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 🙂
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! 🙂
I recently took a late summer vacation and was able to fully digest the beautifully designed scripted 10 part audio drama “Bronzeville”. The cast is stellar: Laurence Fishburne, Larenz Tate, Tika Sumpter, Tracee Ellis Ross, Omari Hardwick, Wood Harris, Lahmard Tate, Cory Hardrick and more make up the characters that come to life in the series. “Bronzeville” brings to life 1940’s Chicago and the “policy” or numbers games that allowed this African American community to flourish. At the center of the drama we are introduced to members of the notorious Copeland family, including sister Lisa Copeland played by Tika sumpter, Jimmy Tillman played by Larnez Tate and Curtis Randolph played by Laurence Fishourne. Not only was I impressed with the sound design of the overall series, I couldn’t believe how quickly I was transformed to 1940’s Chicago via these auditory performances. It’s easy for me to binge a great tv series or fly through a good book but I’ve never been so engaged in a scripted audio series. I think a major reason why I was so invested and am supportive of the project is because it is not entirely a fictional project and a little know piece of American history. Bronzeville was an actual African American community in Chicago in the 1940’s whose money generated from the policy operation allowed the community to be self sufficient and produce schools, stores, banks and nightclubs. You can read a bit about its history and the policy operation here.
You can listen to all 10 episodes of season 1 here. Hopefully the cast is hard at work and gearing up for season 2!
A friend of mine put me onto “There Goes The Neighborhood” as they covered gentrification in East New York Brooklyn. Being from Brooklyn and witnessing its gentrification first hand, I was all in. The series talked to both local residents directly effected by new city plans and the infiltrating house flippers. I devoured every episode and eagerly awaited a new season to be posted. I had hoped the series would tackle another section of Brooklyn but they are instead taking the series to the West coast to discuss gentrification in Los Angeles. If the upcoming L.A. version is as good as the B.K. version, we’re all in for an eye opening treat.
Via Tamron’s site:
Go to extremes with the world’s first* 22.2x ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom.
Introducing the world’s first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens for the APS-C format. With a focal length range of 18-400mm and 22.2x zoom, it has an ultra-telephoto range equivalent to 620mm in the 35mm format. This brings distant subjects closer, while providing perspective-flattening effects that are only possible with an extreme telephoto lens. Plus it offers exceptional optical performance across the entire zoom range—from wide angle to ultra-telephoto. With this new lens—and its Moisture-Resistant Construction—Tamron brings the art of photography to the joy of travel. Now you can use the same lens to shoot everything from stunning landscapes and neon-lit cities to detailed portraits and delicate flora. The ultra-telephoto range makes it just as easy to photograph animals and sports. And with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9, you can even enjoy tele-macro photography.
On June 22nd, Brooklyn Central is hosting its first annual summer print sale featuring photography by yours truly! Select prints of mine will be available for purchase directly from BKC on Thursday June 22nd at the BKC headquarters at 33 Washington Street Brooklyn, NY. Stop by, check out some great photography and purchase a print or two!