MTV is 40 years old, found its fortune with Gen X and has reinvented itself for every generation since.

That’s Fab Five Freddy’s iconic MTV ring. Even before cable was available in all of America, the station curated culture — and this despite some rocky, racial fits and starts. Image: Getty

Just after midnight on August 1, 1981, MTV debuted on cable television with the Buggles’ prescient music video, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Like many groundbreaking innovations, its emergence was the result of an amalgamation of simultaneous events including the growing popularity of cable television and TV executives’ aspirations to capture youth audiences. Moreover, technological advancements made MTV’s emergence possible, and along with cultural shifts, have influenced the station’s evolution through the last four decades.

The videos played in MTV’s early days were influenced by earlier promotional videos that had once accompanied sales campaigns in record stores. …


Spirit Medicine

‘All of us are magicians’ — Amber the Alchemist

Magic. Image: Awakened Soul Oracle Cards by Ethony

Happy August, beautiful souls! I’m so happy to share that this upcoming week will be overflowing with wealth, generosity, miracles, and magic. What a rich way to begin the month!

For the third week in a row, the six of cowrie extends its message of expansion and collective abundance. Check out last week’s and the prior week’s Spirit Medicine for more tea.

Full transparency: When I pulled the six of cowrie this week, I slid it back into the deck hoping to share a message. But guess what? It flew right back out two seconds later. …


Politics

Testimony from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot shows us exactly who we are

Capitol police officers testify about the Jan. 6 attacks. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

When multi-hyphenate performer Childish Gambino released his visual for “This Is America” in 2018, it sent shockwaves through the Twitterverse and beyond. Everyone was talking about its violence, its darkness, and its irrevocable honesty. The same can be said about the testimony of the four officers at the first hearing of the Select Committee for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Officer Harry Dunn, Sgt. …


5 o’Clock Somewhere…

Take a trip to the islands without leaving your home 🌴

Rum punch is a time-honored island institution (Photo credit: Getty Images)

I was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, one of the rum capitals of the world. Our reputation for the spirit has been captured in songs throughout the years, like Rum and Coca Cola, which dates back to the early 1940’s and Drink a Rum from the 1950’s. It is part of our twin island republic’s cultural heritage, our country has long produced rum of quality. It stands to good reason that I would be picky when it comes to the rum that I keep for my home bar.

Rum is a sugarcane-based spirit, traditionally distilled from molasses and…


MY PEN IS MIGHTY

Dressed to the nines or not, some restaurants just don’t want Black folk to show up. Let’s discuss.

Some dress codes at restaurants only materialize after Black patrons show up en masse. Photo: Getty Images

Whenever I go over to my mom’s house, one of my favorite activities is to look through all the family photos. The most exciting album dates back to the 1960s, when she and my father used to throw glamorous dinner and cocktail parties at their Nashville apartment.

I always thought they looked impossibly chic in these photos. The women wore brightly colored brocade or silk cocktail dresses with pearls while the men were decked out in dark, slim suits with skinny ties. …


SPIRIT MEDICINE

Amber the Alchemist reminds us to set up boundaries but also, to give freely. Yes, it’s a balance.

6 of Cowrie reminds us that reciprocity is everything. You give. You get. Akamara tarot.

The energy surrounding the collective is an extension of last week’s message, with the 6 of Cowrie reminding us that reciprocity is every damn thing! The medicine asks us to extend our wisdom and knowledge to our respected communities, but with that action comes the necessity of exploring the balance between service and protecting our energy. This week, part of your responsibility will be enforcing clear boundaries to ensure your needs are met and that you are prioritizing what’s most valuable to you — be it your time, finances, knowledge, resources or mental health.

My biggest challenge since stepping into…


WOMANISM

Where has the loyalty gone?

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Last summer, Megan Thee Stallion named Tory Lanez as the man responsible for shooting her. Shooting an unarmed Black woman who was “trying to leave the vehicle” is shameful. However, what’s even more disturbing than this one-off incident is how Black men responded to it.

I can already hear the “not all Black men” roaring in the background. So, yes, let’s go there. Rick Ross provided a perfect example of what that support looks like. For some, calling Lanez out may have broken the bro code, but I’m glad Ross didn’t buy into that. As reported in Billboard:

“Tory Lanez…


5 O’Clock Somewhere

My favorite bottles, some new brands to check out and a few cocktail ideas for you to get your tequila on!

Discover new ways to enjoy a super polarizing beverage. Cheers! 🍹

Mark your calendar and get ready — July 24th is National Tequila Day!

I’d love to know how you feel about this potent agave-based spirit — I get a polarizing response when I ask people about it. Perhaps for you, tequila brings up fond memories of margaritas enjoyed during a sunny vacation. For me, for too many years, the very thought of tequila brought unpleasant memories to mind. Blame it on too many collegiate nights of pungent tequila shots rimmed with salt, conversations about “the worm” and whether or not to eat it if one were to be discovered, all…


4 Ways to recover.

A couple sitting on a couch look at their laptop and are in shock at what is being shown. Picture: Getty Images

Despite heightened awareness, Black Lives Matter, multiple marches, protests and even Derek Chauvin’s conviction, scores of Black people still died in the year after George Floyd’s death at the brutal hands of reckless, misguided police officers and other hate-motivated people.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations reports that anti-Black crimes continue to be the single largest category of hate crime incidents. The latest information is for 2019, but with more people emerging from Covid-19’s cover post-vaccine, it’s reasonable to think that the number and intensity of hate crimes and so-called ‘casual racism” attacks against people of color could escalate.

Experiencing racial…


A few months ago I suffered a cervical spine injury and had to undergo surgery to correct it. Scared out of my mind and absolutely terrified of being put to sleep and under a knife for the first time, I prepared my nerves to accept the fact that I needed to get through one of the hardest feats of my life. I was ready to be cut in a sensitive place. I was ready to deal with a long recovery. I was ready to heal. The only thing I forgot to prepare for was the scar it would leave behind.

ZORA

Bold, yet refined. A publication from Medium for Black women.

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