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Brian Huff And My Break-Dancing Butterflies

28 May

I can’t remember how my older sister Sarah and I got on the subject of Brian Huff the other day–a gorgeous black kid that moved into town and became Sarah’s classmate in 7th grade.  I think we were talking about her old friend Audrey who had finally joined Facebook.  Audrey and Brian were “an item” back then, and I was jealous because, well, even though I was two years younger than him, whenever I looked at Brian, […]

Re:post from The Root: Coulter on ‘Freedom Riders’ and ‘Black Gals’

25 Sep

I will let Ann Coulter speak for herself here in this re-posted article from The Root.  She just left me kind of speechless.  Be sure to watch the video, and then leave your comments below.

Coulter on ‘Freedom Riders’ and ‘Black Gals’

Coulter on 'Freedom Riders' and 'Black Gals'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News

Ann Coulter, who is evidently living in some year way before 2012 (and quite possibly the Jim Crow era), joked in commentary on Fox & Friends on Tuesday that television hosts Lawrence O’Donnell and Bill Maher think of themselves as “freedom riders” because they date “black gals.”

No, really. That’s not out of context. Here’s the exact quote: “These are not people who have black friends, who know black people. Oh, sorry, except, you know, Lawrence O’Donnell and Bill Maher, who date black gals. So they think they’re freedom riders.” It goes without saying that the joke said more about her thinking than it does about theirs, whomever they may be involved with romantically.

Oh, and Coulter made the remark in the process of accusing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow of being too complimentary of African-American program guests (not something we would put among the top racial-justice issues of our time, but she’s entitled to her opinion).

Nice, Ann. Nothing like making fun of someone for dating interracially to simultaneously invalidate everything you’ve just said and cement your place as the nonexpert of the century on racial bias.

P.S. If you do ever decide to join the rest of us in the modern age of race relations (where people don’t actually think that loving someone of another race transforms them into a civil rights activist), update the outdated vocabulary along with the outdated thinking: No one says “gals.”


SOURCE:, Coulter On “Freedom Riders” and “Black Gals”, by Jenee Desmond-Harris, September 25, 2012




The Loving Story: Looking Back 55 Years At An Interracial Marriage

19 Sep

Last night I viewed the documentary, The Loving Story, a film about the interracial marriage of a white man, Richard Loving, and his wife, who was part Black, part Native-American, Mildred Loving.  The one-night only screening was hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) at the beloved local art-house cinema, Cable Car Cinema and Cafe.

I had heard of this couple, but only knew a few sketchy details of the problems they had as an interracial married couple back in the late 1950’s.  Over the course of the movie, I learned much more about the legal details of their fight to legalize their marriage.  But, what drew me in most, was getting to know Mildred and Richard as two people in love. […]

Lighter Rice, Darker Rice

2 Jul

The waitress at my favorite home-style Korean restaurant brought us our left-over Bi Bim Bap in a bag containing two take-out containers.

“You’ll know which is which, because,” as she points to me, “yours is the lighter rice,” and pointing to the man I’ve been seeing, who, yes, you guessed it, just so happens to be black, “and yours is the darker rice.”

I squirm in my seat, and half-smirk, half-smile at my companion across the table.

The waitress, the friendly 20-something daughter of the husband-wife team that runs the place, pauses, I believe realizing her awkward Korean moment, places the bag down on our table, and hurries away.

I laugh, and look over at Super H. Genius, the name I am giving him here–letting him be anonymous for the time being–Super: because he’s super nice, Genius: because he’s super smart, or smaht, if you say it with a Rhode Island accent, and H. for Handsome, because he’s that, too.

I have to admit, that this being the first time I am posting about dating someone since my divorce, I feel awkward. I don’t want to be disrespectful to my former husband. I worry about relatives of his reading this and thinking badly of me. I even wonder what my own friends and acquaintances will think about it, since I’m a pretty private person and haven’t shared much publicly about my relationship news.

I even feel a bit like a traitor to the Korean family that runs the restaurant. I wonder if they remember me from when I used to come with my former husband and daughters, especially since my daughters told me they’ve been there with their Dad recently. Are they disappointed that I didn’t stay in my marriage? Do they think it is too soon for me to be ordering the fragrant Bi Bim Bap with somebody else?

I suppose I can’t worry about being a private person now that I have a blog.

Back to the rice. I say to Super H. right after the waitress leaves, “see, I get the lighter rice because I am white and you get the darker rice because you are black.”

“Naw, I think it’s because I have a darker mood, and you have a lighter spirit.” See how nice he is.

The waitress returns, and delicately, using humor as her saving grace, says, while looking at Super H., “yes, you put a lot of the sauce in your rice, like me. You must like it spicy, too.”

We all laugh. I don’t even want to start reading Freudian slips into her references to spiciness. Like I said, she’s a lovely young woman, and as you’ve witnessed here on this blog, I have had my awkward white girl moments on more than one occasion.

Next time I’ll be sure to use just as much hot sauce as Super H*., just to help an awkward sister out.


*Oh well, Super H. broke up with me the same night I wrote this post up, but I decided to post it anyway, because I think it’s funny, and it’s honest.










