0 comments on “Fathers and Daughters on July 31st Episode of The Ananda Leeke Show on Talkshoe.com”

Fathers and Daughters on July 31st Episode of The Ananda Leeke Show on Talkshoe.com

BAPdaddysgirl

Me and my father Dr. John F. Leeke affectionately

known as “J” hanging out in Adams Morgan in DC

 

Happy Wednesday!

Join me for a juicy conversation with my father Dr. John F. Leeke (a/k/a “J”) about fathers and daughters on the July 31st episode of The Ananda Leeke Show at 8:00 p.m. EST on Talkshoe.com. Click here to listen to the show:  http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/15820.  We will discuss how our father-daughter relationship has impacted my life choices, creativity, and career. 

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We will also share our thoughts about the book, Daughters of Men: Portraits of African-American Women and Their Fathers (http://www.daughtersofmen.com) by Rachel Vassel.  I recently gave this book to “J” for his 70th birthday.  It’s one of his favorites!

If you miss the show, don’t panic. You can download a recording to your computer or via iTunes a few minutes after the show airs or whenever you have free time.  Click here to download a recording:  http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/15820.

What is your relationship with your father?

How has your father impacted your life choices and career?

Enjoy your day!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

0 comments on “Diversity Among African Americans: We are not monolithic!”

Diversity Among African Americans: We are not monolithic!

 

 

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Photos taken at Oyster Harbor Beach in Annapolis, MD

 

Happy Monday!

While my dad and I were getting some much needed “plage de temps” (French phrase that means beach time a/k/a chilling out, chill-axing, cooling out, R&R) on Sunday morning in Annapolis, he shared soundbytes from the Washington Post about Judge Sonia Sotomayor and his all-time favorite person, President Barack Obama.  He spent time talking about Eugene Robinson’s op-ed that discussed several comments President Obama made about his speech at the NAACP’s 100th anniversary. Click here to read Robinson’s op-ed:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/18/AR2009071801045.html.

Obama-NAACP-100th-Anniversary-Speech

Robinson’s op-ed also referenced President Obama’s statement about how the civil rights movement weakened itself by promoting a one size fits all definition of what it means to be Black: 

“One of the ways that I think that the civil rights movement . . . weakened itself was by enforcing a single way of being black — being authentically black. And, as a consequence, there were a whole bunch of young black people — and I fell prey to this for a time when I was a teenager — who thought that if you were really ‘down’ you had to be a certain way. And oftentimes that was anti-something. You defined yourself by being against things as opposed to what you were for. And I think now young people realize, you know what, being African American can mean a whole range of things. There’s a whole bunch of possibilities out there for how you want to live your life, what values you want to express, who you choose to interact with…  I do think it is important for the African American community, in its diversity, to stay true to one core aspect of the African American experience, which is we know what it’s like to be on the outside… If we ever lose that, then I think we’re in trouble. Then I think we’ve lost our way.”

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Love’s Troubadours: Black Folks Ain’t Monolithic by Ananda Leeke (2005)

Message on painting: The truth is that Black folks ain’t monolithic.  No folks are. You dig! When Deno and I started writing the novel, we wanted to show the depth and breadth of Black folks loving themselves and each other in and out of life’s joys and pains … in and out of our identities…gender…class…religions…ages… We wanted to tell the truth.  The truth being that Black folks are Love’s Troubadours.”

 

I am so happy that President Obama talked about the diversity among African Americans and how being African American means many things.  His statement echoes a familiar chant that I have addressed in my novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com), Love’s Troubadours Art Collection, and my new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (Summer 2009 – iUniverse, Inc.): African Americans are not monolithic.  See the photo of my painting, Love’s Troubadours: Black Folks Ain’t Monolithic above.  The lives of African Americans are filled with multi-layered stories.  We are much more than what we read about in mainstream media.  Our lives are richer and deeper than what we see on television and movie screens.  That’s why we must be vigilant in telling and documenting our stories. 

