I went to New York to see a show and speak on a panel about afrofuturism last week. I hired a photog friend who recently moved up there to capture some shots of me speaking so I could use them for my personal website. After the panel, I rode the train with my photographer friend and playfully told him to delete the ones where I looked particularly fat.
I thought he’d laugh, but instead he said, “You’re serious? I always thought you loved the camera.”
“I do, but only when I control the shot.” Then, more shakily, I told him, “I just have a lot of stuff I don’t like about the way I look on camera, and plus I’ve gained weight. It gives me anxiety. It always has.”
He looked genuinely confused at that point. The train was coming and more people had gathered close to us, so he asked the question loudly. “But…why? I mean, do you ever ask yourself why that is?”
I just looked at him as I thought about all the horrible reasons that I know exactly why that is.
Before I could conjure a self-shaming joke to mask the tension, he said, “I think you should write about it.”
So here we are. Read More
Even though I got to see Eartha Kitt as Catwoman and Nichelle Nichols as Uhura when I was a kid, I can’t help but wonder if it would’ve been different for me if I had grown up playing with Dora Milaje dolls instead of black Barbies which back then, disappointingly enough, were simply Barbies made in brown.
Recently I revisited a journal I’d been keeping about the worst event in my life. When I did I discovered that I’d been writing about it in a way that focused mostly on the pain and damage I suffered, but never about my healing process or how much I’d grown. Further, I believe that I’d unknowingly been fueling my grief and anxiety by doing so. Since then I’ve learned that writing things down is a big step toward manifesting them, so I’ve been using my pen to speak power into moving forward from the trauma. It works too. In the words of Erykah Badu, Octavia Butler and many others: Write that sh*t down and watch it get real. Read More
Before new stars can fully form, some ancient star has to blow itself to bits and be broken down to space dust. Then those bits and dust just float out there in the darkness looking sparkly and random until they fuse together and birth new stars. But after that, the glow up is inevitable. So fear not. Even if your life feels dismantled and scattered right now, accept it as part of your process. Transitional phases are as necessary as they are scary. You got this.
While ‘live and let live’ may be the safest mantra to adopt to avoid conflict with your rock star friend, there are some ways to tell if you need to pull her back from the brink of self-destruction.