Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Black History Month Present From Me to You

My only problem with this is that I'm not in it.
(You all know how I feel about Harriet getting all the glory.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

16 and Pregnant, Season 2, Episode 2

9:56 - Ugh, I am so tired. I really want to go to bed, but I feel like the world needs LIVE BLOG THIS SHOW.

I also know that I'll be able to sleep much easier knowing that somewhere out there is a teenager ruining her life and the life of her unborn child. (Save me a seat in hell!)
J/K (Rowling) GUYS!!!

These little jokes are how I keep my energy up when I'm dragging.

9:59 - Here it comes!!! It's almost like I'm the one giving my own happiness.

10:00 - She's 15 and from Monroe, Michigan--near Detroit! Good Lawd, if she's near the D, there's no doubt this'll be a shit show. I mean, hello -- Nikkole?! Who spells it that way??
We open with her at 30 weeks.
She used the pull-out method. Sweet Jesus, it's 2010! There should be no accidental babies in 2010!
Her BF, Josh, broke up with her when she told him she was prego. Now her homegirls are telling her to stop

10:02 - Her mother's name is Rikki. She looks like she's wearing a Jessica Simpson wig. You know Jessica has her own line of wigs, right?

10:04 - First day of junior year!! It's basically a debutante ball for her preggers belly. I love that she's wearing a sweatshirt and basketball shorts. At least get some cute empire-waist tops, Nikkole.
(ugh, just typing her name is hard for me)

Josh was waiting in the parking lot after school - homey got expelled. Why does she want this trifling fool? He's going nowhere fast.

10:06 - I love how, at 15 years old, Josh is like, "I'm done being a kid, I have a baby on the way." Um, clown, you dumped her when she said she was knocked up. He looks very fresh-faced. I think he's just doing this to get some screen time -- homey wants to be on "One Tree Hill" and figures he can add "16 and Pregnant" to his weak resume.

10:10 - Skateboarding commercial. Apparently, skateboarding is now about bridging the gaps between the races.

10:11 - 31 weeks prego! Of course no one else wants her to be with Josh.
Josh is talking to his mom. "I have to face it like a man. It's gonna be hard. I'm still kinda young."
Kinda?! KINDA?! Boo, you're an embryo!

All these girls have too much product in their hair. Sidebar: one of her girls is named Nekitha - and she's WHITE!

She's naming the baby Lyle. What, does she expect him to be born 40 years old, chewing tobacco on a porch? I'm imaging a Benjamin Button.

10:14 -Doctor's Appointment.
Josh won't even hold her hand during the check-up! WTF!
"Any contractions?" Doctor asked. "Not that I know of," she replies.
Um, "not that you know of? I know you're not the brightest bulb, Nikkole, but I'd like to think you'd know if your uterine wall was ready to release a fetus.

10:18 - She goes over to Becca's house and hangs out with her and Sam. Suddenly she gets a call from Josh:
"Leave Becca's, go get five dollars, come to the football game."
What on earth does he need five dollars for? How much do you think crack costs in Michigan?
And why does she let him call her home girl a bitch? Nikkole is not only dumb, but spineless. At least Jenelle could yell at people.

10:20 - Prom dress shopping! ALas, Nikkole can't fit into anything, cause she's hefty.
Josh is rushing her to get the hell out of the store. He's so selfish and mean - he's even worse than Andrew (see last week's live blog).

Josh is saying that he'll be in the parking lot while she's at the party. He is so sketchy and creepy. HAVE HE ENROLLED IN ANOTHER SCHOOL???

10:26 - Homecoming time!
Nikkole actually looks really cute in her dress.
- The whole time she's at the dance, she's thinking about meeting Josh and wants to leave. She goes outside to meet him in the parking lot, and he's not there. When she calls, he HANGS UP ON HER!!!
- She calls him again and he says he can't hang out! WTF? Is he getting a degree in douchebaggery instead of a high school diploma?
- She goes home and chills with her 12-year-old bro, playing Rockband. It's kinda sweet, but also sad. She should have gone back inside and enjoyed the rest of homecoming!

10:28 -
She talks to Josh the next day to express her emotions.
He's remarkably manipulative for a 16-year-old boy. She explains to him how it hurts her feelings for him to not do what he says he'll do, like he might not be able to take care of her with the baby. His response:
"That's, because... Whatever, we're not talking about this. It's all about you you you, being selfish. This is why I broke up with you before."

Wow. I have no words.

10:30 - Doctor's suggesting they induce labor, and Nikkole's about to pack her bags.

10:35 - We're in the labor room. Nikkole's struggling a bit. When you induce, it can take longer.
Josh, his mom, and Nikkole's mom are in there with her. Josh tries to be sweet for a bit, and is taking pictures of her, but she's not lying still and feeling crappy.
"Are you tired?? Why? You've slept all day." I love how impatient and entitled Josh is. Who raised him?

"I think guys' pain tolerance is super higher than women's is." - Thanks, Josh, thanks for that negative-two cents.
Why can't Josh be put down, like a useless dog?

She's in terrible pain, and Josh just won't shut up.

He's yelling at Nikkole's mother, telling her not to talk to him. His mother tries to be firm with him, but he won't listen.

They are fighting over Nikkole as she writhes in pain, 12 hours into labor.
"Say she [her mother] trumps me, Nikkole, I want to hear you say it." - He's giving her a fucking ultimatum when she's got a baby coming out of her vag???

I want this boy dead. This tool makes the guy who texted me after a first date with, "Why haven't I fingered you yet" seem like a total saint.

10:39 - 27 hours into labor, NOW they want her to push?!
Oh my god, maybe it's a good thing I'll probably never get married. There's no way I could handle that.

The baby comes out, all cute and gooey. Poor thing--born into dysfunction.

10:40 - Josh looks like he's about to vomit.
He has to be told to give her a hug and kiss. Really? Really??

10: 43 - Baby's 1-day old!
Mom won't let Josh into their house, so she's going home solo.
Wow, I can't believe she can even get up and walk to the car a day after giving birth!
Ah, yes, now she mentions the pain.
And cue baby's first cry.
I love how Nikkole's so disgusted by the spit up. Do all the girls on this show think babies are just warm Cabbage Patch dolls?

