23 March 2017 ~ 0 Comments

How Do You Say ‘Dementor’ in Japanese?

How Do You Say ‘Dementor’ in Japanese?

Me: Sounds like you’ve got Dementors in your office.
Student: De…nani? (what?)
Me: Dementors…I don’t know how y’all say it in Japanese, but remember in the Harry Potter movies? They were these black shadowy creatures that fly around and suck the joy and happiness out of any space they inhabit…and eventually they suck it out of you!

19 March 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Black Women in Japan are Winning!!

Black Women in Japan are Winning!!

“I was feeling kinda frustrated,” says Avril Haye Matsui, co-founder of BWIJ, addressing how and why the group came into being. “I didn’t feel like black women were being represented well. There were people writing books about ‘Western’ women in Japan but none of these women were women like me. It was like we didn’t really exist.”

13 March 2017 ~ 1 Comment

Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect

For the briefest of moments I imagined myself as the kind of person who could extend a finger and the butterfly, sensing my, I don’t know, my inner Snow White, purity of heart and utter inability to harm another of the Creator’s creatures, especially one as beautiful and guileless and harmless as a butterfly,

11 March 2017 ~ 2 Comments

From 9/11 Til 3/11: An Evolving Relationship with Fear

From 9/11 Til 3/11: An Evolving Relationship with Fear

“As I looked around, my hands stretched out before me like a blind man, trying to keep my balance, I realized this was no tremor! Watching power lines and light poles sway and swing is one thing, but watching train stations and buildings do so is another. I heard loud noises, rattling, clinging, banging metal and glass, like a thousand chandeliers shaking. Sounds I’d never heard before were coming from all over. The street was screaming.”

02 March 2017 ~ 2 Comments

One Sunday in Savannah: A Birthday Post for My Mother

One Sunday in Savannah: A Birthday Post for My Mother

One Sunday, in March of 1941, a child was born to sharecroppers in Savannah, Georgia. They named her Rosemary, and the whole of creation shouted, “praise the lord!” for she was a godsend, like all children. She was a dutiful child, toiling beside her parents in the cotton fields, learning the ethics of hard work […]

21 February 2017 ~ 1 Comment

I’m Your Mamma, I’m Your Daddy, I’m that Nigga in the Alley!

I’m Your Mamma, I’m Your Daddy, I’m that Nigga in the Alley!

Curtis Mayfield had found a way to disseminate a “stop this drug madness” caveat throughout my community, and black communities far and wide, like few others had been able to. He put it in song, tapping into a timeless oral tradition that kidnapped and monetized African bodies brought with them like spiritual contraband; this unsanctioned heritage they smuggled aboard slave ships from the motherland and kept it hidden, folded into their anguish.

19 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Amina DuJean: The Girl-Next-Door and a WHOLE Lot More!

Amina DuJean: The Girl-Next-Door and a WHOLE Lot More!

“In America we always say we’re in a post-racial society. That’s debatable, but we act like it, at least. However, in Japan, race is the only thing they focus on. And even with non-Japanese it’s the only thing they focus on as well — black idol, black idol — but I don’t mind. I like breaking barriers!”

16 February 2017 ~ 1 Comment

See That Black Boy Over There Runnin’ Scared?

See That Black Boy Over There Runnin’ Scared?

I was 9 or 10 and a 5th grader at a very revolutionary school in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. It was a Friday evening, I believe, and I was staying over my best friend and classmate Ketema’s house, as I often did back in them days, over on Herkimer Street in brooklyn. His father told the two of […]

10 February 2017 ~ 3 Comments

On Bullying, Hazing, and Backbiting in Japan

On Bullying, Hazing, and Backbiting in Japan

My first year at the school, there was an isolated incident where one student who was being bullied by another finally had had enough and went after him, in the middle of the class, with a pair of scissors. As I approached the student with the scissors stealthily from behind, the Japanese teacher practically dived in front of the damn things to stop him from slicing the other. The way he had thrown himself into the fray led me to believe that maybe the Japanese teacher’s guidelines say something along the lines of: in the event of an altercation, if there is blood spilt it had better be yours, or heads will roll.

08 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Filling The Black Hole in the Space Program

Filling The Black Hole in the Space Program

Truth be told, we’d likely still be dreaming of reaching the stars if not for these industrious individuals, so I just wanted to take a moment out to acknowledge them this #BLM.