When I was in high school, my white best friend referred to me as Nigger. Sometimes she called me nicknames like Suzie, Suz, “Z,” or my Congolese name, Nginda (she never did quite get the pronunciation right), but every so often, she unabashedly called me Nigger. And I let her. Stories like these are sprinkled … Continue reading I Let Them Call Me Nigger: Unpacking My History of Internalized Racism
As I stood in front of my closet yesterday, searching for the brightest red garment I owned, I suddenly had a bit of a breakdown. One week prior, I had been the one encouraging friends and family to forego a day of work to essentially show America what the country would look like without the … Continue reading “A Day Without A Woman” Was for White Feminists
A List of Rose-Colored Microaggressions, Said With Love I was seventeen, and a stack of college brochures collected dust atop my bedroom vanity. I sat up against my headboard, eyeing them in the mirror—UCLA, UC Davis, Boston University, NYU. “What if I just applied to an HBCU instead?” I said into the phone. Historically Black … Continue reading Love Letters from My White Boyfriends
It has been a week since the 2016 Presidential election. I wish I could say that the dust has settled and I’m feeling optimistic, but that is so far from the case. I am not calm, and I am not settled. I’ve moved out of the silence of shock and into the mess of processing … Continue reading Dear White Christians: You’re Doing It Wrong
Every Thursday evening, I have a graduate school course, and every Thursday evening, I call my mother while on my way home from school. Normally dismissing the fact that I am driving as a topic not worth addressing, last Thursday my mom brought it up almost immediately. “Are you driving?” she asked with urgency. I … Continue reading “My Brother Might Become a Hashtag,” and Other Black Concerns
I had learned to say sorry for my own safety. To avoid verbal assault, polite rejection became second nature to me. In my experience, to be a single woman walking through the world meant to carry the word “sorry” in my purse alongside my lipstick and my pepper spray, just in case.