10:44 - Her friend Frankie comes over.
(Nikkole seems to be very popular - she's had, like, 8 different friends on the episode)

[Note, scrolling across the screen: PRE-ORDER 16 AND PREGNANT ON DVD AT AMAZON.COM.... You know you want to.]

10:46 - Rikki is crying, recounting her feelings during the labor.
"It's really hard watching that," Rikki says, wiping away tears. God, can you imagine what it's like watching your child with an emotional abuser?

Is Nikkole such a doormat because of her absent father figure?

10:51 - Lyle's 2 Weeks Old
- Josh is STILL not allowed over at Nikkole's house.
- Now Nikkole wants them to meet and work things out.
"One of the things I don't like is that you're disrespectful to many people. To me, Nikkole, adults." - Rikki says this in a really calm, kind voice.
"That's just who I am.... I'm not going to change."
WOW. I seriously don't know how he's allowed to function in the world.

- Rikki wants to put her on lockdown, away from Josh.

10:53 - 5 weeks Old
- Nikkole's back in school. At least she tends to the baby and doesn't pawn it off on her mom, the way Jenelle did.
- I love that, despite multiple feedings in the middle of the night, Jenelle still wakes herself up early enough to flat-iron her hair.

- Nikkole found out Josh is seeing his ex girlfriend!!
Oh, thank you Black Jesus, get him out of this girl's life!!

(I've noticed we see know other men in this episode besides the doctor. Perhaps the reason these women tolerate Josh is because... there are no men in the town of Monroe!!! )

10:56 - Josh admits he's seeing someone else.
I love that she says it's not fair to her for him to see other girls, and he goes, "What's not fair????"
Do you think it's possible to be sociopathic and retarded at the same time?

10:57 - Nikkole tells mom that Josh broke up with her.
Christmas time with the family!
Rikki really is a good mom, even though her hair is a hot mess.

10:59 - Nikkole is back in her cheerleading uniform - holla at a body bounce-back!

Whew, guys, this really got my blood pressure up. I started off tired, but now I'm all riled. Let's see if the preview for next week can chill me out:

Valerie and Matt - Interracial love!
Oh no, baby medical problems!!!
Y'all, you know I'll be here next week, same time, same blog.

A Man With a True Benetton Heart...

We all know that BHM is about celebrating African-American achievements. However, what would a discussion of black culture be without a look at the White man? We derive oppositional meaning from the majority, and it’s vital that we delve deeper into the oppressor to really learn what we’re up against. And, as it turns out, the oppressor is thinking the same thing. I recently sat down with Adam Jacobson—improviser, activist, and proud member of Caucasia. Much like the biblical first man, Adam charted territories unknown when he spent three weeks in Kenya tending to orphan children. He got back a few weeks ago, and I had to know what it was like for him. Did he, like Angelina Jolie, fall in love with the spirit that grows out of poverty (and decide to bring a few babies home for fun)? Did he, like James McAvoy’s character in “Last King of Scotland,” bed multiple native women?? Is he, like John Mayer, a cocky racist??? Find out more below.

