The Break: Black Men’s Sexual Politics (Throwback – NSFW)

In this throwback episode of a special podcaster’s roundtable, KC chats with some of her favorite podcasters from around the nation about black men’s do’s and don’ts when it comes to bedroom antics. Podcast guests include Burberry Jones of the The Burberry Lounge, Mr. Moody of Mr. Moody’s Neighborhood, Darryl Frierson of From Ashy to Classy and Straight Outta Lo Cash, Rod of The Black Guy Who Tips and her husband Chris Lehman.

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The Break – Teenage Responsibility

In this episode KC, Chris, Toria, Malcolm, Tash, Leisha, Shelby, Darralyn and Jamie have a conversation about the responsibility of teenagers. We discuss them being victims, society’s moral compass, and the idea of a teenager being a modern construct.

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The Break – Women In Leadership Roles

In this episode of The Break KC, Toria, Leisha, Helena and Chris discuss the topic of women being in leadership positions. We touch on women wearing the king’s crown, house husbands, role reversal, the feeling of being needed, being pigeonholed vs flexible, the inability to relax, male pride and more.

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Confessions of a Congressional Candidate

So I am John Wood, Jr., and I am, and ‘till November the 4th of this year will be, the Republican nominee for congress in the 43rd district of California. I am running against a woman everybody (white and black) paying attention to the conversation knows, and that is Congresswoman Maxine Waters. She’s a hero to many in South/South Central Los Angeles, a flame of pure fire in the annals of black political history. On the liberal left she is a champion, and I like her in part cause she’s an old school liberal, a black liberal, and she carved out her place in American politics by embodying the militant convictions of black nationalism. She had the lightning of a true activist, and the elegant thunder of a lady of the church. She is an icon in our culture, and one of the more memorable political personalities in the history of America.

I do not think Maxine Waters needs to be representing the people of Los Angeles in congress anymore. But I think she is an extraordinary human-being. And while she is hated on the right for reasons I almost fully understand, those conservatives I know who truly know her love her the same, even if they disagree with her about everything.

My problem with Maxine Waters is that she has no vision for the future, and in that has become the past. It is not a matter of her being old. But she has no grand strategy to save the inner-city community, or to save America (both of which need saving). Ron Paul is Maxine Waters age, but for years he has been the candidate of the future; and his vision will still determine the future of American politics.

I’m just saying it’s not cause she’s old. :-/

There are certain overwhelming problems facing the future prosperity of inner-city America. Most of these problems reflect the shortcomings of liberal policy planning because, well, liberal Democrats tend to run everything. In black communities, that is almost 100%. (If Republicans ran everything, our problems would reflect the excesses of Conservatism, which there are.) But they equal a social spending system that doesn’t achieve assistance, financial and transitional, effectively enough; an educational system that maintains the social and economic vulnerability of black and brown communities rather than lifting them up from them; a criminal justice system that has yet to be deprogrammed from formulas of justice that unjustifiably promote generational cycles of incarceration among black boys and men, feeding a pattern of fatherlessness and familial deterioration in the deserts of gang violence and drug dependency. The system is rigged against us. It even teaches us to rig it ourselves.

It’s the Willie Lynch mentality. It’s the psychology we were gifted by master to always think less of ourselves, and more of him, to accept what he gives us. It has never really gone away. It has simply morphed through generations of political evolution in American society, and has survived the death of the mainstream acceptability of racism itself. It is the systematic broadcasting of messages across the societal spectrum formed perfectly to make black Americans think less of themselves. It is the patronizing of the welfare state and the hostility of the court. It is the neglect of the educational system and the brutality of the police. It is the confluence of sins from the right and  left wing of the political spectrum that ensure that one-hundred and fifty years after the end of slavery in America the black man isn’t free.

Now the truth is the black man is far freer today than he was yesterday; than he was 50 years ago. (It is also true that the institutionalized racism of many American institutions is not always a product of active racism but of the power structures of a more racist age that have flourished unto now.) But he is not as free now as white men have ever been in this country. Barack Obama is the exception, not the rule. And while that is to glide past a grand historical argument it is just to say that blacks in this country fool themselves when they are led to challenge only one half of the political system, which is to say not at all. Maxine Waters challenges one half of the system by justifying the other half. She can’t defeat the system. She is the system.

Maxine isn’t my enemy then; it’s the system she can’t reform. I can’t reform it either. I’m running to let people know they can.

The Break – Inappropriate Social Media Behavior

In this episode KC, Chris, Tash, Toria, Leisha, Carmen, Darius, and the other Chris are joined by KJ and Lady J of the Welcome 2 The Village podcast to discuss inappropriate social media behavior with partners. They also get into their pet peeves with social media behavior with partners, including tagging on pictures, e-thugs, constant negative quotes and more!


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Introducing…The Brown Girl Hour with KC & T!

Listen in as KC and Toria bring you a new podcast series – The Brown Girl Hour – a podcast between sista friends! In this first episode, KC and Toria discuss New Year promises, friendship between women, hormones, and accepting good treatment from men.


