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 | The lie of invisibility”
January 4, 2023

OPINION | The lie of invisibility

Banning books eliminates an opportunity for students to expand beyond their own surroundings and worldview.

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Featured image for “OPINION | Remember, reconcile, repair”
December 14, 2022

OPINION | Remember, reconcile, repair

“Take ‘Em Down!” is an ineffectual narrative strategy to effect change.  Is it a demand of adamance? Absolutely.  A passionate plea for empathy? Of course.  A spirited rallying cry, pithy enough for posters and T-shirts, and to fit into the mouths of young protesters who chant the phrase while elder dissenters offer themselves to the law as a martyr for

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Featured image for “OPINION | Silence is not assent”
November 30, 2022

OPINION | Silence is not assent

As a child I would sometimes get in trouble in school, and then again at home, for trying to express my point of view when I disagreed with something my teachers or parents did or said. To my insistent protestations I was rebuffed with standard parenting quips: “Stay in a child’s place” or “Stay out of grown folks’ business.” At

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Featured image for “OPINION | DeSantis’ and Trump’s freedom isn’t free”
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 built around the word to justify politically expedient policies that reopened counties, cities and classrooms from COVID-19 closures. Careers were made by silencing dissent, limiting choice, supporting revisionist history and amplifying bigotry, hatred, violence and harm toward difference — race,

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Featured image for “OPINION | Are we irretrievably broken?”
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 and just all out wrong. While the rhetoric may seem standard for the divisively gerrymandered country at all levels, I’m concerned with the deeper narratives such rhetoric supports.  As a writer, I know that words matter. They can be bent

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Featured image for “OPINION | Requesting relief for the people”
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 State University as an out-of-state student from 2004 to 2008. My mother paid cash for my first three semesters. My remaining time at FSU — including my summer in London, where I interned at NBC — was financed by student

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Featured image for “OPINION | Focused on the future”
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 Till in Money, Mississippi, the impact of his young life, cut down by racist, white supremacist vigilantes, will receive the big-screen treatment. The director, Nigerian-American filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu, has promised that her film does not dwell on the brutality of

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Featured image for “OPINION | Battle for the best of us”
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 wall, visitors encounter a description of the exhibition, which notes the title I’m “signals a merging of the individual self (the ‘I’) with a larger sense of being (‘am’) and suggests a sense of self-determination and a reclaiming of community.”

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Featured image for “OPINION | The 7-hour solution for work-life balance”
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 since my 7-year-old returned to the classroom last month. After three years of only creative entrepreneurship through writing and publishing, I returned to the workforce in a fully remote position in April of this year. The expected work hours are

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Featured image for “OPINION | Advocating for humanity is not indoctrination”
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 GB of information a day.  These messages worm their way into our consciousness, settle into our subconscious and form our thought patterns. These thoughts shape our perspective and mold our world view. They create deep narratives tied to how we

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