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OZARA ODE’ The Last Words Will Be Spoken Breje

Talented, handsome, suave, and about to shock the entertainment world


Dreaming big; From comparison to Portrayal, Ozara Ode’ becomes nina simone

SUMMER 20/10


2221 Peachtree Rd. NE / Atlanta ,, GA 30309 / 404.603.5282  Spoken Magazine

Spoken Magazine 

From the Editor’s Desk Spoken Magazine was created while chasing dreams, in hopes of creating opportunity for the many individuals involved with and interested in “The Arts”. My passion for all things creative has existed and persisted since my early years. My interest in “The Arts” is as diverse as my personality. It was while engaged in the late night activities of the performance poetry community that I realized a need for an outlet to expose the talent and inspired works that were on display at these word-of-mouth events. For years the concept of Spoken Magazine simply remained an idea, a simple and often conceivably un-achievable thought. It wasn’t until others with similar interest urged me to realize this dream that I began to actively pursue it. With each step, the dream comes closer to reality, but it’s still a dream. A dream that I hope you continue to take part in.

Atlanta Editors Editor-in-Chief

Derico D. Dabney

Publishing Editor Theresa Horne

Associate Editor Emily Wright

Entertainment Editor Fellissia McDonald

Birmingham Editors Publishing Editor Shermika Dunner

Associate Editor Maranda Davis

Contributing Staff Music Reviews

Alfred “Nfared” Vines

Theater Arts

Sylvester Little Jr.

Contributing Writer

Keishia Renae Pittman

Wellness/Prosperity Wendy Kay

Contributing Writer Tina Kay Hughes

Contributing Writer Melanie Richardson

Contributing Writer Tonya Grace

Contributing Writer

Shaunteka LaTrese Curry

editor’s note

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Spoken Magazine Registered Trademark of Spoken Magazine, LLC Lithonia, GA ISSN: 1559-3533 Arts-Entertainment Publication WWW.SPOKENMAGAZINE.NET 404.551.5379 888.755.9413 (toll free)


In This Issue


16 MODEL EXPOSURE Features The multifaceted and super talented Melanie Richardson










A new short story from writer, Keishia Renae Pittman


THE LAST WORDS WILL BE SPOKEN A Review of the 1st release from Poet, Brandan Stuckey




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By: Emily Wright, Associate Editor If you were going to die today, what would you regret the most in your lifetime? That’s a pretty hard question to answer, huh? Well I think if you think hard enough, you’ll come up with something. In the meantime, I will tell you what I came up with when I was asked this question. If I knew I was going to die today, I would regret only the decisions that I made that hurt the people around me. If I could, I would take back the hundreds of times that I made my parents’ cry and the times when I disrespected them like they were nobodies. I would say I’m sorry to all of my friends that I let down along the way. And I would even apologize to the boyfriends that I have done wrong. I would take back all of the evil thoughts that I had about the people around me and even take back some of the harsh words that spilled out of my mouth on occasion. But do you know what I wouldn’t regret? I wouldn’t regret sitting at my mother’s side listening to her childhood memories. I wouldn’t regret listening to my father repeatedly saying how “he’s been where you are and where you’ve got to go”. I wouldn’t regret being able to smell the rain on the horizon or touching the silky moss that covers the prickly bark of a tree. I wouldn’t regret being able to feel the wind brush across my face while listening to the birds sing about their day. Life is such a precious gift that we all spend like pennies in a well. It is so much of a gracious gift that it is impossible to describe in words. Even though some of us have had it hard, and may still have it hard, we still can’t honestly say that we regret ever being here. Even the things that we say that we may regret, in many aspects we don’t really regret it. We just wish that we had done the same thing but just in a better way. Because ultimately, the “mistakes” that we’ve made have shaped us into people that we can be or should be proud of today. There is only one you and you have only one life…love and live them both to the fullest. Now that you have had time to think about it… if you knew you were going to die today, what would you “regret” about your life? Spoken Magazine 

The Simple Things in Life By Tina Kay Hughes, Author of TKay’s Inspirationals: Walking In Your Season

Summer particularly reminds me of ladybugs, lighting bugs, and butterflies. Catching them and letting them climb over your arm then finding a mason jar to poke holes in the top to save them overnight. The fig trees, blueberry bushes, tomato plants, and herbs all around the deck and the best were the honeysuckle and blackberry bushes at your disposal so you could eat all you wanted. I think about days of running down the street to catch the ice cream truck, running through the sprinklers, drawing colorful, chalky pictures on the driveway and saving some space to play hopscotch. Then there are memories of playing stick ball with the end of a broom as the bat and using the tennis ball (straight base) in the middle of the street; and actually getting mad at the cars passing by for interrupting our game. Hide and go seek, jumping on the trampoline, dodge ball, kick ball, drinking water from the hose pipe outside, and making sure I was in my yard before the street lights came on. Life as a child was fun! It was a time to develop childhood memories with life long friends who drew in the dirt with you, threw rocks with you, and had your back if anyone wanted to fight. What about the bicycle ramps, popa-wheelies, jumping in the pool like  Spoken Magazine

