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BlackLivesMatter

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A brief reflection on an iconic lyric and a reminder that Black men and boys are beautiful too

Photo: Nelson Ndongala on Unsplash

In the 1994 remix of “One More Chance,” The Notorious B.I.G. lists in great detail his effortless finesse with women of all races and ethnicities. The classic cut samples El DeBarge’s “Stay With Me” and features his wife, Faith Evans, and Mary J. Blige on background vocals. It’s partly comical, partly offensive, and all NSFW. Still, apart from a beat that lingers, a few lines really stick with you.


After unlearning my own childhood obsession with the police, I’m giving my child the tools to shape his own worldview

Image by Igor Ovsyannykov from Pixabay

The year is 2020. As usual, the news is on in our home, providing a background ambiance for our daily lives. The reporter, a White woman who is almost in tears, describes the latest developments in the murder of Breonna Taylor.


Why policing in America is rotten to the core

Photo by ludovikus at Canstock

Consider this hypothetical scenario: You’ve got a box full of apples. The majority of them, say 65, are ripe. But there’s also another 35 that are rotten. Unfortunately for you, there’s only one box and you’re transporting them on a very long road trip, so you have to keep all of the apples together.


Reflections on the rapper’s passing

Nipsey Hussle on a boat with his left hand raised. A still from his music video for “Victory Lap”
Nipsey Hussle on a boat with his left hand raised. A still from his music video for “Victory Lap”

“Don’t let the water in the boat,” Nipsey Hussle told me on February 22, 2018, six days after the release of his album Victory Lap. “The boat’ll never go down if you don’t let the water in the boat.” It was advice he shared with his daughter sometimes, wise words to hang onto when facing any kind of adversity.


LEVEL Reader,


American exceptionalism and xenophobia cleaves the Black struggle once again

Still from ADOS 2019 conference video.

Scrolling social media feels like, at any moment, I’ll get pulled into one of those haunted houses I hated as a kid. I didn’t know what was in them but didn’t want to terrify myself looking. I fell into one such spooky abyss last month — ADOS — and I’m mangling my nails trying to claw myself out.


Getting hit by a police car isn’t justifiable

Photo courtesy of the author

The son of a friend of our family, Christopher, is Black. A couple of nights ago, his car was hit while he was driving it. The police arrived and determined that Christopher’s car had to be towed. They also determined it was important to give our friend’s son a citation because he was driving with an out-of-state license. When it rains, it — well, just wait.


Is the U.S. any safer for Black Americans?

Many rejoiced earlier this month when the decisive projection came in and the Associated Press declared Joe Biden winner of the 2020 presidential election. It was glorious (and so were the memes). While some are still riding high on the optimism of a forthcoming regime change, for others, the question lingers: How will the aftermath of Trump’s presidency play out—particularly with regard to Black Americans?


I’m glad you’re trying to figure it out, but where the hell have you been all this time?

Photos: Shane Paul Neil

Four days later, the results were final. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were in. Donald Trump and Mike Pence were out.

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