While Being

the weight her frame withers to betray her grief as you slink into a cause, case, memory, or the Opportunity that pulled at the seams of your village. So you should be aware that you also should not purchase candy, soft drinks, or cigarettes; wear hoods in rain, pray in a sanctuary, swim in a pool, shop and handle goods, fall asleep on a public bench; play music in your vehicle, request assistance when in crisis,

Paradox: Remembering the Million Man March/Day of Absence On Its Twentieth Anniversary

I was 21 years old, 20 years ago, on October 16th 1995. That was the day of the Million Man March/Day of Absence. In what I named "solidarity," I refrained from attending class.  I was a solid student.  Mostly.  So I doubt any of my professors batted an eye.  Besides, almost half of the campus [...]

Meme Fail Alert

Their fairytale fits an acceptable narrative we are inclined to admire. I cannot imagine the biracial Obama married to a white woman or highlighting--in any definitive way--his primary raising by his white grandparents and his very privileged raising from private schools on through his Harvard days. These choices, too, are parts of the narrative we are fed and need to nourish us, I suppose, considering the moment at which he and his family emerged on the scene. But then there are moments in which I have to wipe clear the glass in this boxed story.

[vintage UtR] The Hush

darlene anita scott

mute

This is a long one.  Get some tea.
–d

Last night I learned that a young man from around my way had died. Over the past several weeks, he has been in the hospital largely unresponsive and plainly diminished. There was hope but little. There was discussion of his illness but little. He was just. Dying.

At 28, he will join a list of young men from around my way who. Just. Died. They were all, if not explicitly, homosexual. And this is how they all died. Of some unnamed failure of the body that is always explicitly not one of the common ones: cancer, diabetes, heart disease. The Hush tells all. It is AIDS.

We never say that; we might name the failure that AIDS has authored: pneumonia, meningitis; with the proper inflection even “he was sick” works.

“That boy’s funny” was as close as we got to naming…

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My Aliveness

Of course, I keep trying to wrap my head around Nigeria's crisis like many of us who are aware and/or care. In stark, and I feel shamefully insensitive, contrast, it made me think how the Universe conspires to protect us and give us the desires of our heart.  It's a tough job.  Sometimes when it [...]

Boots on the Ground

Some of y'all--well my twin and my mom mostly--have known the dark side of my last two professional years. When the profession gets out of the way of the work you get your magic.  But with the recent consumer-driven model of higher education that magic can fail as it gets flat and stale. Right now [...]

Good Girls

(About Breathing Lesson 101) I was 25 the first time I fully understood. I was navigating the tenuous journey of the Good Girl. At the time I was being courted by an older man who decided out loud and before our first real date that I was a sexual outlier—an adult virgin. The encounter was [...]

Guilty: Interrogating Cultural Appropriation

I've studied North African/Egyptian dance (also called belly dance) and West African dance since 2007. I've felt uncomfortable in my body sometimes--a lot of times--and sometimes unsure of what I was undertaking in what I call(ed) the study. When I read this article, I understood my uncertainty.  Randa Jarrar writes: Women I have confronted about [...]