Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New York is Weird

So...I'm walking around the West Vill last night to make a few purchases at Satya and I see these guys who look like Secret Service. I peek my head into the bakery next door and who's there...Bill Clinton...eating cherry cheescake.

I SWEAR to you!

It's weird because seeing him in person, was like seeing him on the big screen. There was a fuzzy light around him. It was either the aura of enlightenment or some scary black-ops weirdo government neuro-disrupter. Which one do you think I chose?

Anyway, a no-neck (seriously, the dude had no neck) Agent came over and I said, "I guess I can't stand here, huh?" He replies," Well, you're standing here and then 5 guys are going to come over and ask you out and then I'm going to have to crack skulls." I looked at him and reminded him we were on the corner of Christopher and Bleecker Streets...he didn't need to worry about any men hitting on me. At least not the type he was speaking of.


Here's a weird picture I can actually show: a classic caddy with a taped roof top. I Heart NY
Happy Spring!

Calling All Musicians

(I was asked to pass this on)

Calling all musicians!

Want to get an inspirational message out there, but find yourself beating the same drum? Lambda Legal, the largest and oldest national legal organization dedicated to achieving civil rights for the LGBT and HIV communities, wants you!

This year we are hosting our biggest anti-workplace discrimination rally yet. Already thousands of Americans have signed the pledge, and we want thousands more to sign before our national Clock In Pledge-a-Thon for Workplace Equality on May 15. We’ve got victory on our minds and music in our hearts. There’s only one problem. We don’t have a theme song!

Want to give a unique gift to the fight against workplace discrimination? Help us educate the public, our allies and our communities about the harassment and discrimination LGBT people and people with HIV can face at work. Donate your very own inspirational, motivational and upbeat jam for us to put to our 2008 Clock In video on YouTube and you’ve got your name in the credits!

Double your exposure.

Send us your “I signed the pledge!” photo with your video to isigned[AT]lambdalegal [DOT]org, and we’ll post it to our Flickr Clock In group. Carson Kressley (Queer Eye) and Christian Siriano (Project Runway) did it. What are you waiting for?

Together we can crush workplace discrimination!

For more about Lambda Legal, visit Lambda Legal. For more about the 2008 Clock In Pledge-a-Thon for Workplace Equality, visit our Clock In page. And don’t forget to join us on MySpace!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

(NYC)Theorizing Blackness Conference TOMORROW!


Friday, April 4th, 2008

CUNY Graduate Center

365 5th Avenue (at 34th Street)

New York, NY 10016

8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

The Africana Studies Group (ASG) of the CUNY Graduate Center invites you to join us for a day of presentations and discussion.

On April 4th, 1968 the esteemed civil rights leader and social philosopher, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee thus marking what many regard as the closing bookend of the mainstream African-American Civil Rights Movement. Since that pivotal moment in 1968 (a watershed year in numerous other respects) momentous sociopolitical, technological, and cultural changes have occurred both within the United States and around the world. In light of those substantial changes, "Theorizing Blackness" asks: What does blackness mean in the current day? How is blackness conceived, constructed, represented, and consumed. How has it changed or remained the same?

Keynote speaker:

Professor Mark Anthony Neal is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African American Studies and the Director of the Institute for Critical U.S. Studies (ICUSS) at Duke University.

Professor Neal is the author of four books: What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1998), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002), Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation (2003), and New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005), and co-editor of That's the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (2004).

Plenary participants:

Dr. William E. Cross Jr. is the Director of the Social-Personality Psychology Ph.D. program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is author of Shades of Black: Diversity in African American Identity.

Mahen Bonetti is the founder and Executive Director of African Film Festival Inc. (AFF), a non-profit art organization founded in 1990.

Jacqueline Nassy Brown is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College (CUNY). Dr. Brown is the author of Dropping Anchor, Setting Sail: Geographies of Race in Black Liverpool.

Donette Francis is an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Binghamton. She is currently writing a book defining the "third wave" of Caribbean women writers, Fictions of Citizenship: Rewriting Sexual Histories in Third Wave Caribbean Women's Literature, forthcoming in 2009.

Throughout the day, panels will be moderated by doctoral students and faculty members such as Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Leith Mullings and, Jerry G. Watts, Professor of English and Sociology and Interim Director of the Institute for Research in the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC).

Theorizing Blackness is FREE and OPEN to the public!!!

