I don't know how the hell you got here, but thank you for being here. My name is Alexander Hardy, The First (so far), but 99.99998% of the people in this world call me Alex (the rest are people in doctor's offices, cops, check signers, etc.). But don't be one of those people who somehow still thinks that saying, "...like Alex Mack?" is clever or original or something I will respond to with laughter. This has been funny exactly zero times since 1994, so the chances of you changing that phrase's 0% success rate are pretty slim, my friend. Don't be that person. Spare us both. Please.
|With some awesome storytellers after "Resisting Limitations: AfroLatinos and Radical Identity."|
I would describe myself as an essayist, copywriter, mental health advocate, cultural critic, foodie, lupus survivor, and educator. I've written for outlets like Very Smart Brothas, Gawker, CNN, Huffington Post, The Root, Saint Heron, Escquire.com, and Courvoisier.com. (view my writing here) I tweet, talk, write, teach, and host events about mental health whenever possible. I'm down for Twitter chats (like this one), roundtables (like this one), or to host my mental health-based writing workshop (like this one), panel participation and moderation, and all that jazz. Here are my various workshop offerings. And here is a summary of my mental health writing and work.
Anyhow, I'm from Hampton, Virginia (No, I didn't go to the school, no shade), the city that brought you Allen Iverson, Tommy's Restaurant, and some football players I've never heard of. My mama's from Panama. My dad's from Brooklyn. I have two wonderful nieces and, at last count, 17 pairs of socks. I'm here in New York for the second time, but I've overeaten and lived in New Orleans ("I need a break."), Los Angeles (striving to be Janet's right hand), and Panama (one-way ticket, Spanish fluency, teaching, gaining weight, family, dancing) and can recommend ultra yummy things to eat in any of those cities.
In the spring of 2015, my writerly partner-in-crime Jay Connor and I launched a podcast called "The Extraordinary Negroes." We cover everything from mental health, sex, and current events, to writing, chicken, issues pertaining to Blackness and whatever the hell else we want. It's a party. Check it out here.
Other assorted facts:
- Once upon a time, I figured that I'd be Janet Jackson's choreographer/creative director/best friend by 30, but shit happens, and long story short, writing is now the love of my life.
- I adore Janet Jackson, detest coleslaw, appreciate dust-free baseboards, and crave oxtail incessantly. Food is life. So much so that I have an Instagram page dedicated to food. It goes down.
- I was diagnosed with lupus when I was 20. I wrote about it here.
- I've been to Toronto twice, both times were to see Janet Jackson.
- I lived in Panama City, Panama for almost three years become fluent in Spanish, teach English and dance, explore my family's heritage, and get the hell out of the United States of America. Start here. And read the rest of my Adventures in Panamaland here.
- I cannot snap with my left hand. I can make a pretty convincing sound that's similar, but it's not quite a snap.
- I host a conversation series and literary showcase called Colored Boy and Friends, where I share new writing, incite merriment, and talk to awesome creatives, changemakers, entrepreneurs, and such. I've done four in New York so far and plan to take the show on the road in the near future. Have a gander: Winter | Spring | Summer | Mental Health Awareness Edition.
|With some awesome young ladies a creative writing workshop at South Shore High School in Chicago, sponsored by Polished Pebbles.|
- Back in 2013, I wrote an essay called "Eat The Cake, Anime: On White Cluelessness (and Beyoncé)" that wound up in curricula at three universities. It also helped jumpstart my professional writing career.
- I am available to teach, talk, facilitate, curate, and/or write in your academy, university, office, retreat, writing group, board room, library, etc., on anything from sexuality, mental health, food, or writing to AfroLatino/Panamanian matters, sex, current events, Janet Jackson, and so forth. The sky is the limit.
- Cheese grits saves lives.
- I do not believe in snow or Delaware.
My podcast: The Extraordinary Negroes