Places

What I Carry in My Bag of American Dreams

When we decided to immigrate to the US from Iran, I thought I was ready to face any possible hard times ahead—but there was still so much I had to learn about living.

Jul 21, 2020
Finding Myself in the Museum of Chinese in America

Chineseness became a part of my heritage I could name but didn’t really understand.

May 14, 2020
Why We Need Hospitality—Before, During, and After the Pandemic

As someone with over ten years in the industry, I still make $4.95/hour—plus tips.

Apr 22, 2020
Amid a Pandemic, Finding Rootedness in An Urban Forest

When I walk the dog or run errands, I pay attention to the trees around me. It roots me in the now.

Apr 15, 2020
Finding Biodiversity (and Chocolate) in the Forests of Ecuador

As a person who spends a lot of her time reading, writing, and teaching about endangered creatures and environments, I craved something hopeful.

Apr 08, 2020
By Us, for Us: Why WOC-Owned Bookstores Must Survive

When this pandemic is over, we hope to reopen our doors and offer comfort and sanctuary to our communities—as women of color so often have.

All That I Can’t Carry

The life of my Lolo and my family in the Philippines is a deep reminder that people live full lives there and places like it, across the globe.

Mar 30, 2020
Shocked Quartz: Traveling with a Chronic Illness

Will the vertigo again become acute? Will the stress of this, or some root cause that spurs it, end my life before it might otherwise end?

Mar 26, 2020
My Higher Power Is an Airport

The forces of air travel are virtually unknowable and immense, and we ourselves are small. I find a sort of peace in that.

How a Black Girl Learned To Fly

As the plane began to taxi, the first line of the comic Riri Williams: Ironheart #1 danced in my mind: “I was never meant to fly.”

In Search of Wonder in Iseyin

It’s Nigeria, after all. Hope is what keeps many alive. In plethora of sufferings and fears, prayers abound.

Feb 20, 2020
For My Immigrant Parents, a Vacation Is a Reprieve from Labor—for Me, It’s a Time to Work

My parents wanted to give me opportunities that they never had, to let me participate in bizarre American rites of passage.

Nov 21, 2019
A Nigerian’s Field Guide to Survival in Positano

We pass other boats and, from each one, there is the double-take, a stare. Two boats full of only black people is apparently a rare sight.

Oct 23, 2019
Where Once Were Qilin: Return to Nanjing

What did it mean that now both the villages and the qilin were gone? This portal to the ancestors gone forever.

Oct 16, 2019
An Island of Trash at the Top of the World

On a remote island north of the Arctic Circle, several centuries’ worth of human-made pollutants have come to rest.

Oct 10, 2019
Why Do Borders and Passports Dictate What Country I Get to Call Home?

The contours of a border become a lot less rigid when you carry what are deemed to be the right documents.

Sep 19, 2019
At Sea with Scientists, I Learned What It Means to Be an Explorer

We think of explorers in terms of what they discovered—the Eureka moment, not the search. The search is imperfect and frustrating and owes you nothing.

Sep 11, 2019
The King of Florida and Other Roadside Attractions

Like much of Florida, it appears both ridiculous and dangerous and gambling is involved. I think. I still don’t understand it.

Aug 13, 2019
A Eulogy for All the Black Boys Who Loved the Sky

I’m longing for the day when folk like me and Trayvon and Korryn and Lennon and Aiyana and Botham don’t need to be lucky to stay alive.

Jul 11, 2019
Leaving the Sisterhood of Women Writers

The more I wrote about women, the more distanced I felt from the figure I saw in the mirror.

Jun 26, 2019