Dispatches from Wintertime Brooklyn
It's cold out here, y'all. LOL!
What’s really good, Family?
I hope you are doing well. Brooklyn, on the other hand, is cold; actually, on both hands. It had the nerve to be 8 degrees the other day, which made me mad. LOL!
I’m just popping in right quick with some news and updates.
Come see author Jamila Minnicks and I in conversation about her debut novel, Moonrise of New Jessup at the Center for Fiction, Wednesday, February 16, 2023, 7 p.m. EST. RSVP for in-person or livestream.
I will be in conversation with the community at Rutgers University New Brunswick for the Writers at Rutgers series. Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at 6 p.m. EST. Learn more.
I will be delivering the Bauder Lecture at the Marygrove Conservancy in Detroit, Michigan. Friday, April 28, 2023 at 8 p.m. Visit the website for more information.
I will not be writing about police killing unarmed Black people for the foreseeable future. I’ve said all I’ve had to say on the subject. At this point, I’d just be repeating myself. And it’s starting to feel like spectators are as aroused by our outrage, public displays of grief, and think pieces as they are by the murders themselves.
I did get to write about Elegance Bratton’s The Inspection film for Variety’s “Writers on Writers” series.
This Valentine’s Day, love yourself or somebody else down by giving the gift of Dyscalculia: A Love Story of Epic Miscalculation by Camonghne Felix, a member of the inaugural class of the Lit 16.
Wonderful news: Author Sadeqa Johnson’s latest novel, The House of Eve, has been selected as the Reese Witherspoon Book Club February Pick! Congratulations, Sadeqa!
Shout out to The Root and The Seaport for recommending The Prophets as a Black History Month pick! You can win a free copy of The Prophets, as well as other really great books and some cool swag, by entering the Penguin Random House Black Cultural Legacy Sweepstakes now through February 28, 2023.
Despite marketing the contrary, children are consistently left behind: “An estimated 99,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa died of AIDS-related causes in 2021, the last year for which there is data. Another 2.4 million children and adolescents in the region are living with the virus, but just over half have been diagnosed. AIDS is the top cause of mortality for adolescents in 12 countries in East and Southern Africa. ‘The focus for a decade in the global AIDS response has been controlling the epidemic, and it’s amazing that treatment has reached so many adults,’ said Anurita Bains, who heads global H.I.V./AIDS programs for UNICEF. ‘But children aren’t going to spread H.I.V., so they dropped down the priority list. They’ve been almost forgotten.’”
Published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers at Harvard University discovered that “increased stressors like economic hardship and systemic racism play a significant role for Black children and can lead to the development of mental health issues as they age.” We’ve known all along that racism has an emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual impact on victims. I imagine that it also has a deleterious effect on perpetrators too, and they either don’t know or don’t care.
Andrew Colarusso, a Brooklyn-based book lover, is attempting to raise money to help him build a bookstore in Ditmas Park—my favorite Brooklyn neighborhood—which hasn’t had a bookstore in over 20 years! If you can help him out with a donation, please do. Thank you.
Limmie Pulliam, a brilliant opera singer, nearly gave up on his dream because of the relentless body shaming he received from others. His situation drives home precisely how bigotry robs the world of beauty and replaces it with nothing.
It feels so good when someone you believe was deserving of an award actually receives one. I hope to have that experience when this year’s NAACP Image Awards airs on February 25, 2023 at 8 p.m. EST on BET. Voting is open until Thursday, February 9, 2023. Vote now!
Attention Lesbian Filmmakers: “The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant is an annual grant awarded to self-identified lesbians for making visionary moving-image art. Work can be experimental animation, experimental documentary, experimental narrative, cross-genre, or solely experimental. Applicants must be based in the U.S. This grant was established by Hammer in 2017 to give needed support to moving-image art made by lesbians. The grant is supported directly by funds provided by Hammer’s estate and administered through Queer|Art by lesbians for lesbians, with a rotating panel of judges. The grant includes an award of $7,000.” Apply now through February 15!
Y’all ever heard of Nikolas Draper-Ivey? Homeboy is a young Black artist who is currently co-writing and drawing the Static: Shadows of Dakota for Milestone/DC Comics. He’s just starting out and is already a genius. I LIVE! (And do you see that cover above by Olivier Coipel? GOT DAMN!)
3 Feet High and Rising, the game-changing debut album from the iconic hip-hop collectiveis finally available for digital purchase and streaming. And is also being reissued on vinyl. Get your life!
What will authors do without Twitter? I can only speak for myself: I’m going to keep writing. Write or die, homies! But I will not be returning to social media. Life has been too wonderful without it.
As always, BUY AND READ BANNED BOOKS!
I didn’t watch the Grammys. However, I can’t stop listening to the following albums:
Girls Night Out by Babyface and Guests (current favorite track: “One Good Thing” featuring Amaarae)
Wasteland by Brent Faiyaz (current favorite track: “Price of Fame”)
What I Didn’t Tell You by Coco Jones (current favorite track: “Spend It”)
SOS by SZA (current favorite track: “Ghost In The Machine” featuring Phoebe Bridgers)
That’s all for now. I hope that this season in your life is as sparkling as it can be. And may the Ancestors love and keep you.
Blessings upon blessings,