Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Culture of Sharing


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via Raven's Eye by maia on 12/31/09


been thinking a lot about 'scraping'. mainly cause a friend got shamed recently for reposting with attribution full articles from another blog.

now, my question is what are bloggers trying to protect? what are their goals? if your goal is to share information, ideas, and create more understanding of people and their communities, then why are you so afraid of having someone else re post your words?

i would understand if folks were plagiarizing. lying. claiming that they are the originators of something that they are not. that is unethical.

at raven's eye, if i am going to re post full posts, i normally ask permission first, unless i know that the author is all about sharing their words and visions.

normally i post excerpts, in part because this blog is about supporting a community of online woc and i want folks to visit the individual blogs, and in part because often only a portion of the blog post really jumps out at me saying: share me! share me!

personally, anything that i write is free to be shared.  all i ask for is a link.  and im not really hard core about the link.

i understand that some bloggers are using their blogs as a way to jump start or maintain a writing career. they have ads on their blogs. and consider their success to be measured in the number of viewers.

i get that. i am a free lance writer as well. and my blog has assisted me in being a free lance writer.

but the strange thing is i could never have predicted the ways that my blog has assisted me.  it certainly hasnt meant a straight line, a to b to c etc. often its a comment i have made on another blog. or having my work reposted to a community that i wasnt familiar with.  i find the best thing for me. is to focus on writing as honestly as i can. and let the chips fall where they may.

why do we feel the need to be so controlling over our words? what makes us think they are so so so precious?

and i understand that we want our words, words that we identify with, to be sheltered in safe spaces. i mean i have had a link or a repost put in a community where i got to hear some pretty mean and ignorant and personal attacks against me, my life, my choices, and my family.  that hurts. it just does. it hurts bad.

and it can be triggering. because i write from a place of vulnerability (even when i am using humor) and the word -vulnerability- comes from the word that means 'wounded'.  and we all want to protect our wounds.  even while we are sharing them with others.

but i remain with the belief that my vulnerabilities are my greatest strength.  and i have seen time and time again, that it is when i am most willing to be hurt, to be open, to be transparent that love and transformation become concrete manifestations and not just a possibility.

and i have seen that those who are less willing to be vulnerable are often folks i dont want to get very close to.  because they are often the ones who are most callous towards others vulnerabilities. perhaps, because they haven't been willing to deal with their own fear of pain.  with their own suffering.  so they dont know how to deal with others'.

so what are our goals? and what are our vulnerabilities? and what does community really mean if sharing isnt a basic ethic of our lives, our work, and our visions?

The Culture of Sharing: Why Releasing Copyright Will Be the Smartest Thing You Do | Write to Done.

People who are used to the traditional model of copyrights will be alarmed and perhaps even angered by this article. They've been taught that copyrights actually protect the rights of artists, and in doing so actually encourage creativity. After all, if an artist doesn't have copyright, he can't make a living, and what would his motivation be to create anything then?

This logic is plain wrong.

First, history proves it wrong. Copyright laws originated in the 1700s, but amazingly, there were a few people who were able to create works of art without the protection of copyright laws. Shakespeare, Milton, Cervantes, Virgil, Dante … to name but a few big names. There are, of course, thousands more. And here we're only talking about writers — a few other artists also were able to create art: da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Mozart, Beethoven and Vivaldi are just a few who created before their works were protected by copyright.

Second, copyright has evolved into protection for corporations more than for artists these days. The people really pushing for copyright protection are not really people at all, but huge media conglomerates. They are protecting a system that is set up to make them money, but that only helps a handful of artists. The vast majority of artists are never read or seen or heard by the public, because the corporations don't deem them to be profitable enough. So the system doesn't help artists anymore — it hurts them.

Third, I have proven that it's possible to make money, even today, without using copyright. And so have many others (Cory Doctorow being a notable example). The release of my copyright didn't decrease my income — it increased it. It didn't decrease my exposure — it increased it. We'll talk more about this below.

