What’s Poppington: Myles Loftin’s “HOODED” Project

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We all know that ideas without action stay ideas and Myles Loftin has come to show that he understands that concept as well.

Myles Loftin is a 19 year old photographer who’s taking action to change the stereotypical depiction of black males.Image result for myles loftin

His recent project, HOODED, tackles the importance of positive representation, while providing a perfect example of said positive representation.

Loftin focuses on the association of the hoodie worn on black males. In contemporary American society, the hoodie is a clothing garment that seems to automatically assume a threat if on the body of a black male (see: Trayvon Martin).  Loftin seeks to take back the meaning of the hoodie through a stark contrast of the “dark, scary thug” label and that contrast is bright colors and happy young black males

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I noticed that beyond targeting the “thug” stereotype, HOODED also challenges the widespread belief that men who show any kind of femininity or emotion are gay and that being gay is terrible. I can think of about ten people off the top of my head who would automatically say these photos are “gay”. The smiles on the models’ faces are expressions of pure, unadulterated joy not held back by anyone’s definition. Those smiles show that you truly can be whatever the hell you want, that you are defined by your own self-expression.

HOODED seeks to reaffirm that black males should be able to make unsupervised fashion choices without being labeled as something negative.

Don’t sleep on our generation.

What’s Poppington: Hip Hop Squares

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If you’re into TV game shows then Hip Hop Squares may be something you should check out.

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Executively produced by Ice Cube, Hip Hop Squares is a fun show with a good cause. It’s a twist on the classic Hollywood Squares, but with mostly black celebrities in the hip hop side of the entertainment industry.

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Along with the alcohol-fueled commentary from the celebs, DeRay Davis’s hosting keeps the show’s atmosphere ruthless, yet hilariously entertaining. Everybody’s just up there having a grand ol’ time and it’s hard not to get sucked in. The celebrities hold back nothing when it comes roasting their fellow game players.

When I first watched I was a tad confused on how the game works. As simply as I can put it, it’s a big game of Tic Tac Toe with questions and at the end two deserving audience members get to take home the money won. You might have to watch an episode or two to finally get it (or maybe that’s just me). Watch this interview of Ice Cube and DeRay, they explain it a lot better.

New episodes of Hip Hop Squares air every Monday.

Check out Jessica Dime vs. Jackie Christie at 9pm and Kid ‘N Play vs. Naughty By Nature at 9:30pm tomorrow!

What’s Poppington: Solange Tastefully Covers Bust Magazine

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Since we’re on the natural hair appreciation train, why not talk about Solange?

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Solange is another celebrity confidently helping keep natural hair appreciation in the spotlight. Rocking what looks like a good ol’ twist out, Solange flaunts her unabashed naturalness on the cover of feminist magazine Bust.

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Previews of the editorial shoot (pictured throughout) show Solange against neutral backgrounds in some interesting pieces.

The pieces are minimalist in color and and eclectic in design at the same time, giving the entire set of photos the same vibe. It’s the perfect balance between weird and polished that Solange is known for.

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Besides gracing us with her style, readers can also expect to be graced with her words in her article titled “I am a Proud Black Feminist”. Her album “A Seat at the Table” spoke (sang, I guess) a lot of truth, so I can imagine this account will be a refreshing reflection of that same honesty.

This issue of Bust will be available March 28th.

How do y’all feel about this? Leave comments!

What’s Poppington: Rapunzel is Actually a Pair of Identical Black Twins

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First of all, LOOK AT THAT HAIR! Look at it. Observe it. Love it.Image result for cipriana takenya quann

Cipriana (above, left) and Takenya “TK” (right) Quann are two sisters who are bringing more awareness to the beautiful capabilities of black hair. Having both previously felt that their hair was a barrier, the sister duo turned their self-created hair confidence into a lucrative, yet socially uplifting platform.

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From grade school to the modeling industry, the Quann sisters have felt, like many of us, the resistance to and prejudice towards black hair. Instead of continuing to let it lower their self esteem, the pair decided to embrace their natural state. Along with friend Nikisha Brunson, the Quanns created their blog Urban Bush Babes. Their original intent was to create a place for women of color to feel comfortable with themselves while simultaneously dismantling derogatory stereotypes. The two have been making moves and turning heads ever since.

