It’s been a crazysweatycool summer so far! I’ve been on the low and working crazy hard this summer. I’ve been juggling production dates for my current documentary, SOME GIRLS, which we recently received a National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) grant for. I’ve been working hard on a book proposal for a subject I’ve been passionate about since the 1990s (more later), and training like a beast for the 5th annual New York Boxing Tournament. Man, it’s been nuts, but hard work, eating clean and dedication pays off! I won my first belt over the weekend, beating out a heavier fighter (in her home gym, no less!) in the women’s masters division. It was a remarkable night, especially with my kids, huz, and friends cheering me on! Check me out, below, with my amazing coach, Moises.
I came across this clever campaign against domestic violence while cruising Huffpo earlier today and wanted to share it here. Middle Eastern POPlitical artist Saint Hoax launched this campaign, “Happy Never After,” to bring awareness to domestic violence. In the series, Saint Hoax uses Disney princesses as a prism to illustrate how violence against women can happen to just about anyone. According to his website, his goal is to “encourage victims to report their cases in order for the authorities to prevent it from happening again.”
I’d love to see Saint Hoax do a series in where he features famous perps of violence against women who are celebrated in the media, by their communities, and even passionately defended by other women and girls (and sometimes their victims!) because, well, he can sing or dance or act. Hoax’s take would be interesting.
I was asked to write a reflection piece by an editor over at Complex magazine, based on an Instagram photo I posted yesterday morning. It went live this morning and it goes a little something like this…
While riding the 1 train uptown yesterday morning I stared at the cover of the New York Daily News. Someone had abandoned the paper on the seat directly across from me. I felt this thing, the newspaper, suck me into a portal. I traveled back to those moments in time when the five Black and Latino kids pictured on the cover, aged 14-16, were shafted by our judicial system.
The black-and-white photo of these teenagers dressed like pallbearers and looking confused brought me back to that time and what it was like being a non-white teenager in New York City.
READ THE REST OF THE PIECE HERE.
It was quite an honor to guest host on Latino USA on NPR for the one and only Maria Hinojosa while she’s been busy conquering the world and being the positive force she wants to see in it. Loved her staff, this week’s theme—MOVE—and interviewing my friend Farai Chideya about our shared passion for traveling. #lovetaps
This week, Latino USA is on the move with guest host Raquel Cepeda. We hear stories of La Bestia, the train which takes Central American migrants through Mexico to the US. We hear about a Salvadoran woman’s story, from a gay migrant, and about those trying to take alternate modes of transport. And we hear about one man who massages the feet of migrants as they journey north. Then: some background on the World Cup, traveling while brown, and doing Zumba for community. And finally, the World War II internment story you might have missed.
The gorgeous sunrise this morning made a magical b-roll moment possible: welcome, June. #SOME_GIRLS
Once, when I was about 19 or 20, I darted past Bloomingdale’s in New York, running late to something—I forget—and literally ran into a large, imposing figure walking out of the shop as I sprinted by. I felt as if I had ran into a brick wall. As I stood there in a daze, rubbing my nose, I heard this majestic voice say every-so-slowly, “Child, slow down. Where on earth could be more important than being with your self right now?” My knees started to wobble when I realized this person was Maya Angelou. She glided off, in that regal way of hers, before I could fix my lips to apologize. And that’s why there’s a nod to her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which I had just read around that time in the title of my book Bird of Paradise… I wish I could have told her that in person, but alas, I never ran into her again.
My husband Sacha Jenkins is a creative dude. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Check out the series over at mass appeal.
Cheo Feliciano, who died this morning in a car accident, was a masterful storyteller. He provided a soundtrack for our history, one we never learned in school, and through his music, we were encouraged to take pride in where we came from. Even now as ancestor, Feliciano continues to illuminate our history. So, so honored to have met his acquaintance. I wish him a peaceful transition.