Places

All That I Can’t Carry

The life of my Lolo and my family in the Philippines is a deep reminder that people live full lives there and places like it, across the globe.

Mar 30, 2020
Shocked Quartz: Traveling with a Chronic Illness

Will the vertigo again become acute? Will the stress of this, or some root cause that spurs it, end my life before it might otherwise end?

Mar 26, 2020
My Higher Power Is an Airport

The forces of air travel are virtually unknowable and immense, and we ourselves are small. I find a sort of peace in that.

How a Black Girl Learned To Fly

As the plane began to taxi, the first line of the comic Riri Williams: Ironheart #1 danced in my mind: “I was never meant to fly.”

In Search of Wonder in Iseyin

It’s Nigeria, after all. Hope is what keeps many alive. In plethora of sufferings and fears, prayers abound.

Feb 20, 2020
For My Immigrant Parents, a Vacation Is a Reprieve from Labor—for Me, It’s a Time to Work

My parents wanted to give me opportunities that they never had, to let me participate in bizarre American rites of passage.

Nov 21, 2019
A Nigerian’s Field Guide to Survival in Positano

We pass other boats and, from each one, there is the double-take, a stare. Two boats full of only black people is apparently a rare sight.

Oct 23, 2019
Where Once Were Qilin: Return to Nanjing

What did it mean that now both the villages and the qilin were gone? This portal to the ancestors gone forever.

Oct 16, 2019
An Island of Trash at the Top of the World

On a remote island north of the Arctic Circle, several centuries’ worth of human-made pollutants have come to rest.

Oct 10, 2019
Why Do Borders and Passports Dictate What Country I Get to Call Home?

The contours of a border become a lot less rigid when you carry what are deemed to be the right documents.

Sep 19, 2019
At Sea with Scientists, I Learned What It Means to Be an Explorer

We think of explorers in terms of what they discovered—the Eureka moment, not the search. The search is imperfect and frustrating and owes you nothing.

Sep 11, 2019
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.