Thursday, November 7, 2019

The old bait and switcheroo, huh?

So EMart, a huge market chain here, used to have this for ten bucks. I bought it and it lasted a very long time. It was great to have a familiar option. Well, in South Korea, NOTHING IS EVER CONSTANT. They got rid of this brand for this low price. Instead they now have other smaller, more expensive brands. So you get 25% of the amount for almost ten bucks. Win for them, lost for the consumer. The time tested, and always successful, switcheroo.

I have seriously considered getting a COSTCO card here but JUST can't bring myself to do it. Maybe if I had a car and had easy access to doing a big haul once a month but, naw. 

I have a friend who has a card but he is one of those people who hates when anyone asks him to do anything. Like anything. So I've learned, after getting burned by his tongue once, never to ask him for a damn thing. Like if I was on fire, I wouldn't ask him to pass me a cup of water. He is held at arms-length because where I come from, that is NOT a definition of friendship. 

Long story, short.
Anyway, that is why I stopped eating oatmeal here. 

I miss sarcasm.

Sarcasm is lost in this country. 
I miss good old fashion, east coast sarcasm.  

Oh, so sweet Korean desserts!

These Korean desserts are sooooooo delicious!
This is why I'm gaining weight. UGH...but mmmmmmm at the same time.  

Special kids are special...

I was invited by a friend to join an outing to an amusement park. 
It was a field trip for an organization that works with special needs kids and adolescents. I paired with a twenty-something guy who was very sweet, kind and fun. We went on some of the slower rides.  The last and best one was the flying ride. 
The day was so fun and very special to me. 
I loved watching him have a good time.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Stress eating or just happiness?

Lately I have been stress eating...but can we please redefine what "stress eating" is?
Can't we just call it "a small piece of heaven"?
A small piece of heaven that is cool on the tongue and sweet on my heart. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Oh? You an emcee now? Not so fast.

Guess who finally made her debut as an emcee?
This woman!

An acquaintance twisted my arm and convinced me to emcee and organize her church's 2nd international festival in Gwangju. 

The African women cooked food and there were lots of songs and dances. The agenda (created by yours' truly) included recognising the hard work of the organising committee, the cooks and all the volunteers. 

Every country was acknowledged. Between acts I asked each country to come up and answer brief questions. There were two icebreakers at the beginning of the event to create a comfortable environment for the attendees. There was never more than a few moments of non-action between acts. 

The fashion show finale was well organised and displayed the beauty of almost all the countries that were represented. It was a well attended, creative and well organised event. Much more organised than the first festival. More put together and the events flowed very smoothly. 

The acquaintance paid for my travel expenses, that is all. 

I gave her ideas for the format, suggested having the fashion show as the finale, created and printed the agenda, made copies, taped the agenda and the model line-up to the front doors and made sure it was well organised. 

Was it a good experience? 
Meh, it was good to do something that I've never done before. 
So it was a challenge. 

Would I ever do it for free again? 
HELL NO. Not if my life depended on it. 

People don't value anything they don't pay for. 
I had to get to the church myself on that Sunday. There was no designated area for me to sit during performances so I had to create one. 
I had asked for the tables to be moved back during the previous day's rehearsal and no one did it so I was dragging tables around before the event. 
I ate at an entire table by myself during the dinner time because the other organizers were busy taking photos of everyone (but me) and congratulating themselves on a job well done.  A Kenyan acquaintance saw me eating by myself at the hall and came over to keep me company. 
At the end, I walked out alone and then took the elevator back up to take pics with two of the organizers so I would have my own proof that I was there. Then I walked down the mountain with the Kenyan acquaintances and took a taxi alone to the bus terminal.

The work I did for and during the event was worth lots of money and time. I felt that I was treated like a hotel maid that was necessary to get the room clean but entirely invisible. 
This incident taught/reminded me to place value on my strong natural abilities. Abilities that others need and that are extremely valuable to them. They've asked me to host the next event. 
But the offer was declined, politely. 

Even though I was a vital part of the success of the event, I was treated as if I was invisible and disposable. In Korea, there is a big culture of acknowledging efforts for show. If I had been a "local" emcee, I guarantee you that the treatment would have been different. Because they would've lost face if they did not acknowledge the hard work of the emcee/host. Especially one that was doing it as a favor.  
Emcees are paid heavily here, I found out later. 

