Monday, February 19, 2007

Live From West Palm Beach

Nat. H has NOT defected to the broadcast side of the news business; She is just giving an interview with a local station that filmed a reception and booksigning at her family's home in West Palm Beach, FL. Many city officials stopped by to wish The Natalies well and also see the the progress of the restoration of the house built in 1926 by a Renaissance-Era Tyrone: James Jerome "Cracker" Johnson, a a black man, who made his fortune in real estate and as a bootlegger/numbers runner. Historians say he loaned (bribed?) the city of West Palm Beach $50,000 to balance the budget during the Depression. West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel stopped by, bought a book and delivered some really kind remarks about Deconstructing Tyrone and the family's restoration efforts. Thanks to the Palm Beach Post, especially C.B. Hanif for coming out to Pyramids Bookstore the editor/historian Jan Tuckwood for stopping by the house and publishing this review. Thanks so much to Nat. H's mom Serena Hopkinson for hosting and organizing!
Update: Click HERE to read the article in the Palm Beach Post about the restoration project.

Friday, February 02, 2007

United States of Hip-Hop

Did we dream it?
Jump off yet another plane, open up the Sunday paper, skip to the Washington Post Book World section and here is this cover illustration for the Jan. 28 issue headlined "The United States of Hip-Hop." Inside are reviews three hip-hop related books, including Deconstructing Tyrone and To the Break of Dawn, a new book on hip-hop by our new BFF William Jelani Cobb. Must be a dream, since we just got back home from kicking it in Atlanta. Also: when Jelani agreed to blurb our book back in Feb. 2006, he jokingly predicted that our books might end up getting grouped together for reviews.
Was NOT a dream, which means that he must be clairvoyant, too...The layout in the print edition of Book World inside had pics of a fedora-and-blinged out Kwame Kilpatrick and other hip-hop generation folk. You can check out the dreamy-but-real review to our book HERE.
Later that week, the Natalies appeared on a panel discussion about black masculinity in hip-hop on Thursday (2/1) at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery which followed an advance screening of "Beyond Beats and Rhymes," Byron Hurt's fantastic documentary which will have its PBS premier on Feb. 20. Michael Eric Dyson was supposed to appear on the panel with us and Byron but he had a last-minute scheduling conflict. We still had a great discussion.
Well folks, our Tyrone done made it to the Smithsonian. Whodathunkit?