Finally, copyright actually hurts artists, instead of protecting them. When you try to protect your copyright, you waste precious time and money pursuing violators — time and money you could be using to create instead of threaten litigation. When you protect your copyright, you are denying someone else the use of your ideas and creativity — which might seem good to you, but it doesn't seem good to the person on the other end, and the community in general suffers a bit. And it hurts your reputation (if people think you're selfish and protective) and stops your ideas from being spread as widely as possible.

By protecting your copyright, you are putting up barriers for the spread of your ideas. In this digital age, that is a mistake, plain and simple.


So let's put aside the old model of copyrighting works for a minute, and ask ourselves: "What might happen if I release my copyright?"

Seriously, think about it for a second.

Sure, some websites might scrape your content, re-using it and putting ads on it — making money from your hard work. And sure, someone else might throw it into a book and sell it, without paying you. You're losing money, right?

Not necessarily. These people are making money by selling your work to customers you probably wouldn't have reached anyway. They're making money, sure, but how does that hurt you? If you could have reached these readers, you probably will anyway. In fact, if these readers really like your work, they'll probably come looking for more … and you'll gain a bunch of new readers.

And many others might use your work without making a profit. They might put your work in a free newsletter, or print it and use it in a classroom, or put it on their blog without making money. They'll share your ideas with others, and give you credit. Now you're reaching thousands of people you never would have reached before. These people are doing your marketing for you, for free!

I'll repeat that in case the italics and exclamation point weren't emphasis enough: by releasing copyright, you might get people to do your marketing for you, for free.


Think about this for a second: none of your ideas are completely original. Mine sure aren't. I take the ideas of others and build upon them. I try to create new ways of looking at old ideas. I combine old ideas in new mixes. Sometimes I just dust off old ideas that people have forgotten about. Sometimes they're only new to me — I just discovered them and tried them out and found they worked, but they've been around in many forms for ages. All creative work is like this in some way. We take the ideas of others and build upon them, remix them, look at them in new ways.

If this is true, aren't you indebted to so many other creative types? Would you have been able to create your work at all if you hadn't been exposed to the works of thousands of others? Could you have created anything without using the ideas of others in your work?

And now think about this: by giving your work to others to use, isn't this a wonderful way to repay the creative types that came before you and made your work possible? Isn't it a great way to contribute to the creative community, and to make the world better?

I love to see how others take my work and build upon it, remix it, make it better. They have made my work more beautiful. And in doing so, in benefiting and participating in the Culture of Sharing, they have made the world a better place. And so have I. And so can you.

So let's talk specifics, briefly. By releasing copyright, you will have a few benefits come your way:

  • Others might take your work and use it and spread it in various ways.
  • New readers will hear of you for the first time, and come to your blog or buy your book.
  • You will have increased visibility, a stronger brand, more readers, more traffic over the long haul.
  • You will make more money.
  • You will help others create, and make the world a better place.

None of this is guaranteed, but if your work is good, it will almost surely happen.


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via Raven's Eye by maia on 12/30/09

stuff i would like for raven's eye to focus on in the upcoming year:

the impact of climate change and land theft on women of color and third world women

solutions for us on how to survive the upcoming–white and rich folks fuck up the world–crisis that is already happening and continues to happen and if copenhagen showed us anything, the white and rich folks

and goddamn obama for being the ring leader of screwing us over at copenhagen. do not believe cnn or whatever us news outlet you may have read. china was a part of copenhangen falling apart. but the us was the elephant in the room. and everyone knew it. i will be posting clips from aljazeera and other alternative news outlets when i get off this much needed vacay but let it be said. i was SHOCKED by the lack of coverage of copenhagen in the us media. which was reflected in the lack of blog posts  by us-based woc.

everyone seemed to be talking about tiger and i wanted to be…wait! wait! do you realize that most of the world is watching copenhagen like their children's lives depended on it…because they do?

sorry for sounding self righteous about it. its not like i was writing anything about it at the time. i personally needed time to think about what was going down in copenhagen because shit was deep…but after talking to a sister today, i realized shit is too deep for me to pretend like i can figure this out on my own.

we need to build community around environmental justice and racial justice. we need to build trans national or international or whatever you want to call it connections with women who are suffeing the brunt of the climate disasters as they roll over oceans and deserts.

i really hope yall dont mind my tone.

