Left to Die in the Streets

Left to Die in the Streets

As eighteen-year-old Paul O’Neal lay facedown with a pool of blood collecting at the back of his t-shirt, police officers gathered around. None of the officers attempted to administer first aid. None attempted to call for medical assistance. None evidenced even the...
My Mother, Stopped for Driving While Black

My Mother, Stopped for Driving While Black

When the police pulled their guns on my mother, I reached for my phone and told her to be calm and do as they say. My parents and I had just been swarmed by police cars, sirens blaring, as we drove on I-64 through Virginia. Shock and fear consumed my family as we came...
I Can’t Watch Another Police Killing

I Can’t Watch Another Police Killing

Philando Castile and Alton Sterling became the latest black Americans to turn into Twitter hashtags when videos of their deaths at the hands of police circulated on social media. But I couldn’t bring myself to watch them. I still remember the helpless...
Loving America Means Finding Fault With It

Loving America Means Finding Fault With It

I was sitting on a bus one summer, chatting with a man behind me who’d worked all over the world in the U.S. foreign service. Like many conversations today, ours turned eventually to the many problems with our country. That’s when his companion,...
Still Second-Class Citizens

Still Second-Class Citizens

When I heard about the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, I thought back to another name etched into American history: Dred Scott. In 1857, the Supreme Court was tasked with deciding whether Scott, an African American man born into slavery,...