Sorry, Not Sorry

Social media has been splashed with well-meaning, and some not-so-well-meaning stories of average Muslims decrying the acts of the Islamic extremists from the Paris attacks last Friday. It seems that twice, in one year, terrorism has been brought to the City of Lights by people who say they are speaking for Allah. Of course, they are not, but throughout history, many people have murdered in the name of their Lords, why would we expect this one to be any different, right? Right? Wrong. There is something extrinsic that tells us we must now promenade each and every Muslim out and…

Being a Black Woman…

Means learning to be soft to plight of others. Long, delicate brown fingers brush away the tears of the same people who will turn a hard shoulder to us. Patient ears listening to woes of those that are often deaf to us. Plush bosom crutching tightly to heads that quickly away when the hour of need is concluded. Often criticized by our own men. Too often fetishized by the men of others. Always admiring, never the “prize”. In relationships, personal and private, we will give and be taken. We will have our value questioned to a degree that it makes…

Why I Can’t Stay…

In 2012, when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, I realized that I had better tell my son that he is black because the world would see him that way, and if something awful happened to him, they would blame him, no matter who was actually at fault. I realized that I had done him a great disservice by allowing him to be “himself” which seemed absurd to me, but instantly true. It did not matter how he saw himself, how he felt himself, it only actually matter how the world saw him because his life could very well be at…

Inequitable Equation

While the middle class steadily becomes financially indistinguishable from the working poor, we are repeatedly told that we should be thankful and feel “blessed” for the jobs we do have.  We work harder. Longer hours. Take on more stress. And are rewarded for these efforts less and less. All the while, slapping on a smile of gratitude for the indignity of making anyone but ourselves rich and fiscally carrying the country on our back. It is a heavy burden that we should be grateful to have.  We also have to be mindful that the glitch in our system has turned…

The Great Egress

It is probably daily that I put my hands to my head and say, “I just can’t live in this country anymore.” The surge of frustration washes over me before the words are uttered and continue through me, even as they pass. I know, for now, that I am trapped, and that knowledge is deepening angst. It is not that I believe somewhere else is fundamentally better than America. I am aware that each modern land skillfully hides its flaws in a beautiful game of cache-cache that it plays with onlookers from foreign soils. I am not that daft, as…

The Little Piece of Me that You Cannot Have

My problem with a white woman telling my story as if it were her own is there is no way she could know. Growing up black in America is a shared experience of more than our dark skin and kinky curls. It cannot be put on like a mask.  I cannot explain to you anecdotally what it is to be told from the time of hearing that you are less than another person of whiter skin and silkier hair. I cannot relate to you the physical sting of the word “nigger”. It is visceral. It bites. It is spat at…

I Know, I Know, A Change Gone Come

Yeah, right. Bullshit. Yesterday, I should in what I could call a small group of beautifully varied people voicing concern over police brutality as it has been violently dropped upon my doorstep. I watched each of them speak, tell their tales of hope and of horror. I yelled. A young man cried. An older woman’s voice broke as she spoke. A girl asked for her humanity. Then a man began to speak of how we move out of this sorry state that we find ourselves in still, in this country that has made so many broken promises, that if they…