Monday, December 28, 2009

Joan Morgan: A conversation on hip hop journalism, sexism and the term African American

Joan Morgan is one of hip hop journalism's prized pioneers and celebrated culture critics. Her work explores culture and sexism. She wrote the black feminist reader "When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost." Her latest essay “Black Like Barack” is featured in the book “The Speech: Race and Barack Obama's “A More Perfect Union.” A woman of Jamaican heritage, she was raised in New York.

YLW: Your book "When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost" continues to be a popular feminist reader. Are you surprised that nearly a decade after the release it's still relevant?

JM: I would hope that it wouldn't be as relevant and that we would have moved away from some of the issues that the book grappled with. It's probably more relevant on a mass scale then it was when it was initially published. I'm still surprised when I get a 22-year old who says I love your book. In some ways it has actually gotten worse.

YLW: What's gotten worse? Are you referring to hip hop?

JM: When I wrote "Chickenheads" there was a much greater range of women in the music and a greater presence of the female voice. You don't have that now. That lack of representation is a problem. There has been a narrowing of the type of hip hop and no real improvement in the level of sexism and misogyny in the music. If you were conflicted before you are more discouraged now. I talk to women now who don't even feel they have a place in the culture. At the time, I felt that it was as much mine as anyone else's.

YLW: You are a pioneer in hip hop journalism. What are your thoughts on the evolution of the field?

JM: When I started writing there was no hip hop journalism. I remember when someone came up to me and Kevin Powell and said I want to be like you, I want to be a hip hop journalist. We were writers. We weren't aspiring to be hip hop journalist. I think the evolution is a good thing but no one was trying to establish that as a genre. We were pioneers. We grew into the title and learned how to work with it. I think there's a great body of work from 79' to the late 90s of important works by a group of important writers who documented the culture. That said, I don't see a lot of hip hop journalism these days. It's much more about celebrity culture.

YLW: How do you define hip hop journalism?

JM: Hip hop journalism is committed to writing about hip hop culture but unafraid to criticize the culture, the artist, and to defend it. Hip hop was not glamorous when I started. There was no glory. If you wrote about hip hop, you were in a grimy club at 1 am in the morning. There was no car service. But when it became this multi-million dollar machine all that changed.

Writers weren't afraid to do criticism. Now music writing is a part of celebrity culture. Everyone wants to be down. They don't want to harm a relationship with the artist, label, advertisers. It limits the form of writing. In the past, writers were committed to being honest and to being critical.

I think hip hop journalism was really born in a certain time period and out of a real desire to fight for a place and a context for the music. And it was written by people who were from that culture. So when those stories were calculated and were told, it was written by people who were a part of the culture.

YLW: Are you happy with hip hop's growth into this multi-million dollar enterprise?

JM: Yes and no. I'm a late 70s baby. I'm a child of hip hop. I never had the expectation that it would live forever. I still remember being completely shocked when I heard a rap song on the radio. I saw it make the journey from the hood to where it is now. I never operated with the 'oh this could last forever' mentality. In many ways we were just kids who didn't realize the enormous potential it had to capture the world's imagination. In that respect it has far exceeded my expectations.

On the other level, I'm disappointed in the level of creativity. I just don't like it. To be fair, I think the production is better. You could argue that linguistically the skill level has far surpassed “ a hip hop a hippee, etc” and you have an artist like Jay-Z who keeps evolving. But I just don't think the music is that good.

YLW: What are your thoughts on writing these days? Do you follow any emerging music writers?

JM: I remember Kevin Powell's answer to that kid who asked how do you become a hip hop journalist and he said read . . . read Toni Morrison. James Baldwin. That' s one of the disadvantages of the blogosphere and print media. Anyone and their mother can call themselves a writer now because they have a blog. Every single piece we wrote back then was like going to school because your editors were kicking your ass. I read stories today and it feels like I'm reading a bio. The publicist could have written it. It's the machine behind it. Before as a hip hop journalist I could say I have to be alone with this person for 3 days. You can't do that anymore.

YLW: How do women reconcile with some of the sexism in popular culture?

JM: I think women are equally conflicted with it. We still live in a society where you can have instant celebrity by sleeping with Tiger Woods and selling your story to the media. You can be a video vixen and your story can get a million dollar book advance, where a hip hop journalist isn't going to see that kind of money.