Me: First off, let me thank you for taking the time to sit down with me, Massa – I mean, Adam. Sorry, I get a bit confused sometimes, a little of the PTSD flares up.
Can you handle my truth, Mr. Jacobson?
Adam: Oh, jeez. i'll try
Me: Don't be afraid. if i can persevere through slavery, you can handle a few hard-hitting, questions. so, tell me: where exactly were you for the three weeks surrounding Christmas, Kwanzaa, and new year's?
Adam: I was actually in New York for Christmas (and possibly Kwanzaa -- I shamefully don't know when it is)
Me: It's all right--at least you feel the appropriate amount of shame (I’ll break it down for you off the record). When were you gone, exactly?
Adam: I was in Kenya from December 31st to January 22nd, volunteering at an orphanage in Nairobi
Me: so, my first question is obvious—what prompted you to go deep into the heart of Nubia and help brown youth?
Adam: I’ve volunteered abroad before for an organization called students helping Honduras, and I’ve wanted to go to Africa for a while, so volunteering there seemed like a great way/excuse to travel there.
Me: so, you've "wanted to go to Africa for a while”—what is it that first drew you to the Dark Continent?
Adam: well, this will sound kind of morbid, but i studied the history of genocide a lot in college, with a real focus on Rwanda and Darfur. that was kind of my first exposure to African issues. i really wanted to go to Rwanda for a while, and then this opportunity came up
Me: ok, so you were like, "wow, they keep killing all these brown people. i have to get in there and see what that's about"
Adam: Um….
Me: most people would say to themselves, "whoa, genocide. That’s fucked up and scary. Let me just feel bad and donate via a double-click of my mouse from the comfort of my own home."
But not you, Adam Jacobson
You’re a member of Caucasia who actually gives a damn
Me: what were your accommodations like in Kenya?
Adam: our homestay in thika road was amazing. one of the other volunteers i met who was staying elsewhere called it the Hilton of homestays. it was a guesthouse run by a woman named lydia, who lives there with her college-age daughter and adult son
Me: Interesting, the “Hilton of homestays.” I find it interesting that even when you go deep into third-world Nubia, you still manage to find the most first-world accommodations. What's this Lydia woman like?
Adam: Lydia (or mama Lydia, as the volunteers all call her) is an incredibly warm and friendly woman. While i was there, she definitely made me feel like one of the family. i have no idea how old she is though -- a very young looking 50 maybe?
Me: well, you know, black don't crack. She’s probably 78.
Me: Okay, Adam, enough pussy-footin' around. What was it like to be Caucasian in the heart of nubia??????
Adam: there's a word 'muzungu' that kenyans have for white folks. Apparently, in colonial times it was super insulting, but now it's more benign and almost affectionate. Everywhere you go, people will call you 'muzungu'. Children on the side of the road will yell out to you, "muzungu! How are you?"
So that gives you some idea. More simply, you stand out
Me: Yes, I’m familiar. I had a similar experience when i was inside caucasia. Except, instead of children yelling for me, it would be white men, asking me if I was Sudanese.
So, would you characterize yourself as having a Benetton heart and a David Duke dick?
Adam: i just had to Google Benetton, and the picture on their homepage is hilarious
Look how scared that girl in the middle looks!
Me: Well, she is surrounded by various minorities.
Adam: Sorry, I was sidetracked. No, my penis doesn't discriminate based on ethnicity
Me: That’s good.
Adam: John Mayer’s a moron.
Me: That’s an understatement.
Me: So, talk me through a typical day in the heart of nubia
Adam: Wake up at 7:30 or so (usually earlier because of the really loud rooster), get dressed/pack candy for the kids/refill water bottle, make some toast, walk down to the shops, take the matatu (no public transportation, so they have this network of privately owned vans called 'matatu' that go along certain routes) to the police station, walk to the orphanage, help the kids with their lessons, play with them, make sure they eat their lunch, take them on a walk, back for more lessons/playing, then home for relaxing and dinner and hanging out, then bed
Me: ok, back it up - why did you go to the police station before going to the orphanage? Were you fearful of the brown children, so you packed heat provided by the local cops?
Adam: No, that's just where the matatu let us off. it was the closest place on the main road to walk to the orphanage
Me: what advice do you have for members of caucasia interested in spending time on the dark continent in a non-tourist/somewhat useful capacity?
Adam: try to be up for anything. don't act like an idiot tourist, for your own sake, but at the same time, don't be too uptight about seeming out of place, because you will no matter what. and don't be afraid, but be aware
Me: Aware of the fact that you're surrounded by black people, and anything could happen?
Adam: No, Sojo-- aware that you're surrounded by people in general and that most likely bad things won't happen. But being smart and conscientious about your surroundings (not flashing money around, not taking pictures without peoples' permission, etc). We’re talking about a city whose nickname is 'nai-robbery' after all
Me: Well, you should never take pictures of the native peoples for your own photo album
As for “Nai-robbery,” I believe that nickname was created by members of Caucasia, to further alienate the Dark Continent.
Me: how old were the kids you were taking care of?
Adam: they were 2-9. The ones i was working closer with were 4-9
Me: did the children take to you?
Adam: yeah, after the first day they definitely liked us. that first day was rough
Me: Do elaborate on the roughness.
Adam: The first day a few of them were acting out a lot and it was exhausting. but even the second day, they were so much better -- like the first day was just them testing us
Me: did you feel like Michelle Pfeiffer, surrounded by...DANGEROUS MINDS?
Adam: Yes, that’s exactly how I felt.
Me: Tell me a bit about yourself.
Adam: i grew up in baltimore, then went to college in Virginia-- university of mary washington
Me: Mary Washington - wife of George? George who...OWNED SLAVES???
Adam: his mother, actually.
Me: Well, that’s a whole ‘nother Oprah we’ll get into next time. Thanks for talking with me, Mr. Jacobson. Unfortunately, I have to cut our interview off now-- "16 and Pregnant" is coming on in 10 minutes
Adam: Not a problem. Thanks so much, Sojourner. Not only does this make me feel less guilty, but it’s very helpful to be able to count you as “among my blackest friends.”
Me: Thank you. I count you among my whitest.

For more insights into Adam's mind, check out his bloggery:
Indie Music I Know Nothing About
His Improv Comedy Crew

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Final Days....

This is the final week of BHM, guys -- sadface!
Last night I raised awareness among members of Caucasia as I hosted improv team Froduce's weekly show at The Creek, in Queens.

Yes, gentle readers, I'm willing to go the ends of the earth (aka Long Island City, when none of the trains are running properly) just to spread the word. As I made my way down the aisle singing "Wade in the Water," I could feel my ancestors watching over me.
Langston Hughes was a bit uncomfortable.

On today, the 21st day of the shortest, coldest, and BLACKEST month of the year, I'd like to give a shout out to some Af-Am intellectuals who have changed the way the world works.

Let me start off with a fellow Harlem homegirl:

Name: Patricia Bath.
Who dat be?: She's an ophthalmologist, and the first black female doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention. Patricia Bath's patent, a method for removing cataract lenses, transformed eye surgery!
Why do you care, Sojo?: I enjoy eye-fucking without consent, and eyesight is crucial to the success of such an endeavor. Thanks, Patricia, for making sure I can continue eye-fucking without consent and living life unnecessarily in fourth gear well into my 80s (you know, like grandma!)


Name: Henry Blair
Who dat be?: Henry received a patent on October 14, 1834 for a seed planter and a patent in 1836 for a cotton planter.
Why do you care, Sojo?: Henry basically did his part to end slavery. Done with cotton, he decided he'd make a machine do the plantin'! Holla at a can-do man!


W. B. Purvis
Who dat be?: Homeboy invented the fountain pen!!! He was basically like, "I can't keep carrying this damn ink around, let's streamline this shizzle."
Why do you care, Sojo?: Without the fountain pen, all of my best 5th grade assignments (the emo poetry, especially) would have been covered in puddles of ink. Plus, we'd never have a gift for older men we barely know. (Merry Christmas, boss man - would you like this pretty fountain pen???)

Name: George Crum
Who dat be?: The son of an African-American father and a Native American mother, Crum was working as a chef in the summer of 1853 when he incidentally invented the chip. It all began when a patron who ordered a plate of French-fried potatoes sent them back to Crum's kitchen because he felt they were too thick and soft. To teach the picky patron a lesson, Crum sliced a new batch of potatoes as thin as he possibly could, and then fried them until they were hard and crunchy.
Why do you care, Sojo?: Um, hello -- potato chips!! Without them, sammies would be so boring.
(Crum's invention also shows that black rage can be a force for good.)

I urge you to spend the last days of BHM taking a look around you. See those 3-D glasses you got from the 3pm showing of "Avatar"? What about that SuperSoaker you had as a kid? Perhaps they were created by a black person!!

I know, I know. Your mind is BLOWN.

You're welcome.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Black History MOTHERS!

This BHM just keeps getting better and better, guys. Tonight after work I’m heading uptown to an awards ceremony. The recipient – MY MOTHER!!

Holla at madukes making it happen!

