Best of 30POV: The Inner Lives of Young Afghan Women

May 30, 2011

“Best Wake-Up Call” Stacy Parker LeMelle is an amazing and conscientious writer who we’ve been honored to have guest for us several times.  Technically, though, the award for this post goes out to the young women who actually are writing for their lives. The Inner Lives of Young Afghan Women* In 2009, I began working […]

The Inner Lives of Young Afghan Women

February 25, 2011

I have to wear clothes
people choose
The colors they dictate
I have to live with negative imperatives:

When They Tore Down My Detroit

August 31, 2010

After work I drove past, u-turned, drove past again. I parked. It was cold, and with so few people around there could be a lonely feeling when you got out of your car and walked on the street. A frightened feeling, too. All the ghost stories we’re told about Detroit pricking the skin—every stimulus suddenly a threat.

Be My Concubine

March 27, 2010

In college, I would see the film Raise the Red Lantern and be mesmerized by the dark dynamics between a rich Chinese man and his multiple wives. Later, I would learn of “Quadroon Balls” where New Orleans Europeans could dance and romance lovely ladies of ¼ African parentage, and of placage, the antebellum convention of Louisiana European men marrying European women, but having second families with women of color. I would study black history and learn that mixed women like me were known as “tragic mulattas,” supposedly doomed to never be white or black enough, but perfect for the role of sexualized playthings for men—so much so that we had our own film archetype. I would read of white men in small Southern towns who kept black girlfriends on the side, part and parcel of the old order they fought like dogs to maintain.
But as a schoolgirl, I felt more ignored than desired.

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