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An Open Letter to Black Women Who Are Lovingly Devoted and Committed to Supporting and Protecting Robert Kelly

This one is heavy. Let me set the table in love and understanding and start by saying that by the time you are done reading this you will either appreciate the letter or not. I am okay with that, as silence breaking can go either way in a community where silence has been a protector […]

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I Have Nowhere Else To Report This

Monday, August 3, 2015:  I’m sitting on a plane on my way to DC for an organization wide event. My stomach is knotted as I think about seeing a co-worker who I have filed a sexual harassment claim against. I am a Dream Director. I empower youth and my community to believe that anything is […]

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On Becoming Unfukwitable

A black girl’s first act of sorcery is to make herself disappear. I understood this when my father asked me to sit on his lap. He was in a wonderful mood that night. His baritone, a whiskey warmed song ripe with invitation. I remember wrapping my arms around myself, hands trying to gather in my […]

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Wearing Our Truth: Shetroit’s Raw Evolution

I am Detroit. My heart beats “Papa Was a Rollingstone”. I feel lost–displaced. Everyone tries to tell me what my story is. And I can’t get an accurate reflection of myself. Time Magazine tells me that I am ruin porn. CNN keeps telling me that I am bankrupt. 60 minutes says that I am corrupt. […]

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Black Boys: Do Not Let Them Make You Small & Invisible

Over the Detroit skyline soars the light of a boy. The ‘not guilty’ verdict is a reminder that there are places that still cannot stomach his shadow. Freedom is earned: paid for with life, blood, rage and grief. Our children memorize the dates of American wars. Educators repeat those dates until July 4th tastes metallic […]

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What the Trayvon Tragedy Can Teach Us About Being White

A week like this hasn’t been an easy one for conducting ourselves in the work-a-day world while Trayvon’s soul calls us to think deeply and long about healing and justice. The Trayvon Martin case shows once again how white people and people of color live in very different universes. Many of my African American friends […]

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How to be a Loving Daughter to Hard to Love People

My parents refused to let me be at the hospital when my mother was scheduled to have extensive surgery on her spine. “You’re busy,” my mother said. “I don’t need you there,” my dad told me, almost annoyed that I would even ask. Though I’m in my forties, they see me as just a kid, […]

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Why Detroit and YOU Are so Much Alike

In Pune, India where I was living just a few short months ago, every well-to-do neighborhood is surrounded by a ring of slums that provides the labor to make upper-class life possible.   A walk of any distance brought me into contact with children living on the streets and rag collectors going through trash piles, […]

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When Black Isn’t Beautiful … And How Sexual Healing Told Me Otherwise

I learned from a very young age that black is not beautiful. I learned from all the childhood fairytales and Walt Disney stories which described the beautiful white princess with flowing blond hair, who was saved by the handsome white prince who instantly fell in love with her, enslaved by her fair beauty and silky […]

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The Push-Pull of Those Prickly, Yucky, Sucky Family Moments

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have the best relationship with my step-monster. Um, I mean step-mother. We are very different women who have been sharing a singular important man in our lives for over 15 years now. I hate living the stereotypical step-daughter/step-mother dynamic. But for us it’s been mostly drama, […]

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