East Of Eden
Note: This post first appeared on my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on March 9, 2012. ~Alisha
If you clicked on this post expecting a piece on platforms, sorry, not getting that. But stick around anyway, okay?
On Wednesday, as I rushed to grab a clean diaper for Z, I banged my heel against the side of our platform bed. I yelled out a rather loud, "Oww", which is much better than the four letter word I could've hollered.
I felt irritated. I leaned against Z's crib with my right arm and lifted the throbbing left heel to observe the damage. It was quickly turning red. "Augh...".
I put my foot back down and got the diaper. Even as I changed Z and continued on with my day, the thought of my banged up foot...
Billie Holiday the d’Orly airport, Paris, photographed by Jean-Pierre Leloir, 1958. (Photo Image and Caption via Abongond)
I was listening to "On The Media" a couple of weeks ago and the episode was on the topic of America's long and costly War on Drugs. One of the segments focused on Harry J. Anslinger, the first commisioner of the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics. One of the hosts, Brooke Gladstone, interviewed Alexandra Chasin, author of Assassin of Youth: A Kaleidoscopic History of Harry J. Anslinger’s War on Drugs. Here's part of the interview transcript:
BROOKE GLADSTONE: From the late 19th century into the 20th, most opiate addicts were middle-aged middle and upper class women but, as would happen...
Note: This post first appeared on my old blog, "Because Thou Mayest", on April 27, 2016. ~Alisha
Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy Cavendish (Source)
I just wrapped "Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter" by Barbara Leming and narrated by Eliza Foss via Audible. I totally love this company, by the way. It's been great being able to listen to books while still doing other things (Look Ma, no hands!).
Never hearing much about this particular Kennedy kid outside of her early death at age 28 being part of the supposed "Kennedy Curse", I found Kick's story to be particularly interesting.
In January, the Smithsonian Channel included her as part of their series "Million Dollar American Princesses"
(Image Source: Inverse)
It's mind boggling to me, but back in the 1930s, during the height of the Great Depression, the federal government paid a then-unknown, and very young Orson Welles to put on a play... featuring an all Black cast. But this did indeed happen, although it's not well-remembered (and when it is, it's more in the context of what made Welles a wunderkind on his way to "War of the Worlds" and "Citizen Kane" greatness).
Founded in 1935 as a part of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, the Works Projects Administration was an arm of the New Deal with one task: put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. While the WPA was more expensive than...
John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Dick Gregory. (Image Source: Yoko Ono's Twitter account)
Dick Gregory, comedian, entertainer, and civil rights activist, died last Saturday, August 19th, at the age of 84. There are many, many, many... MANY stories to be told about Gregory. His barrier breaking success as a Black comedian popular with White audiences over fifty years ago; his friendships with Civil Rights Leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X; his vegetarian and nutritional lifestyle that helped him beat cancer. But today, I just wanted to highlight his contribution to John Lennon's "Imagine", one of the most famous songs in Pop Music History.
From The Beetles Bible:
Widely regarded as John Lennon's signature song, Imagine...
Note: This post first appeared at my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on May 8, 2012. ~Li
As I mentioned, somewhat in passing a couple of weeks ago, I resigned from my full time job. It was hard. So very hard that three weeks later, I still feel at a loss for words. It's not because I loved my job. Because quite frankly, I had no warm feelings towards it. The people- my boss, the coworkers and the students I helped, yes, very much so. But the filing, memos and meetings- eh, not so much. It was far better than the previous job, but it was still just a job. I don't mean that in a disparaging way. If it weren't for those jobs, I wouldn't be who I am today. I'm extremely grateful for them. I mean they weren't part of the career I had...
Kathleen and Eldridge Cleaver in the early 1970s. (Image Source)
I'm currently reading "PTL:"The Rise and Fall of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's Evangelical Empire" by John Wigger. Spoiler alert: my next entry in "The Preachers" series is on the long, tumultous ministry of Jim Bakker. While reading about some of the PTL's guests from the late 1970s, I came across a passage about Eldridge Cleaver, former Black Panther. While I knew he had made a huge swing to the Political Right in the 1980s, I wasn't aware that had come about years after a jailhouse Born Again Christian conversion in the 1970s, including hobnobbing with various Evangelical notables of the day.
To fully appreciate the magnamity of Cleaver's 180, let's briefly go back to the...
Note: This post originally appeared on my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on July 31, 2012. ~Li
After posting this last week, I felt conflicted. Well, maybe more than just conflicted. I think it's safe to say I felt scared. My number of hits for the piece were actually better than most of my stuff lately, so people were checking it out. But... aside from April and Don, no one made any comments. On the FAR Facebook page, it didn't get a single "Like". Sure, a number of my posts don't get feedback. That's why in that little "About Me" bar to the right, I "HINT, HINT, HINT" that comments are welcome. I felt this was different, though. It wasn't so much disinterest (especially with the higher amount of views) as sheer dislike. Had I...
Yet... away from the heat and burning in the Northeast and Midwest, out in San Francisco, things were much cooler... things were groovy.
From The Week:
How did the Summer of Love begin?...
Note: This post first appeared on my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on July 30, 2012. ~Li
A long, long time ago, back when Clinton was still president, Diddy was still Puff Daddy, and Victoria Beckham was most famous for being oh so posh, I studied Machiavelli, St. Augustine and Plato in my senior year of high school.
