One Less Crab in the Barrel

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that an aphorism is the particle board of conversation: cheap and easy to drill holes through. They hold no weight, and when challenged, the trite words collapse as if we never meant them at all. Like many linguistic tools, aphorisms are best used with care instead of beingContinue reading “One Less Crab in the Barrel”

Parkinson’s: Stealing from Grandma

I began stealing from my grandma three years ago.  When I realized that one day I would not be able to wake up and find her sitting in the kitchen, watching a 13-inch black-and-white television, I needed something concrete.  I needed something tangible to slow the slide of time that had pushed, like a looseContinue reading “Parkinson’s: Stealing from Grandma”

Tales from the B-side of a Skinny Twerker

At age 14, I loved dirty dancing. We called it booty shaking back then. But I weighed less than 100 lbs and not much was shaking on me but bones. I would watch my summer camp friends dance while, in the corner, I twitched in a pattern that imitated rhythm to stay unnoticed. The girlsContinue reading “Tales from the B-side of a Skinny Twerker”

MLK, Jr. Should’ve Kept His Day Job?

It is the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. I grew up a black girl in a mostly white fundamental Baptist denomination. Only one white pastor ever let the truth leak out on their opinion of Martin Luther King, Jr. Our youth group climbed into the church van on a Friday evening for aContinue reading “MLK, Jr. Should’ve Kept His Day Job?”

Uncle Toms, Aunt Jemimas, and Other Distant Relatives

Harriet Beecher Stowe has likely rolled 500 miles in her grave by now. She wrote the second best-selling novel in the 19th century, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, only for it to be boiled down to the grime of an epithet over 200 years later: Uncle Tom. The title character she illustrated in 1852 laid down his life for escapingContinue reading “Uncle Toms, Aunt Jemimas, and Other Distant Relatives”