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Personal Essay

The Forgotten Few

I was thirteen years old. I’ll never forget the sounds of the buckles, straps, and buttons on my football equipment. The three week old cut grass smell ran wild through the air as my teammates and I gathered into a circle for a helmet clashing session of post practice “bull in the ring.” You see, […]

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Art Beauty Nature Personal Essay Solidarity Writing

Special Delivery: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

Something out of the ordinary happened on Black Friday. I was actually in a shopping mall, shopping for something I needed. I had every intention of joining my friends at REI in “opting out” of the day after Thanksgiving spending frenzy, but there were a few critical items I needed for my next Joy Trip. […]

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Identity Personal Essay Writing

30 For 30: How Writing Changed the Gameplan

When I was seventeen, I already had a plan for the next twenty years of my life. There were goals I’d set for myself and being focused was mandatory in order to succeed in those objectives. Though I was young and mostly in the beginning stages of my knowledge, I had a strong sense of […]

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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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Black Family Coming-of-Age Personal Essay Religion

My Kind of Gospel

Yes, I’ll admit it. I was a choir boy. I was the seven-year-old that would have singing lessons with his grandma that wouldn’t end until I either held my notes longer than her, or practiced my scales to her pleasing. Embarrassingly, I wanted to be in the choir for many years, and when I finally […]

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Personal Essay Racism Travel Working Abroad

Hola, Morocha

As I maneuvered the shit-laden sidewalks of San Telmo, a gently gentrified neighborhood of Buenos Aires, I couldn’t help but hear the Sesame Street song “one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong,” playing from an imaginary loudspeaker. To see people’s reactions to me, you’d think I […]

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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 […]

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Caribbean Narrative Personal Essay Travel

Martinique

The best ideas happen around 3am. That’s my experience, at least. They tend to be superlative decisions if someone in the decision matrix is inebriated or otherwise compromised by more than mere exhaustion. Hence, when my inebriated host suggested I take an early morning ferry from the monastery in Saint Lucia where I was staying […]

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African Diaspora Coming-of-Age Personal Essay

Just a Citizen of the World

Who am I? Where am I from? I was born in Geneva, Switzerland, but people sometimes give me the look when I tell them I’m Swiss. I was told many times, “Go back home!” “Go back to Africa!” When I heard that, I kept telling them that I was born in Switzerland and therefore my […]

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African Diaspora Black History Black Lives Matter Blackness Documentaries Personal Essay Photography Travel Uncategorized Urban Life

Uncle Shadow and the Crescent City

There is something mesmerizing, yet indescribable about New Orleans. For as many times as I have been, I still don’t understand it. Yet, it’s one of the American cities I enjoy most. Whether it’s folks calling me “baby” or the ever-present Bounce remix thumping from sound systems worth more than the vehicles they’re in, ain’t nothing like […]