What is your idea of misery? Ahhh, misery and I are intimately connected. Misery is being surrounded by people but being isolated and lonely at the same time. Misery is having no escape from disease of mediocrity, complacency, and ghetto mentality when all you long for is communion with like-minds. Having dreams, seeing them clearly in your mind, feeling them in your soul, and having them remain unmanifested is the very definition of misery.
Where would you like to live? I would always like to maintain a home in Atlanta, even if I don’t live there. Atlanta is my spiritual center, it is the place I became the woman I am today. I would also very much like to have homes in NYC and Miami. I love the energy and vibrancy of New York but I hate the cold weather. Miami is a perfect climate for me to have a botanical garden the likes of which no one has ever seen before and that will feed thousands with exotic, tropical fruits from around the world. My twilight years will be spent in the outskirts of Nairobi, gardening, meditating, writing, and avoiding the din and the noise of technology and “civilization.”
What qualities do you admire most in a man? I admire HONESTY, truthfulness, veracity, and straightforwardness most in a man and any other words that are synonyms for honesty. I love a man with integrity; a man whose personal moral compass that is pointed directly towards doing what’s right, even when it’s difficult. I tremendously respect a man who is a citizen of the world and who is not at all xenophobic, sexist, patriarchal, or misogynist. A man who has redefined what manhood means, who has divested himself of the trappings of masculinity is a man who makes my heart skip a beat and who gets extra points in my book. Wildly creative, intellectual, open-minded, sensual, talented men head to the front of the line. Did I mention a man who is honest? I am driven to distraction by a man who is a pathological truther.
What qualities do you admire most in a woman? Hands down, without question, INTELLECT is the quality I admire most in a woman. Not just a woman who is smart, but an IQ that is off the freakin’ charts kinda intelligent. I respect, admire, and adore any woman who is an academic and a scholar. I gravitate towards women who are unapologetic feminists and don’t define themselves by sexist standards of femininity and beauty. Include in that category any Black woman who has relinquished her need to have long, straight, flowing, hair and you’ve got the complete package.
What is your chief characteristic? I’m going to interpret this question to mean, what is my most dominant character trait. If I had to pick one, I’d choose . . . integrity. Maybe there is some sort of way to sneak creativity in with that. Let’s see. I possess unparalleled integrity and that leads me to be the very best I can be, and that includes my relentless dedication to being the best writer I can be. That works for me.
What is your principal fault? I have inherited my mother’s propensity to be unfailingly pessimistic. I work on it. It is certainly not as detrimental a fault as my mother possesses but I think I get into a funk where I say, “Woe is me,” rather than counting my many blessings and knowing that I have inherent value as a person.
What is your greatest extravagance? I don’t understand the question. In the course of one’s lifetime, I would imagine that one would have many extravagances. I am a lover of tea. I love herbal teas and tisanes more than anyone should. I’m addicted to teas. I am always on the hunt for a new, exotic tea and I will only ever sweeten my teas with honey. Preferably, raw, organic honey. I guess a lot of people would identify my tea snobbishness as an extravagance.
What faults in others are you most tolerant of? This is a wonderful question as I’ve been accused of being judgmental in light of the recent Ashley Madison scandal. I am tolerant of a great many faux-pas from people I love. The people I love, however, tend to be introspective, trying to grow, evolve, and correct their mistakes, not hold on to them and certainly not trying to justify them. I am completely intolerant of those same behaviors from people I don’t know or people who defend their heinous behaviors and deflect responsibility for the hurt that they have caused. So, let’s say, I abhor cheating. I loathe the individuals who cheat and who lie about it, who never take responsibility for their heinous behavior and find ways to deflect their own responsibility for their actions, and I am loving and tolerant of my close friends who have cheated and who sincerely are working on being better people and not making the same poor choices. So, in essence, we can apply the same reasoning to a host of other ills and mistakes people make. As long as I see inherent value in the person, and I know and love them, I’m willing to love them with all their blemishes and mistakes, as long as they are genuinely working towards evolving and healing.
What do you value most about your friends? Every friend brings something different to the table. None of my friends have a singular trait consistent in all of them that makes me drawn to them. Some friends are creative, other loyal to a fault, others are radical thinkers and innovators. Some friends are just people I have been drawn to, whom I love unconditionally, and who I will forever love . . . just because. I have friends who are the complete opposite me, friends who, on paper, would seem that we have nothing in common. But some of those same friends I would go to the ends of the earth and back for. I love hard. My friends are people who have touched my heart in some way and they are vastly different.
