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#BrooklynGirlCode™ #Weekend #Recap: Rihanna & A$AP Rocky Get Married (In a Video), #Drake #Swordfights (In a Video), #NancyPelosi Visits Ukraine + The 2022 Met Gala!

Well, well, well… it was another eventful week and #BrooklynGirlCode™ has all the highlights! Parents-to-be Rihanna & A$AP Rocky exchanged vows in A$AP Rocky’s new music video for his song “D.M.B.” Drake tried his hand in the ancient sport of Fencing in Future’s new video “Wait For U” featuring UK singer TEMS. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited war-stricken Ukraine and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy making Pelosi the highest ranking U.S. official to visit the country since the war began. The stars came out in droves this past Tuesday for Vogue’s annual invite-only Met Gala. And lastly, Muslims all over the world celebrated the end of thirty days of fasting during the month of Ramadan with Eid-al-Fitr on May 2nd.

It was definitely a week for the history books but now that the weekend is here, we can kick back, relax and be happy that we made it! What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever you do, just make sure you enjoy yourself! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ <3

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna in the "D.M.B." video
A$AP Rocky and Rihanna get married in the “D.M.B.” music video.
Drake sword fights in Future's new music video "Wait For U."
Drake sword fights in Future’s new music video for “Wait For U” directed by Director X.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 30th, 2022.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 30th, 2022.

Kendall Jenner at the 2022 Met Gala.
Kendall Jenner at the 2022 Met Gala. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com.
Lizzo at the 2022 Met Gala
Lizzo at the 2022 Met Gala. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com.
Women in Malaysia celebrating Eid al-fitr.
Women in Malaysia celebrating Eid al-Fitr.

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#BrooklynGirlCode™ #TBT’s: Nina Simone’s “To Be Young Gifted and Black!”

“In the whole world you know, there’s a million boys and girls who are young, gifted and Black. And that’s a fact!” -Nina Simone

It was the summer of 1969. Singer/songwriter Nina Simone was at the height of her career. Simone was performing at the Harlem Cultural Festival in New York City and decided to introduce her new song, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” to the world. The song which was inspired by Simone’s late friend and famous playwright, Lorraine Hansberry turned out to be the ultimate ode to Black Excellence! The song would later be featured on Nina Simone’s live studio album Black Gold and would also become an unofficial anthem for the American Civil Rights Movement.

In honor of Black History Month, #BrooklynGirlCode is taking a trip back in time to the summer of 1969! Young gifted and black…oh what a lovely precious dream! Check out an exclusive throwback interview of Nina Simone speaking about the song below and enjoy! -xoxo <3

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#BrooklynGirlCode™ #TBT’s: #AmberRose and #KanyeWest Understood the Assignment !!!

It was the early 2000’s and we were all still getting adjusted to the new millenium and what was to come. Then enters Amber Rose! We didn’t know who she was. All we knew was that she was Kanye’s latest muse and she could dress her @$$ off! There’s been a lot of talk lately. But, when it comes to Kanye’s best dressed leading ladies, Amber Rose understood the assignment for sure! Her “street chic” style even rubbed off a little on Ye influencing his Yeezy brand that he would establish later on after the two split. Either way, Kanye and Amber gave us a whole lot of fly fashion to gaze at while they were together.

In honor of #TBT, #BrooklynGirlCode™ has compiled some of Amber Rose and Kanye West’s best looks from the early 2000’s. Enjoy! -xoxo <3

Kanye West and Amber Rose attend the PAPER Magazine 25th Anniversary Party in New York City (2009). Photo courtesy of Patrick MacMullan.
Kanye West and Amber Rose attend the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards… Fave!!! Photo courtesy of Just Jared.
Thanks for stopping by, come back soon! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ .
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Good Luck to the #PeterWestbrookFoundation at the #Tokyo2020 #Olympics Next Month!

Olympian Peter Westbrook speaking to his Fencers at the Fencers Club in New York City.
Olympian Peter Westbrook speaking to his Fencers at the Fencers Club in New York City.
Olympian Peter Westbrook speaking to his Fencers at the Fencers Club in New York City.

“This is a lily white sport. Make no bones about it.” – Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook knows all about the sport of fencing. The six-time Olympic bronze medalist has been sending African-American fencers to the Olympic Games for the past two decades. I, myself started fencing at the Peter Westbrook Foundation when I was eleven-years-old and I’ve had the opportunity to know Peter Westbrook not just as an Olympian but as a human being. And trust me — they don’t make them like him anymore!

Next month for the Tokyo 2020 games, the Peter Westbrook Foundation will be sending a quarter of Team USA’s men’s fencing team to compete. This is something no other organization has done to date. Check out the cool news special CBS New York recently did highlighting the Peter Westbrook Foundation below. Good luck to my PWF fencing family at the Tokyo 2020 games next month. I’ve been knowing these Good Men all my life!! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

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#TBT’s: #Two Intelligent #BlackMen Are Better Than One! #HappyBirthday #BobbySeale! 🖤

Black Panther Party founders Bobby Seal and Dr. Huey P. Newton in front of the official Black Panther Party headquarters
Black Panther Party founders Bobby Seal and Dr. Huey P. Newton in front of the official Black Panther Party headquarters
Black Panther Party founders Bobby Seal and Dr. Huey P. Newton in front of the official Black Panther Party headquarters. Photo courtesy of Jason Porter Pinterest page.

