Lady Business

Danielle, The Prude

My name is Danielle and I’m a prude.

It isn’t that fun. I wish I were. Like most prudes my prudishness has more to do with how I was raised than it does with any real right or wrong ideologies. Being a prude is no more correct than being wild, uninhibited and outré. But being a prude is rooted in the idea that prudishness will save you from … something.

Unwanted attention? Society’s scorn? Perverts? No one’s ever been super clear on which horrors I’m avoiding by avoiding overt sexuality. Having fun? I’ve definitely avoided having fun. Mostly out of fear that fun would lead to something terrible. Continue reading


Things You Can’t Kill (A Meditation on Charleston)

Most of the time nothing really happens.

Most of the time we can delude ourselves into thinking that life is pleasant or boring or whatever the word “normal” means. We lull ourselves into that false security, of the lies we tell ourselves every day to keep going: Bad things happen to other people; you will live to see old age; you’re safe in your home, in your town, where you work, where you play and where you worship. We have to tell ourselves this, otherwise we’d stop functioning, knowing that anything could happen and often does happen, at random.

Racism happens. Continue reading

All Aboard the Bipolar Express

You Are Not Your Disease

Monday for The Root, I wrote a piece about my personal struggle with mental illness for Mental Health Awareness Month. For my piece, I focused on learning to accept my diagnosis after I was “outed” as mentally ill by an internet troll. Who strangely wanted to take credit for me being hospitalized. So weird.  Continue reading


Let’s Stay Together: Why Community Organizers Need to Get Along

Thursday for The Root I wrote a piece about a nonprofit collective that fell apart in Baltimore like so many have before. It was meant to bring all the groups together so they could fight for various causes, but struggles to find successors who could get along and the founders moving on to other things lead to its demise, to the detriment of Baltimore’s youth. This is a similar pattern that plays out at all social justice nonprofits, where members come together around one charismatic leader, but fall apart once that leader is gone.  Continue reading


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I went on HuffPost Live Wednesday to talk about what’s going on in Baltimore, as well as the presidential campaigns of Carly “Demon Sheep” Fiorina and Hillary Clinton. On that we discussed “playing the gender card,” which for me is a loaded term meant to silence legitimate debate about gender inequities. (Click photo to watch video.)

Everybody Panic!

Put A Hat On It

Thursday for The Root I wrote another hair post … this time about black people and their “issue” surrounding the hair of children. Namely, people assume you don’t love your kids if you don’t do “something” with their hair. Of course you can love your kids and let their curls grow wild, but you will get unsolicited advice, constantly. Maybe even a Blue Ivy petition. Because folks are crazy. Crazy about hair. So, when you want to have fun with your kids but are vaguely aware at how judgmental people can be, do what my dad did. Put a hat on it. Continue reading