1 comment on “Happy August! Check out my upcoming events.”

Happy August! Check out my upcoming events.

Happy August All!

I am celebrating all of the creative women who inspire me this month. Many of these fabulous and fierce ladies will be featured during my August events. See the schedule below.  I hope you can join me online and offline.

Who are the creative women that inspire you?  Celebrate them this month.  Call or email them. Make time to see them in person. Tell your network about them. Sing their praises on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Support their creative efforts.

Ananda’s August Events:

1) August 15 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm EST, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Room 307 (Washingtoniana Division’s Program Room), Washington, DC (Please register for the event: http://sisterhoodtheblogaugustfocusgroup.eventbrite.com)

Join Ananda for Sisterhood the Blog’s focus group on how creative women use the web and social media to express, share, market, and sell their creativity and/or creative services. Come share your thoughts, insights, and lessons learned. Guest panelists include (more names will be added shortly):

Feel free to use the Twitter hashtag #STB10 to chat about the event and panelists.

If you are planning to participate, please complete an online survey about women and social media and release statement. The release statement gives Ananda permission to use information shared during the event as research for her book project Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution (December 2011).

2)August 16 @ 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST, Online Conference Call – To access the call, dial (424) 203-8400 and enter Participant Access Code 943041#.

Ananda is hosting a fabulous conversation on how creative women use the web and social media to express, share, market, and sell their creativity.  Guest panelists include:

Feel free to use the Twitter hashtag #STB10 to chat about the event and panelists.

If you are planning to participate, please complete an online survey about women and social media and release statement. The release statement gives Ananda permission to use information shared during the event as research for her book project Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution (December 2011).

3) August 17 @ 9:30 pm EST, BlogTalkRadio – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/anandaleeke/2010/08/18/blogatique-with-ananda-leeke

Tune into the launch of Ananda’s new BlogTalkRadio radio show Blogatique with Ananda Leeke. People. Passions. Politics.  The first episode features creative woman extraordinaire Toni Blackman.  Blackman is an artist, cultural ambassador, and social entrepreneur, based in Brooklyn, New York. Toni is the author of Inner-Course: A Plea for Real Love.  She is also the founder and director of Freestyle Union, a cipher workshop that uses free styling as a tool to encourage social responsibility. Her “I Rhyme Like A Girl” series is a Freestyle Union initiative. In addition, she is a former Echoing Green Fellow and fellow with the Open Society Institute. Visit Toni’s blog to learn more about her creative endeavors: http://toniblackman.wordpress.com. Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/toniblackman.

4) August 18 @ 8:00 pm – 8:30 pm, MomTV – http://www.momtv.com/kg-yoga

Watch Ananda’s kg yoga life practices class on Mom TV on 8:00 pm EST.  The theme is celebrating Shakti, the creative feminine energy.

5) August 24 @ 9:30 pm, BlogTalkRadio – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/anandaleeke/2010/08/25/blogatique-with-ananda-leeke-people-passions-polit

Blogatique with Ananda Leeke. People. Passions. Politics. features Orlando W. Darden, Jr., owner of BodyFitDC (http://bodyfitdc.com) on the second episode of its first season. Darden is a Washington, DC-based certified personal and group fitness trainer,and running coach. He will discuss his life reinvention journey from a seasoned finance professional with 20+ years of experience and a MBA from New York University to a fitness entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people to become more fit and healthy,and improve their overall well-being. Follow Darden’s BodyFitDC on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bodyfitdc.

6) August 26 @ 9:00 pm, Sisterhood the Blog Radio, http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015

Tune in as Ananda continues the creative women and social media discussion with the following creative ladies:

Please register for the show: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/794878503.  This radio show is a follow up to an offline event held on August 15 in DC and conference call on August 16.

Feel free to use the Twitter hashtag #STB10 to chat about the event and panelists.

If you miss the live show on August 26, don’t fret. You will be able to listen to the audio posted on Sisterhood the Blog Radio’s web site: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015.