YLW: You don't use the term African American. You prefer black. Why?

JM: I look in the mirror and see that I'm a black woman and see our commonalities but I do have a cultural experience that is different from all of my friends who are African American. I don't allow people to introduce me as an African American writer because people make assumptions. They make assumptions about my culture that aren't bad, they're just false. I'm from a group of very proud Jamaicans and that should be honored.

When I think post black, I hope there's an understanding that everyone who is black in America doesn't share the same background and experience. Our diversity should be embraced. When people use African American they mean the specific experience of being black and being a descendant of southern slaves, which is a really important part of the black experience in America, but it's not the only narrative.

YLW: Don't people take issue with you not calling yourself African American?

JM: All the time. I just applied to grad school to do my dissertation on it. I used to not care. I didn't think it was a big enough deal. Then I did my first book signing and my entire Jamaican family was in Barnes and Noble. My husband at the time, his family is from Jamaica and Tobago, so our child is completely of Caribbean and American decent. and from that he's a descendant of Jamaican and Chinese ancestry. At the reading, I was introduced as an African American writer and to my family that was a complete erasure of them.

YLW: In POST BLACK, I tell a story about trying to explain the nuances between using the term African American and black to an English journalist. He was completely confused.

JM: Black is a diverse experience. Even if you say African American means I have roots in Africa, well, by that definition Charlise Theron is African American. I say I'm black and bi cultural. When I'm in Jamaica, I'm considered to be Jamaican. Unless I speak in patois most don't know I'm from Jamaica. You have to have a definition of black that's more expansive.

We need commonalities that are greater than racism. I don't define myself by what a racist white person sees. So if the definition of African American comes in that I have to erase everything that I was before I came to this country, in the case of most immigrants they just won't embrace that. They just won't sign on. They don't see themselves as African American because we don't focus on our commonalities as black people. But it's not just typical of African Americans, it's an American thing. I've never been to Africa. Hope to go. But you're asking me to skip the whole country that I came from, when Africa embodies all these ethnic experiences, too. We have a lot of work to do. We have to create a narrative that is a little more flexible.

I think there's a responsibility on the part of immigrants as well. If you're moving to America you should learn about the culture here. I majored in African American studies because that was information I wasn't going to know if I wasn't in a classroom. I needed to know the culture of the people I was living with. I also take umbrage with immigrants who feel they don't need to know it. But for real diversity and tolerance you have to embrace one another. My child has a Chinese grandmother who speaks fluent patois. I can't get people to get pass the fact that Jamaica is a multi-ethnic country, too.

YLW: You wrote an essay “Black Like Barack” which ran in the book "The Speech: Race and Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union." The essay explored attitudes by those who questioned the President's blackness during the campaign. You essentially said that if Barack's not black, neither are you. I've had the 'you're not really black' conversation recently. It's a strange discussion.

JM: I always love the 'you're not really black' conversation. Who holds the definitive definition on that?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Comic Justice - Interview with Marvel Comics Illustrator Shawn Martinbrough

Shawn Martinbrough is a comic illustrator for Marvel Comics and former DC Comics illustrator. He's worked on the Batman series and X-Men. His latest project is the 1930s Harlemite and African American superhero Luke Cage. The four part mini series, which is published by Marvel Comics, is written by Mike Benson (Entourage) and Adam Glass (Cold Case). Shawn’s art book How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and and Technique of Visual Story Telling, which is published by Random House, is used by budding illustrators across the world. A New York City native, Shawn is also featured in Marvelous Color, a show on Marvel's African American superheroes and features original art by artists of color at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in New York , 8 W. 58th St. (btn 9th and 10th).

YLW: Many comic book fans today don't know about the African American illustrators or writers in the industry. Do you ever think about how mind blowing this is for some people?

SM: It's never lost on me that I'm a black guy illustrating major characters for major companies. Working in the comic book industry is probably the most level playing field you'll experience as an artist. To the editor looking to hire freelance artists, it's all about A). Can you meet your deadlines? and B). Are you good?

YLW: Marvelous Color is a really exciting show. How did it come about?

SW: The curators, Edgardo and Shirley Miranda-Rodriguez wanted to create a show that featured classic African American superheroes such as Luke Cage, Storm, Black Panther and more contemporary heroes like Blade and War Machine (who will be prominently featured in the highly anticipated Iron man 2 in 2010). More importantly, they wanted the exhibit to feature the artists of color who have illustrated these characters. Many of the artists, myself included, created original artwork for the show.

