Goodbye Toni Morrison

By Margalit Fox

image
Toni Morrison, the 1993 Nobel laureate in literature, whose acclaimed, best-selling work explored black identity in America and in particular the experience of black women, died on Monday in the Bronx. She was 88.

Her death, at Montefiore Medical Center, was announced by her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. A spokeswoman said the cause was complications of pneumonia. Ms. Morrison lived in Grand View-on-Hudson, N.Y.

The first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Ms. Morrison was the author of 11 novels as well as children’s books and essay collections. Among them were celebrated works like “Song of Solomon,” which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977, and “Beloved,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

Ms. Morrison was one of the rare American authors whose books were both critical and commercial successes. Her novels appeared regularly on The New York Times best-seller list, were featured multiple times on Oprah Winfrey’s television book club and were the subject of myriad critical studies. A longtime faculty member at Princeton, Ms. Morrison lectured widely and was seen often on television.
In awarding her the Nobel, the Swedish Academy cited her “novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import,” through which she “gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”

Ms. Morrison animated that reality in a style resembling that of no other writer in English. Her prose, often luminous and incantatory, rings with the cadences of black oral tradition. Her plots are dreamlike and nonlinear, spooling backward and forward in time as though characters bring the entire weight of history to bear on their every act.

Her narratives mingle the voices of men, women, children and even ghosts in layered polyphony. Myth, magic and superstition are inextricably intertwined with everyday verities, a technique that caused Ms. Morrison’s novels to be likened often to those of Latin American magic realist writers like Gabriel García Márquez.

In “Sula,” a woman blithely lets a train run over her leg for the insurance money it will give her family. In “Song of Solomon,” a baby girl is named Pilate by her father, who “had thumbed through the Bible, and since he could not read a word, chose a group of letters that seemed to him strong and handsome.” In “Beloved,” the specter of a murdered child takes up residence in the house of her murderer.

Throughout Ms. Morrison’s work, elements like these coalesce around her abiding concern with slavery and its legacy. In her fiction, the past is often manifest in a harrowing present — a world of alcoholism, rape, incest and murder, recounted in unflinching detail.

It is a world, Ms. Morrison writes in “Beloved” (the novel is set in the 19th century but stands as a metaphor for the 20th), in which “anybody white could take your whole self for anything that came to mind.”

“Not just work, kill or maim you, but dirty you,” she goes on. “Dirty you so bad you couldn’t like yourself anymore. Dirty you so bad you forgot who you were and couldn’t think it up.”

But as Ms. Morrison’s writing also makes clear, the past is just as strongly manifest in the bonds of family, community and race — bonds that let culture, identity and a sense of belonging be transmitted from parents to children to grandchildren. These generational links, her work unfailingly suggests, form the only salutary chains in human experience.

“She is a friend of my mind,” a character in “Beloved,” a former slave, thinks about the woman he loves. “She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.”

A First Doomed Heroine

Ms. Morrison’s singular approach to narrative is evident in her first novel, “The Bluest Eye,” written in stolen moments between her day job as a book editor and her life as the single mother of two young sons. Published in 1970, it is narrated by Claudia McTeer, a black girl in Ohio, who with her sister, Frieda, is the product of a strict but loving home.

The novel’s doomed heroine is their friend Pecola Breedlove, who at 11, growing up in an America inundated with images of Shirley Temple and Dick and Jane, believes she is ugly and prays for the one thing she is sure will save her: blue eyes.

[Toni Morrison left behind a powerful literary legacy. These are her most essential books.]

In a drunken, savagely misguided attempt to show Pecola she is desirable, her father rapes her, leaving her pregnant. Now an outcast both in the community and within her own fractured family, Pecola descends into madness, believing herself possessed of blue eyes at last.

Reviewing the novel in The New York Times, John Leonard commended Ms. Morrison for telling the story “with a prose so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry.”