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In a time when black people’s hair is still misunderstood and chastised by a large part of society (remember when the U.S. government banned dreads for it’s employees?), it is important that people like the Quann sisters have a big platform. Representation plays a big role in social acceptance. Personally I’ve never seen natural black hair this long nor did I think those lengths were even possible. Let’s not forget the ignorant, but widely believed sentiment that black people’s hair just doesn’t grow at all (I can’t tell ya how many times I’ve actually heard this). The majesty of the Quanns’ hair makes it extremely difficult, to further believe anything negative about black hair and that’s the kind of inspiration we need.

Here’s a few more pictures because, why not, the Quanns are fantastic.

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What’s Poppington: Get Out

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Beloved Jordan Peele, the other half of comedy show Key and Peele (you may remember him from MadTV as well!) takes a break from his usual comedy and shows us that he’s capable of much, much more. This time Peele tries his hand at horror and suspense and seems to have done it extremely well.

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If you haven’t seen the promotions yet, “Get out” is based on Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), who goes with his white girlfriend Rose (Alison Williams) to meet her parents. Rose’s parents have no idea that Chris is black, which makes him reluctant about the whole trip to begin with. Upon arrival, it becomes immediately obvious that something is off about Rose’s parents and the other townspeople. The trailer draws attention to hypnosis, missing citizens, racial issues, and a town where all the black people seem to act like disturbed psychos which enhances the fun of trying to guess what the heck you’re about to watch.

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The movie even received a rare 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite the intriguing plot itself, this accomplishment alone makes me want to see the movie. The critics on Rotten Tomatoes can be pretty tough so a perfect score means it has GOTTA be good. Get Out debuts Friday February 24th. Check out the trailer below!

What’s Poppington: Author Lataryn Rainey Perry

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Believe it or not, I’m not a huge reader for entertainment purposes. I read articles, magazines, and I surf the net for interesting finds from time to time. So, for me to actually pick up a book that doesn’t have anything to do with higher education or involves me obtaining the next steps needed to become a certified psychologist is pretty hard for me to do. Needless to say I have done just that. I have picked up a book to read solely for enjoyment purposes and I would like to take this time to say thank you, to Lataryn Rainey Perry, Author of a sizzling page turner and a fantastic read called Starting All OverIf you love suspense, sex, love, drama, and characters to adore and hate, I highly suggest that you log on to Amazon for your copy.

“After a horrible breakup Shanae begins to believe that finding an honest and faithful man is impossible. That is until she meets sweet and charismatic Troy Johnson who sweeps her off her feet with his charming ways. Life is becoming better for Shanae as her relationship with Troy begins to blossom until she realizes that lighting a candle to new love isn’t always paradise when an old flame is still burning.” 
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When ever I come across a new author I am always intrigued about the how’s, what’s, and why’s of they’re career and start. I interviewed Rainey and got all the details about when she decided to become an author, and I was able to get and inside scoop on what to expect from part 2 of her book, Starting All Over… Again.

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Jenifer: How long have you had your publishing company and What is the name of it?

Rainey: I launched my business Penwork Publishing, LLC in 2013 when I self-published my first novel. In the last day of 2015 is when I officially registered my business name with the State of South Carolina.

Jenifer: When did you decide that you wanted to be an author?
Rainey: I have always been in love with writing, but I realized that I wanted to be an author when I read my first novel by my favorite author in the world Eric Jerome Dickey. The book that kick started this hunger was called “Sister, Sister”.

Jenifer: What gave you your inspiration for your books and is there a part two?
Rainey: The first draft of my novel ‘Starting All Over’ was written when I was 16 years old. That story line was inspired by the relationships that I witnessed my sisters, cousins and friends go through. One of the main characters (that everyone just loves) Troy was created as an example of what I, as well as any other woman, wanted in a man/husband. Someone who would love them unconditionally despite what anyone else felt or thought. I wanted to depict a man that loved a woman so much that she was able to stop giving so much to her own flaws and be receptive of something that she needed most. Love.

