Category Archives: Travel

Black Feminist Film School Fellowship Fund

I love interesting DIY (Do It Yourself) crowdfunding projects.  I came across the Black Feminist Film School Fellowship Fund on Facebook. They are so close to their goal. Support if you can 🙂

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“The answer, the vision, the liberation. Black Feminist Film School is an initiation journey that will transform all involved toward love and light. I invite you to join in and support in the ways that make sense for you….Black Feminist Film School Summer Session (bffs Summer Session) will take place June – August 2014. We will be focusing on building skill and practice as Black Feminist storytellers using the filmmaking medium and accompanying art forms. Within the three month session we will cover all phases of filmmaking including research and writing, pre-production, production and post-production.” http://www.alexispauline.com/apgblog/cause-view/support-the-black-feminist-film-school-fellowship-fund/

I have a lot of respect for Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs. She’s an amazing young artist/organizer/radical activist. She is also a fellow zinester.  I have the SPEAK! CD that she and fellow women of color zinesters created a few years ago.   It should be added to folks DIY collection. Check out this great interview with Dr. Gumbs:


 

Detriot

I love to eat, so I enjoy watching cooking shows. A couple of days ago, I watched a season of Anthony Bourdain: Part’s Unknown.” It’s currently streaming on Netflix. The show follows Chef Bourdain around the world, eating local dishes. While I tend to find Bourdain to be a bit obnoxious, I do like the fact that he is open-minded about trying different foods and not afraid to discuss the complexities of the cities he visits. After watching a couple of interesting episodes on South Africa and Tokoyo, I was surprised to see an episode on Detroit:

“Bourdain steps into the lives of Detroit natives and sees the glory days of the past at the famed Packard Plant, the current state of the city’s urban decay, and the promise of the future in the citizens who are rebuilding their communities.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Bourdain:_Parts_Unknown

Bourdain grubbed on local barbecue and gourmet dishes. At one restaurant, his host was drinking an alcoholic beverage.  Bourdain asked what should they order to eat, the host pointed to the drink and said “this is my meal.” Bourdain looked shocked and hesitantly agreed to do the same. Ha, ha! That drink must be delicious.

The episode also looked at the neglect of too many neighborhoods in Detroit. As most folks know, Detroit has been hit with very hard times.  The city declared bankruptcy last summer. Many of the residents (83% black) are under/unemployed (18%). Of course (after doing some research), folks were a bit upset that the show focused so much on the devastation of the city.  I can understand folks not only wanting to be seen as the “broke” city. However, I think it’s important that the reality of what’s happening in Detroit is talked about. There are many people suffering/struggling. Folks outside of the city/state need to be aware of their plight. The abandonment of this city, reminds me of the abandonment of Hurricane Katrina victims. And we all know why that happened…

Funny enough, one of my favorite websites Our Legaci, posted a MTV’s True Life episode about this issue. The show followed three black teens trying to make a difference in their Detroit neighborhoods. Their activism/passion is why we can’t forget about the people of Detroit. I really felt for Alyssia and I hope she was able to also get some counseling to deal with her PTSD.  The episode is a year old. I hope there is a follow-up story on these brave young women.

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Click to watch video: http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-im-saving-detroit/1711609/playlist.jhtml

Happy Spring Break!!

I will be taking the next week off for spring break. I hope to do some traveling, catch up on my reading, and watch a movie or two.  Any who, before I go, I  want to leave y’all with a treat.  Y’all know that I love to collect recipes. Here’s one I found in a local newspaper. It’s spaghetti with bacon. Yum! If I have time next week, I hope to try it out. If you are looking for a tasty dish to make during your spring break…here it is!  Enjoy!! 🙂

Spaghetti with Bacon

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Ingredients: 1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti, 1/4 cup olive oil, 8 slices bacon cut into 1/4 inch pieces, 4 cloves garlic, minced.

Directions: (1) Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the spaghetti, and return to boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink. (2) Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the bacon, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking and stirring until the garlic has softened, and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Toss the drained pasta with the bacon, oil, and parsley to serve.

See y’all in April!!

PBS Black History Month

It’s almost that time again…In our so-called “post-racial” society folks have challenged the purpose of still having a Black History Month. Personally, I think it’s still an important and needed month. Especially, for our black youth (and hell even some adults).  Yeah, yeah black history should just be considered American history. Yeah, yeah most black folks have made significant strides since the Civil Rights Movement. Yeah, yeah we have a black President, Oprah, Beyoncé etc. Black wealth/power is at a level it has never been before (too bad most of our black celebrities do absolutely nothing with it, but I digress  😦

YET,  there are  just as many black folks struggling. Many black folks live below the poverty line, highest rates of unemployment, targeted for the Prison Industrial Complex, shot in the back while walking from the store, etc. We still have a long way to go. It’s important we know our history, so we can’t be bamboozled into thinking we deserve our mistreatment. We don’t ever want racism/oppression to be normalized or thought of as “that’s just the way it is.” There’s a rhyme and reason for everything in our imperialist white supremacist patriarchal society (thank you, bell hooks).

