Poetry in Spaces of Recovery

Poetry in Spaces of Recovery

  I love the photo above because you can’t tell which hand is mine. Just like if I was standing together with these women in the Magdalene house, a safe place for women recovering from addiction and a life in the sex trade, (whether being trafficked or deploying their labor in instances of survival sex), Read more about Poetry in Spaces of Recovery[…]

The Black Skillet or How To Fund The Arts With Soul Food

The Black Skillet or How To Fund The Arts With Soul Food

On September 16, 2017, from 6pm to 9pm at the Yeyo Arts Collective (2907 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118), the Black Skillet Funders’ inaugural quarterly dinner happened. We served our favorite African, African-American, Black, and Southern traditional foods to members, artists and the public. Our dinner meal was $10 a plate. Funds were Read more about The Black Skillet or How To Fund The Arts With Soul Food[…]

The Birth of The Who Raised You? Podcast (Pt. 1)

The Birth of The Who Raised You? Podcast (Pt. 1)

I’m launching a podcast with my friend Karen Yang! (Video Below) Here’s a bit more about it: Who Raised You? Podcast is a kitchen table conversation between Karen (Jia Lian) Yang and Treasure Shields Redmond. Karen (she/her/they) is a 26 year-old bisexual 2nd generation Taiwanese American and a trained social worker-minister. Treasure (she/her/they) is a Read more about The Birth of The Who Raised You? Podcast (Pt. 1)[…]

Why A Black Woman Named Fannie Lou Hamer Matters Now More Than Ever (BONUS: Audio!)

Why A Black Woman Named Fannie Lou Hamer Matters Now More Than Ever (BONUS: Audio!)

Who was Fannie Lou Hamer? When one thinks of the millions of souls lost during the transatlantic slave trade, the missed potential immediately jumps to mind. All genocide robs us of the few geniuses that each culture produces.  At the beginning of the previous century the pernicious system named Jim Crow served as another sort Read more about Why A Black Woman Named Fannie Lou Hamer Matters Now More Than Ever (BONUS: Audio!)[…]

TFW You Realize You’re In Love With Your Captor

TFW You Realize You’re In Love With Your Captor

Sometimes I feel as if black folk’s self-worth teeters on the impetuous and hateful razor’s edge of racist white institutions. Like the protagonist in Beauty and the Beast, we’ve fallen in love with our captor, and somehow it has become our responsibility to humanize him. I have now lived through enough Oscar seasons to have Read more about TFW You Realize You’re In Love With Your Captor[…]

The Feminine Pronoun Series: “what It’s Like to be Bi-Municipal” (No. 36)

The Feminine Pronoun Series: “what It’s Like to be Bi-Municipal” (No. 36)

In 2009 I moved from Memphis to East St. Louis, Illinois.   A year later I moved across the river to St. Louis, Missouri. Two years after that I moved BACK across the river to Illinois where I now reside. Throughout this process, I built relationships in the arts, education and activist arena on both Read more about The Feminine Pronoun Series: “what It’s Like to be Bi-Municipal” (No. 36)[…]

The Feminine Pronoun Series: “Black” or “African American”? (No. 35)

The Feminine Pronoun Series: “Black” or “African American”? (No. 35)

As part of a creative diversity and inclusion workshop I facilitated at Lewis University, I asked people one question: “Which do you prefer? “Black” or “African American”? The responses were alternately surprising and soulful. They served as the centerpiece of the workshop, and they created a jumping off point for one of the most fascinating Read more about The Feminine Pronoun Series: “Black” or “African American”? (No. 35)[…]

Vlog: The Feminine Pronoun Series: “I Contain Multitudes” (No. 34)

Vlog: The Feminine Pronoun Series: “I Contain Multitudes” (No. 34)

I titled this video “I Contain Multitudes, “as a nod to poet Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” I love the poem because it is an expansive celebration of the visceral kingdom, the body, pleasure, our mortal reality, and the justice of seeing everything as part of a converging whole. I like to think of my Read more about Vlog: The Feminine Pronoun Series: “I Contain Multitudes” (No. 34)[…]

5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #5.The Writing Classroom is Uniquely Suited for Finding Undiscovered Gems

5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #5.The Writing Classroom is Uniquely Suited for Finding Undiscovered Gems

In part four of this series – “Our Classrooms Benefit from the Voices of our Most Marginalized Students” — I discussed (partly) how valuable the “marginalized voices” are in our classrooms. But really, I was speaking to the notion that the “marginalized” is the majority. I encourage you to check it out, especially in the Read more about 5 LESSONS TEACHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER: #5.The Writing Classroom is Uniquely Suited for Finding Undiscovered Gems[…]

The National Women’s March: Sisters, What Are You Willing To Destroy?

The National Women’s March: Sisters, What Are You Willing To Destroy?

What follows are the remarks and the poem (“Oath: 1957”) I delivered on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the St. Louis arm of the National Women’s March. When I was first asked to participate in the national women’s March, I declined because I thought it was just another example in the long line of examples of Read more about The National Women’s March: Sisters, What Are You Willing To Destroy?[…]