My New Year’s Eve 2020 shopping cart. Credit: Me.

I noticed the stares before I considered what they meant, of folks trying, and failing, to make sense of what they were seeing. As was always the case, by the time I got to the dairy aisle, I could barely move my shopping cart, and there was no room for anything else to be added thereto. But I was not yet done. I needed milk, unsalted butter, yogurt for the kids’ breakfasts, and the raspberry cheesecake gelato, and it was even possible that I’d have to retrace my steps to find the albacore tuna cans I’d meant to pick up…


Joseph R. Biden, Jr., 46th President of the United States of America

This morning, I was wheeling my shopping cart past a magazine stand in Whole Foods Market and caught a glimpse of a magazine cover featuring a smiling President Joe Biden. He stood tall in his trademark dark blue suit, arms crossed, and his eye twinkled, just a bit like I imagine Santa Claus would if he existed. I instinctively smiled back.

And then my eyes welled up with tears, if only for a moment before my gangsta kicked back in.

I am persistently and consistently annoyed by Joe Biden’s politics of moderation and incrementalism. He is a conservative. I am…


Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton, played by Golda Rosheuvel. Credit: Netflix
Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton, played by Golda Rosheuvel. Credit: Netflix
Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton, played by Golda Rosheuvel. Photo Credit: Netflix.

(TW: racism, fat-antagonism, sexual assault, colorism, and spoilers)

Like tens of millions of viewers around the world, I treated myself to Season One of Shondaland’s adaptation of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series as a reward for surviving the year 2020. Always somewhat behind the curve when it comes to popular tv and movies, by the time I actually tuned in to the series I was already aware that some viewers’ critical takes on the show. Never a fan of Shonda Rhimes’ penchants for monologue and oversexed (literally) melodrama, I was undeterred; my standards for entertainment were low during my tenth month…


My children are naturally joyful and exuberant, and much more outwardly affectionate with each other than I’ve ever been with my own three dearly beloved siblings. Like other siblings, they fight like street cats; however, they also hug and kiss each other and profess their undying love and fidelity to each other with a regularity that, for me, is both adorable and alarming.

My youngest is a young two. On one recent morning, she flew into my arms, absolutely overwhelmed with delight. “Mommy! Mommy! Babacar do hello to Sophie!” She was not only delighted, but proud, as she beat her…


Black Voters’ Limited Negotiating Power

By Carliss Chatman* and Marissa Jackson Sow*

Photo by Library of Congress on Unsplash

Former Vice President Joe Biden owes Black voters a debt he cannot pay. South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn’s endorsement boosted Black turnout for his floundering presidential candidacy, helping him win that key state and propelling him to his current standing as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Flashback to 2018: Black voters, and Black women particularly, gave the Democrats control of the House of Representatives — both as voters and as candidates — and gave Democrats victories throughout the country. Black women voters gave Doug Jones his Senate seat, and they themselves assumed prominent elected…


Black in the Midwest

Detroit may be changing but it is still full of Black culture and history

A photo of two Black youths walking down a street in Detroit.
A photo of two Black youths walking down a street in Detroit.
Two youths walk past a boarded up building on Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Michael Mathes/AFP/Getty Images

Last month we published a special series on what it’s like to be Black in the Midwest, and invited you to share your own experiences. Following is one of several submissions by Medium writers that we are excited to share with you.

I’ve always had this thing about real estate. I live in the South Bronx, where I will likely never be able to afford a home, and so I spend late night hours when I really should be sleeping scouring Trulia for homes in more affordable markets such as Baltimore and Detroit. Ironically, when I was growing up in…


On Monday, October 14, 2019, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson published a brilliant, passionate opinion essay in the Post titled, “What can a black person do to keep from getting killed by police in this country?” The essay’s opening phrase was, “This is a serious question.” Mr. …


Empire is often durable and always unsustainable.

It thrives on homicide (including many, many, many murders), and therefore and thereby commits suicide.

It is self-destruction, slow-brewed, over time and at…


Empire is durable, yet thoroughly unsustainable.

It thrives on homicides (including many, many, many murders), and therefore and thereby commits suicide.

It is self-destruction, slow-brewed, over time and at the…


Black Pain and Possibility: On Victor Blackwell’s Tears

To be a Black or Brown person under the Trump regime is to live a trauma-informed, terror-infused life every day. Even attempting to write about it, as I am so doing here, is tricky, messy, and painful, if ultimately cathartic for me and (hopefully) helpful for someone else.

President Trump, the chief executive of these United States, and constant sower of hate, division, and confusion, is but a symbol of the actual problem for a citizen like myself. The actual problem is that the American project is currently so dependent upon patriarchal…

Marissa Jackson Sow

Human rights evangelist and legal scholar tracking legal personhood, race, gender, and political and socio-cultural movements. Twitter/ IG @MarissaEsque

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