Today is a very good day, y’all. I woke up this morning in a fabulous, sassy mood. I had a vegetarian breakfast under three hundred calories, and I wrote on my novel for two hours.
And why was I in such a good mood? Well, I’ve lost some–ok, a lot of–weight, and I have a waistline for the first time in ten years. (I know. Sad, but true, but better late than never, right?) And I have some hips now, too.
Sidebar: have you noticed when you don’t have a waistline, no matter how wide your hips are, people tell you how “narrow” you are? Sigh.
So, yesterday I wore a skirt and a blouse that actually cinched my now-existing waist and showed off my (almost flat, but honestly, not quite there yet even with control-top panty hose) stomach, and I got five compliments on how super-cute I looked, including one from an incredibly beautiful young man—who was not my student, so it wasn’t against any rules that could get me fired.
And, drumroll….he was black.
It’s these little things that make middle age a great rest stop on the journey of life, y’all. And instead of feeling middle age, I feel all French. So call me, “Une femme d’une certain age.”
Today I feel like a sister who is trying to thrive in her health, art, self-love and love for other black women as well. So I decided, let’s put up some stone-cold sister links in celebration of Women’s History Month!
Today is Miriam Mekeba’s birthday. She would have been seventy-eight years old today. This sister was—and still is—bad in the black sense. Meaning good, of course. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody. Better yet, here’s a link to her singing my favorite song of hers, The Click Song.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops are reinvigorating traditional banjo and Appalachian string music. Two brothers are in this group, but the sister is front and center.
I might have said this before, but it bears repeating. The banjo is an African Instrument, y’all. That means that somehow, AN AFRICAN INSTRUMENT is now a part of Country music, which would be great, only Country music has now become a nearly—except for Hootie—an all-white music industry.
My African American sisters and brothers, may I be allowed a corny, preachy moment, even though it is no longer Black History Month?
We have to start remembering and preserving our own black music, in all its complexity—not just when we want to drop it like it’s hot, even though that is so much fun for me to do—because if we don’t, somebody else will preserve, and while they are preserving, they will accidentally on purpose forget to mention that black folks have a stake in Appalachian culture. Here’s a link to an NPR story on the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Here’s another link to their playing their remake to “Hit Up ‘Em Style.” That sister ‘s getting down on that fiddle.
Heidi Durrow discusses her fabulous first novel, THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY with Michelle Norris on NPR’s All Things Considered. Since I had my first podcast with Heidi back in January, she has been reviewed in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. Heidi is blowing up quick, fast, and in a hurry. You need to get her book right now. Don’t sleep. And if you want to hear my podcast with her, just click that blue button the right.
Little Nujood Ali is ten and already divorced. She was forced to marry some old [insert expletive noun] nasty man who didn’t have the sense he was born with, otherwise, he would have wanted to marry a GROWN WOMAN. Well, this little girl fought back. It’s these kind of stories of strength and courage that make me feel good to be born female, even when the world doesn’t think I should feel that way. Go ‘head with your little, bad, womanist self, Nujood!
And finally, I am so happy to be living in a time where equality may be happening slowly, but still, surely. It is now legal for gay folks to get married in Washington, D.C.
Here is a link to two sisters who live in D.C. and who have been together for fourteen years. Now, they can finally get married, which is a basic human right.
Can I get all Old-Black-Lady right now on y’all, and say, “God be a witness”?