Black Panther Revealed the Constant Need for Black People to Take the “High Road”

Black Panther snatched my edges. All of them. Before I went to see the film on Friday I was so anxious. I had been waiting to see this film for months and the day was finally here. I was slightly nervous because there has been sooo much hype. And as you know hype can ruin a movie. Nevertheless, I walk to the theater half surprised to see a line outside the door, but being me I don’t wait in line. Im a blender. Even though I was there an hour early I STILL had to wait on another line where I meet other cool black millennial’s and we gushed about being happy to see so many black people.

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I kid you not, 5 minutes into the movie I felt like my spirit was going to jump out of my body so it could be in Wakanda. When the movie ended I didn’t even want to leave. So I hung back with my new friends and we literally talked about the movie and black things for 2 hours. Im not exaggerating. There are many aspects of the film to love, but there was a standout moment in the film that made me uneasy.

This idea came up during my hour 2 convo with my new friends. Do black people help others to our own detriment? In the film, Everett jumps in front of a bullet to protect Nakia. Nakia and King T’Challa are adamant about bringing him back to Wakanda for healing but Okoye makes a great point by telling them Martin is a CIA operative and letting him in of the secret could but their whole country in danger. A soon as they decided to bring Everett to Wakanda I exclaimed, THIS IS WHERE WE ALWAYS MESS UP! Shuri jokes “Another broken white boy for us to fix” indicating that this is not the first time they’ve done this. But as a whole, Black people are always the one to take the high road. Save the outsider/colonizer. Help him/her. Yet we do not receive the same compassion when we are the outsiders. Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 1.23.59 PM.png

Black people are always expected to be the helping hand of others so much so strangers expect us to get up out of our seats so they can sit down. These strangers always seem to be white ones however. See examples of actual black people ask to leave their seats for the comfort of white people. Student Asked to Give Up Seat in Crowded Classroom or White Woman Asks Black Woman to Give up Her Seat in a Crowded Coffee Shop Let me remind you, these are just seats as a people we’ve given up much more to white folk to our demise. I won’t get too gory, you can read the history books.

Should we be reconsidering ALWAYS talking the high road and being the “nice guy” because we feel like we need to prove that we are good? Maybe we should start to focus of self more, especially when the consequences of not focusing on us can be detrimental to our way of life.

With all the stereotypes surrounding black people as a whole, we a guilted into doing the “right thing” for the sake of doing the “right thing”. I was raised in a family that left hotels and restaurants cleaner than we found them because we didn’t want them to say black people are dirty. And don’t forget tipping! Since “Black people don’t tip” we always have to tip 20%. I reject that. We need to stop being so reactionary and feeding into the stereotypes. Comment below!




Is the Quarter Life Crisis Still a Thing?

I go back and forth between feeling like my life is on track and feeling like I’m a failure. I know I’m not alone in this and its extremely frustrating. Over the past six months I’ve been trying to be nicer to myself. Its amazing how we judge ourselves worse than we judge others. Just imagine if we treated ourselves as nicely if we treated other people.

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Me trying to figure it out…marriage? To whom???

The negative self talk can start from something small like being 4 minutes late to work or something big like not having the rent. And then I go over it and over it in my mind. Like how could I let this happen? What is wrong with me? What do I need to change in myself? Why aren’t I better? More responsible and smart? When its probably just mercury in retrograde and I just need to CHILL OUT.

Maybe this is why I want to go to Africa so bad and Im so interested in learning about Ancient African religions. What did they do when they were stressed? What were they’re coping mechanisms? Did they even need them?

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My idea of Africa based on my limited knowledge of the continent.

I think my biggest fear is not getting my life on track my 30. I know they say you’re not supposed to have a timeline, but Im 27 and I still feel like I haven’t really started by career officially. I don’t want to be 30 with bad credit and no savings. I guess this post is about fear. I try to be positive and optimistic a lot because I’m just scared and paranoid. What’s your greatest fear?

