Tuesday, January 31, 2012

GMAD at 25: A History in Words and Images at Schomburg Center on Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture present a jubilee exhibition entitled GMAD at 25: A History in Words and Images. This exhibition will celebrate 25 historic years of GMAD on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Reception 5:30pm with exhibit & panel discussion 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NY.

Attendance is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

GMAD is working to improve quality of life within the New York City black gay community by effectively fighting the triple threat of AIDS, homophobia and racism through education, advocacy, health and wellness and social support. Tokes Osubu, GMAD Executive Director will lead a panel discussion at the exhibition focusing on history, progress and the future of GMAD and its initiatives affecting and supporting Gay Men Of African Descent here and abroad. www.gmad.org

The crème de la crème of the philanthropic, arts and entertainment industries will be in attendance to support and honor these innovators and members of the LGBT community on their very special day.

GMAD at 25: A History in Words and Images is co-curated by Dr. Kevin McGruder, former Executive Director of GMAD and current Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center; and Steven G. Fullwood, Project Director for the Black Gay & Lesbian Archive at the Schomburg Center.

Initial funding of the LGBT Initiative provided by Time Warner Inc., with additional support from M.A.C. AIDS Fund; Arcus Foundation; and Friends of the LGBT Initiative.

RSVP: GMAD25.eventbrite.com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I often times ask myself just how famous I want to be and what is the price of fame.


I cannot tell a lie, I want to be super famous. I want to live the life of a celebrity and be able to call the shots in my life and do things that only my mind can imagine.


When you want something out of life, there has to be sacrifice. No one is going to give you anything on a silver platter, or so they say.  While it may seem that some people get things handed to them, don't believe it. Everything comes with a cost.


At present, I look at my life and think about the things that I have had to give up in order to create a life that I ultimately love.  I'm clear that I could be doing other things with my money, but no, I am investing in my writing skills. I am choosing to stay late after work in order to work on my many manuscripts because I know that opting to go hang out with friends for drinks, just isn't going to get me any closer to my goal. While everyone is playing angry birds on their phones, I'm writing a new chapter for one of my books.  Sacrifice.  Those games are temporary entertainment and will only get me nowhere fast.


At the top of 2012, I declared that I would have 4 manuscripts completed by my 40th birthday.  I've shared this goal with a few people and some of them have been very unsupportive, which is why I am clear that you just can't tell everybody everything, you just have to produce the results and then watch them sit in awe.


This week, a gentleman sent me a direct tweet asking me if I would help him write his novel.  I told him that I would coach him on what to do, but he needs the full experience for himself.  He will feel much more accomplished once he starts and finishes a project that he embarked on.  Now, I have a new client and this all came from me putting my energies into writing a novel.


So, what's the price of fame?  It's whatever price tag you put on it.  Strive to be the best. Work hard to achieve your goals.  Find people who believe in you and who will help you reach the top of your very own mountain.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sneak Preview: Nelson George and Diane Paragas' Brooklyn Boheme


Join us for a preview screening of Brooklyn Boheme, a new documentary from award-winning Nelson George, director of the HBO feature film, Life Support (2007), which won Queen Latifah a Golden Globe for Best Actress.


Brooklyn Boheme takes a look back at the close-knit African American/Latino neighborhood in Fort Greene, prior to gentrification, when the community nurtured a new wave of original and uniquely talented artists, among them, Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Rosie Perez, Branford Marsalis, and many other creative innovators featured in this film.


Nelson George, Co-Director/Writer/Producer, Brooklyn Boheme; director, Life Support; author, City Kid, Hip Hop America, The Plot Against Hip Hop


Diane Paragas, co-director, Brooklyn Boheme; television writer/producer/director (BET, MTV and CBS News)


Presented with Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts, Media Arts Dept., Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus


Sponsored by BET


Book signing of The Plot Against Hip Hop follows.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 7, 6:30 to 9:00 pm

WHERE: Kumble Theater, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, Flatbush Ave.

(DeKalb & Willoughby)



Don't miss next month's preview screening with Nelson George and Diane Paragas. Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP at www.cencom.org. You can also e-mail info@cencom.org or call (212) 686-5005.

