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Politics Urban Life

Trump Is Right about America’s “Inner Cities”–but Wrong on Everything Else

Donald Trump’s archaic use of the term “inner cities,” illustrates a couple of important points regarding where reality and urban revitalization meet. America is experiencing a historic tide of re-urbanization, and areas once called “inner city”—such as Harlem, New York City—are now hot property. So what was Donald talking about? He correctly notes the critical […]

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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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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 […]

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African Diaspora Art Fiction Urban Life

Spinach

This being her second visit to the grocery store, with its blinding fluorescent light and constant A/C, she came prepared. The wool sweater, a gift from her best friend back in Nairobi, smells of incense and coal, the scent of safe secrets, closeness, and familiarity. Its fabric caresses her chin as she exhales a memory […]

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Art Blackness Photography Urban Life

One Photo, One City

Philadelphia was everything that Boston could never be. After two miserable years of living in Massachusetts and desperately seeking an out, a weekend visit to Philly during the Odunde Festival did me in. The streets were crowded with black people. Their beauty was an overwhelming barrage to the senses. Booths burst with vibrant African prints. […]