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Tuesday, July 14, 2009
10 Questions with... Yayoi Lena Winfrey!
Yayoi Lena Winfrey is a writer, filmmaker and visual artist residing on the Left Coast. In 2002, she self-published an anthology called "Brothers and Others" featuring 28 Black women writing about Black men. Yayoi's feature film, Watermelon Sushi, is currently in development.
1. What are your cultural origins? I was born in Tokyo to a Japanese national and an African American soldier. 2. Name 5 beautiful things about your culture. Japanese: (1) The way history is preserved through statues and original artifacts, and the taiga (drama) of samurai/shogun life on NHK television. (2) The sound of enka (a traditional style of song). (3) The way the language is so descriptive and complicated. (4) The way the elderly are highly revered. (5) The sense of community and competition as a group. American of African descent: (1) The Haitian Revolution and the Statue of the Unknown Slave. (2) RastaFarI, reggae and Maroons like Granny Nanny. (3) The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and their Afros. (4) Brazilian Capoeira, Lucumi and Candomble and its Ifa roots. (5) The sense of community and competition as a group. (3) What is your favorite food outside of your own culture? Vietnamese vegan spring rolls served atop vegan pho. (4) Who is the most famous Brown Girl you have ever met? Halle Berry. (5) Can you dance? Can I dance?!? I taught Fayard Nicholas how to tapdance! I taught Michael Jackson how to Moonwalk! (6) What do you like the most about your appearance? I like that my hair often scares others. (7) Where is the most awe-inspiring place you have visited in the world? Everywhere I go, I find sacred spots from Ocho Rios, Jamaica to Waimea Falls, Oahu; from New Orleans to New York. I am awed by them all. (8) Which 3 living Brown Girls would you like to have tea with? My cuz, Oprah. My fave author, Toni Morrison. My fave activist, Winnie Mandela. (9) What is your favorite chocolate indiscretion? Chocolate men because I don't eat white sugar. (10) Currently, what is your favorite quote? "Walk down the middle and get shot down by both sides." Malcolm X

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