Re-examining My Melanin Beauty

I’ve always been considered to be ‘light skinned.’ I’m careful to say ‘been considered to be,’ as opposed to ‘considered myself,’ because this description is one that others have imposed on me before I was old enough to define myself. My mother was the first woman I could recall looking at and thinking, ‘This is…

Solitary Confinement: Not Just a Black Man’s Problem

In a special report released on April 22, 2015, Juan E. Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, found that prolonged solitary confinement (in excess of 15 days) is torture. This torture happens EVERY DAY in the United States. And in the state of New…

I Ain’t Ya Mammy

Recently, while binge-watching “A Different World,” I came across an episode which had a particular impact. The sitcom, a spin-off of The Cosby Show, A Different World, takes a look into the lives of a group of college students at the fictional HBC, Hillman College. In the episode, Whitley Gilbert chose pieces of artwork to include…