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22 Reasons to Get Your Black Card Pulled

I don’t like collard greens or sweet potato pie. I don’t eat grits—with sugar, eggs, shrimp, cheese or salt. Don’t eat them period. I’ve learned how to play dominoes and spades probably 20 times now and for the life of me, I still don’t know what the heck I’m doing. I can’t remember the rules long enough to call them up the next time somebody tries to draw me into a game. I’ve never seen I’m Gonna Get You Sucka or Coming to America in their entirety. And I really don’t see what all the fuss over Anita Baker is about, although admitting that almost got me beat up one time.

For these and probably a dozen more reasons, I’ve had my Black card threatened on more occasions than I can rightly count. Even my own daughter tried to take it when it came out that she could beat me pretty easily in two Black girl rites of passage: numbers and double dutch. Forget that my graduate work is in African-American studies or that I can flawlessly transition from the Electric Slide to the Wobble Dance without being that person who gets the rhythm all jacked up. Doesn’t matter. You might be born with it, but holding on to it is a whole different story. Lawd don’t I know it. And you might just lose your black card if:

1. You stumble through the first stanza of Lift Every Voice and Sing (or you only come in loud and proud on the chorus) but you know “Moves Like Jagger” word for word.

2. You can name every character on Gossip Girl but struggle to identify the three original cast members on Dreamgirls.

3. You can’t celebrate Barack Obama being in the White House, even if you don’t agree with his politics.

4. You ease your hand down to lock your car doors or subtly grasp your purse strap tighter when you see a band of young, Black men approaching.

5. You brazenly use the N-word in mixed company or even worse, you call a person in mixed company the N-word.

6. You’d rather wear an offensively scaggy lace front or a ri-damn-diculous weave than be caught dead rocking your natural hair.

7. You don’t have at least one uncle living in his glory days, an aunt who’s hanging onto 35 when she’s almost 65, or a cousin who “went away” for a little while.

8. You cannot, on command, list five Luther Vandross songs.

9. You don’t support Black businesses—and you badmouth them to anybody who’ll listen—because you had a bad experience one time seven years ago.

10. You call Kool-Aid by its actual flavor instead of identifying it solely by its color.

11. You don’t get teary-eyed watching The Color Purple, Women of Brewster Place or that Disney commercial with the little boy talking to his grandpa in sign language.

12. You still identify folks as “high yellow” or having “good hair” (I mean, check your calendar. It’s almost 2012).

13. You don’t even pretend to show respect while folks are praying, even if you and God are on the outs.

14. You aren’t familiar with the historical value of the year 1619 but you think it sounds like a good number to play.

15. You believe the only way to celebrate your daughter’s Blackness is to give her a name ending in some variation of –ika, -isha or –ima.

16. You refuse to live in a neighborhood with too many colored folks because you only feel like you’ve arrived if you have a white or Asian neighbor.

17. You shake your hair out of your eyes, flick it off of each shoulder or wear a scrunchie around your wrist to put it up in a ponytail and take it back down, then put it up in a ponytail and take it back down, then put it up…

18. You don’t feel the least bit funny calling a man or woman old enough to be one of your grandparents by their first name.

19. You’ve never watched an episode of The Cosby Show (bonus points if you secretly wished you were a part of the family).

20. You vehemently claim HBCUs are subpar schools but you graduated from a state institution that stays on the accreditation hit list.

21. Your kids have burned through five babysitters, been kicked out of three restaurants and you’ve got a reserved seat at parent-teacher conferences, but you choose to remedy the situation with time-outs in the corner instead of digging in their tails.

22. You look baffled whenever the conversation about Black history veers from Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman or Langston Hughes.

Your Black card, as my friend Shana says, is the one card that can never be declined, denied or falsified. But it sure can be called into question.

What’s on your list? 

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SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)

 

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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

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