Wednesday, May 27, 2009

AK-7's Hotel De Carretera

It's like trapped in the closet duranguense style!

Mun2 says:
When a wife tries to seduce her husband, she gets an unwelcome surprise: he's been cheating on her – with a man. In what may be a first for a duranguense video, the yuppie husband is seen undressing his bad boy lover.

Check out the Bully Bloggers

Bully Bloggers is a new blog started by Lisa Duggan, J. Jack Halberstam, Jose Munoz and Tavia Nyong’o. From their blog:
The Bully Bloggers are a queer word art group. We write about everything queer, so, pretty much everything. Politics, culture, etiquette, vampires, cartoons, the news, philosophy, utopia and revolution. This blog is our Bully Pulpit; we preach to the converted, the unconverted and the indifferent. We are very serious, but in a silly sort of way.
Their first post is a response to Mark Taylor's New York Times op-ed, The End of the University as We Know It, by Jack Halberstam entitled "The End of the University as Who Knew It?"

Brilliance is afoot I'm sure. Check it out.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Alexis Y Fido "Ojos Que No Ven"

My queer feminist ass wants to know why songs about cheating are always so damn catchy!?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Breakfast of Champions

"Ingredientes: Laranjas fresquinhas, funk carioca e uma pitada de bom-humor."

*Tip of the fitted to Wayne Marshall

Monday, May 18, 2009

CFP: 2009 UT-Austin American Studies Graduate Conference "Division Street USA"

The American Studies Graduate Committee at the University of Texas at Austin calls for papers for its upcoming graduate conference, "Division Street, U.S.A.," to be held in Austin on September 24-25, 2009. Our keynote speaker will be Eric Lott, Professor of American Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Virginia.

Barack Obama's campaign and subsequent election as President of the United States have triggered a renewed rhetoric of national "unity" that has not been common political currency since the era of civil rights expansion. However, the nightly news broadcasts have highlighted some of the visible fissures in this rhetoric, from California's passage of Proposition 8 outlawing homosexual marriage, to Attorney General Eric Holder's comments regarding the status of African Americans in a "post-racial" America, and from the criticisms of President Obama himself regarding the freshly minted Council on Women and Girls in light of the dropoff in male high school graduation and college attendance rates, especially among working class men all ethnicities, to the continued tension regarding immigration and citizenship. Although this conference encourages submissions dealing with all manner of subjects, this theme of unity and division in American culture is one under which a great deal of scholarly work can be mobilized, utilizing multiple disciplinary approaches and covering any historical period. Consequently, we encourage proposals that explore the myriad conflicts and contradictions in America's past and present. We also encourage proposals that not only explore the the explicitly political realm, but also the geographic, cultural, social, and economic conditions that have defined the American experience, from "Main Street" to "Division Street."

In addition to standard conference papers, we also invite other presentation formats and creative works, such as short films and poetry/fiction/drama readings.

Though our conference program committee will primarily be assembling the panels out of individual submissions, we also will consider pre-formed panels. Jointly-authored presentations are acceptable. We also invite any graduate students collaborating with community partners on service, activist, educational, artistic, or other projects to present in conjunction with those partners.

To propose a presentation, please submit an abstract of no more than 200 words and a brief CV of no more than one page to the American Studies Graduate Committee by email at no later than July 10, 2009. Submission text may be embedded in the email or included in a Word attachment. If accepted, each graduate student presenter will be asked to pay a registration fee of $20 to help cover conference expenses. Those registering by August 15, 2009 may register at the early-registration discount rate, which is $17.

"Un Diálogo... ¡hasta abajo!"

Check out Raquel Z. Rivera's interview with the University of Puerto Rico's newspaper Diálogo.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hispanic Panic! @ Nowhere

PANIC! Series organizer and Latino writer Charlie Vazquez

strikes at Nowhere on Wednesday, May 27th, 8PM and will feature Latino/a writers, activists and poets Larry La Fountain, Karen Jaime, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Maegan "La Mamita" Mala Ortiz and Cristina Izaguirre.

Hosted by Charlie Vazquez this particular reading in the PANIC! series features the vanguard, cutting edge of NYC Latino lit queerness.