As you all know, I still live with madukes and her latin lover (ok, they’ve been married for 4 years, so I guess I should stop describing him as though he’s some scantily clad pool boy, but I can’t help myself).

I’m sure many of my blog posts have touched on the topic of Black mama drama in all its ferocity. You see, my mother’s a lawyer:

Yes, like Claire Huxtable.

She argues for a living -- so, growing up, you know a young Sojo could never be right! Madukes could catch me in a lie before I even knew I was telling it.

Mom: “Sojo, did you finish your homework?”
Young Sojo: “Yes, ma.”
[She looks at me square in the eye as I speak.]
Mom: “Go back up to your room.”
Me: “What?! Why?!”
Mom: “You didn’t finish your homework, your eyes shifted to the left, you’re lying.”

As I stomped upstairs, wondering how on earth she knew I’d already decided mathematics wasn’t worth my time, I vowed never to be caught in a lie again.

This, of course, wasn’t so hard seeing as I was the most boring teen ever. When you’re a chubby little brown child at a high school that’s fresh out of an episode of Gossip Girl, you’re not popular enough to get into any actual trouble. As I got older, I combated her ability to see through me by omitting information altogether—I can’t get caught in a lie if I’m not actually telling one, see?

To really make childhood matters worse, my mother is a lawyer for abused and neglected children. She deals with foster homes, custody battles, and has tales that are straight up out of an episode of “Law and Order: SVU.” (Seriously, I’ve got some spec scripts in the works.) This means that growing up, none of that only-child bratty whining was gonna fly. When mom turned off the TV and said it was time for bed, there was no fucking around. If we had to leave the birthday party, a standard, “Ma, you’re so mean, this is not fair,” was usually met with: “I’m so mean?! Mean?! At least I didn’t trade you for 50 grams of crack like my client last month! You just be glad you’re enrolled in school and can expect three meals a day!”

Srsly, madukes helped a young blacktress keep it in perspective.

This is to be expected from a woman who, after giving birth to a child mere months before the end of law school, sent said child (me) to Africa to live with my grandmother. Mom ain't letting a baby stop her from living her dreams (take note, all you 16-and-pregnant chicks)!

Ever since I’ve been gainfully employed and her New Jersey house is finally at the end of renovations, mama bear and I have been getting along smashingly—I even got her to watch Drag Race! I can’t tell you how much it warmed my heart to wake up Sunday morning and see her watching a rerun while tucked in bed…under an electric blanket!!!

Tonight’s award is from the office of the borough president for her work on a child abuse/neglect case. I’m smartly dressed, cause you know I can’t rock up looking casual on madukes’ big night. I’m definitely more of a Denise, but tonight I’ll be embodying put-together Vanessa Huxtable.

Remember the look? I would have compared myself to Sondra, with her put-together looks and secretly-gay husband, but she never got enough screen time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sojourner Truth - THE MUSICAL!!!

Last night, I received the best news ever.

A musical is being made about my life.
It's like Black History Month 2010 was made for me.
In the footsteps of such heavyweights as Ray, Ali, and every Spike Lee Joint ever made, comes a musical story of truth, justice, and African-American way.

For those who can't bear to follow a link and be taken away from this page, here's the run-down:

Old Deerfield Productions and Jane Hanson Productions LLC will create and mount a new opera, working title Truth, to be offered in a workshop in July of 2011 at the Reid Theatre in Deerfield followed by a full-scale production with orchestra at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA in October of 2011.
Truth will follow the trajectory of Sojourner’s life beginning in 1826, when she walked toward freedom with her baby, Sophie, on her back.

Through the story of this important black woman’s quest for freedom and equal rights, the opera will illuminate America’s complicated march toward the same goal, a march that continues in Sojourner’s footsteps today.

I won't keep going, because it's boring to hear the story of my own life told to me, but you get the picture!!

It's a Sojourner Truth musical--I think I'll call it a TRUTH-ical.
(Not to be confused with Seussical! the musical)

Can you handle this awesomeness?!

Alas, they've already tapped another blacktress for my role--I guess they needed some distance, didn't want me breathing down their necks with my own truth. You can't take "artistic license" when you've got the real Sojo on set!

I think I'll start a petition requesting that I play the role of young Sojo - or at least recite the "Ain't I A Woman?" speech. After all, I penned that jam.

OK, I just wanted to share the good news, gang. Donate some money if you can--every little bit helps, and the TRUTH is priceless!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

16 and Pregnant Season 2!!!!

9:58pm--oh my god, i'm so excited. i'm blogging to you live from my living room, where i'm sitting in a chair with an electric blanket around my shoulders and my laptop on my...lap. my mom just called to me, asking me to get her medication that keeps her alive. "MOM, 16 and preggers is about to come on!!!" I yelled, much like the whiny 16 year old myself.

She promised not to die until the first commercial.

10:00: Jenelle, from Oak Island, North Carolina.
Is it pathetic that her relationship has lasted longer than any one I've ever been in?
Her mom, Barbara, has a crazy thick Bawston accent and looks like the grim reaper from "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."
-her boyfriend, andrew, is a former model....who now lives with his parents and is unemployed.
10:01 - we open at 34 weeks prego. i love how MTV gets us right to the good stuff! we're in the middle of it all.

"I found out, the day you were in the bathtub, taking a bath, and i came in and saw you and knew you were pregnant" --Barbara, on the big reveal.
I won't ask why you were in the bathroom at the time, Barb.

10:02: Jenelle and her friends look like they're 13.
- "If you're responsible enough to have sex, you're responsible enough to have a baby" - Jenelle's friend, Lauren.
Um, I'm not sure how that works, but I appreciate your cold snap anyway, Lauren.

- "It's gonna be like dressing up a doll every day" -
Jenelle, to her friend, Raven.
Um, a baby is not a doll. This is what happens when you're pregnant and aren't very bright.

- Jenelle's already planning to go to college online. May I suggest University of Phoenix?

"I'll go to parties and stuff, but I won't drink"
- she says this like she's somehow above average. You're not supposed to drink when you're pregnant, fool!

