Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday's Fabulous Flick

Our gal Jaci Reid heard us 'loud and clear' when we began to query her whereabouts on the social scene recently.

She and her people immediately responded to share that all is well and she is extraordinarily busy supporting a slew of philanthropic causes.

This flick of Jaci and hubby Morris was taken last month at the 15th Anniversity Dinner for Love Heals - a foundation for empowering and educating at risk teens about HIV and AIDS last month. As usually, the couple looks very elegant.
OK, we're in the last few days of 2007 (can you believe it?)
So, begin to making your list of resolutions to start the New Year off right.
Cheers all!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Dear Good people,
Have a wonderful holiday!
I'm dancing between two households tomorrow
to cook, chat, chew, and deliver homemade cookies.
We'll definitely chat again before the year's end!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday's Fabulous Flick

If you are over the age of 30, then you should remember this actress/activist posing for this week's flick. Jurnee Smollett (who starred in Eve's Bayou) is all grown up now!

She is starring in 'The Great Debaters' with Denzel Washington opening on Christmas Day.

This flick was shot at the premiere earlier this week and I have to say that she is working this smashing dress!

I am exhausted already from the holidays. I'm getting together with Soror Link girlfriends for a cookie exchange party on Sunday. So, I will be up to my eyeballs in dough until then.

Please try to have some fun this weekend and enjoy simple pleasures like the company of good friends.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Publicists Protocols and Other Interesting Inquiries

In the past few months, I've been contacted by several publicists/family members/friends/stalkers for coverage on this blog.

Take a deep breathe and stop clutching your pearls in horror...
Yes, good people it's no mistake that many of our fab Sista Socialites have someone behind the scenes banging the phone to ensure that their photos land in 'all of the right places and spaces.'
I take it as a honor that people enjoy this blog so much that they desire to be plastered on it.
And, let this serve as a lesson for you if you are on the quest.
There is strategy applied to the media machine that fuels being a Socialite in America.
Especially, if you desire to be seen in 'the scene.'

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Larry's List of The Black Social Elite

Every few years, we hear from Lawrence Otis Graham, self appointed expert on the Black Social Elite. His book Our Kind of People sent ripples of outcry and some celebration throughout Black America upon its release in 1999.

Our Kind of People is in a lot of ways, a pioneering work that chronicles the continuing pervasiveness of some socio-cultural norms within The Black Social Elite. However, the book lacks proper documentation of source material which drives me batty. Nonetheless, it is still considered a ‘must read’ for scholars, questers, and aspirants as the 21st Century’s contribution to uncovering this often misunderstood and evasive group.

Well, our boy is back according to The Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Annette John-Hall with The Our Kind of People 800 Social Register. Graham suggests that this list (which will include only the most elite Black families in America) will serve as a counter balance to the negative imagery of some hip-hop music and popular reality shows like Flavor of Love.

What can I possibly say?

If you feel inspired, email Graham directly to have you and your clan considered for possible inclusion.

Before you shoot him a note, keep in mind that Graham is big on Ivy League degrees, lineage, and other criteria that is considered obsolete by many in the Black Social Elite.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday's Fabulous Flicks

This week's flicks are courtesy of loyal reader Ski Diva whose suggestions and comments are consistently fabulous!
Many thanks to you Girl!
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater kicked off six months of U.S. performances with an Opening Night Gala performance and Party in New York. The one-night-only Gala performance featured the company premiere of Firebird, choreographed by Maurice Béjart, Reflections in D, a solo Mr. Ailey created for himself in 1962, and
the world famous, Revelations.

Super Black Socialites Janice and Christopher Williams

Event attendees looking smashing in an array of colors and styles!

Good people have a great weekend and do something different!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week's flick features Chef extraordinaire of Aquavit and UNICEF Ambassador Marcus Samuelsson and his girlfriend, model Maya Hailes at UNICEF's Snowflake Ball in New York City on November 27th. Marcus, along with two other chefs, designed the menu for this year's event.
Aren't they an attractive couple?
This glittering affair is sponsored by Baccarat and is attended by the who's who of the Social Elite. Save your dimes if you want to attend next year as tickets cost $2500 per person.
In the meanwhile, I'm off to the races again this weekend.
I hope the Steelers will stop the Patriots winning streak on Sunday!
Have a good time and also always - we'll connect soon!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week's flick features our gal Maggie Betts (left) posing with Carlos Campos and Miguelina for the 'SWAROVSKI Presents 2nd Annual LWALA Gala' last night at Battery Park Plaza. The trio served as hosts along with actress Natalie Portman.

It's great to see Ms. Maggie continue to rise on the "come up" in terms of the Socialite Scene!

OK good folks - I hope that you are planning to have a great weekend!

Mine is off to a good start tonight with an excellent concert by jazz drummer Cindy Blackman, a tasty dinner, and tour of an excellent exhibit by Renoir.

I'm off to slumber land now with aspirin and eye mask in tow. I had a little too much of a good time with a super large Apple Martini and I don't want to be puffy in the morning.

Until we chat again - cheers!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fabulous Flicks of Super Socialites

Some of our favorite Socialites were on the move during the past several months except for our gal Jaci Reid. This photo below of her and hubby Morris Reid was taken on September 20th at the VH1 Save The Music Foundation Gala in NYC.
Hmmm...wonder why we haven't seen much of her since then?

The always elegant Susan Fales Hill with Rachel Moore at the
American Ballet Theatre's Gala on October 23rd.

Pamela Joyner gives us the drama in this smashing red jaw dropper at
The New York City Ballet Opening Night Gala on November 20th.

Mellody Hobson with boyfriend George Lucas on the red carpet at the
AFI 40th Anniversary Celebration on October 3rd.

