Feb 12 2014

Phenomenal On So Many Levels

Wow! This was an awesome read. It was recommended by a book club, so this was my first time reading any of Ms. Cross’ work. And may I say that I have TRULY been missing out. Skin Deep was absolutely PHENOMENAL. No doubt. Period. The story was well crafted. The characters were well-developed. There is symbolism galore, as well as drama and suspense. (With a HUGE twist at the end! I never saw that coming.)

Now to the story: Nina was a complex character, with an interesting perspective on things. She was a beautiful, strong-willed, well-educated woman who came from a strong support system. Her “cross to bear” (if you call it that) is that in addition to her flawless beauty, she is a very fair skinned Black woman with blue eyes. Nina is aware of the special treatment and privileges she receives because of her fair skin, blue eyes, beautiful hair and body, etc. So much so, that she strives for equal opportunities and treatment for herself and others. Her father is a famous African-American musician. But her biological mother, who she knows is white, is a huge secret. A secret that she has spent years trying to find out about; even though she has a wonderful relationship with her Mama who raised her.

While on her crusade for equal minority relations and a MLK holiday at the college campus where she teaches and volunteers, she meets an interesting man named Ahmed and his beautiful daughter, Ebony. She is intrigued by Ahmed, who is totally rude and obnoxious towards her. And she instantly bonds with Ebony- who is desperate for stability and unconditional love, attention and guidance from a woman. The only problem is that Ahmed loathes Nina and what he feels that she is and she represents.

I won’t give away anything additional, because I want you to read the book and follow their journey yourself. As other reviews have said, this is a complex but beautiful story. Even though Ms. Cross wrote it many years ago, I believe that the themes and sub-plots are still prevalent today. Outstanding job Ms. Cross! (It was so good that I purchased her second book before I was half way finished with this one.)

Oct 28 2012

Michael Baisden Radio Show and Comments

clip 1/ clip 2 /clip 3

(No, my name isn’t Kathryn, and yes, we corrected that finally…lol)

To comment on the show, visit this page.

Please feel free to leave a comment here regarding my discussion with Mr. Baisden and his callers. Comments are moderated.

Apr 9 2011

The Darker the Berry…The More Invisible?

Los Angeles Times Magazine celebrated the “50 Most Beautiful Women in Film” in their February, 2011 edition. Someone at the magazine was given the task of deciding what beautiful looks like and they came up with the following fifty:

Note: the little gold and silver circles with numbers in them next to the photos represent Oscar wins and nominations, respectively.

It’s hard for me to take seriously a list of beautiful women in film that boasts Halle Berry, Dorothy Dandridge and Beyonce as the best (and only) representatives of beautiful Black actresses. I definitely don’t mean to take anything from those gorgeous and talented sistas, but they all fit into a light-skinned, Euro-featured standard that excludes gorgeous black women like Angela Bassett (Oscar nominee), Diana Ross (Oscar nominee), Viola Davis (Oscar nominee), Jennifer Hudson (Oscar winner) and Regina King (30+ feature films). I don’t know who composed the list, but the person or persons really should expand their idea of what beauty is to include those who have been gifted with plenty of pigment and may have fuller lips and/or wider noses. (Asian and Native American women weren’t thought of too highly by the judges either.)

The magazine’s masthead proudly proclaims:

“Los Angeles Times Magazine celebrates the region we call home with stories and photos of the people, places and pursuits that reflect our passions, our confidence, our style, our innovations and our possibilities.”

Our confidence. Our possibilities.

Well, I live in Los Angeles, and I see plentifully pigmented Black women on the regular, so I’d like to know why the people whose job it is to uphold the magazine’s mission do not feel inclined to celebrate them too.