Honor Honesty (With Jussie Smollett) – Episode 8 of Rants & Randomness

My peoples! Excited to bring you episode 8 of Rants and Randomness.

On this episode, I’m talking about how the #BBQBecky memes have blessed my whole soul. Also, I’ve finally created that Afrobeats playlist y’all have been asking about. Anddd I’ve been reading your dope reviews of the podcast on iTunes and getting my life. I highlight the Black Women in Politics database.

Plus, I interview Jussie Smollett, entertaining multi-hyphenate and king of Team No Chill. It’s a good episode and you don’t wanna miss it!

Feel Good

There have been too many incidents we’ve heard of recently where white people, specifically white women, have called the police on Black folks, whose crimes were simply existing in the same space. There’s the white woman who called the cops on a Black classmate who was sleeping in a common area at Yale. There’s the white woman who called the cops on a group of Black girls who were leaving the AirBNB in her neighborhood but they didn’t wave at her.

Then there’s the one of the woman who called the cops on a Black man who was barbequing at a park in Oakland. That entire incident was caught on tape, so people saw her turn on the waterworks when cops showed up. She has the (mis)fortune of now being known as #BBQBecky. Well, her snitching ass picture has now been placed into different situations and the meme have taken over and I cannot stop cackling at them. It’s how we take the, the tragic and make it funny.

Also, I am a huge Afrobeats fan, as a proud Naija girl. Afrobeats is popular music out of West Africa, especially Ghana and Nigeria, and it’s my favorite type of music. I’ve been posting videos of me jamming to it before taking the stage or going to an event and y’all have asked for a playlist from me. It is now here! 4 hours and 40 minutes of good jams. How do you get it? Sign up for my newsletter! The first email you get has the links for the playlist, and you can pick Spotify or Apple Music, as it’s available on both.

My Rant

My rant is about how we can tend to let social media make us feel bad about our lives. It’s prompted from a Facebook status I posted, which really resonated with people, and I realized how much it was a topic that was affecting folks.

It is easy to feel envy or jealousy when you look at so many people’s lives on social and that’s because it’s painted so nicely. It’s curated. But we have to fight that temptation to look at folks lives and want it.  Everybody’s timing and everybody’s journey is different. You won’t pop at the same time. There are billionaires who were broke until they were 40.

Your journey is specifically yours. It cannot be replicated. My journey cannot be replicated. We can give you the blueprint. We can tell you exactly how we did it, it still cannot be replicated and that’s okay. If you have to log off for a little bit, get yourself back together, go journal, go write something, go figure out what you’re grateful for. What is working for you right now and then come back with perspective.

My Randomness

This is a really important year, as it’s time for midterm elections. So my spotlight is a passion project of mine: the Black Women in Politics Database!

Black Women in Politics

I felt this database was necessary after the Alabama elections, where Black women saved the day, giving Doug Jones the victory over Roy Moore the predator. This guy is *basically* a cartoon villain, and yet, during the elections, the margin between him and Doug Jones was extremely tiny and it was Black women who allowed that win to happen with 98% voting for Jones. White women, on the other hand, overwhelmingly voted for Roy Moore. At this point, I was really interested in finding out who the Black women running for office were, and when I went looking for a comprehensive list or a central location where the info was but I didn’t find one.

So, I did some research and asked around on Twitter and Facebook for this information and got so many responses. I hit up my friends Sili Recio, Lucrecer Braxton and my then-assistant (and now podcast producer) Candace Jones, and with the help of a developer, Jeff Reifman, we created blackwomeninpolitics.com! Read this article for more information about this site’s creation. If you wanna read the full story on it, read my Why We Created the Black Women Running for Office Database post.

Currently, there are over 600 women in that database and the number is only steadily increasing; 2018 is an extremely important election year and so I felt it was quite important to spotlight this. This is not an endorsement list by the way, so you should see it as a phone book with basic information allowing you to do more of your own research. Find who aligns with your values and donate, support and amplify their work. And come November, vote!

My Guest: Jussie Smollett

My guest for episode 8 of the podcast is the incredibly gifted and dope Jussie Smollett!

Jussie Smollett plays Jamal Lyon on the hit TV show, Empire. But his gifts go beyond acting, and can now be seen in his first album, the independently-released project Sum of My Music which came out on March 2nd, 2018. Check it out on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play and wherever else you get your music!

He talks about how he’s always wanted to perform, and it was his mom’s way of keeping him and his 5 siblings busy. His older sister, Jurnee Smollett-Bell was on the TV show “Full House” as the character, Denise. Remember that? Epic.

He also talks about being one of two black characters in Mighty Ducks and I fangirl to the fullest because that is one my favorite movies! Jussie riffs on his mother’s influence and her role in encouraging his pride and joy in his blackness. One of her catchphrases is ‘Honor Honesty’ and he recounts his mum hammering that phrase into his and his siblings heads. However, this inspired all of them to walk in their truth no matter the situation, whether it pertained to race, culture, sexuality, and religion.

He gives some tea on temptations and distractions from walking the path of truth and how he fights them. According to Jussie, walking your truth is hard but it definitely pays off. Jussie and I discuss Jamal and similarities between his life and the character’s trajectory, with his new album.

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@JussieSmollett)!

Much love to Chicago Recording Company, where I record each episode!

You can listen to episodes of Rants and Randomness on:

Make sure you’re subscribed and that you rate and review! Also, use the hashtag #RantsandRandomness on social media to discuss what you listen to and let me know what you think. See you on the next episode!

P.S. Rants and Randomness now has a Twitter account! Follow @RantsRandomness and tweet your thoughts, feedback and questions! Your tweets might end up being mentioned in a future episode of the podcast.

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