meet amanda monroe.
describing herself as:
there is something about amanda monroe that immediately
lets you know you are in the presence of a queen.
maybe it’s the way she looks you in the eye when speaking. or how a well placed bit of ny slang is subtly tinged with a southern drawl exposing gladys, va as home. perhaps it’s the skill of turning a tweed calvin klein blazer from ‘86 into a piece of contemporary art when worn. some might say it’s her ability to deftly converse about everything under the sun from the cultural capital of blackness in the 1990s to the psychological and emotional effects of gaslighting.
whatever it is, amanda monre’s ability to “keep it regal” at all times is one that translates effortlessly into her music. combining the experimentation of fiona with the swagger of lauryn at her best, one can’t help but listen to a song like “untitled-(interlude)” and be entranced by the clever wordplay of the self-described “accidental charmer.” over the next couple of months, amanda monroe will be releasing a series of songs on her soundcloud page to wet the appetites of those of us eagerly awaiting her first ep. i definitely encourage you to check out her fb page, drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let her know we’re waiting for her to bring hip hop back.
in this edition of “five on the black hand side" amanda monroe shares an etheral song by one of our many poet laureates of soul, a piece of literature that promotes self-care & a piece of literature encouraging us to “don”t believe the hype,” a classic film that will make you relive Eddie’s Murphy reign of the early 90s, an artist you could email & an artist you could meet in a brooklyn bar, and the space where in the wilderness of new york you can feel human again.
music. ”if it’s magic" by stevie wonder
"as an only child, i am predisposed towards loneliness. i recently heard this song in the grocery store while over processing life in the cereal aisle; it immediately made me feel better. stevie wonder must have a composition for every single human emotion ever felt and yet to be discovered."
" i have two. the first one is people of the lie: the hope for healing human evil by m. scott peck. i was told by a semi-mentor years ago that the #1 thing he would recommend to black people were self help books. when he said that, i was (ignorantly) suspicious but years down the road i would have to agree. hurt people, hurt people. this book speaks to navigating around those (who we may care for) who are actually wishing to do us emotional, spiritual, or even physical harm. i think we confuse being community minded with continuously looking for the silver lining in other people at our own peril.
#2 is who killed martin luther king jr. by james earl ray. black people hate alternative information (read: conspiracy theories), yet we are the most conspired against people of all time. what’s the point of celebrating all of our great revolutionaries if we keep swallowing the hook about their lives and deaths? it’s counterproductive. this black history month, let’s stop consuming the “official story”, if for no other reason than because they don’t want us too.”
"boomerang stared a slew of young black talent and was directed by reginald hudlin who, according to wikipedia, is the producer of django unchained. of all of the many awesome “black classics” of the 80s and 90s this is my favorite. it was an attractive, young, well dressed utopia of black professionals. if you look closely, even all the extras are black people. there’s an edge to it too. it’s like hip hop meets wall street. which is, of course, how i try to live my life. bonus points for eartha kitt, grace jones, and that commercial with the cherry stem that still haunts my dreams.”
artists. kehinde wiley and derrick adams
"i like kehinde wiley for obvious reasons, but i want him to illustrate an african american tarot deck! the only one out is more a representation of traditional african mythologies. that’s cool, but it would be nice to see the black man who works at the post office as the “king of cups” or a black woman holding court over her salon as “the empress”. i’m not joking. i wrote him an email. i also met this brother named derrick adams in a bar whose art is pretty dope.”
space. regal cinemas battery park
102 north end ave
ny, ny 10281
"new york has this way of making me not feel like a “real” person. on any day, you can hit an art show, open bar and secret rave by 4pm. it’s easy to forget this isn’t how everyone else lives. to stay humble, i like to go to the movies. this theater is out of the way and because of that, no one is really ever there. it’s by the water, inside a beautiful building, and right across the street sits the irish hunger memorial. this is literally a cottage they flew in from ireland on a hill that looks like a movie set. it’s a beautiful space and, fyi, great for a date during the summer evenings.”
…and this concludes “amanda monroe’s five on the black hand side" …
photo credit. sophia boothman