Queen Diva Kathryn Chenault (left) with Susan Fales Hill and Katherine Marron
attending The New York Public Library's Benefit on November 5th.

Genevieve Jones vogues at the Zune Originals Launch on November 13th

More flicks will arrive soon - I promise!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Collapse from Turkey Coma & Other Affairs

I ate a good deal of food this weekend like so many other Black folks this weekend. And, now I’m wobbling around feeling sleepy. I’m working on keeping myself together so that I can continue to fit into my attire for the rest of this year and the next.

But, good grief…it’s hard work.

This month kicks off the “eating season” - a straight graze from now until the end of February. I am determined not to put on the thirteen pounds I worked like mad to lose earlier this year.

Thanksgiving was delightful with the family. It was quite relaxing after all of the meal preparation was completed. We treat the holiday as a weekend long food fest making several visits to Mom’s to heat and re-heat meals. Our Grandmother always spoke of the “second day of seasoning” – meaning that the food seemed to taste better the day after.

I also made time to celebrate the holiday with some close friends whose parents were visiting from Canada. We indulged at a fabulous Mediterranean restaurant after enjoying a delightful operatic performance of Hansel and Gretel. Our party of nine nibbled on yummy delights of fried zucchini chips, grilled shrimp and octopus, along with watercress salad. Our meals included steak, lamb chops, wild Atlantic salmon, and Chilean sea bass. Dessert ran the gamut of gelatos, sorbets, and chocolate cake. My special friend enjoyed the food and the fellowship offered over the weekend tremendously.

I elected not to participate in “Cyber Monday” today because I tend to buy my gifts all at one time from one or two select stores. So, I’ll work on that next week.

This week is busy as usually with three invites for activities. Two are club openings, and one is for a combined event featuring dinner, an art exhibit, and a show by jazz drummer Cindy Blackman (formerly on tour with Lenny Kravitz). And, naturally the holiday invites are pouring in now so I’m working on coordinating schedules as we speak.

I am also uploading scores of photos to share with you soon. Some of them include many our favorite Super Socialites in action!

Until We Chat Again - Cheers!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving As The Socialite 'Chef'

Today, I am writing my list of last minutes items to pick up for Thanksgiving. I'm serving as 'head chef' for my immediate family and I'm actually looking forward to it.

The turkey, cornbread mix, string beans, smoked turkey parts, and red potatoes are sitting at Mom's house - leaving me to pick up collard greens, turnips, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and cranberries tomorrow. My older sister has mac and cheese duty along with cornbread and desserts. Mommy plans to cook the string beans and red potatoes together with herbs.

I am also considering putting some oxtails in the crockpot with some vegs too - but we'll see.

So, my plan tomorrow (after I get my nails done) is to head over to Mom's to start cooking - especially since she gave me the gentle nudge that she does not want to wait on dinner Thursday. She likes to eat very early - around 3PM - so that we can watch TV and movies together for the remainder of the evening. My sister and I like to give her wine so that she can giggle (Mom doesn't indulge at all).

Mom is the caretaker for our Grandmother who is the family's matriarch and survives on a feeding tube. So we will do anything we can to brighten her spirits. In her 'day' Grandmother was very much the Socialite Diva and continues to serve as an inspiration for me.

My brother in law will usually chat us up about sports, the latest news, and entertainment. My Mom's cat - a very chatty, plump Calico - will beg us for scraps and naturally, we'll make sure that she has her own mini plate of offerings.

I usually receive several invites to house hop on Thanksgiving that I graciously decline. I look at this holiday particularly as a time to relax, bond, and catch up with the folks.

My special friend and I will play 'meet the families' officially this holiday season and we are currently coordinating schedules. Last night, we looked at a bunch of invitations to decide where we would land from now until February, 2008.

We are still pooped from attending an extraordinary gala last weekend where everyone danced all night (I'll fill you in soon). This weekend, we plan to take a ride to catch the remaining fall foilage, attend the Opera, and have dinner with friends whose family is arriving from Canada tomorrow.

The Canadians are thrilled that the US dollar is tanking in value in time for the shopping season(quelle horror!)

Anyway, I'm off to the races at the supermarket early morning.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! I am most thankful for you after more than 13, 300 page views as of today. Your emails and comments encourage me to continue.

And, indeed - there will be lots to share before we end this year!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday's Fabulous Flick

Ladies and Gentleman,

I present to you the rapper Eve who looked absolutely smashing yesterday at the CFDA/Vogue "7th ON SALE" 2007 Gala.

You folks know I don't give entertainers much press on this blog.

But, after viewing several flicks for this week, I have to be really honest with you...

Eve topped all of our seasoned Super Socialites.

So hats off to you girlfriend - you are really "coming into your own" as the older people say.

Good people, have a great time this weekend!
The holiday season is upon us...have you begun rehearsing carols?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ode To Super Socialites Who Have Departed This Life

We lost two wonderful Super Socialites recently whose contributions to our people and our history will not be forgotten. I hope that many of us will consider following their example.

Harold Rush of Philadelphia was a long standing member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (more than 50 years). Mr. Rush was an incredibly nice man who mentored several young Black men in Philadelphia and ensured that many received college scholarships. His funeral was attended by scores of political and social luminaries including the current Mayor of Philadelphia. His best friend and wife of fifty years - Dorothy Sumners Rush - is very active in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and is a past President of the Philadelphia Links. Mr. Rush also has three sons, one daughter, and one grandson.

Helen Logue Aubry of Silver Spring, MD recently passed at age 92. She was a charter member of the Queens Chapter of Jack and Jill and a member of The Links, Inc. Mrs. Aubry was also one of the founding members of Azurest - a Black resort area in Sag Harbor, NY (the Hamptons).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Duh! Poll Confirms What We Already Know About Class & Black Folks

I had to chuckle when I saw this story today.

