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April 10th, 2014
thesmithian

There are border crossings and hyphenations. Dominican, but not. Haitian, but not. Black Latino. Father. Poet. One of the fiercest writers…One of the most tender. Back-and-forth between Spanish and English. Rakim name-dropped alongside Ravitch. Some references cited and explained—Paolo Freire, for example – but the hip hop lyrics aren’t; it’s up to the reader to decode, not to Vilson to translate. That flips the rules of power and culture and literacy…

more.

There are border crossings and hyphenations. Dominican, but not. Haitian, but not. Black Latino. Father. Poet. One of the fiercest writers…One of the most tender. Back-and-forth between Spanish and English. Rakim name-dropped alongside Ravitch. Some references cited and explained—Paolo Freire, for example – but the hip hop lyrics aren’t; it’s up to the reader to decode, not to Vilson to translate. That flips the rules of power and culture and literacy…

more.

April 7th, 2014
thesmithian

"There’s this unbelievable bias and prejudice against quote-unquote good-looking people, that they can’t be in pain or they can’t have rough lives or be deep or interesting." —Rob Lowe

March 26th, 2014
thesmithian

what of the…women who…came to Paris…to attend classes at the Sorbonne, but who really were in search of a degree in the School of Life? It seems there is a small but growing literature on the subject.

more.

March 21st, 2014
thesmithian

…searing and systematic evidence that women in Pakistan…can also be victims of institutions and traditions that are deeply lodged in its culture and politics.

more.

…searing and systematic evidence that women in Pakistan…can also be victims of institutions and traditions that are deeply lodged in its culture and politics.

more.

February 11th, 2014
thesmithian

…nothing about growing up in the lap of luxury takes away from Deepak and Sanjiv’s hard work and accomplishments both during school and after, but it is outrageous to imagine their story supporting the idea that, in Deepak’s words, in America “you can climb the ladder of opportunity or kick it out from under you and still succeed beyond your wildest dreams” or, as Sanjiv puts it, in America “individuals climb up the success ladder based on ability, talent, and hard work.” For, unlike most of us, the Chopra brothers were born at the top.

more.

February 9th, 2014
thesmithian
One person tweeted to me that Jackie Robinson would never have gone into the stands when called a racial slur. This “Jackie Robinson: model minority” nonsense needs to be unpacked. First of all, that was 1947. Times have changed. Second, Jackie Robinson, a husband and a father, would have risked organized violence, as in lynch mobs, if he had pursed a physical response against fans. Third, Jackie Robinson was a 26-year-old Army veteran and a college graduate from UCLA. He also carried the hopes and dreams of masses of people with every at-bat. To ask a 19-year-old Marcus Smart [a college basketball player] to act in accordance with Jackie Robinson is a ridiculous weight to ask Mr. Smart to carry. And lastly Jackie Robinson, if you read his searing memoir, ‘I Never Had It Made,’ had real regrets about not going into the stands and pummeling racists with what he called “my despised black fists”. Jackie Robinson died way too young at age 53. He and his family always believed that his early death was connected to the stress that he had to carry precisely because he kept it all bottled in on direct orders from the Brooklyn Dodgers organization and on society’s orders, shaped by the pre-civil rights times in which he played.
January 28th, 2014
thesmithian
I’m extremely optimistic about rapid transformation and change of things in Africa…It’s set off. It cannot stop. It’s going to be turbulent. There’ll be dark bits and there’ll be bright bits, but it’s a speed train.
December 15th, 2013
thesmithian

Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, said they intended to write a book that gives the full picture of their son while tracing their own experience of shock and sorrow.

more.

November 30th, 2013
thesmithian

…valuable are his reflections on the working culture of mid-20th-century black journalists who confronted unique dangers while covering stories that white journalists initially ignored but that over time came to absorb the country’s attention.

familiar.

November 19th, 2013
thesmithian

Unpacking why so many black women died in Jonestown requires taking a critical look back at the racial underbelly of the Jonestown age. It demands confronting hard truths about the dangerously gendered seductions of organized religion; particularly given the global appeal that 24/7 prayer movements and charismatic Pentecostalism have for women of color.

more.

Unpacking why so many black women died in Jonestown requires taking a critical look back at the racial underbelly of the Jonestown age. It demands confronting hard truths about the dangerously gendered seductions of organized religion; particularly given the global appeal that 24/7 prayer movements and charismatic Pentecostalism have for women of color.

more.

November 19th, 2013
thesmithian

“I was a titan, the reincarnation of Alexander the Great…I was a pig back then”; “I was just a sewage rat with delusions of grandeur.”

more.

“I was a titan, the reincarnation of Alexander the Great…I was a pig back then”; “I was just a sewage rat with delusions of grandeur.”

more.

November 13th, 2013
thesmithian

She writes: “Men’s bodies litter my family history. The pain of the women they left behind pulls them from the beyond, makes them appear as ghosts.” The book’s form enacts this haunting; after reading about a person’s death, the reader encounters that same person—painfully vibrant—in the next chapter.

more. and a talk with the author, here.

October 19th, 2013
thesmithian

…a memoir and collection of recipes documenting Choi’s transformation from drug addict and gambler to one of Los Angeles’ most admired and charismatic civic leaders, one who is raising the bar on what it means for chefs to serve and feed their communities.

more.

October 3rd, 2013
thesmithian

@RickNajera acknowledges that the jobs weren’t…easy….long hours spent in writers’ rooms were grueling, and even on groundbreaking shows, the diversity was lacking…This is a problem in writers’ rooms, adds Najera, because…the typical Hollywood writer doesn’t have experience interacting on a regular basis with people of color.

more.

@RickNajera acknowledges that the jobs weren’t…easy….long hours spent in writers’ rooms were grueling, and even on groundbreaking shows, the diversity was lacking…This is a problem in writers’ rooms, adds Najera, because…the typical Hollywood writer doesn’t have experience interacting on a regular basis with people of color.

more.

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