Stacia L. Brown

Stacia L. Brown is a mother, a writer, and adjunct professor in Baltimore, MD.

Recent Articles

We Have Known Black Boys (But None Have Been Bullet-Proof)

After today's verdict in Jordan Davis's murder trial, a writer reacts in verse.

Jordan Davis (1995-2012)
*/ AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack A makeshift memorial to Jordan Davis, who was shot to death after an argument over loud music. I have known black boys, known them in airless classrooms where the scent of their too-strong cologne worked overtime masking the cling of their sweat to skin and hormones. And I have known their scratching, grabbing, tugging at the belt loops of too-big pants, have involuntarily memorized the plaids and imprints on their boxers. I have known boys like underripe fruit, a pit of eventual sweetness at the core of them, encased in a bitter pulp, toughening from too little tending or underexposure to light. I have watched them become principles in death when they were not finished learning what it would mean to be principled in life. I have known them nursing dreams with slimming odds of realization, heard them reasoning with the wardens behind their private walls, scraping at the doors some white man’s stubborn shoulder intended to force closed...

The Seven Stages of Important Black Film Fatigue

AP Images
I f you live outside of major film markets like New York or Los Angeles, this weekend marked your first opportunity to see Steve McQueen's much-lauded 12 Years a Slave . But it's probable that you've already heard early buzz, either from fawning reviewers or from friends who've caught advance screenings. Perhaps you've heard that its commitment to historical accuracy has resulted in graphic depictions of violence and torture. Maybe your best friend still can't shake the cracking urgency in Chiewetel Ejiofor's voice or a haunting expression on Lupita Nyong’o's face. If you've experienced any of this as a member of the black movie-going public, you're already in the cycle. You've entered the Seven Stages of Important Black Film Fatigue, a tiring exercise in decision-making whenever films like 12 Years a Slave are released. The stages are doubt, guilt, self-preservation, annoyance, anger, vulnerability, and acceptance. You may have never heard these stages named, but you've likely...

Going Beyond Protest

In 1963, America was overtly racist and needed a massive March on Washington. Today, racial bias is more subtle but just as insidious—we must learn to fight it differently.

AP Images/Susan Walsh
I t's been years since racism's most common manifestations were overt—in 2013, the charge of racism is still most commonly identified with people like Paula Deen, and it's easy to dissociate oneself with someone who resembles a Daughter of the Confederacy, wistful for the days when black employees could be asked to wear butlers' attire while being called the N-word, without a hint of backlash. But most recipients of racist practice have long understood that the most insidious and damaging cases are covert—so covert, in fact, that they can be easily denied. Recently, much has been made of the idea that racial bias has become so implicit that most people who impose their prejudices are blissfully unaware that they're doing so. The 1963 March on Washington was organized in a time of overt racism. This year's 50th anniversary events commemorating that march were performed in an age of implicit bias. It's difficult to attack a terror that will no longer allow itself to be named by marching...