Thursday, October 1, 2015

My First Event at the Schomburg – "Resisting Limitations: AfroLatinos and Radical Identity"


So, I'm doing a thing at the Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture for Hispanic Heritage Month. But unlike the majority of the celebrations, lists of notable Latinos and mainstream media representations of people in and from Latin America, this will be a thoroughly Blackety Black affair.

Shoutout to melanin.

Here's the what/why/who/when/how:

The history of America cannot be appropriately surveyed without considering the presence, influence, hardships, victories and contributions of people of African descent. Our bodies, our lives and our genius reflect and inspire greatness, yet textbooks, media depictions and cultural celebrations routinely minimize and erase our integral role in both society and art.

To commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month, AfroPanamanian writer and educator Alexander Hardy of has invited a diverse cast of AfroLatino storytellers to share stories of struggles, tragedies and progress towards/while affirming, celebrating, exploring, representing and growing to love and accept our wonderful Black and Brown selves in a world (and media environment) that studies and exploits our cultures and essence while ignoring and minimizing our presence and influence.

Resisting Limitation: AfroLatin@s and Radical Identities will showcase transformative, hilarious, tragic and insight-filled tales from powerful voices of the diaspora expressed through prose, poetry, song and art. This event aims to center and share Black and Brown narratives in a climate where such stories aren’t prominent or valued. Join us for a night of celebration, affirmation and exploration of the many iterations of AfroLatin@ identity and pride.


ALEXANDER HARDY. (Host) Virginia-born food lover Alexander Hardy is the dance captain for Saint Damita Jo's Jackson's Royal Army. He is an essayist, freelance copywriter, cultural critic, chicken enthusiast, lupus survivor, mental health advocate, and educator who informs and entertains through his colorful commentary on race, sex, sexuality, food, society and pop culture. He runs The Colored Boy, a blog showcasing his written work and documenting his travels, tragedies, and triumphs, including his work teach English and dance in Panama. Among other outlets, Alexander has written for, Courvoisier,, Eater, Gawker, Saint Heron and Huffington Post, as well as Very Smart Brothas and Abernathy Magazine, where he serves as Senior Writer. He is currently working on an essay compilation. His writing portfolio can be found here. Alexander does not believe in snow.

BIANCA LAUREANO, founder of LatiNegrxs Project, is a first-generation Puerto Rican sexologist who presented both locally and internationally on various topics concerning activism, Latino sexual health, feminisms, youth and hip-hop culture, Latinos and race, Caribbean cultural practices and sexuality, dating and relationships, curriculum development, reproductive justice and teaching. Laureano is a board member at the Black Girl Project and CLAGS, The LGBT Center for CUNY, doula with The Doula Project, founder of award-winning The LatiNegrxs Project, founding member of the award-winning WOCSHN (Women of Color Sexual Health Network), co-director of BLACK PERVERT a feature length documentary film. She hosts the website and identifies as a LatiNegra, media maker, radical woman of Color, activist, sex-positive, pro-choice femme. Read more about Bianca on her website Follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.

KLEAVER CRUZ, an Uptown, NY native, is a writer and Chief Dream Director of the NYC team at The Future Project — an organization that aims to unleash young people through the pursuit of their dreams. Cruz is also one half of the poetic duo, The Delta, which has performed at The Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Bowery Poetry Club as well served as judges for the Wordat4F Poetry Slam. His work has been featured on and African Voices Magazine, among others. Cruz believes in the power of words because they allow him to write what didn’t exist when he needed it the most. He loves being Black and Latino with the understanding that for him they are two parts of a whole.

DR. SORIBEL GENAO, before her current position as a professor at Queens College, earned a master’s degree in urban affairs at Hunter College and a doctorate in public administration at Rutgers University. Throughout her career, her priority has been to identify and promote educational interventions to help low-income children succeed at school. As an assistant professor in the college’s Department of Educational & Community Programs, Genao trains future school administrators. She works with schools in inner-city communities, like the one she grew up in, and also in some of the poorest communities in the Dominican Republic, from which her mother emigrated. She has written and spoken extensively on the value of diversity among school leaders. As a member of Friends Beyond Borders, she has led groups of New York City educators on trips to the Dominican Republic, where they examined the impact of poverty and injustice on teaching. In addition, she has also been part of Rebuilding Haiti One Trip at a Time — a non-profit organization created by former educators to promote the historical and cultural aspect of the country.

