Black History Month. Author 5: Colson Whitehead

[Every day for the month of February, I will post a brief write-up of a Black author and links to some of their books. Please click the links in the text to find copies of their works.]

Colson Whitehead is an American novelist and essayist known for his works exploring the themes of race, history, and humanity. He was born in New York City in 1969. Whitehead’s novels, including “The Underground Railroad” (2016) and “The Nickel Boys” (2019), have earned him critical acclaim and numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

In his writing, Whitehead draws on his own experiences and the history of African Americans to paint vivid, thought-provoking portraits of life in the United States. His works are widely praised for their masterful blend of historical fact and imaginative storytelling.



Posted in author, Book Review, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Black History Month. Author 4: Ta-Nehisi Coates

[Every day for the month of February, I will post a brief write-up of a Black author and links to some of their books. Please click the links in the text to find copies of their works.]

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a renowned American author, journalist, and commentator. He is best known for his work on race and American culture, including his critically acclaimed book “Between the World and Me” which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Coates has been a correspondent for The Atlantic, where he wrote about a wide range of topics including politics, culture, and social justice. He has been a frequent commentator on issues of racial inequality and has become one of the most important voices in the national conversation about race and racism. Coates’ work has been widely praised and his writing has been featured in numerous publications and forums, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and TED Talks.

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Black History Month. Author 3: Essex Hemphill

[Every day for the month of February, I will post a brief write-up of a Black author and links to some of their books. Please click the links in the text to find copies of their works.]

Essex Hemphill (1957-1995) was an African American writer, poet, and activist who was born in Washington D.C. His work explored themes of race, sexuality, and the intersections of these identities.

Hemphill was known for his powerful and honest writing about the experiences of Black gay men. His writing is widely recognized for its contributions to the cultural conversation around AIDS, particularly among Black LGBTQ communities. His works, including “Ceremonies,” “Saviour,” and “Brother to Brother,” can be found in various anthologies and academic journals. Hemphill’s legacy continues to inspire and inform contemporary writers and activists working on issues of race, sexuality, and social justice.

Posted in author, Race, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Black History Month. Author 2: Sapphire

[Every day for the month of February, I will post a brief write-up of a Black author and links to some of their books. Please click the links in the text to find copies of their works.]

Photo of Sapphire the poet

Sapphire is an American poet, performer, and novelist, best known for her critically acclaimed novel “Push,” which was later adapted into the film “Precious.”

Born in Fort Ord, California, Sapphire grew up in New York City and began her artistic career as a performance poet in the 1980s. Her work is known for its raw honesty, powerful language, and unflinching depiction of poverty, sexual abuse, and race in the inner city. Sapphire has published several collections of poetry, including “American Dreams” and “Black Wings & Blind Angels,” and her writing often addresses themes of oppression, survival, and the human spirit.

With her vivid, evocative language and unapologetic voice, Sapphire has become an influential figure in contemporary American literature, and her work continues to inspire new generations of writers and activists.


Posted in author, Book Review, poetry, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Black History Month. Author 1: Octavia E. Butler

[Every day for the month of February, I will post a brief write-up of a Black author and links to some of their books. Please click the links in the text to find copies of their works.]

Octavia E. Butler was an American science fiction writer and the first African American woman to achieve a major reputation in the field. She was born on June 22, 1947, in Pasadena, California, and died on February 24, 2006, in Lake Forest Park, Washington.

Butler’s writing dealt with themes of race, gender, power, and oppression.

She wrote more than a dozen novels and won multiple awards for her work, including the Hugo, Nebula, and MacArthur “Genius” grants. Some of her most well-known works include “Kindred,” “Dawn,” and “Parable of the Sower.” Butler’s legacy continues to inspire new generations of writers and readers, and she is widely regarded as one of the most important voices in science fiction.

Posted in author, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Nostradamus Never Lied

January girdled destiny
as a humbling must.
The left was never right
after wandering Jordan desert 
with untuned organs failing
during a farewell concert. 
He reassured.
I followed.

You’ve been here.
You’ve been here.
You’ve been here before. 

