Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Haley Reading (Group A2) Nafissa Thompson-Spires's "Heads of the Colored People"

[Haley Reading groups Fall 2021]

By Lakenzie Walls and Howard Rambsy II

In Nafissa Thompson-Spires's story “Heads of the Colored People: Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology," we are introduced to four characters whose individual stories intersect on a day that two of them are shot by police. The narrator takes the time to give us brief, in-depth takes on the movements, choices, and thoughts of four characters.

One of the characters, a young Black man named Riley wears colored contacts and bleached hair, and, as we're informed by the narrator, "this wasn’t any kind of self-hatred thing” (1). Another Black man, referred to as Brother Man, "was burly but not violent and rather liked to regard himself as an intellectual in a misleading package" (4). 

Then, there is a visual artist Kevan, who is hundreds of miles away from the main action in the story, but would later draw images of Black men, like Riley and Brother Man, killed by police (8). Another is Paris Larkin, who longs for a superpower to "make herself visible" (10). Like her boyfriend Riley, she is devoted to cosplay. 

What does this "black network narrative" lead you to consider about Thompson-Spires as a storyteller? That is to say, what's one thought you had about the creativity, style of writing, organizational approach, or artistic capabilities of a writer who composes a story that connects a variety of African American characters?

139 comments:

Damien W said...

Black network narrative shows the creativity between the Thompson spires. The story of a creative, style of writing, organizational approach, or artistic capabilities of a writer who composes a story that connects a variety of African American characters is interesting. Also their way of making a couple of paragraphs about African Americans then connecting it to today's society is astonishing.

Britney Wallace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


When reading this story it led me to think that Thompson-Spires is a creative writer and likes to think outside of the box when creating her stories. When she went to describe Riley she described him as "blue contact and bleached blond hair which he used gel and a blow dryer". She made Riley almost sound like he wasn't in touch with himself being black but he very much was. In the story it said that he was very much in touch with his black heritage he read things like The Bluest Eye and Invisible Man.

-Audriahna M

Britney Wallace said...

Nafissa Thomspson-Spires story was an interesting narrative on four unique black characters. From her writing I can presume she does not like the typical stereotypes casted onto black men and women. I see this through her characterization of Riley, “Riley wore blue contact lenses and bleached his hair...He was not self-hating; he was even listening to Drake... make it Fetty Wap if his appreciation for trap music changes something for you” (Thompson-Spires 1). The author is showing how Riley doesn't fit the “typical” description of a black man. She is also drawing the question of what is a typical black man? There are other characters like Kevan, and Brother Man that are completely different from Riley, yet they all play a significant role in each other’s lives. Through her characters people are able to see a handful of black people that act beyond the stereotypes. I thought the author did a wonderful job in portraying these characters with her relatable writing style. I think her writing is one many black people can feel connected to, because of all the typical stereotypes stated throughout the piece.
- Britney W

Caleb W. said...

The narrative "black network narrative" made my respect for Thompson-Spires as a writer in general grow. The storytelling is so creative, it makes you really think about what is going on and put two and two together. In this story despite all of the descriptions nothing is really what it seems. Even though he bleached his hair and wears blue contacts he doesn't hate himself it is just what he likes, even though he looks like he dates Asian and white women he in fact loves black women. What I took from it is you have to love yourself and stop judging others. The author did a great job with this one.

Anonymous said...

I think that this black network narrative shows mostly how creative Thompson-Spires is. Making an attempt to just alone write about multiple people's stories and how they connect can be a difficult task itself, but Thompson-Spires managed to do that but even add more into the story that helped readers be able to understand more about the people who were involved, such as talking about how black heritage can be seen as when mentioning Riley with his blue contacts and blonde hair, mentioning Brother Mans intentions when placing his hand on Riley, including ideas Kevan had while in the SweetArt Bake Shop, or even talking about Paris and who she is, including how she was feeling after learning about Rylie's death.

Madisen W.

Nyah Marcano said...

Nafissa Thompson-Spires took a very creative approach to tell the story of the tragic events that happened to four creative characters. She writes with so much awareness, to the point that she dismisses any possible thoughts the reader might be having as they read, in the reading itself. She paints a very specific and detailed picture for the reader. Each characters thoughts are made aware for the reader, drawing very clear lines to where things went wrong. Her writing style takes the reader on a journey almost as if it was a movie.

-Nyah Marcano

Unknown said...

Reading this story from this chapter showed me that Thompson-Spires had a very open vision to something greater then any of us could ever imagine. He shows that she is a very intelligent person and is very creative, in this chapter and has a answer for everything that the reader may have been thinking and that's why this book is so interesting because the more you read on you can see how much knowledge she has and how she talks about the things that are real today. This chapter also shows that many people feel this way about situations like the ones she explain in the book today and she connects with us on a personal level and when you can do that you know that a good author wrote this book or chapter of the book.

sierrea mcniff said...

Thompson-Spires's artistic capabilities are rare. Many authors stereotyped their black characters but Thompson-Spire's work is different. Kevan is first explained as another single, black father on child support, but he is so much more than that. He has dreams "to create a full exhibit of heads of colored people" (8). Similarly, Brother Man is more than just a big, scary black man. He, too, has a dream like Kevan; he wants to sell comics from his series, Brother's Spawn. He also has strong emotions. Her story shows that there isn't one way to be black, but that everyone sees us the same- a thug.

Valarie M said...

Nafissa Thompson-Spires is a very honest and direct writer. I feel as if writers nowadays tend to avoid the truth because they don't want to get bashed for it. Nafissa shows the true meaning behind these characters by comparing them to actual real African Americans that go through this on a daily basis. Also, a thought that I had was when she was writing the story I wondered how did she feel when writing because when people tell real stories at times people break down and don't want to share their thoughts about what's going on. - Valarie M.

Xavier Stacker said...

Reading Nafissa Thompson-Spires' work was at the very least intriguing. The uniqueness in the way of exploring four well-delvoped characters is so indescribable. The story about the person changing the way they look stood out to me the most because it tells us to be our own unique selves and break stereotypes about us.

Chris Rhodes said...

This “black network narrative” leads me to consider that Thompson-Spires is a talented, powerful, and educated storyteller. One thought I had about the organizational approach of a writer who composed a story that connects a variety of African American characters is how he explained stereotypes and the effects they have on black people particularly with the police.

