Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Blacktress Works It on

Hey y'all!

So, as you know, I'm betrothed and preparing for life as a Jewish wife. I recently got to share some of my thoughts and plans with the wedding website in a new web video. You can see me talk about the magic of proposals along with funny ladies Meg Griffths, Camille Harris, future Jewish wife Lisa Kleinman, and others:

I'm not loving my hair in this. Or my face. Or the fact that I look like a transgender linebacker. But you know what, I am what I am and we had a magical time!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I'm B(l)aaaaccckkkkk!!!!!!!! (For real this time)


It's me, Sojourner! Do you remember me? It's been damn near a year since I spoke truth to power electronically!

I've missed blogging. I've missed you. I've missed us.

So I'm coming back and I'm still young, gifted, and black! I will be bringing Sojourner's Truths and hoping you can handle them. After getting laid off, getting tons of shit for the things I typed here,  getting engaged, losing my domain name to a greedy Japanese man who just had to have "" for some unknown reason, getting on the FXX, and getting too many questions about whether I've auditioned for SNL--I'm doing me with no apologies* in 2014! I'll be double-posting both here and on my Tumblr before transitioning totally to the Tumblr, in an attempt to "stay current" and "acknowledge technological changes in our society." Please check me out there:

*Unless I really hurt your feelings, then let's discuss.

Seeing as it's now 3:38pm and I just woke up 30 minutes ago,* I'm not quite ready to type a meaty post. I do, however, want to give you what I hope is your first hearty laugh of 2014. Please, watch and enjoy the video below:

* Yes, I woke up at 3pm and I'm not even hungover.  I'm already winning in 2014!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Home is Where the Blog Is / Big Big Blacktress News!!!

Dear Gentle Readers,

I know it's been months since my last blog post, and I may have lost some of you forever. But for those of you who still enjoy the procrastination of a good blog read or those of you who kept me in your blog feed, I want to share some important news.

News that has only been shared with family and close friends. News that hasn't even made it to Facebook.

On Friday, March 29, 2013 at approximately 11:35 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Jewboo ASKED ME TO MARRY HIM. AND I SAID YES!

Can you believe it???? I still kinda can't.

I come to you with this news because you guys know what a blacktress has been through. You've spent nearly 6 years reading about my stops on the long road to finding love. A road filled with potholes (aka potheads who were also assholes), construction closures (you know, the ones who were "going through a lot right now and can't be in a relationship"), and foreign drivers who didn't know how to drive on the right side of the road (I think that's pretty self-explanatory).

I'm not someone who has friends from kindergarten or even middle school that I still keep in touch with. If not for Facebook, there'd only be a handful of high school friends on my radar. Between my year with the Deaf and that time in Australia, I'm somewhat of a rolling stone, and this blog has been my one constant. Although I have many friends I'm close to, and some who have limped alongside me on the trail of tears, many people in my current circle of friends don't really get how much of a change I've undergone. They laugh at the stories and can sympathize with dating struggles, but they don't know how rough it got.
But you do.

Since 2007, you have stood by me during my irrational love of Daniel Radcliffe and shared in my disappointment after I saw him nude in Equus. (And if you check the comments, you'll see where D-Rad himself got up in arms about

You went along with me on internet dates when I was just a "beautiful pizza-eating black girl," discovering the true depths of Caucraysia. (And, of course, you were there when I first made up the word "Caucraysia".)

You also felt my pain and embarrassment after one hot mess of a Friday night.
And let's not forget THE GREEK (as much as I've tried)

You guys went with me to 8th grade prom in 2008--and witnessed the debut of Scorned Women Ecards, the brainchild of KWalsh and myself--two bitter gals with rapier wits.

You withstood the insanity that went along with loving various Australian men, both at home and Down Under, and the inevitable drama that ensues when a narcissist and a blacktress don't see eye-to-eye.

And of course, I think none of us will forget the morning that I awoke in Jesus' arms.

After kicking off 2009 with an ER visit and Swedish meatballs, I returned to America with a slew of stand-up material and new portmanteaus. Armed with a list of affirmations and goals for the year ahead, you guys sank down with me as I wallowed in "the summer of new lows," which I don't think anyone is proud of

As I ended 2009 dissecting every decision I made, I was left with unpleasant realizations about why I was unlovable. I kicked off the holidays with full-on hermiting, renouncing men and repeatedly using the phrase "I'ma DO ME!"

So when Jewboo came into my life in March 2010, he was a total gamechanger. He reciprocated my feelings and in some instances was the first to unleash the full extent of his love.
It wasn't all peaches and cream, however, but we worked through everything from ER trips while meeting his parents to the return of the Australian (who is my own personal Michael Meyers*--he never dies!!!).

