A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Jean Marie Hattie


The Bible tells us to be a slave to nothing

When I'm afraid, those words my grandmother told me,
The ones I pinned up on my wall
THOSE words--
"God does not give us the spirit of fear. But of power, love and a sound mind."
When I'm in the grips of it,
seizing huddled, shallow breaths,
THOSE words often come to head.
Not a soothing chorus, as much as a biting remark.
An all out accusation.
A sneer--
Black girls aren't  meant to be mentally ill.
"Who has time for that?" my dad once said.
Chronically maligned,
long-suffering Nubian statues.
The strong and silenced type.
We repel what they call "depression" and this is no panic attack.
Because we never panic... 
We pray.

As the Bible tells us, "Be a slave to nothing."
And only Jesus Saves.


When I get to visit major cities, I'll search out a gift shop or bookstore that sells these little Moleskin travel notebooks. Not sure if other people are familiar with these, but they have maps and and notes specific to the city you're visiting. I think I've found them in D.C., New York and Montreal. I'll scribble directions in them and stuff little keepsakes in them like ticket stubs or metro passes or restaurant menus. i like that I can return to them when I'm in that city again.

Out of love for language and personal necessity, Jean Marie Hattie began writing as form of self expression some time in her turbulent teen years. Finding journalism and public policy in college and settling into community news for the last few years, Kelly's an award-winning reporter whose fallen head over heels for storytelling with various forms of media, including written word, photo and film. Currently an Integrated Communications graduate student and student fellow with the National Park Service, she's now learning to lend narrative to cherished public places and American cultural history. Kelly's recent prose reflects her interest in the social and political, as well as the deeply personal experience of being young, being a woman, and being a black woman.