Tag Archives: black

Attending a Charlottean Protest

I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.

In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.

Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.

Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.

When one person emphasized voting, a teacher stepped up and spoke some truth: voting won’t solve this. Hillary Clinton won’t fix this system, nor will Roy Cooper (the NC governor candidate opposed to Governor McCrory 1), and even Trump probably won’t significantly increase the rate at which we’re killed. The teacher freely admitted they didn’t have a solution, but pushed that we not rest on the idea that politicians will solve this for us.

The reminder that there is no simple solution is both motivating and depressing—my friend and I spitballed ideas on the bus ride home, trying to think of even infeasible ideas that weren’t a goofy “burn it all down”.

I took a few pictures, but probably won’t post them. It felt very touristy to take them, and the ones that struck me most were of the soldiers or people interacting with them, and I’m not okay with posting pictures of people (especially when faces are included) without their permission.

I hope people stayed safe for the rest of the evening.

A Return to Hair Simplicity

Three-something years ago (okay, okay, three years ago on February 25, 2008), I started growing my hair out into locs. I plaited my 2 inches of ‘fro and let it go. This was a month after I left teaching and the night before I started my first post-teaching job, and it was a big life transition for me. I was mourning having “failed” at being a teacher and wanted something personal to accomplish as I reentered corporate software development.

Continue reading A Return to Hair Simplicity

The spook who counted her money

I finished The Spook Who Sat By the Door yesterday morning. Sam Greenlee has one hell of a knack for sharp writing, and regardless of my not being a proponent for militantism, the book struck a chord with me. Greenlee got at the heart of the loneliness of being black in a nation and profession that both expects you to act white “enough” (but only so much) and simultaneously disdains you for doing so (as you disdain yourself). It was and is a fine line to walk.

There are going to be spoilers here, but nothing that actually ruins the novelty of the book, I hope.
Continue reading The spook who counted her money

New Witches Story: “Interception”

Part seven of The Witches of Ming Ung: “Interception” Here’s a snippet:

“Yeah, sure,” Markos said. “When are you coming home?” he whined. “This place is all big and lonely without you.”

“Markos, it took forever just getting here,” she said. “We’re just getting into the swing of things. It could be a while before I’m set to go.”

Markos’s pout became a frown and Hardi realized she’d protested too much.

His chuckle was forced as he said, “You sure you aren’t enjoying the sights while you’re out there?”

Hardi’s smile was weak. “Well, it is a lovely planet.”

As I mentioned earlier this week, from here until Witches is done, I’ll only be posting Witches stories.

Continue reading New Witches Story: “Interception”