Lethal Lottery (Trayvon 2.0)

I’ve blogged about the tragic death of Trayvon Martin and the criminalization of black males. The tragedy still weighs heavily on my mind, especially in light of the smear campaign launched against the slain teen. Author and colleague Alicia McCalla came up with the brilliant idea of writing a science fiction response to the killing of Trayvon Martin. The following short story is my tribute to Trayvon and hunted black boys everywhere.

It was a deadly time to be 18, black and male. All across the country, these young outlaws were being killed. They yanked them from their cars and lynched them in Texas, stormed their homes and gassed them in Philadelphia and lay in wait for them outside of barber shops in Chicago and Los Angeles. Continue reading

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The Escape from Beckyville Tees Are Here!

Tis the season … to be playful!

For the past several months, many readers have asked where to purchase the Escape from Beckyville T-shirts. The supply I started with at the beginning of the journey has since been depleted, and it was hard finding a vendor I trusted so that I could offer the tees for sale. Well, the wait is over! The EFB tees are in, and they’re now available in three different colors: Rockstar Noir, Rockstar Iris and Lolita Heliotrope. I really dig the last shirt, because it brings to mind two of my favorites — my mother, Lola, and the color purple. Royalty.

Check them out when you get a chance. For the next few weeks, I’m having an introductory sale on the shirts as well as a discount on the book Escape from Beckvyille. I’d love for you to post a pic on my Facebook fan page rocking your new tee!

Click here to visit the Escape from Beckyville Boutique. I’m also offering 10 EFB Rewards Points (valued at $10) for every person you refer who makes a purchase!

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“The Killing” of Black Women’s Humanity and Complexity

“When I can stand before a class of black students who refuse to believe that conscious decisions and choices are made as to what roles black actors will portray in a given TV show, I feel compelled to name that their desire to believe that the images they see emerge from a politically neutral fantasy world is … part of a colonizing process.”
— bell hooks

During grad school, I abstained from watching television for two years because I didn’t want anything to distract me from my studies. I missed out on water cooler discussions of Dexter’s latest killing and the highly anticipated series finale of Lost. I’m utterly unhip, but I’m used to being an outsider. After all, I was the only black girl on my block who couldn’t jump Double Dutch and didn’t know how to dance. Prior to my voluntary disengagement from the boob tube, I hadn’t picked up a remote control in months. Mainly because there were few shows that depicted black folks — particularly black women — in empowering roles. Continue reading

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Remembering Jamiel Shaw and Trayvon Martin

The funeral of Jamiel Shaw

Five years ago, I attended the funeral of a 17-year-old boy who’d been murdered. His name was Jamiel Shaw. I didn’t know him, wasn’t acquainted with his parents. I have never gone to the homegoing ceremony of a total stranger. I’m not that nosy old lady who scans the local obituary column searching for a random burial to bumrush. I wanted to show my support for his family, to let them know their son’s life counted for something. Continue reading

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Taking My Dreams to the Next Level

“In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself.”
– Frantz Fanon

Everyone needs a reason to get up in the morning. A few months ago, I didn’t have one.

During the first few days of January, I was thrilled about the prospects for Escape from Beckyville and was looking forward to another cross-country tour. By the second week, I was despondent. I moped around my apartment in my robe for two and three days at a time, sometimes not bothering to shower or brush my teeth. I felt that my life lacked purpose and meaning. It’s been nearly nine months since I walked away from my job at a top-rated talk show to pursue my dreams, and I’m still surviving. I had to sell my car and make a few other life adjustments, but I’m still here. Cubicle free and all that. Sure, if it came down to it, I could get another job if things got too scary. But the reason I lay in bed for hours with the blinds closed was because I had to face a scary thought: maybe it was finally time to leave L.A. Continue reading

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