Twelve days into November and there’s been more history-making excitement, chills and thrills then there has been in the past 12 months! Firstly, the election was nothing short of historic. President Barack Obama, standing with the 47% and against a hailstorm of lies, loot and lunacy (ie. Trump), won his re-election bid and with that showed that Americans had grown weary and intolerant of angry rich white men who think gays, Latinos, Blacks and women are beside the point. As a matter of fact women were most certainly THE point of this election and it would seem, of this month: From Sandy to Oya; from the Senate to voting ballots, we made ourselves known. Here are 5 moments this month where women rocked the vote, rocked the mic and most certainly rocked our worlds!
1.) Voting last Tuesday resulted in women making a number of historical government firsts including Democrat Mazie Hirono of Hawaii becoming the first Asian-American woman in the Senate and Tulsi Gabbard also of Hawaii as the first Hindu-American in Congress. Massachusetts elected its first female U.S. senator, Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s and Wisconsin will send its first woman to the Senate as well, electing Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who also becomes the first openly gay person in the Senate. To be sure, a record number of women– 20 out of 100 seats—will now serve in the Senate. And The House will host a record total of 28 women of color, including 13 African-American women, nine Latinas, and six Asian/Pacific Islander Americans, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
2.) Frida Kahlo makes the cover of Vogue for the first time! 60 years after her death, Vogue Mexico uses photographer Nickolas Muray’s iconic 1939 portrait of Kahlo, which was taken in NYC, for its November 2012 cover to coincide with the November 22 opening of “Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo” at Frida’s museum La Casa Azul in Mexico. I’m probably more excited than Frida ever would be at this prospect as I’m sure she could give two pesos at what Anna Wintour and her international cohorts think about her art and style.
3.) Imani Uzuri’s video for “Dream Child” debuted! Earlier this year when “The Gypsy Diaries” dropped, Imani not only dropped on us her best musical compositions to date, she laid open her spirit, revealing her brave, unique and nuanced journey to self-discovery, love and awareness. For me “Dream Child” is the milk nugget center that ties the entire masterpiece together with its zen-based soul-shaking lyrics about getting lost to finding oneself. What the song delivers sonically for your spirit, the video captures visually with its ethereal shots of sky, sand and ocean. While Imani beautifully holds center court, the indomitable dancer/ choreographer Camille A. Brown whirls through frames seizing the horizon and bending into sunset being both dream and dreamer.
4.) The November 3rd opening of Wangechi Mutu’s
Nitarudi Ninarudi at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Nitarudi Ninarudi, Kiswahili for I plan to return; I am returning, is Wangechi’s fantastical, keepin-it-real visual romp into the complicated existence of being an immigrant and how memory, longing, loyalty and liberation fractures and recreates identities, cultural ties and notions of home: “Fusing her Kenyan experience with inflections of other cultural influences, the work… firmly rejects the centralization and dominance of Eurocentric constructs within and outside of her homeland.” (Closes on December 22nd).
5.) Anyone who can drag a mic stand across a stage with the fierceness of Naomi Campbell, yet be as graceful as Misty Copeland gets my attention. When that same woman is bad-assed enough to sing Aerosmith’s “Dream On” for a mainstream music competition rife with Adele and Whitney Houston covers then she gets my vote. Amanda Brown is that grrrl and NBC’s “The Voice” is that show. I was always rooting for her and the Janelle Monae-inspired, crazy spry De’Borah, but last week Dee got the boot so now the Harlem-based, former Billie’s Black bartender, Ms. Brown has me completely on lock. Not since Fantasia, have things been this exciting for Black women and singing competitions.