Thursday is Words Day IV

Years ago I went to a group dinner with bell hooks and found her to be completely unassuming and engaging. Surprisingly I didn’t think I had the smarts to read her work.

I was wrong. Love this book because we need to be deliberate about loving ourselves deeply, which requires unpacking internalized self hatred(s). And also because who doesn’t want to read about love??

A different kind of love story

Geoffrey Holder

Probably best known as an actor and dancer, Mr. Holder was also a phenomenal painter – one of my absolute favorites! I was fortunate to see an exhibition of his work at the DuSable Museum in 2013 just before he passed away.

Family in Blue, 1994

Last Mac, 2008. (Note: in person it’s large and stunning)


Eden II, 2000

Portrait of Carmen, 1980s (Note: Carmen Lavallade was his wife and muse.)

Used to go to the public library to look at this oversized book ’til I got one for Xmas (thanks hubby)!

Learn more about the artist here.

No copyright infringement intented.

Thursday Is Words Day, III

Books that make my heart beat faster!

Good primer, a lil on the academic side. But I love the possibilites!

This BOOK made me happy! Skewers art world snobbery

Lives of LGBTQ Africans! Lambda Award winner!

Gifted to me by one of the contributors, Shawn Dove. A great reminder that we have power!!

Ceddy’s Soulful Sunday II

Originally aired 10/9/2016

Notes from my favorite-ever Super Soul Sunday – Oprah chatting with Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith:

• every morning: “i’m going to walk in the direction of my purpose and possibiity”

• take baby steps walking in that direction

• have intention, release resistance: that which is for you will come to you

• inertia becomes momentum and possibilities reveal themselves

And so, so much more! Listen to the podcast here!

Mirlande Jean-Gilles

On Our Way to Ballet Class

Woman with Her Own Garden

Toes Touching a Cloud

It was this book cover that spurred my interest in the artist

Buckets O’ Space Stuff

Learn more about the artist here.

No copyright infringement intended.

Thursday Is Words Day, II

More books! Can’t live without ’em!

Two powerhouse poets. Been thinking a lot about Audre Lorde lately. Was she a messenger before her time?

Needed a fun read for a plane trip. Then it turned creepy (but enthralling)!

The best explanation of Buddhist practice that I’ve read. Plus he’s just mad cool and one of these folks, like Quincy Jones, whose imprint is everywhere.

Thursday Is Words Day

Yikes! I’m behind on reporting on my reading, so here’s a catch up! More to come!

Maybe my Q1 favorite! Love her detail, determination, & connection to Oaktown!

One of my self-education textbooks. Brilliance in color.

By my frat brother Ivory Toldson. YES to reclaiming our narratives & research!

Mark Harris

These paintings are from an earlier era of Mark Harris’ work, inspired by a trip to the Lassen Volcanic National Park in northeastern California. The serenity of these acrylic paintings are in direct contrast to his later series of powerful collages exposing racism and imperialism. Mark is a San Francisco-based artist.

Indian Summer (2007)

Untitled [Blue Forest] (2007)

From the Lassen series

From the Lassen series

My very own high quality digital print on canvas

Learn more about the artist (“artivist”) here.

See/purchase the Lassen photo book here.

No copyright infringement intended.

Writing from NC

Happy to be here at the terrific NC Writers’ Network (NCWN) 2019 Spring Conference in Greensboro. Happy have had the opportunity to meet Sandra Headen, the winner of the inaugural Jacobs/Jones Literary Prize! Happy to share that her folksy winning entry, Papa’s Gifts, was recently published in the Carolina Quarterly.

I’m SO looking forward to the next round of the prize! Thanks NCWN for bringing my idea to life!

With Sandra Headen & Ed Southern (ED of NCWN)

Jerome Wright

From the “Music and Saints” series.

Black Madonna (2016)

The Agony of Christ

The Altar Call

Mae and Pae De Santos (2010)

Dancer in White (This may be my favorite)

Learn more about the artist here.

No copyright infringement intended.


Chile, Amazing Grace Wore. Me. OWT. I haven’t been to church since Christmas, but I sure did get a blessing today. So many of the renditions took me back to childhood at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. As we say in my family, “what you learn early, you learn deep.”

I’m glad the audience warmed up, because there’s no way to just sit still and silent through this performance. Gospel is participatory music, whether live or via revived footage given new life by digitization. And Aretha takes us there. All hail the Queen. Amen.

