I finally found it. These ladies are superb. We all meet at the Hue-man bookstore at 125th and we knit our little hearts out, all the while chatting and expanding our group as other secret knitters join in, so happy to find a local thriving circle open to all. So Saturdays at 5 are my days to show off. Last night I started a winter hat for the baby and and finished it off with a pompom during the circle. I think what's great is that I'm so allowed to be young and knitting without being mistaken for a dried up old spinster in waiting. All these ladies are so themselves and so proud of their badass skills. So now, I've printed out an Irish Hiking Scarf pattern and I plan to get to work once I get some yarn I actually see myself wearing. Now that the weather is cool again, I'm picking up the needles again on a regular basis.
Flipping channels I started watching the manahattan neighborhood network, which is public programming put on by everybody and anybody with a camera. Well, I started watching the Great Invasion, which is where these drag queens gather at Fire Island every July 4th to celebrate. So I went down memory lane watching a drag show. Damn, I miss my queens. A little known fact (okay, so known to all my friends because I LOVE to bring it up) about me is that at Boy-butante, the big drag ball in Athens, GA...in college one year I won the cutest girl award...or maybe that chick that dressed up as a mermaid and had shells for a bra...nah, in my memory, I won. I regret not having any pictures from that night. Definitely one of the most fun nights I've ever had. See, I was a regular at this gay hotspot called BoneShakers.  Back in the days when harlem mama was fran and curious will was bill-- we were known to get out on the dance floor and push everyone out the way as we'd tango, salsa, merengue, swing and every other dance we knew as wild and dirty as possible. We were the generation that grew up watching Dirty Dancing and felt truly cool and secure enough in our skill to mimic every move that ever came out of that movie. I know we both watch Dance with the Stars to go down memory lane of those wild nights. O'malley's dollar beers....Georgia Theater 80s nights....
Uber cheese and glitz, but undeniable fun and sexiness. In the first couple years of school I had a blasted good time. It was when I had to actually start learning something I started having issues. I ran away to school to leave behind teen angst but instead I packed it in the suitcases and hid them under my bunk. I pretended they weren't stinking up my dorm room as I partied and studied hard and met one failed relationship after another. I got through it all by realizing how blessed I was to have such a large and loving family and the best friends a girl could have. It still blows my mind I'm still friends with the ones who meant the most to me. But like me, most of them left Georgia to find bigger and better things because being different, bold, wild, super intelligent and open-minded just didn't fly in that town. I'd parade my black behind around town with pink haired queens in tow in direct opposition to the rebel flags flying and rednecks spewing hateful things at any opportunity. I'd write in the paper how I never felt welcome in that town and how more efforts should be made in promoting diversity instead of ignorance. I'd like to think that we helped the next generations of the Georgia minority (aka Universal Majority and Reality) stand up and be proud of who they are. I don't think any Universal Majority coming out of UGA could disagree at the end of their tenure, they learned to stand up for themselves, even if it meant telling a powerful authority hell no, that is NOT right. We were out, loud and proud. I remember that when I sometimes feel like I'm not standing up for myself or I'm being a wallflower when I should really be shining at that moment.
Okay, back to my knitting...later!

Comments

  1. Anonymous10:45 PM

    So therapeutic - how in the hell could I have ever known!? Now I'm addicted to this! Anyways, I am still geting frustrated with the whole casting on thing, but slowly getting the hang of it. I would love to get to the point where I can watch Grey's Anatomy while I knit!!!
    Kemi

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  2. kemi! it is SO good to have you back on my blog! yippeee!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous8:57 PM

    Wow! You're blog is so cute and the baby hat came out so cuuuutttteeee!!! Hope to see you at Hue Man saturday!

    ~Dara

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  4. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Greetings Harlem Mama!
    Your blog is great! I hope to be able to visit you and your family very soon!

    Still daring to be bold and different amongst the Confederate Flags,

    Lin

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  5. Anonymous8:53 AM

    The Red and Black Opinions
    Slur is an integral part of history
    Published , February 10, 2005, 06:00:01 AM EDT



    Johannesburg, South Africa -- The debate now raging on the campus of my alma mater has reached my ears and touched my heart these many thousands of miles away.

    I have refrained from commenting until I felt I was in control of most of the concerns on all sides.

    I am writing today because the controversy, however far away, is as close as the yesterday of some 42 years ago when the offending words in the Myers exhibit were hurled directly at me with relentless, hate-driven force.

    Therefore, I feel I have more than a passing interest in the matter.

    Let me begin by commending the conscious young people who first raised the issue.

    Their vigilance tells me -- as it should others -- that the stand taken by myself, Hamilton Holmes and students all over the South who put their bodies on the line so that we then, and they now, would be judged, in Dr. Kings words, not by the color of our skins but by the content of our character was not in vain.

    They have inherited a legacy, and I am proud to see them determined to keep it alive in the face of continuing challenges of combating racism in America in general, and on the campus, in particular.

    I also want to commend those who have taken the time to listen and hear their concerns, as well as the temporary compromise of covering the offending words and allowing more discussion and debate on the issue.

    It is my hope that this letter comes in that interim, and that it will help those who must decide the next step, as well as those who have to live with whatever final decision is made.

    As a journalist, I don't usually take positions, but as the direct object of the offending phrase, I will take this one: I am in favor of allowing it to remain in the exhibit.

    I take that position on the grounds that I believe those who are offended by it are nevertheless wrapped in the same suit of armor that I was when the words were spewed towards me -- the armor created out of the values my family -- biological and surrogate -- crafted in their careful rearing and nurturing of a black child growing up in a society that tried to impose on her a position as well as a feeling of inferiority.

    As I have said on many occasions, when our black parents and teachers could not themselves give us first class citizenship, they labored day and night to give us a first class sense of ourselves.

    So, when I walked through the Arch to the unwelcome calls of "There goes the nigger," my first instinct was to look around for "the nigger."

    I believe those students of color who have made it to the University must surely be wrapped in the same armor.

    I also believe their challenge to the offending words and symbols speaks to that.

    At the same time, I would hope that having raised the issue and sparked the debate, they will be a part of a solution that will allow those words to stand as a reminder, however painful, that they are the heirs to a legacy of struggle, but also of victory over bigotry and that it is through their knowledge and understanding of the past that they fight with ever fiber of their being to defend that victory and keep it real.

    Rigorous, righteous debate is a part of doing so.

    And I would hope that their white classmates will join them in the defense of decency and human dignity, as did many of mine -- either then or later -- when the wisdom of years helped them to understand that history is what makes us who we are today and tomorrow.

    A luta continua!

    -- Charlayne Hunter-Gault, along with the late Hamilton Holmes, integrated the University in 1961. She is now a CNN bureau chief in Johannesburg, South Africa

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