we need to figure out how to build new houses with what is available. and what will be available. how to create new economies. we need to learn from those who have been living in the midst of disasters, wars, forced migrations and we need to give in exchange what they ask of us because their knowledge may save our lives.

i may not know how many pieces tiger had on the side, but i know that indigenous communities are disappearing quicker than the rainforest and damn, cause the rainforest is disappearing quick.

which means that i also want to focus much more on indigenous communities.

on cultural preservation.  on language as a means of living.

when i was watching al jazeera during copenhagen, i must have been drinking hormones, cause about ten times a day they would show this clip of a woman from a small island that was about to disappear because of rising sea levels. and the thing she said that just kept repeating in my head was: we have the right to cultural survival.

and lets focus on the ways that the environment interacts with our bodies.

in other words i want to focus on our lives and our survival.

because i think we are worth it.


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2nd Annual Greatest American of the Year

yes!!!! And he's from Arkansas!


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via Long Live THE MESSAGE by Jacarl on 12/31/09

After much consideration, I'm ready to declare the winner of the 2nd Annual Greatest American of the Year (GAY) Award.

And this year's Award goes to...

Will Phillips of West Fork Elementary in West Fork, Arkansas. To remind yourself of what Will did, check the extended CNN clip.

Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?

Well, I hope so but little Will here would probably give you a run for your money. I really admired the kid's resoluteness and articulation of the issue. Granted, he probably won't be reciting the Pledge anytime soon due to his rigid criteria, Will seems ready to endure the insults and threats to kick him out of the country for being less than a patriot. Although I hear that, thanks to the Tea Baggers, dissent is once again legal after an 8 year suspension...

But seriously, it would be great if we could get over this national phobia. Here in DC, the City Council passed legislation to legalize gay marriage (frankly, gov't should probably get out of the marriage game and sanction committed relationships/contracts. Leave marriage to religious bodies and outfits of that ilk) in the face of a lot of displeasure from certain members of the black clergy. So maybe we're moving closer to being a country Will can pledge allegiance to. But until then, stay strong my overly intelligent and articulate little civil libertarian.

We might need you to run some isht in a few years.

So for the second year in a row, someone who can't legally drive was America's greatest American. Wow. Adults really do suck.

Other candidates in the running for the GAY were: Michael Steele and Balloon Boy.

And now for the Anti-GAY:

Well, this year it was hard picking. I checked this guy out, but felt bad for him after seeing some of his other videos. Dude has bigger issues going on than his God-aweful songwriting.

So, instead it's a tie between Balloon Boy's dad and her.

All right, you all. Happy New Year.


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Ask me anything

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ask me anything

What would your dream job look like?

my dream job would be to get paid to make the world a better place, preferably through critiquing and creating new media!

Ask me anything

If your house was on fire and you could only grab three things, what would they be?

i think the only thing i would grab would be anything living. Everything else could really be replaced. oh and maybe my external hard drive :)

Ask me anything

What are you most excited about right now?

2010! I think it's gonna be a great year!

Ask me anything

what first got you to create qbg? what was the inspiration? where do you see qbg going/becoming in 2010?

I've (We've) always been a little different from what we were supposed to be. Instead of trying to suppress that difference or hide, I we have come to celebrate it.

I was always on the outside looking in and as I got older I realized there were more and more black girls who felt that way. I met a lot at Spelman and we were able to create our own universe and our own constellations within a generally hostile and pretty conservative environment. It was awesome!

After we graduated I think we all still yearned for that and sought to realize it in other ways. I met a wonder twin and when our synergistic powers combined, QBG was born!

In 2010 I see QBG blossoming. regional meet & greets, potlucks; we are planning a QBG festival for 2012 . . . I see a book filled with pictures of QBG's and stories of their worlds. . . QBG Corners at concerts and national events... Sky's the limit! I see QBG productions, making movies, books, media for QBG's of all ages! With that in mind, I'd love suggestions on how to make QBG more intergenerational!

Ask me anything

Ask me anything

Happy Birthday Joseph Beam!: New Podcast Celebrating Black Love and Survival!

