Friday, September 4, 2009

After the Friending

By DeNeen L. Brown

I'd like to be friends with you on Facebook. Really, I would. But then what would we do next?
I'm flattered that you want to be my friend, but I wonder why didn't you just pick up the phone and call me.
I know.
I know.
We promised to get together in the new year, and already it's summer and you haven't been to my house and I haven't been to yours. You haven't seen how my kid has grown. And I haven't seen yours. We never had that lunch we both promised we would set up. We never went out for drinks after work, as we both said we would. And here you are on Facebook, wanting to be my friend.
I am eager to hit the "confirm" button, but I wonder what will happen after that. Will we have a virtual lunch or virtual glass of wine? But then how would you notice that I got my first crease around my eyes? Or that I am trying to lose weight? Would you notice my pretty sandals? And that killer purse I just bought?
Oh, you are right. I could just send you a photo, and then you would know. Or would you?
What about the pregnant pauses in the conversation where really good friends go to fill in the blank? What about the story that I can't hide from you when we are face to face? Okay, yes, I know I could tell you all about it online. But where would I start, and who else would be listening?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oak Bluffs, Mass.: A Place in the Sun

OAK BLUFFS, Mass. It doesn't matter where America's black elite winters.

Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard is where it summers.

Here, black women with skin tightened by the sea salt wear diamonds casually with bathing suits. And pampered black children run through the seaweed and splash in the cold water of the "Inkwell," a town beach. Black men with trim gray beards carry about them that understated pride that comes with accomplishment.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Colorism: Nobody Wants to Talk About It

Colorism is the crazy aunt in the attic of racism.
It's best not to mention her in polite company. Or if you find it necessary to talk about her at all, do it in whispers among relatives and people who already know about her.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Grand Achievement

Teen Pianist From Southeast Orchestrates an Unlikely Rise

D.C. Teen to Perform Piano Piece on NPR
Clifton Williams, a junior at Duke Ellington School for the Arts, plays "Diabolical Suggestion" by Prokofiev. Williams will be performing the piece on the NPR show "From the Top."

» Links to this article
By DeNeen L. BrownWashington Post Staff Writer Thursday, April 30, 2009
He didn't start playing classical piano until three years ago, when he was 14, much later than other classical students his age, who had already been playing for years. He doesn't have a piano at home and the one he practices on at church is slightly out of tune. Clifton Williams doesn't come from a moneyed family that lavishes him with private lessons and trips abroad, and yet there he is at the top, competing, winning classical competitions. Quietly driven.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Poor? Pay Up.

Having Little Money Often Means No Car, No Washing Machine, No Checking Account And No Break From Fees and High Prices

With White House Poetry Jam, a New Era Is Spoken For

Perhaps for the first time ever, the White House jammed and slammed last night.
Poets and playwrights, actors and musicians packed the ornate East Room, delivering cool jazz and glorious spoken-word poetry, sprinkling a bit of hip-hop and a bit of the heroic couplet. And through it all, the president and the first lady watched -- and applauded.
"We're here to celebrate the power of words," President Obama said. Words "help us appreciate beauty and also understand pain. They inspire us to action." He introduced the first lady as his poet.
Michelle Obama told the gathering that the event was a way to open up the White House and invite in diverse voices. "I have wanted to do this from day one," Mrs. Obama said. "The notion of standing in this room and hearing some poetry."

Of Bricks and Beauty

Of Bricks and Beauty
Murals feed the urban soul