Archive for April, 2011

Get Rich Slowly: The Financial Literacy Toolkit

Posted by jcmaziquemd on April 30, 2011


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Romare Bearden

Posted by jcmaziquemd on April 30, 2011

An Intimate Modernist


The painterRomare Bearden (1911-88) once said his goal was to depict "the life of my people as I know it," and today he is justly recognized as one of the great visual chroniclers of the African American experience. Yet his pictures transcend the mere exploration of group identity through grand and poetic feats of formal invention. Bearden combined a sophisticated Modernist aesthetic with a homespun feeling of intimacy, to create works of universal resonance and poignant emotional appeal.

The 14 essays collected in "Romare Bearden, American Modernist" were originally delivered as symposium papers at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., on the occasion of a 2003 Bearden retrospective. Employing a variety of methodological approaches—biographical, sociological, formalist, iconographic—they produce a composite portrait of a complex man who forged an unconventional path to artistic success. The book provides a useful introduction to Bearden’s work, although his own writings, which are extensive and insightful, remain an indispensable resource.

Bearden aspired to be an artist even prior to his college days at New York University in the 1930s. But he needed to earn a living and therefore took a degree in education that led to full-time employment with the New York City Bureau of Social Services. Aside from three years spent in the Army during World War II and an 18-month stint studying art in Europe on the G.I. Bill, Bearden remained at his job for the next 30 years.

Nights and weekends were devoted to art. The young Bearden pursued formal training with the Expressionist master George Grosz at the Art Students League and produced freelance political cartoons for African American newspapers on civil-rights-related themes. Success was slow in coming.

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery/VAGA

‘Sunset Limited’ (1974) is part of ‘Romare Bearden Collage: A Centennial Celebration,’ on view at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in New York through May 21.


During the 1940s and ’50s, Bearden produced ambitious cycles of pictures in a semi-abstract mode—on such themes as Homer’s Iliad and the Passion of Christ—generally with unexceptional results. His early manner consisted of cerebral but inert homages to Cubism and other established artistic movements, and though his work from this period could be technically accomplished, it tended toward the programmatic and the impersonal.

Romare Bearden, American Modernist

Edited by Ruth Fine & Jacqueline Francis
National Gallery of Art, 304 pages, $70

In 1963, at the age of 52, Bearden had a stylistic epiphany. Combining bits and pieces of photographs torn from the pages of Ebony and Jet magazines with vibrantly colored shapes that had been cut from sheets of tinted paper, he began to create fascinating collages. Often, Bearden added freely painted forms to evoke scenes from his early childhood in Mecklenburg County, N.C., or his adult life in New York.

The inspiration for this technique likely came from Grosz, who had worked with the pioneering photomontage artist John Heartfield in Berlin. But unlike Heartfield, who used his art to rail against the corruption of post-World War I Germany, Bearden had little interest in polemics. A signature image like "The Old Couple" (1967), for instance, presents the quiet dignity of an aging man and wife posed inside a humble farmhouse. The dazzling "Susannah in Harlem" (1980) offers a smart urban genre scene set in the close quarters of a Manhattan apartment.

These works succeed because of Bearden’s careful sense of composition and unfailing concern with coherence, but the improvisatory nature of montage allowed him to set aside his earlier stylistic timidity. "In creating a picture," he wrote in 1969, "I use many disparate elements to form a figure, or part of a background. I rarely use an actual photograph of a face but build them, for example, from parts of African masks, animal eyes, marbles, corn and mossy vegetation."

This conjuring creates a rich and transformative effect, akin to a jazz musician playing a solo. And, like jazz, Bearden’s art is a brilliant and original American creation.

—Mr. Lopez is editor at large of Art & Antiques.

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8 First Aid Tips You’ll Actually Use

Posted by jcmaziquemd on April 27, 2011

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2nd Annual Sojourner Truth Celebration Thurs. 4/28

Posted by jcmaziquemd on April 27, 2011

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College Scholarships

Posted by jcmaziquemd on April 26, 2011


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NPR.org – Tyler Perry Vs. Spike Lee: A Debate Over Class And Coonery

Posted by jcmaziquemd on April 25, 2011

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Lee Scratch Perry: Over 75 Years, From Dub To Dubstep

Posted by jcmaziquemd on April 25, 2011

jcm9232 thought you would be interested in this story: Lee Scratch Perry: Over 75 Years, From Dub To Dubstep


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The Black Class War of the Obama Critics

Posted by jcmaziquemd on April 25, 2011

The Black Class War of the Obama Critics

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The Empty Calories Of Alcohol

Posted by jcmaziquemd on April 25, 2011

The Empty Calories Of Alcohol

via A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss by Erika Nicole Kendall on 4/22/11


Seen in Washington Post:

The bartender at the Cheesecake Factory inside White Flint Mall knows exactly where to draw the line between being customer-friendly and betraying her employer. She chokes off the information stream as soon as I ask one too many questions about the restaurant’s Flying Gorilla cocktail, this liquid libation described on the menu as a “ ‘Kicked-Up’ Chocolate Banana Milkshake.”

