Monday, January 31, 2011

Often compared to Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, jazz vocalist/keyboardist Frank McComb got an early start at the tender age of 13 playing in nightclubs in his native Cleveland, Ohio.  By high school he was fronting his own trio.  After high school, McComb met Jeff Townes, better known as DJ Jazzy Jeff.  Townes eventually convinced McComb to move to Philadelphia where he met and began working for legendary producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.  McComb has released six albums as a solo artist and two albums as part of the jazz group Buckshot LeFonque.Enjoy!

Progressive Soul Mondays: Opening Minds and erradicating foolery, coonery and buffoonery one Monday at a time®

-- Desiree

Check out:

"Future Love"

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Friday, January 28, 2011

We're running low on submissions to Love Letters, so if you have a burning question, now's the time to submit it. You'll likely receive an answer fairly quickly.

Ladies, send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter at @etbowser. Dudes, you can get in touch with Javacia at Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question:

How can you tell if a guy is into a girl? What are the signs? (Example: women smile, twirl their hair, make eye contact, etc). 

Diva Deciphering Signals

Uh, if you're waiting on a guy to twirl his hair to show interest, prepare to wait a long, long time.

Unless you're talking about this dude:

Girl, you look so good, someone ought to put you on a plate and sop you up with a biscuit. 

No, it's tough to tell if a guy is into a woman by mere body language. Despite our shallow reputations, we dudes are a bit more complex than that. I contend that the window to a man's heart is through his actions. All guys are different, but general signs of interest include: attentiveness, picking up on things you say, remembering funny anecdotes and bringing them up later, and willingness to invest time to get to know you better.

Keep in mind that these are just signs that the guy is showing interest.  It does not mean you should compile your wedding playlist just because some guy remembered your cat's birthday.

And here's another pitfall - please, ladies, don't play the Mind Reading Game.

You know what I mean. "Girl, if he REALLY likes me, he'll buy me that flat screen I keep mentioning - I've been dropping hints all week." That's an extremely materialist example, but here's the point - don't punish a  guy because he didn't show interest in the way you envisioned. Men aren't mind readers and we're all different. Your last boyfriend might have bought you roses every other week but that doesn't mean the new guy doesn't care about you if he doesn't do the same.

As I've said a million times before, take time get to know your guy and eventually you'll pick up on vibes that show he cares.

Next time you see him bat his eyes, don't get excited. It's probably just an eyelash.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

By: LaTasha R. Merchant

After being a Kinky Curly  addict for months I got the itch again to try a new product. Deep down I am as much of a product junkie as any natural chick.  If you haven’t noticed, Target now sells a host of natural hair care products. So I decided to try the Curls for Target line. A few months ago I picked up the Curl Crème Brule Styler, but I have only been using it as a curl refresher on days I don’t feel up to combing my hair. And I love it. The smell is awesome and it does the job.

A few days ago I purchased the Goddess Curls Curl Gel in hopes that it would be a cheaper alternative to the $16.00 jar of Kinky Curly Curling Custard.  Curls for Target comes at a very reasonable price. The products range from $7.99 to $10.99.

I did my usual wash and go routine using Aussie Moist Shampoo and Conditioner.  I parted my wet hair into  sections and applied the Goddess Curls Curl Gel. I noticed as I continued to apply the product that it didn’t seem to take unless I used a pretty generous amount so I actually went back to the first few sections of hair and reapplied more of the product and noticed immediately the difference.  Once I was done applying the gel I let my hair air dry. Here are the results: 

As you can see my hair is very poofy. I even have some pinned back! By the end of the day it was SUPER dry and felt like a brillo pad. I was not happy with the outcome.  However, instead of giving up I decided to give the product a second try. This time putting the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie,that I previously reviewed, under the Curl Goddess Gel in hopes that it would provide moisture.  

Of course, my hair is still big since I have so much of it, but it’s definitely not poofy as before. I was very happy with the results! My hair was super soft and smelled wonderful. My curls were defined and best of all my mane wasn't dry.  I would definitely recommend these two products as a cheaper alternative.

So let's review...

-product didn’t weight the hair down
-good price
-great results when used with a moisturizing product like Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
-like that the gel came in a mess free pump instead of a jar.

-not a stand alone product
-very drying when used alone 
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Posted by in ,  on 7:00 AM 4 comments

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

There are some stereotypes about black women that I find very hurtful, such as the notion that we're all loud, angry gold diggers. Then there are others that I simply think are hilarious, such as the myth that we don't exercise. Let me say that people outside the black race are not the ones who seem to think this. I'll never forget the time I mentioned to one of the black teen girls I worked with at my old church that I like yoga. Her reply: "Yoga! Black people don't do yoga!"And I remember when I became a certified aerobics instructor in college, members of my own family were surprised because "black girls just don't do that." 

