As longer days roll in and temperatures rise, I think of beach season. I think of weekend trips or longer vacations spent sipping margaritas or mai tais. But I also think about how for people who look like me — for black folk — beach trips weren’t always an option.
When I was a child in the 1990s and early 2000s, I looked forward to our family vacations to Myrtle Beach, S.C. My family would pile into our station wagon and road-trip from Atlanta, loaded down with snacks and music for the ride....
The lobby is a ruckus: loud talking, movement, spirited laughs. Spaniards and native English speakers (mostly Americans, which explains the noise) are playing an “icebreaker” game.
The leaves were starting to change colors — from the deep greens of summer blades of grass to shades of burgundy, gold and orange — when I visited Philadelphia in November.
Since Philadelphia formerly served as the nation’s capital, the story of the founding fathers is often the core lesson that visitors take away. There is, however, a narrative of equal importance to remembering and preserving American history here: the legacy of African Americans and their contributions to the city’s cultural fabric.
A year ago, I was wrapped up in the rapture of love (word to Anita Baker) — and convinced that hopping on a plane to Washington, D.C., from Atlanta, where I lived at the time, for a romantic weekend was a great idea.
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Of all the quintessential Southern food I learned to cook at the heels of my mother—smothered pork chops, skillet cornbread, a proper gravy with meat drippings—neck bones and lima beans surely was not one I loved.
Knees bent and spread apart. Feet positioned at a half-diamond just beyond my behind. Torso resting between my thighs.
Long before I stepped foot in Ireland for the first time, I dreamed about what it would feel like to be there: taking in the lush, green, rolling hills and exhaling with some sort of beautiful certainty; being caught in a light afternoon rain as droplets gathered in a mosaic on my eyeglasses; trying to understand an Irish accent.
My years as a Girl Scout are mostly a blur of sashes and uniforms—a fast flurry to accumulate as many patches as possible—but one pillar that stuck with me was how essential, necessary, and life-giving friendships were supposed to be.
Growing up in the Deep South, the daughter of a woman from Alabama and a man born and bred in Lagos, Nigeria, who I was and where I came from never had an easy answer. Food helped me find the way. Especially jollof rice.
What does it mean to be rooted? To be intentional about where the genesis of your work and things you’re passionate about are derived from?
The bustling Southern metropolis of Atlanta is more than its burgeoning reputation as a moniker for the music and film industries.
It's an area with a rich sense of African-American history weaved into its social, cultural and political tapestry.