YLW: Tell me about your experience with DC and Marvel Comics?

SM: I got my degree in illustration in 93' from the School of Visual Arts in New York City but I landed my first work for Marvel Comics in 92'. The biggest thing I did for DC Comics was drawing Batman: Detective Comics. I got that job in 99'.

DC editorial wanted to go in a new direction with Batman. Gotham had suffered this massive earthquake, which destroyed the entire city. The plan for the 2000 relaunch was to jump ahead in time with Gotham City starting fresh. They hired myself and other artists to redesign sections of Gotham City. Creating new neighborhoods in Gotham City was an amazing experience. The writer to whom I was paired with was bestselling author Greg Rucka. Working on Detective Comics was fun but the pressure of drawing 22 pages a month can get tight.

Eventually, I moved to Marvel and did one of their limited series for the X Men. Then I was offered work at DC in their licensing division where I illustrated several projects featuring basketball great Lebron James as a super spy. Over the years I bounced back and forth between Marvel and DC and then I was offered an opportunity to create an art instruction book based upon my high contrast art style. How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling was published by Watson Guptill/Random House in 2007.

YLW: Graphic novels are really popular now. Why do so many become films?

SM: Comic books are seen by Hollywood as very lucrative intellectual properties because you can franchise and more importantly merchandize. As with a novel, it's an adaptation and there's less risk compared to creating a film based on a completely new concept.

Back in the early 90s, when I was growing up in New York there was one main comic convention, the New York Comic Con. Marvel and DC would have booths there. They'd look at portfolios of aspiring artists and promote upcoming projects. It was well attended but it was mostly for comic book fans. Going into the late 90s, the San Diego Comic Con began to grow in popularity and became more prominent. Now, San Diego has been completely taken over by Hollywood. Variety will cover it. Entertainment Tonight will do a feature. That convention is so popular now it's ridiculous.

YLW: Who is the comic book audience?

SM: I think that the majority of comic book buyers are in their thirties and older. These tend to be people who collected comics as kids. Today, comics appeal to some of the youth but they have so many distractions for entertainment now. Also, many video games have completely ripped off comic books conceptually. As a kid consumer you have to ask yourself, will you buy a $28 worth of comic books (which will amount to about 5 books) or a $30 video game that will give you 60 hours of play?

YLW: How has the approach to writing comic books changed over the years?

SM: The writing has become more sophisticated. However, Marvel and DC are recruiting writers from outside the comic book industry for many new projects. They’re approaching Hollywood screenwriters and bestselling novelists to take a stab at writing new books. These are also people with notoriety that the companies hope can help sell their books beyond the comic book base.

YLW: Are there many African Americans in comics?

SM: There are a number of African Americans working in comics but it's such a faceless industry that you don't know who's black and who's not. A lot of people don't know I'm black. I’m been surprised myself to learn that an artist or writer whose work I admire is a person of color.

YLW: What makes a comic "good"?

SM: Since I'm an artist first I have to respond to the art. No matter how well a comic book is written, I can't read it if it has bad art.

YLW: What's the comic making process?

SM: I'm given a script. I draw it out and send the boards to the company. The inker goes over my work. Digitally they send it to a letterer and a colorist. An editor overseas the entire process from start to finish. Finally the completed book is sent to the printer. Typically I draw and ink my own work so I save them a step.

YLW: What's your work day like?

SM: I work from home in my studio. I go to bed around 3 am and wake up at 9am. Sometimes I get stir crazy when I have a tight deadline but I enjoy drawing and telling stories visually so it’s worth it.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Show "Fat Bitch" and why it's not called "Hot Grits Will Burn Your Tongue": Interview with "Precious" star Erica Watson

Erica Watson is the star of the touring one woman show Fat Bitch a comedic exploration of plus sized women, sexuality and identity. A stand up comic, Watson also stars in the critically acclaimed film Precious.  Fat Bitch ended the Chicago run and will run in New York City early next year.

YLW: You starred in Precious. How did that film handle the plus size issue?

