Stories in Families that you’ll love, handpicked by our team.
It was a rainy evening as Ellen wiped down the counter of her empty dumpling shop, thirty minutes before closing. Another slow night. Her son lay on his stomach behind the counter, drawing, where he always was during his mother’s evening shifts.
My Father's House
I am standing in the house my father built. The rooms are cold, as they always were. The myth of California is that it’s always warm. Instead, the damp gets inside of you until your skin crawls. The heat was never turned on in my father’s house.
Dear fathers in your many forms, I am blessed to have one of you close, adopt others, marvel and smile at many, desire to see freedom and justice for others. I learn from you, the depths of your roots and the worlds in your eyes. I’ve grown up amidst tangible yous and messages about you, depictions that usually seemed to miss the mark--overlooked huge parts of your heart. As a kid I often felt pained, sad watching movies with black men, like my dad or about black stories because they seemed incessantly heavy. I was confused, because my black family and community had their strife, but there was so much fun and vibrant life.
The Bucket List
Wool socks… a couple of plaid flannel shirts… jeans… a single burner camp stove… night goggles… hiking boots… legal documents, lots of legal documents. Newspaper articles telling of the undercover sting operation that laundered money for people who brought American dollars back in exchange for prime Canadian hydroponic weed… an old passport… a driver’s license in someone else’s name that I hope he didn’t kill anyone for.
I’m not going to lie. Giving birth was one of the most painful experiences of my life. After my first-born arrived, I vehemently declared that I would NEVER do that again. I had been in agony for 48 hours as my baby slowly slithered out of me. Back and forth she went with each contraction, carving her way through my birth canal. When the final, triumphant moment arrived, my anguish topped the Richter scale it was that earth-shatteringly excruciating. A daughter! Hannah Rose was finally here.
My mother was a drunk and a mermaid. Or a mermaid and a drunk. That’s the problem with words: whatever you say first sounds like it causes the second. But sometimes people are just two things at once. And more likely three. See, my mother wasn’t a mermaid because she was a drunk. And she wasn’t a drunk because she was a mermaid. She was just both, as long as I can remember. Oh, and a dreamer. A drunk, dreaming mermaid that drank and dreamed.
Remembering Old World California
Most people living in the New World try their best to forget the world that existed before the Catastrophe, especially the wealthy, who’d only made efforts to spare themselves, while disregarding the rest of the population. Some people, however, still do all they can to remember.
Black Joy- Soul of an Artist
Let me start by giving my team their flowers. Photographer and Filmmaker Tyre Mills, @millsuave44 on instagram. Model, Actor and aspiring Fitness Coach, Abijola who goes by Prince @princejibbz on instagram. Prince and I met 2 years ago, on set of a tv show. Tyre and I met a year ago on an independent, web series project. This team helped me bring my vision of Black Love to life with this photoshoot. We were on the beach, at night, in Malibu California. Everything seemed to go wrong that day but as soon as we met and got down to work, the beauty of the finished product was worth every stressful delay that caused us to miss capturing the sunset. Tyre was in the sand with a light box, the night was pitch black and the ocean was steps away from our feet. The energy to create art that night was strong and steady. I wanted to celebrate body positivity as my body has changed during the quarantine. I also wanted to celebrate us as a melanated people, from Afro-Caribbean and Pan-African descent. The complexities of our stories are in our culture, in our skin, in our hair and the varying shades of our complexions. There are 55 nations in Africa, we can safely say that every human being has been birthed from the Motherland. I have embraced this notion and the world is also coming around to it.
Who We Are
The Part Where I Was Taught to Be Proud of Where I Come From My mom imagined my grandfather was asking me, “What’s your name,” for the hundredth time with a grin on his face.
"Grab the tea & have a seat next to me, you see this picture right here?" "Let me see." My niece said as she sat down to take a look at what I was holding. "That's the good ole country baby. Now, most folks 'round the world think when you're from Louisiana you're automatically from the big Easy or New Orleans, and that just ain't whats all to the "boot". You see there's a lot of culture, knowledge, and hidden gems, from the pull-strap of the boot all the way down to the heel, crawling over to the toe, and back up the vamp of the boot! Louisiana has a lot of trees and a lot of land with roots going all the way back since before the purchase!".
What Black Excellence Means To Me
The portrayal of Black excellence very often includes an immaculate, fashionable, well-off Black couple that takes trips, runs a multi-million dollar company, have amazing educational accomplishments and raise beautiful children that dress like mini fashion models. While all those things are incredible and I manifest that more brothers and sisters of color will get to experience similar accomplishments; I must state my point that Black Excellence is so much more than those things alone.
Summers at the Jersey seashore were my lifeline as a girl in the 1980s, especially after my parents’ divorce that brought uncertainty and instability into my adolescent universe. Before I was born, my paternal grandparents purchased a seasonal house in Ocean City, making “America’s Greatest Family Resort” the backdrop of the best moments of my childhood. My younger sister Becky and I spent lengthy, sun-drenched summers with my father and grandmother on this island well-known for Blue Laws – meaning it was not just a “dry” town, but on Sundays you could only purchase necessities. Ocean City was known for being tame and family-friendly, especially when compared with nearby Wildwood and Atlantic City.