Donnie McClurkin vs Tonéx: Round ONE

 

Homophobic  Rapture

Homophobic Rapture

The homosexuality controversy in black faith communities has reached a feverish pitch, especially with Tonéx’s and Donnie McClurkin’s recent admissions. Probably most renowned for the rumors regarding their sexuality, these two black gospel singers have become the centerpiece to the debate of the role homosexuals should play in black faith communities.  Unfortunately both men’s livelihood as pastors of their respective church has led them to depend financially on a community that by and large forces/prefers silence on same-sex desires and human rights. Yet, both these men have carved a space in gospel music to openly acknowledge their desires. Tonéx by stating that his preference is for the same sex; Donnie by (abstaining and) persecuting other homosexuals as not being willing to be delivered from “the perversion of homosexuality.”

Morehouse: from your closet speaks truth

House of Legacy Eternal

House of Legacy Eternal

 

walkin the category of Ultimate Boy realness

walkin the category of Ultimate Boy realness

Personally, I find sagging pants, du-rags, grills and accessories distasteful; however, I stand by people’s right to be self-expressive, particularly when it comes to ‘cross-dressing.’ In talking about Morehouse College dress code, I have to give props to Frank Leon Roberts for his post on the Root.  In Morehouse’s efforts to preserve its legacy, it created a dress code which hinders student self-expression.

The “Appropriate Attire Policy” is the product of Robert Franklin, President of Morehouse; it is his attempt to create the modern “Renaissance Man.”  In his words, “[he]…hopes to have the next generation of Morehouse graduates live up to the school’s legacy-

Derrion Albert, Fenger High and Neighborhood Melee Part 2: Establishing Blame

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55FpBt6jJc0

“Where were the cops?” asks Letzbeforreal in his mini-video.  His question is not new. He, like everyone else, is looking to hold some bigger entity accountable for the murder of Derrion Albert.  He wants to lay blame where it does “the most good.”  Others assign blame to the administration of Fenger High School.   Despite this, Letzbeforreal’s female guest and those who agree with him suggest that neither the Police Department nor the City Administration care about murders involving black youth.  Ultimately, I think we all want to be able to hold someone, who has the ability to alter situations, accountable. I think, however, that to blame the school or CPD falls short of examining the root causes of youth violence in America, particularly in the case of Derrion Albert. 

Kiss and Tell: Losing Isiah

Johnson, left, and Thomas exchanging kisses before a game during the 1989 NBA Finals (Andrew Bernstein/Getty Images)

Johnson, left, and Thomas exchanging kisses before a game during the 1989 NBA Finals (Andrew Bernstein/Getty Images)

Those of us who lament the current incarnation of the NBA despite Lebron James’ and Chris Paul’s (he’s soooo cute — no hetero) greatness do so because we remember the golden age of the league.  (Are you looking for Kobe love?  You won’t get that here.  Move along.)  Those of us born in the 80s were raised on the good and nutritiously entertaining similac of dope hip hop and an NBA that was absolutely faaaaaantastic.  Part of what made the mid-80s professional basketball such a renaissance was the rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, a contentious pairing that began during the championship game of the 1979 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, where Magic’s Michigan State Spartans beat Bird and the Indiana State Sycamores.  Thirty years after the Bird or Magic debate began, the former adversaries, now friends, have co-written a book with the help of former Boston Globe sports columnist Jackie Macmullan.  Though the book won’t be on shelves until November 4, last week the sports world took a brief break from obsessing over football to report on some of the juicier content.

Yes, I’m a Spelman Woman, but do I have to wear a white dress every damn day?

“Spelman thou name we praise STANDARDS and honor raise we’ll ever faithful be throughout eternity . . .”

Reflecting on my twenty some years of existence, I must say the best decision I’ve made thus far was to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Not because it was the blue print for the show, A Different World (even though I loved that show) and I often imagined myself as high pitched voice Whitley Gilbert and not the strangely socially conscious Freddy because I thought she was annoying always yapping about helping the world and saving the damn humpback whales. But, life is ironic and as I get older I feel more and more like Freddie always yapping about violence and oppression. But this is not the point of this post. The point is to answer the question, “Why is Spelman the best decision I’ve made thus far?” And the answer is because of the many invaluable lessons Spelman has taught me and continues to teach me about the strengths, weaknesses, complexities, “respectabilities,” and boundaries of who can be called a bonafide black woman.

You see at Spelman we would chant with arrogance, “You can tell a Spelman Woman, but you can’t tell her much.” We would also bellow, “You get you hoes from Morris Brown. You get girlfriends from Clark Atlanta. But you get your wives from Spelman College.” We understood from the very beginning who could and could not be called a Spelman woman and by default who could and could not be called a real black woman. In many ways the social practices at Spelman defined black womanhood as feminine, heterosexual, smart, non-promiscuous, have good relationships with Morehouse men, Christian, and class privileged. For instance, during orientation week at Spelman, incoming students are required to wear dresses the entire week and also until recently they were paired with incoming Morehouse students to foster a sexual platonic brother and sister relationship. Mind you, when I was a first year student I didn’t see any problems with either tradition. Yeah, I was in my Whitley Gilbert’s phase.

