Do you like international news? Do you like design? Culture? Being cosmopolitan and wealthy? If so, you should read Monocle. With tons (~150,000) of people shelling out for a magazine that grabs an Apple-worthy 50 percent markup, it has to be a great read. Founded by Tyler Brule, an impressively decorated magazine publisher, Monocle should(n’t?) be on your reading list.

Barack and Black Politics

barack obama

“Is Obama the End of Black Politics?” is a very interesting article from the New York Times Magazine recommended to me by Dong. The article is a look into the impact that Obama has and will have on black politics and the line he walks that separates two generations of black political thinking. If elected, Obama is expected to be both a leader and a black politician roles that seem at times mutually exclusive especially when thinking about maintaining influence. Obama as President would be a racial milestone, but the transition he must provide to a new generation of black politics will be a delicate task that he must pioneer.

For those who won’t read the article, the following is a powerful anecdote that I wanted to share. Speaking about a photograph that hangs in James Clyburn’s office:

Above his couch hangs a black-and-white photograph of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking in Charleston, with the boyish Clyburn and a group of other men standing behind him onstage.

When I visited Clyburn recently, he told me that the photo was taken in 1967, nine months before King’s assassination, when rumors of violence were swirling, and somewhere on the side of the room a photographer’s floodlight had just come crashing down unexpectedly. At the moment the photo was taken,
everyone pictured has reflexively jerked their heads in the direction of the sound, with the notable exception of King himself, who remains in profile, staring straight ahead at his audience.

Clyburn prizes that photo. It tells the story, he says, of a man who knew his fate but who, quite literally, refused to flinch.