I write personal essays, reviews, news stories, grocery lists missing items that I really needed, and tardy slips for late students.
For nearly 30 years, the Leimert Park bookstore has showcased books by Black authors — the rare, the beloved, and the new.
In this audio piece, co-owner James Fugate reflects on his evolution as a bookseller and how Eso Won came to be the city’s unofficial literary headquarters for Black writing.
I’ve grown weary of reading non-POC journalists cover everyday POC experiences like they’ve been given a passport to an alien planet. I’m talking about those anthropological stories that make like Christopher Columbus and “discover” food, music, films, books, etc. that were otherwise already being enjoyed by a majority of the population. These articles are often reductive and offensive to a readership (people of color, women, youth) that tends to be neglected by the mainstream media.
We decide to meet at a bustling juice shop. The kind that mentions nature in its mission and manages to incorporate hemp milk and turmeric into all of its menu items. “I’m wearing a white pinstriped shirt, a red Supreme headband, and sporting an afro puff today,” texts 18 year-old character animator, Rachel Headlam. Sure enough, moments later, I spot a pair of puffs in the crowd and flag her down.
The pizza at Michael’s Pizzeria is questionable. The crust is inconsistent—sometimes you get a Chicago style, other times it’s of the crunchy cracker variety. They have a dozen toppings to choose from, but really, plain cheese is the safe bet. After all, you wouldn’t want to pay more than $10.00 for cardboard. Oh and the calzones advertised with a bubbly decal at the window? They’re always out of it.
Abs, biceps and pecs are often trotted out for public consumption, and to be a jacked male celeb is to inevitably be an objectified and exposed one.
The Bay Area has long been a hub for Korean culture, but the reality of being a Korean-American person means reconciling with the nuances of an ambiguous identity. In-Between Places — the first exhibition to decidedly acknowledge that Korean-American art is Korean art — showcases a wide variety of media (sculpture, painting, ceramics, video, textiles, performance and installation art) from Bay Area Korean-Americans responding to and reflecting on the multiplicity of their identities.
To be a black woman is, by default, to lead a textured existence. Just as we learn to reconcile with the hair growing out of our heads — its politicization, its policing, the frequent uninvited grubby hands that attack it, the dreaded single-strand knots — we must constantly mediate between our “racialized identity, visibility, and materiality,” as outlined in the publication for When and where I enter, Angela Hennessy’s solo exhibition at Southern Exposure.
Fridlund pens eleven tender, atmospheric stories of relationships — some gone awry, others disrupted by time, many fraught with ceaseless ennui, and several couched in slow-burning resentment.
You know that girl you always looked up to as a kid? She was maybe your babysitter who put you on to Sleater-Kinney. Or the one who volunteered at your local library and slipped you a copy of Franny and Zooey. The angsty Debbies from The Wild Thornberrys and denim-vested Mollys from Arthur who have this way about them that leads us to believe they know something that we don’t. The girls and women Ashley Tenn creates exude a similar otherworldly quality that is at once desirable and comforting...
Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival
For the second year running, Lake Merritt’s northern shore will be jammed with cultural performances and vendors to celebrate the annual NorCal International Dragon Boat Festival. A small sampling of the offerings: dragon air-brush tattoos, booming taiko drummers, yo-yo stunt artists, a zither ensemble, acrobats, magic shows, folk dances, gospel choirs, your usual outdoor food fare, and dodge ball and face-paint for the kiddies....
The Black Aesthetic (TBA) series has fast become a community staple for those eager to explore the Black indie film canon. Having wrapped up its second iteration just a few short months ago, the collective is already making preparations for its third season. And if waiting is not in your wheelhouse, well, keep your impatience at bay with The Black Aesthetic publication!
Grace Jones is lithe leather. A lodestar for all the self-proclaimed freaks living on the periphery, she has subverted gender and stood firmly in her Blackness for decades. In a 1979 issue of Ebony, Jones was described as “a question mark followed by an exclamation point.” And aptly so: She brought the “other” to the forefront and hoisted it, elevating otherness from mere qualifier to a way of life.
Jade Ariana Fair, a local multidisciplinary artist, shares old and new work in i just want to be in the Black euphoria with you. The exhibition opened on July 7 at E.M. Wolfman Bookstore’s gallery space and it navigates the want for familial inclusion and spiritual transcendence from white supremacy.