Models Monday: VIP (The Thanksgiving Week Edition)

I was invited to moderate a film discussion earlier this week for a film that has received rave reviews. My role was minimal. I was only required to ask two questions before turning it over to the audience. It was an interesting experience. I learned how seriously people take film actors and actresses as wellContinue reading “Models Monday: VIP (The Thanksgiving Week Edition)”

Model’s Monday: Improving Your Day

I used to subscribe to Real Simple magazine. They have an “Expertise” column that I made a point reading every month. In their October issue, they featured a column on “rituals that will improve your day.” While I think their suggestions are all fine ones, I immediately thought of my mother when I read theContinue reading “Model’s Monday: Improving Your Day”

Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table Interlude (on Penn State)

Maybe Mitch Duneier’s description of Bart’s death and its aftermath has influenced my current interest in the Beatles’ song “Eleanor Rigby.” Bart dies alone and stays in the morgue for three weeks. Duneier makes the point that Bart wasn’t completely removed from belonging to community because the men at Valois mourned him. In fact, theyContinue reading “Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table Interlude (on Penn State)”

Models Monday: Interpretations of Debt

I bought Jerry Pinkney’s Caldecott winning book The Lion & The Mouse for my son but I barely let him near it. I probably would be afraid to let him near it even if it were a board book because he has a habit of moistening, biting, and tearing those too. Pinkney’s version of thisContinue reading “Models Monday: Interpretations of Debt”

Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table (Part III.)

One particular set of incidents illustrates that, unlike typical images of urban dwellers, the black regulars at Valois were not merely guardians of turf, attempting to maintain and reinforce expectations about themselves and others. They were creatures of sociability for whom contact with the wider circle of cafeteria groups was a source of gratification. (DuneierContinue reading “Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table (Part III.)”

Models Monday: Countering Extravagance

Say what you want about Juan Williams, the essay that he writes as a foreword to John Francis Ficara’s book Black Farmers in America elegantly captures the saga of those black men and women historically pushed to the edge of the pastoral ideal. Between January and May of 1865, farming the land would provide freedContinue reading “Models Monday: Countering Extravagance”

Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table (Part II Cont.)

Slim and his sitting buddies want to live in accordance with notions of appropriate or correct behavior. The idea of ‘respectability’–defined as a mode of life conforming to and embodying notions of moral worth–has great significance for them. They are people with definite opinions about the kinds of conduct appropriate to their level of moralContinue reading “Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table (Part II Cont.)”

Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table (Part II)

I had to learn that where I lived was shameful. I had always been proud of my family’s home on Ferris Avenue with a basement full of beautiful family photographs and a kitchen that always turned out sumptuous meals. My grandmother could cook. I don’t know that anything she made was a favorite of mine;Continue reading “Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table (Part II)”

Models Monday: The End of Charismatic Leadership

I have been reading articles about contemporary protest movements like Occupy Wall Street and the Next Up Young Workers Summit and have relished thinking about the stories people have shared. In much of what I have read, people have reflected on their experiences and decided what the Memphis sanitation workers decided in 1968: that theyContinue reading “Models Monday: The End of Charismatic Leadership”