Thursday, February 22, 2018



Note: Last night, I saw the movie Black Panther--twice! I wanted to see what all the adulation was about. It's an awesome movie! I hope to discuss it soon on the blog. It's worthy of a long, thoughtful essay.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

A Misused Word In A Book About Poet Gwendolyn Brooks

A few days ago I started reading A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: The Life & Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks by Angela Jackson (Beacon Press, 2017). It's an absorbing read. The prose style seems geared toward a young adult audience but it's a good place to introduce oneself to the life and work of Gwendolyn Brooks.

Having been a proofreader and a copy editor, I spotted a misused word on page 36. Ms. Jackson, a Chicago-based poet, playwright, and novelist, states that "The publication of A Street in Bronzeville would indicate that Gwendolyn had served a solid and extended apprenticeship in the pages of the Chicago Defender and other publications, but she had proven her meddle [italics mine] in the strenuous and continuous Inez Cunningham Stark workshop, the group of Visionaries. The workshop had edged her into an increased sophistication of intellect and technique, providing an environment of frank,constructive criticism and bold, new ideas."

The correct word should have been "mettle," not "meddle"---"...she had proven her mettle...." My Random House College Dictionary defines "meddle" as "to interest oneself in what is not one's concern: interfere without right or propriety." "Mettle" is defined as "staying  quality: STAMINA."

Somehow the copy editors and proofreaders at Beacon Press overlooked this error.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

More Movie Theatres Are Needed In Upper Manhattan

Sad to say, I never got the chance to see any movies at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas on the Upper West Side of Manhattan or the Sunshine Cinema farther downtown. Both theatres closed permanently about ten days apart in January of this year.

Since there is a dearth of movie theatres, especially on the Upper West Side and Harlem, maybe someone will decide to re-open the Metro Cinema on Broadway at 99th Street and the Victoria 5 Theatre on 125th Street. Both of those theatres have stood vacant for several years.

In fact, there are more film crews shooting on the streets of the Upper West Side and Harlem than there are theatres in which to show those movies. With the exception of the AMC Magic Johnson Theatres in Harlem, this part of town,unfortunately, has largely become a movie theatre desert.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Get Ready For Stonewall 50!!

June 2019 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York. Like the rainbow flag, the riots have a symbolic meaning within the LGBT community.

No doubt every cultural institution in the city will be doing their part to celebrate that momentous event considered by many to be the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. And no doubt the Gay Pride Parade will be super, super long in commemorating Stonewall.

About a year ago, I decided to visit the Stonewall Inn for the first time. I knew that the interior of the bar wouldn't resemble what it looked like in 1969 but that didn't matter.What was important was the fact that I was standing in an historic place that had brought about historic consequences. To me, being there was very satisfying and gave me the opportunity to pay tribute to those who stood up against police mistreatment of LGBT people.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Books By Authors From Countries Disparaged By Trump

As a response to President Trump's recent labeling of Haiti and African nations  as "shithole countries," Book Culture, a book store on 112th Street near Broadway in Manhattan, created a window display featuring twenty-eight books from some of the countries disparaged by Trump.

On one of the windows was posted a message, printed in all capital letters, that said:

Some of the books and authors in the window display included In the House of the Interpreter: A Memoir by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story by Edwidge Danticat, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah, Homecoming: A Novel by Yaa Gyasi, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,  Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by Helene Cooper, and A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa by Alexis Okeowo.