Prepare to be transcended

Ajuan Mance

Met Professor Nance at a zine show a few years ago when she was creating her 1001 Black Men series. Was sad when she didnt ask me to model! Lol

From 1001 Black Men series

From 1001 Black Men series

From 1001 Black Men series

From 1001 Black Men series

Learn more about the artist here.

No copyright infringement intended.

Ifé Franklin

Ifé and I met in Salvador, Brazil almost 20 years ago. Even before I learned she is a talented multidisciplinary artist, I was absolutely charmed by her soulful exuberance – the sista is fiyah!!

Most of these are from an older series of multimedia drawings.

Layered collage /drawing for the Orisa Sangó/Shangó

Only the Enlightened Can Read This Map

Only the Enlightened Can Read This Map

Only the Enlightened Can Read This Map

Only the Enlightened Can Read This Map

Love it but am displaying it upside down!

Learn more about the artist here.

No copyright infringement intended.

A Way Forward

Re-reading works by sista writers during Women’s Herstory Month. Miz J. California Cooper’s folksy stories always help me get grounded while inspiring me at the same time. Kinda like listening to Aretha sing Trouble in Mind.

Illustrating the everyday triumphs of Regular Folk

And in an odd pairing, I chose Ms. Cooper because Dan Lyon’s book (loved it!) left me wondering about the middle ground between the slowness of traditional philanthropy/nonprofits and the scorched earth cyclone of the tech sector. Surely there’s a groundbreaking but more humane, reasonably-paced way forward.

Laugh while groaning – you’ll do both

Jordan Casteel

2015 artist-in-residence at The Studio Museum. I especially like her Visible Man series. And I know her mom. lol

Her Turn (2018)

Harold (2017)

Timothy (2017)

Learn more about the artist here.

(No copyright infringement intended)

Carlos Fornasini

Saw this work on exhibit at the Brazilian Cultural Center in Maputo, Mozambique. Unfortunately I can’t find much online about the artist. 🙁

Fartura (“Bounty”)

Detail, Fartura

Anfôras (“Containers”)


(No copyright infringement intended)

Sweet Tea

To celebrate the birthday of one of my best friends, I salute his groundbreaking book, Sweet Tea: An Oral History of Black Gay Men of the South. #bristers #superproud

Blackest berries, sweetest juice


Roxane Gay was right: “Oh my god. Heavy is astonishing…” Loved it! Terrific and sober storytelling about numerous intense themes all wrapped up together – size, weight, poverty, privilege, love, self-love, hunger, family, and surprisingly, literacy. Unorthodox writing. Loved it!

By Kiese Laymon

Evita Tezeno

Sun Flower Girl

Missing Romare

My Thoughts Are Somewhere Else (2018)

More about the artist here.

(No copyright infringement intended)

Smile’s Still There

Good to see one of my photos again in the SF MoAD mural. #superproud

She’s almost 26 now…

Seyed Alavi

Impromptu: Yazd (2018)

Impromptu: Isfahan (2018)

Impromptu: Gilan (2018)

Apologies for the funky photo angles.

More about the artist here.

No copyright infringement intended.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Daydreaming of Devils

Witching Hour (photo by yours truly)

A Few for the Many

Learn more about the artist here.

No copyright infringement intended.

Jacobs/Jones Lit Prize

Yay! I am SUPER proud of this Prize. I had the idea in 2017 (see backstory here). The folks at NC Writers Network have been phenomenal hosts and organizers! Thanks to Ed and Michele of NCWN, founding donors Carol, Patrick, and Reggie, and all who made this possible (including Randall Kenan, one of my favorite writers ever!!)! See full story at


Kamala Harris for the People

I met Kamala Harris 20 years ago when she was a “rising star” assistant DA in Alameda County serving on a selection committee that I coordinated. She was fierce & funny, whip-smart & insightful. Even though we haven’t spoken directly since a chance run-in at Whole Foods years ago, I’ve been her fan (& constituent) ever since. That’s what makes her memoir such an enjoyable read, recognizing some of the people, places, & events that she names. The book is really half memoir & half policy platform, but it’s all her – a wonderful combo of passionate advocate for justice, no-nonsense tough-as-nails litigator, & just maybe the funnest person in the room. #Kamala2020


Her Own Words

Casey Gerald

Intrigued by his TED Talks, I was eager to read his memoir. At times it was compelling, annoying, confusing, and inspiring. Refreshing to hear a different kind of black queer story; it’ll be interesting to watch where he goes from here. After all, he’s only 32; what does anyone know fo sho at 32? lol

Out now (double entendre intended)