Saturday, January 7, 2017

More writing and such.

So I wrote two pieces for Tonic, VICE's health section. 

The first was on why some people may feel more comfortable with a doctor of the same race or cultural background:
When you're nearly incapacitated from debilitating agony thanks to an infected cyst near your spine, the last person you want diving into your back with a scalpel is a dusty, ice-hearted surgeon. That's exactly who greeted my friend, Sarah (who prefers not to use her last name), when she wound up in an operating room to have the mass removed. Beforehand, all she received was a flat warning that the applied anesthesia gel might not be strong enough. 
It wasn't. Ignoring Sarah's screams, Dr. Apathy resolved with a huff that she couldn't help her if she insisted on crying. She covered Sarah's incision with tape and gauze, and sent her on her way, cyst and all, without pain medication or a referral to another surgeon. Sarah saw another doctor for stitches and pain medication the next day. Turned off by the straight-faced barbarism of the second doctor as well, she received what she describes as humane treatment from a staff of black doctors after she moved back to her Caribbean home 
"The difference was like night and day," she says. 
Read "I'm Black and My Doctor Should Be Too"
The second was on what it's like for men with lupus, a disease that overwhelmingly affects women:
Lupus is especially dastardly because it's an autoimmune disease that causes one's overactive immune system to attack your skin, body, and organs the same way it would normally fight bacteria and viruses. It affects everyone differently, has no cure, and can affect every organ. It's big fun.

Ninety percent of those with the disease are women who typically develop the disease between the ages of 15 and 44. Like disenfranchisement and harassment from racist jerks on the eve of a Trump presidency, lupus affects Black, Latina, Asian, and Native American women significantly more than white women. There is no clear consensus on why, but many experts point to environmental factors over genetic ones.
Read "The Male Faces of Lupus
Also, I wrote a thing about self-care and learning to sit the hell down and relax while out in California recently:
Just now in Denny’s, sitting in the same booth I sat in countless times with homies during my time here as a timid dancer, and fleshed out that memoir outline. It feels real. Doable. And then the title came. And I skeeted in my pants a little. And then I opened the Google Doc with the dusty outline for a book of essays and had a moment of exuberance in that joint right quick. Then I had an eight-second dance party and asked for the check. And the ancestors heel-toed in jubilee.
At home, I hadn’t been able to relax enough to pursue any personal, exploratory writing that wasn’t tied to a check or “work” in any serious way. Here these few days, there’s no endless hustle or slothlike crowds to drive up my pressure. No appointments, packed and musty trains, or rat bastard rheumatologists (who uses mucho omission and a one-sized-fits-all approach to prescribing life-ruining lupus medications) to harass my spirit. I’ve been writing like a motherfucker out here.
And breathing. And eating. 
Read "Self-Care, Clarity, and Sunshine: On Taking My Own Advice"
Also, we're 14 episodes with The Extraordinary Negroes and have a nice squad of contributors forming. Come on over and have a gander. Oh, and subscribe to The Extraordinary Newsletter.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My first piece for Howlround

Actors David J Polk (left) and Glenn Quentin (right) rehearse with director Dr. Herukhuti (center)
I wrote my first piece for Howlround, an online theater community, on a play by Dr. Herukhuti that explores Black sexual fluidity, biphobia, and polyamory among a group of friends in mid 90s Bed-Stuy and Flatbush, Brooklyn. My Brother's A Keeper covers a weekend in the lives of five homies with all kinds of interpersonal drama. Powerful story. Dope stage production.
When I think about funk music, I envision James Brown, Sly and The Family Stone, and Kool and The Gang, grooving, crafting, and breathing life into dance floor anthems, and encouraging us, sometimes all in the same song, to dance, protest, hump, live, and love hard as hell.

When playwright, director, and activist Dr. Herukhuti thinks about funk music, it’s often as the organizing framework for his cultural work and activism. Growing up with parents who were Black Panthers and grandparents who met while working as activists and organizers, funk was always present in his life, woven into his cultural sensibilities. 
Over time, he began exploring and developing the concept of funk music as a radical, transgressive approach to examining and representing Black sexual politics—a new way to dive into and shake up our ideas around attraction, love, sex, and gender roles. He was eager to contribute meaningfully to the struggle for Black liberation.
Inspired by his lifelong love affair with the art form and the increasing use of jazz aesthetics—ensemble, improvisation, the bridge, and the break—in theatre, Herukhuti wondered, “How can I apply the funk to theatre? What would that look like?”
Read the rest: "My Brother's A Keeper: Storytelling With Funk Aesthetics" [Howlround]


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Episode 13 of The Extraordinary Negroes: "Black Girl Bandwidth" (Feat. Evelyn From The Internets & A.V. Perkins of A.V. Does What)


In our latest and greatest, we're joined by YouTube phenom Evelyn From The Internets and D.I.Y. guru A.V. Perkins to celebrate the wonders of #BlackGirlMagic. We discuss A.V.'s latest creation "University of Dope", the first card game dedicated to Hip-Hop culture, Evelyn's recent trip to Thailand, the impact gentrification has left on her Austin stomping grounds, and what it means to be a Magical Black Girl. Additionally, Donald Trump has Alex ready to throw chairs and Jay's prom recollections leave much to be desired.



More A.V.: Web | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

More Evelyn: Youtube | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram



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Saturday, November 26, 2016

I've been writing.



Also, I have an article on mental health in the December/January issue of EBONY, called "Keeping Your Mind Right While Fighting The Good Fight."


It's about maintaining your mental health situation and balancing your wellness and your wokeness (and activism, explaining, teaching, and engaging).


The issue has four covers, featuring Nas, Ava DuVernay, Simone Biles, and John Legend. You can also read the piece hurr: "Keeping Your Mind Right While Fighting The Good Fight."

I contributed a smooth 40 profiles to last year's Power 100 coverage (in the magazine and on the site).


And was able to finally get "Saint Damita Jo" in print, as the ancestors intended.


But this is my first solo byline in print since ze high school days, when I wrote surly commentary during my time as the occasional editor (there was mucho drama at Sweet Valley High) for our school's newspaper, The Bear Facts. Haven't been able to find it here at home in 1998, Virginia, but I reckon I'll grab a few copies when I get back (home?) to Nueva York.

AND. I wrote about a glorious gluttonous experience I had at Harlem Shake. This encounter made up for a horrid encounter with some horrid macaroni and cheese at this same establishment. We finally relaunched The Extraordinary Negroes and have all kinds of marvelous writing and such from a growing roster of contributors happening over there.



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Get you some merch or whatever.

Good day. I hope this finds you moisturized and in good spirits. If you happen to be in the shopping mood, here's a friendly reminder that I have some crazy, sexy, cool merch happening over in the Colored Boy Store and such. It's a party. For example:


     


Women's "Proud Colored Girl" t-shirt.




Women's "Proud Colored Girl" t-shirt.




and mucho más. Have a gander: Ye Haus of Goodness.
You're so pretty.

Also, catch up on the latest episode of my podcast, The Extraordinary Negroes, here.

Let's keep the party going: The Extraordinary Negroes |The Colored Boy Store | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Subscribe to The Colored Boy Report, Alexander Hardy's personal newsletter, and receive updates and exclusive content via email.


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