Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Herman Cain: “The Martin Luther King Values” candidate for president?

Funnel Cake Flowers, The Urban Chameleon news reporter comments on the latest attempts to compare Herman Cain with Martin Luther King. Are they more similar than we realize?
contributing Urban Chameleon writer: Lauren Brown

Not since Edward Brooke have Black Republicans done well as political office holders. The hit-it and quit-it ouster of Michael Steele reveals that the Black man has an even shorter life expectancy in the GOP than the time in between the use of the “N” word in a Quentin Tarantino film. Statistics like these beg the question of how well Republican’s newest Negro, Herman Cain, will continue to perform on the national stage. Many have said that Cain could be our nations first REAL Black president suggesting that he certainly seems to share more attributes with our beloved civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, with of course the exception of not participating in the civil rights.

Like Dr. King, Herman Cain attended Morehouse College. Both King and Cain have started influential movements. For Dr. King, Civil Rights, for Herman Cain, the Intelligent Thinkers movement. But the most damning and glaring commonality these two share? Both Republicans??? According to the National Black Republicans Association hey are claiming King as one of their own.

One might now wonder if Dr. King would have supported Cain’s controversial 9-9-9 plan? To date, Dr. King is the only citizen to be prosecuted under the Georgia income tax perjury statute. Which means 9-9-9, would have saved him a world of legal bills. But here is where it gets interesting; Dr. King was also born in 1929, it was 9 years, between the time he was asked to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott and when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Moreover, Herman Cain and Martin King each have 10 letters in their first and last names and what is 10-1? 9!


But is being Morehouse graduates and using complicated math involving the number 9 enough to say that these two Black men are similar? Or has the Republican Party put a DJ Funk Master Flex remix on this beat?

Yes both men stress the importance of dreaming but to Cain I say, dream on brotha. I know one thing is for sure, it’s complicated. I’m Funnel Cake Flowers, your Urban Chameleon news reporter from Tickles.TV

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Fem-Urban Chameleon: Celebrating Anita Hill

It’s one thing to transition
into corporate America—from its private grade school classrooms, ivy league universities, corporate boardrooms and social climbing ladders—back out into our bilingual/patois/urban slang speaking, hip winding, kinky hair handling and curry spice eating America. (See How the Urban Chameleon Came to be…) But it’s another layer to be a woman juggling another set of balls (pun intended) in a male dominated world. Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, an iconic voice and activist in the feminist movement so eloquently talked with our Urban Chameleon news reporter, Funnel Cake Flowers, about why men think the “Penis is powerful.” Twenty years ago Anita Hill challenged that “penis power” by filing sexual harassment charges on Supreme Court nominee, Clarence Thomas. Although the court ruled in favor of Thomas, the case opened the floodgates for women from different backgrounds to unveil their own experiences with navigating sexual harassment – exposing an international crisis and modern day awareness.

A Thank-You Note to Anita Hill

Letty Cottin Pogrebin October 5, 2011

Anita Hill, I want to personally thank you for what you did for us twenty years ago. Thank you for speaking up and speaking out. Thank you for your quiet dignity, your eloquence and elegance, your grace under pressure. Thank you for illuminating the complexities of female powerlessness and for explaining why you didn’t complain when the offense first occurred, and for describing how cowed and coerced a woman can feel when she’s hit upon by a man who controls her economic destiny.

Twenty years ago you had the courage to tell the truth and do what women rarely did: make a scene. Fifty years ago I didn’t. In the 1960s, when I was a book publishing executive, single and self-supporting, I once was trapped in an elevator with an important and powerful male journalist whose good offices I depended on to give favorable coverage to my company’s books. With absolutely no warning, the man suddenly pinned me against the elevator wall, groped my breasts and shoved a hand under my skirt. Did I press the emergency button?

Of course not; it would have caused a scene. A scene would have imperiled my career. A scene would have marked me as a prude, a troublemaker and that grimmest of all characters, A Girl With No Sense of Humor. A scene would have infuriated and embarrassed the man. A scene might have made the papers, exposing his crude and thuggish behavior to his wife. In the end, the person who would pay a price for his humiliation would be me. He would bad-mouth me in the industry. He would give my company bad press, which in turn would reflect negatively on my work and put my job at risk.