Today marks the 84th birthday of Black Panther Party founder, political activist Bobby Seale. Bobby Seale was born in Liberty, Texas on October 22nd, 1936. The oldest of three children, Bobby Seale moved to Oakland, California with his family when he was eight years old. Seale would later go on to form the very controversial, but very important Black Panther Party along with Dr. Huey P. Newton in Oakland in 1966. The party which eventually dissolved in 1982 aimed to inform and educate African-Americans on their civil rights and provide free food to residents in inner-city communities.

Black Panther Party founder Bobby Seale.
Black Panther Party founder Bobby Seale. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post.

In his later years, Seale wrote a few books, starred in popular television documentaries and became a college professor teaching Black Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA (where my Temple Owls at?!). At 84 years old, Bobby Seale is still on the move educating and empowering. Happy Birthday to a true American Legend! And thank you for coming together with Dr. Huey P. Newton to form the Black Panther Party because two intelligent Black men are better than one! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode.🖤

Photo of Black Panther Party founder Bobby Seale
Photo of Black Panther Party founder Bobby Seale. Photo courtesy of Moor Info.

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“Try To Add A Little Bit of Bright Color To A Really Dull World.” – xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode!!!💖

2012 Photo of #BrooklynGirlCode Creator and Editor, Aziza Hassan

We made it to the weekend once again! And with all the dull, solemn, tired energy going around these days, I thought it would be nice to post a bright image from a trip I took back in 2012 to Puerto Rico (pre-social distancing). It’s hard to stay motivated and excited in these times but it’s also very important to do so. So, when you’re getting ready for work, etc. this upcoming week remember to try to add a little bit of bright color to a really dull world! Enjoy your Sunday! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode 💖

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#Brandy and #Monica Take Us Down #MemoryLane With a Record-Breaking #Verzuz Battle!

Brandy and Monica in "It All Belongs To Me" official music video

Brandy and Monica in
Brandy and Monica in “It All Belongs To Me” official music video

It was “Ladies Night” this past Monday, August 31st, when music legends Brandy and Monica put their differences aside and came together for one night only to perform their classic R&B hits for Verzuz. The battle which was streamed live on Instagram and Apple Music broke the internet with more than one million viewers tuning in to watch the two superstars battle it out classic for classic! Of course these two divas came dressed to impress! Brandy played it cool and casual in an eccentric Libertine “Prince of Chintz” blazer while Monica stunned in an adorable retro-style Fendi oufit designed by fashion designer Baba Jagne. However, the best part of the night had to be the official check-in from Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris who called in to wish the ladies well while rocking her own alma mater Howard University on a relaxed-fit sweatshirt. The only thing that would’ve made the night complete for us is if Mekhi Phifer would have came out and made a special appearance for the duo’s Grammy award-winning single, “The Boy Is Mine.” It never happened, but it was still a very memorable event!

Check out some cool footage from the Verzuz battle below. Looking forward to the world tour ladies! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

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The World 🌍 (and #Coachella) Before Social Distancing!

#TBT’s to #Coachella 2018 when social distancing was an unknown verb… 😢 It was the best of times and what a time to be alive! Who would’ve thought that just two short years later the whole world would be a different place? Thank goodness for pictures to help us hold on to all the special memories for a while. Check out some of our best photos from Coachella 2018 aka “Beychella.” While we quarantine, we’ll just close our eyes and imagine we’re there. Better days ahead! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

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#BrooklynGirlCode’s #TBT #TimeMachine: “Freaks Come Out At Night” Whodini (1984)

Whodini performing their hit smash
Whodini on stage performing their smash hit “Freaks Come Out At Night.”

“Now when freaks get dressed to go out at night
They like to wear leather jackets, chains and spikes
They wear rips and zippers all in their shirts
Real tight pants or fresh mini skirts
All kinds of colors runnin’ through their hair
And you could just about spot a freak anywhere
But then again, you could know someone all their life
But might not know they’re a freak unless you see them at night, ’cause

The Freaks Come Out At Night!”

The year is 1984. A gallon of gas is $1.10. The average monthly rent is $350.00. Colonel Joe Kittinger becomes the first person to complete a solo transatlantic flight in a helium balloon. Basketball legend Michael Jordan is getting ready to produce the Air Jordan 1 and the first ever personal computer designed by Apple Macintosh is officially set to go on sale! But, right in Brooklyn, New York a young Hip-Hop group by the name of Whodini is set to release their sophomore album Escape which will feature the mega-hits “Friends,” “Five Minutes of Funk” and “Freaks Come Out At Night!”

Cover Art for
Cover Art for “Freaks Come Out At Night”

Whodini who began to make a name for themselves in the music industry with their pumped-up stage shows and funkadelic wardrobe consisted of main lyricist Jalil Hutchins, co-vocalist John Fletcher (a.k.a. Ecstasy) and DJ Drew Carter (a.k.a. Grandmaster Dee). Although the duo released their self-titled debut album the previous year in 1983 which also featured the Halloween-themed song “Haunted House of Rock,” the group didn’t get the response they expected until the release of Escape one year later. Escape proved to be a fan-fave and would go on to sell one million copies in the U.S. alone! Whodini would also go on to set the trend for Hip-Hop artists being able to perform in large stadium venues after helping pioneer the Fresh Fest tour. The first Hip-Hop tour to play in a large colliseum nationwide.

Jermaine Dupri in
A young Jermaine Dupri shows off his best break dance moves in the video for Whodini’s classic hit “Freaks Come Out At Night.”

Later on Whodini’s music would go on to be sampled by Hip-Hop mega stars Will Smith, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Nas and even the late Tupac Shakur. Whodini proved that they were a force to be reckoned with not just in Hip-Hop but all genres of music! Check out the video for “Freaks Come Out At Night” below and let us know when you catch a young Jermaine Dupri showing off his best break Dance moves!