Earlier this year Zora Ball was your average 1st grader until she decided to create and develop a mobile video game app, making her the youngest person to ever do so. At just 7-years old Zora managed to learn a programming language called “Bootstrap” that is normally used to teach kids ages 12 through 16 the different concepts of Algebra by using video games. Her teachers and family were astonished by her accomplishment.She was invited to an expo at the University of Penn where she was put on the spot and asked to reconfigure the app in front of everyone to prove that it was her that developed the mobile app in the first place and not her older brother who is a scholar student. Zora successfully did so and got rid of any doubt that anyone had.Zora Ball is now referred to a young prodigy with an extremely bright future in technology and computer science. Young Zora is an example of Black Excellence not having an age requirement.Written By: @Champion_Us
Chaquis Maliq celebrates her birthday by premiering her very first music video from her EP Harmonies of Me. On July 23rd(her birthday), Chaquis will show the world her soul with an official video of the acoustic track, "You Are," along with a statement on the video concept.Harmonies of Me reached it’s year anniversary on June 26th , while Chaquis Maliq toured as the sensational 1 Woman Band toNew York’s Harlem Arts Festival, and Ohio’s FOX28/Good Day Columbus & Columbus Arts Festival . Still determined to reach her fans, it was only right for her to be the 1 Woman Video Crew. Harmonies of Me has gained the hearts of her listeners. It has also gained Global Recognition in Countries, such as Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Sydney.Happy Birthday Chaquis!
#NotJustHello is a recent Twitter dialogue (started by @Karnythia) on how street harassment is not just about men not being able to say “hello” to women (though all who experience street harassment aren’t necessarily “women” or ID as such). Above are some of my tweets during that conversation. The idea that it is women “preventing” hello is not just a violently gross lie, but a mass oversimplification of the verbal/physical abuse and even sexual assault/murder that comes about via street harassment.
Anyone who thinks all I describe above is okay clearly supports violence. None of these actions (and I’ve experienced much worse; some I don’t even discuss online) above are about saying “hello.” It’s one of the reasons why I included "so I can’t say hello?" in my Street Harassment and Street Harassment + Misogynoir BINGO card, that I included again in this post.
The first time I posted the BINGO card is in my recent post about my experiences, my writing on street harassment as experienced as a Black woman and the anti-street harassment chat #YouOkSis (by @Russian_Starr and @FeministaJones) scheduled for Thursday, July 10th at 12pm. In this aforementioned post (and within my years of writing on the topic) I address why some people want Black women silenced on this topic (and in general) and how the racist and anti-intersectional mainstream media framing and centering of White women as the only victims of street harassment with Black men as only perpetrators removes other men’s culpability and again, silences Black women. This is a time and space for Black women to speak our truths.
Related Post: Street Harassment Is Violence (Essay Compilation)
I’m so upset, angry and just completely disgusted about this story!
Matthew Durham, 19, allegedly confessed to sexually assaulting several children at an orphanage in Kenya, police said. (Credit: KFOR)
An Edmond teenager faces a possible life in prison sentence after authorities say they learned about shocking crimes he allegedly committed on an African mission trip.
The suspect was volunteering at a Kenyan children’s home when he allegedly raped and molested a number of young children.
According to court records, 19-year-old Matthew Durham confessed to raping several young girls, forcing some boys to perform oral sex on him and even making other kids watch.
“This is a young man in our community that made choices to exploit children in an orphanage,” said United States Attorney Sanford Coats. “It’s a true tragedy all the way around.”
The 19-year-old suspect traveled overseas with a group called Upendo.
Upendo is an organization that assists neglected Kenyan kids by providing food, housing, clothes and religion.
While Durham volunteered to travel overseas several times over the last two years, on his last visit, the criminal complaint alleges, “Durham requested to stay at the children’s home in an ‘overflow bunk’ rather than at an offsite facility.”
During that visit, several alleged victims claimed Durham “often touched them in a sexual manner or told them to touch themselves while he watched.”
Once confronted, Durham allegedly came clean.
“A caretaker at the orphanage noticed something wasn’t right and confronted Mr. Durham. He admitted to some of the acts,” said Coats.