Anonymous said...

The black network narrative shows me more in depth of what the characters are like and it can show their similarities and differences when the author puts it into organization of certain characters. It also shows me that they are going to connect at some point in the story and how they come apart. One thought when it comes to the author's organizational approach fits well in a way because it shows how each character is, but the names can be confusing at times since he's shown multiple characters at once.

Jordan W. said...

I believe that the black network narrative made me consider that the characters will meet in some kind of way, the author just wanted to bring up the organizational approach so the audience can understand each set of character. It is a way to show how the character personalities, similarities, and differences for the characters. One thought I had about the organization approach is that I believe that it is a good idea when it comes to having multiple characters, but it would be easier to have connected them having their own set of background as well to understand each character better because it can get confusing with all the names and connecting Riley with Paris was confusing for me for a moment.

Shaniyah Robinson said...

The Black Network Narrative shows how the characters in this story are similar and also shows their differences. I am assuming that they will connect at some point in the story because it starts to be kind of confusing trying to piece together everyone and their individual backgrounds. However, the author does do a great job at painting a specific vision for the story and she pays attention to detail. What I took from the story is to have self-love because without that you can't have a true love for anything or anyone else. -Shaniyah R

Kailiah W. said...

The black network narrative was creative and refreshing. The author describes the lives and struggles that the black community faces everyday. I found it creative and refreshing that the author showcased every African American person so differently, yet they all face the same issues in society.

Kailiah W. said...

The black network narrative was creative and refreshing. The author describes the lives and struggles that the black community faces everyday. I found it creative and refreshing that the author showcased every African American person so differently, yet they all face the same issues in society.

Josiah Olden said...

I really enjoyed how the author connects so many different characters. She really emphasizes the idea that not all black people act the same way. We may share common roots, but we have differences that make us unique. I think Thompson hits the nail on the head when discussing Riley's interests. She mentions how he dyed his hair blonde and wore colored contacts to resemble a character he admired. The way that Thompson wrote his description makes the reader assume that he is not in touch with his heritage. Yet, Thompson immediately negates that idea when she says that he actually respects and loves his heritage. I really loved how she organized the Chapter. She gives each character their own section within the chapter, but she connects each section so that it is all a part of a bigger story.
-Josiah O

Josiah Olden said...

I really enjoyed how the author tries to emphasize the many differences among black people and that they are not the stereotypes given to them. The characters in this story execute Thompson's idea of diversity among the underrepresented. In fact, the very title of the book, "Heads of the Color People", perfectly suits the ideas of this chapter. For so long, black people were viewed as one type of person. However, Thompson tries to change this stigma by incorporating black people who cosplay, pursue education, and loves art. I love how she connects the character's stories to each other because it emphasizes a larger idea: Everybody is unique, no matter your race.
-Josiah Olden

Sandy Stokes said...

The author made this story very intresting and unqiue. I love how they showed how just because Riley gave himself qualities of white person doesn't mean he hated himself of wanted to be seem as a white person.The way the decribed all the different characters kind of broke the sterotype that comes with being black.

Makiah Lewis said...

The Black Network Narrative that the author showed was very creative. I think it helped us get a true understanding of the characters and how they were portrayed throughout the story. I really enjoyed how he incorporated his deep feelings into the story.

-Makiah Lewis

Makiah Lewis said...

The Black Network Narrative that the author showed was very creative. I think it helped us get a true understanding of the characters and how they were portrayed throughout the story. I really enjoyed how he incorporated his deep feelings into the story.

-Makiah Lewis

Kevyere Mack said...



This "black network narrative" lead me to consider how Thompson-Spires as a storyteller came up with ideal styles to make readers think she was talking about caucasian kids, but in reality it was African American cultures put into a perspective of being "not normal". Thompson-Spires really brung out the stereotypical people and showed that, one who wears "different attire", hates themselves. Despite how she feels when she tells the character's background, she then describes their setting and what most African Americans face on a daily bases because the color of their skin.
-Kevyere Mack

Anonymous said...

This "black network narrative" lead me to consider how Thompson-Spires as a storyteller came up with ideal styles to make readers think she was talking about caucasian kids, but in reality it was African American cultures put into a perspective of being "not normal". Thompson-Spires really brung out the stereotypical people and showed that, one who wears "different attire", hates themselves. Despite how she feels when she tells the character's background, she then describes their setting and what most African Americans face on a daily bases because the color of their skin.
-Kevyere Mack

La’ Raye said...

While reading this it made me realize how creative and unique the "black network narrative" to Thompson-Sires is. The story's style is just so different and very enlightening to me. I loved how detailed and how much she explained each character. Her being so detailed made me imagine and help me really picture each of the characters. She also explains how she doesn't like stereotyping. A male in the book bleached his hair blonde and wears blue contacts. Just because he does these things doesn't mean he wants to be white, it's just what he likes. He is just representing himself, which if that's what makes him happy that's all that matters. It doesn't matter the color of his skin.
-La'Raye Littlepage

Jania M. said...

The black network narrative led me to consider about Thompson- Spires as unique and creative storyteller. Whereas she dislikes labeling black men and women. A thought about the organizational approach of a writer who composes a story that connects a variety of African American characters is that the author describes each character differently, but they all face the same societal issues. Jania M

Curtis scott said...

while reading heads of the colored people Thompson expires I love how in this story its characters explain themselves in the story to make the book really good. riley was explain in the story that he wore blue contact lenses and bleached his hair which he worked with gel and a blow dryer and a flatiron some mornings into sonic the hedgehog spikes so stiff you could prick your finger on them and sometimes into a wispy side bob with long bangs and he was black. in the book riley loved spending time with his uncle.

Unknown said...

The black network narrative that Thompson-Spires creates for her readers helps her audience realize that there isn’t a specific narrative that all black people have in society. So, with that being said, this shows that Thompson-Spires is a creative storyteller that tries to help her audience understand various viewpoints to consider when perceiving others in our current society.

Ayanna Townsend

Ayanna Townsend said...

The black network narrative that Thompson-Spires creates for her readers helps her audience realize that there isn’t a specific narrative that all black people have in society. So, with that being said, this shows that Thompson-Spires is a creative storyteller that tries to help her audience understand various viewpoints to consider when perceiving others in our current society.

