Well, my work is anyway.
Las Artelitas, a collective here in Chicago that works with artists of color to develop trenchant social commentary through art. I’ve submitted a piece that adapts the story of the Three Little Pigs for the theme of the exhibit, whose description I’ve included below:
The Allegorical White Horse is a closer look at what it means to exist under the shadow of our vulnerabilities. It is widely held that upon seeing Cortez’s small white skinned army riding in White Horses, Moctezuma was mesmerized by what he perceived to be gods. This fantasy is a powerful point of departure for us in our conception of fable, and how we mirror ourselves in our fantastical acceptance of falsehoods to continue the cycle of oppression.
I’m excited! My written work is going to be hanging next to amazing visual art! If you are or will be in the Chicago area around the time of the exhibit, I highly suggest you come check it out for a spell.
Look at the event page here.
If you follow me on any of my social media then you know that I am an uber nerd girl that co-hosts a nerd talk radio show once a week. You would also know that my signature silver hair is directed influenced by Storm style, that I cosplayed as Storm this year, and that in general, I am all about Black girl silver screen magic. Onicia Mueller reached out to me to ask if I thought Storm was going to be the next superhero film and unfortunately, I have to say that this will probably not be the case. Check out the interview here.
I’ve been published! You can find my work this week in Skidmark zine sandwiched between two VERY cool comics. “The Song That Brought Her” is a *micro* story heavily inspired by the theme Aliens and my mother, who has the amazing talent of poetically telling it like it is. Look for me on page 7. Enjoy it here.
I’m getting published! Yay!
The King Bey Bible, an anthology that celebrates the impact of Beyonce’s work, has accepted an essay I wrote about my immediate first impression of Lemonade, the film. I am extremely honored to be a part of this project, headed by Feminista Jones and Olivia Cole, two writers who I have admired for years now.
The book looks to be out in summer 2017. As soon as I have more information about the date of publication and availability, you will have it too.
To learn more, click here.
If you would like to support this project, click here.
Y’all. I’m SUPER excited.
My reasons for clearing out my schedule and throwing a viewing party for Issa Rae’s first network series are simple; I’m a HUGE fan of Issa Rae. Like, since my friend and I discovered her YouTube series “Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” on it’s second episode, I’ve watched it over and over, made fans out of my friends, and literally bought the t-shirt and the computer decal when merch became available. I’ve bought the book, liked the Facebook page, and last week I attended the Chicago premiere of “Insecure”.
But what if you aren’t as ridiculous dedicated as I am? Why should you take an hour out of your day to watch “Insecure”?
Besides the fact that HBO lend its services to you for a month for free (I can’t think of a better way to spend no money) I have eight more excellent reasons for you below.
Because “youths” still makes you sort of nervous.
My list of fears would be on that paper that tumbles down to my toes and rolls a bit under your watchful and ever surprised eye. Nearing the top would be 3) roaches that can fly 2) farts that seem like they’re gonna be quiet and then AREN’T and 1) getting roasted by a group of adolescents on a day when I’m feeling cool. Kids have the talent of picking out and exploiting even your most minute insecurities to the point where you can almost feel yourself shrinking down to your bumpy nose, or the pimple on your forehead, or your big feet. You can’t win a discourse like this without also exploiting an insecurity of theirs, which, if you do, makes you a terrible person who has just degraded a child. The only way to win is to walk fast as hell and hope that your best friend is available to cry to about it later.
There is an effective way to respond, I’m sure, that I have absolutely not mastered. It’s cool though. Issa hasn’t mastered it either.
Because you have a friend that is way cooler than you whose secret you can never crack.
You’ve tried dressing like them but you don’t have the body, talking like them but you don’t have the swagger, and doing your hair like theirs but don’t have a texture. Their mom is cooler than yours, boys like them better, they can drink without getting sloppy, and they always seem hip to the latest trends. When standing next to them, you are either the plain friend or the poser friend, and because you feel lost in your own life this bothers you. It’s cool though; you also admire your cool as ice friend, and maybe the chill rub off on you?