There is no way that I will allow myself to be in that position again without a hefty fee. 
Pay me for my skills or find someone else to devalue. 
Thanks but no thanks. 
Readers, always ask for what your skill is worth. Don't give anyone a bargain on your talent. NEVER.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Finally! A great open class!

Wooohooooo!! I finally had a great open class after 5 years in this country. For the first four years, at my old school, no one at the school attended our open class. My former coteacher and I would hope they would show some kind of appreciation of our efforts. BUT NOPE. They never did. They never once even thought about attending our open classes.

At this school, I've done one last year, 2019, with Teacher Sue and it was good. She was praised for doing a good job. 
Teacher Jenny and I did one last minute last semester (informed last minute) and the reception was meh. 

BUT this time...we had plenty of time to prepare and made sure it was a very detailed class lesson. We had paired, team, group and class work. Lots of class participation built into the lesson. It was a GOOD ASS class, y'all!!

The VP and about five other teachers attended. 
(Take THAT former school! Ha Ha)
The energy was good, the students were sweet and engaged and Teacher Jenny and I ROCKED it!

After the class, the VP came to us and said in English, "Great class. Great class!"

Thank you Gawd!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Catch me in the air, baby!

This is one of my favorite pics taken this summer. He is the youngest son of one of my South African friends. His spirit is so strong! The men had just thrown him and I caught him mid air! 
The kids has NO fear!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

20 cars and you STILL had to catch a cab?

So yesterday was the mandatory beginning of the semester teacher dinner. The dinner is to greet new incoming teachers and to say goodbye to the transferring or retiring teachers/staff. 

Everyone HAD to be there. We travelled to the other side of Suncheon to a BBQ pork restaurant. 

The food was really good. There were more than thirty staff members at the dinner. So total there must have been at least twenty cars there. 

Guess who ended up taking a taxi from the restaurant to a bus stop on the other side of town? Teacher Jenny and me. She is too reserved and does not feel comfortable asking people. I refuse to beg anyone for a damn thing. Some of them saw us trying to flag a taxi but ignored it. 

I would rather walk across burning sands then to ask a local for anything I can do my damn self. That goes for any country.

Walking to the main avenue was good exercise after eating that heavy meal, anyway. 
I don't know why Koreans are not fat. MY GOODNESS. 
We ate pork then ate another kind of pork after that!!
Then most teachers drank soju and beer.
Where do they put all those calories?
I almost rolled out the restaurant after eating. 

The taxi ride was about 12 minutes to a bus stop near Teacher Jenny's house and along my bus route. 
I'm glad she was able to tell the taxi driver where to go but even if she had not been there, I would've survived. 

The main lesson in living in another country is to learn how to navigate the necessities as soon as possible.  No one wants to wear out their welcome. Even if you are slow to learn the language, figure out how to do the basics by yourself. Grocery shopping, taxi  and bus rides, hospital and restaurants. 

It will be the key to your sanity in a new environment. 
Less stress and less having to depend on people who may be reluctant to help anyway. 

I was catfished in Korea! by a girl!

So I know usually catfishing is when a potential mate fakes an image in order to gain approval, acceptance, love and time from another person. Usually this is done in the hope that the person will fall in love with them and overlook the big lie. 

Well, I met a younger lady here who told me in the beginning that she suffered from a specific type of depression and had lost lots of friends from the condition. She also told me how she enjoyed catfishing many men. She would present herself as whatever type of woman they wanted, blonde, girlish, a little silly but caring. She would string them along for weeks even months. Then once they started pressuring her to meet up she would say that she decided to take a job out of the country and POOF be gone. 

I did give her my sincere thoughts on this type of behaviour.
Even though she seemed to understand my shock and dismay at her actions, she was heavily invested. 

So, then she proceeded to begin a friendship with me, gaslighting me that she wanted to be friends after we both leave Korea and basically showing me a funny, smart, ambitious young lady who was just trying to survive this phase of her life, like me. We talked almost every night and laughed about life abroad. It made things easier to have someone here to laugh with. 

Then POOF she was gone, after several weeks of communication. 
Now mind you, my definition of friendship is very strict. 
I know how flaky people are here so I do my best to guard myself. 
But I was still a little...hmmmnnnn....not sure how I felt. 

A part of me understands her deep depression. 
It can cripple you and make you focus only on the negative.

But the other side of me thinks that it is an easy way out to make sure that you only chew the sweet and juicy part of the gum. 
Once the gum becomes stale, you spit it out and chew a new, sweet piece. Keeping up walls protects you from having to feel real feelings. Catfishing allows for the fantasy but when reality is necessary, POOF Houdini disappears. 

