Essays & criticism

The Atlantic

“Digital Jukeboxes Are Eroding the Dive-Bar Experience,” 2018.

“A Unified Theory of Meme Death,” 2017.

“Playing the Workaholic on Social Media,” 2016.

“The Hypocrisy of Revitalization: Universities in Black Communities,” 2014.

The Awl

“Out of Cite,” 2016.

“The Not-Always-Politics of Black Hair,” 2016.

“Drake’s Playground,” 2016.

“Texting Fever,” 2015.

“Memes and Misogynoir,” 2014.


“Why A New Mixed Race Generation Will Not Solve Racism,” 2017.


“Why Lana Del Rey and Hip Hop Make for a Natural Pairing,” 2017.

“Jay-Z’s 4:44 Reveals the Limits of Decoding Art As Fact,” 2017.

“In Defense of the Frivolous Pop Posse Cut,” 2017.

DAMN.” in “Ranking Kendrick Lamar’s Albums from Worst to Best,” 2017.

Lemonade” in “Best Albums of 2016,” 2016.

“It’s Not Just Trump and Beyoncé: Why White People Always Complain About Black Music,” 2016.

“With Magnificent Coloring Day, Chance Made Chicago the Cultural Hub of the Universe,” 2016.

“I Can Tell You All About Lemonade,” 2016

“The Raw Romanticism of Vulgar Pop Ballads,” 2016

“Kanye West, Black Art, and the Great Escape From Wokeness,” 2016.


“The White Lies of Craft Culture,” 2017


“Aretha Franklin, at one pivotal moment in time,” 2018.

“Chicago Children’s Choir Doesn’t Just Teach Kids To Sing Together. It’s Also Creating Global Citizens,” 2016.

“The Reality of Teen-Run Stan Accounts,” 2016.

“The Very Black Politics of Prince,” 2016.


“How Do We Live With Our Elders,” 2016.

Inside Higher Ed

“Program Recruitment From the Margins,” 2016.

In Media Res

“Meme merge,” 2016.

In These Times

Review: “Sorry to Bother You,” 2018.

Review: “Barracoon,” 2018.

Model View Culture

“The Blackness of Meme Movement,” 2016.

The New Inquiry

“A Deluxe Apartment in the Sky,” 2015.

“We Real Cool,” 2015

The New Yorker

Shudu Gram Is a White Man’s Digital Projection of Real-Life Black Womanhood,” 2018.

New York Magazine

Vulture: “A Deep Dive Into Ariana Grande’s ‘Breathin’’ Video,” 2018.

Vulture: “Who Really Owns the ‘Blaccent’?,” 2018.

Vulture: “How Did SpongeBob SquarePants Become the Most Meme-able TV Show?,” 2018.

Select/all: “Squidward, SpongeBob, and the Complex Emotions of FOMO,” 2018.

Daily Intelligencer: “National Geographic Replaces Racist Fictions With Post-racial Fantasies,” 2018.

Vulture: “Black Music Is Still an Essential Part of Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods,” 2018.

Vulture: “How Today’s Most Daring, Weird Cartoons Transform the Minstrel Aesthetic,” 2017.

The Paris Review

On Beyoncé, Beychella, and Hairography,” 2018.

The Point

“Skin in the Game: Notes from election night,” 2018.

“Touched by the Sacred,” 2018.

“Blackness + America,” 2017.

Real Life

“E•MO•JIS,” 2016.

Rolling Stone

“10 Years Later, Taylor Swift’s ‘Fearless’ Still Slaps,” 2018.

Teen Vogue

“Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs,” 2017.

Poems, etc.

Banango Street

“three-fifths; or, annoyance in an age where we laugh at little black girls handed over to the Devil” (Issue 13)

Blackbird (forthcoming)


“I Can Tell You All About Lemonade”

Hayden’s Ferry Review

“Dear Miley Cyrus,” (Issue 61)

The Journal

“blue” (Issue 41.2)

Painted Bride Quarterly (forthcoming)

Nat. Brut

“you, yes you” (Issue 9; Pushcart Prize nominated)

Spoon River Poetry Review

“Something strange happens to the body when an afro is born” (Issue 42.2)

Up the Staircase Quarterly

“Open Letter To White Girls Walking Down The Wrong Side Of The Sidewalk” (Issue 37; Best of Net nominated)

Water~Stone Review (forthcoming)