In Which Rescue is on Deck

I turn 40 later this month, and as such have become hella reflective. This year has been one of the worst years of my life. So much so, I’m thinking of canceling my 40th birthday party. Please, please forgive my swears, but what is the gottdamb mutha-effin’ point of a celebration when you are wildly swiveling through the five stages of grief every other day or week? And please know, I do not say any of this lightly. I do not say that for the sake of page hits, Facebook hyperbole, ‘likes’ or pity.I say this because it’s completely, wildly, disappointingly, surprisingly, mortifyingly true. For those of you who’ve kept up with my blog & my writings know that the implosion of my 1st marriage, a complete breakdown, a fierce custody battle, an ugly divorce are all a part of my story, and that too was deeply painful. This year rivals the level of pain & hopelessness of those years. I cannot say why. I am still surprised at the turn of events. I only know life is as equally a nightm … [Read more...]

What Gives Me Hope for The Church

I’m sitting on a double-decker, red-eye Megabus, Nashville bound, nonstop from Chicago. My friend bought me a ticket so I can join her at a retreat she created for Christian women ministering in various capacities. She said the Lord told her I should be there. Good enough for me.The bus departs at midnight. At first there’s a lot of chatter, and then laughter over one woman’s giant church hat, which she’d carefully wrapped in a white garbage bag and placed on top of the hefty pile of carry-ons.After a little while, gospel music fills the lowest cabin while sleep descends. All night, the sounds of God’s truth and human longing pour into my weary brain. He is a shelter. He is a shelter.The bus patrons are made up entirely of African Americans. Eventually we talk about the atrocities in Ferguson, Mo. “Lord Jesus,” someone says. “Father God,” says another.Wanna read the rest here?  Join me...////For October: I’m joining with a herd of other bloggers who are writing for # … [Read more...]

Something’s Wrong For Our Sisters

Beneath the stereotype of the angry black woman is an overlooked vulnerability.Rahiel Tesfamariam writes that black women act as if there is a war being waged against us. Yes, yes and more yes.Tesfamariam recognizes that the U.S. still doesn't know how to deal with the "angry black woman," whether she's Solange in an elevator or a woman lamenting the life of her dead son. She goes on to say, "We wouldn't have to fight so hard if our minds, bodies and spirits weren't constantly in danger of harm or threat of misuse."As a black woman, my instinct is to push down the sadness, squelch the anger, and reject the hopelessness until...I can't any more. I feel vulnerable, sometimes daily. Mostly, weekly. I can only bottle so much fear when, after repeated exposure of my vulnerabilities as a black woman, my hopelessness bubbles over, sloshing tears all over the place.Earlier this spring, more than 200 girls were stolen out of their school in Chibok, Nigeria. CNN claims the … [Read more...]

What Are You Supposed To Tell Your Sons About the Black Woman Chair?

When an international magazine editor sits down on a chair called "the black woman chair," for an editorial magazine......heads are scratched. Pearls are actually clutched.  Swear words are articulated.  Anger is not just in the head or heart, it is felt in the body.  From anger to sadness to despair.Then you remember this IS our reality.  You forgot...since yesterday.You post it on Facebook and every one feels ALL THE RAGE.  And you feel confirmed that it IS -in fact- jarring, awful, perhaps even evil.  A piece of  "art" gone rogue.  A misstep by an editor, a photographer, a magazine editor, a publisher.They apologize, say "everyone is equal" but you know in your heart this was no unintentional misstep.  This chair was made to be intentionally "provocative," they can call it "not racism," and a "piece of art," and you can call bullshit all day but mostly you stuff it down because if you didn't each new instance of your objectification would suffocate you.You wonder … [Read more...]

The Spirit of Detroit and all the rest for you, Netizen

netizen |ˈnetəzən|nouna user of the Internet, esp. a habitual or avid one.////1. My HOMEY, Micah talking about how he changed his mind regarding the "evils" of Black Friday inspired a great deal by this post explaining the upsides of Black Friday.  Love.2. The black musician who befriends KKK members & keeps their white linens after they give up their hate.  He's a better human than me.3. An article about how a black college student was tortured in his dorm room at college but also how blacks aren't safe anywhere.  I resonate deeply with this post. I've been a hot mess of fear and anger later regarding my African-American heritage.4. Natural hair wearer?  Here's a helpful list of how to care for your hair during the winter.5. A POWERFUL ad campaign by Amnesty International showing the awful consequences of war and violence.6. Has urban ministry become a new symbol for the Church?  Well, dang.  Well thought post by Osheta Moore.As I mentioned in my l … [Read more...]

