Bio: I'm a writer, mentor, spiritual coach and healing arts practitioner forging a loving life path. More about Me: I've had the honor and good fortune to work as a print journalist and columnist for some pretty exciting alternative news rags, such as the Baltimore City Paper and New Times (Palm Beach/Broward). I've won awards for political reporting -- thought I'm far from a political animal. I love telling stories, real stories that take courage to reveal. I've published short fiction and my poetry is featured in anthologies and literary journals such as the African-American Review, Dark Eros: An Anthology of Black Erotica, Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of African American Poetry and BMa: The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review. I'm a proud alumnus of the Open Society Institute (Baltimore) where I won a fellowship to mentor at risk youth-turned writers who dubbed themselves, "Strange Fruit." I'm currently working on a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories called "Blood on My Hands," as well as a poetry collection of spiritual erotica (yeah, you read that right 🙂 A few opinions about my work (from Letters to the Editor, Baltimore Citypaper): I was sad to read that Afefe Tyehimba is leaving City Paper (Third Eye, May 19). I was even sadder when I read her last article stating why. I have enjoyed her Third Eye column over the last three years and especially enjoyed her recent feature article on prostitution. I always felt that her subjects were relevant and gave an insight that was fresh. And while they may not have "prompted new laws or changed ingrained attitudes" (one could argue that three years is a relatively short period in which to accomplish those goals), her column may have made differences that she may never see. I will admit that on some days I cannot disagree with her assessment that "Baltimore's atmosphere seems filled with an uneasy anticipation of the next bad thing waiting to occur," but on most days I find many reasons to feel hopeful about this city. At any rate, I want to wish her luck. I have enjoyed her journalistic style and subject. I wish her well. C. Denise Watkins Baltimore What a breath of fresh air for a change. Third Eye has the courage to act on what a lot of Baltimoreans are thinking. Despite all of the new building and glitz and believe signs, this city is an ugly, filthy mess. We have a mayor who is well into his first term (extended, by the way) and will be easily re-elected whenever the Maryland legislature decides on when that will be (a joke for another time) who finds himself wondering why this is happening to him when he should already be governor. He has slipped into what I call the "Schmoke Malaise." There is a City Council that rivals the best circus that has ever come to town. An education system that is in dire straits and is looking for new answers using the same old models. The teachers' union and a bloated administrative staff is no help either. Crime, despite all of the statistics, is not better, especially the murder rate. We have a police department that seems to be rotting at the commissioner's level. Is it so hard to find someone who fits the requirements of the position who is morally and ethically equal to the post? Are there positives? I suppose so, but yuppies buying town houses with fancy alarm systems in Fells Point, Canton, and Locust Point isn't going to turn this town around. So I say to Third Eye, you will be missed, but thanks for the honesty and courage to say what so many are afraid to say. I'm not ready to leave my house in the city that has been in my family since 1910, but occasionally the thought crosses my mind. C.D. Wilmer Baltimore Although I never had the pleasure of personally meeting Afefe Tyehimba, I spoke to her on the telephone on several occasions. She interviewed me during my campaign for a House of Delegates seat in the 44th District. I appreciated her patience and thoroughness, something not received from some other local news media. Her reflections and introspection about politics in Baltimore were rather insightful and did not go unnoticed. I appreciate the fact that she took time to prick my soul on many issues. Change oftentimes takes years. Her cries and concern for the state of affairs in Baltimore were indeed heard by many, like myself, and only time will reveal the true impact her stories will have on our lives. She will be truly missed. What a loss. Jennifer Coates Baltimore So the talented and insightful Afefe Tyehimba is leaving City Paper, and the eminently worthless Mr. Wrong is (apparently) staying. Kinda like Tupac getting shot and Vanilla Ice continuing to "perform" . . . Bruce Didier Potomac

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