Models Monday: Grill it and Braise it

Grilling out is a big deal in Cleveland, my hometown, because the freezing temperatures and the snow and ice storms limit your opportunities to get that grill fired up. Clevelanders see summertime, especially summertime holidays, as their one shot at grilling at the crib. When I was a kid, I hated grilling holidays because IContinue reading “Models Monday: Grill it and Braise it”

Models Monday: Fruitvale Station

I just came from seeing Fruitvale Station. The film offers a sensitive portrayal of the last day in 22-year-old Bay area resident Oscar Grant’s life. Having apprehended Grant and several other black and brown skinned passengers after a scuffle on a BART train, Police Officer Johannes Mehserle’s fatally shot Grant, claiming he mistook his ownContinue reading “Models Monday: Fruitvale Station”

Models Monday: What Black Boys Know

Phil Skinner’s photograph of an unidentified black boy with a tear streaked face holding a sign that reads “BLACK LIFE MATTERS,” is poignant because it can lead to an easy conclusion that the child is crying because justice was denied Trayvon Martin given the “not guilty” verdict rendered in favor of George Zimmerman. Of course,Continue reading “Models Monday: What Black Boys Know”

Models Monday: The Hoodie Distraction

I wish people would stop donning hoodies as a sign of protest. There was a time when I found this gesture meaningful in the way it symbolized the trivialities in American culture that can be used to justify racial terror against black people. We are in a different moment now and so we need aContinue reading “Models Monday: The Hoodie Distraction”

Models Monday: Observing the Country Mouse

For some time now I’ve been ruminating on Aesop’s fable “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.” On the surface, the story tells of two mice-one from a rural environment and one from an urban environment-who interact with one another inside the home territories of the other over a meal. In Jerry Pinkney’s version ofContinue reading “Models Monday: Observing the Country Mouse”

Models Monday: Learning from Paula Deen’s Dream

With great interest, I have followed news reports concerning Paula Deen’s problematic deposition testimony¬†she provided as part of a racial discrimination suit against the celebrity chef and her brother, Bubba Hiers. Mainstream news outlets strongly emphasize the moment in the deposition when Deen admits to using the word “nigga” and her suggestion that in doingContinue reading “Models Monday: Learning from Paula Deen’s Dream”

Models Monday: Being Among Your Betters

I have talked with friends about the contests and games staged for children these days and the verdict seems to be that children are routinely shielded from loss and encouraged to believe that everyone wins. Loss is cloaked with badges, ribbons, and medals for showing “spirit” and simply participating. It was a much harsher climateContinue reading “Models Monday: Being Among Your Betters”

Models Monday: Icons in the Flesh

In this new assignment that I made for myself, I am setting out to discover a fuller portrait of the people celebrated in February for Black History Month. I’ve been doing this work for some time now, so I guess the difference with the current manifestation of this project involves history, subjectivity, and celebration/commemoration andContinue reading “Models Monday: Icons in the Flesh”

Models Monday: Memorial Day

Norah Jones’s rendition of the Gene Scheer song “American Anthem” hits all the right notes and it frames my thoughts about this Memorial Day. My grandfather, Charles Albert Hite, served in World War II and by all accounts he was none too happy about it. My Uncle Eric wrote about my grandfather’s views on servingContinue reading “Models Monday: Memorial Day”