I do wish the best for this young lady. 
We are all damaged by our life's experiences so I understand the need to hide and protect yourself. But to consistently do it at the expense of others is both cowardly and selfish. 

Catfishing anyone is wrong. Tell the truth and allow people to make a choice to stay or run away quickly. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Thanks and good bye to Cumulus and Miss Lee. It has been a sincere pleasure.

I have four Korean friends here. Julie, Miss Lucy and Cumulus and Miss Lee from Daegu. 
Well, Cumulus retired last year and was bored out of his mind. 
He was also driving his wife crazy, as most retired husbands do.
In his mid-50s, he has decided to go and teach Korean, through a government sponsored program, in Uzbekistan! 
Wow!! What courage and bravery!  

So this past Saturday I travelled the three hours to Daegu to say my goodbyes to him before he relocates for two long years. By the time he gets back, I will be long gone, hopefully. (From my mouth to God's ears.)

We met up at the Daegu west bus terminal and drove to lunch. 
I insisted on paying for the lunch and had even saved up for it. 
Both of them refused and instead had me pay for mango and strawberry smoothies after our meal. Then we walked down a very famous village named after a famous Korean guitarist. 

It was a very sweet time with good friends. 
It was important to me  to thank them for their kindness to me both before and after my family arrived last summer. 
It is very difficult to find genuine people here so I was blessed to have them in my life here in Korea. They went out of their way for me, my son and my family. They picked us up from the bus terminal, drove us to the hospital, assisted in renting the cabin in the woods last summer, drove our entire family to the skydiving area and cheered and applauded all the children's jumps. Cumulus even jumped that day! They took me shopping for much needed clothing and have always shown me kindness and generosity. 

I bowed deeply as we said our last good byes. All of my expat experiences will be shared with Cumulus as he begins his first time living away from his home country. 

This is the way I like to end friendships, with respect and mutual admiration. That takes a certain level of maturity and commonness. It was a blessing to share friendship with them. 
Thank you very much. I've appreciated it and will always pay it forward. 

October 2020
Cumulus had to return home after six months due to the worldwide spread of the Rona panic. Korea airlifted their citizens out of there at the government's expense. He did learn a lot just from living there for a few months. He used to call me and share some of this frustrations of not knowing the language, people using him for language exchange and not being treated fairly as a foreigner. Hmmmmmmmmm, sounds awfully familiar.

I believe it was his experience living abroad that helped him to understand my needs during my operation this summer. He finally understood how isolating it can feel living in a foreign country by yourself. i hope he can return to finish his assignment after Miss Rona leaves us alone.  

No empathy in SoKo

When I finally leave this country, it will be because of the lack of empathy and lack of a good support system here. People only care about their tribe and absolutely no one else. Old ladies struggle with large bag of fruits and veggies, people crossing the zebra striped walkway or if someone slips and falls - no empathy for you here. Go slip and fall in another country. These people don't give a sh@t about each other and definitely not a foreign teacher unless we can benefit their lives in some way. 

Maybe you will have a better chance of getting in another country or your home country but damn sure not here. 

Future expats choose your country wisely. 
Every place has its pros and cons. 
Do your research so you can find a country that best suits your personality and needs. 



Sunday, August 25, 2019

Intolerable Beauty art exhibit ~ Cultural Center Suncheon Uni.

Intolerable Beauty
By Chris Jordan
Cultural Arts Center
Suncheon University
Summer 2019

An amazing art exhibit that shows the excess and beauty of human consumption. The art consists of pieces of plastic bottles, caps, bags, credit cards and cellphones. Great message.
I really enjoyed it.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Hair braids summer 2019 ~ I give up!!

My chosen hairstyle versus how it actually came out.

I hate it!😭😭😭😭😭😭.
The ends look like I had to chew them off to escape a bear trap!!!😭😭😭😂😂😂😂

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

My new "handler" is a b@tch with a capital B

My new "handler" is a b@tch with a capital B. Today she smirked at me when I asked would I be able to leave early, today, the last day (half day) of school. Dude, after that smirk, it is ON. We gonna have fun now, witch. 
This means I gotta get as petty as she is. Sigh. Such a waste of talent and energy. But it will be fun.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Essential films directed by us. FUBU.

