I rarely acknowledge mother’s day, but this tribute to a grandmother made my eyes water. I love that this piece does two things (1) troubles motherhood- it’s not just the biological but the mother/ sister/ aunt/ godmother/ grandmother/ greataunt/ neighbour/ friend/ [older] woman in your life combo (2) doesn’t do the trite simplistic thing, and I hope to share these same values with my daughter blah blah… no she says, “I am passing that wisdom on to others,” she is in the act of doing and sharing with all. Two things my Grannies taught me 1. the importance of treating all people with respect 2. how to entertain!
I’m super impressed by Janelle’s Monae new song, aren’t you? Maybe I’m reading too much into it(as are lots) but I think in many ways this song is the embodiment of queer politic, that deviation from the norm. Black womyn enjoying their sexuality in a plethora of forms. And though this isn’t quite my music of choice, I know that when music does play, my bootie doesn’t lie. And sometimes I do think I am made to feel weird for dancing a lone late at night. But I think my favourite lines:
Hey sister am I good enough for your heaven?
Say will your God accept me in my black and white?
Will he approve the way I’m made?
Or should I reprogram the programming and get down?
don’t get upset with me when you see me this summer in a black and white striped dress.
I’m a biter like that.
A friend tagged me on this on facebook: Ms Hill and Beyonce…. Disclaimer: I am very much team Lauryn and not at all team Beyonce. I think the writer does a good job of drawing parallels between their paths and choices. For me the Cuba trip as an act of defiance is a bit of reach… probably b/c I don’t like to give Beyonce much credit and b/c JayZ is the only one who responded to criticism of the trip. The wider point however is regardless of path, the scrutiny is high simply because they are black women.Also, I do have genuine concern for Ms Hill’s mental health b/c though I do recognise the maddening effects of corporate control and capitalism her responses appear to have been far from strategic. It is however probably too much to expect that strategy is possible when forces are actively working to undo you. So though I think there are mental health issues at play I am in no way downplaying the very real attacks the industry has mounted against her and many others who play, and refuse to play ball. The struggle will not always be won….
I kid you not I heard these songs on the radio this week.
I knew they were old b/c I knew 70% of the words and it wasn’t soca.
Also, *loving* this song.
This other song not so much, a little too over my head.
Writing is such a challenge, but Teji Cole is right, so many of us what to write but we’re not. I don’t think of myself as a writer but when I read the works of others I think I should really practise more, I rarely make the effort though. Maybe I need a challenge, I tried this 30 letter challenge, maybe I should try the 750 word a day challenge. Anyone want to join me?
I came across this beautiful site on a friend’s facebook page. This celebration of people of colour doing yoga reminded me of my own practice that has been waning in the last two months or so. Something tells me that if I had pictures of myself in these poses I might be able to muster more motivation. Over at Caribbean Yoga Movement they’re encouraging members (you can be one too) to take a picture of themselves in poses they’re working on. Want to join me? Or take my picture?
Eating right… When one things drop off my schedule so do a million other things. I’ve written about body image before and read a lot about black women, eating and body image. The author here talks about disordered eating in black womyn, shares her stories of an unhealthy relationship with food that was fed or was feeding feelings of displacement while in grad school “being queer, a Black woman, femme, bi, dark skinned, nappy haired, loud, ghetto, and poor that eating disorder will come out to say hi. It will be your way of coping.”
On eating well… 13 foods for a a long and happy life. You’re not about to see me jump on the soy, olive oil, seed or dark chocolate train. Especially not the dark chocolate train with it’s fake candy self. But the others… I’m going to make more of an effort.
On eating badly… none of the aforementioned 13 appear in the ingredient list of this treat that I’m going to try to make by the end of June. I plan to post pictures.
It really seems like I’ve stopped listening to music. I went to an old school hip hop/ r&b jam the other day, and frighteningly I knew all the music. When I was 17, even 20 and going out and the old school set started I rarely knew any of the music. At this age now… old school is the music I was listening to 10-15 years ago. That said, here’s what is qualifying as old[er] school these days… music I didn’t even have on tape!
I started to listen to music fairly late in high school, barely paying much attention to it before this. This meant the Mariah Carrey I met was this Mariah…
Do you remember Next? I barely do.
I do believe this was the year I started watching BET. Yes, there was a time I watched BET. I swear I was studying it just so that I could follow conversations at school.
The dancehall I actually did have on a tape.
For the soca, like they didn’t have old school…
Random side note. Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu on the same track?