Well, this week I spent as much, if not more, time at the gym as I did when I was getting paid to be there. 

I mentioned last week that I've decided to try to burn 3,500 every seven days and... I did it! Here's how:

Wednesday I went to Body Jam, a dance-based aerobics class, and burned about 533 calories according to one of's health calculators

Thursday I tried my gym's new kickboxing class. It kicked my butt and melted about 762 calories.

Friday I burned 495 calories on the elliptical. 

Saturday and Monday I hit Body Step (a step aerobics class) to burn about 533 calories each of those days.

And yesterday I did some weight lifting for about 45 minutes and put in an hour on the elliptical for a total of 667 calories. 

That put me at a grand total of 3,523 calories! And I'd like to add that whether I was on the elliptical or in a group fitness class, when I looked to my left and right, I was surrounded by brown-skinned beauties. 

Another misconception about exercise is that it's something you only do if you're trying to lose weight. While that is currently my goal, I have loved working out since I was (a very thin) adolescent. I remember doing jumping jacks, push ups and sit ups at home as a teen and my parents asking, "Why are you exercising? You aren't fat!" But exercise can give you this amazing natural high and make you feel incredibly strong and proud. That's why I plan to stick to this 3,500 plan even after I've reached my goal weight.

What's your exercise regimen? 

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is it wrong for a woman who claims to support natural hair to occasionally straighten her mane? Some folks say it is. Writing for Clutch Magazine, Alisha Tillery recently addressed this issue in her article My Hair, My Decision: Why I Straighten

Regarding the issue of hair straightening, Tillery wrote: 
Some women are saying it’s the number one “don’t” per a follower’s Twitter rant:
“I’m having a very annoying conversation with a woman who has natural hair. It turns out that I’m not ‘helping out’ the natural hair lifestyle by occasionally blowing out my SUPER thick hair and straightening it. Here’s what she said: ‘If you are going to wear your hair natural that means no blow drying or straightening it to look straight.’”
Well, apparently, I'm a sell out because  I entered the new year looking like this:

Two to three times a year I have my curls flat ironed. But as Tillery says in her article, "I will not be told what to do with my hair by other person has the right to dictate what we do with our own hair, natural or otherwise. The beauty about being a woman is we have an array of options, and that is what we should embrace."
Yes, I occasionally straighten my hair for a different look, but that doesn't change the fact that I am a strong supporter of natural hair. I love helping other women make the transition. I love experimenting with products. And I love my curls. 
But I think the bigger question is this: How do we celebrate natural hair without being judgmental of women who straighten their hair (with or without relaxers) and even women who proudly sport extensions?
I believe that all the natural hair blogs, books, mixers, and conferences that exist are completely necessary. Going natural is hard work. Many of us have no idea how to care for our hair once it's relaxer-free. Many of us are discouraged by family, friends, and even lovers when we begin to wear our hair in its natural state. So we need these natural hair communities for valuable information and priceless emotional support. But as we create these communities we must make sure we're not putting ourselves on some pedestal because we're off the so-called creamy crack, and I admit I've been guilty of this in the past. 
Regardless of how we style and care for our tresses, the focus should be, as Tillery states, freedom from whatever is entrapping us through our hair. 

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Kill me now.


This week rumors have been circulating that Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame were filming a reality TV show. spoke exclusively to Gucci’s publicist, Kali Bowyer, who confirmed that the Atlanta rapper is currently working on a series with Waka for BET.

Just when I think BET CAN'T get any lower, they outdo themselves. Back in my day, BET would at least pretend to be educational - they'd throw on an episode of Teen Summit every now and then between reruns of What's Happening Now and Caribbean Rhythms. Ah, Caribbean Rhythms, whatever happened to Rachel anyway?

Ahem. But I digress...

My first thought was that anyone who would watch a show featuring a man who tattooed an electric ice cream cone on his face and a kid whose life goal is to get a college degree in geometry needs serious therapy. But then I realized that the show might be worth watching simply for one person:

The frightening woman above is Debra Antney, the mother of Waka Flocka. Ms. Antney serves as manager of her son's bizarre career and is the former manager of both Gucci and flavor-of-the-month Nicki Minaj. I'll guarantee that she'll make an appearance or two on that show. Check out of some her greatest hits:

When asked about Icky Nicki's latest album, she said: "It's terrible." Ha!

