He’s now an ancestor. And I cannot stop crying.

It’s 9:05 pm, and the rest of the world is watching “Black Panther,” mourning the death of actor Chadwick Boseman.

I can’t watch. It’s too hard, this one. They all are hard. But this one …

You wouldn’t think a flick about a comic book character could be called “uplifting,” and I’m not an uplift kind of woman, but “Black Panther” absolutely lifted me. The message it sent, the joy it gave, with Boseman and his beautiful smile at the forefront, are the reasons it’s being played tonight. I had almost given up on superhero films, but this one gave…


Great-grandma Lavinia Birdsong Lowry

As Mama told me of our enslaved ancestors, she also made some predictions, and I imagine she is raising a fist now

Every year for Juneteenth, Great-Grandma Lavinia would tell me the same stories.

Lavinia was born in 1897, and while she had a temper and would starve a neighbor’s cows faster than she’d say his name, she was also known as the gentlest of healers. She watched for signs and listened for God. While her parents were never enslaved, her grandparents were. One of the stories that has survived the ages is about HER great-grandmother, who was enslaved, and who took exception when an overseer pushed her son to the ground.

She rushed at the man and attacked him. …


Jessica Felicio/unsplash

I don’t want to chat. I can’t take care of you. You have another chance fix your wrongs. And this time, DON’T FLINCH.

I went into gall bladder surgery in early March with the desperate anticipation of an addict: Please, please give me the drug of long, dreamless sleep.

I am so damn tired. I am 400 years of broke down and exhausted, and so are my family, our friends, the people down the street whom we don’t know but still love.

I don’t want to chat. And if you are brave enough to call me, now that I have my bearings back, somewhat, you better be woman or man enough to take it.

But my advice right now? Don’t call me. Don’t…


mwangi gatheca/unsplash

George Floyd’s death reveals, again, the way black people are viewed and treated: as threats and prey that need to be subdued.

Another black man has just died on camera.

If you haven’t seen the video of what appears to be the death of George Floyd, call it up. I don’t say this lightly because this video depicts humanity at its worst, and these types of images are triggering to black people. I don’t say this necessarily to black people because we have seen so many of ours being killed. But if you are white, watch it. Watch it again. It will disgust you, and it should disgust you. It should infuriate you. …


Andrae Ricketts/unsplash

Ahmaud Arbery’s killing shows that our children are targets, and getting to Mother’s Day unscathed and alive is a miracle.

I wonder what Ahmaud Arbery would have given his mom for Mother’s Day.

I wonder if he would have visited a local jewelry store, or gotten her flowers, or a book by her favorite author. Made breakfast for her. He might have taken her to church, and he might have taken part in the tradition of wearing a red rose pinned to his lapel, a red rose because his mother is alive. He might have taken her out to lunch at her favorite spot, or sat on the porch with her and enjoyed the afternoon. She might have told him…


Victoria Pilipchuk/unsplash

Normal was stressful, racist, violent, and sad. After Covid-19’s devastating romp ends, I want us to find a gentler way of life.

I’m sitting at my desk, which my photographer husband has set up for me in our daughters’ old bedroom, beside a window. Because I can never get fully comfortable in this chair, I’m slouched down, with a heating pad on the shoulder that hurts.

The walls in this room are painted a splotchy purple, soothing and visible on Zoom calls.

A mockingbird calls from one side of the house, and I watch a fat squirrel climb through the elm. After a couple of weeks of sitting here, one of the lucky ones who can work from home, I know that…


Aunties aren’t your mom, and that’s how it should be

The luckiest kids have an Auntie like Willona teaching them about strength, honesty, vulnerability, and family

If you were a little black kid in the 1970s, Willona Woods was your auntie.

Ja’Net DuBois, the multi-talented actress and singer who played the vivacious Willona Woods on the sitcom “Good Times,” passed away this week. Ja’Net also sang the theme song to “The Jeffersons,” but her character on “Good Times” is what anchored her in our hearts. While Willona didn’t dominate every episode, the show wouldn’t have been what it was without her best-friend character, or, I suspect, without Ja’Net DuBois in that role.

Willona Woods didn’t let anybody back her into a corner, or take advantage of…


Wanting your teacher to burn in hell probably isn’t the best approach. But I get where you’re coming from.

Dear Isaiah,

I saw your note to your teacher. Somebody posted it, and said your mom was planning to talk to her. You were angry and hurt that Ms. Jones had taken your hummingbird bucks because you were talking to your friend, Connor. You were hurt that she took what wasn’t hers, so hurt that you called her a thief, and you said she was going to hell.

  1. You sound like an AWESOME friend. Everybody needs a good friend like you. We all want somebody to talk to.
  2. Sometimes, hell is right here on earth, and when people who are…

February beats out most other months as my favorite. I don’t like November and December at all. But February? Y’all, it’s my birthday month, so I’m eating cake and being an obnoxious, amethyst-wearing Aquarian. Plus, it’s Black History Month, and I love the excuse (as though I needed one, because I love being black every day there is) to wallow in the pride and beauty of being black.

But as some of my best friends say, “Mama tired.” I have a whole list of Regular Black Girl issues to contend with in the 11 months that aren’t Black History Month…


pro church media

Mama Doria didn’t raise a wimp.

Meghan Markle, Boss of Sussex, is a grown woman, she’s got a kid to take care of, and she is DONE. She’s given all of y’all plenty of chances to be nice and play fair and act like adults. You talked crap about her clothes at that tennis match, you talked trash about her bare legs at her engagement announcement, laughed at the preacher at her wedding, and you made her Mama sit all by herself at the nuptials. You didn’t like it when she hugged Beyonce. News sites have collectively written more than…

Dartinia Hull

Southern essayist. Unapologetically Black. THAT mom.

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