Biography Writing Teaching Appearances  

October 2011 Archives


What to do with all the candy that you receive tomorrow and that you have left over?  It's a yearly dilemma.  For me, I have been having a difficult time deciding what to do when my doorbell rings and lovely ghosts, angels, zombies, ballerinas come to my door asking for candy.  How can I, an individual with type 2 diabetes, hand out candy to a young population facing a health crisis of epidemic proportions:  child-onset diabetes.  


In 2008, the U.S. News and World Report published, "10 Things the Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Know."  The first five "things" on the list are:

(1) Junk food makers spend billions advertising unhealthy foods to kids

(2) The studies that food producers support tend to minimize health concerns associated with their products

(3) Junk food makers donate large sums of money to professional nutrition associations

(4) More processing means more profits, but typically make the food less healthy

(5) Less processed foods are generally more satiating than their highly processed counterparts

How can you counter the onslaught of the food industry cajoling you to give them money so you can place their product in your child's hands, which in turn will make your child very sick?  I asked a number of friends and colleagues for imaginative alternatives and the best answers I received were suggestions to go to the dollar store or craft store where I could either buy or put together a little gift bag of erasers, pens/pencils, small pads of paper, etc.  

gift bag ideas.jpeg
GIFT BAG IDEAS:  note little leggos, pencils, items that encourage creativity!

Now here is where we could all come up with amazing and imaginative alternatives than feeding these children sugar which will keep them sleepless, grumpy, colic, even depressed. This does not mean giving up cultural traditions such as having sugar skulls on Dia de Los Muertos Altares-- just don't eat the skulls!  Take pictures with them instead!  

These are just a few ideas leading to alternative "safe" and easy items to give trick or treaters.  You are refusing to fund the corporate food giant in this country!

Sending you all safe and healthy energies para esta semana!  

A longer version of this post is on "La Bloga."  I post with La Bloga every other Sunday.  Here is the link:

This week at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), the African American and African Studies Program is celebrating its 40th birthday.  In 1971, "Black Studies" arrived at UNL and has since evolved into a national and transnational program of study.  This week presentations and panels will focus on how far we have come, where we are at this moment in history (that some want to call "post-racial"), and the triumphs, burdens, commitments we carry into the 21st century.  

If you're in the Lincoln, Nebraska area-- please come and join us!  

African American and African Studies 40th Anniversary Events 

 Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Where:  Dudley Bailey Library (UNL)

What:  Showing of film and discussion on, "Wounded Knee"

Who:  Dr. Tom Gannon, English and Ethnic Studies Professor


Day of Service

Two community-based service projects at


1. Clyde Malone Center

2. F Street Community Center

Who:  Dr. Jeannette Jones has organized these events



Where:  International Quilt Studies Center (33rd St. & Holdredge St.)

Who:  Dr. Pearlie Johnson, Visiting Professor of Black Studies

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Title of talk:  "African American Quilts:  Teaching the Past

Through Quilting"



Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center (UNL)

Who:  Dr. Kwakiutl Dreher presents--"Reel Clips:  Contemporary

Glimpses From the Classroom"

Series of short films on black cinema created by Dr. Dreher's students


Thursday, October 20, 2011



Where:  Southeast Community College

Who:  Dr. Michael Honey, Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Professor of the Humanities

at the University of Washington-Tacoma

will be speaking on African-American civil rights and labor history



Panel Title:  "Critical Black Studies in a Globalized World" 

Who:  Dr. Lisa B. Thompson (SUNY Albany, English); Dr. Michael Combs (UNL, Political Science); Gerise Herndon (Nebraska Wesleyan); Chantal Kalisa (UNL, Modern Languages)

Moderators:  Dr. Alice Kang (UNL Political Science and Ethnic Studies) and

Dr. Jeannette Jones (UNL History and Ethnic Studies)

Where:  Dudley Bailey Library, Andrews Hall (UNL)


7:00p.m. (FIRST KEYNOTE)

Where:  UNL City Union, Auditorium

Who:  Acclaimed activist/author, Mark Mathabane delivers keynote

Mark Mathabane is famed author of _Kaffir Boy _

Title:  "Our Common Humanity and the Importance of Education"

--book signing after lecture


Friday, October 21, 2011



Where:  Dudley Bailey Library, Andrews Hall (UNL)

Who:  Dr. Lisa B. Thompson, Associate Professor of English

University of Albany, SUNY, (literary critic and playwright), author of _Beyond the Black Lady _

Title:  "Black Studies in the Age of Post-Blackness" (Dr. Thompson examines the challenges facing Black Studies in an age that some critics has pronounced as post-racial and considers the ways contemporary black theater challenges the notion of post-blackness)

--book Signing after lecture



What:  One-woman show, "In a Smoke-Filled Room"

Who:  Dr. Kwakiutl Dreher, Associate Professor of English and Ethnic Studies

Where:  Ted Sorensen Theater, Lincoln High School (2229 J Street)


Saturday, October 22, 2011


Theme of Day:  "Civil Rights Legacies"

Where: UNL City Campus Union--Heritage Room

8:30-9:00a.m., registration and refreshments


What:  "African Heritage in Latino Culture"

When:  9:15-10:30a.m.

Where:  Heritage Room--UNL City Campus Union

Who:  Dr. Sergio Wals, UNL Political Science and Ethnic Studies; Dr. James Garza, UNL History and Ethnic Studies; Dr. Amelia M.L. Montes, UNL English and Ethnic Studies


10:30-10:45a.m. Refreshment BREAK


What:  "Rainbow Justice:  LGBTQ Individuals of Color and Civil Rights"

When:  10:45-noon

Where: Heritage Room--UNL City Campus Union

Who:  Reverend Karla Cooper, Quinn Chapel AME Church; Dr. Amelia Montes, Associate Professor of English and Director, The Institute for Ethnic Studies at UNL; Sindu Sathiyaseelan, UNL Graduate Student in the Department of English at UNL; Andrew Lim, International Student

LUNCH BREAK:  noon - 1:15p.m.



Who:  Dr. Michael Honey, Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Professor of the Humanities

at the University of Washington-Tacoma

Title of Keynote:  "Martin Luther King:  Labor and the Long Civil Rights Movement." 

When:  1:30-3:00p.m.

Where: Heritage Room--UNL City Campus Union


3:00-3:30p.m. Refreshment BREAK



Who:  Martha Prescod Norman Noonan, civil rights veteran, community organizer, history teacher specializing in the civil rights movement

When:  3:30-5p.m.

Where: Heritage Room--UNL City Campus Union


Book signing all day Saturday, October 22nd at the City Campus Union  Heritage Room