In today’s edition of #PostBourgieEverywhere, I started an online literary reading series called Bellow, and it launched this week with my fellow PB-ers Joshunda Sanders and Nichole Perkins as guests. Joshunda opens the set reading from her fantastic short story, “Sirens,” which follows a young girl’s experience coping with bullying at school and at home. Nichole followed with four elegant poems…
"Police will say that the victim is a documented gang member," Lansu said, "but as far as I’m concerned, that doesn’t necessarily mean the shooting was gang-related." He said that if you live on a block where gang members live, members of rival gangs don’t often care much about the distinction: We know you’re from that block, so you must be down with the clique on that block. He said that he heard there were now around 600 gang sets in the city, very small bits of turf.
That means crossing into a different neighborhood — to, say, go to school — might mean crossing into the territory of a group that has beef with gang members near you. You might be implicated in that beef not by association, but by geography.
"It’s not a basketball team with rosters," Lansu said. "The lines are blurry." (via What We Talk About When We Talk About Violence In Chicago : Code Switch : NPR)
The latest entry in Gawker’s series on interracial dating is the most interesting one, as it grapples clearly with one facet of interracial dating: Family. And specifically, starting a new one:
I know that many white people also grapple with the Negro Problem, and have an acute understanding of the myriad ways that being black affects people’s lived experiences. But there’s a tangibility divide between sympathy and empathy. This matters to me in some parts of my life and not in others. For some reason, it matters to me in dating.
I date black men in part because I’d like for my partner to understand the perpetual contradiction of the black experience. The older I get the more important this is to me, as my children, once nebulous balls of brain fuzz, inch closer to reality. I want my children to have the experience of being black in America, and because of my skin color, their chances diminish significantly if I don’t marry someone black.
Not surprisingly, this angered a few of the commenters, who wondered why race or “skin color” should have anything to do with who you marry and have children with. And it shouldn’t. Which is why it’s good that the author doesn’t disagree.
What’s important to understand about black culture—and what’s lost in a racial dialogue that equates race with skin color—is that membership has less to do with what you look like and more to do with your experience of American racism. This is’t precise, obviously, but broadly, “black people” are those whose ancestors formed the bottom of the American racial hierarchy, and who as a result are linked to the racist oppression of the past and present. “Blackness,” put simply, is marked by skin color but defined by common experience. It’s the difference between an African immigrant—who might resist the bond to black Americans—and her child, who might embrace it, having been raised in the hierarchy.
What the author wants, it seems, is a partner who has the black experience and can pass it on to their children. She doesn’t want visibly black children for the sake of their phenotypical blackness, she wants them because she wants to guarantee a connection to a culture that defines her and millions of other Americans.
One thing I will stress here, and always, is that “racism” isn’t just treating someone differently because of their skin color. “Racism” is assigning value and hierarchies to skin color, and thus groups, for the sake of oppression. Affirmative action is differential treatment. Redlining is racism. ↩
Nicki Minaj’s filthy verse on Kanye West’s “Monster” — the crazy-ass voicess, the breath control — was the first moment a lot of people started to take her seriously as an MC.
“Cups” was a many-lived ditty that achieved ubiquity after Anna Kendrick covered it in Pitch Perfect and used a plastic cup (and her hands) for percussion.
Then my boo-in-my-head Akilah made this mashup, and you get this. Which is, you know, pretty dope.
If the Foreign Exchange is coming to your town, you sorta gotta see them. They are one of the best live shows I’ve seen in years.
Also, FE’s”Nic’s Groove” has been the theme song for the PB podcast for some time. (The podcast is coming back. Promise.)
Found outside a random bar in Denver #pmdmc #public
You, lower left, taking one of many family pictures on the front porch. Clockwise from you: cousin Stephanie, your daughter, my Aunt Melita and Aunt Lorraine. You loved a good brooch and that particular shade of blue-green.
(x-posted from stacialbrown.com)
2128 Leahy Street, Muskegon, MI.
This is what I remember: a white house. Three levels, two bedrooms on the third floor where I was too afraid…
(x-posted from stacialbrown.com)
Live to be 91. This is the hearty number of years he would’ve wished for you, even if it meant that nine of them would be lived without him. He will know how to wait. Try to remember a time before him. You were just as whole — which seems impossible to fathom, given how full you felt with him near, but it’s true. If you were not, he would not have sought you,…
The Scandalseason finale is upon us! But it’s been a particularly rocky road to this end, right? There have been many musings on how Season 3 has been uneven and even suggestions on what could be done to salvage improve the series before it returns next fall. It’s good that we’re all engaging in this kind of postmortem right now. Scandal is in trouble. It’s as deep in trouble Sally Langston…