Month: June 2018

June 25th should be Tamir Rice’s birthday, but he was killed in 2014 by police officers who thought he was grown, they said. I have read accounts that say the call to 911 was from someone who said she thought she saw an adult. He was 12. Tamir’s mother held a Sweet Sixteen party for […]

“I’m black. I’m solitary. I’ve always been an outsider.” This is how Octavia Butler described herself, the first self-possessed Black woman writer introvert, I had the honor of writing about for publication. Actually interviewing her was one of the great honors of my life, two years before her death in 2006. I wonder what she […]

Some of us, white and black, know how great a price has already been paid to bring into existence a new consciousness, a new people, an unprecedented nation. If we know, and do nothing, we are worse than the murderers hired in our name. If we know, then we must fight for your life as […]

I self-published my memoir The Beautiful Darkness: A Handbook for Orphans in October 2016 after spending more than 20 years working on one version of the story or another. The book’s name comes from two sources. The concept of being an orphan, particular in the Black community, may seem jarring. We are, after all, known […]

In case you wondered if we were making any progress on media diversity in entertainment criticism as storytellers, directors and actors of color in Hollywood start investing in a wider range of stories, the answer is no, according to a new USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative report. White critics authored 82% of reviews whereas critics from […]

Last Friday evening, I was first in line at the Harry Belafonte Library in Harlem to listen to the first in a series of talks co-presented by the National Book Foundation and the New York Public Library called Notes from the Reading Life featuring two Black women I admire: Thelma Golden and Kaitlyn Greenidge. Golden […]

Transitioning back into writing full-time has also meant getting used to learning how to manage my time — or, I guess, reclaiming it (thank you, Auntie Maxine) — but it also means that as my friend Jennifer has remarked, you realize that “Linear time is a trip.” Anyway, I worked on this piece for the […]

I wrote about the Bronx Book Festival for the Village Voice and how the Bronx is having a resurgence of the book scene with the work and leadership of Saraceia J. Fennell and Noelle Santos, but there were a couple of quotes from one of the panels that I wanted to add in the spirit […]