Theorizing Blackness Conference Schedule

Friday, April 4th, 2008

CUNY Graduate Center

365 Fifth Avenue (at 34th Street)

New York, NY 10016

8:00am - 9:00am: Registration / Breakfast

Please note that all events aside from the evening reception will be held on the Concourse Level of The Graduate Center

Bluestocking Books will be selling books on the Concourse Level from 4-6:30 pm

9:00am - 10:30am: Session 1

Panel 1 - Room C-197

Moderator: Kevin McGruder (CUNY Graduate Center)

La Marr Jurelle Bruce (Yale University): "Possessing the 'Body Beautiful': Black Drag Queens, White Heteronormativity, and 'Happily Ever After' in American Cinema"

Angelique Harris (California State University, Fullerton): "Sexuality and Homosexuality in the Black Church"

Panel 2 - Room C-202

"Cope, Conform or Resist?: How Blacks "Use" their Blackness at Predominantly White University" (University of Delaware)

Moderator: Dr. Yasser Payne

Brittany Pearl Battle

Mamawa Lemon Fofana

LaMar Rashad Gibson

Thea James Ogunusi

Carl Suddler

Panel 3 - Room C-201

Moderator: Hank Williams (CUNY Graduate Center)

Donald Levit (CUNY Graduate Center): "The Spiritual Present: The Inextricable Relationship Between Jazz and the Black Arts Movement"

Algernon Austin (The Thora Institute): "Mapping the Afrocentric Era, 1988-1998"

Leah M. Wright (Princeton University): "Constructions of Conservatism: Black Republicans, 1932-1964"

Panel 4 - Room C-198

"The Politics of the Black Atlantic Body and the Body of Black Atlantic Politics: Nation, Identity, and Resistance"

Moderator: Akissi Britton (CUNY Graduate Center)

Natalie Belisle (U. Wisconsin, Madison): "In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Spiritual Discourse and the Black Revolutionary Struggle in O Ano Em Que Zumbí Tomou O Rio"

Jessica Krug (U. Wisconsin, Madison): "Social Dismemberment, Social Remembering: Contested Kromanti Identities, Nationalism, and Obeah, 1675-Present"

T.J. Desch-Obi (Baruch College, CUNY): "Embodying Honour: Liberating Enslaved Identities Through the Body"

Jarett M. Fields (U. Wisconsin, Madison): "Blackness, the Body, and the 1968 Olympics"

Panel 5 - Room C-203

Moderator: Dr. Deborah Vietze (CUNY Graduate Center)

Julian Ellison: "Melanesia: Pacific Blacks in the African American Consciousness"

Kelly Baker-Josephs (York College, CUNY): "Afrofruturism from a Caribbean Past: The Local Orientation of a Black World Vision"

10:45am - 11:45am: Keynote Lecture:

Professor Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University)
"Fragments of a Feedback Loop: Blackness in Conversation"

12:00pm - 1:15pm: Lunch

1:30pm - 3:00pm: Session 2

Panel 6 - Room C-201

Moderator: Dr. Angelique C. Harris (California State University, Fullerton)

Alan R. Takeall (CUNY Graduate Center): "Black Uplift in the New Racial Domain"

Jacqueline Jones (Francis Marion University): "Pondering the Strange Meaning of Being Black or How Black Can I Be At Work?"

Panel 7 - Room C-198

"Theorizing the African Diaspora": (U.C. Berkeley African Diaspora Studies Graduate Group)

Moderator: Anamaria Flores (CUNY Graduate Center)

Vielka Cecilia Hoy: "Race, Multiple Diasporas, and Points of Departure: Creating a Framework for Theorizing Afro-Latinos"

Petra Raquel Rivera: "'Soca, Reggae, Reggaetón, Tropical Mix': Afro-Latino Spaces and Notch's Reggaetón"

Asia Leeds: "Redeeming Black Womanhood: Newspaper Portraits and Notions of Femininity in Marcus Garvey's Negro World"

Robeson T. P. Frazier: "From Mao to Yao: Chinese–African American Exchanges in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century"

Panel 8 - Room C-197

Moderator: Rashida Bumbray (Assistant Currator, The Kitchen)

Johanna Faith Cacho Almiron (University of Hawaii, Manoa): "Still Not For Sale: Basquiat's Blackness & The Reeboppers"

Jordana Saggese (Santa Clara University): "Basquiat's Blackness: Re-defining an African-American Aesthetic"

Panel 9 - Room C-202

Moderator: Kazembe Belagun (The Brecht Forum)

Janette Yarwood (CUNY Graduate Center): "Deterritorialized Blackness: (Re)making Coloured Identity Among Youth in Post-Apartheid South Africa"

Sara Nichole Artes (American University): "We are, But We Aren't: Constructing African American Identity Through Cultural Heritage Performance on the US/Mexican Border"

Alexander Lamazares (Bronx Community College, CUNY): "Afro-Cuban Aesthetics: The Africa Decade, Secret Societies, and Racial Politics"

Panel 10 - Room C-203

Moderator: Gregory Pardlo (CUNY Graduate Center)

Marissel Hernández-Romero (CUNY Graduate Center): "Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Female Literature: A Threat to an Imagined Nation?"