Monday, January 23, 2012

10 Reasons to Attend Las Vegas Pride



10. It’s the newest PRIDE event to be created.
9. MOSTLY EVERYONE is a Monica fan to some extent.
8. They have a fully stocked PARTY BUS that you can ride.
7. You get your first chance to see Christopher Street: “CockTALES”
6. Zeric from Model City is the face of the 2012 Event.
5. Meet Warren Bullock AKA Baby Boy STAR of Christopher Street: “CockTALES”
4. You can GAMBLE all Night and GET FREE DRINKS!!!
3. What better way to spend your SPRING BREAK???
2. Vegas have more attractions than any other PRIDE event has to offer.
1. Whatever happens in VEGAS… Stays in VEGAS is LAW… NOT MYTH!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Are Naked Pictures Still A Turn On?


The one thing that I still find unusual is my relationship with older people. I've made friends with a lot of older people, even though they know I don't want to be in a relationship with them. I'm the type of person that wants to grow with someone and spend a long time with them. It's somewhat of a turnoff for me when I see a 50 year old male trying to make a pass at me. But still, I maintain my friendship with them.

One day, I ran into another one of my older friends. His name is Troy. I was walking around the city, looking for a good story to write about. He was a hosting a Mardi Gras event that was being held at the Ritz Carlton hotel. He still has a crush on me, but he doesn't go ahead with it. He understands that we are better off as friends.

During our conversation, he revealed to me that he is hooking up with this 30 year old male. He admits to going through multiple sexual adventures with him. He lived out every fantasy in his head because of his buddy. Then all of a sudden, he took out his cell phone and showed me a naked picture of this man.

"Isn't he gorgeous?" he asked me.

Due to my observant self, I looked down and saw that Troy was getting very excited just by looking at a naked picture of this man. However, I looked at the picture and was instantly turned off. Here was this fine African American male with his manhood in full display, but I wasn't excited. I was actually more turned on by Troy than the picture.

I looked up and said to Troy "Is it a video?"

For me, I am more turned on by watching a video and completely turned off by a picture. After seeing all these stars with these leaked pictures coming at least once a month, it becomes somewhat tiring to see just a naked picture. I sometimes want more. Looking at a body part frozen in time doesn't work for me anymore.

After this realization about myself, I can't help but wonder. Are naked pictures still a turn on?

Thursday, January 19, 2012



What is your relationship to time?

Every now and then when people ask me how I am able to accomplish certain goals, I break it down by explaining to them my relationship to time.
We all have the same amount of time, however, a good number of us aren’t effective with it’s use. So many people complain that they don’t have enough, but my theory is that we all can get certain things done, we just have to make better efforts and be willing to make sacrifices.
  1. Make a list.  Keep the list at five items.
  2. Measure out how much time you think it’s going to take to accomplish the items on that list.
  3. Be willing to delegate. Often, we feel that we have to do everything on our own and we don’t. If you have an assistant or a trusty friend, ask for help. There is always someone out there who can provide space for you to check off one of the items from your list.
  4. Identify your distractions. One thing I had to become clear about was that I watched way too much television. I call television the dream stealer. I came to the realization that there really was nothing on television that I NEEDED that couldn’t be recorded and watched at another time.
  5. Learn to multitask! I know multitasking isn’t for everyone, but it’s a very useful skill. I have ADD so it works wonders for me to multitask and I get so much done in the course of a particular time span.
  6. Start early. If you get a decent night’s rest, you should start your plans early while your peers are still counting sheep. I made it a point to leave my house an hour earlier than usual just so that I could get to work with an hour to breathe and cross more off my list.
  7. Give yourself credit. So, you may not get to every item on the list, but give yourself a treat for crossing off the ones that you did. Remember without a list, you are just doing ‘stuff’.

Take a moment today and ask yourself… What is my relationship to time?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

HUE MAN BOOK STORE PRESENTS: The Debut Release & Book Signing of “LOVE YOURSELF FIRST”


Marva Allen owner of the historic Hue Mann Bookstore and author Delvon Johnson are proud to present the highly anticipated book release of “Love Yourself First” on January 27, 2012 at Hue Mann Bookstore in Harlem, NY. Attendance is by INVITE ONLY.

