Heavy the Head that Wears the Crown

Posted on February 8, 2017

"Whenever I thought of the essential bleakness of black life in America, I knew that Negroes had never been allowed to catch the full spirit of Western civilization, that they lived somehow in it but not of it. And when I brooded upon the cultural barrenness of black life, I wondered if clean, positive tenderness, love, honor, loyalty and the capacity to remember were native to man." -Richard Wright, Black Boy I sat across from my ...

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The Pernicious Pedigree of Wifedom

Posted on October 25, 2016

My best friend and I laughed at the thought. A wife school, I suggested, would have been essential in keeping me from the precipice of divorce. "You know--it can be a school for learning how to be a good wife," I said as we browsed through the shoe section at Urban Outfitters. I made the suggestion out of my self-depreciating humor, but all humor contains a bit of truth. At the time there was a damaged, naive part of me who believed being a wife ...

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The Evolution of Being in the Female Body

Posted on September 21, 2016

These days when someone--usually younger than me--catches wind of my age they'll inquire to discover what wisdom I might have collected over the years. They want advice on how to make it through life, presumably unscathed; an impossible feat. While I have my share of lessons learned, what has been the most profound center of my attention as I get older is my body.  I've discovered peculiar things about being a woman by perceiving what it ...

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Deconstructing the Myth of the ‘Strong Black Woman’

Posted on March 21, 2016

I still wince when people call me strong. It’s intended to be a compliment, I know. Yet, as a black woman, when I hear the word strong I can’t help but to consider the subtext of the nomenclature. Black women, as it seems to the world, are monolith in that we are expected to shoulder the brunt of any and all moral indiscretions. In the context of history black women have long been encouraged to sit, oxen-like, at the center of the black ...

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On Aging – For Katherine

Posted on September 17, 2015

My dearest Katherine Rose, the most beautiful flower of any garden: I've been too tardy in writing to you because I've been wandering the world like the unkept woman I am. Spending my days enjoying the dalliances of life. Eating splendid cuisines and traveling to exotic places with languages I can barely speak. But I didn't forget you. I never do. A great deal of consideration goes into these letters, and on the heels of my 31st birthday ...

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The Thing About Dream Chasing

Posted on April 16, 2015

As of late my website has been a place to post essays--mostly the ones that were rejected by major publications or had no chance at ever being published in the first place. But, today I thought I would pen as more of a letter than narrative. First, I want to apologize for the radio silence over the last few months. I promise I have been making good use of my time by working through my manuscript edits, pitching essays, taking speaking ...

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40 Days

Posted on February 18, 2015

Today marks the first day of Lent; Ash Wednesday being the day we show outward repentance and eagerly spend the next 40 days preparing for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. If you are Christian no doubt you have marked this time by giving something up as a ritual to denote Jesus' 40-day fast in the wilderness. It's a common practice I encourage every believer to engage in. Previously, I have given up shopping and processed sugar, ...

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Who Do You Want to Be?

Posted on February 17, 2015

It is the stalking pang of loneliness where we often grow the most. Like plants, nocturnal darkness produces a ripe harvest if we learn to embrace the lessons that come with pain. We are most fortified when put under pressure: Friendships fall away. Promises get broken. Your heart feels like it is left barely beating. But, it is beating. Slowly, surely each day the beating gets a little stronger and you find yourself becoming something ...

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i Can’t Breathe

Posted on December 4, 2014

I never imagined what it must have been like for my ancestors to walk past bodies hanging from trees; bodies that looked much like their own: Black skin, kinky hair, full lips. Worse, I never considered the depths of  stanching fear that ripped through African American communities in the deep south because I believed we--a supposedly progressive generation--were divorced from Jim Crow. When racist micro-aggression greeted me in the form of ...

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Posted on October 23, 2014

The sky was displaying a threat of torrential showers, but the children weren’t shy about showing excitement as we pulled up to our destination. Their tiny faces pressed against the windows was indication of how quickly we needed to herd them off the school bus. The bus, which was at first the holy transport to the Promised Land, now stood as a barrier. One-by-one we ushered the children towards the pearly white gates of Cameron Run Water ...

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