Tuesday, February 26, 2013

William Jelani Cobb and Attraction to Intelligence

I've been thinking about how to approach writing about William Jelani Cobb, but until Corey decided to join us I didn't know what my angle of approach would be. I haven't read any of his books yet so I wasn't going to be doing a book review. I don't have any revealing or sexy photos of him, so I though avenue of approach was closed to me as well. Then Corey told me that he finds intelligence attractive in others, and it's not the first time I heard this. Jelani Cobb is intelligent and very hot. He even looks like a bear. A hot black bear academic? I can work with that. Corey, this one's for you and all the guys who find intelligence sexy.

This blog is a conversation about what we as black bears like. I try not to be pretentious, but sometimes I can't help myself. I'll go on about science, philosophy, and politics. Sometimes all our readers want is to be entertained and stimulated. However, for some people they are one in the same. Being a little nerdy is very hot to those people. Being a bit of a nerd myself I've run into the phenomenon a few times. Sometimes I thought it was just flattery. I know deep down that I'm not really that intelligent, but mostly just curious. I like to read a lot and I love a good conversation. But I really don't retain much of the details of what I read and I tend to talk more than I listen. I was never cut out for rigorous academic studies, and so being called attractive for my intelligence always made me feel a little nervous seeing as how I knew it was mostly an illusion.

Still it got me thinking that with all the hot guys we post about from bodybuilders to exotic dancers and movie stars what about the guys who want to lust after someone's mind? I thought about it for a little while one person came to mind. I first came across Jelani Cobb on Melissa Harris Perry's show on MSNBC. The format of her show is such that each of her guests don't get to speak for very long since there are usually four guests on at a time. When I heard him speak I admit I was impressed. Maybe it was the tenor of his voice, his good looks and the expertise with which he answered the questions, but I knew I wanted to see more of him and it was frustrating that he wasn't allowed to speak more often.

Fast forward to now and I don't even have cable anymore. MHP's show is defiantly one of the things I miss about cable. Still, I was able to find some interviews William Jelani Cobb participated in from online sources  I clipped some of them together and embedded a video below. A couple were radio interviews so threw in some pictures I could find of him on Google. I don't know about you, but when when I hear him speak about politics and history it's very stimulating. And don't mean in just an intellectual way. The guy is already thick and handsome. Add a masculine manner and baratone voice and he's a complete package. He has a certain authenticity when he speaks on these issues. He's confident and competent about his subject matter that all combines to make me more than a little moist.

So I'm just as likely to be attracted to intelligence as the next guy, but when I heard there was word for this I became skeptical. As far as I know sapiosexual it's made up word. But then I thought aren't all words made up? The whole point of language is to help us communicate our experiences. If there isn't a word out there for this there should be. I realized that one of the reasons I watch Melissa Harris Perry's show was because she was attractive to me in this way. I have absolutely no attraction to women sexually, but even I have to admit that I get a little aroused by her when she speaks on just about anything.  So, yeah it's real. Here's below definition of the phenomenon and a video and pictures of this intelligent black bear that proved it was real to me.

From the urban dictionary Definition of sapiosexuality :.(sā-pē-ō-sĕk-shü-ăl'ĭ-tē)

1. (n.) A behavior of becoming attracted to or aroused by intelligence and its use.

Origins: From the Latin root sapien, wise or intelligent, and Latin sexualis, relating to the sexes.

Example: Me? I don't care too much about the looks. I want an incisive, inquisitive, insightful, irreverent mind. I want someone for whom philosophical discussion is foreplay. I want someone who sometimes makes me go ouch due to their wit and evil sense of humor. I want someone that I can reach out and touch randomly. I want someone I can cuddle with. I decided this all means that I am sapiosexual.

From  Wikipedia

William Jelani Cobb was born William Anthony Cobb in Queens, New York, on August 21, 1969, the youngest of four children. Literacy and education were valued highly in the Cobb household. Both of Cobb's parents had migrated from the South, where they did not have access to high-quality schools. As a result, they were determined to give reading and learning important places in their family life. Cobb counted being taught to write at an early age by his father, Willie Lee Cobb—an electrician with a third grade education—among his earliest memories. On his Web site, Cobb described his father's "huge hand engulfing mine as he showed me how to scrawl the alphabet." Cobb has been writing ever since. Cobb was educated at Jamaica High School, New York City, Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Rutgers University, where in May 2003 he received a doctorate in American history under the supervision of David Levering Lewis. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations. After graduating from Jamaica High School in Queens, Cobb enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C.. While studying at Howard, he found time to launch his professional writing career. His first legitimate outlet was a periodical called One that existed in Washington for about a year. One essentially gave Cobb, a writing novice, an open forum to write about whatever he wanted. As his journalistic skills developed, he began contributing to the Washington City Paper, Washington's alternative weekly. His first national outlet was YSB Magazine, part of the Black Entertainment Television, Inc. (BET) media empire, beginning in 1993. He also became more politically active during this time, and was involved with a organization, along with Raz Baraka, son of acclaimed poet Amiri Baraka, that took over Howard's administration building in 1989. It was around this time that Cobb, seeking to connect more with African tradition, decided to add "Jelani"—a Swahili word meaning "powerful"—to his name.

Cobb specializes in post-Civil War African American history, 20th century American politics, and the history of the Cold War. He served as a delegate and historian for the 5th Congressional District of Georgia at the 2008Democratic National Convention. He resides in Atlanta, Ga.

Cobb's books include "The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress" (Walker, 2010), To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic (2007), which in 2007 was a finalist for the National Award for Arts Writing of the Arts Club of Washington.[1] His collection The Devil & Dave Chappelle and Other Essays[2] was published the same year. He is editor of The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader, which was listed as a 2002 Notable Book of The Year by Black Issues Book Review. He has contributed to a number of anthologies, including In Defense of Mumia, Testimony, Mending the World and Beats, Rhymes and Life, and his articles and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Essence, Vibe, Emerge, The Progressive, The Washington City Paper, One Magazine, Ebony and TheRoot.com. He has also been a featured commentator on National Public Radio, CNN,Al-Jazeera, CBS News, and other national broadcast outlets.

While doing research at the New York University library for his Ph.D. dissertation on black anti-communism, Cobb stumbled upon a cache of previously unpublished writings by Harold Cruse, an influential scholar whose controversial views included the notion (to grossly oversimplify the matter) that desegregation had resulted in the decay of African-American culture. Cobb tracked down Cruse at a retirement home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, (where he had been a professor at the University of Michigan) and obtained permission to organize and edit these writings and get them published in book form. The resulting book, The Essential Harold Cruse, edited by Cobb with a forward by Stanley Crouch, was published in 2002. It instantly enhanced Cobb's stature among the African-American Studies community nationwide.

Cobb has two forthcoming books including a scholarly monograph titled Antidote to Revolution: African American Anticommunism and the Struggle for Civil Rights, 1931-1957.

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