Delvon Johnson is a critically acclaimed author from Newark, NJ. His debut novel, Love Yourself First received five stars on Amazon. This fictional piece is a compelling and explosive novel that demonstrates how one’s decisions can often create consequences that you may not be prepared to live with. Critics have compared his writing ability to E. Lynn Harris. In March, the author is slated to commence a ten-city tour to promote the release. www.delvonjohnson.com

The crème de la crème of the literary and entertainment industry will be in attendance to support this release and author Delvon Johnson on this momentous occasion. Publisher: World Audience Publications

Confirmed Attendees Include: Stanley Bennett Clay (actor, director, playwright), James Earl Hardy (award-winning author of the B-Boy Blues fiction series) DJ Baker (host of the longest-running LGBT radio program in America,) Lee Soulja (performance artist and Broadway stage actor), Frank Romano and filmmaker Alan Baxter to name a few.

2012 GLBT Travel Expo Tour Starts in Florida, February 9th!


The 2012 Travel Expo Tour is an exciting event where you can learn about new travel destinations, rediscover old ones, find GLBT friendly travel providers and get information to plan your next vacation. FREE ADMISSION

Exhibitors will include:

Airlines
Hotels
Trains
Cruise lines
Car Rentals
Resorts
Exotic Destinations
Convention & Visitors Bureaus
Travel Magazines

Every one of them reaching out to the glbt consumer.

Attendees will be able to get the latest travel information, get special travel packages and great deals from the very best travel providers as well as win great prizes.

Face to face promotions still represent one of the best ways to promote your services. This afternoon event will draw 500-1,000 elite consumers from a great demographic group. This is the third year Steven Levenberg Productions, LLC has been producing these events. Each year these shows have had an ever expanding exhibitor base and attendance.



THE TOUR

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - Thursday – February 9, 2012 - Pride Center of South Florida.

Miami, Florida – Sunday – February 12, 2012 – Moore Building.

Chicago, Illinois - Tuesday – May 1, 2012 – Center on Halsted.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Thursday – May 3, 2012 - The William Way Center.

New York , New York - Saturday May 5, 2012 - The LGBT Center.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Continue To Vote For Roque Caston And His Blog "Roque's Reality" At The 2012 Weblog Awards



Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a great time. 2012 is still new and I love every minute of it. For everyone that knows me as the Saturday contributor here on The Future Forward website, I have something to share with you guys. Some amazing news has been announced a few days ago and I hope all you faithful readers are going to be a part of it.

The twelfth annual Weblog Awards opened its nominations on January 1st, 2012. This is an awards show that has recognized a wide variety of bloggers for the past twelve years. No matter what type of blogger you are, there is a category for you. Religion, Sports, Politics, Food, Humor, there is a category for everyone. 

I just nominated my popular comedy blog "Roque's Reality" for the Weblog awards under these five categories.

1. Best LGBT Blog
2. Best Topical Weblog
3. Most Humorous Weblog
4. Best Writing Of A Weblog
5. Best Kept Secret Weblog

This is something I've never done before. I've never nominated my blog in the whole four years I've been doing this. But when I found out about this amazing opportunity, I felt my blog deserved to be up there. Not just for me, but to my faithful readers as well. The readers of my blog and here on The Future Forward website of course, tell me all the time that they relate to my stories whether it's funny or serious. Here I am, a 20 year old, incredibly smart, African-American openly gay male, who lives a humorous and positive life that people can laugh and relate to openly and honestly. My stories keeps them entertained and they always tell me to never stop writing my stories.

That's the feedback I love. The fact that people love reading about my life. No matter who they are or what they are, they all consider me a part of their family. I have friends of almost every culture, race, gender, and sexual orientation. I love everyone and I show it all the time. It inspires me to convince more people to come read "Roque's Reality" and get the same reaction you guys do. I want to entertain you guys with my stories till the day I die. Better yet, even after I die, I'm sure there will be some unpublished manuscripts lying somewhere with my name on it. Whether you're reading my blog, a book I hope to have published someday, an article from a magazine, I want to always put a smile on your face and make you live a positive life.

Due to that, I'm asking for your help. I want you guys to not only vote for my blog yourselves, but I also want you to spread the word and tell people to vote for "Roque's Reality" in the same categories at the Weblog Awards. I want to get this blog to be at least nominated. I don't care about winning. The fact that more people will know about my blog is better than any award in my opinion. My Future Forward family has joined the band wagon and are helping me get the word out You should too!

