When a famous Black man is accused of gender violence, we can have constructive conversations without resorting to moral relativism or pathologizing.

TW: Rape/Sexual Assault

If you like anything that athletes, artists and celebrities contribute to society, but you are against gender violence (including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and general unsavoriness towards women) the last few years have been difficult. …


Prince with one of his many mentee, Esperanza Spalding

It is interesting the way things line up to get your attention. Losing loved ones, even ones that we have never met, puts us in a reflective space. When I recorded the latest Highwater Podcast Mini-Take, this is the space I was in after Prince died. I did not realize, however, that it would go live on his birthday, a few days after Muhammad Ali’s passing, and that on the same day, I would be attending the retirement party of my favorite teacher (other than my mom), Dr. Charles Branham.

Dr. Charles Branham is an accomplished historian and educator, and…


The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.- Bertrand Russell

Originally posted in The Highwater Weekly.

You’ve read a ton of books, watch videos on YouTube, read blog posts and attended webinars and classes.

After more reading, more studying, more newsletter sign-ups, you notice that instead of feeling empowered by your growing knowledge, you feel more overwhelmed. You feel like you are not yet ready to take on the project that you know will change your life. …


None of us may ever match his level of greatness, and that’s okay. In addition to music, films, fashion, style and shade, Prince gave us more than enough lessons on how to live life and create.

The death of Prince (I can’t believe I just typed that sentence) has created an outpouring of memorials, sharing of memories, and little-known information about the musical genius. One way that I am managing my grief, or maintaining my denial, depending on how you look at it, is by delving into the music, interviews, performances and any information I can find about The Artist…


Photo credit: Erez Attias

On the Highwater Creative Project Survey, several respondents indicated that choosing which project to focus on is a challenge.

I too struggle with figuring out which project I should start, and whether I should work on more than one project at one.

Why can’t it be like college? In undergrad I never took less than 15 hours of class (4–5 classes a semester), I worked two jobs and I was involved on campus. I also rarely pulled all-nighters and managed to work out regularly and not over-do it with coffee.

In grad school, however, the classes were fewer and more…


Chi-Raq should be viewed as a both an artistic statement and a creative call to action.

Lysistrata (Teyonah Parrish) and the No-Panty Posse mount up for peace.

I wrote at least two unpublished pieces about Chi-Raq before it opened in theaters last Friday. I wrote about the need for Chicago and other cities to have a tradition of strong aesthetic narratives like New York City and Los Angeles does. …


Medium, I call this look…

Please make it so that I don’t see meme-y posts like these just because someone I follow recommends them.


Credit: Unknown

“People like to say that the conflict is between good and evil. The real conflict is between truth and lies.”- Miguel Angel Ruiz

Dear D’Angelo,

At this moment, I am sitting in front of my computer, trying to find the right words to communicate the experience of seeing the Detroit-area stop of The Second Coming Tour.

When I came home my mom asked me about the show. …


Why We Need to Respect Kendrick Lamar’s Politics

As I watched the film Selma with my high school students earlier this month, I was not surprised that many of them were not engaged in the story. When I gave a lesson about the uprising in Ferguson, I got some questions and light debate, but I got just as much ambivalence if not more. I even sent a student out of the class for laughing inappropriately. I could deal with the short attention spans and side chatter, but the laughter was too much. It reminded me of when I saw the film Precious at a theater in a predominately-black…

Chakka Reeves

Coach for Artists and Creatives. 🎬 Producer / 💻 Writer / 👩🏾‍🎨 Creative Workforce Consultant / #DiversityInclusion in Creative Industries

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