ManUp: Web Series

Man Up: a colloquial term that instructs someone (usually a Black male) to take responsibility, and/or eliminate stereotypical "soft" emotions; to be strong. 


I grew up watching my grandfather and uncle converse about sports, family, racism, and finances. Today, sometimes when I close my eyes, I can still see them sitting in our living room on warm Saturday mornings holding court about everything! 

As I contemplated it, I realized that there are some young men and women who've never experienced this. They've never seen two Black men have an intimate conversation, aside from those on popular TV shows. So, my thought was to bring these natural conversations to a broader audience. Not to expose them, but to show their humanity and increase outside knowledge of the depth that surrounds Black men. 

In the coming months, ManUp will debut, showing these Black men interviewing each other about family, females, and manhood. Their stories are unique and similar, heartbreaking and warming, new and familiar. I will also include separate posts about each interview to give background information about each man and what I felt were key takeaways. 

Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don't miss any episodes of the series. 


I Rock, I Got This

I rock.

I got this. 

I am enough. 

Before you head out, stand in front of the mirror and repeat these statements five times. For the confidence you're about to experience, you're welcome. 

"Head up, Shoulders Back, Smile...Let's work!"

A few days ago, I attended the first "Walk This Way Movement - Ladies Night Out" event in Los Angeles. Founder Shakila Grigler greeted her guests as we filed into Evolution Dance Studios. The air was filled with sisterhood, opportunities and positive energy. The flyer stated that we should wear workout attire and a pair of heels. Since Nikes and sneakers are a part of my daily wear, I was somewhat hesitant about breaking out the mandated three-inch heels but pushed through anyway. 


I Rock.

              I rock. 

                            I rock. 

Immediately, Shakila relieved the anxiety I felt. As the class progressed, she guided us through a personal evaluation and group confidence training session. We recited mantras - especially the one listed above - created and shared our goals for the coming year, and learned a short dance routine. We ended the night with a mini cat walk, expressing our main goal for the next year with confidence and resolve. 


I Got This

Conquer Your Fears, Live in Your Destiny

What started out as a run-of-the-mill night out in LA turned into a transformative, even spiritual, experience. We took an introspective look at our successes, especially those that came from experiencing obstacles. This personal and reflective exercise was the highlight of the event, bringing us all together through shared experiences and bridging the gap that will allow our dreams to become realities. It was one of the most powerful nights I've had this year! 


Post Up


So, the next time you and your friends are trying to decide your next Girl's Night Out event, check out and tell Shakila we sent you! 


Shakila G.


#KindredApproved Must See TV

It’s what we’re watching!

NETFLIX delivers two powerhouse dramas in Godless and She’s Gotta Have It.

Centuries apart and literally cast as polar opposites, both shows convey the essence of independence, vulnerability, and the protagonist’s deep-seated will to survive. Godless follows the strong-willed women of LaBelle two years after the town’s men were killed in a horrific mining accident. Each episode unveils a new layer to the Town’s women and the tension continues to mount when news of a wayward male outlaw hiding among the women begins to spread.  Themes of family, betrayal, sacrifice and new beginnings make Godless a must see!

Similarly, She’s Gotta Have It instantly intrigues as the stereotype of Black women craving monogamy is turned on its ear. Three men of varying disciplines vie, at times like ill-tempered children, for attention from the protagonist. Her determination to keep them at bay provides for comedic, yet profound introspection. Each episode conveys an internal and external force that the protagonist experiences attempting to maintain a steadfast grip on her proposed identity while simultaneously struggling to define said identity. The rich dialogue, enigmatic format, dazzling colors, and amazing music selections make She’s Gotta Have It a must see!


*Characters’ names were intentionally excluded. Go watch!

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