Crucial Minutia
it's the little things...
Felice Belle
Stakes Is High: Sticks and Stones
3 Comments | posted April 15th, 2007 at 12:09 pm by Felice Belle

Snoop Dogg Speaks Out

As a black woman with a blog column, I somehow felt obligated to address the whole Don Imus situation, when all I really want to do this week is write about poetry.

Thankfully, Snoop Dogg stepped up and made an official statement, Oprah held a two-day Town Hall meeting and Don Imus was fired, so technically I’m off the hook.

Let’s talk about poems.

Isobel invited me to attend Poetry and the Creative Mind, The Academy of American Poets annual gala at Lincoln Center. Each year The Academy invites an assorted collection of actors, artists and public figures to read their favorite poems. This year’s featured readers included Lauren Bacall, William F. Baker, Glenn Close, David Halberstam, Ethan Hawke, Jules Feiffer, John Simon, Wendy Whelan, Dianne Wiest and Alfre Woodard.

All through the reading, I was reminded of the beauty, power and possibility inherent in words. I scribbled favorite lines in my program. I remembered why I first fell in love with poetry.

At the reception afterwards, we ate mini-hamburgers with John Simon and his delightful wife (who coincidentally was my friend Dot’s musical theater teacher at Marymount College). Later in the evening, David Halberstam and Jules Feiffer grabbed the empty seats at our table. My friends and I sat fascinated as they reminisced about Kukla, Ollie and Fran (a rarely credited precursor to my generation’s Muppets). By the time Jules Feiffer went into his rendition of the show’s theme song, we were rolling with laughter. It was one of those fantastic New York nights.

Eventually, a New York Times reporter snatched David Halberstam away, but Jules Feiffer stuck around and we had a most engaging conversation about racism, the public education system in New York and yes, Don Imus.

Snoop Dogg believes that his rampant use of the word “ho” is different than Imus’. He explains that rappers are “talking about hoes that’s in the ‘hood that ain’t doing sh–, that’s trying to get a n—a for his money.” No really, that is his argument. (note: I will reserve my ire about “the n-word” for a subsequent post)

The thing about words is that they are inextricably bound to their meaning. I use the word table, you visualize a flat surface with four legs. Seems simple enough.

According to Snoop, “these songs [are] coming from our minds and our souls [they] are relevant to what we feel.”

Perhaps, Don Imus was just speaking from his soul when he called the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team a bunch of “nappy headed hoes.”

Or maybe words are more powerful than either Snoop or Imus would care to admit.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 15th, 2007 at 12:09 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are currently 3 responses

  1. Nicole

    See, Snoop is talking about the proverbial ‘ho’. You know it’s thrown out there for those who might actually be; well, a ‘ho’.

    April 17th, 2007 | 10:41 pm
  2. I’ve been composing my reply to your post for the past week and keep forgetting to write it here when I get to the computer.

    Then I saw the headline this evening that David Halberstam was killed in a car accident yesterday, and I made it back here eventually.

    My short response was that I’m glad you wrote about poetry. There are always other people to talk about race and news and all that. But there are so few people who will talk about poetry, especially as beautifully as you do — so please do follow your gut when you feel the urge to post something as lovely as this. I love New York nights like the one you describe here.

    April 23rd, 2007 | 8:52 pm
  3. Robb Leigh Davis

    Didn’t you know that an “around the way ho” and a Rutgers ho are on different ends of the ho scale?

    Ho-ness runs a full spectrum from the ho who didn’t hold the door for you when you were trying to catch the train to the ho hangin’ round with your cousin Ree-Ree and ‘dem over to the bodega.

    And lest we forget the three ho’s celebrated every Christmas when Santa comes.

    April 23rd, 2007 | 10:12 pm

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