Music Reviews

Riding through Joburg with Lianne La Havas

“Is this Hillsong?” the driver asked. We were 100 meters from my house. There was not enough time for a sermon. In the front seat of the cab, I gathered myself before I answered. “No, it’s not Hillsong at all. At all. It’s Lianne La Havas,” I said, in a measured tone, collecting the overwhelming […]

Art Blackness Poetry Police Brutality

The Quiet Revolution

The quiet Revolution of being Black in America Where our bodies are always on auction blocks We are bought and sold for fragile egos Where our defiance is listed under justifiable homicide Justice is a word we don’t know and we are told to just go along Even when the police are hell-bent on violating […]

Art Blackness Photography Urban Life

One Photo, One City

Philadelphia was everything that Boston could never be. After two miserable years of living in Massachusetts and desperately seeking an out, a weekend visit to Philly during the Odunde Festival did me in. The streets were crowded with black people. Their beauty was an overwhelming barrage to the senses. Booths burst with vibrant African prints. […]

Art Poetry Solidarity

Sentence—for James Baldwin

The sentence, you said, must be pared to the bare bone. This was years after you left New York for Paris, $40 in your pocket, with ragged duffel bag of few clothing and early novel manuscripts you would lose crossing the Atlantic. You had to leave, you said, after your best friend jumped from the […]

Black Women Police Brutality Racism Violence

Maybe She Should Have Just…

I deleted and wrote this essay over at least twice. It was difficult to write because I was still sorting out my emotions. I didn’t want to vent and write an angry piece or feel compelled to have something encouraging to say. I also wanted to make sure this essay had a clear purpose, given […]

Abernathy Man

Abernathy Man: Wade Davis

Abernathy Man is a series that spotlights remarkable black men and the work they’re doing. You were among the few professional football players to come out as gay once retiring from the NFL. Tell us about how ideas of masculinity affected your experience as a black gay athlete and how it affects us as a […]

Awareness Black Women Mumia Abu-Jamal Social Justice Solidarity Theatre

My Mumia

CAST: Me, Mumia Abu-Jamal Supporter, Mumia Abu-Jamal Supporters, Pedestrian, and Dutch Tourists One and Two (“Dutch Tourists”) MLK, Jr. weekend 2014. 11 am on Friday, January 17th. Philadelphia. A sunny winter day at 4th and Market Streets. On the southeast corner, MUMIA ABU-JAMAL SUPPORTERS hold up large signs as drivers and pedestrians pass by. On […]

Education Empowerment Identity Multiracialism Social Justice

Transforming Words into Lived Journeys

“Talk is cheap. It is the way we organize and use our lives every day that tells what we believe in.” -César Chávez As I have traveled on my journey, I learned to recognize that life’s crossroads can lead to conflicts that appear irreconcilable. They can feel like insurmountable barriers to be feared or conquered, […]

Black Lives Matter Police Brutality Racism Social Justice

Campaign Zero

“We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.” So reads the hopeful, matter-of-fact vision statement of Campaign Zero, a momentous, sweeping initiative focused intently on ending police violence in the United States. Organized by four social justice leaders from around the country […]

Personal Essay Racism South Africa Travel Uncategorized

Set Adrift on the West Coast

This was somewhat foreign territory for me. The West Coast of South Africa was about as far as you could get from where I grew up, at least without leaving the country all together. Now, living in Cape Town, the ice cold waters of the West were not much further away than a few moments […]