My mother and father grew up in segregation. Mickey and Miami have fooled people into thinking otherwise, but Florida is and always was a Southern state. My father was born during the Baby Boom and lived in a shotgun house on the brother side of Jacksonville, the youngest of four siblings. His older brother, Julian, made… Continue reading Together, We Are Better
“Where you from?” the driver asks in Spanish after a few minutes in the air-conditioned cab. He had picked me up on the corner near my apartment, sweating under the morning sun in my khakis and button-down dress shirt with the sleeves rolled-up to the elbow. He is running me to the university, but it… Continue reading Going Native
My first identity crisis came with my Haitian background: both of my parents are Haitian and I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I experienced a lot of negative stereotypes and taunts—Haitian Booty Scratcher, Haitians smell, their socks don’t match—and decided to embrace my American-ness while denying my Haitian-ness. All that changed on… Continue reading Crisis of Identity
Native people are the most loving people in the world. And it makes sense—so many of us have seen this movie before. We got our own problems, right? Still, ever since the Michael Brown tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri, I’ve received hundreds of Facebook messages and emails—Native people understanding the connection between black folks’ interaction with… Continue reading In This Together: Police Brutality Against Black and Brown People
Johny Pitts is a writer, photographer, and broadcast journalist interested in issues of Afro-European identity. He won a Decibel Penguin Prize for a short story included in the The Map of Me, a Penguin books anthology about mixed-race identity. He recently collaborated with author Caryl Phillips on a photographic essay for the BBC and Arts… Continue reading On the Cusp of Identity
Fat faggot was what they called me from eighth through twelfth grades. It had been just plain faggot before then. And sissy and sweet thang and Oreo and mutt and sometimes halfbreed and once or twice even cracker. But it was fat faggot that stayed. It stayed after I had graduated high school and lost… Continue reading Brothers, Do You Love Yourselves?