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Dominican Day Parade 2016

by admin on August 15, 2016

The Dominican Day Parade was lit. Literally, it was hot as blazing saddles out there on Avenue of the Americas. And still, it was fun. Here is a snapshot of my crew and I “backstage” waiting for the fete to start! Check out my ‘gram for more pics. #Decolonize

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Deep Breath. So. How are you? Yeah. Trump. Racism. I’ve been tweeting about that and other stuff. Aren’t we living in interesting times? Okay, so back on track. I’ve been a little cray over the last few months but it’s been for good reason. I’ve been knee-deep in researching my book-in-progress, East of Broadway, conducting interviews and following the goings-on in my beloved Inwood. I feel like it’s about to pour out of me but still, it’s, as most things are, a work in progress.

And, I’ve been trying really hard to talk folks into re-starting this podcast I co-founded a minute ago but it’s just mostly been a pain in the ass. I had a feeling back when I voted “no” to a hiatus, then when…let me leave that there.

I have some good news. Bobby Sanabria, a Grammy-nominee 7 times over, a wicked percussionist extraordinaire, and brilliant bandleader, is now composing a score for SOME GIRLS and, in July, my producer and I think we found the perfect post-production house where we will finish the film, fingers-crossed, by the end of the year. Henry and I just started working on another film, also set in the Boogie Down, which is just fresh to death. I’ve dropped a little knowledge about our subject, Lorine Padilla, on Instagram. You might want to check it out.

And there are a few other things I’m busy cooking up but I’ll get into that a little later. Oh, I almost forgot to let ya’ll know that I also defended my title and won, for a second year in a row, my division at the National Women’s Golden Glove boxing tournament that went down at the beginning of July.

All’s to say, I’m sorry about not stopping by more frequently. I know that’s no excuse to forgo updating my website—am doing it slowly but surely, steady—but hopefully you’ve been staying up with me on social media. If not, you probably should.

Also, I want to send a virtual high-five to my daughter, djali, who just debuted her new Mass Appeal interview series, reign(a), last week. I should also give the rest of my fam some propers while “we are gathered here today to get through this…”—rest in paradise, Prince.  Lovetaps to my husband on his new endeavor, as written in Variety last week. And I can’t leave my son out of the loop—he’s starting pre-K this fall! Kudos, Marceau. We are proud of you.

Lastly, if you’re in New York City this Sunday, August 14th, make sure to check me out at the Dominican Day Parade, where I will be marching as one of this year’s honorees. Cray, right?

One more thing before I forget. Lately, I’ve been receiving emails and messages on social media from high school and college students around the country who have been assigned my book, Bird of Paradise, as required reading. Let me know how that’s working out for you. Drop me a line, why don’t ya.

Peace, Earthlings!

 

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Recognizing My Saints

by admin on May 5, 2016

Happy Cinco de Mayo, amigos! It’s been a minute but I had to leave you in order to save myself! I’m having Mercury Retrograde moment. Okay, it’s not that deep but, well, maybe it kind of was. I’ve been busy and, for a minute, overwhelmed. If you follow me on Twitter‘gram, or FB, then stop reading this jawn because you I’ve been dropping nuggets all along, and trying keep up with folks.

I’m looking forward to our About Race re-launch because I need to drop at least one or three “I-told-you-so’s” about el Donald: I told you not to sleep on him. Many of you did. And so, the Xenophobic Giant has awoken and managed to capture the bile hearts and gullible minds of Americans who have, until he bumrushed the scene like Columbus, felt like the ugly stepchildren of  the GOP.

Speaking of Columbus: we went underground and brought our documentary, Some Girls, to rough cut stage. We are all happy with it at this moment. 4+ years deep into the ride, we are digging the way the narrative has taken shape and the animated sequences, created by Flickerlab, have come together. A nugget: one of the animated sequences is a People’s History of Columbus. It’s freaking ah-ma-zing. Biased. Another morsel: 7 X Grammy nominee and master percussionist, Bobby Sanabria, is composing an original score.