a “bomb”, and racing in the street (ready set go!) Every body sticking their foot in saying, “enney menney miney moe” to determine who was IT!!! Drive thru movies were the absolute best, we brought our own snacks, laid on the car with a blanket as we watched a movie. How about the box fan in the window and leaving your windows wide open (because there was no central air conditioner) while sleeping in tshirts, and underwear. There were no worries about locking the door, because neighbors looked out for each other. The front door would be left open so the screen door could send a cool breeze throughout the front room. What about having to apply aluminum foil on the antennas, making someone hold the antennas in place so you could watch your favorite television shows. Then came along the little brown cable box, but the only time you could watch television was early Saturday morning (Smurfs, Transformers, and Kid House Rock to name a few). After watching Saturday morning cartoons you had to do your chores before being put out of the house after your chores were done on Saturday morning. Then Mama would turn on the record player

using vinyl albums like Earth Wind and Fire, The Commodores, The Four Tops, and Chaka Khan; and don’t even try coming back into the house while Mama was cleaning. At the end of the day you were sent out to get the clothes off the line because there was no clothes dryer. We looked forward to summertime. It was simple. It was exciting. The memories will always stick with you for a lifetime because life was not convoluted with technology. It’s time to teach our children how to live simply, requiring them to develop an imagination, get exercise and develop friendships with children who live on their block or in their neighborhood.  My childhood taught me how to develop an imagination that will always bring me back to the days of old when life was simple, practical, and not so complicated. Those were the daysb when life was carefree and simple. Simplicity back then was exciting and not being able to have fun without the gadgetry of today made no difference. The simple things in life during the summertime are priceless and will always be with you,  reminiscent of when summer was truly the best season of most children’s lives. Those were the days!


Headboard is actually a tall cabinet door purchased from IKEA’s as is department for $10. Brown throw pillows reclaimed from living room

By: D.Dabney, Editor-in-Chief

Do you have a room in your home that is in desperate need of a makeover, but your budget doesn’t allow much room for anything to be done? Well, I have just the tips you need that will have you on your way to jazzing up your boring space. The first step will be to assess your finances in order to determine if this project is low budget or no budget. If it’s no budget, then ‘reuse’ is your word to focus on. If it’s low budget, your word to focus on is ‘rethink’. Regardless to whether your approach is to reuse or to rethink, this remix will require that you step outside the box. Before any work begins, you will need to take an inventory of what you have readily available. This should consist of items that you already own; furniture or art work that’s in storage. Think... furniture pieces that can be taken from other rooms, unused paint, or objects that were created for one purpose that can be easily adapted to serve another function. If your budget allows for a little spending, your objective is to get the most for the least, so you will definitely have to keep your eyes open for any deals. Anything brand-new, unless fairly cheap, is completely out of the question! You may want to peruse through thrift store treasures, or see if you can score damaged or returned

items from major retailers for insanely low prices. Of course, the quickest way to breathe new life into any room is through a fresh coat of paint. Changing the color will give you the biggest bang for your buck. If you have a large room and you want to make if feel cozy, dark-warm colors are key for you. If you have a space that needs to be opened up a bit, keep the colors light and airy. Cool grays, cool blues, or neutrals will work well for smaller spaces.

4 drawer cabinet taken from home office, now being used as a night stand. Artwork directly above T.V is actually a laqured table top with a framed mirror glued in the center

Wall Paint: $8 a gallon @ Lowe’s

When purchasing paint for this simple remix, you don’t want to break the bank. It’s okay to use the designer color palette for inspiration, but when it’s time to purchase, simply take your color samples to your local hardware store, and have them match it in their cheapest paint. To the right you will find a room remix that follows many of these guidelines. Hopefully it will provide some inspiration to begin your own room remix! Chocolate drapes taken from living room; framed paiting & 4 drawer cabinet taken from office; wooden drawer boxes and glass top stacked on top of cabinet to increase height and give the appearance of a new piece of furniture. Spoken Magazine 

BREJE There is finally a breath of fresh air to the same ole mundane child stars. Breje has stepped on the scene as an incredible talent in not only entertaining, rapping and acting but in foot stomping musical lyricist and singer. Breje, being only the tender age of 14, has left a mark on the music industry with his breakout hit, Twist Wit It, released in 2009. Think of a young Lil Bow Wow mixed with Jaden Smith looks and you have a proper image of this up and coming star. He features moves reminiscent of his idol, Michael Jackson, fused with Usher’s fluidity. This young star’s enthusiasm is evident in the excited bounce of his curls and boyish grin. The young girls will love this kid! 10 Spoken Magazine

(pronounced Bre-zay)

The name says it all. The blazing hot teenage entertainer is talented, handsome, suave and about to twist the socks off the entertainment world. Over the past few years, Breje’ has been brewing like fine champagne ready to pop. His wholesome smart, energetic, funny, and electrifying charisma is contagious. He acts, dances, raps and sings, which makes him a quadruple talent. It is exciting to watch him perform his magic on stage or in front of the camera. Breje’ is rapidly becoming what’s next and popular. Breje’ is no stranger to the entertainment scene. He was just an elementary school student when he tagged along with his older sister’s group IQ, who were amongst the Radio Disney Incubator artists. IQ debuted with their album, Roll Call in 2006, distributed by Universal /WPE Music, LLC. This allowed Breje’ to iteract and shar stages with such aritsts as the Jonas Brothers, Ne-Yo, Ashanti, Omarion, B5, Pretty Ricky, Baby Boy Da Prince, Rich Boy, 2XL and others. This paved the way for Breje’ to open up for artists Fabulous and Soulja Boy. With all the bounce and enthusiasm that was stimulated by Breje’, it lead to the ultimate booking of Breje’s

