Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Posts tagged ‘African American’

Post-Racialism in a World of Niggers and Crackers

I continue to be intrigued by this idea of post racialism and am still trying to figure out exactly what that looks like. Some people are afraid, and rightly so, that post-racialism means that we all will start to look and talk the same and that our identities will dissolve into a common, post-racial culture. Indeed, there are some who would rather not acknowledge people’s differences because it makes them feel uncomfortable.

For instance, (more…)


I talked about my grandmother’s way of talking in the last post, but how did she influence me as a writer?

Through my grandmother, I learned how to appreciate individuality as shown through the way people talk. Accents, inflection, dialect, regional colloquialisms–all of these fascinate me. It’s like peeking into another dimension.

From her, I came to understand that poetry does not have to be limited to a particular set of words or syntax. An outgrowth of this is that I enjoy “spoken word” as a form of poetry because it often uses the vernacular. I also enjoy hip hop and rap music. What’s more, these modes of expression are as dynamic and versatile as any other mode.


Poet Paul Dunbar (1872 – 1906) wrote (more…)

Freedom Ringing

The day Martin Luther King was assassinated was the first time I had ever heard his name.

On April 4, 1968, I was just shy of eight years old, and it was another in a series of confusing events that occurred during the past year: the riots in Newark, my parents’ separation, moving, changing schools. It was a violent year.

If I remember correctly, the announcement was broadcast during the evening news. We lived in a large house with my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, and cousins ranging in age from newborn to late teens. Pandemonium broke out (more…)

Religion: Part Two

At this point, I think that my take on religion may require three parts. This post will focus on my experience as a Muslim. My intention is not to knock this or any religion; I think in their purest forms, all religions have truths to impart in their tenets. It’s the people, though, that ruin everything. This is hard for me to write because my entire life has been devoted to the pursuit and contemplation of religion in some form or another–more accurately, to religion secondarily and primarily, to love, which I also threatened to talk about in an earlier post, and I will, but this first.

I didn’t become a Muslim simply because my future husband was (he was new convert himself) but because I really bought into it. The Quran, which is written in poetic verse, is beautifully melodious in its original Arabic language and translates quite well. (more…)

Post-Racial America

When I was creating my “About” page for this blog, I had to really think about whether to mention my age (I’m 49) and my race. My ultimate conclusion is that the most important thing about me is that I am human and of the female sex. Species and sex say the most about how a being functions in life.

But so many in the US take one look at me and form a preliminary opinion because I am African American, and because I am African American, I tend to see things from a particular perspective. These attitudes are not inherent to mankind but rather are manmade. (more…)

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