Spoiler Alert: Major plot points are revealed
As a childbirth mentor and doula in training, I’ve learned that people’s first understanding of birth plays a role in the decisions and outcomes of birth. Often their first understanding comes from a movie they watched once upon a time. So, suffice to say, theatrical interpretations of birth stories deeply influence the cultural understanding of birth.
Movies like Netflix’s latest Pieces of a Woman can offer so much to the world about the experience, especially when husband and wife filmmakers Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Wéber took the bold step of weaving in their tragic loss in childbirth to tell a birth story we seldom want to hear. However, I can’t help but feel a missed opportunity. …
Regarding the Capitol's chaos, I feel too detached to have the same visceral reactions splattered on every corner of my Facebook feed and YouTube comments. Blame mental fatigue of waiting with bated breath for the next shoe to drop every couple of months this past year. Since I had nothing to add to the discussion, I read and digested the reactions. One particular set of comments about the attempted coup stands out to me, though. They are the ones relegating America to Third World country status.
It’s nothing new. Commentaries at the onset of the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic likened America’s handling to a Third World country. Third World countries have ironically faired better with the pandemic. Nonetheless, I doubt all these comments were objective observations not meant to shame the American government. In other words, they are condescending and — I try not to use this word lightly — racists. …
Honestly, I’m not comfortable joining the collective sentiment declaring this year as the shittest year on record. Having had health, food, and shelter for me and those I love, I feel way too privileged. That’s not to say— especially as a Black soul — that I was exempt from the grief this year brought.
However, I did find comfort in a line echoing in my head all year like a prophecy come true in 2020. It’s a line at the end of Story Time with Jesus. …
‘Twas some days before Christmas when all through the net
Capitalism was booming along with personal debt.
Online shopping carts are stacked virtually high
In hopes ‘Arrive before Christmas’ is not just a lie.
The couriers boasted they’d live to the feat;
The knights to save Christmas from 2020
Delivery workers, they all slaved away
Through ungrateful tweets of delivery delays.
Two days to spare, click ‘Track Package’ in panic
In hopes for ‘Delivered’ instead of ‘In Transit.’
Then, out on the street in the corner of my eye,
I spot what looks like is the UPS guy.
Now Walmart, now Target, now Amazon Prime;
USPS? FedEx? We’ll give you some time.
When hope seems lost, there’s one last resort:
A virtual gift card for food of some sort. …
I was raised by an aunt clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia — a woman I owe my life to. After twenty years of being a hopeless bystander to the ravages of mental illness, words like “crazy,” “insane,” or “lunatic” that easily roll off the tongue in this baffling political climate ring a bit differently. They’re not just a passing mockery or a logical way to make sense of what’s defied logic for four years. Commentaries alluding to Trumpism as mental illness leave me…conflicted.
Political podcast host David Pakman described the viral video of Paula White’s prayer for Trump’s election victory as “indicative of severe, untreated, maybe even undiagnosed mental illness.” In a sermon following the election results, Kenneth Copeland directed his megachurch to — what’s described as maniacally — laugh at the media’s declaration of Biden’s win. Another video of pastor George Pearsons flipping a table to illustrate God flipping the election hints at an unhinged community. …
I finally feel like a half-way decent American citizen. After 12 years of voting eligibility, 4 presidential election cycles, and 1 of which was the historic election of the first Black president, I finally gave a genuine F about voting.
It’s all thanks to the pandemic. Well, more specifically, it’s all thanks to the mail-in-vote option that allowed me to sit in front of my laptop, take all the time I needed to google every candidate and contest, and become grossly invested in some of the issues. Now, I can say…I get the hype over this voting thing!
Why is my political journey from apathy to actualization relevant? Because for a country that heralds itself as a beacon of democracy, we’ve been historically represented by only around 55.7% of the voting population. Elections for state officials and midterm elections have even more abysmal turnouts. Then, if we hone in on the statistics, it’s been significantly clear that young people ages 18 to 29 aren’t about that voting life. …
Anti-blackness is everywhere. Apparently, it’s even in my sex life. It showed up while watching my husband and me make love from the laptop screen. Even though our brown skin on display was a vision, like the blaring siren of an emergency broadcast announcement, a thought interrupted the show.
Black sex is unsexy.
How does a Black woman in the middle of an intimate moment with her Black husband of seven years, with historically only one of five partners outside her race, ever come to such a conclusion? The answer isn’t hard to find. …
Editor’s Note: This piece contains spoilers for ‘The Legend of Korra.’
Netflix’s re-addition of arguably the greatest show to grace television, Avatar: The Last Airbender, sparked the one silver lining of 2020: the Avatar Renaissance.
As a fan of 15 years, I’ve had the thrill of reliving the glory of the show while witnessing new fans like my 15-year-old cousin enthusiastically join the fandom. In addition to adding new fans, the Avatar Renaissance has also revived an age-old war: Avatar Aang vs. Avatar Korra.
It’s no secret that The Legend of Korra did not receive the same level of acclamation as its predecessor — a tall order for the sequel of such a well-received show. And if the Rotten Tomatoes scores alone are an indicator, no other season of the show gets as much hate as Book 2: Spirits. …
Urban Dictionary describes a car-ist as one who holds prejudice or discriminates “against those who are vehicle-less…” As someone with two toddlers living car-free by choice for over two years, it’s an injustice I’m all too familiar with.
Outside of Manhattan, we live in a society whose default is car ownership. Not just cars but SUVs. Always. With. The SUVs! Anyways, I’m tired of having to justify my lifestyle by making my choice about saving the planet. …
Fun Fact: Some of the Founding Fathers were only in their early to mid-thirties when they drafted the constitution. James Madison, known as the Father of the Constitution, was only 35. Hard to believe when it seems like sleepy white men in their mid-seventies run the country.
But imagine them as present-day 35-year-olds establishing what makes someone eligible to lead an entire nation. Oh, how much hope we’d have for the 2020 Election! Because I doubt just being 35 and Amurican would be enough.