Jenifer: What can you tell us about part two?
Rainey: Oh my goodness, ‘Starting All Over…Again’ will bring about many emotions. In this continuation, you’ll get to see the growth of some of the characters. You will be introduced to a few new characters and witness how each one of them deal with the different issues in their lives.

Jenifer: How does it feel to be an author and what do you want to do to better your craft?

Rainey: It feels great to be able to live out my dream. Nothing is more satisfying than the excitement of a person you encounter after they’ve learned what you do for a living. “I’ve never met an actual author before” those words never gets old to me. My goal is continue to enhance my gift of writing and inspire other aspiring writers or just people period, to pursue their dreams too.

Whats Poppington: Caroline Amine

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I don’t know if you all have seen the video for Caroline or have heard of musical artist Amine, but he’s pretty dope. That’s a passive description, so lets say he’s flippin awesome. The song has a very cool twist to it, instead of the typical woman bashing lyrics, Caroline talks about a female that’s very attractive who Amine want’s to have all to himself. Although the track is a bit explicit, it’s endearing at the same time and it is jammed pack with millenial swagg. Basically this is new music, by a new artist that has only put out two mix tapes in his entire music career. Don’t hate because he has the goods. Just sit back press play and enjoy

“Cause gray scenes might be gray But I love your bloopers
And perfect is for the urgent Baby I want forever” -Amine-

 

What’s Poppington: Trinity The Ballerina and Hiplet A New Type of Balet

I have never had the opportunity to attend the ballet. However, I still can and I plan on seeing a performance soon. One question that constantly sticks out for me when I think of the ballet is, where are all the black ballerinas? Before doing this post I was a bit hesitant because I didn’t know if I would be able to find a black ballerina that I could interview and pick her brain about how she feels about the classical dance, and where she may see herself in years to come.

Well, I found one, or I should say I stumbled upon the cutest little ballerina by the name of Trinity Frost (her name is cute too).

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Trinity and I got first had information on how a young black women feels as a ballerina. I could only imagine how it feel to not see your own image in something that you love or even enjoy doing. It has to be discouraging at times. The more black people embrace the art of ballet the more common it will be. Living in the south, in Charleston SC a black ballerina is extremely uncommon, yet highly intriguing and a sight for sore eyes.

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Trinity Frost “The Ballerina”

Jenifer: How long have you been a ballerina?

Trinity: I’ve been dancing since I was 6 or 7 but I started ballet in 2nd grade.

Jenifer: What made you choose ballet?

Trinity: At first I wasn’t really interested, but then I was watching a movie with my mama called Save The Last Dance that’s when I became interested, but I didn’t know how I was going to do because my mama didn’t know where I could learn it, but then one day my principal at my school offered me an application to free ballet classes at Burke High School and that was in 2nd grade and thats how I started and chose ballet.

Jenifer: Are you going to continue to pursue your career as a ballet dancer until your adulthood?

Trinity: I don’t know yet, but most likely I am but if I don’t I would like to be a doctor or a psychiatrist.

Jenifer: Do you feel like young black girls are afraid to do ballet?

Trinity: I think they are afraid because if they do embrace it they would probably feel judged because of our culture being based mostly off hip hop and because it is a predominantly white genre of dance.

I came across a video on on Facebook that showed ballet dancers dancing a style of dance that resembled hip hop. Then I came to find out that the dance is called Hiplett, a mixture of ballet and hip hop. This form of dance was founded by Homer Hans Bryant a St, Thomas native and founder and creative director of The Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center. Enjoy the videos below to learn more.

The Poppington Life: Work Hard Play Harder: Darryl Robinson Rio 2016 Olympics

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Darryl Robinson, an Air Force veteran, a graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, has a ten year stretch in real estate making dreams come true in the greater Charleston Tri County area, and now he’s a broker with a successful company called Elite Palmetto Real Estate. With all that accomplished I’m sure Mr. Robinson stays busy, but not so busy that a trip to Rio for the 2016 Olympics is out of reach. He works hard, plays harder.

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While watching the 2016 Olympic games this year and wondering if people were getting infected with the Zika virus in record breaking numbers, Darryl and his friends (the trio) were enjoying boxing and  basketball along with other sporting events live and in person.