Katherine Baxter (University of Hong Kong): "New Black Fiction of the Far East"

Ronald Tyson (Raritan Valley Community College): "The Changing Same": Essentialized Blackness in Contemporary African American Popular Fiction"

Panel 11 - Room C-204

"The Ontologies of James Baldwin"

Moderator: Dr. Jerry G. Watts (CUNY Graduate Center)

Sam Han (CUNY Graduate Center): "An Encounter of Mitsein: The Ontology of James Baldwin's Ethics of Victimhood"

David Stein (Yale University): "(Re)naming/Revealing: James Baldwin's Theorizations of Racialized Formations Under the Terror of State Sanctioned Violence"

3:15pm - 4:45pm: Session 3

Panel 12 - Room C-197

Moderator: Dr. Leith Mullings (CUNY Graduate Center)

Yamuna Sangarasivam (Nazareth College): "'Terrorist' as Fugitive Slave: Blackness in the Foundations of Citizenship and Democracy"

Robin Hayes (Santa Clara University): "African Liberation, Black Power and a Diasporic Underground"

Juliana Smith (University of California, San Diego): "Freedom Dreams: Political Exile, U.S. Social Movements, and Post-Revolutionary Cuba"

Panel 13 - Room C-201

Moderator: Leslie Craigo (CUNY Graduate Center)

Daren Graves (Simmons College): "Critical Racial Awareness, Racialized Aspects of School Culture, and Academic Achievement: Listening to the Voices of Black High School Students"

Jessica Ruglis (CUNY Graduate Center): "The Graduation Rate Crisis: Adverse Consequences and the Construction of Blackness in the Context of Cultural Oppression"

Gail Perry-Ryder (CUNY Graduate Center): "Making Race Real: Exploring the Intersection of Race, Academic Performance and Educational Culture in Our Public Schools and Colleges"

Brian Purnell (Fordham University): "From "Negro" to "Black": Black Power Politics in New York City's Public Schools During the Mid-1960s – The Story of Jitu Weusi (Les Campbell) and the Origins of the Afro-American Teachers' Association"

Panel 14 - Room C-198

Moderator: Lise Esdaile (CUNY Graduate Center)

La Marr Jurelle Bruce (Yale University): "Looking for Lauryn: Madness, Genius, and the Black Prophetess,"

Alexis Pauline Gumbs (Vanderbilt University): "Salvaged Tongue: Transnational Translations of English Between Black Feminists"

GerShun Avilez (University of Pennsylvania): "'Once You Go White': Inter-racial Desire and Contemporary Black Female Identity in Film"

Stacie McCormick (CUNY Graduate Center): "From Jolly Joe's Lady Minstrels to Madea Simmons: Enduring Representations of Black Womanhood through Impersonation"

Panel 15 - Room C-202

"How Much and What Kind of Blackness is Enough?": (University of Delaware Black American Studies Department)

Moderator: Dr. James M. Jones (University of Delaware)

James M. Jones and David Wilson: "Black Enough?: Dimensions of Blackness and Attitudes toward Black Leaders"

Carol Henderson: "Boxing' on Paper: Authenticity in the Preservation of a Black Self"

Antonia Randolph: "Retreating from Race: The Social Cost of Erasing Black Ethnicity"

Yasser Payne: "Street Life Black Men: A Culture of Honor, Respect and Resilience"

Maggie Ussery: "Not Just any Job: The Development of Work-related Identity in Young, Black Workers"

Panel 16 - Room C-203

Moderator: Dr. James DeJongh (The City College of New York, CUNY)

Richard Perez (CUNY Graduate Center): "Archives, Knowledges, and Detours: Rereading the Black Atlantic with and against Ian Baucom's Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History"

DeWitt King (University of California, Santa Barbara): "Theorizing Black Geographies"

Panel 17 - Room C-204

"Post(modern) Blackness"

Moderator: Tyler Schmidt (CUNY Graduate Center)

Alessandra Raengo (Georgia State University): "Counterfeit Currency: Race at Face Value"

Jonathan Gray (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY): "Black Cultural Artifacts and the Conditions of Democracy"

Danielle Jackson: "Beyond Race: Black People and the Multicultural Idea in Contemporary Magazine Culture"

5:00pm – 6:45pm: Evening Plenary:

Moderator: William E. Cross Jr. (CUNY Graduate Center)

Mahen Bonetti (African Film Festival, Inc.)

Jacqueline Nassy Brown (Hunter College, CUNY)

Donette Francis (Binghamton University, SUNY)

7:00pm – 9:00pm: Closing Reception/Party – Room 5414