June is Black Music Appreciation Month. It was initiated by President Jimmy Carter for June to honor the contributions of black artists and musicians (a new fact I learned). It was initially called Black Music Month but President Obama changed the name to Black Music Appreciation Month. In the spirit of that, of course, I had to make a playlist. I have to say it is lit…it’s music to vibe to, to dance to, and to just chill. I have recent artists that I have discovered and love right now. I do pay homage to the legends like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Sade. I have music that I grew up listening to. It’s really great. IT’S BLISSFULLY APPROVED! So happy listening.
Talk about resilient, grit, determination, and advocacy. Stacey Abrams is a powerhouse and fierce advocate for voting rights, the first African American female in a major party gubernatorial nominee in the United States, founder of Fair Fight Action, lawyer, former member of the Georgia House of Representatives, author, lawyer, etc, etc. She has a resume so look it up. With the loss in 2016 of the Georgia Governor’s race, she did not give up. It was only fuel to work harder to create change. Though this TedTalk is a few years old, her passion caused Georgia to turn blue in the 2020 Presidential Election electing President Joe Biden and the general/special election for senatorial seats now held Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock. The questions she asks herself is the question we should all ask ourselves. I hope you take this to heart and apply it. It is BLISSFULLY APPROVED!
Have you ever listened to an album that speaks to your soul. It is an amazing feeling isn’t it…almost like God knew you would need to hear something so beautiful yet so real.
God knows how to align my love for music with His Word. Elevation Worship’s collaboration with Maverick City Worship in Old Church Basement is GROUNDBREAKING! I dare you to listen to each song with an open heart and mind. I hear scripture in each song and a reminder of God’s truth.
My favorite songs are Jireh, Talking to Jesus, Names, and Million Little Miracles. The album is on repeat because May is a big crossroads month for me with possible opportunities that could be on the horizon. I get quite anxious at the thought of what is to come, but these songs give me comfort on a spiritual and mental level.
If you did not know already, this is BLISSFULLY APPROVED. Tell me what you think.
Talk about music that speaks to your soul. If you did not know, I am a big PJ Morton fan. His music catalog is mostly R&B but for this new, Grammy-winning album and artist, Morton goes back to his gospel roots. This album came out during the pandemic and it is on repeat. The music is just powerful and meaningful like any other song he created. My favorite tracks are #8, All In His Plan and #10, God Can/Let Go. All speak to me in my current season of life. All the features are amazing. Listen and tell me what you think. But as for me, this is Blissfully Approved!
It’s hard to be uncomfortable but Mrs. Luuvie Ajay Jones gives a TedTalk of the Ages! I heard of Ms. Jones through a podcast, Gettin Grown. She is a best-selling author, writer, and all around Queen. This TedTalk is inspiring because my season is SOOO uncomfortable but I have grown so much. Enjoy!
A big tradition in my family is watching all the Christmas movies we can during the season. We can never get enough of them especially the classics and the claymation specials. I cannot list all of my favorites but I will narrow it down to 10.
So here it goes:
In no particular order:
Home Alone (1990) & Home Alone 2 (1992)– This movie series is one of the few Christmas movies my family and I can watch all year-round without fail. Very quotable in my family. My dad even has a Christmas sweater that says “Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal.”
Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)– Not biblically correct to anything but a sweet movie in claymation. The movie is centered around the donkey who brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. I thought it was a smart, creative take on nativity story.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)– One of my favorite versions of the Christmas Carol. Jim Henson is a genius in the song choices and castings. It is funny and sentimental to the values of Christmas: giving, loving, and caring for your fellow man. Michael Caine is a fantastic Scrooge.
The Year Without A Santa Claus (1974)– Santa did not feel like Santa-ing. SHOCKER!! I love the storyline and the Miser Brothers songs.
The Christmas Story (1983)- A Christmas tradition my family and I have is watching it on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Quotable movie. “You’ll shoot your eye out.” P.S. They play the movie for 24 hours on certain channels.
Elf (2003)-Will Ferrell is a GENIUS. Definitely a must see in my family. It is funny and full of unadulterated fun.
The Little Drummer Boy (1968)– The Bible does not talk about a drummer boy BUT I still love this movie. A young boy plays for the Messiah and the events that lead up to that moment. I love the song as well, the original one.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)– Fun fact: My siblings were in a small production of this movie at a local theatre many years ago. My sister was Peppermint Patty and my brother was Shermy. It is a great classic movie and holds a special place in my family. It is a fun movie.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)– Dr. Seuss’s rhymes and storyline were quite sublime. (see what I did there). There is not a Christmas we do not watch this special.
Santa Claus is Coming To Town (1970)– The origins of Santa Claus. I love Fred Astaire’s commentary on the burning questions the people want to know. It is fun. We sing along with the songs and it’s fun.
Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves-Glory Edim (book)
The Water Dancer Ta-Nehisi Coates (book)
Small Doses: Potent Truths for Everyday Use- Amanda Seales (book)
Tough Love- Susan Rice (book)
“Blessed” ring (James Avery 8)
Since toys are not of interest to me, books are like candy to me. I had to narrow down the list of books I wanted. I like to give options just in case something cannot be found. I love music so I started asking for an I-tunes gift card instead of asking for individual CDs (plus I hear CDs are not cool anymore). James Avery is actually a jewelry store I love. I have gotten a ring from there since 2014 so they know me there. Usually my Christmas lists are hard to come up with since I am so busy so I just started making notes months in advance if there was something I liked that I could not buy. But that’s my list.
The Christmas season is HERE!! I love the feeling and season of Christmas. Everything is lit up and it’s a wonderful time for my family. One of the things I enjoy is CHRISTMAS MUSIC. I have had this playlist for several years and it keeps growing. I hope you enjoy while living life.