Archive for the ‘Narrative essay’ Category

When we were younger, my sister Chandra and I both got into the habit of counting up to a thousand when we couldn’t fall asleep in order to prevent ourselves from thinking about death. (more…)


First published in the anthology Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out (Eds. Adebe DeRango-Adem & Andrea Thompson, Inanna Press, 2011).

Watch me read from this piece at the Other Tongues launch here.

When the sun comes back, and the first Quail calls, 

Follow the drinking gourd;

For the old man is waiting for to carry you to freedom

If you follow the drinking gourd.



My journey could begin in several places: it could begin with the 1910 exodus of between one and two thousand Blacks, who escaped the Jim Crow South by emigrating to the Canaan Land, Heaven, also known as Canada; it could begin 48 years before, with 6-year-old Rufus, my great-great-grandfather, being kidnapped along with his two brothers from their Arkansas home and taken to Texas by slave traders. The story goes back farther still than that, but I suppose the real beginning – and ending – is with me, nine or ten years old, and my grade five class’ First Nations study project. (more…)