Places

The King of Florida and Other Roadside Attractions

Like much of Florida, it appears both ridiculous and dangerous and gambling is involved. I think. I still don’t understand it.

Aug 13, 2019
A Eulogy for All the Black Boys Who Loved the Sky

I’m longing for the day when folk like me and Trayvon and Korryn and Lennon and Aiyana and Botham don’t need to be lucky to stay alive.

Jul 11, 2019
Leaving the Sisterhood of Women Writers

The more I wrote about women, the more distanced I felt from the figure I saw in the mirror.

Jun 26, 2019
Tailoring My Clothes, Fitting into My Life in America

My idea of home had changed, so I took the symbolic step of finding a new tailor—marking Philadelphia as a place that now fit me right, too.

These Boots Were Made for Walkin’ Away from Oklahoma

There was nowhere to go back to. Oklahoma was out of the question, always out of the question. But then, where was home?

Jun 13, 2019
How I Find Home in the Persian Poetry of Hafez

Home means that you’re anchored in something deeper than second-hand nostalgia, that you miss your country because it is a part of you.

Jun 12, 2019
In Nigeria, Burning is Starting to Feel Like Normal

Fortunately, the recession did not affect the prices of alcohol in the way that the price of shaving cream and school fees had nearly tripled.

As a Teacher and Writer, It’s Not My Job to Manage the Feelings of Men

It’s not my job to absorb every feeling a man has. In my classroom, I am the one who decides whose feelings get airtime, and how they are shared.

War of the Worlds à la Française: On Protest Culture in France

France is famous for its commitment to authority and order, but every so often the top blows off the mountain and you’re left with a volcanic cauldron of revolution.

How a Baseball Team Helped Me Make Peace with My Home State

People will tell you the Marlins suck, that no one likes the Marlins. “Marlins fans?” they’ll joke, because everyone knows that Marlins fans don’t exist. Except they do, we do.

My Father Wishes He Were a Writer, Like Me

Writing was just something I thought happened to people naturally, that whatever wasn’t written was eventually forgotten. And I wanted to remember everything.

May 09, 2019
After Christchurch, My Grief Came Late

I chose to treat myself with ease—to not resist my natural response, but to sit with it, allow it to manifest, and reflect on why so many of us felt this way and what it could teach me.

May 01, 2019
Taking My First Step Toward a Stranger

If you’re lonely, you can spot another lonely person a mile off. The lonely can recognize kin.

Apr 29, 2019
How My Parents, Who Loved Grapes, Lost Their Love of Winemaking

Others began to intrude in what had once been a mom-and-pop operation. The conversion from hobby to profession had been made.

Apr 25, 2019
What It’s Like to Travel When You Have a “Bad” Passport

I am a Kenyan, an African, someone from the ‘global south.’ It is my job to prove I deserve to travel. It doesn’t matter how talented or smart or wealthy I or others like me are; we need a good passport.

Apr 15, 2019
The Executioner

My father is obsessed with killing flies.

Apr 09, 2019
I Wanted to Know Why the Ocean Ate My Grandfather

As a child of many cultures, I wasn’t sure I could lay claim to one. But I learned that identity can grow and stretch, widen and encompass more than a single country or language.

Honesty Is the Best Policy—Especially in Focus Groups

There will always be liars in the focus group, but Fred was never one of them.

What Happens When You’re in the Elevator with the Boss’s Son

It’s happened for the past three days now. A three-day streak definitely qualifies it as A capitalized Thing.

Feb 19, 2019
The Medi-morphosis: Being Treated Like a Human Under Socialized Health Care

In France, universal (or socialized) health care is half-NASA, half-MacGyver. And it works. I have to suspect the main objection to adopting the best healthcare system on the planet is just that it’s French.