December 30th is Joseph Beam's honor of this brilliant Black Gay literary genius ancestor and and the fact that both In the Life and Brother to Brother are back in print thanks to RedBone Press this podcast includes readings and reflections from Lisa Moore of RedBone Press, La Marr Jurelle, Darnell Moore, Justin Smith and a round the kitchen table conversation with some of Durham's most inspiring Black queer visionary men: Ashon Crawley, Sendolo Diaminah, Thaddeaus Edwards and Justin Robinson. (Plus music, love and archival goodies from an ancestor obsessed devotee who you know much too well :) ENJOY!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

(title unknown)


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via my best friend gayle by summer of sam on 12/28/09

Dear Common, Did you seriously say, "I'm a man"?  With a straight face?

Generally, I resolve not to make New Year's resolutions.  That way, I've already broken my resolution by day one, and don't have to spend 364 days talking about how I failed yet again.  Since I'd rather watch football than go see racist-ass Avatar, I'm low on blog ideas.  I know you don't want to hear me rant about the Colts' stupidstupidstupid "rest the starters" approach to the end of the season, and how they're totally going to get their butts kicked by the Chargers if they don't get their act together.  So, I've compiled a list of things I resolve to do in the new year.  No, finish my dissertation is not one of the things I plan to do.  If anything, I am a sensible human being.

1. I resolve to take my duties as my sister's maid of honor seriously.  I received a "Save the Date" card in the mail the other day.  Before then, I had no idea when she planned to get married.  I just knew sometime in June.  Last night, N asked me what my sister's engagement ring looked like.  My response?  "Um..."  So far I've only helped choose the wedding cake, and by "help" I mean I ate four pieces and picked the one I liked best.  So in the new year, I'll be excited about more than the fact that the host hotel has a Chick Fil A--gotta love the South.  I'll actually pick a dress (ugh.) and do other maid of honor-esque things.  Also, I'll make sure that my toast does not include that whole "marriage is death" schtick.

2. I resolve not to hold my breath for James River.  Every year I think there's going to be a new D'Angelo album.  Every year, I'm disappointed.  In 2010, I won't listen to the rumors.  I'll just obsess over ?uestlove's tweets and keep Voodoo on repeat.

3. I resolve to stop all my Tyler Perry hate.  Obviously my life's purpose is not to save black people from Tyler Perry.  At least, I really hope it's not.  This year, I spent a lot of my internet time talking about how destructive Perry is.  I wish I'd spent more time talking about how much I hate his crispy-ass hairline, but time got away from me.  Either way, if folks don't get it now, will they ever?  Tyler Perry sucks really bad, and we should stop giving him money.  Moving on.

4. In honor of resolution number three, I resolve to find a new famous black person to pick on.  Is 2010 Tiger's year?  Maybe.  Seasons change and mad things rearrange, but there is always a famous black person for me to hate on.  Without fail some black celebrity will prove herself more obnoxious than usual, and I have to use blog time to talk about them.  It's almost as if it's my duty.  I should have several nominees by, say, February, just in time for Black History Month.  If not, I can always pick on Common. He's always finding new ways to be aggravating.  (See above.)

5. I resolve not to get fired from this gig.  I could say that it's not my fault the blog reading public doesn't recognize my awesomeness. (That Obama mixtape post was lightweight genius.)  Then again, I could press pause on the hubris and just commit to posting better blogs, and be less mercurial about what I write.  I'll get there.  I promise.

6. I resolve to find out what Michelle Obama's favorite house song is.  Why doesn't anyone ever ask her this question?  I'm just assuming that as a Chicagoan Michelle Obama likes house music, and I want to know what her jam is.  Sometimes I see her on television and imagine that Inner City's "Good Life," is playing in her head at that very moment, but that's probably just me.

7. I resolve to write a blog or two about black youth--or things they might actually care about.  Because they don't really care about my resolutions, do they?  This might really help me in keeping number 5.

