#InspiredBy | Is “The Nod” Enough? A Letter to the Other Black Person in an Overwhelmingly White Place by Rachelle Smith

The Nod: A Subtle Lowering of the Head You Give to Another Black Person in an Overwhelmingly White Place

By Musa Okwonga

Illustration by Daniel Zender

featured article from

This is a poetic response to the aforementioned article:

Is “The Nod” Enough? A Letter to the Other Black Person in and Overwhelmingly White Place

I see you. You see me too.
Perhaps we’ll nod, smile or point briefly to each other.
Acknowledge we are not alone and pleased to see someone familiar in a crowd of light faces.
I thank you, fellow skin sibling, for the kind presence of mind in potential cultural loneliness.
Yet, would you nod at me if we were the only ones on the street?
In a crowd of brown faces would you care to point or smile?
Would our cultural connection matter then?
Could I be your neighbor and vocally greet you in the morning like grinning lips
While you respond with a verbal tilting of the head?
Or will you wonder why as stranger dare address you?
Wonder who this neighbor is and how to avoid eye contact.
I am near you.
I have a hammer for you to borrow in helping you build your house.
Still, you do not nod.
You do not smile.

You do not point in my direction.
Until, we are alone in a crowd of light faces.
- Rachelle Smith


Greeting evening crew!

Looking to start a new segment here: “The Digital Crate presents…”

For anyone not too familiar with standard hip hop culture, “crate digging” as the term was coined in the late 80s, was contributed by music lovers whom would gather at local record shops in search for the next hottest record, which would often be found in actual crates. One of the five major elements of Hip Hop would adopt this process as a sort of birthright. DJs would canvass the city in search for something unique found within the vinyls of classic joints.

Today, things are much easier. As I was digging through the digital media archives of my personal collection and found music from the net, I was directed to this amazing joint right here by Hot 97’s Battle of the Beats Season 2 found on Youtube. So with that said…

The Digital Crate presents:

“Don’t Wait”

by Mapei feat. Chance the Rapper

SIDENOTE: for those interesting in hearing some details of the crate digging process my mans over @ Blogspot. (Link below)


Introducing #HustleBowTie

“the newest venture for former Music Director of Hot.97 NYC”

Karlie Hustle, former MD at Hot.97 has begun a campaign for new innovative ideas and collaborations. First of which is a collaborative effort with Good Wood NYC to make the new Hustle Bow Tie, and if you haven’t noticed it is made with actual wood and fabric. We can’t wait to get our hands on one of these. Personally, I’ve ordered from Good Wood NYC and have always had a warm heart and open wallet to their work. To say that I’m hype for this launch is an understatement.

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