Nikesha Elise Williams

Nikesha Elise Williams is an Emmy-winning TV producer, award-winning novelist (Beyond Bourbon Street and Four Women) and the host/producer of the Black & Published podcast. Her bylines include The Washington Post, ESSENCE, and Vox. She lives in Jacksonville with her family.

Featured image for “Opinion: Short on the things we need”
August 10, 2022

Opinion: Short on the things we need

Monday morning marks back-to-school time for my son along with thousands of other Duval County students. In preparation, I have been keeping my eyes and ears tuned to the news of the bus driver and teacher shortages.  I’ve checked the database to see how this will affect my son. (At the time of this writing, he’s been assigned a teacher

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Featured image for “Opinion: Hotbeds of hatred”
July 27, 2022

Opinion: Hotbeds of hatred

On Jan. 6th, 2021, I sat beside my mother in my living room, eyes glued to the television watching the attack on the Capitol. I thought, I tweeted and I said repeatedly, “If that had been Black people, they’d have been dead.”  It’s the same thought that circles my mind every time I see the footage either during the hearings

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Featured image for “Opinion: Kids should be able to live big”
July 18, 2022

Opinion: Kids should be able to live big

I was talking to my son recently about travel, and I suggested that for his next spring break we visit a friend of mine in Texas. After making my pitch, I asked if he wanted to go.  He said, “No. They have mass shootings in Texas.”  In the moment, I registered, Wow he’s really been paying attention when I watch

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Featured image for “Opinion: What will the literature of tomorrow say?”
July 11, 2022

Opinion: What will the literature of tomorrow say?

Reckoning.  That is the word that’s most often applied to this time we’re living in. It began with the confluence of COVID-19 and the racial uprising after the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in 2020. Two years later, it continues. As a fiction writer and former television producer, many of my ideas for stories are influenced

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Featured image for “Opinion: Where do the women go? ”
July 4, 2022

Opinion: Where do the women go? 

As a woman it is not enough to demand “my body, my choice.” We have no solid ground on which to stand and make our demand.

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Featured image for “Opinion: Bags of bundles for the Buppies”
June 27, 2022

Opinion: Bags of bundles for the Buppies

When I walked into the new Beauty Depot store on Southside Boulevard for the first time, it was like the heavenly hosts began harmonizing an angelic chorus as I was blinded by the light. It’s the nicest beauty supply store I’ve ever been in.  I said as much, out loud, upon entering and standing slack-jawed in front of the door.

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Featured image for “Opinion: I’ll take freedom over a holiday any day”
June 20, 2022

Opinion: I’ll take freedom over a holiday any day

“I am sick and tired of being sick and tired…nobody’s free until everybody’s free…if I fall, I’ll fall 5 feet 4 inches forward in the fight for freedom.” — Fannie Lou Hamer All manner of Juneteenth celebrations took place over the weekend at the local, state and national level to celebrate the day the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas,

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Featured image for “Opinion: Bet on Black women”
June 13, 2022

Opinion: Bet on Black women

My heart was glad when I saw the announcement that term-limited Democratic state Sen. Audrey Gibson was entering the Jacksonville mayoral race. It seemed like a full-circle moment. Eleven years ago, when I first considered moving to Jacksonville, I had come to the River City for a job interview. It was election day. Alvin Brown was the Democratic candidate for

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Featured image for “Opinion: A toast to brighter futures”
June 6, 2022

Opinion: A toast to brighter futures

Saturday, the city of Jacksonville will mark its 200th birthday with a jam-packed bicentennial celebration schedule. It’s also my daughter’s 1st birthday. As I think about the confluence of these markers of history, both personal in some way, I am forced to think about what lies ahead for my daughter, who has no understanding of the perils she will face

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Featured image for “Opinion: The answer to gun violence? Abolish guns”
May 30, 2022

Opinion: The answer to gun violence? Abolish guns

Last week, I dropped off and picked up my son from school for the last time until the next school year begins. It’s a commonality I share with parents across the country. Another commonality we all share is the fear that grips us when we relinquish control over the safety of our children to educators and institutions we presume to

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