Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Elaine Welteroth's new book "More Than Enough"


I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Elaine Welteroth, former Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief in person last night in San Francisco.

What an inspiration to all women, especially, young women of color.

I tagged along with my daughter.  Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

If you don't know, Elaine Welteroth, it's the perfect time.

She's got a new book out, "More than Enough."

Available in all formats on amazon and in bookstores everywhere.

Beauty, brains and black girl magic.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

When Tales are better left Untold - Queen Sugar's Season 4 Premiere


By now you've all caught up with the first episode of Season 4 of "Queen Sugar" on OWN TV.

I caught up this weekend.

Wow.

Talk about telling tales out of school, with the release of Nova' upcoming novel, "Blessings and Blood," it seems there is about to be more blood spilled than blessings realized.

If you watch the show, you know that Nova Bordelon (played by Retina Wesley) almost never apologizes for anything she does. She's definitely a "free spirit," but in the latest episode we see more of her self-righteous side than we've seen before.

I've always thought her character loves her family more than anything, which is why I don't see how she possibly thought that airing all of the Bordelon's "dirty laundry" was a good idea.  

In my opinion, it's not even good to tell all of your own secrets.  Especially, when other people are hurt by your truth.

In the case of Nova's novel, it's not even her truths that are causing the damage.  They aren't even her truths to tell.

One thing is certain, this has started off to be a nail-biter of a season.

Stay tuned.  

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and chicory and have a beignet or two standing by.  It's getting good.

Queen Sugar on OWN TV, Wednesdays 9 ET/PST

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Harvard University Will Not Renew Contracts of First African American Deans of Winthrop, Robert Sullivan Jr. and Stephanie Robinson

Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr.
First of all, I'm no fan of Harvey Weinstein.  His abuse of power, sexual misconduct and assaults and reign of terror over Hollywood went on far too long.

That said, I'm having difficulty with Harvard University's decision to bow to pressure from what has undertones of a "mob mentality" of activists using the "me too" movement to oust the first two African American Deans at Harvard's Winthrop.  

Granted, I haven't investigated the story enough to know all of the underlying details, but it would seem to me that Harvard would support Mr. Weinstein's constitutional right to legal representation.  

Harvard's decision not to renew the contracts of husband and wife Winthrop Faculty Deans Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. and Stephanie R. Robinson seems to have been heavily influenced by a campaign led by student activist, Danu A.K. Mudannayake, a student from Sri Lanka, who has been a very vocal opponent of Dean Sullivan.

This story will surely gain more national momentum both inside and outside of academic circles in the days and weeks ahead.  

This case bears watching.  

Stay woke.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Movies by Us, for Us - Rest in Power John Singleton

John D. Singleton
January 6, 1968 - April 29, 2019

When I  heard the news last week that John Singleton had suffered a stroke, my heart sank.  

I know first-hand about African American men having strokes at a higher rate and earlier age than their white counterparts.  

We can definitely do some things like watching our blood pressure, getting regular health screenings and the like, but considering how tough it is for Black folks in this country and in the world overall, sometimes everything we do isn't enough.

Yesterday, when the family announced his passing, I immediately reflected on the time I was watching "Baby Boy" for the umpteenth time, and my then 15 year old daughter said "What movie is that?"  My astonished response was, "Baby Boy!"  "You haven't seen "Baby Boy," it's a classic!"

And every thing that John Singleton touched was an immediate hit.  A classic.  Movies for us, by us, featuring us - something no one other than Spike Lee was really doing at that time.  Now we're blessed with Ava Duvernay and many others since, but John Singleton was a trailblazer for sure.

His movies made us feel important and noticed and heard.  And while tragic in the story lines, they felt good.  "Boys in the Hood," "Poetic Justice," "Shaft."  

John Singleton was the man.  

Sending warm thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and fans around the world.

Gone too soon.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

"Before We Were Wicked" - the latest from Eric Jerome Dickey -- Online and In-Stores Now!



The Latest from Eric Jerome Dickey - Review Coming Soon!

They say the love of money is the root of all evil, but for Ken Swift, it's the love of a woman.

Ken is twenty-one, hurting people for cash to try to pay his way through college, when he lays eyes on Jimi Lee, the woman who will change the course of his entire life. What's meant to be a one-night stand with the Harvard-bound beauty turns into an explosion of sexual chemistry that neither can quit. And when Jimi Lee becomes pregnant, their two very different worlds collide in ways they never could have anticipated.

Passion, infidelity, and raw emotion combine in Eric Jerome Dickey's poignant, erotic portrait of a relationship: the rise, the fall, and the scars--and desire--that never fade.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

"The Penalty for Success - My Father Was Lynched in Lowndes County, Alabama" by Josephine Bolling McCall

Josephine Bolling McCall
Elmore Bolling 
This weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Josephine Bolling McCall during her San Francisco Bay Area Book tour for "The Penalty of Success - My Father Was Lynched in Lowndes County, Alabama."

Ms. Bolling McCall is a retired psychologist who was five years old when her father was murdered.  After retirement, she set upon her investigation to uncover what really happened to her father.

The book tells the story of the murder of a black man in 1940s Lowndes County, Alabama. It is a story that reveals the scheme to cover up a "lynching". The author's story of her father's brutal murder presents convincing evidence that he was lynched although he was not hanged, mutilated, or burned in front of a crowd of people. Elmore Bolling was shot six times in the front of his body with a pistol and once in the back with a shotgun. After years of research, including interviews with relatives and elderly Lowndes County residents, Josephine Bolling McCall sought and found answers to many troubling questions about events in her father's live. Her journey of discovery presents a revealing narrative of a time, a place, and a people that challenges us to rethink the reality of life for both blacks and whites in a rural, southern community. (From Amazon.com)


Monday, April 1, 2019

Rest In Power, ERMIAS ASGHEDOM "Nipsey Hussle" - Murdered in the Community He Loved

Ermias Asghedom (Nipsey Hussle)
August 15, 1985 - March 31, 2019

I never met Nipsey Hussle.  I learned of him and his work through my daughter.  

However, in his short life, he not only worked hard to bring relief and joy to the community in which he was raised, he crossed color, race and class lines in a desperate attempt to make the world a better place for Black people.  And specifically his Los Angeles Crenshaw community.

How did that community repay him?   He was gunned down in cold blood in front of the store which he opened in that same community.

His shocking death has an eerily similar resemblance to the death of Tupac.  

I don't buy into the conspiracy theories.  I do not believe he was killed because his work on the documentary about Dr. Sebi.  I believe he was murdered by the very people he loved.  And almost certainly by someone he knew.  

Because of his Eritrean American background he knew what it meant to be proud of who you are and proud of your heritage.  He had been to Africa multiple times.  

I can only imagine the pain and suffering his parents, siblings, Lauren London and his beautiful daughter and son are feeling at this moment.

We are blessed that he left in this world, his artistic and intellectual mark which will live on forever.