The novel prefigures much of Ms. Morrison’s later work in its preoccupation with history — often painful — as seen through the lens of an individual life; with characters’ quests, tragic or successful, for their place in the world; with the redemptive power of community; and with the role women play in the survival of such communities.

 

READ MORE IN TNYT

SOURCE:The New York Times

SexZeeNation- By Zee Adamu-O’Shaugnessy

 

HOW DO I TALK TO MY PARTNER ABOUT SEX?

Talking  to your partner about your likes and dislikes and your boundaries helps you build a healthy relationship and have a satisfying sex life.

How do I tell my partner what I like sexually?

Sometimes you expect a new partner to know what to do sexually…then end up being disappointed when things just don’t feel that good. Luckily, there’s a pretty simple way to turn sex that’s just okay into a great experience: communication.

Everyone is different, so no matter how experienced your partner is, they may have no idea what makes you excited. You have to let your partner know what you like and what feels good. And it’s good to keep the lines of communication open even if you’ve been together awhile, because what feels good or what you’re interested in doing may change over time.

Some people figure out what they like by having sex with someone, and others get to know their bodies by masturbating. Learning how to have orgasms on your own can make it easier to have one with someone else.

Where do you want to be touched? How much pressure feels good? How fast or slow? You can show your partner what you like by masturbating in front of them or by guiding their hand, mouth, or other body part. Or you can tell them what feels good (or what doesn’t).

Talking about sex might feel a little scary or awkward, but it can also be a big turn-on. And your partner might really appreciate you for bringing it up. If you’re nervous, you can always start by asking them what feels good or what type of sexual activities they’re interested in. Then you can talk about what feels good to you. It’s also a good opportunity to let them know what your boundaries are and what types of sex you’re NOT interested in.

How do I talk to my partner about safer sex?

Protecting each other from unintended pregnancy and/or STDs shows you care, and it can even make your relationship better. It’s totally normal to feel embarrassed to bring it up, but you’ll feel better once you start talking. And your partner will probably be glad you brought it up. The best time to talk about safer sex is BEFORE you start having sex.

A good way to start is by telling your partner that you care about them and want to do everything you can to make sure you’re protecting them and your relationship. You can also talk about your own safer sex history first, which might make your partner feel more comfortable opening up. It’s also a great idea to suggest that you get tested together, so you can support each other.

Some good questions to ask someone before you have sex include:

Which birth control method makes sense for us?

When was the last time you were tested for STDs?

Which STDs were you tested for?

Do you usually use condoms and/or dental dams?

Have you ever shared needles with someone for tattoos, piercings, or drugs? (You can get some STDs like HIV this way, and then they can be passed during sex.)

Have you had any STDs before? Which ones? Did you get them treated?

If your partner won’t get tested or use protection, it may be a sign that your relationship isn’t healthy. When someone refuses to have safer sex when you want to, it means your health isn’t important to them — so they might not be the best person to have a relationship with or to have sex with. You deserve to be safe, healthy, and happy.

How do I say no to sex?

You have the right to say no to any kind of sexual activity. Don’t depend on body language or hope they get the hint that you’re not interested. If you don’t want to do something, say no. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex with them before, or what your reason is for not wanting to do it — no means no.

You also have the right to change your mind during sex. Maybe you started having sex and then decided you’re not comfortable doing it or it doesn’t feel right. You can stop any time you want, and your partner shouldn’t make you feel bad or guilty about it. If they do, it’s probably a sign that your relationship is unhealthy.

Sexual consent means saying “yes” — and meaning it. Without that “yes,” there’s no consent. If your partner forces you have sex, it’s rape. If you’re forced to do something else sexually, it’s sexual assault. And being raped or sexually assaulted is never your fault.

Source:Plannedparenthood.org

BILL COSBY:Justice For One Is Justice For All -WWarigon

Bill Cosby FB_IMG_1537973860827.jpg

There was once a man. He was a role model and black hero. He epitomized the typical American Dad in his various TV,stage and movie roles. Today, he is just a shell of his former self. How are the mighty fallen!

