Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Revisit: On Kelis' 'Wanderland,' for Saint Heron

My newest piece for Saint Heron dropped today! I had to take a moment to reflect on Kelis' underpraised masterpiece, Wanderland:

"This was late 2002 and I had recently become serious about putting my years of covert Tina Landon, Fatima Robinson, and Wade Robson discipleship to work as a nascent choreographer and future creative director/best friend of Saint Damita Jo Jackson, The First.

Eighteen was a beautiful time.

I happened upon “Young, Fresh n’ New” right as my campaign for independence began gaining momentum. I was brimming with a newly legal person’s boundless confidence; enamored with the choreographic brilliance of Gil Duldulao; and overjoyed about pushing myself further, physically and mentally, through movement. This song spoke to all of that exploration. It gave me wings."

read the rest over at Saint Heron.

This is my third for Solange's record label site. Previously, I wrote about Janet's The Velvet Rope and the lost art of the Black movie soundtrack.

See more of my freelance work, here.

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Tomorrow: Colored Boy and Friends (NYC)

After weeks of preparation and bouts of anxiety, Colored Boy and Friends, my conversation series and literary showcase, is finally happening tomorrow. I am finalizing the drink menu and the playlist, and am ready to take the stage to speak, laugh, share new work and cut up with my people.

My three guests are blogger/author Demetria Lucas (currently seen on Bravo's Blood, Sweat & Heels), Founder and CEO of Tastemakers Africa Cherae Robinson and pop culture lover and Jezebel staff writer Clover. I love what these ladies do and will be getting up close and personal with each of them. With four opinionated Blacks on a stage, anything is possible. Also, I'll be sharing an essay reflecting on my 10 year lupus journey, a followup of sorts to this piece from my ninth anniversary. Join us.

We'll be doing a live version of Demetria's popular life and love advice series, Ask Belle. Submit your questions, right hurr.

Yes, there will be adult beverages.

AND: I'm celebrating 10 years of lupus survival. Since tomorrow is Put on Purple for lupus awareness day, I'd love to see some purp in the audience.

Yes, you can purchase tickets at the door.

WHEN: Friday, May 15. 8p - 10p
WHERE: Nola, Darling. 161 W 22nd Street (between 6th and 7th Aves.)

If you can, let us know you're coming via the event's Facebook page: here.

Follow me on Twitter: @chrisalexander_
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Friday, May 8, 2015

"The saga continues. Wu Tang. Wu Tang."

I penned two pieces for The Root's Young, Black and Viral series for Millennials. One piece was on living with family versus living alone or with a roommate as a young person. The other discussed how not to burnout emotionally, physically and mentally amidst the grind.

"But butt-nekkid boozy brunches in Mama’s dining room just don’t sound as sexy, which explains in part why so many millennials shake the spot as soon as legally possible. Living alone as a young, working adult is magnificent. You can come, go, clean, hump and live as you wish. Building your own life in your own space, on your own terms, is an unmatched experience.

But with sweet freedom comes potentially catastrophic financial responsibility. When you’re living alone, the freedom to leave dishes in the sink overnight is all yours, but so, too, are all the bills. And the credit burden, whether the luchini floweth or not."

-from "Mom's House of Flophouse: Where to Live After College[The Root]

"My work-life balance was lopsided as hell. I reasoned, if I wasn’t constantly working, the operation would collapse and there’d be no money for those glorious meals. If you asked me how I was then, I’d say, invariably, “Busy!” Like so many of my peers, I spent years oddly proud about being stretched thin, normalizing and romanticizing overwork and prolonged stress. I was “hustling,” doing what I loved while putting my clients and bills before me.

After about two years, the relentless grind wore me out. Eventually I hated teaching. I lost interest in dancing and growing my business. My health suffered.

Hello, burnout."

-from "Dear 20-Somethings, Stop Chasing Perfection[The Root]

Read more of my freelance writing work, here.

Follow me on Twitter: @chrisalexander_
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Meet me in DC on 5/23 for the DC Black Pride Writers Forum.

