BTSD: Black-American Traumatic Stress Disorder

I am suffering from Black-American Traumatic Stress Disorder. No, I didn’t mean Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You can’t label an event “post” when it is continually happening. BTSD is not a diagnosable disorder, meaning it has not been validated by any governing body of psychological medical conditions. While I did make it up, this is me searching for a label to describe how I feel with every triggering reminder that Black people are still oppressed in this country. There have been several reminders in the last two weeks: the new…

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

I reached the age of 21 in 1997. My heaviest burden was being carded while trying to purchase my first legal drink. Coming from a sheltered life, I wanted to be grown and do all the things I thought grown people did. I ran out and got my first tattoo. I partied hard and had a good time doing it. I was not the voice of a revolution. I was not a galvanizing force that prompted people to action. I was not assassinated in my bed where I lay in…

What’s in a Name? – Meeting Tayari Jones

“I’m going to name a character in my next book after you.” That’s what Tayari Jones said in conversation with me the first time we met. It was May of 2011 at the Fancy Hat Literary Luncheon, an event created and hosted by my Aunt Jennie in honor of Mama Francina’s G.U.I.L.D., our family book club. Tayari’s book Silver Sparrow was the selection for that year’s event and she was our surprise guest. She sat in the audience, quietly hidden behind a hat my aunt had given her that day…

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Ok, so check it… I am NOT your chick-flick, Hallmark, Lifetime movie-lover. I also HATE Christmas movies (I make exceptions for The Preacher’s Wife with Whitney and This Christmas). And even though I do like a good musical every now and again, I wasn’t aware that Jingle Jangle would have singing and dancing, so I went into the movie with no expectations. I figured it couldn’t be too bad with a stellar cast that included Phylicia Rashad, Forest Whitaker, Anika Noni Rose, and Keegan-Michael Key. Thirty minutes in I was…