From this point on, my blog was less about crazy men and more about the things that really mattered: crazy celebrities and coworkers. Of course, the latter subject got me into heaps of trouble and marked the beginning of the end of the blog. With all the watchful eyes and dissonance between my day job and my blackting, there was really no space for Sojourner's Truths. And really, without the truth, what's the incentive to type up nonsense on the regs?

But since my last post in December, things have changed for a blacktress, and I can now speak the truth and be set free! Laid off from my job, there's no one to pretend to be normal for; and in a relationship full of open and honest communication, I can bloggity blog without fear of hurting his feelings (he understands the requirements of a full-time blacktress).

So, here I am, sharing the most important moment in recent blacktress history. Just 2 weeks after our three-year anniversary, Jewboo totally caught me by surprise by asking me to come into our shared office room to "help with something really quickly." I walked in to find him holding an open ring box with the prettiest ring that I ever did see. Without my knowing, he'd gone to Philadelphia, purchased a ring with the help of his father (too cute!) and had it shipped to New York. The ring is absolutely perfect, the exact style I wanted.

(Ignore the fact that my hand looks like it belongs on an 80-year-old woman. THE RING IS SO PRETTY!)

Given my relationship history, I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that it still feels surreal almost a week later. I can't believe someone who is cute and funny and smart and not racist wants to be with me forever. I think we can all see the blacktress's journey to true love as a sign that there is good in the world and there's someone out there for everyone. Granted, he may live off the G train and be slightly neurotic, but that can all be worked with. 

I've missed you, blog and blog readers. I'll be back soon--I promise!

*The villain from the Halloween movies, not the Canadian-born comedic actor who also seems to be limitless.

Monday, December 3, 2012

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When Listening to Caucasian Girls

If you and I are friends on Facebook--or you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest madness from Inside Caucraysia, like I do--then you may have heard of or read the article "A Match Made in Harlem: A White Girl Reports from NYC's Legendary Neighborhood" on

If you haven't seen it--or, more likely, haven't been able to see it, as the page has been taken down--let me go ahead and paste portions of it here. Note: The quotes don't appear out of order, nor have they been edited. Because I know this has been all over the interwebs, I'd like to focus my attention on the apology from the editor of But first, highlights from CauCRAYsian Ivy Jacobson's article.

She writes that her uncle, who has lived in NYC for over 30 years, ripper her "about 50 new assholes" when he discovered she was moving to Harlem. But, you know, he did some reconnaissance and,

"After he assured my dad the neighborhood wasn’t completely terrible, but also pointing out the staircase in my building looked JUST like the one in a crack-den apartment in Serpico, he made me get mace (which I still carry) and named himself Deputy Commissioner of Ivy’s Security."

"If I feel safe in Harlem, what is the lingering stigma about Harlem that makes people scared for me?
First, frankly, it’s because I’m not a big, black thug."
[Note: this is the first of many references to "big black thugs" that appear in this article.]

"Do I feel safe? I never haven’t."
[Well this is just shitty grammar, most likely the result of some attempt to be witty.] 

"My roommate is muscular and black, so when we walk down the street together, people assume we’re just another hip, racially mixed couple to not mess with (we’re not, he’s gay). I like to pretend we’re Lady Gaga and Usher taking a stroll, just living our lives."

[Of course, the problems with these two sentences are worth a whole post in itself, but aside from the most obvious (Lady Gaga and Usher??? Are those the two most famous people you can think of, after referencing the 10-year-old television show Sex and the City and the music of Jay-Z?) I'd like to take a moment to address her black gay roommate. How has he not slapped this chick upside the head and set her straight? He is complicit in fostering her racism and ignorance.]

My favorite part:

"As opposed to many other Manhattan neighborhoods, there are no women on macrobiotic diets dictating to nannies on the sidewalks. On the contrary, women in my neighborhood let their husbands have it in the middle of the street, often wearing tropical-colored get-ups."

That language is straight out of a National Geographic. Not even Richard Attenborough would stoop so low when narrating a documentary about the rainforest, and he's all about the sensationalism (Hello, Planet Earth was straight-up tawdry!). 

The fact is, she means it--she's earnest in her love of her neighborhood. Ivy Jacobson is misguided and lacks self-awareness, which almost makes her sad. It's like she really doesn't know any better. She uses objectifying language from start to finish, relying heavily on stereotype and pop-culture references to situate herself and the reader within this "crazy world!" of Harlem.  She also spends much of the piece commenting on how people are so surprised that she lives in Harlem but doesn't actually get into substantive reasons for such assumptions.

