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f o est


November 2012


A Memorable Recap of our best features Are you Ready?

Eating Disorders: What Blacks Should Know






Writers Darrin L. Harris Deanna Theriot Dr. Ada C. Roberson Shawniece “QB” McMillan Lyiena McMillain Gentelle Pedescleaux

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Founder/CHIEF EDITOR Malcolm M. Armstrong Jr. Cognition Magazine, LLC is a thought provoking digital magazine dedicated to the new age mind, body, and soul of black America with emphasis on wellness and psychological well being. Cognition Magazine touches on subjects that we all can relate to such as Love & Relationships, Health & Fitness, Entertainment, and Travel & Leisure. The goal of this magazine is to highlight the significant thoughts and mental strategies used in all of our daily activities and life events. Cognition Magazine is intended to be a publication that exposes our thoughts and innermost feelings on various topics that appeal to the African American community. Cognition Magazine is distributed monthly and is

available in digital format.


Cognition Magazine, LLC Phone: (504) 208-0704 Email:


Reproduction of any part of this publication without the express written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited, Cognition Magazine ™ is a trademarked product of Cognition Magazine, LLC . The information within this publication is believed to be accurate but Cognition Magazine does not guarantee accuracy. Cognition Magazine, LLC will not be held responsible for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by advertisers or any other portion of this


4 Editors Note 6 Entertainment & Fashion 10 “Be for Real”

12 Ask Dr. Ada 16 Health & Fitness 20 What blacks should know: Eating Disorders 33 Love & Relationships

Thoughts after Dark w/ QB

Cover Story


Recaps of our best cover stories Featured Article 14 Ka$h Akbar, Young New Orleans’ hip hop artist expresses himself

35 Be Inspired: “WHY”



From the Editor

utting together this particular issue makes me reminisce on when we began and now we are soon approaching on a new year. Where the heck has the time gone is what I ask myself and the answer our readers. We want to kick the new year off right. A new look, new layouts, new businesses to feature and a new start is on the way but before all that, we want to take you down memory lane and give you a glimpse of our past cover stories. I have personally enjoyed interviewing these artists and motivators and learned so much from them and I hope you savor their interviews. While you are at home, filled with turkey and sweet potato pie after thanksgiving, the good ole folk at Cognition Magazine thought you would enjoy some motivational reading to go along with the trimmings. We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as I enjoyed editing it. After reading this issue, I want you to have a good idea of who we are, what we do and the message we are trying to convey so that for the 2013 year, we will be fresh on your minds. Think Mind, Think Body...Think YOU!

Yours in #WELLNESS, Malcolm M. Armstrong Jr. Founder & Chief Editor Follow us on twitter: @cognition_mag


ng Jr.


mstro o l m Ar


Beyonce scheduled for Superbowl 2013

Jamie Foxx in Possible Role in “Amazing Spider-Man 2

Entertainment & Fashion

Actor, Singer, comedian



Looks like Beyonce is BACK....again! Not that she left the scene, but she's back in NEW ORLEANS! Next year's Super Bowl performance is said to be none other that the DIVA herself. Since the Super Bowl will be in New Orleans next year on Sunday February 3rd.

Jay-Z Endorses Obama in “Power of Our Voice” Video

is in early talks to play a villain role in the “Amazing SpiderMan 2” movie which will be directed by Marc Webb. Foxx’s potential to star as “Electro” the altar-ego of Max Dill who has electric powers is pretty good, he actually chose this character as his Halloween costume. Foxx tweeted his Halloween costume as “Electro” and stated “Costume fits well” and director Webb responded by stating “I think he’s electrifying.” Is this a subtle hint? Webb states “I cant go into much detail..except to say that I think Jamie Foxx is one of our great living actors. He's a star, but he's a brilliant character actor.”

Chris Brown’s Probation Progress It seems as though


has been doing pretty well in his probation hearings lately. The 23 year old performer is currently in his 3rd year of a 5 year probation for the 2009 assault of former girlfriend Rihanna. Brown and Rihanna have been seeing each other again but he is focused on completing his probation. Brown has completed his community labor and other probation requirements according to the last report given by his judge. Despite his progress, Brown did test positive for Marijuana during his hearing in September but his lawyer stated that the pot was consumed while Brown was in California where its legal for medicinal purposes. Brown is under a medicinal marijuana license. Breezy’s next probation hearing is January 17th 2013.

It’s no secret that the hip hop mogul Jay-Z is 100% down to re-elect the Obama administration. Jay-Z conducts an endorsement video where he highlights President Barack Obama’s accomplishments during his four year term. The mogul speaks about how much of an inspiration the first African American president has been to America’s youth. Check out the video here and do not forget to have your voice counted. Get out and VOTE! Check Video out Here: feature=player_embedded&v=cPa76DrWiUE

Lyiena or La from A Dose of LA


gives you the news with a twist for Cognition Mag. Not only does she bring you the news to keep you informed, but she writes pieces to inspire and uplift her readers. She's a Writer, Rapper, Blogger, Public Speaker and Socialite. You can catch her at a hip hop show, promoting events, updating blogs, volunteering in her church and evangelizing in the community. Follow her on Twitter @lanino_brown Intel courtesy of :

HIS FALL 1) Tommy Hilfiger Plaid Top– Plaid is definently in


this fall and this shirt will go great with a pair of chinos.

6 2) Cable Knit Turtleneck Sweater – White wool sweater by Balmain Ecru. 3) Sneakers – Denim Fashion sneakers by WeSC Men's.