Nowhere is located at 322 E 14th St (btwn 1st/2nd), East Village, NYC.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Trailer for PRECIOUS

Check out the trailer for the Oprah Winfery/Tyler Perry backed film "Precious," based on the novel Push by Sapphire. I remember reading Push in high school. It seemed like everyone was reading it, sharing well worn copies bought on the street with each other.

The film stars comic Mo'Nique and features Paula Patton and Mariah Carey. The buzz from Sundance was all about Mo'Nique and how she killed the role as Precious' abusive uncaring mother. People have also been praising newcomer Gabourey Sidibe for her performance as Precious. And even Mariah Carey's un-glammed up performance as a social worker has been getting attention, hopefully meaning that her acting skills are much improved since the horror that was GLITTER.



Friday and Saturday, October 9-10, 2009, Royce Hall, UCLA

Paul E. Amar
Noa Ben-Asher
Lee Edelman
Martin Manalansan
Hoang Tan Nguyen
Elizabeth Povinelli
Omise'eke N. Tinsley
Deborah R. Vargas

The Los Angeles Queer Studies Conference welcomes presentations of research and other work in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies, on queer topics, sexuality and gender. Since one of the goals of the conference is to encourage the exchange of ideas across academic generations, we invite presentations by both graduate students and faculty scholars.

For information and instructions on submitting a proposal see:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Asher Roth and the Racial Crossroads

Love me some Jay Smooth

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Residente named International Ambassador for the Latino Commission on AIDS

René Pérez (Residente) from Calle 13 has agreed to serve as this year's International Ambassador for the Latino Commission on AIDS

the toll of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean:

I was thinking….

in my blood…my friends are my blood, my family is my blood, my father’s brother, tío José who died of AIDS, may he rest in peace, is my blood….Titi Rosi, one of my mother’s four sisters, is my blood. She was infected by tío Josean, her first love, may he rest in peace. She found out she was HIV positive the day more life came to her life, the day she found out she was going to be a mom, which we celebrated last Sunday here in New York [on Mother's Day]. My two cousins, her children, who thank God are negative, are also my blood.

I was thinking…

About the Caribbean, about how “polluted” we supposedly are, that for some, we are like a plague, just like AIDS. Because in the Caribbean we have been able to mingle as a people, because we are and have been able to take in all races, all colors…

And I was thinking…

That if I’m Caribbean… that if I am a son and I’m the blood of strong, brave and wonderful women, that I also have to have "the ovaries", the strength, to dare to be positive to HIV, to dare to get tested…. to dare to talk about it openly with my family….with my friends… And I call upon all Latinos to pay tribute to our mothers…and to be positive to AIDS. It's the best way to prevent it, to fight it, and to finally find a cure for it.

And I am still thinking…

And I'm thinking this could be great for raising awareness about HIV and AIDS among young Latinos/as. Kudos to Residente.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Preserving & Building Community / Defendiendo y Construyendo Comunidad THIS FRIDAY!

Preserving & Building Community / Defendiendo y Construyendo Comunidad

Resistance in El Barrio / Resistencia en El Barrio

Friday, May 15, 2009
7:00pm - 11:00pm
gym/gimnasio, Taino Tower 4
123 St & 2 Av (subway: 4/5/6 @ 125 St)


A historic cultural event to celebrate community activism in El Barrio -- past, present, and future.

FREE! Featuring....

* screening of the great film Palante, Siempre Palante!
and a discussion with the director Iris Morales and veteran Young Lords in-person

* The Welfare Poets
bringing their words & music!

* The Schomburg Collective
speaking about their initiative to unite Puerto Ricans and African Americans to combat the displacement of both communities

* Picture the Homeless
leaders sharing the latest about their Housing Not Warehousing Campaign and actions....

It's gonna be a beautiful night!


Un evento cultural historica para celebraremos el activismo en El Barrio -- pasado, presente y futuro.


* Veremos la pelicula Palante, Siempre Palante!
y discutiremos con veteranos de los Young Lords y el realizador Iris Morales

* Disfrutaremos la musica y poesia de los Welfare Poets!

* El Colectivo Schomburg
informaran sobre su iniciativa para la unidad entre las comunidades puertorriquenos y afroamericanos

* Lideres de Imagen de los Desamparados
informaran lo ultimo sobre la campana para viviendas y contras los refugios (shelters)....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mark Anthony Neal: 'Black Schools Kill Smart Niggers?'

