Glenn Ross remembers the sunflowers in a field near where he grew up in Baltimore’s Fort Worthington neighborhood. His family and neighbors enjoyed the flowers’ beauty and the taste of the freshly picked seeds, sautéed in butter with a pinch of salt.
They didn’t know that the sunflowers, like the nearby African ferns, were in the former cemetery for phytoremediation—the use of plants to remove contaminants like lead and arsenic from soil, standing water, and air.
From the 1950s into the 1970s...
On a regular day, parenting is hard.
But during a pandemic – especially one that brings mass uncertainty around options for childcare and school – it feels damn near impossible.
These kids are driving me crazy. I spend many days lookin' like a Cynthia doll. If I weren't so exhausted, I would be in awe of the creativity and determination they show in pushing me to limits each day.
After four months of chaos, I think I've FINALLY discovered how to minimize the blow of parenting two under five w...
I'm not the only person who's been getting into more conflict during quarantine, am I?
My timelines are filled with every imaginable type of conflict. We're all irritable and learning that it's somehow possible to be overstimulated - d*mn kids/roommates/pets always in our faces - but also under stimulated with limited access to our usual coping tools.
On my quest to be a less grouchy human, I ran across the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). EQ is our ability to notice and correctly...
Guest post by A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez
Our guest blogger is A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez. A writer and researcher who visited the State Archives, she discovered something she didn’t expect to see in our collections: herself. We were delighted to read her account of her visit, and to share it with you.
This essay was originally published in The New Territory magazine, Issue 9, 2020.
I was fresh out of college with idealized images of life after graduation when my new husband dropped two bo...
My 4-year-old doesn’t miss an opportunity to tell me that he misses preschool. Until recently, my response was simple — “Too many people are sick, baby. No one is there.”
He doesn’t understand the concept of a pandemic, although he’s made up a song about the importance of wearing masks and regular handwashing. He’s too young to connect “lots of people being sick” with why he can’t be with his friends.
I held off for as long as I could on making an official decision about school this fall. We’...
"Mommy, can you protect me from the bad guys?" my 4-year-old son asks softly while he watches TV. He's thinking of superheroes and villains, and he poses the question with the innocence and curiosity of any other preschooler. But what he doesn't know is that there are "bad guys" everywhere — including the folks who believe he's a bad-guy-in-training just because he's Black.
Admittedly, when the headlines of police brutality and racial oppression have hit me especially hard, I've said, "I don'...
In this op-ed, A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez explores how Black women are left vulnerable, even in movements supposedly designed to uplift them.
It’s never been as intensely obvious to me that the world doesn’t see Black women and girls — both cis and trans — as worthy of protection as the day that I read of Crystal Richards’ death.
Her boyfriend, a man with whom many of my friends had graduated from high school, has been charged with first-degree felony murder, according to the Waco Tribune-H...
Win McNamee/Getty Images
When one of us loses a child, all of us feel that hurt; vicarious trauma is an integral aspect of Black motherhood.
My grandmother raised children in the legacy of Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of 14-year-old Emmett Till, who was kidnapped, beaten, mutilated, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River in 1955. My mother grew up in the shadow of Till and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombings, where four Black young girls were killed and many others injured in what was the ...
Trina Greene Brown has dedicated the entire month of August to resting. Like many other Black Americans, the last few months of continuous bad news has weighed heavily on her, from the disproportionate numbers of Black Americans dying from the coronavirus to the devastating shootings that continue to rock the country.
“For personal and professional sustainability and [to] ensure that I do not burn out, I am using the month of August for resting as a form of resistance,” she says.
There were no words to describe how much I hurt the night I read of Elijah McClain for the first time. I unwillingly came across the story of this 23-year-old autistic Black man on my Instagram timeline. He died last year following a chokehold and a ketamine injection administered by police. Once I was made aware of what happened to him, I saw his story everywhere, including in the fears that I held for my family.
By then, I’d grown accustomed to the ritual of opening my apps to the news of t...
GLOBAL HANGOUT: Deep emotions are being felt across the US as protests continue to roil the country over the death of George Floyd. Parents are struggling to explain to their children what’s happening, and black parents have the added weight of talking to their kids about how to stay safe. Global Hangout speaks to three parents about the talks they must have with their children.
Actor and Stand-Up Comedian
Raleigh, North Carolina
US Army Combat Veteran
According to Ph.D., a psychologist and host of the Therapy for Black Girls podcast, black girls are often characterized as “little women.” Teachers, and even parents, may expect black girls to exceed age-appropriate levels of responsibility at home or assume they don’t need to be comforted after emotionally distressing events, according to researchers.
Since COVID-19 is an infection that can also impact one’s cardiovascular system, there’s a concern for heart attacks and blood clots—and particularly so for Black women who are pregnant.
Renee Davis didn’t enter 2020 with any assumptions. But like many Americans, Davis—who asked to use a pseudonym so she could speak candidly about her medical experiences—wishes that someone could have told her that this year would be emotionally taxing on all fronts, especially while pregnant.
“I’ve had to li...
If you’re not comfortable affirming my race and gender, you’re not able to provide the support I need.
I think folks believe I’m joking when I say it took seeing six or seven mental health professionals before I found one who was a good fit.
Don’t even get me started on my marriage therapist.
I wouldn’t say the others were bad counselors — at least not all of them. What I can say is that they were a bad fit for me as a Black woman.
To support me as a client, a counselor has to understand how ...