That’s why, instead of screaming, I giggled while I fought him off. I spewed wisecracks as I twisted out of his grasp. I tried to keep smiling while frantically stabbing the L button. Finally, the elevator doors opened, and I made a run for the street. It wasn’t the first or the last time that I escaped an unwanted sexual advance and ended up feeling sullied, scared, cowardly and somehow at fault. Far worse happened to friends of mine and to hundreds of thousands of other working women.

But thanks to you, Anita, we and our daughters and our granddaughters now feel empowered to press the emergency button and report offensive behavior. Thanks to your brave, frank testimony and your stately comportment in the face of hostile interrogation and vilification, we no longer laugh off unwanted sexual advances; we file charges. We no longer protect our attackers from humiliation; we name names. We demand that our employers be accountable to their policies against harassment and that the offender be punished. We may still be risking our jobs, but more and more of us are telling the truth.

It all started with you, Anita. And today we remember and honor what you did. We thank you for making a scene—for doing it fearlessly before the eyes of a riveted nation and inspiring millions of women to defend their dignity as you did yours.

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a founding editor of Ms. magazine and a past president of the Authors Guild and Americans for Peace Now, is the author of nine books, including Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America (Anchor), and Three Daughters, her first novel (Penguin).


This article appeared in the October 24, 2011 edition of The Nation.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Troy Davis: Why should I march in 2011 for social injustice? ?

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor

A friend asked me to come out and join a community gathering for Troy Davis at the Martin Luther King Jr., National Historic Site on Auburn Ave in Atlanta. His message read, "Can we count on you to join us in support of brotha Troy Davis and say a few words?" Not being all that familiar with the case, I did my due diligence and looked up the history of this "brotha" from another mother. I couldn't believe how out of the loop I had been. I had more unwanted knowledge about Beyonce's pregnancy and Kim Kardashian's wedding, than this life or death issue. Why had Troy Davis' story not made it to any of my news outlets or social circles until now? It didn't feel right summarizing my crash research into a forceful manipulation of the "right words" for the following day's march... my heart wasn't there. But why did I feel so guilty about deciding not to attend? For the next couple of days I analyzed how I could be so heartless, especially when someone's life was on the line.

A few days later, during a conversation about modern day activism, another friend revealed she too had declined the same invitation. The more we talked, the more we were able to flesh out the reasoning behind our discomfort. Our choice was not about not wanting to help, but rather how we were asked to help. To us marching today seemed antiquated, inauthentic of who we are and how we view the world in our 30sumptin' years of age. Even though we are the offspring of a generation of marchers, media and technology had mentally forged us into a new ideology that seemed to disconnect us from our parents, so much so that we couldn't possibly fathom holding up a home made sign with the same slogans from the
civil rights movement. The wording on the invitation I received was even bothersome. Theoretically, I understood the significance of using familiar "Black community" buzzwords like "Brotha" and the choice of location, the famous Auburn Avenue, in attempt to remind us of our struggle and retain the importance of community. However, the sentiment instead felt manipulative and presumptuous; because I'm a conscious sista, I'm expected to arrive with my Afro pick, Black power fist, and theme music of NWA's, "F*ck the police" to stand in support. I was never even asked my position on the issue. What if I
had showed up and spoke in support of the police officer?

This was not the first time that I had witnessed community leaders organize without doing their due diligence. More infatuated with the nostalgia of the civil rights movement, than they are in challenging themselves and the community with innovative thinking relative to the world we live in today in order to create real change. Even the tactics used during the civil rights movement were innovative for the time period, Rosa Parks not giving up her seat was also planned and connected to a strategy. These key elements made a world of difference. The consensus of our group conversation was that being asked to join a demonstration with no plan or the same plan from forty years ago has the same annoyance of
receiving multiple random requests to 'like' someone's fan page on Facebook.

I recently met a white woman who runs a social media company with a unique activist approach; instead of helping to build houses in Haiti she decided to travel a small group of bloggers to the distraught destination. She told me about how a person was appalled by the trip because they didn't consider it to be real "change" work. Her position was to do what she does best to broadcast the unknown stories from Haiti to draw further support. The point is marching is not the only form of activism.

