my first response to Biden & Harris’ appointments

Note: The below work is excerpted from an epistolary essay I wrote for the Race, Equity, & Education course I am taking with Dr. Kathy Hytten of University of North Carolina-Greensboro (UNCG). It includes references to Eddie Glaude‘s Democracy in Black and Joel Olson‘s The Abolition of White Democracy–which I suggest everyone read, especially during this tumultuous, yet promising, political time. 7 November 2020, 1230p … Continue reading my first response to Biden & Harris’ appointments

“What a friend we have in Jesus” (& Nikki): A musing response to Nikki Giovanni’s “A Good Cry”

I turned myself into myself and wasjesusmen intone my loving nameAll praises All praisesI am the one who would save —Nikki Giovanni, “Ego Tripping (There May Be a Reason Why)”  Jesus wept. (John 11:35) I find Jesus and Nikki to be quite similar, maybe even one and the same. Admittedly, however, I don’t know either that well. But I think I know enuf about them to make such … Continue reading “What a friend we have in Jesus” (& Nikki): A musing response to Nikki Giovanni’s “A Good Cry”

“Killing Rage”: Looking for the in between while Reflecting on Race, Racism, Whiteness, and White Rage

“White rage is acceptable, can be both expressed and condoned, but black rage has no place and everyone knows it.” –bell hooks, “Killing Rage,” 1995 “White rage is not about visible violence, but rather it works its way through the courts, the legislatures, and a range of government bureaucracies . . . the trigger for white rage, inevitably, is black advancement.” –Carol Anderson, “Kindling,” 2016 … Continue reading “Killing Rage”: Looking for the in between while Reflecting on Race, Racism, Whiteness, and White Rage

in Defense of Andrew Gillum: Come on Black People

I am 41. I am unwed, & the older I get, the more I am opposed to what appears—in its traditional sense—to be a narrowed, confining arrangement wherein too many folks are lonely, depressed, & unfulfilled; too many married people are unhappy people. Aaaaaaaand, considering America’s marriage is born from a white racist imperialist supremacist capitalist patriarchy—that just opened itself to LGBTQ+ persons—I’m str8 on … Continue reading in Defense of Andrew Gillum: Come on Black People

We, the (Black) People: Contemplating America’s Democracy amid Two+ Pandemics

Since middle school, I was a “revolutionary with no cause,” said my daddy—who apparently was amused by (or weary of) my dashiki wearing, Black nationalist poetry writing, presiding member of the Afro-American Heritage Club and NAACP Youth Council daughter of his who participated in Black History Brain Bowls, Theodore Gibson Oratorical Contests, and high school step shows. I was a “revolutionary with no cause,” he … Continue reading We, the (Black) People: Contemplating America’s Democracy amid Two+ Pandemics

I’m sick an’ tired (of white folks)

I know I’m not the only one carrying absolute exhaustion toward all of white America for their overwhelming performance re: this year’s Black Lives Matter Movement. I’m so tired of receiving emails from corporate America’s CEOs claiming to support the Black Lives Matter Movement–to being culturally sensitive & aware & intolerant of the racism (& classism & sexism & homophobia) that have been cornerstones maintaining … Continue reading I’m sick an’ tired (of white folks)

My Daddy, My Mammy: A Black Man Doing Black Feminism

Hands down: James Weldon Johnson’s “The Creation,” his 1927 poetic retelling of the Biblical Genesis story, is one of the best renditions of the Creation story ever written (& performed by Black children in somebody’s Black History program). His entire piece is imaginatively breath-taking. However, what I find to be the most beautiful stanza in Johnson’s narrative poem is his second to last, in which … Continue reading My Daddy, My Mammy: A Black Man Doing Black Feminism

“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

“Black Talk”: Exploring Nikki Giovanni’s Speeches for the Undergraduate Writing Classroom

The following talk was delivered at the third annual Symposium on Teaching Writing at HBCUs, held at Morehouse College, September 27. *    *     * The most memorable lecture I have ever attended was delivered by Nikki Giovanni almost 20 years ago. Giovanni was in her late 50s then and had recently tattooed “thug life” on her forearm as homage to the slain … Continue reading “Black Talk”: Exploring Nikki Giovanni’s Speeches for the Undergraduate Writing Classroom

Furious Flower + Nikki Giovanni: from the Black Arts Movement to Planet Mars

In the beginning was the Word. But I promise you, I have no words to express my week long adventure at Furious Flower’s The Living Truth: The Life and Work of Nikki Giovanni, a professional development seminar for college professors & high school teachers. Words just won’t do; they are inadequate. But I will try my best. For six days, I–along w/circa 50 other professors, … Continue reading Furious Flower + Nikki Giovanni: from the Black Arts Movement to Planet Mars