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

What Billie and Phyllis Sang About

Read my story “What Billie and Phyllis Sang About”, about an abandoned black woman left to survive alone in Harlem, in the new issue of Atticus Review. My favorite Billie Holiday and Phyllis Hyman music is on the story’s companion soundtrack Here. #BillieandPhyllis Continue reading

Are You a Joyce Vincent?

Originally posted on negression:
I still from documentary film on Joyce Vincent: “Dreams of a Life” There is a defining 21st Century Western World story about a Black female Londonder who passed away in her government-subsidized bedsit/SRO flat in 2003,…

Real Talk: On The Loss of Olympian Kamara James and Black Women’s Mental Health

How did Kamara James, at 29, wind up mysteriously deceased in her U.S. apartment…with her last years on Earth clouded by mental illness, presumed schizophrenia, poverty and homelessness? Continue reading

On the Channon Christian and Chris Newsom losses of life, and Vanessa Coleman’s impending parole*

*Since the time of this writing, Tennessee courts have upheld the decision to keep all offenders involved in this tragedy behind bars, including the female accomplice who was up for parole this December. Vanessa Coleman’s parole was DENIED. Among the … Continue reading

Are You a Joyce Vincent?

I A definitive 21st Century Western biography concerns a Black female Londonder who passed away in her government-subsidized bedsit/SRO flat in 2003, at a time she was wrapping Christmas presents and writing Christmas cards—and she remained in there, seated on her couch, putrefying … Continue reading