Black Girl Unicorn

Publicly Black Since '83

Running As Resistance: Just Keep Going

I woke up one day last summer and just went for a walk.

It was around 6 in the morning and I had not slept at all. I spent a restless night feeling the tension of white supremacy in my body. I was angry and feeling helpless after the back to back murders of Alton Sterling & Philando Castille. My heart ached for their families. My heart ached for my people living with the reality that at any moment the state can snuff out our lives.

So I got up and out of my house. I put one foot in front of another and went walking for an hour. When I came home, I was able to sleep. I called my workout #DamnTheManWorkouts.

And over the last year I went from walking to running 2 miles every other day. I #RunAsResistance to remind myself that I am still here. It is an acknowledgment that despite all of the ways white supremacy terrorizes me and my people, I can engage in acts to honor and celebrate my body, my health, my humanity.

I didn’t always make every workout. Some days the endorphins weren’t as wonderful. Some days my playlist wasn’t poppin’ and I wanted to sit down and stop. Some days I did sit down and need motivation to get up and keep going.

And all of the ups and downs came in handy when I ran my first 5K. I arrived late to the #PercySutton5K and just had to hop on the trail and go. Then I hit a steep incline that continued for the first mile of the race.

Y’all, that hill was a bitch. I looked up at it and was ready to turn around and go back to the subway and GO HOME! But I put one foot in front of the other and marched up the hill. At a certain point I felt comfortable running again, and then I started running and soon I was at the 1mile marker!

And I was good until the end. Around 2.5 miles there is a steep decline, and I flew down it. My playlist was jamming and I was feeling good. Then I looked down the street and the finish line was SO far away.

Just as I was ready to start walking I saw my running mentor, and I kept going. Then I wanted to just sit down on the side of the road and catch my breath and saw someone else I knew. Then there were more runners who had finished who were cheering me on and I kept going.

As I approached the finish line I saw my family and I just booked it. And then it was done.

I wanted to stop running so many times. I wanted to lay down in the street and rest for most of the race and somehow I just kept going.

Persistence. Running taught me persistence. It’s not about perfection, it’s about persistence.

And now I’m ready for my next race!


Making It Work

I decided I was going to college when I was 4 years old. While the college I wanted to go to changed, I always knew I was going to college.

Getting to college was a big deal, and I was well prepared for it having attended one of the best public high schools in the nation. For the girls of the Baltimore Young Women’s Leadership School (BYWLS) their journey, as depicted in the film STEP, was epic.

The film follows three seniors who are the first in their families to go to college, and who are members of the first graduating class of BYWLS. They are also on the Lethal Ladies of BYWLS, the school’s step team.

Over the course of the film the viewer gets a snippet of the lives of 3 of the seniors. By the end of the film if you aren’t crying, you are made of stone. These young women face challenges and overcome!

All I kept thinking while watching this film is how rigged the system is. But most of all how dope the young women are.

I remember visiting my college after I was accepted and was the only person who attended public school. I remember meeting kids who went to fancy prep school, after fancy prep school and wondering if I was gonna be able to compete. But luckily I realized something: how dope I am. I wasn’t afforded all of their opportunities and yet there we all were. Using the limited resources I had, despite the challenges in my own life, I was there. In fact, that made me a cut above!

Like the famous adage of Tim Cook, these young women made it work. They fell down, they got back up again, & used what they had to get what they wanted: acceptance to college.

By the end of the movie I cried, because I know that struggle as a student AND as a former teacher. My oldest students are approaching their 30s (😱) and knowing where they were and what many of them have achieved despite their circumstances, gives me hope. I left feeling faithful knowing that so many of the youth dem, will just MAKE IT WORK!

How Sway?

No you being Asian is not why you are a white supremacist sympathizer arse. Take some PERSONAL responsibility for your bullshit and work on yourself!

I’m tired y’all. I am so very tired.

I’m tired of the surprise. I’m tired of the #notallwhitepeople, I’m tired of the lip service, I’m tired of the inaction. I’m tired.

I’m tired of the silent consent. I’m tired of polite conversation. I’m tired of people pretending that the dehumanization of me and mines is an opinion in a debate. I’m tired.

There aren’t two sides. My humanity is not up for debate. White supremacy is wrong. Full stop. End of story. That’s all she wrote.

I’m tired. Exhausted, and done.

So here is the new rule: you decide to treat white supremacy as some theoretical exercise as opposed to the most significant danger in my life and you will cease to exist in my realm.

You have been warned.

❤️✊🏾 #KeepLovingKeepFighting

Featured Photo

Gone Too Soon: The Carmichael Show

If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching the Carmichael Show, you missed out. After three brief seasons, the show has come to an end.

With an all star cast including Jerrod Carmichael, David Alan Grier, Lil Rel, Tiffany Haddish and the always phenomenal Loretta Divine, The Carmichael Show found the funny in the controversial and uncomfortable.

There was the episode about Bill Cosby that was brilliant. The episode about ni**a/ni**er was so beautifully complex that in 18 minutes it not only broke down most issues people bring up, it made me cry with laughter.