Maurice King said...

The Black Network Narrative had shown me that the author is excellent when utilizing figurative language in the reading.The way she had described Riley is an amazing way to tell how he was not well connected to his African American roots.

Paul Olubodun said...

Paul Olubodun

The thought I had when reading the chapter was that the author is really good at tying everything back together. In the beginning, the author has an interesting name for the chapter, then throughout gives us a little insight of each character, then, in the end, ties everything all together. The creativity, writing style, and organization keep the reader interested by getting the reader to build a connection with each character and making the reader guess what is going to happen next, but in the end, giving the reader something to think about.

Jarrod Rhodes said...

Thompson-Spires did a magnificent job of describing what our characters look like, their interests, and their behavior. He helped readers develop an image and thought process of our characters. Thomas-Spires also clarified our thoughts towards any characters that he introduces. Brother Man (Richard Simmons) aggressively approached Riley when he was ignored. The author clarified that normally Richard would not act in this way, but today, he felt disrespected by someone of his own race. If Thomas-Spires did not explain Richard's aggression, the readers would probably assume him to be the aggressive type. The author's organization of the characters' different scenarios was confusing at first, but it all made sense when they all show relation with one another. Paris Larkin and Riley had a lover's relationship, Riley and Richard were both unarmed black men that were killed by a police, and Kevan Peterson and Paris Larkin both are artist who expressed their sorrow for the death of Riley and Richard. Thomas-Spires's black networking shows talent for creativity and organization.
Jarrod Rhodes

Jason Newman said...

The "black network narrative by Thompson-Sires is creative and very descriptive. This creativity is not seen in many stories I read and caused me to be invested in this story. The vivid descriptiveness caused me to picture every detail of the character in my head. He used this descriptiveness to show how black people can have many different personalities and act in different ways. When the author described Riley, he explained how even though Riley has straight blonde hair and colored contacts, doesn't mean he wants to be white or is gay...he just wants to express himself.
-Jason Newman

Amarie McCleary said...

I think the "black network narrative" leads me to consider that all black people are different and unique in their own way(s) basically changing how society or white people try to make us look. While reading this section I believe Thompson-Spires did an amazing job as a storyteller she presented the description and everything else as a piece of art. The way she connected each fact to a specific person at the right time as well as captivating my attention to continue reading as well as painting the perfect picture for me to visualize as I continued to read. She described everything I wanted to know as she unpacked every emotion of each person perfectly!

Kehajana Tallie said...

I think Thompson-Spires did an amazing job as a storyteller. I love how she showed that black people are not the same and that she does not use the average stereotypical black person. The black people in this story were unique and different. Black people are so much more than people make us out to be and I feel like she did an amazing job explaining this through the story.

Sarai WB said...

Thompson Spires as a storyteller likes to think about realistic problems with weird unordinary characters. Spires is very descriptive and gets to the point of things. One thought i had while reading is even though these are African American characters some people are able to relate to them or the storyline especially the situation between Riley and Brother Man (Richard Simmons).
-Sarai WB

Amir M said...

Nafissa Thompson-Spires is a storyteller that likes to think outside of the box and get in touch with her creative side as far as creative writing. Thompson-Spires also likes to touch on realistic issues that are relevant in today's society. The author shows this by decribing how Riley looks with his blonde hair and blue eyes. In today's society, people of ceratin races who change their appearance to look like another race would be deemed as insecure by society because people would think that they suffer from self hate.

Aerin T. said...

This “black network narrative” showed me that Thompson-Spires is a very creative and unique storyteller. The organization of the stories makes it seem like it’s all over the place, but you are easily able to connect each of them with each other. As well the commentary that she uses for clarity was an interesting way to provide detail of each character.

Unknown said...

I think the black narrative mostly shows creativity. Thompson-Spires is very unique that it makes it seem as if the story is all over the place. She shows realistic things that happen in the real world in very unique ways. She shows that all black people are not the same with Riley having blonde hair and blue eyes. She shows that you shouldnt stereotype anyone.


-Dakahi L

Kamari Washington said...

The story did leave a Bitter taste in my mouth with the outcome, the situation only began with a lack of commutation and different backgrounds in terms of their interests. If Riley and Bruh Man had the chance to work out their differences, they could have seen the reason they began fighting was just misinterpretation of one and the other due to high tensions.

Unknown said...

The "Black network narrative" leads me to consider about Thompson-Spires as a storyteller that she has a very creative type of writing style and when she writes her stories every character is going to be different as if it were a true story. Her as a writer really clings to the amazement of african americans and how much there wis to learn about one another.


-Jimmiela Patterson

Me-Na S. said...

This “black network narrative” leads me to consider that Thompson-Spires as a storyteller and her creative approach to telling this story is an opened-mind way to deliver the “black network narrative.” one of the writers' organizational approaches was the choice of words and unique style of sequence of events within the telling of the story. It connects a variety of African American because the statement “riley was wearing the wispy swooped version of his bangs and listening to drake or Fetty, and he was black with blue contacts and bleached-blond hair.” the idea of diversity in a creative approach show a different level of analyzing.

Alexis Price said...

This "black network narrative" leads me to consider that Thompson-Spires storytelling is very different from other author's like the character Riley and how he has blue contacts and bleached hair but he isn't self hating and explains how he isn't a typical African American male . The Thompson-Spires tells the stories of two other people . Thompson-Spires somehow makes the perspectives of different people flow together and come together .

Jessica said...

Jessica Rhodes said...
The black network narrative allowed me to see a beautiful piece by Thompson-Spires. I am aspired by the creative thinking and how brilliant the author was willing to go to prove her point. She showed a side on how she felt about African Americans by having her characters be toxic towards another. I like how she uses realistic issues that still goes on in todays society.

Zariyah Reid said...

Zariyah Reid - 10/15/2021
This narrative leads me to consider that the author is an advocate for the black community. The author tackles everyday issues that African American people experience such as stereotyping. I had many thoughts about the creativity that connects this author to many artists. One of those many thoughts is that she is indeed an artist herself. Nafissa thoroughly describes visual art work and draws pictures in the readers minds.

Unknown said...