Well, it looks like I'm heading to DC Pride this year. I shall be participating in the Writers Forum during 25th Annual DC Black Pride weekend celebration shindig bonanza fiesta on May 23. This will be my first time in Washington DC during any LGBTQ(RSTUVWXYZ) festivities. That weekend, there are also workshops Poet, scholar, rapper and youth activist Tim'm West, who I met back in March when we served on a panel at Prince George's Community College, will serve as moderator. I'll be appearing alongside fellow writers John Edmonds, La Toya Hankins, Max-Arthur Mantle, R.L. Norman, Benjamin Robinson III, and Michael Sainte-Andress. This should be fun. You coming?

When: Saturday, May 23, 12:30 PM - 2:30PM
Where: Grand Hyatt Washington. 1000 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

For more info: right hurr

and: Join me in New York on Friday, May 15 for Colored Boy and Friends.

Follow me on Twitter: @chrisalexander_
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Colored Boy and Friends: Spring Edition (New York)

Now that we have escaped Winter's vicious death grip, the time has come for me to journey out of 1998, Virginia and return to Nueva York to work, eat, play, dance, collaborate, eat and flourish tank-toppingly. And to eat.

The first Colored Boy and Friends event this past March was great. Hungry for fellowship and eager to put faces to the names I've seen around Internetland for so long, I decided to gather homies, writerly colleagues, readers and homies of homies in one place to share some new work, , music, and and magic in a bar in Manhattan. Performance artist Andr├ę D. Singleton and I talked about Brazil, life, and lessons learned after beating a major illness (he survived cancer; I survived lupus). Shernita Anderson, the gorgeous and hilarious dancer/teacher/event host, opened up about her professional work, the woes of street harassment, and the unspeakable horror of (dancing in) kitten heels. I also discussed beard growth, writing while Black, and the importance of personal essays with Mic's new senior editor, writer and educator Darnell Moore (writer/editor/educator).

I had so much fun, I decided to do it again, but without that whole snow-covered city thing happening. For this Spring 2015 edition of Colored Boy and Friends, I have invited three talented women whose work I adore to join me onstage for some good ol' storytelling, introspection, and lively Q&A. And just like last time, I'll also be reading a brand new essay.

Featured Guests

Writer, media personality, and dating coach Demetria Lucas D'Oyley is the voice behind A Belle In Brooklyn and author of A Belle In Brooklyn: The Go-To-Guide For Living Your Best Single Life and the recently released Don't Waste Your Pretty: The Go-To-Guide For Making Smarter Decisions In Life & Love. As a relationship coach, she helps clients of Coached By Belle sort out their love lives. In addition to her work as at an editor at Essence, Harlequin, and BET Books, she has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, People, VIBE, XXL, Black Enterprise and ESPN the Magazine. Demetria has appeared on programs such as the Oprah Radio Show, Good Day New York, The Anderson Cooper Show, and The Today Show.

More Demetria: Twitter | Instagram | The Root

World traveler and entrepreneur Cherae Robinson is working to elevate conversations around Africa by disrupting what the world thinks about travel on the continent. Her latest brainchild, Tastemakers Africa, is a multi-platform brand offering recommendations and exclusives on everything from hotels and spas to restaurants, shopping, and excursions in almost 20 bustling African cities. For over a decade, she has worked on projects that connect tourism, economic development, agriculture, sustainability, and digital engagement for organizations like the CDC, WHO, CARE, and Keep A Child Alive. As a speaker, Cherae enjoys engaging audiences on African economic trends, African-American issues, travel, diversity in international careers and balancing motherhood and global ambition.

More Cherae: Twitter | Instagram | Rare Customs

Clover Hope is a writer, editor and pop culture lover whose work has appeared in publications such as Essence, ESPN The Magazine, Wired, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, KING, and GIANT. She has served as deputy editor at VIBE, a senior editor at XXL, and an online editor at Billboard. Clover is now a staff writer for Jezebel, where she covers everything from "A Different World" and Cookie Monster to Scandal and "The Overwhelming Blackness of Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly."

More Clover: Twitter | Instagram | Jezebel

161 W 22nd St (bet. 6th & 7th Aves.)
New York, NY 10011

Friday May 15, 2015

6:30 - 7:30 PM
Pre-Event Happy Hour Meet Greet with Alexander Hardy (optional)

8 - 10 PM 
Main Event

Tickets & Info:

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