I ran into Carlton Mackey at the new farmer’s market and we were talking about 50 Shades of Black, his latest project. The conversation made me feel that in some profound uncharted way, the issues of race are cracking wide open. There’s something in the honesty of having the conversation at all and in the content of the book and the 50 Shades project, that just lets me breathe a little deeper. Carlton is pushing through beauty and Stephen Colbert is pushing through humor and today, I’m thinking we’re going to get there.


I can’t seem to get the Report to embed, but click the link & watch Colbert skewer us all. Hilarious.

Then, on a less conciliatory note or just with apologies to those for whom the sensibility of this video is too harsh,  I’ve got to put into the mix this Kanye West piece. For me, his sophisticated, blunt anger is part of it all cracking open – that he gets to say this, that we all get to listen. My feelings about Mr West are mixed to say the least, but the video is the work of artists, Daft Punk and KW.

My hope and what I think is going to happen, is that Carlton’s son will have so much less to push away from than Kanye West. Here are what some Harvard kids have been pushing away from


I get his point, but the whole question of What are you? is a sign of floundering and the most amazing shift – that knowing who someone ‘is’ is not really going to help navigation the way we, that is the entire human race, used to think it did. Days of miracle and wonder.




Despite the long, tortured American history surrounding “race,” the thing itself is mythology, a social construct used to rationalize exploitation and abuse of power, argues historian Jones.

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