“Self Destruction”: Black Student Writers in the Social Media Age

The following paper is the first half of a conference presentation I delivered at the 2018 “Symposium on Teaching Composition and Rhetoric at HBCUs” hosted by Howard University and Bedford St/Martin’s.  *      *     * According to this year’s conference call for abstracts, “One HBCU scholar once described managing student literacies and the technological resources afforded HBCUs as ‘trying to make a dollar out … Continue reading “Self Destruction”: Black Student Writers in the Social Media Age

A Sonnet for Black Mothers & Their Girls Who Understood “Is-ness” before It Was a Theory, w/Kind Regards to Thich Nhat Hanh

I remember sitting at Momma’s feet— my shoulders held captives between her knees, two pillows supporting my back & seat, while I cupped a jar of Blue Magic grease that seemed to put magic in Momma’s hands. She tackled my head like her weekend chores: scratching out dandruff like scrubbing stained pans, & greasing dry scalp like mopping stained floors, & parting my hair like … Continue reading A Sonnet for Black Mothers & Their Girls Who Understood “Is-ness” before It Was a Theory, w/Kind Regards to Thich Nhat Hanh

remembering daddy, remembering me: a 5-paragraph writing assignment for intermediate composition

Daddy told me I was a revolutionary w/no cause. I don’t know what I was doing at that very moment he made that comment. Maybe I was reciting a poem I wrote about crackers makin it on black folks’ bended backs. Or maybe I was organizing a showcase for Black History Month. I probably was just sittin at the dining room table wearing a dashiki–most likely … Continue reading remembering daddy, remembering me: a 5-paragraph writing assignment for intermediate composition

#TBT “no es facil”: tryin to capture President Barack Obama

I spent two years trying to paint President Barack Obama. My first attempt was a lightweight disaster: However, my Instagram responders were supportive: So, I tried again: But I stopped. I was afraid to continue painting–afraid that if I kept going, I would lose him. ‘Cause this looks like Barack Obama, right? I left that painting unfinished, & I placed it–as well as the one … Continue reading #TBT “no es facil”: tryin to capture President Barack Obama

“Up, you mighty race!”: from the African American Museum Inauguration to the Black Panther’s 50th Anniversary

Martin Luther King held fast to dreams, while Huey P. Newton gave all power to the people, & Jesse Jackson insisted we keep hope alive. Thru each of them, & many others, Barack Obama assured us we can— Be young, gifted, & black. Be unbought & unbossed. Be revolutionary. Be-long. In light of the #icantbreathe #amInext #blacklivesmatter movement, the inauguration of the Smithsonian’s National Museum … Continue reading “Up, you mighty race!”: from the African American Museum Inauguration to the Black Panther’s 50th Anniversary

FAMU just tried it w/its Blue Lives Matter talk

Florida A&M University (who, by the way, Wendy Williams, graduated Wimbledon’s first Black woman’s single crown winner, Althea Gibson; acclaimed cancer surgeon Dr. LaSalle Leffall; congresswoman Carrie Meek; singer/actress Anika Noni Rose; & screenwriter/director Dee Rees to name a few) is holding a university-wide conversation this afternoon that its organizers have titled: “Healing Voices: Black and Blue Lives Matter | A Conversation.” What. thee. hell? … Continue reading FAMU just tried it w/its Blue Lives Matter talk

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week: w/Special Re: to College Profs

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week all over America, & I light weight feel a way. All week, my Facebook timeline has been inundated w/testimonies & pictures that express gratitude for teachers: flowers, candy, handwritten letters, & gift cards. You name it, this week, a teacher got it. S/he got The View shout out, the Barnes & Noble 25% discount, & the Google doodle.  S/he got the … Continue reading Happy Teacher Appreciation Week: w/Special Re: to College Profs

Madea Comes to FAMU

Recently, I sat on a discussion panel in Florida A&M University’s Writing Resource Center where three other colleagues of mine & I were invited to discuss our literary contributions to the English department’s required Freshman Communicative Skills II reader, Writing from the Hill. The custom text, which includes an anthology of poems, short stories, creative non-fiction, visuals, & a play, reflects a literary genius that … Continue reading Madea Comes to FAMU

Teens Carry Smartphones, But Are They Getting Smarter? A Response to My Fresh(wo)man Student

My fresh(wo)man composition students were charged with blogging reader responses to their chapter readings in Robert Atwan’s America Now text re: social media. In his first chapter, “Social Media: What Do We Gain? What Do We Lose?” authors Andrew Santella (“This Is Not About You,” 2013); Yzzy Gonzalez (“Technology Taking Over?” 2013); and Clive Thompson (“The Parent Trap: How Teens Lost the Ability to Socialize,” … Continue reading Teens Carry Smartphones, But Are They Getting Smarter? A Response to My Fresh(wo)man Student