Back in the fall, when Waka's, ahem, intelligence was questioned, Mama Flocka assured us all that "Waka was a bright-a** kid. Bright as hell. Honors. The s*** that get me about him is that he does this language s*** that he do."

And last month, she was accused of running a brothel out of her home.

There's something about Mama Flocka that freaks me out. Look past her smile and into her eyes - I recognize a real gangsta when I see one. I think we're looking at hip hop's first female Suge Knight.

I could still do without the Waka and Gucci Show. If BET wants disgustingly lowbrow entertainment, they should bring back BET Uncut. But please, for the love of all that is holy, I don't wanna see Mama Flocka in a thong!
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A self-proclaimed "people watcher, dreamer and lover of philosophy", Debórah Bond (pronounced Deb-OR-ah) was born in New Haven, Connecticut.  She credits Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, and Sade as helping her shape her own sound which is described as "an eclectic mix of R&B, funk and British soul". She has released 2 albums. Enjoy!! 

Progressive Soul Mondays: Opening minds and erradicating coonery, foolery, & buffoonery one Monday at a time®

-- Desiree

Also check out "A Message." 
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Friday, January 21, 2011

VH1 recently released the trailer for its new show "Single Ladies," which has been called "the black Sex and the City." I don't like when things are deemed the "black" whatever because this is usually just code for "here comes a montage of stereotypes and cliches," but as a fan of Carrie and the crew I must admit I'm looking forward to this show, nonetheless. I mean it can't be worse than the ridiculous reality shows on VH1, MTV, and Oxygen, right?

Clutch magazine reports that "Single Ladies" was originally shot in the summer of 2010 and was set to be released as a film, but VH1 liked it so much they picked it up as an hour-long dramedy. Celebs such as executive producer Queen Latifah, Common, Chilli, Eve, and Lauren London  will make guest appearances on the show which, will kick-off with a two-hour series premiere in May.

Here's the network's description of the new series:

“Single Ladies is a comedic drama about Val, Keisha, and April – three best friends with different philosophies on sex and relationships. Val ( Stacey Dash) is an ambitious aspiring fashion mogul who wants to find a true partner. Keisha (LisaRaye McCoy), on the other hand, is a former video dancer just looking for a rich man to keep her in style. April (Charity Shea) has supposedly found the perfect man and the perfect marriage – but is learning that marriage isn’t necessarily a happy ending. Single Ladies is a modern, sexy series set in the world of Atlanta fashion, music, and celebrity that will constantly explore which woman has the right approach to relationships.”

Check out the trailer after the jump. 

Obviously, one of the things I loved most about "Sex and the City" was coveting Carrie's writing career, something I won't be able to do with this show. But perhaps the Southern setting will make up for that. 

What do you think? Do you plan to check out "Single Ladies" in May?

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

By Karie

...Are we rewarding bad behavior? What are these celeb-reality stars teaching their children?

Consider "Basketball Wives." Most of the women are single parents and we know why they’re single. No successful man is going to put up with a misbehaving diva—no matter how cute she thinks she is. Evelyn is not fit enough to be the mother of a Cabbage Patch doll. Crashing parties is not cute. Slinging the b-word, showing up to events unannounced to act “ig-nant” on purpose, and to bully grown women, she is like school on Saturday—no class! When does she find time to work? Tami doesn’t escape this lecture. She’s too old to not have learned the unstated ABCs of reality TV-- to improve ratings, Act B*tchy and Crazy. Ladies, think of the examples you’re setting for your children. Do your daughters think that it’s okay to act like you’re in the middle of a boxing ring at a charity fundraiser? They are watching, too.

And on to "Real Housewives of Atlanta." Kim and NeNe deserve kudos. Their behavior in a recent episode shows that they are somewhat thinking of their children. Instead of solely relying on a man to provide financially, they are taking advantage of their blessings (natural talents, fame, and celebrity) to carve out careers for themselves. Even though Kim sings about as well as I do in the shower, she knows how to put forth just enough effort to get the job done. NeNe finding work with the local TV station may be a stretch for some. Yes, she needs some polish, but she’s marrying her larger-than-life personality with the doors that have recently opened in broadcast journalism. Sheree, well, she needs to release her delusions of grandeur and go get a real job. Don’t be too proud to work at Target, “Boo!”
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One of my favorite hair care products is the Leave-In Conditioner by the company Mixed Chicks. I use it whenever my budget allows and I constantly recommend it to other curly girls. But that may change. 

