The Eye Is a Window, Part II

Pain’s relationship to time is paradoxical. When I think back just a few weeks to consider the pain consuming my eye–a pain the head doctor at Mt. Sinai described as “the absolute worst thing you’ll ever feel,” to my immediate agreement–the pain that dominated my every day, that taunted me with its back and forth […]

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The Eye Is a Window, Part I

I see figures in my windows, shadows sentinel in the courtyard below. I peer for shifts of light at the crack beneath the front door. Every building carries its own complement of shades; what some call “ghosts” may only be the occasional blur, flashes of color in the periphery with no discernable source. Dr. Hu […]

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Some Truths and Some Lies

1. Protozoa have taken over my right eye, leading to excruciating pain, sensitivity to light, and effective blindness (I walked into not one, but two poles last week). My center of gravity and depth perception are shit. 2. People regularly come into our house. Through the windows sometimes, probably also the doors. We never catch […]

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Who Inhabits Your Ocean, Part II

Something fundamental many people don’t understand about their own minds is that they can choose to change them. People get offended or discouraged when they’re called out on their prejudices, but if they genuinely want to grow and be better, do better, they can. It may be impossible to completely overcome one’s biases, but it […]

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Who Inhabits Your Ocean, Part I

Most of my posts for Black History Month delved into tricky, painful aspects of black history, and although I found it necessary, that was definitely difficult to inhabit. Thanks for anyone who went–and stayed–there with me. Now I’d like to end the series on a sweeter note. Throughout my development, I have found people who […]

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Beasts We Are, Beasts We Are Not

This week, hordes of people of the African diaspora–and many who love us–are hustling into movie theaters around the globe to watch Black Panther, a movie that promises to showcase the first black superhero, and a slew of the finest black actors in Hollywood today, as well as a black director and at least one […]

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Given Gradations

One of the repercussions of oppression I find most fascinating is infighting. All the ways that the few in power provide us–“we” being minorities, marginalized groups, or, generally speaking, the 99%. For the black community, colorism is among the most widespread, and damaging phenomena. My friend C. is gorgeous, brilliant, highly educated; she’s a black […]

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Breathing Blackness

On Lago de Atitl├ín, in the town of Santa Cruz, I met a Swiss woman working at the hostel there. One late night of drinking beer with her and the American expats and Europeans who either ran or stayed at the place, she said, “You’re the first black American I’ve ever met.” “Oh,” I said. […]

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The Invention of Race, Part II

A millennial buzzword that has quickly become essential to me (a mixed-race, queer woman) is intersectionality. Intersectionality is the theory that all forms of oppression overlap, and we should be carefully examine any bias, any hatred, to consider as many elements as possible. Much of what I learned when researching this post made it apparent […]

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The Invention of Race, Part I

I’m going to try to post something relevant to black history every day this month. It’s a great prompt, so let’s deliver greatness. I think it’s appropriate to start off by talking about the roots of race/racism in the United States. Most black Americans consider race to be a construct, an aspect of our heritage, […]

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