In Arizona, a family caring for a child’s heart condition lost their house and car to medical bills they couldn’t pay. In St. Louis, a shelter closed and later a homeless man was found frozen to death in a trash bin. In California, a poor family was found dead in their van from carbon monoxide poisoning.
I’d explode. I’d be a stick of walking dynamite. I’d want to kill until he was in my arms again. I never felt murderous rage until I realized my child co
Published in The Huffington Post, Opinion April 8, 2018 A day after my son was born, Stephon Clark was killed by police. I try hard to not see his death as a prophecy for my child. He’s an infant. He stares at me with a bottomless love and hunger. I just want him to grow … Continue reading As With Stephon Clark And Saheed Vassell, America Is A Danger To My Newborn Son
Published in They Indypendent June 4, 2018 If Roseanne Barr died 4,645 times, death upon death; if she were lost like screams in a hurricane; like an old man, legs swollen fat, his last pill days ago; like a worker, head split by a falling tree; like a dead baby, milky eyes seeing the afterlife; … Continue reading If Roseanne Barr was Puerto Rico
It's hard to watch. Guns aimed at the dark. Loud yells. Loud salvo. Night drizzle in the tactical lights. Cops mistook his cell phone for a gun. I know already, he's dead. I finished watching the video of Stephon Clark's murder. Days later, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders labeled it a "local matter."
In the fires of a burning city, James Cone saw the face of God. He was a young theologian transfixed by newsreels of the 1967 Detroit uprising. For five days, Black people fought soldiers as buildings burned in the night. Two years later, his Black Theology & Black Power hit bookstores; God, he said was on the side of the protesters. Cone died last month. Although mourned by many, his legacy is in question. Millennials have left behind the church in the internet age. What role does Cone’s theology have now? What can we do with a faith that once linked us to our ancestors?
Puerto Rico still had no power. Weeks after Hurricane Maria battered the island, streetlights were like dead iron flowers and the avenues, draped in shadows. I came to find family and report for my newspaper. Parking near Borinquen Plaza, I got out and saw boys popping wheelies on bikes. Couples drank on benches. A crowd cheered on old men, who played dominoes. I was a little embarrassed and said, “Why aren’t you suffering more?” The air was prickly, almost electric with freedom. Like a carnival. The next day, I drove around the island, interviewing people and found immense suffering. In the mountains, families starved, the old and sick were desperate. People had died. Yet everyone I talked with always admitted the same guilty secret. They loved the renewed connection. Family. Friends. Even the land. It all was powerfully present.
Psychedelics is a "white thing". It is a common idea. Many people of color view "tripping" as an effete practice of the privileged that the oppressed cannot afford. The sentiment is mirrored by the near invisibility of race as a topic in official, often all white, psychedelic conferences. Against white silence and black suspicion, more youth of color, some affluent and integrated are experimenting with psychotropics. Using literature, history and personal testimony, we can map how psychedelics have been interpreted by Black America.
“Here’s where the hurricane tore off my roof,” she pointed upward. We look at exposed wood beams under open sky. “It was horrible,” Ruth crossed her arms. “Doors shook. Water came into the house.” Her son tugged on her pant leg and she lifted him. “We hid in the bathroom.” Patting his head, she leaned … Continue reading Island of Light, Island of Shadow
Published in The Indypendent September 19, 2017 Issue 29 U.S.–Mexican Border “People are dying,” the reporter’s voice cracked. At his feet, skeletal families raised thin arms. He pointed to the refugees around him, tens of thousands, panting with cracked lips, dying in the dust. Their eyes gazed north, to the soldiers and the great wall … Continue reading The Road to the Sun