Categories
culture Epiphanies Joy Self-help

What the Yardstick Does Not Measure

“Don’t let this social media stuff go to your head,” my college classmate Kiare tweeted. Of course, newsfeeds and home pages are awesome. Electronic birthday, anniversary and event reminders are clutch. But, social media pressures and vanity metrics (like likes, favorites and comments) can keep the online world more aspirational than candid.  My social media […]

Categories
politics

On Becoming a Short-Term Republican

I hope people, whose opinions matter to me, don’t think  I’m an Uncle Tom. That I am the Boodocks character Uncle Ruckus in Millennial female form. That I subscribe to Stacey Dash’s anti-black  notions. That I fancy myself a Shad Moss, a self-designated multi-racial person whose race proclamations should beget a diminished expectation of furthering […]

Categories
Abuse Ancestry Color Intersectionality Prejudice

When People Are Saltier About Messages Than Burial Soil

Fresh from Fourth of July BBQs, family reunions, road trips, beach days and the like, many black people in the U.S. grieve another person, another black man, another father and partner gone too soon after a deadly encounter with police. The facts, opinions, anecdotes, and reports trickle in, including the announcement that the Department of […]

Categories
Academia Ancestry culture

I Spent Spring Break in Pre-Embargo Lift Cuba

Cuba has interested me since fourth grade. I’m a Floridian. My first boyfriend was half-Cuban. He never wanted to talk about Cuba or the individualized and collective circumstances that led to his mother fleeing to Florida. And with the American economic embargo spanning several decades, Cuba has often seemed closest to and farthest from the […]

Categories
Ancestry

Here’s What Happened When I Had My Ancestry Traced

People are pregnant, married, moving up the corporate ladder, doing crossfit, getting tatted, and I’m over here finding out about ancestors. It wouldn’t be summertime if I didn’t put myself on a mission. Sometimes it’s cardio. Sometimes it’s cooking. Often, it’s reading enough to be able to jump into most conversations, survive, and contribute. I […]

Categories
Beauty ideals Epiphanies Joy

Too Grown & Sexy For Compulsory Insecurity

“I wouldn’t wear the Victoria’s Secret bra that adds two cup sizes,” I say. “False advertisement.” I laughingly add there’s no sense in making A minuses seem like Cs. We won’t even get started on Booty Pop panties. She chuckles and says she wants to lose weight. We joke about our appearances more. I feel […]

Categories
The South

The Southern Ritual of Speaking

People who spend significant amounts of time below the Mason-Dixon line know that “speaking,” engaging others in basic conversation, is a must. As a child, speaking seemed like an interruption. A social chore. Can’t I just get more helpings or come play with the kid I actually came here to see? I vividly recall speaking […]

Categories
Family Freedom Gratitude Love Peace The South

I’m a Chick From ‘The Hood’

I’m from the hood. By hood, I mean a black neighborhood with some dynamics stereotypically envisioned. The occasional box Chevy, all candy paint and rims, blares southern hip-hop. Well-known panhandlers request coins. Crime is heavily scrutinized. However, my community contains more variance than flat thinkers usually consider. My late grandfather, a middle school science teacher, […]

Categories
Pop culture

On Zooming, Lil’ Boosie and Buzzkills

Warning: If you are humor deficient, the respectability police, cannot recognize a high top taper haircut or never had the urge to swerve on someone, then this is not the post for you.  If you expect legal analysis or a premature prognosis for rap/pop culture/ black people, then this also isn’t the post. Also, I […]