About the Writer

new-new . . an afro ain’t never been about anything constricting or orderly, in the hierarchical sense. Rather, an afro is free-flowing, loving the wind. Changing, shifting and drifting on the breeze, bending this way, puffing out or just plain swaying gently from side to side, following the whimsical inclinations of the melanated person upon who’s head it is perched. An afro can be taken from, it can be added to, yet it still retains its own natural structure, its own spiral and bouncy nature. It is flexible, yet patterned. It is about synthesis and holism. It is about accepting the kitchens and working the waves on the crown. It is about dreading, locking and following the patterns of nature where they lead, yet following a laterally delineated order. It is about the interplay between dominant and recessive genes. It is about diversity. It is about knowing purposes and determining the placement of diverse variables within their proper context.

From “What is Afrofuturism?” by Mark A. Rockeymoore

I am an Afro-Black writer, educator, femme feminist, and cultural facilitator, living and working out of Ohio, with passionate interests in black feminism, the intimacy crisis in the black heteromantic sphere, motherhood, reproductive rights, body politics, mental health awareness, and the ways in which American pop culture reflects and refracts American political culture.

I founded The Bluest i when it occurred to me that my experiences as a black woman in America were still not being explored or depicted in media and entertainment the way that they deserved to be.

The formal aims of TBi are simple–to inspire, encourage, and empower readers.

I write for everyone, and I think anyone can get something out of what I have to say, but the most ardent part of my effort goes toward examining and dismantling various forms of oppression and trauma in order to help individuals for whom America is made into an even more difficult experience by violence, deprivation, disfranchisement, negligence, exploitation, bigotry, and chauvinism.

Michelle R. Smith

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