Just going through my luggage, clearing out some things to make way for enlightenment
Sunday, February 26, 2006Settling in Nicely
FINALLY! A link to civilization.
The modem arrived yesterday and you would have thought it was Christmas up in through here. At the moment there is no wall jack in the computer room so there is a line running from the kitchen, which looks real ghetto, but OH WELL! I'll make a more attractive connection this week.
The new job is great. I'm getting used to being in charge. It's a strange transition from having been a very hands-on, action-oriented person. A few days ago the office assistant told me not to answer my phone. I am to send all calls through the main line. That just blew my mind. It's all good, though. I never listened to my voicemail anyway.
I thought that being on such a remote campus would bore me, but it really hasn't. The students are great and we've already had dynamic speaker on campus for Black History Month. Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an economist, author and commentator came and delivered a marvelous lecture that links the rise in racism to Black economic empowerment. It seems that each time Black folk make strides toward economic equality, some kind of racial divide pops up to make it more difficult for us to achieve.
Malveaux writes monthly for USA Today and Black Issues in Higher Education and a weekly column that appears in more than 20 newspapers. She is also a frequent contributor to national magazines including Essence, Ms., Crisis, Emerge, Black Enterprise and The Progressive. Check a sister out. She will engage and empower you. It has truly been a a great month for me.
Things are great on the artistic front as well. We saw Color Purple on Broadway on Tuesday and it was an absolute amazing production. I was absolutely exhausted, but pressed my way to the theater. I am so glad I did. I need everyone who can to make an effort to get there and don't expect to see an exact replica of the movie. There are a few similarities, but I believe those come from Alice Walker's book on which everything is based. One of the most hilarious moments of the evening occurred when Celie meets her children. A over enthusiastic audience member (why did I know her?) shouted, "Bwani Mama!" The entire audience howled. I thought I was at a chitlin circuit musical, speaking of which...
We saw Tyler Perry's, Madea's Family Reunion (gotta keep those opening weekend numbers up!). Perry is really a gifted film maker. Parts of the film had me absolutely spellbound. There was a moment at the family reunion where Cicely Tyson addresses the whole family. It was very "Beah Richards in the woods" from Beloved. Of course Madea was herself. She had more screen time than in Diary. I am really going to miss her when Perry retires the character. There's no one else like her and I personally prefer Perry in "character." Daddy Charles was also hilarious. He really comes alive in heavy make up. And I'm not trying to be messy, but why does he pack his productions with half naked muscle men? There was one scene on a basketball court that was pure homoerotica. The only thing that dissapointed me was that Jenifer Lewis was not a member of the family. THAT would have been HILARIOUS. But as always Perry made some powerful statements about forgiveness and healing, the stuff that we really need.
Reality slapped me in the face as we were leaving the theater. The county sheriff was posted by the door just to make sure the Blacks exited in an orderly fashion. The least they could have done was sent an officer of color. This boy looked like Opie Taylor from the Andy Griffith Show all grown up. I was slightly offended. Did they expect we were going to fight after seeing a family movie? You would have thought we had just seen Get Rich or Die Tryin'. It gives me the impression that it must be policy to have police protection when Black films are shown, no matter what the genre. The fact that there was only one officer also leads me to believe that it's not about crowd control, but elimation. If something were to really pop off, all he could do is shoot somebody. I am really living in the kountry!