Throughout my journalism career, I've worked in the South. I started out at The Pensacola News-Journal, where I finally persuaded the editors to publish a piece on the Pensacola Creoles - many of whom had spent most of their lives trying to conceal their African-American roots, and had frightened a couple of the top editors with lawsuits if my story was published.
It was - and it actually won a third-place feature writing award from the Pensacola Press Club.
Then I was hired at The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Fla., where I spent much of my career as an opinion columnist taking hard stances against the systemic racism and structural inequalities in Jacksonville - such as an economic development commission that ate up much of the taxpayers' money while doing zilch for the impoverished sides of town it was supposed to help - and other issues that made a lot of readers uncomfortable. Their sense of privilege came with the idea that I had no right to tell them things that upset their ideas of comfortability.
I did it anyway - and won 15 awards for doing so.
Now, after earning a master's in mass communication and a certificate in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida, I'm making trouble again as the metro columnist for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. I will feature my columns on this blog, but I will also use this space for other insights and musings as a "troublemaker," which is what people like me who try to dissuade lazy thinking with scholarship and insights are often called.
I look forward to the conversation.