. It’s a Christian book on dating the way Christ intended us to, the gist of the book is to be patient, embrace the period of being single, build healthy relationships and live to serve God. The author was very straightforward stating that he gave up dating to focus on God.

For me after a series of unfortunate events I realized that God is a better matchmaker than me. He knows what I need as opposed to what I think I want, so for the past two years I haven’t been on a date. The first year was easy as I spent the majority of the year reflecting on the mistakes and gathering the strength to forgive others and myself and I started to move forward. Now I realize that I cannot give everyone a piece of my heart, body and time. I know that God is still working on me and it’s not my time to start dating with intent, I should solely focus on serving Christ. To give up dating means that I had to reexamine my reasons for dating in the first place, most times I rushed into dating to fulfill my romantic needs (needs that only fulfill my selfish emotions and lust), instead of seeing the other as a friend in Christ.

You do know that some people are in hell for love. Some people are in a relationship that they have no business being in or in a marriage that they’re stuck in. Society has pushed this agenda of being single as such an awful period in one’s life when really God wants to use us the most when we’re single. It’s called a “season of singleness,” and one should embrace this precious time. “Season of singleness” is the time to exercise patience, obedience, discipline and to serve Christ. It’s the time to give him our undivided attention and to wait on his perfect timing. Waiting on his time will show you how many people will try to waste your time and you don’t want to waste God’s time. Just because a man talks to you on the phone for hours doesn’t mean that he’s interested in you, he could just be wasting more of your time than someone else’s.

The “season of singleness” will not be easy; I know it’s hard. I think I’m a fly girl who should be on a date every night but what would be the end goal? How can God bring me the correct man if I’m so busy being distracted by the wrong one? How can I serve God if I’m pursuing a man instead of him? This is the season to own your loneliness as it’s a natural human trait and once you take having a significant other out the equation, you’ll realize the significance of other relationships. You will also be able to realize the purpose that God has called for you. I often wonder where I would I be if I spent my time being concerned about the status of my relationship with some man. I would probably spend less time writing, attending Bible study, being active in church and walking into my purpose.

This summer as you watch others out on a date or post pictures of their engagement or attend the wedding of your best friend, don’t be envious. Embrace this time for all that is it worth; God has a plan for you. He is working things out in your favor; serve him with your whole heart as you wait on his time for his time is perfect and good.

Stay prayed up my friends.

XOXO,

Carla Thomas

** If you like my writing or think I need help with writing, Go Fund Me! http://www.gofundme.com/flycarla **

Fly Read: The seriousness of one’s intent

11 Jun

A close friend of mine recently posted a quote from Anthony Bourdian that stated, “the journey is part of the experience- an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.” This quote really resonated with me because my intent of studying writing and than traveling to Africa to teach writing is very serious.

The objective of this educational/missionary trip is to learn as much as possible so that I can give as best as possible.  The course at Yale University will help me revise my pilot television script and the course at the University of Cambridge will assist in the finishing of my fiction book for teenage girls. With both projects I am looking to re-shift the perception of Black girls and Black women via the media, I am developing projects that will showcase the full-dimension of Black teenage girls and Black women.

There is a problem in the media where it seems that networks are keen on showcasing Black women in one dimension, a dimension that strips the soul and the deep rooted history of African American women by showing only superficial, overtly sexually, and angry Black women. Black women are the capstone of American history and argumentatively the strongest persons of mankind. The strength and the depth and the pride of being unashamedly and apologetically Black needs to be displayed in the media and I am hoping to showcase the aforementioned.

I am specifically hoping to reach teenage Black girls from the ages 12-18 with my fictional book series starting with the first book tentatively titled, The Fly Girl Guide To The 6th Grade. This book which I am currently on the third chapter of is a division of my online website, The Fly Girl Guide (www.theflygirlguide.com). It will serve as an alternative look at middle school and high school in the eyes of a young girl who is seeking to navigate middle school and high school with an independent thought and with style and grace.

My television script has a similar concept showcasing a Black professional woman living and thriving in Brooklyn, New York. What Living Single showcased in the 90’s, I am looking to reinvent with a new aged twist. Black women are spiritual, funny, educated and married and I am hoping to show a narcissistic generation who loves bathroom pictures and relishes in all that is ratchet that being a lady will never go out of style.

This campaign is bigger than me; it’s for the moms who have to explain to their daughters that she shouldn’t aspire to be just a basketball wife, it’s for the aunties who have to explain that Kim Kardashian isn’t a role model, it’s the for the teachers who have to discuss why Michelle Obama is an inspiration as opposed to a pop star.

My intent is to make sure the media takes Black girls and women serious as not all of us are trying to put on a minstrel show. We are mothers, wives, friends and we are fly.

