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 | 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…

Featured image for “OPINION | A tale of 2 bill signings ”
Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells, speaks after President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, in Washington. Vice President Kamala Harris looks on at left. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | Performing is par for the course for Black women ”
In this 2021 file photo, Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/ AP)
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | A return to normal”
Masks off?
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…

Featured image for “OPINION | Fun and games in the Florida Legislature”
Members of the Florida House of Representatives give Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls a standing ovation after his farewell speech on Thursday, March 10, 2022. | AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
March 14, 2022

OPINION | Fun and games in the Florida Legislature

Florida has gotten a well-earned rep for being the country’s sideshow. “Florida Man” headlines alone illustrate why we’re considered America’s…

Featured image for “OPINION | Teachers should make a life, not just a living”
March 7, 2022

OPINION | Teachers should make a life, not just a living

My mother was a public high school teacher for 33 years. She worked at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights.…

Featured image for “OPINION | Differences make us better”
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks after President Joe Biden announced Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court on Feb. 25, 2022. | AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
February 28, 2022

OPINION | Differences make us better

On this first day of Women’s History Month I’m celebrating the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court…

Featured image for “OPINION | What are you so afraid of?”
Jacksonville's director of planning and development, Bill Killingsworth, and councilman Al Ferraro discussing proposed voting maps | Claire Heddles, WJCT News
February 21, 2022

OPINION | What are you so afraid of?

The definition of democracy is “government by the people.” It’s “a form of government in which the supreme power is…

Featured image for “OPINION | History is happening now”
Memorial to Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky | FloNight, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
February 14, 2022

OPINION | History is happening now

Tomorrow would have been Jordan Davis’s 27th birthday. Trayvon Martin would have made 27 on February 5th. Instead, we remember…

Featured image for “OPINION | The value of being”
Byron Leftwich, left, and Alton Brown, right. Photo attribution: All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; JaxStrong, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
February 7, 2022

OPINION | The value of being

There’s a notion that has circulated in the Black community for generations: Black people have to be twice as good…

Featured image for “OPINION | Erasing Black history does not erase Black people”
Quarters for enslaved people at Jacksonville's Kingsley Plantation.
January 31, 2022

OPINION | Erasing Black history does not erase Black people

In my other life, I write books and host a podcast. I am unabashed about centering the point of view…

Featured image for “OPINION | I am American”
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Credit Gage Skidmore
January 24, 2022

OPINION | I am American

“African-American voters are voting at just as high a percentage as Americans.”  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made the offhand…

Featured image for “OPINION | An open letter to Gov. DeSantis”
January 17, 2022

OPINION | An open letter to Gov. DeSantis

Dear Governor DeSantis,  My daughter has COVID. She’s 7 months. I’m watching her little body battle an invisible bully.  She’s…

Featured image for “OPINION | Rebirth of a nation, state”
Raymon Troncoso, WJCT News | The Florida Channel livestream
January 10, 2022

OPINION | Rebirth of a nation, state

Today marks the first day of the Florida legislative session. A session where our elected legislators will tackle a myriad…

Featured image for “OPINION | Feel free to begin, again”
People stand in Times Square for the annual New Year's Eve ball drop in New York City on Dec. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
January 3, 2022

OPINION | Feel free to begin, again

Happy New Year! 2021 marked the first time in a long time that I did not set traditional goals for…

Featured image for “OPINION | In search of holiday peace”
December 20, 2021

OPINION | In search of holiday peace

As the year comes barreling toward an end, I’m keenly aware of how tired I am. I’m spending the holiday…

December 13, 2021

OPINION | When are we going to get back to normal?

My son lied to me about wearing his mask. He lied for nearly two weeks straight. I had been sending…

Featured image for “OPINION | Voting is the price of freedom”
Signs in front of an early voting site | Claire Heddles, WJCT News
December 6, 2021

OPINION | Voting is the price of freedom

Today is election day. Albeit it’s a small election, a special election to fill the seat of the late at-large…

Featured image for “OPINION | Relief and belief in justice are not the same”
People gather in front of a mural of Ahmaud Arbery painted on the side of The Brunswick African American Cultural Center in Brunswick, Ga.,
November 29, 2021

OPINION | Relief and belief in justice are not the same

“Verdict watch . . . one guilty but this is stressful.” I fired off that tweet after Travis McMichael was…

Featured image for “OPINION | My Thanksgiving wish for a less divided Jacksonville”
Courtesy The Jaxson
November 22, 2021

OPINION | My Thanksgiving wish for a less divided Jacksonville

Thursday, most of us will gather together around tables in homes to share Thanksgiving dinner. I have often been struck…

Featured image for “OPINION | What are we teaching our children?”
A Confederate monument in Springfield Park is covered with a tarp to prevent vandalism.
November 15, 2021

OPINION | What are we teaching our children?

City Council has withdrawn the Confederate monument legislation and may never take it up again —  an act of cowardice…

November 8, 2021

OPINION | Annoyance, Irritation, & Rage

I wanted to write a response to the recent stories about housing: one in this newsletter on the plan to…