Searching for My Grandfather and the Tulsa in Me

100 Years Later, I’m Still Sifting Through the Tulsa Race Massacre’s Destruction to Find Our Family’s History

I am my father’s daughter.

I am the first-born daughter, the middle child, who was called Sweet Pea, Mama-Daddy, and Peanie. Naming is very important in the Black community. The act of naming is a great power, reminding each of us how to find one’s voice and how to define, and redefine oneself. Children’s nicknames suggest characteristics that relatives have observed, or into which they believe young people will grow; these can serve as the foundation of your identity.

Sweet Pea is my father’s endearing recognition of the energy and …

A Letter From Kyiv, Where Reality Is Being Papered Over | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Kyiv, Where Reality Is Being Papered Over

In Ukraine’s Capital, the COVID-Era Accentuates, and Hides, Big Divides

Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital and the seventh-most populous city in all of Europe, is governed by a strange combination of a Soviet and a post-Soviet mentality. Many have no trust in …

Where I Go: The Biting Cold of Open-Water Swimming | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: The Biting Cold of Open-Water Swimming

When the Ocean Temperature Plunges in the Winter, There’s Nowhere to Hide

I’m alone in my Brooklyn apartment on a Friday night, and I’ve decided I don’t want to live anymore. It’s November 2019, and it’s the third time this year I’ve …

Where I Go: Atop San Francisco’s ‘Redwood Empire’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Atop San Francisco’s ‘Redwood Empire’

For Nearly 30 Years, I’ve Come to the City’s Highest Natural Point to Orient Myself

At 938 feet above sea level, Mount Davidson is the highest natural point in San Francisco. And for nearly 30 years, since I was a child, it has been my …