Everyone who reads (or hates on) this blog knows that class division exists in Black America.

I guess White America is waking up to this fact now.

I suspect Barack Obama running for President has something to do with this new found sociological and anthropological interest in Black people. Some white people are puzzled as to why we are not all down with Obama being the Leader of the Free World.

And, many more are shocked to learn that those who could influence his becoming President (specifically the Black Social Elite) don't view him as "our kind of people" despite his degrees, intellect, and philosophy.

Hmmm...the plot thickens...

Anyhoo, we'll chat later.


A Gala, Kayne, Linda, and November

I am already feeling like November is a “bear” of a month. Strikingly, it’s already the 14th and I’m scratching my head trying to figure out what happened to November 1-13.

This week, it’s all about wrapping up some key projects at work and preparing for the Philadelphia Links gala this Saturday. All of the Black Socialite glitterati are expected to attend donning tuxedos, furs, and finery while hob knobbing with The Links National President.

I’ll run out in the next day or so to finalize my accessories for my gown so I can spend Saturday relaxing and beautifying myself (yes, it takes me more than a few minutes to get ready for events!)

My gent has his tux ready to go and has already lined up several ladies to dance with since he's knows I'll be busy pressing the flesh.

It should be a good time and of course, I'll make sure to cover chapter and verse for you .

In other news, I have to tell you that my mind has been incredibly preoccupied with thoughts of rapper Kayne West regarding the death of his beloved mother and of the gruesome murder of socialite Linda Stein.

I know some of my New York readers have mixed emotions about the circumstances leading to Stein’s death but folks you gotta admit that your heart has to feel a little extra heavy knowing that she died allegedly at the hands of a young Sista .

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a racial loyalist who hates to hear bad news about Black people.

Other whispers from the Black Socialite set in the Big Apple is that handsome, tall, and rich Brother Socialite/Investment Banker John Utendahl may be back on the "meet market."

Apparently, he and Tyra Banks have called it splits reportedly after confirming that they are not engaged. I know some Sistas Socialites who are thrilled by this news and can't wait to bump into John at the next glittering affair.

John is quite interesting and I'll profile him in an upcoming posting.

So Socialite Campers, I'll be back at ya soon with lots more to share!

In the meanwhile, start getting your holiday recipes and soiree calendars together.

2007 is almost a wrap!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This photo is in honor all of my local DC readers and features their Mayor Adrian Fenty with wife Michelle Cross Fenty along with their twins.

You can Google the Mayor to read the scoop about him but it's Ms. Michelle that is a story in her own right. While you are snuggled up this weekend, drinking hot cider or cocoa, you may want to read this feature story .

OK...I'm skipping off to have some fun this weekend. I hope you plan to enjoy yourself as well!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week's flick features husband and wife Dr. Joyce Brown (left) and H. Carl McCall with designer Josie Natori. Josie Natori was honored recently at a 30th Anniversary of 'Natori' celebration held at La Grenouille in New York City.

Dr. Brown is the first African American President of the Fashion Institute of Technology and Carl McCall is the former Comptroller for the City of New York.

Don't they look smashing?!

Have a fantastic weekend and I am lovin' all of your emails and postings!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Looking For Brother Socialites

Like some of you, I spent several good years slugging it out with Brothers to attend various functions with me. It was like pulling teeth from a running moose to get them to wear a tuxedo, attend a gala, or go to the opera.

Some of them where/are strictly friends and others were men I dated at one time. Yet regardless of my status with them, we would revisit the same theme song over and over again…

“Well, um…I’m busy”
“Oh, I have plans that night” (although I would ask months in advance)
“Why do we have to go to that?!”
“I bet there won’t be any of us there…”
“That’s too expensive!” (but they drive foreign cars and mysteriously find money for their interests)
“I have no interest in attending (insert name of event here)…”
To add further insult, some guys would “show off” (Sistas, you know what I mean) or act like five year olds so that we would have to leave when they were ready to go home.

But interestingly enough, there was the expectation that I was to perform my best rendition of the standard “grip and grin” at events that were of high importance to them.

Needless to say, that type of selfishness got real old with me. So rather than subject myself to such nonsense, I became extremely comfortable attending events and activities alone. It is more important for me to have a good time, socialize freely, and network - and less important to appear to be “coupled.” And, as I have shared with you in past posts, part of being a good Socialite will mean that you may have to go out by yourself periodically.

But I’m single. And I have to be really honest with you about something that kinda troubles me.

It is striking how many Sistas in relationships (married, dating, or co-habituating) attend events alone. You probably see it in your hometown too.

I get that you don’t have to do everything together as a couple – BUT I am slightly alarmed when I see coupled folks rolling solo frequently. And, I know from first hand experience, that a lot of these ladies “grin and bear it” – but cry inside (or to their friends) that their spouse/boyfriend/friend refused to escort them to an event.

I scratched my head and began to wonder how Sista Socialites (or aspirants) could troubleshoot these issues on their quest for the Socialite lifestyle.

So, I put on my 'Geraldo hat' and launched an investigative report. I interviewed several Brothers of their opinions.

Here are the startling results…

Some men pointed to fact that Sista Socialites don’t filter activities of importance for their men. Sistas want their man to go to every fashion show, truck show, tea, luncheon, gala, card party, etc as a show of support rather than picking and choosing which ones are most important. As a result, the Brother would rather stay home versus being one of a few “hen pecked” men at a women’s event.

One Brother suggested that Black people function more as individuals in relationships rather than as partners (pointing to the Single Parent phenomena in our community). He suggests that Sista Socialites emphasize your desire for a partnership more than a relationship so that you can share discussion on how both people’s interests can weighted equally most of the time.

