Weekend Reading: Motherhood, Wynton Marsalis, Arizona, Oil Spill and stuff..

Some stories from The Root and around the Web you might have missed in the mad rush of the week.

British-Jamaican writer Andrea Levy - Getty Images


With all the doom and gloom around New Orleans, it was good to hear that the annual Jazz Fest gave the city a needed boost. But Lolis Eric Elie, writing from his native city, says the danger now is a flood of corporate money. This year’s Jazz & Heritage Festival festival didn’t have much jazz and he sees signs of Disneyfication. A new reason to worry about the Big Easy.


Let’s face it, President Obama’s face should feel a little flush about now. The oil spill has got to be an embarrassment. The president’s cave-in a few weeks ago on off-shore drilling not only caught everyone by surprise, it was so unnecessary. A lot of the media assumed it was a bone to the conservatives — again.   Even in pronouncing it, the Boss didn’t seem to have his heart in it. The Gulf spill brings it all back, like heartburn – a reminder that abandoning your principles makes you more like the other politicians we were hoping to avoid when we put you in the White House, as Pulitzer Prize winner ER Shipp pointed out in her column for the Root.

Paul Delaney, the former New York Times correspondent and editor, took a different angle on the story, and pointed out how the rig disaster and the coal mine deaths have already altered the debate on energy policy, putting the President in a tough spot. But hey, that’s why we pay you the big bucks and hand you the nuclear button, bro.



The week we published a black take on the British elections, which was a good thing. Blacks in the UK had a lot at stake with vigorous debates on illegal immigration,  discrimination and employment on the table. Belinda Otas gave us a good panorama of the issues. A record number of blacks candidates ran for Parliament, hoping to increase their number from 15 in Gordon Brown’s last government.

One black Brit who should be better known to African-American readers is  Andrea Levy, a prize-winner author of Jamaican origin. She has written a series of historical novels set in Jamaica.  Her latest book, “The Long Song,” take place toward the end of slavery in Jamaica and suggests a good summer read. Washington Post reviewer Tayari Jones, says you’ll get a fresh angle on the issue of slavery. “..what separates “The Long Song” from many American reimaginings of slavery is its Jamaican setting,”writes Jones. “As in most Caribbean slave states, Jamaica’s enslaved population far outnumbered the English enslavers. As a result, there is a constant shifting of power at the center of all of the relationships on the plantation.”We love shifts of power, especially if they involve uppity Negroes.