Just me,



Mentorship Doesn’t Exist in Hollywood

When I was in business school EVERYBODY had a mentor. And it was common to judge people based on their mentor. “Who’s your mentor? Oh the Econ 43 Professor? He’s good.” It was natural because mentors helped you to get internships and  jobs after college prepared you for interviews etc. So a more high profile mentor meant access to higher profile jobs and opportunities.  When I transitioned to the Hollywood arena I noticed the whole mentorship thing was different. Professionals would be your “mentor” but it was common for a mentor to ghost you. I’ve had different “mentors” who acknowledged they were my mentor but later ignored my phone calls emails etc. Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 2.04.52 PM.pngHence the reason I use the term “ghost”. But Im not alone in this. This is the story of many young people who trusted older more experienced professionals to keep their word.

The good news. You don’t need a mentor. Hollywood is akin to the Wild Wild West and with the internet its easy to ascend up the ranks as long as you have a following. Studios and networks are clamoring to do business with people who have followings of 300k and up, sometimes even less. With social media its easier than ever to connect to the people you want to work with.  Issa Rae said once in an interview that she encouraged young people to network with the people around them then rather than upwards. Yes, it would be amazing to network with and get Steven Spielberg to mentor you, but you probably know the next Ryan Coogler and are more likely to create the next critically acclaimed indie.

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It also important to remember that the people you are clamoring to work with want what YOU have. You have the new fresh ideas. YOU are the future. They can’t keep up with the trends or create them, they’re doing what has worked in the past. But young people are creating the future. Use that to your advantage. Lean into your strengths and work with your colleagues to create the next great film, tv show, play etc. If Steven Spielberg had that, he wouldn’t be doing a reboot of West Side Story.

Whats your take? Has a mentor consistently helped you in your Hollywood journey?

Yours truly,


P.S . I love Steven Spielberg and his work. He’s just a good representative of older Hollywood. #teamcelie

Is Black History Month Necessary?

Do not revoke my black card. This is a real question. I do realize its February and Black Panther comes out  next week and yes I’ve already bought my ticket.

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Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Dr. Carter G Woodson is credited with starting Negro History Week in February of 1926. Woodson actually chose February because both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthday were in that month so ya’ll can stop acting like white people forced us to celebrate it in February. Woodson started it because he was a teacher and he was tired of the lack of black history and more importantly  black contributions not being taught in schools.

Now that we have some history and context @Jillisblack snatched my edges today. Jill is actually black and on instagram today Jill said:

“I think most of us are finding that mainstream black history month is mostly a celebration of things invented by black people that help the society that we didn’t choose run more smoothly. Its suddenly about black people being more indispensable because we invented or created or popularized a thing that white people use or find enjoyable. Its about our achievements in the society or our very specific kind of excellence in the society but its never about our humanity as we deal with the hierarchy of the society.  White people do you use or enjoy this thing invented by a black person? Well then, uh oh! Suddenly black people serve a purpose. Who even knew? Who knew?”
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Didn’t I say she snatched edges? So I pose the question, do we need a black history month if all it is, is a reaction to racism and discrimination that we face in this country? You can go to most American schools and you’ll see a few sentences about how Martin Luther King Jr was a peacemaker and show how George Washington Carver discovered different ways you could use a peanut. But they never tell you how he was castrated  and no one goes into detail about how our own government conspired against Kings death. Why is Black History month so focused in the ways in which we have made white people’s lives easier at the demise of our own? And why is the blackness before colonization never the focus?  Its almost as if black people have forgotten our history didn’t begin with slavery. Just a thought. Do you think this month is necessary? Do you think we should alter the ways in which we celebrate it?Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 10.40.22 PM.png


Origins of Black History Month if you’re interested:

Put Yourself First in 2018…but forreal

2017 was my year of transition. Myself and my car survived a car crash, I moved back to my home state, got scammed and finally got some consistent health insurance. Now that Im back in New York everyone wants to know why I would leave LA, especially people in the entertainment community. Now that I’ve had a few months away from the city I’m Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 11.46.42 AM.pngless emotional about it and I can say I needed to make a change. In the first year of me moving there I did a lot of informational interviews and talks with people older that me that had been there for 8 years or even 12 years and the stories weren’t pretty. They were still looking for stable “survival jobs” but had nothing to show for their time there. Of course, I was thinking “thats not going to be me! Im gonna make it”, but it did make me nervous. And I made some poor decisions myself that could have changed my outcome. But at the end of the day, I was not moving forward, I was pretty stagnant and I didn’t really have a support system.

