2016, James Baldwin, and when you feel everything and nothing at the same time


“To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread.”
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time


For those who’ve heard, “what you’re going through is not real”…

She doesn’t deserve any of the good things in her life
…but she doesn’t deserve the bad either
She’s in pain
…ulcers eat away her insides
She is forgetful
…sadness eats at her mind
Every night she prays and prays
She confesses the sins of her youth over and over
Hasn’t she paid for her mistakes already?
No one cares
Why should they?
Everyone’s got their problems
Too preoccupied to be sucked into others “problems”
There is nothing you lack
You are just ungrateful
You just love complaining
You are never satisfied
Be content that you have a roof over your head
…and shoes on your feet
That you’ve never known hunger
…or real suffering
You should always smile
Religion will save you
Books will give you wisdom
You have all the tools you need to be a whole person
So why are you undone?
So she smiles
No one understands
She doesn’t even understand herself
She searches within for bravery
Searches for meaning
Someone please give her a hint already
She smiles
She falls apart
She smiles
Pushes forward now
Cries later



Like a river filled with rocks put in place to make it stop
…but only forces it to flow vigorously
Like a steep mountain, with corners so sharp
…they cut the air that surrounds it
Like a fire so bold that it’s inviting and threatening at the same time
Like the wind so soft, but don’t get it twisted
With skin so thick, a rhino would be jealous
A heart so brave you would think it had never been broken
With so much conviction you would think I hadn’t a care in the world
With a shaky voice that speaks truth
I will move forward but I will not be moved
…not by naysayers, not even if the naysayer is I
And I will be strong and fragile at the same time
…broken and unbreakable all in one
With the strength of my mother, and my mother’s mother
…and my mother’s mother’s mother.
With a broken back and hands bloodied from fighting invisible but real wars
I remain unbroken!


A Poem About Depression (or as it’s known in my every day musings Untitled 7)

Over the last 10years or so, I have been au courant about mental health and the stigma that surrounds admitting that one has a mental illness. Mostly because I have realized that a number of us suffer from mental health related issues/illnesses and are ashamed of admitting it. I have been learning about mindfulness and acknowledging different emotional cycles. I’m learning to be kinder and more patient with myself.

I admit that every so often, I have some very dark days. But I find it’s when I get most creative.

She’s been struggling
she’s hurting
has she earned the right to feel this way?
After all,
she hasn’t crawled on her belly
she hasn’t dined on sand and gravel
she hasn’t seen the darkest of nights
or felt the coldest of days
sadness and anger consume her
pain and bitterness define her
it’s robbing her of her kindness
it’s draining her sweetness
hopelessness and despair
every night as she lays her head
in the loneliness of her existence
in the emptiness of her womb
death whispers her name
it draws her in
tugs at her soul
tells her that she has nothing to lose
but tonight, she will close her eyes
and she’ll remember that tomorrow is a new day

How I Stay Happy While Fighting For Social Justice.


*this post originally appeared on doingmoor.com*

For anyone who cares about the marginalized, every day is emotionally draining. There isn’t a moment that goes by where you can’t find countless examples of unnecessary cruelty toward oppressed people, and it’s hard not to think about how we are so far from where we need to be in addressing injustices even in the most progressive parts of the world. Recognizing this can be depressing and it’s hard to stay positive most of the time, and yet, somehow I do.

Unless you only know me from social media, where my posts and debates have gotten me accused of being “angry all the time” and have caused people to reach out because they are “worried” about me (LOL, thanks y’all), you’ll know that I’m generally upbeat, hopeful, and in good spirits. This doesn’t mean I don’t get angry (I probably am angry all the time)…

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Dealing With Trolls And Assorted Hate Online

Erin Matson

I have experienced a fair amount of trolling in my day. The trolling has occurred in my Twitter mentions, on Facebook, by email, in comment boxes, in paper mail, in voicemails, on blogs, and by call-ins to television and radio programs on which I have been a guest. It has been directed at me personally and organizations I’ve been affiliated with. Garbage like this can come with the territory when you’re a feminist, and especially when you’re a woman on the Internet.

At its most garden variety, the trolling is a never-ending stream of comments on my sluttiness, my stupidity, and my appearance. The trolls can’t decide if I’m super ugly, or hot and have good “jugs.” The focus is never my actual appearance so much as baldly sexist attempts to reduce my worth to my appearance. Ah, and how could I forget — I am an advocate for reproductive health, rights, and justice…

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Doing Critical Social Justice in Baltimore

Critical Social Justice

“How are you doing?”

It’s a simple enough question, but one that has a stronger implicit meaning this week. Many keep asking me “How are you doing?” pointing their eyes toward the city. I keep asking my friends “How are you doing?” with my mind flying to people dancing at North and Penn encircled by police in riot gear. It’s a simple question, but right now, it’s an important question—an important act of social justice that I want to emphasize, and that I believe is crucial to a Critical Social Justice movement.

By reaching out to one another, asking open-ended questions, and really just caring, we are taking some of the first steps toward activism in this Baltimore Uprising.

Don’t know quite what I’m talking about yet? That’s okay. Here’s a quick run-down: I’m talking about the recent often peaceful, often turbulent release of years upon years of tension in…

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