Another Brother added that Sistas may cater to their men a bit too much and don’t establish “rules of engagement” during dating. So, if you want to get your Socialite shine on, tell the man this early in the relationship. If you are a budding Socialite and married, strive to get your husband’s support for your quest. If he loves you, he may not participate all of the time but he won’t stand in your way either.

So folks, there is it.

Interesting perspective and I think good food for thought for many of women who are on the quest for Socialite-dom.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Enjoying Verdi's Rigoletto

I recently attended a phenomenal performance of Rigoletto by The Opera Company of Philadelphia (OCP) starring famed British Baritone Alan Opie and Israeli Soprano Chen Reiss (first photo). People came from near and far (including Munich and Poland) to enjoy this outstanding event.

Also, a younger generation of Brother and Sistas artists were represented in the cast as well including Bass-baritones Frank Mitchell & DeAndre Simmons and Mezzo-soprano Allison Sanders (second photo).

Many of you are already familiar with a few of this opera’s popular arias like “La donna e mobile” and “Caro nome.”

Rigoletto can be tough if it is not performed correctly. Most opera performances I attend are usually three hours long with several intermissions to give you an opportunity to stretch your limbs and grab some coffee. So, when an opera is horrible – it is worst than a Charlie Horse cramp as some people nod off and start snoring (a true story).

What was especially exciting for me is that I was able to enjoy Rigoletto with my ‘special friend’ (wink, wink). I treated him to premium seating as his birthday present since he expressed interest in attending the opera.

To make my friend's first time opera experience even more special, the Managing Director of OCP (who is a great buddy of mine) orchestrated the opportunity for us to meet the cast, provided a backstage tour of the set and stage, and then treated us to a divine dinner along with his partner.

My special friend is still raving about the evening weeks later. And, not only did he enjoy the performance, he is now eagerly looking forward to a repeat visit.

In case you are curious - my friend is very much your classic Brother – a “guy’s guy” who enjoys simple pleasures like good food, baseball, beer, and wine. He is not a part of the Black Socialite Set of our hometown nor is ‘Socialite-dom’ his aspiration.

But, he is willing to try out new things which is a breathe of fresh air.
Photo credit: Opera Company of Philadelphia

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Matter of Skin Color

If your email was hopping like mine over the past week, you probably heard about the ridiculous “light skinned women in for free” party that was supposed to be held in Detroit recently.

The news of this event swept through listservs and chat rooms with such fury, that CNN actually picked up the story, providing their own analytical spin with the obligatory experts in Sociology and African American Studies. Needless to say, the outcry was loud enough that the event promoters cancelled the party.

But it was also clear that this party opened up old wounds for some regarding issues of attractiveness and desirability in Black America.

I actually fielded enough questions as to whether or not I believe that skin color is still a factor within The Black Social Elite that I decided scribe this post.

It is no secret that Black America still wrestles with issues of color and class. Some Black Americans are highly annoyed that there is social schism within our own race and point back to the plantation (and the proverbial white man) as the culprit.

The unfortunate truth is that class and color are historically intertwined. We all know that lighter skin Blacks typically received greater financial and social privilege versus those who were darker skinned.

And, according to a recent study, skin color of Black Americans is still a major factor for employability. The so-called “color caste system” has polarized families and friends for generations in our community – and it appears that there is no end in sight.

Many would argue that skin color is still a determinant among The Black Social Elite as well. And quite frankly in certain corridors of the country, this may be true. Several of the organizations listed in the sidebar of this blog have been accused (rightfully or wrongfully) of colorism.

But, I am highly doubtful that colorism is the norm among today’s Black Socialites.

As demonstrated on this blog – the beautiful spectrum of our people is displayed for your viewing and reading pleasure.

Whenever I attend functions of Alpha Kappa Alpha, The Links, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Pi Phi, or Jack and Jill – I see all of our folks representing proud and tall.

I can’t say that this was always the case. But, if you poll older members (those who are 60+) of any of these organizations, they will tell you that things have changed for the better within The Black Social Elite.

So good people, there isn’t much we can do to change the historic wrong of colorism in Black America. It is ugly and hurtful business.

And, it is what it is.

However, you can elect to not play perpetrator, participant, or victim in this nonsense with our people.

OK…I’ll make it plainer.

Your skin color alone should not deter or encourage you to achieve Socialite aspirations.

If you are lighter skinned, you will not automatically receive the keys to the Black Socialite kingdom merely because you are light. If you are darker skinned, the doors will not be slammed in your face solely because of your hue.

As Dr. Phil says, you train people how to treat you.

Carry yourself with elegance, grace, style, poise, and confidence at all times and trust me…the world will be at your feet. There is nothing more striking and attractive that a proud and elegant Black person.

Now, I need to be clear about something…

I am not trying to devalue the real pain and scar tissue from color discrimination. All of us in Black America have encountered it. And, I know that it cuts more deeply when it comes from our folks.

But, we can only control ourselves and our actions – after all, the most powerful form of change begins at home. We have to guard our spirits against haters - of all races and stand firm to the truth of how beautiful we all are.

Friday's Fabulous Flick

Here's our gal and Super Black Socialite Ms. Melody Hobson (President of Ariel Capital Management) with her boyfriend George Lucas (yes...that George Lucas!) at the 25th Anniversary Princess Grace Awards Gala at Sotheby's in New York City yesterday.

I think they look great in this flick and she looks especially happy! I think she is getting better looking with age.
If her face is familiar, it's because she is the Financial Advisor for Good Morning America.
The couple has been dating for quite some time now and rumor has it that a mega fab wedding may be in the works. Of course, I'll keep you posted if I hear any new news.

