Moving Forward | Black Love, Motherhood, & other works of art

It has been a while since I last wrote anything on I AM MELANIN, and even longer since I’ve written anything personal in this space.  & for good reason.  It’s interesting the twists, turns, and the overall journey life brings you on just to get you back on your original path.

I AM MELANIN started off as a blog where I shared my personal experiences as a young black woman, the things I experienced, and my outlook on the atrocities that were happening in this society and the community and world around me.  Soon after, it turned into a place where I offered support, resources, and knowledge to other young black folks through Melanin Book Club and the array of other services that I wanted to offer to marginalized communities, particularly Chicago, completely taking myself out of the blog all together.

I’ve learned a lot in the past two years since starting this blog.    By choosing to not share much of my life on social media (via I AM MELANIN, instagram, facebook, etc.) I had the space and time to reconnect and refocus. My time of introspection taught me a lot about myself and allowed me to reflect on many aspects of my life and relationships with friends and family. It allowed me to see things from an entirely different and fresh perspective that I admit I was lacking some months ago.  I am someone who is always focusing on the bigger picture of society and often have to remind myself of my inner being, where love and peace must derive first in order to radiate outward and have a lasting affect on others.  We have to be really conscious of how much of ourselves we give to other people, whether that be our energy, our time, our body, or material possessions.  I devoted a lot of time trying to impact change, to advance a movement, or start one, that focused on helping to resolve issues in our community.   I gave up nearly everything that I owned to provide service to others.  Which I realized is similar to how I am in personal relationships.  I’ve often found myself in situations where I was always giving time, support, resources to others leaving me completely depleted, defeated, and receiving little in return.  It took me a year of struggles and deep reflection (and a lot of people dogging me out) to withdraw from many toxic relationships. The best, and maybe the only way, to remedy issues within the Black community it to start with oneself, your own heart, your own family and friends.  As I’ve been learning more and more recently, there must be a duality and balance in self-care and the care we give to the public.

Continue reading “Moving Forward | Black Love, Motherhood, & other works of art”

Melanin Book Club December Feature


Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

First published in 1952 and immediately hailed as a masterpiece, Invisible Man is one of those rare novels that have changed the shape of American literature. For not only does Ralph Ellison’s nightmare journey across the racial divide tell unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators, it gives us an entirely new model of what a novel can be.

As he journeys from the Deep South to the streets and basements of Harlem, from a horrifying “battle royal” where black men are reduced to fighting animals, to a Communist rally where they are elevated to the status of trophies, Ralph Ellison’s nameless protagonist ushers readers into a parallel universe that throws our own into harsh and even hilarious relief. Suspenseful and sardonic, narrated in a voice that takes in the symphonic range of the American language, black and white, Invisible Man is one of the most audacious and dazzling novels of our century.


Giving Thanks

This Thanksgiving holiday, much like last year, was overshadowed by demonstrations against police brutality further exposing the reality of the un-justice system in America.  Except this year, we were not protesting the non-indictment of Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, this time, it was in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois and the victim was 17-year-old Laquan McDonald who was shot 16 times in the back by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, I was at my favorite bar on U street awaiting the release of the video that would show Laquan McDonald being executed in middle of the street by CPD. Continue reading “Giving Thanks”

Better In Tune With The Infinite

When we find ourselves on the cusp of reaching our dreams, nearly overcome by the fatigue of late nights and the hunger of much deserved success and acknowledgement, it is easy to lose sight of our true selves. One’s personal journey is never easy, in actuality; following our dreams with all that we have is probably the hardest thing that we will ever undertake. We are tested every step of the way so that when we finally reach our destination, not only are we happy but our hearts are light and filled with gratitude and love to share with others. We are better in tune with the infinite. Continue reading “Better In Tune With The Infinite”