Even though I didn't march on the street for Troy Davis, at the end of the day I was thankful for the invite to participate as it ultimately broadened my awareness of a crucial matter; a man scheduled for execution after being accused of shooting a cop with out any apparent evidence. I chose to instead display my activism through my own voice, which is to find ways that inspire people like myself, who also don't speak "march for my rights", to think of other ways to activate their activism. I realized that it's not marching that I have a problem with, but rather the loss of creativity that inspires why we should march.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Witnessing President Barack Obama dedicating the final Capitol Mall monument ever to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor

In exactly one week, I'll be witness to President Barack Obama dedicating the final Capitol Mall monument ever to Dr. Martin Luther King. Am readying myself, my family, for next week's road trip retracing of the "March on Washington" journey to DC. What a moment in history.

Next step in preparing for our journey will be educating my daughter about the bravery, humanity and transformational outcomes of the efforts of Dr. King (and the warrior spirit of the team around him and before him) will be the viewing of "Citizen King." This excellent History Channel documentary can be purchased on line. Though she enters her second year of study at Columbia, I am pretty sure she has had little more than a "I have a dream" recitation leading up to MLK holiday. Shame on me.

An unplanned step in our Monument trip preparation was viewing "The Help" last week. Even in this Disney-sanitized story, the film reminded me of just how recent and prevalent post-slavery residues of African American powerlessness, disposability and airtight economic / educational prospects were in America. These systemic caste constructs weren't limited to deep South Mississippi, nor were they carried out by a few bad people as a film would suggest. These airtight practices of race-based discrimination in education, housing, voting rights, public accommodations, legal redress, economic exclusion, etc. were, in fact, the way of the nation / the law of the land (had it not been, the decades long resistance would not have been necessary). To borrow a metaphor from "The Help," African American existence was a daily shit pie. Having been born in 1958, it is amazing to ponder of all of the hard fought change that has been brought forth in my lifetime.

I will be internalizing Dr. King's role in galvanizing our nation and government to see and be its better self ...despite its history. I've been pondering the greatest post-ceremony homage I can pay to the many who, over the decades and in their own ways, cleared a path for a better America and extending the laws of the land to "all God's children." This is what I have come up with:

-I will remember that that it is always the right time to do the right thing
-I will vote (continue to)
-I will look at my world, "have a dream" ...and take steps towards bringing it to pass
-I will remain informed about the human inequities in my time, my community, my world ...and engage with my voice to remedy them
-I will help in my own way those who might be bettered by my efforts
-I will believe that change is possible and that my world can be a better place
-I will celebrate the promise / possibility of young people and the content of their character

What will YOU do, my friend?

To those who, since we arrived in this land, stood, who fought, who merely endured somehow, you many unheralded and mostly nameless souls are as also remembered and celebrated.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Funnel Cake Flowers chats with Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall about the obsession of men taking pictures of their penis

What is the obsession of men taking pictures of their penis and posting on the internet?

Find out when Funnel Cake Flowers sits down with Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Founder of the Women's Research and Resource Center at Spelman College, current president of the National Women's Association, author and co-author of several published books including Gender Talks, Traps and Who Should be First.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

I try very hard to act brown but sometimes they make me act BLACK!

by today’s Urban Chameleon contributor

My mother always said, “You are different, you don't play by the same rules.” These are words I live by, especially since I work in corporate America.

Last week I had my semi-annual review. Things were going really well until my boss went over his hand written notes about my "Opportunities for Improvement." His list included arriving to meetings early and not just on time, and to stop bringing reading materials to meetings (regardless if it’s related to my profession and even if everyone else brings other work to the same meetings). His issues were so reflective of corporate America, never mind that I’m excellent at my job, a top seller who always comes to meetings prepared, it always comes down to what makes everyone else “comfortable.”

Just as I was preparing to leave his office, assuming the meeting was over, my boss says, “Just one more thing.” Apparently, someone told him my behavior was “unpolished and unprofessional” in a question and answer session that we recently had with the CEO, CFO and Chairman of the board. In that moment it took every fiber of my being not to show him what unpolished and unprofessional looked like.

