The Triple Threat: A Conversation with Michael Arceneaux

It’s been over a decade since we last chatted with Michael Arceneaux, the 2011 Esteem Award winner for Outstanding Blog for The Cynical Ones. Since then, he has written the New York Times bestselling “I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé” (2018); “I Don’t Want To Die Poor” (2020) and his upcoming hilarious collection of essays “I Finally Bought Some Jordans: Essays.” 

Michael has written or contributed to numerous media outlets, including Essence, NBC News, the New York Times, The Washington Post, Gawker, The Guardian, and The Root. His writings examine his Southern upbringing and touch on themes of race, sexuality, and class. We reached out via email to this ultimate Beyoncé superfan. In this short and sweet conversation, this soon-to-be triple-crown bestselling author shared the teas on his latest writing adventure.

PrideIndex (PI): Talk about your upcoming essay collection, “I Finally Bought Some Jordans: Essays,” Where did you find the inspiration for it? 

Michael Arceneaux (MA): I think when people read the title chapter, they’ll understand it better, but ultimately, it’s my way of acknowledging my progress and learning to be appreciative of the goals I’ve achieved while in pursuit of greater ambitions. 

PI: Your writings, “touching upon hot-button topics as race, class, sexuality, paying homage to the power and wisdom of Beyoncé?” What can your fans expect of this book? 

MA: I suppose it’s more of the same in terms of talking about race, class, sexuality, and Beyoncé, but I’d say not in the same tone. The book is darker in a lot of ways and has a broader collection of essays than the first two, which were more memoir/memoir-in-essay, so singular an overarching theme. I was worried that people wouldn’t find it as funny because that wasn’t the space I was in for much of it, but fortunately, people have still laughed while noting that it’s a bit heavier in some pieces. 

PI: How long did it take to complete this book from start to finish? 

MA: I have lost track of time since the plague, but I sold it at the end of 2020, and completing it took me a lot longer than I anticipated. It was originally set for release last May, but thankfully, I had more time. The last few years have not been kind to me and those I love most.

PI: Talk about your writing process and how you prepare just before you sit down and write?  

MA: As far as writing a book goes, doing a lot of cleaning before eventually forcing myself to sit down and work on my book while using an app that disconnects me from the internet for a set timeframe. 

PI: How did you come up with the title “I Finally Bought Some Jordans?” And how many pairs of sneakers do you own? 

MA: I was looking for a different title than the one originally attached to this book, and it felt right as soon as it came to mind.

And I have no idea. 

PI: When and where do you plan on speaking and signing this book? 

MA: You can check out my IG at @youngsinick for tour info and my site, michael-arceneaux.com

PI: What parting words of wisdom would you like to share? 

MA: Don’t add stress to your life when so many others will try and do it for you.