This Week in Essays


Hanif Abdurraqib takes in the sounds of protest, over at GEN.

Shamecca Harris recalls what her life in Harlem has taught her about state-sanctioned violence and its consequences, here at The Rumpus.

“This is the racial ouroboros our country finds itself locked in, as black Americans relive an endless loop of injustice and white Americans keep revisiting the same performance, a Broadway show that never closes, just goes on hiatus now and then.” Tre Johnson looks at the difference between fleeting reflection and taking real action at the Washington Post.

“I’m done breaking my back to lower the white man down through the roof with my studies of race in America. If I give him my rope, he may see Jesus, and still use it to lynch us.” Taylor Harris uses faith to bear witness, over at Catapult.

For Wear Your Voice, Sherronada J. Brown writes on the troubling way fetishization stands in for actual care for Black lives.

“Black lives matter and so do the characterizations of those lives that lead to their demise.” Erica Dawson writes on the persistence of racism at the Paris Review.


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 →