Frankly, I was shocked. The Chairman of the Board actually approached me after the session, asked how long I had been with the company and said it was nice to meet me. I later sent an email to the CEO, CFO, and Chairman of the Board thanking them for the Q&A session and invited them to lunch to show my appreciation. The CEO followed up, and we have a lunch scheduled for next month. My co-workers thought I was crazy, but I saw it as an expression of appreciation…and like I said, I'm damn good at my job.

My boss said he wasn’t concerned about the “unpolished and unprofessional” behavior, but it did have to be addressed. After the conclusion of my review, I approached our Director of Diversity, my corporate barometer, which helps me balance being a professional Black woman and navigating the tumultuous waterways of "white corporate America". She was in the in the room during the Q&A session. I recounted the details of my review, including the "unpolished and unprofessional" behavior, and she asked what I thought? For a second it crossed my mind that maybe I am unpolished and unprofessional if she had to ask. She told me it’s not the content of what I say but that my delivery sometimes comes across as overly familiar when addressing executives. I tend to address them in the same manner as my other colleagues. This is what I was being reprimanded for? With a smile on my face, I told her this is something I am very proud of. I treat executives the same way I treat housekeeping. I believe that everyone should be treated equal.

It is true that I didn't speak in the same subservient tone as my Caucasian counterparts. It is true that I didn't look up at the corporate ladder with wide eyes like a puppy dog waiting to be patted on the head and given a begging strip from the treat bowl. I'm sorry that your millions do not impress me. I'm sorry that I will never allow myself to treat you in a manner that would suggest that you are better than me. I will look at any CEO, CFO and Chairman of the board straight in the eye and talk to them as an equal. While my mother used to stress that I am different and have to play the game by different rules, including work twice as hard, it was always tempered with respecting myself, being myself, and realizing that everyone is equal in the eyes of GOD.

I try my hardest to act brown but today they almost made me act black. Ultimately, I accepted the company’s offer to pay for me to have “professional” coaching. I embrace conscientious improvement but in no uncertain terms will I allow my personality, my essence, and my “Je ne sais quoi” to be coached away.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chicken Toss & Cigars

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor

About a couple of years ago I made the transition from secret meetings with the weed man and smoking blunts in conspicuous places with my homeboys to discovering a love for fine cigars. Each day I look forward to sitting on my patio and sampling a different brand. Some folks smoke cigars as a social activity but I enjoy being alone and unwinding with peace and quiet.

Yesterday, I was doing just that when a brotha dressed in swim trunks and flip flops, presumably on his way to the communal pool, yells up to me (third floor of a complex in a gated community) and says, “Hey brotha, you want a piece of chicken?” I looked down to confirm that he was in fact talking to me and see that he’s holding a large tin of chicken wings. I declined the offer but the brotha was persistent; he offered to toss a piece of chicken up to my patio. When I declined the second time he asked if I preferred a piece of corn. Once again I told the brotha I was cool. What do I look like hanging over my balcony trying to catch a piece of chicken or corn. What happens if I don’t catch it? Why am I even thinking through the scenario? My moment of cigar Zen was ruined. How is it that the ‘hood found me?!

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Funnel Cake Flowers comments on Tracey Morgan vs. The Gays

Another Black man bites the gay dust. Tracey Morgan provoked more minority on minorty crime when his stand up routine undermined gay rights. Apparently he joked that if his son ever came home gay that he would stab that little ninja to death. What I find interesting is that no one seems to care that he threatened to murder his son who he referred to as the n word. Where in the world are child services,  the NAACP and that boy's mother. Are we so blinded by which ever minority groups' issue is trending that we ignore other issues. Yes I'm being a little sarcastic. Black on gay crime is ridiculousness. How can one minority group not understand another’s plight for human rights?  But is that the only issue here? One might argue another issue is -what the hell are gays doing at Tracey Morgan stand up routine? Don’t let the 30 rock actor that now appeals to greater American fool you. I remember you hustle man. Like any person of color who climbs the social ladder, inevitably you have to become an Urban Chameleon.  Mr. Morgan your audience is now bigger than def comedy jam, a culture that unfortunately is comfortable with loosely using the “f” word to describe “soft” men. But might this be an opportunity where you can break a chain in Black comic culture. I know thing is for sure it’s complicated. I’m Funnel Cake Flowers your Urban Chameleon news reporter from Tickles.TV  
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Black Women Film Festival in Atlanta

Black Women Film Network is "Celebrating 15 Years" with the Black Women Film Festival opening this Friday, June 17 through Sunday- June 19, 2011 in Atlanta.