More on President Obama

Last night I had a chance to catch up on my reading. So I read an op-ed by Shayne Lee, one of my favorite authors. Click here to read Shayne’s op-ed: www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/50451437.html?cmpid=15585797.  In his op-ed that was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 10, Shayne discussed how former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka cleared President Obama’s path to becoming Senator and President.  How could that be?  The topic itself made me blink a few times.  To see why I blinked, read an excerpt from Shayne’s op-ed below.

“Let’s go back to 2004. National Democratic leaders strategize feverishly in an effort to win enough seats to control the U.S. Senate. They have their eyes on Illinois, a state with no incumbent running for reelection. Obama wins the Democratic nomination for the open seat, and the Republican nominee, Jack Ryan, drops out of the race due to the embarrassing details of his divorce records.

Obama is looking down a clear path to the Senate – until Mike Ditka begins flirting with the idea of running on the Republican ticket.

Some Democrats are champing at the bit for their Harvard-educated lawyer to pit wits against the charismatic but nonetheless inarticulate jock. But others fear that the former NFL coach, who brought Chicago its first and only Super Bowl championship, enjoys instant name recognition, while Obama is still establishing himself with Illinois residents. They find the prospect of a young politician with a weird name running against one of the state’s greatest sports legends somewhat daunting.

So, to raise Obama’s visibility, they grant him the great privilege of addressing the 2004 Democratic National Convention in prime time. Ironically, Ditka announces he will not enter the race shortly before the convention. But Obama’s name is already carved in stone on the schedule.

Almost 10 million Americans watch Obama deliver a riveting speech that changes his life and American politics. Before long, Obama is the new face of the party, criss-crossing the nation in fund-raising efforts for struggling candidates, building strategic alliances, and thereby taking steps toward a viable presidential candidacy.

I sum things up with a sort of syllogism: Obama’s presidential run is unimaginable without the political power and rock-star status bestowed upon him by his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. His speech never happens without a sports legend threatening to run against him for the vacant Illinois Senate seat. Therefore, Barack Obama would not be president today without Mike Ditka.

There is a lesson to be learned from the president’s remarkable journey. Even an immensely gifted, highly competent, Ivy League-trained talent such as Obama needs a bit of luck to achieve great success in America. How much more of it do the rest of us need”?

Okay now what do you think? 

If you are like me, you might be saying, “this cat made me think.”  That’s why I am a huge fan of Shayne’s work.  His writing always pushes the envelope and causes me to consider a different perspective.  He uncovers facts and weaves them together with insightful commentary that sheds light on areas most folks miss.  I think Shayne moonlights as an “Easy Rawlins” detective when he leaves his gigs as an author, sociologist, and professor at Tulane University.  

For more information about Shayne, visit http://www.tulane.edu/~sociol/slee.pdf

Be sure to check out and buy Shayne’s books on Amazon.com: T.D. Jakes: America’s New Preacher (NYU Press, 2005) and Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace (NYU Press 2009).  Support Shayne!  His work will enrich your life! 

To read my review of Shayne’s book, T.D. Jakes: America’s New Preacher, click here: http://kiamshacom.blogspot.com/2009/02/book-review-td-jakes-americas-new.html.  

Visit BAP Living Radio to listen to a recording of my February 23rd interview with Shayne (search for Episode 13):  http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/18598.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

0 comments on “Ananda will talk to the amazing MamaLaw bloggers on July 19th episode of BAP Living Radio”

Ananda will talk to the amazing MamaLaw bloggers on July 19th episode of BAP Living Radio

mamalaw

 

Blogalic

Happy Thursday,

Join me for the sixth episode of BAP Living Radio’s series about Black women in social media on Sunday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m EST.  The show will feature a discussion with attorney mom bloggers Justices Fergie, Jonesie, and Ny about their amazing MamaLaw blog (www.mamalaw.com) and MamaLaw Media Group. We will also discuss their Blogher (www.blogher.com) event that will be held next week in Chicago and Blogalicious (http://www.blogaliciousweekend.com), their first annual conference for women of color bloggers that will be held on October 9 to October 11 in Atlanta, Georgia. Click here to listen to the show: www.talkshoe.com/tc/18598.