EW: Precious dealt with so much. As far as the plus size issue, a lot of it was unsaid. A lot of the film showed how a person who looks like that is invisible to the world. It shows how as a plus sized girl no one paid attention to her. There's a Precious everywhere. If Rihanna looked like Precious, would we care about Chris Brown hitting her? Do you care about the fat girl and what happens to her? Do we care more about women who are beautiful? When I looked at how the audience reacted, people said damn she's fat, or damn she's ugly.

YLW: I thought she was cute.

EW: I think she's cute, too. I get it too when I'm auditioning. People think Beyonce is so thick. So to see someone like me or Precious who's a straight up 24 on screen takes a while to adjust.

YLW: Isn't a size 12 considered plus size today?

EW: I have friends who are plus size models and they are 10s and 12s. But every woman feels the pressure. Magazine covers have a white woman who's a size zero. The same magazine that effects me effects everyone else. It effects Gabby (Sidebe, star of Precious). It effects us all. Even in the smaller size stores, they change the tags so that a woman who is an eight will think she's a four. I'm so tired of every woman being subjected to that type of stuff. You should be you and feel comfortable in your body no matter what size it is. I'm not one of those comedians who has an issue with skinny girls. Just love you.

YLW: Why did you create "Fat Bitch?"

EW: I've always enjoyed comedic performers like Whoopi Goldberg, John Leguizamo and Sandra Berhard. I loved that they didn't just do stand up. They talked about their lives and allowed their one person shows to be an extension of their stand up. I wanted to talk about pressing issues that were important to me without being in the framework of a set up and a punch line. There was a festival in NYC last year that spotlighted African American comedians who don't fit the stereotype of the Def Jam era. I said let me present my one woman show, and I kept developing it.

YLW:When you do stand up, audiences expect you to perform a Def Jam style comedy routine?

EW: When I perform for black audiences they want to hear certain types of comedy. There's nothing wrong with that. They want to talk about things they feel we all relate to. But it puts undue pressure on comics who can't be themselves because they're trying to fit a mode of what's considered funny to black people. As comedians we're really diverse. When people hear black comic they think urban and I'm not an urban comedian.

YLW: Urban is used to describe black audiences for fashion, music, entertainment. What is an urban comedian?

EW: Urban for me is th new word for the N-word. It's a politically correct way of saying you're the N-word. If you take these other words used to describe us like ghetto, hood - that's the comedy they expect. But we're not all urban. But a lot of times people use that term urban as ghetto black. I don't classify myself that way.

YLW: What do you want audiences to get from “Fat Bitch?”

EW: I want people to get from it that no matter who you are, regardless of your class, your size, we all have things about us that people use to stereotype you and put you in a box. For me, the mammy stereotype or the fat and sassy black woman stereotype is used to form an opinion of who I am.

YLW: How does someone perceive you in a mammy context in 2009?

EW: It has more to do with media and entertainment. When we're cast we're always nurturing someone else's need. Fat girls don't have boyfriends. We're here to sing and help everyone else with their problems. In real life if you ask people what they think about a plus size woman, larger weight is associated with lower class. If she's plus size, she' not wealthy. She's supposed to be a bus driver, a meter maid, a lunchroom lady. Those are the stereotypical things you think about with plus sized women. I have a masters degree. I'm smart. I'm fashionable. I'm sexy. I'm all those things. I'm not loud and abrasive. It's not like I can't wait to get to the club and drop it like it's hot and do a split and bring attention to myself.

YLW: (Laughing) Did you just say drop it like it's hot and do a split at the club? Is that what people expect?

EW: Yes. When you're treated that way, you can become a bitch, it makes you want to lash out. If I'm a fat bitch it's because society has made me that way.

YLW: Why do you think these stereotypes are placed on plus sized black women?

EW: I think they make them of all of us. There are other ways in which we are all stereotyped. When President Obama was running for office, middle America was like 'oh my God, this middle class black family, they love each other.' But if you live on the South Side of Chicago, you see that all the time. There's ways that all of us are stereotyped. Even black women on prime time TV aren't allowed to be really beautiful and strong. But if you're a young black woman who's educated and beautiful, we don't see you. Then people assume you don't exist.

YLW: How are people responding to Fat Bitch?

EW: Most people love it or at least that's what they tell me. Even if people don't agree with some of the things I say on stage, they can respect my ability to be honest and fearless in approaching the subject. There has never really been a project to talk about plus size women and our bodies and how it reflects on black women of all sizes.