Now...some of you have been beating up yours truly due to my lack of posting recently.

OK...I'm leaning forward towards the screen so that you can smack me in the head...

OUCH...not so hard - remember I have events to attend and I can not have visable lumps that makeup can't cover!!

I'm back in commission and on the grind - we have sooooo much catching up to do.

In the meanwhile, have fun this weekend - I sure plan to!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday's Fabulous Flick

Patrick Vatel and Yemi Benedict-Vatel are seen here enjoying The Frick's Collection Autumn Dinner honoring Ann & John Marion earlier this week. Both husband and wife are corporate climbers in the banking industry in New York City.

It's soooo wonderful to see a young couple representing us with such grace and elegant.

Keep your eyes peeled for more socialite sightings of this outstanding couple.

Yours truly has a nasty bug so I promise to get back to my standard "grind" of posting more updates and details for your reading enjoyment.

Until we chat again, try to have a great weekend - in spite of the odd weather patterns sweeping the country!

Friday, October 12, 2007

This Friday's Fabulous Flick

Hat's off to the New Haven, CT Chapter of The Girlfriends who recently celebrated their 75th Anniversary with a series of events including a glittering gala!

Don't the ladies look simply marvelous!

Fall has finally arrived - at least weather wise - in most parts of the country so it's time to don your fabulous attire for upcoming formals, concerts, and other fun activities.

It's also a good time to try some new things. For example, treat yourself to a classical music or Opera performance. Have dinner at an ultra chic restaurant. Or, consider a nice fall picnic of simple delights like good wine, cheese, and fun with your special someone or a group of friends.

My point to all of this is that I hope that you are coordinating your social calendars with your loved ones and friends.

That's my plan for this weekend.

Cheers all and enjoy the fall foliage!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

B-Boys & Girls Tryin' To Perpetrate The Fraud

As of today, there have been than 7,600 page views since we started on this journey together and the email is incredible.

You are soooooo fabulous!

Some of your notes have been beautiful and heartwarming. Many of you have commented that seeing talented, attractive, successful Black people has provided you both professional and personal inspiration. That’s great news and I will continue to strive for excellence.

However…I gotta call some of you on the carpet.

Some scandalous trolls have tried to pull the ‘wool’ over my eyes and pass yourselves (or your friends/relatives/fan base) as members of the Black Socialite Set. Consider reading some of my August postings on ‘Defining The Black Socialite,’ ‘Becoming A Black Socialite,’ and ‘Cracking The Black Socialite Code’ before contacting me about inclusion or coverage on this blog.

As a word of caution, I am pretty darn good at sniffing out perps lying about membership in any of the organizations I have listed on this blog. And, keep in mind that membership in said organizations does not necessarily make you a member of The Black Elite (although many members of The Black Elite belong to a slew of organizations).

Some other folks are just vicious self promoters looking for press. OK...that's all good but I live by the evidence based model of Socialite-dom. Your picture appearing one or two times on some magazine's 'party page,' on your MySpace or Facebook page, etc. does not necessarily make you a Socialite.

Just so that we are all on the same page, believe that I verify Socialite Status before I write about anyone on this blog. This blog has been hyperlinked to The Washington Post, The New York Times, and numerous other blogs, listservs, and chat rooms.

So understand me clearly when I say that there is no way that I will allow bogus rogues to self promote without any supporting data demonstrating that they are truly a part of the tribe.

Remember that The Black Elite is super small and it takes just a phone call or email to check someone out.

Until we meet again!

Friday, October 5, 2007

This Friday's Fabulous Flick

This is a great looking couple and a team to definitely watch!

Married in 2005 in a Black Socialite studded wedding, Judith Byrd-Blaylock and Ronald Blaylock often attend super fab events in New York City. She is a Senior Vice President and Founding Partner of a airline consulting firm and he is Chairman/CEO of his own full service investment banking firm.

The couple met on a blind date, dated for three years, and were engaged on Martha’s Vineyard in 2004. Judith has been recently ‘pressing the flesh’ fundraising for Senator Barack Obama helping to raise more than $50,000 towards his campaign.

Of course, as I hear of more details about the Blaylocks – I promise to share all of the scoop with you.

In the meanwhile, have a great weekend and walk with stylish flair!

Friday, September 28, 2007

This Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week’s photo features Jonelle Procope attending the New York City Opera’s Opening of Margaret Garner earlier this month. The opera is written by Toni Morrison and its story served as the basis for Morrison's award winning novel - Beloved.

Jonelle is President/CEO of The Apollo Theater and manages a balanced family life as a wife and mother. I love this simple elegant of this ensemble with the metallic shoes. She demonstrates that you can pull over several hot trends without going overboard.

OK good people – have a super fabulous weekend!
I'm still working through all of the emails and I appreciate your support for this blog!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What Constitutes Blackness?

I have to tell you good people – I received some very interesting emails from folks after my posting about Jaylaan Ahmad-Llewellyn. It seems that many of you out there in the blogosphere questioned the racial identity of her or her mother, so the emails got to flyin’…

Are you sure that they’re Black?
Isn’t her mother from (insert name any of Arab country here)?
Isn’t her father from (insert name of any racially ambiguous country here)?

OK, let me share a few thoughts with you.

The Llewellyns have never played the racially ambiguous “game” of multi-ethnicity like so many Black people who are light skinned. They consistently identify themselves as Black. They support causes important to our people and have advocated for many Black professionals over the years including yours truly.

This blog’s name is The Black Socialite. This means I cover the lifestyles of Black people, period (many of whom I know personally). The folks featured on this blog are referred to as Black because that is how they identify themselves publicly.

I am not in the business of claiming folks who don’t want to be claimed by us if you know what I mean. So it is unlikely that you will see me featuring people who are not interested in checking the “Black/African descent” box on their Census forms.

