Showing posts from 2023

What If Lorraine Hansberry Could've Come Out

Lorraine Hansberry Lorraine Hansberry enjoyed enormous success during her short life. Her play A Raisin in the Sun won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award among others, had a long run on Broadway, and was developed into a successful motion picture. In an interview with Studs Terkel that was done in 1959, Hansberry says that the character of the daughter/sister "Beneatha" is the most autobiographical. Beneatha is a college student and determined to become a doctor. She, her brother and his wife and young son, and their mother all live in the same apartment on the South Side of Chicago. The matriarch of the family receives a check for the proceeds of her late husband's life insurance policy, and the drama begins. Beneatha needs money for her education. Her brother, Walter Lee, wants to invest the money in a get-rich-quick scheme involving partial ownership in a liquor store. Their mother wants to move to a house in the suburbs, which happens to be in a white neigh

"A Solitude of Squares" by Marcia "GridKid" Gilbert at Tavern on Jane

Tavern on Jane (31 Eighth Avenue) was the location for the opening of the exhibit A Solitude of Squares  by Marcia "GridKid" Gilbert last night. The owner of Tavern on Jane, Michael Stewart, has been featuring local artists four times a year since 2003. Regarding A Solitude of Squares : "Each piece in this new exhibition is a composition and even a keyboard: the improvisation that was never possible when [I] played the piano. At times the squares seem to precariously litter the page, dancing to a new tune," said Gilbert. "Watercolor paint, pencils, and crayons become colorful backgrounds for tumbling, sewn squares. Recycled colored patches of magazine pages come together, overlapped by more sewn squares, this time on clear plastic. Folded square paper components are linked together into multiples of color, textures, and layers." Originally from Lakewood, Ohio, Marcia Gilbert has lived in and around NYC since 1980 after graduating from Washington University

Great Women Live from the Great Hall

  Women took over the Great Hall at The Cooper Union March 18th as part of the Women's History Month celebrations in New York City. Women's Rights icon Gloria Steinem engaged in a fascinating conversation with Salamishah Tillet, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and scholar. The event was part of The Gardiner Foundation Great Hall Forum series and a day of Cooper Union programming, including an exhibition on view in the Foundation Building's colonnade windows, dedicated to lifting up and celebrating Great Women Live from the Great Hall. Gloria Steinem Steinem and Tillet were introduced by Laura Sparks, the first female president of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Hundreds of women and friends stood in line outside of Cooper Union to enter the Great Hall Saturday afternoon. We were invited to return that evening for stellar performances by Tiler Peck, principal ballet dancer for the New York City Ballet; Grammy nominated songstress Melissa Manchester

Lambda Literary Awards Finalists Disappoint This Year

Two years ago I was the only African-American Lammy Finalist in the Lesbian Memoir/Biography category for Practicing for Love . This year there is NOT ONE African-American finalist. WTF!  While there are no African Americans, there are some women of color represented in the category: an Asian-American, a Hispanic/Latina, and a Cambodian immigrant. The two white women represented are a butch dominatrix from West Virginia, and a Jewish woman who falls in love and loses her father to a heart condition around the same time. These were some heavy-hitting publications from major publishing houses. Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a Pulitzer Prize winner. Her book Lost & Found is Longlisted for the National Book Award, is a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, and is Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal. It is also one of People Magazine's Ten Best Books of the Year, and is listed as one of the Best Books of the Year in Time , NPR, Oprah Daily , Th

"Tell It Like A Woman" at the U.N.

  As part of the International Women's Day celebrations at the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Italy to the U.N. and U.N. Women, among other Member States, presented a screening of a project titled Tell It Like A Woman in the U.N. General Assembly Hall on March 3rd. The film was created by the non-profit organization "We Do It Together" founded by Italian film producer Chiara Tilesi. Before the screening, opening remarks were given by the Permanent Representative of Italy Ambassador Maurizio Massari, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming, the Executive Director of U.N. Women Sima Bahous, Permanent Representative of Argentina Ambassador Maria del Carmen Squeff, and Chiara Tilesi. Tell It Like A Woman is a compilation of short films directed by eight women. The opening piece, directed by Taraji P. Henson, starred Jennifer  Hudson in the role of a mentally ill, drug-addicted prisoner. Eva Longoria also starred in one of the segments as

"The Dyke Show" by JEB

JEB (aka Joan E. Biren) For the first time in 39 years, JEB (aka Joan E. Biren) gave a live presentation of the restored version of her original epic slide show titled The Dyke Show , with a new introduction and epilogue. The event was presented at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City in partnership with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art on February 9th. In her own words:  "Being Seen Makes A Movement Possible - that is and always has been [my] ethos. For more than 50 years, I have extensively documented lesbian lives, from intimate at-home shots, to front-lines, grassroots organizing and movement work animated by a fierce and loving commitment to breaking down hierarchy and power. This is evident not only in my photographic practice, which questions and queries photographic ideas of 'capture' and 'subject,' but also in my commitment to making these images as public and accessible as possible."     JEB During the 1970s a