Eccentric and Bent

Come on a fantastic voyage in the backwaters of my mind.

Why I Won’t Criticize Beyonce For Appropriating Desi Culture

Source: Why I Won’t Criticize Beyonce For Appropriating Desi Culture


28 Black Picture Books That Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses or Basketball

Just in time for Black History Month this wonderful researcher, writer and curator shared a list of books. They reflect the everyday moments that turn into personal history. Although, one book seems to be actually about History with a capital H. The author includes a link to another curator.
I hope that you use that link and at least some of these books year round, not just during February. All children benefit from learning about diverse people and scenarios. They benefit by learning new ways to think. They benefit by developing empathy for others. The children who resemble the characters benefit by having their lives normalized. Children who don’t resemble these characters benefit by learning even though people may look different they can have similar experiences. I mean who doesn’t have cherished family memories, love for music, and/or big imaginations? But the best benefit for sharing diverse books is instilling the love of literature in a child. Have a look.

Scott Woods Makes Lists

A few years ago I was asked by a local TV station to suggest some books for children in honor of Black History Month. Being a Black librarian I relished the opportunity, but I did point out that my offerings would avoid the typical fare of Black children’s books: boycotts, buses and basketball. We’ve picked up a few other hobbies since the 1960s, and there are hundreds of books to show for it. Here is a humble sampling of some just in time for Black History Month. 28 children’s picture books, most of them featuring Black children doing what all children do: play, make up stories, learn life lessons, and dream.

I picked titles that came out within the last ten years (or so). I also tried to spread out the gender of the protagonists, as well as put some light on some typically ignored aspects of Black life in…

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NYX Makeup Review

Nyx makeup review

Source: NYX Makeup Review

I always love to see swatching done on skin tones similar to mine. It helps me to avoid the disappointment of buying makeup that does not work for me. Most beauty bloggers are quite a bit paler than I am. So you can bet I am quite pleased with the Beauty by Sidd blog. Not only does she match my skin tone but so far her reviews have been for those of us who are watching our budgets. I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I do.

Holiday Look #1: Golden Cranberry

The first in a series of holiday looks that i’ll be doing.

Source: Holiday Look #1: Golden Cranberry

Sylvester Magee (1841-1971) The man who lived 130 years



Sylvester Magee may have been the last living slave in America, and the oldest person who ever lived! Born a slave in North Carolina, he was the son of slaves named Ephraim and Jeanette, who worked on the J.J. Shanks plantation. At age 19, just before the Civil War, Sylvester was purchased from a slave market at Enterprise, Mississippi by Hugh Magee, whose surname Sylvester eventually adopted. Hugh Magee owned the Lone Star Plantation in Covington County, Mississippi. One source indicated that Magee was in time sold by Magee to Victory Steen, who operated a plantation near Florence, Mississippi. Sylvester eventually ran away from the Steen plantation and joined the ranks of the Union Army. Magee obtained his freedom after the fall of Vicksburg and served with Union troops. By the mid-1960s, due to his advanced age, Sylvester Magee became nationally famous. On his 124th birthday the citizens…

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Have You Been Called? Understanding African Cosmology and the Calling Amongst African Americans

LandofKam's Blog

Hetepu (Peace) Family.

Hope all is well. This is something that has really been on my mind since Malcolm X’s birthday is nearing and the rising disturbing actions and behaviors perpetrated by our youth in their desperate attempt to make money.  I have also wanted to address this issue about because some people have been asking if Kamta is a New Age thing.  So I have been letting this subject run around in my mind for a minute in order to address is appropriately.

Kamitic priest in leopard pelt Kamitic priest in leopard pelt

Because shamanism has become such a very popular term to throw around by anyone claiming to be spiritual and not religious or refusing to follow the order of organized religion. I have decided to write this post to clarify, specify and distinguish Kamta from the New Age shamanistic movements. Please understand that I have nothing against New Agers because everything has…

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Makeup For You~Affordable Brands That Cater to Your Every Need

An interesting post on affordable make up lines.

Beauty by Sidd

Most people haven’t dove into the makeup pool because they feel as if they can’t afford it. If they do find affordable makeup, then it must not be good quality, right? Wrong! There are many affordable brands that are worth trying out! Heres a quick list of what I have found and used.

E.L.F.– Eyes. Lips. Face: the name says it all! This brand is essential for someone starting out with makeup. You can get an entire look for under $40!

