Friday, October 16, 2009

let's do the time warp again or "oh my god what century is this, I keep forgetting"

Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

By MARY FOSTER, Associated Press Writer Mary Foster, Associated Press Writer – Thu Oct 15, 7:56 pm ET

NEW ORLEANS – A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said. (full story)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

where i'm from / the county of kings

The above is a clip of Nuyorican spoken word artist Lemon doing a piece called "Where I'm From" on Def Poetry Jam. These days he is performing in a one-man show called The County of Kings at the Public Theater in NY, NY.

Featured last year as part of The Public Theater's Under The Radar Festival, Lemon Andersen's County of Kings gives a tough, yet poignant biographical account of a good kid growing up in an unforgiving environment in this one man journey. Weaving hard-edged drama with urban poetry, the Brooklyn hip-hop artist spins his own coming-of-age memoir in this jarring and poignant solo performance. A true story of finding passion and purpose against all odds, Lemon paints a vivid portrait of his difficult and sometimes humorous experiences growing up during the most influential cultural movement of our time, the birth of hip-hop.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Lemon Andersen has been featured as a regular on HBO's "Def Poetry" presented by Russell Simmons and was also an original cast member and writer of Russell Simmons Tony Award winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. On screen Lemon has appeared opposite Denzel Washington in Spike Lee's Inside Man and The Soloist starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.

(re)writing osun

These days, I'm in the middle of (Re)writing Osun by Jessica M. Alarcon. Actually the full title is: (Re)writing Osun: Osun in the Politics of Gender, Race and Sexuality - From Colonization to Creolization. The book is an interesting read. As a spiritual initiate herself and a scholar, Alarcon easily invokes Obatala and Shango in the same breath as bell hooks and Audre Lourde. And she combines an insider's familiarity with Yoruba-derived spiritual practices with modern feminist concerns about the role of women. In the back of my mind I'm also asking myself if there are ways to integrate the Yoruba cosmology with an Islamic one; for example, can the Orisa be thought of as angels or jinn? I'm enjoying the book but still digesting.