Monthly Archives: February 2004

The Most Frustrating Month

(First published February 05, 2002 at Africana.com)

“I can’t take it any more! I can’t stand February! If I see another institution or corporation celebrating Black History Month, I’m going to throw up!”

So began the rant I heard a few nights ago, after a ringing phone stopped me dead in the middle of reading a really good book. It was my friend and business partner Heru, an activist and writer who doesn’t bite his tongue and speaks his mind very colorfully. So colorfully, in fact, that I had to change a few words in this essay in order for it to be publishable.

“It’s sick, I tell you,” said Heru, flipping through channels on his TV and finding new ammunition for his rant. “What in the hell does McDonald’s have to do with black history? Tell me.”

“Well, they do have a lot of black customers,” I said, wishing he hadn’t called because now I was getting pissed off too. “We like Big Macs.”

While I no longer share his rage, I do feel his annoyance. Black History Month frustrates me. I find myself praying those 28 or 29 days will rush by with a quickness, because there is both far too much and, ironically, far too little going on during this month that actually pertains to black history.

It’s not that I don’t understand the power and importance of learning one’s history. And I wish this could be done in a respectful, decent way. But hey, we live in a capitalist society where nearly everything, including our bodies and minds, are for sale. So why wouldn’t McDonald’s manufacture and market a black history booklet? It makes perfect sense.
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Black Funk – Nothing Else Compares

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Black people are a sexually repressed people, a result of having our bodies abused and used to produce the economic foundation of this land we call America for centuries. Black people are sexually free, because we are uninhibited and love to show our bodies and believe we are beautiful people, inside and out. Black people are not really people. We are a figment of so-called “white” people’s imagination. Race is a construct and by and large, we people, mixed with African blood and everything else, have yet to name ourselves in a manner that respects our legacy and our experience. Black men have very large dicks, the size of plantains and squash. Black women are like Venus Hottentots, vaginas as large as an elephants. Black people are almost completely fucked up. We are a race of people caught up in moaning and groaning and making babies. Black people are in need of healing their sexual selves.

Your belief about black people and sexuality here ______________.

With all the hype surrounding black people and how and what they do sexually, it’s important–no, vital—for black people to examine their beliefs around their sexual health. In support of this exploration, I want to invite you down a few sentences to discover the first (and as far as I know, the only) center of its kind that specifically addresses the sexual development and healing of people of color, Black Funk, brought to you by a man I know (and love) a brother named Herukhuti (say it with me now, HER-oooo-koo-T).

Remember him? He’s the sexologist I interviewed waaaaay back in September. Go check it out. He’s got a Master of Education from Lesley University and a Master of Arts in Human and Organization Systems from Fielding Graduate Institute. And he’s extremely hilarious.

Black Funk is a sexual cultural center where people of color can come to share, learn, and play. A place of intersection where people of color of any sexual orientation or gender can come and be at home. One mission, many sexualities. The Center’s mission is to provide a space for the exhibition and exploration of sexual fun and pleasure, a gathering place for sexually liberated people of color to express themselves and enjoy erotic events, demonstrations, and sexuality-related classes.

The Center commenced in 2002 with a rousing sex party called The Workshop. I used to work the door, checking people, taking cash, being security and all. It was a fabulous time for all involved. In addition to sex parties, the Center hosted a number of activities including massage classes, sensual yoga, and EFC, better known as Erotic Fight Club.

Erotic Fight Club is a raucous, erotic, high energy, fun meeting of body and mind. But mostly body. The stage is set: candlelight illuminates the oiled up wrestlers in g-strings, thong, bikini briefs, jock-straps, or nothing at all. Bodies of all shapes and sizes. More than a competition, the event is driven by fun and enjoying each other’s body. A spectator sport? Surely.before or after you take your turn on the mat.

Sensual yoga classes are conducted in the nude, sensual, intimate, soothing. Great workout. Again bodies are illuminated by candles, complemented by soothing music, in a relaxed private environment.

As for the massage classes, I co-managed this event with a select group of men. We met for a few months in 2002 into early 2003. A group of us met and had tea and then learned massage techniques with the help of a licensed practitioner. This was a welcome treat after a long hard day. Brothers became aware of their bodies as well as their own when being treated to, or when giving a massage. The class was composed of novices and professionals. The atmosphere, like most Black Funk events, was sensual, intimate, fun, and good natured.

Although many of Black Funk’s events were geared toward men who have sex with men, Black Funk events for women, transgender folks, str8 folks, and BDSM folks are now being planned.

Now, the good news..
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Do Your Own Thinking

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Do your own thinking and I’ll do mine.

There are instances when we can combine our thoughts about an issue, a situation, an idea, but only if we agree on what our responsibilities are — first and foremost to ourselves. It’s vital we move with our own authority. We have to give ourselves permission to think, without depending on others to do it for us. We have to inhabit our own minds without apology, without regret. We must trust ourselves.

Everything you do affects me, and vice versa. It may seem as if individual thought and action have little or no consequence for the village, but it’s only because most of us have been taught to look at life with one eye. The other eye, the one welded shut — no penetrating light, crusted over with tears — keeps watch differently. It is the measure of our willful innocence, our inability to be honest, our lack of esteem.

Were you to open your eye suddenly, the light would blind you momentarily, like a flash of lightning. Still, it is better to open it and look, letting light broaden your perspective about what is it you are, what you came here to do, and to be accountable for your life.
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Think Again Reading in New York City In February

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Hey Folks,

On Tuesday, February 10th, George Ayala (AIDS Project Los Angeles), Colin Robinson (New York State Black Gay Network) and lil’ o me will be leading a discussion about Think Again down at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011. The Center is located between 7th and 8th Avenues. We were invited to speak as a part of the Center’s “Second Tuesdays” series. Below is what their ad says:

“Come hear Steven G. Fullwood and Colin Robinson, editors of Think Again, a book meant to enliven the discussion about how gay and bisexual men of color have sex, form communities and live. $6 members, $10 nonmembers. 7PM

Hope you can come. It should be a blast.

Think Again Reading in New York City In February

THINK AGAIN pic.jpg

Hey Folks,

On Tuesday, February 10th, George Ayala (AIDS Project Los Angeles), Colin Robinson (New York State Black Gay Network) and lil’ o me will be leading a discussion about Think Again down at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011. The Center is located between 7th and 8th Avenues. We were invited to speak as a part of the Center’s “Second Tuesdays” series. Below is what their ad says:

“Come hear Steven G. Fullwood and Colin Robinson, editors of Think Again, a book meant to enliven the discussion about how gay and bisexual men of color have sex, form communities and live. $6 members, $10 nonmembers. 7PM

Hope you can come. It should be a blast.