Being in Korea has made me an avid film buff. I love to see life recreated in various creative ways. Films are simply moving photos. And you know how much I love photography.
Below is a list of essential films directed by Black women.

Alma's Rainbow (Ayoka Chenzira, 1994): A fractious matriarchy of fiercely independent Brooklynites—including a buttoned-up beautician, her bohemian sister, and her starry-eyed daughter—takes precedence in this comedy where each interaction crackles and every character shines.

Belle (Amma Asante, 2013): Asante sheds light on a peculiar historical case, puncturing the British aristocracy’s cold and sumptuous veneer with the hard-edged nuances of racial and gender inequity. As the heroine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw illumines a defiant spirit with prismatic purity. Watch it on Amazon. Beyond the Lights (Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2014): A deeply-felt, perfectly-acted romantic and maternal melodrama that restores the genre to its rightful place in American film. Here, love is a meeting of two world-weary souls and a path to discerning—and defending—one’s worth. Watch it on Amazon.

Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed (Shola Lynch, 2004): With a wealth of archival footage and clearsighted interviews, Lynch draws back the curtain on our electoral system and pays effervescent tribute to Shirley Chisholm, who dreamt the impossible dream and dared to make it real. Watch it on Amazon.

Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort South Carolina, May 1940 (Zora Neale Hurston, 1940): Count ethnographic filmmaker among the many careers Hurston held during her groundbreaking life. Here, she films Gullah worshipers and sermonizers with a style both engaged and engaging, ensuring that time will not erase them. Watch it on Kino Lorber's Pioneers of African-American Cinema boxset. The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy (Kathleen Collins, 1980): Before Losing Ground, Collins set her sights on this tale of three Nuyorican orphans whose path crosses with a dying widow’s. A magical and mysterious film that touches gently, like the breeze brushing the tops of trees. Watch it as a bonus feature on Milestone Films' Losing Ground DVD.

Cycles (Zeinabu irene Davis, 1989): Davis mixes media, draws on Yoruba traditions, and blurs the real and the imagined in this triumph of ecstatic experimentation, centered around a woman who rigorously purifies her home and body in the hopes of bringing about her overdue period. Watch it on the three-disc anthology L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, available for viewing at local archives, libraries, educational institutions, and other non-profit organizations.

Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991): A lost world unearthed, its faces and places made present in a film so full of wisdom, splendor, and feeling that it eradicates the flatness of the screen. Dash created a landmark but also a sublime dream of what cinema can and should be. Watch it on Netflix. Down in the Delta (Maya Angelou, 1998): Alfre Woodard is funny, flinty, and full-hearted as a single mom and struggling addict starting anew with estranged Mississippi kin. In Angelou’s only film, life is a forward march and family a time-honored bond both fragile and fortifying. Watch it on Amazon.
A Dream is What You Wake Up From (Carolyn Y. Johnson, 1978): Even as this incisive docudrama confounds the border between reality and fiction, its ideas about gender imbalance and the societal prejudice that locks Black families outside of the American dream remain crystal-clear. Watch it on kweliTV.

A Dry White Season (Euzhan Palcy, 1989): Made at the height of the anti-apartheid movement, Palcy's furious and urgent political thriller remains a textbook case of directorial risk-taking. At its heart is the truth that change can only be brought about if we first open our eyes. Watch it on Amazon. Eve's Bayou (Kasi Lemmons, 1997): Lemmons’s masterful talent is evident in every luscious composition, swoon-worthy color, pitch-perfect performance, and bracing narrative turn as a Louisiana girl gains clarity on the world around her—and those entrusted to protect her from it. Watch it on Amazon.

Finding Christa (Camille Billops, 1991): In 1981, visual artist Billops reconnected with Christa, the daughter she gave up for adoption 20 years before. A decade after reuniting, Billops composed this rueful, docu-fictional examination of the difficult choices that define a life.
Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (Shola Lynch, 2012): Angela Davis put her intellect into revolutionary practice and brought her fight for freedom to the masses. Here, the scholar and prison abolitionist recounts a pivotal chapter, her courage and convictions undiminished. Watch it on Amazon. Gideon's Army (Dawn Porter, 2013): Porter is one of our most empathic nonfiction storytellers. Her debut movingly captures the warrior spirit of three indefatigable public defenders in Georgia as they weather heartbreaking losses and narrow victories, dejected but not yet broken. Watch it on Amazon.

