There are two things that I look forward to when it comes to flying: light turbulence and the Biscoff shortbread cookies.

Actually, it’s light chop, a subcategory of light turbulence that I hope for. Light chop is the kind of turbulence consisting of a subtle, rhythmic bumpiness that causes you to just slightly bounce in your seat. Every few seconds of bumpiness is followed by a smooth ascent that feels like riding on a newly paved patch of highway.

Tiny dips follow the ascent as those stretches of smooth sky asphalt end. …

I didn’t want to watch Philando Castile die but by the time I realized what was happening, I had watched him die.⠀

I just can’t seem to unsee that.⠀

I only read what went down when Atatiana Jefferson was gunned down by Fort Worth police in her home as she played video games with her nephew.⠀

But for some reason I can’t unsee her murder either.⠀

I didn’t want to hear George Floyd cry out for his mother as he was suffocated to death under the weight of three Minneapolis cops, but I was too slow to the mute button.⠀

In Dionne Brand’s Verso 55, the Canadian poet imagines an exchange between the souls of those held captive in the cells of Ghana’s Door of No Return and a group of Black travelers visiting the site.

As the visitors enter to pay their respects and offer thanks, the ancestors awaken and express their astonishment:

“…they felt happy for us, we were still alive.

Yes, we are still alive we said.

And we had returned to thank them.

You are still alive, they said.

Yes we are still alive.

They looked at us like violet; like violet teas they drank us.

For most of my life my name has been Jennifer Krystal Eik.

One of the first orders of business for white adoptive parents upon adopting a baby of a different race like myself, is to give the child a legal name change.

When the baby’s birth name is known, it is common practice to take part of the child’s name, usually their first name, and move it to their middle name. This makes space for the child to be given a new, “more culturally common or typical” (read: less Black/other), first name. …

I’m fucked up over the Breonna Taylor case.

It has been hard to process because I’ve spent time imagining the horrific violence that she suffered, because of what I’ve learned about the state’s attempts at cover-up and bribery, because of the myriad of justifications for her murder that have been crafted, because I’m a Black woman, and because like many, I fully anticipated the outcome of Wednesday’s Grand Jury decision.

(The only part that I didn’t anticipate were the charges delivered for the bullets that missed Breonna Taylor’s body. That part is going to take some time to digest.)


I moved from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Tucson, Arizona in August of 2018 after being accepted to a doctoral program at the University of Arizona. I found a one-bedroom duplex in a neighborhood that seemed adequate: there was a park with plenty of green space (which is rather rare in the middle of the Sonoran Desert), and the place was right off of the main thoroughfare allowing for a quick commute to the university.

A month or so after moving in, I was standing in my driveway when I noticed a white man, probably in his mid-30’s, in a beat-up Dodge…


TRA Black feminist and educator dabbling in writing, scholaring, and podcasting.

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