Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Elusive Black Surfer

Tonight my 1st grade daughter's fluency practice story was about a boy who dreamed of being a surfer. She'd never heard of surfing before, so I cued up some videos on YouTube of children surfing.

And, of course, she asked if girls surfed. I found some videos of women surfing.

Then she asked if Black girls surfed. I had no idea how difficult it would be to find videos of Black girls surfing....Black women surfing....Black people surfing. While I did come up with a few videos (mostly promos for documentaries about Blacks and surfing), there just aren't very many. 

In those twenty minutes, I did get a quick history - via videos - of Blacks and surfing, which dates back to Ghanaians surfing off the coast of West Africa before the slave trade as far as I could quickly see from documentary promos. There are several Black surfing organizations, as well. So I want to find more videos and websites. 

My baby said she'd love to "do that," meaning try surfing. So I'll be doing more research. And somehow make her wish come true - even though we live in land-locked Georgia. I see traveling for this wish fulfillment.

I'm ecstatic she wanted to try it even though she didn't see anyone like her surfing. Exposure and confidence are powerful tools. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"Pants on the Ground" Singer Takes on the Ku Klux Klan

The man who sang the song "Pants on the Ground" on American Idol introduced himself to me in Kroger today - right in front of the milk refrigerators. He sang the song, showed me his "Pants on the Ground" belt buckle, and told me that he'd been "all on American Idol and everywhere" and that Rep. John Lewis had given him a plaque. He struck up a conversation by telling me that he was glad he didn't go to the Boston Marathon, and showed me a plastic bag full of medals (and a few around his neck) of a bunch of marathons he said he'd attended. I was kind of perplexed, and for some reason could not turn away. It was like I was caught up in the strangeness of it all.

He also said he was going down to the Georgia state capital this Saturday to protest against the Ku Klux Klan, who would be having a rally there (and that's true. Well it's a Neo Nazi rally). I gave him a pound and told him to "Keep up the good fight!" His name is Gen. Larry Platt and he "encouraged" me to tell everyone on "Google" that he is not dead. So folks, Gen. Platt is alive - and on the case. It's been quite a day. And I'm still Enjoyceinglife - hope you are, too.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Appreciating My Role in Spelman College's Legacy of Educating Black Women

Today is the 132nd anniversary of the founding of Spelman College, pictured above in 1884 and 2012. While I did not attend Spelman (shout out to Howard University), I'm a native of Atlanta and spent many years attending various programs and events on this campus and others in the Atlanta University Center.

Class of 1892

Seeing women of African descent excelling intellectually and culturally has always had a profound impact on my development. After years editing consumer magazines, I never had any idea that I would end up in higher education. But I am so proud - and thankful - to work at Spelman and support the important mission of this incredible institution.

Class of 2012 

Want to know more about Spelman? Check out Inside Spelman, the digital publication that I edit for the college. Keep on Enjoyceinglife!  

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