About BAP Living Radio

BAP Living Radio affirms the lives of women of African descent who self-identify as Black American Princesses (BAPs) and educated Black women (EBW). BAP Living Radio features programs about self-love, self-care, spirituality, health, finances, social media, politics, technology, beauty, fashion, art, music, culture, community service, creativity, fitness, travel, and more.

BAP Living Radio supports the following BAP Living social media projects:

-BAP Living social networking site – http://baplivingforbapsandebw.ning.com

-BAP Living Facebook Group – http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15124364305

-BAP Living on Twitter – http://twitter.com/bapliving

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I created BAP Living social media projects in response to positive feedback from readers of my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com).  Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One tells the story of Karma Francois, a thirtysomething California-born BoHo BAP (Bohemian Black American Princess) with Louisiana roots and urban debutante flair. The book shows how a woman uses therapy, yoga, meditation, art, music, poetry, and support from family and friends to confront the effects of her poor life choices and embrace a spiritual journey of healing and love. It was published by iUniverse, Inc. in August 2007 and is available on Amazon.com.

2 comments on “Ananda teaches Free Morning Yoga Class in DC & hosts Go Green Radio featuring soulful & green living musician Mikuak Rai on June 14.”

Ananda teaches Free Morning Yoga Class in DC & hosts Go Green Radio featuring soulful & green living musician Mikuak Rai on June 14.

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Happy Weekend!

Jumpstart your summer a week early with a free community yoga class on Sunday, June 14 at 9:00 a.m. in Malcolm X – Meridian Hill Park in Northwest, DC. For more information, visit http://yoga.meetup.com/584.

mikuakSoulful and Green Living Musician Mikuak Rai

Be sure to tune into the June 14th episode of Go Green Sangha Radio at 7pm EST on Talkshoe.com (http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/21325) for a one-on-one interview with soulful and green living musician Mikuak Rai, a member of Go Green Sangha social networking site. Rai will discuss his music and work with Planet Restoration (http://www.planetrestoration.com/), a global arts movement that emphasizes humanity’s essential connection to one another and all life on Earth. For more information about Rai, visit http://www.myspace.com/mikuakrai.
Enjoy your weekend!
Peace and Summer OMs,
Ananda
6 comments on “Summer Reading & Creative Inspiration from The Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron’s creative memoir Floor Sample”

Summer Reading & Creative Inspiration from The Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron’s creative memoir Floor Sample

floo sample

Happy Tuesday!

On Saturday evening I finished reading Floor Sample, a creative memoir by Julia Cameron (www.theartistsway.com), author of The Artist’s Way. The Artist’s Way is one of my favorite books. My sistalovefriend Toni Blackman (www.toniblackman.com) introduced me to the book in 1995. Together, we embarked on an accountability journey of morning pages, artist dates, and long walks. I know the work that I did during this period solidified my calling, commitment, and creative expression as an artist. It also laid the foundation for my current role as a creativity coach who midwifes the creative efforts of other creative folks.

Cameron’s Floor Sample was a powerful read. When I learned that she grew up Catholic and attended Georgetown University like me, I felt more connected to her story. Floor Sample helped me understand Cameron’s journey as a creative person, divorced mother, and sober, recovering alcoholic. I learned a great deal about her creative process and the importance of taking great care of yourself, claiming your creative life, and nurturing your creative gifts. I was inspired by the way Cameron has been able to work on multiple creative projects and produce a timeless body of work that serves others. Her creativity energized mine! I needed that boost of energy for the final round of my new book’s publication process. My favorite quotes from Floor Sample were:

“Stop trying to be a great writer … That’s your ego. Get your ego out of your writing. You should be writing from a spirit of service. You are just the vehicle, the channel. Let God write through you.”

“My story was one more story amid many. And that story wasn’t over. I wasn’t at an end. Instead, I was at a beginning. I could add my voice to a choir of voices. I could try. That’s all you need to do.”

