Tabitha Brown speaks during the CROWN Signature Breakfast.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JULY 3: Tabitha Brown speaks during the CROWN Signature Breakfast at Compere Lapin on July 3, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Credit: Photo by Peter Forest/Getty Images

Keep your Christianity out of the Renaissance Concert

#BeyDay has finally arrived. Houston is gearing up for the most highly anticipated show this weekend. Beyoncé is coming home for the Renaissance World Tour. This tour breaks records and brings people of all ages, races, genders, ethnicities and sexual orientations together. This is a moment just to brush off all the stressors of the world and be free for three hours of entertainment. But some negative nancies have the gift to soak up all the good vibes in a room. Yes, I’m talking about our favorite bible-thumping brothas and sistas who literally use religion as an excuse to crucify and judge people who move in ways that don’t align with their read of the scriptures.

American actress and social media personality Tabitha Brown and her family recently attended a Beyoncé concert and shared her experience with internet uncles and aunties, only for some of the very same “Christians” to flood her DM with the most disrespectful comments about her family’s attendance, and Beyoncé’s symbolic and “demonic” messages behind her visuals and lyrics. Like, be for real! If you don’t want to go, just say that. Don’t rain on other folk’s Black Parade because the only VIP access you think you’ll get is at heaven’s front gate. And respectfully, I don’t know if you’ll even get access from all of this negative energy you’re giving on earth.

Delta Airlines Shakeup

Irish Grinstead, Meelah Williams, and LaMisha Grinstead of 702 attend 2019 Black Music Honors at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – SEPTEMBER 05: Irish Grinstead, Meelah Williams, and LaMisha Grinstead of 702 attend 2019 Black Music Honors at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on September 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Credit: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Black Music Honors

To the Delta Airlines Skymiles baddies, did you hear about the recent shakeup? The airline announced sweeping changes to its frequent flyer perks starting in 2024. As of now, cardholders can receive unlimited access to the club lounge. However, once the new changes occur, cardholders will only receive six visits to the lounge annually unless they spend $75,000 on the card within a calendar year. Cardholders will also lose their club access privileges unless they purchase a club membership or hold elite status with Delta, which includes the option to choose a club membership. In addition to the lessened lounge access, Delta is enforcing changes that will make it harder for its customers to qualify for its SkyMiles program.

Instead of earning status based on the distance traveled with Delta, passengers will now exclusively achieve status based on the amount of money they spend with the airline. I love my Black people, especially on social media. Dropping race as a reason for this change is a reach. This is a business. One critic said, “I’m willing to bet that the new Delta medallion plan has to do with the fact that Black people started achieving status.” Another said, “Delta’s rule change is exactly why I stopped chasing luxury. Because every time Black people start to attain a little bit of luxury and wealth, white corporation owners just move the goal post.” Lately, those Sky Lounges have been packed after the pandemic, and the feel of exclusivity has been lost. The frequent flyer perks changes are giving off a hint of classiss, but you can’t be surprised at moves like this, can you? Capitalism is the name of the game.

702 group member passes

For those who grew up in the ’90s, the recent passing of Irish Grinstead, an iconic R&B girl group 702 member, was undoubtedly a moment of shock and reflection. Best known for their theme song for the Nickelodeon show “Cousin Skeeter” and their 1999 hit “Where My Girls At?,” 702 left an indelible mark on the music scene.

Irish Grinstead, who passed away at 43, leaves a musical legacy that spans nearly three decades. Her older sister, LeMisha, confirmed her passing on Instagram, expressing that Irish had faced a prolonged battle and had finally found peace. The specific cause of her death remains undisclosed, although reports suggest that Irish had taken a leave of absence due to severe medical issues last year.

For those who cherish ’90s nostalgia, the memory of 702’s music remains evergreen. Their debut album, “No Doubt” (1996), featured a guest appearance by Missy Elliott and won Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year in 1997. Following their initial success, the group released their second album, “702,” in 1999. Their journey continued with the album “Star,” produced by the Neptunes and featured appearances by Clipse and Pharrell Williams, before group members eventually parted ways in 2006.

Irish Grinstead’s identical twin sister, Orish, was also an early member of 702 before their official debut. Tragically, Orish passed away at 27 due to kidney failure in 2008. The twins, born in Houston, will be remembered for their contributions to the world of R&B and their enduring impact on ’90s music culture.

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...