8. I resolve to pay some attention to Barack Obama--and politics in general.  Rumor has it that there are actually important things happening in the world.  Go figure.  I think 2008 was too much for me, and I needed to check out for about a year.  Since freezing my ass off while attending the biggest black event since we copped our freedom (Yes, I'm speaking of the inauguration. I did a friend of favor. It's a long story.), I've pretty much stayed away from the political sphere.  I haven't bothered with NPR and other news outlets--independent or otherwise.  Part of me likes not knowing what's going on (What? Healthcare reform?), but I guess I should be semi-informed.  So, in the new year, I resolve to watch The Daily Show at least once a week.

9.  I resolve to ________.  You fill in the blank.  Learn the words to "Auld Lang Syne" would be a good one.

10. Call my grandmas more often.  I'm really going to try to keep this one.  Note to self: Having to say "Grandma, it's me, Summer," is indicative of being one of the worst grandchildren ever.
Happy New Year.


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exiledsoul: laeticia: smarteez soweto by chris saunders


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Living in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods is Bad for Your Health...


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via ViridianSun by viridiansun on 12/28/09

i find myself wanting to crawl out of my skin and take a look back
a step back
before i climb back in
and take the next step

i've been engaging in quite a bit of self-distraction as of late
but i secretly want to be still
grounded and observant
figure out my motives
figure out my morals
have some loaded guns to stick to

i'm slowly coming down though
new paths can be scary at first

loose ends to tie
new turf to cover

can't do everything right
the key is to DO


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Sunday, December 27, 2009

fuckyeahblackbeauties: Submitted by ashabi


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Friday, December 25, 2009

A Love Letter to Ms. Fancy.


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A few weeks ago I woke up and realized that I am the person that I wanted
to be when I was thirteen.

At thirteen my closest friend was Fancy and we were in middle school together
in East Oakland. We were nerdy, and skinny, not what the streets want, no?

If the library had it we read it. I was partial to all the Judy Blume's,
Beverly Cleary's, Sweet Valley High's and when I found Walter Dean Myers
I was home.

We traded library books and Sassy issues the way 8 year old boys traded
baseball cards.

We rode that Emporium Capwells basement in downtown Oakland like
a Long Island Outlet mall the day after Christmas.

It was through my friendship with her that I saw how people treated
brown skinned Black girls. In some ways we learned how to negotiate
our femininity together.

By 15, we discovered Berkeley's Telegraph avenue, clothing stores, book stores,
used record stores, natural hair, sewing
and fashion magazines. While I liked
The Source
magazine, more than Seventeen, we both shared our love of the glossies.

In many ways I became myself in that era, or at the very least the ground was being
set for me to claim it in high school.

She was always more of an alternative head than me, putting me on to Neneh Cherry
and being the first Black person that I ever knew to bump Alanis Morissette.

Our goal was to become Fresh Girls.

Fresh girls were natural, maybe wrote graffiti (or was at least cool with the crew
with the most ups), were smart, had cute clothes,
some of which they made
and their own style.

After middle school, I left Oakland to go to high school in 'Frisco,
and a little after that she moved back East. We had a plan for her to move
to NY to model and design clothes and I would go to college and
design clothes, sell vintage clothes or write and just be AROUND hip hop.

I move to NY for school and she got married and had a baby, and for a hot minute
I was like dude, what happened to our plan? Being young and immature
I had a resentment.

Now that I am older I realize that all women have to make choices about
baby dreams vs. career dreams, especially when we live in society that needs
children, yet refuses to support the people who are implicitly charged with raising

I also now realize how much of a gift it is to think of something at 14 and actually
be able to do it 4 years later.

Back then I wanted to be nappy, be around Black art, eat good food and read
a lot.

Three weeks ago I realized that I am in fact this person.

I get to be nappy, write about Black women and pop culture (and my relationships)
and have the
things that I say be taken seriously by my blog readers and my professor's
and this is awesome.

I googled Ms. Fancy a couple of weeks ago and found out she wasn't that far from me.
In a twitter conversation with @prisonerswife I talked about how I wanted to say
something, but I didn't want to come out the blue and the last few years of my life
have taught me to leave well enough alone when it comes to people. I try to live by
if it don't fit don't force it. This isn't hallways successful. I try to realize that people
will be bothered when they want to be, otherwise I should leave them be.

