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Published WritingTV/Film Reviews

Being Mary Jane S4E1 Review: Too Much Sex in the New City

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Originally published on TheRoot.com Being Mary Jane is back for a fourth season, and Mary Jane Paul is still pompously lacking in self-awareness. While we open to M.J.'s 6-inch heels sauntering down the hallway to a sexy song, it doesn’t take long for M.J. to almost completely unravel in her most vulnerable space: her sexuality and pursuit of love. The show picks up by fast-forwarding a year from where the finale left off. The cliffhangers of Niecy’s assault by the police during an erroneous traffic stop and Patrick’s pill-popping straining his relationship with his father, Paul Sr., who is grappling
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Published Writing

Gabby Douglas and the Damning of Black Women

Originally published on TheRoot.com In her two Olympic appearances, Gabby Douglas has ignited much discussion, both for her accomplishments and for what others perceive as her less-than qualities. On the very shallow end, we have the comments made about her edges—which, when you have a certain texture of natural hair, no matter how much you brush them or gel them down, when you are sweating and working out, they will bead up. This harks back to a false reality precipitated by the commercialization of the natural-hair movement, in which the golden standard is silky natural hair with edges that can
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Published Writing

On Experiencing the Dallas Mass Shooting | #BlackLivesMatter

This is a lot to unpack. I've written two posts on this. One on @Medium: I experienced a mass shooting. The words sound heavy but they feel so empty. I am alive, physically whole though confounded with the feeling thatthis happened all to0 easily. Read the post, I Experienced the Dallas Shooting | The All American Mass Shooting Experience. Then one for the Dallas News: Then in a blink, the air was snatched from the lungs of Dallas. Shots rang out, and the crowd ran in the other direction. I made it home at 4 a.m., after what has now become the
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Culture

Why Purity is Good, but Purity Certificates are Bad

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When Brelyn Freeman married Tim Bowman earlier this month, it was clear that love was in the air. But upon lurking through the wedding hashtag on Instagram to see what her dress looked like, we were quickly stopped in our tracks as Brelyn Freeman stood gleaming next to her father with a framed certificate in hand. The certificate of purity was signed by her gynecologist confirming that her hymen was still intact, and it was presented to her father, Mike Freeman, in honor of the covenant that she, at age 13, as well as her siblings, made to their father,
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Culture

Are You Frustrated With the Word ‘Female’?

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Female, a word that seemingly has been a part of our everyday vernacular since forever, is the latest hot-button topic in the war regarding what you can and cannot say. Earlier this year, Jezebel’s Kara Brown singled out the problem with calling women “females,” unpacking how the term made her feel. Then, most recently on MTV’s Uncommon Sense With Charlamagne tha God, host Charlamagne broached the topic, though he and his male panelists were left befuddled over why the word was even a thing. It was left to a woman, pop-culture commentator Crissle, to attempt to explain why the discussion deserved
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Politics/Race

Using Faith to Burden the Bodies of Conservative Black Christians

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It’s been 42 years since Roe vs. Wade made abortions a legal procedure in the United States and conservative politicians with their eyes on the White House are still using anti-abortion rhetoric as part of their campaign messages. At the same time, a push toward defunding Planned Parenthood has taken prominence in Congress as GOP lawmakers paint the organization as the last bastion of abortion clinics. Embattle Kentucky county clerk, who had been jailed for denying marriage licenses due to her opposition to same-sex marriage, recently switched her political affiliation from Democrat to Republican. She also says Pope Francis even
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African DiasporaPublished Writing

Are Black Americans Appropriating African Culture?

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Appropriation. The latest word every one wants to use, hurling it at one another with faux intellect. As soon as you see it in an article or headline, you sigh because it’s either, “I can’t believe they are pulling this stunt again ,” or it’s a tiring and confusing tirade that has been conflated far past the point of making sense. Occasionally a darling steps in, like Amandla Stenberg, and gracefully adds clarity on how the topic should be addressed. Other times, we’re left with the divisiveness that Zipporah Gene penned as she told black Americans to stop appropriating “African”
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Politics/Race

Why White People (+ Piers Morgan) Need to Give Up on Discussing the N-Word.

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It is amusing that in 2014 so much polarizing discussion around race has been bubbling over in spurts as social media rallies, rages and questions, as think-pieces and exposes are delivered. Most recently the Washington Post had a front page interactive feature on the etymology of the n-word. From Niger to negra, negro, nigger and the modern euphemism nigga, WaPo in response to the NFL banning any form of the n-word, attempted to dissect the highly controversial phrase and how it has evolved through generations both in pronunciation and in public reaction. The best part of the WaPo piece is
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Beauty

Carol’s Daughter & the Burden of Black Business Owners

When David Karp, a lanky 28 year-old White high-school drop out sold his website, Tumblr, to Yahoo! to the tune of $1.1 billion he was lauded. He reaffirmed the stereotype of the techy white boy persona of hoodies, coding geek drop out turned billionaire tech start-up founder. Sent angel investors dashing to find the next hoodie wearing tech geek that can replicate a similar success story. All this even though at the time of sale Tumblr was not a profitable company. Fast forward to October 2014 with Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter sells her company to L’Oreal. A company
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Beauty

Please Stop Correlating Weaves as Being Hood…

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As of lately, as my audience has expanded beyond it’s core, whenever I post a picture, article, anything with or about weaves/wigs there is always a choir of “why wear weaves?” “why can’t you love yourself?” “she’s so ghetto with that weave” “weave wearing .” Or whenever I happen to venture over to the dark side of conservative reporting where in the “post-racial” society of today, publications like Thought Catalog amongst others will publish narratives to seek to demean Black people, by informing us that “You cannot find Jordans, rims, weaves or Quick Trips in Ferguson, MO.” Because at the
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Beauty

The Hair Vitamin Swindle: Do They Really Work?

Preface: I didn't mention this in the video or the article, but I do NOT think it is the responsibility of YouTubers (bloggers, etc.,) to hold the companies responsible for their marketing. This is a business, and I'm not knocking anyone's hustle. I simply wish the companies took the time to overall be more genuine and honest in their marketing, rather than just selecting folks that already have bountiful heads of hair. Same way I feel about other natural hair companies that are selling the myth of the curl -- just show the honest diversity and all will be well.
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#SmartBrownGirlPublished Writing

We Aren’t All Curly Girl [Politely Addressing, Texture Discrimination]

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Occasionally I write. Sometimes for other publications. In an effort to do better with letting folks know, here is the first article I wrote for Ebony.com. Walk down the aisles of any beauty supply store, scroll through the Twitter and Instagram feed, the Facebook pages and blogs dedicated to natural hair and it won’t take long to notice a particular schism among this "community" that claims to celebrate Black hair. It seems that a certain natural texture gets a lot more love than others. In the 1970’s, the Afro reigned supreme. You could see ads, TV shows and movies showcasing
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