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Category Archives: Discussions/ Lectures

Freedom Friday: The Inauguration Edition aka National Day of Service


Hello Good People!

Happy New Year to each of you. ThatKellieGirl apologizes for being MIA, but I’ve been in #weddingworld! :-) Ever since January 1st, I have been in overdrive planning for my upcoming nuptials. I’ve had some challenges with vendors, deleting names off the guest list, and thinking about how much we are going to spend! But deep inside, I feel like everything is falling into place, and that it will be a life-changing event. And to see family and close friends step up to show their love and support has meant so much to me. Words can’t express the love and endearment I have for each of these folks. I am totally excited about this next phase in my life. :-)

So if you were like me, I was very disappointed about the Inauguration ticket snafu. I was ready to purchase my tickets on the designated release date. So I was dismayed that the tickets were released a day before. Even with an early release, I would purchased tickets if I wouldn’t have been on an airplane returning from Ohio!!! Then when I received an invitation to purchase parade tickets, originally sold for $25 now $250, that just added insult to injury. *smh* Even though ThatKellieGirl might not be at an official Inaugural Ball, there are still some great and affordable events in order to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama. So check out these events below.

And for those who want to dress-up, star gaze or ball out, check out these lists of Inaugural Balls here and here and here.

And remember, in honor of MLK Day, sign-up for the National Day of Service. There are service events all weekend.

Peace, Love & Blessings, ThatKellieGirl :-)

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Freedom Friday: The Earth Day Edition

Hello Friends!  Happy Friday.

This weekend is shaping up rather nicely.  There will be beautiful weather and lots of fun things to do.  In the spirit of Earth Day, ThatKellieGirl will be volunteering at the White House Garden Tours.  I love flowers and the White House Kitchen Garden is a great model on how to and what to grow in your home garden.  Afterwards, I am attending a tea with my God Daughter and her Mother.  As you know, I always am excited to don a hat and a pair of gloves! :-)

There also are several festivals either kicking off or closing out this weekend.  Whatever you do don’t miss them.

Starting us off is The Water Street Project which is an 11 day-long  temporary arts exhibition in a vacant building underneath Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown.  The project’s grand opening is tonight at 8PM.

The U.S. National Parks Service celebrates National Park Week with activities and promoting people to visit their local national park.

Activist Van Jones will discuss and sign his new book, Rebuild the Dream at Busboys and Poets (14th & V Sts NW) at 6:30PM.

The Earth Day Rally will take place on the National Mall as well as a “Float In” with Ralph Nader marking the 40th anniversary of The Clean Water Act and to say no to dirty, polluted water.  Here is a list of Earth Day activities and events in the area.

And Filmfest DC is closing out this weekend, so try to find time to see some provocative, exciting, and often brave stories from varying perspectives and showcasing important voices.

Whatever you do, stay safe, have fun and keep the faith. :-)

Peace and Blessings, ThatKellieGirl

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Freedom Friday: The Red Tails Edition

Happy Friday Everyone!

If you are looking forward to catching Red Tails this weekend, I recommend buying your ticket last week! :-) It looks like theaters will be packed with enthusiastic movie-goers.  I am glad that this overlooked part of black history, American history is coming to the forefront again.  How many WWII films and documentaries were made with no mention of African-American soldiers and their accomplishments?    Some folks have pointed out that this isn’t the first time the history of The Tuskegee Airmen was turned into a movie.  And I think that’s great.  Our stories must be re-told consistently to ensure that we don’t forget our history.  I also hope we continue to stay enthusiastic about black history.  We have such a rich history that has never been fully told, and we shouldn’t wait until someone makes a movie to learn about it.  We can  read a book, an article or watch a documentary.  Or here’s a novel idea, talk to members of our family! :-)  More than likely, we have uncles, aunts, or older cousins who can talk to us about our history in a real way, not just to be entertained, then forget about it.  Movies are a very powerful and impactful platform, but that is just a starting point.  Let’s use this as an opportunity to connect and inspire one another to accomplish even greater things in the future.

 There are several “watch” parties for Red Tails this Saturday, here, here and here.

Peace and Blessings, ThatKellieGirl   

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Mz. Biz

ThatKellieGirl attending the Mz. Biz taping on Evening Exchange

ThatKellieGirl recently attended a taping of WHUT-TV‘s Evening Exchange to feature African-American, women entrepreneurs in their special series, “Ms. Biz”.   The event was to promote the Women and Girls Lead Initiative with the goal to focus, educate, and connect citizens worldwide in support of the issues facing women and girls.  As I move forward with my own entrepreneurial pursuits, I was very excited to hear about the success stories, lessons learned and how to’s from entrepreneurs  in the DC area.