Either way, it’s fun and oh so relatable to watch Issa navigate this.
Because you still don’t know the proper way to break up with someone.
Do it in person, definitely? While holding on to both of their hands and staring into their eyes with your eyes, so that you can pinpoint the exact moment water starts to collect and soften you down to a “never mind”? Or let things end naturally by slowly spacing out calls and texts and Snapchat chats? Say something snarky and then run out of the house to stay with your cool friend for the night? Keep your mouth shut and stay forever?
Hell if I know. Hell if Issa Rae’s character knows either. Let’s all find out together.
Because you’re still navigating the office politics at your job.
No one seems to get you at work. Your comedic genius is unappreciated, your workflow is different from everyone else’s, and that one time you brought a dish to the company potluck people only politely picked at it. The tension at work is so nuanced that sometimes you can’t tell whether most of it is in your head, a forever mystery, since the only people you have to process about it with are your super cool friend who is loved by everyone she works with, and the person you are trying to slyly break up with. What will you do? Eventually quit? Snap? Do something cool that everyone loves and then you become popular again?
Issa doesn’t know, but Issa will find out. Stay tuned.
Because you are so good at making awkward moments awkward-er. Er.
Accidentally wave at someone who was waving at someone behind you? Forget calmly putting your hand back down and looking away. Wave more frantically at an imaginary person behind them. Scream about how long it’s been since you’ve seen them. Motion for them to come over. That’ll fix it.
Don’t just trip while walking. Slam your knee into the ground, break your shoe, and accompany your sojourn with plenty of over the top sound effects.
Don’t stop at just one bad joke no one laughed at. Be ambitious. Be like Issa. Go for ten.
Because, although rare, the promise of sex can temporarily turn you into a crappy friend.
“I know that you are going through an existential crisis with your love/academic/work/financial life but I’ve had a few drinks and just got texted a series of suggestive emojis and an invite to come over right now so….rain check on the therapy sesh?”
If you think that hurts, think about how you’ll feel when you have to explain to your friend later that the sex was so-so because of your overwhelming guilt for abandoning them, and then they rightfully hog all your snacks.
It will make sense when you watch the show.
Because systemic oppression bleeds into your daily life on a regular basis.
Your friend getting engaged has you feeling pressured to settle down, which gets you thinking about false male-dependence. Your girlfriend being approached by a cute guy has you thinking about beauty standards. Your dashiki-wearing coworker has you all in your head about cultural appropriation. The interracial couple that just walked past just got you going on about misogynoir. Everyday interactions are like land mines for thoughts about any number of isms that can change your entire mood. Your entire face falls. Your coworkers notice and ask what’s wrong. You break into a gawky song and dance. Obviously.
Because Issa shows us that a whole host of things that we do that we think are super weird are actually normal and ok.
I’m tempted to write here “because being cool is abnormal” but I’ve been uncool for so long I’m pretty sure I have a bias. So I’ll just say that like everyone else is saying, the series premiere will make you laugh and make you think, is witty, and is expertly written. I’d like to add that you are more than likely going to spend the hour the episode runs yelling, “Same. SAME!!” or “Issa swear she me” or “Me AF” if you are cooler than I am.
Which, thanks to Insecure, I know that you secretly aren’t.
Insecure premieres on HBO on October 9 at 9:30 PM CT.
Hi readers! My recent essay “Role Model” is now in the Huffington Post. You can read it without expletives (ha) here, and you can also find the original post here.
I believe that I was in a distraught mental state when I wrote this, and put it together in about two hours, from first to final draft. When I posted it the response was very good, and I realized (and am still realizing in layers) that my feelings are not unique, and that is comforting. I hope you all enjoy this version of Role Model as well. 🙂
After months and months, my first Huffington Post piece is published and doing well. It is written so sort of an open letter to a little black girl I knew some years ago, juxtaposing my feelings about my own natural hair journey and freedom with her carefree attitude. I hope that many of you, no matter your hair texture, can find something in this piece. Read it here.