Black, I: The Truth About Slavery

I was in the ninth grade, the only black girl in a classroom of white peers, when I learned the truth about slavery. At the time, I thought I knew all there was to know. No fault of my mother’s; she just didn’t have the heart to tell me the whole truth…

Black Mourning: Let Our Grief Be Our Own

We must let our grief and our celebration, our individual experience, be our own. Because given the voice to speak our own way, we all have something distinct to say about our collective history and future…

Bootstraps: The Happiest Place on Earth/ Asha Doré

The American Dream, he’d say, and we’d both go quiet and watch the short evergreens and palms out the front window for a beat, their leaves waving a little under the swarm of midday sun. When the window filled suddenly with with a spray of water, the trees and road went liquid. Their colors blurred. Dad would gasp, Shit, Asha it’s happening again. He’d say, God’s raining only on us.

Rust & Remembrance: Nicknames

We all had nicknames in the shipyard up north, not so down south. I don’t know why that is; maybe because the yards down south were so damned big and the bosses were always watching. We would never collect in groups out in the open in the southern yards, while up north we had real unions and some really tough shop stewards, so the ass-kicking went both ways…

Review: Black Wave by Michelle Tea

Michelle Tea redefines autobiographical fiction by paring it down to its emotional core and dressing it back up as a work of beauty that never loses sight of the balances an artist must achieve in order to both create and to survive. And the cameo appearance by Matt Dillon is just icing on the delicious cake.

Felony Record: An Introduction

Normally, I would offer you my name, by way of an introduction. Names are important; they are currency in a conversation, they are expected, for good or ill, and we bind ourselves to each other with them. But I won’t be offering my name in this case: talking about my time in prison could cost me my career.

Appalachian Pride: B is for Bisexual/ Frankie Wolf

This piece was part of the show “Queerology 101,” performed in April 2017 for Rowan County Pride. In the show, a misguided professor attempts to define each letter of LGBTQ, getting it wrong every time. For the B, he said that, like the Sasquatch, Appalachian Black Panther, and other “mythical” creatures, there simply was no proof that bisexuals are real.