Tell It Tuesday: The Lesson in Jada Pinkett Smith's 'Red Table Talk'

L-R: Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Jada Pinkett Smith & Willow Smith 
By Ta-ning Connai

Jada Pinkett Smith is the realest! She's the perfect mix of class and sass, and will go gangsta on any fool who thinks she won't! She’s the reigning queen of killer abs and balances work and fam like nobody's business. All of which is why she'll always be my #WomanCrushWednesday every day of the week!

Red Table Talk aired May 7th on Facebook Watch, giving us a sneak peek into the real life connections between Jada, her daughter Willow and her mom, Adrienne Banfield-Norris.

Tell It Tuesday: Will Kanye Ever Be Great Again?

Photo taken by Ta-ning Connai in her Santa Monica neighborhood
By Ta-ning Connai

As soon as we think we've recovered from Kanye’s last outrageous stunt...SURPRISE!....he hits us with another dose of untapped foolishness! He recently poured out some pretty glowing feelings about the POTUS and I suppose he had to ignore Trump’s racist, misogynistic and morally decayed views in order to esteem him that way. The suck up continued with words like “brother,” “love,” and “dragon energy” (huh???) followed by a pic of Kanye sporting a Make America Great Again cap (again). But this isn't a person simply exerting the right to his opinion or political views, as his wife Kim tried to defend. Sadly, his comments point to his slow, but deliberate path towards “white is right, black is whack” (a phrase going back to the 70’s), and that alone is more disheartening than who he would cast his vote for.

Tell It Tuesday: What Wendy Williams' Dis of The Clark Sisters Can Teach Us

Wendy Williams
By Ta-ning Connai 

The clapback of the week comes from a community highly encouraged to turn the other cheek. But it was Wendy Williams’ cheek that turned when church folk went psycho after hearing she dissed beloved gospel legends, The Clark Sisters.

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When Obsessing Over Doing "the right thing" Can Lead to Major F*ck Ups


By Devon Mac

There's this word that I've become newly acquainted with called repression. To say that I've become newly acquainted with repression is sort of misleading because most of my conscious and breathing moments on this earth, apart from early childhood, have been lived repressed. What I mean is that at 40 now, I've become a lot more conscious of what repression is and how it has manifested in my life.

The scary thing about repression is that you can actually have a great time while being blissfully ignorant of its presence in your life.

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Tell It Tuesday: Mary J. Blige Shows Us How Our Brokenness Can Make Us Better


Mary J. Blige in April's Ebony magazine
 By Ta-ning Connai

No one masters the art of the comeback quite like Mary J. Blige. The woman who inspired the phrase Ghetto Fabulous has yet again risen from the ashes to live her best life ever in spite of the many burdens she's had to bear. Her most recent achievement is a soulful rendition of the 1976 Elton John classic, 'Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.' Released on April 6 as a single from John’s star-studded tribute album Revamp, you best believe the R&B songstress gives it everything she's got.

 If we learn nothing more from the diva who has survived domestic violence, drug abuse, betrayal, disappointment and loss of every kind, we should at least learn this...brokenness can either break you OR it can make you better. And based on her continuous whirlwind of miraculous restoration, better she most certainly is!

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Tell It Tuesday: Black Panther Scene Stealer Proves It's Never Too Late

Dorothy Steel Courtesy of Cindy Butler, left photo courtesy of Matt Kennedy  
By Ta-ning Connai

Dorothy Steel is a scene stealer and she's got a growing fan base to prove it. The 92-year-old actress had all eyes on her during her appearance as the merchant tribal elder in Black Panther, and she can hardly step outdoors without requests for selfies or her autograph. One would assume Ms. Steel was a seasoned vet, but she's only been acting for 4 short years! At 88, she embarked on an entirely new career when most people her age are settled into retirement. It was her participation in a play at a senior center in Georgia that sparked a love for the arts that she didn't know she had. So she came out of retirement (worked for decades for the IRS), got herself an agent, and the rest is silver screen history! God certainly has a way of reconnecting us with our dreams. Whether it's months or years, there's one thing for sure...it's never too late, but we might have to wait....

Tell It Tuesday: Will Smith's Got a New Song. But an Old One Changed My Life


Will Smith via IG
By Ta-ning Connai

Will Smith is an O.G. when it comes to success, but his stratospheric rise on Instagram is brand spankin’ new. His mix of life lessons and family fun have us all loving the newly revealed side of a man we only get to know via interviews and the silver screen. And the video he posted on St. Patrick’s Day ought to remind us that he can still serve up a catchy tune no matter how many decades have gone by. His new song Freak Accident will probably be the anthem for all the “ooops, I had one too many drinks” for many years to come, but my favorite will always be the one about the haven of beachy sands.

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Tough Times For Blac Chyna: Can Anyone's Reputation Be Restored?

Via Black Chyna's IG
By Ta-ning Connai

Blac Chyna had a mini meltdown on Instagram last week and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why. Unless you've been living under a rock, we all know about the Kardashian catastrophe that was doomed right from the start. The relationship with Rob was a no-no. To put it on air was a no-no. But to then try and sue Kris Jenner and her entire K-Klan? Now that's an absolute OH NO! And then when you think things can't get worse...a scandalous sex tape AND the resurgence of the meme “you can't turn a ho into a housewife,” which now has her face on it. And although she appears to be a victim of her own circumstance, it doesn't mean she should be viewed as the least likely to change.