Aren’t they? I’m going to write them on a piece of pink construction paper and keep them near my writing desk for inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

PS: My copy of Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor hasn’t arrived yet. So I started reading a social media book, The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media by Paul Gillin (http://paulgillin.com/newinfluencers). The BAP Living Radio (http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/18598) series on Black women in social media that I have been hosting this month inspired me to pick up the book. I am so glad I did. It is so yummy because I am gaining a big picture perspective of 21st century communications and how to use them in branding myself as an author/artist/creativity coach/blogger/innerpreneur/radio host/yoga teacher/Reiki Master practitioner/social media strategist. It also help me revise my social media marketing strategies for my author web site (www.anandaleeke.com – launch date at the end of June) and new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery. After I finish The New Influencers, I am moving on to Gillin’s second book on social media, Secrets of Social Media Marketing: How to Use Online Conversations and Customer Communities to Turbo-Charge Your Business. I plan to finish both books before I head to Chicago for the Blogging While Brown Conference next week (www.bloggingwhilebrown.com). 

I am trying to decide which books to take with me to Chicago. I really need to finish Toni Morrison’s A Mercy before I take on another book. However, Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street, a coming-of-age novella that tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina growing up in Chicago.

So what are you reading this summer?

25 comments on “New Creative Adventure for Summer 2009 – Wreck This Journal byKeri Smith”

New Creative Adventure for Summer 2009 – Wreck This Journal byKeri Smith

 

 

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Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith – www.kerismith.com

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Good Morning All!

Happy Friday!

It’s 6:40 a.m. in D.C.  The June rain that is hitting the pavement outside of my apartment fills the air with autumn chills.  It’s hard to believe that summer will be here in 15 more days.  I’ve already had two cups of green tea.  They warmed me up and got me energized for my new creative adventure : Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.  

Wreck This Journal is an invitation to play and be free.  It was extended by Jamie Ridler, a certified professional co-active coach (http://www.jamieridler.blogspot.com).  Jamie founded Next Chapter, a book blogging group that has created an online sisterhood of support for creative women like myself.  I recently participated in Jamie’s Next Chapter book blogging group from January to April.  We read and blogged about The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin (one of my favorite books – read it for the first time in 2000).  Click here to learn more about the group:  http://www.tnc-12secrets.blogspot.com.

Today marks the first step in my Wreck This Journal adventures with a group of groovy creative women. Click here to learn more:  http://www.tnc-wreckthisjournal.blogspot.com. Read about my first Wreck This Journal adventure below.

The clock registered 6:00 a.m. when I started my Wreck This Journal adventure.  I opened the book and read the title page.  My heart jumped when I read: “To create is to destroy.”  What a powerful mantra!  It was medicine for my creative soul.  It was also a permission slip to just be without an agenda.  I needed the medicine and permission slip after spending the past year and half working on my poetic memoir.  I really got excited when I read Keri’s warning statement: “You may begin to live more recklessly.”  My giggles let me know that I was on the right journey!  I shouted “Hallelujah!”

The first page I wrote in asked me to fill out who this book belongs to.  I wrote nice and neat like a good Catholic girl: Ananda Leeke.  The next line asked me to write my name in white.  I panicked and realized I didn’t have a white pen.  My sense of play left for a nanosecond until I wrote my name in any ole’ way.  That’s when I started to do my own thang despite the instructions.  My archetype called Madelyn, the lawyer/CEO lady, cringed.  My archetype called Puf, the little girl who rocks the world with her BoHo BAP (Black American Princess) fabulousness and Black-eyed susan southern debutante swagger, grinned and got on with the wrecking process.  Puf got the party started! It lasted 30 minutes. 

My favorite pages were:

1) Pour, spill, drip, spit, fling your coffee here.

I used green tea instead.  Rebel girl Puf didn’t blink an eye at my choice.  Then I dipped my finger three times in my tea cup and fingerpainted 3 long drips on the page.  

2) Color This Entire Page.

