Author Archives: Jamil Ragland

Apples: A Discussion

I consider myself a man of fine taste. I watch good television, I dress and groom well (since August, anyway), and I only choose the best foods to enter the temple of my body. Imagine my surprise then when I saw the following headline screaming across Facebook: “Good Riddance to the Red Delicious, an Apple […]


A Feeling That I Never Knew by Anonymous I still remember how you used to kiss me.. One kiss was never enough, You had to kiss my forehead, each cheek, my nose, and finally my lips.. That was my favorite… There was something about you… A flame in your eyes and a tenderness to your […]

Black Women and Community College

The overwhelming majority of students I tutor at my job are Black women. Part of that is the nature of the work- you develop a rapport with students and they come back to you. But even the one-off students who just need a second set of eyes before they submit a paper are typically Black […]


There’s something about palindromes that I enjoy. I don’t think there’s anything unique about that. People seem to generally like symmetry, patterns and repetition. 33 is a short palindrome, not like race car, but there’s even something appreciable in its simplicity. It also happens to be the age that I’ll be in two weeks. Palindrome […]

This Too Shall Pass

I just smelled your pillow. Or is it back to being my pillow already? It’s still your side of the bed. It was my side. Sleeping next to the wall. But you told me that you liked that side of the bed. And I liked you. So it became yours. I don’t want to lie […]

Defending the Essay as a Form

“What is an essay?” One of my friends asked me that question when I explained my goal to write an essay every day until my birthday. I knew what I was writing were essays, but I didn’t really know what that word meant. After grappling with a definition for a moment, I finally said, “It’s […]

I Saw My First Drug Overdose Today

I was walking past the park on the corner of Russ Street and Putnam Street with my coworkers. We go on a walk once a day or so for the exercise and to take a break from work. We were talking, and one of my coworkers looked into the park and pointed. “Uh, guys?” she […]

The Haircut

For most of my life, I’ve had some form of long hair. There were the ill-advised early years of cornrows: And then whatever this was: But for the most part, I’ve stuck with the tried and true afro: I’ve had haircuts before, but I typically defaulted back to the afro with any number of excuses- […]

The New York Times Shouldn’t Have Published The Anonymous Op-Ed

I wasn’t on the editorial side of opinion writing for very long, but a conversation did come up about publishing anonymous op-eds. At the time, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it- if the person was risking their career or their safety, wasn’t it our job as journalists to share their views while […]

Some Thoughts About The New Yorker

When Forbes published that op-ed a few weeks ago suggesting that Amazon replace local libraries, the condemnation was swift and fast. It was too late, of course- as soon as any hare-brained idea is placed into the public, it’s only a matter of time before it begins its slide towards the mainstream of social, cultural […]