Updates from Frederick Smith, former Detroiter living in Los Angeles, and author of Down For Whatever (July2005) and Right Side of the Wrong Bed (December 2007).
Monday, June 19, 2006
NPR. Tired Black Men. Venezuela's Culture. Chile. Bolivia, too.
Listened to some great stuff on NPR this weekend, including this story about the whole "tired black man/why I chose a white woman" film that's buzzing around the U.S. and the Internet. I'm not a big fan of pathologizing black women, their historical struggles, or present-day drive to take care of business. But I don't know the politics of the folks involved with the film to determine their cultural intentions or agenda, if any. But NPR is great radio... so take a listen and decide for yourself.
Also, a great story about Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez and the process of creating pride in Venezuelan culture in his country in an effort to break the U.S. monopoly in setting/shaping cultural and artistic trends around the world.
If you don't know, Hugo Chavez and a host of other South American countries' leaders are showing their muscle in terms of challenging U.S. domination and setting forth their own agendas. Chile and its single-mother president, Michelle Bachelete. Bolivia's president, Evo Morales. The whole redistribution of wealth and resources, creating cultural pride, thumbing your nose at your bossy/bully neighbor... is kinda inspiring... maybe idealistic, but definitely inspiring.
And, they've got the oil and resources to make their positions credible, or at least carry some weight. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the Americas. And these leaders embrace the labels that many would use against them in the U.S. -- woman, feminist, indigenous, black, progressive. Hmmm, imagine if we celebrated those labels as a culture in the U.S. Now, I haven't lived anywhere where my "wealth, so to speak" was redistributed, so I don't know how that would feel. But, I know historically poor and working people don't have much of a chance to have their lives changed without major systemic change on their behalf.
I mean, a leader is only as good as the way s/he helps the poor and less fortunate of their people, right? Are black men that tired, as the film suggests? Why haven't we in the U.S. embraced the indigenous feminist within and among our leaders?
Imagine how different styles of leadership might produce different results in our relationships... and our communities. fs