80s Fresh: The Classic Jamel Shabazz Photo Collection

Jamel Shabazz, a fashion/fine art/documentary photographer created a book called Back in The Day in 2001, and this photography book has some of the best photos of everyday people in the 80s. His other amazing photography books includes A Time Before Crack, Alex Fakso, & The Last Sunday In June. The significance of these classic photographs are a major part of fashion, culture, music, lifestyle, and art. These people were living and a part of a golden era and innovative time in music and lived in New York City, a place that is home to Boogie Down Bronx/ 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. If anyone loves old school rap and knows it’s history/birthplace, then those locations/references are significant and means a lot when it comes to music history/culture. It is interesting seeing photos of everyday people who were in the midst of it all. Here are just some of my favorites.

People Who Brag About Being Mean/Cold Hearted:Kindness Is Not Weakness

I live in a generation where a lot of young people in my age group brag or celebrate being mean, cold-hearted, and other negative attributes. The sad thing is, people adopt this attitude (especially the whole ”I don’t care about anything” attitude) because they have been hurt or let down by other people. People like myself, those who actually love being kind/sweet and not cold hearted are sometimes looked at as vulnerable or ”weak”. However, this is not true. For one, although alot of us naturally have many acquaintances, I believe it is best to try to surround yourself with people who want to absorb, contribute to and preserve your kindness and positive energy. I can honestly say that everyone who I surround myself with on a personal level does not try to take advantage of me or inspire me to go astray from what I really am. I like being warm/good hearted, being nice, and just being …Tanzy. Tanzy does not try to belittle others or speak ill of someone just because our vibes don’t get along. Tanzy is not a ”mean girl” or one who brags about having a cold heart/persona. That is just not me nor do I ever want it to be. The moment we realize someone’s vibe/energy doesn’t go well/connect with our own positive one, we should try to distant ourselves. I would rather be looked at as stand-offish, and keeping to myself a lot, if that means making sure I only surround myself with people who appreciate my spirit/energy. The people we hang out with are a reflection of our own energy/vibe. For an example, I don’t care to befriend those who I notice love to speak negative about others and have a jealous/hateful undertone to them. That is not me, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable being around people like that. Despite some of the things that can go wrong in this life, I don’t ever want to be a cold hearted individual who brags about being mean and careless. We need more people in this world who encourage kindness and positivity. How can one call themselves positive if the vibe/energy they throw out into the world does not match what they claim to be? I would rather just be quiet, not communicate with someone, ignore and pray for them instead of trying to speak ill about them or throw negative energy their way. All in all, I believe it is important for us kind/warm hearted people who are not mean to stay this way. Of course, don’t let anyone take advantage of you, but please don’t think it is a form of weakness to remain a kind person. It is actually a very brave thing to be in this world.

Being Eager To Learn/Know More

Not every one will want to search for answers to philosophical questions like investigating what is “truth” and what is not.  The thing is, most of us have our own personal set of beliefs, but some of us never question or desire to take that extra step when it comes to finding out, knowing more. I disagree when people think that we cannot find and discover some truths to life’s “mysteries” on this Earth, because we can. There are some things that we may not know until we are no longer here, but why be okay with going through life not even trying to gain as much wisdom,  enlightenment, and knowledge as possible? These things are eternal and lasts longer than any worldly posession we desire and own. Yet, it’s interesting how some people, including many who claim to believe in some kind of afterlife, spend so little time asking themselves these questions: What can I take with me after this is over?  What can I always have with me that will be eternal and is priceless? If we are actually souls that will never die, and not just temporary human bodies, then why not try to nurture it as much as we do the physical? It truly is a beautiful process when we desire to learn/know more about things we question and find “mysterious”. Its better than telling yourself ” I know nothing and I’ll wait to find out”.

Afropunk Fest will bring D’Angelo, impressive lineup to Atlanta

I’m looking forward to it, this is gonna be fun.

Atlanta Music Scene with Melissa Ruggieri

D'Angelo played The Tabernacle in June and will return to headline Afropunk Fest. Photo: Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Special to the AJC. D’Angelo played The Tabernacle in June and will return to headline Afropunk Fest. Photo: Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Special to the AJC.

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI

Brooklyn’s Afropunk Fest is branching into Atlanta this year and arriving with an impressive array of multicultural music.

The event – so you can mark it on your Yet Another Festival in Atlanta calendar – will take place at Central Park (recently home to the Shaky Knees Music Festival) on Oct. 3-4.

The notable lineup includes: D’Angelo and the Vanguard; Flying Lotus; Santigold; Tyler, The Creator; Death Grips; Public Enemy; Twin Shadow; Danny Brown; Benjamin Booker; Suicidal Tendencies; Trash Talk; Kaytranada; Big Freedia and Saul Williams.

General admission tickets start at $79 for the weekend and $289 for a VIP weekend pass. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. July 8.

Following the festival…

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The Class I Love: Moral Philosophy/Ethical Issues Course

One of my distance learning program classes I love involves studying and analyzing different moral and ethical theories.  Some may think that what is morally right and wrong are not that hard to differentiate from, but there are many aspects and perspectives that correlate with this topic. For an example, there are consequentialist ethics that involves the pros/cons of Act Utilitarianism, Aristotle’s virtue ethics, Kant’s Good Will Theory relating to deontological ethics,  and moral relativism. They all require one’s mind to think critically about the advantages/disadvantages of each. Bottom line, there are so many different ways and aspects to analyze when it comes to moral philosophy and ethical issues.  What I love about this class, is that you have no choice but to actually think deeply and not just see things from one view. Conversing about moral philosophies and theories are great thought provoking topics to have.

Hey You,Hang On: Inspirational Concept To Everybody Hurts By R.E.M

 I think this song is truly inspirational and reminds us that in life everyone may hurt, cry, or feel down at times…but please hold on and keep going. So, to anyone who need’s it, just remember that people do care , you’re not alone and you matter. Let’s all try to take care and nurture our souls, stay good hearted, and no matter what is happening in the world….don’t let it discourage you or turn your heart cold!

When the day is long and the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life, well hang on

Don’t let yourself go, ’cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone
(Hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go
(Hold on)
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life, well hang on

‘Cause everybody hurts take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts

Don’t throw your hand oh, no don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you’re on your own in this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes, everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes

And everybody hurts sometimes so, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts
No, no, no, no, you are not alone