YLW: How do stereotypes of plus sized black women reflect on black women of all sizes?

EW: A lot of the issues I bring up in the show, most skinny girls don't know about. They don't know about the parties where men come to meet full figured women. Most skinny girls don't know that's going on. Or the pretty face syndrome. People don't know what to do with you if you're fat and cute. Most skinny girls have no problem if your boyfriend has a big girl as a friend, but what if she's fat and cute? It poses other problems. Some of the stuff I talk about in my show women reach out to me about.

YLW: What do they say?

EW: They say I'm a skinny girl and I never thought my guy would like full figured women. Then I look in his porn collection and he has big girls all in his videos. Men like woman of all sizes. There haven't been many shows about black women and sexuality. A lot of men are uncomfortable, too. Even in my show where I talk about how promiscuous I was in college and my partners. Or how I had all this sex and never had a orgasm before.

That kind of thing isn't discussed. The same guy that might say to you that you're not thick enough, will come to me and tell me the exact opposite and how I should look like you. We're dealing with the same crap and we're all connected. As women, we're subjected to all these images. Cable TV tells us one thing, magazines tell us another, network TV tells us something else. But where do we as women create our own identities and say I don't care I”m just gonna be me.

YLW: True. The messages are conflicting and people need to create a space where they can appreciate themselves.

EW: Talk about post black identity, take the Hottentot Venus. Her body was on display because of her small waist and large behind. Then you have black women who are still objectified that way today. Once you go from thick to plus size, it's a different story. It's one thing dealing with the texture of your hair, and the color of your skin, then add the size of your waist . . . I see these panels where they talk about black women and self esteem, but there are never full figured women on these panels and most of the women are beige. We don't include plus sized women in the mix. How are you talking about self esteem when everyone on the panel looks the same?

YLW: I hadn't thought about that. Why don't we see plus sized women on panels about self esteem?

EW: When people talk about self esteem it's aspirational. It's about aspire to be better. But now since fat people are the new N-word in society – you can't turn on CNN without them talking abut the war on fat or the war on obesity. It's not a war on the health industry, but a war on fat people So considering that if you have a panel on self esteem do you want a fat woman on the panel? So, I get it.

YLW: Health and nutrition is a big issue. How do you advocate for better diet and respect for plus size women?

EW: I do want Americans to be healthy. I want black women to be healthy in every way: physical, sexual, and mental health. I think if someone's HIV positive today, no one would support discrimination against them. Even if you feel someone plus size should lose weight or be healthy, that doesn't mean don't hire me for a job. If you don't like it fine, but don't treat me badly because of my size.

EW: I just feel like black women have so many things to deal with as a whole. Talk about post black racial identity. What do you do if a women my size is supposed to be like mammy, but I'm not her complexion? I don't' have her issues. If I look more like the tragic mulatto but I'm mammy size who am I?

YLW: Does anyone ever fit a stereotype?

EW: None of us do. We're multifaceted. We're educated, we're evolved, artistic. You can go to the Art Institute and have a good time. But you might want to grab a drink with your friends at the Dating Game on Stony Island. But black people who do a lot of things and are in the mix of things, they don't know where to put us. I'm in NYC. There is no black middle class. In NYC either you're rich or you're poor and everyone in between is trying to get to one or the other. I go to the Guggenheim, but I still want to get some fried fish and put hot sauce on it. It's like who are these people? Is it called code switching when you go from different experiences.

YLW: Code switching?

EW: When black people have to switch from one identity to another. If you're a middle class black person you have three different faces, being in the corporate world is different from middle class black world. When I was in Chicago at my show, the majority of the black press would not write about me. They assumed it was something hood or ghetto. But the white press, when they read Fat Bitch, they assume I was a feminist because many feminist have taken on the word bitch as a word of empowerment about themselves, in that I'm talking about size, or being a fat activist. I'm not a fat activist. I'm a size activist.

YLW: What's a size activist?

EW: I believe that all people of all sizes should be accepted.

YLW: You said some black press wouldn't write about you? Why not?

EW: One writer told me her editor told her they couldn't talk about me because it was trash. It's that black bourgeois existence that really isn't that evolved. They're not exposed to as much culture as they would argue that they are. If my show was a gospel stage play at the Regal called Hot Grits Will Burn Your Tongue, every Negro would buy a $35 ticket to my show. If you do something different, you would think forward thinking black people would come out but they don't. Now I had a lot of people come out. They saw my flyer and said what's this? It's like open your mind, there's more out here than the stereotypical stuff. I don't know what it is where we think we're so high folluting. But really they haven't changed their mentality from that of a slave.

