personal essays

This category contains 11 posts

Check, Please: Black Folks and Tipping

The summer before I started college, almost 10 years ago in Baltimore County, I became a waiter. It was a rite of passage into the workforce, albeit an unglamorous one. Working in a restaurant gave me my first real experience interacting with all sorts of people in an intimate way. At the end of the … Continue reading


Installation #9

Good Things Come In Twos This year, all I want for Father’s Day is a nice twelve hour nap. No cards. No fancy dinners. And definitely no telephone calls. When I wake up, I’ll go through my file cabinet and take out some folders. Skip through some photos of my daughter and let silence fill … Continue reading

Installation # 8

Looking at all of the mixed kids today, one would never guess that back in the day, we kids were an oddity.  I was born in Cambridge, Maryland in 1969 to a married black woman and a married white man.  Needless to say, they kept their relationship under wraps.  Neither of them were happy in … Continue reading

Father Forgive Me, installation #6

“Father forgive me, we got some issues.”- Jay Z             It was a few days after my father’s 50th birthday, and I still struggled with what it meant to call the man who’s name I carry dad.  I climbed into the dust and cracks of my black leather seat and headed to his apartment. The … Continue reading

Fathering Words with E. Ethelbert Miller

Egberto Miller walks to the subway carrying his lunch. My mother has taken the time to fix him a good meal. I will remember the exchange of small brown paper bags more than hugs and kisses between my parents. When we moved into the St. Mary’s Housing Projects, we lived on the seventeenth floor; my … Continue reading

A Black Shadow Returns

contributed by Melanie Henderson   Most mornings, I drive to work. But after a weekend of tree-trimming with babyboy, baking, and gift-wrapping, I was running a little low on energy and time. So, I took a walk to work so the sounds of the city could wake me. While walking down K Street near what … Continue reading

Obama’s Speech on Unemployment

In October, I left my job or I was fired. My position was terminated. However you slice it my future was uncertain. Surprisingly, I was clear-sighted through it all. I remember it was the tail-end of October. The trees were shedding much like the big and small companies around the nation. I was grateful that … Continue reading

Flashback Friday

Lately I’ve been working on a number of poems that deal with when I was a kid. Belive it or not, those are the most difficult poems to write. I just dusted off a poem that I started two years ago. Some folks liked when I read it a few times but inside I knew … Continue reading

Flashback Fridays with Tinesha Davis

This is the way it starts. I’m writing a new book and like my last book (and probably the next book) it is set in the neighborhoods where I grew up. This is how it begins. The reminiscing. The going back in the day, the urge to visit where I came from, the obsession to … Continue reading

Catching My Breath

It feels like a week since I’ve had time to post.  But there’s good reason, I’ve been busy. I started a new gig with Split This Rock working with Sarah Browning & company (Melissa, Katherine, Jaime, Alicia, and Reggie), activist-poets based here in Washington. Here’s a short interview I did with Sarah on a previous blog, Poetic … Continue reading