Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Bold Writing Retreat!

I really enjoy reading about author Tayari Jone's adventures at writing retreats, but I often become envious knowing I don't have the time or leisure to go off to some fancy, schmancy mountaintop writer's colony to schmooze with those lucky enough to secure a spot at some prestigious hideaway for creative minds. Soooo, the first weekend in August, when my beloved is away for his niece's wedding, in the scenic suburbs of Jonesboro, Georgia, I am holding the first ever, (spoken slowly, with a deep voice, and an echo) Bold,Powerful, Magical Summer Weekend Writing Retreat! at my house...for uh...well, ME! Since I can't go to the mountain, I'm bringing the mountain to me. My retreat will include late night writing workshops (with Coltrane playing softly in the background) working on my own class assignments, no papers on Lady Mary Wroth, just my stuff. And as an added bonus to stimulate my creative juices, I am including a walk at the Chattahoochee National Park, a pedicure, and an outing to Doc Chey's Noodle House in Emory Village...

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blackness in the Modernist Movement

Some people (and scholars) believe (and teach) that all the black writers of the Modernist era (roughly 1914-1945)are contained in the movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. However, there were many black writers and poets who were writing well ahead of Alain Locke's "New Negro," but were perhaps less celebrated. According to W.E.B. DuBois, not only did William Stanley Braithwaite publish more than thirty books (mostly anthologies), and was the editor of the Poetry Journal, Poetry Review and the Stratford Journals, he was "the most prominent critic of poetry in America". Fenton Johnson (not to be confused with the Fenton Johnson at University of Arizona)is one of the least-known African Amerian writers, possibly precisly because his work falls in between the writers of the Reconstruction and the New Negro Renaissance. His most notable poems are probably "Tired" and "The Scarlet Woman," both of which embrace the vernacular, and represents a radical rejection of conventional rhymed structure. Alice Moore Dunbar Nelson is sometimes associated with the Harlem Renaissance, but she was writing just as that movement began. Themes of race and gender were of great importance to her, though she did not feel she had the "ability to manage dialect".

And there are others as well whose work should be studied and celebrated: Charlotte Forten Grimke, James D. Corrothers, Sutton E. Griggs and Angelina Weld Grimke (no relation to Charlotte, I think), are just a few.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Add Your Signiture!

Did you know that Congress has signed away our right to privacy?

It’s true! By making FISA law, the President and Congress made it legal for US agencies to spy on our text messages, email, and phone calls to people outside the US, without any cause, reason or let alone a warrant. Does that sound like a right to privacy to you?

If not, add your signature to this full-page ad by the ACLU "in a major national newspaper expressing our disappointment over this abandonment of Constitutional principles. The ad will print the names of tens of thousands of Americans who believe in the Constitution and want Congress to hear us loud and clear: next time, stand up for our rights".

But, you have to do it by 6pm this evening!


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Look Ma', A Conference Just for Us!

It had to happen, right? That's right sistahs and brothas,now there is a conference that celebrates the growing number of African Americans using the web to publish our thoughts from politics to family photos. And why not? There's a convention for superheros, and Tupperware (I imagine). The Blogging While Brown Conference will be in Atlanta July 25-27th. (Oooo, right in my back yard, and summer school will be over!) The Electronic Village reports that there are currently 1,269 Afro-blogs, and lists them, (I'm uh...still looking for Boldness-Genius). Of the top ten black blogs it lists, the topics are politics and entertainment...(no literary or personal journals in the top ten). But that's okay, it's an international conference for people of color and they also have a uh, a blog! So, if you're Blogging While Brown you may want to come on down to Hotlanta; it looks like it could be fun. But you'd better hurry, registration ends July 14th!

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Funerals for Us Tree Huggers

Though in my old age I am becoming increasingly practical about my ultimate demise, admittedly, even for me just the sight of a casket can evoke the heebie jeebies. But let's face it folks, while death and dying is something we all hate to think about, one thing's for sure: you can't get out of this life alive. If you are not quite comfortable with the very commercial (and unnatural)way in which we bury our dead, or you're confused about the funeral industry, or even if you're simply concerned about the environment, this might make for an interesting and enlightening read. This article by Brendan Kiley of Newsweek talks about the possibilities of a "green burial" for those of us who are not Muslim, but also may not want our bodies preserved (with the help of embalming fluid) through the year 3052.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

2nd Blogger-versary!

When I started this blog two years ago, I thought I'd be a college graduate by now. Well, it seems I have one more year to go, but I've grown so much in terms of my writing, and I've gotten by with a lot less than I had imagined I could. There are moments when I feel like I couldn't write another word, when I am elated about something as simple as being on the dean's list, or the euphoria of knowing that I've finally made it into Sigma Tau Delta. There are times when I wonder how in the world will I get through graduate school, and other times when I can't wait to get to graduate school. Then there are times when "I HOPE I can get to graduate school". All in all, it's been a worthwhile sacrifice and an amazing journey. But, don't give up on me yet, I'm almost there!

[And while I'm at it, how about a new look for my last year as an undergraduate!]

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