“We saw 2 days of boxing 10 bouts each and 2 basketball games. One of the basketball games was Team USA’s blowout win vs. Venezuela.” -Darryl Robinson-

 

Darryl explains that he “stayed in Rio for six days with a childhood friend Terrell Dunmeyer and another that he met while working in Iraq.”

“We found our condo Air BnB… Stayed on Copacabana beach which was the site of beach volleyball…. Saw no mosquitoes and no criminal activity.”  -Darryl Robinson-

That goes to show that you cant believe and hold true to everything you hear on the news. Meanwhile the 2016 Rio Olympics trio enjoyed Brazil, and added another experience of a lifetime to their resumes and another stamp to their passports.
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From drinking Cachaca, sugar cane sweetened rum, locally sold on the beach, to experiencing Rio’s night life with a Sao Paulo native, the trio experienced all sides of Rio.

“Night life was lit and we went to clubs outside of the tourist areas.  Even went in the hood to the Favela.”  

“The girl that took us up there was from Sao Paulo a few hours away and spoke Portuguese, but was also fluent in English and had one rule…”On the way down don’t speak because they will know that you’re not from here.”…We caught an uber on the way up.”

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I live for the Olympics and faithfully watch the Olympics every time it airs, but to actually experience it and bask in the ambiance of it all takes things to another level. I enjoyed living vicariously through pictures and Darryl’s descriptions of Rio 2016 Olympics. Who knows, in the next four years I may be posting from Tokyo for 2020 Olympics, or next month maybe we will be posting from the beaches of Trinidad and Tobago. Stay tuned and remember to get up and get out to live the poppington life.

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What’s Poppington: Tika Sumpter Plays FLOTUS: Southside With You

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Our favorite devious The Have And Have Nots vixen is in demand. Tika Sumpter (playing Michelle Obama) has a lead role opposite of male lead, Parker Sawyers (playing Barack Obama) in the film Southside With You. If you haven’t seen the trailers for the new late Summer film you can check it out below.

Along with Tika playing FLOTUS, she will be staring in another life altering role that will change her world forever. Tika Sumpter will become a mommy. Yes, the beautiful actress has the blessing and joys of being a mom. This came as a surprise to me because I am a fan of Tika Sumter, but I had no idea she was pregers. To be honest, I’m glad she kept it a secret. I feel that It’s nice to see celebrities keep some things personal. They’re already in the lime light. A little privacy just make them seem real and more intriguing. Read Tika’s interview with Rolling Out Magazine as she explains why she has kept her pregnancy hush hush and how much the role of playing a young Michelle Obama means to her.

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I’m really selfish with my life. You want to share some aspects of your life. But, for me, I can’t give everything because then I have nothing to come home to and to have for myself and my family. And I need to store up on that love and all that stuff, in order to create, in order to act.”

“Sometimes when you let everybody in your business, I think it makes relationships harder than they need to be. Relationships are already tough. Raising kids is already tough. And then having somebody say something crazy or spread a rumor or say something that’s not nice and hurts your spirit — that I can’t deal with. And that’s why I’m very protective of my peace. I’m protective of my private life. Even getting pregnant, people are just now finding out, but it’s something that I wanted to keep for me and enjoy it for a while.” 

Tika continues and speaks about the importance of her playing Michelle Obama, and how it will impact her baby in the future…Is it a girl or boy? Continue reading to find out. 

“I just want her to see images of strength out there and of women who are doing something with themselves. I want to be able to dictate something about the images that my daughter will see and also [for her to] look up to me as a great mom and a great woman that she would want to one day hopefully be like”

“For me to play a woman like [Michelle Obama], someone that when I see her, I see myself. I see my future kids. What you can be, the greatness you can get to, it was an honor. And hopefully I do her justice and I pray to God that [fans] love this movie. Because I put everything into it so I give it to the world and hopefully you guys like it.

Tika continues and talks about intimidation, feeling overwhelmed and how she used those feelings to get into character while playing Michelle Obama. 

“[It’s] intimidating. Because you want to sound smart, you want to be smart. But you know, there were times as well where she felt overwhelmed by intimidation of certain things. There were people who told her that she couldn’t do things. She couldn’t get into Yale. She couldn’t get into her magnet school that she got into.

