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...]

Why Don’t You Believe Us?

I am a queer woman. I fear for the dissolution of the legal marriage with my wife.I am an American-born, Arab-American. I fear Islamophobic harassment which almost every member of my American-born family has experienced. I fear the impact of registration on my friends & family.I am a refugee hoping to be united with family. I fear I'll never see them again.I am a Black American. I fear the implications of a white nationalist recently named as Trump's chief of staff.I am a Mexican American. I fear the impact of The Great Wall of Mexico will have on immigrant families & the poor.I am a woman. I fear the implications of living in a country where it's okay for our President to explain away sexually predatory behavior even as he's headed to trial on child rape charges. //// Many of us are legitimately scared. Lots of us are terrified. Some can't stop crying. Others have overwhelm. There is an unrest that has very little to do with losing the candidate of … [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...]

“I Don’t Like Black People”

Last Sunday, I took my boys to our new black Church.  When we pulled into the parking lot, Ransom (8.5) sighed."Ugh. Mama, I don't want to go this one.  I wanted to go to Daddy's (white) Church!"Rhysie (4.5), of course, followed suit.  "Yeah, Mama.  I didn't want to go to this one."I lug them out of the car, pontificating about having a good attitude and being thankful for all things blah blah blah when I realize I need to tell them the truth."Look boys, it's good for Mama to be around other black people. Mama needs more black people in her life.""I don't like black people!" Rhysie says in a huff, stomping his foot for good measure.I sigh.  What I remind myself quickly --he's 4.5 he does not know what in thee hell he's talking about.  Also? I'm positive he's blissfully and conceptually challenged to what race, ethnicity and cultural identity *actually* mean.  After the mental check point, I kneel down to face him and smile, "Rhysie, it's not nice to say you don't like people … [Read more...]

Why I’m Leaving the White Church for the Black One.

A few years ago, I worked for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship as a Regional Black Campus Ministries Coordinator.  That meant I was in charge of overseeing all of IV's black chapters, black staff & non-black staff working with black students in MI, OH, W. VA & Western PA.  I'd been doing work with black students specifically -by request and calling- for over 10 years before I stepped into that role.In short? I had a lot of black folks in my life on a regular basis.  This tempered all of the places I didn't have any black folks in my life on a regular basis: my home, my neighborhood, my Church, etc.  To be fair, my (white husband) & I did attend a black Church for 5 years, 2000-2005.  Since then we've been at a growing (majority) white, hipster-ish Church.A year after I left InterVarsity, I started to FEEEEEEEL it with all of the feels there are to be felt.  I started to question every. doggone. thang.NUMBER ONE: Where are my black people, for crying out loud? … [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...]

Little BLOG of Horrors: Say Goodnight, Gracie.

Have you ever seen Little Shop of Horrors?  It's a musical about a nerdy florist who finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed.With blood. … [Read more...]

Oh, High School, Oh High School: An Ode to a “Sorry Ass Nigga.”

Do you ever go back in time ala journals? I have several which I have advised my husband to promptly take to the backyard and burn upon my death. … [Read more...]

September 11 from a black, angry & racist perspective…

On 9/11, I have a vivid image of my husband bounding into our bedroom, swinging open the door and yelling, "Gracee, wake up!  We are at war!"  My 1st thought, of course was nuclear war.  I thought we had days, hours, perhaps even minutes to live.  (I know I'm such a drama queen, but seriously who says 'we're at war'?)My experience that day was unlike most.  In short, my reaction was extremely complex.  At length, I was confused, angry, bitter, racist & immature.  I hope I can explain that here.In the midst of the 9/11, 9th year anniversary, my thoughts today are meant to look at how events like 9/11 contribute to the complexity of race and racial issues. I hold just one perspective of a black American who felt completely divided about the attacks.Even more, as a biracial woman I felt split down the middle of my very identity; taking sides with myself and such.  It's been a long journey for me that is rife with struggle and tears yet ultimately led me to face the anger a … [Read more...]