I’m not asking you to go broke, I just ask for a little support to help with a big cause.

http://www.gofundme.com/flycarla

Fly Read: Like Beyonce, I’m a GROWN WOMAN

21 May
Beyonce just released her “Grown Woman” song and as I’m listening to the song I think of all the grown woman decisions I am currently making. I’ve made a decision to leave a city that I love to create the life I wish to live. I’ve decided to pack up everything, station myself in Baltimore and use the next seven months to travel and write. This is void of others expectations, void of what some of my friends think I should be doing, and void of what my parent’s believe I should be doing. To me being a grown woman is having an independent thought, an independent thought is a thought that a woman makes without the influence of others, the media and pop culture.

A grown woman knows that not everyone is rooting for her, a grown woman knows that some of the people close to her will doubt her and while there will be MORE obstacles stepping out of her comfort zone, it will be well worth it. A grown woman knows there is nothing cute about playing it safe or playing small for the sake of others, she knows that there is nothing fulfilling about not seeking to be fulfilled. A grown woman knows that if it is in God’s will and she is abiding in Him, that the possibilities are endless.

Some women are walking around grown in age but still mentally and spiritually little girls. As for me, I’m getting my grown woman on.

www.gofundme.com/flycarla

The Weekend Guide

15 Mar

Cheers to the freakin’ weekend! Here’s my fly curated list of the top activities you should check out this weekend.

Friday:

Foxy: The Complete Pam Grier Collection:

Pam-Grier

Starting today and through Sunday, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is screening all of iconic film and TV star Pam Grier’s movies. Grier will also be appearing at a few of the screenings, including tonight’s  screening of Jackie Brown, which will be preceded by a Q&A between Grier and Simon Doonan. There are tickets still available and you can check the complete movie schedule here.

 

Teyana Taylor does your nails:
adidas

Harlem singer Teyana Taylor teamed up with BK nail artist Christina Rinaldi this weekend for the Good Luck Charm pop-up nail salon at the new Adidas Originals event space at 365 Broadway. Those who love nail art can stop by for a limited-edition mani on Friday from 4:00PM to 8:00PM, on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00PM to 10:00PM. Click here to learn more.

 

Discover Healthy Foundation with Beauty Blogger Felicia Benson:

Discover Healthy Foundation with Beauty Blogger Felicia Benson
Beauty expert Felicia Walker Benson of This That Beauty Blog shows you how to find your ideal shade and foundation formula. Felicia is a highly sought after beauty authority and she will surely you up with the perfect foundation.  Find her today, March 15 at the Sephora Times Square, 1500 Broadway at 43rd Street from 5:00PM-7:00PM

Saturday:

Lift Off:
surface to air
This is the prefect time to score up to 75% off of parisian-cool rags, accessories and shoes. The Surface to Air sample sale continues until the 17th. Friday, March 15: 10:00AM-7:00PM, Saturday, March 16: 10:00AM-7:00PM, Sunday, March 17: 10:00AM-5:00PM;Location: 260 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10001

Sunday:

Sunday Winter Jazz Brunch at Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel:the-kimberly-hotel-new-york-upstairs-rooftop-560

Join Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel for the last installment of their Winter Jazz Brunch. This takes brunch to a grown and sexy level. When: Sunday, March 17,12:00PM – 3:00PM, Where:Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel, 145 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022

Talib Kweli w/ Cory Mo (LIVE full band show!):

talib kweli
Talib Kweli is your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. He is a stable of hip-hop and has been able to make music that entertains and educates. On Sunday, he will perform with a full live band at Brooklyn Bowl. Sunday, March 17, Doors: 6:00PM/ Show: 9:00PM, Tickets ($15) available at the door only. Brooklyn Bowl-61 Wythe Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211

You’ve Got Fly: Inbox Scan

13 Mar

You’ve got mail! Fly picks from my inbox.

CHLOE

Barneys: It’s Back! Shop the Iconic Chloé Paddington Bag (pictured)

Nasty Gal: Bits and pieces we’re losing it for

H&M: Perfect spring blazers + 25% off when you purchase pants

Brooklyn Based: Three Ways to Welcome Spring

Fly Fashion: Five Clothing Items That Might Make You A Basic Bish

12 Mar

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There are certain clothing items that might make you get the side-eye from a fashionista, so why not use spring as the best reason to go through your closet and remove my top five clothing items that might make you a basic bish. Let this article serve as a guide to elevate your style from basic to fly.

 

1. TrukFit- When worn you give off the perception that you have sucked someone off for some TrukFit. Unless you’re Lil’ Wayne or at the skate park, steer clear of TrukFit.

2. Basketball wives earrings- Nothing says basic more than a pair of ginormous hoop earrings with acrylic rhinestone balls. Basketball wives earrings should stay at your local beauty supply store or on Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn but not on your jewelry stand.

3. Fine Ass Girls (FAGS) clothing line- Speaking of Basketball wives if you’re rocking Draya Michele’s Fine Ass Girls (FAGS) clothing line than chances that you’ll actually become a BBW is slim to none. Keep in mind; real fine ass women don’t need a shirt to state it.

4. Bandage dress- Whether it’s a Hervé Léger or a dress from Rainbow, there are other outfits to rock to the club so give the bandage dress some breathing room and a rest.

5. Barbie necklace- Grown women don’t have time for games so don’t wear a necklace that references a plastic toy.