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Yes Afro-Italians Exist ( & They’re Thriving )

So many still think of Italians as white. When I googled Afro-Italians for the first time, Google kept asking me, “Don’t you mean Afro-Latinos?” Google, seems you’ve lost the narrative. There are many Afro-Italian intellectuals and a great many writers who have been advocating for social change for years now, but it took the furor over George Floyd’s murder to bring the Afro-Italian movement to the attention of the mainstream here in Italy and beyond.

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A Black and White Tale of Two Cities

My maternal grandfather, who lived in Boulder, was rumored to be a Klan member. While he mellowed with age and forgave his rebellious daughter for marrying a black man and adopting black kids, his wife did not. My bestie, Lisa Bell, and I have recently written about our wildly different experiences growing up in Boulder in the same era. After reading our post we invite you to participate in a dialogue pertaining to your experiences either as a POC or, from our white friends, about your grappling with these questions regarding privileged bias and blinders.

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It's a lockdown life for us!

On March 13, 2020, my new album was set to be released on Ropeadope Records. With the arrival of Convid-19, I was forced to consider how best my time might be spent, in light of our release party/concert cancellation as well as all other gigs for the foreseeable future, while in quarantine. Like my colleagues who make their living mostly from live shows, it was daunting to imagine what this new reality would bring, in the short and long term.

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Little Bundle of Joy + Literary Icons = Ropeadope & Jaipur

So close, we are soooooo close. Ropeadope Records, my band and I have our own little bundle of joy about to be born and though I’ve got a few of those teeny birthing anxieties I’m mostly just excited af to get her out into the world and let her find her way. Some people have had a sneak peek...

Photo by Saviolam

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Dancing one step forward, two steps back

Reflecting on the past 10 years. To those who filled me up when I was running low, Thank you. All I strive for is to scatter beauty, seed joy, cultivate creativity and compassion - in the way that all of you have for me. I remain hopeful because today’s youth are fierce, committed, empathetic & motivated, demanding change every day & making strides. I remain hopeful because there are millions of people: like songwriter Peter Mulvey, artist Kayhan Irani, artist Millie Chen,  Pixar Wonder Woman Danielle Feinberg, poet Saul Williams - who outnumber the warmongers, the power-hungry, the racists, the tyrants, the misogynists, the homophobic, the bullies, the despots. We outnumber them. We can yet turn the tide. 

  Writing at Ritmo&Blu Studios in 2010.

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Giddy Giggly

There’s a part of me that just wants to move to a little house down the road from my mother in Shreveport and set up house, spend as many hours as I can making up for those lost. Hear her stories. Make her laugh. Learn each other. Then there’s that other thirsty part of me that is so excited, so giddy giggly with the way the NoteSpeak project is progressing.

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Something is brewin' on the NoteSpeak train and lovely Russians

'We cannot but send our compliments to the musicians, because the material turned out at the same time to be incredibly solid and as versatile as possible. They've brought together classics and avant-garde, modern instruments with acoustic, aesthetics of jazz and the energy of electronic music with amazing ease and authenticity.'  DA Vision Saint Petersburg

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Firsts - Back from a deep deep dive Part 4

My first birth family face to face meet. First time meeting Rhonda, Casandra, and their families. First time decorating a Christmas tree with my mother. First time lying in a darkened room and feeling her breathe next to me. First time pajama party sharing confidences and laughter with them all.  First teasing and laughing until we cried. First cuddles, kisses, hugs and mingled tears of an entirely different nature. First meals shopped, cooked, and eaten together. First forays into the world as a family. 

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