"'Black Schools Kill Smart Niggers?': Reconciling the Romance for Black Institutions in the Post-Soul Era"
by Mark Anthony Neal

*This is the text of comments delivered at the May 1st Symposium HISTORIES & HUMANITIES AT HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES Embracing the Legacy of John Hope Franklin.

**Originally Published at New Black Man

When I accepted my first tenure track position at Xavier University of Louisiana in the summer of 1996, I was filled with the romance that only nine-years of undergraduate and graduate training at largely white public institutions in Western New York State could produce. Yes, I was happy to leave behind the regional phenomenon known as “lake effect” snow for the warmth and hotness of the “Big Easy,” but more to the point, as the only historically Black and Catholic university in the nation, Xavier offered me my first engagement with an Historically Black College and University (HBCU). As an African-American male from the South Bronx, my first years 12 years of schooling were spent at an all-black Seventh Day Adventist school and a large specialized high school in Brooklyn, NY that defined the concept of urban cosmopolitanism. Yet my experiences in higher education were quite different, spending nearly a decade in classrooms in which I functioned, to borrow a term that Greg Tate once used to describe the career of Jean Michel Basqiuat, as a “flyboy in the buttermilk.” I was devout in my desire not to reproduce that experience, now that I was on the other-side of the desk, so to speak. Armed with a dissertation with enough post-modern jargon to choke the ghost of Baudrillard and still filled with the swagger of the late 1980s renaissance of black cultural nationalism, I “turned south” in hopes of finding my professional purpose. Having never experienced the presence of a black man as a teacher, on any level of formal schooling, I was also endowed with the idea that I needed to be at an HBCU to be on the front lines of saving the next generation of black “boys to men.” It was a heady romance indeed, but also a short lived one.

I was only at Xavier for six weeks when a lunchtime encounter with a very prominent black public intellectual led to the conversation that provides the title for my essay. “Black schools kill smart niggers” was the warning—still remembering the sense of clarity that I sought at the moment I heard the warning—and even before I could utter a word about my commitment to black students, said black public intellectual remarked, “there are black students everywhere that you can teach.” The conversation stayed in the back of my head until months later when my identity politics, in the form of my scholarly interests in black gender and sexual politics, my support of a black woman colleague who was being professionally hazed by the head of my department and as well as my distinct commitment to use “black vernacular” in the classroom made me a target of both my immediate supervisor and the Dean of Faculty. I can remember thinking to myself, as I left Xavier’s campus for the last time after only a year, accepting a position back in New York State, that for the first time in my life I had a firm grasp on the functions of a plantation. To be sure, I’ve experienced plantation life on many a university campus since that initial tenure track position, though places like Duke University, for example, are quite skilled in obscuring that reality. Nevertheless my experience at Xavier raised critical questions for me about the value of historically black colleges and universities, if not historically black institutions in general, particularly in the so-called “Post-Soul” era in which the totems of blackness flow so efficiently through mainstream culture, often to the effect of obliterating their distinctly black sources.

I came of age in the academy at a time, the early 1990s, that was in part defined by the emergence of a contemporary cadre of so-called Black Public Intellectuals; scholars in the humanities and social sciences, many of whom shared an interests in British Cultural Studies and the work of Stuart Hall in particular. To be sure they were not the first black public intellectuals, and more than a few detractors are quick to argue that they are not the most significant, but given the unprecedented access that these scholars had to mainstream media, this was a generation of scholars, arguably, more visible than any previous generation of black academics. For black graduate students, working on contemporary race themes, these figures were simply rock stars—and it was not lost on any of us that they were all affiliated, with rare exception, with well financed elite private institutions. Yet just a generation earlier, many of the scholars who helped establish the first meaningful presence of black intellectuals at predominately White institutions, had significant ties to HBCUs. The presence of prominent black academics and scholars at largely historically white institutions simply confirmed the general “brain drain” that black communities had witnessed since the early 1970s. Whereas a generation earlier the best and the brightest in Black America were exemplars of the rich traditions found at HBCUs, this was not always the case as the 20th century came to a close.

