Reading with My Father: Slim’s Table (Part I cont.)

My father would have recognized the poor and working class men Duneier describes as having values that run counter to popular depictions of them in sociological data characterizing their type. Grouped among the numbers of incarcerated, high school drop-outs, divorced, unhealthy, volatile, angry masses are black poor and working class men who value their responsibilityContinue reading “Reading with My Father: Slim’s Table (Part I cont.)”

Models Monday: Residing in an Ownership Society

Once again I’m turning to Chris Gardner to reflect on an alternative model for living. In this “Mentoring Minutes” video Gardner shares another memory of his mother but this time it is her analysis of the fate of a lone Hollywood cowboy faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges: When all seems hopeless and lost, remember this:Continue reading “Models Monday: Residing in an Ownership Society”

Reading with My Father: Slim’s Table (Part I)

It is appropriate that Mitch Duneier begins Slim’s Table: Race, Respectability, and Masculinity with a race story and that Ovie Carter’s photograph of Bart accompanies the opening chapter. For a generation who came of age when race was literally written on the landscape and was the blueprint for organizing civic relations, examining how a blackContinue reading “Reading with My Father: Slim’s Table (Part I)”

Models Monday: Something vs. Nothing

In a previous post I mentioned that I enjoyed reading AARP magazine. I like reading it because the editors imagine an audience that has achieved some measure of self-acceptance, which seems to be a no-no in American culture. In general, it seems that Americans are supposed to be dissatisfied with themselves and be discontent withContinue reading “Models Monday: Something vs. Nothing”

Reading with My Father: Intro

My husband and I used a few lines from Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel BelovedĀ on our reception invitation and we rendered them like this: “(S)he is a friend of my mind. (S)he gather me, man. The pieces I am, (s)he gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’sContinue reading “Reading with My Father: Intro”

Models Monday: Pancake Mix

I am preparing to give a presentation about the Aunt Jemima icon. Chris Rutt and Charles Underwood sought to generate fond feelings for the self-rising pancake flour they developed through the figure of Aunt Jemima as she was characterized in a minstrel song. In order to cultivate enthusiasm for this early convenience food, they drewContinue reading “Models Monday: Pancake Mix”

Paid in Full: The Labor Day Suite

A few days before Labor Day, I was curious about conversations that might be developing around music and work. I found a few sites that ranked songs about working. I recognized several of them by Bruce Springsteen and I certainly knew Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang.” I thought Donna Summer’s song “She Works Hard for theContinue reading “Paid in Full: The Labor Day Suite”

Models Monday: The Labor Day Suite

I have never liked the feeling of breathlessness. That may seem unremarkable, but I spent much of my younger years as a competitive athlete and there are few sports that don’t require physical exertion. So what I’m calling breathlessness, is commonly referred to as “being winded” in athletic circles. I find the expression imprecise andContinue reading “Models Monday: The Labor Day Suite”

Models Monday: “Exploring Mysteries to Come”

My mother sent me a package and decided to include her copy of AARP: The Magazine because Michelle Obama was on the cover. I’m so happy to have this magazine because of the terrific articles. “Partners in Time” was among my favorite. In it, Michael Downs reflects on his life as the younger half ofContinue reading “Models Monday: “Exploring Mysteries to Come””

Models Monday: “This House I’m in Right Now”

After the fourth time my house was broken into, I put my house on the market. Looking at properties I could barely afford made me think about friends and family who never moved. I can think of at least three families who have had the same address and telephone number for at least my entireContinue reading “Models Monday: “This House I’m in Right Now””