However, as an emerging Freddie, I can now say that these seemingly innocent social practices, Spelman and Morehouse Alumnae would call traditions, narrate and with an iron fist in a white velvet glove enforce “appropriate” feminine and heterosexual behaviors. Of course, this is not to say that Spelman should not create spaces for young women to be traditionally feminine or to identify as heterosexual. I think they should. However, I think this same facilitation of social practices—once again alumnae would call traditions—should be extended to girls who are queer. Yes, girls who prefer to date other girls. Yes, girls who are attracted to men, but feel awkward around them for various reasons. Yes, girls who don’t like to wear dresses and prefer pants and Timberlands. Yes, girls who like to have sex with different partners, male and/or female. I will be the first to admit I felt very uncomfortable around my Morehouse brother not only because he was weird, but because he was aggressive. So, to be paired the first week at Spelman with a man from Morehouse was not comfortable for me. To say the least, these social practices help to define appropriate behavior for Spelman women.

You’re probably wondering where I am going with all of this. Well, the recent uproar surrounding Morehouse’s announcement of their Appropriate Attire Policy got me to thinking not only about Morehouse College, but also about Spelman and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) like Hampton University (i.e. no braids or locks policy) where similar policies seek to control sexuality and present “respectable (i.e. class)” heterosexual images of black men and black women. So, the frustration and anger that many feel about the new Morehouse’s policy should also be equally apportioned among other HBCUs where the “politics of respectability” reign supreme. Of course, many people have been throwing the phrase the politics of respectability around as if it was a Frisbee and self-explanatory. But I do not think the term is completely transparent and easily understood.

The Ballroom Scene: A New Black Art

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg-zTiHSYMM

Over the past month I have been writing on the good and bad of “The Ballroom Scene.” Now I want to take a moment to explain more about the rising underground dance, that is becoming one of the new “black arts.”  If homophobic, masculine idolizing, intolerant schools like Morehouse would be a little more open minded, maybe our black community could learn to accept things that are different. (Making a reference to Morehouse’s new anti-gay dress code)

Some are disgusted when they observe this new black art taking place. I would assert that people are still afraid of anything different. While, I cannot vogue and have many criticisms about the scene, I still know to respect both the Art and the people who choose to be in the ballroom scene.

Scary Black Men

Am I really that scary? I’m  only 5’9’’ 180 pounds.  This is what I asked myself when a girl ran away from me as I walked down Ellis Avenue two weeks ago. Initially I was flabbergasted by her reaction. Did I look like a criminal? I had on an under armour shirt and some old basketball shorts because I had just left the gym. Was I doing anything out of the ordinary? No, I was just walking with a tote bag in my hand. From my vantage point I looked like an unassuming University of Chicago student tired from a long day of lectures and treadmills. She started walking briskly after she looked back and saw me behind her around the Midway. By the time I got to 59th and Ellis, she was in front of the Burton Judson Dormitory frantically searching for something in her purse.  Maybe it was a key or maybe it was mace.  Am I overanalyzing the situation? Maybe she really just had to use the bathroom. All I know is that when she saw me her nonchalant walked instantly changed into a deliberate sprint.

 

Today in Post-Race History: No Homo

I’m having trouble embedding the video in question.  Please view it here.

Remember last year when all the white gay people were mad at black people because Prop 8 passed in California?  Well, it wasn’t a fluke.  We’re still their whipping boys (er, bois?).  Last week, my internet boyfriend AC (again, the only man I’d ever seriously consider marrying), sent me a link of the above video, where Current TV contributor, Bryan Safi learns us about the phrase “No Homo.”   Most of the commenters loved this piece and deemed it “genius.”  Me?  Not so much.

Derrion Albert, Fenger High and the Neighborhood Melee Part 1

http://www.iviewtube.com/videos/89320/16-year-old-derrion-albert-beaten-to-death-in-chicago

Derrion Albert’s murder was something like a blood sport event. As you watch in this clip, you can hear the man and woman, the camera crew, filming with their phone.  Starting at 36 seconds, the man says “Let me see that shawty,” to which the female responds presumably as

First Strike

First Strike

she hands over the phone, “Zoom-in… Zoom-in, Zoom-in.” As Derrion strikes out at another teen, we see one young man pick up the wooden railroad tie and strike Derrion across the back of his head.  As Derrion Albert tries to get up, he is clipped again by another guy, whose punch puts Derrion down for a while as folks kick, stomp and hit him while he is on the ground.  We then hear the male from the  camera crew yell, “Damn, they kickin’ that NIGGA’S ASS.”

The Ballroom Scene: Family Life

blog #17 gay house church

A week before I returned to University of Chicago for my second year of college, I encountered what I like to call “an incident.” My brother, on this particular day followed his normal pattern of entering the basement room of my mother’s house in a drunken state. His drinking problem is one thing, but his homophobia mixed with intoxication is not a good combination. My brother chose to make comments about my friend and I, as we passed him on the way to my room.

“Why are these fucking fags in my house!?! Maybe if I bash their heads in they will stop coming! I hate these gay ass niggas, its nasty, and they’re nasty!!” (My brothers actual words)

Homo-phobic Fam insert here blog #17

He went on for 30 minutes in a nearby room, yelling every homophobic obscenity his slurred vocabulary could muster.