Contributing Writers

Jessica Franklin

22 | Arkansas | Middle Level Education Major at the University of Central Arkansas

Instagram: jessicafranklin16

Twitter: soulnot4sale_


“The emotion that was so well put took excavation.  When writing is done, hands are dirty, soul is bare, mind kinetic.” – Jill Scott

Hello!  I’m horrible with bios, so let’s try this:

College senior.

Jesus Stan.

Pop culture enthusiast.

Bath & Body Works obsessed.

Bad selfie taker.

Feeler of feelings.

Queen of both awkwardness and clumsiness.

Probably at the house wishing I had gone out or vice versa.

That pretty much covers the basics, now on to the art.  I have loved writing for as long as I can remember!  I used to finish books in elementary school, get on the computer at home, and basically rewrite them in my own words.  Real original, right?  That’s how dedicated I was to the craft!  I promise I’ve grown out of that, though.  Anyway, I’ve always been a writer.  I started college as a journalism major, but changed my mind and eventually decided to become an English teacher.  Writing was always the motive behind both of these decisions.  I decided to join Black&Gifted because I absolutely love all art forms!  I think this is a great way to share my talent while supporting and helping share the talents of others.  This is the perfect place to do just that!


Adrian Nelson

22 | Arkansas | Marketing major at Arkansas Tech University

Twitter: @Whose_NELSON


Writing has been my preferred vehicle of expression for quite some time now. It started when I was a child, religiously writing in a journal that no one knew about. I would write about the day’s activities, the people I came in contact with, and how each situation made me feel. At 22, I’m still not into verbally expressing my thoughts, but I have moved up and created a blog that I publish to my followers. An invitation into my world, on terms I’m most comfortable with.

I joined B&GBlog because it’s another avenue for my words to be shared on. This particular avenue speaks to people like me, who go through the things I go through. My writing knows no boundaries. Based and built on liberation. I talk about the struggles of the LGBTQ community, life as an African American, Feminism, Politics, Music, and at times, myself. Collaboration is a beautiful thing, and I love that this is a platform representative of US, to share, inspire, and support. I look forward to being a part of this special team.

Timber_HeardTimber Heard

26 | Mississippi | Journalism major at the University of Mississippi

I am a biracial 26 year old trying to get enough money to finish her bachelor’s degree, but that’s a long story. I’ve been somewhat of an artist since I can remember. I draw, act, collage, sew (though rarely anymore) and make jewelry. I’m a Christian (first and foremost) and thank Jesus for everything he has done for me. I have an associates degree in Liberal Arts. I’ve done stand up comedy (though the second time didn’t go so well).

In my spare time, I’m an avid reader and I love to watch YouTube documentaries on Asia, African culture, and fashion and beauty makeup routines. I just opened what I like to consider a small business on my website Culture Shock. I have a vivid personality and try to look to enjoy things in my everyday life. I am also looking for ways to support myself, so this may be a great start. Thank you for your interest in my writing!

I want to be a part of Black&Gifted Blog because, well, I’m young, black, and gifted! But seriously folks, I love to write about whatever crosses my mind. Hair, culture, fashion, being a young 20-something in today’s modern world, everything!

Avery_Ware-09Avery Ware

24 | Ohio | Graduate of the University of Akron – Sociology

Twitter: @averylondon_


So, I have a confession. I’m terrible at writing bios. Ironic that a writer can’t write a bio, right? In summation, I’m the Black guy with the beard and thrifted clothes. I’m the reserved guy who doesn’t say much, but it is always thinking. I’m the gay that occasionally enjoys a Sunday morning service. I’m the friend that has your back in every way. I’m the writer who writes the things you’re probably thinking, but in a much more hostile fashion. I’m the entrepreneur that’s always hustling. All in all, I’m a pure soul just trying to figure out life.

The written discourse has always been my favored form of communication; transparency is my tone of choice. Many people use the internet has a space to present their highest self, but I elect to be sincere in my delivery and in content in hopes of connecting, healing, and entertaining those that choose to read.