@prisonerswife responded saying something along the lines of, "people say things
like that just because they don't want to step up" and I was like, "I'm pretty much a courage
bear. If God wants me to be in contact with her, we will cross paths."

Ms. Fancy Facebooked me Tuesday.

Merry Christmas. Woot.


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Thursday, December 24, 2009

dadakinder: cometomebrucelee: via benpearce


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ahnka: alek wek x ruven afanador


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via guerrilla mama on 12/23/09


alek wek x ruven afanador


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ahnka: alek wek x ruven afanador


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via guerrilla mama on 12/23/09


alek wek x ruven afanador


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The Nannie Diaries: The Nutcracker


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via my best friend gayle by summer of sam on 12/24/09

Every year, Nannie would take my mom and me to see the Fort Wayne Ballet perform The Nutcracker.  I could never stay awake for the entire performance.  I'm still not sure I've seen the ballet in its entirety.  (If anything, I've seen The Nutcracker [on Ice?] courtesy of HBO.)  I'd fall asleep sometime after intermission.  I'd try really hard to stay awake, but the jolt of sugar the peanut M&M's I ate during the break provided never helped me last.  (Lately, I've been popping peanut M&M's like they're perscription pills.  This may or may not be part of my mourning process.  I don't know; I haven't had a lot of time to psychofuck myself.  I'll let you know.)

I don't remember much of the ballet, but I do recall being obsessed with this eye that would appear sometime later in the ballet.  I have no idea if this set piece was part of all performances or just a quirk of the Fort Wayne Ballet's interpretation, but I do know that I was simultaneously enchanted and freaked out by it.  So much so that I must have told Nannie, because in the days leading to our attendance she'd ask me if I was ready to see "the eye."  Even today I don't know what or who the eye symbolized.  It never fails that I remember this little factoid around Christmas time, and resolve to get to the bottom of the Hardy Boys mystery; I never follow through, though. 

Despite my love for A Christmas Story (God bless TNT for that marathon!) and my Christmas carol jams, "The Little Drummer Boy," "O Holy Night," and "Carol of the Bells," I'm not really into Christmas.  I'm kind of bah humbug about the whole thing, especially when I can't or won't see my family for the holidays.  I think kids' unadulterated excitement at Christmas is pretty cute--despite the shitty premise--but that's about all.  Still, I'm glad to think and write about Nannie taking me to see The Nutcracker.  I don't think we ever had good seats, so there's nothing about the costumes or makeup that I can recall.  Though I hated wearing tights--it was, after, all December--I loved hanging out with Nannie and my mom.  Just a little black girl and her two favorite women going downtown to get some culture.  Maybe I'll go see it next year.


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Posing Beauty


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via Fly by apipp52942 on 12/23/09

I so want this book! Posing Beauty is a collection of portraits and snapshots that captures African-American beauty from the 1890s to the present. Curated by the super talented photographer and educator Deborah WIllis, you can only expect to see the finest of images. This book is definitely a must-have.



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nearing 2010...


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via three minutes rambling by tk on 12/23/09

last night i started a new journal... wrote a detailed list of all that i had "experienced" in 2009... from traveling to cuba (again) and back... a short vacation in philly/d.c./nyc... three weeks of fabulous food, sites, and folk in brazil.... the death of my childhood friend, michael brown... and first birthday of my friend's daughter, isabella... spending several months at home in DeKalb, IL... the journey of a new relationship (both physically and emotionally)... and trying to understand love... a new job... writing my first dissertation chapter (and having it ripped apart a month later)... two weddings... salsa nights... yoga... much needed time with old and new friends... the death of my uncle... and morning the loss of lives... and, for the first time in a long time, questioning the meaning of life and my role here (i'll get back to you when i find an answer)... ... ... i realized several things while writing this list: i am very fortunate, i am strong and resilient, i am more of an optimist than i ever used to be... and i have lived a year full of life... for that i thank God...


