Dance Dance Revolution



I was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Staten Island, New York and Atlanta, Georgia. Yes, that made for a somewhat schizoid childhood; I quickly learned to flip back and forth between two accents. I like to think that sort of flexibility helped me in my journalism career. After graduating from Dartmouth College, I horrified my parents by pursuing a career in modern dance. My brief dance career took me around the world, during which time I decided that I’d rather be writing about the cities I visited than being stuck in a dusty theater doing plies. So it was off to grad school for me.


I was the arts writer for the Washington Post’s Style section; I got my start in newspapers at the Chicago Tribune. In nearly two decades in the business, I’ve covered everything from the fashion shows in Milan to KKK rallies to life in Kabul, Afghanistan right after the fall of the Taliban. I am obsessed with travel, and have lived in Guatemala and Mexico. I’ve watched nine babies being born in an exceedingly cold maternity ward in Kabul. I’ve seen LL Cool J in his underwear (he stripped down during the course of an interview); had Wyclef Jean throw a bottle of Evian water on me; and watched a badly bruised Amy Winehouse smack herself repeatedly in the face (apparently, she didn’t want her picture taken).  

When I’m Not in Front of the Tube

I’m the senior culture writer for The Root, reviewing movies, TV shows, writing essays and thinking deep and not-so-deep thoughts. I’m a big fan of books, ashtanga yoga, my husband, Rollie, and our new puppy, Roscoe. I’m also very, very sloooowly working on a book about race.

Would you rather watch “I Love New York” or “Flavor of Love”? Do you have to ask?

“Girlfriends,” “Living Single” or “Sex and the City”? “Sex and the City.”

Who was your favorite character on “The Wire”? Why?  Bubbles!

Which Housewife of Atlanta best describes you? Oh, God. None of the above!

What TV family best describes yours? The Cosbys.

What’s your all-time favorite album? It’s a toss-up between “Purple Rain,” “1999,” and “Sign O’ The Times.” Yes, I realize that I am showing my age.

If the title of any song could describe you, what would it be? “Little Red Corvette.” Or Jarabe de Palo’s “Bonito.”

Duke Ellington or John Coltrane? Trane, for sure.

What was the first CD you bought? Drawing a blank on this one. Suffice it to say that the first CD I bought was a “45.” Look it up, Millenials.


Favorite album of 2009? TV On The Radio’s “Dear Science.”

Which artist could sing the soundtrack to your life? Prince

Biggie or Tupac? Tupac

Maxwell or D’Angelo? Maxwell

What’s your favorite Spike Lee Joint? "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts"


Favorite movie of 2009? Slumdog Millionaire

Favorite movie of all-time? It’s a toss-up between “All About Eve” and “All That Jazz”


Denzel or Poitier? They call him Mr. Poitier!!!

Denzel in “Mo’ Better Blues” or Denzel in “Devil in a Blue Dress”? “Devil in a Blue Dress”


Angela Bassett or Halle Berry? Halle. But only because I just cut off all my hair.  

“Boyz n the Hood” or “The Wood”? Boyz in the Hood

Ossie and Ruby? Or Will and Jada? Ossie and Ruby.

Harlem Renaissance or the Black Arts Movement? Harlem Renaissance. It’s all about Langston & Zora. Or is it Zora & Langston?


Favorite book? Too many to name. But my favorite of the last year or so is Junot Diaz’s “The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” Swoon.

What are you reading now? My good friend Achy Obejas’ new novel, “Ruins.”