If you are planning to participate, please complete an online survey about women and social media and release statement. The release statement gives Ananda permission to use information shared during the event as research for her book project Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution (December 2011).

7) August30 @ 9:00 pm, Sisterhood the Blog Radio, http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015

Listen to Ananda’s second discussion about  creative women and social media with the following creative ladies:

Please register for the show: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/814373814.

This radio show is a follow up to an offline event held on August 15 in DC and conference call on August 16.

Feel free to use the Twitter hashtag #STB10 to chat about the event and panelists.

If you miss the live show on August 30, don’t fret. You will be able to listen to the audio posted on Sisterhood the Blog Radio’s web site: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015.

If you are planning to participate, please complete an online survey about women and social media and release statement. The release statement gives Ananda permission to use information shared during the event as research for her book project Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution (December 2011).

8) August 31 @ 9:30 pm, BlogTalkRadio – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/anandaleeke/2010/09/01/blogatique-with-ananda-leeke-shayne-lee-author-of-

Blogatique with Ananda Leeke: People. Passions. Politics. features Shayne Lee, author, sociologist, and Tulane University professor on the third episode of its first season. Lee will discuss his new book Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality, and Popular Culture.

0 comments on “Soul Babies by Mark Anthony Neal: What I am reading now for research supporting my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two”

Soul Babies by Mark Anthony Neal: What I am reading now for research supporting my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two

Greetings All,

Today, I started reading Soul Babies by Mark Anthony Neal (one of my favorite Black male feminists and authors …. Loved his book New Black Man).  Click here to learn more about Neal and his work: http://newblackman.blogspot.com.  I am reading Neal’s Soul Babies as research for my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two.

So why am I reading this book? Well, it all started when Tulane University professor and author Shayne Lee referred to the main character Karma Francois in my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One as a “post-soul” woman in his interview with me on my Talkshoe.com radio show on November 9, 2009: www.talkshoe.com/tc/15820 (see past episodes archives).   Lee’s Amazon.com book review also makes reference to the term. See below.

“Great artistic efforts do more than just entertain, they enlighten. Love’s Troubadours was highly entertaining, but also challenged me to explore the greater context of the world around me, which is in my humble opinion the hallmark of great art. I learned much about my own strivings and angst while perusing life through the eyes of a hip, chic, post-soul, educated yoga-loving, highly spiritual Black American Princess named Karma. There are no canned characters in this masterpiece, only complex women and men dealing with the vicissitudes of life through their inimitable postmodern brands of spirituality and social perspectives. Karma teaches us much about perseverance as well as about self-transcendence and spiritual consciousness. One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is its fresh appropriation of black middleclass sensibilities. Karma is an intuitive and progressive woman and her tastes and interests reflect a mélange of black middleclass tropes often unexplored in contemporary cinema and books. Ananda Leeke fastens our consciousness to a world of black female sophistication, and depicts Karma as an apotheosis of urban-chic and self-transcendence. Leeke takes us on an entertaining and enlightening journey as we watch an incredibly complex protagonist like Karma navigate through the matrices of her personal reformation, negotiate transitional changes, overcome family and relationship challenges and emotional angst, and emerge as a more evolved and emotionally whole woman. This is a well-written book and a fascinating look at an underrepresented portion of contemporary black middle-class life and spirituality.”

Shayne got me thinking about the type of people I write about in my Love’s Troubadours novel series.  So I did a google search for Neal’s definition of post-soul. See below.

“the political, social, and cultural experiences” of blacks born “between the 1963 March on Washington and . . . the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke challenge to affirmative action in 1978.”

After reading the definition, I realized me and most of my characters are post-soul!

When I saw the cover of Soul Babies featuring Soul Train dancers, I hollered because Soul Train was one of my favorite shows growing up in the 70s.  It was a religion for me to watch Don Cornelius and the Soul Train guests and dancers.  They taught me how to dance and dress (at least in my imagination cuz’ my mother would not allow me to wear some of the clothes!).

