art · film · jazz

musings from the bay

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In San Francisco, bodies marked “Other” are present everywhere – especially via art.

I am exhausted beyond words, but light in spirit. I have had full days in San Francisco. Full as in rich in experience.

Grant Green
San Francisco’s Grant Ave and Green Street intersection appear on the cover of my former father in law’s 1964 “Street of Dreams” album and “The Grant Green Story” film poster.

Aside from a mishap involving one of the non-Yellow Cab companies that shall remain nameless (for now; racial profiling is so sad; had a separate unfortunate experience in a traditional cab ride), it’s been a wonderful visit.

Hearing Grant Green while flying over Yosemite National Park was way cool.

I showed the Grant Green documentary and received helpful feedback, some expected and all confirming some of my own feelings about the edits.

I loved libraries as a kid. During summers, I went weekly to get an armful of books. The Western Addition Branch of the San Francisco Public Library is an amazing community space. Hats off to them for being open to sharing this film on an unsung guitar legend and his son’s search for his father via memories.  Scholar M. Jacqui Alexander tells us memories are the antidote to dominant culture oppression. When we remember, we are ready and able to endure much.

I have been able to massage this work while traveling here. Being two hours outside the Central time zone – i.e. I am awake when others are asleep – permits early morning moments to do such things.

Part of my portfolio for the interim class in which I am learning about fiber art inside my more urgent look at racial, gender and spatial politics in and near the Atlantic, including my home state Florida.

I return to Alabama blissful from having shared authentic moments with new faces and old ones, too.

Beautiful art by a Korean person interested in honoring women of African descent. Such homages balance the more difficult moments from others who do not.

I return blissful from having had a chance to share some of my fiber work on found wood.

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I love the San Francisco Bay. Memories from a two and half month residency at Villa Montalvo in  Saratoga, CA, in 1995 returned as I sat here.

All this as I complete the interim course and head to Iceland.

Me and my dear friend Leslie Casimir. We met at the University of Miami in the 1980s. We both went on to work as journalists at, among other places, The Miami Herald.

Good happens.

I am grateful to the San Francisco Public Library, Western Addition Branch, for being so generous. Feedback is important to many including filmmakers.

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