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Awareness

Views from the Mecca: A History of Student Takeovers at Howard University

“You gotta to conform to the society in which you live. You got to live within it or outside of it. You can’t straddle the fence. Now are you going to live outside of the American culture or are you going to live within it? As long as you stay in America, you got to […]

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Awareness Coming-of-Age

A Conversation Between Greatness, Compromise, and Sacrifice

A conversation between Greatness, Sacrifice, Compromise—circa 2012—and someone who’s stupid enough to pretend these things aren’t interrelated. We’ll call that person,”G.” G: Alright. So check this out. I have all these plans I wish to accomplish and a lifetime to accomplish them. I know you’re in my future and I just have to put in […]

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Awareness Diversity Empowerment Equal Rights Identity Social Justice Stereotypes

Why It’s Not Okay to Call a Human Illegal and How Yoga Helped Me Speak Up

“We came to this country to unite, you need to show them we are here to work hard. That’s it. You show them by example not by arguing or crying.” Those were my fathers words when I was crying after somebody made a racist comment about Mexicans being lazy. I took my father’s advice to […]

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Awareness Blackness Empowerment Uncategorized

We.

brothas: you are right. They don’t care. They may never. but We do. don’t let their abuse become an excuse to relinquish your life and your heart. look at consider draw inspiration from your babies, siblings, aunties, daddies, nanas, mamas, spouses, loved ones, pop-pops, cousins, homies, uncles, mom-moms… …We. the lovers that take you in, […]

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Awareness Black Family Blackness Parenting

Open Letter From a Mother

Child, there is greatness in your lineage I won’t trace each and every root for you they’re too nappy Lord knows this tree been grown in some shit soil beady with miseducation southern fried and fatty but there was greatness here still is set in North Carolina cotton fields we had no business breaking mason […]

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Art Awareness Black Lives Matter Black-on-Black Crime Blackness Empowerment Film Masculinity Social Justice Stereotypes Urban Life

Why We Need Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq

It’s not wise to underestimate how movies can shape a young person’s life. Twenty years ago, when I was a teenager, Tales From the Hood played a tremendous role in my growing up. The movie, through an infusion of horror and humor, showed several stories dealing with racism and Black men growing up in urban […]

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Awareness Black Hair Black Women Blackness Coming-of-Age Identity Self-Care

Searching For Identity In the Realm of Black Hair

A few weeks ago, I stepped away from the kinky/curly hair community for a basic haircut. I’d re-entered the space with an understanding of how I revel in the fragmentation of the African-American community. While I question what it means to be united with other African-Americans, I used my hair to play up my self-worth. […]

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Awareness Forgiveness Relationships Self-Care

On Regrets: A Tribute

[For my Sagittarian Fairy Godwriters, Mr. Carter (b. 12/4) and Ms. Didion (b. 12/5). For me. So I may never forget.] During a dark autumn in my undergraduate years , I wrote in the top margin of a composition notebook page: No answer to these trick questions / No time, shit stressin’ / My life […]

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Awareness Black Power Coming-of-Age Education Personal Essay Self-Care

A Conversation With Truth

I found myself sitting in a confined space, with my knees grasped and pushed my forehead into the tops of my kneecaps. I let my fingers run angrily up and down the sides of my legs as the cadence of my inhale versus my exhale became more staccato in nature. I was burnt out. As […]

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Afghanistan Awareness Military Personal Essay

Life Away from the World

In 2007, I signed a contract that would forever change my life: a four-year agreement with the United States Marine Corps. I soon learned the true meaning of honor, courage, and commitment. At 20 years old, I had responsibilities that not many young men my age would regularly have. I trained hard and gave my […]