Gallivanting in Greenville

Ah. Greenville, South Carolina: my southern home away from home. I try to get down to The Palmetto State at least twice a year to visit family. And whenever I’m there, everyone knows exactly where to find me: sitting in a rocking chair on my sister-in-law’s porch with my feet kicked up, rocking back and forth while taking in fields of green grass and listening to the sounds of absolutely nothing. You see, as a northern, urban city dweller, nothing excites me more than, well … peace and quiet. Still, there’s a lot more to the Upcountry than lazing the day away in a rocking chair with a Mason jar full of homemade sweet tea by my side. Let’s explore Greenville!

The Swamp Rabbit Trail

It’s hot. Not the it’s-summertime-so-of-course-it’s-hot kind […]

By |October 1st, 2014|Blog

Wynwood: Miami’s Art Land

Summer weather in Miami, Florida, leads not only to barer bodies on South Beach but also awe-inspiring art walks in the Wynwood Design District. This out-of-the-way neighborhood serves as a foil to the pretension of the famed Miami strip. Here, gutted warehouses hold the heartbeat of Miami’s art movement. Both inside these walls and proudly broadcast on the sides of buildings, there is an unapologetic expressionism in the form of graffiti and fine art. Bright colors, richly explored themes and kinetic energy vibrate through the small neighborhood, defined by the artists who adorn it.

Over the last four years, the Wynwood strip has been transformed into a cultural playground for the eye by hundreds of artists. Internationally renowned Wynwood Walls serves as the outdoor epicenter of the neighborhood, but there […]

By |September 24th, 2014|Blog

Five Black American Cultural Events in Colorado

I was seven when my family boarded an Amtrak train in New York City, bound for Denver, Colorado. It wasn’t clear when or if we’d return to the land of a million dreams, but as the majestic skyline formed, bringing with it the regal Rocky Mountains, it was clear that this new adventure was worth embarking on. Now, almost two decades later, Colorado is home.

I’ve lived in the Ozarks of Southern Illinois, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the southern plains of North Carolina, but Colorado trumps them all. The state is known for its ski resorts and mile-high altitude, not to mention some legislative firsts. However, I am most fond of Colorado’s cultural experiences for black residents. Colorado houses a vibrant […]

By |June 18th, 2014|Blog

Exploring North Carolina’s Triangle Region

Taking a winter break down South has a way of inspiring and giving me the wind to boldly sail into spring. After discovering furniture designer and cabinetmaker Thomas Day, I knew North Carolina would be my next jaunt. For sure, I had Poole’s Diner, helmed by Ashley Christensen (just crowned Best Chef: Southeast by the James Beard Foundation Awards), on my must-dine list. To round out my itinerary, I asked NC’s finest food professionals for recommendations on where to go. They didn’t steer me wrong.

I kicked off my day trip in Milton (population 200) at the Thomas Day House and Museum, snaked through Durham and closed out in Raleigh. Here’s a play-by-play of my adventures.

Outside Danville, Virginia, lies the former tavern and home of Mr. […]

By |June 12th, 2014|Blog

Train Tracks

Take a trip down memory lane with these classic locomotive-inspired songs

Long before Don Cornelius brought Soul Train, the first African American dance show, and its ubiquitous “Soul Train Line” into living rooms across America, locomotives had already been a source of inspiration for some of the most talented, widely acclaimed musicians and songwriters. More than just a form of transportation, trains have played a significant part in African American history, dating back as far as the early 19th century when black gandy dancers (maintenance workers) laid and maintained railroad tracks while singing musical chants. Flash forward to today, and some of our most treasured tunes boast a train-inspired narrative. From easy listening, big band and swing to early folk, R&B, rock ’n’ roll, jazz, blues and modern pop, the […]

By |May 21st, 2014|Blog