Exactly 100 years ago, Harry Pace founded America's first Black-owned record label. Black Swan Blues, my 2014 book telling his extraordinary story, inspired Jad Abumrad & Shima Oliaee’s new Radiolab series The Vanishing of Harry Pace. Over the past 12 months, we've been able to gather a lot of fresh information about Pace and Black Swan, so I've produced a expanded edition of my book which you can buy here. As a little bonus for PlanetSlade readers, I've also posted a new website essay called A Georgia Lynching, which tells the full story behind an incident Black Swan's Ethel Waters mentions in her autobiography.
It's that time of year again! For the NINTH year running, I'm hosting an Oscar "Pick 'Em" contest over at my website. Every year the winner receives a custom, one-of-a-kind sock monkey creation. (Previously: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.) This year's prize is a pair of custom-made, one-of-a-kind Black Swan and White Swan ballerina sock monkeys. One is beautiful, pure, and repressed; the other is totes sexy-crazy. Everyone is welcome to enter the contest!