Tag Archives: florida

Interview: Alex Ishmael Wiggins

28 Aug

Alex, or Ish as he’s often called, reached out to me through Facebook messaging, after my piece, If You’re White Get It Right: Wendy Jane’s Primer For White People On Talking About Race was posted in early August.  We shared some snippets of conversation about how he feels trapped in a nice prison while living in Florida. His reflections recalled the letter Root’s drummer extraordinaire, Questlove shared on Facebook right after the Trayvon Martin verdict.

Questlove, aka Ahmir Thompson, spoke of refusing invitations to swanky parties where he thought his presence as a husky, 6′ black man with a giant afro would make white people uncomfortable. It was painful to read about what he felt he had to do to make white people not feel threatened by his presence, including a tense moment in the elevator of his own residence. A young, white woman wouldn’t tell him her floor number, because, he suspects, she thought he might follow and accost her.

When Ish and I had our fb message encounter that echoed Questlove’s much too closely, I knew I had to write about Ish’s experience. I am grateful that Ish agreed. […]