A Ladder of One’s Own

By Christina Lewis Halpern and Daniel Rabuzzi Every June, hundreds of thousands of young people proudly accept their degrees at ceremonies attended by tearful, proud family members. How do you like this as a piece of advice for a high schooler? We don’t want you to dream of getting your college degree. I bet you […]


The Detox: A Word (For Men) On Loving Before Losing

For better or worse. In sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer. When we talk about love, we often acknowledge the rocky roads and rollercoaster rides necessary to make things work. We’re in love with love, whether it’s the forever relationship or “for as long as we can have it.” And in love […]


My First TEDx Event

I attended my first TEDx event in early January, and weeks later I am still processing how to translate what I felt into an experience that anyone can relate to. There’s no doubt this conference helped shape the trajectory of what this year and beyond could look like for me, as I bridge the gap […]


Haiti, the Haitian people and Black History Month

Excerpts of a speech given at the Lycée Philippe Guerrier of Cap-Haitian of which he was the Director, by Louis Mercier, for the dedication of the portrait of Lincoln offered by the great friend of Haiti, the American Ernst Schwarz. Also of note: Louis Mercier was my maternal grandfather. The most impressive monument I ever […]

Black History

You Can’t Celebrate Black History While Destroying Black Futures

Black History Month is the lone time of year when blackness becomes safe to celebrate by those who love black people and those who loathe us. Love is the easy part. I love my people. February is the month where that love kicks into overdrive. It’s the 28 or 29 days out of the year […]

Black Intellectualism

The Duty of Public Black Intellectualism

While taking a mass communication class last semester, I learned the average person reads at around a sixth grade reading level. Think about that for a moment, a sixth grade reading level, which means if I am writing to the average person even about complex and multifaceted issues, I must retain the ability to condense […]

Black Women

Perception is Everything

My little black girl is three years old, and I’m probably hyper concerned [1] about images of black womaness and their impact on her emotional and physical growth. For as long as I possibly can, I want some say over the representations that flood her developing psyche. That being said, my husband and I surround […]


graveyard shift. (a poem)

My superstitions are unable to last ‘cause I can’t hold my breath any longer. There is no quickened pace, there is no passing by. I’m interred in a cemetery of brown hashtags. I’ve been shoved into a reeking sepulcher. The rot of piles upon piles of strange fruit seeps into my pores. Above me circle […]


Why Must We Always Forgive?

“If he asks for forgiveness, I can forgive him.” These are the words of Audrey DuBose after a reporter callously asked her if she could forgive Ray Tensing for executing her son over a traffic stop. I spent the better half of ninety minutes watching the press conference where Prosecutor Joe Deters did his job […]

Black Hair

Going Natural: How My Natural Hair Journey Helped Me Be a Better Husband

My hair is a coarse jungle of curls interwoven so tightly I can lose things in it. And I have; I’ve ruined more than one pen when I realized, too late, I was detangling in the shower. The coils coil on themselves, forming natural locks at the slightest provocation. Knots form at the ends when […]