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Opinion: Khia Shamone – America’s Secret Guilty Pleasure

Now, for those who do not know, the phrase ‘guilty pleasure‘ is defined as: “something, such as a movie, television program, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.” And why, many people keep their guilty pleasures secret, but spend their money on them, as well as  their time listening or watching.

 

It’s amazing what one can find on Youtube! It is a great place to visit when you need take a break. Recently, upon looking for something that helps with laughter, I encountered a Youtube show called: “The Queen’s Court”. It was a hilarious hit show, but, the two parties in roles of ‘dishonorable judges’ had a Youtube break-up, which became contentious, with real-life court appearances required. However, the pair went their separate ways, leaving the show to become an iconic and instant classic. Initially, before the exhibition of bad blood between the pair, many were hoping that they would reunite, because the chemistry was magical, and together they were golden. But one can only compare the split  to a bitter divorce, which ended up in feuds between the fans, who took a side, just as friends, family and children would do during a real-life divorce. Youtube was abuzz with the feud. And that, was the end of that.

Now many might know Khia for her hit song: “My neck, My Back”, and there are those who may publicly look down their noses at her music, but privately enjoy her work. Hence the title “Secret Guilty Pleasure”. But, unbeknownst to many, she also worked with Janet Jackson and Miley Cyrus. Khia Shamone is a multi-talented singer, rapper,songwriter. She is consistently solicited to write songs for other artists. She is beloved by her fans for her ability to “keep it real”. Many, however, are unaware her comedic talents. If anyone knows the work of Don Rickles, which was laced with his comedic jibes and insults, then you are on your way to appreciating the comedic work of Khia, which the young people today call ‘roasts’ and ‘gags’. Khia is also known to her fans  ‘Queen’, ‘QueenKhia’ and ‘Thug Misses’.

On one particular episode of The  Queen’s Court show, there was one woman who continued to call into the show and ask Khia about something which Khia felt was not only inappropriate, but, was also a complete waste of her time due to the inaccuracies as presented by the caller. Khia, who also has the nickname of “Motormouf” (motormouth), lit into the caller, over-talked her and ultimately used the term “Next Caller“, (a term which was acknowledged via a shout-out from  Erykah Badu on the most recent BET awards show). The result of that call gave birth to the song written by Khia appropriately titled “Next Caller”, in which the conversation was described and reenacted  in the song. She tells the caller to “stop calling”.  (You can listen to the song on her Youtube channel and a link is provided below.) But if you are sensitive to off-color language, then your sensitivities will surely be put on alert. Or, like others, you will privately enjoy it ‘secretly’. Such is the case with much of her music, but she continues to have success, so she is indeed, a secret  guilty pleasure.

One would have to admit that, not since Blues singer Lucille Bogan’s “Shave me dry” in the 1930’s, has a woman had the courage to record songs such as these. But, like Khia, Ms. Bogan’s work sold millions, and she was very popular in her day.

Now only for purposes of just how real and honest she keeps it, Khia makes no attempt to hide her past. And, she admits to keeping a collage of her mug shots in a frame on her desk, to, (as she says), to remind her of the things that she does NOT want to do again. When someone tried to embarrass her regarding her past, that was how she set them straight during one of her ‘Queen’s Chambers’ posts.

Khia now performs exclusively in an Atlanta, Georgia night club called ‘The Ivory’ on Monday nights with fans traveling from all over the country, and others either call in or skype from all over the world. The name of the show is “Gag Order” and consists of her placing news of the day on her ‘docket’, discusses the ‘case’, then renders her “verdict” and a ‘sentence‘.  And it is fun, but also there is the ring of truth, and also hilarious. The show airs live on Youtube. And in between, due to the popular demand of her fans, she does a live “gag order” show from her home, which she has titled “Gag Order from the Queen’s Chambers”. (You can find links to her official  sites below.)

Khia does not bite her tongue, and often says what many are thinking, but do not have the courage to say.  Again, another reason why she is indeed America’s Secret Guilty Pleasure. Khia’s official Youtube pages are https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9bRKhLWRY05BVVdCTG3Yxg and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDKjER-pFiWMUSp78WCbI1g

 

 

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Radar Recommends: “Hidden Figures”

Image result for Who are the women portrayed in hidden figures

If one wants to observe a portion of the history of African-American women during the 1960’s , then this film is mandatory for students of true history.  These three brilliant women made remarkable contributions to NASA’s space program, but they also paid the price of not only being women in a field which women were routinely kept out, but the double whammy of also being African-American women who were also smart. They were slighted, insulted,and even ignored, but their brilliance, like cream rising to the top, made their participation  and presence, required and unmatched. But yet, history tried to ‘hide‘ them.

During that time, women were forced to wear ‘costumes’ which addressed dress length, (no pants), jewelry, etc.  And in those days, women went along with it – because, after all, what choice did they have?  But it was far worse for the African-American women, for, due to the Jim Crow laws in effect, they could not even use the same facilities as the White women. And, unfortunately, many girls, of all races, were disabused of any desire to pursue a vocation which required intense mathematical skills.

MaImage result for Who are the women portrayed in hidden figuresry Jackson ,Katherine Johnson, and  Dorothy Vaughan were hired as ‘human computers’ and pre-dated actual computers, with the first computer being the huge IBM ‘machine’. Katherine Johnson, a childhood mathematical genius, successfully calculated the difficult trajectory calculations which contributed to launching a man into space and returning him safely back to earth. Mary Jackson was an engineer for the space program, who had to fight for the job  and its title, even though she was doing the work. Dorothy Vaughan, also a brilliant mathematician,  hired as a human computer, eventually mastered IBM and programming it, and became a computer programming expert, as well as supervising the NASA computer unit.

In November 2015, Johnson was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. The following Image result for Who are the women portrayed in hidden figuresMay, NASA opened the new $30 million, 40,000-square-foot Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility at Langley.             Related image

These women are heroes and role models for all the young girls out there who choose to work in fields which require mathematical skills, and, for women of color, who can be assured that their skill will speak for them.  The women are  excellently presented in this film, and their story will give you chills and you will find yourself cheering for them, yet also crying with them, but ultimately, celebrating their victories.

https://www.biography.com/people/dorothy-johnson-vaughan-111416

https://www.biography.com/people/mary-winston-jackson-120616

https://www.biography.com/people/katherine-g-johnson-101016

http://abdopublishing.com/shop/show/9454

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley/computational-facility-named-in-tribute-to-nasa-langley-math-master-katherine-johnson

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