• Reflections on Austin for The New York Times

    When the bombings started in Austin, I was distracted by other things like a lot of other folks. I saw 17-year-old Draylen Mason’s name and that he had been attacked, but I didn’t register a connection between him and the other people who were being harmed in Austin until too late, until Governor Abbott decided… Continue Reading

  • New Short Fiction in Sixfold Journal: Fly

    “Fly,” a short story that I’ve been nurturing for some time now, has been published in the Winter 2017 edition of Sixfold Journal. These Bronx girls remind me so much of the girls I grew up with. They are, in a lot of ways, those girls. This is how it begins: Everything in the world… Continue Reading

  • The Kerner Report at 50: Dame Magazine

    I haven’t been blogging that regularly since the holidays because I’ve been working on some longer form essays and works in progress, along with working on work work and doing other things. But I wanted to take a bit of time to reflect on the 50th anniversary of The Kerner Report and its meaning for… Continue Reading

  • Roses for the Living

    Roses for the living. I was thinking of this saying when I first heard that Erica Garner had a heart attack and we were all hopeful for recovery. I was surrounded by my family, and my sweet nephew led us in prayer for her, and my thoughts were consumed with her and her family, what… Continue Reading

  • Who Will Help Black Women Win?

    “won’t you celebrate with me what I have shaped into a kind of life? I had no model Born in Babylon Both nonwhite and woman What did I see to be except myself? I made it up Here on this bridge between starshine and clay, My one hand holding tight My other hand; come celebrate… Continue Reading

  • Five Years Since

    Dear Mom: It has been five years since we said goodbye, that word you hate, the one that still gets stuck in my throat. There are days when it feels like it was last week and days when it feels like a decade has gone by. This is, usually, a season of joy and reclamation,… Continue Reading

  • Live On Your Own Terms: A Memoir Excerpt

    Winter is one of my favorite seasons, and I really want to like Christmas, but it’s complicated by the fact that my mother died during this season five years ago. Even before she fell ill with terminal cervical cancer, the holidays have always been challenging, and I’ve never been particularly good at knowing how to… Continue Reading

  • She’s Gotta Have It

    In 2004, when She Hate Me came out, I was assigned to write a story about Spike Lee for the San Francisco Chronicle, where I was a young features reporter at the time. The movie’s tagline was: “One heterosexual male. 18 lesbians. His fee…$10,000 each.” Like a lot of Spike Lee’s work, I thought the… Continue Reading

  • Recovery

    Three years before he would take his life, my father reached out to me by email, which was his preferred method of communication. He had not been in touch for years, despite my selfish calls and letters or pleas for him to send books I’d left behind at his place after a failed attempt at… Continue Reading