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 | 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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Featured image for “OPINION | Fun and games in the Florida Legislature”
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 three-ring circus. (No shade to the dearly departed Barnum & Bailey from Sarasota.) But there comes a point for every prankster and practical joker, for every comedian, comic, and clown when you realize your audience is no longer laughing with

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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. As a child, I attended a Catholic school from kindergarten through 6th grade. Between the ages of 5 and 8, when school was over, I either stayed in the school-run after-care program, was bused to an after-school program focused on

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Featured image for “OPINION | Differences make us better”
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 of the United States. I was ecstatic to see the deep brown-skinned Black woman with sister locs standing in her full grace and glory as she accepted President Biden’s nomination to the high court. But beside my childlike giddiness resided

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Featured image for “OPINION | What are you so afraid of?”
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 vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.”  By this standard, I wonder, Have we ever had a democracy?  I know the United States thinks itself a democracy. As

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Featured image for “OPINION | History is happening now”
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 them as 17-year-old boys, their lives cut down before they really had the chance to live.  This year marks 10 years since both boys were killed. Trayvon, while walking through his father’s Sanford subdivision. Jordan, at the Gate gas station

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