Thirsty

I used to be an underweight Jersey girl. So skinny I could knot my underpants. “Pero, que nina flaca,” complained my grandmother one day. I searched her eyes, looking for the remnants of weekend revelry. But Abuela’s rosy cheeks were scrubbed. Her eyes, sans makeup, were bright, eager to please. When sober, Abuela mended her […]

A Masterclass in Race. From a Black Girl

Mother God “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy Sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” ~Psalm 19:14 KJV Amen. Masterclass The Cambridge English Dictionary defines a masterclass as, a class taught by someone who has an expert knowledge or skill in a particular area. […]

I am a Threshold of Flesh and Blood

I was young when I first realized that my biracial existence inhabits liminal space.  We piled into the sticky church van, and left the Californian mountains where I’d spent a week at an Asian American Christian summer camp. It was my first experience at a summer camp, my first experience with a large group of […]

And You Will Hear Thunder

There were sleepless nights. Covers hiding eyes shut tight, palms clamped down over tangles of ears and hair, all to no avail. The summer storms sweeping over my midwestern childhood home would not be tamed. Lighting stole through shades, sheets and eyelids as I lay trembling in my bed. Night winds tore through our hickory […]

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” […]

Loving After Trump

I was one of the 19 percent. Nineteen percent of voting white evangelical Christians did not choose Donald J. Trump to be president. And, like most non-Trump supporters, I spent the first days after the election in grief and fear over what a Trump America would look like. The morning after the election, I was […]

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 […]

Four From The Night, Four From Anywhere

1. Traffic Light When I slow to a stop at the traffic light, I notice a police car flashing blue into the darkness. A few feet away, a man stuffs his hands in his pockets and leans back against a dented trunk. I stare at this man with skin like mine. This man in a […]

See, Say, Spell, Repeat

“Could you spell that?” My name. You ask about my name. Countless times. Almost every week, in fact, you ask me to repeat or spell my name. For years, I lamented the fact I did not have a simple American nickname to make this part of life easier, for you and me both. When I […]

Learning to Listen

Many years ago in the midst of a particularly heated argument with my husband, I made a tearful plea: When I’m angry, what if rather than getting defensive you just listened to me? An unfamiliar look came over his face and he stood speechless. Clearly, this was a new thought. When he dialed down, he made […]