Moments after we jumped the broom on Nov. 6, 2020. Photo courtesy of Eivan’s Photography.

The most beautiful day of my life also felt like the most selfish.

Inside the ornate building decorated with childhood photos, golden charger plates and candle-lit glass vases, my knees wobbled and I wept as my bride-to-be, cloaked in ivory, strolled down the aisle.

Outside, thousands of people were dying as COVID-19 devastated entire communities, ripping apart families that looked just like ours. At this point, the virus had claimed nearly 300,000 American lives and public health officials scurried to brace the surviving populace for the inevitable surge over Thanksgiving. …

Photo courtesy of Jason Redmond/AFP, by way of NBC News

She’s scared to go outside and she’s afraid for her children.

I swallowed back anguish when I read those comments from an Asian colleague at work this week. I wanted to know how she was coping with the latest in a spate of violence targeted at Asian Americans. Like others I had spoken to, she was afraid, confused and traumatized.

And why wouldn’t she be?

A gunman went on a shooting spree at three businesses near Atlanta on Tuesday, killing eight people in a hail of gunfire. His victims were mostly Asian-American women working in spas.

The attacks came on…

Photo courtesy of the Louisville Courier Journal

One of the greatest blessings of my life is that I’ve spent much of it surrounded by incredible Black women.

From my mother, aunts and grandmother to my fiancée, close friends and colleagues, Black women have been paramount in shaping me into the man I am today. I credit them with loving me, nurturing me, teaching me and holding me accountable when I’ve said or done things that have made them feel disrespected, diminished or misunderstood.

So, when weeks like this happen, when men in suits say their lives don’t matter, it troubles me. The decision to not hold a…

Chadwick Boseman at the Oscars in March 2018. Photo courtesy of The Associated Press.

No one’s saying Chadwick Boseman was a (panther) god.

He wasn’t the Second Coming of Christ. He wasn’t the preeminent civil rights leader of our era. He wasn’t the be-all and end-all of Black excellence.

But, he was a symbol. He was an icon. He was a hero.

That’s why his death has rippled across the Black community with punctuated pangs of grief, frustration and despair.

To their credit, Chadwick’s network of family, friends and supporters kept his colon cancer diagnosis under wraps for four years, even this past May, when Internet trolls hounded him for his gaunt appearance in…

The U.S.-Mexico border between San Diego and Tijuana. I took this photo in Oct. 2016 while visiting on a work trip. We don’t need miles of fence and wall to create barriers between people. Words do that well enough.

I winced when I saw it. Alien.

That word is demeaning, ugly and offensive. Alas, it’s also legal because it’s written into federal law.

I’ve never liked the use of “alien” in reference to people who aren’t citizens but live on U.S. soil. It’s always felt wrong and divisive. Those bad feelings have intensified over the last few years as our political climate has grown more contentious and anti-immigrant rhetoric has grown more volatile.

“Alien” has a negative connotation that automatically “others” people. It subliminally sends a message to the foreign-born that they’re not as good as the rest of…

Jonathan Isaac stands during the national anthem at the NBA’s ceremonious return game July 31. Photo courtesy of CBS Sports.

Some scoffed and others cheered when the NBA’s Jonathan Isaac decided to stand last week as his teammates kneeled in support of Black Lives Matter. I just sighed.

I praised Isaac’s brazen choice to tell the world about Jesus. He leveraged a golden opportunity to share the gospel and relay a powerful message of love and grace — qualities in short supply these days. I also recoiled because I knew what might come next, mainly people using his comments as evidence that dismantling systemic racism conflicts with the gospel.

I disagree. Railing against racial injustice is biblical and necessary if…

Queen Pearl with her daughters, my mother Joyce (right) and my aunt Renee (middle). Photo circa mid-1960s.

If memory serves, Queen Pearl only popped me with a switch once in my life. I can’t remember what I did, but I guess I deserved it.

For those who don’t know, a switch is a freshly picked stick or small branch from the nearest tree in your front or backyard. It can be girthy or thin, but it’s always long and limber enough to gather sufficient wind so that when it hits your hind parts, it leaves a sting that burns.

It was once a staple in southern child-rearing and was an especially effective deterrent for this city boy…

Photo courtesy of Vox

One of the latest headlines to emerge about Breonna Taylor details Oprah Winfrey’s historic decision to give up the cover of her magazine to honor the slain Black EMT.

Good. We need more of that.

But, here’s the news I would’ve liked to see: “Cops who killed Breonna Taylor charged with murder.”

If you aren’t upset by now, you should be.

It’s been nearly five months since three police officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department shot Breonna to death in her home on March 13. Their names are Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove.

Since then, protesters in…

Elijah McClain. Photo courtesy of CNN.

Five years ago, after a police officer in Charleston, S.C., killed Walter Scott, I spoke with several peers about the likelihood of Black men getting killed by police.

Those conversations went something like this:

Me: “Police kill Black men all the time. It really doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. If you’re Black, you’re a target.”

Them: “Well, that would never happen to [X] because [X] isn’t a criminal. [X] isn’t a thug. [X] isn’t out in these streets gangbanging or dealing. [X] is a good person, and those kinds of things don’t happen to good people.”

Dad on his wedding day, Oct. 8, 1988

In the early seventies, Dad lived next door to a Black woman who went missing in Lake City, S.C. He doesn’t remember much about her, only her penchant for drinking and the White man she was sleeping with.

Sometime after her disappearance, her body was found in the woods, several miles outside of town. She had been murdered by notorious serial killer Pee Wee Gaskins, who terrorized South Carolina for more than a decade before he was apprehended in 1975. The state executed him in 1991.

Townsfolk suspected Gaskins killed her because of her sexual liaisons with White men. Although…

Jon Writes Ink

I’m a former journalist who now writes UX content for a living. I’m also a Christian and a huge comic book geek. Find me:

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