Here is the link to my blog
http://www.roquesreality.com/ 

This is the link to the voting registry. All you have to do is go down and fill out three blogs under the five categories I listed above.
http://2012.bloggi.es/ 

Voting ends on January 15th. So we have to do this quickly. I have faith in each of my readers. I love every single one of my readers and I'll continue to write more stories just for you guys. You guys are my friends. So to my friends, please vote for "Roque's Reality" at the 2012 Weblog Awards.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

George Lucas: Hollywood Didn't Want To Fund My Film Because Of Its Black Cast

After Jar-Jar Binks, it's hard to not to give George Lucas' new film Red Tails the side-eye. The movie is World War II-era action flick based on the Tuskegee Airmen, the heroic and decorated pilots who were first black servicemembers to fly combat missions at a time when black Americans were not recognized as full citizens on the United States, despite their willingness to fight and die in its defense.

In an interview with the Daily Show's Jon Stewart on Monday night, Lucas was frank about the trouble he had getting the film made—in part, he said, because the studios weren't willing to finance a film without a white protagonist as an anchor.

"This has been held up for release since 1942 since it was shot, I've been trying to get released ever since," Lucas joked—although he did say that the film took about 23 years to develop. "It's because it's an all-black movie. There's no major white roles in it at all...I showed it to all of them and they said nooooo. We don't know how to market a move like this." Lucas goes on to explain that major studios don't believe films with majority black casts do well in foreign markets. Lucas was unbowed, telling Stewart that "we do want to do a prequel and a sequel," which I take as a measure of how excited and proud about Red Tails Lucas actually is. Bonus exuberance: "This is the closest you'll ever get to Episode Seven." Here's the video:



Lucas' explanation of how difficult it is for films with mostly-black casts (let alone black directors) was one of my major frustrations watching Pariah, Director Dee Rees' excellent coming-of-age film about a black lesbian teenager in Brooklyn. It wasn't just that the movie was good, it was that lingering social attitudes about race make such films far rarer than they should be, in part because of the way they skew economic incentives for major studios. Lucas gets a little big for his britches when he disses the 1989 Civil War epic Glory by describing it as a film where "you have a lot of white officers running these guys into cannon fodder," implying that in comparison to the Massachusetts 54th Regiment the Tuskegee Airmen were "real heroes."

The derision here is unnecessary and unwarranted; the men of the 54th were certainly heroes, and though it is hard to imagine, were fighting to preserve a nation that thought even less of them than it did of the Tuskegee Airmen. Also there's maybe a .0001 percent chance that Red Tails is actually a better movie, though Lucas' point about Hollywood's aversion to making films that don't center around white protagonists is well taken. The issue here is as political as it is economic—the white protagonists' role in mostly black films is generally to act as a redemptive vehicle for the white audience, allowing them to believe that in another place, at another time, they would have been just as righteous. Whether we're talking about the men of the 54th or Capt. Robert Gould Shaw, we are speaking of a kind of courage that is present in vanishingly few people. It is however, a conceit that studios seem to view as necessary to fill seats.

After watching Lucas' interview with Stewart, I'm more likely to see the movie than before. It's hard to forget the galactic coonery of Jar-Jar Binks. On the other hand, one of the screenwriters for Red Tails is Aaron McGruder, the writer behind the newspaper comic strip turned TV show The Boondocks. When the Star Wars prequels were first released, McGruder justifiably blasted Lucas over Jar-Jar from the perspective of a Star Wars fan. Lucas then hired him to write a movie. It's not quite enough to get me to forgive him for ruining the original Star Wars trilogy, but it's enough to get me to want to see Red Tails.

"DAISY BATES: FIRST LADY OF LITTLE ROCK" PREMIERES IN HARLEM


Saturday, January 14th

Time: 4 - 6 PM
Schomburg Center for
Research in Black Culture

515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037-1801


Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock tells the story of a seven-year journey by filmmaker Sharon La Cruise to try to unravel the life of a forgotten civil rights activist named Daisy Bates. In 1957, Bates became a household name when she fought for the right of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock,Arkansas. Bates’ public support culminated in a constitutional crisis — pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself.


As head of the Arkansas NAACP, and protector of the nine students, Daisy Bates would achieve instant fame as the drama played out on national television and in newspapers around the world. But that fame would prove fleeting and for her attempts to remain relevant, she would pay a hefty price.