I’ll admit, I’m not super big on Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, I thoroughly enjoy her writing- be sure to check out her new one, and her speaking but I met her once at a reading and the vibe wasn’t great. But that’s another story. That out of the way, I endorse this talk, I don’t agree with everything she says but I think her anecdotes will hit home with many viewers. One of the lines is that gender (the social convention) is so busy telling us what we should be it often limits what we are. #feminismisnecessary.
Thanks to pieces2peace I saw this lovely article on managing depression. There are actually 21 tips, and it’s not just of the unfuck tomorrow variety. The step that I most related to was:
“#17 . Avoid fictional drama and tragedy like the plague. No Grey’s Anatomy, no to The Notebook, or anything that won a Pulitzer prize. You’ve got enough going on In Real Life. Comedy only. Or trashy stuff. Old episodes of WonderWoman? I’ve got the box set. Mindless drivel, like the latest CGI blockbuster. Or clever, funny books. David Sedaris. Jenny Lawson. Fiction exists to elicit emotion, and the emotion you need to express most right now is laughter.”
Heavy entertainment drains me, granted the high consumption rate of the light entertainment I do consume is probably also draining. But if most of my television and movie watching surrounds death, murder, crime, injustice… it no longer becomes just tv.
I may be getting sappy in my old age, but I put this on my facebook page followed by #swoon. It’s all about romantic partnership, not just who we should have in our lives, but I like to think, who we should be as well. Everyone should bd checking out Creative Commess on facebook, she brings fyah with every single post. Ignore the very white dated heteronormative picture that accompanies the article.
1. I have been watching Girls on HBO. I watch it because it’s a captivating story, featuring unique perspectives and characters I have never seen on Television in this light before. These are some screwed up, delusional, without-a-clue, privileged, reckless, self-involved women living in a dream world and it’s hella entertaining to watch. There are many scenes that make me quite uncomfortable around sex acts and relationships but I know this shit really happens. Another aspect about Girls is that not one of the characters are remotely likeable, not one of them. Yet I can’t stop watching. This is an article I read that sort of reflects how I feel about the show. I know the season has ended but I don’t have HBO so I have to find alternative viewing options so that leaves me quite a bit behind.
2. I love food, probably too much. I love to go to fancy grocery stores and buy up special sauces and oils and frozen samosas and other delicious things. I found this article on food prices globally and its progression in the last few years. I found it interesting the amount of money spent on food at home. As a student I try my best to eat at home and prepare food to go when I can. How much money do you think you spend on food away from home?
3. I Bleeping love Science. This is my most favourite facebook page. Get into it!
Have a great weekend!
Last wkd I was at this party, if you’re in Toronto I’d recommend it. It takes a lot less energy than a soca fete. It’s nice to go out and not come home feeling like you’ve run a marathon. To the matter at hand… at some point the djs said they were switching it up. My friend said she felt like she was in grade school. I don’t know what grade school she went to, but it was some solid grind up music. I’d never seen ppl pair up so quickly. Shout out to all the same sex pairs!
This may have been the one song I recognised right off the bat. This is the only song I will ever remember Ciara for, trendsettah had said (when it came out) it’s nice b/c it has a Janet Jackson vibe to it. I don’t remember Janet too well, so I just think it’s a hot song. Biggin’ up the CSO Culture show wkd production that used this for one of their performance *cough cough *.
We (well my friend) danced out to this one. I’ll be honest, I have no recollection of this song when it came out. But it sure does inspire some very careful, smoothly executed caterpillars (was that the name of the dance?)
Finally, remember when this dude used to sing? Before fast & furious days? Can you believe they are making a 6th one of those? Back to the topic at hand, from singing about coke (cola) on the back of a bus to his sweet lady to bad “black guy one-liners” in movies, I’m sticking at step 2.
Everyone deserves a hiatus wouldn’t you say? I may be burning out, and I think I blame social media. She offers great advice, like take some time offline, be online without being online and focus on quality over quantity.
Two great posts from some impressive women that I know. Both talk about our bodies being our own. First in reference to street harassment addressing harassers in the Caribbean and the second about having and loving bodies that full, jiggle and making it clear that fat shaming is not okay.
Furthering shame, over at racialious they dissect a public health campaign aimed at reducing teen pregnancy that focuses on shaming young poor and working-class women of colour. Of course it doesn’t hurt that they mentioned my favourite shame researcher. That said, I think public health campaigns are vital to healthy societies, this however is a great example of how our agendas are rampant with notions of privilege that further serve to oppress.