Growing up, mom gives Meme, Eddie, Jessy and Hicri her attention and cares for them. Me, I’m known as the ugly child. Not the beautiful one with the nice hair. No, I’m the smart one. [...]


Growing up, I’m Daddy’s little girl. I love when I’m with him and he sings to me. The song I request most often is “Scarlet Ribbons.” When he and Mommy separate, I only get to [...]


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 [...]

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