I wish I could find a phrase that instantly informs the sweet, perfectly nice, very liberal and progressive white organizers of literary events that if you’ve only got four black guests in a room of over two hundred, you don’t sit one of those black guests in the back of the room, especially if she’s […]
Y’all I was just doing a random search and came upon this YouTube video from “With Ossie and Ruby.” It said, “Ruby Dee” performs her poem–and I thought, now, Miss Ruby was one of my favorites actresses, but I didn’t know she was a poet! I clicked on it, and Miss Odetta starts singing. (Don’t know […]
For some reason, I woke up at 3:15 this morning, checking things off my Daily To-Do List. Usually, I don’t awake until about 8am or even later, and when I do, I always chastise myself for laziness. I am the daughter of a woman who grew up on a farm, who rose in darkness to […]
It’s Afropalooza Time!!!–And I had to come back for this. I had to. You know this is my favorite time of the year. And no, I am not going to give excuses for being gone so long. I’m just going to act like your favorite auntie: Swish in wearing my cutest outfit, pretend I’ve […]
I just don’t write super quickly about emotionally charged events anymore, because when I do, usually I say something stupid and hurt somebody’s feelings without meaning to. And it took me having a really deep, teary conversation with a dear friend last night (over something that didn’t even start out being about police brutality) to […]
I think the championing of the hoodie as a symbol of racial profiling is misguided.
Years ago, in graduate school, I was one of only three African Americans in my Master of Fine Arts creative writing program. That was in the fall; in the spring, one of us dropped out. And then there were two. I remember sitting in my graduate poetry workshops surrounded by folks who didn’t look like […]
Seventeen, not even marked by a real mustache. If you look at the picture, he’s still slight. Maybe he was destined to grow tall with big bones, a man’s hearty flesh clinging to his frame, but in this picture he hasn’t gotten that far. I remember a boy I once loved at that age. His kneecaps […]
It’s not that I need to see heroes or doctors or lawyers or Tuskegee Airmen as opposed to drug dealers or absent fathers or crack addicted sex-workers–or maids.
Today is the birthday of W.E.B. DuBois!