My Summer Lair Chapter #30: What Is A Sustainable Future…And How Do You Create One?
I didn’t even know how to start this conversation:
Here’s the thing: I dig America. I’ve got family in the US…all kinds of sweet friends. I enjoy visiting NYC, Chicago etc…America is fantastic. And yet: it’s the country I’ve experienced the most racism in. I’ve been refused service on more than one occasion and after the year 2000. Not the 1960s, yo.
It’s hard to grasp how this country has given me Michael Jordan…hip hop and so much more yet at times flat out rejects me. And that’s what I carried with me into my conversation with Jeff Chang.
We spoke in his office on the surreal Stanford campus (yes the swimmer-rape case campus…I won’t link to the story since there is more commentary than facts online). I’ve been on American campuses before but this sucker is massive and beautiful…trees everywhere: very Canadian.
Over the span of an hour, we discussed…
* Who We Be: The Colorization of America (Jeff’s 2014 an outstanding book offering a cultural history of race in America)
* Donald Trump (Jeff is a journalist covering politics for Vibe)
* his role as the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University
* using art to create a new future (such as CultureStr/ke which empowers artists and visionaries)
* hip hop (Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Jeff’s sublime 2005 book chronicling hip hop’s roots)
* and finally: the NBA Finals.
Whew. This is a heavy Summer Lair visit yet informative with surprising moments of humour.
This Fall you can expect Jeff’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation. I can’t wait!
1 High Five For:
Jeff Chang @ W • T • F
Host & Photography Sammy Younan
Recorded: Friday June 10, 2016 at 11:30 am (on Stanford Campus)
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