So how was your summer? I finished a few research projects, put my toes in the Atlantic Ocean, and learned the Cupid Shuffle at the family reunion. My family and I delighted in a backyard garden full of tomatoes. But of all the special moments this summer, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the afternoon that my little one finally figured out how to wink. It was hilarious. And it reminded me of the small things I take for granted.
Here’s a look back at a few other links, images, and media I enjoyed this summer.
- Somehow I stumbled across these amazing illustrations by E. Blake Hicks: “Post-Mortem Portraits from the Ultra-Hype HBO series The Wire.” Omar, Stringer Bell, Bubbles, Snoop – they’re all here. Hicks, a young graphic designer from Birmingham, Alabama, promises more to come. (Who didn’t love Lester and his odd habit of making dollhouse miniatures?)
- Still lovingly making my way through Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor and Percival Everett’s I Am Not Sidney Poitier. I also enjoyed Yusef Komunyakaa’s new collection, Warhorses: Poems. I’d hoped to post longer reviews, but that’s unlikely at this point – so if you are looking for reviews about books by people of color, you must check out the “Color Me Brown” challenge at Color Online. Over 120 links have been posted!
- One quick word about a book that I can’t recommend highly enough: Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. Geoffrey Miller’s study has changed the way I look at consumer advertising and the desires that are contained in the products I choose to buy. Consider: “If I want to look tough, I don’t need to believe that the Hummer H1 really looks tough; I need only believe that more gullible onlookers will think it looks tough, and will credit me with toughness for owning it…” It seems self-evident, but the Age of Marketing has a huge impact on how we perceive ourselves and one another.
- Why am I just now finding out about Garfield Minus Garfield!?
- Two reasons why BBC America’s Torchwood TV mini-series completed captivated my attention this summer: First, what begins as an alien invasion ultimately dramatizes gut-wrenching moral questions about how we value human life in modern societies; and second, the mini-series features one of the creepiest, most nauseating, and delightfully low-tech CGI monsters I’ve seen in a while. (If you missed the series, you can download all five episodes on iTunes.)
- This summer I also discovered the tireless and exciting work that Rob Fields is doing at the Black rock music blog, Bold as Love, whose tagline is: “The mainstreaming of Black rock music and the evolution of the new Black imagination.” I’m honored that Rob visited TBoH this summer and found our site helpful in preparing for his role as a panel moderator at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta.
- And speaking of music: Maxwell’s album BLACKsummers’night has restored my faith in R&B. His song, “Pretty Wings” (as well as Raphael Saadiq’s “Never Give You Up“) has enjoyed heavy-rotation in our house this summer. Even my daughter can sing the chorus….