“We have to give our black girls “the Talk”- and it’s not about sex…”…my essay on the horrifying McKinney, Texas, injustice, on SheKnows.com…

Racial Profiling and Black Girls

Racial profiling does not discriminate by gender…it’s time to tell our black girls the police may not be working for them. Continue reading

My story “There Were Six” appears in Per Contra: An International Journal of The Arts, Literature, and Ideas

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The number of black women and girls who go missing without a manhunt or trace continues. I am grateful to share my fictionalization of the predicament of deprioritized black women and girls as the story “There Were Six” in Per Contra: An International Journal of The Arts, Literature and Ideas. I don’t presume to do justice to the realistic situation in a story, but please find some helpful links and resources included in this post. Continue reading

Birthing a Slave: Reproduction and Inhumanity during America’s Slavery Era

To understand how the joyous occasion of motherhood was a form of suffering for black female slave, please read this excellent post on “the book Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South, by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. The book tells the history of a somewhat esoteric subject: the need of slaveholders, and the doctors they hired, to control and manage the bodies and reproductive lives of slave women.”

We can have more admiration for black mothers and families today if we understand just how much our ancestral histories included so many challenges meant to destroy them.


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Jubilo! The Emancipation Century

Most people know of slavery, but we don’t know about slavery. Specifically, we don’t know how dehumanizing it was to be a slave.

We might understand what it’s like to be denied freedom or dignity at an intellectual level. But for many of us, we don’t have a grasp on how horrible the institution was, in the day to day life of an enslaved person. Most of us don’t “get” what it was about inhuman bondage that made it so inhuman.

For example: what was it like to be slave mother?

Some insights on this are given in the book Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South, by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. The book tells the history of a somewhat esoteric subject: the need of slaveholders, and the doctors they hired, to control and manage the bodies and reproductive lives of slave women.

But while the subject is…

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My Story IN 21 DAYS as part of Winter Tangerine Review’s “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” Project

Proud for the beautiful opportunity to be featured in this project published by Winter Tangerine Review. My story “In 21 Days” appears. I wrote the story to provide my energy to the reality of a disproportionate number of Black Americans who are sentenced to hard time or who await the death penalty. Continue reading

Black History Month

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In Search of Our Daughters’ Gardens: A Meditation on Hadiya Pendleton’s Life*

She was 15. She was an honors student. The shooter remains at large. Her parents live in shock. Her school is in silent mourning. Residents of Chicago are outraged. A nation is unaware. 

Continue reading

Negression

Kalisha on Easter, 1980, Kankakee, Illinois

Any African-American who achieves a fraction of what they set out to do in life will tell you a peaceful, unencumbered path is impossible. Some of us quietly accept prejudice and discrimination, and probably are better off for it. Others, like myself I can admit, talk very loudly. Both coping styles carry their toll and price. Continue reading