Happy Birthday, Marsha! (Tourmaline, 2018): Tourmaline and co-director Sasha Wortzel commemorate history by treating it as a felt experience. As played by Mya Taylor and captured by Arthur Jafa, Marsha P. Johnson is again a living, breathing being resisting to a song all her own.
Hidden Memories (Jacqueline Frazier, 1977): Frazier evocatively experiments with sound, editing, image, and POV in this gutsy and unusual memory piece. As her protagonist recalls an unwanted teenage pregnancy, Frazier passes no judgment, honoring the sanctity of a woman’s choice. Watch it on YouTube.
I Am Not a Witch (Rungano Nyoni, 2017): A Zambian girl accused of witchcraft contends with hardhearted mercenaries and surging sadness in this ravishing and revelatory feature debut. Nyoni devised the rare satire that inspires laughter and tears within the span of a single scene. Watch it on Amazon.

I Am Somebody (Madeline Anderson, 1970): Anderson, the intrepid documentary pioneer, finds quick kinship in the 400 Black female hospital workers of Charleston, South Carolina who went on strike in 1969 for fairer wages. Her film remains a galvanizing record of bravery in action. Watch it on Amazon.

I Be Done Been Was Is (Debra J. Robinson, 1984): A trenchant docu-profile of four distinctive Black women comedians—Alice Arthur, Rhonda Hansome, Jane Galvin Lewis, and Marsha Warfield—whose passionate pursuit of their art in a biased industry is in itself an act of defiance. I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Pat Hartley, 1982): James Baldwin’s magnetic presence and sublime eloquence are foregrounded as the writer traverses America, revisiting Civil Rights activists and exposing the falsity of progress in this spectacular mosaic of first-hand heroism.

I Like It Like That (Darnell Martin, 1994): Powered by Luna Lauren Vélez's sparkling star turn, Martin’s debut dramatizes the tumbles and triumphs of a complex, driven woman with screwball verve and melodramatic grandness. 25 years later, it still sings to a beat unlike any other. Watch it on Amazon.

Illusions (Julie Dash, 1982): No filmmaker writes history like Julie Dash. In this radical revisionist drama that fully realizes the medium's audiovisual capacities, a passing Hollywood producer sets out to change nothing less than the way Black people are seen on the big screen. Watch it on Kanopy. Jinn (Nijla Mu'min, 2018): When Mu’min holds her actors in close-up, she conjures a startling intimacy, enabling these performers to bring sweetness and soul-baring sensitivity to her beautiful story of a divided mother and daughter, each pondering and pursuing new ways of being. Watch it on Amazon.

Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (Leslie Harris, 1992): By refusing to sand down its heroine’s rough edges, Harris's portrait frankly and exuberantly acknowledges that few choices are more audacious than staying unapologetically oneself in a world that seeks to weaken one's shine. Watch it on Amazon.

Lemonade (Beyoncé Knowles, 2016): A personal reckoning, a communal intervention, and a musical epic of kaleidoscopic emotion and spellbinding cinematic grandeur. Shaped by many makers but unified by the unfaltering vision of an artist who channeled grief into restless creativity. Watch it on Tidal. Lift (DeMane Davis, 2001): A character-specific crime drama with as much mobility and finesse as Kerry Washington, mesmerizing here as a wily Boston shopgirl who moonlights as a shoplifter. Its heist scenes go off like a bomb but the rich familial dynamics are what really linger. Watch it on Amazon.

Little Woods (Nia DaCosta, 2018): Embedded within an America often absent in American films, DaCosta’s taut drama channels dire concerns through the tale of two hardbitten women in cowboy country, each led by sisterhood and the will to survive, if only by the skin of their teeth. See it in theaters on April 19th.

Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, 1982): Collins’s bravura filmmaking style was as sensuous as it was erudite. In this, her lone feature and a milestone production, Collins externalizes the interior transformation of a philosophy professor redetermining what she desires from life. Watch it on DVD from Milestone Films. Love & Basketball (Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2000): Remembered for its romantic heat, this contemporary classic honors love in numerous forms—for a partner, a sport, a family, a home. From script to performance, every element communicates that life is fuller for having love in it. Watch it on YouTube.