4) Classic Rucksack – Leather backpack by Will


Leather Goods. 5) Driving Cap – Brown driving cap with earflaps by


Johnston and Murphy. 6) Skull Muffler Scarf – 100% wool double sided knit muffler scarf with a skull print by Alexander McQueen.

(Courtesy of 1) French Connection Navy Toulouse Stripe 3/4


Sleeve Top 2) ALMOST FAMOUS Womens Bootcut Jeans –



Almost Famous bootcut jeans. Contrast stitching. Zip fly. Button waist. Five pocket styling with button flap closures and heavy stitching at back.


3) H&M Boots – Knee-high riding boots in imitation leather with a decorative metal buckle and a zip at the


side. 4) Proenza Schouler PS1 Extra Large Leather –


Birch – Leather flap front bag with metal foldover closure, double leather straps, top handle and removable/adjustable shoulder strap.

3 5) Swell Triple Threat Earrings – Three cascading feathers Gold chain with gold bead accents.

7 (Courtesy of

6) Acne Large Wool Scarf – Large wool fringe scarf from Swedish label Acne known for its Scandinavian expression with a touch of Japanese minimalism.




Be for Real



allows them to engage on a mature, intellectual level. Meeting up at a bar with a gang of people does not count as a date. Light conversation between orgasms does not count as a date. All that fun stuff your moms and pops used to do ell kids, it’s that before they got married like going to movies, shows and the time of year again. park? Those were dates. Also, that shit you do with your All the trees are shedding their green duds for golds, oranges and best friend WOULD be a date if you both were reds. There’s a light chill in the air romantically inclined toward one another but of course we know you’re not. (That one was somewhat judgmental, I and Starbucks is geeked up on admit, but, in my defense, I meant for it to come off that pumpkin spice. Yes sir—it’s officially Cuffing Season and boo way. Step into the light children.) One thing I’ve noticed about people these days is that actual dating has fallen by thangs all over are getting scooped up like so many fallen the wayside. I’m not chastising anyone because I am more leaves. After a fleeting yet competitive Choosing Season, than guilty of it too. All I’m saying is a date would help us cut buddies are transitioning from temp to hire with the better assess who we might be getting involved with so the threat of colder nights and +1 parties from now until January but what I want y’all to be for real about this month sudden and inconvenient realization of “This dude/chick is a damn fool” doesn’t have to slap us clean across the face in is whether you’ve cuffed as wisely as you chose. a public setting. I’d hate to see any of you embarrassed at Zulu Ball because you spent the whole summer bed-hopping with the fast, free Furthermore, if you decided to forego the dating process altogether, did you ever introduce the would-be cuff to your and unfamiliar only to be forced to make a cold snap friends? (I don’t mean your favorite bartenders either.) One decision in October that you lived to lament in February. Personally, I’ve never had to deal with that regret first-hand thing that may help the non-discerning gage the quality of because I don’t cuff ‘em. I catch ‘em, drain ‘em and release their chosen boo is the by observing the reactions of their them back into the unforgiving wild. This of course doesn’t closet and most valued homies. True we can’t allow our mean that I haven’t born witness to a slew of figurative yet friends to pick our significant others, but if they meet your potential mate and he/she is received with a chorus of painful social deaths brought on by (you guessed it) the “What the hells,” you may want to take a second look at poorly chosen cuff. Now, I’m not saying that maybe some of you don’t genuinely adore that hood rat who behaves in that thang. Just a thought… public as though she’s never experienced the wonders of indoor plumbing or that whoadie who’s mind is absolutely More important than your courtship “process”, when you blown by wine that’s corked in lieu of being accessed via a chose your cuff what were your motivations? Were you scorned in the last boo draft have been determined to have twist cap, but for those of you who feel like being for real, your comeuppance ever since? Have your most clutch of you KNOW you don’t wanna show up to your company Christmas party with THAT mutha fucka. I don’t care how patnahs acquired full-time bed mates to keep them busy ALL NIGHT LONG, leaving you to prowl the streets for good the lovin’ is. Not much will help you recover from some strange all by your lonesome? Have your siblings being the laughing stock of the Accounting Department. (And if THOSE cats can laugh at you, you know you down been telling your folks all about “The One” who the family is finally going to meet this Christmas and you simply BAD, baby.) Naturally being the non-judgmental person refuse to be run through a gauntlet of degrading and invathat I am, I won’t sit here and pretend to know all of your individual mating proclivities or romantic needs, but I will sive queries such as: “Where yours at?” “How come you never bring anybody home?” “Are you gay or just too help you ask yourself the right questions about who you fucked up in the head to keep some damn body?” I’ve been cuffed and why. through all the same scenarios but none of them are good reasons to make a hasty decision in a moment of First of all—how did you spend your Choosing Season? Were you outchea in these streets head first while taking no desperation that could easily last you a lifetime. (Y’all inventory of whose DNA you engaged or did you make eye know unplanned pregnancies are a mainstay of Cuffing Season, right? Yeah… right.) Your cuff shouldn’t be picked contact with a couple people long enough to assess their character? Did you perhaps try going on an actual vertical, based on some yearning to be in step with your peers or to live up to the stringent expectations of your family fully-clothed, honest-to-God DATE with ANY of these members. The easiest way to find yourself in a bad situation people? Ah yes—a date. Some of you may not remember that you can’t find your way out of in one sound piece is to what that is but a date is when two people who kinda dig go in the situations with your own true desires on the each other decide to get to know each other by having backburner. So don’t be pressed if you look up and it apconversation in the midst of a joint activity (not sex) that pears that everybody you know is cuffed this year. If your 10