10:05- Jenelle's mom's boyfriend Mike looks like he's homeless. And his two cents: "All you've got is a goose egg. [grabs napkin on kitchen table] This paper towel got more than you got."
Um, thanks, Mike. Thanks for the boost.

"He can support me mentally, mom"-- Jenelle, re: her unemployed boyfriend Andrew.
I'm going to have to put that as a requirement on my OkCupid profile. "Must be able to support me mentally."

10:09 - Andrew visits Jenelle's house! He's very scrawny for a model. Was he modeling for Bob's stores? I'm wondering if I can find a catalog.
He attempted to make hot dogs in the stove, and he burned them. This is daddy material for sure.

10:11- On how she got prego: "Andrew and I got in an argument and stopped talking for a couple of days, and when we stopped talking, I stopped using birth control, and then we got back together and we had sex and didn't use a condom....i mean, me and Andrew had had sex before I got on birth control and I never got pregnant, so I thought, why would it change now?"

10:12 - Andrew looks like he's on meth.

10:14- Why is Andrew cursing at Jenelle's mother like he has no home training?! And his dad is just standing off to the side, looking like a Jerry Springer audience member.

10:17pm [it seems like the commercials are shorter- it's like MTV knows what I need!] - 37 Weeks Pregnant.
"I thought Andrew would have a job, support me and the baby, and we'd have a car."
Did you? Did you, really, Jenelle? He wasn't working when you got knocked up--this is not a surprise!

"Is the daddy being supportive?" - why would the sonogram technician ask that question? What kind of reality tv is this?!

10:19 - Baby Shower!! Andrew didn't even call her!
"I'm glad I'm giving birth over summer vacation, cause I'm psyched to get back to school."
Um, Jenelle, you can't give birth over Labor Day weekend and make it to the first day of classes, boo bear!

10:21 - Jenelle wants to go out with her friends and won't help her mom clean up.
"I want my mom to understand that just cause I'm pregnant doesn't mean I'm gonna stop going out."
Um, I'm getting flashbacks to Farrah. Jenelle totally has this deluded idea of what being a mother is--she better watch out before she gets choked!

10:22- And now Andrew is breaking up with her over the phone! Telling her she's deluded and looks stupid! How do these dysfunctional teen relationships even last long enough for an egg to be fertilized????

10:25 - FRIENDtervention!
All the girls think she shouldn't be with Andrew.
"Do you really want your baby to around someone who's going to talk to you like a dog? How is he going to support you with no job, no car?" - Lauren. I think she may have college in her future.

10:26- Jenelle is texting while in labor! She's trying to reach Andrew--and he came!
Thank god he wore his diamond earrings - it's a big moment!

10:27 - Over 12 hours of labor!!! Thank god they used drawings to show the time lapse--I can't handle the blood and guts. It's like trying to get a watermelon through a keyhole.

Awww, the baby is so cute.
10:28 - Andrew is trying to cherish every moment--
Jace is his name - ugh, so country.
10:29 - The gals come by the hang out in the hospital.

10:30 -
2 Days Old.
Nurse Cate comes in and teaches her how to breastfeed, change a diaper, and burp the baby.
Do they do this for all new mothers? This seems highly unorthodox - do I have to get on MTV to get a little help after a birth?
"Did you bring my lip ring?"- Jenelle to her mom. God bless her priorities.

10:31 -
"We been through a lot." - Andrew to Jenelle.
God bless men's ability to articulate emotions.

"You better not fuck it up, because once you do, I will be gone."
- I hear that, Jenelle!! She's taking a cue from the RuPaul school of child-rearing - Don't fuck it up!

10:34 -
Three days old. Andrew has to go back home!
Daddy's already leaving Jace--he's not coming back for two weeks!!!
Homie doesn't have a job, why won't Barbara let him stay with them?

One week old
"My first week home with Jace is alot harder than I thought it would be. I have no time to myself, and Andrew hasn't called once."
What?! Does Andrew think having a baby is like the army--one weekend a month, two weeks a year?! Ok, dude's officially on my shit list.

10:36 -
Week three, she finally hears from Andrew. He said he went to jail for a DUI charge!!!
DUI?! WTF?!?!?! Oh hell to the no! You've got to know more about who you're sleeping with.
And he called her DRUNK when he got out of jail. Drunk dial on your day out of jail?!

10:38 -
I love that she calls him up with all her friends around and puts him on speaker. This is so high school.

"My feelings for you have actually dropped." - Andrew, on their relationship
"Ever since you been going to jail, and ever since you never stopped drinking, my feelings have dropped, too." - Ooooh, Jenelle, with the grammatically incorrect BURN.

10:40 -
Jenelle goes out with her friends--and has dark brown hair! Homegirl needs to quit.
- "Jace doesn't need me. He's got my mom" - YOU'RE his mom, Jenelle!!
- "What's cool about daycare is that I get to hang out with my friends after school, before my mom comes home with Jace."

See, this is why Tyler and Catelynn knew to give their baby up for adoption- their cracked out parents wouldn't have been able to raise a baby. This Jenelle girl, like so many others, thinks that all she has to do is pop it out and her mom will do all the work!

10:42 -
I love how Jenelle keeps threatening to leave all the time.
She's taking her baby to the party!!!
"I already had to give up my boyfriend. My mom's crazy if she thinks I'm going to give up my friends, too."
Um, Jenelle, you didn't "give up" your boyfriend - you both decided your "feelings dropped" after he was arrested for a DUI and drunk dialed you about it. Don't get it twisted, girl!!!

10:46 - Jenelle has been going out with her friends alot, and her mom is watching Jace all the time.
"If you don't shut up, I'm going to walk away." Jenelle is always threatening - her mom needs to call her damn bluff and gets rid of her.
"I don't want to talk to you, get the fuck out of my face." - Jenelle said that to her mom and now has her mother crying!!!
Why wasn't Jenelle clocked in the face? Maybe it's cause of the cameras.
This is so terrible, I feel so bad for her mom.

10:49 -
Her girls come over that same night.
They actually call her out and are like, "You need to prove you can be a good mom."

10:53 - Jenelle decided to stay home.
"Over the next few days, it became clear how big this responsibility is. I never thought motherhood was going to be this hard."
Really, Jenelle? Did you not watch season 1?

