Ghetto Disclaimer

Many of my post may be filled with typos, ignorant statements, untruths, bad English, & anything else that may make me appear to be uneducated. Please note: all of these things combined make my Blog the perfect one, because you know I have issues & I am not ashamed. With this said; enjoy, fuck mistakes & read between the lines!

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When Momma Visits

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 at 2:09 PM

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My momma came for a visit recently & I was so very happy to see her, smell her, touch her…

Having her in my new home for the first time made the visit extra special. I needed her official stamp of approval that only a mother could give.

After she got settled in & before the rest of my family showed up, I said, momma, get ready for your official photograph.

She disappeared for a few moments then reemerged like a phoenix from the ashes. All I could saw was damn. Then the photo above happened. You can see a color version of the photo on my Flickr page here.

I loved everything about what she was giving the camera. She owned it without any effort.

What I really loved about it was that the photo of my momma reminded me of “Afro Goddess With Hand Between Legs, 2006” by Mickalene Thomas but much less provocative.

It was a wonderful Sunday afternoon filled with love, food & laughter. A supreme family day in black & white, just because.

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Believe it or not, all of these photos were taken & edited on my iPhone 6.


Beautiful Baby Boy

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 at 7:06 PM

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Several months ago, I posted about Cousin Dee & her husband, Mato readying themselves for their 1st baby.  Well… Mato Jr. is here & he’s awesome!

The day he was born was such an emotional rush. Beautiful!

We took these photos recently and I swear this is THE last baby that I will photograph. It took no less than 3 hours to get him calmed down & sleep.  I think I said this the last time I photographed a baby, so there’s that.

I’m so very happy for Cousin Dee & Mato and I’m looking forward to baby Mato calling me Uncle Baba TT.

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Out On a Work Night

Author: Tafari, Friday, March 6th, 2015 at 11:42 AM

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I am not a big fan of going out during the week, but when my girl Mayaeni organized a show, there was no way that I could not be there. She gave the standing room audience everything they needed and then some! And as an extra rock songstress bonus, she had Steffanie Christi’an on stage for the end of the set.

It was a great night & I’m happy that I broke my rule.


Living In Peace

Author: Tafari, Monday, March 2nd, 2015 at 3:14 PM

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“Anger, can make you old, yes it can
I said anger, can make you sick, children… oh Jesus
Anger destroys your soul
Rage, there’s no room for rage in there
There’s no room for rage in here
Line up some place to go to be mad
It’s a sin to treat your body bad”

Marvin Gaye – Anger ~ 1979

I choose to live in peace because it takes little to no effort & it makes me happy. My heart is open & there is plenty of room for love.

Anger will kill. Anger will destroy. Anger will eat you alive. Anger will block your growth.

Let it go & free yourself. Easier said than done but it is doable. I’m living proof.


Happy at Home

Author: Tafari, Friday, February 20th, 2015 at 3:08 PM

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Three years ago, I made a plan to purchase a home. Last week, the plan materialized & I’m beyond happy.

Staying committed to the plan was a little rough as I had to really resift my priorities to make things happen but it was worth all of the sacrifices.

Waking up to a home drenched in sunlight, covered in love is where my happiness stems from! I’ve never been a morning person but I find myself waking up early to enjoy the quiet peace of my new home.

Still kinda feels like a dream; a great dream in my dream home.


She’s Having A Baby: The Allen Family

Author: Tafari, Friday, November 7th, 2014 at 6:17 PM

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My cousin, best best best friend, Cousin Dee is having a baby!!!

She broke the news several months ago and it was the best news ever. Of course, I had to photograph this wonderful moment in my family’s history. The image above is my absolute favorite from our little session. We were joking and sing some T-Pain song and we both just burst out laughing.

Not to put myself out there too much but I just recently discover T-Pain’s music & that’s because of a story on NPR. You have to see this video. I love it! Like for real….

Can’t wait to meet my little cousin/nephew. I already have a nick name… Uncle Baba TT. I hate it. I hate it so much but it’s pretty damn funny.

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Working With A Sheroe: Alice Walker

Author: Tafari, Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at 7:20 PM

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Last week, I was contacted to photograph one of my favorite artists… ALICE WALKER.

Needless to say, I was very excited & totally looking forward to the opportunity.

Fast forward to the day of the event… I woke up feeling very bad, horrible, like death was upon me. It was strange because it just hit me out of nowhere. How could this be happening on such a big day….

It took a while to pull myself together and I rushed to get out of the door with all kinds of bags in tow only feeling slightly better….

Now…, I’m on the job setting up my camera and guess what… I left all of my memory cards at home. BUMMER… What was I going to do at the last minute other than panic. Then I noticed that I had another camera in my bag, which hadn’t been used in at least 2 years and it had a memory card ready to go for… A much needed surprise!!!!

After all of this Ms. Walker entered the room and I was awestruck but composed… I introduced myself & sucked in as much as I could from her.

