Cyntoia’s Done Her Time. Have Mercy and Let Her Go.

Cyntoia Brown

On the afternoon of August 6, 2004, Johnny Allen (43) picked up Cyntoia Brown (15) at a Nashville fast food joint and drove her to his home for an $150 evening of statutory rape (she initially asked for $200). By the end of the night, he was dead. Why he died became the question and controversy keeping Cyntoia, now 30-years old, in prison despite unprecedented mass efforts towards her just and merciful parole. Continue reading

An Interview with Maya Jensen, Filmmaker behind ‘Solidarity in Saya: An Afro-Bolivian Music Movement’

Bolivians of African descent introduced Jensen to Saya music, an old artform which was a universal language in the Spanish-speaking land of their political and labor oppressors. Jensen’s film documents Saya music of today. Continue reading

“Remember Me To Miss Louisa”: Q & A with author and historian Sharony Green

Remember Me to Miss Louisa

“Critical study of womanhood, in all its complexities, is needed for today’s women who are still living through so many oppressions. Not that much has happened that we get to escape societal agreements about our sanity, our worth, our ability to contribute, our need for rest and to be protected and to protect and so on.” Dr. Sharony Green, on her work and book “Remember Me to Miss Louisa: Hidden Black-White Intimacies in Antebellum America” Continue reading

10 Black Women Who Lost Their Lives to Violence

This gallery contains 8 photos.

The women I want the world to start remembering forever are pictured here. Please click on their photos for more information about their lives and stories, as well as ongoing activism in their memories for this remainder of Black History Month. #SayHerName Continue reading

Chicago play ‘Lines in the Dust’ Takes on Families and Residency Fraud in Public Schools.

It would be a disservice to relegate the play Lines in the Dust as a compulsory offering of social protest fiction and bandwagon outpour, seeking attention on entitlement that audiences passively care about its themes and subjects to indict structural racism in America. To applaud it on … Continue reading

Girlhood

Lady and Mimi

In “Girlhood,” these girls’ fantasy selves exist and steadily transform to jettison them closer and closer to their real selves in a subtle, tender verisimilitude I have not seen black girls get to have onscreen since Leslie Harris’s 1992 Independent Spirit Award-winning film “Just Another Girl on the IRT.” It is the most honest, determined cinematic viewpoint on black youth since 1994’s “Hoop Dreams.” “Girlhood” is stunning. Continue reading

Read excerpt of my next novel SPEAKING OF SUMMER in Intellectual Refuge Literary Journal…

In “Speaking of Summer,” the Black women appear to have it all: great homes, men, careers, girlfriends, beauty. But there is a cost to keeping the realities of how they feel about their treatment in the world such a closed secret… I thank editor Christopher Schnieders for publishing this small piece of it and I look forward to finishing it, to share more to come! Continue reading

Little Rock Nine, Four Little Girls, and One Confederate Flag: A Retrospective

Victims of the Charleston church attack

One way to move this tragedy and the deceased in it past public ephemera and into history is to forever connect the loss of their lives to a national symbolic act against domestic terrorism: the legally-mandated abolition of our Confederate flag, and civil prosecution of anyone who waves it. Continue reading