What do you think about the post-soul definition?

What were your favorite memories from the 70s?

Do you listen to 70s music? If so, who are your favorite artists and groups?

Enjoy your day!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, and SOOOOOOUUUUUULLLLLLL,

Ananda

1 comment on “Tulane Professor/Author Shayne Lee reviews Ananda’s novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One”

Tulane Professor/Author Shayne Lee reviews Ananda’s novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One

Happy Snow Wednesday in D.C.! 

Yes it is snowing in the wonderful District of Columbia.  I am loving the peace and quiet that comes from snow days!  It is giving me an opportunity to sleep  a lot, have long yummy yoga/meditation/Reiki sessions, read magazines and books, chat with friends on Skype, and discover what is happening online.

Shayne Lee

Yesterday I learned Shayne Lee, an author (one of my favorites) and Tulane University professor, wrote an incredibly generous review of my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One on Amazon.com.  See below. Let me know what you think.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for the peace of snow days,

Ananda

Shayne Lee’s Amazon.com Review

 An Intriguing work of art, February 9, 2010
By  Shayne Lee (Houston (by way of New Orleans)) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

Great artistic efforts do more than just entertain, they enlighten. Love’s Troubadours was highly entertaining, but also challenged me to explore the greater context of the world around me, which is in my humble opinion the hallmark of great art. I learned much about my own strivings and angst while perusing life through the eyes of a hip, chic, post-soul, educated yoga-loving, highly spiritual Black American Princess named Karma. There are no canned characters in this masterpiece, only complex women and men dealing with the vicissitudes of life through their inimitable postmodern brands of spirituality and social perspectives. Karma teaches us much about perseverance as well as about self-transcendence and spiritual consciousness. One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is its fresh appropriation of black middleclass sensibilities. Karma is an intuitive and progressive woman and her tastes and interests reflect a mélange of black middleclass tropes often unexplored in contemporary cinema and books. Ananda Leeke fastens our consciousness to a world of black female sophistication, and depicts Karma as an apotheosis of urban-chic and self-transcendence. Leeke takes us on an entertaining and enlightening journey as we watch an incredibly complex protagonist like Karma navigate through the matrices of her personal reformation, negotiate transitional changes, overcome family and relationship challenges and emotional angst, and emerge as a more evolved and emotionally whole woman. This is a well-written book and a fascinating look at an underrepresented portion of contemporary black middle-class life and spirituality.

1 comment on “Marinating on what it means to be post-black as I research and write Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two”

Marinating on what it means to be post-black as I research and write Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two

Hi All,

As many of you might know, I am writing my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two.  I am in the midst of a research and reading phase that has me on a bottomless pit search for all things interesting.  So far, my adventures have been online and offline.  My eyes have traveled through numerous magazines, books, Amazon.com book reviews, Twitter and Facebook conversations, YouTube videos, and web TV shows.  All kinds of good stuff is surfacing. It is really juicy!.  There’s no real order to my method too.  It’s a bit messy!  And that’s okay!  I am flowing with the FLOW!

I am fascinated … well to be honest infatuated with what it means to be post-black.  The seed of my infatuation was planted during a radio show discussion I had with one of my favorite authors Shayne Lee, a Tulane University professor, in November.

Our conversation was FABULOUS! I am so glad it was recorded because I am using it as research now.  Click here to listen to the show on Talkshoe.com:  http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/15820 (look for episode 10 that aired on November 9, 2009).

During our conversation, Shayne and I discussed why we both loved reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers and its connection to my new book That Which Awakens Me and debut novel  Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (available on Amazon.com – http://tinyurl.com/yfxtqyq). Shayne gave a juicy review of Love’s Troubadours.  He called the book’s main character Karma Francois  a “post-soul woman.” Those three words led me to post-black.  They shifted my reality Translation:  Shayne’s three words set it off for me.  Hey that’s what the brotha does!  His analysis and books take you there.  I read Shayne’s book T.D. Jakes: America’s New Preacher last year and am looking forward to reading his new book Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace. I’ll be using Holy Mavericks as research for a character who is the son of an evangelical minister in my next novel.  Click here to learn more about Shayne:  http://tulane.edu/liberal-arts/sociology/lee-profile.cfm.