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The Break – 2013 Reflections & Kanye West

In this episode KC & Chris look back at the year 2013 for Black Is and thank those of you helped make it a great year. Then KC, Chris & Tash discuss Kanye West’s interview with Sway. We appreciate your support in 2013 and look forward to bringing you much more in 2014! Let’s go!

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The Break: 40 Acres and a Mule – THROWBACK!

*Listen in to a round table discussion as KC and the family discuss what the Black community would/should/could do if ever given reparations. Podcast guests include Chris Lehman, DJ A-ski, Toria Williams, Mike Eagle, Malcolm Darrell, Tash Moseley, Brother T, Jamila Farwell, and Darius Gray.

*Parental Discretion is advised with this podcast.

No Rewards

What if there was no reward in the end?  By no reward I mean- No money. No fame. No accolades. You just create, and that’s it. Just you and what you’ve created; and knowledge of your work only exists between you, the creation, and God?

Would you still be doing it, or would you feel like it’s no longer worth the time and effort?

For a little over a week now, I’ve been fasting from sugar. 6 days a week I go without sugar, and have one day of my choice to splurge if I want. Otherwise, no junk food, no sugar in my coffee or tea. None. The first few days it was hard. Then I started noticing how much junk food was everywhere! I heard a podcast with a Dr. Robert Lustig who said that high fructose corn syrup is an ingredient in almost everything we eat. From candy to hamburger buns. And the reason why is because many companies know that our brains naturally react to sugar. Sugar goes off in the “reward center” in our brain. It makes us happy. It gives us a rush. And then we crash from the sugar rush. And to get that “high” again, we eat more sugar. It’s starts to disrupt our natural processes. You notice how fruits and things with natural sugar have fiber in them, or not that much sugar at all? Things don’t naturally exist in the world tasting like Kool-Aid. But apparently, especially in America, we are addicted to sugar and fatty foods. I’m not going to belabor the issue with a health post here, I’m just saying…After knowing all this, especially in the detail Dr. Lustig told it in, I knew it was time to make some sort of real change.

About 2 years ago I cut alcohol for 90 days. It was tough at times because suddenly that was when all the parties at clubs had open bars, and people had drinks flowing at house parties. When I would turn down a drink people would ask “Are you religious?” When I told them no, I was just giving up alcohol for 90 days, many of them said “I could never do that. Too hard.”  To self impose the discipline to not reward themselves, or to not lean on their crutch was too much. The thought of it was daunting to them.  But with this sugar fast, something that we know has a direct conenction to the reward center of our brain, it made me wonder- how many of us would do what we do creatively if there was no reward?

Everyday, a song runs through my head. A rhyme. An idea. A concept. Some kind of vision. I can’t help it. I can’t really turn it off. All I can do is write it down and stall acting on it until I have the money or flushed the idea thoroughly out to figure out how to take the fragment and put it together in the puzzle. I have things I’ve written that no one has seen. And in my own head the ideas play, and I watch them in my mind’s eye. I’m entertained but some of it. Some things I discard once I revisit them because they don’t entertain me like they did initially. No one may ever see them. It would be a shame to not share the good stuff with the world, I know this. But if I never made any money from them, if no one ever told me it was good, if people saw it and never said a word, how would I feel?  Maybe insecure at first.  The mark of a good artist is usually the number of people that “like” their work. But what if I’m never rewarded?  What if I get nothing in return?  Is the creation itself a reward?

I’ve been tasting food differently now. Tea without sugar doesn’t taste so bad. Salads don’t bother me if I don’t have any dressing (yes, that has sugar in it too). I don’t really miss burgers, though I would love some toast with jam!  But when I look at the $.50 sodas at my job, and know what it will do to me, I’m not that interested. On the splurge days, when I do have sugar, I don’t really have that much.  When you experiement with your own habits, you begin to discover new things.

So I ask you artists, have you ever thought about what would happen if no one ever saw your work? Or does that idea frighten you and sound like death? If you had to do a monologue and act it out with passion in front of empty room after empty room, would you still love it? They call that “paying dues”. What if no one ever discovered your work until after your death? And you weren’t alive to see all the royalty checks, or to be interviewed on television? Your work would be taught in schools, shared amongst groups of friends, and YOU don’t get anything except the praise of your name spoken into the air. Would that satisfy you?  I can’t lie, that last scenario actually kinda scares me. I want to have my roses while I can still smell them. But then again, it’s not always about what I want, but what needs to happen. Not having sugar has shown me that there are other ways of being rewarded, and sometimes those less immediate rewards can be better for you.

What do you usually give yourself for a job well done? How do you reward yourself? Go without that reward for 2 weeks and see if you can handle it. Ask yourself, “Do I live for rewards, or do I live for the work?”

“I’m an actor. First of all, I don’t take myself that seriously. I take what I do seriously, and I try to do a good job.” – Denzel Washington