Kiamsha, my creative woman archetype, took over on this page. She decided to write a poem first. Here’s the poem.

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It is a rainy today.

Play is what’s on my mind.

Play opens the space of gratitude in my heart.

It reminds me of my Yogi tea bag message.

“Gratitude is the open door to abundance.”

Color it all with love. 

 After writing the poem, I walked from my bedroom into my art studio and picked up my box of crayons.  I brought them back to my bed and proceeded to randomly pull out a few colors.  I started coloring the page with two different crayons.  I shaded in places and scribbled in others.  I added more colors.  When I was finished, I realized that my coloring had given birth to a new poem.  So I copied it on the opposite page. 

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Coloring is my favorite.

It is scribbles of  joy.

Two crayons together going sideways, upside down, and all around.

Yellow and orange.

Pink and red.

White and violet.

Blue and green.

They kiss a blank page with their rainbow colors with joie de vivre.

My final act from this scene in my creative adventure was coloring the page. When I finished, I looked at the page with all of its colorful shadings and waved a cheery goodbye.

3) Fill this page with circles.

I decided to skip several pages and have some more morning fun.  That’s how I landed on page 32.  I let out a big WOW when I read the direction about filling the page with circles.  My Puf archetype loves to draw circles.  So much fun, right?  I pulled out my crayons again and made crazy swirls of colorful circles until I got dizzy. I drew blue circles on top of pink ones.  Yellow ones layered the pink ones.  Green ones moved next door to orange ones.  They were a family of swirling circle dervishes that  Rumi would be proud of! After I finished with this page, I closed the journal and made my way to my yoga mat for a round of sun salutations, mantra chanting, and meditation before my oatmeal breakfast!  What a way to start a Friday!

To my Next Chapter book blogging group sistaloves:  Thank you for joining me on this journey.  I am so excited to be taking it with you.  This summer I have more time on my hands so I will be able to visit your blogs more regularly (didn’t do that on the last Next Chapter book blogging  journey due to my poetic memoir writing).  I look forward to learning more about your Wreck This Journal experiences. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy your day and weekend!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

0 comments on “Happy June! My Summer Reading Adventures – Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor”

Happy June! My Summer Reading Adventures – Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor

Happy June!

Yesterday I read a Los Angeles Times article written by Reed Johnson about Colson Whitehead’s new book, Sag Harbor.  See author photo, book cover photo, and YouTube link with an author video below.  The article made me smile.  Why?  It reminded me how important it is to write novels (Love’s Troubdadours – Karma: Book Onewww.lovestroubadours.com), memoirs (That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery – Summer 2009 – www.anandaleeke.com), and poetry about my experiences as an African American woman who self-identifies as a Boho BAP (just one of my many identities!) and came of age during the 1970s and 1980s (BAP References: What is a BAP? – http://www.lovestroubadours.com/id15.html; BAP Living social networking site – http://baplivingforbapsandebw.ning.com; and BAP Living Radio – www.talkshoe.com/tc/18598) .  It also affirmed how thirsty I am for stories about people with similar experiences.  That’s why I ordered Whitehead’s book from Amazon.com this afternoon and will add it to my summer reading list. 

What are you planning to read this summer and why?

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy your day and week!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

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Colson Whitehead, author of Sag Harbor

Photo from Reed Johnson’s article in the May 31st issue of the Los Angeles Times 

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YouTube Link to Author’s Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aILSfknGqFY

Copy of Los Angeles Times Article

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-africanamerican31-2009may31,0,7855305.story

 Center stage: middle-class African Americans
As Colson Whitehead’s and Lydia Diamond’s new dramas show, the way black artists represent themselves and are perceived by others is changing.

By Reed Johnson

May 31, 2009

Guess who’s coming to the beach barbecue this summer? Middle-class African Americans, that’s who.

In two new critically esteemed works, Lydia Diamond’s play “Stick Fly” and Colson Whitehead’s just-published semiautobiographical novel “Sag Harbor” (Doubleday), the focus is on middle-class blacks summering on, respectively, Martha’s Vineyard and rural Long Island. While both works address some of the perennial challenges of African American life, they also depict their characters basking in such fair-weather pleasures as hanging out with family, eating waffle cones, playing board games and schlepping across sand dunes.