In fact, since the apex of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements in the early 1970s, there has been little in mainstream culture that affirmed the value of HBCUs—the Tom Joyner Morning Show and Spike Lee notwithstanding; More to the point HBCUs have been under siege. By the early 1990s, HBCUs were clearly devalued in the minds of some as were the careers of those who toiled on their campuses. The sexy view that the television series A Different World held of HBCUs was out-of-sync with institutions who literally had to defend their presence and purpose in the so-called post-Civil Rights era; A Different World spoke more to an historic investment that many African-Americans held out for black institutions. But this devaluation of HBCUs was not simply the product of integration-era politics, post-race fantasies or the rupture of historical memory—some of this devaluation had everything to do with on-the-ground practices that occur in the context of diminishing resources, unaccountable leadership and the egregious exploitation of teaching faculty. For example, when the aforementioned Tom Joyner Morning Show waged a public campaign in support of then Harvard Professor Cornel West, whose scholarly credentials were being questioned by then Harvard President and current Obama economic advisor Lawrence Summer, their bully pulpit might have been better utilized shedding light on the conditions of a good many faculty at HBCUs. At many of these institutions faculty teach 8-10 classes a year, on one-year renewable contracts, for discount salaries, with little time for research all in the name of “service” to the race. I still live with the guilt that my Xavier Dean placed on my head when I announced that I was leaving for a “white” public research institution—a guilt that suggested that I was letting down the race and that somehow I was less of a scholar because I was unwilling to accept the kinds of conditions that generations of black scholars at HBCUs not only survived, but thrived in.

The founding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities more than a century ago was predicated on the desire of white power brokers to create a buffer class—a cadre of professional blacks and skilled workers that would serve as gatekeepers for the black masses. It goes without saying that part of that project was to distance those gatekeepers from a shared and productive blackness with the black masses—an articulation of a blackness whose full complexity might prove useful for progressive social movement. Yet, quite the opposite occurred as some HBCUs, became hot beds for political activism and the development of progressive race politics. Yet one never gets past the founding expectations of these institutions, where the expectations were that HBCUs would serve the purpose of regulating, policing or even incarcerating blackness. This is a point that Houston Baker, Jr. makes in his devilishly facetious tome Turning South Again: Re-thinking Modernism/Re-Reading Booker T, where he brings into focus, Booker T. Washington’s decision to establish Tuskegee University on a plantation. “Taking into account the abject, brutal, stultifying relationship of black-majority plantation arrangements of southern life,” Baker writes, “it seems a terrible augury against black modernism that Booker T. Washington chose an “abandoned” white plantation landscape as the site for his Tuskegee uplift project. More to the point Baker adds, “And Washington did not simply situate his black educational enterprise physically on a plantation. He also instituted and argued for an essentially black peasant southern plantation economics, manners, handicrafts, and habits of mind for the black majority.” (81) While Washington and Tuskegee are simply one iteration of HBCU politics in the early 20th century, Baker’s comments highlight the kinds of tensions between the maintenance of historically specific performances of blackness and those performances of blackness resist the very kinds of regulation that institutions were encouraged to reproduce.

As we think of HBCUs as sites of regulation, it is not difficult, to also think of them as sites of surveillance—a space to monitor blackness. While HBCUs figure less in the eyes of a so-called white power structure in the 21st century, they are still critical to the reproduction of a “not too blackly public” to appropriate Baker’s phrase—that not only denies the full complexity of lives at HBCUs, but also the complexities of private and public blackness. The censure of Spike Lee during the making of his 1988 film School Daze and of the producers of BET’s college reality show College Hill are but two examples of a regulatory project that occurs in support of a sanitized view of black institutions, be they churches, HBCUs, sororities and fraternities or the sexual politics of Black America. It is in this latter category that I have been able to collaborate with colleagues at HBCUs, notably the Women’s Research and Resource Center at Spelman College, currently under the leadership of Beverly Guy-Sheftall, on issues related to sexual violence, masculinity and black popular culture. Currently, the Women’s Research and Resource Center is the only standing Women’s Studies unit at an HBCU. I was initially drawn to this collaborative work in the aftermath of rap star Nelly’s misogynistic video for the song “Tip Drill” which featured a male rapper swipe a credit card through a black woman’s buttocks. Students in Guy-Sheftall’s feminist theory class helped organize a protest against Nelly, who was scheduled to visit Spelman’s campus. That a significant number of Spelman and Morehouse students participate formally and informally in the “strip club” culture that coalesces in the city of Atlanta, only heightens the roles that HBCUs play in producing new and counter narratives about black bodies and sexuality. Indeed the Spelman/Nelly controversy has ushered in a vigorous discussion about gender and sexuality among the hip-hop generation.