This documentary travels with Daisy Bates on her long and lonely walk from orphaned child to newspaper woman to national Civil Rights figure to her last days in Little Rock.


Bates’ journey, both her triumphs and defeats parallels the ongoing struggle of generations of African Americans who for more than 200 years have challenged America to live up to what it claims to be.


COMING TO PBS on Thursday, February 2, 2012


4 Colored Boys Like Me


I am not a racist.

There's a perfectly sound reason why my new project, Langston's, is subtitled "a film by (4) colored boys." Besides the obvious answer (it's a collaboration between four noted black and latino filmmakers), there's also a much more personal reason, dating back about 20 years to when I was a little colored boy myself (as my grandma would affectionately call me).

Back then, I would occasionally wet my bed at night. After such incidents I'd hide my gold-tinted "tighty whities" from my father, who would undoubtedly "whoop" me if he found them. Nonetheless, despite my best efforts, he would sniff them out after they had festered for a few days in some ill-concealed location.

He would then call out for me in his ironically shrill, baritone voice, and, after a series of insults, proceed to beat me, accentuating verbally my various flaws with each lash. My worst offense, however, would be crying, because "black men don't cry," an adage he'd bark at me whenever my eyes started to well up. So I would just bite my lip until he was finished, then retire to my room and cry secretly into my pillow, all the while thinking, "I need help."

Of course, I didn't mean I needed to be rescued from my father's "tough love." Rather, I needed help controlling my compulsion to be me. I didn't want to be me. I hated me. "Me" needed help, and I knew no other little "colored" boys like me who could show me the way. So I looked to pop culture for guidance: music, movies, TV. Bill Cosby? No. Montel Williams? Denzel Washington? No. Flava Flav? Hell no. There was not one media personality or public figure that reflected me. I wasn't relevant. I didn't matter.

I grew up, cried a little less, and, as a teen, became even more obsessed with the idea of finding someone to connect with -- other little colored boys like me. I discovered this newfangled thing called "the Internet" at the library. I made new virtual "friends" and consequently put myself in unsafe situations, sexually and emotionally, just to feel something, to relate to someone. I thought that love manifested physically between a 41-year-old Italian bear and a 15-year-old little colored boy could fill a void, could help substitute for the lack of love I felt for myself; it didn't.

I recall going to my mom a few months later and having her take me for my first HIV test, and crying, and then her crying, and then us crying again when the results came back negative. And I remember thinking I would never be self-destructive in that way again.

I must admit, however, that the lure of boys and booze to fill a void still lingers, to gain instant gratification to temporarily replace constant feelings of illegitimacy. And while this could, in truth, be the story of anyone of any race, I find that my existence as a gay man of color has rarely been validated; how I felt as a little colored boy looking to the media for validation still resounds today as a grown colored man. Aside from a slew of big black men in pretty dresses (RuPaul, Tyler Perry, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, and Flip Wilson, all of whom I admire, but almost all of whom aren't gay) and some admirable attempts by a few noted filmmakers (Patrick Ian Polk, Maurice Jamal, and Roger Omeus, to name a few), there has not been a constant presence of gay men of color in mainstream media or popular culture.

Coupled with negative societal perspectives on homosexuality, the diminished presence of black-themed entertainment that was so pervasive in the '80s and '90s, and the Euro-centric focus of most gay entertainment and advertising, it's not so surprising that self-destructive actions among young gay black men are on the rise, with the CDC reporting that new infections among said demographic saw a dramatic increase of 48 percent in recent years, with 59 percent of those carrying the disease unaware of their status.

As a filmmaker, I see the problem as a matter of value. Television and film are a reflection of reality, barometers of what is real and relevant. If you do not see "you" reflected, subconsciously or not, a feeling of irrelevance can set in. And when this occurs, it can devalue your existence, especially when you are at a younger, more impressionable age and trying to find yourself.

So what happens to little colored boys like me? The ones growing up with no one to look up to? The ones who wet the bed and can't make their fathers proud? The ones who hate themselves and cry at nights? The ones sleeping with older men to fill a void or sleeping with just anyone with disregard for their lives or personal health? Are they as lucky as I was, or do they become a statistic?