I think that Thompson-Spires' work shows that she is a very creative author who adequately and uniquely tells her story through the narratives of the characters. Her characters in this story are realistic, yet individually unique. Her writing style does not seem traditional to me, with it seeming to jump from place to place, but she uses her writing style to further her story. She uses this method to show how diverse the black community is.

-Cierstin Nichelson

tyria said...

Nafissa Thompson-Spires is a storyteller that likes to think outside of the box. She talks about hard topic where as other authors avoid them because they don’t want to be criticized. She showed that not all African Americans are the same by having a unique character. In today's society, people of ceratin races who change their appearance to look like another race. This act would be seen as different because people would think that they suffer from low self esteem.


-Ty’Ria R

tyria said...

Thompson-Spires writing is out of the box and very creative. She gives a different take omw African Americans. She created a character very different than how they are seen in the real world. In today’s world African Americans are seen in a certain way and when they try to fit in they are seen as insecure.


Ty’Ria R

Anonymous said...

The black network narrative that is mentioned in the story tells me that Thompson-Spires understands the pain that black people share. It shows me that she understands that no matter how complex of an identity black people have, there is always an underlying struggle that all black people will go through. It gives me the idea that she can turn any tough experience into a story.



Dayevion M.







Anonymous said...

Thompson-Spires is a very detailed storyteller. The "black network narrative" was able to reveal to me how different and peculiar black people truly are. Reading this story, I was able to make significant connection with characters. Thompson-Spires also gave readers a different perspective to see things through from her storytelling.


Akuchukwu O

Anonymous said...

Thompson-Spires is a very detailed storyteller. The "black network narrative" was able to reveal to me how different and peculiar black people truly are. Reading this story, I was able to make significant connection with characters. Thompson-Spires also gave readers a different perspective to see things through from her storytelling.


Akuchukwu O

Anonymous said...

Thompson-Spires is a very detailed storyteller. The "black network narrative" was able to reveal to me how different and peculiar black people truly are. Reading this story, I was able to make significant connection with characters. Thompson-Spires also gave readers a different perspective to see things through from her storytelling.


Akuchukwu O

Marquis P said...

What intrigued me the most about the writing of Thompson-Spires, is her ability to portray each of the 4 characters and how they ultimately connect with one another. She provides the reader several examples of stereotypes made against black people, that are simply false generalizations. Overall this was a very interesting read for me, which covers pertinent issues in our society.

Charlesha W. said...

This story shows me that the author is very creative in her storytelling and wants others to really engage in her writing. She's very creative when it comes to her writing because instead of following the typical stereotype of black people, she wanted to be different and describe her character as black with blue colored contacts and blonde hair. She also able to allow her characters to all connect in someway even though their all in different situations.

DeMarco Smith said...

I feel that Nafissa Thompson-Spires is an intelligent and creative writer. Although she may have organized the stories in a weird order if you really pay attention to what is being said you can connect different pieces together on what she is talking about. I also love how she describes Riley's looks talking about his blonde hair and blue eyes because in some situations people hate on another person because of how they changed their appearance. This is something you see almost every day another person talking down or talking about the way a person is because it is not normal for that race to have those characteristics.

Brian Phillips said...

Thompson-Spires is a very meta author, aware of the cognition of his audience he attempts to curb any preconceived notions they may have. Although in this chapter we see many perspectives from many different black people with different backgrounds Thompson-Spires never allows these characters to be simple caricatures of themselves. By going in depth on all of the character the audience is allowed to decide for themselves what right and wrong is. Overall Spires is an incredibly well versed author who creates a truly in depth world using a creative meta commentary that takes full advantage of the 3rd person point of view of the story.

Sealaya W said...

Thompson-Spires use of "black network narrative" shows creativity and uniqueness in her writing as writing about different kinds of people and connecting them all to one main purpose can be difficult especially, when writing about a specific ethnicity or race. The approach of this chapter was very interesting because, it isn't a common approach. Thompson-Spires writes in a way that is creative, witty and intriguing however, she ties it to real world issues. Police brutality, question of Blackness and categorizing of Black people are all very real issues within society.

-Sealaya W

Jalen Q. said...

Thomas-Spires is from what I read is really good at making more understandable. Not only that but she is also very descriptive. Her descriptions are not just to add words, they actually serve a purpose to the story she is trying to tell. In this story specifically she describes a lot about Riley and how he looks. This was done to make a point about how people who wear or do things from another race of people are just self-hating.

Ty'Ria Rounds said...

Thompson-Spire is a unique and creative author. She creates character in such a unique way. She depicts African American characters in a way that they would not be seen in real life. In todays society if anyone tries to change themselves they are seen as having a low self esteem.

Ty'Ria Rounds

Deaunzze T said...

Thompson-Spires presents themselves as a creative writer in this story. The way that the four stories were woven together without the author explicitly stating that they were linked was different. This story was a challenge to the people who see Black people as a certain stereotype as for what they like, how they dress, act, etc.

Deaunzze T

Heaven Watkins said...

This “black network narrative” leads me to consider that Thompson-Spires is a creative author. I love how the author writes about different people in the story and they all have their own personality. The author also ties the book to real world events such as police brutality's. Overall the author is a great author who thinks outside of the box. She has the stories well organized as well. I

Theeonjanae phelps said...

They were very creative when creating the plot and roles for the characters. Thompson-spiries explores how race and class function in America. In the story, she talks about the appearance of one of the characters being ground upon. They say he's not comfortable with his race because of the way he dresses and carries himself. so many people go through this every day and sometimes they are even called mean nicknames like uncle tom.
-Theonjanae Phelps

Leea S. said...

The black narrative that Thompson-Spires does with the story is really creative. She makes you really think about what's going in today's society. Like, just because Riley is black with blue contact lenses and blonde hair doesn't mean he hates himself or that he only goes for white or Asian women.

-Leea S.

Devin Perry said...

The way Thompson-Spires used "black network narrative" made me as the reader even more engaged in her story. I found it very interesting and unique how she was able to tie the different stories together. In a way she makes think about the real world. We all think we are seperated and have our own things going on but in reality we are connected and our stories intertwine. The way that she was able to capture this in words was in a way quite beautiful. It is overall sad that tragedy was thing that brought them together but it overall it was great writing and story telling.

