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

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.

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)

Romare Bearden

One of my favorite artists! #BlackHistoryMonth

Pittsburgh Memory


From the “Black Odyssey” series

Learn more at

No copyright infringement intended.

Pot likker lesson

For my colleague who’d never heard of such eatins

Celebrating Black NC Writers!

Super excited that today was the deadline for the first Jacobs/Jones African American Literary Prize that I help to start through the NC Writers Network! Can’t wait to hear about the winner!

Read the founding story here (via WS Chronicle).

BIG THANKS to Michele Berger and Ed Southern of NCWN as well as founding donors Carol Brown Alan, MD; E. Patrick Johnson, PhD; and Reggie Shuford, JD.!

Lonnie Holley

Enjoyed Lonnie Holley exhibition at SECCA today. Was like a found object + civil rights lesson mashup.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! I’ve decided to forgo more popular (but compromised) platforms and start anew. Kinda like when Oprah stopped broadcasting junk tv and found her best self. Hope you like it here. 😊