Gone are X-Acto knives and fax machines but not our truth-telling mission

Journalism is an ever-changing, volatile profession right about now. Nothing is as it was when I started out some 30 years ago. To start, there was more money in the flush early 1990s. More time, too. Time for leisurely Manhattan lunches with editors; time to toss ideas back and forth…

It’s disrespectful that three survivors are still living in poverty with no reparations in sight

All eyes are on Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week as the nation remembers the tragic events of May 31 to June 1, 1921, when a White mob killed some 300 Black residents and looted the community known as “Black Wall Street” before burning it to the ground.

The official agenda put…

Because a lot of the time, the publisher’s advance just doesn’t cut it

I once received an email from a reader and aspiring author. “How did you get funding to support your book?” she asked. “How did you pay for travel and other resources?” Her question got me thinking.

Over the years I’ve received contracts for advances as high as $150,000 (in the…

What does it mean to be a mother? What does it mean to be a Black mother? Those two questions continue to yield entirely different answers in America today. As the biracial mother of a 4-year-old girl with both Asian American and African American roots, and a father from Spain…

Coming from a multiracial background can leave some students feeling isolated

“As a person of color…” Phoebe Vlahoplus, 20, a history major at Wesleyan University pauses.

“Or… half a person of color.”

“It depends,” she says carefully when I ask if she’s uncomfortable using the phrase. She is East Indian and Greek, but her parents were born in the United States…

Hint: It’s not where you might expect

“Black. Ivory. Shadow.”

I repeat the words to make sure I heard them right.

“Black. Ivory… Shadow?”

“Yeah.” Jasmin Baker, 25, is cracking up.

“When I was younger I made it my thing.” She lowers her voice, making it seductive. “Like… yeah. I’m black ivory shadow.”

“Right.” Now her boyfriend…

In this intimate Q&A, three authors discuss how they’re changing the narratives about people of color

This conversation has been lightly edited for space and clarity.

ZORA: T. Kira, your book, “Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls,” isn’t just about race. It’s about loss, addiction, sexuality and sexual violence, gender, power, and so many other issues. But I want to focus on race here for a minute.

Growing up in Boca Raton, Florida, your friends called you “Kinky Chinky.” Your mother, Lokilani, cursed in Chinese. Your grandmother visited from Hawaii. Your mixed-race heritage wasn’t a secret, but nor was it explicitly acknowledged or discussed in your family. People wondered if you were “a mutt from China, or Cuba, or Mexico, or Samoa. Nobody can be sure.” Did your parents ever talk to you frankly about race?

T. Kira Madden: My parents were just: “This is the way it is. We don’t see color.” They were kind of oblivious about that. I was raised in a predominantly White, privileged community. There were no other people who looked…

Kristal Brent Zook

Award-winning journalist. Women, social justice, race, health, spirit. kristalbrentzook.com authory.com/KristalBrentZook @HofstraU

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