Black by Popular Demand – Activist by Choice

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The Young and The Radical – The Awakening of a New Black America

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August 25, 2016

I’ve been black my whole life. It’s funny how the math of race works: a black woman meets a white man and makes a black child.  I’ve always known that, but at the same time, it’s a new discovery. And having discovered it, I am afraid. America has never played by the rules when it… Read More ›

The Shattered Innocence of Black America

As featured on Medium Barely a year ago in Portland — surrounded by more people of color than I had met in my seven years living there — I stood in the rubble of a destroyed city block, breathing in the wet fog and acrid dust, blinking back tears. But it was not the buildings which had been destroyed…. Read More ›

Racism and The Double Standard of Guns

As featured on Medium This weekend, another militia featuring another Bundy entered into their second armed standoff with the American government. The first had been on federal land that the Bundy ranch claimed de facto ownership of. According to the Sheriff in charge of apprehending them, “they were in my face and pointing weapons”. When… Read More ›

I’m Dreaming of a Black Star Wars

As featured on Medium Dear younger me, Merry Christmas! You’re what, 10 now? 13? I can’t remember if you’ve just seen the first Star Wars prequel or the second, but I do know the disappointment you feel. You don’t quite know why, but you are certain what you just watched was not Star Wars, not… Read More ›

Dear White People, Racism Is Not About You

Dear White People, It’s been awhile since our last chat, but I’ve been noticing that you keep fundamentally misunderstanding what racism is. So let’s start with the basics: Racism is not about you. You’ve spent too long thinking about racism as a personal animus — a dislike or mistrust for people who don’t look like you. This… Read More ›

The Force Awakens in all of us, even the “nobodies”

As featured on Medium I’m a Star Wars geek, and I have been for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is of watching Star Wars with my first grade class, writing reports on what it meant to be a Jedi, and it was that from which I drew my first… Read More ›

Failure to Comply

As featured on Medium. On July 10th, Sandra Bland was pulled over by an officer for failure to signal a lane change. By the end of the hour, she would be arrested. By the end of the day, she would be in jail. By next week, she would be found dead in her own cell… Read More ›

You Can’t Break What Ain’t Fixed

As featured on Medium To liberal white Americans, Bernie Sanders represents the salvation of the American Dream. In a time of staggering inequality, the only independent Senator in America — and quite possibly the only self-identified socialist — feels like a dream candidate. His pedigree standing up to powerful interests is perhaps the most impressive of any American politician,… Read More ›

All This Has Happened Before, And All This Will Happen Again

As featured on Medium On August 9th 2014, Michael Brown was shot by a police officer, sparking a national conflagration which has been burning brightly since, casting light on the anti-black violence endemic to American white supremacy. His name was emblazoned into the minds of black Americans of all walks, but particularly young black Americans,… Read More ›

The Soul-Crushing Nature of Systemic Racism

In the news that we’ve seen as of late, you could stand there, surrender to the cops, and still be killed. Those are the chilling words of Sandra Bland. Upon her death, many leaped to defend her legacy against the verdict of suicide, asking: Why would a young woman with a new job and so… Read More ›