So I took the things that I was intimidated by and injected that [into my role] and said, ‘You know what? She had these same feelings at one point’ So I try to use that within there to get into character.”

Whats Poppington: Senegalese Twist Embrace Black Hair Culture

 

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Contrary to what’s becoming popular belief braids and/or cornrows is and will always be African culture. So, do not excuse the cultural appropriation when it comes to braids, cornrows or anything else that gets culturally smudged by white America. I’m not gonna sugar coat anything due to my need to call a duck a duck and not calling a duck a bird that quacks.

Any who, If anyone knows me they will tell you that I’m a braid girl. I LOVE braids. I get my hair braided at least three times through out the year. I choose Senegalese twist as the best braiding style simply because it’s my favorite style and I want you all to adopt it as your favorite too. I know that’s a little manipulative, but so what they’re beautiful, well kept, protective styling for natural hair and you should just take my advice. I would never lead you wrong. I have a few suggestions for you beauties if your deciding to take my advice and make your next braiding style Senegalese twist.

  1. Select a color that compliments your skin tone. You could go online to ikickshins.net and select colors for you extension install. If they don’t have what you need in the store shopping online works for braiding hair just like it works for buying bundles.
  2. Go to a professional. If you don’t know someone that braids well, and will braid to protect your hair opposed to braiding so tight until your eyes kisses your ears go to someone that will preserve your edges and help promote hair growth.
  3. It’s okay to wash your braids. Pull your braids up in a high loose pony tail or bun, and have your friend, sister, husband, mom or brother wash them for you, or figure out how to do it yourself. Focus on your scalp and use a CoWash product like As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner. By using a CoWash you will cleanse your natural hair and scalp without drying out your tresses.
  4. Enjoy your Senegalese Twist. Where them with pride knowing that your braids isn’t just a hairstyle to wear for fashion. Braids are apart of African culture and beautiful heritage.

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What’s Poppington: Dope & Rare’s Bae Trippen

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 Dope & Rare launched there new app/game Bae Trippin earlier this month (Aug 2 2016). This is a fresh spin on a game app in my opinion and in some cases real life to those guys that have experienced having their belongings thrown outside by “bae”. Bae Trippin is a witty spin on what could be a frustrating situation. It’s a fun way to pass time while bobbing your head to a Mossberg Montana produced beat.

“When Mossberg released the ‘Chicken Chicken’ back in May, the internet went crazy. It was truly a proud moment for [Charleston],” Wages added. Moments after it was released on Soundcloud, we called ThatLevel. The [‘Chicken Chicken’] trend became the official instrumental for our game.” ~Justin Wages~

The game was developed by ThatLevel with the concept of collecting yo shit after its been thrown out. No, you don’t have to be a master mind to know how to play this game. All you have to do is jump and grab.

Jenifer Vanderhorst Plays Bae Trippin from Pretty-N-Poppington TV on Vimeo.

Along with dropping an innovative pass time, Dope & Rare’s founder Justin Wages knows the value of supporting his followers and giving back to show gratitude.

“Our followers are dope, “said Wages. “The iMac Giveaway was a way to express our gratitude, and share our very first project. Not too many people, companies or organizations would giveaway items with such high value…for free.  But we live by the motto ‘that it’s better to give than to receive’.” ~Justin Wages~

Bae Trippin is now available at the Google Play Store as well as iTunes.

 

What’s Poppington: Save and Slay On Your Wedding Day

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I hear wedding bells in the air. Black love is near and on its way for a few lucky ladies and gents. One in particular hits home on a personal level and I can’t wait to walk down the aisle in my bridesmaid dress at my baby sisters wedding. I bet for a second you all thought it was me getting married. Ha!!! Not this time, maybe next year, well see where life takes my relationship.

Any who, what do you all think about having a luxury wedding on a budget. That’s not possible some may say, but I strongly disagree. There are several ways to save,and slay on your wedding day.

Tip #1 Choose any day except Saturday. By choosing a Friday or a Sunday your ruling out the crowd and going against the norm, so prices will be fairly lower then usual. Also keep in mind days like presidents day and other holidays where schools, banks and most businesses may be closed during a week day.

