I hate that moment on reality tv when someone has suffered some kind of loss—received a devastating critique from judges or being kicked off a competition—and the show’s host shoves a microphone in their face and demands, “how are you feeling?” Perhaps those who participate in such shows have been trained, given the appropriate responses. … Continue reading feelings
How many centuries of terror populate the singing woman’s sorrow song?
mah tongue is in mah friend’s mouf —Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God Black people’s songs have carried the fire and struggle of their lives since they first opened their mouths in this part of the world. They have always wanted a better day. –Amiri Baraka, “The Changing Same” Deborah E. McDowell’s “New … Continue reading Variations (for Deborah E. McDowell)
I cannot be invited to a scene of African unhumaning and be told to recognize the complexity of the white people at that scene.
mah tongue is in my friend’s mouf —Zora Neale Hurston Soon after I completed high school, I worked at a small nursing home. Every few months, a certain kind of patient would come in: a young man, brought by family, rarely visited, visibly wasting. This was before antiretrovirals. He seemed terribly isolated and resigned. He … Continue reading Watching Pose from Nairobi
Jessica Marie Johnson posted a draft syllabus for a class on Black Womanhood. It made me think of what kind of class I'd design to accompany it. She issued a call. This is a response. Gender & Genre: Africa & Afro-Diaspora How can we approach gender and genre across Africa & Afro-diaspora? What possibilities emerge … Continue reading Gender & Genre : Africa & Afro-Diaspora
In 2000, my email signature was, “my heart to yours.” By 2005, it had changed to “best.” Now, I don’t have one. If I did, it might be, “in despair” or “from despair.” Rarely, with those dear to my heart, I write “love.” Perhaps I mean, “love in times of despair.” On Twitter, Prof Grace Musila … Continue reading in despair