Wednesday, February 29, 2012

So Much To Paint

His retrospective/
Fame and honor came too late/
Find this pauper’s grave.
Ellis Wilson (1899-1977), by Van Vechten, 1947.
Here is a link to a documentary on Ellis WIlson, who was buried in obscurity: Ellis Wilson: So Much To Paint
Reproduced below are two works, "Breaking Down Fences" and "Funeral Procession."
Breaking Down Fences

Funeral Procession, ca. 1950s


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Portrait of the Artist as Fragile, Yet Strong

Black bohemian/
With Modernist disjunctures/
And life’s discomforts.

Beauford Delaney (1901-1979), by Van Vechten, 1953.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman

Ladybird’s portrait/
Subdued luminosity/
Revealed in color.

Ladybird Cleveland (b. 1927), by Van Vechten, 1954

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reflections On a Genius

Her savage conscience/
Is like an invasive weed/
That roots out evil. 

Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006) 

I always think about the brilliant Octavia Butler during this time of year--she died on February 24, six years ago. I have, in the past, posted passages from her works--especially her speculations on leadership. It seems as if folks are in the mood to ruminate--on local leadership, on the fate of Muhlenberg hospital, and on the future of the PMUA. I think very seriously about all the issues that come before the council. Here are my favorite Butler quotes, once again.

"Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by the thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be lied to. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery." 
"All struggles are essentially power struggles. Who will rule? Who will lead? Who will define, refine, confine, design? Who will dominate? All struggles are essentially power struggles,and most are no more intellectual than two rams knocking their heads together."   

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Celebrating Intellectualism

As he breaks into/
His DuBoisian laughter/
I see a new face.
W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963), by Van Vechten, 1946.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thus Ends Il Divo Week

"Legacy" personified/
True renaissance man.

Paul Robeson (1898-1976), by Van Vechten, 1944.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jubilant Eclecticist

Missing accolades/
Forgotten baritone of/
"Four Saints in Three Acts."
Rawn Spearman (d. 2009), by Van Vechten, 1952.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You Are Peace

Lyrical tenor/
 Whisper “Du bist die Ruh” to/
Divo profundis. 

Roland Hayes (1887-1977), by Van Vechten, 1954.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Verdi Hard Core

His baritone/
Performing Rigoletto/
History was made. 

Robert McFerrin (1921-2006), by Van Vechten, 1955.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Il Divo Week Begins!

Week of Il Divo/
Baritone extraordinaire/
She loves you, Porgy.

 William Warfield (1920-2002), by Van Vechten, 1954.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Changing the Course of HIV/AIDS, 

 Tuesday, February 7, 2012 was National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Black people continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, and today is a day that we can use to talk about HIV/AIDS. Below is a quote from Healthy Black Communities, Inc., on this year's initiative, along with startling information about shrinking resources and support for this continuing health crisis in the black community.

"For 2012, the structure and dynamics of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was shattered as the support and resources dwindled causing many organizations to reconsider their commitment and ability to manage and direct the initiative as in the past. So, Healthy Black Communities, Inc. with its experience in overseeing the initiative and serving as the lead opted to incorporate it into its organization structure and continue mobilizing Black communities around HIV/AIDS. In addition, the organization is rebuilding the structure to develop a national planning body, regional planning bodies and local planning groups to assist with reigniting the fire within Black community stakeholders to make it a success."

The motto, as always, is: Get educated. Get tested. Get involved. Get treated!

All best,
Rebecca (Cross-posting here)