career, as chance to open for the “King of Pop” Micheal Jackson. The untimely passing of the pop icon brought and end to this opportunity. After getting a taste of the music biz, Breje’ tapped “Tinseltown” with his acting debut as “Garrett” in the short comedy film called “My Genie” about Cali kids who find a bottle on a beach. This performance caught the attention of super acting agent Judy Savage, led to acting training with the famous Diane Hardin, and resulted in Breje’ having meeting with Disney, MTV, Nickelodeon, Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, Berman & Bruan, directors Tom Lynch, Marty Adelstein and other industry executives. Breje’s grounded foundation comes from family values, morals and ethics that have been instilled in him at home. He loves reading, school, music, acting, sports and video games. His favorite sports are basketball, soccer and swimming. The competitive challenge, unpredictability, fast pace and the thought of using a swift imagination keeps him striving for success in whatever he desires to do. He wants to send a message to youth in every corner of the world that, “You can’t get it, If you

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don’t try”. He feels it is important to help others, that caring is sharing and giving back can make a world of difference. Breje’s motto “Be The Change” exemplifies leadership qualities. “To lead, it is necessary to prove yourself, and show people what makes you.” In society we sometimes lack the child role models but this youngster reinvigorates what we know is capable in our children. He has pure, unbridled talent and a good foundation for greatness. Support this young artist by requesting his new song on any radio station or spreading the word about this up and coming entertainer.

“To lead, it is necessary to prove yourself, and show people what makes you.”

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Catch his latest songs , photos and videos on his website, orYouTube and you will see firsthand his ability to have you twisting wit it. With signings across the nation and adolescents everywhere going crazy over this young talent, he settles into it with the humble demeanor of a seasoned veteran. Whether on television, radio or performing his slick dancing, Breje stays true to who he is. His latest hit Be My Girl has already released and can be found on his website.

Premieres October 9th

After being dishonorably discharged from the military, Hussein finds himself in a never ending cycle of dead- end turns and in search of a love that is closer than he realizes. And then one nightin a smoke filled club amongst Atlanta’s artistic group of poets and acoustic soul singers, Hussein watches Keisha “Charisma” Johnson as she recites a poem that makes him remember his days in Spain… The scribbles in his notebook… The passion he thought had slipped out of his reach. But the question is can Hussein escape from his past? Or is history destined to repeat itself? Spoken Magazine 13

Sabotaging Success By: Theresa Horne, Publishing Editor


ell, I ended up being that girl I despise. I did it. I waited for him to leave his cellphone lying haphazard on the crisp, new down comforter from Macy’s. Really, it’s all my best friends fault. She has harassed me with tragic tales of every cheating man she has ever been with since high school. So here I am, staring holes through the titanium colored phone as the blinking red light of a message waves to me against the stark, fluffy whiteness. He is in the glass enclosed shower. Probably somewhere between soaping the family jewels and scrubbing his manly netherregion….or what we jokingly call “no man’s land”. I’m rationalizing this. If I look through his phone

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just for a second, just to do a simple audit of his activities, am I really wrong? Even Fortune 500 companies go through audits, tap their employee computers and silently watch surveillance tapes

of the smoking area. So why

shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I be able to know what happens when my head is turned? So the devil on my shoulder won as I scramble across the bed to make sure the squeaks of the mattress are not heard above the constant splash of waters against his skin. It’s now 8:13pm and he has been bathing for roughly eight minutes. Time is of the essence…. Screen one. Damn. I should have read the manual before attempting to navigate through the task list, options, pictures… oh! Wait! That’s what I’m looking for! Open! My ears hone in on the minute sound of him squishing the remaining soap and water out of the sponge. I have five minutes and counting! No pictures beyond me and the family, none are deemed

inexcusable (other than him keeping the photo of me stuffing my face at a recent company picnic). I should really do better with wiping after each bite. Screen Two. Messages. Ah yes, let’s make sure he isn’t talking to random females. I scroll through about fifteen messages from me and his friends before the sound of silence cuts through the bedroom. I hear him snatch the fluffy towel from the rung before I exit every screen and sail the phone back across the bed to its resting place. My heart is thumping. My throat is dry. And I think a nervous tick has developed in the corner of my eye. I’m not made for this type of sleuth work.

As I watch the water drip down the canal of his spine and hide in the folds of the towel wrapped tightly around his slender waist, I wonder why I needed to look for anything at all. And if I had found something, wouldn’t I have stayed with him anyway? Probably. Our relationship is stronger than any fling or momentary sexual deviation yet I would never make him privy to that. But I know, better than any book or psychiatrist could tell me, I would scream fight and kick… but in the end, I would forgive and rebuild. So as he flashes that smile when he feels me watching him as he brushes his damp hair into place, I realize that I am the one sabotaging

the success of my relationship. The only reason why jobs run audits on their employees is because there are too many to control, too many liabilities and its usually one rogue employee that messes it up for the rest of the office. I fired my past rogue employees and my new one should not be made to feel like a prisoner in his own office, his own home. He will probably never know what I did that evening and nor do I have plans on congratulating him for doing as he is supposed to do. But the sting of my shame will always remind me that a man will do as he pleases, so there is no need to force his hand or sabotage our success.

