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Miss Juneteenth (2020) Feels like Home

She lays a pillow on the floor in front of the couch. She sits you down on the floor before her and gets right to work with the hair box, grease, gel, comb and brush next to her. Looking back, having my hair done by my mom was one of our most intimate moments. I’ve gotten in trouble for not holding my head straight more times than I can count. I can still remember holding the floor for dear life as she combed through my knots. I remember falling asleep on her lap and waking up feeling like my face had been pulled tight, back into my hair. I didn’t know it then, but my mom was giving me all of her love in those moments. She wanted me to look nice. She would admire me afterwards, like she knew she was succeeding at something. Looking back, I feel nothing but love for those moments.

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Top 5 Songs That Got Me Through My Quarantine Depression

Isolation is a motherf*er when you’ve got over-active brain waves. My removal from majority social interaction didn’t take long to wear my sanity thin. I mean that metaphorically…at least I think so. My life went from driving at a non-stop 175 miles per hours to an abrupt stop and cruise at 10 miles per hour. The aftermath whiplash on my mental health was devastating.

I’ve always made myself busy- whether it was forcibly or accidentally. Between full-time work, full-time school, writing projects, and face-time with my family, I never found down time, and I complained about it (a lot), but I secretly enjoyed having my days filled with meaningful work and stimulation.

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Welcome to Volume 1: For My Culture

If you’ve been tuning into recent news and social media, you would know that the United States, and the world, is in a state of change. It started with COVID-19 changing how we socialize and go out, and now, with the murder of George Floyd, we can hopefully change how we think and live.

Angela Davis once stated that, “We’ve got to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.” For years- no- for centuries, there has been a constant battle for liberation. Liberation of female bodies, liberation of Black bodies, Indigenous bodies, and more. Liberation of our bodies, minds, and souls. With the recent events surrounding Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, the many other Black victims of police brutality, and the subsequent protests, there is a stark reminder/realization/reiteration, whatever you wanna call it, that there is a long road to liberation for Black people in America and around the world.

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Cooking While Quarantining

Since I’ve been living in my own apartment, I’ve actually had a superb time finding new meals to cook (and cooking classic meals I remember my mom cooking.) Before the move, I swore I was going to be living off Cup Noodles for a few years, but once you have your “own” kitchen, you definitely find your groove. I found myself cooking in no time!

Now, if you’ve been cooking for awhile, you know you’ve got your own favorite meals on rotation. Spaghetti, tacos, salad, and others all happen at least twice a month. I mean, you know you’re good at it, so why try making something new? I already had my favorite meals on rotation, but this quarantine definitely threw a wrench in it. Since I was home 25/8, My rotation started becoming shorter and I was eating the same meals 2x a week! So, I decided it was definitely time for some change. Here are some of my favorite meals from my quarantine cooking experimentation. Here is cooking while quarantining- where anything goes, and you probably won’t ever have time to make these extravagant meals again!

***Disclaimer: I don’t cook for nutritional value; I cook for soul value.***

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Mental Health Awareness Month: Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out (2015) Carries a Message That Spans Generations

May 31 marked the end of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, but that doesn’t mean the conversation should end. Mental health effects all of us, positively and negatively, so it shouldn’t be the taboo conversation that it is. It’s important that we talk about our bad days. It’s important that we mourn. It’s important that we cry. It’s important to feel, to reach out, to talk it out…

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My May Quarantine: Favorite Watches Streaming Now

*Marks off another tally on my wall, quarantine calendar*

Yes, I have been homebound for almost two months now. Falling asleep between 1-3 AM and waking up whenever. Wandering aimlessly throughout my apartment, watching way too much tv, and actually catching up on schoolwork in between. For the first month, life was a drag. I was sleeping far too often, eating way too much, and watching hours of TikTok. I wasn’t even putting effort into my writing much….but now, I’m back! Like Drake said, Jazzy back up in this thang, I’m ready. What’s happenin? Gone for quarantine but now I’m back again. I’m bout my paper like a mfckin scratch and winnnn.

Anyways, now that I’m back to my computer screen, I’ve got some tea to share. Some streaming tea. Now, I’ve watched a lot of shows and movies over the past month…like a lot, but I don’t want to bore you with all the gory details, so I’ll just give you some of the highlights of the past month. Here is a list of my favorite watches for May quarantine:

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Your Friendship is Looking “Insecure”

Issa and Molly: A Complicated Friendship All too Familiar

You walk into school on the very first day- unsure of yourself. You don’t know anyone. Then, you look across the room, and you lock eyes with someone who seems to know exactly what you’re feeling. That one chance encounter turns into years of laughter, tears, secret-sharing, and bonding. Years of friendship are created from one conversation. Friendship is a precious bond which should not be underestimated. You’ll find yourself being more vulnerable with your friends than your lovers or even your family. You can find a better brother, sister, or cousin in a friend than those who share your blood.

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A Goofy Movie, and A 25 Year Anniversary

This childhood classic tells you to Embrace Your ‘Goof’

25 years ago, Disney’s underrated gem, A Goofy Movie (1995), was released. Most of us grew up watching this classic animated film, including myself, but it wasn’t until adulthood that I could appreciate and understand it for all it truly has to offer. From the tender story-line between a father and son, to the themes of self-acceptance, Powerline’s “Stand Out” and “I2I” bops, and finally to the overall Blackness that the film exudes- A Goofy Movie is a critical film in Disney’s Renaissance era repertoire.

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Selena: The Image of Latin Influence

Known as the Queen of Tejano, Selena revolutionized a genre and broke boundaries like no other, especially for the Mexican-American community. For nine years running, she won “Best Female Vocalist” at the Tejano Music Awards. She became the first Latino singer to debut at the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Top 200, and her album Amor Prohibido, was the best-selling Latin album of all time. On top of her musical success, Selena had a growing success in fashion.

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Dear Diane Nguyen, From One Writer to Another…

Once described as the “Asian Daria,” Diane Nguyen is unlike the rest of her rag-tag counterparts. Her morbid, self-aware, and monotone nature stands out like a sore thumb in the middle of Hollywood’s A-list party. Her moral high ground is miles above the rest of her friends’, and that makes her not only the moral compass of the show much of the time, but it also gives her a condescending personality- one that she uses on others profusely, but rarely on herself. She is constantly talking down on her loved ones, simply because she expects more of them than they expect from themselves.