Weekend Endorsements: 'Rocks,' Craft Therapy, D.O.A., and Prior Diatribes.

belleisa: Reading, reading and more reading. I’ll be finishing Sag Harbor this weekend, and looking for a June book…any suggestions? Also, I meet with former professors of mine about once a month for a post-colonial reading group. We’ve gotten through some Frantz Fanon and moved on to Angela Davis. Last week we read a speech she gave at Spelman College in 1987 from Women, Culture & Politics. This week we’ll be discussing the section titled “Rocks” in Davis’ autobiography written at 29. Just to keep myself planted on planet Earth…I’m dragging a girlfriend of mine to see the movie, Up (she doesn’t know yet).

nichole: Lately, I’ve been trying to think of ways to relax after several hectic months of working at an educational non-profit during these challenging economic times. One day, I found an 8-count watercolor paint set and a wooden craft doll. I immediately began bringing color into that doll’s life, and when I finished, I realized I had not thought about work or looming layoffs and I was smiling. The end product looked ridiculous, but I felt much better. Since then, I’ve been playing with Play-Doh and making friendship bracelets as a means of relaxing, and I don’t feel pressured to turn this short-term hobby into anything more. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and reasonably portable way to relieve stress, grab a coloring book and a box of crayons, and go outside the lines.

karas: the death of autotune. jay-z is challenging music to make better music and i’m all for it. if it takes being embarrassed, then that’s what it takes. i’m excited to see who steps up, but not so excited for the youtube remixes and responses i’m almost sure are coming. at least some of them are bound to be funny, which helps.

blackink: The idea of comparing professional sports to slavery in any context makes me uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. Which is probably why I had a tough time sitting through former NFL player Anthony Prior’s diatribe against pro football as a tease for his new book, The Slave Side of Sunday. In the book, Prior seeks to make the case that the NFL owes much of its health and popularity to institutional racism and suppressing dissent from its players, many of them black. “Black players have created a billion-dollar market but have no voice in the industry, no power. That sounds an awful lot like slavery to me,” Prior said in a recent interview. Maybe Prior has a point. And Prior is dead-on about some of the problems that afflict black athletes who pursue fame and wealth on the gridiron, particularly a single-minded drive that leaves many of them ill-prepared for life without football. “Your body has limitations,” he reminds. “Your mind doesn’t.” Church. Unfortunately, Prior’s message is obscured by a very evident bitterness about his 11-year experience in the NFL. For all I know, Prior earned that bitterness honestly. However, combined with the wearisome invocation of slavery in reference to mere games, Prior makes it hard to consider this other side of Sunday. But give him a chance, if only because his argument is a compelling one.


slb (aka Stacia L. Brown) is a writer, mother, and college instructor in Baltimore, MD. Check her out here: http://stacialbrown.com and here: http://beyondbabymamas.com.
  • Laurie

    Had not seen the NFL interview but want to check that out. There’s another recently published book written by a former NFL running back, Elgin Davis of Florida. He writes about his life in the NFL but its more about his friendship with a former teammate who later lost his own life and how that affected Elgin. He also writes about his family life and its challenges and how that has made him want to help others through inspiration. http://www.elgindavis.com is his website.

  • Aisha


    I made buttons @ the studio museum in Harlem. It was quite therapeutic. I need to find a machine so I can make more.

  • Ron