Remembrance, Dystopia, and Joy

Our co-founder, Aiesha, sat on a model panel for Tina Gutierrez‘s artist talk for her “Coronavirus Wearable Art Response Project” exhibition at Kennedy Heights Arts Center earlier this week.  In this post, she talks about her thought process behind the costume. 

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My First Squee: The Last Dragon

Sho’nuff: When I say “Who’s da master?” you say “Sho’nuff.” Who’s da master?!?
Bruce Leroy: 
I am.
Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon (1985)

In 1985 (37 years ago today), my favorite cousin, who was obsessed with all things martial arts-related, took me to see Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon, the fantastical, cheesy, racially tone-deaf story of an African-American Kung Fu “master” living in Harlem. I was 8 and already quite accustomed to his addiction as we spent many a Saturday morning watching dubbed black-and-white movies about ninja and samurai trying to live honorably, and beating the crap out of those who refused to let them. Although I occasionally complained that I was missing The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, and various other cartoons during these times, I, too, was taken with these movies. My idolization of my older cousin made liking them possible.

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TOP FIVE: Wayne Shorter’s Futuristic Tunes

Wayne Shorter“You know, Wayne Shorter’s really into sci-fi,” local trumpet player Mike Wade told me.

But if anyone took even a cursory glance at Shorter’s late ’70s/early ’80s catalog, the only answer is “duh.”

I asked Mike to give me his top Shorter tunes: “Fall,” “Visitor from Somewhere,” “Infant Eyes,” “Visitor from Nowhere” and “Memory of Enchantment.”

“The titles are futuristic, and Wayne and his cast of musicians that perform this incredible music are playing within that manner,” Wade said. “Always reaching, never settling!”

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Midwest BSFA Member Hosts Radio Show in France

napoleon maddoxMidwest BSFA member Napoleon Maddox is in France for the foreseeable future (thanks, global pandemic! *side eyes*), but that hasn’t stopped him from doing his thing, content wise. He has been working on a radio show called Bestown State of Mind. Last week’s episode celebrates the May birthdays of and links between Toussaint Louverture, Malcolm X and Sun Ra. Check it out!

For more episodes of Bestown State of Mind, visit

It’s Been a Minute…

it's been 84 years gifSo…did anyone have “Global Pandemic” on their 2020 bingo card? No? Us either. Long before COVID-19 (aka #datrona) decided to make itself at home, we’d been on a pretty long hiatus ⁠— a year and three months, to be exact. Don’t get us wrong; we didn’t disappear from the internet completely. Our Facebook page is going strong and we’re still kekeing over on Twitter (we even have an Instagram account!). We just dropped the ball with the blog is all. But we’re back for a while. Continue reading “It’s Been a Minute…”

Blessed Be the Nerdy Grandmothers: A Requiem

93763818_10219540449255988_282561779530203136_oMy long bout of vegging out in the week between Christmas and New Year’s included a re-watch of the Star Trek reboot. When the movie first came out back in 2009, a friend and I saw it in the theater five or six times, and I even dragged my mother and brother to see it once when I was home for a visit. It really wasn’t that great, not for me to devote as much time and money as I did to it that spring, but something about it seemed to compel me to keep going back. I now think it was my grandmother.

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