This is a love letter to Black women, my sisters. I have never loved anyone quite as hard as I have loved you. This is not to say that I have not loved others well or loved them deeply, because I have. But loving you is hardness, requiring the density of commitment fortified by an enamel of truth. This love is jewelry decorating the wrapping of my skin–I could no more remove it than I could unzip my blackness, fold it, and pack it in a suitcase.
I know living in this world in your skin is no picnic. Because you are more than breasts and thighs and ass; they can nibble at your three piece but never lay claim to your biscuits. They will try to consume you, nibble at the meat of your magic until they spit out bones, but they will never grind you to gristle: You carry the marrow of Nzinga. They can reduce you to angry, hot gravy, thick and brown, but never pinpoint your savor. They try to pluck your femininity, call it oversexed. And always, you scratch back when bitten. You are fly, love, but you ain’t never been chicken(heads).
I was trying to comprehend exactly why the death of poet Amiri Baraka affected me so deeply. I cried when I heard. I haven’t read his work in years, I didn’t always agree with his politics and polemics, but still…I feel I lost something yesterday afternoon. Amiri Baraka spoke at Florida State when I attended, I think […]
I am in love. I’ve known it since I was a teenager, looking with young brown eyes at his chocolate skin and easy smile. He called me shorty, and it was all over. I lived for his hugs, his daps, and my heart strings were tied to the soles of his feet. That love started […]
Fifteen years ago, Keith Rodgers held a get together in the living room of his Tallahassee, FL apartment. People sat on the sectional couch under dim lighting, hunched knees-to-chin on the staircase, or stood behind the kitchen counter and waited. Finally, Keith stood up the in middle of the living room with his back to […]
A stage is a magical place. All at once, you are naked to the audience, who views you while you cannot see them; but the stage is also a location of great power, allowing a performer to armor himself or herself with the performance. The greatest performances coat a universal vulnerability with a thin layer […]