Tap Tap Tap In… A Life of Luxury

NEW BLOG ALERT: Tap, Tap, Tap In …A Life of Luxury

Black women being luxurious? We LOVE to see it! Taking notes from the head of the Icy Gang herself @saweetie , Maddy (@she_mad_kool ) encourages all women to tap in to the finer things in life because we ALL deserve to be celebrated, even if we have to do it ourselves! Check out the latest from the pedestal!

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

Black women and luxury are synonyms; to be honest, Black women in music have been encouraging the luxurious life for a long time. I remember seeing Mariah Carey’s episode of MTV’s Cribs and knew I was destined for greatness. Now that I am older, I realize I have been caught up in the degrees and hustle that I have not taken the time to smell the roses. I deserve that icy life Saweetie raps.

My birthday is coming up, and I realized that the entire last decade I planted, and this decade I have decided I will reap. The luxurious life does not include just bags and jewels; it is catering to myself in ways that enhance my current lifestyle and embrace the comforts that life can bring. I need more spa dates, more therapy, more reading, more scenery, and more time traveling with friends. People who…

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Speak Life into Black Girls — The Pedestal Project

Check out my latest article on The Pedestal Project!

The viral video of a precious little beauty exclaiming that she is ugly while she is in the process of getting some maintenance on the natural locs she has broke my heart. Before I  knew it, I  was talking to her through my phone screen. I  spoke words of affirmation I  wish […]

Speak Life into Black Girls — The Pedestal Project

Steel Magnolia

Last week, a beloved longtime journalist in my hometown, by the name of Magnolia Wade-Dixon made a post on Facebook that really riled me. I will admit that I am a bit protective over women who are made to feel any other way than what they deserve. In this case even more so, because Ms. Dixon, or Maggie Wade Dixon as she’s known locally, is the face of poise and natural beauty. She’s been the face of WLBT news for as long as I can remember and she always graces viewers with a smile when needed, a calming presence during tumultuous times, and believing eyes when there are periods of uplift.

For her to receive a letter from a viewer who exclaimed that she used to be professional and how young black and brown girls used to look up to her and that she is on the “decline” was so absurd, I let out a laugh thinking that maybe I was reading a silly parody post. To my surprise the post was as real as the stupidity that radiated from this person. This person commented on her weight and appearance as if that is what is what her job is, to look good for viewers’ eyes she never sees. She gives the news the way it was meant to be given, confidently, accurately, and compassionately. Through her admission that she’s struggled with these things, she used this opportunity to educate with a level of class this insensitive and ignorant viewer did not deserve.

I am not exaggerating when I say that Maggie is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. She’s been a fixture in my family’s home on a daily basis and I am still captivated by her presence. She is as beautiful as the state flower bearing the same name, and someone behind a mask tried to shame her by projecting their own insecurities onto her. No one is always brave and everyone needs encouragement. Speak life into young girls and never stop. Even as women, people such as this will try their best to tear you down, and you must continue rising as far as the sky will let you.

To Ms. Maggie, we stand with you and for you. I already know you are surrounded by more love than your heart can hold, but I hope you feel this bit of light and know that you have one more cheerleader who is still inspired by you. Thank you.

I May Destroy You

Arabella is stalking the scene of the crime, which is ironically and symbolically a bar called ‘Ego Death’. She cannot go in. She makes it sort of a routine, as she ropes her friends into the outing they don’t understand but fully support. It’s been a long journey to this get to this point and I wonder if she will ever go back inside or even if she knows what she what she is looking for. The bar in question is where she was assaulted and in a sense broken. The person that staggered out of Ego Death that night was not the person who was brought in.

The latest project and brainchild to emerge from the heart of Michaela Coel is a drama that stuns from pilot to finale. Along the way we dive into main character Arabella’s life along with that of her two best friend’s and other acquaintances. The exploration of sexual violation in a variety of ways is the core of this story. Sexual violence does not have a mold. It does not fit in a box and its effects certainly do not exist in a vacuum. For the past couple of months this journey Michaela has sent us on has really been informative and empowering.

Arabella (Michaela Coel) attends a support meeting with other survivors of sexual assault on HBO’s I May Destroy You. Coel, the show’s creator, writer, director and star, based the series on something that happened to her.

The intention in every flashback, every interaction that seemed to not fit with the story at hand, every outfit, wig, and change of scenery did not go unnoticed. She uses rational means to explore a vary irrational crime. And it is also evident that it was important to capture the journey of the survivor, well…surviving. Instead of Arabella being so consumed with solving her own crime, I appreciated that Michaela involved the view of the authorities to explore how they handle victims of sex crimes, while the show allowed Arabella to flesh out the reality of a survivor whose focus is to pick up the pieces.  A survivor that has to continue to move forward and meet deadlines, even when something happens to them that could be crippling and debilitating. Keeping the lens on this lane emphasizes the importance of community and show how healing is not lateral.  Healing is ugly, it is uncomfortable, it can drag out memories we’ve kept buried inside, and make us reflect on past actions. Healing can also allow other things and people to expose themselves for better or for worse. Monsters do not just exist under our beds.

