Every since my pastor told me that Black women are the
gate keepers of the margins, I haven't been the same.
He said this, then handed me bell hooks' Feminist Theory,
and Malcolm and Martin, American Dream American Nightmare
and encouraged me to write.
I was honored.
I was also bummed out.
It felt great to be encouraged, but man, those margins get lonely.
I also haven't been the same since I realized that gentrification,
crack and prostitution all can be explained with capitalism.
Much of the sophistication of my understanding can be attributed
to Filthy. I did intellectual ground work by reading like a maniac,
but he helps it form like Voltron.
Last week I made a mental note to Google Tre Ellis. This morning
I did and I was surprised. I have always loved his novels.
They were weird as sh*t. However, the lens that I read it with years ago
didn't allow me to see how he handled gender and sexuality.
I am excited to see what I will think about it, upon revisiting it.
His work is couched within the tension between Ishmael Reed
and Alice Walker.
This also ironic to me because I have been thinking
writing doing a post about how both Alice & Ishmael
are my living literary parents. So the fact that Tre's work
is cognizant of the tension between Ishmael and Alice
further helped me put 10 on 2 regarding my excitement.
Then in the middle of reading about Tre Ellis, I remembered that I
wanted to check for Donnel Alexander. Then BLAM. There was his blog,
with a post titled Miss Rap Supreme & Gentrification.
I read it thinking "I would write a title like that".
In that moment, at that precise moment, the margins became,
a tad less isolated.
It was kind of like the feeling you get when your old best friend moves
back from out of state, to her grandmommas house down the street.
It was like when Ta-Nehisi e-mailed me saying he had written the book.
Now if we can get some ZZ Packer and Nichelle Tramble we will be cooking
with fish grease.
What are you reading now?
Been on any margins lately?