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: The value of being”
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 to get half as much. From Barack Obama to Alvin Brown, Black people in positions of prominence and priority are forced to be nothing less than exceptional and excellent. So much so, that we’ve bought into our own hype, hash

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Featured image for “Opinion: Erasing Black history does not erase Black people”
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 and experiences of minority-identified people in both of these endeavors. Readers of my work and listeners of my podcast who do not immediately identify with these cultural references and experiences are forced to do the work to increase their understanding

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Featured image for “Opinion: I am American”
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 remark in response to the Senate’s failing to change the filibuster rules to pass legislation to bolster voting rights in the face of state legislatures—like Florida’s—that are creating more rules that create barriers to the ballot.  “I’m not American?” That

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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 riding a fever. Her nose is running. She’s also congested. She can’t nurse, because she can’t breathe. She’s not sleeping well. She pants for air. For breath. To breathe. Freely. Freedom was the overarching theme of your State of the

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Featured image for “Opinion: Rebirth of a nation, state”
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 of issues supposedly important to Floridians. Though their only obligation is to pass a budget to fund the government, they will no doubt tackle other issues important to the governor, themselves, and their respective parties and political ideologies.  This new

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Featured image for “Opinion: Feel free to begin, again”
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 the year. I don’t like resolutions because they seem fickle on their face, but every year prior I used to get absolutely giddy about setting goals, getting a new planner to chart them out, and then watching myself progress through

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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 out of town with family, and for the last week I’ve been eagerly and anxiously counting down the days until I can board the plane. I’ve even given myself things to look forward to in this countdown like getting my

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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 him to school with a mask every day. He wore it getting out of the car. He wore it getting in the car. Then last week, I forgot to make sure he had his mask, so I messaged his teacher

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Featured image for “Opinion: Voting is the price of freedom”
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 City Councilman Tommy Hazouri, but it’s election day nonetheless. I voted early, last week, at the library. I walked in, pushing my daughter in her stroller to a room full of poll workers who had no one to serve. They

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Featured image for “Opinion: Relief and belief in justice are not the same”
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 found guilty of all charges for killing Ahmaud Arbery. I watched the judge read the verdict as my gumbo simmered on the stove for Thanksgiving dinner. A spoon in my hand, my daughter on my lap, and my clothes covered

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