DAPHNE A. BROOKS is an associate professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University where she teaches courses on African-American literature and culture, performance studies, critical gender studies, and popular music culture. She is the author of two books: Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 (Duke UP, 2006), and Jeff Buckley’s Grace (New York: Continuum, 2005).SUMMER RECOMMENDATIONS:VEHICLE: a mint-green Raleigh coasting bike, TV: Gossip Girl on I-tunes, BOOK: “Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris” (rock that foie gras!), CAUSE CELEBRE: rooting for Santi White’s world domination, the new Rhino Aretha rarities release, waiting for Nikka’s sonic beatdown of the W(h)inehouse, and (guilty pleasure of the season) Duffy, the 21st century Dusty.
VAL CASSELL Valerie Cassel Oliver is Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. There she has organized numerous exhibitions including Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art (2003); Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970s; (2005)) and Black Light/White Noise (2007), which featured light and sound works created by two generations of black artists. Her forthcoming exhibition, Benjamin Patterson: Born in the State of Fluxus, is a retrospective on the work of the African-American Fluxus artist and is slated for November 2010.
MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS is an Urbanista. She is currently producing media destinations, books, programs + products for Urbanistas worldwide. She is from Chocolate City, stays in Brooklyn + is about to shuffle her daughter Elenni off to college in Buffalo.SUMMER RECOMMENDATIONS AND FIVE THINGS THAT ROCK:(1.) Urbanistas Everywhere! (2). Having + being a mentor.(3). Black Girls Rock! Foundation (4.) “Hair Rules”. Brand new products for curly, kinky+wavy hair-the best complete hairline yet!! (5.) My Daughter Elenni’s fly spirit.
Brooklyn resident MICHAEL A. GONZALES is a cultural critic and short story writer. He has penned cover features for Essence, Vibe, The Source, XXL and Stop Smiling. His fiction has been published in Brown Sugar 2, Bronx Biannual and The Darker Mask. His column Riffs & RevolutiKAons appears at http://blogs.uptownlife.net/michaelagonzales.
LINDA HOBBS, 24, is a Pixies-obsessed rock head, hip hop head, lover, fighter, real-est, pro power punk type of human, exhibitionist, water-walker, utopian idealist, and former 80s dance queen. Born and raised in Detroit by a single mother, Hobbs was forbid from having secular music in the house, so she hid “gangsta” rap in the basement. She is a proud Clark Atlanta University dropout, and is currently the youngest reporter on staff at VIBE Magazine, starting out as the assistant to former music editor Jon Caramanica at age 22.
KANDIA CRAZY HORSE is a watermelon woman from Chocolate City. She digs bluegrass, feathers, the late great Henry Dumas & barns. If you offer CSN tix for Central Park, she’ll be your best friend for a song (& that would be “Carry On”).SUMMER RECOMMENDATIONS: BOOK: Travels In The Interior of Africa by MUNGO PARK, CAFE: Society (Harlem), SONG: “Make U Move” by DANIELIA COTTON, FOOD:Watermelon.
VIJAY IYER is a composer, pianist, educator, producer. His most recent albums are his working quartet’s, Tragicomic (Sunnyside), and Door, by Fieldwork (Pi), a collective comprised of Iyer, drummer Tyshawn Sorey and saxophonist Steve Lehman. He has also collaborated with poet, MC and librettist Mike Ladd on two major theatrical works, In What Language and Still Life With Commentator.
DOUGLAS KEARNEY writes and performs poetry, invents languages for use in opera libretti and teaches a course called “Remixing Jemima” at California Institute of the Arts. His first full-length collection of poems, Fear, Some, is available through redhen.org. He lives in the San Fernando Valley of southern Cali. www.douglaskearney.com
MILES MARSHALL LEWIS blogs at Furthermucker.com. He is the author of Scars… and There’s a Riot Goin’ On. Lewis has written for The Village Voice, The Believer, Dazed and Confused, Salon.com and many others. He served as the music editor of Vibe, deputy editor of XXL, literary editor of Russell Simmons’s Oneworld, deputy editor of BET.com, and a contributing writer for The Source.SUMMER RECOMMENDATIONS: BOOK: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle CAFE: Queen Ann, 5 Simon Le Franc, Paris SONG: “That Hump” by Erykah Badu COOKIES: Laura Todd, 81 Avenue de Breteuil
SARAH ELIZABETH LEWIS is a writer, curator and faculty member of Yale University School of Art. She received her B.A. from Harvard University and is completing her Ph.D at Yale University. Her writing has been featured in publications for The Smithsonian, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Guggenheim, SITE Santa Fe, Phaidon and Art in America. Prior to coming to Yale, she held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art in the Department of Photography and the Department of Painting and Sculpture. She is also a board member for A Long Walk Home, a non-profit organization that uses art to document, educate, and help to end violence committed against women, and is a Director of Expressive Rights, a program of TruthAIDS.
SUN SINGLETON is a Woodbridge,V.A.-born, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based secret double agent who disguises herself as a writer, a singer, a film director and a mentor. Agent for whom? Only time and the celestial patterns will reveal the answer.SUMMER RECOMMENDATIONS:BOOKS:The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz; Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts- edited by Ayana Bird and Akiba Solomon;CAFES : Chez Oscar (Ft. Greene French Bistro, warm, friendly service like family) Spice (Off Union Square, Loud terrible techno music but great fucking food!); MUSIC: Georgia Anne Muldrow, J Davey, Taylor McFerrin, Van Hunt’s myspace page, Live Bilal on Youtube.com MASSAGE: Renew and Relax deep tissue treatment, 50 3rd Ave (betw. 10-11th st.), FOODS: Goji Berry Smoothies, Ginger tea, Liquid Chlorophyll (in smoothie or juice)
GREG TATE would love to save Harlem from condomania without resorting to inflammable liquids and hatespeech. His latest act of contrition is producing Burnt Sugar’s next triple album set MAKING LOVE TO THE DARK AGES. Right now, even as we speak, he is doing actual research for a tome about The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, for Riverhead Press.
SUMMER RECOMMENDATIONS: BOOKS: Slumberland by Paul Beatty, The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You by Frank Stanford, MUSIC: ‘Equinox’ and ‘The Spirits Up Above’ by Jose James/myspace.com,FILMS: Wall E, The Last Mistress, Mongul, Tell No One. BBQ VEGGIE CHICKEN: Heights Vegetarian Food (166th and Broadway) ITAL JOCKEY SEA MOSS: Ditto.