Last week, I started thinking about Plato's Allegory of the Cave which is from "The Republic". If you're unfamiliar with the story, here's an excerpt from SparksNotes (you should the full thing out check it out, though... if 16 year old me could get it, so can you!):
Socrates describes a dark scene. A group of people have lived in a deep cave since birth, never seeing the light of day. These people are...
Miss you, Jos.
Happy Sunday, Everyone. Today would've been my sister Joscelyne's 33rd birthday. Well, it still is to me. As I do everyday, I miss her. So Happy Birthday to my Baby, I will love you always.
Last week, I didn't post a "Some... Stuff", so time to play a bit of catch up here. To the links! First up, an Atlantic story by Victor Tan Chen on the political Left's religiosity (H/T: Britt):...
Noble Johnson (Image Source)
A few months back, I shared the story of Madame Sul-Te-Wan, the Black actress who got her big Hollywood start in "The Birth of a Nation" in 1915. Madame was one of the few actors in the film playing Black characters who were actually Black; the main characters of color were actually White actors in blackface.
Today, I want to talk about Noble Johnson, another Black actor who starred in films at the same time and enjoyed a long, successful career in Hollywood. Interestingly (although not surprisingly), Johnson was able to skirt the race issue by playing characters who were not Black. In a reverse of the "Birth" White actors, Noble gained fame and film credits, and became part of Hollywood...
Note: This post first appeared on my old blog, Far AboveRubies, on September 21, 2012. ~Alisha
When I sat in that doctor's office over a year and a half ago, being told I should consider terminating my Zoe because I might have a genetic condition that I may pass on to my daughter, I knew deep in my heart, she was- and is- a gift. I knew that even if some cold, detached doctor did not, could not, would not see her value, she deserved life. And when she was born, a beautiful, squiggly girl of seven pounds and seven ounces and a long twenty inches, the precious gift I was blessed to carry for thirty-eight weeks entered the world, full of curiosity, attentiveness and hunger. Zoe Lyne Hope. Zoe means "life". Abundant life.
Clockwise from top right, Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, and Flip Wilson. (Google Images)
According to Kevin Cook's "Flip: The Inside Story of TV's First Black Superstar", a biography of comedian Flip Wilson, Flip once found himself holding hands with singers Bobby Darin and Elvis Presley, backstage at the Las Vegas casino, the Sahara. With hands clasped, and heads bowed, Elvis led the men in prayer. It was definitely an interesting moment. But let's backtrack for a moment to set the scene. From the book:
Flip had never played any of the Strip showrooms when he agreed to open for Bobby Darin at the Sahara in 1966. The showroom manager balked at the last minute, as much for Flip's inexperience as for his skin tone. Then Darin, a...
Note: This post was first published on my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on December 31, 2012. ~Li
Princeton University. I did not attend. I did, however, drive by a number of times on my way to the neurologist's office.
I attended and graduated from a state university, and one not in the top tier at that. That is not to say I received a second-rate education. Far from it. I learned so much, in class and even more-so, from occurrences not transcribed on to a syllabus. Reading "Lost in the Meritocracy" by Walter Kirn at The Atlantic, I was heavily reminded of my college days. Sure, he matriculated at Princeton around the time I was just arriving on this Earth, but there are some transcendental experiences with which I could relate:
Zoe is 6!
Happy Sunday! It was quite the week in news- Kermit got fired, R. Kelly may be head of a creepy cult, the Juice is (about to be) loose, and Sean "Spicey" Spicer is out at The White House, disappointing legions of Melissa McCarthy fans (like me).
But in the De Freitas household, the biggest news of the week was Z's sixth birthday. We're thankful, amazed at how fast time has flown, and proud of our not-so-little girl. She's been- and continues to be- a blessing from God.
(Image Source: NJ.com)
I heard the story countless times growing up. My grandmother had warned my grandfather they shouldn't go into Newark that Sunday in July of 1967. Not *that* Sunday. But my Papa, veteran of WWII and the Korean War, was not one to scare easily, and was also equally determined not to miss Sunday services. So off they and their four kids went, ranging in age from 15 to 6. My dad was the 15 year old. He remembered sitting in his ironed suit in the back of the family car, riding in from nearby Linden, where they lived in a neat little pink cape cod, the family's first house after having moved over from packed apartment buildings in Brooklyn two years prior.
They knew pretty quickly upon entering Newark that things...
Note: This post was first published on my old blog, Far Above Rubies, on March 30, 2011. Enjoy! ~Li
God bless 'em, the jerks who have thought it all in good fun to poke at my ever expanding belly, the same ones who question every bit of food and drink I consume. Even the one who commented on my larger bust line (and this came from a guy... a guy who is NOT my husband). God bless these folks, because I don't want to. But, I will. I will bless them with some sage advice on how not to address or behave towards an expectant mom, speaking as a sage expectant mom.
- "You're HUGE!", "You are getting so big!" "Wow, your stomach has really popped out" or any other variant of the bulging belly bump kind. I believe most people...
... and I am. Now get over it.
It's summer, and the more I go out, the more I run into people who get spontaneous, explosive, diarrhea of the mouth because of said disability. Or rather, the walker I use because of said disability.
Here's the thing: over a year after having a HSCT, not only am I not any better, I'm actually more dependent on a walker than I was before it. While I definitely made use of the walker for trips to malls, museums and parks pre-HSCT, I didn't usually bring it to church, doctor's appointments, cafes or book stores. Now, it's constant....