I listened from a place of privilege and never actually heard you.

I often ask my partner to read my work before I publish or submit it. When I asked him to read my article titled Dear Black Voices, Questions for those with, and from one without, perspective I ended up hurt and angry at his reaction. I wanted to know if the article got my point across.

He asked me what the point actually was and as I tried to explain,

I am trying to understand how it really feels to be Black in America. …


Response to a reader’s comment — there was a time I would have helped him explain away his bad behavior

I’ve read this comment a dozen times and the pic above shows my exact reaction every time. I’ve been trying to find a way to phase my reply that won’t be either too gentle or too harsh. That will neither offend, nor endorse. I want to speak in a voice that can be heard … But, seriously?!

Dude … did you even read the article? Come on.

Recommended Reading: Dear Black Voices — I Owe You An Apology

Also: My first Dear Black Voices article

Here’s the whole comment (name & face covered out of professional courtesy, original comment can be found on the article page):


And I’m so angry

It wasn’t yesterday anymore, but it still feels like it. I just saw him. We just had coffee at Cafe de Paris. We were just on the beach together. He was just here!

Except he isn’t anymore …

Two weeks ago my best friend sat down out back of the restaurant he worked at and never got back up. He was found, blue and lifeless, by two employees who were going out for a smoke break. Another employee performed CPR for the 6 minutes it took EMTs to arrive after the 911 call placed. They tried, but they were unable…


Actually, that's sort of what happened in one of my "holy shit" moments. I was listening to the novel by Angie Thomas, hearing it from the perspective of a mom, and I thought, "My god, that's what a mother of a black child is afraid of every day in this country." It wasn't a question in my mind, not, 'is that what a black mother is afraid of?' Ms. Thomas had made it clear in her story and it was just too real to be made up. I knew, suddenly, the gut-wrenching fear and I almost couldn't handle it. The…


It’s In The Music

As blunt and brutal a soundtrack as has ever been made

In an upcoming Singspiel Aside, AJ DeLicious and I talk about the Curtis Mayfield hit, “Move On Up”. While researching for this conversation, we discovered another work by Mayfield, the soundtrack from the 1972 Blaxploitation film, Super Fly. We loved it and while we decided to keep the podcast session about Move On Up because it’s a song worth talking about, I couldn’t let the soundtrack go unaddressed. It’s just too good, too real, to stay quiet on.

Curtis Mayfield hit the music scene while still a teenager when he joined Jerry Butler and The Impressions. It was while…


Questions for those with, and from one without, perspective.

women in black tank top holding black lives matter posters
women in black tank top holding black lives matter posters

Here’s what I know with certainty

Systemic racism, anti-Black bias, and white privilege exist and are prevalent in the US. The Black experience in the United States is something that no one who hasn’t lived it can understand.

Dear white readers who want to argue about this … please be quiet and listen.

An abbreviated timeline of Black medicine in the US

Dr. James Durham was born into slavery. He was owned by several doctors and eventually bought his freedom. He practiced medicine for 18 years. In 1788 Dr. Benjamin Rush, a prominent white physician, read the paper that Dr. Durham wrote on diphtheria to the College of Physicians in Philadelphia. Dr. Durham was not…


“Mind your own beeswax” is a recipe for bitter honey

On a pleasant day in early Spring, a 65-year-old woman walks down a peaceful street in front of a luxury apartment building near Times Square in New York City. Out of nowhere she is suddenly and violently attacked. A burly man kicks her in the stomach and proceeds to kick her, over and over, for about twenty seconds.

It is broad daylight.

Inside the luxury apartment building, a man stands watching the attack. He appears to be a delivery man waiting for a signature. He watched the entire attack.

Two other men can be seen watching the attack from inside…


A bunch of stuff you should definitely know about HPV

Look, I love my cervix. She may be a little crooked, but she’s always been there for me. At the risk of being too risque, she’s a great backstop and has added to my pleasure a great deal. You know what I’m talking about. I know you do. By the gods, I hope you do.

Suffice to say, my cervix and I have always been on good terms. Until this week, that is. When her plot to kill me was revealed.

“WHAT?!” I hear you exclaim. “How could she?!”

THAT’S what I said!

Read on.

At my most recent OB/GYN…


Trauma Tales **Trigger Warning**

Tattered memories and the scars I lie about

When I was 12 years old I tried in vain to convince my dad that I needed to go to the doctor's office. I was sick. Very sick, I told him.

I wasn’t sick, but I wanted to be. I needed to be. I cried, please, take me to the doctor. Please stay home. Please don’t make me go to Mary Jo’s. I was sick. I was tired.

He barely paused, “You can lay down for the day at Mary Jo’s. You don’t need a doctor, you don’t even have a fever.” He dismissed my cries as dramatic and told…


Excerpts from: From Yellow Peril to Model Minority and Back Again

Two women with long dark hair looking over their shoulders toward the camera
Two women with long dark hair looking over their shoulders toward the camera

Hate crimes are in the news again. Again.

The deadliest mass shooting in the US in two years occurred this past week in Atlanta Georgia. A twenty-one-year-old man shot and killed eight people, including six Asian women.

Speculation around motive has people talking about the rise in Anti-Asian crime across the US (and the world) this year. We should be talking about it. It’s unbelievable and inexcusable.

Clearly, the Coronavirus was not caused by Asian people. Clearly harming, hurting, or hating Asian people will not stop the virus. Why then?

Why do people continue to perpetuate hateful, hurtful stereotypes? Why…

Jen Payne

Fearless Writer | Supermom | Gratitude Pusher | Pronouns: she, her, hers | Live Unlimited @ www.jeniferpayne.com

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