Summer 2020, people the world over learned the United States’ ugly secret known by Black people in this country for 400 years: Black lives are regarded as having little to no value. And for any Black person who dares challenge this worldview, retribution can be sure, swift, and deadly.
In 1919, fifty-four years after the abolition of the enslavement of Black Americans and thirty-nine years after Black men were granted the right to vote, July Perry led a voter registration campaign for the Black residents of Ocoee, Florida. In response, white residents lynched him, ran all of the Black residents…
Whenever my white friends confess, I didn’t know it was this bad — it being racism — my reaction is always one of surprise and sadistic glee. As a Black man, I find it surprising that yet another white person has chosen to eschew the comfort and bliss that accompanies whiteness, in an attempt to better understand the depth and breadth of racism in a world that has so welcomed them. To me, as a Black man, their confession is a joyous sight to behold. How could it not be? …
Pity that I can only give this 50 claps, Lord knows I have thousands more I'd like to give. Marley you've been a uniquely refreshing voice full of cleansing fire—and you always bring the heat. Know that you'll be missed. Thanks for the memories and insights and ballsiness to speak truth in love to white power. Maybe we'll see one another soon. I gotta go write a few more essays, clean up, and pack my shit. Safe travels, Sweets!
And to all you wonderful readers who supported Our Human Family, thanks for memories, lessons, laughs, and love. And if you'd like to stay in touch ... you know how to find me. (If not, just ask around.)
Love one another.
It’s been ten months since Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis — in front of the whole world — with subzero indifference, lethal determination, and no shred of humanity. And frankly, I’m uneasy about the whole thing.
I’ve been Black a man for a long time and the way this country goes out of its way to deny Black people justice is well documented and soul-crushing. American’s penchant for heaping generous portions of justice and mercy with a side of “benefit of the doubt” for everyone except Black people is well-documented.
That people around the world…
Earlier this week I teleconferenced—as a guest—with a group of white folks from my alma mater working through a curriculum about allyship.
In situations where I’m a guest, my approach to talking with white people about racism is pretty laid back. I give folks the opportunity to voice their opinions so I gain a little insight into where they might fall on the racist-anti-racist continuum. When the opportunity presents itself, I take the floor and then drop a few well-chosen words.
I’m not giving the group a pass, but I was rather impressed by the lot of them. During the…
Another February has come and gone and with it another Black History Month. I don’t know about you, but this one will be penned in red in my journal, and not because of the harsh wake-up call that we live in an age in which the work of artists is routinely commodified in a race to the bottom. “Right this way. Tap dance on our stage—we pay. Thirty-five cents for your first five hours, and a little less after that, of course. Think of the ‘exposure.’”
Do they not know that people go deaf from the din false promises of…
Cooking. I enjoy it almost as much as I enjoy eating. For me, food, cooking, and breaking bread with friends and family are not the endgame, together they’re a means to an end: bringing people together to explore or deepen relationships through a shared experience. For me, food, cooking, and breaking bread with friends and family are not the endgame, together they’re a means to an end: bringing people together to explore or deepen relationships through a shared experience.
Most families have food traditions for holidays. Barbecued chicken and ribs, baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad are staples for our…
I’ve been thinking about the events mentioned in my first essay. If the purpose of the condensed bully-published version of this article was to give it exposure, I’m not buying that. The article was doing just fine in the Our Human Family publication. Cocoa Griot’s original Underground Railroad article garnered upward of 4,000 claps. Kelli María Korducki, senior Medium editor and writer of the truncated and hijacked version, failed to include a link to the publication and more important to the writer. That’s a major oversight if the purpose of absconding with the article was to “give it exposure.”
I’m seeing a disturbing trend on Medium. Hardworking Medium writers and pubs are basically having their stories hijacked by other writers. What’s most disturbing is that top tier Medium publications and editors are the offenders.
Take for instance this February 7 story in my publication, Our Human Family.
And now a Cliff’s Notes version of the same story now appears in Momentum by Kelli Maria Korducki, a senior editor at Medium. What Korducki has done is essentially summarized a curated (distributed) story and then disguised it as a new piece that is then redistributed and earns her income.
For Valentine’s Day, we’ve got a different kind of writing prompt — a double triple — one topic involving three elements, but inspired by the following three words.
Love one another.
If you’ve been reading our articles for a while now, you know those three words are not only the closing for my communiques, they also form one of the founding principles of Our Human Family. But now the question is: what does that phrase mean to you?
Is it an outdated call to action? How does it relate to racism? Can it even exist in a conversation about racism…