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Freedom Friday: The Get Over It Edition

President Obama's Birth Certificate-- Are you happy now? Probably Not.

Hello Good Folks,


Now this is going to be my kind of weekend.  Great weather and full of things to do.  However, before I get into all the wonderful happenings, I wanted to speak my peace about these “birthers”.  I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but there has been some poignant commentary about the treatment of President Obama.  If you haven’t viewed it, please watch the commentary from The Grio’s Contributor Goldie Taylor about the history of African-American “showing their papers”.  

Lastly, I read a great quote from WaPo’s Eugene Robinson that sums it up for me: 

“Look, I’m not surprised that the first black president faces unprecedented scrutiny about his origins, and I hope Obama’s not surprised, either. This sort of thing comes with being a historic “first,” and there’s no way around it. To those deniers who can’t come to terms with the fact of the Obama presidency, I have nothing to offer but this: Yes, he’s smarter, richer, luckier and better looking than you, and he’s your president. Yours, mine and ours. And he’s black. Get over it.”

Get over it. 

What else is there to say?  You will have your say in the voting booth next year.  However, until then, let’s work on keeping the government running, stabilizing the economy and other more important issues instead of wasting our time and distracting people.  In the meantime, stop watching Trump’s “The Apprentice” and patronizing his businesses. He needs to know that we do not believe in people who stir up chaos and confusion.

Okay!  Now with that out of the way….

Just in time for the beautiful weather, today is Arbor Day.  Remember that holiday?  Each year, I celebrated Arbor in elementary school by planting a tree.  Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, it’s celebrated on the last Friday in April.  In honor of Arbor Day and the opening of their new headquarters, Casey Trees is hosting an open house with  family friendly activities, demonstrations, building tours and neighborhood tree walks. 

With the warm weather, you might be inclined to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on Saturday(4/30) and Sunday (5/1), or Race for Hope 5K on Sunday (5/1) to promote their mission to fight brain tumors.

Here are some other fabulous events, so get out the house and have some fun! :-)

Peace and Blessings.

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Freedom Friday: The Cherry Blossom Edition

Hello Good People!

TGIF! :-)

I hope the dip in temperatures doesn’t keep you in the house.  It is action-packed this weekend. 

My weekend kicks off as soon as I leave the J-O-B!  My Honey surprised me with tickets to see Naturally 7 this evening at the Strathmore.  I was impressed and enjoyed their BET Honor’s performance in honor of Herbie Hancock.  These brothers are bad!  So I am quite excited to see their live performance.

Tomorrow, The National Cherry Blossoms Festival officially kicks off (March 26-April 10).  Each year, the festival celebrates spring in the District, the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan.  And Japan needs our friendship, support and prayers more than ever with the recent disaster. Check out the festival over the next 2 weeks.

And for all you runners out there, The National Marathon takes place on Saturday. There are still a limited number of bibs available for the marathon and half marathon. So get there before the 7AM start.

I also would like to send out a “Happy Black Marriage Day” to my parents this Sunday.  My parents truly provided a marriage model for me.  Not that they are perfect, but they taught and showed faith in God and each other, unconditional love, respect and hope.  So it is befitting that a day of love coincides with the cherry blossoms which represents good fortune and an emblem of love and affection.

So go out and show some love!  :-) And check out these ThatKellieGirl approved events.

Peace and Blessings.

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Just before President Obama delivers his State of the Union Address,  Tavis Smiley will broadcast  America’s Next Chapter  LIVE tomorrow on C-SPAN.  The purpose of this event is to pose some of America’s most challenging questions to some of the nation’s most influential thinkers, entertainers, politicians and business leaders.  The line-up includes Cornel West, David Frum, Dana Milbank, Arianna HuffingtonHelene Cooper  and others.  If you would like to be in the audience, please register here

If you miss the event tomorrow, it will re-broadcast for three nights on Tavis Smiley on PBS, Tuesday, January 18 through Thursday, January 20. The conversation will continue during The Tavis Smiley Show and Smiley & West from PRI (Public Radio International).

Thursday, January 13

George Washington University

730 21st Street, NW


Happy Hump Day! :-)

Spare the Rod Spoil the Child

Hey Good People,

This has been weighing heavy on my heart.  I wasn’t even sure I was going to write about it.  However, I decided there needs to be some real discussion about this.

Last week, there was a clip being sent around of a teenager being chastised by his uncle for “e-thugging.”  When I viewed this clipped, I was horrified.  I thought the uncle might have had good intentions, but his action were inappropriate. BOOM!  I said it. Let’s go.