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I’ll cherish this exchange forever:
Me: Ms. Walker, give me a little more leg.
Ms. Walker: Just one moment. (Positions leg and lifts skirt a little)

In response to her creative process…
“I don’t allow anything into my mental and spiritual space that I don’t want.”

In response to what she thinks the Black community needs…
“The Black community needs more imagination.”
“Turn off your TV and the images that tell you who you are and what you should be.”
“Hang on to your books. All of your books.”

Interesting Alice Walker Fact:
The first thing Alice Walker saw on television was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being arrested.

Yesterday was everything I needed as a person & as an artist! And I got my book signed. Ha! The little things in life.

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Bygbaby Cooks: Mac & Cheese

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 at 1:41 PM

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I was recently introduced to a new cheese the other day & I kinda fell in love with it. The cheese? Cheddar with caramelized onion from Trader Joe’s!!!

As I enjoyed it the other day with olives, peppers, & wine, I thought about how good the cheese would be in a mac & cheese.

Yesterday, all I could do was think about that cheese and using it in a dish. So, after a long day, I picked up a few things from the store & then this happened. Mac & cheese with a black truffle bread crumble.  My thought about the cheese being great for this dish was right on the money! Very savory, creamy & cheesy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pasta (I used cavatappi)
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar with caramelized onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup of butter milk
  • 2 1/2 tbsp flour
  • Salt, pepper, & smoked paprika to taste

The Jump Off:

  • Cook your pasta for 8-9 minutes then drain.
  • In the same pot you boiled your pasta, melt the butter & stir in the flour, which will make a roux. Add milks to roux slowly, while stirring constantly. Add in your premium cheeses to the mix and cook until the cheese has melted.
  • As the mixture cooks, the sauce will start to thicken. Once it looks nice, thick, and creamy, turn off the heat then toss in your pasta & seasonings then give it a good stir.
  • Add the pasta & sauce mixture into baking dish & place in the oven for 20 minutes at 350º.

Black Truffle Bread Crumble:

  • 3 tbsp of black truffle oil
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Progresso Italian bread crumbs)
  • In a pan, heat your oil on medium then toss in your breadcrumbs, which will sock up the oil. Cook until the crumbs start to brown.
  • Add the crumbs to the top of your baked dish liberally and toss back into the over for a quick 10 minutes.  You could add the crumble before baking the dish but this worked for me. I didn’t want to experience burnt/dried out crumbs.

U Street Afro Fashion

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 10:41 PM

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This past weekend, I was in DC visiting friends and then this happened… a street fashion show put on by Malindi Designs at Zawadi Gallery.

I was excited by the African style prints and decided to pull out my iPhone to capture some of this goodness. Not only did I do photo but I got into more slow motion video.

The video actually happened by accident but I happen to really like the results.

Edited with iMovie.

Edited with iMovie & Replay.

Can’t decide which one I like best.

Art Credit:
Model: Tiersa Sullivan
Video 1 – Have You Seen Here by Just A Band
Video 2 – Apartment 44 by Bahwee


Enchant Me

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 11:30 AM

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I walk past this wooded area severeral times a week and I always wonder where the paths lead. I wish I was adventurous enough to see but watching every release of Friday the 13th as a kid keeps me from finding out.

So for now, I’ll continue to wonder from afar.

The title here is inspired by one of my favorite ambient songs, “Enchant Me” by The Amalgamation of Soundz The video is hot!


Conferencing, Networking, & Politicin’

Author: Tafari, Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Earlier this week, I made my way to San Antonio, TX for the first time. I’ve wanted to visit for years after seeing various enticing shows on the Travel Channel & Food Network and as a history buff, I totally wanted to visit the Alamo and Catholic missions that are around the famed city.

Well, this trip to San Antonio served two purposes; business & pleasure.

Business: I was presented on a University of Michigan career development program at the 2014 CUPA-HR (College and University Professional Association for Human Resources) annual conference.
Pleasure: Eating, sightseeing, & whatever else I could get into.

The conference was AWESOME and my presentation went very well. I pretty much wanted to kick my feet in mid air after it was over.  I present frequently but this was my first time nationally so I’m feeling swell about this feather in my cap.

Everything else on the pleasure side was what I wanted and more. San Antonio is such a beautiful city! Met some fun locals & many other conference attendees at networking events. Had amazing food but honestly, I over dosed on Tex-Mex and prickly pear margaritas.

Upon leaving, I felt energized & empowered from the conference & certainly planning to go back to discover more of what the city has to offer.

It was a great week & I rocked it out!

Video done on the iPhone 6 with slow motion.
Music credit: “Keep Up” by Slakah The Beatchild featuring Ayah

See a few snapshots from my trip here


Autumnal Equinox

Author: Tafari, Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 10:29 PM

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Can we please just get a few warm days here in Michigan. PLEASE???