Food is a Feminist Issue

July 12, 2011
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Food is a Feminist Issue

Recently the United States Department of Agriculture announced that new public health campaigns would abandon the food pyramid. The USDA food guide pyramid was originally introduced as a public health initiative in 1992. The “Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta Group” formed the base with 6-11 servings recommended daily, while “Fats, Oils, and Sweets” formed the apex. Printed next to the latter category were the instructions “Use Sparingly.” Given the subsequent...
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Writer Spotlight: Nafissa Thompson-Spires

July 12, 2011
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Writer Spotlight: Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Food-Related Flashes I have reached a lifetime low.  In this very moment, I sit perched on the edge of a bathroom counter with no soap, eating cookies that do not taste good.  Each time I swallow a bite, the chocolate chips scratch my throat.  It hurts because I have been crying. I don’t know how I got here.  I mean, I know how I got here, to this party...
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Two Exhibits, One Film, and the Pleasures of Gertrude Stein

July 10, 2011
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Two Exhibits, One Film, and the Pleasures of Gertrude Stein

By Sharon J. Kirsch When Gertrude Stein comes to the United States, she does so in a big way. In 1934, Stein, who had spent 30 years in France, finally returned to the States as an international celebrity. The prodigious success of the accessible and witty The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, cunningly written in the voice of her companion-lover, charmed readers with stories of her friendships with Picasso,...
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Queering Democracy and Christianity

July 7, 2011
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Queering Democracy and Christianity

By Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou A few years ago, I interviewed to serve as the Senior Minister of a church in the Bronx. I was excited about serving as a pastor in the poorest congressional district in the country, plus the “Boogie Down” is the birth place of Hip Hop. Surrounded by the thick cloud of pollution that is the air and decaying housing while being serenaded by blaring...
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Strauss-Kahn, Domestic Immigrants and Money, Power, Respect

July 5, 2011
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Strauss-Kahn, Domestic Immigrants and Money, Power, Respect

See I believe in money, power and respect.  First you get the money.  Then you get the motherf–kin’ power.  And after you get the f–kin’ power.  You get the f–kin’ ni–az to respect you. It’s the key to life.  ~Lil’ Kim In 1998 when Lil’ Kim penned these lyrics in the Hip Hop anthem, “Money, Power, Respect,” she was likely drawing upon her early years as a struggling teen...
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The Meaning of the 4th of July, 2011

July 3, 2011
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The Meaning of the 4th of July, 2011

Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them . . . your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty...
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The New Obama Factor: Why Michelle Obama Matters

July 1, 2011
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The New Obama Factor: Why Michelle Obama Matters

  By Keri Day There is a new Obama Factor.  And it’s not the President. Michelle Obama’s recent trip to South Africa inspired me to take a closer look at her expanding role and why she matters more and more on the international political stage.  But, let me travel back to the first time I encountered Mrs. Obama. I first heard her not at a political rally or on...
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Putting the “X” in X-Men

June 29, 2011
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Putting the “X” in X-Men

Last week, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a fascinating editorial-cum-review of Matthew Vaughan’s X-Men: First Class in The New York Times. In it, he makes an important point about the absence of the Black Freedom Movement from the film’s narrative: as “First Class” roars to its final climactic scene, it appeals to an insidious suspension of disbelief; the heroic mutants of America, bravely opposing bigotry and fear, are revealed as not...
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“We Don’t Just Litigate and Leave”: A Conversation with NAPW

June 27, 2011
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“We Don’t Just Litigate and Leave”: A Conversation with NAPW

I recently enjoyed a lively conversation with Lynn Paltrow, J.D., Founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW), and Board President Jeanne Flavin, Ph.D., on the occasion of the organization’s 10th Anniversary Celebration, held June 6th in New York. Lynn had just received an honorary degree from John Jay College, while Jeanne’s 2010 book, Our Bodies, Our Crimes, has garnered considerable attention and a major award....
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Another Day at the Races

June 24, 2011
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Another Day at the Races

By now, we have grown accustomed to a US Supreme Court that rules in favor of the corporate interest, no matter what its costs might entail with regard to democratic practices. Corporations are now “individuals,” and money is “speech.” Just so, the loudest mouth among us now is the one with the longest purse. For five of our robed friends, so much for the “people” and their aspirations.  We...
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On Her Birthday: Octavia E. Butler, Mountain Climber

June 22, 2011
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On Her Birthday: Octavia E. Butler, Mountain Climber

Four days ago, my colleague and I decided to set off on our own, without our host, to explore London—a quick sightseeing and shopping trip in psychological preparation for participation in the Goldsmiths College 6th International Conference of Caribbean Women’s Writing.  As we exited the tube at Covent Garden, the flow of departing passengers swept us toward the staircase.  I saw the sign but did not digest: “There are...
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Arts & Culture

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