So after my reality shifted, I started examining Karma’s world through a post-black lens. The first stop on my post-black research journey was Thelma Golden, executive director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem.

While Golden worked at the Whitney Museum, she and artist Glenn Ligon coined the phrase “post-black art” in the late 1990s.   The phrase was explained in the Studio Museum’s 2001 catalogue for Freestyle, an exhibition of twenty-eight up and coming artists of African American backgrounds.

Golden wrote,

  • Post-black artists are “adamant about not being labeled ‘black’ artists, though their work was steeped, in fact deeply interested, in redefining complex notions of blackness.”
  • “They are both post-Basquiat and post-Biggie. They embrace the dichotomies of high and low, inside and outside, tradition and innovation, with a great ease and facility.”
  • “Post-black was the new black.”
  • Post-black is “both a hollow social construction and a reality with an indispensable history.”

What do you think of Golden’s post-black commentary?  I am still chewing on it!

FYI: I used Golden’s museum curator career as a template for Karma’s career in New York City.  Golden’s curatorial work and willingness to show women and people of color artists that might not have been shown anywhere greatly influenced my discussion of African diaspora art in Love’s Troubadours.  She introduced me to Kara Walker, Chris Ofili, and other artists mentioned in my novel.

Yesterday, I discovered author Ytasha Womack’s new book Post Black: How a New Generation Is Redefining African-American Identity (click here to read Womack’s blog and Twitter page).  That was a Happy Black History moment!  I ordered a copy of the book from Amazon.com today and will be attending Womack’s D.C. book reading on February 16 at Busboys and Poets’ 5th and K Street location (time – 6:30-8pm).  I am so excited!  Hopefully, Womack’s book reading will give me more food for thought as I explore the post-black world  I share with my main character Karma in Love’s Troubadours – Book One and main character Symon Allure in Love’s Troubadours – Book Two.

Any thoughts on what it means to be post-black?

Do you self-identify as post-black?

Do you have any post-black fiction or nonfiction recommendations?

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your day!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, and Adventures in the land of post-black,

Ananda

0 comments on “Tune into the Nov. 9th episode of The Ananda Leeke Show @9pm EST for a conversation with Author/Professor Shayne Lee about Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers and Ananda’s books, That Which Awakens Me and Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One”

Tune into the Nov. 9th episode of The Ananda Leeke Show @9pm EST for a conversation with Author/Professor Shayne Lee about Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers and Ananda’s books, That Which Awakens Me and Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One

outliers

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Greetings All,

Join me for a conversation with my brothalove Shayne Lee, an author and professor of sociology at Tulane University, about the influence of The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (www.gladwell.com/outliers/index.html) on my new book, That Which Awakens Me on the November 9th episode of The Ananda Leeke Show at 9:00 p.m.  We will also discuss my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com).  Click here to listen to the show: www.talkshoe.com/tc/15820. 

shaynelee

Shayne Lee

shaynebook

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Shayne penned T.D. Jakes: America’s New Preacher (2007) and Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace (2009).   I read T.D. Jakes: America’s New Preacher earlier this year and fell in love with it.   Shayne’s book influenced my new book, That Which Awakens Me.  I even quoted from his book in my memoir!   Yeah it was that GOOD!  I also wrote a review about T.D. Jakes: America’s New Preacher and interviewed Shayne on BAP Living Radio in February.   We had big FUN!  Click here to read my review:  http://kiamshacom.blogspot.com/2009/02/book-review-td-jakes-americas-new.html.   To learn more about Shayne, visit www.tulane.edu/sociol/slee.pdf.

 Enjoy your week!

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