Author Archives: Tameka Cage Conley, Literary Artist and Poet

New Life in a Time of Protest and Heartache


Charles “Teenie” Harris, Members of the Black Panthers, including Leonard Hayes holding flag inscribed “Blood,” marching on Centre Avenue near Elmore Street, Hill District, c. 1970–1975. Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund.

Our son was born last summer via emergency Caesarean after 32 hours of labor. When his cries hit the cool, electric air, I sobbed uncontrollably, joining billions of parents across millennia who have loved their offspring instantly with a ferocity that makes the mouth speechless with awe and wonder. At 22 1/2 inches, his legs were uncommonly spindly for a newborn, and he had two dimples, like my mother and my husband’s father. His skin was the color of toffee kissed by the sun. His hands were wide, and his fingers were so long, thin, and perfectly sculpted that friends and acquaintances on social media declared he would be a piano player. He is nearly one year old now, and the boy stuns us each day with his determination, sense of humor, laughter, and keen thoughtfulness and smarts. He is beautiful.

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