Regina Duggins’ father was murdered when she was only three years old. “It has always played a pivotal role in my life,” says Duggins. “Violence is the end all.”

Duggins’ second book of poetry, Black Coffee: No Sugar, No Cream addresses violence, as well as “women empowerment, living in marginalized communities, the need for inclusion and diversity, police brutality in Black Communities, feminist issues, the importance of voting, as well as the promotion of this year as the Year of Women.”

While her first book of poetry, Black Magic which was released just last year — was written on a “broader scale,” Black Coffee was written to be specific, “It’s a chapter in my life. This one [Black Coffee] is starting to break it down, [to discuss] the time we are living in now.”

Duggins has created a Kickstarter for her book to help purchase materials and to help fund her travels — spreading her message is an integral aspect of her poetic activism. “I want to travel to other cities,” she says. “We need a concrete plan about gun violence and the laws … there are a lot of senseless deaths.”

The poet says she is hoping the these poems will spark Q&A forums in the community so that we can “start to bridge the gaps.” She acknowledges her medium as something that is palatable, words containing a message that can reach more and more people. 

“We can move people in all these directions, if it’s too structured they may not want to engage, we have to use the best avenue we can.” Donate to the Kickstarter here, and read an excerpt from the book below: 

I’m Black as my grandmother sitting on her front porch watching her life pass her by as she sits in her rocking chair and waves; wondering if the civil war really ended in those 1960 days because when she died in the 80s her life was still haunted by the KKK’s. I’m Black as walking through Charleston learning the experiences of my blackness as the nation tries to wipe our horrible cries away. My Black won’t disappear nor fade away because I wear my blackness like the American flag wore out its slaves. I don’t hide behind a pair of Louis Vuitton shades. I have an abundance of pride when I hear Black Lives Matter after another homicide. Sandra Bland-Our Black Coffee didn’t commit suicide. I know because I am Black Coffee: a hot flavorful drink made from roasted and grounded beans formed from tiny mustard seeds. I chose to live my life, ranting and raving each day. As I form powerful words in my head and let them slip as I take this last sip through my mocha chocolate lips. I’m always Grinding through life’s journey often times, feeling like a dark brown powdery substance with a strong scent. When people try to crush me. My coffee beans are too strong, they’re like stepping stones as they allow me to live out my life’s dreams.” — excerpt from Black Coffee

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.