Most importantly, if you happen to be one of the lost souls who have recently been run through the emotional ringer, I beseech you to not lean on the next most willing participant as a crutch to get you through this, your Cuffing Season of discontent. Loneliness can and will find you even within the confines of a committed relationship, shug so it would most certainly NOT behoove you to settle just because you’re using the oldest and most ineffective trick in the book to soothe an aching heart. I know you’ve probably heard this before, but let me reiterate that time spent alone doesn’t have to be filled with woe and lament. Whether we be serial monogamists or have just experienced a flash in the pan heartbreak, time with oneself can be truly rewarding. There’s no better way to figure out exactly what it is that you need out of this life than to learn it from YOURSELF. They say life is the best teacher but as sometimes co-dependent creatures, we want someone else to do the learning work for us. More oft than not that surrogate takes the form of a significant love interest. When Cuffing Season rolls around, it’s difficult to resist the allure of companionship even with a broken,

battered sense of self and a fucked up perception of love but please keep that ish to yourself. Nobody deserves the lack of trust, sincerity, attention that you’re able to provide in this delicate state and you don’t deserve to torture yourself by making the hollow attempt. Sometimes, we’re just not ready for what we want and in the lean times we must prepare for the harvest even when the yield doesn’t bode abundance. If there be any lovesick sports fans out there you should know that an offseason is every bit as important to an athlete as playing the game itself. The offseason is primetime for conditioning and strategy. If you can manage to stay fit in the offseason, you may be in just the right shape to take home that ring when it’s all said and done. So if this Cuffing Season you find yourself seemingly out in the cold, don’t even trip off that, shug. You’ll just have more time to get this whole self-identity ish right and put yourself in the best position to cuff the right one. And if you really don’t care to heed these many suggestions I’ve made and simply MUST have a warm body to bring to that Halloween/Thanksgiving/ Christmas/Mardi Gras/Valentine’s Day event, I’m sure you have a solid regular that you can call upon in the lean times (who’s more than willing to settle for being a mere ornament). Cut buddy = Cuffing Season Late Draft Pick. Ain’t no shame in it, love… warranted that you can at the very least be for real.



Be for Real

friends didn’t read this column they may find themselves lonely once again come Choosing Season 2013 and y’all will be back at it like you kids were never apart. And who cares if the little bro/cousin/successful overachieving sister caught ‘em one? Moms, Pops and G-Moms will have to do their very best to go on living WITHOUT all the melodrama circulating around your relationship status. They’ll get over that dumb shit. I promise. If they find themselves unable to chill on the subject of your love life, bring the hood rat/whoadie to dinner at the house and see if they ever bother you about getting married again. CASE CLOSED.

Ask Dr. Ada

Dr Ada, How do I deal with others that annoy the crap out of me in workplace? -The annoyed worker


on’t surrender your power to others! Too often, we allow the actions of others to dictate our moods, our actions, our feelings. This is especially true when dealing with people with whom we may not see eye to eye. You already know before you get into the office, that you work with someone that is annoying right? Well, why would you allow yourself to be negatively affected by someone who is behaving just as they are expected to behave? “If you choose to walk in love and happiness, Let me explain…envision that you go sit by a pool one hot discontent and annoyance can’t touch you” summer day, someone dives in the pool, and splashes water on you. Do you choose to get upset and begin yelling at the person for jumping in the pool because you got wet, or do you smile to yourself and say “Well, I guess I should have expected that, I am sitting my butt right by the pool.” The first scenario will leave you aggravated and unhappy, while the second scenario would likely leave you feeling just as good if not better than you felt when you sat by the pool because now, at least you’re cooled off a bit by that water. The only thing that has changed is the way you choose to view the situation. If you choose to walk in love and happiness, discontent and annoyance can’t touch you. Try it! Dr. Ada, Why the hell does it take so long for someone to come out of a parking spot when they know darn well you are waiting for it. This always baffles me and I think it's ridiculous!

- Mario


ave you ever heard the saying “patience is a virtue”? The ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset is a valuable quality in a person. While we can’t change everything that happens around us, we can choose how we react to what happens around us. I would suggest that you work on your patience, give yourself adequate time to be someplace so that you aren’t anxious when it takes a few minutes longer than you expected to find a parking space, and focus on the things that you can change, while accepting the things that you can’t. Hope this helps :) 12

Dr. Ada, Is it better to live together before you commit to marriage? -Regina

Ask Dr. Ada


he short answer to your question is no, however, before you begin jumping to conclusions, let me explain. Anyone who tells you that you should live with your significant other before you commit to marriage is just as wrong as the person that tells you that you should not live together before marriage. Confused yet? Well…the reality of the situation is that the decision to live with your mate should be made by two people, you and your mate. There are lots of reasons that people choose to live together before marriage, including financial, convenience, necessity, etc. The more important thing to consider is whether or not you’re truly ready to share your life with someone. There is no relationship that is perfect, this includes the marital relationship. If you are prepared to give more of yourself than you sometimes receive, to take the high road even when you feel that you are wronged, to commit to putting your wants behind those of your mate, and living with someone that you may not like all of the time but are dedicated to always respecting, then you may be ready to take the leap into the marriage pond. Relationships are just like we are, living breathing things that grow and evolve. You cannot avoid the ups and downs of a marriage by taking a test run at living together first. But, there’s no reason not to live together if you and your significant other feel that it is the right thing for you.