My resolution for 2012 is to create more works for boys like me and turn feelings of irrelevance into feelings of self-love and inner peace. This resolution is reflected in the aforementioned film Langston's, a piece that spans the gamut of the LGBTQ experience for people of color. After a year of development, the four of us have created a singular film comprising four interconnected stories set in a gay, urban nightclub in Brooklyn.

The film is unapologetically colored, daringly gay, and yet strikingly universal. More importantly, it will forever be a testament to the worth and beauty of a community, something for little colored boys to look to so that they rarely, if ever, feel the emptiness I once felt.

May your stories be told, no matter what race, religion, orientation or creed, as well. You deserve it. You have value.

Through Jan. 14, we are accepting donations for this passion project on Kickstarter. We welcome your support for our love letter to little colored boys like us.

Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis: Donna Karan


Join fashion industry leader and award-winning creator of NY Fashion Week Fern Mallis for a look at the inner workings and culture of fashion with the most prestigious and iconic fashion designers working today.

Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2012, 8 pm

Venue: Kaufmann Concert Hall

Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd St

Event Code: TW12S71035

Donna Karan Pre-Fall 2012, wrote Bloginity, "reaffirmed Karan’s place among America’s most forward-thinking designers."

"...a ’50s-inspired full skirt and cotton cross blouse," remarked The New York Times' T Magazine, "remind us how simple and sexy a cinched waist can be."

There's no question Donna Karan, chief designer of the international company that bears her name, is an iconic designer. “Everything I do is a matter of heart, body and soul," she says. “For me, designing is an expression of who I am as a woman, with all the complications, feelings and emotions.”

Karan also founded the Urban Zen Foundation in 2007, the culmination of Karan's philanthropic efforts. Explains Karan, "I have founded the Urban Zen initiative to create a working structure for advancing wellness, preserving culture and empowering children. These are causes that mean the world to me."

Hear more from Donna Karan at 92nd Street Y on January 12 with fashion industry leader and award-winning creator of NY Fashion Week Fern Mallis, part of the Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis series.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Feature Film Langstons: "Whats it about?"

So as many of you know I am currently in coordination with Dane Joseph, Daniel Armando, and James Peeples on a POWERFUL new film called "Langstons" and many of you have asked me "WHY?" Well today Dane and myself have decided to answer those questions for you in two videos.


"The Danger of Not Being Gay"





"Inspiring Greater Greatness"

101 w/ NewNue and Dwight Allen O'Neal Interracial Dating GONE WRONG!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Vote For Roque Caston And His Blog "Roque's Reality" At The 2012 Weblog Awards



Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a great time. 2012 is still new and I love every minute of it. For everyone that knows me as the Saturday contributor here on The Future Forward website, I have something to share with you guys. Some amazing news has been announced a few days ago and I hope all you faithful readers are going to be a part of it.

The twelfth annual Weblog Awards opened its nominations on January 1st, 2012. This is an awards show that has recognized a wide variety of bloggers for the past twelve years. No matter what type of blogger you are, there is a category for you. Religion, Sports, Politics, Food, Humor, there is a category for everyone. 

I just nominated my popular comedy blog "Roque's Reality" for the Weblog awards under these five categories.

1. Best LGBT Blog
2. Best Topical Weblog
3. Most Humorous Weblog
4. Best Writing Of A Weblog
5. Best Kept Secret Weblog

This is something I've never done before. I've never nominated my blog in the whole four years I've been doing this. But when I found out about this amazing opportunity, I felt my blog deserved to be up there. Not just for me, but to my faithful readers as well. The readers of my blog and here on The Future Forward website of course, tell me all the time that they relate to my stories whether it's funny or serious. Here I am, a 20 year old, incredibly smart, African-American openly gay male, who lives a humorous and positive life that people can laugh and relate to openly and honestly. My stories keeps them entertained and they always tell me to never stop writing my stories.

That's the feedback I love. The fact that people love reading about my life. No matter who they are or what they are, they all consider me a part of their family. I have friends of almost every culture, race, gender, and sexual orientation. I love everyone and I show it all the time. It inspires me to convince more people to come read "Roque's Reality" and get the same reaction you guys do. I want to entertain you guys with my stories till the day I die. Better yet, even after I die, I'm sure there will be some unpublished manuscripts lying somewhere with my name on it. Whether you're reading my blog, a book I hope to have published someday, an article from a magazine, I want to always put a smile on your face and make you live a positive life.

