Celebrating Brown Beauty, Hip-Hop Artists Ambush & Kareem Ali’s ‘Love In My Heart’

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau

It’s challenging being a brown girl in a world where lightness is synonymous with beauty. Some of us feel invisible at times, ignored and marginalized. Often, when we are acknowledged it’s through the prism of stifling stereotypes, from gold digger to gum poppin’ baby mama.

Ambush & Kareem Ali, a DMV-based hip-hop duo, are out to change all of that. Their latest track, “Love In My Heart” is an ode to everything commercial rap refutes, authentic black beauty. The video, shot by Keystone Productions (yes, full disclosure, that’s my hubby’s company) follows one woman’s journey to self love.

We watch as she struggles with a boyfriend who refuses to see her, even as she acquiesces to his notions of Eurocentric femininity. But Kareem Ali reminds us with a confident grin, his voice steady over the vibrant beat, “…when chocolate looks good, baby, nothing looks better.”

In a world where singers and rappers extol “yellow model chicks” without hesitation, it’s refreshing to hear and see a brother admiring skin tones the color of rich mahogany. Images matter immensely; this visual essay, these rhymes, stand as a testament to the power of resistance, and a willingness to define ourselves for ourselves. It’s all rooted in love; Ambush & Kareem Ali didn’t have to work to convince me.

Enjoy more of their music on SoundCloud.

Live In Color! – Emelda

Celeb Style Spotlight: Actress Lupita Nyong’o

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Vogue

Hollywood often rejects brown women, especially darker ones. Even in the era of Scandal, a popular television series starring Kerry Washington, actresses of African descent remain largely invisible to mainstream culture. Before Scandal, the last television show with an African-American woman lead was Julia (starring Diahann Carroll), nearly forty years ago.

Perhaps it’s why seeing beautiful 30-year-old Kenyan native Lupita Nyong’o work the red carpet is refreshing. After listening to her on The Tavis Smiley Show several months ago discussuing her role in “12 Years a Slave,” and reading articles, I have decided she is an anomaly in Hollywood – humble and gracious.

Yes, the fabulous stylist, Micaela Erlanger, coordinates many of these looks, but Nyong’o emanates a kind of quiet and timeless elegance. Bold colors and clean lines compliment her rich mahogany complexion. Take a peak at some of the exquisite ensembles catching my eye, from a recent feature in this month’s Vogue  (photo above) to the red carpet: 

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Photo Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Rob Kim / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Rob Kim / Getty Images

 

Photo Credit: Jason Merrit / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jason Merrit / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images

Live In Color! – Emelda

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Love her style and look as much as I do?

Earrings: The Bigger, The Better

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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roadkillgirlRemember back in the 80’s and 90’s when Black women used to be mocked and ridiculed for wearing big and so-called “ghetto” earrings? Well, look what we have here. It’s 2013 and large, make that very large earrings are now being worn and celebrated transculturally!

I must admit, I’ve been a stud-wearing girl for quite a long time. A small pair of diamonds can go with every look but recently I’ve been dreaming of all the different things that could be turned into an over-the-top earring. Like now for example, I’m looking around Mel’s office and just plotting away. I see feathers, flowers, CDs and books and I’m thinking earrings, earrings, earrings and earrings. Ok, maybe hanging a book from my ear would be doing way too much but hey, I bet Lady Gaga would do it!

Before I show you the hot earrings I’ve found, let’s pause and thank the holders of indigenous culture for rocking looks we love, will love and have loved before.

Fulani woman with tattooed lips wears massive gold earrings.

 

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Live in Color and Earrings! – Shannon