Where I come from, there is graffiti everywhere. This place is their museum, an outlet for their frustration, inspirations, and pride.
The summer before college, Sarwat moved to Texas. It was a small miracle that she was able to convince them to stay put through the end of high school. Her parents wasted no time packing up after graduation.
I find myself walking a paved road in the middle of a baraat, a groom’s wedding procession. It resembles a parade that will eventually pour through a small Indian village leading to a clearing where the bride and her family wait.
“Look, Doni!” the girl called to me, “I’m like a bird!” She discovering “the other,” organizing the world around her into the grammar of you/I, bird/not-bird, like/not-like.
I remember burying the seeds every time I ate an apple. They never grew into apple trees. I remember going to the airport for fun. I remember, on Thompson Street, the moment they called the 2020 presidential race. I remember the way my childhood home smelled when it was completely empty.
I ended up on the second story of the tranquil cafe, surrounded by empty chairs, looking out into empty streets.
On my second day on the island, I was met with the extravagance of peacocks in my cousin Elisabeth’s kitchen.
The school bus halts at my stop. My cul-de-sac still out of view, I continue forward, listening to the satisfying crunch of leaves under my feet, trying to forget the day I just had.
Writing and research from Shatima Jones's interdisciplinary seminars, “(De)Tangling the Business of Black Women’s Hair” and “Black Experiences in Literature, Movies, and Television,” published in honor of Black History Month, 2021.
How do white parents of black, biracial, or transracial children find resources and form community centered around Black hair care?
We stood side by side in the bathroom mirror with the door closed and pointed out where on our faces we had the same freckles so as to convince strangers at the grocery store that we were twins. We took turns pressing our fingers into the other's arms to reveal white fingerprints vanishing into pink skin.
I tried to unstick my body from itself, playing a game that no part of me could touch any other part.
In the 21st century, teenagers have turned to social media platforms to develop their identities and find others like themselves, often resulting in the emergence of online subcultures.