Dr. Ada Craig Roberson is a dedicated wife, mother and advocate for those in need. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker within the state of Louisiana and holds a Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology. Ada has a wealth of experience in working with disadvantaged individuals and has taken the term “Life Enhancement” into a whole new meaning within the social services industry. Her ability to truly understand human behavior has allowed her to transform the lives of many individuals, some of which were hopeless in the eyes of society. She loves a good piece of fine chocolate, a good challenge and stimulating activities. If you have an issue you would like to bring to Dr. Ada’s attention please email or make a post on the Ask Dr. Ada page on




Interview by: Malcolm Armstrong Jr. Images Courtesy of Ka$h Akbar

CM: Who are some of your idols in the rap game right now and why? KA: I look up to artist like J. COLE, Curren$y, Big Krit, and Kendrick Lamar mainly because they have their own lane and their not putting out garbage, a lot of the music coming out these days I don't really feel as though its hip hop. CM: What other rap artists have you collaborated with? Rawley, Sol, Cypha, Ryan Lee KA: What other rap artists would you like to collaborate with in the future? I would like to collab with mainly the artist I look up to Cole, Krit, Spitta, and K. Dot. CM: Tell us about your involvement within the “New Renaissance” movement by 2-cent.? KA: I’m a artist in the project Bmike put together and it’s a blessing to be involved.

CM: Tell us about who Ka$h Akbar is? KA: Ka$h Akbar is the future of music in my eyes. CM: How old are you? KA: 18 CM: Are you from New Orleans and if so what part? KA: no I'm not from New Orleans I stayed there before I grew up moving around often we moved to Laplace, LA when was 11 and that was home ever since. CM: Your music touches a lot of areas. What do you mostly find yourself rapping about and why? KA: I find myself rapping about day to day life situations other than anything else because it’s what I'm seeing and what I'm hearing, I feel as though I rap for the people who won't ever be heard who won't ever have a chance to voice their opinion. CM: Cognition Magazine is focused on promoting mental health awareness. How does your music help you cope with your challenges? KA: I see music as an escape from anything that’s going on at the time around me or something I went through it helps me get a lot off my mind by writing about it.

CM: What other projects to you have coming up in the future? KA: I’m dropping a mixtape entitled #PaidDues on 12/25/12 and two more in 2013 which I won't be dropping the names for yet Leading up to my album entitled “Gifted.” CM: In what direction do you hope to take your career in the next 2-5 years? KA: In the next 2-5 years I planned to be one of the best doing it out of my era. CM: If you can change one thing about the rap game, what would it be? KA: the course that music taking music these days lack substance and lyrical content, I would change that. CM: What do you want people to learn from your music? KA: I want people to learn mainly about me and that anybody can achieve anything they’re chasing in life no matter what it is you can get it. CM: How can we find out more about Ka$h Akbar? KA: Follow me on twitter @KashAkbar Youtube/Google me @ Ka$h Akbar to Stay posted with the music and videos I'm dropping and keep a close eye on what I'm doing.


CM: What challenges do you face as an upcoming artist in this industry? KA: A challenge I face is getting looked over often because there’s so many people doing it, some of the real talent gets overlooked and another thing is just the everyday grind and push of getting out there. 15


l a F

N T I e F tell l B

en G y


all is typically the season where the weight gain begins. You have Halloween where you get all the candy & sweets and then Thanksgiving where you have almost everything there is to eat. Cognition Magazine and P.E.D.S. NOLA is going to help you tackle the weight gain one holiday at a time. Grab those leftover trick or treat pumpkins from the kids and try these exercises with us.



Place legs shoulder length apart with frozen pumpkins weights in hands as shown and squat.

Health & Fitness


Fill plastic pumpkin up with water past its eyes but an inch below the top. If there is a hole at the bottom of the pumpkin, tape the hole over from the inside using packaging tape.

2. FREEZE Place the water filled pumpkin in the freezer overnight to ensure a solid freeze.


Lift the pumpkin weights to shoulder length and feel the tension in forearms. To increase calve muscles, arch feet as shown above.



Lift the pumpkin weights higher so that they are level with your ear or higher if possible to increase muscle in arms. Repeat exercise.



Eating Disorders ating disorders are described as abnormal eating habits meaning that food intake can be too much or too little. It is officially the holiday season and the African American community celebrates this holiday with lots of food and indulgence so it is very important that we are conscious of our food intake during this time. There are over 7 types of eating disorders and others are classified under EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). Listed below are the four most common eating disorders. Information courtesy of

    

Anorexia Nervosa: Refuses to maintain a healthy body weight Refuses to eat Maintains an unrealistic perception of current body weight Possesses a serious fear of weight gain Amenorrhea– absence of 3+ menstrual cycles must be present (for women)

    

Binge Eating Disorder: Engage in binge eating twice weekly or more for a period of at least 6 months Rapidly eats a large amount of food within a short time frame Lacks control in eating Binges can occur without hunger Experiences feelings of depression or guilt after binge

Bulimia Nervosa:

 Characterized by the acts of bingeing   

and purging Binging– excessive consumption of food Purging– removal of digested food by vomiting, use of laxatives and enemas and/or excessive exercise Most behaviors are done secretly/ discreetly

  

Pica: The compulsive craving for eating, chewing or licking non edible items Unable to distinguish the difference between food and non food items Common items are chalk, paper, paint chips, glue, ice, coffee grounds along with other hazardous household items


f you or anyone you know has been exposed to any of the above events, its crucial that treatment should be sought as soon as possible so that healing can begin. African Americans are known for resisting psychiatric treatment but we must realize that our bodies not only need medical care but mental care as well. Treatment is 100% confidential and you will find that talking to someone unbiased can be comforting. Look at it as having someone designated just for you to place your discomforts on without judgment. Being strong alone can only carry us so far, Its about time we let someone help us carry the load. We’ve been a strong people for the longest and it has won us a lot of progress but it is also exhausting. Self care is so important and we need to give our minds a break. Don’t be afraid to reach out when things get too tough mentally. Seeking help can only benefit you in the long run.