Hopefully, this provides a little more clarity on who you may see land on this blog.

Until we meet again, remember that although the “one drop” law was ruled as unconstitutional in the 1967 so anyone identifying themselves as “Black” today is doing so out of cultural and political choice – especially when they have the option as “passing” for something else.

Friday, September 21, 2007

This Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week's photo comes from one of our loyal readers 'Ski Diva.' She was able to locate a pic of the very camera shy investment banker Aaron Hill posing with wife Susan Fales-Hill at a social event. The couple met on a blind date and married in 1997.
Don't they look great together?! Hopefully, we'll see more of Mr. Hill in the upcoming months.
Have a great weekend and remember that your image speaks volumes before you say a word.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Spotlight on Jaylaan Ahmad-Llewellyn

Jaylaan with her horse 'Minute Maid'

With Mom Shahara at a New York Charity Event
Twenty-eight year old Ms. Jaylaan Ahmad-Llewellyn is on the rise in a BIG way. She is the founder/owner of bluhammock music – an indie label based in New York City. After she earned a Bachelor degree in Sociology from Harvard University, she worked at the William Morris Agency – honing her skills in artist development and contract negotiation. She later branched out on her own and may in the music industry are taking notice.
Some of the artists on her label include Speech (formerly of Arrested Development), the Cary Brothers, and the Virginia Coalition. The projected gross income of this label is around $375,000 for the end of the year. She says that she strives to sign and promote “intelligent” artists versus that same ole studio made music superstars.
Jaylaan is also the owner of an equestrian themed clothing company called bluhorse clothing which launched this year. An avid rider (she rides her horse several times a week), Jaylaan decided to create clothing targeted towards this exclusive market that could also be worn on the streets.
Jaylaan grew up in the super privileged lifestyle of one of the country’s wealthiest Black families. Her father J. Bruce Llewellyn, is Chairman/Owner/CEO of the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company. She is often seen at various charitable events with her mother, Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn. I recently featured Jaylaan’s fabulous artist showcase party in the Hamptons as one of the ‘Friday Fabulous Flicks.’
Keep your eyes open for more news about this talented young woman!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Socialite Balancing Act - Deux

The latter part of this week has been action packed with the weekly grooming appointments for hair and nails, running errands, trying to clean my condo a bit, and attending an event (I'll write about the event in a future posting).

I read somewhere that one should consider spreading out their chores throughout the week versus doing everything during the weekend but I gotta tell ya - that's awful tough when you work full time and try to maintain an active social life.

There are only so many hours in the day...

I keep promising myself that I will hire a housekeeper and I think I will make that leap before the end of the year. It's just that I am soooo picky about how I like things to be done, that by the time I begin explaining what I want done to someone - I might as well do it myself.

Some of you understand what I mean...

Plus, as weird as it may sound, I actually get a level of satisfaction out of cleaning my home. And, not that my home is icky - it's just not as clean and organized as I would like for it to be.

I have paper and books all over my dining room table, coffee table, and my office desk. I need to wax my hardwood floors and give the bathroom a good ole fashioned Black girl scrubbing with hot water and bleach. The kitchen is in dire need of elbow grease too.

And, since it's starting to get chilly - it's time to pull out my fall comforter set and put the summer bed set into the cleaners.

Oh...then, the fall clothes need to be prepared as well and some other stuff can be dropped off at a thrift shop. I'm pass trying to squeeze into clothes that no longer fit and are just hanging in the closet for decorative purposes only.

So, I decided to get crackin' on one room at a time and I should be good to go in about one to two weeks.

However, tonight I'm headed out to see The Brave One starring Jodie Foster with a buddy of mine. I like going to see interesting movies that star Black folks and women in the lead on 'Opening Weekend' as my contribution to the 'cause.' This flick is double whammy as Terrance Howard is co-starring.

Anyhoo, I hope that you had a uber-fabulous weekend as well and ready to 'slay dragons' in your workplace tomorrow.

Until we meet again - cheers!

Friday, September 14, 2007

This Friday's Fabulous Flick

You can love her or hate her - but Ms. Genevieve Jones is always at the most hot and chic events in New York City. No blade of glass will ever grow under her feet.

Her 'mug shots' are plastered all over the place for Fashion Week in New York and believe our girl was on the move - attending as many of four events each day (after returning from Thailand a few days earlier allegedly).

This flick was taken on September 4th at the TopShop Celebration for Preen's debut show at The Soho Grand.

One thing about Ms. Jones - she always looks neat and is rarely photographed in a 'who done it and why' moment.

Here's to you Ms. Jones! You keep it movin' and we're watching, Girl!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More Coverage On Our Pal Jaci

Dear Friends, Foes, & Socialite Aspirants:

I had to chuckle when I saw that Jaci Reid refused to provide her age in this recent article from!

C'mon Jaci - we all know that good Black don't crack, Girl!
So, there should be no shame in your game!

We'll still like you no matter how old you are...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Maggie Betts - One To Watch

I'm busy trying to find information to share with you about Ms. Maggie - a Sista Socialite who doesn't mind cheesing for the cameras.

Here's what I uncovered so far. Ms. Maggie (nee Margaret) is super close to The Bush Twins and is known to hang out with them frequently. She is the daughter of Roland Betts, developer of Chelsea Piers in New York City and mom Lois. The Betts' have been married for more than 30 years and have another daughter named Jessica.

Now, although Roland Betts is a card carryin' liberal Democrat - he is extremely tight with President George Bush. They are frat brothers in Delta Kappa Epsilon from Yale and were at one time, part owners of the Texas Rangers. Roland Betts also was a major contributor to the 2000 Bush Presidential Campaign. The Bushes also vacation with The Betts at their various vacation homes.

