Cool Hunting

“Cool hunting” was once a disturbing phrase because it referenced the practice of folk in the marketing and branding business scoping out what black kids were doing on the basketball courts, urban city streets, and shopping malls that suggested the next big fashion trend. Now, “cool hunting” disturbs because it reifies a metaphor of culturalContinue reading “Cool Hunting”

Models Monday: Intertextuality

If you haven’t read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah, I highly recommend it. The story crosses international boundaries and thus speaks to issues of identity, class, home, education, and the contemporary world. One of the novel’s central character’s, Ifemelu, keeps a blog once she’s in the United States and creates another one when she returnsContinue reading “Models Monday: Intertextuality”

Models Monday: Sovereignty

I recently finished reading Kevin Quashie’s wonderful, engaging, and provocative book, The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture. The work challenges the presumption that publicness and resistance are the sole categories for conceptualizing black life. Quashie offers “quiet” as a concept for expanding the terms of how black humanity is lived. Resistance, accordingContinue reading “Models Monday: Sovereignty”

Models Monday: Trembling Heroes

For a while I have been wanting to watch Of Gods and Men and this weekend finally presented me with the opportunity. The film offers a cinematic interpretation of the actual events surrounding the fact of French Trappist monks living in the mountains of Algeria whose commitment to cooperation between Christians and Moslems obligates them toContinue reading “Models Monday: Trembling Heroes”

Models Monday: Reading off the Grid

I read Sara Mosle’s article, “What Should Children Read,” in The New York Times with interest. In the article, Mosle shares her disappointment with the content specified by the Common Core State Standards. The national benchmarks set to go into effect in 2014 require that nonfiction comprise 70% of the curriculum. According to Mosle, David Coleman,Continue reading “Models Monday: Reading off the Grid”

James Meredith at Ole Miss

Today marks the 50th anniversary of James Meredith’s first day of class at the University of Mississippi. NPR’s “The Picture Show” has some of the photographs that Ed Meek recorded. NPR also has two wonderful discussions about Meredith and the violence that occurred on the campus over desegregation. Thus, in addition to checking out “TheContinue reading “James Meredith at Ole Miss”

Models Monday: Expanding the Meaning of Success

I finished reading David Halberstam’s wonderful book, The Children, late Saturday night. As I read, I recorded recurring terms used in discussing the principle subjects involved in the Nashville sit-ins when they first entered the Movement in the 1960s. My list includes the following terms: commitment, conscious, inner, worthy, serious, intellectual, serious intellectual, mutual, respect,Continue reading “Models Monday: Expanding the Meaning of Success”

Models Monday: On Human Richness

My father was the one who first told me that David Halberstam was killed in a car accident. I don’t remember what we were talking about or which of Halberstam’s books I was reading at the time but when I referenced him, I clearly remember my father asking, “oh, the guy who died the otherContinue reading “Models Monday: On Human Richness”