The third and final 
Cave Prophecy
entered orifices  
manifesting stigma
and loneliness, 
challenging faith
and purpose
only consoled by
The three Magi.

Illness became unwarranted
metaphors in recurring visions
and roaring conversations with Him,
initially visible
in The Cave as the only
ancestor speaking my tongue.
He returned for three years
to remind.

You will think you will die. 
You will hope you will die.
You will be okay.

I hibernated for one year,
supervised by Him;
confused by Him.
And healed. 

Nostradamus was real.
And his Father, too. 
They never lied to me. 


Posted in poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment


Who am I
If you are the Lord of Lords in disguise
Among the jester-loving fools?
I can only try
to comprehend your self-sufficient rules.

My shallow heart longs to bring you jewels,
But I can’t comprehend your self-sufficient rules
If you are the Lord of Lords in disguise.
This is m selfless-self who can not die,
And I wonder, who am I?


(found this old gem. It was published in 1999)

Posted in poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Thing in the Sky (1)

Sand stuck to skin from sweat. I kicked up grains of sand onto the backs of my legs and arms during 100- and 200-meter sprints. I exercised along the beach then repeated it, walking—a personal workout routine to build my endurance. My breaths became heavy and I stood facing the ocean between my workout sets.

Moonlight shone on the ocean water like a strobelight of diamonds. They moved like magic in the palm, dancing with such rhythm. Such flow!

“Do you remember me?”

I was startled like a cardinal, moved with a quick shake and heart drop. I turned. A man slightly shorter and thinner than me stood before me. The darkness covered his face and he wore a dark colored hoodie, protecting him from the ocean breeze.

“Do you remember me?” he repeated in the same monotone. I attempted to stare into his face but the darkness made him unrecognizable, except with dreams forgotten. I didn’t remember him and it was too dark to see his features. I was unaware how he could see my features. I was unaware how he knew I was on the beach and if he really knew me.

“I know it’s you,” he started. “We saw the light in the sky together. Here. Last year. You saw it, remember? There was a white rectangle light with blue and green smaller lights around it…”

I remembered.

“Please,” he said. “Tell me you remember. . .It disappeared so fast and went east within seconds. My friends don’t believe me. No one else was here when we saw it, except you. I know I’m not crazy.”

“I remember,” I finally responded. “That’s why I’m here. I was just talking about it yesterday. . .” It was the truth. And, my friends didn’t believe me either. Momentarily, there was silence. Earth stopped rotating and I could hear his breaths match mine and we were calm. We breathed validation.

“So you remember?”

“Yeah, I can’t forget it. How could I?” I laughed nervously. I wanted to tell him of the experiences I had after we saw it and why I felt it was a UFO. I wanted to tell him how I’ve attempted to communicate and summon it to appear again with meditation, and how it worked. I wanted to tell him how I’m close to understanding the secrets of mankind and God and how the truth came to me the moment I saw the light in the sky. I wanted to tell him how I no longer hang in crowds because I somehow obtained qualities and absorb and understand too many feelings of others. I wanted to know if he had been given gifts. But I didn’t ask, because I knew the answer–he didn’t think it was a UFO.

“I don’t think it was a UFO. I think it was something else. . .Maybe military, I don’t know.”
The more he spoke, the more I understood that something else happened to him too. But he was trying to convince himself otherwise. Then suddenly his voice lowered, almost inaudible with the ocean waves, almost inaudible from the sound of the coqui, almost inaudible from my own thoughts attempting to read his thoughts (but I couldn’t) and he started to speak again. “We weren’t suppose to see it!” At that moment I could finally see his eyes, wide and wild like the ocean. “I need to go.” His voice drifted as he walked away fast.

His words and reactions chilled me.

I needed to go, too.



Posted in Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

Grown Past You. . .

Life is about change. 

Years ago, I left a company that gave me security and started to work for myself again. Again. I forgot I’m aging. I forgot how daring I used to be and the older I get, I like security. Yet my artistic side needs the freedom. I forgot how vulnerable we become when we go balls-to-the-wall and rely on either connections or our drive to simply progress. I used a combination of both and easily landed a handful of clients that would make my newly found marketing company profitable.

