Cappuccino Soul

Cappuccino Soul

Friday, November 11, 2016

Breakin' Convention: Bringing Unity, Love, and Creativity to Charlotte

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I witnessed this explosive event. It was inspiring, groundbreaking, and elevated hip hop even one step higher.



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Netflix: She's Gotta Have It!

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Wow, wow, and wow! Three wows for Nola Darling's three lovers. I'm anxiously waiting for this new series by Spike Lee to premiere on Netflix.



"Netflix has given a 10-episode series order to “She’s Gotta Have It,” a remake of Spike Lee's 1986 debut film, Variety has confirmed. Lee will direct each half-hour installment and serves as executive producer on the project with his wife and producing partner Tonya Lewis Lee.

The series centers on Nola Darling, a Brooklyn-based artist in her late twenties struggling to define herself and divide her time amongst her Friends, her Job and her Three Lovers: The Cultured Model, Greer Childs; The Protective Investment Banker, Jamie Overstreet; and Da Original B-Boy Sneakerhead, Mars Blackmon."  -- Variety, 9.15.16


Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Grateful Garment: Helping Victims of Sexual Assault

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Grateful Garment helps sexual assault survivors leave the hospital with new clothes and their dignity.



Click here to learn how you can donate to help Grateful Garmet support victims of sexual assault.

Liberation

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"You can't get liberated with money -- it comes from inside."    -- Dick Gregory

Friday, August 05, 2016

Detroit Training Academy Grows Boys to Men

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If I had a son, I'd be tempted to move to Detroit, just so he could attend this phenomenal academy that trains African American boys to become disciplined, strong, and emotionally healthy men -- something we desperately need more of. Power to Sharath Jason Wilson and the other leaders at the The Cave of Adullam Transformational Training Academy.

From the Academy's Youtube page:

During these perverse times, it's truly vital that we, the men and fathers of this generation, do not allow our boys to grow up with a false sense of masculinity like many of us did. As a result, we have a mass amount of emotionally unstable men walking in unresolved anger, confusion and depression, instead of power, love and discipline. So we place strong emphasis on allowing our recruits to openly express their emotions, so that we can teach them how to use those emotions to their benefit, and become a comprehensive man of God.


Watch how this teacher so masterfully instructs, consoles, and encourages this student:

Click here to donate to the academy!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Actions and Peace

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For peaceful living,  we must consistently remind ourselves how our actions affect other people's well being.       -- alicia

Friday, July 08, 2016

Help, Don't Hurt Others

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"Our primary purpose in this life is to help others. If you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." 
                  -- Dalai Lama

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Loyalty and Needs

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"Some people aren’t loyal to you, they are loyal to their need of you. Once their needs change, so does their loyalty."
-- Savage Angel

Working on Yourself

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"When you've had a lot of bad work done to you, it's important to do a lot of good work on yourself."
-- alicia

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Pay Attention

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"People may not always tell you how they feel about you, but they will always show you. Pay attention."

-- Kim Garst

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Believe, directed by Alicia, featuring Gigi

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The video features a vocal performance by Gigi.
Believe directed by Alicia Michele Benjamin

Monday, June 27, 2016

You Don't Have to Learn

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"You don't have to learn from experience; if you don't mind repeating the course."

- Tim Fargo

Jesse Williams Brought Magic to the BET Awards

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Jesse Williams y'all. This is a MAN right here. Can I say how taken aback I was by his honesty, power and truth when he delivered his acceptance speech for getting the Humanitarian Award from BET last night? And OF COURSE, I LOVE the way he started his message off by thanking all the activists, fighters, parents, teachers, etc. out there on the Front Lines.

And then he gave us this:

"This is also for the Black Women, in particular, who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We Can and Will do better for you."

That's like Music to my EARS J -- MUSIC to my ears!

You MUST listen to this ENTIRE speech. And he ended it with a line that really could be part of a poem. He just needs to write it.

"Just because we're magic doesn't mean we're not real."

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Compassion Course Online: Extended registration through June 29

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Compassion Course online. Go to: compassioncourse.org . Sign up! Extended Registration through June 29.

Experience more connection and compassion


A Guided Meditation for the Realities of Today's World

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Definitely feeling this. Warning: Explicit language.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Getting What You're Getting

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If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Courage and Discipline

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"May you have the courage and discipline today to do what is needed instead of simply what is convenient." --Thema Davis


Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation

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Nate Parker snatched the title "The Birth of a Nation" right out of D. W. Griffith's mouth. The Birth of a Nation has a new life. I'm definitely feeling this one. Can't wait to see it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

To Be Greeted by a Turtle

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Look what greeted me as I stepped outside my front door this morning.



Thursday, April 07, 2016

Anne Frank's Words

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I can't believe I've never read The Diary of Anne Frank, but I've just finished the play version. Of course, I'm speechless, that such a diary of a teenage girl who was eventually killed by the Nazis exists. She was such a fighter.

One of the last words of the play is certainly worth remembering: "In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.

If We Stand Tall

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"If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors."          
                                                 -- Yoruba Proverb

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Portrait of a Singer

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Here's Gigi's portrait of her talented and beautiful Voice teacher, Angela Renee Simpson







by Giovanni

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Cornel West Speaks about Race, Social Justice, and Art

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Here, Master teacher and speaker Cornel West lectures at the University of Hartford on February 10, 2016. He speaks on social justice issues, race relations, and the importance that artists play in giving insight and creating change.

"Indifference to evil is more evil than evil itself."
-- Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Nobody loves me but my mama, and she might be jivin' too."
-- B.B. King



Thursday, March 03, 2016

The Art of Community Organizing: Giving Power to the People

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Recently I had the privilege of participating in the Nashville Peace and Justice Center’s Leadership Institute. It was an amazing experience and inspired me to become more active in social justice issues. Before I enrolled in the Leadership Institute, I didn’t have the confidence to stand before people and make the following brief speech:

Did you know that across the country prisons often shackle pregnant inmates in labor or chain them to a bed? When a woman is in labor, it helps the process if she can move around, walk or squat. What real danger does a pregnant woman, screaming in pain, cause to anyone? Every woman deserves the right to give birth the way nature intended. Not with her legs shackled together like some wild animal. This practice of shackling and putting chains on pregnant inmates in labor is UNJUST and we need to fight to make it ILLEGAL.


This speech, which takes about one minute to deliver, was my homework for the public speaking portion of the workshop. Actually, I forgot some of the words as I was giving the speech. I looked at the floor and couldn’t remember what I was supposed to say next. But the encouragement that I received during my brief lapse of memory motivated me to gain my composure and finish.

I truly hope I’ll be able to one day say these words to people who can make a difference in the prison system. My anger and frustration with the way all prisoners are oftentimes mistreated was one of my motivations for attending the Institute. I’m also looking forward to working with such groups as the Nashville Homeless Power Project. My friend Matt Leber, who persistently encouraged me to participate in the Leadership Institute training, John Zirker, and the other NHPP organizers, have been tirelessly working to empower Nashville’s homeless community and erase homelessness in Nashville. I hope I live to see the day when all homeless people find and keep safe affordable housing.

When I see homeless people in Nashville, I’m reminded of the homeless family that I saw in New York City shortly after I had moved there. I saw a mother and father with three young children sleeping under dirty blankets at the World Trade Center subway station. I was appalled that whole families were so unprotected and vulnerable in such a harsh environment.

Institute facilitators taught me that the role of community organizers is to challenge people to act on behalf of their common interests. Organizers identify leaders and enhance those leaders’ skills and commitment to their cause. In other words, organizers give people the power to help themselves. Imagine that entire family in New York City visiting their City Council representative and requesting that he or she vote yes for a resolution to build affordable housing clusters for homeless families. Imagine a group of single mothers lobbying their state representative to vote yes on a bill to increase the minimum wage rate in the state.

Organizers can give folks like the homeless, single working mothers, pregnant female inmates, and many others the education, advice, and encouragement to stand up and fight for their rights. This is the work that I’m hoping to accomplish and the Nashville Peace and Justice Center Leadership Institute has given me the tools to send me on my way.

A luta continua.(The struggle continues.)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

All About Love Outro (Earth, Wind & Fire)

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This is one of my favorite Earth, Wind & Fire songs and it's really only part of a song! It's the ending of "All About Love" from their That's the Way of the World recording.


Monday, February 15, 2016

U.S. Rep Elijah Cummings is Furious Over Flint Water Catastrophe

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If this scene ever makes it to film, no actor will be able to match the anger and righteous indignation of Maryland U.S. Representative, Elijah Cummings, here at the first Congressional hearings on the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan. He was just too honestly angry about this travesty and genuinely indignant about this crime perpetrated against Flint's citizens for anybody to ever duplicate the beauty and justice of his response. In the video below, during the Feb. 3 hearings, Cummings is speaking to Keith Creagh, Interim Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

"Are the people paying, right now, in Flint for water they cannot wash in and cannot use, and cannot drink?! Are they paying water bills? .... Why would they be paying for water that they cannot even use, that is poisoning them? That's not American! This is not a Third World Country! Are they paying those bills?! Are you gonna relieve them of that?!"

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Rest in Peace Maurice White!

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This is one of my favorite Earth, Wind, and Fire songs. Rest in Peace Maurice!

"Born of the Earth, are nature's children
Fed by the Wind, the breath of life
Judged by the fiery hands of God"

-- from Earth, Wind, and Fire



Maurice White, founder of the legendary group, Earth, Wind, and Fire was born on December 19, 1941 in Memphis, Tenn. He died on February 4, 2016 in Los Angeles at the age of 74. He gave the world the incredible gift of his magical musical talents, which undoubtedly flowed from his intimate and pure connection to God. -- alicia


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tainted Water in Flint, Michigan/Government Neglect

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"As I was getting ready with my daughter this morning, she asked me ‘why are we using bottles of water instead of using the sink?’ And I tried explaining to her in 3-year-old terms what the situation is. And a lot of the work I do in the community is related to GM leaving, so you’re absolutely right. This is the second slap in the face, as we were recovering, we’re faced with this water crisis. With the community work that I do, I’d always said I didn’t want to leave home, but if I have to keep my child safe, I may consider options in another state.”
-- Chia Morgan, Flint mother of 3-year-old