11 Fun-Not-Your-Average-Grandma-Inspired-Events-to Celebrate Grandma on August 22, 2015

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Grandma passed away on August 1, 2015, just 21 days before her 90th birthday on August 22nd. I had it all planned. I was to travel to my hometown Chicago to celebrate this joyous milestone. My Grandmother played a major role in my growth and development into womanhood. I am thankful for the love and support she poured into our family and I have vowed to continue to live her legacy.

In keeping the spirit of Grandma alive, I have curated a list of eleven events that are taking place across the United States, on August 22, 2015, which I somehow, some way tied to my Grandmother who was also the youngest of eleven children:

  1. I know if fellow Native Chicagoan, artist and music producer Kanye West knew my Grandmother, he would be calling her, "Grandma, " too. Maybe Kanye would have adorned her with a fresh pair of the Yeezy Boost 350 Black being released on her birthday!

  • Nothing says "Family," like Kindred the Family Soul, the talented married duo have six kids, just like my Grandmother, and will be performing in Wilmington, Delaware at the World Café Live.
  • If Grandma read the lineup to the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festivalhttp://www.billboard.com/hot-100-music-festival held in Long Island, New York, she would probably not recognize artists like, The Weekend, Fetty Wap or Jason Derulo but maybe Lil Wayne. I believe the key to Grandma's mental well-being was due to her continued interaction with the youth. My Grandmother had a youthful spirit, please believe it!
  • The FYF Festhttp://fyffest.com in Los Angeles has a diverse lineup of artists to include; Frank Ocean, Solange and D'Angelo, but I know my supporting Grandmother would have been proud of Sean Carlson who started the fest in 2004 at the age of 18, if he was her grandchild.
  • What the Funk? Keeping it Funky with DJ Spinna and Rich Medina, who will be spinning Funky James Brown exclusives and Fela Kuti Afro Beats at The Echo in Los Angeles. I can imagine Grandma Making it Funky back in the day!
  • "People Get Ready," for Afro Punk 2015http://afropunkfest.com in Brooklyn, NY. This two-day event will highlight the legendary Grace Jones. At 67 years old, I believe Grandma would belt out her trademark laugh and tell Grace, "Girl you know you're crazy, you still look good."
  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T Aretha Franklin during her performance at Chene Park in Detroit on Saturday. Check out Ticketmaster for more details. Aretha is known to enjoy cooking for her family. I will miss Grandma's Peach Cobbler and my favorite chicken and cornbread stuffing aka "dressing, " is what we called it.
  • MommyCon will be held at the DC Convention Center and it is dedicated to unite modern parents and mothers-to-be. Back in the day, the village stepped up to help one another, especially young mothers. I am grateful for the role my Grandmother played alongside my Mother.
  • The 2015 DMC USA DJ Finals will be held at Webster Hall in NYC, where the top 10 turntablist champions will compete and it is hosted by the legendary Kool DJ Red Alert! Growing up in Grandma's house, there was music often playing in the basement (before the flood) and I cannot recall one time when she yelled out "turn that music down." Thanks for supporting the arts Grandma!
  • B Love, a romantic short film written and directed by Shahari Moore, my fellow high school classmate. The film will be showing during the Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. I suspected Grandma would have been fast asleep by the time I was to leave out to see this film. Please support indie films!
  • Jill Scott and BJ the Chicago Kid will be performing in Oakland, California at the Fox Theater. I know the three-time Grammy Award Winner has a new album out but I would be sure to play her song, "Blessed," on Grandma's birthday, just so I can sing along and omit the word "two," in her verse; "My grandma almost lived to see ninety two, I'm so blessed Yes Yes Yes Yes."
  • Whatever you decide to do or wherever you decide to go on August 22, 2015, please keep the spirit of LOVE with you and HAVE FUN! HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!!