Dr. William H. Cosby was a black Hollywood powerhouse some decades ago. He featured in beautiful, uplifting TV series and movies. He garnered many laurels that he epitomized the Quintisential American father worth emulating. His The Cosby Show was an all-time favourite cross the globe. He was an icon, an alter ego and a force to reckon with. He brought positive vibe to the black American community. Everything he touched turned to gold. His books were bestsellers and every magazine he featured on the covers sold out

So, what went wrong? Apparently behind the veneer of goodness lay a demonic spirit in a beautiful human form! When the first allegation surfaced, many people felt that an opportunistic, greedy, wasted talent was on a prowl to extort and tarnish the name of a great man. But it took a voice for others to come out and speak out. More than sixty women came out and told their stories.

Obviously, Bill Cosby was a sexual predator preying especially on the vulnerable that looked up to him to wield his influence in assisting them achieve their dreams in the turbulent world of showbiz. Instead of helping them achieve a bright future, he waylaid them with drugs and effectively ended their future before it even began.

Despite the rhetorics of his lawyers, Bill Cosby’s day of reckoning arrived yesterday when he was sentenced to jail. The judge was miffed for Cosby’s show of indifference without showing remorse. Perhaps his delusional mind told him he was untouchable

Justice was proven  to be blind as no one is above the law irrespective of fame, power and influence . You do the crime, you do the time. Bill Cosby is a disgraced comedian and has since been stripped of his various doctoral degrees and various accolades accorded him in his hey days.

It is hoped that as his feeble and pathetic self walked in handcuffs to spend his first night in the gulag, all those women abused by him would finally find closure. Many have suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD),failed in their professions, and others failed in relationships or even live in fear and other related neuro-stressful situation. Justice, after all is better served delayed than not served at all.

With this victory for the MeToo Movement and what is going on with the Kavannaugh Hearing, it is hoped that men and women who have been sexually abused should never be cowed or ashamed to find their voices and speak out. By speaking out the narrative is changed. By not speaking out, the predator feels invincible and will keep on preying on other hapless and voiceless victims. Wielding one’s power to take undue advantage over others is the worst kind of inhumanity from a human to another human.

Thankfully, lady justice never slumbers. Albeit blind, she is fair and just. And her wheels, no matter how slow are never to rusty to move in the right direction.

©William Warigon 2018

Emmy Awards 2018 nominations in full – Game Of Thrones to Westworld — Metro

Colin Jost and Michael Che are preparing to host the Primetime Emmys (Picture: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)The Primetime Emmy Awards are taking place this week – but who’s nominated in what category? Nominations for the 70th annual Emmy Awards were revealed in July. While Game Of Thrones received its standard flurry, one of the main shocks…

via Emmy Awards 2018 nominations in full – Game Of Thrones to Westworld — Metro

A 100th Birthday Celebration, and (Surprise!), a Wedding, Too

 

It was 11:30 a.m. on Labor Day, 2018 and everyone was gushing over the birthday boy, Mannie Corman, who wore a black shirt that read “Vintage 1918; Aged to perfection,” and a matching hat with the number 100 printed in white.

Mr. Corman, who sat in an electric wheelchair, reveled in the company of his 160-plus guests, some who had flown in from California, Las Vegas and Texas with others from New York. They kissed his cheeks, reached for his hands, and took his photo. When Judith Goldman, 76, Mr. Corman’s girlfriend of seven years, wasn’t at his side, she was mingling with the crowd.

Off to the side a crooner sang love songs while a roaming photo booth and videographer each captured different moments on the Liberty Warehouse’s airy deck, overlooking the New York Harbor in Brooklyn.

 

At noon, the guests were asked to take their seats inside the main room, which housed three buffet stations and a dance floor. A black and white portrait booth was in one corner. Another booth held two virtual reality games. A third showcased mini basketball hoops, Foosball and air hockey. Handmade wooden boxes that depicted a specific year, and highlighted important happenings during that time, served as table centerpieces. Beautifully decorated shortbread cookies made to look like the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, a passport and the number 100, were on the tables as well.

Image
Ms. Goldman slipped behind a curtain to put on her wedding veil.CreditGabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

The centennial birthday brunch for Mr. Corman, whose birthday was Aug. 31, was a success.

Then, the party took a turn.

Once guests were seated awaiting brunch, the closed black velvet curtain was opened and revealed a flower girl and ring bearer. Ms. Goldman, who had freshened her makeup and had added a veil to her white ensemble, and Mr. Corman, who now fashioned a black tux jacket, trailed behind them while “Young at Heart” played in the background. A collapsible huppah appeared and was immediately erected with family members, representing both sides, proudly holding each corner. They were among the few people, besides the bride and groom, who knew what was about to happen.

“I’ve known Mannie for more than 50 years, I never dreamed he would be having a wedding,” said Steven Cohn. “It’s fabulous. It’s an inspiration for us. It’s never too late.”

“I’m shocked. We had no idea,” echoed Lynne Laufer, who sat next to her just-as-surprised husband. “We were told this was a birthday party. Had I known, I would have brought them a gift.”

The couple exchanged rings under the huppah. “It’s fabulous,” said one of Mr. Corman’s friends, Steven Cohn. “It’s an inspiration for us. It’s never too late.”CreditGabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

Ms. Goldman, who was a special-education teacher at a Bronx high school, met Mr. Corman, who retired as garment manufacturer, in 1999. She was getting married, for the second time, to Rabbi Phil Goldman, one of Mr. Corman’s best friends.

“I liked Mannie instantly. He was clever and he knew about the sewing industry, just like my father did,” she said.

Through her late husband, the two become friends.

“When my husband died in December 2010, Mannie was in rehab from complications from a car accident, so he missed the funeral,” she said. “When he got back home, he called me and asked to get together. I was going in for knee surgery so we didn’t see each other until April.”

The two went for dinner in Brooklyn. And went again in May. In June, Ms. Goldman decided to donate some belongings to her late husband’s temple. Mr. Corman accompanied her.

Image

Mr. Corman, who was born Aug. 31, 1918, blowing out the candles on his birthday cake.CreditGabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

“In the parking lot, he grabbed my hand and it was like a bolt of lighting went through me. Then he kissed me. My whole body melted,” she said. “I couldn’t believe this was happening. It felt good. We held hands in the car and looked at each other.”

If this seems a bit untraditional, just wait. There’s more.

A few important facts, aside from their 24-year age difference: Ms. Goldman has been married twice before; Mr. Corman once. She has two children from her first marriage; he has none. She lives in White Plains, about an hour on a good day from his Brooklyn Heights apartment, where he lives with a full-time aide. They intend to keep separate residences, because neither wants to move.

After their relationship took a romantic turn, they saw each other on and off over the next year. Ms. Goldman included him in the family holidays; he invited her to temple functions. Sleepovers became a regular occurrence as did monthlong jaunts to Florida.

In 2014, Mr. Corman proposed.

“We were sitting in my home having breakfast and Mannie said, ‘It would be wonderful for you to marry me. But you’d have to live in Brooklyn,’” Ms. Goldman said. “I couldn’t do that.”

“I have a life here. I babysit for my grandchildren. I have a lot of energy. Moving in with Mannie and leaving my home would be like cutting off part of my life. I told him, ‘I’ll change as a person and you won’t want me. I’ll be very different.’”

 

Mr. Corman was put off, but accepted her answer.

“She’s got a strong mind, and a strong will,” he said. “ I didn’t want to give up my place and she didn’t want to give up hers.”

Over the next year he would announce in front of friends, family and random people, “I want to marry her, but she won’t live in Brooklyn.”

A step closer to compromising happened in 2015; they bought a home together in Del Ray, Fla.

