Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Singing in the Comeback Choir

I'm just stunned and so sad to hear that Bebe Moore Campbell has died. I do recall that she was ill, but I was just hoping for a speedy recovery - and more books. I am so glad that I got to meet her - ever so briefly - and have her sign a book for me.

My thoughts and prayers go out to her entire family and her friends.

NPR: Remembering Bebe Moore Campbell, November 28, 2006
Los Angeles Times obituary, November 28, 2006.
New York Times obituary, November 28, 2006.
Bebe Moore Campbell on The Tavis Smiley Show, August 2, 2005.
Time magazine August 6, 2005.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Harlem Toile de Jouy

I just wrote about Harlem Toile de Jouy over at 55 Secret Street, but I love it so much, I thought I'd spread the word here at Anovelista as well.

You may have seen Sheila Bridges in Essence, the Washington Post, or on her TV show Sheila Bridges: Designer Living. She is an amazing interior designer that gained recognition when she decorated Bill Clinton's office in Harlem. Her own home in Harlem is nothing to sneeze at either:

Sheila was having a hard time finding the perfect toile to use for her home, so she ended up having to design it herself. The result is Harlem Toile de Jouy which is available as wallpaper and bedding. There is also an exhibition featuring the wallpaper at The Studio Museum in Harlem through March 2007.

Sheila has said that she designed Harlem Toile de Jouy "to tell a somewhat satirical story about African American life as seen through the sometimes distorted lens of the media." In other words, to make people think a little harder about the various stereotypes that are continually associated with African-Americans from all walks of life.

Look closely: Sheila's design bypasses traditional (white) pastoral scenes and revolutionizes toile with black girls jumping Double-Dutch, black men playing basketball and and black couples having a picnic and dancing to music from a boom box!

My kind of fabulous...


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Barack Just Called To Say He's Sorry For Messing Up a Brother's Game

So, Nicklaus Lovelady, a reporter for a Georgia newspaper called the Henry Daily Herald wrote this piece - surely tongue and cheek - on why he didn't like Barack Obama:

Obama owes me an apology

I don’t care, I’m not changing my mind on this one.


I don’t like Sen. Barack Obama.

He might make a good president some day, but he won’t get my vote. At least not until he apologizes.

Some might say I’m holding a petty grudge but let’s see you become the butt of joke in front of 1,000 people.

Two years ago I was a full-time newspaper reporter in Illinois covering Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

I had the looks, I had the charm and I had my eye on this pretty young thing who was doing an internship for a competing paper.

It took me nearly two months of running into each other at various news events before I worked up the nerve to begin talking to her.

And then Obama shows up.

The senator made his way to SIUE one day to introduce some legislation that would increase grants for students. Prior to that, me and the girl became really cool as I let her in on a few tricks of the trade.

The day Obama came, there was a huge press conference at the university’s student center with about 100 people inside the conference room and hundreds more viewing the conference on a big screen in the lobby.

Obama did his thing, and at the end there was segment for questions by the media.

After about five questions from different television and newspaper reporters, I stood up to ask mine.

“Wait a minute son, this is for professional media only,” Obama said to me.

“What do you mean? I work for the local paper,” I said with a crackling nervous voice.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were a college student. You have such a baby face,” he said with an unremorseful grin.

At that point everyone in the room turned to look at me and laugh. The 800 people in the lobby laughed as my face was projected on the big screen.

Remembered that girl who I was trying to get with, well she was sitting next to me and guess what she was doing?

Everyone was laughing except me.

The next time I saw that young lady was at another press conference, but this time she was acting as if she never knew me. I think I saw her maybe two more times and each time, it was the cold shoulder.

Thanks to everyone’s favorite new senator, I lost big time.

Obama owes me a public apology for making me look like a court jester and for blocking my shot.

Until that time, Hillary or Giuliani will get my vote.

Awww.... poor thing (not!)

Wonkette had a lot of fun with it - especially after Obama actually called the guy to apologize.

Of course, the reporter has now changed his mind about the senator. You know he's going to play that for all of his future dates.

And his mom!


Kelly vs. Clay and Rosie: Team Kelly!

So, apparently Rosie O'Donnell has accused Kelly Ripa of being a homophobe because of her reaction to Clay Aiken putting his hands over her mouth as they were interviewing Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke. Clay was guest hosting for Regis Philbin.

Kelly gives Regis her take on Clay, his "hostility" and his "cold, clammy hands."

Rosie says that if Clay were straight, Kelly wouldn't have had a problem.

Kelly calls in to The View and tells Rosie that she's wrong.

