- The only way to learn is by encounter
This Thanksgiving weekend was made even more special (aside from my sister and her
family's presence) by our visit to an unusual exhibition called Dialogue In the Dark at Atlantic Station in midtown Atlanta.
The hour long experience offers the public "an experience that can change mindsets on disability and diversity, and increase tolerance."
Blind guides lead visitors in small groups through different settings in total darkness where they learn how to interact without sight by using their other senses.
At the beginning of the exhibit - after removing anything that could emit light like watches and cellphones - our small group was taken into a room where we sat on lighted cubes on the floor. We had been given canes and a brief lesson on how to use them. Then the light in the cubes was gradually dimmed until we were left in pitch black and the exhibition began.
We went through a garden where we could hear birdsong, touch grass and plants. We went to a store where we felt bread and coconuts and other produce. During the city scene we heard cars and experienced crossing a street with a cane - it was an unnerving and disorienting experience.
But the amazing thing was that the guides - who were blind - would make sure we were all together and safe. They encouraged us along.
It was as though they could see.
The final room was a bar. We bought drinks in the dark. Before we went in they told us: take only two $1 bills. You hand over the money in the dark and are given change. If we hadn't had the single bills there is no way we could know what money to give.
My mother is blind and it helped me to see that blind people can enjoy themselves. One sense is cut but you have four others. I got a heightened awareness of sound, touch and the other senses. I never knew what the bar looked like but I felt the counter and saw the seats we were sitting on in my mind. If anything, I got a sense of peace.
At the beginning of the exhibition it was frightening, but by the end I felt kinship with the other people in our group and new found respect for the guides.
Even so, being blind is hard.
At the end of the "Dialogue" you go into a transition room where the lights come on gradually. It was good to see the light again. The hour had flown past but it was unforgettable.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
My husband sent this clip to me and I was fascinated and repelled. Very thought provoking and provocative comparison of two different men. What do you think?
I'm copying and pasting underneath part of the director's comments. His link is Byron
BARACK & CURTIS: MANHOOD, POWER, AND RESPECT
September 16, 2008
...I am proud to be a part of the Black Masculinity Project, a project of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). Like many other filmmakers who applied for this, I was required to submit to them three ideas for a short documentary (10 minutes or less) that examined various aspects of black masculinity. Of the three ideas I had, NBPC chose the one that was actually a last minute idea.
...I hope you'll watch Barack & Curtis online and then forward everywhere. Help spread the word by posting it to your blogs, social networking sites, websites, and listservs. Talk about it with your friends, co-workers, and family.
...One final note: Barack & Curtis is in no way intended to create a negative association between Barack Obama and 50 Cent. Anyone who would suggest that mis-understands what my piece is all about. Furthermore, anyone who uses Barack & Curtis to smear Barack Obama in any way, is either ignorant, or morally bankrupt. In no way do I want to damage Barack Obama's historic presidential campaign. In no way am I suggesting that Barack Obama is down with G-Unit or is a gangsta rapper cleverly disguised as a presidential candidate. Neither is Barack & Curtis intended to glorify 50 Cent. Instead, the piece is my attempt to humanize 50 Cent, examine two very different Black men who express their masculinity in two very different ways, and who took two very different paths to achieve manhood, power, and respect.
In the end, I hope Barack & Curtis spreads all over the world over the Internet, igniting a powerful online conversation about Barack Obama, 50 Cent, and the range of black masculinity in between.
This was definitely one of our best meetups ever. We had such a wonderful time and for those who missed it I just have to say - too bad! We met at a AsiaThai restaurant instead of California Pizza Kitchen but that actually worked better.
I went despite raging laryngitis and cough but it was really worth it.
Sophia our wonderful assistant organizer brought along lots of take-away goodie bags that I said it was like being on a mini Oprah show hee hee. The bags had lovely organic and all-natural hair and skin care products. We shared our journeys and also had a talk from Jane Carter Solutions rep Jamese Cox who also gave away plenty of goodies.
To add to the goodie bags, I brought along samples of Arbonne's wonderful plant-based line for hair.
Thanks to Sylvia, Charanor, Diane, Gail, Kevin and Sophia and Jamese.
I'll post some more pics soon.
ps Make sure not to miss the next meetup
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I still haven't come down from the clouds after last week's amazing elections.
Well, I was going through my keepsake copy of the AJC the day after the elections when what do you know? There was a quote from one of my latest client's Lakieshia taken from her at Ebenezer Baptist on election night.
"We want to be here to to see history in the making. I mean being here is much bigger than watching it on TV," she said.
Well I was so excited that I put the paper down, called her up and asked was that you? It sure was!!! Yay!! Wish they had had her photo as well. Check out her blog for her progress. She comes for her first retightening on Friday. And she's loving her Sisterlocks.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
An Election Night To Be Remembered
I'll never forget the anticipation and the exhilaration of this memorable election night. I wish President Obama many prosperous and fulfilling years ahead and what a wonderful family to be moving into the White House. Yay!!!!