Back in 2012, I wrote a Dear John letter to the brothers. My relationships with the Johns in my life were (and will always be I suppose) evolving, transitioning, ending. I'm a stubborn one, but my ideas and opinions evolve, transition, end too. So it is with the Dear John letter. I realized the change [...]
Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era is an edited collection of critical essays and poetry that investigates contemporary elegy within the black diaspora. Scores of contemporary writers have turned to elegiac poetry and prose in order to militate against the white supremacist logic that has led to recent deaths of unarmed black men, women, and children. This volume combines scholarly and creative understandings of the elegy in order to discern how mourning feeds our political awareness in this dystopian time as writers attempt to see, hear, and say something in relation to the bodies of the dead as well as to living readers.
There are few, if any, choices a black body can make that do not speak its history, including the requisite traumas and proud triumphs over them. Under the gaze of the status quo, this body, with its history written all over it, is an indictment of the status quo. Erasing that physical body becomes critical to sustaining not just the aesthetic of the status quo but more importantly its structure. Erasure is not necessarily the literal murder of it, though that is one way to erase it, but more typically, the suppression of it. Suppression often comes in the form of assimilating the black body into the status quo.
I am here to talk about silence. And the violence of it. How it traumatizes the body that practices it as well as the bodies it is imposed upon. I want to talk about how it (silence, I mean)—and I made up this word—invisibilizes. And how that act—to render someone, a body, invisible is violence. [...]
We know that the rules of engagement; the strategies for survival that Baldwin and Johnson try to outline are flimsy at best.
Can we give them our stories without curling their backs into it, yellowed pages crisp and crumbling like sepia snow into piles we sweep from in front of our bookshelves? Will we love them only; wait and watch them turn to men who fail themselves for want of recognition?
I just read that African-American buying 'power' is a myth. And I don't wanna be leading y'all astray or shaming working class folks just trying to catch a break on their kids' holiday shopping. 'Cause you know I was posting about boycotting the shopping season and what not on my Facebook page. My bad I guess. I think I understand.
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 [...]
Collateral 80% civilian. Let that sink in a sec. I don't have the answer to the equation but I think the equation needs to be on the board. Stare at it; the problem may be on your next test and the answer may well cost you your life.
(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 [...]