Unmasking the GOP as the Party of Negligent Homicide

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.


As With Stephon Clark And Saheed Vassell, America Is A Danger To My Newborn Son

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

We Need The Revolutionary Black God That James Cone Saw

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?

Carnivalism: The Shadow of Hierarchy

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.

Talk at Horizons 2017: “Black Masks, Rainbow Bodies: Race and Psychedelics”

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.