10:54 -
Jenelle to her friend Tori, breaking down motherhood:
"Imagine being in prison. That's what it's like--being in prison."
"People say I'm a bad mother because I'm partying...I make time for myself"

Um, you don't get time for yourself, Jenelle--that's why being a parent is no joke! You don't STOP TAKING YOUR PILL WHEN YOU AND YOUR BF GET INTO A FIGHT -- you just delete his number from your phone, like the rest of us.
"...I think that once I mature more, I'll grow up, and I won't want to party anymore"
Yes, once you mature, you will grow up--that's just biology, Jenelle.

10:56 -
The final minutes!
"I want you to help me raise him while I get myself established."
- Jenelle makes her mom do the work.
Um, Barbara sounds drunk.
- Jenelle gave her mother sole custody, basically.
Jenelle's final thoughts:
Andrew's a douche
Being a mom is hard.
I wish I'd waited.

10:58 - Somber piano music over the credits.
I love that the producer's name is named Morgan J. Freeman. I really wish it was blacktor Morgan Freeman at the helm of this gem of a program.

On the next episode: Nikkole!
Ugh, judging by the spelling of her name, I know this episode is gonna be a hot mess.

Oh my god, guys, this one was intense. I'm hoping there will be a girl I actually like on the coming season.

I'm a Heterophobe

So, I was watching Ru Paul's Drag Race last night, as I’m wont to do on a Monday. As I’m eating my ice cream and wondering if Sahara can be my real life best friend (I don’t know why, I just love her), I was thrown by a shocking piece of news from Nicole Paige Brooks:
She has a son!!

Nicole is not the first DQ to talk about her child. In the first episode Tyra Sanchez showed Ru a picture of his son, Jeremiah. This first reveal threw me for a fruit loop, but I reasoned that perhaps this was a result of Tyra’s one foray into hetero sex—after all, his son was born when Tyra was in high school.

However, when Nicole Paige Brooks talked about missing her son, I was almost unable to handle the truth. I don’t know if I’m okay with the heterosexuality of contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

I think this means I’m heterophobic.

This wouldn't really surprise me, seeing as for the last 3 months I’ve only hung out with homosexual men and women, even doing a stand up set at a show called “The Back Room.” (get it? Like butts)
Lord knows that for a blacktress, a day without a gay is like a day without sunshine, but perhaps my love is starting to run so deep that it’s making all heteros scary to me.
Is this possible?

Gentle readers, I know a man can wear women’s clothing and be heterosexual. I am open to this truth, and agree that gender is a performance. But it's one thing to like the feel of a soft silk on your scrotum, and quite another to be in the running to become America’s next drag superstar…isn’t it?

My mind is blown, and I can only hope more contestants reveal themselves to be biological fathers. Hopefully this can show another element of the art of drag and start a dialogue on fluidity of sexuality that people aren’t delving into.

Who knew Ru could be such an activist? She’s revoking stereotypes and educating us all!!! She knew BHM was the time to go there. People are all happy, watching their Black Movies On Demand (seriously, Black movies are on demand on cable), feeling proud of their president and what not. Ru knew that she could get her message across now—striking while the iron was hot (and culturally aware).

While I’m going to have to come to grips with my own heterophobia, I don’t know if it will be remedied any time soon. After all, tonight is the premiere of season 2 of “16 and Pregnant”! If watching middle-America teens struggle with getting knocked up doesn’t give you reason enough to put the kibosh on hetero love, I don’t know what does.

(This is how I cope with being single.)

I wish I could end all my posts with an image of myself jumping into a full split, like drag queen Mystique. She's seriously mastered the art of the dramatic exit. (I couldn't find a youtube clip of her splits, but trust me, one will be up soon.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I am so not feeling the plantation today. I think I’m still holding bitterness from yesterday, when I had to come in during a snowstorm even though both the massa and the overseer were out. In silent protest, I spent much of the day quietly grading film papers as part of my side hustle. For some reason, my coworker’s nit-picking and anal nature has been getting on my last nerve. He’s all “focused,” with an “attention to detail,” and “the desire to do his job.”
I woke up yesterday and shoveled snow before coming to work. This is BHM, y’all—I should NOT be so oppressed. This is blaxploitation at its best (or worst, depending on your point of view). After reading a paper on “Point of View Shots in Aladdin” (Yes, Disney’s Aladdin.I swear, these kids never cease to amaze me), I thought I was seriously being punk’d.
I ended up leaving work early, as the pretense of productivity became too much to maintain. I at least gave my email a look-see from my home computer, just in case massa was watching me electronically.

I am so being blaxploited.
Speaking, of blaxploitation, why not celebrate BHM today with a trailer from one of my favorite blaxplotation films—BLACULA.

I own this film on VHS.
Yep, I said it.
And no, it wasn’t purchased ironically in 2008. I had to beg my mother to give me her copy back in, like, 1998, and she made a big deal out of how hard it was to find and how I better not lose it.
My family is very serious about black cinema.
You should be, too:

I think my favorite line of the trailer is “Blacula….Dracula’s soul brother”

I’d like to make a third one (oh, yes, there’s already a sequel, Scream Blacula, Scream), starring myself as Blacula’s love interest. It’ll be called:
Blacula Meets Blacktress: Black Love 4-Eva
Maybe we can get a crossover with the Twilight kids, maybe get sparkly Pattinson to have a crush on me and fight Blacula to the death for my love?

Let’s get this into production, people!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Black History Month Takes a Huge Blow

It was brought to my attention this morning by a fellow blacktress and pop culture-ologist that rapper/hot mess Lil’ Wayne is going to prison. He was sentenced this morning to a year in jail after being arrested for possession of a handgun after a concert in NYC. Here’s the full story, for those of you who care about Lil’ Wayne.

This man is a damn shame. He is always being arrested for some foolery, and is still one of the most famous rappers out there. Although this is nothing new, what really gets my goat is what this knucklehead said to Rolling Stone magazine:

“This is Lil Wayne going to jail. Nobody I can talk to can tell me what that’s like,” he told the mag. “I just say I’m looking forward to it. “I’ll have an iPod, and I’ll make sure they keep sending me beats,” he said.

