A Mother & Father’s Love…

Dearest DaShand,

It’s been over 14 years since you left us, yet the pain stings like it was yesterday. You left a void as wide as Lake Michigan and as tall as Sears Tower. Can you believe they call it Willis Tower now? So many things have changed since you’ve been gone.

We had our first Black president and he was from Chicago; Oprah moved her operation to Los Angeles, and the Chicago Cubs finally broke the Curse of the Billy Goat. You would have known all of the significant stats from their previous World Series win even though it was more than 100 years ago. We miss the way sports stats effortlessly rolled off your tongue. We didn’t need ESPN; we had you.DaShand Ray Bbal

We miss hearing your beautiful voice and seeing a smile that lit up the entire Universe. We miss creating memories with you. We miss you. We miss you…

Perhaps the most painful part of missing you doesn’t lie in the “What was”, but rather, the “What would have been.”

We miss watching you march across the stage as you accept your college diploma. Would DaShand's Prom 1996you have stopped after your Bachelor’s Degree or would we be calling you Dr. DaShand Ray by now?

We miss standing along side you as we build a successful family business, thus leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come. We miss holding your precious babies in our arms and spoiling them rotten as proud grandparents do. Would they look just like you?

We miss working with you in the community as we enrich the minds and lives of young boys and girls as we do with your oldest brother. We do so in your honor. You’d be proud.

We have no doubt that you would have continued on a path of greatness. You would have stumbled along the way, because to err is human. But no matter how many times you would have fallen you would have gotten right back up. And, you would have gone on to do some remarkable things.

The Ray Family

The “What ifs” and “What would have beens” ignite a pain that rips the heart and pierces the soul. The E2 tragedy took you, our sweet baby boy, but it also dashed your gigantic dreams and limitless possibilities.

Your being is as vivid in our minds now as it was the day you entered into this world. And we will continue to fight for your dreams as long as we have breath.


We love you,

Mom & Dad

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Funky, Wild, & Free (Hair)

People are obsessed with my hair. No, really. Obsessed! I rarely go a day without someone stopping me on the street to ask a question about my “funky” mane. Conversations typically go like this:

Obsessed Stranger: How long did it take to get your hair like that?

Disgruntled Tracee: About 13 years?

Obsessed Stranger: Ooh, your hair is so pretty. Can I touch your hair?

Disgruntled Tracee: Absolutely not.

Obsessed Stranger: Can you tell me how you get it like that?

And that’s where I go radio silent like Jack Bauer. If I explained my hair techniques to every Kim, Kate, and Mary that asked me I would be hoarse. So I decided to present you with a gift on this fine Thanksgiving. I’m going to show you in a few easy steps how to make your hair fun, wild, and free. Continue reading

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Wax On, Wax Off

TWO POINT FIVE YEARS AGO I lay on a not-so-comfy or friendly table in a cold, sterile room with a gaggle of men and women dressed in flimsy aquamarine-colored pajama-like gear hovering over me. They were preparing to surgically repair the torn meniscus in my left knee. The quirky anesthesiologist hurled inane questions at me in an attempt to quash my nerves (it didn’t work). She finally instructed me to count backwards from one hundred. I acquiesced. When I awoke from my forced slumber I was twenty pounds heavier.

Ok there’s a lot that happened in between the dashes, or rather, DIDN’T happen. But the point is my body was neither taut nor svelte. B.S. (before surgery) I was jumping rope like Floyd Mayweather and I did my fair share of push-ups, not the whiny baby girl kind. Times changed and P.S. (yes, post surgery) I could barely jump in the shower or push-up a bra. I became weak like Popeye without his spinach. Continue reading

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Brooklyn Teen Rock

YLE LogoIII’m proud of all of my success in the Entertainment Industry.  But I’m really proud of the work that I’ve done with teens in Brooklyn.  It’s work that is close to my heart and very necessary.  Continue reading


Filed under Radically Fabulous Memories

An Open Letter to The Donald

Dear Mr. Trump:

Thanks for effectively helping me cut down my reality TV viewing.  I love competition reality shows; I think they are awesome. And I often get swept up in the drama, tuning in every week to see which of my favorite singers will survive the battle rounds, which designers will be aufed, and which “celebrity” will be fired.  Well, thanks to you I no longer have to worry about the latter.  I simply don’t care.  I cannot continue to feed your pockets by supporting your television shows.  You’ve shown that you just don’t deserve it. Continue reading


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Confessions of a Homecoming Queen

The Royal Couple

Yep, you are in the presence of royalty…albeit H.S. royalty. Continue reading


October 12, 2012 · 1:13 am


People are really outraged by Stacey Dash’s endorsement of Mitt Romney. Admittedly, it is quite baffling why ANY woman would throw support behind two men who could care less about women’s rights. Continue reading

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Patchwork America

Photo Credit: American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog.  Life has gotten in the way. A huge, unexpected summer project snatched all of my attention.  Until now, the The Socialite Design has been reserved for articles that lean toward entertainment.  I’ve shied away from politics; after all there are other platforms for that.  I didn’t want to be bogged down with insidious comments from banal trolls and insipid arguments that have no resolution.  But if I’m being honest, this country is at a very critical point and bystander apathy is no longer an option. In this instance, saying nothing is worst than saying something that ruffles feathers.  I’m not a professional political analyst or pundit or presidential historian.  I can’t quote statics or espouse a foreign policy position off the cuff.  But I pay enough attention to know…enough.  Again, America is at a critical juncture in our history. And I realize that many things are nagging me. Be warned, this blog post will undoubtedly take many turns and seem erratic at times. But it all points to one place – be accountable, don’t be fooled by foolishness, and embrace the American dream. Continue reading


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Socially Acceptable: Jordan Coleman

Dream big dreams.  I’m just an average kid. I play high school football, I play high school basketball, but I aspire to be great. Basically, I just dream big and I work hard at it.

-Jordan Coleman, Filmmaker/Student-Athlete

Directing His Path


Tracee Loran

Jordan Coleman

16 years old is too young to be a filmmaker, right?  16 years old is too young to be a filmmaker with a profound message, right?  16 years old is too young to do inspiring work that can impact copious lives, right? Apparently somebody forgot to clue 16-year-old Jordan Coleman in on that myth. Because not only did this inspiring high school junior create an important film with a profound message, he has set out on a nationwide tour to spread the word.

Jordan’s film Payin’ The Price is a different sort of boy meets girl romantic saga.  Boy meets girl. Boy woos girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy hits girl?  Therein lies the problem.   And Jordan wants you to understand just how much of a problem it really is.

Before we go on, it’s important to set the record all the way straight. Jordan wasn’t 16 when he directed Payin’ The Price; he was 14.  And he isn’t just a filmmaker; he’s an actor, a model student, and a two-sport athlete.  Yep, he’s baaad like LL Cool J, Michael Jackson, and Shaft (The original; no disrespect to Sam)!

I recently caught up with the quadruple threat during the Brooklyn leg of his Speak Up and Get Out film tour to talk film, sports, Donovan McNabb, and why he wants to challenge Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Xbox. Continue reading


Filed under Radically Fabulous Ideas

The Radically Fabulous Black History Month Sweepstakes

Noir A-Go Go Love Card

I’m super excited to announce the latest giveaway from The Socialite Design just in time for Black History Month! The Socialite Design has partnered up with Noir A-Go Go to bring you a sweet give-away!  Noir A-Go Go, an online gift store that features Black Pinup Girls on everything from Valentine’s Cards to Tee Shirts, wants to give you a taste of their catalogue. Continue reading

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