Diamond’s comic drama, which is running through June 14 at the Matrix Theatre on Melrose Avenue, and Whitehead’s buoyant coming-of-age tale follow on the heels of Jill Nelson’s “Finding Martha’s Vineyard: African Americans at Home on an Island.” Published in 2005, her book is a lyrical memoir-history of the author’s half-century love affair with the Oak Bluffs community, a longtime African American enclave off the picturesque Massachusetts coast.

As Americans of all colors reconsider the meanings and milieus of the African American experience in the Obama era, we may be witnessing a gradual sea change in the way that African American artists represent themselves and are perceived by others. In both “Stick Fly” and “Sag Harbor,” the characters intermittently analyze their language, relationships and socio-cultural heritage (or baggage) as African Americans. But what’s also striking about these works is that they present their well-educated, witty characters as matter-of-factly inhabiting a world of leisure and affluence, a very different way than many white Americans may be used to seeing black people portrayed in popular culture.

“Often, people who make decisions about what gets produced have only known black people as a service provider,” Diamond, 40, said in a phone interview last week. That’s partly why an educated, middle-class black family such as the Huxtables, when they first appeared on “The Cosby Show” a quarter-century ago, caught off-guard viewers who hadn’t imagined that such families existed, she suggested.

Like the Huxtables’ comfortably rambunctious Brooklyn home, what the communities of Oak Bluffs and Long Island’s Azurest, Sag Harbor Hills and Ninevah offer is a more neutral, less historically and symbolically loaded backdrop against which to examine their fictional characters. They are depicted as places where middle-class African Americans are in some ways more free to be themselves than they are in the rest of white-dominated American society.

As Nelson writes in her memoir of Oak Bluffs: “There was no need to be the exemplary Negro here, or to show white people that we were as good as or better than they were, to conduct ourselves as ambassadors for integration and racial harmony. For the months of summer the weight of being race representative — and all the political, emotional, and psychic burdens that come with demanding that an individual represent a nonexistent monolith — was lifted. . . . Here, it was enough that you simply be yourself.”

“Sag Harbor,” which is set in the mid-1980s, elucidates not the chronicle of a people’s historic struggle, but simply the minutiae of its teenage protagonist Benji’s daily routines, shrewd reflections, sophomoric gibes and occasionally fumbling but earnest attempts at self-transformation.

“According to the world, we were the definition of a paradox: black boys with beach houses,” Whitehead writes. “A paradox to the outside, but it never occurred to us that there was anything strange about it. It was simply who we were.”

To some, “Stick Fly” and “Sag Harbor” may appear to present a kind of alternative history of the Great American Summer Vacation. But among East Coast middle-class blacks, that history is well established.

“Even in college, I’d say, ‘I’m from Sag Harbor,’ people would be like, ‘I didn’t know black people went out there,’ ” Whitehead, 39, said last week in Los Angeles, where he appeared in the Aloud public conversation series at the downtown Central Library. “Meanwhile, for us it was the opposite. We didn’t know white people went out there. We thought all the white people who lived in East Hampton, Bridgehampton, were townies.”

Not only are the worlds of “Stick Fly” and “Sag Harbor” strikingly different from those usually glimpsed in mainstream movies and television, they’re also quite removed from the environments typically associated with some of the most illustrious African American artists. Viewed from the plush living-room set of “Stick Fly” or the weekender bungalows and fried-clam shacks of “Sag Harbor,” the gritty precincts of Spike Lee’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood or August Wilson’s Hill District(Pittsburgh) in Pittsburgh seem a world away. So do the hardships endured by the struggling characters (including slaves) who populate the fiction of the nation’s most celebrated African American writer, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison.

Diamond has said she believes that “America has a real comfort zone with seeing African Americans in certain ways,” usually either as historical figures revisiting past wrongs inflicted by white people, or in a contemporary urban setting where many of the same historic, race-based struggles still occur.

