Every once in a while, out of the clear, blue California skies, she’ll reappear like a long lost character from your favorite soap. She’ll take on some relatively obscure movie role, do a couple-few TV interviews, maybe a magazine layout or two, and then ….POOF! She’ll disappear back into the ether again. Just like that. And you know the thing that just makes you want to tear out your cornrows with an orange peeler? You never know how long she’ll be gone this time, or if she’ll ever even bother coming back at all.
Look-it, the tweens have Miley Syrus, the glitterbabies have Beyoncé and Rih Rih. Grown-ass sistahs have Mary. But now, I ask you…what about the Black Urban Hippie? Who reps for us?
Look-it, the tweens have Miley Syrus, the glitterbabies have Beyoncé and Rih Rih. Grown-ass sistahs have Mary. But now, I ask you…what about the Black Urban Hippie? Who reps for us? I mean, who, just tell me who is the torchbearer for all the amazing, sepia-toned Bohemian girlies out here, with our worn leather shoulder bags and our vintage store fabulosity? Well, LISA is, ah-course. That’s right; we had and always will have our very own beloved muse and representer-ess extraordinaire in one Ms. Lisa Bonet. That is, when we can find her.
Only these days it’s harder than ever to locate “our girl” because she’s not even “Lisa Bonet” anymore (except for work purposes). She’s like Lilikoi Moon or somethin’ totally trippy and psychedelic-sounding, right? And, she’s into all this low-profile-behind-the-camera-indie-directing-stuff nowadays (check out www.elevatefilmfestival.com) instead of working the front of the lens where we can see her mo’ betta. So now, what were once rare sightings of our beloved Lilikoi, have become practically non-existent.
Anyway, since Lili-Lisa is currently on the low low, when I recently ran across what appeared to be some present-day, candid shots of her and Lenny (together again?) online, I did a point and click double take. Only the thing is, when I read the caption below the pix, I see that it’s not Lisa in the photos at all. It’s her daughter Zoe, who looks so much like her Mom from some angles it’s scary. And, of course, Zoe is super ridiculously beautiful. And, of course, little mama is an actress on the come up (you’ve seen her in the Jodie Foster film,” The Brave One”, Jay Z’s video for “I Know”). And naturally, seeing this fresh faced ingénue, with her familiarly eccentric 80’s-Rewind fashion sense reignites my fixation with her momma all over again. Well, maybe reignites is too strong, since the sad truth is my worship flame for her mama never really waned none in the first place, AND I have my “Black Bohemian” scrapbook to prove it.
That’s right, I said it. A scrapbook. Yes, it’s THAT deep, y’all. While I don’t remember how, when or even why my B.B. scrapbook came into being, my guess is that I started cutting and pasting in a pathetic attempt to bum a ride on the black bohemian bandwagon when my young, clueless ass was trying to glue together some kind of personality. Furthermore, I strongly suspect that the birth of my infamous bla-boho sKrapbook, coincided with the release of Erykah Badu’s “On and On” (Come on, I know I ain’t the only sister who could tell you where she was the first time that jam came on the radio! My girlfriend, Nay Nay, called me screaming in auditory ecstasy from the side of the road where she had pulled over to listen.) Along with Ms. Badu, all the usual ethno-centric suspects have places of honor in my sKrap, including (but not limited to) Jill Scott, Goapele, Jessica Care Moore, Cree Summer and India Arie. But mostly, and understandably, the album is chock-full of pictures of the BB queen herself…..Ms. Moon.
Back 2 Life, Back 2 Reality…
Seeing Lisa’s grown-*ss daughter all up and through the pages of my glossy fashion and celebrity-lovin’ magazines lately, I’ve started to realize my age…which at thirty *&%$ is technically way too old to be shopping in the Junior’s section of Macy’s for my Levis(but I’ll eat my own head before I put on a pair of “mom” jeans). Because, I’ll be for real here, I know there is something creepy and semi-pathetic about an adult woman clipping out photos of her “idol” to smack into a memory album. But, in my own defense, maybe there’s something more to my celebrity obsession with Lisa-Lily than meets the eye. Maybe cutting and pasting of the kind of woman I want to be isn’t so ridiculous. Maybe, just maybe, I’m not just chasing after some unrealistic brown goddess-deity to torture myself in comparison. Something resonated with me with this woman. When Denise Huxtable hit that screen, I RECOGNIZED her, as I think did many other young, creative women of color who had not previously seen themselves represented on screen before. Sh*t, it was just so validating.
Lisa was US; the artists, the writers, the dreamers. The black chick who JUST. DIDN’T. FIT. IN. to the world’s mold for the who and what a black girl was supposed to be. They told us we were loud and bossy and pushy and independent and attitudinal…and YES, we were and ARE some of those things, some of the time. But, that’s not ALL we are. We’re also introspective and quirky and creative and political and gentle and complex and…and good at math, goddamnit! Lisa/Denise/Lilikoi was us…and that’s why we love her and almost NEED to see her every so often. So, there ain’t no shame in my game. I will cyber-stalk my beautiful muse until I’m ninety-seven, if I have to. From her work with the Elevated Film Festival to old, dusty copies of magazines to the occasional, random photo of her Bohemian Loveliness in the airport. Why? Because I’ve realized something as I’ve flipped through the pages of my Black Bohemian scrapbook, of late. I realized that in desperately seeking Lisa, I have been just desperately seeking ME.