Reception: 6 p.m.; Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium
Films include 2011 Sundance selectee "Crime After Crime”; ABFF 2011 selectee, the newest documentary from Andrew Young and “Inside the Digital Moving Salon,” a program at Spelman College allowing for a new generation of Black women to participate in important discussions critical to their lives through digital storytelling.
Register now at:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Funnel Cake Flowers comments on Nene Leaks' deplorable behavior on The Celebrity Apprentice

FCF: Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice has proven to be delicious reality TV as ratings have soured through the roof. However, there was a bone in my meal that nearly ruined it. The Celebrity Apprentice episode with Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Nene Leaks taking it to the street on Ms. Star Jones was a most disgraceful moment, not only as a Black woman but also as the Urban Chameleon news reporter. Nene is clearly not an Urban Chameleon, for no person of color who is an Urban Chameleon would behave this way in front of millions of white people watching. Nene was however trying to get Ms. Star Jones to Chameleon. Many people outside the race have often confused anger, attitude, neck rolling and adding extra syllables in curse words with being Black. Star Jones attempted to point out the difference that there are still some of us who can speak in complete sentences even when we are very angry.

The plight of people of color to be viewed as equals is not over. As we can see, not only do immigrants have to carry around papers but so do Black Americans. If anybody needs to be taking it to the street and almost pulling out somebody's hairpiece, it’s President Obama. I know one thing’s for sure, it’s f*cked up. I’m Funnel Cake Flowers your Urban Chameleon news reporter from Tickles.TV

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

When keeping it real goes so wrong, but right for Donald Trump

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor

Years ago in college, I was cast in a school play. I had one line, “You muthafucka!” It was the quintessential, Black girl neck rolling and Sam Jackson-esq, urban tone in which I delivered the line each night that made the audience guffaw on cue. Even though I am a Black girl, I don't think the audience realized that I was playing a character.

It wasn’t until the following year, when I took a sociolinguistics class that I began to understand that my director at the time, who was white, had orchestrated my role in his play the way that Hollywood has always utilized ethnic characters, as comic relief. My, sociolinguistics teacher who was also white, had pointed this out to the class using countless examples, which I’ve continued to note to this day; including the Caribbean crab in THE LITTLE MERMAID, the cat and donkey in SHREK and so on.

Reality TV’s formula is an orchestrated trap for the poor and uneducated. Regardless of race, there is an appointed “crazy person.” However, when that crazy person is Black, let alone a Black woman, the community takes extra notice and cringes.

This past Sunday, I sat in awe as I watched Nene Leaks from The Real Housewives of Atlanta be allowed to berate Star Jones on The Celebrity Apprentice. Nene Leaks’ display of poor behavior was both sad and painful for a number of reasons. Ignoring race for a minute, we were watching a human being incapable of rationally communicating with another human being. Telling another grown woman (or anyone for that matter) to “Shut the f*ck up” is just hateful and hurtful. From a cultural standpoint, these were more than too familiar fighting words. However, Star Jones held it together and utilized her side commentary to the camera in an attempt to distinguish for America the difference between how an “educated Black woman handles stress” from one that aint.

An “educated” person doesn’t have to be someone who’s achieved a certain level of traditional schooling, or any schooling for that matter, but rather someone who realizes that the world is bigger than their block. In Nene’s case, you can take a girl off the block but you clearly cannot take the block out of the girl.

As Nene was telling Star Jones off, I couldn’t help but notice the Gucci scarf that was draped around her neck. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the cost of her entire outfit was north of $2,000. It’s interesting that Nene’s “keep it real/block” attitude had bought her access into a world she clearly was not prepared to handle. Class is often mistaken for designer labels and rubbing elbows with the elite and it’s what most people strive for. However, as along as media continues to exploit that “crazy person” that looks like you (a minority), even if you are educated, you’ll always be viewed as a second class citizen…who better be carrying their birth papers. Right Mr. Trump?

