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…

In Honor of MLK: Do Something!

Hi Meltingpot Readers, Happy MLK Day! I hope those of you with the day off, enjoyed a break from your regular routine, however you spent it, even if that meant catching up on your laundry. Since I’ve been sick and missed an entire week’s worth of work, I spent the majority of my day at my office playing catch up. But that doesn’t mean I can’t find a way to honor Dr. King’s Legacy today, and every day for that matter, because I think that’s what this day is really…

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: A Call to Change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Hello Meltingpot Readers, Did you ever stop to think why you get a day off for Columbus Day? What exactly is it we are celebrating? Some of us didn’t really celebrate anything at all today and reported in for work, but that’s beside the point. The real point is that celebrating the man who accidentally bumped into the American continent, thought it was India, and then tried to lay claim to the land for his European employers, despite the fact that the land was already inhabited, is kind of insane.…

Passing (is) Strange … And Makes for Fascinating Reading

Hello Meltingpot Readers, There’s probably nothing revolutionary or even that revelatory in a new book out on passing called, A Chosen Exile by Stanford professor of American History, Allyson Hobbs, but still, I’m dying to read it. Why, because the very concept of passing, of leaving behind a life and family, shedding one’s cultural history and starting over with a new racial identity is just so fascinating. Really, it seems like the plot of a great mystery series, but in fact, as Hobbs suggests, it was so commonplace that the…

Ms. Meltingpot is Reading: The Invention of Wings

Hi Meltingpot Readers, As one of my 2014 New Year’s Blog-o-lutions, I decided I wanted to write more about my one true love, books. From now on, or until I change my mind again, Thursday/Fridays will be dedicated to the world of books. So, guess what I’m reading now? I’m working on my next book of non-fiction and it has to do with race and color in America –of course-so I wanted to read some fiction to inspire me a bit. So, I picked up a copy of Sue Monk…

Black History Month Needs a Name Change

Hi Meltingpot Readers, It’s officially Black History Month. Back in 2010, I wrote the following post about how I think Black History Month should be celebrated. While I received a fair amount of comments and the piece was picked up by Forbes.com, my suggestions for honoring my people didn’t take off like gangbusters. And I think I know why. It’s the name. Black History Month sounds as exciting as a tax seminar. *yawn* I get it. So, let’s give Black History Month a facelift. From now on, let’s call February,…

12 Years A Slave Has Me Undone

Hello Meltingpot Readers, This past weekend I went to see 12 Years A Slave with my cousin. It wasn’t a film I was excited to see, it was more of a compulsion. When Hollywood takes on the Black experience, I feel it is my duty to support the effort. I also was intrigued by the very true story of a free Black man tricked and kidnapped into slavery who manages to survive 12 years of inhuman bondage and still return home to his family. Dear readers, can I just say,…

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…