Health & Fitness


What Blacks Should Know

The Best of Cognition Magazine’s Cover Stories



Gentelle Pedescleaux APRIL 2012 ISSUE “i’M very innovative because i’M also a visual artist as well so i’M always thinking of ways to get people 22 together and reaching them where they are.”


ognition Magazine sat down with New Orleans’ own fitness diva Gentelle Pedscaleaux inside of her artist loft apartment to talk physical fitness within black America. This sista has an incredibly vibrant and energetic persona that holds nothing back.

CM: When did you figure out that you wanted to do dance and fitness? GP: When did I figure it out? (Gentelle reflects back and ponders)… I know it’s something that I always had a passion for. I was a natural…period, always have been a natural in the area of physical fitness as well as dance. I would always be that kid in PE that would always like to dress out because I wanted to show off my legs because I have nice legs (as she boasts and proudly sticks her chest out). It wasn’t until recently, honestly when I discovered that this is what I am called to do. It’s funny because all of us whom are artist and visual people, we always take our natural born abilities for granted, we don’t look at it as something we can actually capitalize off of and make a lucrative lifestyle for ourselves. It (referring to dance & fitness) was something that was always embedded in me, especially with healthy eating, healthy living. I could remember in the 80’s there was this program called “Get in Shape Girls” (she describes the cassette tapes and dance ribbons) it was bananas because even then my mom was depositing this seed (her talent) into me and it has grown and been nourished as well as water and she would invest in me by buying me these cassette tapes. I would pop in the cassette tapes, put on my waist bands, the arm bands, my unitard… leg warmers, and I’m just getting it in on the middle of the floor ya heard me. It (the exercises) was fun, it was something I enjoyed doing (eluding to the fact that it was so much fun that it did not feel like an exercise) until I just took to it and I was like…ok this is what I was designed and created to do.

board (she reaches on the side of her orange slim sofa and pulls out a pink neon board that has magazine cut outs pasted on to it and she begins to read). I actually got this out of Essence magazine, (she reads a quote) ‘exercise has many health benefits but a reason many black women do not do it enough says the surgeon general, Dr. Regina Benjamin, is a fear of sweating out the hairstyle that costs them time and money.’ Now how I feel about that….that man is gonna sweat it out! (Interviewer and Gentile laugh uncontrollably at her comedic persona and then she gathers herself and gives a logical explanation). But regarding that on a more serious note, I feel that we get so wrapped up and entwined in that outward appearance. Now don’t get me wrong, appearance is everything but think about it, you internal and external co-exist and when they are in sync you are able to live this abundant and beautiful life. There are trendy ways to get over those stigmas. There are braids, weaves are another thing as well that people get because they may not necessarily like the corn rows but they get the weave, they get the sew-ins and that helps them work out as well. CM: Tell us the name of your business and your contact information. GP: The name of the business is P.E.D.S. Positive Energy Dance Society. You may contact me (Gentelle Pedescaleaux) at that’s the website and the email is The number is on the website and I’m looking into do a lot more community engagements also. I see the business really really growing.

CM: Now I know we spoke earlier about the (healthy) lifestyle change, what about this hair phenomenon? Black women have such a stigma about messing up their hair when they work out. That’s a lifestyle change right there because a lot of them (black women) want to work out but they don’t want to mess their hair up or go to work nappy. GP: We (referring to African American women) are naturally “nappy.” The hair is designed to coil but I’m not gonna get into that thought, that’s a whole other issue (she laughs and gives those big eyes indicating how controversial the topic can become). I’m gonna pull out my vision


Joshua Casimier JUNE 2012 ISSUE “i always tell My clients that your weight is a measurement of 24 your health. it is not your health”


ognition Magazine has a sit down with one of the youngest male leaders within the New Orleans fitness scene Joshua R. Casimier. This brother knows what he’s talking about when it comes to being healthy and fit. He may be young but he’s ready and his followers are many.

CM: What is your opinion on fitness in black America as of today? JC: It is my target! You’re talking to the right person. It is my target. Reason being is because it’s the underdog. It is the…we are as a culture, if I had to isolate America first, I have three clients that are from across seas. I have Bebia (one of his international clients) from San Lucia, which is a French Speaking island, I have Centel whom just left from Mexico, and I have Katie from Argentina. What all these three people whom never met each other have in common is that they came to this country as adults. Bebia came here at 35 years old. For her entire adult life, for the most of her adult life in St. Lucia, when she got to America she saw her first overweight person. Centel (Client from Mexico) the same. Katie (Client from Argentina) the same. They have never seen obesity in their life, being and living in the cultures they lived in. My thing is to bring that culture to the states.

super foods that you can have a pretty wide variety of meal plan and you won’t get bored with the same foods. Like I said turkey, broccoli, almond, spinach and I can go on and on, there a bunch of super foods and then they’re specifics like beef, is not very good for everybody. Beef is good for the “O” type because they’re the closest thing to carnivores, their stomach acids, like myself I’m blood type “O” can digest and break down meat easier than that of a blood type “A.” CM: Black women and the hair and the stigma against working out. How do you feel about that?

