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 […]

I’m the Only One. But I’m Staying.

I spent my summers hopscotching through neighborhood Vacation Bible Schools. VBS, as an inner-city kid was the closest I ever got to attending a traditional camp. Who needed a lake to swim in when there were water balloons by the buckets in the church lawn to splash through. I never felt deprived of mountain trail […]

The Night Jesus Played a Bass and Rocked an Afro

She bought my ticket months ago when she saw the hair standing high, like a full sunrise shining and the name Esperanza in the same line of Ode Joy. I had said yes to the invitation but had totally forgotten about the plans we had made. You see, my Big Sis Doreen is a planner […]

Surviving Racial Disasters

It Happened. Again. Sneaker waves of racist lashes and systematic suicides keep hitting our neighborhoods, news feeds and nerve systems. Past reports about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Ezell Ford have now been replaced with fresh videos of Walter Scott, Philip White, Eric Harris and Freddie Gray. I have screamed, cried, cussed and […]

Meet the Princess of the Press: Ida B. Wells

Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Before Billie Holiday sang the lyrics above at Cafe Society, the first integrated nightclub in New York, another icon of history, sat nightly, frantically documenting every lynching […]