“A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet”: Unearthing Grandma’s Black Feminism

I was an 18-year-old fresh(wo)man at Florida A&M University when Grandma Rose died. Cancer. I don’t remember if I had yet told my family I was lesbian—altho I had been planning my comingout story since I left my parents’ home. I planned to tell them I am “pansexual”—a term I read w/which Alice Walker identified over 20 years before Janelle Monáe popularized the word. Being … Continue reading “A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet”: Unearthing Grandma’s Black Feminism

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