The affidavit continues, “The victims are believed to be both boys and girls between the ages of four and nine, at least one of whom is HIV positive.”
Prosecutors say while the alleged sex crimes were committed overseas, Durham can be held accountable for the crimes in Oklahoma.
Durham is being held without bond.
Artist: Chaquis Maliq
For those who swear up and down that my tour life is so lavish. HA! I don’t even know where to begin. This day was a trying day for me. But I will say this. My team communicated with the stage manager about my travel and sound-check taking place on the day of the performance at the Harlem Arts Festival.
I for one have never taken the bus to NYC on a SUNDAY! Um..never again. (Oh. Someone ripped the frost off the bathroom window. So yes, WE WERE MOONING FOLKS ON THE TURNPIKE!)There was so much traffic from DC to NYC on June 29th AKA PRIDE! Really, I didn’t know it was Pride until I got to NYC 2 hours later than scheduled. Don’t laugh. It’s not funny. Do understand how rude people are in NYC?! And on top of that it’s Pride.
Anyhow, my sound-check was scheduled for 7PM. My set was from 7:30PM. I am busting my A$$ to get to this Festival on-time. There is no time to be on the phone when you are:
I arrive at the festival at about 7:12PM with all my gear. They are tearing down the stage.The stage manager says, who are you. (Breathe Chaquis, Breathe) First of all why don’t you know who the artists are for your stage, Mr. Stage Manager? (I’m writing this, and thinking…maybe I should have done a video recap lol) I explain what I went through to get her for the amount of change they were paying me…and that I am performing. They said, that they had to get the director first. I said, "Well, set up the sound, while someone else gets the director, because it makes no sense to WAIT, just for the director to okay the scheduled performance. Waste time, sitting, while I could already be set up." They stood by their nonsense. And yes, you know the stage managers were both MEN!
So, finally the director is found and is leaning on what the stage managers told him. “There was no answer from when they called. You were the last act on the second stage. So, we directed everyone to the main stage.” Really an hour before my set… <enter the photo of the baby sitting at the computer with the perfect expression here>
So finally at 7:30 we are SETTING UP! The festival is over at 8PM! And some crew member walks over to take the sign down off the stage. Really #$%^! And yes, I said what you think I said and she let go of the signage. Finally it’s show time. There is this snapple struck sitting in the middle of the area blocking people from even knowing I’m up on the stage, because they are breaking down their booth. Some awesome festival stragglers got to catch me perform and stuck around for my 4 song set. I made sure I greeted everyone and told them what happened on my way to come and perform for them and where I traveled from…and they were ELATED that I still came to do what I promised to do.
While I was performing there was a man that was laid out on a couple of chairs…right in front of me…shortly after, her rolled on to the ground. The medics came and everything all while I was performing. Yes, right in front of me. (Footage Below)
People were buying CD’s while I was performing, some even scrapped up change to make sure they supported me! I could not find my square for my credit card purchases, but Ohene let me borrow is square! The director allowed me to keep 100% of my CD Sales. I am only mentioning that part, because it was then…when I realized that I went through all of this to receive that blessing. I had absolutely no cash on me. So, recognize all of your blessings and know that the uncontrollable circumstances in your life create the balance for your blessing. Remember that.
Thank you for keeping up with my Acoustic Adventures and 1 Woman Band Journey! Next entry will be about my show at the Potomac Waterfront!
- Chaquis Maliq 07.15.14
HARMONIES OF ME
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Jada’s case shares an eerie similarity to last year’s Steubenville rape case. That incident, too, involved the assault of a teenage girl, and that case, too, saw photos and videos of the unconscious girl spread like wildfire across the Web.
But unlike the Steubenville case, to which the reactions ranged from disturbing to downright egregious, Jada’s story is receiving an overwhelming outpouring of support. While the initial purpose of #jadapose was to make a mockery of a young girl’s sexual assault, her supporters have come out in droves to back her.
The Voice “Cleveland” Auditions
Ok, so if you have been keeping up with the Acoustic Adventures of me and my 1 Woman Band… You probably already know, that I pretty much lived in OHIO for 2 weeks…LOL!
