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Last week I blogged about being asked to write the forward to my buddy Damon's upcoming book Afrodisiac. I said that I was gonna start penning some thoughts within a day or two of that post, but inspiration struck about an hour later and I actually wrote it before going to bed that night/morning.

The next day, after Damon read what I'd written he dropped me a line to thank me, and also sent a pdf file of the page layouts. Looking at the pages, I couldn't believe my eyes. Afrodisiac was everything I thought it would be, but 100-times better. I was glad that, without even having seen those pages, I managed to come up with something that spoke to the heart of the project.

Yesterday, Damon dropped me another line to say that the book is being sent to the printer later this week. I'm immensely happy for him, and doubly honored to have had the chance to be a part of his project; in addition to my forward, the first issue of KFG! zine makes a surprising appearance on a few different pages in the book. (Right on!)

The forward that I wrote is posted below. I'll blog more about the amazing Afrodisiac again when the hard copies are available.

• • • • • •

FRO'WARD


Before you begin casually perusing the pages of Damon Daood's Afrodisiac, I feel the need to offer all the gents and a few of the ladies a word of caution: Be prepared to lose your hearts. Seriously. Whether it's 'Mink Pantha', 'Zenobia Dào', 'Schakolad Shiva', 'Yummi Roll', 'Foxy Mamacita', 'Maya Corazon', or another one of the Afro-coiffed angels in the pages of this book, you're probably gonna lose your heart to at least one of them. In fact, if you're a sucker for an afro and a pretty face (like me), you may lose a small piece of your heart to every single one of them. I certainly did.

Okay, that's not entirely true. A not-so-small piece of my heart was already lost to one of these afro-haired foxy mamas five years ago, right after meeting Damon by way of Myspace. I'm not revealing which one of them it was, but one of the first times I saw her was in a photo by Damon. Her face framed by a fluffy 'fro, she was sitting in a bar with a wine glass held up to her lips, hiding a smile. It was an unforgettable image by Damon, just like many of those collected in the pages of this sumptuously photographed book.

Now, if you don't already know this, let me be the first to tell you that Damon is a genius behind the lens. He also has a remarkable eye for seeing things that many of us can't see. I am not just saying that because it's the kind of thing you should say when writing a piece like this. I'm saying it because I have followed his portfolio over the past half-decade and I believe it to be true. Fortunately for me, though, you don't just have to take the word of a struggling writer for it. Within the pages of this book, Damon's skill, talent and passion for photography has made real a world that has existed in his mind for years.

Welcome to a colorful, candy-coated dimension where it's "all afros all the time." A place where TV shows like Get Christie Love!, Good Times, The Jackson Five cartoon, and 1970s Soul Train episodes are in endlessly looping reruns; an exciting period in time when Angela Davis is a two-term commander-in-chief and Pam "Coffy" Grier is her much-beloved vice president; a place where a few choice plucks of a steel-toothed afro pick and a spurt of Afro Sheen is everything a fly sista' needs to feel as if she just got her hair 'did.' Welcome to the world of Damon Daood.

Welcome to Afrodisiac.

Paco D. Taylor
Kung Fu Grip! Zine

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