I have been conditioned to have infinite capacity for hope. I was raised Protestant and had a predisposition to an inflated sense of purpose, so signs that might have otherwise gone unnoticed (or were perhaps for someone else) were sent by god to me.

These were signs like the number 22, for example, which matched the number on the house that we liked (they were asking well over a quarter of a million dollars and I made less than 40,000). …

Once, when I was very young, my grandmother told me a story about a group of women called “grief eaters.” These women were always of an uncertain age but certainly ancient. They appeared like specters after a person’s death and lingered only long enough to take a plate to go. They would hover at the periphery, drying tears with lipstick stained worn napkins, would press warm hugs into bodies wracked with grief. Like sponges they would soak up the story until every piece of the decedent was stitched together to be draped over the women’s shoulders and carted off. Their…

“I had only one desire: to dismember it. To see of what it was made, to discover the dearness, to find the beauty, the desirability that had escaped me, but apparently only me.”

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

The first person in the entire world that I remember disliking with a fervor that bordered obsession was S.B. She was extremely popular, blonde, and smiley. All of the boys liked her. She never said a word to me — I don’t even think she knew me. But I knew her.

I had to. She was in every conversation. She was every…

(Pictured are a few of my ancestors. I included this because I do understand there are varying shades of black and copyright laws prevent me from providing a photo of the comedian in question.)

What is a minstrel? When I google “blackface” (which I did prior to writing this and only scrolled down half the page before almost losing my eyesight to the back of my own head) there are over 27,000,000 results, presumably delineating the history and effects of blackface. …


Jherine is a writer existing in the south. She is currently working on a collection of poetry that she hopes someone will read. doogonotpu.wordpress.com

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