In the end, there is no need to feel sorry for Arabella. She owns her new journey and creates something beautiful from something too painful to imagine. She dances, she paints, she goes to the gym, and has career setbacks, but she lives to fight another day. Her crime goes unsolved but she finds the courage to release her literal baggage. As each episode carries on, so does she. She continues to move forward toward her own light.

Programme Name: I May Destroy You РTX: 07/07/2020 РEpisode: n/a (No. 10) РPicture Shows: Arabella (MICHAELA COEL) Р(C) © Various Artists Ltd and FALKNA РPhotographer: Natalie Seer

I found myself satisfied with the events of the finale. A glimpse inside Arabella’s mind allowed her to take back her narrative and different ways she could exert revenge and compassion as a means to retrieve the power that I don’t think she knew she still possessed. Her attacker never stopped her. She has her voice. That voice is is relevant, it is important, and it is needed.

Sexual crimes are violent, but not always apparent. The realization of being a victim may not happen until well after the fact. And it is okay to not be okay. I believe Michaela allowing us to see every win and loss Arabella suffers after that night lets us know that trauma does not only exist in a story line or a thirty-minute episode as it never goes away. One traumatic event can sometimes bind to other trauma and cling heavily to the backs of survivors. True strength is knowing that survivors are forced to find ways to allow themselves to keep going.

One can dream, one can imagine a different outcome, one can push it to the back of their minds, but it is there, and how one copes, how one deals and how one continues to live determines whether they let it destroy them or realize it is a living breathing thing, and beat it to literal death.

Thank you, Michaela.

All photos via HBO

WAP: Women Ain’t Playin — The Pedestal Project

We aint playin! Click the link below for my latest post!

Work is stressful, home is stressful, life is stressful, and overall between prayer and music, sometimes I feel like I am hanging on by a thread. But let me tell you about ChloexHalle, Lianne La Havas, and Victoria Monet. This world does not deserve black women, and that’s a hill on which […]

WAP: Women Ain’t Playin — The Pedestal Project

It Was The Nostalgia For Me… — The Pedestal Project

Click the Link below to read my thoughts on Netflix’s huge move!

Last week, Netflix announced the return of several nostalgic millennial black shows to its streaming lineup. For a lot of people, it is bittersweet. Some of the stars of these shows are no longer with us, but being able to see their work shines a bright light on the importance of legacy […]

It Was The Nostalgia For Me… — The Pedestal Project

I Am Not My Ancestors, But I Hope to Be — The Pedestal Project

Rest in peace to two icons of the modern struggle for black equality. Congressman Lewis and Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian. Check out my latest post about respect and introspection.

When I hear the phrase “I am not my ancestors” it honestly makes my blood boil. The notion that our ancestors were weak and feeble is so far on the opposite side of history that it’s almost comical. It’s really sad that we downplay the role of every type of activist that […]

I Am Not My Ancestors, But I Hope to Be — The Pedestal Project

One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Free Mississippi — The Pedestal Project

I always write about how proud I am to be a Mississippian. I attribute almost everything about who I am based on the fact my livelihood is here, the most outstanding people walking this earth were created here, and everything about my intellect stems from the education I have received here. Click the link below for more!

One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Free Mississippi — The Pedestal Project

Happy New Year

Half year check-in! We’re gonna make it to the end, just one day at a time! Check out my latest post on The Pedestal Project!

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

I am proud of the woman that I am now. I am even prouder that the woman I am now is better than I was a year ago. Now, I am not a completely different person, but I am better. I’ve been intentional about being a better friend, a better daughter, a better sister, a better girlfriend, and a better Black American. Six months ago, I would have figured that everything that has transpired since 2020 got here was a work of fiction. This has been the craziest series of events and unfortunately has set a lot of people back financially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I am in a better spot than I was a few weeks ago, but I literally have to take it day by day. I love being Black, but it’s hard being Black. Having to deal with everything that Black people already deal…

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God Loves Black Lives Too

God loves us all, including every single black hetero, LGBTQ, old, young, and every black life in between. He created this black skin and all its GLORY! Check out my latest post!

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

First of all, let me start by stating something that doesn’t need to be said. Black Lives Matter. Every single black life. Heterosexual, LGBTQ+, Light-skinned, dark-skinned, able-bodied, handicap-able, old, young, near and far. You matter and I speak directly to YOU.  I find myself waking up mad and going to bed mad as hell. I find myself voicing my point in the face of those who burned Lebron James and Colin Kaepernick jerseys and sec fans who tear up cities when they love. Those same people try to shame protestors who are sick and tired of being treated as second-class citizens and being killed by those who are paid by-weekly to protect people for a living. A white lady told me today she has been screamed at by cops for something trivial a number of times. Girl, save it. It was so deplorable it almost made me…

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