This most honest thing I can tell you is that I know this is work not mine. I was just blessed enough to be the vessel chosen to tell these stories.
When I had enough of asking Mom and Dad for money to buy Taco Bell combos, CDs from Sam Goode and extra night-and-weekend minutes, I knew it was time to get a damn job.
In his latest installment of Black In The Day for Saint Heron, Alex reflected on some of the most memorable on-screen moments from Black academia's past.
"As chirren, teachers, staff, parents, and administrators greet new year of adventure down at the schoolhouse, let’s take a look back pon some of the phattest and most memorable moments from Black academia’s past. When report cards and parent-teacher conferences roll around, you might might need some positivity to help keep hope alive.
Let’s start the moonwalk down Memory Lane with Spike Lee’s famous ode to collegiate colorism and intraracial hair hateration in Mission College’s dancerie, “Good and Bad Hair” from 1988’s School Daze. Though the film addresses apartheid, class issues, and misogyny with the help of a stellar cast of hella talented Chocolatey Wonders, it is the spite-filled salon showdown betwixt #teamlightskin and #teamcholocolatey that keeps me coming back to this movie because I love a grand dance scene. Long before she learned how to go to work on Myra’s feet, Tisha Campbell (Jane), She Who Would Become Whitley Gilbert, and the mostly fair-skinned Gamma Rays (the “Wannabe’s”) with “good hair” danced it out against the mahogany, natural haired so-called “Jigaboos,” trading brutal jabs and sickening 8-counts, proving that all skinfolk ain’t your kinfolk. That choreo is popping, though. Shoutout to Otis Sallid."
Previous Black In The Day Installments:
That time Alex wrote a thing for Very Smart Brothas about wanting our easily impressed brethern to be more discerning with the damn cookout invites:
"Look, I know blackness is the gift that keeps on giving. I know how awesome we are, and can understand why sweet potato pie tops pumpkin pie, that we effortlessly create and inform pop culture, and why folks set aside their good sense and pride to get next to us or be like us. And I also know that in these anus-mouthed-gargoyle-electing times, the smallest acts of humanity—even the most fleeting abandonment of ain’t-shitness—can feel like a sign of kinship, a victory, a mark of someone deserving of trust.
I get the fatigue from contending with normalized terribleness and buffoonery and reading about and coexisting with people who vote for professional life ruiners. Truly, I do.
But stop inviting everybody to the motherfucking cookout. Love yourself and respect your blackness a little bit more. For the kids, the community and the perseverance of the already limited supply of ribs. As I told Tonja Stidhum (one of the writingest wimmenz I know), I’ll be damned if I miss out on the macaroni and cheese because you niggas are out here inviting everybody who smiles at you and hugging Nazis at the cookout. Go-go gadget: higher standards."
In his third piece for Tonic (see one and two), Alex wrote about the realities of drug addiction before the epidemic reached rural and Middle America, thus earning sympathy and resources. He spoke with five brave folks who opened up about their journeys with drugs and how they view America's newfound compassion towards those in the struggle.