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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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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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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.

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The Story of a World that Lost its Wonder, and the Brother’s Who Rediscovered It- Onward (2020)

Once upon a time...

…the world was full of wonder. The magic of the world was a spectacle to be explored and expanded, but the complexities of magic were replaced with the simplicities of invention and convenience. Thus, the magic dwindled, and the world changed forever.

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Reinvention Through a Modern Lens: The Invisible Man (2020)

We are living through an age of re-invention. Whether it is through fashion trends, slang, or in the case of The Invisible Man (2020), horror films. Re-invention is more than just re-adaptation or a reboot. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) was a reboot of the eponymous 1984 film. However, The Invisible Man is the re-invention of its 1933 predecessor.

Instead of re-telling the old story of Griffin- a maniacal scientist who turns himself invisible- this is the story of Cecilia “Cee” Kass (Elizabeth Moss) on the run from her sociopathic, abusive boyfriend, Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen.) Adrian is an optics scientist who has gained indispensable wealth through his inventions. One invention in particular, however, he has kept to himself, and it is a suit covered in cameras that renders it’s host invisible. So after Cecilia’s prison break from Adrian’s physical grasp at the beginning of the film, he fakes his own suicide and uses his invisible suit to continue his abuse towards Cecilia in a more sinister and horrific way.

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Sexuality is not Just a Positivity, but It is a Necessity- Jezebel (2019)

ARRAY is the new voice of film artists of color and female filmmakers worldwide. Founded by Ava DuVernay, the independent film distribution company places focus on black stories and female voices, with it’s most recent release, Jezebel, being a manifestation of both.

Jezebel (2019) is a semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age film written and directed by Numa Perrier. The story follows 19 year old Tiffany (Tenille) through the struggles of growing up and losing her mother, while she also finds work as a cam-girl.