Tag Archives: Brooklyn

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: 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: Happy Hump Day!

5 Jun

stay-strong-weekend-is-coming-soon

For the past year and a half- hump day was my mid-week worship day. No matter what else I had going on in New York I made it my goal to attend Bible study; whether it was the noonday Bible study or the evening Bible study, I made sure that I attended either class.

Not a lot of people knew that I spent my Wednesday afternoons in church because most of the time as I would walk towards church, I wanted to tweet, “off to Bible study” but I would decide against it because of my fear of sounding uncool. There are times when I talk to friends or co-workers that I shy away from talking about God as if being a God-fearing woman makes me look corny.

But then I have to tell myself that there is nothing shameful about being a woman of God. Being a God-fearing woman means that I will suffer persecution and others won’t want to hear what I’m saying but I will keep writing about Christ, updating my status and quoting scriptures because my spreading the gospel is not in vain.

As I went to my last Bible study in Brooklyn last Wednesday (I moved back home to make Baltimore my base as I travel for the next seven months) the Pastor talked about how Christians tip-toe around the world. Not in a sense of being ashamed to spread the gospel but when trying to be Christ-like Christians practice a restraint that non-believers do not. As a Christian who strives to be Christ-like every day, I practice guarding my heart, loving my neighbor, loving my friends and enemies, being patient and watching what I say and do. It’s a conscience effort to in short- just be a nice person who genuinely cares about others.

Some people are showing you exactly who they are. Some people are showing you that they don’t care about you, they are showing you their selfishness, they are showing you that they are a thief, that they only love conditionally and they just might not be a kindhearted person. Our goal when seeking to live Christ-like is to not judge them but to BELIEVE them. Believe that friend who doesn’t value your time, believe that boyfriend who you just can’t figure out what his deal is or that girlfriend who values her Louboutins more than herself respect. They are showing you who they are; your goal is to show yourself approved to God.

Regardless of the world around you, as a Christian you are supposed to be hope in the mist of rubble. There is nothing shameful in spreading the gospel, being nice and being kindhearted. Continue to practice the restraint and the discipline that God asks of us, it’s not going to be easy and others will call you “fake” as you “tip-top” with a gentleness that they can’t understand. Honestly, as you follow Christ by reading the Bible, studying his word and fellowshipping with others in Christ, you are as real as it gets because HE is real.

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: 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 Read: Back to my Beyoncés

9 Mar

beyonce

 

I used to be a Beyoncé hater. I used to call her, “Solange’s sister” just because I vibe with Solange a little bit more but truth be told, I was originally a Beyoncé fan. I remember I took my high school graduation money and went to F.Y.E. and copped, Dangerously In Love. I thought it was a great album, I knew the dance moves in her,  “Crazy In Love” video and “Hip-Hop Star” was my ring tone. I only started disliking her when I realized that her and Jay-Z’s relationship was serious. In my head she stole my man and I just couldn’t like her.

But my infatuation with Shawn has ended and at this stage of my life as a budding fly girl, I can no longer hate on another female who is making all the moves that I long to make. Beyoncé is a hard workingwoman but the biggest compliant heard about Beyoncé is that she never shows her flaws.

After watching Beyoncé on Oprah and then her own, “Beyoncé: Life Is But A Dream”, documentary, it is clear that even a mega star has insecurities and flaws but what makes Beyoncé so special is her work ethic and her understanding that she is a role model. Knowing that others are looking up to her takes her from just an artist to being a person who knows her purpose. After viewing the specials, you see that she is truly blessed and her blessings come from hard work and walking in her purpose.

In the recent issue of Vogue with Beyoncé on the cover, one quote stood out: “As her competition was spilling out of limousines, Beyoncé remained the knockout in six-inch heels who still gets home by 11:00 p.m. Responsibility over recklessness.”   Here is a superstar who goes out, does her thing, sets the world ablaze and gets home by 11:00 p.m. In an era of basketball wives, starter wives, and housewives, how refreshing is it to have Beyoncé? A woman who even the President said the superstar, “could not be a better role model for my girls.”

There is something to be to be said about someone who owns up to his or her influence and does everything with class. Just this week, I saw Rihanna’s ass again! I thought you just had to show your ass to get famous so why does a superstar insist on continuing to expose herself? When Beyoncé GQ cover hit online, the biggest gripe in the blogosphere was that Beyoncé didn’t have to stoop to the level of overt sexually because her talent speaks for itself. Although the complaint could be valid, here is pop star who has been in the industry for over a decade with no nude photo leaks, no drunken pictures, and no excessive sexiness yet she appeals to both men and women.

There is a theory called, The Law of Reflection, The Law of Reflection manifests in that which you resist in yourself, you will dislike in others. Many will continue to accuse Beyoncé of “not being real” or “not doing her”, as if doing less than favorable activities in the public eye accounts for one’s realness. What Beyoncé represents is a sophistication and class that is desperately missing in the industry and in young women. Beyoncé may not be the best reader, she may steal ideas from others and her father has totally groomed her but what Beyoncé seemingly knows for sure is that as a woman, you can get a lot further without being crass and showing your ass.

This isn’t an idol-worshiping article, it’s a simple observation that it is possible to work hard and have it all, while doing it with style and grace. In an era of narcissism and attention seeking, wouldn’t it be great to go to back to our Beyoncés?

Carla Thomas
Writer and Fly Girl

 

 

 

 

Fly Event: Spread Love It’s The Brooklyn Way.

7 Mar

Spread Love Its The Brooklyn Way.

Spread love, Biggie, Brooklyn, hippie.

Celebrate the life and music of The Notorious B.I.G. this Saturday, March 9th, at Free Candy in Fort Greene, BK. With Rich Medina on the one’s and two’s, this is the perfect (and only party) to sip Private Stock while wearing your Versace shades indoors.

Deets:

Who: Celebrate the life and music of Biggie Smalls

What: That Brooklyn Bullsh*t, WE ON IT

When: Saturday, March 9, 2013

Where:Free Candy- 905 Atlantic Ave, BK, NY 11238

Admission: $10 | $5 w/ RSVP before 11pm, RSVP HERE | Doors open 10:00PM

Fly Fashion: The Baddie Bey Sweatshirt

22 Feb

thebeysweatshirt45zoom1

For the Beyonce stan…

By: Atslopes, $65

Fly Event: Saul Williams at BAM FREE CONCERT!!

15 Feb

saulwilliams

Poet, actor, and musician Saul William performs at BAMcafé Live tomorrow (2/16) following the premiere screening of his film, Aujourd’hui (Tey).

Named one of Film Comment’s Best Unreleased Films of 2012, Aujourd’hui (Tey) follows Satché’s (Saul Williams) last day of life. Though Satché’ is strong and in good health, he accepts his imminent death as he walks through the streets of Senegal, taking in the sites of his past as if he were looking at them for the last time: his parents’ house, his first love, the friends of his youth, and his wife and children.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Alain Gomis and actors Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman, and then the live performance by Saul Williams in BAMcafé.

Deets on the screening can be found here.

The live performance is free, starts at 9:30PM and is located at the BAMcafé- Peter Jay Sharp Building- 30 Lafayette Ave Brooklyn, NY 11243.