Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 7:00 PM
Join Drs. LaMonda Horton Stallings, author of Mutha is Half a Word, and Herukhuti, author of Conjuring Black Funk, for a lively gathering with two outspoken academics about the politics of sexuality among people of African descent in the US. They will read excerpts from their groundbreaking works and contribute to a discussion facilitated by erotica author, Kimberly Q, and with a special performance by Nhojj. The event is hosted by Steven G. Fullwood, project director of the Black Gay & Lesbian Archive. A Q&A and signing will follow the program. Books, CDs and DVDs will be available for purchase.
Monday, August 18, 2008, 7:00 PM
Join lesbian writers Cheryl Clarke, Pamela Sneed and Linda Villarosa, for an exciting evening of readings from their latest works, and a preview of upcoming projects. Clarke is co-editor of To Be Left With the Body and the author of The Days of Good Looks. Sneed, whose previous work includes Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom than Slavery, will read from her upcoming work, KONG. Villarosa will read from her first book of fiction, Passing for Black. A book signing will follow the presentation with light refreshments.
HERU: Why this book and why now, both for you and for the world?
STEVEN: TO BE LEFT WITH THE BODY is the third in a series of books created by and for Black gay men produced by AIDS Project Los Angeles as a creative way to address HIV risk.
That said, the book is both nostalgic and magical for me, a grateful return to the first editing job I ever had. My experience with Colin Robinson, formerly the Executive Director of New York State Black Gay Network, and George Ayala, then the outreach educator/coordinator from APLA, taught me how to collaborate with editors and writers, solicit work from artists and to dedicate myself to the process. Working with Colin, George and the writers in Think Again was a critical step toward opening my own press a year later. I thank George and specifically Pato Hebert, who helmed the project for APLA, for allowing me this space to create and refine my thinking about the endless possibilities in doing HIV outreach to Black gay men. Both men were open to new things and continuously strive to do their work in creative, profound ways. It was a joy to work with Pato on this project because his vision and talents are expansive. Not only did he design the book, he also gave Cheryl and I space to imagine this project without limiting us. All we had to do is hit our deadlines. Check out his work on the countless APLA publications online at apla.org.
CHERYL: Thank you, Heru, for doing this interview. Actually, I got introduced to the publications of AIDS Project Los Angeles with Vol.4, Issue 1 of CORPUS, edited by Alex Juhasz in 2006, in which I published an article on Black Gay Writing. That particular issue explored women’s relationships with HIV+ men.
To continue reading go to Blackfunk.org.
So, my interview, “Conversation with Margo Jefferson” in 2006 has been translated into German (tee-hee) to coincide with the German edition of Jefferson’s stellar On Michael Jackson. If you haven’t read the book, you really should. Ms Jefferson single-handedly resurrected my faith in using theory that is accessible with humor, insight, and respect. Michael should personally thank her for this critical, yet generous treatment of both his life, his family’s life and his successful career.
For you German head’s, here’s a link to that site.
For those who missed it the first time I dropped it,
or want to revisit, scroll down.
First of all, anyone who calls the Jackson family scary is a friend of mine. Watching them over the course of my conscious life has been fascinating. In the beginning, I worshiped the Jacksons. I even tried to coax my siblings into show business. Let’s just say that the Fullwood Five was doomed before it even got started. Then in the 1980s, things changed. Information about Joe Jackson and his reign of terror cast a different light on the Jacksons. Faces and noses and skin color changed. The metamorphisis of Michael, LaToya’s tell-all-book, Randy’s domestic abuse, Jermaine’s public assault on Michael. The pedophilia accusations. Michael’s children. Most recently, Janet, who when faced with the prospect of being obsolete on the pop music radar, acts out–or rather, pops out–of her shirt on national television and is still reeling from the backlash. I want to know when the Jackson family entered your consciousness. What was the first J5 record you heard? Take us back to what you thought, how you felt.
I remember “I Want You Back” on the radio as it zipped up the charts fall of in the fall of 1969. Of course I thought it was adorable, but I felt somewhat conflicted because it wasn’t “deep.” Remember the Time, as Michael sings: we were anti-Establishmentarianism in all its forms, which included pop & soul that felt too lightweight in the context of the war and Black Power. Motown had lost ground to Stax-Volt and the Philly Sound and, for some of us, Jimi Hendrix and Dylan. I was on the road that fall with a counter-culture theater troupe that had made a piece in which we recreated an urban riot.
Pamela Sneed is a New York-based poet, performer, writer and actress. She has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Source, Time Out, Bomb, Next, MetroSource, Blue, VIBE, HX, Karl Lagerfeld’s “Off The Record,” and on the cover of New York Magazine.
Sneed is the author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery, published by Henry Holt in April 1998. In 2001, 2002, and in 2005 she headlined the New Work Now festival at Joe’s Pub/Public Theater and performed before sold out houses. Sneed is also a recipient of the 2006 Baxten Award For Performance.
Pamela Sneed is the author of the forthcoming manuscripts, “KONG,” “America Ain’t Ready,” and a novel, “Motherland or Chitlin Chimichanga.”
She recently contributed to the anthology,
To Be Left With Body. See the website here.
Take a look at Ms Gorgeous here.
Talk about MC Books. How did you get started, what inspired you, etc?
The small publishing company I’d been working for in New York was sold to McMillan and I was between jobs. I knew that I wanted to work on some sort of creative project while looking for my next gig, but wasn’t sure what that would be. One day I was online trading drawings with Belasco. He was really impressed with my art and encouraged me to publish. That’s when I began working on the first issue of Living The Life.
In 1998 (correct me if I am wrong) you started in the Living the Life series. At the time there were only a few black queer graphic [illustrators] at the time, Belasco (The Brothers of New Essex), Rupert Kinnard (B&B and the Diva), Mark Durham, and, I believe, Victor Hodge. What was it like to do this work at that historical moment?
Don’t forget The Erotic Adventures of Raheem by David Barnes! It was cool point in time. Before I met Belasco, I had made up a rivalry between us in my mind. I hadn’t started Living the Life yet, but I had a lot of illustration work out in the community. I thought he may have been upset that I’d done work with LA’s At The Beach (annual pride event) celebration because that was his town. He couldn’t have cared less! He didn’t want to have to draw people with clothes on! After we met, we became fast friends. Later after my comic was out I met David and Victor (Black Gay Boy Fantasy). We all admired each other’s work and did some collaborations. I did a Boo pin-up for one of Belasco’s comics. We were like a fraternity of sorts. A small, exclusive and prestigious group…drawing cute little pictures! I just wish we’d worked together more, but we were all doing it when we could, on shoe-string budgets and mostly at Kinko’s. Continue reading