Oh Yes I Will

I read my friend, Sarah Bessey's beautiful words's the other day and wept.  Ten minutes later I'd written the following response.////"I’m the one who gets on your nerves, the one you wish would go away, I know. Maybe I embarrass you. Maybe I worry you. Maybe I anger you. Maybe it’s a bit of insecurity? jealousy? fear? Or maybe, just maybe, you’re afraid of people like me." -Sarah BesseyI too, feel this tension when I find out a friend is embarrassed by my online words.  I feel this when the people who know and love me grow uncomfortable with my details.  Unlike a random reader, they got a dog in a fight, I get it. People tell us they worry.  They worry about these "new perspectives," this new boldness.  They hear me lament over African-Americans abortion statistics and they tell me to shut up about it all ready.  They call me a f*ck!ng c*nt  for calling out the racism surrounding a movie.  A movie.You feel the weight of Sarah's sentiment "I'M NOT AFRAID OF YOU!", just like m … [Read more...]

What Would You Do If I was Shot In The Head for Being An Advocate?

Isn't amazing -and profoundly sad- that it usually takes over very brave person stepping into certain death or torture for the rest of us to get our heads out of our navel's long enough to see that some things are worth living and dying for?Look at Rosa Parks.  She knew without a shadow of a doubt what angry, racist white men were capable of in 1955 America, yet she went ahead and got on the front of that bus for sake of herself and every other disrespected African-American of the day.  The woman sparked a movement!  A movement called Civil Rights.  Maybe you've heard of it.  She was very, very brave.So is Malala Yousafzi.  Malala is 14.  Malala is just a baby yet has accomplished a tremendous amount in the span of her brief life.  Malala lives in Pakistan one of the most dangerous places on the planet for a woman to live.  Malala had the courage that very few of us comfy 1st-world'ers possess to take onthe Taliban -The Taliban, people!- by writing for the BBC about what life wa … [Read more...]

In my light skin with my mostly white babies

What it is like to identify as one race in one ethnic background and give birth to another?  That's what I'm attempting to tackle in a healthy way from now until, let's see....the end of my life.In the meantime, I'm sharing over on Deidra Riggs' Jumping Tandem blog.  Deidre has been doing a fascinating 31 day journey called "In My Brown Skin," where she's shared what it's like to be in her brown skin.  If you have the time to go back and read some of her posts, they are beautifully written & worth the time.As a part of "In My Brown Skin" I'm sharing a bit of my journey as a biracial chick identifying as African-American who gave birth to kids who look mostly white, slightly ethnic and not much black.~Growing up in my light skin, which is practically as light as Wonder Bread, I fielded a lot of questions:“What are you?”“Yo.  What color is you?”“So. Like, what’s your -like- race or whatever?”I hoped – secretly wished- my future children would bear far mor … [Read more...]

Who is this A.P.E.?

When I started in campus ministry several years ago, I was 18, unmotivated, and a confused biracial kid with baggage up the wazoo and not a mite of confidence except in the only things I’d managed to perfect: fashion and hair.  I started tagging along with the InterVarsity kids not because of Jesus or even to chase after the random hot dudes I frequently pursued.I went because the InterVarsity staff worker at Wayne State was black.  Up to that point, I hadn’t known a single African-American Christian living faithfully to Jesus and I was desperate to see, touch, taste and feel that experience. Instinctively, I knew I’d never follow Jesus in a genuine way if I hadn’t seen it lived out among people who looked, talked, acted, thought and danced like I did...You can finish reading this post over on Release The A.P.E., a newly launched site I'll be guest contributing for monthly.  This post is a little bit more about my journey into full-time Ministry and how my "A.P.E." (apostolic, p … [Read more...]

Why should we celebrate Black History Month?

Why not?I'm always a little surprised when a -very brave- white person will say something to me along the lines of "why is there a black history month?" While I'm sometimes surprised, the questions are welcomed.  In my work with many black and white college students over the last 14 years I've learned that white people don't have enough safe spaces among blacks to ask what can be perceived as the "dumb questions," and blacks don't have enough soul space and supportive environments to be able to handle these conversations.  And what happens, is a usually a big, irreparable hot mess.I could give you a lot of links and quote a lot of people about why Black History Month is important and I could make myself sound as official as possible but I decided to give it a rest and just give you my plain old opinion.If America is your residence and you have to ask, you are probably not in a healthy place regarding African-Americans.  That's not a terrible thing, it's just something to co … [Read more...]