Book 18: Eloquent Rage, A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower–Brittney Cooper

What I loved about reading this book is that she spoke so directly to so many of my life experiences, particularly when it comes to Black exceptionalism, overachieving, and adherence to respectability. While we decidedly had very different economic upbringings, it was like we experienced the same social frustrations and racial animosity of instructors and…

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On Being Unapologetically Black…

The price we pay for being ourselves is worth it. –Eartha Kitt As kids we were regularly admonished to “use your inside voice” (or some variant of that phrase) by some older matriarchal figure, usually a grey-haired teacher–a librarian in my case–whenever you got just a little bit too wound up in your conversations with…

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Rules For Life

(above: Djoniba Dance Centre’s 2012 spring show; Senegalese Sabar w/ Marie Basse-Wiles) I ran across this list of advice, Rules for Life, when I was living in NYC between 2011 and 2012. I remember being struck by this list. So much so that I created a little art project for myself: I wrote each rule on a piece…

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Book 14: The Color Purple–Alice Walker

I’ve seen The Color Purple with Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah, no less than ten times. I’ve also seen the (first) broadway version of story and would like to see the more recent (and apparently better) broadway musical. But I’ve never read the book. Surprisingly, I didn’t finish the book and think about how…

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bell hooks–on love of death

In our culture the worship of death is so intense it stands in the way of love… We will witness the death of others or we will witness our own dying, even if it’s just in that brief instance when life is fading away. Living with lovelessness is not a problem we openly and readily…

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Audre Lorde on Race Consciousness

But we never ever talked about what it meant and felt like to be Black and white, and the effects that had on our being friends. Of course, everybody with any sense deplored racial discrimination, theoretically and without discussion. We could conquer it by ignoring it. … How meager the sustenance was I gained from…

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Parable of the Sower, Chapter 10

When apparent stability disintegrates, As it must– God is Change– People tend to give in To fear and depression, To need and greed. When no influence is strong enough To unify people They divide. They struggle, One against one, Group against group, For survival, position, power. They remember old hates and generate new ones, They…

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Book 6: Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler

In my last post I said that I hadn’t binge-read a book since Harry Potter 7 came out a decade ago (jeez has it really been 10 years?!), but I only started the binge once I got around half way through the book. This time, I exceeded myself;  I read Parable of the Sower cover to cover…

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