By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
As one who has spent quite a bit of time in my own attic over the last six years, I enjoyed Thulani's story very, very much. In my family's case, getting to know several hundred of our African American cousins, to whom we are related through Thomas Jefferson, has been an experience that neither I nor my brother and sisters would trade for anything. Recent DNA studies may show us that race is truly only skin-deep, but families like ours prove the old axiom that, as Americans, we're all related to one another is truer than any of us had ever thought.
SEEING THE LIGHT
As a person born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, I wanted to let you know that the story Thulani Davis wrote about finding her white past intrigued me. It made me look at the history of my city and the man who founded it in a whole new light. I just wanted to pass on my thanks and appreciation.
A DIFFERENT WORLD
What a wonderful story! People are people after all. Even in Ol' Dixie they marry and have children regardless of artificial constructs such as race.
Thulani Davis's attitude toward her "Confederate" ancestors surprises me. She is a black woman shocked and even outraged at finding she has white ancestors.
However, depending on one's point of view, she could also be described as a white woman with black ancestors. There is no point in taking sides with one set of ancestors against the other. They lived in a different world from ours.
Aldo H. Reyes
San Antonio, Texas
Ta-Nehisi Coates, I understand your feelings completely. I, too, am a member of the Condoleezza Rice Fan Club. Although I do not completely understand or agree with why she chooses to bend her amazing intellect to become such an outstanding, effective employee of George W. Bush, I definitely have become a fan. Perhaps it's because she stated she does not support gun control because black families living in her Southern hometown during the pre-civil rights era depended on guns to protect their homes from Klan and segregationist supporters' attacks. Perhaps it's because she stated she became a Republican because white Democrats blatantly worked to keep blacks from her hometown polls.
I do know that my admiration and respect for her moved me to write the prominent anchor of a popular morning news show to chastise him for addressing her as "Condi" in a formal interview, instead of the appropriate title "Madam Security Adviser" or "Dr. Rice."
Condi is cool!
For all you movie fans out there wondering what to do with your crummy old panned-and-scanned tapes, send them to The Village Voice, to the attention of Michael Atkinson. Mike, you have a bonanza of "restlessness" and "dynamism" awaiting you. Enjoy!
The Film Society of Lincoln Center
Upper West Side
Michael Atkinson replies: Thanks, Kent!
I found Michael Musto's tips about how to act when appearing on cable-TV shows to promote yourself and your work very helpful. Having had the opportunity to appear on a handful of shows to discuss my John Lennon biography, Nowhere Man (Quick American Archives), I'd like to add one more useful bit of information that Musto overlooked: Cross Your Legs. If you are a male, it looks especially vulgar to sit there with your legs spread apart, and it can be distracting to the viewer. On one occasion that I neglected to do this, the show's logo was superimposed dead center over my crotch. I've since noticed that a casual crossing of the legs is the first thing most male guests do when settling down to face their interviewer.
A VOICE IN THE DARK
It is so wonderful to find a website that isn't full of Republican rhetoric. I just discovered the Voice site today while reading David Brock's book Blinded by the Right. He mentioned The Village Voice. I can't believe I hadn't ever heard of it. I just wanted to say thank you for having an honest websiteseems like most of these people out here can't do that.
Oh, another thingWard Sutton's Schlock 'N' Roll is the best cartoon I have ever seen.
AT YOUR LEISURE
In Michael Feingold's as-usual brilliant column today ["Off Directing (Part I)," July 30-August 5], he mentions something about the Voice's upcoming "changes in format" which will restrict him to a shorter length. What gives? Don't tell me the Voice is becoming McPaper!
For those of us who relish taking a long lunch break with the leisurely in-depth musings of Mr. Feingold and your other fine columniststhis is alarming. Where else are we to turn for in-depth essays? Where else are these writers to turn to express themselves fully? I turn to the Voice for my arts coverage precisely because it has offered writing on a much deeper and more thorough level than the competitionespecially the Times.
What's the necessity for this? I thought the Voicewould pride itself on such a liberating format. Please don't constrict your writers in such a way. It would make the Voice much less worth reading.
RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW
In Wayne Barrett's "Boys Gone Wild" [June 25-July 1], you quote Rita Haley as being president of New York NOW. Haley is the president of the city chapter, and does not represent NOW-New York State. The state office made a strong statement regarding the Boxley matter to The New York Times several weeks ago.
Kathryn Lake Mazierski
Buffalo, New York
The photo for last week's Choices cover [July 30-August 5] should have been credited to Dennis Kleiman.