Tip #2 Think outside the box when it comes to arrangements. The wedding industry has became really chic over the years. Flower arrangements for decor is a bit old fashion now days and they can also be very pricey. Drapes, diamond and pearl accents, crystal ornaments and embellishments are all great ideas for cutting the cost of floral arrangements, but If floral is a must for you, think about ordering them wholesale. 

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Tip #3 Think about gift cards. Instead of making your bridal registry the only option for gifts inform your wedding guest that you except gift cards as well. Think of something cute to say when sending your save the dates and notifying guest where to purchase gifts. If they don’t know you’ll except gift cards then you won’t get them.

“We thank you for excepting our invite to witness and celebrate our day of true love. For your convenience we are registered at Nordstrom and we are also excepting gift cards. Thank you for your love, and we can’t wait to share our life beginnings with you.” -Jenifer Vanderhorst-

Tip #4 Be particular with your guest list. I know that you want to invite the world to your special day, but lets be honest, everyone doesn’t want to see you get married and everyone you know shouldn’t be there. If you have to think twice about a person your inviting to your wedding then that lets you know that they do not need to be in attendance.

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With these four tips I’m sure you will be well on your way to planning a beautiful wedding on a budget. If you think of more penny saving ways to have a luxury wedding leave a comment I would love to share your ideas.

What’s Poppington: Lets Go To Other Countries, Don’t Be Afraid.

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I came across an article on XO Necole and it truly hit home for me. All to often I am hesitant to travel to other countries because they’ve gotten bad press and I think I’m going to be killed in some crazy terrorist attack. Why not conquer our fears. Lets go to other countries and become even more cultured and well traveled. I’m not saying lets go to the heart of the battle grounds in Africa, but why not travel to parts of other continents where we could experience the beauty that Egypy, Paris, or China has to offer.  Black women travel and I am beginning to become one of them. At age 33 I feel like I am getting a late start, but as long as I am living and able it’s never to late.

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Evelyn Atieno

As a financially strapped college student, I used to think that traveling was a luxury only afforded to the rich. Still, that didn’t deter me from finding awesome flight deals and packing my bags to destinations all around the globe. In total, I have been to 11 countries. Growing up I always visited Kenya at least once a year or every couple of years, and so it surprises me to see so many people hesitant on visiting the beautiful nation due to the terrorist attacks that have recently been reported in the news.

The media has a wonderful way of painting less fortunate countries as dangerous every time there is a terrorist attack, and it’s something that cripples the economy of those countries. Many people fail to realize that the odds of being killed by a terrorist organization is slim, and that they have more chance of getting hit by a car in their own city.

I visited Kenya in 2014 just a couple of months after the Westgate Mall shooting, and when I got on the plane it didn’t even occur to me that it happened months ago. We landed the next day and I enjoyed my vacation. I stayed in a Kenyan village with some of my family and took time to see some of the sites and native animals. It didn’t once occur to me that I could die at any moment; I was too busy immersing myself in such a beautiful country. I thought to myself, If I had decided not to come out of fear, I would have missed out on the giraffes and gazelles and the experience of being with my family.  Sometimes our fears are driven by what we hear and see on the news. I’ll admit that at times it’s valid, but many times they’re illusions. ~Evelyn Atieno~

Please read the rest of the article. It’s a great read and I’m sure you will enjoy and relate to Evelyn Atieno’s outlook on international travel.

What’s Poppington: Tawana T The Best Publicist In Charleston

 

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Last week I listed 5 ways to become a boss, well, I have another way you could explore your boss dreams and that is to be like Tawana T. A few days ago I had the pleasure of interviewing the best publicist in Charleston SC, Tawana Tolbert. As Tawana and I spoke over brunch,  we discussed her business as a publicist. She touched on how she has to exert herself as a boss in the male dominated hip hop industry, and in true boss fashion when representing others in the public eye, Tawana spoke more about her clients then herself. She is a professional, she knows her craft, and her clientele list is extremely impressive. Conducting this interview was a pleasure and I’m sure this is just the beginning of interviews to come.

PrettynPoppington Presents TawanaT from Pretty-N-Poppington TV on Vimeo.