I wasn’t really interested in, and didn’t have the capacity for, longreads this week—many of which were about the pandemic. Instead, I focused on shorter stories, and quick snippets from the internet.
Highlights: Remembering David C. Driskell, the last train trip before everything changed, music as the “landscape of our future,” Zsela’s haunting covers, Doja Cat might be the Shakespeare of our time, LiLo is back, Paul Chan loves Cats, a couple broke up over buried beans, veganism is not like the civil rights movement, and 5G did not cause coronavirus.
David C. Driskell—the scholar, artist, and curator who was pivotal in creating mainstream dialogues about African American art—died on April 1 at the age of 88. This moving article about his life sits at the nexus of obituary and personal essay.
Throughout the piece Taylor Renee Aldridge writes about what she has learned from Driskell, and describes how his “approach was holistic in how he tended to the artistic lineage of Black folks, and why we attend to a method of beauty.” In reference to his legacy Aldridge writes, “we should consider what it means to work against the grain of continued erasure when there have been little to no examples of how to go about such an ambitious task,” questioning “What is required of a person to insist that they belong in ‘mainstream’ spaces guided by ignorance? How does one develop the courage to hoist and insert the authenticity of a culture that has been continuously misunderstood, misrepresented, or made invisible?”
For Aldridge and many others, one of Driskell’s most important and profound lessons was “teaching us all how to see beauty in places that were intentionally overlooked.”