Wendy Jane Recommends “Yes, We’re Together” blog by Atinuke Diver

1 Jun

Today I want to feature one of the blogs I link to on my home page, “Yes, We’re Together” by author, Atinuke Diver.

I first heard about Atinuke, or Tinu, when she was noted on writing center, Grub Street’s weekly newsletter.  Tinu had won a 2011 Black Weblog Award, an Internet Award Ceremony that recognizes black bloggers from over 90 countries.

YesWe’ is Tinu’s blog that, in her words, challenges the assumptions and assume the challenges of interracial love with humor and grace, and where all racial/ethnic combinations are fair game.

Since I noticed that Tinu lived nearby in Boston, and had started a blog that dealt with matters of race, I decided to reach out to her for advice on starting my blog.  I was having “cold feet,” and needed a push, and Tinu was very generous in giving me feedback on my About page, as well as shared her experience of what’s it been like blogging for her.  She helped send me on my way.

Here is Tinu’s bio from her About page:

The oldest daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Tinu was born in Mattapan, Massachusetts, raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland and lives with her White/Somewhat Irish lawyer husband in Boston, Massachusetts.  She earned an English degree, Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership, and Law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is a proud graduate of UNC’s Creative Writing Program, an honored recipient of the Wanda Chappell Scholarship, and former Editor of Virtuous Woman Campus Magazine.  Her writing has been featured in BlogHerThe Review Review, The African Immigrant Journal, Racialicious, Love Isn’t Enough, The Fresh and has been an Editor’s Pick on
I truly enjoy Tinu’s style of writing, and sense of humor when it comes to writing about her experiences of being in an interracial marriage.  Here’s a post of hers that I really got a kick out of–a piece about her worrying whether her white husband would be up for all the dancing involved for their wedding day.

Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: Feels So Close by Calvin Harris

18 Mar

Why did I choose this song?  Why, for the young, interracial romance playing out in the video…and, I do like the song.  Oh, and the elder gentleman with the lasso is pretty cool, too.  Enjoy, and look at the boy’s face at the very end of the video, right after he receives a kiss.  Ah, to be young, and in love….




All Right, I’m Finally Breaking Out The MJ

1 Mar

My friends, family, and especially my two daughters, know how much I love my MJ (Michael Jackson, if you really have to ask).  Even my daughters’ friends tease me about it.  At one sleepover, Leni’s friend June, upon spotting my MJ  pajama top, said, “You’re really obsessed with Michael Jackson aren’t you?  That’s kind of bizarre.”

Yes, lovely June, at age 10, was a bit precocious, but, perhaps  not far off the mark.  It’s not like I live in a home stuffed with MJ memorabilia, but when he passed away, I pulled out the box in my basement stuffed with magazines, two MJ dolls (still in the box), t-shirts, pins and MJ trading cards, and kept a few things out around the house to remind me of him, and his greatness as an entertainer.

I had  loved Michael since I was eight, and when I was a mature ten years old, I conjured up all kinds of fantasies on how we would meet and then marry.  This is my favorite, one that I thought up when my family was planning a vacation to California, and the one I thought had the most chance of working: […]

We Are All The Same

24 Feb

 My former husband used to turn the NPR station on every morning, drink his coffee to it and then go to work, leaving the radio on. One morning, I was listening to his radio the only way you can when bent over your chair tying your sneakers at the kitchen table. It was an in-and-out kind of listening, until something grabbed my attention. […]

My Six-Word Memoir

19 Feb

A few months ago, I came across a book in the bookstore–a compilation of six-word memoirs, called, Not Quite What I Was Planning  By Writers Famous and Obscure.  The idea was to write your life story in six words. You had to say a lot in very little.  Not even thinking, I instantly wrote my own right there at the bookshelf.


Will You Be Mine?

14 Feb

choc vanilla heart cookie

I originally named my blog, Wendy Jane’s Black Crush, because I thought it  would reflect how much I liked black people. But then I attended Hollis Gillespie’s Famous Atlanta Blogging Workshop this past summer. Hollis’s co-instructor, Mike Alvear, said, “that name sounds like a white chick who is into black guys.” I knew my love was much broader than that, and while I will write about the white gal/black guy thing, I did go ahead and change the name of my blog to Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake.

I also changed the launch date of WJSS. I thought I’d start on Monday, you know, beginning of the week.. it seemed like a logical and tidy thing to do. But, then I remembered Tuesday was Valentines Day, and I thought, “Perfect!” This will be my Valentine to black people to let them know how much I like them.

Now I know saying “black people” is going to get me into trouble.  It’s like I’m putting all the black people in the world in a generic, one-size-fits-all basket. Whether you’re black or white, you might be scratching your head and thinking, she likes us just for the color of our skin?  Or, she likes them  just for the color of their skin?  You’re thinking, people are individuals—you might not like some of us, some of us might be jerks, just like we may not like some of you, because some of you might be jerks. I’m sorry, but I don’t have an answer yet on why I’ve always wanted to make connections across color lines.  Nor do I have a solution for, at times, using the generic term, black people.

For today, all I want to say is, “Welcome to Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake.

Will You Be Mine?”