Subtle Indignities: Why We Should Still “See” Race – Part 3

After my last post (my intermission), I wasn’t sure I wanted to proceed with my series of blog posts. Ironically, I was feeling a little fatigued of talking about the need for race consciousness (colour bravery) – especially against the backdrop of the xenophobic attacks (“black-on-black violence”) that have taken place in South Africa these last few…

Intermission: A Black African’s View on New England Winter

One day last November, I went into the gym at 4.30pm, when it was reasonably light outside, and came out at 5.30pm to find it pitch black. My thoughts: “eish, mara – what am I doing in this misery?!” I got into the car … On NPR, Melissa Block was talking to Ms. Hazard (I think that’s her…

In a small NH town, stark reminders that racism persists

(This article appeared in The Concord Monitor and The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) June 12 was Loving Day. What’s that? The day that, in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the decision in Loving v. Virginia, finding the State of Virginia’s law criminalizing interracial marriage to be in violation of the Constitution. In the words of Chief…

The Story Behind “You’re Beautiful”

I was walking through an airport the other day when I spotted the glossy cover. An unabashedly black Lupita Nyong’o, sporting her very own nappy black hair, cropped short, beamed on the cover of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful” issue. Another first for dark black women in American popular culture, courtesy the luminous Lupita. But for…

Let’s not end the discussion on racist graffiti in NH superficially

(This opinion piece appeared in the Concord Monitor both in print and online on Sunday, October 20, 2013.) On Tuesday, the Concord Monitor reported that a 42-year-old man, Raymond Stevens, had been charged with writing racist graffiti on black, African refugees’ Concord homes in 2011 and 2012. This was after Detective Wade Brown had painstakingly combed through 1,500…

In South Africa, past is present in black and white

[This column was written for the Manchester Union Leader, May 15th 2012] Learning my New Hampshire history back in middle school, “conflict” was not a concept I encountered. It seemed the biggest tragedy to befall our state in the last 250 years was losing more than a few good men to wars beyond our borders….

From Concord to Cape Town – on my strength alone?

(A version of this column appeared in the New Hampshire Union Leader – pardon the shameless re-posting :) I was raised with a healthy New Hampshire dose of rugged individualism. My favorite pastime on a summer’s afternoon was to disappear into the Monadnock woods with my brother Tim and build a fort – a pair of…

To set the stage

The idea of starting a blog has been percolating for a couple of months, prompted from time to time by the nagging sense that black and white still make a curious couple, and by the need to reflect on why. That sense and need apply whether it’s Concord, New Hampshire (90% white), where we lately…