Gentrified.

unnamed (2)

I told him that I resented it. That I wasn’t even from D.C. and it still got on my nerves. That the people who had endured the crack heads and the crack-related shootings and the crack smoking mayor wouldn’t be the ones to enjoy the spiffed up buildings and the patio brunch specials. That the freshmen at Howard would probably be more inclined to get money than get involved on campus, because Froyo aint cheap and neither are those bright red Capital Bike Share bikes. And this, I said, and that, I said, and don’t forget about the other thing, I said — just like I had the night before, standing in the exact same spot, with a different homie, off a different kind of Jack. [...]

Ghetto Woman.

JanelleMonae_TheElectricLady

It had been a shit week — I was even avoiding my mom’s phone calls. I never want to tell her the bad stuff. [...]

The Most Beautiful City In The World.

6732960045_bf868e55dd_z

As much affection as people have for strong black women, the strongest among us need places where we can take down the full armor of God, where we can be seen without being ogled, mistaken for famous black women we look nothing like (I am not Tracy Chapman!) where we can laugh and build community inside a context that doesn’t demand — with snark, with a smile — our silence on the things that make us weary, weak and vulnerable. [...]

The Military Mindset Behind ‘Stop & Frisk.’

taliab

To many New Yorkers, their communities aren’t being served and protected by thier police force – their communities are being occupied by them. [...]

For Those Who Still Can Listen.

written by  Sergi Avteniev at Sad Bastard Bar; x-posted with permission. 

I immigrated to the United States, which means my parents would get up to go to a federal building in New York in the dark hours of the morning to stand with me and thousands of other people in a line that would take [...]

The Golden Opportunity: On Fatherhood and Raising Nina.

RogerBonairAgard

Refer to the woman who has carried your child to term as ‘the mother of my child’, no-one bats an eyelid. Refer to her as ‘my baby-mama’ and folks bristle. Why would you call her such a thing? At root is a question over what it means — to use an antiquated, sexist, phraseology – to make an honest woman of her. [...]

Little Green.

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 10.08.06 PM

Little Green is Walter Mosley’s 12th Easy Rawlins book, and reading it is a bit like watching Scandal – it’s breathless, a little far-fetched, full of strange and unexpected sex, and totally enthralling despite all that. Or maybe because of it. [...]

Lecturing the Poor Doesn’t Work.

In the Detroit of my youth, we were raised with values — values the lawyers and judges and City Council members who visited my schools would have approved — but they were too caught up in their own snobbish assumptions about people like us to imagine it. [...]