“Then [Noah] sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth.” Genesis 8:7 As a child, I wanted to change my name. This desire was not particularly novel; children sometimes want to
Sydnee glanced at her phone and saw a text from her mother, Marilyn. Sometimes she wished she had never taught her mother how to use her smartphone. She reluctantly unlocked her phone and read the disjointed message. Sydnee. Come get from church.
When I was surrounded by white people, knee-length plaid skirts, and crucifixes, I told my mom I wanted my hair to look like theirs—soft and brown and easy to manage. She always told me my hair was special because that was the
Quickly and carefully, I crossed the street with my best friend at the time. Her name was Jalia, a tall and skinny girl I’d skip class with to play Nintendo between the tiled bathroom walls. Jalia was an older sister I never
“I love your hair. You did it yourself?” “Aww, thank you. I wish. I can’t cornrow.” “Wait, you’re a little Black girl and you don’t know how to cornrow?” Correction: I’m a whole 30-something Black woman who doesn’t know how to cornrow.
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 grade, I had a crush on Kevin O’Halloran. He was
“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 our class discussion, since this statement was made by my
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 no longer playing travel hopscotch, I had plenty of unclaimed
Black bodies are the world’s playground. Full of color, music, song, dance, cheer, and laughter that delights the masses. It is the happiest place on Earth; for where else could you find this much light steeped in so much darkness? Its mere
I sat on the couch of a woman who decorates her office to make it feel like a home outside your own. She has locs dipped in watercolors. She has a favorite lamp that went missing once before our session, and I
My parents used to keep a lot of photo albums around the house. In one, there is a photo of me, three years old in our tiny living room, unsmiling in my starchy new uniform; the photo is either slightly faded or
I have melanated skin, which helps me look younger than my age, but I also have a lot of scars on my body that seem to become more visible with time. Yet, now that I’ve moved closer to fifty, I’m not as
Once, a former co-worker of mine stopped me in the middle of working, calling my name. I turned to him, with no malice or annoyance, planting my hands on my hips, eyes wide, preparing either for work-related rumors, or a request for
“Sit still.” I braced myself for the familiar sting of the plastic comb against some vulnerably-exposed area of my head, neck or shoulders. A few seconds passed and I slowly opened my clenched fists and eyes, relaxed my hunched shoulders, and tried
I am the only girl in my family. When I say ‘only’ I do not mean that there aren’t any women anywhere else in my bloodline, that would be biologically and spiritually impossible. In fact, the generation before mine was built by