Coming up – Conversations about Blackness in Colombia

🚨New episode drops tomorrow at 1 pm cst 🚨

Catch a glimpse of my conversation with Colombian artist Alexander Paz and American artist Traveon Dinell Rogers as we talk about race, colorism and how it all intersects in Colombia.

BLLJ: A conversation with Tony Diaz

Audio only version.

On the show today is Writer, activist, and professor Tony Diaz as we discuss the ramifications of Coronavirus on the black and latino populations. We dive into the Harris County mask order that went into effect last week here in Houston, TX and we look at how Covid-19 has been weaponized to target the Democratic base.

Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, was the first Chicano to earn an MFA from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. He wrote the novel THE AZTEC LOVE GOD and is included in HECHO EN TEJAS: The Anthology of Texas Mexican Writers edited by Dagoberto Gilb. His essays have appeared in the Houston Chronicle, Texas Observer, CNN.com, the Los Angeles Times, and Huffington Post Latino Voices, among others. He edited the textbook “The Mexican American Studies Toolkit”.

Jasminne Mendez – dicusses her new book, “Night Blooming Jasmin(n)e”, Afro-Dominican roots and Journey with Scleroderma and Lupus

Night Blooming Jasmin(n)e published Art Público Press Houston, TX

For Jasminne Méndez, pericardial effusion and pericarditis are not just an abnormal accumulation of fluid and increased inflammation around the heart. It’s what happens “when you stifle the tears and pain of a miscarriage, infertility and chronic illness for so long that your heart does the crying for you until it begins to drown because its tears have nowhere to go.”

Diagnosed with scleroderma at 22 and lupus just six years later, her life becomes a roller coaster of doctor visits, medical tests and procedures. Staring at EKG results that look like hieroglyphics, she realizes that she doesn’t want to understand them: “The language of a life lived with chronic illness is not something I want to adapt to. I cannot let this hostile vocabulary hijack my story.”

The daughter of Dominican immigrants, Méndez fought for independence against her overly-protective parents, obtaining a full scholarship to college, a dream job after school and a master’s degree shortly thereafter. But the full- time job with medical insurance doesn’t satisfy her urge to write and perform, so she leaves it in search of creative fulfillment. In this stirring collection of personal essays and poetry, Méndez shares her story, writing about encounters with the medical establishment, experiences as an Afro Latina and longing for the life she expected but that eludes her.

JASMINNE MÉNDEZ is a Macondo and Canto Mundo Fellow, as well as a Voices of Our Nations Arts (VONA) alumna. She is the author of a multi-genre memoir, Island of Dreams (2013), winner of an International Latino Book Award. She lives and works in Houston, Texas.

Arte Público Press : https://artepublicopress.com/

Music by : Idyll Green https://soundcloud.com/idyll-green

Promo by : Sam Osborne Instagram: @yzbeatz713

Instagram: @bootleglikejazz