Josh: I think it falls with everything else that I’m against in this country. We’re in our minds. Your mind is a separate part of your being than our body is. We are mind, we are body and we are spirit. So to go back to that hair…we especially as African American, I don’t even like using that term because it doesn’t make sense, but a lot of black people have not completely accepted their bodies the way that it is because the mind wants to see the body in another way. Just like the mind may want McDonalds and the body may want some CM: When you get a client for the first time, what are some of lean buffalo, but your mind may want McDonalds so we eat for the their desires, some of their goals that they tell you? What are some of the most common things they want to work on when they mind, we eat the McDonalds. So guess what, our hair…what does it do when it gets wet? Now we can perceive the hair of the black come to you? woman as a strong hair or we can perceive it as a nappy hair. What do JC: Common…Most common thing for women, my tummy, my we want to see it as? I have two real estate agents (as clients). (They Kangaroo pouch, my muffin top, just the core area in general and have) very reputable jobs in the community and they wear their hair legs. Women, they don’t like to even say they want to lose weight. A natural. They don’t complain when it rains, they don’t complain when woman comes in here and she’s 40lbs overweight and she knows she they work out now I know that’s a lil’ much for my black women but wants to lose weight but she’d rather say it as “I really just want to it’s my perception. Your hair is beautiful. Your hair is beautiful in lose my stomach” but the goal is still to lose 30lbs worth of fat what it naturally does. We live in an age where we are running from because that’s where you store your fat. Most common fitness goal is the sun because we don’t want to get darker when darker is beautiful. to lose your stomach which is created by the food that were eating and You have people with less melanin whom are tanning themselves to tone up the legs. And for the guys it’s always, they wanna do try to get something with their stomach as well and build muscle up top. They darker want to build those arms, chest, back, they wanna look good in a when we t-shirt and they wanna look good out of the t-shirt especially in the have summer time. The clientele is real busy right now especially with it African being summer time a lot of people are interested in training. Americans avoiding CM: In addition to blood type diets do you have any overall umbrella dieting suggestions like just general dieting suggestions the sun so they that all blood types follow? can get JC: Yes, there are areas in which there is a food group that is good for lighter. every human being regardless of your (blood) type of course unless there is a rare case of allergies to these things. Broccoli is good for (Types) A, B, O, and AB. If I said um, spinach, is good for A, B, O, and AB. If I say turkey, is good for A, B, O, and AB. And if there is a food item that is good for every blood type, I just refer to it and others just refer to it as a super food. So before a client knows their blood type, because the health awareness is very low in New Orleans. People don’t care about their bodies. We eat just to get through the day. We don’t think food is important, we don’t even remember what we eat. We just eat because we have to therefore most people don’t 25 know their blood types. So when they don’t know their blood types, I give them a meal plan of super foods. There are a good amount of

“starlynn” July 2012 ISSUE 26

“i still kept pushing and i was not going to let anything stop Me. i still kept pushing.”


ognition Magazine chats with the MULTI-TALENTED and NOLA born and raised Melanie StarLynn Veal. She is on the rise with her entertainment career and giving us the inside scoop of how she stays motivated.

back to it. I didn’t really take it (that thought) so seriously because I thought it was just in the back of my mind, this is crazy, ima be back home in about 2-3 days after this blows MV: Well I am an Actress, Model, Singer, Host. I am well over and honestly (that thought) was the truth. Once I got to endowed in the entertainment industry. I’ve been acting since Houston things began to fall into place for me and I was like 2001. I started off as an extra and then a few years later I “Let me try to make something happen here in Houston.” I still moved to Houston, Texas where my career really started taking didn’t have the mindset that I will be living in Houston. I was off for me. I have done some independent films, commercials, just going to try to do as much as I could out there to build a stage plays and now I’m getting back into music but I’m doing name for myself and then come to find out, 5-6 years later I’m music independently. My genre of music is Neo Soul/Funk/ still here. I do come back to New Orleans as often as I possibly R&B. I was hosting my own show “On the Scene” which can can because still and all that’s home and nothing can replace be found on you tube at Miss Melanie. I’ve finished up a stage home. The market for film industry in Houston is not major. A play a few months ago and I’ve just been cast for another lot of my friends whom are in the industry that are in the feature film here in Houston and also for another film. Its two movies you see in AMC theatres, they are like “Starlynn of them (films) that I’m waiting to get started. Houston is not where you are going to find it (movie roles/ entertainment industry etc.).” God’s will be done, still and all CM: You mentioned that once you moved to Houston your things happened ironically and surprisingly for me out here (Houston, TX) and also here in New Orleans. Katrina has been career took off. Tell me about some of the things you a blessing and it has been a curse for a lot of us. Of course I thought that made your career kind of spark? miss home and I get homesick sometimes but I just pack my MV: I really would have to say my personality but when I got bags and head on out there. As far as me pursing my career, it’s to Houston, I started off in New Orleans but when I started off a process but I’m really progressing and I thank God for that. I was fresh to it. I didn’t know what to do, how to talk, how to network so doing the extra work gave me some foundation in New Orleans as far as being able to talk to other people whom are trying to pursue the same things that I’m doing, or those that are “seasoned” in the industry. When I got to Houston, that’s when (I realized) I have to make something happen, I can’t fall into that “I’m a Hurricane victim from New Orleans” I just got up and said “You know what, this is what I’m going to do and nothing is going to stop me.” I started looking into different agencies and once I got with an agency, they started feeding me all the information I needed to know, the loops, going to workshops, taking acting classes, how to nail auditions. I started going on different auditions and started landing a lot of the gigs. Unfortunately it folded (she laughs) and I was back to square one and I didn’t have an agency to represent me anymore. I still kept pushing and I was not going to let anything stop me. I still kept pushing. Like said, I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. I started making contacts with people, started hearing things, going on craigslist trying to find out who had auditions for different gigs and then one door opened and a lot of the other doors started opening for me. It’s been an ongoing process since then. CM: Melanie, Tell us a lil’ bit about what do you do? Tell us about yourself?

