The Black Skillet or How To Fund The Arts With Soul Food

On September 16, 2017, from 6pm to 9pm at the Yeyo Arts Collective (2907 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118), the Black Skillet Funders’ inaugural quarterly dinner happened. We served our favorite African, African-American, Black, and Southern traditional foods to members, artists and the public. Our dinner meal was …

The Feminine Pronoun Series: “Black” or “African American”? (No. 35)

As part of a creative diversity and inclusion workshop I facilitated at Lewis University, I asked people one question: "Which do you prefer? "Black" or "African American"?

The responses were alternately surprising and soulful. They served as the centerpiece of the workshop, and they created a jumping off point for one of the most fascinating discussions I've had to date.

Here's a bit more about my business:

I offer two services: 1) I help the college bound teens of busy parents write extraordinary college entrance essays and 2) I provide perceptive leaders with creative diversity and inclusion facilitation. Let's connect at treasure@femininepronoun.com.

Also, Let's partner to bring an incredible, interactive and informative presentation to your group for Black History Month

 

Vlog: The Feminine Pronoun Series: “I Contain Multitudes” (No. 34)

I titled this video "I Contain Multitudes, "as a nod to poet Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself."

I love the poem because it is an expansive celebration of the visceral kingdom, the body, pleasure, our mortal reality, and the justice of seeing everything as part of a converging whole.

I like to think of my life as one part of something bigger that is bending toward justice, and this is a vlog in the truest sense in that it follows me through my justice work that is informal (in the community), and formal (organized through a regional organization).

And of course, there's poetry! I get to judge an incredible student poetry slam organized through UrbanArts, a Missouri non-profit formed for the purpose of promoting arts, education, economics, and social services. Check them out HERE. 

Also, I am once again witness to my the best poet I know.

Hint: He's my Dad:)!<3

In this video I celebrate the way my love of justice and the work I do on its behalf, *and* my love of poetry dovetail to create my crazy beautiful life. Enjoy!

Here's a bit more about my business:

I offer two services: 1) I help the college bound teens of busy parents write extraordinary college entrance essays and 2) I provide perceptive leaders with creative diversity and inclusion facilitation. Let's connect at treasure@femininepronoun.com.

Also, Let's partner to bring an incredible, interactive and informative presentation to your group for Black History Month.
View this whole series HERE. 

The Feminine Pronoun Series No. 32: #WRITERSRESIST

All over the country, writers assembled in vocal resistance to the rhetoric and planned policies of the incoming Trump administration. The movement was named #WRITERSRESIST. (You can find out more about #WRITERSRESIST here.

In this video, my kids and I I travel to Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi (my home state) all the way from the St. Louis metro area to read poetry and hold space for justice.

What transpired was magical and served to embolden everyone involved. Enjoy!

 

Here's a bit more about my business:

I offer two services: 1) I help the college bound teens of busy parents write extraordinary college entrance essays and 2) I provide perceptive leaders with trustworthy diversity and inclusion facilitation. Let's connect at treasure@femininepronoun.com.

Also, Let's partner to bring an incredible, interactive and informative presentation to your group for Black History Month.

View this whole series HERE.

The Feminine Pronoun Series No. 31: New Year. New You.

In this video I get a super cute (if I do say so myself:) updated do at Salon Satreice and then I work on an upcoming performance with Rodney Smith, owner of the Palomino Lounge. 2017 is starting off looking AND sounding good!

Here's a bit more about my business:

I offer two services: 1) I help the college bound teens of busy parents write extraordinary college entrance essays and 2) I provide perceptive leaders with trustworthy diversity and inclusion facilitation. Let's connect at treasure@femininepronoun.com.

Also, Let's partner to bring an incredible, interactive and informative presentation to your group for Black History Month

The Feminine Pronoun Series: Poetry. Pedagogy. Justice. (No. 30)

poetry-pedagogy-justice

The tagline on my website for Feminine Pronoun Consultants, LLC is "Poetry. Pedagogy. Justice."

Those three powerful terms almost encompass my life/work philosophy. I say "almost" because Parenting is also a major part of my life's work, as it were, and each of the terms inform each other and take turns being the star, while others play the background.

Check this video out as a kind of year end round up and hopeful nod to a successful 2017!

The Feminine Pronoun Series No. 29: Old School #HipHop

90s-throwback-jam
I come to writing very honestly. Not only was my mother (rest in peace) a writer, but my father is a well-known poet and is currently poet laureate of his home town of East St. Louis, Illinois.

The first time my writing truly became public was in the 1990s as a signed hip-hop artist to MC Hammer's label, Bust It Records. My group, originally named the Sonic MC's, was discovered by MC Hammer in our hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. What followed was a brief career as a performing rap artist, and staff writer for acts such B. Angie B., Special Generation, and Oaktown's 357. That was 25 years ago, and I still have a deep and abiding love for hip-hop culture and the music in general.

A few months ago, my former partner, Terrence Davis, invited me to participate in a reunion performance. I tentatively accepted, and then tried to back out, because, for me, that time, brief as it was, doesn't always inspired the most positive feelings.

Like many naïve artists, our recording contract was a one-sided at best and a glorified sharecropper's agreement at worst. If people remember the infamy with which MC Hammer's business dealings tumbled from the top of the pop cultural mountain, then you might guess that there were some work culture issues in the company as well. Namely, a rampant sexism that, when I think back on it, I am surprised there weren't more lawsuits. On top of that, I did not have the most pleasurable recording experience, as we were encouraged to produce music that had a sound very similar to MC Hammer's.

My biggest objection however, was that the music simply didn't do well by industry standards. When the collective mind of hip-hop music lovers returns back to artists who made a impact with regard to innovation, popularity, and cultural zeitgeist, our music does not register.

As you can see, I had several reasons to refuse to participate in the reunion performance, but after some cajoling and realizing that I had tried to back out much too late for it to be fair, I agreed to join everyone of my former group members of the group that was subsequently renamed One Cause One Effect.

This vlog chronicles events directly proceeding, during, and after what turned out to be a fun and heartwarming gathering.

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I offer two services: 1) I help the college bound teens of busy parents write extraordinary college entrance essays and 2) I provide perceptive leaders with trustworthy diversity and inclusion facilitation.  Let's connect at treasure@femininepronoun.com.  Also, there is bonus video of me reading "For Trayvon #BlackLivesMatter" at the Old School #HipHop concert here: https://youtu.be/GXYLEcrJ-KY

 

 

Feminine Pronoun Series No. 28: It’s Been Happening Since Ancient Greece

About this episode: Living in the aftermath of the Ferguson rebellion means that there is almost a never ending barrage of well-meaning attempts to “reconcile the community and the police.” When I heard of a New York production’s staged reading that was titled “Antigone and Ferguson,” (being performed in ferguson) …

The Feminine Pronoun Series N. 27: Teachers Will Save the World

wbst-save-the-world

I work with perceptive school leaders who want their teachers to understand Diversity and Inclusion & seek the confidence and classroom results that knowledge produces.

I was invited to talk with the dynamic faculty at the Times2 STEM Academy in Providence, Rhode Island. My presentation was followed by a fantastic walk through the evolving Federal Hill neighborhood. I was treated to the warmth of the Dominican and Puerto Rican majority community and I got to see what excellent school leadership (that respects the community) looks like up close. Go Dr. Carrie McWilliams!

Check out the video here: