By

Natalie A. Collier
Black Folks: Keep Your Head Up When I was in New Orleans last week, a small group of us Mississippians gathered to talk about the election, since lots of other people at the convening were also discussing it. I was reminded of how know precarious the voting situation is for Black folks in the state,...
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Note: Since the time of this writing, a Fort Worth Police officer (Aaron Dean, who resigned and was, subsequently, arrested and charged with murdered) killed another person, 27-year-old Atatiana Jefferson, in her home. I didn’t pay attention to most of the case like many people did, because I knew what would happen, and I had...
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“Bobby* died,” my mother mentioned to me emotionless. She’s always forgetting to tell me someone back home has died. The news usually happens after she mentioned their funeral. “What did you do today?” I might ask. And one of the things on her list will be that she went to so-and-so’s funeral. A moment of...
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If I ever for real, real believed in Santa Claus, I don’t recall, because I don’t remember realizing I’d been lied to. I do remember we were forced to write letters to the guy in elementary school and he never wrote back. Also that some folks who deserved coal, like Ms. Askew, never got it,...
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All of our work at The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects centers achieving ‘responsible freedom,’ one of seven programmatic principles. On these principles, we are able to foster community, our autonomy and a continuous sense of self-evaluation. Doing so is the first step in how we overcome.   Abstract White supremacy is a ubiquitous ideology...
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We sat in a square, not a circle. There was grey patio furniture with black pillows that’d been repurposed as a sectional, accent chairs reupholstered in a dark floral pattern I wasn’t sure I liked, and a large, grey ottoman with tufts and peg legs that stood in the middle. There were also two black...
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Grace* was honest because she thought it was the right thing to do, but it was her position in the program—one of her safe spaces—she was concerned about. She didn’t want to jeopardize it. That this was her main concern still bothers me. It said so much more than she realized. One of the most...
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About a year ago, I wrote a quick reflection about self-care. I’m going to share it again but want to share what prompted it. A dear friend sent me the screenshot of author/professor Roxane Gay’s tweet and a response by her author/professor peer, Melissa Harris-Perry about self-care. Gay writes: “Today I was told ‘you excel...
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The only thing I remember about Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” is the opening line: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I know there’s more poetic prose that comes afterward, but I have no use for it, particularly now. There is no more fitting way to describe...
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Her shirt was light-colored, maybe white, but a button-down with a collar for sure. Long sleeves. She wore slacks, a blazer that might’ve been a lightweight leather, a bit strange, in hindsight. Her hair was pulled back tightly into a thin ponytail; it grabbed at the nape of her neck. A dark-colored cap was pulled...
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