As some of you may know the ridiculous Twitter hashtags “#teamlightskin” and “#teamdarkskin” have been circulating and they've even inspired some promoters in Ohio to throw a party that's essentially celebrating colorism. Well, apparently, Mixed Chicks decided to choose sides and recently tweeted the following: 

#teamlightskin sure hope all will try @Mixedchicks to care 4 those curls.

The assumptions behind this statement are both bad for business and just plain stupid. It not only implies that all multi-ethnic women have light skin and that all women with light skin have curly hair, but also that we "dark butts" (to quote the world's dumbest rapper Yung Berg) have no use for their products. Why on earth would you assume that all of your customers and potential customers have light skin? Why make the assumption that darker women don't have curly hair and alienate possibly a good chunk of your customer base? 

As expected, this tweet caused an uproar from angry current customers who vowed to never use Mixed Chicks products again and even potential customers who said they'd no longer consider the brand as option for their hair care regimen. 

The company did post an apology (click here to read this tweet and more). They also stated that they posted a similar message to many teams and had no intention of excluding anyone, although Black Girl With Long Hair reports that a blogger following this story couldn't find a #teamdarkskin tweet. Bloggers like Sakita Holley, however, felt the apology was insincere and made the company look even more "clueless." 

Of course, I don't think the managers at Mixed Chicks meant to be hurtful, but what they did was thoughtless, nonetheless. One of the things I love most about having natural hair is the sense of camaraderie and community that it can inspire. Having natural hair can be a challenge but it can also be a blast as you chat with girlfriends and even complete strangers in the middle of a shopping mall about products, styling tips and more. How sad it would be for the creators of the very products we discuss to intentionally or unintentionally divide us.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I don't have any weight loss to report this week, but I can't say that I'm sad about it. I'm just happy I didn't gain any pounds considering I was quite unfaithful to Weight Watchers this week. There was the rendezvous with the burger and the quickie with a burrito. On Saturday one of my best friends turned 30 and I drove to Atlanta to help her celebrate. Her party was at a pizza restaurant in Buckhead, a pizza restaurant that serves really good Pinot Grigio. I don't have to tell you how that night progressed.

While in Atlanta I did check out the popular Bodies exhibit, which was quite educational. I learned that to lose one pound the average person must burn 3,500 extra calories. So I got inspired and decided to use that as my new fitness goal -- burn 3,500 calories each week. I know that this is a very lofty aspiration, but I figure that if I aim this high I'm bound to see some results even if I miss my target. And perhaps with this exercise regimen I can indulge in Mexican and Italian food without feeling dirty.
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I meant to post this video weeks ago, but even if you've already seen it, it's worth watching again. I love this video so much because it perfectly illustrates the attitude I'm trying to have this year. But I might need some help getting on and off the bathroom counter.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Forgive me if this edition of Love Letters is a bit choppy or formatted improperly. Over at Georgia Mae Headquarters, the hard drive on my desktop pulled a Dave Chappelle - it went nuts and stopped working. That wasn't a huge deal, since we still had wireless Internet via the wifey's laptop. But a few days later, our Internet inexplicably went down, putting us in the Stone Ages.

Brighthouse better fix it today...

In order to serve you, the faithful reader, I came into the office early to answer your burning questions. This is the first blog I've written on my new office Mac - and I've been fighting with it all morning. Who knows how this will turn out.

But enough about me, let's see what's going on with you.

Ladies, send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter at @etbowser. Dudes, you can get in touch with Javacia at Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question:

Why is it that when you want a man he doesn't want you but when you back off, that's when he shows interest?


Sorry ladies, you are just as guilty of this as we are. Long-time friends of mine will back me up on this: In college, I did a lot of dating, but nothing serious. There were a couple of ladies I would have liked to get closer to but whenever it came up, they weren't interested.

But the second my future wifey stepped in the picture, things changed. When one girl found out I had flowers delivered to Javacia down in Alabama,  she said: "I remember when you used to send me flowers!" And I replied, "and I remember you couldn't care less."

It's the Mike Jones syndrome - "Back then, they didn't want me/now I'm hot, they all on me."

But I must admit I'm also guilty - during the early stages of my relationship with Javacia I tried to act too cool for school, but I quickly wised up before she ran off with Robin Thicke or that guy with the weird eyes from Grey's Anatomy. He looks like he's possessed by a ghost.

For a lot of us, the thrill is in the chase. It makes perfect sense - when a potential mate is pursuing you, it makes you feel desirable and wanted. It's a feeling we like to stretch out as long as possible - whether we want to pursue a real relationship or not. But once the admirer begins to lose interest we freak out - we either don't want to lose a good thing, or we just don't want to lose that attention we crave.