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Tell It Tuesday: Between a Rock & a Hard Place? Here's How to Get Away!

20th anniversary of Lenny Kravitz's hit 'Fly Away' 
By Ta-ning Connai

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of a song that broke down barriers between Rock and R&B simply by coining a popular lyric we've all sang at least once or twice in our lives. Lenny Kravitz is the King of Cool and when he brazenly strung his guitar while chanting “I want to get away” back in 1998, he had no idea that both Headbangers and Hip-Hop Heads alike would give homage to the words from Fly Away in over 50+ songs (whew, I literally got tired of counting). And in 2010, he even stumbled upon the Voices of Praise Choir belting out a churchy version on the streets of New Orleans! No, he didn't exactly invent the term, but he sure as heck made it his own. Lenny, you da man!

What about you? Ever feel like getting away? No, I don't mean like a vacay getaway, although that would be nice. I'm talking about getting away from the things that hold you hostage. If I'm talking to you, just keep on listening, I wanna help you solve that problem...

Tell It Tuesday: Idris Elba & the Proposal That Shook the World!

Idris Elba & fiance Sabrina Dahowre
By Ta-Ning Connai

Last week the black community was delivered some devastating news…

Idris Elba...Gone Too Soon

NO HE'S NOT DEAD, he's off the market, but you'd think he kicked the bucket based on the sudden hysteria connected to his name. How can one man’s public proposal make one woman so happy while simultaneously shattering the matrimonial hopes and dreams of black women across the globe? And why so many predictions for a negative outcome? Do we REALLY need to go there, hoping he cheats on his fiance? And why all the insults towards her? What in the world did she ever do to us? I'm just wondering how this will affect his box offices sales,‘cause you know us sistahs will put on a petty protest and make the brotha wanna repent for trespassing against us.

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Tell It Tues: Let Go of the Past & Don't Look Back



By Ta-Ning Connai

We all have a past. Some are tainted by shattered dreams, lost love or unbearable regrets. Others have enough scandal, dirt and drama to beat EMPIRE in the ratings. Fortunately for me, I'm just glad I didn't catch a case like Cookie or be left for dead like Lucious, 'cause that could've been me with my formerly crazy self! Whatever the case, the past can be haunting, with a grip that can cripple us and keep us from forging ahead.

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Tell It Tues: What I Learned When All My Hair Fell Out!


By Ta-ning Connai

When the hottest trendsetters like Zoe Kravitz, Solange and Rhianna chop it all off, or debut a new color, it's no wonder that women everywhere feel the fire and follow suit. And while I can relate to the exhilarating debut of a fresh new do, I will never forget my worst hair day EVER- the day all my hair fell out! And what I learned as a result...

Viral Sisters Dani + Dannah & Mom on God, Success, Natural Hair, and More!

Dani & Dannah
By Kanisha Parks

If you haven’t heard of sassy and sweet sisters Dani (7 years old) and Dannah Lockett (6 years old), where you been, Sis?! Since going viral with a video about Dannah’s breakup back in early 2017 (over 10 million views and shares!), these two have been dropping knowledge and sharing their love for Christ all over the web and have even been featured on the Today Show, The Steve Harvey Show, and the Real! This duo may just be getting started but it’s clear they’re here to stay!

I’m a Christian and I Don’t Date


By Maya Wright

Call it what you want: dating, Christian dating, “Dating with Purpose.” Yes, many Christians do date and the truth is, I’ve heard countless positive testimonies. But for me personally, I choose not to date, and to wait on God. When people hear that, it’s like they instantly think you’re weird, you’re crazy, you’re in a cult, that it doesn’t make any sense. It’s like, “How are you going to meet your mate if you don’t date?”

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Why I Ain't A Christian No More


By Brittney M. Walker

The deacons are passing around Communion cups, the prepackaged ones with the non-alcoholic wine shots and Styrofoam crackers attached to the top protected with a cellophane wrapping. I am sweating a little in my armpits, nervous about what she’ll say when she notices that I don’t take one. For several Communion Sundays I had been purposely sitting out of her eye sight so she wouldn’t see I’ve been skipping it for the last few months.

Never Give Up. What This Mom Did When Her Son Was Wrongly Imprisoned.

LaVerne Knighten & Son Willie Knighten
By Erickka Sy Savané

African Americans are only 13% of the American population but make up the majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated, according to a study conducted by the National Registry of Exonerations on race and wrongful convictions. Blacks constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the Registry (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large scale police scandals and later cleared in “group exonerations.” This racial disparity exist for all major crime categories, but the report focused on the three types of crimes producing the largest numbers of exonerations in the Registry: murder, sexual assault, and drug crimes.

This, however, was not on Laverne Knighten's mind in 1996, when her oldest son, Willie Knighten, was issed a life sentence in connection with a drive-by murder in Toledo, Ohio. For any mom this would be devastating news, but what made it even worse was the she knew deep in her heart that her son was innocent.
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