The Carmichael Show was art. Tiffany Haddish & Lil Rel were the Jack & Karen to Jerrod’s Will. The generational aspect of the debates provided by DAG & Divine as Jerrod’s parents truly depicted the complex contradictions of modern life. The show was simply wonderful.

Like Chappelle’s Show before it, The Carmichael Show was a brief brilliant light on the idiot box. Hopefully, with the help of Netflix (seasons 1&2 are currently on Netflix) the wonderful world of the Carmichael Show will live on to steam forever.

Love is an Action Word

After the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville this past weekend, which ended in casualties of anti-racist protestors, lots of calls for love and peace are being echoed. It seems to me many are referencing a negative peace out of a desire for comfort. Also I am almost positive that most do not understand that love is a verb. It is something you do.

Every single day we in the margins support each other, protect each other, LOVE each other. We look out for each other, inform each other, grieve for each other, share joys with each other, LOVE each other. We build supportive community with each other, which is an outward expression of what LOVE looks like. It is what recognition looks like. It is what justice looks like.

Love is not simply a feeling it is a series of acts. And in the face of state protected white supremacy, it is imperative that LOVE be conveyed in powerful targeted ways to support us in the margins every single day.

Remember, your heart is a muscle as big as your fist: Keep Loving, Keep Fighting.

Safe Sexcapades

Trojans are trash. Not USC athletes, the condoms.

Lifestyles, NYC condoms and whatever else is out there that's dry, thick and gross are all trash.

And I wouldn't be so annoyed with these brands if my preferred brand of prophylactic wasn't so hard to find and so damned expensive.

I must've been to every pharmacy in Brooklyn looking for Kimono Condoms. In case you are unfamiliar, Kimonos are the worlds most reliable condom. They are also hella thin and perfectly lubed. I came across them when I worked in the health education office in college and have been a fan since. And it was super easy to acquire them in college because I got my school to purchase and give them out for free. Yes I know I'm a shero.

Anyhoo, since leaving college I know exactly where I can start my search for Kimonos: any gayborhood. Praise Teen Gay Jesus for gay neighborhoods in major cities. Your local Walgreens has a trash selection of condoms and lubes. But walk into all sorts of businesses in gayborhoods across the world and you will find Kimonos, and all sorts of other fun, safe and sexy sh!t.

So that's what I did. I parked my car on Christopher St. (heart of 1 of NYC's gayborhoods) and after two pharmacies failed me I walked over to my fave sex shop where I found a wide selection of Kimonos.

In short, thank goodness for Gay men, and their safer sex habits. 👍🏽

Girls Trip: Power of Girlfriends on Full Display

I spent last night cracking up at the cinema watching Girls Trip, the funniest movie I've seen in YEARS.

Everything you heard about the film is true, it is wonderful, and is a perfect vehicle to introduce most movie fans to the fantastically funny and brilliant
Tiffany Haddish. I cannot say enough about my fellow #BlackGirlUnicorn Tiffany Haddish, who I have loved for YEARS and am so glad to see her getting her shine. #SheReady

It was really Haddish's role as Dina that holds the film together and connected with me most. Primarily because she keeps shit real and always is looking out for her girls.

Dina made me grateful and feel #Blessed as I watched the movie with my very first friend, who used to get me in so much trouble, but taught me to be proud of being a weirdo. Dina made me miss my homie Blacktress who is kicking ass in the comedy game and reminded me of who I am every time LA tried to break me. And she made me think of my main gay who got me all the way together when I was waffling on a dude I'm seeing. And my favorite Dominicana who keeps me outta my head and gives me permission to have and be fun.

Everyone needs a Dina in their life. A friend who loves you no matter what, is always ready to kick some arse, and is ten thousand tons of fun. If you are lucky, like me, all of your friends will have a little bit of Dina.

Cheers to the girlfriends: the friends who keep you together when the rest of the world is bent on dimming your shine. 🙌🏾

Brooklyn Sh!t

I'm protective of my borough. Whenever folks describe something as "so Brooklyn" it's usually some weird sh!t done in Williamsburg by gentrifiers from Ohio. That ain't Brooklyn Sh!t, it's weirdos from Ohio! 

Brooklynites are unique. We are trendsetters. We honor the strange within ourselves and each other. And this attracts transplants from podunk towns where nothing of interest happens.

So I get it. I understand the seductive power of my borough. But don't misclassify outlandish ish cuz you transplants don't understand it.

Ok end of rant. Off to frolic and enjoy the wonder that is BROOKLYN.

Fat Girl Running

It's been over a year since I started my #DamnTheManWorkouts and I've made amazing progress. But that's not what I wanna share.

What I wanna share is the support I get from my fellow runners. No one is more supportive of a fat girl running than advanced runners on the jogging path.

Each morning that I drag my arse out to run, there are always at least five other runners who give me a head nod of encouragement, a thumbs up or a smile. I've even gotten high fives!

Being the fat girl among the other runners, I stand out. The majority of runners are super fit and glide down the path. It can be hella intimidating to run or walk on the same path as them. Which is why it's so awesome how supportive they are.

I started this journey a year ago alone. And I still prefer to run alone. Yet as I prepare for my first race, I'm glad to see my fellow runners cheering me on.

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