”I’m looking for caring, shared moments and travel,” Ms. Goldman said. “He makes me feel secure. I’m not looking for a 72-year-old prince with wavy hair. I’m looking for a real person to be with.”

Image

Tess Lieber, 12, played a virtual reality game as guests enjoy the celebratory buffet.CreditGabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

Mr. Corman spoke similarly. “Judy and I have a wonderful love affair. She’s a very bright lady. It’s really easy to talk to her. We laugh a lot.”

Another bonding moment happened a few months later when Mr. Corman gave Ms. Goldman an engagement ring. He used the diamond from her mother’s engagement ring, and placed an additional diamond on either side

“The ring was about commitment to him, and I felt comfort from wearing something of my mother’s,” Ms. Goldman said. “I wanted to be with him, but I wasn’t going to compromise myself. I needed my space.”

A final step toward ever-after happened during the 100th birthday party-planning process, which started in 2017.

Image

Joseph R. Lentol, assemblyman for the 50th district in Brooklyn, serenades the couple.CreditGabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

“Mannie suggested getting married a few months after his party,” Ms. Goldman said. “There was no way I could do this a second time. So after talking it out, he finally said we could live like we do now.”

And so it was decided in May that the wedding would be part of the birthday party.

“When you go with a girl like Judy, you’re supposed to marry her. That’s the way it works,” Mr. Corman said. “I’m good with the arrangement. I want her to be happy. I was ready to marry. So it can go on like this.”

Ms. Goldman felt the same way. “We’re at the stage of our relationship to make a stronger and deeper commitment,” she said. “He’s gotten older and more vulnerable. Each year he knows how much he loves me. I want to make his life be the best for him.”

 

When the pair told David Milowitz, Ms. Goldman’s son from her first marriage, he was unfazed.

“You look at him and you think, ‘He’s an old man,’ but he’s so funny with these amazing stories,” said Mr. Milowitz, 43. “They’re both adventurers, and they love that in each other.”

Image

The bride shares a moment with the groom just before he blows out the candles.CreditGabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, who married the couple and officiated at more than 1,000 weddings, said Mr. Corman is the oldest groom he has ever married.

“People like Mannie and Judith recognize the importance of each and every day,” he said. “They don’t worry about tomorrow. They may think about yesterday, but they concentrate on today.”

The age issue did not seem to be a factor for the bride or the groom.

“I never thought I’d get married at my stage,” Mr. Corman said, while on the dance floor surrounded by friends, family and fans. “Love is not a commodity. It’s a deep, intense feeling. She loves a man that’s 100. You got to be off your rocker. I joke with her and say, the next fella you’re with after me had better be a young man of 70 or 80.”

The party was a success despite a few hitches: a suitcase with Mr. Corman’s medications, among other items, was left behind in White Plains, and retrieved; some people didn’t show, others came unexpectedly; pastry baskets were put on tables late.

“I love this man — age is just a number,” said the bride, who was indeed beaming. “It makes us a legal part of the family. Now when people ask me, ‘Who are you?’ I can truly say his wife. It feels good. I feel like someone took a scarf and tied it around the two of us.”

 

Source:New York Times

Patti LaBelle Lands Major Role FELA! Play Backed By Jay-Z, Will Smith

Legendary R&B singer Patti LaBelle has joined the cast of the Tony Award-winning broadway musical FELA!. The Grammy Award-winning singer will take over the role of Fela’s Kuti’s mother (Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti starting this September. LaBelle decided the role was right for her, after seeing the show, which is executive produced by rappers Will Smith and Jay-Z, amongst others. “I am both thrilled and honored to be joining the cast of FELA! on Broadway,” Patti LaBelle told AllHipHop.com in a statement. “After seeing the show, I was struck by the choreography and work of Bill T. Jones, and the passion and joy that overflows from the stage. Fela’s mother, Funmilayo, was a strong, truly inspiring woman and I am so privileged to be able to pay tribute to her on the Broadway stage.” In June, FELA! won three Tony Awards for Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Choreography and Best Custom Design of a Musical. The play is based on the life of Nigerian composer and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti.FELA!, which opened on Broadway in November of 2009, depicts Kuti as the target of 1,000 soldiers determined to put an end to his public performances at a legendary nightclub. Patti LaBelle will make her debut in the play FELA! on Tuesday, September 14th.