CM: Tell us about some of the struggles you faced (as an upcoming artist & Hurricane Katrina). MV: Surprisingly with Hurricane Katrina I didn’t feel the struggle with that. That actually gave me the urge to really push because I didn’t want to fall into the statistics of struggling. When Hurricane Katrina hit, we left and when my family evacuated it took us 18 hours to get to Houston which is a 5 ½ hour drive. When we pulled off, something told me to just look back at your home and don’t worry about coming


Anthony Bean SEPTEMBER 2012 ISSUE “i don’t talk about Myself, i really don’t. i’M not trying to be funny. i was raised up to believe my work speaks for itself. I can show you 28all the posters, billboards and countless videos/film of My work and that speaks voluMes.”


is theatre is one of a kind and the majority of it is orchestrated by its young participants. Anthony Bean has no problem giving credit to the youth he leads through theatre and those that assist him along the way, so much that he barely leaves any credit for himself. He is truly a leader that possesses a candid yet comedic personality that radiates throughout this interview.

CM: How does it feel being the only African American theatre in the city of New Orleans? AB: Let me reverse that. I wonder if I did not have a theatre of African American presence here in New Orleans. When I first came back from LA, about 14 years ago…NOTHING! Dillard University has a theatre but that is college it’s not a community theatre, you pay your tuition and you go there. We had no presence here (in theatre). We had Ethiopian Theatre which my brother and I founded in 1973 that was still functioning but it functioned when it functioned and since then my brother passed away a few months ago. CM: What made you give youth such a strong operational presence? AB: To be honest with you, someone helped me when I was a kid. I know you’ve heard that before “Oh when I was child…” it still stands. It still fascinates me, no matter how old I get, kids are still fascinated by me when I walk in the room. I think there’s many reasons being in New Orleans and one is my complexion, they just don’t expect to see a big dark skinned man. Some of my darkest hues of kids gravitate towards me almost immediately. It’s the most amazing thing; it’s like South Africa when you come into my office. I embrace all but somehow I have this lil kinship with my “lil chocolates” so I think I have theatre just for them and nothing else (Anthony laughs out loud with interviewer). I came in from L.A. and I did a workshop lecture at NOCCA, (a local school for the arts) and I promise this is the truth; a black senior, a female came to me and said “Mr. Bean can I talk to you after it’s all done (the workshop)” and I told her no…go ahead. She said “You are the first African American that we have had to come here and do a workshop.” CM: Elaborate on your experience with parental involvement. AB: Unfortunately I see more grandmothers today raising kids and I see momma’s boyfriend picking them up. I get little signals that I don’t particularly care for (in terms of parental involvement/interaction). I do see mom and dad involved…I do see that and the kid is somewhat more stable. (Anthony tells interviewer) Come by me (speaking of the summer program at the theatre which runs from 8am-8pm) I tell you, these kids, they don’t want to go home and if you ask any parent they will tell you the kids do not want to go home. We are talking about CAMP! We are talking about giving up your vacation, giving up your summer, getting up out of bed. I think the bottom line is winning a child over because a lot of times you’re introducing the kids to the arts. They don’t know anything about it (the arts) and their parents don’t know anything about it but they want to get their kids involved. A child knows when you’re for real and you care about them. I can scream and holler (at them) but you can’t because they aint gonna

take that from nobody else. Plus kids can discern. When they first meet me they can discern whether I’m being a meanie/ evil person or whether I care about them. CM: What is your dream for the theatre? I do believe it’s going to go on long after your gone. AB: That’s bullshit! I want it to burn. When I’m gone it’s going with me and I want this whole building in my plot! (Anthony jokingly yells out as he and interviewer laugh hysterically). I would like to own this entire block. I would have a dormitory in the back. Right now they have apartments, I would love to own them and make them into a dormitory for kids that want to come out of town. I want to make it where people know that if they want to go to acting school in this city, or anywhere for that matter they know where unless they're (already) here. I would like to see what I have done pay off which means I want this to be where no one else could touch it. Not just black or white, just period. If you want acting lessons you have to go there (The ABCT theatre). CM: So you want to be the premiere acting school? AB: Yes and I would like to see it in my lifetime. I would like to financially not have to worry about how I’m going to pay bills. One of the things that I hope the city, state, city council, mayor’s office, NORD, that they invest more in the youth. This city has to learn to invest more in the youth. For more information on the Anthony Bean Community Theater or to make a donation please visit:


KALI Red October 2012 ISSUE “i aM an intelligent, strong, sMart, loving and supporting diva that is 30 full of aMbition”


hilanthropist, Young Entrepreneur, and Community Activist are a few words that describes this New Orleans native and her plans to reduce violence in Louisiana. Cognition Magazine takes a closer look into this woman's life to highlight her efforts and initiatives.

