#TeamLightSkin vs #TeamDarkSkin Take it to the Beach

#TeamLightSkin vs #TeamDarkSkin Take it to the Beach

Hello Meltingpot Readers, If you’re regulars here, then you know I’m working on a book called Same Family, Different Colors that explores colorism in the United States. I’ve been working on the book for quite a while now, and have been completely immersed in the world of colorism, so much so, I didn’t think anything could shock me when it came to color-based discrimination. But I was wrong. A colleague told me today about a case of the color wars that had me shaking my head and sucking my teeth….

Free Black Man in France: James Hemings Makes His Culinary Mark in History

Free Black Man in France: James Hemings Makes His Culinary Mark in History

Hello Meltingpot Readers, I had one of those driveway moments the other day when I heard this story on NPR. It’s about Thomas Jefferson’s enslaved chef, James Hemings, yes, the brother of Sally Hemings. James was apparently quite the culinary genius, so much so, that when Jefferson traveled to Paris for a five-year stay, he took James with him so he could learn the art of French cuisine. While there, James lived as a free man, indeed learned the secrets of French cooking and considered a bid for freedom. Check…

Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves…in Spain

Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves…in Spain

Hello Meltingpot Readers, So, all of you regular readers know that el esposo is my Spanish husband and that I met him while spending my junior year of college in Salamanca, Spain and from a very young age I’ve had a love affair with Spain. And then all of my dreams about Spain were crushed when I learned that Spain has a very peculiar response to Black people, which I wrote about in my memoir, Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain. Whew, that was a mouthful. Anywho, Spain has been…

Defining Blackness: My Take on Rachel Dolezal

Defining Blackness: My Take on Rachel Dolezal

It’s not as though there hasn’t already been enough written about Rachel Dolezal, the White woman from Montana who has been passing for Black for the last decade. Still, I feel I have to add my two cents to the raging controversy over this woman’s actions. Actually, I have more than two cents to add and I don’t really want to say a lot about Rachel, as much as I want to talk about identity politics in general. Let’s begin by acknowledging that Rachel Dolezal belongs in a Gillian Flynn…

Essence Magazine’s May Book Picks: A Meltingpot Dream

Essence Magazine’s May Book Picks: A Meltingpot Dream

Hello Meltingpot Readers, When you think of Ms. Meltingpot’s favorite things, you know books, Black hair, and multi-culti family life are all on the list right? Well, it’s like Essence magazine Books Editor, Patrick Bass was thinking only about me when he chose what books to feature in the May issue of the magazine. Seriously, I think he created this list just for me. While I would read everything on the three-page spread dedicated to books, the two standouts that I think you too, dear readers, will enjoy are Loving…

Black History Month Lite: 5 Black Books That Aren’t About “Black Stuff”

Black History Month Lite: 5 Black Books That Aren’t About “Black Stuff”

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Here it is the last week of Black History Month and yours truly is just getting around to acknowledging it. Where are my manners? Hold on, let me get my tongue out of my cheek here. The thing is, I don’t know who Black History Month is really for and I don’t understand why Black American history isn’t the same thing as American history. I mean, historically speaking, Black people have pretty much been here since the beginning so, it’s not clear to me why our contributions…

#WomensLives Being Black in Honduras: One Woman’s Story of Longing and Belonging

#WomensLives Being Black in Honduras: One Woman’s Story of Longing and Belonging

Hi Meltingpot Readers, I am so excited that I am getting the chance to take part in an initiative to highlight the lack of focus on women and women’s issues in the news media and really in society at large. Public Radio International (PRI) has spearheaded this initiative called Across Women’s Lives and has partnered with Blogher to help get the word out. Blogher is how I get involved. My job is simple. I get to highlight all of the amazing journalism PRI and its media partners are creating that…

This Thanksgiving, I’m Giving Thanks that I am Black!

This Thanksgiving, I’m Giving Thanks that I am Black!

Hi Meltingpot Readers, There’s a lot of sadness and anger in the United States right now, most of it stemming from the situation happening in Ferguson, Missouri and the continual assault on Black lives. And then if you throw in the pathetic and disturbing downfall of Bill Cosby, as his secret life as a sexual predator comes to light, it’s enough to make any self-respecting Black person want to curl up and hide for the next 100 years or so. There is so much pain and sorrow blowing through our…