JAMILA AISHA BROWN is a proud Afro-Panamanian and international advocate. An experienced digital strategist, foreign policy analyst, writer, and social entrepreneur, she is the Founder and Lead Global Strategist of HUE, a progressive consultancy that creates full-scale digital campaigns for organizations and businesses throughout the African diaspora. Specializing in domestic and international advocacy campaigns, Jamila leads the development and implementation of all online platforms and social media outreach and engagement strategies. She builds a vibrant online presence that engages existing audiences, reaches new target audiences, and builds her clients’ online profile and socio-political impact. For the past eight years, she has worked at the intersection of public policy and digital advocacy. Her efforts have spanned the globe, with a particular interest in people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean. Follow her on Twitter here and here.

WES and MILTON GÜITY, JR. operate a New York City-based multi-media and video production company. Milton directs, shoots and edits short film and music videos. He is currently directing I Am Garifuna, a historical and cultural documentary that chronicles his and his father’s trips to the Garifuna communities of The U.S., Central America and the Caribbean. Wes, Executive Director of I Am Garifuna, is an excited (and exhausted) new dad who documents his adventures with his wife on their blog View the trailer for I Am Garifuna here.

 AMANDA ALCANTARA is a writer, multimedia journalist, and community organizer currently living in the Bronx. While pursuing her MA in Communications and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, she is a manager at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. She co-founded La Galeria Magazine, a magazine for the Dominican Diaspora that addresses issues of identity and culture, and is the author of the blog Radical Latina. Her writing explores intersections of gender and race from a political and personal perspective. As a woman of color who grew up in the Dominican Republic, she embodies many identities, which she affirms and explores in her poetry and community theater work. Amanda is a firm believer in healing through art and fighting for liberation. A map of the world turned upside down hangs on her wall. Read more about Amanda on her website and follow her on Twitter. 

Grab your ticket to Resisting Limitations: AfroLatinos and Radical Identity HERE.

For more information, ideas, opportunities or emotional reactions, holler at a player.

This is a cozy venue, so get your tickets sooner than later.

Follow me on Twitter: @chrisalexander_
LIKE me on Facebook: Colored Boy

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

powered by TinyLetter


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Freelancery -- Cognac 101: Everything You Need To Know About Cognac (Courvoisier)


So my second piece for Courvoisier is live! I was tasked with writing a guide to cognac, from how to order to how to drink and sniff it. Have a gander:

Cognac—the name alone evokes visions of smoking jackets, cigars and ornate crystal bottles inside moody, fancy libraries, but novices need not fret. Cognac is for everyone. But here’s what you should know before you see, sniff, swirl and sip.

Crepes, soufflé and French Fries aren’t the only things that come from France. For a brandy to bear the name of cognac, it must be produced in the Cognac region of France. There, a mix of regional white wine grapes is double distilled and aged in oak barrels for at least two years before further blending and bottling. As such, all cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is cognac.

All cognacs are not created equally. The French take their spirits quite seriously so, as with life, there are levels to cognac. The label on a bottle of cognac is your guide to what’s inside. The designations denote the age of the youngest eaux-de-vie (the French name for distilled spirits) in that cognac’s blend. A Very Special (VS) has been aged in oak barrels for two to four-and-a-half years. You may also see this denoted by three stars (***). One step up in age, price and quality is the Very Superior Old Pale, or VSOP, aged at least four years. Extra Old, or XO, is at least six-years-old and is the most complex and elegant (and expensive) of the bunch. This top tier may also be labeled as a Napoléon, Extra or Hors d’âge. Read the rest at

Here's my first piece, also a Courvoisier-Esquire collaboration, "7 Moments You Deserve To Unplug."
Follow me on Twitter: @chrisalexander_
LIKE me on Facebook: Colored Boy

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

powered by TinyLetter


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

So I wrote about Dixieland Grandma (Paula Deen) for


How goes it? The lovely folks over at Eater asked me to behold and react to Paula Deen's performance on the Season 21 premiere of ABC's Dancing With The Stars. Who better to comment on a routine by a debatably racist cackling grandma than me? Everybody loves a redemption journey, especially when it's televised and sure to be cringeworthy and powerfully tacky. Everybody wins, well, in the case of Dancing With The Stars, everybody but Kim Zolciak, who's as graceful as a blind three-legged buffalo that's in labor:

Last night, America witnessed Act 41 of The Descandalization of Paula Deen, celebrity chef and butter-loving chortler extraordinaire, as she returned to network television during the season 21 premiere of ABC's Dancing With The Stars.

