We’re back with another installment in the Unleashed series where we talk all about creative careers and entrepreneurship. Blossom digital network co-founder Diamonde Williamson joins us to talk about taking a leap of faith and starting a content platform for women of color. Diamonde worked as a production assistant for USA, VH1, and OWN television networks before anchoring in Atlanta where she worked at Georgia Tech and started building Blossom. Now, with more than 10,000 subscribers, she is building a media empire that has representation as its foundation.
We’re saying the words left unsaid about defining love, creating connection, and leaning into vulnerability. We’ve invited spoken word poet Harlem’s Own Lyric and her best friend Bridgette DePay to join us for a two-part girl talk episode where we discuss dating and relationships.
Home buyer education expert Tawny Powell joins us for this episode where we’re saying the words left unsaid about the realities of home ownership, how to prepare to purchase a home, and leveraging real estate investment to build wealth in communities of color. Tawny is a team member at Committed To Communities where she helps people with financial readiness for long-term goal-setting. Hear her personal stories of home ownership and real estate investment as well as her three tips for everyone preparing to purchase a home.
We know after you listen to this episode, you’re going to want more Tawny, so we’ve included her links below:
For this episode, we called on writer, poet, spiritual seeker and black women’s advocate, Pam Iverson, to help us examine perceptions of womanhood and tradition, how to form healthy relationships and the journey to being a complete person. Take a listen and share with us how you set boundaries and what loving relationships look like for you.
To kickoff season three, we’re saying the words left unsaid about the culture of shame and judgement that is bred by social media. Over the past 90 days we’ve been told to cancel Kanye West, Childish Gambino, Fabolous, R. Kelly, Bill Cosby, Starbucks, Waffle House, and the list goes on and on. But, what’s with this culture of disposability and cancellation? Why are we expected not to show each other mercy for our public blunders? And, what happens when someone’s bad behavior crosses out boundaries in a way that is not worthy of our continuing to engage with them. Take this journey through shaking shame and judgment with us, while setting healthy boundaries and articulating reconciliation. It’s time to get unjudged.
Resources for getting unjudged
- A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman
- All About Love by bell hooks
- Black Privilege by Charlamagne tha God
- Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas
- Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
- The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey
Videos and podcasts
- TED Talk – Brene Brown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psN1DORYYV0
- Aja Naomi King at the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20p4GG6LzJU
- Iyanla Vanzant on Life Class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78y3v3lS8x0
“Mercy is like a mirror. I think mercy is what you give to others with the hope that it will come back to you. It’s what you give to people who don’t deserve it. It’s what you give to people who haven’t asked for it. It’s what you give and it will come back.” -Bryan Stevenson
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt
“You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
is not easily done.”
In the latest episode, Unstuck, we’re saying the words left unsaid about getting unsaid about getting out of a slump in career, familial relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships. We dig into how to set healthy boundaries, letting go of fear and making bold moves to live your best life. Listen and let us know your thoughts on Twitter @unbasicpodcast.
In our latest episode, we’re talking about the little things and all the joy they bring, to quote India Arie. Lately, it seems like everyone is angry and outraged, but today, we are advocating for peace, love, joy, and beauty for beauty’s sake. This is not to say that we are championing tunnel vision, ignorance, and disengaging from the world around you. After all, this is the world to live in and we all share this planet together. But, sometimes, I think we all long for the days before news feeds.
To think that just a decade ago, our phones were simply phones and we were not subjected to 1,000 emotional reactions to every world event, big or small– it seems like the distant past. The wonderful thing about the democratization of communication channels through social media, blogs, podcasts, and video on demand platforms is that it has made our world so much larger. We now know what people who live 10,000 miles away from us are eating for dinner and watching on television. We can stay connected to friends and relatives whose faces we haven’t seen in years, and we can make new connections with people whose existence would have never otherwise occured to us. Our news feeds have made us global citizens.
At the same time, information is coming at us rapidly and vapidly. Everyone’s vying to report it first and everyone is vying to be the first to react, with the hopes of being the voice of the people, with dreams of going viral. But, what that has done to us is put us in a constant state of sorting. We are sorting, hashtagging, listing, and following in order to make sense of the world around us. As we type this blog post, the news has just reported a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, where 50 people have been pronounced dead and others are wounded. Prepare for the incoming of comments about how the world is going to hell, think pieces about gun control, opposing think pieces about how it is more important than ever to preserve our second amendment rights, and the inevitable hashtag #PrayforVegas.
