with Darnell L. Moore
Something that makes you smile
I’m smitten by love. I’ve shed joyful tears when witnessing random and simple acts of kindness. A stranger on a NYC subway helping someone in need. A Black father reading to his child as I walk by. Neighbors going out of their way to ensure a person on our block is cared for when in need. My nieces and nephews tightly hugging my aging grandmother with their youthful arms reminding her that we are because she is. These are the types of everyday acts that move me—acts of care that make me smile.
I once broke into my university’s cafeteria during a fire alarm drill and stole food to eat. My meal plan was depleted and I needed food. I convinced myself that stealing was okay because tuition was high and students, especially those of us who were economically strapped, should not have had to starve.
The last thing you wrote
I wrote a blurb for a friend’s book. Mihee Kim-Kort’s debut, Outside The Line, is an important text that underscores the importance of queerness as a theological idea.
Your favourite city
Cape Town, hands down! It’s a beautiful place that is recovering, like most of South Africa, from the brutality of apartheid. Beyond the areas tourists are drawn to are townships where many people live and create joy despite historical dispossession. I adore the people and their senses of radicalism…their cultural productions…their rootedness in community…their fight. I also experienced some of my most unforgettable nights there. It was the first place, so distant from my home, where I traveled alone but departed with lifelong friendships.
What you’d place in a time capsule
My sneakers and shoes. They are objects that will uncover much about my tastes and obsessions, but they will also give hints about the politics of style across time and place. I’m just not sure my friends would allow anyone to part with them if I’m no longer here.