I was 20 years old when I discovered I was HIV positive. I was pregnant and had little knowledge about the condition. I was scared, shocked and wondering, “Why me?” I remember saying,”I [...]


When I was 15, the local media of Uganda outed a group of students my age for being gay, based solely on suspicion. This sparked anger inside me and I wrote an article pointing out that this [...]


As soon as I leave my home, I walk around bracing myself, as if I’m about to get hit by Mike Tyson. I have to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for society’s continual blows [...]


My 9-year-old daughter recently said to me, “I wish I could be a beautiful black woman, Mommy.” She’s very fair, and I often feel guilty at how relieved I am that she can, “pass.” I want her to [...]


My Blackness has come to mean my power. I walk into a room, and everybody notices my beautiful melanin-rich skin. The white folks try to impress me with their knowledge of shoes or basketball, [...]


I went away for a long weekend to a small Pennsylvania town this past President’s Day weekend. I was aware of the fact, but had not given it much thought, that this part of the state heavily [...]


Once, when I was 13, I attended a dinner. It didn’t resemble the types of dinner parties I found myself attending those days. I assumed an extravagant meal of fine preparations, as usual. This [...]


Whenever I apply for something online or over the phone, like a job or a school, the first thing I wonder when the communication ends, and ends well, is: “Oh, dear. Do they know I’m black?” I [...]


Can I touch your hair? Is your beard real? Can I take a photo with you? Dude, you’re so cool! Especially the drunk white chick or the group of dudes in the bar that just can’t control themselves. [...]


Once, in Portland, Maine, a skinny white boy in grubby clothes calls me ‘nigger.’ He waits until we pass each other on the street to hurl the insult at my back. Amazed, I turn around to stare at [...]


My earliest memory of my mother was at the age of six. This is when she taught me how to become a thief. Walking down the street with my mother, in what I thought was an ice cream run. She [...]


When this picture was taken, I was 16. A teacher/mentor had taken me and another student on a trip to New Orleans to work with other students on a peace project. She had a friend who owned a boat [...]

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