Blog Archives

On Faith, Forgiveness and Flags

I grew up in rural North Carolina, lived in Florida for six years, and have spent the last six years residing in sweet home Alabama.  My relationship to the south, particularly the deep south (though North Carolina would be considered upper south), as a blackgirl is complicated.  Despite my penchant for visits to large cities, cultural enclaves and urban landscapes, I have a thing for backyards, cookouts, porches under shade trees and sweet tea (real sweet tea).  While I could do without the heavy humid heat, mosquito bites in summer, and those damn carpenter bees, the made from scratch biscuits, …Read more »

What If We Were Free?: Riley Curry and Blackgirl Freedom

Unlike many of my homegirls, my love with basketball goes far beyond the 2000 film featuring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps. While I have never been able to play worth a damn (I’m an artist, not an athlete), my mama and older sister were basketball stars in our small town (my sister famously played on the boy’s team when we were in middle school, and gave them all they could handle). Work, life, bills and responsibilities (and the fact that I have not been fully wed to a professional team since the 90’s Bulls), I am generally disconnected from the …Read more »

A Black Mother’s Love (or What Love Looks Like in Public)

I planned to write a blog about the unconscionable inconsolable injustice that is plaguing the black community right now.  I was going to write about how black lives matter (always have, always will), how condemning black folk for hurting, and calling them animals and savages for being treated like animals and savages, is just that bullshit disguised as being deep, and how the protests in Baltimore following Freddie Gray’s death and funeral, while still waiting for explicit details on why the hell he died, is just and justified–but as I search for words they feel overly familiar.  Like so many …Read more »

The Bold and Beautiful Possibilities of a Transgender Storyline on Daytime

Soap operas have been an on-again-off-again part of my every (week) day life since I was a little blackgirl trying to keep up with conversations in my mama’s living room.  All the grown women in my family watched “the stories,” whether it meant having them on while they cooked and got ready for a second shift job, recorded them on recycled VHS tapes to watch every night or on the weekends, or taking their lunch hour right around 1 o’clock so they could watch, uninterrupted, at work.  We watched the scandalous and fantastical lifestyles of oblivious whitefolks and invited them …Read more »

A Scandal and A Lawn Chair: Why Olivia Pope Can’t Save Us From Racism

  Like many other folk, I was in my feelings after watching “The Lawn Chair,” episode of Scandal a few weeks ago.  So much so that I spent the weekend offline pre-gaming season 2 episodes of House of Cards in preparation for a marathon binge of season 3 over spring break.  It was because of my internet hiatus that I was not aware of the University of Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s racist video that surfaced that Sunday until Monday afternoon in my class when students brought it up during a roundtable panel on race.  I was overwhelmed, trying to …Read more »

What Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman Teach Us About Respectability & Black Masculinity

Like 114.5 million other folk, I was watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night, the most watched show in U.S. TV history (shouts out to Missy Elliott’s halftime performance, yes gawd!).  As a Carolina Panther fan I was not terribly invested in the outcome, but I was low key rooting for the Seahawks 1) because I regularly root for the underdog and 2) I live for the badassery of Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch.  The badassery I speak of is not limited to their on the field athletic prowess (Sherman is a cornerback who attended Stanford, and Lynch is a …Read more »

Color(ism) Complex(es)

When I heard a documentary called Dark Girls had been produced in 2011 to share the often silenced stories and experiences of dark-skinned women and girls, I felt a wave of emotions and had a range of reactions fluctuating from curiosity and anxiety, to excitement and anticipation.  I wrote an ode to dark (skinned) girls and kept re-watching the promotional video connecting each time to a story of trauma by remembering my own color(ism) complex issues, and feelings of insecurity, rejection, and pain because of my skin color.  I imagined that the documentary would open up old wounds but heal …Read more »

Waiting to Exhale

(For Eric Garner, John Crawford, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and numerous others) Wait. Over the past few days, weeks, and months there have been eloquent words spoken, passionate poems and prose written, and thoughtful commentaries and reflections offered about the righteous rage, indignant indifference, fear, sadness and ambivalence that black folk and allies have felt as we have literally fought for the dignity and recognition that black lives have significance.  Every time I hear, see or read #blacklivesmatter, I am simultaneously affirmed and disgusted.  Affirmed at the reckoning and recognition of my life as important in the midst of a system …Read more »

Working While Black: 10 Racial Microaggressions Experienced in the Workplace

I have worked, on and off, since I was fifteen years old.  My summer office job financed the name brand school clothes my mother couldn’t afford and grounded me in the work ethic I learned from watching the women in my family go to work from sun up to sun down cleaning houses, dismembering chickens, doing customer service or janitorial work, bookkeeping, caregiving, answering phones.  I watched them get up early and come home late, carpool with other working women, and barter with each other to make sure every day needs were met.  They smiled when they were tired and …Read more »

On the Glorification of the Side Chick

So, the question has been asked, is 2014 the year of the side chick?  When thinking about this there are a few things to consider.  Is this a declaration, a compliment, or a fear?  According to popular media, side chicks, or women (usually women of color) who are knowingly in a relationship with a man who is already in a relationship are on the rise.  However, side chicks existed long before reality TV, BET and tabloids.  When I was growing up it was not uncommon for a man to have a woman at home (usually the mother of his children) and …Read more »

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