Now let it be known that I do not have children, so some folks will totally disregard what I am saying.  However, I do have parents who provided a positive model for me.  My parents believed in spankings whoopings.  They believed that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child.  However, in the rare times my parents whooped me, I never felt humiliated or disrespected.  First off, being whooped was the last resort, not the first one.  Second, I always knew why I was being chastised.  Third, it was never done out of anger. And lastly, my parents never used profanity when addressing me.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when parents curse at their children.

However, what really got me were the number of people who cheered the uncle on.  I was really perplexed by this.  My own brother thought I was on my “righteous high horse” because I expressed how I didn’t agree with the uncle’s actions.  It seems that a lot of people believe that in order to effectively chastise a child, you  have to humiliate them.  I totally disagree with this.

First, the best defense is good offense.  I believe the best way to teach a child is through the parents’ actions.  Let’s be real, kids tend to model the behavior that is seen in the home.  To me, the uncle seemed to be on some e-thugging himself. (Did I just say that?)  I mean no shirt on, pants sagging and cursing.  You don’t think that it’s gangsta or thuggish that the uncle videotaped beating his nephew, then posted it to the web?!!  I  couldn’t help but dredge up images of a master beating a slave or a woman being stoned to publicly humiliate to make an example of the person and family.

Second,  I think that the teenager was too big to get a whooping.  He is old enough to talk to about what he did wrong.  After counting to ten to get over his anger, the uncle possibly could have found out why his nephew felt the need to “e-thug”.  Is someone harassing or bullying  him at school?  Will he now become a target for ridicule and bullying at school?  I know parents take offense when someone tells them how to raise their children.  *looking to the side*  However, I strongly believe that parents must talk to their children, then LISTEN.  Over the years, we have heard a child should only be seen and not heard.  Children should not be ignored.  They have thoughts, feelings and  ideas just like adults.  I believe that you discipline a child not to humiliate them, but to teach and offer guidance.  All too often though discipline is used to take out frustrations and anger with the child. So basically, the child just learned that when they are angry or frustrated with a person, they should hit or lash out.

Black parents in particularly do not tolerate a disobedient child.  My own parents gave me the speech that almost every black child heard growing up: “You better not touch anything, say anything or do anything  when we go into this store.”   You had to avoid embarrassing your mother while shopping.  If you did, there was wrath to pay!  We heard black comedians always joking about “other” parents who could not control their unruly children.  We tend to believe that when Dr. Huxtable sat down to talk to Theo about what he did wrong,  he was being too lenient , or it was just unrealistic.  However, this is so far from the truth because so many people got the lesson and years later still love this scene.

So for me, since we take such great pride in our ability to discipline our children, why then do we have so many youth that are in the juvenile system?  So many youth who are dropping out of school?  Unemployment rates, illiteracy rates?   What gives?  How about instead of more whoopings, we see more mentoring, teaching and tutoring?  I am not saying I know the answers, but I do think these are some real issues that we need to think about concerning our children.

So what do you think about this issue?



Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni will sign and discuss, “The 100 Best African American Poems” in which Giovanni takes on the impossible task of selecting the 100 best African American works from classic and contemporary poets.

Tuesday, January 11

Busboys and Poets

5th & K Sts NW



Freedom Friday: The Halloween Edition

Hey Good People!

It is that time of year again when all the ghost, ghouls and goblins come out as well as Howard University students and alums celebrating homecoming, party-goers in Georgetown, runners for the Marine Corp Marathon and folks attending the Rally to Restore Sanity. WHEW!!!   With Halloween falling on the weekend, everyone is hosting an event.  Even my friends and I will be throwing a costume party on Saturday.  I am quite excited!  :-) It is a throwback party so I hope to see some high top fads, neon colors and bamboo earrings.  There is an event out here for everyone, so peep the list below.

Please be safe everyone!  Take care.

Kick Off your Howard Homecoming Weekend with LivSuite! Vol. 1 of the Autumn Soul Session features Conya Doss- her dynamically explosive yet sensual voice is the heart and soul of her music.  The Cleveland native (Ohio represent!)  has the innate and intriguing ability to blend melodic love ballads, soulful R&B and genre-bending grooves.  Also performing is Jesse Boykins III and Eva Kennedy.  Teresa Jenee will be the Special Guest Host for the night. This is soulful event that you won’t want to miss!