Now that Im no longer poor and not rationing food, I can think much more clearly and make actionable progress towards my goals in the industry.  lol. At this point in my life, I have to take a “me first” kind of attitude. Gone are the days of me catering my personality for family, friends and strangers so they can feel better. I have cut people out of my life and altered certain relationships and I’ve been much happier and at peace. Still trying to make meditation a thing, but Im also learning more about my family’s history and its bringing me lots of joy. The result of me not always being focused on my career and “making it” have led me to be less likely to fall into bouts of depression. I still have anxiety, but Im working through that and I’m starting to enjoy life more.

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I think we as millienials can’t get caught up in timelines and we have to remember this is not the same world our parents or grandparents had to navigate. Most millennial are overworked and underpaid. Many of us are thousands of dollars in debt and we arestruggling with several mental health issues with no insurance. Yet, we’re strolling down our instagram feeds seeing people our age traveling the world for free! Take a bubble bath and write in your journal. Self care is a must. Sleep in. If that means you sleep till 1pm every saturday, so be it. Take care of you at all costs.



Tales of Filmmaker Who Fell on Her Face and is Currently Wiping What looks like Fairy Dust off her Shoulders

As promised I’m back with a few lessons learned. Its the 1st of July and we are already getting into the second half of the year. I’ve already had a very adventurous 2017. I’ve been in a car accident, driven cross country, almost got my first feature film producer credit (so close!), been stranded in NOLA, been homeless and got my first full time job at a studio (freelance life is over!) Here are some things I’ve learned from those experiences.

  1. You don’t need a reason to do what you want

When I got into my car accident in february, it gave me the reason I needed to move back home, but the truth is that I shouldn’t have needed a reason. I was tired of LA and wanted to leave. That was reason enough. You don’t need to justify decisions you make for yourself. Just do it and be happy.

2. Don’t stay broke

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Don’t let this be you

I stayed broke for wayyy too long. When you are broke, you are usually desperate and can be manipulated by people who say they will give you money. You don’t think as logically as you would have if you had savings. Save!

3. Dues are NOT mandatory

You don’t have to pay dues. Only people with no privilege pay dues. Don’t work a shit job because you’re “paying dues”. Get the job you want with what you have. This way when you need a reference, you won’t be nervous when your potential employer calls the manager you hated. I met a young white man recently who turned down 3 full time studio jobs, because he wanted to work in post production specifically and he felt like he didn’t have to be an office production assistant to move up to post production assistant. He said he knew people so working his way up wasn’t necessary.  This guy is 23 talking about he doesn’t have to work his way up!

4. Quit a project if you don’t get paid within two weeks

I will never continue to work if I don’t receive my first check within two weeks. This may seem like a no brainer, but I’ve actually worked on projects that didn’t pay me until a month later, which can be standard in production. But for now I’m scarred, and I won’t be doing anything that doesn’t pay me within a two week period.

5. You can travel alone and you won’t be raped or robbed…well not robbed violently

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Zim of Travel Noire living her best life.

People think Im cray cray because Im not afraid to do things alone. I go to dinner alone(when I’m not broke) go to movies alone, go to different countries alone and I drove cross country alone. Nobody is worried ’bout you! As long as you mind your business and give people a stank face when you see them, they will leave you alone. I got pick pocketed in Cannes, France in 2015 and I was by myself so I was pretty vulnerable when all my money was taken. I still went to Paris as planned but I stayed on a friend of a friends couch…a strangers couch. I stayed on a strangers couch. He, yes he, barely noticed I was there and I enjoyed the rest of my time in France. Live your life and watch your back, but don’t be paranoid. No one cares about your wack life. People are too busy on Facebook.

6. Listen to your parents/family

This one hurts, because i usually thing my family is automatically wrong when it comes to the entertainment industry, but sometimes family can see things that you can’t simply because they are on the outside. I know. Defeat sucks.