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Christopher “The Poet”


Poet (poh-it) noun – a person who has the gift of poetic thought, creation, imagination, together with eloquence of expression The definition of poet is embodied by a young man, bluntly named, Christopher the Poet. A young man who indeed has the powerful expression of poetic thoughts. Clear and straight to the point in his delivery, he gives a clear view into the mind of a gifted artist. He is on the outskirts of the playing field of some phenomenal spoken word artists. The distribution of life and love is projected with carefully chosen words in his work. He dedicates odes to individuals who have made a significant difference in his life and his vision. Heaven’s Glory, an ode to his fiancé, speaks volumes into two souls becoming one mind which engages love beyond measures. Horn Rimmed Glasses, an ode to the late great, Malcolm X pays tribute to Malcolm X’s vision and the threat he had become to those that couldn’t see his vision clearly. Christopher the Poet’s poems are thought out and carefully pieced together yet simple enough to taste the flavor of his message. His words embrace the melody in the music that accompanies his thoughts and makes it easy to sit back and just...listen. If only for a moment, he captures your attention. Spoken word is not a simple game of passing the time. Christopher the Poet has mastered the game and has the incredible ability to stand and speak aloud with conviction and substance with the best of them. Once you’re in... you’re in and he is definitely in it for the long haul. “Christopher The Poet’s philosophy is simple. ‘Freedom lies in the ink of the pen and the Heart of the Poet.’ He had performed on countless stages in both North and South Carolina and has developed a diverse following. He reigns from Columbia SC, and is currently ranks as the #2 Poet in South Carolina on the charts! He currently hosts Francis Marion University’s spoken word event “Speak Out Loud,” and is a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Incorporated.

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Bio... If you were to choose one

word to describe Oklahoma native, Melanie Richardson, that word would undoubtedly be “Classic”. Melanie is the embodiment of an era gone by, think Lena Horne with serenity

and grace floating across the room. An era where substance was

just as important as natural beauty. Beautiful, intelligent and charming with creative talents and insatiable drive to match. Her abilities know no bounds. There’s no telling where this active entrepreneur might pop up. When she’s not spending quality time with her children, you will find her gracing the runway and the screen as one of Atlanta’s hottest up and coming models/actresses. You will also find her name in print, as this beauty also shares her thoughts as a writer for numerous publications and websites. In addition to these ventures, she’s the CEO of Atlanta based Primary Thoughts, Inc. where she provides business consulting services.

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Call 205-267-6491 Questions or Comments about Indigo Tree Products Spoken Magazine 19

When asked about her inspirations, she was all over the place. Ozara admitted to loving the vocal styling of Sarah Vaughan and Etta James. Some artists that she enjoys include; Christina Aguilera, Jill Scott, Nancy Wilson, REO Speed Wagon, Sting, Aretha Franklin, The Police, and India Arie.

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By: D.Dabney, Editor-in-Chief


t some point, most of us have been encouraged by our parents to reach for the stars. We are often told that our possibilities are limited only by our imagination. If imagination is the vehicle of success; dreaming big is the engine that propels and pushes one to unparalleled heights. After a year of playing tag on Facebook, I finally got a chance to speak with a dreamer who is certainly pushing herself towards the next station, with no intentions of stopping. If you’re fortunate, you’ll be standing on the platform when this quadruple threat passes through, and years from now you’ll recant times passed, saying remember when….. The deep, full flavored sound of this artist is causing people to take notice. Years from now, after she’s graced us with her full potential, she will definitely be a point of

reflection for many. When she speaks, her energy and elegance captivates. The more she speaks of inspirations and aspirations, her genuine love for what she does becomes more than apparent. She’s an artist’s artist; someone who does what she does because it’s ingrained in her. Someone with enough respect for the craft that she pays homage to those who have paved that way by taking time to learn what makes the masters, the masters. Ozara, wealth or treasure, Ode’, born while traveling; clearly a name that was ordained by her destiny. This treasure hails from Milwaukee Wisconsin, and her jazzy, sultry vocals often lend her to comparison with the late, phenomenal Dr. Nina Simone. With a style that often seems to mimic that of Nina Simone, it strikes many as unbelievable when they find out that it was only recently that she learned who Nina Simone was.