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Funnel Cake Flowers comments on Malcolm X being gay?

FCF: Marable Manning’s new book on Brother Malcolm X, “A Life of Reinvention,” has caused quite some controversy. Not only does the book challenge Alex Haley’s early interpretation of the prophet’s life but some of the alleged facts have now openly put Malcolm X’s sexual life into question. The question that we might question…is why the hell are we questioning? Isn’t one’s freaky-deakyness their own personal bidness?

Contrasting arguments have been made that the original autobiography has particularly shaped the identity of Black masculinity, which of course as we know can only be heterosexual. There for what will Black men do now? They better think quick because the Gay’s honey have ammo. Sexuality is as complicated as personalities and something we might consider is not letting someone else's determine our own. Orgasms are like civil rights everyone should be entitled to one. I know one thing is for sure, it’s complicated. I’m Funnel Cake Flowers your Urban Chameleon news reporter from Tickles.TV

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Funnel Cake Flowers reports on the latest ignorance to a beat: The Soggy Bottom Boys drop "LET EM DRAG"

by Funnel Cake Flowers The Urban Chameleon news reporter

When I got the call from Self D'Struck Records, a company dedicated to creating ignorant rap music that "kills the game," inviting me to the set of The Soggy bottom Boys' latest music video "LET 'EM DRAG," I wasn't sure if I should be honored or horrified. The Soggy bottom Boys, an infamous rap group with literacy issues, don't believe in putting a pair of pants completely on. Therefore...let them drag. It occurred to me that other reporters may have already declined, so with trepidation, I decided to strap on my bulletproof vest and AK47 (under my cape) and roll to set to get the story. After all, I am The Urban Chameleon news reporter.

To read more on The Soggy Bottom Boys, visit The 15 Project Online, hosted by Fahamu Pecou.

"For those who wonder why rap is dead... it's simple, we killin' it"

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Malcolm X: The Human vs. The Hero

by today's Urban Chameleon

Last night, between frozen yogurt and a 10:00PM movie showing, me, my husband, mom and stepfather got into a heated discussion about the new book on Malcolm X from renown historian Manning Marable, “A Life of Reinvention.” Allegedly, the book reveals facts of Malcolm X’s life that were kept quiet from the public, including emotional and physical problems between him and Betty Shabazz, and challenges Alex Haley’s earlier interpretation; Marable even claims that X had a white male lover. My husband, born within a few days of Malcolm X, always felt some kind of zodiac connection and was disheartened by the news. This was not the same hero he, or most of us, were familiar with.

My mother tried to give some perspective. Coming from the Civil Rights generation with a circle of friends, which include educators and philosophers, the news was no news to her. She argued most heroes have a regime in place to protect an image (which hides human flaws from the greater public). However, I got the sense that like many others, my husband preferred not to know. The regime made it safe and comfortable, but I couldn’t help but wonder where we would be as a culture if we knew sooner. Would married couples with similar issues find comfort? Would the Gay Rights movement be further along? My mom had to remind my husband that the facts of someone’s life that might make us uncomfortable, doesn’t take away from their contributions. People are complex; rarely do we see examples that reflect our complexities. Many people live quietly, tormented in their duality, or even tri-ality, with no outlet. Maybe Malcolm X was just an Urban Chameleon…most of us are, regardless of who and what we are; different sides of us are revealed when exposed to different audiences. My corporate friends certainly see a different side of me than my around-the-way friends.

I thought back to the skit, “The Real Housewives of the Civil Rights?” and how upset some people were that our heroes were contextualized in a satirical manner by a group of comedians. Now, just a few weeks later, a credible historian causes a similar affect with alleged facts. Would we be less emotional if we allowed ourselves to be more human?

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Funnel Cake Flowers comments on Grant Hill vs. Jalen Rose. Who is more Black?

