My son is screaming at the top of his lungs. It’s as if I’ve ripped away all that matters to him in the world.
The reason? “Hickory Dickory Dock” is glitching on Spotify. Who knows? Maybe that is all that matters to him.
We’re making our way home after what has thus far been a great day. No major tantrums have happened up until now, and the kid turned out to be a natural ice skater. He’s barely halfway to three, and I can’t stop bragging about the little booger.
But this ain’t one of those moments. How do you…
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.
Murder. I use that word deliberately because seldom is it attached to the deaths of Black people who have done nothing but exist. And that’s what Breonna did. She lived in a world that did not love her, a world that has never loved anyone like her.
I want to change the channel, but I can’t. Instead…
I was trolling TikTok for laughs one day when I stumbled upon a video of a guy doing a “review” of his newborn baby boy. This dude was visibly delighted with his two-month-old offspring — he said the boy only cost him a few “grown-up transactions” — and encouraged others to get one, too.
Now, I got a good chuckle from the breakdown, which played like an unboxing video. That’s a shiny new baby, fresh out of the box. What’s not to like?
Of course, he’s cute. A baby alligator is cute. And like a baby alligator, a baby…
By the nature of their profession, music stars get elevated.
They’re elevated by the very stage on which they perform, illuminated by bright lights cascading onto them. All of it assists in separating these celebrities from the masses they entertain. It’s as true of hip-hop as any genre — maybe more so, with the presence of so many larger-than-life personas in the culture. Bravado and braggadocio are staples of a genre that spins yarns of millionaire playboys and godfather kingpins, young rhyme-spitters blending fact and fiction into lyrical tirades meant to entertain and manifest the wealth that eludes so many.
Drop-off at my son’s daycare follows a familiar script: We leave home in my quickly aging Kia with its speakers throbbing, as I match the lyrical flows of the ’90s rappers who raised me. Upon approaching the nursery, I slowly reduce the volume and compose myself before parking alongside Audis and Teslas owned by consultants, marketers, lawyers, and the like. Before stepping out of the car, I silently remind myself that my family deserves to experience the same privileges that they do — even if we’ve shaved our budget bare-bones to afford the cost of preschool enrollment.
For the longest time, whenever my mother dreamed of a baby, she’d call me to talk about my future children. She’d describe in vivid detail the child’s mix of features, curly hair, and fat cheeks. If she saw a blonde baby, she’d ask if I was dating una rubia, or someone possessing whatever other characteristics she knew didn’t exist in me. The answer was always a resounding no. No, I wasn’t dating una rubia. No, I wasn’t even thinking about kids.
In March 2020, my wife and I went on our last date outside the house. Here’s the story I want to tell my son about that night and all that happened during his first year of life.
Your mother and I hit up Samantha’s Tap Room in Little Rock’s River Market District and feasted on a quail appetizer, steak, and pasta. We’d been watching the news and realized this could be our last time enjoying dining out because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s the dating activity we enjoyed most.
I sipped wine and tried to savor this last night together…
Welcome to Minority Report, a weekly newsletter from the LEVEL team that packs an entire week into a single email. From learning how to hear other people’s perspectives to the week in racism, from pop-culture picks to a must-read LEVEL story, it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t. If you’re loving what you’re reading, tell a friend to tell a friend.
Prior to this weekend, the vast majority of us had never imagined gospel legend Kirk Franklin calling someone a “bitch ass.” That all changed Saturday, after his estranged son, Kerrion, released a video of his dad cursing him…
Welcome to Minority Report, a weekly newsletter from the LEVEL team that packs an entire week into a single email. From Drizzy’s new washed sensibility to the week in racism, from pop-culture picks to a must-read LEVEL story, it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t. If you’re loving what you’re reading, tell a friend to tell a friend.
Almost a year ago, I wrote an article about Drake. In it, I talked about how I’d identified so much with his music when I was 22 — but then, as we both grew into our mid-thirties over the next decade…
One November night in 2008, I found myself with a house full of crying guests.
It’s not like the evening wasn’t festive. There was gumbo and chicken, cake and wine; we chatted and enjoyed each other’s company, even while we waited for the pivotal moment to arrive.
And then it happened: A Black man was elected president. He wouldn’t be just the president of the United States — he would be our president.
I didn’t even know most of my guests that night. I was relatively new to my suburban neighborhood and invited everyone nearby who I thought would share…