Due to that, I'm asking for your help. I want you guys to not only vote for my blog yourselves, but I also want you to spread the word and tell people to vote for "Roque's Reality" in the same categories at the Weblog Awards. I want to get this blog to be at least nominated. I don't care about winning. The fact that more people will know about my blog is better than any award in my opinion. My Future Forward family has joined the band wagon and are helping me get the word out You should too!

Here is the link to my blog
http://www.roquesreality.com/ 

This is the link to the voting registry. All you have to do is go down and fill out three blogs under the five categories I listed above.
http://2012.bloggi.es/ 

Voting ends on January 15th. So we have to do this quickly. I have faith in each of my readers. I love every single one of my readers and I'll continue to write more stories just for you guys. You guys are my friends. So to my friends, please vote for "Roque's Reality" at the 2012 Weblog Awards.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Thought for the day"


Thought for the Day


This week: Explore something different.
Today: Take a different route to work
Tomorrow: Try a different food item on the menu
Friday: Speak to the co-worker or person, you may not speak to. Even if it is simply saying hello, or acknowledging something pleasing about the person.
For the Weekend: Notice the small shifts you made. Be open for newness to enter your life by releasing some of the old. And finally reward yourself by taking yourself on a private weekend lunch date, movie, walk, shopping, or live event (no matter how big or small be good to you).

Listen out for the increase and blessings in your life AND be open to let it flow. Let yourself be stretched and grow. The Universe has you, The Universe Loves YOU.


AVAILABLE NOW
Shadows & Lights
by Cornelius Jones Jr.
To Purchase your Autographed Copy

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Shadows&Lights Available NOW"





Shadows & Lights
Scenes Through Verse and Soliloquies
NOW AVAILABLE



Finally it is here FUTURE Fam. I am so so full today and want to share in the joy with you. I hope that you find a piece of yourself, in it, while reading the poems, scenes, songs, and imagery that I express in this debut collection. Share it with yourself, share it with your friends, family, or touch a strangers life with this book.

Thank you.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.



Tune in next Wednesday for more
Arts.Advocacy+Wellness with Cornelius Jones Jr.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Nhojj LIVE @ Brooklyn Museum (Saturday, January 7th, 2012)


Nhojj


Brooklyn Museum



Nhojj




January


07


Brooklyn, NY


The Brooklyn Museum is having a special "Out & Proud" Target First Saturday on January 7, 2012 to celebrate HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. Its the first major museum exhibition to explore how gender and sexual identity have shaped the creation of American portraiture.

OUTMusic Award winning artist Nhojj kicks off the Free evening @ 5 p.m. with a 50 minute set including his latest singles "Adam & Steve" and "He & Him."

His band includes:
John F Adams - Keys (played with Keith Sweat)
Marcelo Cardozo - Guitar
Clark Dark - Bass
Swiss Chris - Drums (played with John Legend)
Ishmael Jeffers, Cameron Bernard Jones, David Williams - Background Vocals

Seating is limited, so everyone is advised to arrive 30 minutes early.


Malachi Rivers Releases His debut single, Love & Music featuring U.K.'s Own Maria Bentley from His Forthcoming album Stereo Sound Escape


Natural gifts of artistic flare are rarely combined into one and allowed such vivid expressions of individuality as with the unique sound of Emcee, Malachi Rivers music. Behind a lion driven force to live out his dreams is the serene humility of a unique and ubiquitous individual.

Having toured the states and Europe with rising and notable Jazz star Marcus Strickland "Twi-Life" Group as the "God Voice" in support of their acclaimed live recorded album Open Reel Deck, Malachi developed the lyrical chops, musicality, and stage presence to hold down two to three shows a night. Working with such barrier breaking talent as Grammy Award winning rapper Cee-Knowledge aka Doodlebug of the Legendary Hip Hop Group Digable Planets, Spoken Word Star J.Ivy (Kanye West, Jay-Z, John Legend), and two breakthrough producers, Jazz trained female drummer turned producer JoVia Armstrong and House/Techno head Brandon Durrette, Malachi's debut album Stereo Sound Escapeembodies musicality, love, lyricism, and the privilege to hear music that crosses borders and not just the charts.