Doesn't wealth make for the most interesting 'bed fellows?'

In spite of my super sleuthing efforts, I have not been able to find out the age, occupation, or residence information on Ms. Maggie. So, as I find out more scoop, I'll share it with you.
And - if you happen to be a better sleuth than yours truly
(and I know based on the emails I receive that some of you are),
don't hestitate to share your findings with all
of the fabulous readers of The Black Socialite.
After all, isn't that why we're all here?

Maggie with Zani Gugelmann (left) and Meridith Melling Burke at the New Yorkers for Children party at Saks Fifth Avenue on September 6, 2007

Kristian LaLiberte and Maggie are all hugged up at the Apollo Theater Foundatin Spring Benefit on June 11, 2007

Maggie at the Elise Overland Party on May 23, 2007

Maggie with Kate Schelter at a Zac Posen After Party in February 7, 2007

Ms. Maggie & Barbara Bush at a 2006 UNICEF Benefit where they served as Event Co-Chairs

Jessica, Lois, & Roland Betts at a 2006 Benefit for Ballet Hispanico

Where is the Essence Coverage on HSH Princess Angela?

I received my new Essence Magazine in the mail today with squawker Keisha Coles on the cover and yet another story about Chief Clucker Kim Porter.
I think I'm going to cancel my subscription.
I'm in my late 30s and could care less about most of the people who grace their covers.
Meanwhile, seven years have passed since the wedding of HSH Princess Angela and HSH Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein and Essence has yet to cover this story.
Are they sleeping at the wheel or what?
For those not in the 'know,' HSH Princess Angela was 42 years old and working in New York as a fashion designer when she married into this very wealthly royal family.
HSH Prince Maximilian is several years her junior.
By all accounts in the European Press, the couple is still very happily married.
This wedding was completely ignored by the American press -
who we all know is very obsessed with royality.
Don't you find that interesting...
HSH Princess Angela of Liechtenstein (wearing the family's crown jewels) and HSH Maximilian at their 2000 wedding in New York City
HSH Prince Maximilian holding their son, the super cute Prince Alfons Constantin Maria (now six years old) with HSH Princess Angela at a royal family outing

The BIG question...why hasn't Essence (who markets themselves as the voice to empower Black women) done a story on her either?

Maybe you should drop their editor (whose name ironically is Angela) a note if you would like news on HSH Princess Angela.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Per Your Request - The Summer of Susan

Susan Fales-Hill had a 'Super Black Socialite' Spring & Summer season this year, attending a slew of fabulous events! May 17th, Susan attended designer Rachel Roy's Fall Preview Party

May 14th, she attended the American Ballet's Spring Gala

Here she is at Rachel Roy's show on September 5th

Susan looks stunning in this hot red number at the Van Cleef & Arpels 'Une Journee a Paris' event on September 4th.

On June 4th, Susan attended a benefit for the School of American Ballet

Susan stops for a photo op here with designer Rachel Roy and Sista Socialite Carol Sutton Lewis at a celebration for the partnership between Van Cleef & Arpels and The New York Public Library on June 19th.

Susan and author Holly Peterson at a celebration for Peterson's book Manny on June 21st.

Note: Pardon the photo captions folks - I'm still working on getting full access to these pics so bear with me. God forbid I end up in court for copyright violations!! And I won't look good with orange prison wear...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Socialite Balancing Act

Today is all about cooling out in preparation for the upcoming week - otherwise known as the balancing act.

I have a few invites to some upcoming restaurant openings, so I’ll see how I can fit one or two into my already extra crisp crazy schedule. Plus, I’m combing through the slew of emails I received in the past week.

I appreciate every note I receive and I will try to answer them personally as much as I can.

Do me a favor and give me some time to get back to you before sending me a follow up note.

And, when I receive the same types of inquires, I will address the issue on the blog.

So, a bit of housekeeping is in order.

I’ve had several inquires via email regarding my list of ‘Super Black Socialites’ and what is the criteria.

It’s quite simple.

The ‘Super Black Socialites’ on this list are people who are deeply embedded in the social fabric of the community and are philanthropically driven. They donate a significant amount of their resources (money, time, networks, etc.) to improving the lives of others.

They have mastered the 'balancing act' what being a socialite is all about - having fun, helping others, and serving as examples for our young people to emulate.

And, while they may have a ‘home base’ in terms of where they reside geographically, many of the Super Black Socialites’ activities and networks are at least national (and some are global) in scope.

In other words, Super Black Socialites are not ‘posted up on their blocks’ to use the slang terminology to describe provincialism. They keep it moving.

My list is in its infancy and is not by any means exhaustive nor complete. More names will be added in the future.

If you know someone who should be included, feel free to share information with me.

Perhaps, they’ll make the cut.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Effi Barry (ex-wife of Marion Barry) Dies

Former DC First Lady, Effi Barry, has died last night of leukemia at age 63.

Often criticized for playing the "stand by your man" role for her formerly cracked out husband, Ms. Effi was still elegant and extremely graceful under extraordinary pressure.

The couple divorced in 1990 and later became very good friends. They were often seen out on the town as Marion is now separated from his fourth wife.

I understand that he was one of the few visitors she allowed to see her in her last days.

I pray for her family's healing in this most difficult time.

This Friday's Fabulous Flick!

Clap, Clap for Ms. Jaylaan Ahmad-Llewellyn photographed here with Russell Simmons! This flick was taken last week at a party for her indie label (bluhammock music) in The Hamptons.

She has signed Speech (formerly of Arrested Development) to her label and has recently launched a clothing line called bluhorse.

