Beth had always looked like she just stepped out of one of the Gap Kids ads in one of the Good Housekeeping magazines that were placed around the Social Worker’s offices to calm nerves and to ease anger when wait times are long and patience is short. The magazine pages had the wrinkles of an elderly field worker — fine, jagged, crisscrossed lines; and a slickness from being handled by too many hands. Conversely, the kids in the ads looked as though they had never been touched — they showed no life-wear; no scratches, no uneven skin, no discoloration from…


The water is as blue as turquoise mined from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt; bowled in checkered tiles of varying blues. Fallen leaves aimlessly float in the middle section of the pool — as if they’ve gathered there for an event. No one is here, other than a man on the other side of the pool wearing a Speedo that probably should’ve been retired a decade ago, sprawled across one of the wooden lounge chairs and pecking at his phone; and me, drinking a South African Sauvignon Blanc out of a weightless, plastic wine glass.

This scene is far from…


I have arrived at a tough conclusion —

Most people do not expect a Black woman to prioritize herself and to do what’s best for her.

Not just non-Black people.

Not just men.

Most people.

The world has socialized us to expect the Black woman to be strong, to be stoic, to persevere; quite frankly — to suffer.

The trope of the strong, Black woman is as ubiquitous as the gentle and fragile white woman. Consider the mommas on Good Times, What’s Happening, Everybody Hates Chris, The Jeffersons, Claudine, Family Matters, 227, That’s My Mama. Think back about the Sistas…


BODY SLIGHTLY CHILLED BUT MY HEART WARM & BEATING FAST

I first saw him in a dream when I was halfway through my pregnancy: brown skin with a red undertone like cedar, black curly hair, and large, curious eyes the color of strong Black tea. My soul recognized him, instantly. We were swimming deeply underwater. He seemed oblivious to me, as he happily swam in a large circle. I’d follow him- sometimes pausing to simply look at him: my body slightly chilled, my heart warm and beating fast.

I lay still to try to slow my breath and heart after…


My career in D & I (Diversity & Inclusion) found its origins, as many things do: from childhood challenges. I spent a lot of my life feeling as if I didn’t quite fit in. Perhaps I was never taught how to fit in — how to bend myself to fit in other peoples’ spaces.

After all, I was an only-child — able to do as I wished and not conform to accommodate the hankerings of siblings. I had a renegade mother who left the United States for many years to live in Europe because she didn’t like the way Black…


The parking lot at Safeway was crowded, as it always is, around 5:00. All of us there were tired and trying to gather a few things for dinner. Frozen dinners and pre-cooked rotisserie chickens moved down black conveyer belts to be rung up and bagged by employees whose exhaustion mirrored ours.

A young Black man, wearing faded light blue, saggy jeans that landed in waves of cloth around his ankles and a black wool cap (though it was over 85 degrees outside) stood at the edge of the my line, in front of a small refrigerator, and juggled a large…


If a look could truly kill a person, my girl would be the feature of a Dateline murder mystery. Her side-eye can erase years of therapy and hours of self-esteem seminars. So, my shoulders tightened and my red wine induced buzz evaporated when Tonya’s face transformed from a laughing “girl-you-so-crazy-look” look to a menacing “I’m about to go crazy on dis girl-look”.

An older White man, wearing the ubiquitous wealthy White man’s uniform of khaki shorts and an over-priced polo shirt, accompanied by a much younger White woman approached our table smiling and chuckling as if we had all just…


Every weeknight, Aaron, who was my live-in boyfriend at the time, and I would sit on our crème colored futon, in our 6th floor apartment in the least expensive building in Northern Virginia, eat whatever budget meal I had made to last us the week and watch Jeopardy. Jeopardy and the host Alex Trebek allowed our brains to idle down a bit from a day of graduate and law school classes, while keeping them engaged enough to study later.

When Alex would introduce the categories, we’d assign them appropriately to each other: anything having to do with literature, word play…


“Well, you ain’t gonna change him; so you better change your plan,” my mother instructed in a tone steeped in matter-of-factness, as she leaned back on her green, velvet couch with her legs stretched-out and propped up , wearing a thin, eggplant-colored short sleeved sweater, bedroom-slippers and half-slip (she would always take off her bra, shoes, and skirt immediately when she got home). …


Every weeknight, Aaron, who was my live-in boyfriend at the time, and I would sit on our crème colored futon, in our 6th floor apartment in the least expensive building in Northern Virginia, eat whatever budget meal I had made to last us the week and watch Jeopardy. Jeopardy and the host Alex Trebek allowed our brains to idle down a bit from a day of graduate and law school classes, while keeping them engaged enough to study later.

When Alex would introduce the categories, we’d assign them appropriately to each other: anything having to do with literature, word play…

Randi Bryant

Sista who believes that we can fix it if we won’t face it. Real talk. It’s time to have a conversation. Blog: randib.net

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