Race, Culture, Identity

Confirm Humanity

The sweetness of sugarcane stalks above, numbs me to their anguish below. Unlike my Father, I am slow to hear them, and quick to snap a selfie.   Beneath the canopy of ancient oaks. Blanketed in crimson-pink azalea beds. Shadowed by the Big House with her cascading cream columns . . . Are the voices […]

Be Careful What You Pray For

Authenticity; be careful what you pray for. The Cambridge English dictionary defines authentic as “the quality of being real or true.” I’d heard a call to write everyday stories highlighting the intersection of Life and Faith. I thought I understood what such a call meant. Be careful what you pray for… There is that insistent, […]

Drunk in Love

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3 KJV And We are Drunk in Love.   When Mr. & Mrs. Shawn Carter hit the stage of the 2014 Grammys their appearance was about more than collaborating on another hit. As Laura Turner wrote for BuzzFeed at the time, “Their performance […]

A Letter to My Muslim Sisters

I don’t remember your name. I do remember your laughter, your patience when you helped me with my pronunciation of sounds that are difficult for the English-trained tongue. I never saw you again after our college Arabic class ended but the look in your eyes has remained with me all these years—the fear and sorrow […]

Always a Foreigner, Never Home

My face is the filter through which people see me. It can’t be helped. When people look at me, they see an Asian girl. To some, it’s the face of familiarity, but to most it’s the face of a foreigner. It creates distance, division, and tension. It brings up questions of heritage and place and […]

Love in Shades of Multifaceted Men

From the passenger seat, I watched you turn your head in the inky black of the night and smiled to myself about how your face still shined through the darkness. You looked like a gem and you are one, with your many aspects and your beauty. I wished that everyone saw you the way I […]

I Learned to Use Unsanitized Language to Empower Myself

Last Fall, I attended the Ruby Woo Pilgrimage (which happens again this Nov. —seriously go check it out)! It was a powerful time of fellowship with so many beautiful, diverse, dynamic women my heart was full to the brim. I thought I knew what I’d get opportunity from an opportunity like this. And in some ways, […]

Subversive Celebrations

The entrance to the seafood restaurant is flanked by a series of large windows. Inside I see white folks sit at the bar laughing, and nursing glasses of wine. Some glance as we pass, following us as we enter through the wooden door. We are here to celebrate Jonathan—our son graduated from college today. At […]

Mothering in Black, White and Red

When I was very small, my mom only bought me black baby dolls because she wanted to do right by me.  She was familiar with the studies where little brown girls reject black baby dolls and she wanted to be sure, as a white mother of brown daughters, that she was raising my sister and […]

The Cost of Being a Transracial Adoptee

It did not rub off.  The “dirty” skin I was teased for just a few steps away from my favorite spot on the monkey bars, this dark skin felt permanent. Frustrated and glaring at skin and soul both, my childhood heart detached from part of my identity. I did not return to recover it again […]

Centered. Unapologetic.

I am Centered. I am Unapologetic. In due season, I praise God for everything I never got. I am not, by nature, given first to gratitude, though I am deeply, profoundly grateful. I am by nature “…of a few days and full of trouble.” First of all, I conformed, or so I tried. I sat […]

The Grito as Prayer

I watched her draw in a deep gulp of air, opening her airway, chest firm and ready for battle. La Maestra closed her eyes, and on her mark, in unison, twenty-two of us let out a hum whose vibrations and frequencies resonated across our torsos. We could feel each other without touching. From where our […]