Framed in Excellence – James Baldwin or Ta-Nehisi Coates

I was curious how James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time compared to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. They both have similar agendas to speak to a younger generation not yet accustomed to being black in a white world. But their writing styles and insights take the reader on different journeys. Where James Baldwin…

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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…

Book Review – This Is How You Lose Her

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz like the title alludes to is nine short stories about relationships. No, it’s not the “love at first sight type.” The short stories are somewhere between what was hoped for and the muddiness of what is in relationships. In “Miss Lora” the reader follows Junior’s romance…

Real Art Protest – Protest 101

You feel passion about an injustice? You realize a law is not a right? Step up and step into a situation to change. Here are a couple rules to play the political game. Rule 1 – Set a goal to spread awareness about an issue. Put pressure on those in power to make a specific…