What?! You’re going to Rikers Island and you’re looking forward to it????
This is not the message Lil’ Wayne should be sending ever, let alone during BHM.

And I’m sorry if this ends up causing a BLACKlash, from somebody who thinks Lil’ Wayne’s some sort of hero or martyr for having such an optimistic attitude about his jail time. There’s no upside to incarceration. Ever. I done decreed it.

That kind of cracked out thinking is why black people can’t have nice things.

In an attempt to make lemonade out of these lemons, let’s turn to a black man we can be proud of: Chris Rock. He has much TRUTH to say about getting cred for going to prison:

I guess Lil’ Wayne knows this, which is why he’s psyched to just spend a year blasting his pecs, listening to his iPod, and getting teardrop tattoos.

(I’m also gonna embed this other Chris Rock clip, cause it’s too good. Guess which one Lil’ Wayne is):

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Don't Know Why I Love This So Much

Maybe because it combines some of my favorite things: teen vampires, Harry Potter, and allusions to racism.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Truth Never Gets Old

You know, this time last year, I was smack dab in the middle of Caucasia, where no one even knew was Black History Month was. And now, to be home, able to tell my TRUTH…well, it just warms my heart. I’ve been thinking of important black folks I wanted to share with you today, and I think I’ve come up with one.

She’s not famous.
She’s not on reality TV.
And no, she’s not 16 or pregnant.


Yes, my grandmother—or, as I like to call her, G-Unit.

My grandmother is 93 ½ years old, y’all—holla!! And yes, I said 93 ½ (her birthday is in June). I figure when you make it to as old as 93, you get to revert back to kid referral to your age – every second counts! Dudes, 93?! For reals? I think she has an autographed copy of the Bible – for reals.

Ethel Mae was born in Waynesboro, Mississippi in 1916. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan—also known as “The City That God Forgot.” I used to spend every summer with Ethel until I was 14 years old. Ethel raised 7 kids and worked full time and was not exactly a sugar-and-spice grandmother. I didn’t get baked cookies – I got grits in the morning. There was no knitting and needlepoint, there was tilling the backyard fields. When my cousins and I would play hide-and-seek in her house, she’d always leave us with a warning:

“Be careful, and don’t go in that front room – that’s where I keep my gun.”

Yes, y’all! G-Unit will bust a cap in yo’ ass.

She’s never actually used the alleged gun, which I’ve never actually seen, but she says she had it for protection, because she’s “a lonely old woman living alone and people will prey on me.”

Um, nobody’s preyed on this old broad a day in her life.

“Okay, Sojourner, your grandma’s old--what’s your point?” you’re probably saying to yourself.
Well, gentle reader, this month, we’re honoring those that came before us and re-learning their lessons. As you can imagine, a woman who survived the Great Depression, WW2, and had a 68-year-old bf when she was 86 has pearls of wisdom to impart. Here are some nuggets for you to add to your TRUTH collection:

On preparing for disaster:

“In times of distress, you must be able to wipe yo’ ass.”
--Grandma to me, re: why she had a whole closet full of toilet paper before the year 2000. You know, she was worried about “the Y2K.”

On homosexuality:

“You know how I know she a lezbun? 1: She got that short haircut; B: We was watching a joe boxer commercial and the man was dancing in his underwear and she changed the channel? Why would she do that? I’m an old woman and I want to see it! You know why she changed it? Cause she a lezbun”
--Grandma, re: my cousin’s recent breakup from his gf.

On Michelle Obama:

“She lookin’ like a smiley Grinch. Don’t you just love that smiley Grinch?”
-Grandma, re: Michelle’s Vogue magazine article.

On interracial marriage:

“It’s okay for you, baby, cause you’ll be able to do your daughter’s hair. That Laura [my uncle’s white wife’] leaves her girl looking a mess, and it just breaks my heart.”
--As long as the children’s hair is tight, black-and-white is all right!

“Sojo, I think you should meet Bob, he’s a nice man, got a job. Why don’t y’all go on a date?”
--Bob is my white aunt’s brother. He is a 40-something divorcee who works at the Chrysler plant. My grandmother thinks he’s my type solely because he’s Caucasian.

On aging:

“I’m doing pretty fair for an ol’ lady. You know, I’m just waitin’ to die.”
-Grandma, in response to the always innocuous question, How are you doing?

I include this because this shows that grandma is never afraid to tell you the TRUTH, even it will make you uncomfortable and/or depressed.

So, as you go about your day—nay, your LIFE—try to live the Ethel Mae philosophy. Tell the TRUTH, the whole TRUTH, and nothing but the (Sojourner) TRUTH, so help you God! Who knows? You may even live to be 93.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pulling the IncogNEGRO Out of the Shadows....

Hey guys,

I had a grande coffee this morning, so I'm feeling productive without a sense of impending doom or heart palpitations, which is pretty awesome.

So, I was thinking about what to write for today's post. We all know Black History Month is a time to honor the achievements of black folks in the US. I mean, okay, we've got two BLACKTRESS nominated for the Oscars this year, and PRECIOUS is nominated for best film. However, Sojourner would like to aid in the bringing of TRUTH this BHM by profiling less-known Af-Ams who have brought so much to the world, but who don’t get much coverage nowadays.

I call this segment…. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Negroes

In my search, I came across the following man, who works within my theme in many ways.

Master Lloyd Irvin is a world-renowned martial arts coach, competitor and martial arts Expert.

“Um, okay Sojo,” you may be saying to yourself. “What makes that so special???”

Well, gentle reader, Master Lloyd was the first African American in the World to receive a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

HOLY GUACAMOLE!!!! Look at Master Lloyd, locking it down for black folks everywhere.

Speaking, of “locking it down,” Master Lloyd is one of only a handful of instructors on the entire east coast that can proficiently perform leg locks. Three-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Fabio Gurgel calls Master Lloyd "THE KING OF LEGLOCKS.”