 

Source:https://allhiphop.com/user/@grouchy/

Three-year-old girl survived alone at home for FOUR DAYS eating bread and butter after her mother, 28, hanged herself in a bedroom

A three-year-old was found surviving on bread and butter up to four days after her mother killed herself, an inquest heard.

Mother-of-two Aimee Louise Evans, from Port Talbot, south Wales, was found dead at her home address on April 7 this year.

The inquest heard that when police arrived at the property they found the 28-year-old hanged in a bedroom.

A three-year-old was found surviving on bread and butter up to four days
after Aimee Evans killed herself, an inquest has heard

Mother-of-two Aimee Louise Evans, had sent a text to her mother Julie Evans, on April 4, asking her to collect her daughter because she was ‘ending it’

PC Clive Morris, of South Wales Police, told the inquest at Swansea Civic Centre today that Ms Evans’ three-year-old daughter was also in the house and was looking unkempt.

Mr Morris said: ‘I became increasingly aware of the three-year-old’s wellbeing – the child had been there for three to four days and she was unkempt.

‘She was taken to hospital to be checked by a paediatrician.’

PC Morris said police believed the little girl survived by eating loaves of bread and some butter.

Ms Evans’ son was staying with his natural father at the time.

PC Morris said Ms Evans had sent a text to her mother, Julie Evans, on April 4, asking her to collect her daughter because she was ‘ending it’, to which Julie Evans replied by saying ‘do not be daft’ and asking her daughter what the matter was.

 That was the last time the two of them spoke, PC Morris added, with Julie Evans repeatedly trying to make contact with her daughter over the following days, including visiting the property, but getting no reply.

The inquest heard the single mum was last seen alive on April 3, when she went to her mum’s house.

She had been drinking, but wasn’t drunk, and was checking the Facebook profile of a man she had been seeing on and off.

PC Morris said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Ms Evans’ death, adding that she had no history of mental health problems.

The inquest heard the mother-of-two used to drink most evenings and had been subject to domestic violence in previous relationships.

PC Clive Morris, of South Wales Police, told the inquest at Swansea CivicCentre today that Ms Evans’  three-year-old daughter was alsoin the house and was looking unkempt

PC Morris said: ‘Her mum said Aimee was a happy, outgoing individual that showed no signs of depression.

‘She said her children were always well cared for – that they were were always clean, tidy, and well looked after.

‘This is one of the hardest cases I have dealt with.’

Senior coroner Colin Phillips said the post-mortem examination report found the cause of death to be hanging with the toxicology report showing a level of 137mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

A sample taken from the eye – which tends to be more accurate in showing the alcohol levels at the time of death – showed a level of 216mg of alcohol per 100ml, he added.

The drink-drive limit in the UK is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

He recorded a conclusion of suicide.

Speaking after the inquest Ms Evans’ friend, Stacey Ansell, said: ‘Aimee is truly missed by many people.

‘If she knew how many people are heartbroken over her passing she would be overwhelmed.

‘It deeply saddens me that she felt she couldn’t reach out to any of us.’

Another friend, Charlene Coulter, said: ‘Aimee was a fun-loving girl who had the biggest heart – she would go out of her way to help anyone and often wore her heart on her sleeve.

‘She always made time for her close friends and loved nothing more than having a get together.

‘Aimee’s passing left a massive gap in our lives – she had so much to live for.

‘I really wish she would have picked up the phone and confided in one of her friends as we would have been there in a second.

‘Aimee will never be forgotten by any of us – we love and miss her dearly.’

For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local branch. See http://www.samaritans.org for details.

 

Source:Daily Mail