Category Archives: Black Culture
Why my students need love as much as they do poetry (Essay 17 of 52)

Notes: My most recent column for National Catholic Reporter references the freshmen class I teach in Philadelphia, not to be…

Being single shouldn’t feel like punishment, but for black church girls, it often does

How is a church like prison and being incarcerated like belonging to a church? Both have a way of asking,…

Black Father-Daughter Talk

A podcast featuring a 30-something black woman and her dad, talking about life. Click here to listen. (I hadn’t actually made…

Stunningly Beautiful Blackness

The morning after Muhammad Ali died, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the times he called himself “pretty.” A corner…

Light Women in Yellow

Yellow became my favorite color several years ago because by wearing it, I could prove that my skin is not…

What I’m Still Learning from Prince

I’ve been trying to process why Prince’s death feels so much worse to me than Michael Jackson’s or even Whitney…

A Black Family Memoir from A Different World

Since I see no reason to add to the thousands of think pieces EBONY magazine’s November cover story, “Cosby vs. Cliff,” undoubtedly…

Anger is Better

On the Sunday following the Charleston massacre hate crime, those who hadn’t reached the point where they could forgive the…

Things I Learned in Girlhood

“There are all boys at Stephanie’s (invented name) house, so you can’t turn up like you do here. You have…

For Mother Emanuel

   Though I am often critical of the Black Church, my criticism comes from a place of love and fondness…

That time when God came to the read-in

Since January, I’ve been making an effort to accept my own challenge of re-envisioning God. I made a silent commitment…

When the message reinforces fear

“If you had a little girl right now, how would you discipline her?” a friend asked me recently. “I don’t…

Justifying a faith that supports your oppression

This inconsistency between black identity and Christianity’s role in the oppression of black people is something I think all black…

Christians, Africans and Me

At the Emancipation Day parade in Trinidad, something happened that I didn’t expect: Jesus showed up. The truck we had…

Public ‘Freedom’ and Private Consciousness

Do public celebrations commemorating emancipation, heritage and history help to instill a private consciousness in the people of the communities…

Dance Feminism

I spent a portion of my last day at 33 dancing and thinking about the messages in the dance. On…

These are my people, and my people believe in family

Finally felt that affinity with other African people when I was in Tobago. I looked out into the salt water…

Thug Genius

Ever notice how it’s the poor, black, unemployed, idle but creative youth who create musical empires? It’s true in Hip-Hop,…

The other way Toni Morrison makes me feel bad

I started writing this on a Saturday night after making a to-do list for Sunday that had me wondering, “Why…

From ‘The American Negro’ to #FeministSelfie and #DangerousBlackKids: Posing African American Humanity Through the Centuries

On Friday my mom and I drove up to the Evansville Museum to see the exhibit, “Posing Beauty in African…

What Didn’t Survive?

I passed on the Grammy Awards last Sunday to go see 12 Years a Slave. When I got home from…

Living Saved, Single and Unhappy

While my parents were teaching me to be the best student I could be, my Christian faith taught me to…

Amiri Baraka Told You Tonight’s Golden Globes Would Happen

I forgot the Golden Globes were on tonight, and I tuned in just in time to see Kerry Washington not…

Choosing to Pursue Happiness

I could have had this blog entry completed and posted yesterday, but I chose to spend time I could have…

My Best Posts of 2013

I’m a little late on looking back, but I wrote 67 posts in 2013. Here’s my top 10 list of…

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