I’m not even sure what a leglock is, but it sounds difficult and deadly, and I’m totes impressed (and kind of turned on… )

I love this shot of Lloyd, chillin' on the beach with a tucked in t-shirt and a coconut.
Jui-jitsu masters--they're just like us!!!

So, ladies, next time you’re doing your Kegel exercises, think of Lloyd. You have him to thank.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Black History Month is Gonna be FIERCE

Last night’s premiere episode of “Drag Race” was so good, I almost had a heart attack from pure pleasure.

I don’t know if my words can do it justice. I will provide a brief rundown of the new characters, as well as things I learned from this episode.

The 12 Contestants (In Order of Appearance):

Nicole Paige Brooks, from Atlanta, GA. I'm not feeling her face for some reason.
Shangela "the debutantess from the deep south" - she's bourgie, but also your homegirl! Shangela’s only been in the drag game 5 months, but don’t hold that against her.
Raven She has double chin piercings. She doesn't carry a purse and has an arm tatt!
Jujubee,25, from Boston, MA. She’s a sassy Asian. “Jujubee’s really into accessories,” she says.
Sahara Davenport, 25, NYC – She and Shangela went to college together, have been friends forever!!
Morgan McMichaels - Morgan and Raven know each other. everyone’s besties!
Mystique Summers, from Texas – she’s a big gal. “Fuck these skinny bitches” she says from the get-go. FIERCE.
Jessica Wild, from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I love how Puerto Rico is involved for the 2nd year in a row.
Sonique, also from ATL, and is friends with Nicole Paige Brooks (it’s a small drag world after all!!!)
Tatianna - 21, from VA. She is sooooo pretty. Like, I just want to go to the mall with her and judge people in the food court. She says that she walked out of the house in drag at 14 years old. LOVE IT.
Pandora Boxx - looks kinda like Kathy Griffin....wait, he just said, "I’m a big chunk of Kathy Griffin" – DRAG QUEEN MIND MELD. Pandora’s a little too mannish for me, I must say, but she seems sweet and dedicated.
Tyra Sanchez, 21, from FL. I don’t like her teeth, but she looks so fierce. Best quote of the episode: "I had my Rihanna hair on... I was very much a lady."

The whole episode’s theme was “Gone With the Wind,” and the opening photo shoot was beyond exciting. Bronzed beefcake Mike Ruiz, photographer/judge from last season, was taking pics. His best line of the episode:
“Okay, here’s the context: It’s the height of the Civil War. I want you to straddle the cannon, work the fabric, and flirt with the guys.” – Mike’s notes to Jujubee, the first girl for the photo shoot.
Um, was there cannon straddling at the height of the Civil War? Did I miss that day in history class?

Other things I learned from last night’s episode:
“When I saw the fan, I was excited, because fans make everything prettier.”
– Tatianna, on the shoot.
So true, girl. So true.

Key West, Florida, is apparently a gay haven, judging by the commercial shown mid-way through the episode. That would explain why I enjoyed Spring Break 2K4 so much…..

"We’re not judging potential ...this is RuPaul's drag race, not RuPaul's school for girls.” – Ru on Shangela…..
I wish RuPaul's School for Girls was a real place...and that it took grown women.

The most important thing I learned last night came from Mystique, and it's this: when all else fails, DO A SPLIT. I don’t care if you’re 500 pounds, be prepared to break it down.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Black HERStory Month!

Happy Black History Month, guys!!!!

It’s a great time to be black, gang!! Last night started off strong, with a viewing of “BORN WITHOUT A FACE” (aaahhh!!! I couldn’t look away!), followed by a “Criminal Minds” mini-marathon (I’m just that cool). Although I slept rather fretfully, once I remembered what today was, I jumped out of bed with great glee.* I got to work and was pleased to begin my first week sitting at my new desk, which is NOT directly across from the bathroom. Holla at a blacktress movin’ on up!! I no longer have to hear my coworkers urinate as I pretend to do work.

We have a new girl in our office today, and she took my old desk. I already don’t like her—no, not just because she’s not black! It’s because she’s overly familiar and asks for a lot of things. Plus, she's wearing, like, leggings and grey cowboy boots and a tight green cardi - this is an OFFICE. It’s your FIRST DAY. And you make way more than I do, and I have to go Banana Republic biz-cas. Please have the decency to at least pretend to care, like the rest of us—at least in the beginning.

Anyway, I digress. I should be pleased that I now live in a world where Sojourner can be cold to a Caucasian newbie without fear of retribution. This is growth, people! Add to this the fact that tonight’s the season 2 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and this month is gonna be off the chain! Y’all know how much I love a DQ, and Ru is the queen of them all. I was in Australia during the first season of this show, and upon returning, it was more important to see Drag Race than call up my 93-year-old grandmother. (Does that make me a bad person?)

I think my favorite part had to be the finale, when their challenge was to write a rap for Ru’s song. Bebe Zahara Benet’s rap involves her saying the word ‘face,’ like, 10 times.
And she won the challenge.
I love this show so hard.

Add to this the fact that RuPaul is BLACK, and I think the BHM tie-ins are beyond obvious.

Okay, guys, it’s damn near noon, and I haven’t done an ounce of work. Apparently my boss doesn’t “understand” that Black History Month is a national holiday and I can’t be “expected” to “actually do my work” at any point.

Um, can we talk about the fact that I’m at work wearing my headphones and listening to ‘Covergirl (Put the Bass in Your Walk)’?

(Check out minute 1:22 for the start of the ‘face’ goodness)

I think what I love most about this show is the fact that, at the end of the episode, the bottom 2 contestants stand side-by-side and are told to “Lip synch…. FOR YOUR LIFE.”

I hope to one day be able to say the very same to two dueling male suitors. Whichever one is more fierce will get to be with me forever.

*god I miss that show.

Sidebar: Those who are in NYC and want to see the blacktress LIVE can check out the following stand-up shows this month:

Thursday, February 11, 9pm
Comedy Party USA
@ The Grizzly Pear
107 Macdougal St.
(Trains to West 4th)

Friday, February 12, 9pm
The Back Room
Ochi's Lounge
downstairs in Comix, 14th btwn 8th and 9th Avenue
(A/C/E to 14th street)

Both shows are FREE!