The Cool Geek – Damn

On a road trip bumping an album is the gold stamp of approval. Between the beats and bass battling against the wind and “Oohing” and “Aahing” over lyrics. Then I’m rapping out loud while people stare through their car windows. That’s the power of Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album (not counting Untitled Unmastered) Damn. He…

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30 Realizations on my 30th Birthday

1. I’ve now been without Mom for half my life. No day has gone by without her crossing my mind. 2. My skills don’t always translate – I’ve run 2 marathons but still struggle to wash the dishes every night before bed. 3. What’s important to me has changed with time – At 15 it…

Book Review – The January Children by Safia Elhillo

         The January Children by Safia Ehillo is a poetry collection that deals with the author’s woman, Muslim and Sudanese identity. Wait. It’s so much more than that. The title itself opens the reader to Sudanese history and culture. It represents her grandparents’ generation born in Sudan under British occupation, where children…

7 Generations – What’s in a Name

A maiden name is the difference between uncovering a new family line and being stopped indefinitely. My 2nd Great-grandma, Clifford Lawson’s maiden name had been buried. Although, I had identified her on the United States Federal Censuses from 1900 to 1940 none of them revealed it. Going through Ancestry.com and other sources, the feeling was…

Layers of Love – Wrong Way Love

My measuring stick of beauty was breaking my neck over a fat booty. Twisting. Turning. Turning and twisting. A double take left an impression on my mind so vivid we were already dating by the time I said, “Hi.” Her passions nor her purpose mattered to me. When I learned her name I visualized her…

Book Review – Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin is about David, an American man living in Paris who has a love affair with another man. The central conflict is David coming terms with his sexuality. When David and Giovanni first meet they have a conversation about Parisians “measuring” everything. A metaphor about David measuring his desire for a…

7 Generations – What’s Left Behind

“Grandma Grace is in the middle of my brother’s head,” Aunt Vicki texted then sent the photo. I immediately recognized Granddad Charles, a much younger and vibrant man than I had lived with. But this woman couldn’t be my Great-grandma Grace. She didn’t fit my imagination on the melanin spectrum. She wasn’t dark brown like…

Framed In Excellence – Finding A Way

It was mile 15 when the right side of my body cramped running the NYC marathon. It had to be the physical manifestation of one throbbing thought, “Quit.” I don’t know when it showed up. This would be my second marathon and first time running one of the largest in the U.S. I had put…