I’m not exactly sure how to describe Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, but I can say that I can’t put the book down. I’m a few pages away from finishing it (devoured it in 3 days) and it resonated deeply with my being as a black woman. Her combination of poetry, essays and what I would call think pieces weave together to form an intricate and important collection of timely work in a society undoubtedly fueled by race.
Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.
AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Word to @dee1music
That’s right. Sallie Mae aka Navient, EDU Financial, all them hoes. DONE. With all of the madness happening, this definitely brings some much needed balance and happiness in my life 🙂
I must admit, I was SO against these music streaming platforms but I love having access to thousands of new music selections daily.
Lalah Hathaway Honestly
I love this album. One word that I can use to describe the sound of the entire album is digital. Lalah is known for her sultry soulful melodies but this project seems to take a new direction that is definitely welcomed. Standouts for myself include “change ya life”, “what u need” “y o y” and “let it go”.
Rhyon Pretty Girl
I don’t know how I stumbled upon Rhyon’s “California” but as soon as I watched the video I remembered her from the highly rated yet short lived tv series Lincoln Heights. She also recently starred in Surviving Compton as Michel’le. I had no idea that she was a singer in real life! I instantly feel in love with “California” and decided to give her album a try and it did not disappoint.
Jhene Aiko Trip
I love Jhene Aiko. Some people are on the fence about her but I’m here for her music so I was pleasantly surprised when she dropped her latest album Trip a few weeks back. Her honesty in her music is one of the main reasons why I can relate to it and her as an artist. Dealing with the recent deaths of two family members back to back, I can relate to the concept and overall vibe of this album. Along with the new album, there’s also a short film and book of poetry that can be pre ordered here. Standouts: the whole album is one giant standout however she’s talking that good ‘ole SHIT on “Never Call Me”. Give it a listen.
I love being able to share my current book list with you and since I’ve discovered The New York Public Library’s mobile app I’ve been able to download and read tons of books right on my phone for FREE. A bookworm’s dream! I’m currently reading a few books including one that I didn’t think I’d enjoy, Luvvie Ajai’s I’m Judging You. Reason being for the initial trepidation has everything to do with this current “It’s cool to be mean/You can’t sit with us/the only way to get a few clicks is to degrade people” atmosphere. I thought this book would be filled with these snippy antidotes disguised as a smart or helpful read. I was wrong…sort of. It is steeped in shade. The title alone gives that away, however it’s a realistic view of many of life’s everyday situations. It’s not mean for the sake of being mean, it’s brutally honest and so far, I’m enjoying it.
Another book that I decided to give a try was Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. This novel follows the tale of two half-sisters born in different villages in 18th Century Ghana. The tale follows their lineage from their very different beginnings, one sister being married off to an Englishman the other imprisoned in the dungeon below and sold into slavery. It’s most definitely a page turner.
A few other books that I’ve downloaded: No Name in the Street by James Baldwin, Buddhism for Dummies and I’ve also been quite curious about The Nation of Islam so I’ve decided to try and read The Qur’an…I know, very light reading material over here J. Happy reading!
Once again, it’s ON! I’m resurrecting another classic episode of The B Side Show for your listening pleasure. This was a great episode featuring my interview with Anshia B. Crooms (formerly Anshia B. Tull) of Project Hygiene http://projecthygiene.org/. With the holidays just around the corner, this is a great time to revisit this show and focus on the importance of giving back. Project Hygiene is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established to support underprivileged youth, ages 10-18 by promoting health and wellness while denouncing bullying. Through generous donations of personal hygiene products from supporters, Project Hygiene has been able to donate thousands of products to hundreds of adolescents across the country who could not afford or gain access to them. This interview was taped over 4 years ago when the organization was in its infancy but I am happy to report that the organization is still going strong and making a difference with every child reached. Check out the interview below!
The B Side Show Podcast #50 something
Here are a few images from my recent trip to The Grand Canyon. It is without a doubt MASSIVE. So massive that the brain can’t really comprehend how something so vast can be created and sustained pretty much on its own. The challenge in capturing something so immense (mid day on a beautiful sunny day might I add) is trying to figure out how to not make the images appear flat and boring. I focused on perspective in a few shots by comparing something tiny such as a group of tourists or one person to The Grand Canyon and also had some fun with the editing. Overall, it was a great trip and a photography bucket list item that I can now cross off 🙂 Check out my images below!
