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Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Dear Level

A guide to not fumbling the bag

Whether it happens on the first date, after marriage, or any time in between, the first time you have sex with the woman you’ve been dating is a momentous occasion. It’s a moment that should be approached with an overwhelming display of curiosity, care, and concern for how both of you feel before, during, and after sex.

Your first time together can be erotic and lusty, but it can also be awkward and uncomfortable. How you treat each other after your first encounter is especially important, as it will set the tone for your relationship and sexual experiences moving forward.


In the wake of "missing White woman syndrome," society ignores missing Black women

As "Missing White Woman Syndrome" takes center stage in our national discourse, we've discovered a treasured member of the Black community went missing back in August. But we're just learning about her disappearance now.

When Kelly Price, a 48-year old R&B and gospel singer, went missing, her name should have made headlines. After all, songs like "Friend of Mine" topped the charts in the 90s. She's also known for singing backup and collaborating with artists like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Aretha Franklin. But, somehow, her story is just now making it to the front page.

As major networks appeared…


Late and incongruent decision-making has caused the President to fumble the country’s Haiti relief and border crisis (again)

At the top of the summer, Haiti appeared to have an ally in the United States. The distressed country has been corroded by political and financial corruption that has fostered extreme poverty and subsequent spikes in violent underworld activities — plights that were only intensified by the coronavirus pandemic. This was the case before Haiti’s cruel summer began. On July 6, Haiti President Jovenal Moise was assassinated in his home, causing more disarray throughout the once-rich and now-depleted nation. Then President Biden stepped up. At least, that was the perception.

On July 22, Biden appointed Ambassador Daniel Foote as the…


I was a man with no keys

Some years ago, I was headed into my West Village real estate office, worried about all the things a new business owner worries. Staff issues, overhead, clients, accounting were all weighing on my mind. Then, as I stepped off the F train at the West 4th station, I blindly walked into a strip of yellow tape while fiddling with my phone.

While blithely checking my emails, I nearly bumped into a transit worker. But, unfortunately, just beyond her lay the body of one of New York’s thousands of homeless individuals.

Growing up in the Bronx in the ’80s, you get…


BLACK LIVES MATTER

Systemic racism in media coverage ‘others’ Black and Brown women and desensitizes the public

Every year, over half a million people go missing in America. That's a lot of people wholly unaccounted for, gone without a trace. And, while society should pay a lot more attention to these disappearances across the board, the very little air time allotted to these cases centers almost exclusively on White women. Experts dubbed this racially homogenous coverage "missing White woman syndrome."

When 22-year old Gabby Petito went missing for three weeks, her case went viral on social media, with major networks universally picking up the story of her disappearance. …


The two music legends mastered concept albums centered on freedom, equality, and Blackness

Below is an excerpt from veteran journalist and culture critic Miles Marshall Lewis’ upcoming book, Promise That You Will Sing About Me: The Power and Poetry of Kendrick Lamar, set for publication by St. Martin’s Publishing Group on September 28, 2021.

There’s not much consensus over what constitutes a concept album. A simple Facebook hivemind request — “What’s your favorite concept album by a Black artist?” — yielded everything imaginable.

Many mentioned Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, Millie Jackson’s Caught Up, Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, Jay-Z’s 4:44, and Tyler, the Creator’s Igor. Jazz…


It’s the federal government’s fault for the growing confusion over the booster shots we will obviously need

This was the week Americans were set to start receiving booster shots in an effort to prevent more of us from succumbing to the ongoing plague. Unfortunately, while I for damn sure know that I will be getting the extra protection I need against Covid-19 before this year wraps, exactly when the move will be formally recommended by the federal government is becoming an ever-increasing mystery. I’m not saying the growing confusion is solely President Biden’s fault, but members of his administration are stoking confusion with conflicting messaging about booster shots.

Maybe it’s time Biden corralled them towards a united…


THE ONLY BLACK GUY IN THE OFFICE

Sure, you wish them well—but navigating the aftershocks is tricky at non-diverse companies

A couple of weeks ago, I poured out a lil’ liquor for the homie. I knew Ryan would leave us eventually; I just wasn’t ready to see his time come so soon. But I’m finding solace in the fact that he’s moving on to a better place — a land where vacation time is unlimited, gym reimbursements are plentiful, and 401(k) funds get matched. Ryan got a new job.

No matter the reason, it’s tough to see colleagues leave for greener pastures, especially the ones who are part of your daily routine. Even teammates you think of as acquaintances provide…


After a life of self-loathing and resentment, a letter from my absentee mom brought me peace

Let society tell it, your mother is supposed to be a nurturer — the person who wipes your tears, showers you with love, and helps you become the best possible version of yourself. You could likely play Netflix roulette or pick up a fictional book at random for verification. My experience has been quite the contrary. As age 37 approaches, the fact that I don’t have a woman in my life to call “mama” still hurts a little deep down inside.

There’s a face out there in this world that looks like mine of which I have no memory. There’s…


Larry Elder taking a page out of Trump’s playbook is a sign of shadiness to come

When a political party morphs into a cult of personality themed around an unchecked deranged buffoon who can’t accept defeat and is prone to conspiracy, no one should be surprised that those who seek to follow in his footsteps employ similar political candidacy scams.

Even before Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall election in California was held, its GOP front-runner, Larry Elder, was already both conceding the race and claiming he lost due to voter fraud. On Monday, Elder called on his supporters to use an online form to report fraud, which claimed it had “detected fraud” in the “results” of the California…

LEVEL

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