Like most grandmas, mine liked to tell stories. She was made for it. She was short and wide, with a billion wrinkles folded into one another, like elaborate human origami. Her skin was the color of peanut butter and she always smelled like her daily cocoa butter routine. We children used to say she was carved out of candy. But her glory was in her voice. Her voice was bull strong and sugar sweet and had the power to make every word into a jewel.
This story is a dramatized account of the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American man who was killed in 1982 in Detroit, bludgeoned into a coma with a baseball bat by Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz.
The first time I woke up and remembered I was black, I couldn’t breathe.
I am always enraged by the terror that Black people—and Black women who are viewed as angry and combative—fall victim to by police. The news of Sandra Bland’s arrest and then death is no exception. Almost as disheartening as the news of Sandra Bland’s death has been the response on social media. There is an overwhelming amount of arguments stating that it would be absurd for her to have committed suicide. Continue reading
On the weekend of Valentine’s Day, East Asian dance group Triple 8 put on their annual show Fortune. A key image in their advertising campaign depicted a white male, surrounded by seven Asian women. At the far left was an Asian male, his face out of focus and washed out by heavy backlighting. Continue reading
Last winter, an incident shook the quiet college-town of Charlottesville, Virginia, and brought dormant tensions over race relations bubbling to the forefront of local media. Having just returned home for winter break, I sat at my kitchen table and opened a local newspaper to the headline “Knockout: Victims of brutal Downtown Mall assault want arrests, and answers from police.”
As Black History month progresses, and we take a moment to honor and celebrate our tremendous history and the great strides we have made in the last fifty or so years, I cannot help but think about the ways in which our story has been one of both triumph and disappointment.
It has been more than two months since the news came out that Darren Wilson, the White officer who gunned down eighteen-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, would not be indicted for Brown’s death. Continue reading
At every protest I’ve participated in or been to—whether it’s been in Ferguson, which is only twenty minutes away from my home in St. Louis, or on Princeton’s campus—the signs held up by most protestors have boasted the names of slain Black men. At those same protests in which activists, young and old, highlight the deaths of Black men, I always notice one lone and audacious woman holding up a sign with the names of murdered Black girls and women penned on it.
Imagine being in seventh grade. Your despotic math teacher, unable to distinguish between the voices that were speaking during class, has held your entire class after for detention. About fifteen or twenty minutes in, you hear the secretary in the office call your name over the intercom. As she tries to explain that you have to leave, you hear your father’s booming voice in the background:
“SHE CAN’T STAY FOR DETENTION! WE ARE JEWS! WE HAVE TO OBSERVE THE SABBATH!!”