Dear Black People: An Open Letter to the Black Families on Philly’s Main Line

Dear Black People: An Open Letter to the Black Families on Philly’s Main Line

Dear Black People on the Main Line, No, not all the Black people. I’m sure some of you are super happy there and if you are, please feel free to completely disregard everything I’m about to say. I’m actually talking to the Friday family that was profiled in the depressing and disheartening story in the December issue of Philadelphia magazine, titled “Racial Profiling on the Main Line.” And while this letter was inspired by the Fridays, I know there are other families like them dealing with the same, ugly, race-based…

Author Crush #437: Mat Johnson & Loving Day

Author Crush #437: Mat Johnson & Loving Day

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Pardon my absence. I was in the woods of Northern Pennsylvania on a writing retreat all last week. It was absolutely exquisite and I made a lot of progress on my new book, Same Family, Different Colors. I also ate really delicious food, made great new friends and saw a big, black bear up close and personal. Yes, there was a bear who showed up twice during my stay making the experience all the more exciting. But I digress. In addition to writing for almost 10 hours…

At Least We Talk About Race in the USA: Zadie Smith on Writing, Race and Color

At Least We Talk About Race in the USA: Zadie Smith on Writing, Race and Color

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Last week Wednesday I skipped out of work as early as possible so I could get a front row seat at the University of Pennsylvania’s Speaker’s Series on Color featuring one of my all-time favorite authors, Zadie Smith. I’ve read (and own) almost all of Smith’s fiction, but I am also a big fan of her critical essays, especially those dealing with race and culture. I like her writing and I love her mind. So, my biggest takeaway from the almost sold-out event, is that not only…

Ms. Meltingpot Meets “The Bald Mermaid:” Sheila Bridges

Ms. Meltingpot Meets “The Bald Mermaid:” Sheila Bridges

Hi Meltingpot Readers, Last Thursday I had the wonderful opportunity to do a reading here in Philadelphia with the amazing Sheila Bridges. She is a well-known interior designer, TV personality and author. We were on a panel together where she spoke about her memoir The Bald Mermaid and I was reading from Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. The irony wasn’t lost on anyone that I was pontificating on the deep-seeded cultural and historical significance of our hair while Sheila was sharing her journey with alopecia,…

Videshi Magazine is Here!

Videshi Magazine is Here!

Hi Meltingpot Readers, When you get a chance, hop on over to Videshi Magazine. It’s a super cool new online publication that covers South-Asians / South-Asian Americans in the entertainment industry. It looks spectacular, the articles are smart and, come on, it’s about time something like this existed. The best part is, Videshi is the brain-child of one of my former students at Temple, Jennifer Babu. This was a class project that she has turned into a reality! I am so proud of her. Plus she’s getting noticed outside of…

Ms. Meltingpot is Guilty of Racial Profiling. But So Are You… probably

Ms. Meltingpot is Guilty of Racial Profiling. But So Are You… probably

Hi Meltingpot Readers, I have to come clean. I am completely guilty of racial profiling. But it’s probably not what you think. The other day my body was crying out for a massage. Babygirl had been sick and sleeping in our bed for more than a week. In an effort not to crush her adorable little body, I think I slept in one rigid position every night, resulting in an overall bodyache and actual muscle spasms. This has never happened to me before – I know, I’m getting old –…

“Not the Nanny” Syndrome is Multi-Generational

“Not the Nanny” Syndrome is Multi-Generational

Hi Meltingpot Readers, So, we just had a huge baby shower for my cousin who is expecting her first child. We’re the same age so the fact that she is having her first child now was truly a cause for celebration, so my entire extended family descended upon Philadelphia for the shower. And of course, the three-hour shower turned into a three-day, non-stop party. So, one day during the festivities, my mother and one of my play aunties, who happens to be a caramel-colored Colombian woman in her fifties, took…

Soul Food: Deconstructed & Delicious

Soul Food: Deconstructed & Delicious

Hi Meltingpot Readers, Sometimes I really love my job as a writer and cultural thinker. It sounds very nebulous to describe myself that way and granted, there’s not a lot of money in the business of thinking and talking, but it does provide some wonderful opportunities. Like last night. I had the honor of playing ‘hostess’ at a literary dinner celebrating this wonderful new book called, Soul Food:The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time. The menu for the meal was pulled from recipes in the…