When I first inquire about the Gorilla, she tells me I won’t even taste the small shots of banana liqueur and creme de cacao in the drink. She’s so giddy about the creamy cocktail, she almost makes me excited to be sucking down an alcoholic shake at an Egyptian-theme chain restaurant inside a Rockville mall just steps from a nearly depleted Borders outlet where practically everything’s for sale short of the employees’ personal footwear. I try to mirror the bartender’s enthusiasm and ask about the other ingredients in the Flying Gorilla.

“I’d get fired if I told you that,” she says, impressive in her facility to blow me off with such good humor. A few days later, I called the Cheesecake Factory’s press people, who were equally cheerful as they turned down my request for the recipe.

The information is important for one simple reason: America’s fat.

You’ve heard the statistics by now and, more immediately, have probably felt that extra jiggle around your waistline. The Obama administration has fired off a number of weapons to combat the, ahem, massive problem, from the first lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign to the new veg-friendly Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but its latest offensive push came on April 1, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published proposed regulations for nationwide menu labeling. As written, the regulations require all “chain restaurants, retail food establishments, and vending machines with 20 or more locations” to list caloric information on their menus and menu boards. Two categories were conspicuously exempted from the requirement: movie theater chains and alcoholic beverages.

This is where chains such as the Cheesecake Factory, Applebee’s, Chili’s and others come in. They serve alcohol of every stripe. Many have specialty cocktails, too, such as the Flying Gorilla or Applebee’s Mud Slide or the Chili’s line of designer margaritas. None of the chains may ever be required to list the drinks’ caloric information on their menus (except, of course, in those jurisdictions such as New York City where local labeling laws already require such information).

“The problem is that alcohol is a big source of calories in the American diet,” says Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.


Fortunately, Nestle offers an example in the book: A six-ounce pour of wine with 13.5 percent alcohol by volume, for instance, translates into about 140 calories. Drink two glasses of that wine with dinner, and you’ve added about 280 calories to your meal. Which would almost be considered a diet drink compared to the Flying Gorilla. Based on a modified recipe found online, this “ ‘Kicked-Up’ Chocolate Banana Milkshake” might contain anywhere from 590 to 870 calories per drink, depending on how much ice cream is used.

Now imagine a menu where the calories are listed for all of the drinks except for beer, wine and spirits. To Wootan’s way of thinking, that’s a setup for overindulging on empty calories and on a potentially organ-damaging substance. The lack of caloric information for alcoholic beverages, she notes, would “mistakenly give the impression that [they] are a better choice.”

Now, I used to work at one of those frilly franchise joints – y’know, the kind that has the knick-knacks and license plates on the walls – and yes, we had to serve those giant ice cream liquored-up drinks. I’m not proud of it, but it paid the bills.

I bring that up to say that looking back now, as I can, and knowing what is in each of those drinks? I can add up the math in my head. I mean, a mudslide? Somewhere between 6-700 calories. A Lobsterita – a former favorite of mine back in college? Somewhere around 800 calories. A lot of these drinks are hard liquor topped with sugar, blended with simple syrup (more sugar), flavored with liqueur (orange, cherry, banana, mint… and more sugar), sprinkled with novelty on top (cookies, cinnamon, salt, more damn sugar) and then served to you with a straw and a shovel… y’know, to get the whole thing in your mouth.

Let me make a few things clear. For starters, if we’re talking about consuming alcohol? We are not talking about clean eating. We simply aren’t. There is no aspect of alcohol, beer or wine that is clean. It’s that simple. Sure, we can talk about “moderate consumption” and “how much can you drink before you obliterate your liver” all you want, but the reality is that in the interest of health, alcohol is a set back. It is not clean.

That being said, is there some kind of “pass” being given to alcoholic beverages for not having their calorie counts posted? I mean, if people are going to partake, shouldn’t they know the details? Shouldn’t the restaurants be equally prepared and willing to offer up that information? I mean, I know from personal experience – no one in the restaurant will know the calorie counts for those drinks even if they were asked… so I’m wondering, here.

I’m wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on what this article proposes. Two more excerpts for ya:

So what was the FDA thinking in not including alcohol in the proposed regulations for menu labeling? The agency apparently does not believe it has jurisdiction over alcohol, citing case law that states that the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has authority over most alcohol labeling. According to the Federal Register notice of April 6, it “is not clear that Congress intended for the nutrition information disclosures . . . to apply to alcohol beverages, given that the labels of the majority of alcohol beverages are regulated by TTB.”The FDA’s argument ignores two simple facts, say nutritionists and public health advocates. One: The FDA does have regulatory authority over some alcohol, including wine and hard ciders that contain less than 7 percent alcohol by volume, as well as beers made from grains other than barley and hops. And two: The FDA’s proposed menu labeling regulations include foods, such as red meat and poultry, over which the U.S. Department of Agriculture has regulatory and labeling authority. Why does the FDA feel justified in invading the USDA’s territory but not the TTB’s?




The Empty Calories Of Alcohol is a post from: A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss. Thanks for reading!

Related posts:
  1. Q&A Wednesday: Is There A Place For Alcohol In Clean Eating?
  2. How Many Calories Are You Drinking?
  3. Comprehending Calories: The Basics

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Watch This: ‘Alicia,’ a Short Film About Body Image

Posted by jcmaziquemd on April 25, 2011

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