PerspectivesNikesha Elise Williams Jacksonville Today Contributor
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: Symptoms of a broken system”
May 23, 2022

Opinion: Symptoms of a broken system

Imagine for a moment it’s a Sunday afternoon. You’ve just left church or brunch or finished a morning run or swim at the beach, and you need to stop at the grocery store to get some essential items. Perhaps those include baby formula, which both you and the store are running low on, and other household needs. Running through your

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Featured image for “Opinion: First us, then you”
May 16, 2022

Opinion: First us, then you

Restricting access to abortion is about control. Restricting access to the ballot is about control. Gerrymandering districts at any level is about control. Rising rent and mortgage prices is as much the byproduct of inflation as it is about control. Prohibiting how people read and learn, think and feel about gender and sexuality, race and culture is about control. Throughout

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Featured image for “Opinion: Pro-birth is not the same as pro-life”
May 9, 2022

Opinion: Pro-birth is not the same as pro-life

This body carried two children. My son to 41 weeks and one day. My daughter to 40 weeks and a day. They were wanted. They were prayed for. Perhaps manifested into existence. Yet my body has not recovered. My mind has not recovered.  As a teen, I struggled with body dysmorphia and bulimia. As an adult, I gained 30 pounds

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Featured image for “Opinion: The miseducation of Florida’s future”
May 2, 2022

Opinion: The miseducation of Florida’s future

The summer after my freshman year at Florida State University, I worked as an intern at Pearson. As in the textbook publication company; Pearson. I don’t remember much about the actual work I did that summer, but I do have a few distinct memories from that job. In one meeting there was discussion about a batch of books being sent

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Featured image for “Opinion: Say goodbye, or stay put?”
April 25, 2022

Opinion: Say goodbye, or stay put?

There is a big difference between perception and reality. For example, the perception the United States has of itself and that it projects to the world is one of a strong, united democracy that protects freedoms, preserves the rights of the “least of us,” defends the humanity of the “worst of us,” and is a fair government run by the

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Featured image for “Opinion: I’m at a loss over racism”
April 18, 2022

Opinion: I’m at a loss over racism

I am trying to understand racism. I know what it is. I know why it exists. I know the history of how it came to be the barometer by which all of mankind is measured, but I don’t understand it. I don’t understand that level of hate. I don’t understand why some will go to such extremes to kill people,

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Featured image for “Capturing the magic of Black motherhood despite the maternal mortality crisis”
April 11, 2022

Capturing the magic of Black motherhood despite the maternal mortality crisis

It’s one thing to know something. It’s an entirely different experience to be immersed in your knowledge, feel it with your heart, and see it reflected back at you. That is exactly how local curator, writer, wife and mother Shawanna Brooks wants you to feel when you experience her visual and literary art exhibition, Magic, Mirth, & Mortality: Musings on

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Featured image for “Opinion: A tale of 2 bill signings ”
April 4, 2022

Opinion: A tale of 2 bill signings 

The divisions in our country are often lamented as a deep and complex moral crisis. The right-versus-left partisan politicking, as some Star Wars-level epic fight between good and evil.  I believe most squabbles could be resolved if leaders legislated by listening to the people they represent and paid attention to the facts as laid out by experts who study the

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Featured image for “Opinion: Performing is par for the course for Black women ”
March 28, 2022

Opinion: Performing is par for the course for Black women 

Last week it seemed as if all eyes were glued to the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. I purposefully did not watch the hearings. However, that did not keep me from seeing the testy tête-à-têtes posted to Twitter and Instagram and catching the recaps on the evening news. The line of questioning from Senators Ted Cruz,

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Featured image for “Opinion: A return to normal”
March 22, 2022

Opinion: A return to normal

Over the last few weeks, I’ve allowed my son to go out in the world sans mask. Initially, it wasn’t a conscious decision. Rushing out the door to get him to school on time, I forgot to remind him to grab one of his many masks lying around the house. I suggested he get one from the front office at

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