Anyway, just hours after performing at the Harvest Cafe in Columbus, OH - I was on my way to Cleveland for The Voice Auditions. The crazy thing is… I still didn’t have a ticket back home after being gone for 2 weeks! At first, I thought I was selected to audition for The Voice…So, while I’m waiting for my gig paycheck to clear…I’m feeling like I’m stuck in Columbus, OH BWAHAHAHA!
Then 2 days after I was supposed to receive the confirmation, I get one. I’m like JYEAH! The crazy thing is… that this is my FIRST AUDITION. Yeah, straight to the deep end of the pool. (Hey, the dog pedal has saved my life a few times as kid.)
I arrive at the Greyhound Station and my bag weighs in at 58 pounds. Yes, I paid for the extra weight. I didn’t want to re-pack that bag, on top of carrying my guitar and 1 other bag. SLIM! I am 5’1 and like 140 pounds or something. (So, I’m carrying myself damn near on these trips.)
Finally, I get to Cleveland…and I missed a taxi, called for 1 TWICE. It never came. Finally, some random taxi comes out of nowhere after waiting for at least 45 minutes. I get in just to go 1 mile. Man, I was tired lol. So, I get in line at about 9AM meet some other singers… they made me sing of course. This one cat, was supposed to sing after I sang..then asked me to sing another song. Slim… was trying to get a free concert on the low!
Then Mrs. Ruffin and her daughter gets in line behind me. I tell ya, this woman helped me with all my LIFE that I was carrying. We get inside, and had to do a TSA check…The officer said… “You know we have to unpack your bag?!” I was like, “AH HELLS NO!” So, Mrs. Ruffin took my whole life with her and put it in her car and came back through all these people!
As you, see we had time to take photos and all kinds of stuff. My Audition Appointment was at 2PM. Remember I got there around 9AM. We finally got called to Audition, so we thought..HAHAHA! We got in 3 more lines and the grouped us in 10’s. So, me and Mrs. Ruffin’s daughter auditioned in the same group. It was about 2PM by the time we got to the last line.
We enter the room… and I’m like damn… “I’m nervous as hell.” To myself. Man, Mrs. Ruffin’s 15 year old daughter got called first! I was like..damn man…that’s cold. Then they called my name. I was like. DUDE..really? I sang my own song (a capella), just so I could get a song out LOL!
We didn’t get called back. But I made new friends and family, and was prepared for the DMV Idol Auditions.
DMV IDOL AUDITIONS
So, this was not at intense as The Voice. However, I had no idea what this audition was really for. Turns out, it is for a new rep of a Record label that wants to take a DMV artist with them. It was hot and I was in a bit of a mood, because well…sometimes things don’t go as smoothly as they should. But they APOLOGIZED wholeheartedly (with the exception of one staff member)!
Everything was explained to us in a meeting prior to auditioning. Unlike The Voice, there were 6 judges (including the record label rep). The Voice had 1 judge per group of 10. We were being judge on how we entered the room, connected, confidence, poise, originality, and delivery.
I was the only artist with an instrument! Yes, Mr. Maliq was present. So, I had to sing and play before I went in. It was hard to hear myself or where to sing and the guitar over all the people in line. But, I got positive feedback from the listeners and was told to get out of the DMV. L O L. I replied. ” I am on tour and just stopping through my area today just to leave tomorrow to NYC.” The loved it.
So, I already have Mr. Maliq strapped to me. I walk in, with great energy and a smile. They asked me my name and why it wash my name. That was really cool. There were interested!!! YAY! So, they let me play my own song, "We Got Love" and I made sure I gave them eye contact, great posture (I was wearing the highest heels I own), and showed my heart and soul. They stopped me in the middle of the verse. I was so confused, because they threw their hands up. I had the look of bewilderment and worry on my face. But that changed once I asked what happened.
They said: "We love it. You go through! You made us feel HAPPY!"
So, there it is. I made it through the first round. The second round doesn’t begin until next week. I did what they requested. Just waiting to find out what the move is.
Hey, ya’ll..thanks for reading and being apart of my journey. You all keep me going with the comments and genuine encouragement!
The next entry will be about the Harlem Arts Festival. That day was crazy!
- Chaquis Maliq 07.07.14
HARMONIES OF ME
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Muhammad Ali and Sam Cooke