Coffee Rhetoric: culture
Showing posts with label culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label culture. Show all posts

July 21, 2017

Black People, Let’s Be More Cognizant of How We Engage Each Other

Black folks… We are resilient. We are resourceful. We ain’t never afraid. We exude self-confidence and love. And, as the children say, we are lit. In a word, we are everything and then some. And above everything else, we can be passionate with our beliefs and strong in our convictions. But sometimes, when it comes to how we consume information and how we debate with one another, that passion is often used to cudgel others into boxes they don’t want to be in, because of the way Black folks have been socialized. Whether we’re weighing in about rape culture, gender issues, the way to raise families, how masculinity should be performed, or something as mundane as how to make sweet potato pie, the way some of us provoke and critique arguments and each other can cause harm and does nothing to propel us towards social awareness, consciousness, or logical thinking.

Critical thinking isn’t a panacea to all the systematic and social ills or intra-racial concerns, but the way we unpack social issues, pop-culture, or any other human endeavor, says a lot about where we are cognitively and whether we’re good listeners who have the capacity to engage in civil disagreement and come away from the conversation accepting and respecting that not everyone lives the same way and share the same beliefs, or if we are just waiting for the opportunity to shout over someone in an attempt be right. When we engage opposing viewpoints, we must understand that it’s okay that the ways we’ve been socialized to think by our parents, grandparents and, even, the Black church are challenged. While Black folks—no matter where we’re from, how we’re raised, or our respective cultural traditions—share collective experiences, we aren’t a monolith and we don’t all share the same social mores and thought processes, and that’s also okay.


December 22, 2012

These and Those: Holiday Update


It has been a spell since I've logged a proper blog post. I know, I know. I was (and am still) hoping to make some vanity changes to the blog, to ring in this New Year, once I figure out the logistics. I've also been on somewhat of a mini-break from blogging.

(Very valid) excuses: I was sans a laptop for a minute because my old, crotchety one finally sputtered and died on me. It had literally been hanging on by a proverbial thread... wires would be a more apt description. Duct taping the screen to its keyboard simply wasn't passing muster anymore. It was a slow moving, perpetually freezing, memory waning piece of junk. I cringed at having to take it out in public to work on. Needless to say, in its final act of defiance it declared, "F*ck yo' couch!" and went bye-bye for good. It took some maneuvering to transfer my work off of it, but my (very necessary and relevant) files were saved and re-loaded onto the newer laptop... thank goodness. 
I've also been trying to work through a massive writer's block. A lot is going on in the world, most recently the tragedy that took place in Newtown, CT. Honestly, there are no words I could have written to sum up my thoughts on the tragedy, so I've opted not to publicly share them via social media. I will say that local (Connecticut) media, for the most part, has been respectful and protective of the victims' loved ones, and I think that it's definitely warranted and needed, to enable them to grieve and make sense of it in peace... especially since it's so close to the holidays.

That people have been making it a habit of using these sorts of tragedies to spew vitriol, make racist comments, peddle religious and political propaganda, or make it about themselves, on social media and other public platforms, is vile. Awareness, recognition of others' humanity, and courtesy seem to be disintegrating and I'm not here for devolution and ignoramus behavior... at all. I don't write things or engage others in discourse with an expectation that they need to agree with me; but people will rant (often on my social media platforms) about "Free Speech!" and say something particularly inflammatory, unfounded, and trollish, then scoff at others for being "too politically-correct" when they're called out because they think that will somehow insulate them from being critiqued, challenged, or from accountability when they spew nonsense. Not here for it. I'm old and have officially run out of patience for people who display off-the-chart levels of ignorance and who have a propensity for public stunts-and-shows or histrionics.

In short, my thoughts are running cyclical like a Mobius strip and filtering them into a cohesive blog post has proved to be a bit challenging. I'm also working on a few other writing projects (while drinking copious amounts of coffee of course) that have been usurping some of that creative-thought energy, psyching myself up so I can work towards meeting some personal goals, and have been surely and vehemently trying to steer the conversation away from that topic that shall not be mentioned again, since that is not the crux of what Coffee Rhetoric is about (but has suddenly become synonymous with). 

I'll be returning to my regularly scheduled blogging program after the holidays, and am looking forward to spilling open once again. 

In the meantime, here's wishing a safe, productive, fun, and reflective holiday this season to you and yours. 

August 23, 2012

Secret History of the Black Pinup: Drum Magazine and James Barnor


This latest piece on the rare histories of Black pinup models [publications and photographers] led me in a different direction, so I put a story I’d been researching on a noted Black burlesque performer on the back-burner for now, to feature this one. 

My interest in the lives of vintage Black pinup models and the people curating their images has usually been relegated to the stories of people here in the United States. But Drum magazine was an essential part of African politics and growing trends, during a time when seeing a Black model in the 1960s was a rare occurrence in the U.K., just as it was here in the U.S.  Much in the same way John Moorehead had done for Jet magazine and other media platforms of the time, famed Ghanaian fashion photographer and photojournalist James Barnor also served as a pioneer in the world of fashion photography and photojournalism, within the realm of the Diaspora.