CM: What is the KaLi’ Red Experience LLC? KR: The “Kali’ Red Experience, LLC” is what I like to call my “Red Empire.” One night I had a dream about creating my own organization…due to a personal experience in my life a few years ago, not only did I have to deal with a few organizations for survival reasons, but I also saw several loopholes in processes and a few other negative glitches. I have also had the opportunity to work with many major organizations as well, and I was able to experience the behind the scenes activities on how they are ran. So with me having a deep passion for Leadership and of course my ultimate FAVORITE field of all, Marketing…I decided that I would create my own organization/company that will be ran the way that I want it to be. I would make sure that it will always STAND OUT vividly from the others. After doing some brainstorming, I realized that it would be a great idea for me to attach my “Socialite” image to my organization and use the “Kali’ Red Experience” as the open umbrella to be the main cover of my foundation and any other entities that I will add in the future. CM: We understand that anti-violence and anti-domestic violence is your platform. Have you been personally affected by any of these issues? KR: Yes, I have been personally affected by domestic violence. I was a victim and a survivor of domestic violence. I experienced the entire journey. I was a resident of a battered women’s shelter in Texas for two and a half months, (but homeless for a total of five months while trying to finish my second tenure of college). I can honestly say that it was the worst time of my life. It was very hard to deal with on every level, especially by being in another state with no family around to lean on for support.

KR: First, I would like to say “Thank You” to that comment. And to answer your question…Yes, my image of being a beautiful, full figured woman with curves…does conflict with my business a whole lot. It is a shame, but it does. Nevertheless, I am use to it now, and I have learned how to handle it a lot better. However, I would have to say, that RESPECT from both males and females with huge egos was the hardest conflict so far. But once they see and hear for themselves that I am TOTALLY ABOUT BUSINESS, and at the end of the day…whatever business we came together to handle, WILL GET DONE. Time is precious, I value it, and it is not to be wasted on nonsense. Therefore, after they experience my mindset, they will get to see that a woman can be SMART, SEXY, CLASSY, JAZZY, and VIBRANT all at the same time while handling her business. CM: How can our readers find out more information about the KaLi Red Experience, LLC? KR: To find out more information about the “Kali’ Red Experience, LLC”, you can subscribe to both of my face book pages at kalired504DiVa and The-KaLi-Red-Experience-LLC/209985905730288. For all booking/hosting requests and inquiries send an email to, follow me on Instagram at KaLi_ReD_504Diva, follow me on Twitter @KaLiReD504Diva and now you can also connect with me on the Linked-In network.

CM: What was the most memorable experience that the KaLi’ Red Experience, LLC has ever….well….experienced? KR: My most memorable “Kali’ Red Experience” that I have had so far is seeing President Barack Obama in the flesh and hearing him speak while being in the same building!!! It was AWESOME and very MOVING at the same time… it will be an experience that I will NEVER forget! CM: We are not afraid to speak on how beautiful you are and we are sure that men go crazy when they see you in business mode. Does your outstanding beauty image ever conflict with your business?




lot of times people will have sex and say it was the best that they ever had but everyone has different measures for what makes sex the best. I wanted to know what is the consensus among the people that participate in QBAfterDark so I posed the question, "What makes sex better to you?" The key words in the statement are "to you," because I got a lot of different responses. Here are a few that I received:

When it comes to real life sex

questions, there are many things that some people wonder whether or not they are normal happenings during sex. I host a weekly sex discussion session on Twitter giving people the opportunity to answer some questions and submit questions they may have wanted to ask but didn’t want to seem weird. I’ve asked everything from “Is a bad kisser a turn off to you?” to “Ladies, do you swallow?” The responses to the questions can be off the wall! If you have any questions that you might want submitted, follow @QBAfterDark on and submit your questions. The discussion sessions happen every Monday at 10pm sharp. #QBAfterDark

Love & Relationships

Thoughts after Dark ” B Q “ h t i W

@SwerveMusic: "Body Language" @JsTrueLies: "Random place, random tyme @ one spot, then round 2&3 at home" @Ablondebomb: "CHEMISTRY" @2Koolie: "actually having real feelings for a chick" and @jeanis100: "Passion,wetness,touching,oral,endurance, competition!!" I think the best answer came from @SheSeauxSaditty with simply saying, "Love."

The reason I say that is because I whole heartedly agree that sex is better when love is involved. When there's really love there, you'll experience intensity from the passion, emotions running wild, body heat, chemistry, competition, wetness, everything. It will all just flow together because of the love there. Love makes sex better to me as well. 33

(504) 473-6416


What is Your “WHY”

In fact, knowing your “why” is not only a way to gain success, but it is the only way to sustain a lasting success. In addition, everything you say and do should line up with what you believe in, something in which we refer to as authenticity. Authenticity cannot be realized or achieved without clarity of “why.”

The “why” is the belief, the “how's” are the actions we take to prove our “why” and the “what's” are the results of those actions. At the end of the day the only way people will know what you believe is by what you say and do. If you are inconsistent in word

and deed, no one will know what you believe.

The “why” provides a context for everything else. Having clarity of your “why” requires you to be disciplined and accountable to your own guiding principles, beliefs and values.

By: Darrin L. Harris



Be Inspired


When you understand and believe in your “why” you will be able to ne of the greatest mistakes that motivate and inspire others toward loyalty an individual can make is to not and action. Why is only the genesis and a understand their “why.” Having a clear starting point. In order for your “why” to besense of “why” brings meaning and purpose come authentic you must prove it by what to what and how you do what you do. you do.

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