• Black in America,  Current Events

    Teaching America (to foreigners) in the time of Black Oppression…

    I’m not feeling America right now. I haven’t been for a while. I’ve been teaching lessons on America, via English lessons to a student in China. It’s a whole unit about American culture. Which is all fine and good, I guess. I have some concerns about how they portray certain aspects of American culture—like how often we play football. But that is trivial compared to what is really bothering me. My student is very bright and advanced for her level and I need to give her more information then what is laid out before me to teach. I often use supplementary digital props that contain images of the American Flag…

  • Book Reviews

    Book Review: My Sister the Serial Killer

    Oyinkan Braithwaite tells the tale of two sisters. The crazy beautiful one, Ayoola, and the sensible (not as beautiful) one, Korede. Guess which one is the serial killer? This story puts a spotlight on sibling rivalry, from the point of view of the not so beautiful sister. I love it. The love-hate relationship Korede has with her sister Ayoola is tangible. And the mother’s contribution to their rivalry. Relateable and unfortunate. The book opens when Ayoola has killed her third boyfriend, and Korede, the “cleaner” is getting tired of it. But as expected of a sociopathic sister, Ayoola moves on and starts dating again. Nothing good can come of this,…

  • About Me,  Life Updates & Personal Development,  Making a Career out of Writing,  Writing Techniques, Tips, and Tricks

    Eight mistakes I made balancing my role as a mom and an author

    Not taking some time out to focus on just being a Mom. I’ve been working since the day my little one was born. I’ve never taken a break to just enjoy being around her. Get into a rhythm of being a Mom. I’m more scatterbrained than ever. And a schedule for us, It doesn’t exist. I constantly fret about the things I’m not doing well enough for my daughter and… I wish that I had taken the time to focus on being a Mom first. To get comfortable in that new role first before I tried to continue things the old way. Sometimes my priorities get mixed up and my…

  • Black in America

    How to Heal from Internalized Racism

    Surround yourself with images of beautiful Black people. A long time ago, I read somewhere that your outlook on life is determined by the first seven years of your life. Surrounded by positive white images, and negative images of Black people during the first seven years of your life, you have likely internalized a negative image of yourself. The thing I’m most embarrassed to admit was that I thought braids looked better on white people and did not look good on me. No one told me this, but the internalized racism and self-hate I’d developed over the years made me believe it. Whenever I looked for fashion ideas, browsed magazines,…

  • Book Reviews

    Book Review: With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

    Listening to an audiobook is a different experience than turning pages. I started listening to audiobooks on long commutes back in 2015 and I never looked back. While it isn’t the same as moving at your own pace, mentally drowning out the world around you with a paper book, it’s immersive in its own way, and I’ve come to enjoy it. Narrators often add a certain tangible quality to books. Especially when read by the author. I know, without a doubt, exactly how the author’s words are meant to sound. I hear the book exactly as the author heard it in their head while writing. I can hear their passion,…

  • Black in America,  Current Events

    To the Black People Who Agree with Candice Owens

    You are a victim of white supremacy. I saw Candice Owens’s video. I didn’t know who this woman was and had to look her up. Apparently people care what she says, and she’s well-known enough to have a blue check mark next to her name. She is, and you too if you agree with her, are victims of the white supremacist narrative and don’t realize it. Here’s why. You think the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is making a martyr of George Floyd. Why is that? Who said it? Have you heard any community activists say this? What is a martyr exactly? You’re smart. You’re educated. A martyr is someone…

  • Black in America

    I discovered a subconscious bias I didn’t know I had.

    I’ve been watching a lot of tv lately, which I hate, because that means I get very few other things done. My sister recommended a show to me, On My Block. Basically, these four kids live in a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles. One of their friends joins a gang, albeit somewhat against his will, and the three friends spend two seasons (all I’ve watched so far) trying to “save” him. Spoiler Alert: Cesar, the friend who joins the gang, and his older brother Spooky—part of the reason why Cesar joins the gang in the first place—spend some bro time on the beach. They talk about their childhood. And Spooky…

  • Life Updates & Personal Development,  On Writing the White Minority Series,  Writing Techniques, Tips, and Tricks

    I’m afraid to look at the edits to my manuscript.

    So today I’ve received first-round edits back from my editor. I got it much earlier in the day, but I’ve been too nervous to review them. What am I expecting from the editor? Objective editing: grammar, syntax, flow… Nothing that should make me nervous. I’ve been working on this book for 7 years, and I just want someone to tell me it’s good enough. I want the world to tell me it’s good enough. I want validation on the words I’ve labored to write. But that isn’t what this edit is for. I decided that my book is good enough. I decided to take the next steps to get Part…

  • Black in America,  Life Updates & Personal Development

    Are my social media posts too Black?

    I grew up ignorant of the current plight of black people. I thought we lived in a post-racist society. It was easy to maintain my naivety. I have a good amount of privilege in the Black community: two types, actually. I have economic class privilege and skin color privilege. I went to a good school/college, didn’t worry about food/housing, or violence in my neighborhood. People don’t lock their car doors or clutch their purses when I walk by the way they do for my husband. My complexion confuses some people for some reason. Thanks to a long history of colorism, melanin-richer ladies have commented on how they initially weren’t sure…

  • Black in America,  Current Events

    Stop complaining about Black people getting shot and killed and do something.

    Since Trayvon Martin was killed in 2012, I've done very little. I've sat in front of my keyboard writing. Murder after murder, by police and by civilians, my actions have hardly changed. I've talked to my husband about what is happening, what I think we can do. But I haven't taken direct action. I haven't called any politicians. I haven't marched, protested—shucks, I don't even think I've made my own post on social media. Maybe I've signed an online petition or two. But the reality is, two things cause tangible change in this country: violence and money.⁠ ⁠ I'm a pacifist so my only option is using money. But I…