Category Archives: Deep thoughts
A Letter to My Students on the Eve of their AP Exams (Essay 16 of 52)

I sent this letter via email to senior high school students I teach in Camden, NJ, earlier this month. If…

Room to Imagine Freedom (Essay 11 of 52)

The sentence is inflicted by white supremacy and its brother patriarchy, the same forces trapping so many people in prisons…

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,…

On my bicycle, at the intersection of blackness and womanhood, with feminism crossing diagonally

“If a woman says she was raped, I believe her, because for all she has to go through, why would…

Slave narratives, respectability politics, black womanhood and choice

You may ask for freedom only if you live above reproach. That was the message to enslaved black people in…

A working definition of feminist part 1: Why not womanist?

When Cameo King sent me questions about feminism to help me prepare for this broadcast, I had to take a…

Recovering from Spiritual Perfectionism and Searching for Divine Guidance
Illustration: white boy on green chair, little brown dog sits next to him. Text reads: "My trouble was I had a mind. But I couldn't make it up."

In my last column for NCR, I wrote about my somewhat surprising desire to find a church home in my…

Tenderness, Masculinity, Femininity and God

I remember attending a Sunday school class several years ago in which the gentleness of God was the topic. I…

Anger is Better

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

A Working Faith

  Earlier this week I wrote in my journal that I need a spiritual practice that includes faith and hope,…

Finding a Personal Mission

This summer, I’m finally making time to go through Javacia Harris Bowser’s e-course, “How to Write and Have a Life.”…

Something New for Easter

My church did Resurrection Sunday differently this year. The Drama Ministry and Choir conducted the whole service, except for the…

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…

I Know I’ve Been Changed

One of the reasons I stopped working on my memoir was because when an agent strongly suggested I adapt my…

Repentance is the answer (when Jesus is the cause)

I’m among the million or so people who have seen NFL player Benjamin Watson’s Facebook post about Ferguson, but in…

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…

Consciousness as a Form of Resistance

Last week I had the privilege of attending Freedom Dreams Freedom Now, a conference sponsored by the Social Justice Initiative at…

On Maya and Vincent

Some context: 1. It’s really late. 10:57 central time. 2. I’m at a social justice conference structured to commemorate the…

What Didn’t Survive?

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

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…

The Jesus in Grandmama’s House
Italian Christ

In “The Comfort of a Sweet, Black, Dreadlocked Jesus,” I recalled the image of Jesus Christ as depicted in a painting…

What I Learned While Blogging Like Crazy

I almost did it. #BlogLikeCrazy has come to an end, and I came close to meeting the goal of posting…

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