Here am I with my friend Zoila who I hadn’t seen in years!
What a roller coaster the past few weeks have been!
For those of you who have been wondering, I have seen a few more films, namely The Boss (there were black people in it) and Eye in the Sky (there were black people in it and it was really good). Although I enjoyed both films, I really just didn’t feel like writing about either of them. I’ve also gotten a little bored with my overall mission of sharing my thoughts about race and representation in cinema. I’ve been doing this for almost a year and I think I’m good.
I do still plan to stay enrolled in MoviePass and I will probably still review some films, but because I have so much else going on, I will only write about those films which I find particularly good, moving, or problematic.
I got a new job! I am a full-time teacher. I don’t blog about work.
But I do blog about the wonderful opportunities I have for public speaking! The brothers of Chi Phi Fraternity at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania invited me to speak at their annual Biff Hoffman Diversity Lecture! The organizer and my host was a delightful young man named Patrick who ensured that I was well taken care of the entire time.
My mission was to facilitate conversations and give thoughts about the intersection of LGBT life and Greek life (and inevitably race, because I personally don’t separate being black from being gay). I visited two classes, one club/collective, and spend significant time at the Chi Phi house speaking with their leadership and their members.
As I told them, if I had sons who attended Bucknell, I would be perfectly comfortable seeing them pledge Chi Phi if that was in their hearts. I really mean that. Great guys.
The actual lecture happened on the day Prince died. Even though it was a somber day for me, I still had to make sure I made the evening meaningful for the listeners. I told my personal story and did my best to link it to their experiences at Bucknell.
One of the recurring questions was “How do we recruit diverse people if diverse people don’t rush?” My answer was layered, but for simplicity’s sake, I will say this to anyone reading: Generally, don’t wait for “rush week” to recruit your guys–recruitment is a year-round endeavor. And secondly, I don’t think people from marginalized communities want to participate in cattle-calls for various reasons. I mean, why go to an American Idol audition when you can get discovered singing in a local dive bar? Chances are about the same, right?
So meet gay folks and people of color where they already are: the dorm (they gotta live somewhere), the caf (they gotta eat), and class (they gotta get knowledged)!
I know it’s easier said than done, but wouldn’t everyone prefer recruiting organically anyway?
That was just one of my pearls of wisdom. Hopefully those wonderful folks at Bucknell walked away with something.
Of course, Prince died. I am not sure what, if anything, I have to say about that, especially so soon after David Bowie’s death. So many tears. So much sadness. Maybe one day.
I will be at DC Black Pride again this year at the Writer’s Forum. I haven’t been a panelist in a few years so I am excited to promote my appearance in 47-16, a tribute anthology to David Bowie.
More about that later as well.
I thank all of you who think of me, check on me, and pray for me. I really do appreciate it. Stay tuned!