Middle of Nowhere (Ava DuVernay, 2012): This deftly-performed, impeccably-lensed drama reminds us that a cinematic experience need be nothing more than ordinary people in everyday spaces, confronting each other with hard truths and opening up pathways into their isolated hearts. Watch it on Amazon.
Mississippi Damned (Tina Mabry, 2009): Mabry is a tough-minded dramatist with a tender regard for her characters. She brings consummate craft and palpable heartache to this novel-rich portrait of an intergenerational family that hurts, heals, and pours its hopes into one another. Watch it on Morgan's Mark.
Monday's Girls (Ngozi Onwurah, 1993): Onwurah tracks the journeys of a set of young Waikiriki women with conflicting views on marriage and village custom. Where a lesser director might have shouted her ideas, Onwurah instead shows them through the quiet power of her image-making. Watch it on Kanopy.
Mudbound (Dee Rees, 2017): Rees brings a panoply of voices and experiences to the fore as two Southern families contend with the war at home in WWII-era America. Her film is an exquisite cracked mirror reflecting the savage realities of a past not too dissimilar from our present. Watch it on Netflix.
Night Catches Us (Tanya Hamilton, 2010): For Hamilton, the past is a canvas for creation and reconsideration. This debut, centered around an ex-Black Panther's perilous homecoming, boils down historical topics into a glance, a kiss, a motion, which is to say the language of film. Watch it on Amazon.
One Way or Another (Sara Gómez, 1977): Gómez took real, radical risks with form in this edifying and influential docudrama, in which the blossoming romance between a teacher and a revolutionary worker is set against a sociopolitical backdrop of turmoil and transformation in Cuba.

Pariah (Dee Rees, 2011): Rees and her unflinching collaborators convey the turmoil and hard-won hope that coexist in many coming-out experiences. In a cinema overloaded with gimcracks, let us be thankful for artists like Rees who are still interested in reaching hearts and minds. Watch it on Amazon.

Perfect Image? (Maureen Blackwood, 1988): Blackwood places racist standards of beauty in front of a funhouse mirror, steps back, and cackles at the mess of it all. This piece boisterously dismantles retrograde ideals with surreal images, Brechtian monologues, and musical numbers. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (Angela Robinson, 2017): Who says biographical dramas can't be as audacious as their subjects? A warm, brainy, scintillating love story about a polyamorous trio that flouted gender and sexual mores and, in doing so, produced a feminist icon. Watch it on Hulu.

Rafiki (Wanuri Kahiu, 2018): No matter the constraints the Kenyan government placed on this homegrown lesbian love story, the potency of its central coupling transcends all barriers. Kahiu reproduces the rapture of young love with grace and an unshakable belief in what is right. See it in theaters on April 19th.

Rain (Nyesha) (Melvonna Ballenger, 1978): Set to John Coltrane’s soul-nourishing “After the Rain” and Ballenger’s lyrical narration, this ruminative and impressionistic work depicts a rainy day as an occasion to see our imperfect world a little clearer and push toward liberation. Watch it on YouTube.
Shipley Street (Jacqueline Frazier, 1981): What begins as a naturalistic portrait of a Black family’s day-to-day grievances becomes a horrifying yet ultimately hopeful study of how individuals and institutions can torment one of society’s most vulnerable members: the Black child. Watch it on the three-disc anthology L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema.

Stormé: Lady of the Jewel Box (Michelle Parkerson, 1987): This historically resonant documentary preserves the legacy of Stormé DeLarverie, emcee of America's first integrated female impersonation show and a drag king for whom life was a great occasion for glorious self-creation. Sugar Cane Alley (Euzhan Palcy, 1983): A wise, wondrous coming-of-age masterwork centered around the formative events of a gifted boy in 1930s Martinique yet able to see in every direction. Looks back at life’s growing pains not with weeping and sorrow, but joy and understanding. Rent it on Netflix.
Suzanne, Suzanne (Camille Billops, 1982): Billops provides sister Billie and niece Suzanne the necessary space to reflect on the burdens of patriarchal abuse and drug addiction that have haunted them for years. This film is a testament to the resilience that runs in their family.
(T)error (Lyric R. Cabral, 2015): With incredible levels of access and candor, co-director Cabral crafts an eye-opening character study of a prickly, unapologetic Black Panther-turned-FBI informant and a bold exposé of the inhumane entrapment of post-9/11 government surveillance. Watch it on Netflix.
These Hands (Flora M’mbugu-Schelling, 1992): Trusting in its non-editorializing style to convey a sobering message, this sui generis documentary shows Mozambican women refugees at work in a rock quarry outside Dar es Salaam—singing, nursing wounds and children, and soldiering on. Watch it on Kanopy.

