I have a new blog essay coming up (very, very soon), and I’m hoping you won’t want to miss it, but in this short meantime (while I try to finish a new poem and some pages on my novel) here are some links for you:
Lord, the black hair thing. White folks are just discovering it—bless their hearts—and I suppose this is why “mainstream” magazines are going overboard publishing stories about our gorgeous locks. What About Our Daughters defends little, adorable Zahara Jolie-Pitt (and her hair) from Newsweek’s big old, mean self.
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon and Carl Phillips are finalists for the National Book Award for poetry! Two—count them—two people of African descent as finalists! I have been feeling happy, surprised, and nearly faint for a whole day. Remember when one black human being equaled only three-fifths of a person? Well, now we’re two-fifths of the finalists for one of the most prestigious literary prizes in poetry in the country. How you like us now, drafters of the American Constitution?
The Nobel Prize jury defends giving President Obama the Peace Prize. With two wars going on in the Middle East, and several thousand more troops just sent to Afghanistan, I’m not sure I agree with their reasons, but wasn’t this a very nice gesture?—And look, I love Barack (and Michelle, and the little Michelles) like Peter loved the Lord, so don’t leave mean comments for me. I can disagree with him sometimes. (Barack ain’t Black Jesus, you know.) And as long as he gets my vote, I’m sure my displeasure doesn’t bother him in the least.
From New Black Man: Morehouse College, an all-male historically African American College (HBCU) institutes a new, hardcore dress code for their students. It’s an old-fashioned policy, but I kind of get where the president of the college is coming from. However, home training can’t start when you are eighteen and go away to college, and one of the “don’ts” on the dress code list can be construed as anti-gay.
Liberty Hultberg, a mixed-race lady, didn’t know her biological father was African American until she was an adult. Catch her utterly fascinating story on Heidi Durrow’s/Fanshen Cox’s Mixed Chicks Chat. This regular podcast discusses the mixed-race experience and it’s wonderful. (Click the “latest story” button when you get to the website).
French Vogue features a 14-page spread of a white model in blackface. No, I am not playing; I’m serious here. This is a classic “have these Europeans lost their (insert expletive adjective) minds?” moment. I know we have Rush Limbaugh and them over here breaking fool daily, but for real, they are making kind, non-racist, sane white folks feel bad over there in Europe on a regular basis. Rather how law-abiding black folks feel when Ray-Ray is arrested for crack possession and they put him on the six o’clock news. This is usually the point where somebody says, “What you looking at me for? He ain’t related to me.”
Please come back and visit me soon—and often. I really appreciate the (surprisingly) enthusiastic support!