We also made a stop to The Hoover Dam.
And here’s someone doing exactly what the tour guide told us not to do. There’s always one…and in this case, I saw more than one person standing on the rocks on this sunny but quite windy day just to get a photo. This was the only person I managed to take a photo of.
Having just visited the beautiful island of Puerto Rico earlier this year, I felt compelled to seek ways to help in whatever big or small way that I can. Mayor de Blasio just announced several drop off locations throughout NYC for residents to donate critically needed items for Hurricane Maria relief.
Items listed below will be collected at 18 Firehouse and EMS locations throughout NYC:
- Baby food
- First Aid Supplies
- Feminine Hygiene Products
Please note the City is only collecting the items listed above. All donated items must be non-perishable, not second-hand, nor contain any liquids of any kind. Open or unsealed donations of food or hygiene supplies will not be accepted. Wet wipes will also not be accepted. Any other items will be kindly returned.
There are 18 drop off locations accepting donations across all five boroughs. Donations will be accepted during the hours of 7 am through 9 pm. Please be aware that FDNY members at these locations may not be present during drop-off hours if they are responding to an emergency.
- Engine 91: 242 E. 111th Street, New York, NY 11220 (East Harlem)
- Engine 95/ Ladder 36: 29 Vermilyea Avenue, New York, NY 10033 (Inwood)
- Engine 28/ Ladder 11: 222 E. 2nd Street, New York, NY 10009 (Lower East Side)
- EMS Station 26: 1264 Boston Road, Bronx NY 10456 (Morrisania)
- EMS Station 55: 3134 Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10451 (Melrose)
- Engine 64/ Ladder 47: 1214 Castle Hill Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462 (Castle Hill)
- Engine 83/ Ladder 29: 618 E. 138th Street, Bronx, NY 10454 (Mott Haven/South Bronx)
- Engine 316: 27-12 Kearney Street, Queens, NY 11369 (East Elmhurst)
- Engine 289/ Ladder 138: 97-28 43rd Avenue, Queens, NY 11368 (Corona)
- Engine 307/ Ladder 154: 81-17 Northern Boulevard, Queens, NY 11372 (Jackson Heights)
- Engine 271/ Ladder 124: 392 Himrod Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237 (Bushwick)
- Engine 277/ Ladder 112: 582 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11221 (Bushwick)
- Engine 201/ Ladder 114: 5113 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220 ( Sunset Park)
- Engine 228: 436 39th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232 (Sunset Park)
- Engine 218: 650 Hart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11221 (Bushwick)
- Engine 153/ Ladder 77: 74 Broad Street, Staten Island, NY 10304 (Stapleton)
- Engine 157/ Ladder 80: 1573 Castleton Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10302 (Port Richmond)
- Ladder 79: 1189 Castleton Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10310 (Port Richmond)
As we continue on through this journey of my past life as a radio host, I present to you my series within The B Side Show podcast “Respect Ya Elders”. This was my opportunity to use an entire show to play nothing but the classics. This edition revolved around 70’s and 80’s black cinema. The songs chosen were the musical background to classics such as Sparkle (the original), Fame (the original), Claudine and Super Fly. I also took the liberty of adding clips from other classic films such as The Education of Sonnie Carson, The Warriors and The Mack to fully round out the show. According to my labels, this episode premiered in December 2008 and I must say, IT STILL SOUNDS DAMN GOOD! Listen below and judge for yourself!
The B Side Show “Respect Ya Elders Pt. 4” Originally aired December 2008:
Jackpot, I think I’m in love…
I know! Another light…but this is a Profoto light. Profoto. Big dog pitbulls in the game of light. Yes, their equipment is expensive, but it’s worth it. This beauty is being touted as the world’s smallest studio light and I want in! Here’s what I really like about this light, it seems like an easy to use on camera light compared to other speedlights. It also seems powerful enough for outdoor portraits but it may also be able to handle bigger studio jobs, and with the Profoto brand behind it, you know you’re paying for quality. BUT, there really is only one way to find out, and this is a wish list post, soooooo…feel free to help me get closer to making this wish a reality by going here, scrolling down and donating what you wish to the cause! 🙂