“The Killing” of Black Women’s Humanity and Complexity

“When I can stand before a class of black students who refuse to believe that conscious decisions and choices are made as to what roles black actors will portray in a given TV show, I feel compelled to name that their desire to believe that the images they see emerge from a politically neutral fantasy world is … part of a colonizing process.”
— bell hooks

During grad school, I abstained from watching television for two years because I didn’t want anything to distract me from my studies. I missed out on water cooler discussions of Dexter’s latest killing and the highly anticipated series finale of Lost. I’m utterly unhip, but I’m used to being an outsider. After all, I was the only black girl on my block who couldn’t jump Double Dutch and didn’t know how to dance. Prior to my voluntary disengagement from the boob tube, I hadn’t picked up a remote control in months. Mainly because there were few shows that depicted black folks — particularly black women — in empowering roles. Continue reading

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Remembering Jamiel Shaw and Trayvon Martin

The funeral of Jamiel Shaw

Five years ago, I attended the funeral of a 17-year-old boy who’d been murdered. His name was Jamiel Shaw. I didn’t know him, wasn’t acquainted with his parents. I have never gone to the homegoing ceremony of a total stranger. I’m not that nosy old lady who scans the local obituary column searching for a random burial to bumrush. I wanted to show my support for his family, to let them know their son’s life counted for something. Continue reading

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Taking My Dreams to the Next Level

“In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself.”
– Frantz Fanon

Everyone needs a reason to get up in the morning. A few months ago, I didn’t have one.

During the first few days of January, I was thrilled about the prospects for Escape from Beckyville and was looking forward to another cross-country tour. By the second week, I was despondent. I moped around my apartment in my robe for two and three days at a time, sometimes not bothering to shower or brush my teeth. I felt that my life lacked purpose and meaning. It’s been nearly nine months since I walked away from my job at a top-rated talk show to pursue my dreams, and I’m still surviving. I had to sell my car and make a few other life adjustments, but I’m still here. Cubicle free and all that. Sure, if it came down to it, I could get another job if things got too scary. But the reason I lay in bed for hours with the blinds closed was because I had to face a scary thought: maybe it was finally time to leave L.A. Continue reading

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Coming to a Campus Near You …

My travels may have slowed down (for now), but I’m still spreading the word about Escape from Beckyville locally until I can get back on the road.

Recently, I was invited to be a speaker at SistahSpeak: Africana Women’s Cultural Entrepreneurship in Creative and Aesthetic Industries for Women’s History Month. I’ll be discussing my self-publishing journey and how I balance my passion with the business side of things. The event takes place next Thursday, March 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. The evening culminates with a natural hair show from 6:00  to 8:00 p.m.

Come check me out and tell a friend!

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Read an E-Book Week!

If you haven’t had a chance to read Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage, what are you waiting for? During Read an E-Book Week, I’m offering a 75 percent discount off the digital version of the book. Instead of $4.99, you’ll pay only $1.25. That’s much less than a slice of pizza or a cup of java, without the unwanted calories or caffeine.

To take advantage of this 75 percent discount, click here and enter REW75 at check out! The special discount expires on March 10, 2012 at midnight.

Thanks for helping me spread the word!

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