celebrating people of color in the arts

Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

speaking out: Suheir Hammad on Feminism

In literary arts, speaking Out on October 16, 2008 at 8:52 pm


Sarah Palin’s emergence on the scene has Americans regressing to that silly and inherently sexist question, “Can women do it all — have both career and family?”  

So naturally, we’re also back to (de)constructing and (re)defining “feminism.” Suheir Hammad, Palestinian-American poet, author, and political activist was recently featured with feminist icon Gloria Steinem in New York Magazine’s 40th Anniversary Issue. Here’s what Hammad had to say about deeming oneself a feminist:

“I think of feminism as a socially just and imaginative world. You know, in my twenties I was taught that feminism meant we had to be supersmart, in the realm of intellectualism—to make rational, detached, unemotional pleas. But now I think what Gloria (Steinem) and all our sisters have given us is imagination. It’s a question of: Can I imagine that world?”

In Conversation: Gloria Steinhem and Suheir Hammad, New York Magazine, September 28, 2008 

Photo: Dan Winters, New York Magazine

art: Wangechi Mutu’s ‘Cuff Love’

In art on October 15, 2008 at 1:00 am

Absolutely Stunning!  Kenyan-born artist Wangechi Mutu is breathtaking in nude-black-white-gold. She is one of three artists commissioned to create jewelry|art for the Whitney Museum’s annual gala on October 20. Mutu deserves a multi-page spread in the next all-black issue of Vogue. Better yet, give her the cover! 

She’s wearing the bracelet she fashioned in the photo above.  

But like any monumental piece of bling, Mutu’s bracelets, which are like those seen in north and central Kenya and in the past were often worn permanently as external, protective bone structures, can be interpreted as both shackle and adornment. “I wanted to create a sheath that ran the length of the wrist and arm,” Mutu says, “that seemed as restraining and heavy in appearance as it was porous, shimmery and handsome.”

Cuff LoveThe New York Times, October 5, 2008

Photo: Ruven Afanador|The New York Times

books: War of the Kings

In books, Uncategorized on October 14, 2008 at 12:11 am


Here we go again. This is so unfortunate. The children of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King are at odds (again) over telling their mother’s story. What would Martin and Coretta say? 

In the third King v. King legal dispute in four months, two of Dr. King’s  children are refusing to provide a biographer of their mother, Coretta Scott King, who died in 2006, with a collection of her photographs, letters and personal papers. Their brother, Dexter King, chairman of  their father’s estate, has asked a judge to force them to comply.

Dr. King’s Children Battling Over Book, The New York Times, October  13, 2008

Photo: Ric Feld|The Associated Press