Mommy, Is Hate a Bad Word?

I became a mother accidentally. I had decided at some point in my turbulent twenties that I would not birth children, for fear that they would be too much like me. Nor had I ever planned to adopt. Children would be incompatible with the life of travel and abandon which I had dreamed up for myself for as long as I could remember, and which … Continue reading Mommy, Is Hate a Bad Word?

DeVostation Blues

As I bid goodbye to the security guards and make my way through the crowd of students who always linger for a few minutes after school, smoking cigarettes and teasing each other, I feel alone and broken, enraged by the confirmation of an unqualified, miseducated billionaire to lead the department for which I work and on whose decisions depend the lives of millions of America’s … Continue reading DeVostation Blues

My Soul’s Most Enduring Mate

We sit down at the kitchen island, nibble on pita and feta, and look at each other. It’s been this way since I woke up one morning a few months ago and found a teenager in my home. Maybe I would have been ready, if I hadn’t only had seven years of his boyhood, or if he wasn’t half a year short of turning thirteen, … Continue reading My Soul’s Most Enduring Mate

Shards and Tiles

There once was a time when I would tell people I was Armenian, just as soon as I’d shared my name and repeated it at least twice to allow the American tongue before me to wrap itself around the way my name was meant to be spoken. Sometimes, I’d mention Armenia in response to a comment about my exotic name, or my exotic accent, or … Continue reading Shards and Tiles

A Letter to My Children, on America’s Choice of Evil Over Good

My sweet Daniel and Imani, I didn’t stay up to hear the official result of yesterday’s election. Once it became clear that Hillary had lost Michigan and Pennsylvania, your father and I turned off the television, went to bed, and fell asleep in each other’s arms. We didn’t talk about anything; still haven’t. But we will. Because we know that there is a long and … Continue reading A Letter to My Children, on America’s Choice of Evil Over Good

First Time Ever I Saw His Face

  Here is the most recent version of the opening of Walk Good, as we celebrate eight years since Daniel and I met in Montego Bay. My friend calls to say that she and her cousin are leaving for a wedding in Jamaica, and that the room at the resort on the Seven Mile Beach has two queen beds. Even since she moved to Canada … Continue reading First Time Ever I Saw His Face

Manifesto of Motherhood

We, mothers of Black boys, Stand together United In defense of a simple but profound truth We have come together To remind the world that Our black sons matter Never mind that this should be A matter of fact We don’t mind saying Our sons’ lives matter As many times as it takes For this truth to be heard Black, White, Asian, Latina Immigrant and … Continue reading Manifesto of Motherhood

#HisLifeMatters

Faces of black boys Black men Some just about to cross the bridge Between boyhood and manhood Just discovering their color Their voices Beginning to speak questions Why are they killing us? Why do they hate us so much? Will they kill me, too? One mother writes This is my son James He loves to cook Loves to sing Won first place in a marathon … Continue reading #HisLifeMatters

On Being Caucasian

Whiteness is a privilege with which I was cursed upon entry into this country. I had never been taught to think about myself as belonging to a race, never been asked to check a box to indicate whether I preferred to disclose or withhold my race, or specify which one on a list of given choices defined me. The first time I helped my mother complete … Continue reading On Being Caucasian