Elevate Difference

Reviews by Margaux Laskey

Gwethalyn Graham: A Liberated Woman in a Conventional Age

Barbara Meadowcroft promises in her introduction to Gwethalyn Graham: A Liberated Woman in a Conventional Age that this book is no definitive biography. How refreshing! Can there really be such a thing anyway? She argues that no one is ever truly known “even, or especially, to those closest to them,” and I would agree.

The Mammy Project

Michelle Nicole Matlock’s one-woman show, The Mammy Project, is a provocative piece of theater that entertains and educates through a series of vignettes that deconstructs the controversial history of the Mammy stereotype. Matlock builds her show around two stories - the life of Nancy Green, a former slave who was hired as the first-ever Aunt Jemima for the World’s Fair in 1893, and Matlock’s own experiences as a full-figured African-American actress who thought she’d never have to play the part of the mammy-maid in today’s entertainment business, but found herself getting cast in those r

Scrappy: A Crafty Zine for Scrappy People, #1: Stitches

A couple of years ago, my grandmother gave me her sewing machine (circa 1940). Have I used it? Hardly. To hem a pair of pants a year or so ago. So I was thrilled when I was chosen to review Scrappy: A Craft Zine for Scrappy People, #1 Stitches. Perhaps it would be just the push I needed to unveil Grandma Betty’s machine and get to creating fabulous, designed-by-moi outfits! Scrappy is an adorable handmade zine that is perfect for the beginner seamstress (or the hibernating one) looking for a little inspirational shove.

El Perro del Mar

Listening to El Perro del Mar – a pseudonym for the Swedish singer Sarah Assbring – makes me feel like I should be a character in an early 1960s television show. The chipper, pop melodies, be-bops and sha-la-las that underscore her melancholy lyrics about life and love have earned her comparisons to the Beach Boys and girl groups from the 50s and 60s.