What I Miss?




What I Miss? is a project inspired by the life and legacy of B.Michael Hunter, a New York City-based Black Queer writer, educator, and community activist.

Imagine if B.Michael sat down next to you today and asked, “What I miss?” What would you tell him has transpired in your life, or any of the communities he was part of, or the world in general over the almost two decades since his passing in 2001?

As you arrive, in this moment, we invite you to take a breath . . . allow yourself to be welcomed into this soul-centered space. Think Kwanzaa meets Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), crossed with the kind of family reunion/block party where everyone’s presence is acknowledged — blood and chosen family, neighbors, exes, friends of friends, and even passersby who appreciate the vibe.

What I Miss? is a unique anthology in three parts.

The first showcases B.Michael’s poetry and other writing, much of which has never been published and certainly not all together in one place.

The second gathers work by people who knew B.Michael, or who were in some way impacted by him or his work. This includes folks who were inspired to respond after engaging with this site. Artists and advocates, teachers and colleagues, friends and beloveds have all responded to the call for submissions. Savor our harvest of messages for B.Michael! This collection will grow over time as we solicit additional contributions in a range of creative forms, which will be curated and posted periodically. We anticipate dispatches from the hubs and peripheries of B.Michael’s network.

The third provides a home to cultural artifacts from B.Michael’s life — photographic images, scanned documents, and other mementos, along with audio and video clips from a pre-smartphone era. Wherever relevant, items in this collection of Black Queer Life Matters have been linked to references that appear in his and other contributors’ works.

As significantly, we offer What I Miss? as a kind of mindfulness bell, a gentle yet insistent reminder that grieving, remembering, and being in gratitude are most meaningful as creative and communal practices. And as with any sacred ritual, we get to breathe into the specialness of this moment, our fierce interconnectedness, and the abiding presence of our descendants and ancestors, including B.Michael Hunter.

Thank you for pausing here with us. As you experience this site, we have a few requests.

  • Tell us in the Comments sections how What I Miss? affects you. What are you thinking and feeling? What are you curious about? What speaks to you? What moves you? What surprises you? What’s relevant to you and your communities?
  • If you knew B.Michael and have any pictures or other memorabilia, please consider emailing copies for posting to us here.
  • Whether or not you knew B.Michael while he was alive, consider that you know him now. What would you write, illustrate, testify, opine, riff, or kiki with or about? What would you choose to share from your unique perspective? Send B.Michael a message and tell him what he’s missed!


Johnny Manzon-Santos

Sheilah Mabry