This transition also gave me a chance to reflect on my life and my purpose. I lost track of things. Of me. I forgot I enjoyed creating magic. I lost myself and forgot my purpose as I drove to an office every day and worked 60+ hours a week. Again, I forgot my goals and the essence of my existence. I forgot my identity.

When I moved from New York I lost something special–my ability to network with artists who believed in themselves and wanted to create art and collaborate, simply for the sake of creating art and respecting each other’s art while expecting merely recognition and gratitude in the fact that you are with someone of like-minds and created something magical and unique. I was determined to get back in touch with my artistry. Not only that, but I told myself that I wanted to collaborate with other artists.

I considered a few of my dedicated artist friends who are well-versed in their particular industry and decided that there were really two individuals that always inspired me in all of the items they created–Marlon Saunders and O’Neal Wyche.

Both come from different industries than I, yet they equally inspire me with their drive and unique approach. Above all, we have history. Not working together, but rather as Black men, living in NYC, creating our art while understanding and appreciating all artistic genres. I was the writer, the author, the spoken word artist with a marketing background–my talent (I’ve always felt) was being able to pull people together, understand everyone’s talents and create something remarkable while showcasing everyone. That’s the benefit of having a marketing background. You understand everyone’s skillsets and egos and you  learn how to marry them together.

Cage Dress by O'Neal Wyche
Cage Dress sketch by O’Neal Wyche

And as a singer, songwriter and vocal coach, Marlon understands the preciseness of music and its development and the simplicity of words. He also understands what appeals to an audience. O’Neal, on the other hand, a costume designer, understands precision as well yet the ability to manipulate reality in such a way that it becomes something wearable.

My initial idea was to create a storyline filled with race, class, and gender symbolism. But that evolved into something so much greater and something I wasn’t truly expecting. After I wrote the spoken word poem “Grown Past You”, I read it to and passed a written copy to Marlon–this is how we wanted it to work. I would write something, Marlon would become inspired and create music and secure vocals; then we would give the completed track to O’Neal,

Cage Dress final by O'Neal Wyche
Cage Dress final by O’Neal Wyche

who too, would be inspired and create costumes. As such, based on his costumes and the track, I would oversee the creative direction of the video.

It was a chain reaction of inspiration! It was fluid. Art is suppose to be that way. If it’s not fluid, then it comes across as contrived and people can sense that from afar.

I’ve never wanted to work with others on projects until recently. But you have to be strategic with whom you decide to work–a great idea can easily become a distraction. And not everyone should be privileged to go on artistic journeys with you. Life is like that–some people get left behind who don’t share the same idea or passion.

We ended up creating an experimental fashion/music video “Grown Past You” (below) that, in my opinion, shows the vulnerability of a female when attempting to escape an abusive (mental or physical) relationship. The written piece wasn’t necessarily about me. But after its completion, that ounce of vulnerability shined through and reflected the experiences I went through during my work transition. We have to open ourselves up for new opportunities, new chances. We have to escape, what we feel are bad situations; or situations that hold us back from what we truly want to achieve. What was once loved, probably was never loved–simply tolerated. We humans must understand that in order to flourish.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

El Yunque Hike (revised)

I anticipated chimpanzees
rhythmically swinging from trees,
belching intimidating grunts;
I anticipated multicolored parrots
swooping over the canopy of trees
as vigorous and refreshing rain massaged our bodies,
keeping us composed
and soon run for shelter
under oversized palm leaves. 

El Yunque was still,
and the sun mocked us
as we hiked.
“No one can know,” he demanded.
“Know what?” I asked.
“You know why you are here.”
His Levis 511 unzipped.
He leaned against a moss-covered tree
with teeny snails climbing the moist bark.
          “You know what to do or you won’t make it back down the mountain.”

We made it back down the mountain.
We stopped for dinner in Luquillo
and ate it on the beach, 
watching kite surfers
until night fall. 
I waited for the food to digest
and for words to come.
I anticipated going home.

Instead, the ocean air continued to disturb. 

Posted in Life in Puerto Rico, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment