Before this New York City-based culture writer was published in publications such as Playboy, Esquire, Essence, MTV News, HuffPost, and many others, he was a boy with a highly active imagination; someone who imagined many worlds with just a modicum of inspiration.
In middle school, I wrote a story about an old woman who ate children in order to retain a youthful appearance. During the day, the sunlight exposed a hideous hag. At night, she was a gorgeous sex siren who used her appeal to sneak into pediatric hospitals and eat babies. When my teacher discovered that I was writing that story in lieu of paying attention to her boring lessons, she called my mother and recommended that she get me evaluated.
"If young black children don't imagine, they die," my mother said. Then my teacher read a line from my story, and my mom decided that I was the strangest thing to fall out of her vagina. I watched as her eyes widened with shock and terror and discomfort. I reveled in her reaction.
This is what writing is about: making people feel uncomfortable. My essays, my upcoming fiction work is here to make people feel uncomfortable. That is my job as a writer — to make people feel. Happy. Angry. Miserable. Uncomfortable. A writer's job is to make our reader feel something other than bored.