Twenty-eight year old Jaylaan is the daugther of Mega Black Socialites Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn and J. Bruce Llewellyn - owners of The Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The Llewellyn Family resides in New York and are major benefactors for several causes including Jazz at Lincoln Center and The Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Her sister, Alexandria, is married to author Tom Clancy.

I will profile Ms. Jaylaan and her Mom, Shahara in upcoming entries.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Partying Like A Rock Star

Over the Labor Day Weekend, I decided to let my hair down at a BIG 'Sundae' (get it?) Block Party in Philadelphia deejayed by a good friend and big brother - Terry Alford.

The party took place in back of The Bubble House on the campus of University of Pennsylvania and as you can see from the flick above, it was packed with people having a good time.

It was a blast to reconnect with buddies from our colleges days and dance for hours. Several of our friends brought their children to the Block Party as well which was delightful to see.

We still scratch our heads in disbelief that many in our crew are now the parents of teenagers.

Without question, Terry is one of the best deejays around. He is also the owner/operator of Funky People Productions who creates events beyond the standard norm. Terry is a humble guy who seldom takes credit for training and mentoring many of the so-called 'hot' deejays playing in Miami, NYC, and DC now.

He really gets that music is so much more than same ole tired songs that are pre-programmed by Clear Channel throughout most major markets.

Even club deejays have fallen into the boring pattern of replicating what's played on the radio.

No wonder people just sit around in clubs and look at each other. The experience most deejays offer in clubs now is no different than listening to the radio in your car.

I'll give you an example.

Have you heard a club music remix of 'Family' from the motion picture Dreamgirls?

Probably not.

In between partying, I was treated to sake shots at the bar by Asian male business students who attend Wharton. Complements flowed on my makeup, hair and my burnt orange and red safari patterned silk shirt. I felt pretty good that I could still turn the heads of young and older men.

Plus, if your gear and face is not 'tight' - trust me that the 'children' will not shoot praise in your direction. We all know that many Black gay folks do not play when it come to fashion and creativity.

I also bumped into Ms. Vee - a sensational 'queen' hairstylist who uses to whip many heads in shape back in the day. It was great to see Ms. Vee while we laughed and reminisced about the club kid days of the late 80s and early 90s.

After The Bubble House party - we hung out in a few clubs in Philly including Swanky Bubbles and The Monkey Bar where I enjoyed apple martinis - one of my favs. The 'children' were in full effect everywhere bopping around with hot club gear and partying up a storm.

On or around 3AM (I was kinda groggy so I don't remember much), the crew landed at a diner to chew on some rubber pancakes.

I strolled into my house around 4:30AM for an early morning interrogation by my kitty who believed that her mother lost her mind. I picked her up while she was still in full fuss mode and rolled into bed.

I woke up about 11AM with club tunes still dancing in my head with kitty sniffing my breathe. I guess I smelled pretty toxic. My booty and legs were sore while I hobbled around from room to room.

I later received a call from one of my guy buddies on my mobile phone who was "checking to see if I was OK' as he laughed in my ear.

See normally - I attend very swank and conservative affairs. Rarely will yours truly land in a club. And hanging out until the wee hours of morning is not my traditional modus operanti.

But one thing is for sure.

You gotta have those times when you just let it rip- if you know what I mean.

It's good for the soul and spirit to be free periodically.

Photo credit: DJ Venus

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dress Code for Paul Quinn Students

Kudos to Michael J. Sorrell, the 40 year old President of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas for implementing a dress code for students on campus!

Hopefully, other institutions will model Sorrell's leadership in helping our young people understand that image is everything and it can shape your future success.

It is imperative that higher education prepare students for the 21st Century workforce - and this is a step in the right direction I believe.

Sista Socialites Redefining Aging Gracefully

The Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper is one of the few "major dallies" that has a Society section with good multicultural representation.

Last month, The Women’s Board of Ravinia hosted the Ravinia Festival’s annual Gala Benefit. Plácido Domingo headlined the Gala performance. More than 1200 attendees forked out $275 per person to enjoy the evening.

The Fab Sista Socialites pictured left to right are: Linda Johnson Rice, Desiree Rogers (CEO of the People’s Energy Company), Valerie Jarrett (Chair of Chicago’s Stock Exchange), and Marguerite Orane (Management Consultant).

You gotta love Ms. Desiree at age 46 rocking the sequined mini dress and showing off her toned legs!

All of the ladies are over 45 I believe and they provide me inspiration that aging fabulously after 40 can happen for all of us.

Photo credit: Bob Carl for the Sun-Times

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Love Martha's Vineyard Style

Ah, was in the air on the Vineyard early last month, when Teresa Clarke and John Ellis wed in Oak Bluffs.

I understand that the ceremony was beautiful and seasoned with humor as the couple shared anecdotes of their on again/off again relationship.

John Ellis is a professor in the department of anesthesiology and critical care at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago and was by all accounts - a confirmed bachelor.

Ms. Teresa is extremely accomplished in her own right as she holds three Harvard degrees, owns a boat that she sails on the Hudson River, and holds a super fabulous gig.
It is great to see Black people in their 40s get married versus the settling for usual living together.

Congratulations to the new couple and may your marriage be blessed!

Photo credit: Robert Spenser for The New York Times

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Delroy's Smile

I don't plan to cover celebs on this blog because quite frankly - they make me tired.

But this picture of actor Delroy Lindo (who I absolutely adore) was just too cute not to share with you!

The bummer is that I missed the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival this year so I am not able to give you my traditional 'play by play' commentary.

And, damn it - I missed a chance to meet Delroy again!
I met him years ago on an elevator in New York City and he was sooooo gentlemanly that I will never forget it.

The PR rep for the festival was kind enough to send me this photo and I just has to post it. I think this flick really captures his spirit.

So indulge me a little folks...OK?