Born Greg Owens, Jr. In Prince George's County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C., Malachi started from humble beginnings with a young mother and step-father who raised him to be a very spiritually aware, confident, and disciplined individual. "Growing up I saw it all drugs, abuse, you name it! However, when I heard music, especially Hip Hop, like Tribe, Digable Planets, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and Arrested Development it was my escape. I started to feel like there was more to life than some of the things I saw. That's why I took on the name Malachi which means "my messenger" because I wanted to use music as away to get a message across. The last name Rivers came about because I wanted the message to flow like a river, sometimes its rough sometimes its smooth."

Malachi, began to take his love for music seriously auditioning and being accepted into a prestigious performing arts school in Maryland. Honing his craft vocally, Malachi studied Classical voice. "I was always told I had such a strong voice. I would sing Arias and Negro Spirituals all the time. Let's just say I was the young man who loved singing "Ol' Man River". After graduating Malachi, attended the University of Maryland where he developed an interest in spoken word poetry. Malachi, studied the craft, started a group with a female singer/poet and became one of the DMV's most dominant spoken word performers. Winning Slams, and performing alongside or for many outstanding performers including Saul Williams, Sonia Sanchez, Dick Gregory, and performing at the same spot on a weekly basis as R&B singer Raheem Devaughn.

After the group broke up, Malachi began to do some soul searching. Taking time away from the craft, Malachi enrolled in Broadcasting school, graduated, worked hard as an intern at Radio One in the DMV area and within a few months became the co-host of a talk show on a very new at the time XM Satellite Radio - "The Power". In less than a year Malachi was given his own show on XM Satellite Radio - "The Flow" called The "Nu Soul Lounge". The show played "Neo-Soul" Spoken Word, and "conscience" Hip Hop. Moreover, this was the blessing that got him back on track to his musical path. "I remember being behind the mic interviewing Dougie E. Fresh, and started "spittin" for him, being in a hotel room having a cypher with The Nappy Roots, being in a backstage dressing room rhyme fest with Eve and Beenie Man, vibing with India. Arie, talking to Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, John Legend, Q-Tip, and feeling like I never want this to end. So I left it all and moved to NYC to pursue my dreams as a emcee/poet."

Malachi delved right into the New York scene, with only $103 dollars in his pocket and a dream. Hitting up open mic spots and meeting an array of talent. Performing for a month in a musical at the legendary Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, frequenting the "mother of all open mics" Village Underground, and many other spots. "I remember studying what performers did to captivate an audience. By attending these spots it developed me even more as an artist."

Perhaps, even beyond the open mic scene the world of social media has done wonders for Malachi. "I've always been a person to network, so social media was a cinch for me." Through social media Malachi, met the man who he thanks as giving him the opportunity to perform at the legendary Blue Note Jazz Club and to see the world, Jazz star Marcus Strickland. Strickland discovered Malachi on Myspace and sought after his talents for his project. Malachi, was also able to meet U.K. soul singer Maria Bentley, who he has two songs with to date, JoVia the amazing female producer who produced three tracks off his forthcoming albumStereo Sound Escape, including his debut single Love & Music with Maria Bentley, and one of his Hip Hop inspirations Cee-Knowledge aka Doodlebug from Digable Planets, whom has blessed Malachi with a powerful collaboration.

"Working on the album Stereo Sound Escape has been the most rewarding part of my career
so far. To put it quite simply I just didn't give a damn about fitting into any sound. I think the album is more of an introduction of what I have to offer as an artist who uses music and words to convey feelings, versus fitting into any genre. It's all a part of who I am."


Hence, the album's name Stereo Sound Escape. "Traveling the world and performing, I was exposed to different sounds and musical elements. I wanted to be true to the sound that I know I can perform with my heart in it. Not what someone said is hot or the trend right now. I wanted to give myself and my listeners an okay, to step away from what we hear on the radio. If my music charts what a blessing, if it doesn't the blessing is still there because I am doing what I love."

“Through music we are able to find ourselves in some shape or form. We are able to visit a place that has been revealed to everyone. It's a special place that the person in the hood has visited, the rich socialite has nodded her head in, and the poor child looking for food has only imagined. However, it is the one place that we all cross paths, regardless of our life story.”

Malachi Rivers, is what you would call a true artist. As an emcee he is compelling and as a performer engaging. Beyond any musical genre. He performs what is in his heart and that alone is a major hit!


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