These conversations occur as the Hip-Hop Generation questions the “politics of respectability” that has defined so many black institutions and the conservative gender and sexual politics that are reproduced within the context of that “respectability.” For example three years ago when there were allegations of rape against men at Morehouse College by Spelman students, members of Spelman’s Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance issued a public statement criticizing the sense of “complacency” associated with sexual violence against the women at Spelman and black women in general and later organized a protest on Morehouse’s campus. The protest engendered its own criticism, particularly within Black institutions that still value patriarchy and the "stability" it supposedly produces, thus Black women (and a few men) are often admonished for publicly criticizing and holding Black men accountable for behavior that is clearly detrimental to those very institutions. Members of the Morehouse College student senate, for example, introduced a bill condemning the protest, arguing that said protest "created a hostile environment" and "encouraged bad press and character defamation to Morehouse College and its student body." The senate also castigated the FMLA for apparently not asking their permission for the protest. In the final section of the bill, the Morehouse College student senate requested "a public apology from the Advisor(s) to FMLA and student leadership of FMLA and all other organizers of the demonstration for its unruly nature". In many ways the reaction of some Morehouse men, to the Spelman FMLA protest, has to do with the willingness of those women to challenge the social contract between them.

Again these are the singular politics of two institutions that have a complex and often difficult shared history, but highlight how HBCUs continue to be at the center of public debates about “blackness.” It is also important to realize that this project of policing and regulation is not simply generational in nature as witnessed by the recent commentary from students leaders at HBCU like Winston-Salem State and North Carolina Central about the practice of “sagging” and dressing down among HBCU students. This sensitivity towards sartorial choices, as if there aren’t faculty at historically white institutions who would love to ban the wearing of flip-flops to class, speaks to the extent that the very plantation culture that Baker tethered to Booker T. Washington’s project of uplift, is rife with the belief that what has to be regulated and policed is a deviance thought normative to some black bodies. The sagging concerns among student leaders were later echoed by Morehouse College President Robert Franklin, Jr., who recently challenged the practice “cross-dressing” among a few Morehouse students. As many question the relevancy of black institutions like HBCUs in the in the so-called “post-race” era, black institutions might contribute to their own irrelevancy, if they continue to march out-of-step with the broad-based progressive politics that so many Hip-Hop generation Americans are desiring to achieve.


Mark Anthony Neal is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African & African-American Studies at Duke University. He is the author of several books including the recent New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity and is currently completing Looking for Leroy: (Il)Legible Black Masculinities for New York University Press.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Turn Ya Fag On Remix

Turn your FAG ON

Im fly as hell, fag on, suicide dippin
My hips is steady switchin
Haters steady bitchin
Im turnin it on, turnin it on, turn it on

Now wait a minute mother fucka! u got one more time to tell me turn my fag off! when ya im legendary and ya face is just scary, Im turnin it on, turnin it on, turnin it on, you better recognize im how you dewin!

if you in house hit a dip for me
down in the south they j-sette for me
dime bottoms give it to me

Heteros feelin my energy
the whole damn world clockin my tea
recognize Im How you dewin

Going out in it ,
Throw a gay swagga on it
Gotta body like my daddy
But I get this from my mamma
turnin it on (x3)

Now dont you hear me callin you Ms Hunny
Jimmy Choo clickin spend up ya money
back in the day my family said
watch out this ones kinda funny
Im turnin it on
Turnin it on
turnin it on

Let the Fag Wars begin!

(h/t) to my boy Elliott for showing me the video

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Turn My Fag On

Swag is so last month, it's time for folks to turn on their fag.

So I can't tell if this is a campy appropriation of "Turn My Swag On" or if this is a dig at Soulja Boy after those rumors that he bought some gay guy a teacup puppy came out a couple of months ago.

Either way it is definitely an interesting remix. Thoughts?