It's a tricky situation. A lot of guys play games, and you certainly don't want to get caught up with a guy who doesn't know what he wants. However,  I can't say "if that guy doesn't worship the ground you walk on immediately, kick him to the curb." If that were the case I wouldn't be married right now. It's OK to let a guy sort out his feelings, check his ego at the door and realize that he could miss out on something special.

But don't let yourself get jerked around for too long. If the guy's feelings seem genuine after some time, give him a shot. That's what Javacia did. If she hadn't, she'd probably be chillin' on the set of Grey's right now, with 10 babies with ghost eyes.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Georgia Mae Headquarters has received some big news, and I'm eager to share it with our faithful readers.

No, we're not having a baby. I just wanted to get your attention.

As many of you know, I've been working for the past year at Luckie & Company, a forward-thinking advertising agency in Birmingham, Ala. Their clients include Little Debbie (free cupcakes!), McAlister's (sadly, no free sandwiches)and the Summit shopping centers.

I was recently promoted to serve as the agency's first Community Manager. I'll be overseeing some of the company's social media operations, especially in the realm of blogging. I also plan to partner with some community organizations, like the Boys and Girls Club. I have a background in mentoring so I'm pretty excited about that.

So why should Georgia Mae readers care?

Many of you already follow me on Twitter @etbowser. If you aren't following me, get with the program. it's what the cool kids are doing.

Along with posting wacky news about your favorite artists, I now will be tweeting about the latest trends in social media. Don't freak out if you see tweets about offers from our clients or new ways to use Foursquare or Facebook - check 'em out. You might just learn something, or even get something for free. And you know I'll make things interesting.

And don't worry, I'll have plenty of time to continue griping about Kanye, Rick Rawssssssse, Icky Nicki Garbaj, everyone's favorite rapper Drake, Cousin Chris Brown and all your other favorite artists.

Thanks, and I'll see you on Twitter. Well, I won't see you, but you know what I mean.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

 Courtesy of and my boy @daarel:

For those of you wondering why they recently threw Gucci Mane in the looney bin, there's your proof.
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Posted by in ,  on 8:57 AM No comments

It's time again to dive into the mind of men. Come on in, the water's fine.

Ladies, send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter at @etbowser. Dudes, you can get in touch with Javacia at Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname.

Here's today's question:

Why are young men attracted to older women?

Lady seeking age-old advice, k.j.

I can break the answer down into three categories:

Maturity - Nothing irritates a brother more than an immature woman. When dating an older woman, presumably, a man doesn't have to deal with the bratty whining, reckless spending habits and constant partying that many associate with younger women. Of course, that's not always true but it's the assumption. A level-headed, more experienced woman is cherished.

Male pride - It's an ego thing. A guy landing an older woman is like getting to the end of Super Mario Bros. 3 on the old Nintendo without using one of those warp whistle thingys. The accomplishment makes him the envy of all his friends.

Mommy - The old adage of men wanting to marry their mothers is sorta true. No, we aren't looking for physical clone (ewwwwwww), but our mothers usually serve as our earliest example of what a good woman should be. And it's easier to find a woman with those characteristics when the candidate has a few years of experience under her belt.

Ladies, I see no problem with dating a younger man - IF they're legal of course (*locks the door before the wifey chases Justin Bieber*). But before you get your groove back, Stella, make sure the young'n is mature enough to handle you. Remember, no matter how mature that guy in his early 20s seemed at the club last night, he's still a dude in his early 20s. Don't force him to act like a 40-year-old. Maturity isn't always determined by age, anyway.

Now, I'm off to play Mario Bros. 3. I hope Javacia bought some Lunchables...
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I’m sure you noticed yesterday that Georgia Mae has a new look. We’re in the midst of redesigning the blog. I know some of you may miss all the pretty pinks that the site used to boast, but I hope you’ll appreciate our efforts to give Georgia Mae a cleaner, more professional look. (And don’t worry; we’ll soon add gadgets and do-dads to liven things up.)

You’ll also notice that posts will include what we call in the newspaper business jumps. This means that on the home page you’ll find roughly half of a post then you’ll need to click a link that says “Read more” to get the rest of the post. Again, this is another effort to clean up the front page.

The new design also makes it easier for you to tell your friends how awesome you think we are. When you read a post and it’s so good that you just can’t keep it to yourself, don’t! You can share it with others via email, your own Blogger site, Twitter, Facebook, or Google Buzz with the simple click of a button. (You’ll find the buttons at the bottom of each post.) We’d love for you guys to share a post at least once a week. We can’t spread the word about Georgia Mae without your help. Thanks for reading!

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