The thing I love about ELF is that their main goal is to make an affordable, quality product and they really achieve that. I’ve used multiple products from this company. Their brushes last a long time and cost anywhere from one to ten dollars, with ten dollars being the most expensive brush on their site! Their makeup has great color pay off and they have amazing sets…

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Anniversary or Anniverseries

Tomorrow is the first day of my 21st anniversary. See unlike most folks with one anniversary date, we celebrate on the 19th and the 20th. This is because of a memory mistake on our first wedding anniversary. In 1995 we had moved to Alabama. We were away from everyone that attended our wedding. We were trying to build a life in a new place while taking care of a toddler and a baby. Stress was our daily bread. We used evening walks as family building and to explore my husband’s childhood memories. On 8-19-1995 we were out walking at about 7 in the evening when it hit me that it might be our anniversary. I asked my husband if i was tripping or had we forgotten our anniversary. He agreed that we just might have. So we stopped walking. We hugged and kissed declaring our love for each other while our daughter made faces and our son drooled. We promised each other eternity. We vowed to never forget our anniversary again. And we didn’t. For the next six years when the 19th rolled around we made sure to declare our love and devotion outloud. 
Then I had someone ask me for my certified marriage certificate to verify that my last name could legally be hyphenated. Since we were back in Arizona, I ran downtown to get a copy. As I was reading over the information, I got stuck on the date. There in black and white, the date was listed as August 20, 1994. All I could think was “say what now!?!” I mean we had been clebrating on the 19th for 7 years. So I thought the certificate had to be wrong. I went home and used my phone calendar to go back to August 1994. Lo and behold, the certificate was right and we were wrong. I said eff it, we’ve always celebrated on the 19th and we will just keep on celebrating on the 19th. My husband told me “well you can celebrate on the 19th but this paper says my anniversary is on the 20th.” I told him that wouldnt feel right to me. He told me that celebrating on the wrong day didn’t feel right to him. No one was winning the war of petty reasoning until he said ” well you celebrate on the 19th and I’ll celebrate on the right day.” When our next anniversary rolled around, I was prepared to celebrate on the 20th. But on the afternoon of the 19th my husband came home with flowers, candy and a card. I asked him why he was giving me stuff a day early. He told me that this was the stuff for my anniversary and that i would get my gift for HIS anniversary the next day. So i ran in the room and gave him the card and shirt that i had bought him. I told him he would get the rest of his stuff on his anniversary. The next day we gave each other some awesome material items but i had already recieved the best gift of all, my husband. He is humor, understanding, love, support, strength and pettiness all rolled into a chocolate teddy bear. I love that dude even when he is getting on my only working nerve. He is my dream fulfilled. So the next couple of days may get mushy, corny or even exasperating but it won’t be boring cause life with Paul Jackson Sr. never is.

Atticus and Me

In my youth, and up until now, I had never read “To Kill A Mockingbird”. I rejected the “classics” because they rejected me and my lived experiences. They were typically written by people on the other side of the tracks. They wrote about the view from the good side of town while my spiritual ancestors came from the Bottoms and the Hollers. I was and am a voracious reader but I read on my terms. I devoured Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Wole Soyinka, Octavia Butler and the like. I endured the casual bigotry of Mark Twain, Stephen King and Elmore Leonard because I enjoyed the way they wove their tales. I read E.A. Poe because I love a dark mind. I read JD Robb/ Nora Roberts because I enjoy the magic she adds to her worlds. I read Sunshine Taylor Reddick/ Stormy Reddick because she is a kickass Sci-Fi writer following in the footsteps of Octavia Butler and Tannarive Due. So I am neither surprised nor disappointed in what folks are discovering in Atticus Finch. What I am curious about is how so many intelligent folks were able to divorce this character from his era. As an outsider looking in, I wonder if this is why they can’t see the casual bigotry and, in some cases, the outright racism of their contemporaries. Is this why they disregard the reports of POC who have been victimized by bigotry? Are they, like me, so invested in seeing themselves in the protagonist that they cannot fathom a flawed multi-faceted character who may harbor ill feelings about those lower in the hierarchy? Maybe this new book in the Finch canon brings up uncomfortable feelings about self. I don’t know because as I’ve stated I never read the book. The only comparison I have is the ongoing saga of Bill Cosby.
I watched all of his TV shows. I ate jello pudding pops because he endorsed them. I dreamed of going to an HBCU because of his influence. I disagreed with many of his speeches on Black Americans. And I now believe that he is a serial sexual abuser. I was able to divorce the man from the characters he played. I can enjoy the entertainment without turning the man into a false idol. He came from the era of respectability politics. While I do not respect Bill Cosby, I enjoy Cliff Huxtable.
I say all of this to say, we all look for ourselves in the characters we fall for. But those characters are just sketches of life in a particular time and space. They are reflections of us but they aren’t us. Reality is much more complicated. As such, we should never be surprised when they reflect our own ugliness back at us.
By the way, because of the uproar of the new Finch book I will be picking up both tomes. I want to see if there was casual bigotry that was overlooked in the first book that should have clued folks in to the fact that Atticus was as rabidly racist as his era.

Emily C. Heath

I read “To Kill a Mockingbird” the summer between 8th and 9th grade. It was a hot, Southern summer and my mom and I went into a bookstore to look for some indoor reading. She bought me the book, and I took it home and devoured it.

I was transformed, both in a moral and literary sense. I would never forget the idea that standing up for the right thing, even when you know you are going to lose, is noble.  And, in no small part due to that book, I became an English major. (I had entered college as a pre-law student, but once I realized that I couldn’t be Atticus Finch, I gave that up.) Even today, when I’m asked to list my favorite novels, Harper Lee’s book is on the shortlist.

We even have a cat named “Atticus”.

So when I heard about “Go Set a Watchman”…

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