This Week in Essays


“All black boys go to heaven, but they go to the pavement first.” In a searingly beautiful essay for The Offing, Kelsey Norris relates how futile it is to try and protect a black boy in this world.

“I have nothing now but my big aura, my fistful of keys, and my throat that still knows how to scream because no man has succeeded in closing it.” Elissa Washuta has to look beyond protection spells to overcome constant threats, at Guernica.

Here at The Rumpus, Erica Dawson learns to move beyond white saviors and finally finds herself.

For The Believer, B. Alexandra Szerlip looks at human history with one of our planet’s most ancient residents: alligators.

Caviar enthusiasts looking for a fix are overfishing the waters of Missouri. David Gauvey Herbert takes a look at this Russian influx for Longreads.

Back at The Rumpus, Hannah Harris refuses to turn her back on an addicted friend.


Logo art by Max Winter.

Tamara Matthews is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor. Visit or find her on Twitter: @writingtoatee. More from this author →