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Art

Connecting Through the Canvas: Donnie Rogers, Harlem Artist

A famous Harlem transplant once said, “I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.” Almost a century ago, Langston Hughes moved to the uptown New York City neighborhood from the Midwest to spread his creative wings in an era that […]

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Art Awareness Black Lives Matter Black-on-Black Crime Blackness Empowerment Film Masculinity Social Justice Stereotypes Urban Life

Why We Need Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq

It’s not wise to underestimate how movies can shape a young person’s life. Twenty years ago, when I was a teenager, Tales From the Hood played a tremendous role in my growing up. The movie, through an infusion of horror and humor, showed several stories dealing with racism and Black men growing up in urban […]

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Art Beauty Nature Personal Essay Solidarity Writing

Special Delivery: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

Something out of the ordinary happened on Black Friday. I was actually in a shopping mall, shopping for something I needed. I had every intention of joining my friends at REI in “opting out” of the day after Thanksgiving spending frenzy, but there were a few critical items I needed for my next Joy Trip. […]

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Art Poetry

Two from the Road: Wilmington, Delaware

Black Cicada That Change Can not a life expectancy Not revolution Here I am Down I am hunkering Feelers as nails So world wills me Though this Die I will not Black bird From white ant to My make up Who will hear my song? I will tell you the heat In the crease of […]

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Art Blackness Poetry

Love Gaps

We are only heard from our graves / Depicted as the help or 40 million dollar slave / To whip work or catch a similar case / Of mathematics is problematic because this tragic habit is not in our fave / Or…institutionalize our lifestyle as a crime / like black military women with natural hairstyles […]

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African Diaspora Art Fiction Urban Life

Spinach

This being her second visit to the grocery store, with its blinding fluorescent light and constant A/C, she came prepared. The wool sweater, a gift from her best friend back in Nairobi, smells of incense and coal, the scent of safe secrets, closeness, and familiarity. Its fabric caresses her chin as she exhales a memory […]

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Art Black Women Poetry

So Join Her Truth

I’m just a child of the wisdom unseen and the last moment in time The first words in free verse and last moment in rhyme The first vowel rehearsed when consonants are inclined Travel towards reverse when forward is the design Legitimized under the starlight and glass clouds Emitting the stars rays from the roots […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]