PerspectivesNikesha Elise Williams Jacksonville Today Contributor
Nikesha Elise Williams is an Emmy-winning TV producer, an award-winning author, and host/producer of the Black & Published podcast. Her latest novel, Beyond Bourbon Street, was awarded Best Fiction by the Black Caucus of African-American Librarians in the 2021 Self-Published eBook Literary Awards, as well as the 2020 Outstanding Book Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. Nikesha’s debut novel Four Women received the 2018 NABJ Outstanding Literary Work Award and the Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Award for Adult Contemporary/Literary Fiction. Her bylines include The Washington Post, ESSENCE, and Vox. Nikesha lives in Jacksonville with her family.
Featured image for “OPINION | DeSantis’ and Trump’s freedom isn’t free”
Gov. Ron DeSantis holds his son Mason as he celebrates winning reelection. | AP
November 16, 2022

OPINION | DeSantis’ and Trump’s freedom isn’t free

Freedom.  That’s the word that’s been slung like dice since campaigning began for the 2022 midterm elections. Entire narratives were…

Featured image for “OPINION | Are we irretrievably broken?”
A protester and counter-protester talk outside the Duval County Courthouse after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs in June of 2022. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today
November 2, 2022

OPINION | Are we irretrievably broken?

The attack ads this election cycle have been vicious. Opponents on both sides have been characterized as racist, dangerous, liars…

Featured image for “OPINION | Requesting relief for the people”
President Joe Biden speaks about student debt relief on Oct. 17th. | AP
October 19, 2022

OPINION | Requesting relief for the people

I am one of the millions of people who submitted an application for student debt relief. I attended the Florida…

Featured image for “OPINION | Focused on the future”
An undated photo of Emmett Till. | AP
October 5, 2022

OPINION | Focused on the future

Tomorrow, Till will open in theaters (in a limited release) nationwide. Sixty-seven years after the gruesome murder of 14-year-old Emmett…

Featured image for “OPINION | Battle for the best of us”
Artwork from the Deborah Roberts exhibit I'm, now on display at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens through Dec. 4th. | Cummer Museum
September 21, 2022

OPINION | Battle for the best of us

Over the weekend, I visited the Cummer Museum for the opening of the Deborah Roberts exhibition I’m. On a large…

Featured image for “OPINION | The 7-hour solution for work-life balance”
Photo: Jessica Palombo, Jacksonville Today
September 7, 2022

OPINION | The 7-hour solution for work-life balance

Why isn’t the school day as long as the work day?  That’s the thought that’s been running through my mind…

Featured image for “OPINION | Advocating for humanity is not indoctrination”
Image: Screen shot from
August 24, 2022

OPINION | Advocating for humanity is not indoctrination

As humans, we have an average of 6,000 thoughts per day. We are also flooded with as much as 34…

Featured image for “OPINION | Short on the things we need”
Photo: AP
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | Hotbeds of hatred”
A scene from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6th, 2021. | AP
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | Kids should be able to live big”
Mourners comforted each other after a funeral service for Eduardo Uvaldo, a victim of the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, Ill. | Chicago Sun-Times via AP
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | What will the literature of tomorrow say?”
Activists opposed to the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett protested in Washington in 2020. | AP
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | Where do the women go? ”
Monique Sampson was one of the hundreds of women who gathered at the Duval County Courthouse for a demonstration against a United States Supreme Court ruling that will send decisions about abortion back to individual states on Friday, June 24, 2022. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today.
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | Bags of bundles for the Buppies”
Beauty Depot opened on Southside Boulevard this month. | Ric Anderson, Jacksonville Today
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | I’ll take freedom over a holiday any day”
Fannie Lou Hamer, center, is pictured with Annie Devine, left, and Victoria Gray after the three were denied access to the U.S. House floor in 1965. | AP
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | Bet on Black women”
Longtime state legislator Audrey Gibson is running for Jacksonville mayor. | News Service of Florida
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | A toast to brighter futures”
Photo: Jessica Palombo
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | The answer to gun violence? Abolish guns”
Gathering at a memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. | AP
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | Symptoms of a broken system”
Mourners outside Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, N.Y., a day after the mass shooting there. | AP
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | First us, then you”
Protesters rallied May 4 in Jacksonville in support of abortion rights. Will Brown | Jacksonville Today.
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | Pro-birth is not the same as pro-life”
Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court last December in Washington | AP
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | The miseducation of Florida’s future”
A screen shot from the Florida Department of Education shows a math book that was banned from Florida classrooms.
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | Say goodbye, or stay put?”
Democratic Florida lawmakers Tray McCurdy, Angie Nixon and Felicia Robinson protest last week on the Statehouse floor. | AP
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | I’m at a loss over racism”
The late Justice Joseph Hatchette was the first Black Florida Supreme Court justice. | Florida Supreme Court
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…

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…