Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Traveling COP: Taking it on the Road

I'm packing it up and taking COP:24/7 on the road this week. Yes, my readers, I'm out to the east coast to attend the 29th National Association of Black and White Men Together national convention in Philadelphia, P.A. Serving on this organizations Board of Directors has been enlightening and exhilarating to say the least. When I was approached with this appointment, I realized that this was another opportunity for myself personally, as well as a continuing conduit to represent Arkansas in a positive view. Furthermore, harvesting a wealth of contacts, knowledge and experiences to share with all of you in this forum. So, as I grab the friendly skies to the City of Brotherly Love, here's some random thoughts for your reading pleasure...

Ticket Please: As the economy bounces, the airlines have been quite creative in keeping the cash flow-flowing. The crown was not amused when I had to do a "ticket change," due to scheduling. Hello, Mr. M, so you want to change your ticket...that'll be $150.00! Yes mam, a bill-fifty to go no where and I had no choice. However, it got even better or should I say worse, when I changed cities, "Hello, Mr. M, so you want to change cities...there wasn't enough credit left on that portion of that ticket..that'll be Cha-Ching, another $150.00, please. Say what, I'm spending dollars and haven't gone any damn where!!! Of course my legacy carrier, AMERICAN, wasn't done with me yet. Hello, Mr. M will you checking luggage...sure you will, so that'll be $40.00 each way for that luggage, sir. Welcome aboard and thanks for flying American...and oh yeah, "have a nice day."

Lambda Passing: The death of E. Lynn Harris was sudden and was thoroughly reported in the news cycles. Locally, both KATV and KARK had items on his life including interviews with his sister and mother. However with his passing, I found some interesting aspects that struck me in various ways. I received a text message that Mr. Harris had died and individuals from around the U.S. inquired with me about his impact in Arkansas. Unfortunately, even though Harris had reached national prominence, I found that his lauded accomplishments in regards to his writing had minimal affect within this states LGBTQ communities. Yes, those of us who are avid readers and are so enlightened were well aware of his works, but unilaterally I've surmised that many simply did not know who Mr. Harris was or his significance. Ironically, even though Harris composed books about "gay life," it's apparent that either by design or choice he was not openly active politically or widely engaged within Arkansas' gay community at large. My acquaintances from other regions were somewhat stunned to the fact that although Harris was celebrated in larger metro areas, he had not been more progressive in the state from which he launched his many book tours. Illustrating this point there were no newspaper Op-ed pieces, commentaries, interviews or attendance to organized events involving social justice issues affecting Arkansans. Meanwhile, as the news media descended on his family for comment, it was further illuminating that they stated that they "suspected or didn't quite know," of his gayness. Respectively, to them he was just "E. Lynn." I'm sure they found it difficult to talk about his personal life as they mourned their loss. Consequently, It's no secret that the SGL issue is not something that can be fully digested, totally accepted and not for public discussion in many African American households no matter how famous or accomplished. I've featured Mr. Harris and his works in this forum on numerous occasions and my condolences go out to his family and friends.
ChipIn: Have you Chipped today. Probably not, so what are you waiting for? It's all about gearing up for Pride Picnic 2010 in central city. You can find the gadget in the margin for easy access and it's a secured platform using Paypal. Show some pride and let's max out the meter with your donation TODAY!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cornelius, I for one was shocked and sad about E.Lynn. Do you remember the days when he was around here and we were THE audience? I remember trying to get some of the independent book stores to have a book signing for him and the responses were not nice at all. After his publishing deal, every store wanted him.