And it is Doing it on Purpose

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This story was originally published in The Boycott Times. You can find the article here

If You Don’t Have Sick Time; You Don’t Have Sick Time.” At the onset of the pandemic, these words reverberated throughout our staff meeting. My colleagues and I shifted uncomfortably. The room exchanged uneasy glances. The comment left many of us wondering the same thing: how do we maintain physical and financial health during this crisis?

For the average U.S. worker, this pandemic is a problematic paradox: come to work or else be left in a financial crisis. We are required to place ourselves in…


It’s time to stop crying when Black people ask you to be better.

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Photo by Tim Wildsmith

I know the sting of microaggressions, macroaggressions, and overt racism. I know the pain of going home after a long day of class or work with heavy shoulders, shoulders burdened by the pain of interpersonal racism.

Not only are experiences of racism hurtful and fatiguing, but advocating for oneself is also an arduous task, one that often results in Black people being coerced into consoling our own perpetrators.

The latest episode of This Is Us brilliantly draws attention to this phenomenon when Kate attempts to engage Randall in a conversation concerning race. …


Learning to honor my boundaries and limitations as a Black Woman in the world.

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From Jessica Felicio on Unsplash

“You hurt your knee, you need to rest, you need to take it easy.”

My sister’s voice reverberated through the phone. Her words dipped in stern-love.

“But, it does not hurt that badly,” I bemoaned (I am notoriously bad at taking it easy).

My sister paused and then with intentional gentleness inquired: “Do you think that you have spent so long dismissing your own pain, that you do not know when you are in it?”

Her words were sticky. They adhered to my psyche and over the next few days, I meditated on her question.

I journaled, prayed, and contended…


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Thanks to Pam Sharpe for sharing their work on Unsplash.

Many experts emphasize being present as the key to crushing anxiety. But what if your constant reality is white supremacy and patriarchal violence?

“I know that I am experiencing anxiety,” I told my therapist. “But my fears are not irrational. As a Black woman I am unsafe in America. Not only am I unsafe, I am unsafe by design. The system is built upon the degradation of my body and my spirit. How can I ever feel at peace in a world that is built upon my terror?”

Black women are chronically anxious. Due to compounding stressors such as social and economic stress, Black women walk through life with little to no reprieve. Our bodies are constantly bombarded with signals and encounters that…


Burn it down, sweep up the ashes, and start over. Here are some concrete ways to support Black Lives in pedagogy and praxis.

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My latest article, “Not Just the Syllabus, Throw the Whole Discipline in the Trash” challenges the white supremacist heteropatriachy of higher education. Particularly, I pushback against the notion that scholarship created from white supremacist frameworks maintain some sort of ethereal value, even when the errors of the texts are glaring. My central argument is this: problematic scholarship does not exist in a vacuum and institutions of higher learning are culpable for the ways in which outdated research perpetuates harm in marginalized communities. In my aforementioned article, I use eugenics as an example, but the examples are endless. …


As a Black, queer woman still unlearning the respectability politics of my youth, growing plants has helped me grow, too

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Photos: Ciarra Jones

My mother, a Black woman, and a single mother of three Black children, demanded excellence for as long as I can remember. Teaching us excellence was her way of arming us against white supremacy. Throughout my childhood, she taught my siblings and I that if we were excellent enough, that if we existed without error, then we could circumvent the pain and trauma of racism.

After reading Black feminist and womanist literature, I know that the framework of perfection that my mother offered us is problematic. Respectability politics, or the belief that Black people will be humanized when we achieve…


If you truly care about Black lives, then it’s time to dismantle and rebuild higher education.

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Recently the hashtag #BlackInTheIvory trended on Twitter. This hashtag proved to be both illuminating and incredibly disheartening. I know the tumultuous experience of being Black in higher education spaces well. In fact, during my time in graduate school, I wrote about the terror of being Black at a predominantly white institution. At the time, I felt isolated in my experience, and then my articles resonated with thousands. This to me, signaled that the system is not just broken, it’s also harmful, traumatizing, and soul-splicing.

During my time in graduate school at Harvard University for my Master’s of Theological Studies, I…


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Thanks to Felix Koutchinski for sharing their work on Unsplash.

Before you apologize to your Black acquaintance, pause and reflect on a few things…

Many Black people will tell you that the past ten days constituted a whirlwind unlike any other. For many of us our phones rang (and continue to ring) off the hook, our DMs full of white people experiencing racial revelation.

The veil now torn, their eyes newly open to the reality of the world around them, they want to talk about it. They want to talk to a Black person about it.

For many white folks, this revelation is coupled with guilt and shame. As such, many Black people are experiencing an overwhelming influx of apologies. …


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Thanks to Olu Famule for sharing their work on Unsplash.

To the Black men who jog to keep from crying.

On February 23rd, two white men murdered Ahmaud Arbery while he jogged around his Georgia neighborhood. These two white men, a father and son who I choose to leave unnamed, erroneously believed Arbery to be a criminal and murdered him under the guise of vigilante justice. Initially, the state co-signed their racist murder by way of failing to arrest them and bring about charges. It was not until someone leaked a video of their malicious act online that the state chose to bring charges against them. As always, Black people are considered guilty until proven innocent. This article is is…


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Photographed by: Wells Chan

The racialized nature of the anti-stay-at-home protests.

*Content Warning: Use of the N-word below**

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“I’m going to murder a nigger tonight.”

In the midst of being deployed as an American soldier in Germany during the Vietnam war my grandfather heard these words outside of the doors of his barracks. A white American soldier from a different platoon was on the hunt, searching for a Black man to terrorize.

My grandfather popped up from his bed, and ran to the door, poised to fight. Blood pumping, heart pounding, he waited, hoping that the soldier’s desire to murder constituted a fleeting moment of white rage. …

Ciarra Jones

Ciarra’s writing explores race, education, religion, and sexuality. I publish weekly. | business email: ciarrajoneswrites@gmail.com | Website: ciarrajones.com

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