Friday, October 29


11th & U Streets


Tickets in advance: $15; $25 at the door


Join us for our adult Halloween bash! Wear your best costume while enjoying the National Zoo by moonlight. Experience bone-chilling and mind-boggling performance art including palm readers, fire eaters, talking bats, and illusionists. A full line of hauntingly delicious craft-brewed Magic Hat elixirs will be available.

Friday, October 29

Smithsonian National Zoological Park

3001 Connecticut Ave, NW

8PM to Midnight

Click here for more info.


Michael Eric Dyson and Marc Lamont Hill will be at Busboys and Poets for in support of Haki Madhubuti’s Third World Press. The uplifting and insightful evening of conversation will be moderated by WPFW radio host Shani Jamila. Third World Press provides quality literature that primarily focuses on issues, themes, and critique related to an African American public. There will be a donation fee for admittance.

Friday, October 29

Busboys & Poets

14& V Sts



I had the pleasure of witnessing Casey Bejamin play with the Robert Glasper Experiment, and he is truly a stand-out.  He is marvelous on the saxophone and dangerous on the vocoder.  One half on the funk pop new wave duo Heavy,  Casey Benjamin currently plays with rapper Q-Tip, Mos Def, Stefon Harris and The RCDC Experiment. Hailing from Jamaica, Queens, NY Casey Benjamin has established himself as a noteworthy saxophonist, keyboardist, producer and songwriter. His vast repertoire of collaborations suggests an effortless versatility.

Benjamin will be joined by the revered bass guitarist Victor Bailey is a former member of seminal jazz super group Weather Report. He has toured and recorded with Steps Ahead, The Zawinul Syndicate, Madonna,Omar Hakim, Sonny Rollins, Miriam Makeba, Larry Coryell,LL Cool J, Mary J Blige, Sting, Hamiet Bluiet, Kevin Eubanks, and Tommy Campbell, among many others.Fender has released a Victor Bailey Signature acoustic bass guitar, as well as the Victor Bailey Jazz Bass.

October 29 & 30

Bohemian Caverns

11th & U Streets

8:30PM & 10:30PM sets

Get tickets here.


Check out the hot NEW FALL 2010 look from
IMAN Cosmetics called LEATHER & LACE.It’s all about deep, dramatic eyes and lips with attitude!

Try a FREE sample of
IMAN Second to None Stick Foundation
(While Supplies Last)

Saturday, October 30


914 Ellsworth Drive

Silver Spring, MD 20910

12PM – 6PM

RSVP here.


Fine-art craftsmanship will be showcased as Dana Ayanna Greaves presents her work in an exquisite gallery setting. DC-based designer Dana Ayanna Greaves celebrates the opening of her new private studio – ARTAYA.  Enjoy music from DJ TJ (Wild North), passed giveaways, complimentary drinks and two artistic presentations featuring the ARTAYA collection.   Co-hosted by Industry Gallery in conjunction with Conner Contemporary Art.  Special performance by Carolyn Malachi.

Saturday, October 30

Industry Gallery

1358 Florida Avenue, NE, upstairs loft
This event is free and open to the public.
Please RSVP here or email

Have a great weekend!

Get Some Culture…

This week, Busboys & Poets has a great line-up of speakers.

Service is the rent we pay for living” says preeminent children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman and this is the motto by which Malaak Compton Rock, dedicated humanitarian and wife of comedian Chris Rock, lives her life.   This evening, April 13th, Malaack will speak about her part memoir and part practical guide, If It Takes a Village, Build One.  It  offers readers insightful advice on everything from how to find just the right volunteer opportunity, how to get kids involved in a life of service, how to research charities, and even how to start a nonprofit, as Malaak did several years ago. 

All of this practical wisdom is grounded in inspirational anecdotes about her own experience with service, including her work with Katrina rebuilding and her recent brainchild, Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service, a program for at-risk kids from Bushwick, Brooklyn, which takes teens on a two week service mission  to South Africa to volunteer and experience the world.
The event starts at 6PM.


In 2006 Alice Walker, working with Women for Women International, visited Rwanda and the eastern Congo to witness the aftermath of the genocide in Kigali. Invited by Code Pink, an antiwar group working to end the Iraq War, Walker traveled to Palestine/Israel three years later to view the devastation on the Gaza Strip.  Her testimony is this book, Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo, and Palestine/Israel.  You can hear about it tomorrow, April 14th at Busboys & Poets at 6:30PM

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Alice Walker is the author of more than thirty books including The Color Purple and Sent by Earth. Her writings have been translated into more than two dozen languages. From her essays concerning the civil rights movement to cries for intervention on the Gaza Strip, Walker continually and eloquently calls attention to ignored injustices around the world.

@Busboys & Poets

2021 14th St NW



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