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    From Ignorance to Shame to Compassion


    By Alicia Rahema Mooltrey | Photo by Jessica Rodriguez 

    My grandmother stood staring blankly at us, “She does drugs, you know she does drugs right?” My sister and I looked at each other and laughed, “Drugs Nana, really? She drinks yeah, marijuana maybe, but not real drugs, come on. ” We shrugged it off, went about our way and forgot about it - until I found it. A pipe. I held it. Examined it. Tried to see if I had mistaken it for something else, but I wasn’t mistaken. My heart fell into my stomach while my grandmother’s words echoed through my head.


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    MY ACTIVISM: Mychal Denzel Smith

    Illustration by Donte Neal

    When cultural cleanses are under way, one of the first things burned to the ground are the libraries. It makes sense. In the library, the Gods, disillusionments, epiphanies, fantasies, and lessons of a people live; if you mean to convince the world that a people never existed, or that they existed insignificantly, destroy the library. When you understand that words hold power, writing can be understood as a form of activism.

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    New Year’s Past vs New Year’s Present

    By Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez @priscadorcas 

    New Year’s Eve seems to consistently be the time of the year when I re-evaluate my romantic relationships.  I look honestly at who I want to be down the road, and where I want to go and then I compare that to my partner’s goals and aspirations.  I have done this, almost by instinct, in the past and it has consistently benefitted me.

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    9: A Recount of My Family's Displacement

    By Karlotta Gonzalez @midwestsangre | Illustration by Maia Magoga @maiamagoga

    The ambiguity of the flashing lights was broken by the sound of footsteps on the gravel. When the two officers approached each side of the car, they both displayed exactly who they worked for: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They asked my father to get out of the car, and to go into their SUV, meanwhile keeping my brother in the passenger seat, and myself in the backseat, waiting. My eyes stared down towards my feet while the speed of my breath started to increase.

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    What Does It Mean to Have a Name?

     By Joel Daniels @JoelakaMaG

    Someone came up with the name, pickaninny. There’s a mountain in California. The mountain is named Pickanniny Buttes. Fortunately, no Black men were caricatured or murdered during it’s creation, at least to my knowledge.The origins of the word pickaninny, as most words that have taken shape over the centuries, is hard to trace or track. However, it’s most referenced usage comes in the form of the hapless African-American character Topsy in the 1852 novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Wikipedia lists at least seventeen examples of the term being used in popular American culture. Oddly enough, it’s also used as a chess term, describing the use of a black pawn. Convenient.


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