Arugula or Collards: What type of greens are you?

“So, Velynn tell me about yourself. What words would you choose to describe yourself?” How many times have you been asked to describe the breadth and depth of your whole person “in just one sentence, please”? Impossible, right? While I am tempted to respond by singing Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan’s female anthem, “I’m Every […]

When You Can’t Find the Merry in Your Christmas

It’s here whether we like it or not—Christmas. For many this season is filled with the fullness of family togetherness. The turkey with all the trimmings. It is the time for unwrapping the red-ribbon-gift we placed first on our list. It is the season of sparkly lights and the steady fragrance of evergreen. Cut trees […]

Finding Comfort in the Battle

This year has been cruel y’all–like the stinging hits of freezing rain or cutting winds of a blizzard storm-harsher climates have shifted our atmosphere. The down pour of political and civil unrest has left our country drenched in hate, apathy and fear. Racial divides, Trump’s win, continuous murders of Black Lives, Standing Rock, the threat […]

The Time I Ruled the World

Before there was Barack or Hillary, there was me. Black. Female. President. In the photo above, I had just been elected Beaumont Middle School’s first Black President. I knew in my heart I had enough love to change the world—one heart at a time. Our student body council bonded quickly in the name of “equality” […]

Making of A Remnant Keeper

Someone just blew up my neighborhood with an AK57 etched with these letters- g e n e t r i f i c a t i o n. My layman’s definition of the word is “moving Black folks, so white folks can move in.” Black folks are not alone in this war. Our Native American […]

Holding on to the Baton of a King

Today many of us will choose to honor the dream and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, while others wait in disgust for America to make due on its overdrawn check, written in the name of “liberty and justice for all.” What will you decide to do with this day and this dream of […]

Coloring In Christmas With My Favorite Things

Raindrops on rooftops and polka dot mittens Bright lights that flicker and Big Momma’s kitchen Brown chorus angels whose robes look like wings These are a few of my favorite things. Buttermilk cornbread and crisp chicken drumsticks Hotels with stairwells and greens that are handpicked Wildflowers that spread in dry deserts I’ve seen These are […]

Saying Good-Bye-My “Ifs” and My “Onlys”

Autumn is in full chorus. Leaves shaded in hues of yellow-limes, tangerine-reds, black-purple-plum are bursting in symphony against the backdrop of November gray. And I can’t get enough of their beauty, diversity and surrender—I am jealous for each leaf’s resolve. Looking at the “burning bush” in front of me, full abandon is its message. Outstretched […]

The Night my Blackness Was Stripped Away in the Dark

I was weary of dumbing down my brain smarts and body parts to fit into the present day image of Black beauty and sexuality.  Truth is I didn’t have the breast size or small waist and curved hips to compete in the first place. Instead of placing MTV’s coke-bottle-super-model-video vixens as my prized goal, I […]