Her talent as a novelist is evident, but her nurturing of Black authors cannot be overlooked

Black and white photo of Toni Morrison smiling.
Black and white photo of Toni Morrison smiling.
Toni Morrison. Photo: Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

A few years ago at a Radcliffe Institute exhibit, I came across photos of a draft of what would become Angela Davis’ autobiography. A foundational Black literary text, bare-boned and vulnerable, is not something you often get to see. The manuscript bloomed with the strokes of a blue pen, notes from the editor on what needed to be changed. In the caption of the photo, the editor’s name was noted: Toni Morrison.

There is so much power in that photo. It tells us a lot about Davis, but it tells us even more about Morrison. Morrison, one of the most…

Can we really talk about Joan and Toni?

Screenshot of Jill Marie Jones as Toni in “Girlfriends.”
Screenshot of Jill Marie Jones as Toni in “Girlfriends.”
Toni from “Girlfriends.” Photo: CBS

Watching Girlfriends in the early 2000s with my momma are memories I’ll always cherish. Even though I was too young to know what most of the show was about (Joan’s “three-month rule” or Sean’s sex addiction), I knew I enjoyed seeing four Black women going through life together. Even at my young age, I could feel the importance of sisterhood. I could feel the magic that comes with finding your “girlfriends.” I, too, wanted to be successful, beautiful, and Black with a core group of Black friends.

When Netflix announced the release of all eight seasons of Girlfriends, there was…

Growing up, I used to loathe Mother’s Day. As a May baby, I always felt like I was competing with it, like it was an unwanted, attention-stealing sibling.

Some years, my birthday falls directly on the second Sunday of May, other years right before or right after. No matter how the two line up, my birthday has almost always been associated with Mother’s Day. As a self-absorbed, self-centered child, I was afraid that my birthday would be overshadowed by the holiday dedicated to mothers. Sometimes birthday celebrations were smashed up and reshaped into Mother’s Day dinners or brunches. Sometimes people…

The excessive demands on her energy and time have sinister, historical precedent

Photo: NBC/Getty Images

When Summer Walker canceled the rest of her tour in early November, she clearly explained her reason on Instagram. “As you know, I have been very open about my struggle with social anxiety. I want to continue to be healthy and to make music for y’all.” Her frequent transparency about her disorder was refreshing. Black women are so often maligned and stigmatized when it comes to expressing the state of their mental health. Walker grasping autonomy and wielding it to prioritize her well-being seemed like a radical act.

But others were upset with her decision. An acquaintance of mine took…

Pauline Hopkins never quelled her #BlackGirlMagic for anyone

The Colored American Magazine [July 1902 Edition]: Public Domain

When I search for 5 Park Square on Google Maps as I meander around downtown Boston, it tells me the address doesn’t exist. Or rather, it persistently redirects me to 50 Park Square, the address of the palatial (and expensive) Boston Park Plaza Hotel. It’s a stone’s throw from the bustle of the Theater District and the Boston Common, magnets for wealthy socialites, disenchanted locals, and curious tourists.

Though Boston’s Black Heritage Trail winds through this portion of the city, 5 Park Square is woefully unmarked, interred in the depths of hotel and restaurant developments. …

Print Aint Dead is officially open for its first round of submissions.

Print Aint Dead is an online literary platform and pop-up bookstore featuring writers of color. We see our online presence as an extension of our physical ethos- to liberate knowledge, uplift POC writers and to provide affordable access to literature.

In order to submit, you must be a writer of color living in New England.

OUR THEME FOR VOL 01 IS: The Future of Blackness

Since submissions take place during Black History Month, we had to pay homage. Where will Blackness be in 50 years? 100? 1000?

Give us your most fantastical, your most afro-futuristic, your most dystopian, your most magical realistic writing. Maybe in the future, Black rebels fight…

When people think of Afropunk, we think of ankara prints, the summer heat and black bodies decked out in some of the most creative outfits you’ve probably ever seen. We think of music, of an unapologetic ode to Blackness and its beauty. We think we see ourselves in Afropunk, we think that it is a reflection of us, and that finally, maybe, Black people have a safe space where Blackness is not an anomaly but the standard.

I began attending Afropunk around 6 years ago, right after I turned 21. It became what I looked forward to over the summer…

From Left: Mayor Marty Walsh, Commissioner William Gross, Former Commissioner William Evan. Image Credit: CBS

For the first time in Boston’s history, the city’s police department will be overseen by Black man. On Monday, Mayor Marty Walsh appointed Chief William Gross as the new commissioner, replacing retiring commissioner William Evans. It certainly is a historic moment for a city whose deep seated racism has increasingly bubbled to the spotlight over the past year.

William Gross is certainly a fine choice for the position, lauded by both his contemporaries and communities of color for his hands on involvement in reducing violence in Boston. As a Black woman, I am hyper aware of the importance of Black…

Congrats to all of our 2018 #acceleratebos cohort!

Special congrats to Sanaa with Friends this years winners!

Another great year in the books for #acceleratebos. 13 businesses completed the 6 month accelerator class and 10 pitched for $10,000. Once again some amazing businesses have been a part of this years cohort including Mathmatiks Athletics, Corny Bread and 33 tao, a holistic yoga and nutrition center aimed at helping people of color process PTSD.

Last Wednesday, over 5,000 people came out to join us at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in celebration of Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the day, June 19th, that the last slaves in the USA were told they were free. Some people believe Juneteenth happened, others believe the story is pure myth. Whatever its true origin, Juneteenth has become a cultural masthead for Black American culture, a reason to celebrate Black people and all of our progress. We were beyond ecstatic to share this celebration with so many of the people in Boston.

Boston based visual artist…

Arielle Gray

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