-Devin P

Unknown said...

Black network narrative led me to consider the unique and different ways to describe things and people as Thompson-Spires did. I thought that it was very creative for her to explain how pointy someone makes their hair. This also made me think more about how diverse people of color can be rather they are part of the same race or not. -Meikiyia R.

Unknown said...

Black network narrative led me to consider the unique and different ways to describe things and people as Thompson-Spires did. I thought that it was very creative to for her to explain how pointy someone makes their hair. This also made me think more about how diverse people of color can be rather they are part of the same race or not.
-Meikiyia R.

Sydney Laneice Piggott said...

The black network narrative brought me to think about the differences and similarities of the characters. All though they are all of color, they all have their own experiences. The book shows how race/color can really put you into a casting system from the day you are born. I find that really interesting because I've felt that way my entire life.

Raven Simmons said...

When reading this story the Black Narrative was very unique. It’s a story that connects to a variety of African American characters which is fascinating. Not only does it connect to characters but as well as today’s society; which brings up so much light to the picture about the setting it is trying to portray. You can put together feelings and emotions based of the tone of the story. That’s one thing I find interesting about the story.

Raven Simmons said...

When reading this story the Black Narrative was very unique. It’s a story that connects to a variety of African American characters which is fascinating. Not only does it connect to characters but as well as today’s society; which brings up so much light to the picture about the setting it is trying to portray. You can put together feelings and emotions based of the tone of the story. That’s one thing I find interesting about the story.

Brandon Wiles said...

This “black network narrative” leads me to think Thompson-Spires is a creative writer who may not think like the average writer. The style of writing and the way it is organized is very different from the way I usually see stories being told. The way this is written it's kind of like a bounce around of details leading up to the final main point. It's nice to see this author is able to connect so many different perspectives to the same conclusion. This author clearly has negative opinions towards the typical black stereotypes and very well may find them idiotic to begin with. But it is great to get those little tidbits of information, or how they feel in between them telling the story of these four different black characters. It also makes me happy to see an author depict a honest view of a piece of true blackness while hinting at how wrong stereotypes are.

Anjel V said...

I think that the "black network narrative" works for this piece because it shows how quick society makes concrete stereotypes. I feel like the way that she set up the descriptions of the characters then reveals their race, kind of makes the reader take a step back little. This is the aspect of her writing that makes her different and has the readers interested. I think that she uses this method of writing too also show how diverse people of color can be. We come in many shades and many body types, and have very beautiful features about us. IN a way, I think she used the black network narrative as a statement that black people can do it all and still maintain their culture.

Gabrielle S. said...

The black network narrative opened my eyes to a lot. Even though we are different we also can be the same. Thompson-spires definitely thought outside the box to educate us. Just because you are one color doesn't mean that you can't do or engage in certain things. Riley's description being so unique in the black community goes to show that. it's what's on the inside that matters.

Damen W. said...

The black network narrative leads me to believe that Thompson-Spires is trying to convey black people as hiding behind a mask. The book constantly uses white characterizations just to later reveal they are actually black. I feel like Thompson took a different approach to address how black people feel the need to hide their true beauty to please society. I also noticed that though all these characters are hiding, they all go through different situations when their true identity is brought to the light and/or they are called out on it.

Tateaundra W said...

I think that Thompson Spires is very creative especially with how she detailed and described every little thing throughout the book I loved it. The story connected well together and related to real events in our community by the stereotypes that black people get by doing something different than other black people would do or like to do and also showed no matter what racism would always be there.

Zaria Wiley said...

Based on the style of Nafissa Thompson-Spires writing in this story, she strikes me as the type of author who likes to make her work feel as personal as possible to the reader. She takes a somewhat common narrative, and adds a new perspective. She gives a detailed analysis of each character, which emphasizes the points that they are human just like everyone else, and that they may not fit into the stereotype of who people assume they are based upon their appearance.

-Zaria Wiley

Zaria Wiley said...

Based on the style of Nafissa Thompson-Spires writing in this story, she strikes me as the type of author who likes to make her work feel as personal as possible to the reader. She takes a somewhat common narrative, and adds a new perspective. She gives a detailed analysis of each character, which emphasizes the points that they are human just like everyone else, and that they may not fit into the stereotype of who people assume they are based upon their appearance.

-Zaria Wiley

Ian Lindsey said...

The "black network narrative" Thompson-Spires is a very competent storyteller. She has the ability to be extremely creative but still tell a relevant story. For example, we were given information on Riley being a cosplayer and Brother Man (Richard Simmons) being an intellectual person in a misleading package. They both are interesting characters with interesting backgrounds which led into an encounter between them.

swither@siue.edu said...

I think that Thompson-Spires shows her creativity by going into depth by creating connections between the characters' reality and the other people's perception as they navigate their individual struggles. She shows other people to see what she has to offer about her storytelling and to see if you can see the connection that is happening with the stories she wrote. My thought on her creativity is different to other stories that I have read because she helps you understand what the people in the stories are going through in more depth whether they were happy or they were in despair. She also goes into depth about real things that happen in the world like that there are some black people who are single parents or some black people like to change up their style to fit their personality.

- Sydney.W

Ian Lindsey said...

The "black network narrative" Thompson-Spires is a very competent storyteller. She has the ability to be extremely creative but still tell a relevant story. For example, we were given information on Riley being a cosplayer and Brother Man (Richard Simmons) being an intellectual person in a misleading package. They both are interesting characters with interesting backgrounds which led into an encounter between them. -Ian L.

Unknown said...

The creativity of Thompson spires seems to be sparked from real life situations which he then takes a second person omniscient approacj to really detail what is going on and the order it usaully happens

DeAndre W. said...

Thompson-Spires in "Heads of the colored people" Painted a vivid image of each characters traits such as looks. He showed that they all may be black but they don't necessarily act the same. The black network narrative was different I rarely see anyone describe people as Thompson-Spires does. Like his description of Riley the black kid with blue contacts and black hair.

Thompson-Spires really breaks down to us that your skin does not define you. You define yourself. Thompson-Spires did a great job tying all four stories together.

DeAndre W.

Brandon Wiles said...