Any who, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has an amazing line up of shows to celebrate Black History Month. Check ’em out, if ya can:

“ARLINGTON, VA – January 16, 2014 – In commemoration of Black History Month and as part of its year-round commitment to provide diverse programming and resources for all Americans, PBS today announced new shows and online content celebrating the African American experience past, present and future. From an AMERICAN MASTERS profile of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, to an INDEPENDENT LENS documentary about the secret spy agency created to maintain segregation in 1950’s Mississippi, Black History Month on PBS will provide programs that educate, inform and inspire viewers to learn more about the rich culture of our nation. The lineup begins on February 3 at 10:00 p.m. with “American Promise,” a powerful coming-of-age documentary from POV that follows the journey of two young African-American males from kindergarten through high school graduation as they attend a prestigious Manhattan private school. Confronting challenges from typical childhood growing pains to cultural identification within a predominantly white environment, the young men and their parents push toward success and discover their own individuality in the process.”–http://www.pbs.org/about/news/archive/2014/black-history-month/

Atlanta

I would like to say thank you to the Regional Arts & Culture Council for selecting me to receive a Professional Development Grant. The grant gave me the opportunity to fly to Atlanta to attend the Blogalicious Conference. Strangely, as much as I like to travel, I had never visited Atlanta before. It’s an amazing city. I now understand why my friend’s boyfriend said one needs at least a month in the ATL to see everything. The three days I was there, I barely scratched the surface of things to do:

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Downtown Atlanta

The Blogalicious Conference was interesting. It definitely attracts well-rounded, educated, professional, and ambitious women of color bloggers/entrepreneurs. It was amazing to see so many of these women under one roof. The attendees were people who had attended the conference over the years (Blogalicious was celebrating its fifth year anniversary). So, the majority of folks knew each other. It had a sorority type vibe, which I tend not to do well in.  It was a bit awkward for me. Folks were polite, but it helped if you had a couple of other women to kick it with. I attended the conference alone. Perhaps the conference organizers could think about dedicating one day (or the mornings sessions or whatever) to newbies to the conference. I know that some other huge conferences tend to do this as a way to support new attendees. Other than that, I would recommend this conference to WOC who are interested in learning how to promote their blogs/brand their work:

Conference schedule
Conference schedule
Conference swag bag gifts
Conference swag bag gifts

The best part of the trip was getting a chance to see relatives living in Atlanta. It felt good to relax and hangout with them:

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Dinner with family 🙂

I had some free time so I went to a lecture at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture.  I got a chance to see artist James Eugene. Eugene paints futuristic images of black folks/sometimes other folks of color.  He shared with the audience his creative process/why it’s important to show futuristic images of black folks. His artwork is detailed and eye-catching:

Photo from: http://www.jameseugene.com/artworks/aanzii.html
Photo from: http://www.jameseugene.com/artworks/aanzii.html

Overall, I had a good trip to Atlanta. I can’t wait to go back and do more exploring 😉

Randomness: Black Women Get a Passport

The other day, I decided to clean up my Facebook page.  As I was going through my pictures, I scrolled through my India photo album. The memories came flooding back.  About a year ago, I traveled to Madurai, India.  It was an opportunity to participate in an International Service-Learning course.   I attended lectures, engaged in cultural activities, and did some community service:

Dish at India restaurant
Dish at India restaurant
Gandhi Museum
Gandhi Museum
Russ Foundation http://www.russfoundation.in/
Russ Foundation http://www.russfoundation.in/
Me and Berlin Jose, the founder of Russ Foundation.
Me and Berlin Jose, the founder of Russ Foundation.

It was my first time traveling overseas. I’d never thought about traveling to another country. Well, I take that back. I had thought about it, but it seemed like an impossible dream. Women like me (working class black woman) do not get to travel to places like India. Or, so I thought. As I prepared for my trip, I realized I held myself back, for no reason. Getting a passport/visa, is relativity easy. I don’t know why  it used to intimidate me. It’s fairly cheap (if you can drop $200 at Target,  you can get a passport), considering.  Also, there are several ways to get funding. You can take a travel course (like I did) and get financial aid, research travel grants/scholarships,  or look for deals on Groupon Getaways.  If you are a member of a book club, sorority, activist group, etc., you can pool your money together and find some good group discounts.

Yes, you will have to fill out a bunch of paperwork/look for your birth certificate. Yes,  you will have to wait in a long azz line at the post office. But it will feel so good once you get that passport in the mail. It’s empowering, really.  As black women, we need to make sure we have options to get out of dodge, just in case. Many black women/folks don’t know that you can have a dual citizenship with some countries in Africa, and other places.

I’ve been trying hard to get my friends to get their passports. I think it would be fun for us to take a trip together. But they keep putting it off. One even admitted to being nervous by the paperwork (as I was). But fear shouldn’t hold us back from seeking new adventures/places to live. I will stay on top of them. I encourage y’all to get your passports as well…

To obtain a passport: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

Some counties you need a visa as well: http://travel.state.gov/visa/