Categories
Coming-of-Age

A Letter to my Younger Self

At 19, I drove from Michigan to Alabama to begin my second year of college. I wish my older self could have somehow transported a letter through time and left it on top of my enormous booklet of CDs which sat in the passenger seat. My future self would know to place it there; He’d […]

Categories
Coming-of-Age

Fatherless Boys Transition into Black Men

I grew up without the father I always wanted. Most of the time I struggled with that, other times I tried not to think about it. But that emptiness I felt was always there and always affected me. And at the same time, I used it as a tool to tell my story of growing […]

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Awareness Coming-of-Age

A Conversation Between Greatness, Compromise, and Sacrifice

A conversation between Greatness, Sacrifice, Compromise—circa 2012—and someone who’s stupid enough to pretend these things aren’t interrelated. We’ll call that person,”G.” G: Alright. So check this out. I have all these plans I wish to accomplish and a lifetime to accomplish them. I know you’re in my future and I just have to put in […]

Categories
Coming-of-Age

The Journey of Self-Discovery

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” –Carl Jung Twenty-two. African American male. 5 foot, 10 inches. Son. Brother. Public servant. Preacher. College graduate. Old soul. That’s who I am externally, but who I am internally? What makes me smile? […]

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Awareness Black Hair Black Women Blackness Coming-of-Age Identity Self-Care

Searching For Identity In the Realm of Black Hair

A few weeks ago, I stepped away from the kinky/curly hair community for a basic haircut. I’d re-entered the space with an understanding of how I revel in the fragmentation of the African-American community. While I question what it means to be united with other African-Americans, I used my hair to play up my self-worth. […]

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Awareness Black Power Coming-of-Age Education Personal Essay Self-Care

A Conversation With Truth

I found myself sitting in a confined space, with my knees grasped and pushed my forehead into the tops of my kneecaps. I let my fingers run angrily up and down the sides of my legs as the cadence of my inhale versus my exhale became more staccato in nature. I was burnt out. As […]

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Black Family Coming-of-Age Personal Essay Religion

My Kind of Gospel

Yes, I’ll admit it. I was a choir boy. I was the seven-year-old that would have singing lessons with his grandma that wouldn’t end until I either held my notes longer than her, or practiced my scales to her pleasing. Embarrassingly, I wanted to be in the choir for many years, and when I finally […]

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Black Family Black Lives Matter Coming-of-Age Fatherhood

A Letter to My Father

It wasn’t until we stopped speaking that I realized that we haven’t had a real conversation at any point in life. Sure, there have been talks, but they’ve always been one-sided, and I don’t think either of us realized it. Truth is, I’ve been living in your shadow for so long trying to be just […]

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African Diaspora Coming-of-Age Personal Essay

Just a Citizen of the World

Who am I? Where am I from? I was born in Geneva, Switzerland, but people sometimes give me the look when I tell them I’m Swiss. I was told many times, “Go back home!” “Go back to Africa!” When I heard that, I kept telling them that I was born in Switzerland and therefore my […]

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Black Family Black Women Coming-of-Age

My Mother and Me

One of the best parts of my adult life is the camaraderie I’ve developed with my mother. It’s a fruitful and engaging friendship filled with jokes, laughs, and playful pokes by the two of us. If a couple of weeks go by without us speaking, my phone will ring and “Mommy” will flash. The minute […]