Category Archives: Relationships

On Becky, M.I.A.,and the Problem of that “Good Hair”

It’s a ‘do you remember where you were when…?” kind of event. Years from now, I’ll say, “I was at a friends birthday party where some of us gathered around the TV, shushing the others, to watch Lemonade premiere.” It was a warm, April evening in Houston and I got to the party with about 4 minutes to spare. We had a hard time hearing, but we leaned in to hear. We gulped the visuals down with wide eyes, like we’d never seen any music video before. There was hollering, cheering, praising, waving, conferring, and more than a few times, …Read more »

Lemonade, Sweet Tea, and Dirty Laundry on the Clothesline

Homemade lemonade was relief from the humid heat of North Carolina summers.  Sweet and sour lemon water always tasted better after it had been sitting for a few days, bathed in the sun so the sugar syrup could fully absorb the lemon pieces floating at the top of a see through pitcher, like a see through picture.  Similarly, I’ve been sitting with Beyoncé’s visual album since Saturday night, absorbing the pieces of myself and my life sticky sweet on the edges of the glass, transparent and raw.  You can see right through me. i’ve always been misrecognized by every man …Read more »

Serial and the Power of Storytelling

Like so many others, I spent the last few months of 2014 listening – first avidly, then with trepidation and ultimately with disdain – to the hit podcast Serial. The podcast follows a single story, week by week. The story centers on Adnan Syed, a Pakistani  American high school student who was accused and convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999 when they were both students at Baltimore’s Woodlawn High School. The journalist Sarah Koenig is the investigator and narrator of each episode, unraveling clues in each episode to one end: Did Adnan really do it? This …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 »

The Blame Game: Black Women, Shame, and Victim Blaming

(Trigger Warning) I will never forget listening to the raging voice of a man I didn’t know on the other end of a phone line alongside my homegirl in Florida.  We sat in a room with the door closed while she told me what had happened the night before to preface the voice mail I was about to hear.  The man behind the voice was someone her sister had recently started dating.  He left the message on her voicemail several hours after beating and berating her in front of her child and leaving her bloody and unconscious on the concrete …Read more »

Scandalous!

Some spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned. Watching Scandal is a weekly ritual for me. I love to sit back on my couch, phone in hand (cause I gotta get my tweet on), and revel in the ridiculousness of this frothy primetime soap. Shoot, sometimes I bust out red wine and popcorn too. After my tweets and retweets, I go onto the Facebook and laugh and kiki with the Facebook folks about their thoughts. I even click “like” on the statuses of the Scandal haters who clown the rest of us. It’s all good fun. Then I love reading recaps by …Read more »

Black Queer Trouble in Literature, Life, and the Age of OBama: Part II

Originally Delivered by Cheryl Clarke as the Kessler Lecture on Dec. 6, 2013 at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center   Scenes of black queer and feminist resistance; or “forced confinement and forced mobility” Recently I said the following at a “Symposium: Black Women’s Studies and the Transformation of the Academy” in 2010.  I shared the panel is Nikol Alexander-Floyd, Paula Giddings, and Cheryl Wall.  I think it is applicable to black queer trouble-making: “I remain convinced that there is no transformation in the academy unless black feminists engage in a kind of itinerant …Read more »

On Leaving The CFC

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. – Martin Luther King Jr. One of my main growing edges as a person is being a recovering people pleaser. Blame it on being an only child, a lonely extrovert without lots of peers to play with, a quirky black girl in a mostly white world growing up, a Gemini with a penchant for being a chameleon who can adapt to any situation… I used to put other people’s feelings and needs before my own. That shit sucked! I ended up doing …Read more »

Loving Ourselves: The Case for Radical Empathy

Her voice is a revelation and her concert last week in Atlanta was nothing short of a religious experience

It’s been a rough past few weeks, hasn’t it? Between the SCOTUS rulings, Zimmerman trial, another recent discovery of a serial killer who has targeted Black women, and the general tomfoolery of white supremacy experienced on a daily basis, it seems like we can’t catch a break. Certainly, it’s never easy to be a person of color, but it has felt, at least to me, particularly egregious recently.  We have a lot of work to do to get free and stay free, but in the meantime I’m really concerned about how we love (on) ourselves and each other—because the business …Read more »

Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe

Father’s Day has come and gone again. As someone who did not grow up with a father or father figures, this day has not traditionally been on my radar at all. These days, though, it’s hard to forget Father’s Day, besides all the incessant commercials urging you to buy the fathers in your life any number of useless objects, there are all the obligatory posts and profile picture changes on social media that serve as poignant reminders.  I often smile wryly when I see these public declarations regarding fatherhood. Some posts seem like wishes for what a father might have …Read more »

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