Da'Shawn Mosley is associate editor and culture and review editor of Sojourners magazine. He earned a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and graduated from the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, where he studied and briefly taught creative writing. In 2012, he was recognized by President Obama as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts for his works of creative nonfiction.
Da'Shawn was a researcher for two documentaries by the Oscar and Emmy-winning filmmaker Kirk Simon (The Pulitzer at 100, Where Has All the Play Gone?) and was featured in the PBS documentary Becoming an Artist. His poem "I Don't Know" was published in the anthology The Best Teen Writing of 2011 and received a Scholastic Art & Writing Award from former poetry editor of The New Yorker Alice Quinn, NAACP Image Award winner Nikki Giovanni, Pulitzer Prize winner Vijay Seshadri, and other luminaries. Da'Shawn's fiction earned him the 2019 A Suite of One's Own: A Writer's Residency, awarded by Kiese Laymon. An excerpt of his essay "Dark Matter" was exhibited in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Da'Shawn is a native son of South Carolina.
Posts By This Author
'Moonlight' Is the Best Film I Have Ever Seen
There are some works of art that become landmarks in a person’s life. The person knows who they were before they encountered the art, but not who they are afterward, and among the pieces of themselves that have scattered to the floor they find new elements, new additions to their identity. Moonlight is undoubtedly one of my landmarks. It is my Washington Monument, my Statue of Liberty. It is all of that and more.
'The Birth of a Nation' Doesn't Deserve Your Attention
I equate financially supporting The Birth of a Nation with ticket sales or a DVD purchase "because it's important" with supporting Brock Turner’s release from prison "because he’s a great swimmer and has potential." Both send a message to rape victims worldwide: They will always be ranked as lesser than their accuser, and lesser than something intangible.
A Brand New Day: Inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture
So there was a gloom and reverence with which I walked through the first three levels of the museum, and with which many of the people around me also seemed to travel. We were in the presence of ruins from days when black bodies were treated like cattle and felled like sugar cane crops. We were staring at the adornments of Ku Klux Klan members, at shards of glass from the 16th Street Baptist Church, and we were doing so only days after yet another police shooting of yet another unarmed black man. Death was in the air, and we were the bereaved.
Dear Police: We Have a Right to Know
In the U.S. the Freedom of Information Act is a law designed to enable Americans to access government information. But, often, the Freedom of Information Act fails to ensure this basic right. For example, in the case of the Laquan McDonald shooting, the Chicago Police Department denied fifteen Freedom of Information Act requests for the video of the shooting to be released. It wasn’t until many members of the community expressed their concern about the video not being shown to the public, and a city judge ruled in their favor, that the video was finally released. It shouldn’t have taken so much effort to get access to what’s rightfully ours.
What Terence Crutcher's Death Reminds Me Of
I don’t need to remind you, but I will, that this is the mentality of slave owners — the muscle memory of oppression that beats in American hearts still, in quiet and loud ways, and leads the systems of this nation to marginalize those who look different than the most privileged.
Another Child With a BB Gun Killed by Ohio Police
A 13-year-old boy was shot and killed by an officer in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 15, after he allegedly brandished a BB gun as police attempted to arrest him, the Columbus Division of Police announced this morning.
The officers were responding to a report of an armed robbery in the area. Tyree King, the 13-year-old, was thought to be one of multiple suspects.
The name of the police officer who shot and killed King has not been released, however it was revealed that he has been a police officer for nine years.
3 Things 'Queen Sugar' Proves About the Value of Diverse TV
Ultimately, as audience members, we have the power to control what we see. TV execs need our eyes watching the programming they select, and if we say we want diversity — if we purposefully watch more shows that are inclusive and that introduce us to narratives and cultures that are simultaneously new to us and reminiscent of our own lives — we can change the television landscape. We can change what we see and thus make sure that everyone is seen.
Amid Calls for Gun Violence Legislation, Chicago Sees Deadliest Month in 20 Years
August 2016 was Chicago’s deadliest month since August 1996, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. In Aug. 2016 384 shootings occurred in the city, resulting in 472 shooting victims and 90 fatalities.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the city's police superintendent Eddie Johnson believes the mass distribution of guns in the city shoulders some of the blame for the new startling statistics.
5 Pivotal SCOTUS Decisions We Can Thank Thurgood Marshall For
On Aug. 30, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed by the United States Senate as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. Throughout his tenure as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and even prior to his nomination to the court by President Johnson, Marshall left his mark on various cases that have proved pivotal to pushing America closer toward being a fair and just society for all.
Here are five Supreme Court cases in which Marshall fought for justice—often while he was on the other side of the bench—and won.