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It wasn’t until others begin to compliment her on her sound and detail the comparisons between the two, that she begin to look into this otherwise unknown singer. If you didn’t know any better you’d swear she was once under the tutelage of Dr. Simone, and well, you’d guess that the grasshopper finally snatched the pebble from the master’s hand. In accordance with a thought that was shared with Ozara by Dr. Simone’s granddaughter, ‘I’m willing to bet the master simply decided to visit us again’. Ozara began establishing her performance roots in her hometown, and to further identify her style she combined two of her talents, singing and poetry. When asked about her performance style, she referred to it as “jazzy, funky, soul, R&B-ish’”. Being both grounded creatively and possessing an analytical mind equipped for business is often a challenge for artists. Fortunately for Miss Ode’, she has a familiar foundation that keeps her walking both sides without skipping beat. She comes from a musically inclined family. Her grandmother, father, aunts and uncles comprised a group called The Brooks 9, so the talent in this artist runs deep. Her mother, owner of Mason & Mason Services guides her through the process of protecting her work through copyright services, and with the assistance of her stepfather, a retired judge, this artist comes equipped with her built-in legal team. Charlatans and hustlers beware; you won’t be getting over on this beautiful sister anytime soon. If coming equipped with talent and legal backing isn’t enough to drive you to your next destination, Ozara pulls all the stops with having enough gumption to pull herself to higher and higher heights. This ‘stick-toit-tiveness’ as she calls it was apparent when she

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recanted of opening for, husband and wife soul duo, Kindred. It was a situation where she wasn’t even schedule to open for the act. No exact opportunity even presented itself, but at this moment, a dream became reality as she exercised her inner gangsta’, found out who the promoter was, and made an earnest plea to be put on. So she put on, and proceeded to seize the moment. Prior to navigating to beautiful Atlanta, she performed in cities like Chicago and LA, and even had the opportunity to open for Floetry. According to Ozara, it was in Atlanta where the doors really begin to open for her. She initially hit the only spot she knew of at the time, The Apache Café, and was eventually welcomed with open arms by many. While performing in Atlanta, she garnered the attention of many. She even earned a featured spot on the show JJ on Atlanta. After a stint in the bustling musical mecca of Atlanta, she decided to share her talent with the residents of Washington D.C, and eventually made her way to Paris, France. Even though she’s been blessed to share her talent in quite a few places, being an indie artist still has it’s challenges. According to Ozara, exposure is the biggest challenge for her, and for the average indie artist in general. Independent artists don’t have the large label backing, and therefore most can’t afford the marketing required for mass exposure. She sites her best advice about self promotion as coming from Terry Bello. Bello’s advice was simple; So what, maybe 5,000 people or 10,000, people have heard your stuff. There’s close to 6 billion people on the planet, and at least 1 percent of them will appreciate your music. You have to push the work you have and not invest in new projects. When asked about her inspirations, she was all over the place. Ozara admitted to loving the vocal styling of Sarah Vaughan and Etta James.

“The brand of Ozara Ode’ is dream big and make it happen. The future is bright because I want it to be.” Spoken Magazine 23

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If only we all dreamed in high definition, what a beautiful world we could create.

Some artists that she enjoys include; Christina Aguilera, Jill Scott, Nancy Wilson, REO Speed Wagon, Sting, Aretha Franklin, The Police, and India Arie. She made sure to mention that she loved to rock out, but about the only thing she really can’t get with is acid rock. When asked about her aspirations, she began by referencing a piece by Bobby Drake called “Everyday”. The poem “Everyday” serves as a source of motivation. Ode’ cautions others with vivid dreams to refrain from holding their dreams hostage. Ozara says the future is bright, because she wants it to be. She wants to take her supporters on a journey through life, where anything you desire and whatever

you visualize, it can be. The brand of Ozara Ode’ is dream big and make it happen. If only we all dreamed in high definition, what a beautiful world we could create. For more on this talented songstress, playwright, poet, and songwriter, visit her site at If you’re in Atlanta during August, you can catch her at the International Soul Music Summit. During the summit, she will be presenting her new play where she portrays the role of legendary Nina Simone. The play is titled “Nina Simone: In Her Own Words”.

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SPACE PLANNING + DESIGN 26 Spoken Magazine

Black b BLACKLove

By: Theresa R. Horne, Publishing Editor


any times we find ourselves watching in amazement as women attempt to emasculate their men. We see it more often than we care to admit. We see it in the clubs as we sway our hips to passionate reggae beats and eye the woman aggressively asking

a man to join her to the dance floor. We see it when we hear stories of our girlfriends who have taken over paying the bills, watching the incoming and outgoing funds of the household, act as disciplinarians and treat their men like one of the kids. We shake our heads at the thought of our men being brazenly beat down into submission by the “independent woman”. Should men lead the family in this modern society? Are we out of tune with the changes in the world by wanting to survive with our men instead of seeking survival through them? Have we become so involved with our own successes as women that we forget about supporting the true successes of our men? I believe men have gotten relaxed. They have mentally kicked off their shoes and leaned back into the comfortable cushion of dependence and mediocrity. I still want a man to tell me he is offended when I pull my wallet out to pay. Or scold me for opening a door before he could get to it. Patience, a man once told me, when I reached for the handle of a door. It stung me…but in the best way possible. It was a preacher that once said the house is a temple with a man at the tip of that temple. Everything falls in line under that man’s guidance and leadership. Therefore, all rewards, including all consequences, are reaped through the head of the temple and slowly trickle down to those that it covers. Can women still give their men 100% of their trust? Trust them to lead them and their family into prosperity? As a man, are you ready to handle the responsibility of having multiple lives in the palm of your hands OR will you do like the others…let the woman take the fall for every mistake made as you coach from the sidelines?

