nerd life

intelligencei really love public radio.  ashamedly, i mostly listen for soundbites to regurgitate during intellectual discussions.  like a kid playing double-dutch, i can’t wait to jump in to show off my newest piece of knowledge.  collecting random tidbits about a wide array of subjects such as sports (the eagles beat the rams, 38 to 24 on sunday), foreign policy (al nustra is being called the most successful rebel group in syria) or animal behavior (dolphins are actually not as smart as you think) became my charge in life once i turned 30. with my quest for knowledge in mind, here are a few of the public radio programs that enhance my nerd life:

tell me more

i cried during the last episode of tell me more.  michel martin, the show’s host, is the black nerd girl’s journalistic hero and should be praised for bringing diverse voices to a commonly white, privileged space. no worries, the old shows are archived.

fresh air

fresh air has replaced tell me more as my favorite show on npr. i can’t think of a radio program that offers a stronger pulse on mainstream america.

microphone check

did you know npr has a hip hop show? yea, i squealed too when i found out. the latest episode features a group that had a major influence on my life: outkast.

on being

i wonder if krista tippett, on being’s host, will adopt me.  if not, i’ll settle for replaying my favorite episodes of her show about spirituality, mindfulness and emotional well-being non stop.

democracy now

amy goodman is the trillest of them all. democracy now is a daily news outlet, completely independent, that gives hard-hitting news from a progressive lens. tune in every morning at 8 am to get your entire life.

what are some of your favorites?

solange knowles opens up to harper’s bazaar

hbz-april-2014-solange-knowles-smone of the many reasons i love solange is her effervescent-i-don’t-give-a-eff attitude that exudes a realness you don’t get from most celebrities. this is most certainly not what’s expected when your last name ends with “knowles.” in an interview with harper’s bazaar solange was as open as ever as she talks about her teenage pregnancy, marriage and divorce by age 21.

“in a lot of ways, emotionally and mentally, i feel far older than 27… just going through a marriage and a divorce—which i essentially did by 21—will give you an insane amount of perspective on life.”

recently relocated to new orleans, the musician, record label owner and art director for puma is trying to de-clutter her life while she finishes her forthcoming album.   i’m amazed by how place has had what appears to be a profound affect on her trajectory.  in a previous interview with NPR, solange talks about being influenced by cash money records artists and chopped and screwed music while growing up in houston, texas. fast forward 10 plus years and harper’s bazaar captures her evolution into a tastemaker while submersed into brooklyn’s artist scene.  thanks solange for the reminder about the role culture and locale can play in igniting personal growth.   

solange 3 solange 4images by julia noni for harper’s bazaar

a little link love 2.20.14

1. i’m flabergasted that a florida jury allowed yet another man to murder a black teenager without a murder conviction.  i’m sickened by the constant reminder that the lives of black children are less important than those of their white counterparts.  watch as jessica williams of the daily show does a tongue and cheek run-down of white america’s omnipresent “fear goggles” that can make “four black teenagers taking a calculus test look like a scene from the wire.”

2.  yayadon’t you just love yaya alafia (nee dacosta)? i remember her season of america’s next top model and the way she schooled tyra banks on the origins of kente cloth.  the ivy league grad  is now an actress, wife and mother who was recently interviewed by michel martin on npr’s tell me more.  listen to her thoughts on her role in lee daniels’ the butler, colorism and why she calls herself an african in america.

3. have you heard the teaser to beyonce’s drunk in love remix featuring kanye?!?! it made me jump up and run around my apartment full speed — the only appropriate response when one of your favorite songs from beyonce’s new album gets better.

4.  it’s not every day that you hear an artist reference brandy, bun b, bounce music and kirk franklin as their inspirations.  in a recent interview with npr’s new r&b and hip hop show, microphone check, i fell in love with solange all over again as she rattled off a list of 90’s hip hop and r&b that only a person raised in the south can appreciate.