Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about “Black Dandies” and the presence of new academic identities in US institutions. But anyone hear about Zulu Metrosexuals, and the ways in which the Zulu—men in particular—have similarly used dress to expand definitions of “Zuluness,” playfully unsettling colonial constructions and modern pressures alike? At the recent Distance and […]
In the first sentence of my recent essay in Harvard’s Transition Magazine, I declared that I did not want to write about Nicholas Kristof because his writing was boringly predictable. But I also did not want to write about him because the fundamental problem my essay tries to explore is not really about him. It remains intriguing […]
In the last few days every journalist (or outraged blogger) covering #Kony2012 has been so busy reporting on what the bloggers have been saying and putting together salad after salad of African (and therefore authentic, true etc) opinion, that they have utterly failed to actually do any journalism. That’s right: reporting. Finding out what this […]
Earlier this month the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls held its first graduation. 72 of the original 75 girls walked down the aisle, to much applause and with good reason. The young women worked hard, and now they’re off to University and hopefully to all that a very high-priced education can offer. One can hope.
More examples of the race essentialism that passes for public talk in the United States. Larry King (bad interviewer, friend of power) and Tyra Banks (the next generation Oprah Winfrey) talk “natural hair”–only black people use hair products. She, of course, encouraged it: “You want to feel my hair?” “It’s kinky.” King: “Is bad hair […]