When in the City by the Bay, check out the slick and soulful Museum of the African Diaspora, and donate to the cause.
Fly Brother welcomes your views. If this post hit the spot, please comment and/or click.
San Francisco’s black population has declined from 13% in 1970 to 7% today. Micah sees himself as less than one-in-ten; Joanne sees herself as just one. Medicine for Melancholy explores love, race, and, to my mind, America’s most beautiful city.
On Saturday, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with a couple of old friends and more than a few new ones at the first ever Fly Brother Meet-Up, held at the aptly named Fly Bar and Restaurant in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. We talked travel and music and politics, the girls beat the dudes at shuffleboard (twice), and there was even a possible hook-up among two of the guests. We had law students and market researchers and public relations folk and jewelry makers and opera guild event coordinators and half-priced pizzas and nachos with roasted chicken on top. Our tab was picked up by the generous Brazilian husband of the indomitable Ali la Loca (muito obrigado, moço!) and I ran into a surprise celebrity guest!
Thanks to Ali, Ricardo, Mike, Ana, Diana, Sharif, Rasheed, Cassidy, Tommie, Keith, and Dave for a fly weekend in San Francisco! Fly Brother welcomes your views. If this post hit the spot, please comment and/or click.
Living outside of New York, it’s easy to miss entertaining, insightful, and even inspirational stage plays. Thanks to Spike Lee, the entertaining, insightful, and inspirational Passing Strange was filmed on its very last Broadway performance in 2008, capturing an amazing theatrical experience in an appropriate medium for temporal and spacial export beyond the Great White Way. The semi-autobiographical, gospel/pop/rock-infused story of a black, middle-class, angst-ridden teenager who jets off to Europe in search of “The (ever elusive) Real” in the early 80s was brought to my attention by a college buddy of mine, himself casting off the binds of a nine-to-five to pursue artistic endeavors; he said he immediately thought of me and suggested I order the DVD. He explained his understanding of the show in a series of text messages:
[Passing Strange encompasses]…searching for the real more as a metaphor rather…ur purpose…the reason y u live and breathe…and the reason y ure here. Yes…this can apply to racial identity and culture but i thought it as something deeper than that. Defining your soul…devoid of culture or race. Him trveling and visiting different cultures trying to find where he fits is on the surface…but underneath it all laid something universal…regardless of upbringing…background…or race…the search for truth and the journey for inner peace. This can be applied to anyone…the person hopping from job to job trying to figure out what he or she needs to do in life to be happy…the person hopping from religion to religion to find the truth…or the truth that satisfies him or gives him peace…the chick hopping from man to man trying to fill the void that’ll finally make her feel complete…etc.To me the play hit on so many levels…so many artistic levels and the struggle that artists grapple with on a daily basis…established artists and up and comers trying to find their spot…their niche. Brilliant.
Need I say more? Watch this clip from The View, in which the supporting cast welcomes the protagonist to Amsterdam and “The Real,” then order the DVD and fly.
Shoot me your comments, questions, suggestions, requests, or just a shout-out: flybrother [et] rocketmail [daht] kom.
*Not the original musical selection, this song is a fusion of styles associated with samba and the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, representing both Rio and Salvador Carnivals. I just ain’t feel like re-recording fifteen minutes of talking.
Austin, Texas might get all the hollers from mainstream media, but I think it’s that other college town and Southern state capital a few hundred miles down I-10 East that speaks surprisingly to all-inclusive diversity and the rack of artistic expressions, cultural encounters, and eating options that entails. No, this ain’t your granny’s Tallahassee.
Nestled amongst the red clay hills, moss, and magnolias of North Florida, Tally indeed reminds folks that it was “the only Confedrit capital east of the Mis’sippi not captured by Yankee fawces during the waw of Nawthun aggression.” And while the atmosphere is still not exactly “We Are the World,” the city’s third black mayor currently holds sway over politically blue territory in a decidedly red region of the country, while students, alumni, and faculty of (my alma mater) Florida A&M University continue making socioeconomic headway at a percentage unmatched anywhere else in the state. Adding to the mix is a burgeoning Latino and Asian student population, especially at Florida State University, and many young people unaffiliated with government or university who’ve visited, liked, and stayed, and who’ve carved a niche of professionals and bohemians that have, in turn, spawned an explosion of alternative activities to traditional Homecoming games and massive barbecues (not poo-pooing either, mind you).
If you’re in town on the first Friday of the month, head to the aptly-named First Fridays at Railroad Square, a gathering of eclectic visual and musical artists showcasing their wares among off-price wine and grilled snacks. I bought a t-shirt with an outline of Florida and the tagline, “No Other State Has Sunshine.”
Saturday afternoon, stroll through the mangrove forest at the Tallahassee Museum and watch the black bears and Florida panthers frolic with man-sized yarn balls, or soak up the silence in Princess Murat’s modest plantation house. Saturday night, get yo salsa on at Atlantis Bar and Grill or have a drinky-poo in the lobby of the Aloft Hotel (a much more welcoming atmosphere than at the Hotel Duval down the street).