Writing Elsewhere.

Check out my writing in print and around the web.

What does Shange think? [October 2012]
With so much negative criticism surrounding Perry’s 13 million dollar film adaptation, the question burning on every one’s mind was, what does Shange think? I was relieved to learn that her thoughts aligned with the criticisms I’d been outlining in my head since I first saw the film over a year ago. Shange was frank: "Tyler Perry's greatest challenge with for colored girls was what he was about to tackle." In other words, Perry could not grasp the radical nature of the work, and it was clear, at least from an artistic standpoint, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. Read more.

When the Wicked Witch is brown: Teaching race and gender politics to kids [June 2012]
Recently I babysat two of my faves for the first time in a long while. We were reading bedtime stories, and the younger of two sisters insisted we read Captain Underpants. To be brief, this book is disgusting. It's a children's book yes, but built entirely around potty humor. The more I read, the more I was grossed out and the older sister agreed. Then she remarked, "This book is for boys! Gross, disgusting boys who play in toilets!" I was struck by how this 6 year old had gendered a story without a gender. I shot back to her, "But your sister likes it! And she's not a boy. Being disgusting is not a girl versus boy thing," I explained. "It's just a disgusting thing." She wasn't convinced. To her, gross humor = boy. I guess her sister just didn't count. How sad, I thought. Read more. 

On Writing Dance [January 2012]
Last night the Junior Committee had the privilege of sitting and talking with dance writer Eva Yaa Asantewaa... First, she stated that she is not so invested in the term “dance critic.” Instead of criticizing what she sees per se, she is more interested in bringing her personal experiences to the reader.  She said, “We are bodies watching bodies… and what emerges from that experience is precious.” How refreshing. Seriously, when is the last time you read a review and you felt the author wasn’t distantly looking down his or her nose at the performance? When is the last time you read a review that you actually felt was in support of the artist, and of the dance field as a whole? Read more.

Teacher's Wisdom: Djoniba Mouflet [June 2011]
Djoniba Mouflet is a leading teacher of West African dance in New York City... He brings his entrepreneurial can-do spirit to his students, opening the door of West African dance to anyone willing to try. Choreographer and Afro-modern teacher Sydnie L. Mosley observed his class and spoke with him after. Read more.

The Magic of 25 [September 2010]
When my good friend recently returned engaged from her trip abroad, she spoke fondly of the future life she imagined with her fiancĂ©e. This life included eventually moving and living permanently overseas where she would build a career and raise her babies. It hit me then that this woman with whom I’d spent countless hours in dorm rooms, classrooms, libraries... The woman with whom I’d spent countless nights running the streets of New York City partying and days exploring... The woman with whom I’d plotted and planned to save Barnard from itself, only to then plot and plan to create a better world starting right here in Harlem, USA... She was not going to spend her future life with me at all. Read more.

Dancing black Christianity : revealing African American and Ghanaian cultural identity through movement in Christian worship [2007]
Since childhood, dance has been intimately connected with my faith. I was raised in the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. In this tradition, I grew up as a witness to “catching the Holy Spirit” and “shouting,” a moment when people are moved to a vocal or physical expression of their spirituality, most often characterized by jumping up and down, sometimes uncontrollably. At age seven, when my education began under the auspices of my church’s school, I brought knowledge from my Saturday ballet classes to the creation of dances for school concerts that were always infused with a profession that “Jesus is Lord” and homage to an African-American and African heritage. Thus, performing dance to convey both an expression of my Christian faith and my African-American culture became the essence of my dancing, though I was unconscious of this at such a young age. Read more.


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