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By Wendy Kay

With today’s challenging world, many people are looking to coaching as a way to get help in moving forward to excel in those areas of their life that are not as successful as they’d like or had envisioned. With so many demands on a people, it’s easy to get caught up in one or two priorities, but sometimes it’s difficult to get to that one you keep putting off, the one that keeps screaming out for your attention. Or maybe your current two priorities are so demanding that you aren’t finding the time to excel in either of those to the level that you’d like to, but know you could if you had the time to figure it out. What is a Life Coach? A life coach is someone who can help you get to where you want to be in your life in any area. Coaching is nothing new in our society. Look at the importance Michael Jordan put on coaching when he wanted to come out of retirement. As one of basketball’s greats, Michael knew that great coaching was also required to make a comeback as successful as it could be. But coaches are not just for sports. A coach offers accountability, helps you prioritize your time, assists in asking the questions needed to pull out your greatness from within, and much more. It’s someone who you can share your desires and goals with and they will help you reach them. 28 Spoken Magazine

One of the first things that a life coach will assist with is helping you determine if the goals you are currently reaching for are actually the ones you really want. People often have vague ideals set in their minds that may have been lodged there by other’s influences that aren’t exactly how they would like to pursue a thing or realize their own goals. A coach helps you figure all that out: What do you really want? How do you really want to get there? What are you willing to do now to get to where you want to be? Most people have some “blocks” that were formed earlier in their lives that stop them from getting what they want out of life now. A life coach is not a psychoanalyst that processes all of the disruption that has occurred in your past in an attempt to clear out the wreckage. A life coach practices in the moment, the now. So as blocks come up, it’s dealt with in a positive “moving-forward” approach. Why you can do something now that you didn’t do before, and how you can. Why a commitment to yourself today will pay off for you and your loved ones for the rest of your life. A life coach is really a success coach because they will coach you to your success in any area of your life so that you are moving forward into living more of the life you want and love, and the journey begins Now!

Actors and dancers use coaches, authors/writers use coaches, musicians, businesses and business people, athletes, visual artists, moms, dads, anyone from all walks of life who want to be more successful in an area of their lives can, and many do, use coaches. Do you need a coach to help you succeed at something, create or change your career? If so, isn’t now a great time to get one? If you are committed to achieving certain goals for yourself, your career, your health, your relationships, or determined to just love your life more going forward, a life coach can help you get set up and go through the hurdles – initially, or on-going. You’ll find there are many great life coaches out there to be had when you begin your search. For more information, contact Wendy via email at for a free 30-minute consultation.” ? To Your Success!

Just 4 kinks



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“The Last Words Will Be Spoken: A Journey into the Thoughts and Rhymes of a Poetic Mind” By: Emily Wright, Associate Editor

A couple of days ago, I began reading a new book by an established spoken word artist/poet and brand new writer. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as I delved deeper into the pages, I was drawn into the very gifted, exciting, and cavernous mind of Brandan “BStuc ThaPoet” Stuckey. He addressed subjects from the autobiographical to the historical. Brandan’s writing style is very unique. I have never read a book that so smoothly encompassed poetry, spoken word, and the “traditional” style of writing. He introduces his book and the ideas that lie within by exposing his motivation and inspiration. He acknowledges literary greats such as Nikki Giovanni, Walt Whitman, and Langston Hughes. Brandan seems to solely want to make a name for himself as well as establish a place and space for the art of Spoken Word. He has a vision to change the world with words. He seems to have set a goal to bring people in, change minds, and inspire through the use of genuine language and pure honesty and transparency.

Brandan has a profound and deeply rooted connection to God and is not afraid to give thanks and offer praise for the opportunities that have come his way since he began his journey. He is sure of who and whose he is. The entire book is autobiographical in nature. He explains what spurred his

His word choices are simple and informal, but the meaning is complex and full of meaning. There is a line in his poem, “People Say” that reads: “Still picking cotton at clothing shops/Just receive insecure props/ They kill me with their kindness/Our downfall may be our blindness” This passage stood out to me so much. It sums up the greediness, insecurity, and shallowness that has enveloped many in this “neo-hip-hop generation”. Again, his word choices are so simple, yet very profound. His book is chocked full of anecdotes and realities such as this.

thoughts and the true life experiences that lie behind the words after each piece. Because of this, it makes the reader feel as though they are sitting in his living room and discussing his most personal thoughts and feelings. It makes the reader a participator-the mark of an accomplished writer.

This book serves as inspiration to other wordsmiths as well as the audience, who simply listens to and appreciates the art of Spoken Word for what it truly is – powerful and magnanimous. I am looking forward to seeing and hearing more from Mr. Stuckey and I believe that he has a bright, prosperous, and long future ahead of him.

Spoken Magazine 31

32 Spoken Magazine

What is Healthy Hair? By Shaunteka LaTrese Curry


hen I think of healthy hair, I instantly think about natural hair, you don’t typically associate healthy hair with unnatural things?! So, it would only follow that you equate natural with healthy. Unfortunately, that is not always the case because some people do not take care of their natural hair. It also defeats the thought process that women with relaxers/perms in their hair couldn’t possibly be healthy. So then we must re-examine what we mean by healthy. What does healthy encompass when we’re discussing hair? Does it mean unprocessed? Untreated? Uncolored? Unheated? I digress. When we think about healthy, we need to think about a consensus. Healthy hair can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. You really have to think about hair being an extension of yourself. You have to think like the roots of your hair are implanted in you. They are growing through the largest organ on your body, SKIN. So, when it comes to healthy hair you really have to think about healthy eating, healthy bodies, and healthy environments. Hair is interesting because it’s inside us and on the outside of us, it’s not just attached, it’s actually growing throughout our bodies. Therefore we have to protect it on the inside and the outside. When you really think about healthy hair, it’s someone who has a very healthy diet and is in a healthy environment; that coupled with regular maintenance and trims, creates a great recipe for a beautiful head of hair. I

have some advice and tips that will get you on the road to a better head of hair.

Natural If you have natural tresses, transitioning from chemical to natural or you rock locks for days, I am sure that you will find this very helpful. When it comes to natural hair, you want to make sure that you keep the hair hydrated. Hydration is natural hair’s best friend. You can keep the hair hydrated by investing in a good conditioner. Also, by replacing one of your scheduled shampoos a week with “no-poo” (conditioner only), you’ll begin to notice that your hair is lighter and less weighed down. My favorites: Neutrogena Replenishing Shampoo, and Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Herbal Shampoo, It really helps out colored treated, brittle hair. Neutrogena also has an Anti-Residue Shampoo that cleanses the hair, someone with locs would love this product on their hair at least once monthly. My conditioner of choice is Pantene. Espadrille Watkins, 30 -something, “my hair is an extension of who I am, and it’s my responsibility to make sure I do what works for me, not society.”

Non-Natural While being chemically treated, I learned that consistency is a must. However, the ability to change up on your routine is just as important. If you get a deep conditioner every two months, continue doing that. If you go to the salon every two weeks, continue doing what you normally do, just change it up every once in a while. With change comes awareness, the summer is your off season and

unlike natural sistas’, you aren’t used to seeing your hair in its natural state. This season is an opportunity to reacquaint yourself with YOU. Reduce the heat, try a roller set or even a roller wrap, both of these guarantee that you’ll experience, a new freedom and healthier, happier hair. If you refuse to sit under the dryer for the roller set, try a “shampoo and go”. Shampoo your hair then use a lightweight mousse for hold and shine, then let your tresses air dry. Pantene makes a Triple Action Volumizing Mousse (for fine hair). I suggest this product because chemicals that straighten relaxes (or uncoils) your natural curls. Therefore your once curly hair will not fill in naturally once dry. So using volumizing mousse gives you the look of being natural without the journey of going completely natural. It’s also important to keep a balance diet with lots of fruits, water and vegetables. Creating a balance from within gives you stronger and healthy hair. It also gives you an opportunity to watch how your hair reacts to the products you use. Tasha Dancy, 30 - “I have many friends that are permed up and pressed; however, their hair lacks nothing because of the routine they have become accustomed to. You can’t get chemicals and think you can do whatever to it, with that mentality you wake up with hair laying next to you instead of on your head where it should be.” The consensus on what healthy hair is seems to be “when you the individual, are satisfied with who you are and how you feel and look, healthy hair is soon to follow”

Spoken Magazine 33


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“I’m talking about my behavior with men I date.” Ruth shook her head as she stirred her coffee. Naomi sat down beside her and put a hand on her arm. “Oh no, what did you do now?” Ruth sighed. “I had sex with a man I was dating and cared about.” “So?” “So. A few weeks later, he just stopped calling, just vanished.” He had broken her heart, and even now she felt like crying. “And I don’t understand why.” “Just accept it as God stripping you of another unhealthy relationship. Now, in regards to your behavior, if you’re tired of it, why do you keeping indulging in it and risking your life?” “This lustful spirit I’ve been battling for years still has control over me. I have tried stopping many times, but I keep


losing the battle. I have no self-discipline. Everyday, guilt overwhelms my emotions. Daily, I criticize myself about my he soul and spirit speak the truth, but how do

dangerous behavior. I hate myself sometimes.” Naomi seemed perplexed. “So what are you gonna

they continue living when the mind denies and disguises the truth. Only time will tell as Ruth begins a life journey to find

do?” “Everything I’ve done up to this point has gotten me

her truth. “I’m tired of emotionally abusing myself,” Ruth told Naomi while sitting at the kitchen table. “What are you talking about, Ruth?”

nowhere. What do I do? You oughta have suggestions since you’re the godly woman.” “Humph! Just because I’m godly doesn’t mean I know

Soul Ties By: Keishia Renae Pittman

Spoken Magazine 35

everything, but I do suggest you stop creating soul ties with men you meet.

Naomi picked up her cup of tea from the kitchen counter. “Nothing to concern you.” “How so, when you’re sitting here soaking with an

It would save you from experiencing unnecessary heartache and emotional guilt and putting yourself at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.” “What the hell is a soul tie?” “It’s like this: with every man you have a sexual encounter,

attitude?” “I don’t have an attitude. I’m only emotionally disturbed. I got no sleep and had nightmares about him leaving me.” “Not the man “ish” again. Ruth, have you taken this alone time to spend with self instead of sulking over a man who

you are having sex with him and all women he has slept with.

stopped dating you weeks ago?”

