Andy Shallal –

I just got back from a race conference in Atlanta, Georgia – here are 5 takeaways on how White people can be allies to marginalized communities in these trying times:
1. Challenge racism. Family and close friends is a good place to start. Try “calling them in” before “calling them out”. Use the “I” language. Engage, don’t retreat.
2. Don’t wear a safety pin. I know, you want to show that you are not racist. A safety pin is not the way. People who are affected by racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia and other isms know who their allies are. They just do.
3. Read books and writings by current Black and Brown writers. Not just Ta Nehisi Coates (which is not a bad beginning), but many others like Roxanne Gay and Jose Antonio Vargas.
4. Be prepared to be uncomfortable. Being comfortable in these discomforting times is not an option. This means listening more and saying less.
5. Expose yourself to races and cultures other than yours. Be more inclusive. Go to a museum, a church, a concert, anything. See Jacob Lawrence’s Migration series at The Phillips Collection. Go to an open mic program. Anything.

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For Langston Hughes on His 123 Birthday

Speech given on February 1, 2024 in Havana, Cuba In 1927 Langston Hughes walked into a Cuba amid an emerging community of artists, intellectuals, and radicals.  He saw a “sunrise in a new land [– a day – in his words]sic – full of brownskin surprises, and hitherto unknown contacts in a world of color.”  … Continued

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Palestine Week 2024

January 18, 2024 – January 25, 2024 In keeping with our ongoing mission of uplifting racial and cultural connections, Busboys and Poets is hosting Palestine Week (January 18 through January 25, 2024). This week-long series of events will offer a diverse range of programming featuring Palestinian food, music, dance, poetry, discussions, and other enriching events. … Continued

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5. Cuba – Ministry of Culture

We approach the towering yellow stucco building that houses the Ministry of Culture. There is a delegation waiting patiently to greet us at the sidewalk. They are standing in front of a metal gated entrance. Their inviting faces have welcome written all over. We exchange “Holas”. And handshakes. The handful of Spanish words I know … Continued

Busboys and Poets Books Review: Never Stop

Busboys and Poets Books Review: Never Stop

Halfway through reading “Never Stop”, it becomes apparent the title of Simba Sana’s new memoir is a clever double entendre that can be interpreted as: 1)    Never Stop in your pursuit of the best life for you. 2)    Never Stop keeping busy, lest you realize that you aren’t living your best life, regardless … Continued