FCF: The controversial topic of Real Black folks vs. Uncle Toms, “sell outs” is as old as the piece of fried chicken to ever accompany the first piece of slice bread. NBA player Grant Hill, wrote an article for the New York Times responding to retired NBA player, Jalen Rose who as a freshmen at Michigan State, made a comment insinuating that Black men that attend Duke University aren’t really Black. Thoughts about my own childhood resurfaced as growing up people, both Black and white often mistook my light skin’dness and ability to command the Queens English as being less Black. More often than not, the depiction of Black life is associated with poverty and the inability to annunciate words. I was raised with two loving parents and ironically I did grew up in da hood and can flip real quick and bust yo’ ass. I say this to say, don’t let the pronunciation of someone’s I-N-G’s fool you. Whether Black, white, Asian, Latino, cultural authenticity is reflected in many different ways. Under this cape I can pull out an Ak47 just as quickly as I can pull out a master’s degree. In the words of T.I. “If you see me in the club shawty you don’t know me.” I do know that one thing is for sure…it’s complicated. I’m Funnel Cake Flowers your Urban Chameleon news reporter from Tickles.TV

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Funnel Cake Flowers comments on NFL player Adrian Peterson the slave?

FCF: When a metaphor goes wrong it can be very damaging to the metaphorerer… Minnesota Vikings' running back, Adrian Peterson, felt media ramifications when he compared the plight of a NFL player to a modern day slave. This comment may have caused Kunta Kinte to do the Doug E. in his grave. Adrian Peterson seems feel that football players are being exploited by masa who is asking them to work harder with out compensation let alone healthcare. This to me sounds like the average Mexican…or African…or even American. One could argue that we should cut Adrian some slack that maybe Kunta Kinte lost his foot so that Adrian can charge masa millions for his thighs. To sum this story up it’s millionaires fighting with billionaires and as my mama you to say, this sound like rich folk problem to me. I know one thing is for sure it’s complicated. I’m Funnel Cake Flowers your Urban Chameleon news reporter from Tickles.TV

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Is race specific love keeping some of us from finding true love?

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor

I had to ask my mom where the concept of “Black love” came from. From what she could recall, “Black love” was born around the same time as “Black power”. At the time, significant power was in place to keep the Black community disenfranchised and so the idea was to unify in order to overcome oppression and gain basic human rights. Although times have changed, “Black love” still seems to be like a hot pair of shoes on a Neiman Marcus sale rack and I wondered if it’s still as imperative as it once was.

On several occasions, I've had friends pass up what looked like good love in hopes of finding “Black love.” For them Michelle and Barack Obama's relationship is a beacon of light that they spend their days tanning under. Some friends have been waiting years to meet the right one and have teased me for going out on dates with guys who weren’t Black. Although I haven’t met the right one yet, I’ve opened my mind and heart to the possibility of love and as a result have tasted food I probably never would have tried, traveled to places I might have never known, and learned things about cultures outside of my own making me even more of an Urban Chameleon. Meanwhile, those same friends seem to be missing out on life waiting for Obama’s twin brother to show up. It’s bad enough that most of us as young girls are disillusioned by the idea of Prince Charming sweeping us off our feet only to grow up to arguments over money, sex, and a bunch of other stuff that wasn’t a part of the fantasy. If the best Prince Charming real life can deliver us shows up...should we send him or her away just because they’re not of a certain race?

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Funnel Cake Flowers comments on our obsession with "BLACK LOVE"

"Is my search for Black love or any other kind of love keeping me from find love?"

FCF: Is the Black woman too intense for the Black man? The viral video Black Marriage Negotiations reiterated media’s obsession over Black Women’s relationship status. The conversation across the board seems to be around Black women desperately searching for Black love but complaining how there are no good Black men. I know I reconsidered dating outside the race especially after watching Tyler Perry’s film For Colored Girls. Frightened by that kind of Black love, I immediately ran to sign up for the online Jewish matching making site Jdate. I met this man who was clearly not afraid of a good time and although the relationship ended after him not wanting to bring me home to his mama, I realized that dating outside the race also has its issues. However, the key take away here is not only did me and Habad have a damn good time at the West Indian Labor Day Parade but that I took the first step towards love and not race. Should the question that we be asking ourselves, is my search for Black love or any specific love keeping me from love ...or from getting laid. I know one thing’s for sure…it’s complicated. I’m Funnel Cake Flowers your Urban Chameleon news reporter from Tickles.TV

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Why “Black people” and “satire” don’t go together

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor

A couple of weeks ago I had the revelation that Black people don’t do satire. I kind of instinctively knew this for whenever I’ve either read an article or watched a Black web series even remotely satirical, there would be at least one overly serious comment from a Black person not laughing.

