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Learning to be human. Learning to love bigger.

The androgyny of the most powerful Pokémon was the first crack in my binary gendered world

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We’re two months into what’s set to be a year-long epic celebration of Pokémon 25. Today is actually the franchise’s 25th birthday. Normally, I’m the last person to get sentimental about Pokémon because even as a purebred 90s kid, I had like no enthusiasm for the cards, show, or game. But, then again, what’s a 90s childhood without Pokémon? Even I couldn’t escape its hold.

In a random moment of reflection, I realized one of those weird pocket monsters — Mewtwo, to be exact — wormed its way into my tiny childhood worldview some twenty years ago and did the


This month, I go back to the dawn of humanity to honor our Black Mother

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I’m ashamed to say I’ve never given Black History Month the honor it rightfully deserves. Instead, I’ve been apathetic, pegging it as the obligatory public school lesson plan each February so America could check off the “See? We’re not that racist” box.

But, really, my apathy came from hurt. Knowing I lived in a world that saw my dark-brown skin as inferior by default was one thing. But facing that same rejection in places I thought to find home was another. As a second-generation African immigrant, I struggled to connect to Black American History, let alone find belonging in Black…


The film villanized him instead of exploring the often neglected journey of the non-birthing partner

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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…


No country is exempt from the fragility of Democracy

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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 last shall be first…”

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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. …


Humor

A Holiday poem

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‘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…


It makes the absurdity of the movement much easier to forgive

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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…


Because nagging young folks to vote isn’t good enough

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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!

“Vote? Eh.”

Why is…


On reclaiming the sexiness of my Black sexuality

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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.

Pause.

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. …


Sometimes maturity is revisiting a weakness and seeing its strength

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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…

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