I'm gonna have to go with my fellow South Jersey girl Kelly and encourage Clay Aiken to keep his hands to himself - whatever his sexual preference. I would also like to encourage Rosie O'Donnell to get a clue. Imagine someone talking about the "precarious situation" she was in when she was gushing over Tom Cruise (unprovoked!) on her old show.

Oh! And I love how Sherri Shepherd was the only one at The View table willing to step into the fray at length. I haven't seen The View in ages - but I'm sure that is the quietest I have ever seen Joy or Elizabeth!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Wish I Would...

Stand out in the driving rain for PlayStation 3. I'm just sayin'...

I snapped these pics on my way home from class Thursday night at two different stores. Tower Records on 14th street in Union Square and Best Buy at 23rd street and 6th avenue. The 23rd street picture on the bottom is dark because the people were sitting in rows with large sheets of plastic draped over them!

I'm trying to think of what or who could get me to stand/sit/sleep outside somewhere for three days, culminating in (pouring!) rain on the third day.

I'm still thinking...


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Memorial Fit For A King

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial will open in 2008 just steps from where Dr. King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. Below are pictures from the groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Let Freedom Ring

In a post about my friend's documentary on the 19th century black congressman Robert Smalls last April, I mentioned the new crop of black politicians making historic runs in the 2006 elections. Of that group, Michael Steele of Maryland and Ken Blackwell of Ohio both lost and, I'm sad to say, so did "Essence Do-Right Man" Harold Ford, Jr. of Tennessee. Deval Patrick, of Massachusetts by way of the South Side of Chicago (seen above with his wife Diane) became only the second (!) black elected to a governorship in American History. Another big winner in the wake of the election (thanks to his "rock star" like fame and the hard work he did campaigning for Democrats from sea to shining sea) is Governor-elect Patrick's pal Barack Obama. The presidential buzz surrounding him is positively deafening. As the saying goes, "you can't time timing" so keep that brother in prayer. Who knows how it will go? 2008 is a long time from now.

I also mentioned Cory Booker, who eventually did become the youngest and first new mayor in Newark, NJ in twenty years last July. A former Rhodes Scholar with degrees from Stanford, Oxford and Yale Law School, he was derided as a "faggot white boy" and worse when he ran the first time in 2002 (you know the drill - educated blacks, especially light-skinned ones, aren't "real" black people. Whatever...) The campaign - dirty tricks and all - was captured in an Oscar-nominated documentary called Street Fight which ran on PBS last year. Once elected in 2006, Cory got immediate death threats from violent street gangs that have been terrorizing Newark for years. He even chased a robbery suspect down the street (to the chagrin of his bodyguards.) Yeah, keep him in prayer too.

During a recent appearance on Oprah, he showed the audience his home for the last eight years in Newark - a notorious housing project called Brick Towers, which is now being torn down. The residents have all been moved to more suitable homes - the mayor was the last to leave. The building was deemed "unlivable" by the Housing Authority and residents - including senior citizens - hadn't had heat and hot water for years. In order to take a shower, he had to boil water in a kettle and pour it into a portable camping shower.

Another example of the pressure he's under: the deal for a new hockey stadium he had no choice but to accept with the New Jersey Devils. After criticizing the arena deal as "a betrayal of public trust" ( He got stuck with it thanks to an iron-clad agreement facilitated by the previous mayor Sharpe James) he had to hold his nose and agree to the deal which calls for Newark - one of the poorest cities in the country with a crippling crime problem - to put up $210 million. The Devils will put up $155 million. Cory was able to get some minor concessions (the team will contribute about $500,000 annually to aid minority business development and agreed to hire more minority-owned vendors among other things) but the $210 million bill for the city stays.

And interesting aside: during the announcement of the deal, the team wanted the mayor to put one of their jerseys on for a photo op, but he just said, "Oh, this is nice," and handed the jersey to an aide.

Um, Go Rangers!

And finally, I wanted to say goodbye to the legendary newsman Ed Bradley and, incredibly, 40-year-old Gerald Levert (Pop, pop, pop, pop - goes my mind...)

I am just through!

I remember seeing Ed Bradley walking down the street one day, looking oh so good with that diamond stud in his ear. It isn't everyday when a sixty-plus year old man can pull off an earring. And pull it off well.

And Gerald Levert? Well, I guess the last time I saw him would have been on MTV on Sweet Sixteen, spoiling his daughter. But I will always remember him best on BET and any number of awards shows ripping a duet or doing a duet with Patti LaBelle or some other worthy singer. I'm expecting some nice tributes to him in the upcoming award season.

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