This “black network narrative” leads me to think Thompson-Spires is a creative writer who may not think like the average writer. The style of writing and the way it is organized is very different from the way I usually see stories being told. The way this is written it's kind of like a bounce around of details leading up to the final main point. It's nice to see this author is able to connect so many different perspectives to the same conclusion. This author clearly has negative opinions towards the typical black stereotypes and very well may find them idiotic to begin with. But it is great to get those little tidbits of information, or how they feel in between them telling the story of these four different black characters. It also makes me happy to see an author depict a honest view of a piece of true blackness while hinting at how wrong stereotypes are.
Brandon Wiles

Trista Mazyun said...

The black network narrative made me think about the differences that people have, even people who are apart of the same race. Thompson-spires created many different characters who were all black but all so different. They also kept readers intrigued because we were all expecting one thing out of certain characters but ended up getting another. The author taught me to not judge people based off of the first thing i see, or my first impression and to always get to know people because they could be totally different from the perspective i created based off of their looks.

Mar'Taejia Murphy said...

While reading this story Thompson-Spires made me feel that she is a very creative person when it comes to writing.Also she thinks bright and outside of the box.I feel like the author did a great job with executing the characters with this lifestyle. Most black people could relate or connect to her writings etc.

Jordan Rowe said...

The black network narrative led me to the differences in the characters and how creative the author is to point out small details and characteristics about the black men in the story. Also leads me to the similarities and the uniqueness of the characters. The author was able to capture her image into words and was able to intertwine all the separate stories into one. She also spoke about some of the things in the passage happen in real world situations

Kiara Umana said...

As a storyteller, I think of Thompson as the type to bring out the inner darkness of the "black network narrative". I think he's using the gentle network narrative to bring in the anticipation of just knowing that the African-American society is individually fighting for their own beliefs each and every day. The style of writing the author used to bring these different stories together was in my opinion a rare technique used in storytelling, but it was as if we were watching a movie be played out through the words.

Kiara U.

Anonymous said...

Thompson-Spires is an author with a possible knack for polyperspectivity in storytelling. As I read the characters' individual stories, I could not help but think what the main storyline is. As I reached the end of the reading, of course, all the components fit well together. Though disheartening, the exclusion of the main events made the story much more impactful in the end. I was able to feel a level of connection with the characters because of this use of a "black network narrative".

-Jaisha S.

Devin Willis said...

I believe this style of writing is much different than others. It’s unique how she talks about different topics, but still on the same title. The exclusion of the main events made the story much more impactful in the end.
She also spoke about some of the things in the passage that happen in real world situations.

Erin Myers said...

ArTerrious T.:

As a writer, Nafissa Thompson-Spires has extraordinary creativity as far as the black network narrative goes. In the story, he simultaneously describes and fuses different times with the different societal norms and culture through the character's uniqueness.

Destiny M. said...

The “black network narrative” shows a different perspective of life and creativity through this
thompson-spires portrayed that.

Destiny M. said...

The “black network narrative” shows a different perspective of life and creativity through this
thompson-spires portrayed that.

tyra OLIVER said...

reading this story made me look at things different. She did a good jobs on this story. One thing i got out this story was think before judge someone else. i love the story.

Calviana S. said...

Thompson breaks out of the box of writing creativity when being compared to different writings. The author uses irony to portray certain topics and stories such as the blue eyes blonde hair stereotype. You don’t traditionally see those of color with those features although it’s not impossible.

Madison Wilkins said...

I believe that Thompson-Spires is a very unique writer with the very interesting details she includes in this book. I also believe that the writer put every detail in the story so it could all fit together throughout the storyline. I could relate to the different characters on different things that I never knew I could relate to with anyone given the "black network narrative" the writer includes.

Samuel Msengi said...

The storyu presents itself to go against the mold when they go against the mold of the typical archtype for black characters in fiction, which I really found interesting.

Rashad Pipkins said...

Thompson-Spires potrays the "Black Network Narrative" in a way that allowed the readers to view things possibly different. She was able to advocate for the African American community, as she is apart of the community as well. She was able to do so in a subtle way. She didn't come on too aggressive, but she made sure that her points where able to get across effectively.

Erin Myers said...

Anozha S.:

Nafissa Thompson-Spires Is a talented author who appeals to her readers emotions using ethos. She addresses the pressing yet controversial topic of police brutality against black men and showed 4 different view points, however she never gives her personal stance.

Erin Myers said...

Starteese S.:

Reading the story black network narrative by Nafissa Thompson Spires lead me to think that she is great writer and she brings a lot of relatable ideas to her writing. The most interesting aspect of Spires’ narration is how she creates a lot of different characters and situations which they all end up facing the same struggles because they’re black.

A’nya Wilkes said...

The black narrative network that Nafissa Thompson spires shows that she is great at building characters. Through this unraveling and building of different perspectives, we got to see characters in their own light. Not just one point of view. One thought I had about her stylistic approach is I love that it doesn't go in chronological order. Each person is a story within a story. It was nice to see fully fleshed black characters.

Airyanna Swanson said...

The Black narrative network shows how good Nafissa Thompson is at building characters for her book the heads of the color people. I think Nafissa has a lot of great ideas with the book. What I found interesting is that although the characters are going through different things in their life, they all face the same struggles in the world because they are African - American.

Gabrielle S. said...

Reading this book enlightened me on how imperil it is to not judge a book by its cover. I loved how Nafissa Thompson made Riley such a dynamic character. Breaking barriers that all African Americans are this one certain way
- Gabrielle Simmons

Zoriah Mayberry said...

The black network narrative has helped me better understand how characters in this story will soon interact with each other through their similarities and differences. The authors organizational approach connected to the story very well because of how it describes the characters backgrounds, this approach also helps us to, better understand the characters personalities. Even though it can get confusing at times when the author is explaining the characters.

Zoriah Mayberry said...

The black network narrative has helped me better understand how characters in this story will soon interact with each other through their similarities and differences. The authors organizational approach connected to the story very well because of how it describes the characters backgrounds, this approach also helps us to, better understand the characters personalities. Even though it can get confusing at times when the author is explaining the characters.

Shelby Taylor said...