Unfortunately, the more that we sort our information, the more we are trying to sort each other. We’re trying to force each other into categories that we can easily understand and digest, however, living things are more complex than the way they color their worlds. And, sometimes we can feel guilty for wanting to feel joy at all. How can I need a break? How can I be happy when children in ______ are without ______? What can I do to make the world a better place?
The answer is in each one of us. Angry people can start a movement, but they can’t finish one. At some point, we all have to look inward and figure out what makes us happy, what we value, and who we love, and choose that each and every day. So, let’s talk about joy. Tweet us and let us know what brings you joy. Share your images of experiencing joy with us on Instagram. #JoyisWoke
Let the church say Amen! In the latest episode of the podcast we are talking about religion and spirituality. We met at church, grew up in church, and stopped “going to a place called church” in our twenties. In fact, we’re not the only ones, and many traditional religious institutions have seen a decline in young people attending. So, what is the cause of this? Outdated religious doctrines? More ways to stream church? Disbelief? We’re saying the words left unsaid about millennials and religion in the south, gender roles in church in the south, the lessons we learned from going to church, and where we are now in our spiritual practice. Take a listen and be sure to tweet us your thoughts @unbasicpodcast, and share your spiritual journey with us!
This episode is geared toward those who are looking to take their creative careers to the next level. Earlier in year, we did an episode called “Unleashed” as a part of our New Year’s resolution series about finding joy in your career, while you are on the journey to fulfilling your purpose. In this episode, we’re debunking the myth of the starving artist and encouraging you to turn your creative hobby into your creative business. We’re telling our personal stories about time management, finances, and calling inspiration to you.
Remember: “Ideas are a divine invitation and the work itself is a reward. It’s a reward because of the way it changes you, not necessarily because of the way it changes the world. At the end of a creative encounter you will be different than you were before, and that in itself makes it worth doing.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
For the past couple of weeks Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz has been causing traffic jams in the west midtown neighborhood. As a part of the promotions for his latest album Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, he painted a home pink, put a hoopty in the front yard, and painted the word TRAP in black capital letters on the front. People from all over Georgia and the southeast have been driving to Atlanta to see this monument of trap music’s integration into pop culture.
For those who are unfamiliar with trap music, it is a subgenre of rap that emerged from drug houses during the era of the crack cocaine epidemic. The music is meant to be motivational– to encourage those who are making, weighing, measuring, and bagging drugs to work faster and harder to earn more money. During the 1980s and 1990s crack cocaine wreaked havoc on communities of color, leading to the incarceration of black men and women. Literally, a generation of children were left without parents and lived in dire poverty because of drug addiction.
So, it’s a bit conflicting to see the glorification of trap music and the dark realities that it narrates. The black community has not recovered from the splintering of the black family perpetuated by crack, and black people have not forgotten the government’s hands-off approach to helping black people. We’re reminded every time we hear about a white person’s life being saved by a Narcan shot after a heroine overdose. Yet, on any given Sunday, there are more people at the trap house than the church house.
That said, the pink trap house is also a genius guerrilla marketing scheme, and it is not the fist that the rapper executed to promote the Pretty Girls Like Trap Music album. 2 Chainz hosted a group workout class where attendees participated in a 45-minute workout while music from the album played. At the end of the class, they passed out pink yoga mats. As of last weekend, a pastor has started having church in the backyard of the trap house and says he wants to find ways to help those people who are still caught up in the trap house. This is a righteous cause, especially since Atlanta has the widest income inequality gap in the country. Less than 5 miles from the extremely gentrified west midtown neighborhood it has never been more visible.
How do we reconcile the popularity of trap music as the beat of the club, the gym, and rush hour traffic, but also as the rhythm of oppressive socioeconomic circumstances? Is it empowerment or exploitation for a rapper to capitalize on the popularity of trap music in order to make money off of the white people who download it? Tell us what you think by tweeting us @unbasicpodcast with the hashtag #pinktraphouse.