Fine Wine in a Plastic Cup

Illustration for article titled Fine Wine in a Plastic Cup


A friend of mine once described my cultural tastes as fine wine in a red plastic cup. Some would gawk at such a comparison. But I thought the description was quite fitting. For instance: The two songs I’m dying to do at karaoke are Rufus/Chaka Khan’s “Sweet Thing” and Biggie’s “Warning.” I can play the violin and will also get hype if a Baltimore club song from my heyday comes on the radio. I can watch “Sabrina” (the remake with Harrison Ford) a million times right alongside “Friday.”

My dichotomous tastes are a true reflection of my background. Until I was a preteen, I grew up in a New Jersey town where black faces were surprises. Then my mother packed us up to move to Baltimore where black faces were in abundance. I studied business as an undergrad and worked in corporate America only to find myself penning poems and writing about pop culture for local newspapers. But even now as a writer, you’ll still find me spouting marketing lingo from my former life. All of this is to say that when it comes to culture and well, life, I like what I like, even if the mixture seems strange.


When I’m Not in Front of the Tube
I work on book projects for adults and young people while focusing on my new ambition: writing screenplays. I read, read, and read some more. Then I talk about what I’ve read as a blogger for Books on The Root. When I’m not doing the above, I discipline my overweight cat. I talk smack with friends. I travel, and when I’m broke, I daydream about traveling. I scour thrift stores for $2.00 dresses. Oh, and on occasion, I drink fine wine in plastic cups.

Would you rather watch “I Love New York” or “Flavor of Love”? N/A

“Girlfriends,” “Living Single” or “Sex and the City”? If I’m basking in my independence, “Living Single.” If I’m feeling fabulous, “Sex and the City,” and if I’m feeling like me, which is a fabulous + independent combination, “Girlfriends.”

Who was your favorite character on “The Wire”? Why?  Omar, although Kima represented lovely.

Which Housewife of Atlanta best describes you? Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not real or reality television housewife material.

What TV family best describes yours? “Soul Food”

What’s your all-time favorite album? Uh! Favorite questions always give me anxiety. What if I forget about an album? What if I don’t like every single song? First one that comes to mind: Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life.


If the title of any song could describe you, what would it be? Got to go with Stevie again: “Isn’t She Lovely.”

Duke Ellington or John Coltrane? Coltrane

What was the first CD you bought? Moms got me Mama Said Knock You Out for Christmas one year. I think she liked the title.


Favorite album of 2009? Another favorite question. Geez. Okay, first one that came to mind: Peter Hadar’s EP She’s Four Months. Sexy and dope. Another one of my favorite combos.

Which artist could sing the soundtrack to your life? Marvin Gaye had such a great mix of songs from the political to the romantic to the sophisticated.


Biggie or Tupac? Biggie

Maxwell or D’Angelo? D’Angelo

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? Yeah this one is way too hard. I can tell you I’m a sucker for romantic comedies and mind-benders. I did love the original Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and was horrified when I had first learned of the remake.

Denzel or Poitier? Denzel

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


Angela Bassett or Halle Berry? Angela every day and twice on Sunday.  

“Boyz n the Hood” or “The Wood”? Boyz in the Hood, although I thought The Wood was cute—reminded me when I was a youngin’.


Ossie and Ruby? Or Will and Jada? Will and Jada need many more years, among other things, before they could touch Ossie and Ruby.

Harlem Renaissance or the Black Arts Movement? Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes. ‘Nuff said.


Favorite book? Oh now you’re really asking too much! But one book that I always like to point out as a really, really dope book, is Orange Laughter by Leone Ross. I just love this book. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read.

What are you reading now? Elizabeth Nunez’s Anna In-Between.

is a writer, speaker, author of books for adults and youth, and the book columnist for The Root. Her most recent book is \"The Message: 100 Life Lessons from Hip-Hop’s Greatest Songs.\" Visit her at