My friend has a “Black, Like My President” mug.
From it, she drinks tea with milk.
Mixed Roots is Saturday…
Talk about your mulatto moments! The Mixed Roots festival is a place you can do that and have people nod, laugh, and hug you in recognition. There may still be some furrowed brows, but it’s a safe house. Your friendly blogger is reading excerpts of his piece from “The Black Body” there. Sharing the mic with me in Readings Program 1 is Tai Babilonia, Carleen Brice, Kevin Mihn Allen, and Kerina C. Pharr.
Don’t miss this festival. It’s centered around the largest “Loving Day” celebration on the west coast!
I read last night for Susan Hayden’s Library Girl series in Santa Monica. Beautiful time, though my piece scared me. I had a couple safe ones in my back pocket. But luckily she asked me to sing a song to start the night. With that, I figured I could engender some good will before getting into the nakedness of a new body centered essay. This one was more gender oriented than about race. But the interesting thing to explore is that like women, people of color – and perhaps especially people of ambiguous racial phenotypes – are consistently the subject of physical scrutiny. Body discussions are always difficult, but exploring sexuality, acutely aware of the male power dynamic, is one of the toughest areas for me. (I typically throw in a couple references to lighten up the subject, but you’ll have to read my published work or come to a performance to know exactly what I mean. I’m feeling reserved in my online presence.) The piece seemed to go down well, which pleased me. And connecting with old friend, Dan Navarro, and new friend, Julie Christensen, was a truly grounding experience.
I’ve got a couple more readings for my essay from the Black Body coming up in June. June 12 I’ll be featured at the Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival. Last year I got to close the festival musically. This year I wanted to try something different, so I applied as a writer. And on June 23rd, I’m going to be part of the prestigious [ALOUD] series at the Central Library downtown.
…and the “baddest genealogy story I’ve ever heard….”
This one cracked me up. I haven’t been paying as much attention to Henry Louis Gates as I might’ve before. But he’s kind of reminding me a bit of Michael Steel with his colloquialisms.
“No matter what laws of segregation, the one thing that DNA shows is that when lights came down, we were all getting down,” Gates said. “We are all mulattos.”
I laughed my mulatto ass off to that one. Yeah, “We’re all mixed.” I’ve heard that a few times. Too bad the mulatto cop that arrested him couldn’t recognize his mulatto brother last year, or vice versa. I know he was trying to be humorous. I appreciate that. I giggled. It’s true, too (that no blood is pure). But it still kind of irked me – just a little bit.