Collaborating, supporting, and uplifting each other is imperative in our current climate. This is why I joined Black&Gifted Blog. I look forward to virtual fellowship with my peers and readers. Please follow me as I discuss the struggles of being a Black, queer male, religion misogyny, music, love and relationships, and more.

Ameil_Brown_Ameil BrownAmeil Brown

18 | Arkansas | Art Education major at Arkansas Tech University

Wow, what an honor to want to be a writer and the first task you’re given is to talk about yourself! If you knew me you’d know I love to be the topic of discussion in a positive light. I am Ameil Brown, an Arkansas Tech sophomore. I am currently majoring in art education.

I enjoy all things art, from drawing, to fashion, poetry, photography, modeling, and of course writing! However, I plan to switch back to a psychology major with art as a minor. I was born in Forrest City, AR but was raised and live in Dardanelle, AR. I am 18 years of age with a birthday right around the corner in September! And most of all I am a mom!

I want to be apart of the Black&Gifted Blog team because writing has always been a love of mine. I’m slightly shy when it comes to big groups of people. Writing allows me to have a voice even in the presence of a big audiences. I love giving an opinion that can be heard and respected. Being apart of the team will also allow me to be surrounded by amazing people with some of the same interests as myself. And hey, that sounds like a good time to me!

makalani_mack-01Makalani Na’im Mack

22 | Georgia | Graduate of Brandeis University – Anthropology


Instagram: imakalani

The first sentence is always the hardest for me. But, there it is now. Out of the way. So with that, hello beautiful people. My name is Makalani, an Egyptian name that describes a person that is expressive and creative, skilled in writing and performance. So ask my mama and she’ll take full credit for the expressive, creative, musically inclined writing person that I became to be. I love her to pieces though. I’ve always lived life in my head. However, I also fell in love with both music and writing at very young age and hence, it’s always been the smoothest, and honestly the easiest, way for me to express myself. I’ve learned so much of myself through my writing. My passions, what I love versus what I despise, my tendencies, my preferences, my fears. Ya’ll, writing for me has always felt like this portal that I could turn to at my disposal, and just dip. Writing is me leaping through that portal and finding myself in this boundless place where besides the margins on the physical paper itself, there are none. There are no limits, there are no hesitations, no anxiety, no rush. Just good feels, intricate thinking, and slow, steady breathing.

I’m currently a middle school teaching fellow at The Epiphany School in Boston, Massachusetts. Writing is my outlet at the end of some long days. I’m actually ecstatic to join the Black&Gifted Blog because I’ve simply been yearning for a space to both share my thoughts, and also take part in upholding a platform for Black Magic to thrive and be observed and supported. I look forward to collaborating with the other talented writers, as well as showcasing all the many other Black artists out here carving their paths in this world. Expect to hear some personal reflections and revelations. I’ll ramble about my relationship with the woman I never cease to be in awe of. And I’m also going to talk about blackness and Feminism a lot since, as a cis Black man, I’m always doing a lot of internal deconstructing. And with that, Peace and Love folks.

Brionna Jenkins

23 | New York | Graduate of St. John’s University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism


Instagram: @TheBrionnaRenee


To know Brionna Renée Jenkins is to know the 3 P’s: passion, purpose and personality. I like to consider myself the gift of a vibrant personality wrapped in a stylish box sent from the Big Apple.

Holding a degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in International Studies from St. John’s University, its always been my goal to use my given voice and earned perspective to inform my audience in the most engaging way possible. As both a writer and an actor it is my passion to tell stories that need to be told. Whether controversial, heartwarming or just plain juicy my work is carried out with me ultimate goal and life purpose in mind – to impact change one viewer or reader at a time.

I write for Black&Gifted because I am just that. We are just that. This is our space to manifest our culture and uplift contributions. Believing strongly that one must stand for something or fall for anything I find it imperative to have a platform that connects us to our culture & gives us a safe outlet to learn, express ourselves and grow.