Namesake

I climbed the stairs to Aunt Tee’s apartment. The hallway was dark but the semi-opened…

“American Summer”

The summer Aneka’s leg is broken, her big sister Rima has a sleepover with all…

The Black Woman Commandments I Cannot Keep

“I love your hair. You did it yourself?” “Aww, thank you. I wish. I can’t…

short stories & essays by Black women writers

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If We Could Talk

I remember the time you left your phone at home in our first apartment. It…

“Tam + Cam 4ever”

Tamara turned her car into the horseshoe driveway in front of her younger sister Cameron’s…

To quote Erykah Badu: “I am an artist and I’m sensitive about my ish…”

Virginia Woolf once said: Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.   // In fifth…

SHORT STORIES

“American Summer”

The summer Aneka’s leg is broken, her big sister Rima has a sleepover with all of her lacrosse friends. Aneka helps her set up the blow-up beds in the basement. She grabs…

“Tam + Cam 4ever”

Tamara turned her car into the horseshoe driveway in front of her younger sister Cameron’s college dorm, just managing to wedge her car into a spot at the end of the fire…

“A Chance Encounter”

Tisha Kroemer had never felt real fear until that moment. The moment she watched her husband fall off the roof. It was January 9th, already a week past due for the Christmas…

“The Least Spicy Hot sauce”

When she hears his car door shut close behind him, Queen has just finished her to-do list. She writes one every day, not because she thinks it’s evidence of her being a…

“How to Make a Wish”

On the first night the stars fell, the whole suburb rushed out of their beds and looked out their windows to see what kind of rain had caused a glow on their…

“Intervention: Luz Ortega”

Luz had faked a pregnancy in order to get the attention of her ex-boyfriend Johnny Rivera and kept it going for six months. Not only had other students been whispering that she…

NARRATIVE ESSAYS

Transnational F**keries

At the produce markets that populated Church Avenue, if someone cut in line or pushed her while trying to squeeze past, my mother would hurl the harshest obscenity that came to mind,…

A Symptom of Migration: Your Children will be Traitors to your Nostalgia

By age 6, I knew what nostalgia meant, and it already felt like a dirty word. Nostalgia was a lecture about old Africa, how things were better back then and there, yet…

Afrodite

“African-American girls always score higher than their white peers when it comes to self-esteem,” one of my High School teachers lectured. I struggle to remember why broaching this subject was germane to…

Finding Mama

Let me start by giving my parents the grace they deserve. My mother was only sixteen when she had me, and the only thing I know about my parents’ relationship is that…

God is Blue

It’s morning again. The cold outside beats against everything it encounters and my old bedroom windows tremble, struggling to keep the warmth inside. It is often the cold that stirs me awake…

You Are The Prize

I changed jobs earlier in the year. It was the type of job that had me jump from plane to plane and airport to airport as a consultant. Seems as I was…

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