My Blog
Jalondra A. Davis -
My Blog

Fighting for Self in Middle of Nowhere

After living with my partner for two years, and after spending the past month in a PhD program where conversations on gender and sexuality are constant, I have become more aware of the way in which my life conforms to rather conventional gender norms. I do most of the cleaning, (though gratefully for both of us, I am not expected to cook), I wear an engagement ring signifying my “taken” status, and because of my unconventional academic schedule I often feel like a housewife as I welcome my future hubby home from work.

Debutantes and DJs: A Week in Theater

Growing up I always had an interest in theater and was involved with drama clubs, but my eager auditions (some at which I actually had to sing a song-terrifying) always resulted in the drama teacher assuaging me with no-line dance roles. I did not do much better in college theater classes and accepted that dance and writing would be my most apt modes of self-expression but I still enjoy catching plays when I can. I had the luck this summer to catch two events in one week. These two very different productions both looked at issues of race, class, and love in the mid twentieth century South.

Witnessing Real Love: Medicine for Melancholy

I admit, my recent engagement has inspired me with a weird mix of workaholism and counter-productivity; I feel more anxious than ever to take care of business but also find myself, at moments, daydreaming through life. I'm in love with my own love story, and inspired to seek out other depictions of love. My future sister-in-law recently lent meMedicine for Melancholy, the understated story of two young African American bohemes getting close in gentrifying San Francisco, and one of the most satisfying films that I have watched in a long time.

The Ring

I have been in a very happy healthy relationship with the love of my life for two years. And as much as I would have liked to buck Western tradition, it is in the big decisions of life (marriage, childrearing) when we realize which traditions we want to rewrite and which ones that we ultimately value. For all of our unorthodox ideas about the future, I held steadfast to this request of my partner: a beautiful ring to demonstrate his intentions and choice to me and to the world. Last Thursday he got down on his knee and gave it to me and my whole life changed.

Sun and Sexism at Sunday Drum

I had blog topics all planned for this month. I just had a great week in theater, that I will get to shortly, and I'm two movies behind writing on independent films. But I had an intense experience today in Leimert Park and can't think about much else.

Leimert Park has always been a safe haven for me. Everybody is welcome there. It has the World Stage, Eso Won Books, Black art, and the Sunday drum circle, when folks in the community get together by the fountain on Crenshaw and play and dance from whenever until whenever.

A Weekend in my LA

Last weekend was a busy one for me, so much so I think I may just be coming out of recovery. As I think back on it, I realize that last weekend was not only exhausting and immensely satisfying, it reminded me of all the things I love and hate about LA.

It started Thursday night with the fifties-themed reception for the Leimert Park Book Fair at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall. As much fun as I had dressing the part in a pin-striped sheath dress and pearls, I had to really rally up the energy to go and only planned to stay an hour.

Celebrating the Slash-Life with Sisters of Harmony

I just came back from a networking mixer and arts showcase for Sisters in Harmony hosted at Mama Sunshine’s Treasures in Inglewood. Surrounded by striking, eccentric, colorful Black art, I listened to writers that made me not just clap but actually want to buy their chapbooks, for the purpose of actually reading them, not just for good karma.  It was a funky, warm-spirited harmony of fly and holistic sisters in African jewelry, curve-swathing dresses and fierce shoes, who I knew immediately that I could speak to first without getting snubbed, of brothers who would compliment my work and ask me about myself without asking for my number.


Finally, vacation! After a crazy semester I've gotten a moment to breathe and catch up on all the things I have been wanting to do for months; clean out and organize my apartment,  spend time with family, tackle my reading list, rent all of the films I have been missing. I just finished Dee Rees' PARIAH and so enjoyed it, I plan on screening it for my Womanhood and Gender class next semester. PARIAH is a raw, painful, and at times, hilarious story of a young girl struggling to find her identity, in the midst of a family and community who continually try to determine for her what she should be.

Honoring Trayvon, Maintaining Focus

I would like to be writing now about films or music or the fabulous natural hair show that we just had at CSU Dominguez Hills but I can't...Trayvon Martin is uppermost in my mind. I have a brother and nephew named Trevon, and this has all really hit home for me. I know what my nephews mean to me, and what it would do to my family if one night one of them didn't come home. I am writing to share my own pain and outrage at the murder of Trayvon Martin, and awe and pride at the millions of people who have demonstrated in support of his family and in defiance of racial profiling.

Stillwaters' "A Night with Greatness" The Watts Prophets and the Last Poets

It's been a good couple of weeks in the arts for me. Some great films at the Pan African Film Festival, a beautiful performance of Shange's "For Colored Girls" at CSU Dominguez Hills, and, last night, bun-bun and I caught "A Night with Greatness: The Watts Prophets and the Last Poets" presented by Stillwaters in Inglewood. At $25 a head presale, $35 at the door, it was a bit pricey for a poetry event, but I think it was worth it and clearly, a lot of other people agreed.
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