Therefore, soul ties work the same way, but it’s dealing with your

“What do you mean?”

spirit. So creating too many soul ties can spoil the spirit after a

“I mean this: have you utilized this time to learn how to


love yourself, to learn about yourself to see what needs to

“How so?”

change or improve, to define what you want and don’t want in a

“For example, God created sex to bind two people together,

relationship and to set goals for yourself?”

married people. It’s like their glue. Therefore, a soul tie is not

“Yes and no.”

designed to be broken. And every time you depart from a soul

Naomi scratched her head. “You’re either yes or no, hot or

tie, you take out a piece of your spirit. It’s only so many tears

cold. Which one? You’re thirty-one years old, and it’s about time

your spirit can take to retain any hope of wholeness.”

you got your life together and know what you want.”

Ruth sat feeling defeated. “I have a long road ahead of me. Am I truly ready?”

“Okaaaaaay! Yes, I know what I want in a man. I need him to love me for whom I am. And no, I haven’t spent time with self.

“Only time and your effort will tell. For me to help you

I’ve been too emotionally distraught over this man leaving me.”

through this, you have to promise to keep an open mind and

Disturbed by Naomi’s questioning, Ruth felt as if she was being

heart to the words I speak since you’re anti-religion.”

attacked. “Does this satisfy your questions?”

“I just feel some religions are cultish, but that’s a conversation for another time. I will be as open as possible.” After talking with Ruth that night, Naomi went home and studied all the material she had on relationships. She consulted her Bible and a few supplemental books knowing she needed

“No, not really.” Ruth stood up in front of Naomi with one eyebrow arched. “So what are you trying to say?” “Ruth, I’m not trying to say anything offensive. I was expecting a more defined response from you.”

solid information to convince Ruth about living a godly life and

Silence enveloped them as Naomi became concerned about

having godly relationships. Their first conversation would direct

how to continue conversing with Ruth while Ruth marinated in

Naomi to what steps to take next with Ruth.

her own thoughts and emotions.

The next day they met for coffee. “Good morning, how are you on this beautiful new day?” “I’m doing fine, Naomi,” Ruth mumbled with irritation in her voice. “Hold up! What got you so rattled this early in the morning?” 36 Spoken Magazine

“Okay! Okay! Let me start again. Ruth, do you love yourself?” “Yes.” “Are you sure?” “Yes, Naomi, I am sure.”

“Remember you asked me for my help in this relationship drama you’re experiencing.”

“I see. Well, fine with me. But before I go, I am leaving Juanita Bynum’s CD No More Sheets and Michelle McKinney-

“Yeah, I remember.”

Hammond’s book entitled Secrets of an Irresistible Woman with

“So, I need you to cooperate with me when I ask you

you, so you can hear and read about being a godly woman and

questions about your past and present.” “Damn. More questions.” “Yes, more questions. I need to ask them to see how you

having godly relationships since you don’t want to hear it from me.” “Good. Bye!” Ruth stated sternly.

make decisions, to gain an understanding of how you view

Ruth was relieved when Naomi left, but she felt guilty for

yourself as a person and as a woman and to understand how

how she had spoken to her. A few weeks would pass before

you respond to life situations.”

Ruth would speak with Naomi.

“Okay, let me think.” She pondered over Naomi’s comments

“I wonder who the heck is at my door this early on a Sunday

to muster a truthful response. “Honestly, I have many areas

morning. Don’t they know I’m getting ready for church?” Naomi

needing improvement as a person and as a woman. My past

looked through the door peephole. “Oh, it’s Ruth,” she stated as

decisions and relationships truly illustrate who I am, which is

she opened the door.

sad. I let men treat me however they pleased, which didn’t show I had any respect for self.” “I didn’t ask questions for you to be hard on yourself. I just

“Naomi, I’m sorry for disturbing you this time of morning, but we need to talk.” “Okay, I’m listening. You have five minutes.”

wanted you to begin seriously thinking about how relationships

“Please, just listen and stop giving me a hard time.”

and actions indicate how we value our self. Let me ask you this.

“Have a sit.”

How was your relationship with your father?”

“I listened to the CD and read the book you left. It got me

“Both my parents raised me, but it felt as if my father wasn’t

to thinking about my lifestyle and behavior.”

present. He didn’t spend much time with me or showed me any


affection, but he bought me everything I wanted and needed. I

“So I desire change but not how you think I should change.

don’t know if his actions were his expression of affection for me.

Right now, I want a respectful lifestyle and healthy relationships,

I never took the time to think about it.”

which you call living godly and having godly relationships.”

Now Ruth was ready for Naomi to leave, but she knew Naomi wouldn’t leave until she got her point across. “As a therapist, I have counseled many women with the same issue, but each was affected differently. But back to the subject at hand,” Naomi stated. Ruth tried to sit patiently and not say anything until Naomi

“Which is how you should strive to live.” “That’s a big leap for me, but one day I will get there by taking baby steps daily. I just need you here to hold me accountable for my actions. Can you do that for me?” “Yes, I can do that for you.” “Thank you.

finished, but she couldn’t. “Naomi, I’m tired of this conversation, so I need you to leave if this is all we’re gonna discuss. I rather sit at home alone marinating in my own thoughts instead of listening to you questioning me as if I’m on trial for a crime I committed.” Spoken Magazine 37

38 Spoken Magazine Spoken Magazine 38

Spoken Magazine 39

40 Spoken Magazine

Summer 20/10  

The Summer 2010 edition of Spoken Magazine

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