Trapped (Dawn Porter, 2016): Porter highlights the vital work of Southern abortion providers who face onerous conundrums as lawmakers attempt to re-criminalize their practice. Her humanist touch ensures the compassion and valor of managers, clinicians, and patients shine through. Watch it on Amazon.

A Tribute to Malcolm X (Madeline Anderson, 1969): Four years after Malcolm X's murder, Anderson paid homage to the titan with his formidable speeches and a new interview with Betty Shabazz. The result is rousing confirmation that a man’s fight lives on long after his last breath. Watch it on the National Museum of African American History and Culture's website. Visions of the Spirit: A Portrait of Alice Walker (Elena Featherston, 1989): A complicated literary legend at the peak of her stardom and in her own words. This meditative documentary encapsulates the subversive spirit of a writer who refused to let Black women live in anonymity.
Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (Barbara McCullough, 1979): McCullough’s lustrous monochrome and hypnotic dissolves glitter on the screen in this experimental touchstone that transposes a Diaspora water deity into modern times as a Watts woman achieves self-renewal. Watch it on the three-disc anthology L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema.

The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1996): Zesty, uncompromising proof that there's no one right way to revisit the past on film. Dunye’s meta-comedy evinces the multitudinous humanity that her character seeks in her cathectic search for the Black queer women who came before her. Watch it on Kanopy. The Weekend (Stella Meghie, 2018): Sasheer Zamata excels as a stunted comic entangled in a romantic roundelay with her ex, his girlfriend, and an alluring stranger during a rustic getaway. Meghie catches some of the languid, layered color of Kathleen Collins in this jazzy comedy. See it at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on May 4th, 5th, and 6th.
Whose Streets? (Sabaah Folayan, 2017): An essential chronicle of the activists who have made bravery their life’s work in the fight against police brutality. Folayan’s film is as true as the hearts that beat inside these fighters and as tireless as the feet that march for change. Watch it on Hulu.
Women with Eyes Open (Anne-Laure Folly, 1994): The observant images and didactic interviews of Folly’s West African expedition all attest to the societal ills and traditions working to keep women inferior but also the lionhearted iconoclasts who are combatting such subordination. Watch it on Kanopy.
Your Children Come Back to You (Alile Sharon Larkin, 1979): A girl comes face to face with the oppressive realities of poverty in one of the most haunting and heartrending films of the L.A. Rebellion movement. Larkin blends hard-hitting social critique with pure cinematic poetry. Watch it on the three-disc anthology L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema.

Zora Is My Name! (Neema Barnette, 1990): Co-writer Ruby Dee and Lynn Whitfield lead a sterling ensemble in a dazzling tapestry of speech, song, movement, and folklore that proudly celebrates the life and ingenuity of Zora Neale Hurston, whose voice was a vessel for the voiceless.
Zora Neale Hurston Fieldwork Footage (Zora Neale Hurston, 1928): A survey of Southern workers and the communities that safeguard them. Hurston sings their songs and records their routines with eager inquisitiveness, her feet planted in the same earth in which they labor and live.‬ Watch it on Kino Lorber's Pioneers of African-American Cinema boxset.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Deja va all over again

I have deja' vu a lot. Sometimes I will have a vague dream about something and feel it intensely. 
Last week, I had a very real dream about visiting a friend in prison. Ever since then I have been uneasy and physically sensitive. Not sure what is going on but I'm doing my best to be on alert. 
There is some kind of energy at work. I can almost feel it. 
Meditation will help. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Okay, this dude took the strawberry milk then sat down and drank it.
Wanted: Dead or alive

Who steals strawberry milk?
Who DOES that? Not even chocolate milk, dude?

Monday, June 24, 2019

Dokdo dreamin' - sold my soul happily

I finally made it to DOKDOOOOO!!!!!!!
If you google "Dokdo" you will find that this small piece of mountain/island is heavily disputed between Japan and South Korea. Both countries claim ownership but South Korea actually has possession of the land. 

All of that to say...I SOLD MY SOUL TO GET TO DOKDO!!

Foreign teachers were given a free three day, educational trip to Dokdo as long as we promised to allow them to take pics of us promoting Dokdo as belonging to South Korea and NOT Japan.

Yup, signed on the dotted line and had 3 student-free days of not teaching and listening to Englishee from two charter buses full of foreign teachers from all over this country. 

I did take a secret picture but will only show a few trusted friends. 
Sorry, Japan, SoKo got to me first. 
Pepsi or Coke taste test, dude.