• Crystal Williams

    Crystal Williams is a professor of english, and Vice President & Associate Provost for Community and Inclusion and can be reached at cdub@bu.edu. Profile

Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 35 comments on “Always Female, Always Black, Ever Dangerous”

  1. A trajectory of heartbreak/a bag full of bones/to balm Breonna’s wounds/because she was good like that. I am a war & at war.

    So. Freaking. Beautiful. Thank you and happy birthday, Crystal! We hope to help carry this bag and to continue to recognize our role in it.

  2. Incredibly moving and poetic, Crystal. Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to understand and for believing that we in the BU community can struggle to transcend our own inherited racist lenses.

  3. Crystal my heart spills over with words I can’t express. How beautifully written and deeply felt by me through your exquisite expressive words.

  4. Great piece, Crystal! It needs to be read and meditated on by the entire BU community and beyond. (White America still doesn’t “get it”…)

  5. Oh wow, this stopped me in my tracks this morning. Such powerful words, with a force that reaches beyond the words themselves, to fill my bones with a desire to love like that. Thank you Crystal.

  6. Crystal, thank you for marshaling the courage to be so vulnerable, so personal, in such a public space. It is not something you owe to anyone – which is why it is such a generous gift. Happy birthday! Hoping your next 50 years will be as remarkable as your first 50 have been.

    1. To be clear, BU does not censor comments, which is in fact why your comment was approved. We do, however, have commenting guidelines. And if you violate them, your comment will not be published. These are guidelines, which anyone can find as a link where comments appear:

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    2. The message at the start of the Comments section says:

      “Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English.”

      If your comments aren’t being published, I’d guess you fell into one of the “abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic” categories.

  7. Dear Crystal,
    Thank you for helping keep conversations at BU real.
    Thank you for all the conversations you facilitate, wherever they may happen.
    You help us understand how poetry and music are ways to understand that America’s got soul, even when our understanding of how to find it is perverted.
    I’ll always have questions for you, so I hope you’ll always have the energy to keep talking.

  8. Crystal, this is beautiful and personal and universal. Thank you! Your generosity and strength are clear, and I look forward to working with you. I hope your second half-century is filled with even more love than the first and no more carrying of bags.

  9. Mandelstam, Tsvetaeva, Akhmatova, Lorca and many other great poets knew and lived true and real terrors. It is reflected subtly and humanely in their poetry which stood the test of time and changing literary tastes.

  10. Heavy and light. Soaring and deadweight. Inclusive and alone. Carrying together and bearing alone. The struggle to be in relationship with opposites is a profound one. Trying to find a place inside me to hold all that you offer.

  11. Crystal, I’m sorry that you’re carrying this bag. To help make the bag lighter, may I make some suggestions? Did you consider whether there might be other ways to interpret some of your experiences? For example, the 10 year old girls touching your hair–maybe they were just curious? As a child did you ever want to touch hair different than your own?

    If what you experienced was truly racially motivated, don’t put that in your bag–leave it in the perpetrators’ bags and pray for them, or have a conversation with them to make sure you’ve interpreted their actions/words correctly, and if so, maybe your conversation can begin to change their hearts.

    And finally, don’t let other people’s contemptible actions/words define you. Look instead to the good. You were raised and loved by a two parent household–that’s more than you can say for almost 70% of Black children these days. You’re clearly an accomplished woman–I’m sure you’ve had many white people help and encourage you along your way–look to them–they far outnumber the haters.

  12. Hey Crystal, do you have any comments concerning the fact that blacks commit murder at a rate 8 times that of white citizens, thats per capita?

    “According to the US Department of Justice, African Americans accounted for 52.5% of all homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008, with Whites 45.3% and “Other” 2.2%. The offending rate for African Americans was almost eight times higher than Whites”

    -From wikipedia article – “Race and crime in the United States” These are facts so if BU blocks this post then they are engaging in censorship behavior.

    Idk it just gets me thinking about things..

    1. …and? What value do your statistics bring to this particular piece of writing? What do they add?

      Did you know that “888 hate groups are currently operating in the United States, an increase of 48% since 2000. Among them: 20 Ku Klux Klan chapters in Texas, 9 black separatist organizations in Georgia, 10 neo-Nazi groups in New Jersey, and 21 skinhead groups in California.”
      Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

      And that, as of 2019, there were 15 active, organized hate groups in Massachusetts?

      These sound like statistics you might have some personal experience with. IDK – just got me thinking…..

      1. Hey when one identifiable group commits murder at a rate 800 percent that of the majority group, I have to wonder if we are rioting or protesting for the right cause. Does no one care about the dozens of black lives lost every week in Chicago?

  13. It is a gem.So powerful and a life that you put into a realism pathway of how you were able to overcome.In todays time where its now a norm of life, It is as history should be. A time of memory and history. It is a 5 star book.Thank you for your patience for bringing your life into our home

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