The "black narrative network" lets me show that Thompson-Spires as a story teller is very unique in her own way. As her writing as much creativity and that I believe she likes to think outside of the box with the many ideas that she has expressed. Even though there are many different characters there are mentioned in their own way. There isn't only one point of view on each character, as there are many different points of view for each character, to show these characters in their own little type of light. Even though these stories are not in a chronological order. Even though it's not in a chronological each person has a story within the story being told, so show all the unique things about these black characters in their own way.
- Shelby Taylor

Unknown said...

This Black narrative that Nafissa Thompson Spires shows that she is very inspirational and also shows that she is very dedicated to her work and it shows in the reading. you can see that she has a very intelligent mind and great personaility it shows in her book. I love how she tells her story and how she talks about things that are real today so you can see that connection between her and the reader or even if you don't go through these things she still opens others mind about the things that we think about today.

Omari Riley said...

Nafissa Thompson-Spires writing was very creative and implemented a lot of figurlative language. It was orignal and was different from any other story about "black struggles" She did a great job developing the characters personalities and stories. You can tell she wanted to convey the messages she wanted readers to know. I think the stories would really pull a lot of readers in and keep them wanting more.

Gerald Quincy Powell said...

Thompsons use of figurative language, and build up of characters make believe that Thompson is a great writer. Thompson brings calmness to the topic through her cadence of writing, while addressing controversial topics. She goes in depth about a character, getting exallent details about them, making it easy for the readers to imagine exactly what she is trying to get across.

Ryan Parham said...

The black narrative that Nafissa Thompson creates shows that she is creative and detail oriented. I say this because she doesn't have a character that is the same, similar yes but that's because all of them are black. Every character has a different theme which is really interesting. She also uses great detail when describing things without making it too much. By her doing this she is allowing the readers to create their own image but keeping the images to her standards of what the character might look like.

Nikiyah Tipton said...

Nafissa thompsons story telling shows how shes very creative and outgoing when it comes to writing a narrative about the african american community.shes uses different perspectives about the african american community to bring together oe main idea,while still telling all the different aspects that make people different in the african american community.

-Nikiyah Tipton

Vashanti R said...

It redeemed to me that her writing styles decides to put African American characters in a situation where they go against the grain. i enjoyed the writing style of hers because it built up a lot of anticipation about what really was about to happen to the characters. It took me a minute to connect that the two of them explained in the story were the ones who were shot.

Unknown said...

Nafissa Thompson's writing style is one in where I can appreciate the imagery she provides a reader with and her attention to detail makes it easy for a reader to picture exactly what she wants them to picture. The way she describes Riley as wearing blue contacts and bleached blond hair making it seem as if Riley was not in touch with himself being black and she clears this thought that readers might have of him not fitting the description of a black person by mentioning he is indeed black and that yes there can be black people that can naturally have both of those things without the use of artificial accouterments.
-Jonah Wolfe

Janya Sanders said...

Nafissa Thompson makes sure that African Americans voices are heard. The black narratives helps readers better understand a black person through various different scenerios. She doesn't just create one setting, she tries to tackle many. She wants controversial issues among the African American soicety to be highlighted and solved. Her writing style is creative and expressive.

Unknown said...

Thompson Spires is a very creative writer and it is proven in her work. We are able to see multiple view points which is unique. Also, I am able to picture what is goin on. Her writing keeps me intrigued and wanting to read more. Her writing is definitely different but it works greatly! She is a very creative writer.

Jayla Walker said...

Thompson Spires is a very creative writer and it is proven in her work. We are able to see multiple view points which is unique. Also, I am able to picture what is goin on. Her writing keeps me intrigued and wanting to read more. Her writing is definitely different but it works greatly! She is a very creative writer.

Gabriel Scott said...

I found it interesting that while he created such a interesting character as Riley he connected the stories between three separate people all with one key factor that they were black.
-Gabriel Scott

Isiah Miller said...

By the story, characters, and the ways they interact, you can tell that Thompson-Spires is well versed in African American culture. She is able to make a realistic environment that involves African Americans and is natural at its core.

Erin Myers said...

Cicily L.:

The stories in Heads of the Colored People bring layer after layer of awe, humor, style, and vividness. All of that comes as Nafissa Thompson-Spires writing style is very organized and easy to read, and is easy to get lost in with the way the author just brings out all the detail.

Honesty Simmons said...

I thought the author did a wonderful job in portraying these characters with her relatable writing style. I think her writing is one many black people can feel connected to, because of all the typical stereotypes stated throughout the piece. Thompson Spires is a very creative writer and it is proven in her work. We are able to see multiple view points which is unique.

Ciaunna M. said...

The "Black network Narrative" shows how as a society they make stereotypes and these stereotypes is all we know. In the story, it's almost like Thompson is saying African Americans are always hiding themselves behind a mask and not revealing the real authentic self. The way she waits to reveals the face until the end keeps the reader drawn into the story.

Preston Wingo said...

In the reading from Thompson spires, one of the things that I recognized the most was how creatively she writes and you can tell that she is very smart because of the fact that she makes it feel as if we're in the book or chapter itself and she talks about things that we can all can understand today.

Terence Smith said...

In the reading, it talks about a variety of things but one thing that I notice about Thomson-Spires is that she talks with a very intelligent mind and you can see that she helps us by talking about things that we all can relate to. another thing that she does very well is adding emotion its almost like you don't want to stop reading and you can tell a lot about a author when they leave you wanting to read more.

Alayah W. said...

Thompson-Spires incorporates many stories that people can relate to. She writes about the different phases that African American men go through and the challenges they face during each phase. The emotion and creativity grabs the reader and allows them to use imagination. I really enjoyed the reading and some of it was even funny to me the things these characters go through and how they handle their realities.

Erin Myers said...

Jasmyne W.:

You can tell that Thompson-Spires has a very big imagination. She made sure she described every character . Which I found very interesting because she painted a whole different picture of what you would think a black male would look like. She also had examples of how our society today view black males which I liked because you do not see that often. Her choice of words is very unique . She did a good job at giving multiple viewpoints and helping us as readers understand more too.

Sarah Z Rollins said...

The author Thompson-Spires conveys a message distinctively to others in the situation and around the situation. The impact and judgment of others and the way they look at senseless acts of violence, which happens almost all the time is very sad, but then again vague of how many of us never really whole-heartedly understand until we're in those very same shoes. The sentence "And you should fill in yourself details of that shootings long as the constants (unarmed men, excessive force, another dead body)are included in those details)" is very alarming to me because I have brothers, uncles, cousins, friends, and a dad that could be in that same situation or instances at any time.