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The Evolution of “Avatar” « reappropriate


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via Raven's Eye by maia on 12/23/09

The Evolution of "Avatar" « reappropriate.

jenn nails it with this one…

we all know the narrative.

what this really had me thinking about were the ways that this same narrative is *expected* to happen when global n/w solidarity folks travel to the 3rd and 4th world.

u dont know how many pro-palestinian solidarity workers i know who claim they want to *be* palestinian.

and now i keep meeting pro refugee workers here in cairo that want to *be* sudanese or at least african.

reading critical analysis and lol analysis (thanks jenn!) is really helping me to understand the worldviews that i just can't handle anymore.

i mean yeah its fun to make fun/deconstruct of james cameron.  but how many of us have a similar colonialist mentality when we work 'in solidarity' with the less privileged.

i know that when i first started out in social justice work i am really grateful to have had a radical educator/mentor who spent a few months giving a much needed reality check about what the work was and it definitely was not.

and one of the most important tools she taught me was–always know where you stand in terms of social power.

people and communities empower themselves.  and in the end, if you arent part of the community you can't empower that community.

the mentor was a year younger than me.  white.  middle class.  from the west coast.

she taught me also, even though she never said it: never judge a book /or a teacher/  by its cover.


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Jail Birds


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via Chart Porn by Dustin on 12/22/09

Some basic facts about prisons in the United States. (via VizWorld)

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Fwd: Background Actors for Pariah - URGENT

Sent from my iPod

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Nekisa Cooper" <>
Date: December 23, 2009 11:22:49 AM EST
Subject: Background Actors for Pariah - URGENT

Hi Everyone! 
We are on Day 15 of shooting in Brooklyn, NY and gearing up for an amazing HOUSE PARTY scene tonight.  We need background folks to come out and party with us so please see below for the details.

Nutroaster Studios
120 Ingraham St, Brooklyn NY
on the corner of Porter and Ingraham, btw Bogart and Varick
Closest subway: L to Morgan Avenue

6:00PM Sharp

Punk/Come As You Are

There will be a live performance by Tamar-kali ( who is an AMAZING and internationally reknown punk artist, so the music will be dope and the scene will be alot of fun.

Feel free to pass on the word!  Only the first 50 people will get in!

Peace and Love!

Nekisa & Dee

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The 1st Annual BGLH Awards! A year in natural hair…


Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:


via by Black Girl With Long Hair on 12/22/09


We're coming to the close of another year and it's been a great year for BGLH :) I've had a blast doing this blog and meeting so many new and interesting people!

We're winding down here at BGLH and prepping for 2010 (yay!), so expect to see fewer posts in the next week and a half. But before we go we want to salute some of the most intriguing, interesting and inspirational characters we've had on BGLH this year.

Please vote for your favorites in the following categories, and use it as an opportunity to reflect on the AWESOME year we've had in natural hair!

MOST PHENOMENAL STYLE ICON IN 2009 (click name for full profile)
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Naomi Davis

MOST IMPACTFUL STORY/DISCUSSION IN 2009 (click title for full story)
White Dad learns to comb adopted Ethiopian daughter's hair
My mother slapped me because I did the big chop (contributed by Camille)
African Style Week
I broke a weave addiction to do the big chop (contributed by Sunshine A.)
The President has hair like mine
Natural hair is not hot in Nigeria
My weave addiction led to traction alopecia (contributed by Cheree)
Why I relaxed my back-length natural hair (contributed by Bublbrnsuga)
Are whites more receptive to natural hair than blacks? (contributed by Yuki)
I was kicked out of my aunt's house because I started locking (contributed by Diana)

Solange's big chop
"Good Hair" the movie
Tyra Banks reveals her real hair
Malia Obama rocks twists and cornrows in the White House
Oprah reveals that her hair is not a weave
Kanye West rocks a natural mullet at the Grammy's
Zara Pitt-Jolie's hair is lambasted in the media
We also want to give a shout-out to some of our biggest BGLH supporters… These are individuals who have been a huge encouragement to us. Special thanks to all of you :) Much Love!!!
Jc of The Natural Haven
Jaime/MsJaim (this woman has donated SO MANY giveaway prizes!!)
Lina of The Hair Shebang (another giveaway sponsor!)
Miss Fizz of Leave in the Kinks
Rachel of Little Golden Lamb (our STAR product reviewer!)
Eliss of Beautifully Conjured Up
Christy Lynn (great hair and an even greater heart!)

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