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My book, East of Broadway, is starting to reveal itself. I don’t like writing what I know about but rather, what I want to learn more about. I’m going to let that marinate while I sip on this Tecate (for my Mexican massive and to celebrate my book, Bird of Paradise, being adopted for a Latinx identity in literature class at The New School this fall.)

Also, my husband’s other supergroup, The Wilding Incident, premiered a new music video for their debut track, “Prey for the Wolfpack,” on Mass Appeal. My kiddo makes a cameo in it. Check it out.

Stay blessed for success, folks.

#WokeOne,
Raquel

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A New About Race “Drive By” Episode!

by admin on February 17, 2016

For your listening pleasure, and because we missed our podcast family, is a NEW episode, featuring the original About Race massive!

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Eat, Pray, Read: BuzzFeed List Love

by admin on February 8, 2016

I’ve survived a couple of tough though crazy-productive months since we took an ABOUT RACE hiatus (which we’re trying to get back on track, soon, soon, soon…#pinkypromise!). More on all the progress later—have to get back to grant-writing in a few—but I wanted to share this cool list I came across with you. After laboring through two film grants and delivering them on time last Friday, I came across some list-love on BuzzFeed. What was cool about this list for me was that it came from book lovers, from the people, rather than mainstream reviewers (who, as you know, still render us invisible unless someone they find palatable—usually a male—opens the proverbial door with a blurb). BuzzFeed Books asked their subscribers to write in about a book that changed their lives: my book, Bird of Paradise, found its way onto that list. Check it out by clicking onto the image, below.

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The Cipher Show and ‘ting

by admin on November 11, 2015

So, I’m hoping you’ve signed up for my monthly-ish newsletter (which I’ll send over the weekend) and or keep up with me on social media because it’s been crazy-hard as of late to blog on a daily, even weekly basis. We just got back from London, where Sacha was screening his documentary Fresh Dressed at BFI, and Brussels, where we met, um, Manneken-Pis and stayed at an AirBNB flat that, to my delight, came equipped with a heavy-bag! I came back the day before we recorded the podcast—listen to it here (and listen to my unintentional fuck-up of “Maddow,” as in Rachel, in the ad: #jetlag)—and, after binge-watching docs, ready to go back in to the studio with fresh eyes. Feel me?!

Ok, here is a podcast I was recently featured on called The Cipher Show in where Shawn and Josh forced me back down memory lane (including some avenues I hadn’t wanted to venture down again) and produced an well researched and thorough interrogation interview for your listening pleasure. Shout out to them for the love and listen to these guys: they know their ish!

Oh, and we just dropped the “Diversity Drinking Game” B-Side, featuring Intersection’s Jamil Smith. ‘Twas fun.

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So, I’m really terrible at updating my appearances section, and have, am embarrassed but not really, to say I have simply been to hectic to stay on top of it. So, I’ll do it here! I’m headlining Target First Saturdays tomorrow at the Brooklyn Museum. Check out the flyer below. I’ll be in conversation with the brilliant Sacha Jenkins (and I’m not just saying that because he’s my husband: the dude is all kinds of renaissance-y and shit: I swear) about my book, this and that, at 9PM at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art on the 4th Floor. Best thing? It’s FREE, ya’ll.

Raquel Cepeda at Brooklyn Museum

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Earlier this month, I wrote a story about traveling to the remote Havasupai Reservation’s campgrounds, located at the bottom of a gorge off the Grand Canyon, for the New York Times, Travel section.  I wanted to post a little something extra, in honor of #TravelTuesdays. First, I tried to upload a much longer clip of our helicopter ride down to the Havasupai Reservation from Hualapai Hilltop but, as Mercury retrograde would have it (countdown to Thursday), my computer kept crashing every time I tried to upload a larger file. This went on for hours. So here, alas, is a short snippet of our brief and yet exhilarating helicopter ride down, down, down. Some visitors opt to hike down by foot, others by mule, but since we were traveling with a three-year-old and because I wanted to show my family a different POV of this beautiful landscape, I opted for a ride down in the bosom of a rather noisy but relatively smooth steel bird. Marceau loved it!

 

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