What characteristic do you dislike most in others? Lying. Pathological liars are reprehensible to me.
What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself? I struggle a great deal with confronting people for their behaviors that are dysfunctional. I don’t mean close friends, I mean acquaintances. I’m trying to find the balance between speaking my mind and letting it go. I try to weigh the situation in my head, analyze the person’s level of consciousness and then decide if they will hear and understand what I’m saying or if they won’t process or hear me because of their own cognitive dissonance. Even when I determine that they are too dysfunctional to see their own detrimental behaviors, I STILL have conversations in my mind, over and over and over, where I confront them. I hate that. I hate that I can’t just let it go. I hate that I feel like I have some imperative to address them, even when I know that there won’t be any sort of amicable resolution. I hate that I don’t trust my own intuition and awareness of people’s states of cognition enough to just say, “They aren’t going to change, let it go,” and have that be enough.
What is your favourite virtue? Honesty
What is your favourite occupation? Most people aren’t in the career of their dreams so I would guess this question is meant to be for them, to ask what they would like to do with their lives. I am doing the occupation of my dreams so that would be my favorite. Other than my own, I admire physicists the most. They are my theologians. I’m fascinated by how the universe works, how consciousness affects atoms.
What would you like to be? I AM already everything I want to be.
What is your favourite colour? My favorite colors are earth tones. I love browns, beiges, tans and spice colors. I love anything in the orange family, I live rust and pumpkin, autumn colors. I love red and burgundy and maroon. I’m not such a lover of greens so much. I dislike strongly gem colors. Sapphire, Emerald, Amethyst . . . YUCK!
What is your favourite flower? My favorite flower is the calla-lily. It is so exotic and gorgeous.
What is your favourite bird? The penguin. My uncle turned me on to this documentary about penguins and after that, I loved them. They mate for life and they go through this elaborate ritual where they travel for hundreds of miles to the place where they were born to give birth. The male penguins protect their mates from the wind and elements in this gorgeous circle where they literally surround them with love. The females give birth and then march back to the ocean to frolic and play while the males stay to nurture the eggs until they hatch then they are the primary caregivers to the babies. Then, they all march back to the ocean to be with their mates/mothers. To me, it is one of the most brilliant examples of how perfect the universe is.
What historical figure do you admire the most? I know it’s going to sound cliché but Martin Luther King, Jr. but not because of the media’s attempts to portray him as some sort of white people’s ally. He was brave beyond measure. He knew that his life was on the line for the change he was trying to facilitate and he didn’t back down. He was a BRILLIANT orator. His ability to use words compares to none. And contrary to white, popular, racist belief, he was unapologetic in his attack on racism/whiteness, capitalism, and war. I consider myself a student of his methods and I would like to think that I am picking up the torch and carrying it onwards, only adding gender and sexuality issues to my plate.
What character in history do you most dislike? Awww man, I’m going to piss off a lot a people with this one. The character in history I dislike the most is Jesus. Now, I don’t dislike the character of Jesus because he of how he is depicted. He is portrayed as a pretty cool guy, someone I would love to be friends with. He was honest, he was concerned with lifting consciousness of people, (Hey, much like myself!), he fed the hungry, he healed the sick. He stole from the rich to give to the poor. Wait, I think I’m getting my fictional characters mixed up. Anyway, what’s not to like? BUT, here’s my problem with the character of Jesus, he was a CHARACTER. He wasn’t the son of God, he was a man, flesh and blood conceived the exact same way you and I and everyone on the planet. God is not a man. God is not a male in the sky. God is not a father. God isn’t in human form. God isn’t even comprehensible by the human mind. God didn’t have a son. God didn’t impregnate anyone to have a male child. The entire concept of God is wrong so therefore, the concept of his son can’t be real.
“God” is pure consciousness. “God” is the energy that animates atoms, and atoms make up every single thing in the Universe. God is nature. God is the seasons. God is the perfect harmony of how everything works together. God is not, has never been, will never be, can never be a (white) male up in the sky. So the concept that Jesus is the son of God is bullshit.
IF there was a person named Jesus, and there is just as much EVIDENCE to support that there was a human being that walked the earth named Jesus as there is EVIDENCE to disprove that he even existed, my issue with the concept of Jesus is that he perpetuates a belief that is detrimental to my people. The concept of Jesus perpetuates the idea that God is outside of ourselves, that God is a male, that God is some heavenly father with petty, vindictive, human traits. As long as the masses are tied to the belief that God is a man, that the savior is a male, as long as people believe that God had preference and bestowed one single individual with magic powers that only the big white male sky daddy can grant, we are spiritually crippled as a people. Add to that, Jesus was the tool used to control slaves and I have got to cut him loose. Jesus ain’t no friend of mine.
