She’s shorter than I remember, strolling in right on time for our interview. We pass pleasantries reflecting on the last time we saw each other.

“It was outside the governors mansion right?”

“Right”, she said. “It was at the Families Belong Together Rally.”

After the scandal of the Trumps family separation policy became public, a group of outraged Mississippians gathered together to protest outside of the governors mansion.

Jennifer Riley Collins, then Executive Director of the Mississippi ACLU, was on hand to make sure all rights were protected as Mississippians gathered to exercise the first amendment rights in protest.


I retreated, the weight of the headlines, the trauma of being a black woman in America too much to maintain my sanity.

I retreated to the safe place. In solitude. A place where I learned as little girl to block out the noise and the danger, to whisper prayers quietly, where my black skin blended with the darkness and I could be small in a sea of vast emptiness that will not hurt me.

But, I can’t live there. I can’t make money, and kiss babies and create art. …

A powerful voice has been silenced. His final breath swallowed in grave.

It is we the living who are left behind, that must stand in his absence and speak for him.

The road for a black man in America, has been paved with pain since his forefathers were forced from Ivory shores and distant lands.

In America he’s made a home, started revolutions and trends. His family has used their talents to define generations only to be silenced and bludgeoned in their pursuits for freedom.

Pick up the torch…

Eyes and feet swollen, back cut open from the whips of…

18 years after the planes attacked the buildings. 18 years after we sat in terror and looked on in horror at the destruction and lives lost at the hands of a foreign regime…you forgot.

18 years after hate, radicalized, inspired murder. Hate today, sits in the highest US office in the land. 18 years, after Americans of all races creeds and colors gave their lives, left their families, our government is tearing families apart at the border.

Our government is traumatizing and caging children for the parental pursuit of the American dream. 18 years later, our current president was hand…

So what to say about the bullets, the words fired from the highest office in the land, piercing the glass house of America, as we crawl over the carnage exhausted and blood stained.

What to say about the protectors of the house, humans some have put their vote and faith in, pockets heavy with the weight of campaign donations, back light of responsibility, ego oblivious to the judgement and karma beyond this light.

And what to say about the terrorism, whose actions are as American as the constitution, whose anger boils over and coats itself in the folly of whiteness…

We knew, we all knew.

We knew about the drugs and the cheating. And the scandals and the dirt that white folks do that make it easy to hurl the word nigger in attempts to ease their pain.

We knew about the brokenness that invites and upholds white supremacy and attracts that demon like mice when beings are told and begin to believe they’re ‘white trash’.

We knew that details and how it probably wasn’t anyone local that could have done such a thing. Separate Sunday worship, lead by a white Jesus, tethered us to commandments, and we knew one…

I love Beth Kander Dauphin. If you’ve ever met her before it’s hard not to. It wasn’t something I set out to do, we become neighbors, then fast friends. We’ve got a lot in common.

We’re both now mothers and wives and have always been artists.

When I was struggling with the imminent death of my father she gave me something I treasure to this day, a book of daily Christian poems. I think that symbolizes the beauty of our relationship, even though we have a lot in common we celebrate our differences.

I’m black and Christian, she’s Jewish with…

Like bookends to my childhood, were my father & his brother. My parents divorced when I was 3 and summers with my dad, were mainly summers with my cousins.

At the end of the cul de sac, lay the trailer where my parents lived. At the beginning of the road was my uncle’s house complete with climbable trees, rambunctious male cousins and all the dirt and gravel our little hearts could desire.

Staying with my dad, was really hanging out with my cousins and what a time we had. Complete with Jasmine and crab apple trees, mud pies and bare…

An excerpt from a forthcoming memoir

It’s 105 degree heat index, we’re twenty feet in the air, Latin Simone by Gorillaz plays on the radio. I close my eyes and soak in the moment, the smell of acrylic paint the sway of the scissor lift, the sound of my husband dabbing paint on bricks. The soundtrack reminds me of our college years nearly twenty years ago. Fresh love and full of cafeteria food we were both amazed by the band Gorrillaz, cartoon characters playing songs that mirrored our artsy hearts.

“This moment is perfect.” I said. Without missing a beat my husband replied, “Every moment is…

4 years ago today, my life changed forever. I’d like to tell you the story but first I need you to close your eyes. It was pitch black, a long day, I’m surrounded by the beep and hum of hospital machines, my partner rests beside me. My phone lights up, it’s my friend Clare who’s pregnant with her daughter…we cover the particulars for that day my body did the unimaginable, it birthed a son, my first seed.

Clare asks, how much did he weigh , how Long was he and then she asked a question I will never forget. …

Talamieka McNeil-Brice

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