Also, it's 2012 and gentrification is the new frappucino--Ivy, you ain't special!

So with that in mind, I find the Grantland editor-in-chief's "apology" to be even more disconcerting.

"The article in question was taken down for several reasons. Once frightening comments were made on this site — which are moderated for coherence, spam and profanity regardless of the article – and on Twitter, we reached a state of emergency.

HMGL — and I personally — apologize as sincerely as I humanly can to those who were hurt by this or any piece.

I also apologize deeply and profoundly to the story’s author for putting her in a compromising position.

For the record, no one receives any money off this site save for our host, GoDaddy, and WordPress, who I pay out of pocket.

Today has been a very trying day for this website, usually a source of joy to those who work on it and read it. I am quite literally sick to my stomach for any distress caused.

Again, please accept my sincere apologies.

You may contact me, a humble and imperfect editor of this site, via email:"

Before going into the implications of this apology, I'd like to note that this editor is the very same Matt mentioned in the opening of Ivy's personal essay.
"Matt asked me to explain what it's like to live in Harlem. 'What's a nice girl like you doing in a neighborhood like that?' he wondered."

He also linked to the piece in one of his previous posts with the "sensational" tagline: Want to know what it's like for a white girl to live in Harlem? [with a hyperlink to the article that  now cannot be found.]

So, before reading the "humble and imperfect editor's" apology, it's important to keep in mind that both he and Ivy (who I don't think could be put in a "compromising position," seeing as she eagerly wrote and sought publication for her piece) find the idea of her living in Harlem to be out of the ordinary and worthy of further exploration. In Matt's mind, Harlem is not for sweet girls from Tampa, but for poor immigrants who fight in the streets and are so thankful for each gentrifier's presence in their lawless neighborhoods. He fumbles for the words to express his discomfort, not exactly addressing what in the piece may have incited such ire (or, as he puts it, "a state of emergency." Um, if nasty comments are a cause for FEMA-like tactics, perhaps he's in the wrong line of work).

It seems that he's primarily sorry that people got so mad that they said things that hurt Ivy's feelings.

I don't think hiding the article as though it never happened--and then removing comments that called out the many layers of offensiveness--is a professional or mature means of handling it.

When I posted the piece on my FB wall, I got over 60 comments--you'd have thought I just got engaged (but I'd just gotten ENRAGED!). This isn't my way of saying I'm popular or whatever. I use it as an example of how much conversation and emotion this article sparked. I'm having dinner with a friend tonight, and when we firmed up our plans via email she wrote:

Also, I'm looking forward to talking about that horrifying "White Girl in Harlem" piece you posted to fb. My wife and I talked about it for over an hour on Friday. We seriously could not get over it. The discussion that followed on your facebook wall is what facebook was made for :).

For reals! We can't just shake our heads and move on. Ivy Jacobson may have been the writer, but she didn't invent these beliefs--and she didn't decide to publish them on a website. We need to put out the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

17 Again

Just like Matthew Perry!*

As those of you who read regularly may recall, I am a mentor for a young, gifted, and a black high-school student at my alma mater. I started last year, and even though she and I hadn't spoken in, like 6 months, I think our bond is strong and relentless, like James. Last night was the mentor-mentee meeting, which was way later this year because of Hurricane Sandy. Seeing as it's practically December, I missed the chance to talk to her about college choices, but we met up before the meeting to catch up on life. 

And I discovered that I'm basically still a teenager. I walked into the school and felt like I'd stepped into a bizarro world--everything looked the same but also didn't, you know? All high-tech, with the student and faculty key cards and flatscreen TV announcing the day's events and lunch! But I did instantly feel poor and chubby, and I think I suffered a quick bout of anorexia when I first crossed the threshold, so it was sorta like old times. Before my mentee arrived, I did run into a former classmate who was now working there as an art teacher. In the first of what would be 5 catch-up conversations with classmates, I realized that I've pretty much blocked middle school/high school out with the permanence of a Vietnam vet. But what makes it weird is that I was very active in school and well-liked, so when I see alums, they don't really get why I'm not particularly interested in reminiscing. 

It's also cause they're almost all lawyers or work in finance. They live the kind of lives one would expect after attending one of the best schools in the country, and then some of the best colleges in the country. 

I work at a magazine. It's about art. 

But what felt most uncomfortable was that I was the only adult at the dinner who was dressed like the students. I felt the self-consciousness that plagued me in the 90s (and was briefly mollified by Lisa Loeb and Ani Difranco), and wondered if I deserved to be there. As I approach 30 (in a year and a week, but still) and assume the role of "mentor" in a young woman's life, I think I should probably have sensible eating habits, money for dreams, and.... my shit together, right? Alas, no. 

