2

Walls

Ma’s love had conditions. She was mean and volatile and bitter. Our home was like a war zone. I tiptoed carefully as to not detonate any explosives. Anything, and nothing at all, could set her off into screaming fits or her hands meeting my face — privately or publicly. Dad wasn’t around to intervene. Living with seventeen years of ubiquitous …

Insomnia

The sun will soon rise. I flip from one side to the other trying to find comfort. My knee hits the laptop that rests in its new home on the right side of the bed where you’d fall asleep before me every night. Pushing the electronics further to what used to be your side of the bed remind me I’m …

43

For Colored Girls Like Korryn Gaines And The Black Men Who Hate Us

Korryn Gaines

What is it to be a black woman in America. For the burden of both racism and misogyny to lay at our feet. Korryn Gaines was no fool. In her short 23 years she was all too familiar with the carnage of black bodies. This familiarity with state sanctioned executions empowered her to raise unafraid black children. With her thick Baltimore accent …

For My Friend, Feeney

The mayor tweeted about you. He posted that Making Your Mark on the World pilot video. I only made it to 1:27 before the tears fell. Since I heard the news via text I’ve had a hard time coping with the words RIP next to your name. Because being dead at 32 doesn’t make much sense. You were very much alive …

7

The Year of Bitter Sweetness

Everything heals. This year was a whirlwind of bitter sweetness. Growing pains are uncomfortable. They require isolation. A kind of isolation that suffocates in aloneness and silence. There was lots of time to think. And write privately and not at all. In 2015 I gave myself the gift of loving me unconditionally. Not the fake kind of self-love made for IG …

16

‘Chi-Raq’ Does A Disservice To Black Women And Chicago

Spike Lee is forever controversial. Sometimes he says dope, important things on gentrification like, “Then comes the motherfuckin’ Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can’t discover this! We been here. You have to come with respect. There’s a code. There’s people.” Sometimes he says dangerous, dumb things like, “I think a sex strike could really work on college campuses where there’s an …

1

Unforgettable

Men’s feelings are detonating all around me. In the past week three men have randomly and unexpectedly told me they have never stopped loving me. I went home for six days because my mom was being honored as the former Alumni Director, a position she held for nearly 12 years. It was also my alma mater’s homecoming so running into …

1

The Spark

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spark — how important it is and whether it must exist for me to develop feelings for a man. I met a boy. He’s a for real grown man, actually. He reads. Travels. He has the prettiest green eyes I’ve ever seen on a man. He listens. He’s tallish and cornbread-fed like I …

6

I Wrote My First Cover Story – Behind the Scenes

By now you’ve likely seen the news: I wrote my very first cover story. I say you’ve likely seen it not out of arrogance, but because it was an epic unveiling. “Good Morning America” exclusively revealed all six covers on September 10 at 8:30 a.m. I shamelessly tuned in. And DVRd. The cover story rollout took over my social media …

16

Today

I saw your friend today walking down Nostrand Ave. We did that awkward dance of not being douchebaggy enough to pretend we didn’t know each other, but not sure what to say since our only connection was you. “That’s what I’m talking about!” he yelled, pointing to my Aquamarine and baby blue hair before we embraced. I awkwardly asked him …