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How I look when I have to listen to my parents.

7. Focus on your OWN goals/projects

Collaborating is great and helping people on projects is awesome if it leads to you reaching your own goals. I was so focused on projects that weren’t my own and they didn’t give me much fulfillment. Now Im working on films/webseries that I’ve written and I feel much more confident because I’m not biting off more than i can chew and i don’t have to answer anyone.

8. Don’t chase credits

A big part of the reason I got myself into a tizzy was because I was chasing a credit. Credits are funny, they don’t hold any weight until way after the film is shot and you’re getting a great response from the audience. Of course you can try and impress people by saying your producing Denzel Washington’s next film, but it doesn’t mean anything until you and Denzel are screening the film. create the work you want to see. Just don’t be desperate to get on IMDB.

9. Learn what you need to know to excel at your goal

After my NOLA fiasco, I knew I needed to learn more about finances in Film and TV, so now Im in a production accounting job where I get all the money secrets.

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I’m also developing a startup so I been listening to lots of podcasts about startups, product development, cash flow etc. If you don’t have the specific knowledge you need to make your film or start your business, you could be doomed to fail. Google is free ya’ll. Use her.

10. It is okay to start from nothing…again

This is not the first time I had to start over. I beat myself up about it, but its okay. Sometimes shit don’t work out. Just pick yourself back up even if its for the second or third  or fifth time. Cry it out and develop a plan to pick yourself up. I was in the most disgusting Airbnb in the garden district in NOLA where I had my cry and created a plan to get on my feet. You are not alone.

Learn from my mistakes and don’t be like me! Be better.


How I Went From Being Stranded in New Orleans to Working for CBS in a Matter of Weeks

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Some people in my family call me delusionally optimistic, and I would agree. This spring/summer that trait knocked me off my socks…we’ll not really but you get my drift. I  stubbornly believed the movie I was working on was going to make me rich and famous…I know, I know. The stupid Hollywood fantasy got in my system. And because I so strongly held this belief, when everything started crumbly around i.e. not getting paid on time and people quitting I just told myself, this is my chance and I’m going to prove everyone wrong! Tip, NEVER try to prove anyone wrong. Just focus on yourself. Focusing on others is just a distraction. If I had been more realistic i.e. not thinking this was my one shot at wealth and fame, I would have left when I didn’t get paid on time. But I thought I needed this gig.

The truth was, the gig needed me more than I needed it. Something I realized way too late into the game. On May 15th when I literally got kicked of the hotel I was staying in, my delusion had broken, and when the person who hired me said I wouldn’t be getting paid and he didn’t have any money for me to get home, it was completely shattered.



I felt so ashamed and hurt and really really really stupid. I put myself in this position. No one forced me to come to NOLA. I did it willingly and look where it got me. I used the little money I had to sleep in a dingy Airbnb in the garden district and try to figure out a plan to get home. I couldn’t call my parents. I didn’t want to hear “I told you so”. I needed a job as soon as I got to NY and I briefly considered staying in NOLA out of pure embarrassment. But my parents didn’t raise no punk.

My cousin got me a one way ticket back to new york and I got the guts to tell my mom what was really going on and I needed a ride from the airport since I was flat broke. She was really understanding and genuinely felt bad for me because she knew how much I wanted to produce this film. Yet and still I wasn’t ready to tell friends or family I was in NY and the film was a bust. I quietly got a job with a temp agency where I worked in midtown as a leasing agent. I was ready to take a break from entertainment and really questioned if I had “it”. I felt really unlucky and gullible. Maybe I needed to do something else and film could be my hobby?

Three weeks into my job I get an email asking if i would be interested in working as an Accounting clerk on a CBS Television show. Is water wet?! Hell yeah! I interviewed and made sure I left 3 hours early just so I could make the interview and get to work on time.


Long story short, I got the job and its awesome. I love working here and quite frankly Im upset we get July 3rd and 4th off because I want to be working. I’m learning so much about accounting and the studio system and this experience has taught me so much about myself and pitfalls to look out for when accepting a job offer. Life is cray, ya’ll.