The case was no different when I first watched, “The Real Housewives of the Civil Rights?” on I thought the video was conceptually hilarious but wasn’t surprised to see in the comments section that more than one viewer was less than amused and in fact out right offended. The consensus was that you don’t touch the women of the Civil Rights especially Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks.

It got me thinking…why not? Does it some how take away their power? Will it make their extraordinary contribution less significant or worse…reversible? After watching the video I thought if anyone is setting the race back it’s Bravo and their ridiculous Real Housewives franchise (that I love to hate) but not this web video.

The irony of satire is that more often than not the real issue gets overlooked. I realized that “Satire,” is the crazy cousin of “comedy” and for Black folks that crazy cousin is usually…well…embarrassing. Satire exposes flaws and opens the door for criticism by white people. Yes the race that enslaved us, told us we weren’t good enough and would never be good enough. As a result, Black culture has been built on having to constantly prove self worth regardless of how far we’ve come. But is this a habit that it’s time to break away from like poor diets that cause high blood sugar?

Satire is a form of human expression that if one is open to can be very insightful and unconventional medical practitioners would even confirm as healing.

Unfortunately I don’t see enough outlets for laughter in the Black community and this is painful. In fact, I recently attended a film festival and noticed that nine of the ten films produced by Black filmmakers were dramatic and either about Jesus, rape or substance abuse. How can a community possibly evolve unless you address all the layers of our human experiences which definitely includes laughter?

I once read a person’s comment responding to what they took as an author’s inappropriate satirical tone on a “serious” issue suggesting that comedy and drama be kept separate. What they overlooked is that both ideas live in the same core of our existence. The question is how can we begin to learn from both.

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Monday, March 14, 2011


Profession: The Urban Chameleon news reporter

Age: Old enough to be legal, but young enough to drop it like it is hot.

Race: Blickity, Blickity, Black (don’t let the light skin fool you).

Marital Status: Pending with progress (has recently decided to explore dating men outside of her race and learning Japanese as a result of a new lover).

Hobbies: Getting people to stop taking themselves so seriously... while being very serious.

Episode 1: Funnel Cake Flowers reports on the viral video THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS. “Can Black people not take a joke or are some jokes just not jokes?”

FCF: Black people seem to struggle with jokes especially when the jokes on Blacks. Last week the all female Black comedy troop, Elite Delta Force 3, released The Real Housewives of the Civil Rights starring some of our most beloved leaders including Rosa Park, Winnie Mandela, Coretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz, Maya Angelou and Marilyn Monroe. The video went viral just after the second day of release upsetting various members of the Black community. Comments suggested that these mother goddesses should not be touched. Fans of the video countered saying that these same critics are at the club dancing to, “Bitch better have my money.” Where’s the line and who gets to decide who crosses it? Can Black people not take a joke? Are some jokes just not jokes? Or is just fear of what white people will do with the jokes. I know one thing’s for sure…it’s complicated. I’m Funnel Cake Flowers your Urban Chameleon news reporter from Tickles.Tv

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*Funnel Cake Flowers recently hosted the game show, BREAK THAT STEREOTYPE!, which was an official selection of the Women in Film and Television Film Festival. Watch out now!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Are you a white girl with rhythm? Are you an Asian person who is not tryin' to be a computer scientist? "Are you a Black man who is not a rapper?"

Tickles.TV is back and has just launched its latest video, BREAK THAT STEREOTYPE!

For those who aren't already familiar, the real life stories shared here on our blog are what inspire our tickles videos.

During our URBAN CHAMELEON Media event over the summer we asked people to share how they've been mis-perceived based on their "look" and a variety of interesting stories came up. Add a comedic twist and you get tickled!

If you or someone you know is an Urban Chameleon breaking stereotypes in an usual way let us know! Have your Urban Chameleon story featured by e-mailing

Click here for: How the Urban Chameleon Came to be