Changing the setting of a play or novel from the Mississippi Delta or Detroit to an idyllic island bluff doesn’t mean those struggles necessarily have ended, the Boston-based playwright maintains, but it can offer a different lens on the nature of those continuing struggles.

In “Stick Fly,” set in the present, the LeVay family’s summer home in Oak Bluffs testifies to the hard-earned progress of a clan as well as an entire ethnic group. Its walls and crannies are covered with African carvings and an original painting by the African American artist and writer Romare Bearden. The bookshelves include the Riverside Shakespeare and “Parting the Waters,” Taylor Branch’s history of the civil rights movement. (John Iacovelli did the Matrix production’s evocative set design.)

In a program note, writer Carrie Hughes traces the African American history of Oak Bluffs to the late 1700s. The community swelled during World War II with African American “doctors, lawyers, dentists, teachers and business people, as well as politicians and artists.”

In that rarefied milieu, “Stick Fly” shapes up less as a play about race per se than about the economic and social distance that separates the LeVay brothers, Kent (Chris Butler) and Flip (Jason Delane), and their successful doctor father ( John Wesley) from Kent’s working-class, hyper-intellectual, hyper-opinionated girlfriend, Taylor (Michole Briana White) and the family’s disgruntled young housekeeper (Tinashe Kajese), all of whom are African American.

“When I wrote the play, I knew I was writing a play about class,” said Diamond, who grew up in what she describes as a single-parent, “solidly lower-middle-class home.”

In fact, several of her play’s plot points turn on matters of class, education and/or gender. Subtly, “Stick Fly” demonstrates that privilege, like discrimination, wears many masks, and is often invisible to those who benefit from it — even, or perhaps especially, if they themselves are the victims of some form of discrimination.

The nature of privilege also figures as a theme of “Sag Harbor.” Benji casually confesses to his youthful ignorance of some of the canonical heroes and cultural idols of African American history, such as W.E.B. DuBois. He’s aware at some level that his own more fortunate lifestyle was made possible by his ancestors’ sacrifices. But he’s also liberated by not being constantly consumed with that historical legacy.

Whitehead, author of the novels “The Intuitionist,” “John Henry Days” and “Apex Hides the Hurt” as well as a book of essays about his hometown, “The Colossus of New York,” said that “the hopes and dreams of my grandparents’ generation,” those African Americans who first started coming out to Sag Harbor, were obviously different from those of him and his childhood friends.

“Definitely they were part of this scene, a really new emergent black middle class. And for them to go out there was something that they were inventing. You know, they wanted it and they went for it, and no one’s going to tell them no.”

His parents, living through the civil rights era, also had their own, different perspectives and motivations, he said. “And then for our generation, [we would] sort of take their struggles for granted, playing with ‘ Star Wars’ figures in the dirt. Not aware of this whole history, just being the beneficiaries, the clueless beneficiaries.”

For Whitehead, Sag Harbor symbolized something of a refuge from his family’s life in New York City, where “I was a target for the police if I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” (Once, as a high school senior, he was taken to a police station in handcuffs after being falsely fingered as a robber.)

Not that Sag Harbor was an idyll. “If we were out of Sag Harbor we were out of our territories,” he said. “And you couldn’t just go strolling around, driving aimlessly around through the streets of East Hampton.”

Yet for Benji, Sag Harbor represents a world of dawning possibilities, in which worries over “keeping it real” and acting “authentic” can be allayed, the stereotype-filled “great narrative of black pathology” can be set aside (at least from Memorial Day to Labor Day) and it’s OK to like Siouxsie and the Banshees as well as Run-DMC.

“I probably would’ve had too much anxiety about being called ‘bourgie’ if I had written this book in the ’90s,” Whitehead acknowledged. “Like I can’t reveal that I actually had a comfortable upbringing.”

Are we in a different place now? “No, I’m in a different place,” he said. “This is the way it went down, and I don’t care if you know that.”