For the uninitiated, the show matches a celebrity (or "celebrity") with a professional dancer to compete for a trophy and bragging rights. Each week, the couples are given a ballroom dance style and must perform a routine to be evaluated by three judges and voting viewers at home. Each week, the couple with the lowest combined score is packed into a rocket and launched into space. After much drama and countless pointed feet, the last remaining couple wins and may experience a brief professional boost, which brings us back to Paula Deen.

The disgraced calorie enthusiast is vying for the mirror ball trophy and public forgiveness alongside the show's usual mixed bag of contestants, rebuilding her audience with every toothy howl. Fellow cast members include singer and reality star Tamar Braxton, actor Gary Busey, the Chaka Khan, Bindi Irwin (offspring of the late Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter), some lanky kid from Vine and 41 thousand pounds of sequins and tassels.

Deen is two years removed from the career-imploding racism-flavored shitshow that brought the Food Network gravy train to a halt and sent sponsors fleeing. After that damning deposition dropped and the good times ended, Deen went to work convincing the world that she's seen the racial prejudice-erasing light and is still worthy of your love and money. Soon after: a documentary telling her side of the story, new restaurants, tears of embarrassment, and more cooking shows via her own network.

Read the rest at

Follow me on Twitter: @chrisalexander_
LIKE me on Facebook: Colored Boy

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

powered by TinyLetter


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Go-Go-Gadget: Abundance.

Over the weekend, I was invited to host a special edition of Colored Boy and Friends as part of the Bondfire Radio Audio Festival. The lovely Tasty Keish granted me one hour to put my thing down, flip it and reverse it. So, I invited my homeslice Willie Jackson, the mastermind behind Abernathy Magazine, and the lovely, travelin' ass Bayyina Black, aka The Planet Blaster, the new TOMS Global Giver and we had a good ol' Black ass time. I also read the following essay, which oozed out of me after a warm-and-fuzzy-conjuring three-hour call with an awesome Somebody.

Before reading this on Sunday, I prefaced it with, "There's some gay shit ahead, so, you know, Hoteps beware." There was a delayed laughter. It was great.

go-go-gadget: abundance.
When I got back from Panama, I considered re-dating my first love. Not the ultra-wretched fling with the clueless and shameless manchild I did whatever that was with, but the man I met at 17 and aggressively dated for two years. The one who proposed during my freshmen year at Virginia Commonwealth University, only to be shot down via a barrage of hearty laughs and nigga pleases. The one who, a few years later, raised hell in my hospital room a decade ago as i lay possibly dying but certainly bloated and comatose because lupus.

I know him better than I know most people, and so it felt easy, familiar and safe. And since I had recently fled Panama to avoid hanging myself, easy, familiar and safe felt like the obvious move at the time.

We reconnected at a time when I was at my most emotionally flat. I wanted to feel normal, to feel alive, and diving into this easy familiar and safe thing felt like the right thing to do.

He was welcoming, understanding, and eager to be an Us. And while that is fantastic and sounded like peaches and sunshine, I wasn't quite ready to really take off the mask, peel back the scumbagginess and be Me as fuck, in front of someone I expect to respect and love me the next morning. Even though he understood and was down for the cause, I wasn't ready.

And so, I ran.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Hey there, Overwhelmed Person

Hey there, Overwhelmed Person.

It's hard out here for a pimp. Life kicks your ass sometimes. Work gets cray. Kids and spouses and bosses be trippin. Obligations make it hard to be great. Before you can be of any use to the world, you gotta take care of yourself. Forreal forreal. Lay your ass down and nap it out on occasion. Or "rest your eyes" or whatever. Recharge, dammit. Chill the hell out every now and then, say "No" more often and take a damn personal day (or seven) if you need to. It's fine to clock out and pull it together, for the sake of your sanity. Drink water. Don't put sugar in your damn grits, like a proper human. Get help if you need it. Asking for help won't kill you, but not asking just might. Cry if you must. Eat fried chicken often. Remember: Aunt Viv 1 > Aunt Viv 2. Season your food. And don't believe that "they sleep, we grind" millennial Fuckshit. Go the fuck to sleep, my dude/dudette. Haggard ain't cute.

With love and a hookup on baby Jordans,


My previous writing on mental health and keeping it the hell together:
Hey, Therapy [Abernathy Magazine]
One Depression: To anyone else living in a fog [Gawker]

NYC Fam, come check me out at the 2015 Bondfire Radio Audio Festival on Sunday August 16 in Bushwick, Brooklyn for a summer edition of Colored Boy and Friends, which begins PROMPTLY at 7PM. Come say howdy!

Be nosy: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

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

powered by TinyLetter

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...