Who are your favourite prose authors? Top three, in order. 1. Toni Morrison. What she does with the written word is other-worldly. She is the best, no comparison. I don’t even have words to describe her craft. 2. Anne Rice. I cheered out loud for Tale of the Body Thief and I was changed forever by Memnoch the Devil. 3. And my most recent favorite author is Gabriel García Márquez. I’m addicted to him. I’ve only read his work in English but I can only imagine that his work is even more moving in his native tongue.
Who are your favourite poets? I’m not a big fan of poetry. I don’t know enough about it to know what’s good and what’s bad. I LOVE the poetry of Rumi and I memorized his poem, “Looking for your Face,” to recite it by heart. I have a couple of CD of Black revolutionary poetry from the 60s that I love to listen and my favorite poems from them are consistently Countee Cullen but, I’ve never been motivated enough to pick up a book so I don’t think that really counts. That’s sort of lazy to say that he’s a favorite.
Who are your favourite heroes in fiction? My favortite heroes in fiction? Can I say Jesus to redeem myself from the previous answer? No? OK, I’ll go with Lestat in the Vampire Chronicles. I’m not a vampire fan. I have never seen a Twilight movie, show, or book. But, I was addicted to Anne Rice’s series and I went from hating Lestat to loving him and I was emotionally invested in his evolution. Because of my multi-book relationship with him, despite the fact that there wasn’t a Black person in any of the books, I’m going to have to say he’s my favorite.
Who are your heroes in real life? My grandfather was the smartest, most amazing man I’ve ever met in my life.
Who is your favourite painter? My favorite painter is Dia Scott and my favorite sculptor is Woodrow Nash.
Who is your favourite musician? If I’m ever kidnapped and the kidnappers call with a ransom demand, I insist that whomever is in charge of my estate require proof of life. If they can’t put the phone up to my mouth so that I can recite every word of “As” by Stevie Wonder, I’m dead, don’t even bother paying. Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, & Fire are the only two artists I would want if I were on a desert island.
What is your favourite food? I am primarily a lacto-ovo pescatarian. Essentially, that means I am a vegetarian who eats dairy, eggs, and fish. I do eat meat, but it’s sparingly. The meal I could have every day is salmon, a huge salad with tons of veggies and toppings, and some sort of grain. I will never tire of eating that meal.
What is your favourite drink? My favorite non-alcoholic drink is fresh mango and pineapple juice. My favorite cocktail is an Afrotini: Vanilla Vodka, Bailey, Kahlua, and cream.
What are your favourite names? The Jews say that the name of God cannot be pronounced or spoken. Dey was wrong, dey was dead ass wrong. If you are blessed enough to speak the name Adeshola Adetola, a chorus of little brown cherubs will descend from heaven and start playing the pan-flute, a few trumpets, and I’m pretty sure there will be a harpsicord in the mix as well. I am convinced that no sweeter sounding name has ever crossed anyone’s lips in the history of mankind.
What is it you most dislike? Liars.
What natural talent would you most like to possess? What is a natural talent? What is an unnatural talent for that matter? The talent I’d like most to possess is the ability to play the piano. I would love to be able to play the piano without sheet music, to listen to a song and then play the song on the piano, I would love to be an accomplished piano player.
How do you want to die? I want to be in Kenya, disconnected from all technology, surrounded by all my friends, and go peacefully in my sleep in my home.
What is your current state of mind? Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood. I’m in a New York state of mind. OK, I thought I would lighten things of for the two people who are actually still reading this. Overall I’m optimistic and looking forward to the next phase of my life. I see signs of hope for the collective evolution of my people every day where I previously saw none. That inspires me to keep going. I love who I am, who I have become despite my numerous trials, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I have survived and I see nothing but great things in my future.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment is AfroerotiK. AfroerotiK is the foundation of a paradigmatic shift in the mental, emotional, sexual, and social consciousness of Africans born in AmeriKKKa. AfroerotiK is greater than I ever imagined it could have been. It is the ultimate model of healthy Black relationships, intimacy and sensuality; it speaks to a sense of pride in our history, our unique culture and our identity. divorced from the detrimental messages we have acquired because of our enslavement by people who would otherwise convince us that everything inherent to us was ugly. In Loving Color, Sensu-Soul, and Minority Affairs are all vehicles to lift the consciousness of African Americans and to eradicate the fallacy of white supremacy.
What is your motto? We must excel, not just exist!