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Tag Archives: Nisi Shawl

“What are you?”

Been looking all over for the Natasha Raymond poem by that title. Natasha and I performed it with my friend Elise (menshed in “My Favorite Beatle” below) in venues around Ann Arbor, Michigan. Natasha, like most mixed race people, got that question a lot, and as a light-skinned

My favorite Beatle

My friend Elise Bryant wrote a play called The Zoo-zoo Chronicles about her life on the University of Michigan campus in the 1970s.  In the first scene, Elise’s stand-in moves into a four-bedroom dorm suite with three white women.  As an ice-breaker, one of the

OEB Day!

Today is Octavia E. Butler’s birthday.  If she were still alive, she’d be 62 and awesome.  She wrote science fiction and fantasy, and one of her aims was to change the world with it.  I think she did.  I think she still does. I was

Dear Father

Today is Father’s Day.  So I called my mother. My mother mostly raised me and my two younger sisters by herself.  Dad divorced us when I was eight years old.  He moved to a town half an hour away, and I rarely saw him, despite promised weekend visits.  The Friend

Angry Black Goddesses

I practice a West African religious tradition known as Ifa or Orisha.  It’s very closely related to Vodun, Santeria, Lucumi, and similar traditions in the Western Hemisphere. Among the Ifa pantheon are many goddesses.  One could say they are black, as they originate in black


A while back I saw this comic strip.  Can’t remember the name.  The setting was white suburbia, a family, which as my friend Sara points out “really narrows it down.” The female lead of the comic strip (let’s call her Wilma) has a black friend


While at WisCon 33 I was on one panel that wasn’t going to be a panel.  Cultural Appropriation 101 was supposed to be a workshop.  At least, that’s what Programming asked us to do.  But then we only had your normal panel-length time slot of

Smile and nod

Some people have said they liked my introduction yesterday.  Good!  Stay with me now.  You love me when I’m angry. Or anyway, you should.  Especially if you’re white, because the fact that I let you know I am angry, well, that’s me being nice to

My goodness

Tempest said introduce myself.  Maybe you already know me.  Or maybe you think you do?  Or maybe not. I write, and I’ve been writing for decades.  I’m really, really old.  Always have been, ever since I was born. My earliest memories are of outrage– I’m

Having Some Guests Over

Remember last year when I opened up the blog to several guest bloggers for Black History Month? That was so awesome. I enjoyed having new voices on the blog and the great conversations and thoughts they inspired. From that exercise we gained a new permanent