Niobe Young said...

The “black network narrative” shows me that Thompson-spires is just trying to explain multiple narratives through different lenses that can justify how wrong black people get killed is especially by someone who is supposed to sworn to protect you. I thought that in the beginning the stories were so different yet so connected In a way that it makes me believe that he did it that way on purpose. I think he wanted the readers to see that black people are just as normal as any other race and even included how riley did cosplay with his girlfriend and how them doing that doesn’t make them any less black, because at the end of the day both of them appreciate their blackness with Thompson mentioning Riley’s durag and the famous black sitcom Martin.

dorien phillips said...

the author Thompson Spires conveys the message that the black narrative is indeed true and through her creating writing she makes it relatable for us

Dorien Phillips

Erin Myers said...

Mackenzie L.:

I very appreciate Thompson-spires use of bon black stereotypes, especially the black cosplayer, I cosplay myself, it's creative because it shows that black people as a while can find.imtrenst and have quality's that are often looked at as "white people things."

Erin Myers said...

Kizito N.:

When reading “Heads of the Colored People: Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology”, what stood out to me about Nafissa Thompson-Spires’ black network narrative was how open and dynamic her vision was when it came to piecing together a compelling tragic story. A key takeaway was that there isn’t one definitive designation that all black people in this society have to adhere to. The main example of this would be with Riley and how he doesn’t fit the conventional description of a black male. Despite him not fitting the typical stereotype of his demographic, he still expresses a lot of self-love, rather than self-hate from not fitting in. He realizes that him not conforming to social norms doesn’t make him “less black” than everyone else. Evidence of that would be his very unfortunate and inhumane death at the hands of police, caused by the never-ending stereotypes directed upon the black community.

Erin Myers said...

Abigelle W.:

The black narrative shows that Thompson is a very creative and intelligent writer. She talks about current problems that are occurring to this day. She talks about how we shouldn't change for anyone because of the stereotypes that are put on people.

Erin Myers said...

Lauren M.:

The “black network narrative” is very creative as it leads the reader to tap into their unconscious stereotypes. The author introduces their readers to the idea that people can look different and still face the same societal issues. She describes these people so vividly that you have no choice but to picture them in your minds.

india phillips said...

In the story the author talks about characters in her novel that talk about black people in a different light.Like for a example riley is a black teenage boy and he likes to wear blue color contacts and bleached blonde hair. you don't usually see that character in a black network narrative.
-india phillips

Unknown said...

I like how Thompson spires wrote the arrangement of the story "Heads of the colored people". To me that's very creative and how she made them all connect and eventually cross paths. As a storyteller Thompson really knows how to get a reader on the edge of their seat. When I found out that riley and brotherman were soon to become victims of police brutality and kevan would be the one drawing them it felt surreal. At that moment I finally understood and connected all the pieces thats when I noticed her artistic capabilities were out the roof. Specially with the ways he introduced and described riley character.
Emyia K.

Janelle said...

The black network narrative showed me that Nafissa Thompson Spires is a very creative writer. She sees things in a very unique and different way. Reading this showed me that the writer really values self love. Just because Riley is into different things from his peers doesn't mean that he as a whole is different he still loves himself no matter what and so does his girlfriend. The author really takes you through the story clearly so you know each detail about what's going on in the story. She is the kind of author that writes about real events that the readers can connect to. It was very interesting how she ended this as she connected all the characters in Kevans drawing. That's what interests me the most.

Erin Myers said...

Leroy P.:

The narrative "black network narrative" made my overall opinion and respect grow for Thompson-
Spires as a writer in general. Thompson-Spires managed the attempt to just alone write about
multiple people's stories and how they connect can be a difficult task itself. This chapter also shows that many people feel this way about situations like the ones she explain in the book today and she connects with us on a personal level and when you can do that you know that a good author wrote this book /chapter of the book.

Taniah Pinkney said...

I like this book that Thompson wrote About Color people and how they going through it in life. And there’s not really so much of colored novelist writers out there that talks about what they see you’re going through in life. This is why a lot of colored people can’t relate to this book in some standers. And I also like how she shows the image and her writing that tells a story a nuisance away. And we can also like imagine feel what the Arthur is pudding in her book.

Erin Myers said...

Kaylin P.:

I think the “black network narrative” that Thompson-Spires used is very different in creative to put it simply. It is something that has not been done yet so can be viewed as confusing but overall once the central point is shown, the narrative does an amazing job at what it is trying to achieve. The creativity simply is just well thought out. Thompson-Spires used many different situations and connected them all which shows the theme of how people are connected in the world without even knowing it and that everything happens for a reason. For organizational purposes, I think the multiple perspective view is amazing because you can relate to one person or the other. It also shows the differences and similarities people have and makes the reader sympathize with them. Overall, it is a very refreshing way of writing and now that I understand the narrative, seeing more like this would be great.

Erin Myers said...

Jaden M.:

When reading this story that Thompson-Spires wrote is kind of an insight on the different type of black people in the world. She’s saying in some way that not every black person is the same and you can see that with Riley who’s not afraid to wear cosplay in public but he’s still naturally black and listens to drake and fetty wap. She writes these characters as they’re stereotypes about the black community. Thompson also is saying in a different creative way that all of us aren’t the same and we are normal people just like white people, but society doesn’t see us like that.

Erin Myers said...

Jordyn P.:

In this particular writing, it included separate stories about four individual black artistswhose lives all ended up intersecting in a way. The story showed how black people are perceivedin seemingly different ways with a narrow stereotype we should all fall under. On the other hand,it showed that despite the narrative, we do not all fall in that stereotype which was shown byRiley’s colorful personality. All in all, the writing showed that regardless of with the stereotypeholds to be true, both through life, and after, black people are commonly displayed in a negativelight no matter our true colors.

Erin Myers said...

Sophina K.:

I feel like the scene where Fatima meeting Violet and them becoming friends and Violet basically teaching Fatima how to be black is the most important scene to me. Black girls that go to private schools, have more white friends than black friends, dress and speak differently or how black people would put it ‘talking white’ are always being outcasted by the black community. (Page 69)