When we got to the location of the dinner, one of the admins introduced me to senior boy who was applying to colleges. 

"Do you have any advice for him?" She asked expectantly, as he stood next her awkwardly tall. 

Without really thinking, I said, "Don't fuck it up."


I mean, what else is there--lord knows I don't have the answers!

But really, it was a nice evening. I got to talk to friends I hadn't seen since graduating, and we all marveled at the changes in the school. (They have Women of Color and Men of Color clubs now! And Asian Cultural Society! And LGBTQ club! And Ujamaa! Y'all, back in my day the only "women of color" club we had was the cheerleading squad, the members of which were all black, plus one white girl who had rhythm!) My mentee also told me about a trip she took to Europe in the spring, and it was kinda heartwarming and magical to hear a young blacktress squeal with excitement over the first realization that she was beautiful. I don't know how many of you have traveled while brown inside Caucasia, but there really is nothing like the boost you get when you're a young traveler in a land where everyone's down with the brown. I'm glad she found out when she was young, so she can go to college with confidence and not settle for less! My high-school themed evening continued into this morning, when I went to the dentist to get fitted for a new retainer--or I guess, to be specific, it's a night guard. 

Because, you know, I'm winning. 

I must say, though, I love having a mentee--aka a constant reminder of how far I've come. Plus, she gets all of my jokes, which is pretty great. But does that mean I'm really immature or just a crossover sensation?

*Speaking of Perry--talk about a comeback kid, am I right? His show Go On is nailing it!!!! I think what I love most is that the lead blacktor from Everybody Hates Chris is a series regular. He's on his way to being the black Neil Patrick Harris.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I think I'm turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese

I really think so. Because they have an island on which cats roam free!!!

I want to go to there.

But honestly, I'm not sure what I love more: The precious cat pics or the fact that this was brought to my attention by Jewboo, who sent an email titled, simply, "OMG." #howyouknowyoufoundtheone

Of course, my penchant for anthropomorphizing animals makes each of these pics so rich with meaning. 

Yes, I created captions. 

You're welcome.

Clearly these two are on some sort of quest, probably to buy kitten-sized beers without an ID. I imagine the one in front is Michael Cera and the one struggling to catch up is Christopher Mintz-Plasse


I have a feeling these two sleepy heads aren't even hers, but she's one of those cool neighbors who ends up taking care of all the kids on the block because she could never have any of her own. 

"Are you my mommy?"

Okay, these three are clearly the bad-asses of the island. I bet they have some cool name, 
like "The ME-YOWZAS!"

Just go ahead and make this your desktop background--you are powerless against this cuteness. 

If this just gave you a reason to hold on, Wilson Phillips style, there are 44 more photos on BuzzFeed! Like Tom Haverford says--TREAT YO'SELF!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I am Ashlee Simpson. Or Voldemort--whichever you prefer.

Yesterday I finally bit the bullet and set up a tumblr account! I'd been putting it off forevs, especially since it would have meant transferring every single Blacktress post onto the new account. Even though Blogger is the new Geocities, I can't bear to let go of this safe space, and will be using Tumblr basically as a networking tool, since all the cool comics are in on it. will be where I post pics, vids, and links (and use words like 'pics' and 'vids') that move my spirit (to LOL or vom!).

I must say, Tumblr's weird. It's basically a newsfeed for people who want to read just a bit more than 140 characters. I feel like its tagline should be, "Tumblr: For when Twitter just isn't enough."

It's certainly not fit for extended musings and self-indulgent ramblings (save that ish for Wordpress--am I right?!), but that's fine because I've got enough going on--this "internet upkeep" is so much work! (#firstworldproblems)

Between the blog, the twitter, and now the tumblr (not to mention my "job" and "human interactions"), I'm being pulled in so many directions. I was just sharing the tumblr news with a friend and she was worried that I'd stop sharing TMI on the blog. It was then that I explained--and realized--a deep truth about myself: This blog is my horcrux. A part of my soul is in these webpages (mostly the slutty, awkward part, but still). Tumblr will be just one more location you'll be able to find the pieces, pieces, pieces of me.*

I mostly want to use it to create photo albums but since Tumblr is structured like a newsfeed, I'm not sure how it'll work.  I'll have to figure out how to use the system to showcase my favorite photos of middle-aged men holding animals against their will and disapproving transracial adoptees in the arms of their Caucasian parents. 

But don't worry--if there's anything I can figure out, it's how to work a Caucasian system!  Hope you will follow me or friend me or just generally F me.

*that's how you call back to a title, people!