YLW: They're looking for others to validate you first?

EW: Yes. A lot of times we say black people are trend setters. In some ways we are, in other ways we are followers. We set trends within this realm of existence within a context that someone else gave to us. True trend setters step outside of the mode. That's what I want to do with my show. I want it to be profound. I don't take myself too seriously. I'm honest with myself, and open about mistakes I made. If I can help other women express themselves and encourage other women then I feel good.

I think what you're doing is so interesting. I think that is a question we have to ask? Who are we? what is our identity in this country now and abroad? No one is really talking about this new generation of African Americans. It's hard to put us in a box.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Black Gay Lifestyle and DLisms: Interview with Relationship Expert Art Simms

Art "Chat Daddy" Sims is a Chicago based columnist/relationship expert and host of the Real Deal Relationship Chats and Facebook Fridays. His discussions and advice are centered around sexuality and community empowerment.

YLW: When people think African American, they don't usually include gay identity. Why or why not?

AS: Black gays are only identified screaming and carrying on. They are never identified as a black gay professionals openly.

YLW: Why not?

AS: Fears of community, fears of church. Fears of family. These things have been instilled in us for so long it's not even funny. That's why so many of these people can't satisfy their sexual desires.

YLW: Talk to me about the diversity in the black and gay community.

AS: Well, here's the deal. I think the diversity has become much more accepted. What people think of as gay is the most flamboyant, outlandish thing I've ever seen. Black gay men need to network more. We have no children. We have lots of disposable income. We're probably the biggest consumer of health products, the biggest consumers of buying homes, automobiles, art. I'm sure our dollar is incredible. You can go to any black gay club on a Friday night and the line is wrapped around the block.

YLW: Is there such a thing as an African American gay lifestyle? Or an ideal lifestyle?

AS: Yes it is. A nice place to live, nice car to drive. You vacation, you travel. Dog, child. You're a couple. I have two friends they've been together for 20 years. They vacation together, they. But I only have a handful

YLW: Being in a couple is the ideal?

AS: Right.

YLW: What else is part of the African American gay lifestyle?

AS: Eating right. Taking care of themselves. I took a straight cousin of mine to a holiday party hosted by a gay guy. He said oh my God everybody in here looks like a Christmas ball on a tree. If I had not chose the lifestyle I chose I'd be in prison, jail or have a bunch of babies. I came from the era of when gangs were getting started. The only reason I stayed out of it was because the head guy was my friend.

YLW: Are you saying that if you hadn't embraced your gay identity you would have lead a life of crime?

AS: No, I wouldn't have lead a life of crime. However, my gay lifestyle exposed me to better things in life - culturally, spiritually. It took me away from the neighborhood I was used to. I was able to go to other lifestyles. I've met some of the most interesting people on earth. Presidents of companies, artists. None of my friends who I grew up with in elementary school have ever gotten off the block. They lived and died on the block.

YLW: What are the most pressing issues in the black GLBT community?

AS: Definitely this economy, with people losing their jobs left and right. HIV and AIDS will always be high on the list. It's something that needs to be addressed. Probably relationships. If African Americans had developed relationships like our white counterparts, we might be better off economically.

YLW: What are your thoughts on the “down low” conversation?

AS: The down low conversation to me is deep in many ways. First of all, no one ever addressed what it was. All women knew was that it was going on. No one ever said, well what issues caused these men to sleep with other men? Is it the prison thing? Is it the curiosity thing? Is it they were always attracted to men? Women try all kinds of things and don't get labeled. Two women can be together and it turns men on. The moment men decide they want to try it and test it out they get labeled.

YLW: Is the “down low” exaggerated?

AS: It's been a part of life forever. It just took E Lynn and JL to come out and talk about it.

YLW: When you think Post Black what comes to mind?

AS: It's so many things that are Post Black. The divide is between those who think things are going to change and those who don't

YLW: Why do you say that?

AS: A lot of these people who have been in power and control they're not trying to help anyone else. They're still trying to get more. They can't get enough. How will there be other chances for others if we don't regenerate?

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