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I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears, but 2015 Was Actually Pretty Okay

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Happy New Year!

2015, like every other year, had it’s ups and downs. However, it’s important not to let the year’s lows overshadow the highs.

When I considered writing an end of the year retrospective, my face scrunched up in disgust as I reflected on 2015. Not my favorite year by a longshot. So much of it felt like a continuous struggle – like I’m in the middle of a significant lesson which I’ve tired of learning.[/dropcap]

Growing Up “Keisha” in a World of Ashleys and Joshes

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]In 7th grade, I pleaded with my mother to let me change my name to one less “black.” I didn’t use those words exactly, but I’d gleaned by then that, just like my dark skin, my name was considered inferior somehow. We’d just moved to Texas from Georgia where I’d experienced for the first time the anguish and confusion of being the only black girl in my “gifted and talented” classes full of white kids. I was in the midst of my racial identity crisis.[/dropcap]

What Emotions Am I Allowed to Have as a Black Woman?

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]A few days ago, rapper Nicki Minaj tweeted out her frustration that her big booty-full, controversy-generating Anaconda video was overlooked for a Video of he Year Award by MTV. Soon after, media darling and America’s archetypal sweetheart, singer Taylor Swift, inserted herself into the situation, which was NOT ABOUT HER, tweeting Minaj with her hurt feelings and ivory tears.[/dropcap]

Don’t Be That Insensitive Jackhole

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]On Sunday, after the Academy Awards, Giuliana Rancic, co-host of E!’s Fashion Police, made a contentious statement in reference to the locs worn at the ceremony by 18-year old actress Zendaya.

In a previous post, I touched on the complicated relationship many black women have with their hair.[/dropcap]

Friday Five: Weekly Twitter Roundup 10/31/14

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Actor Jesse Williams goes in on racial inequality and offensive Halloween costumes; candy corn: good or gross; is catcalling street harassment; and more, in this week’s Twitter roundup!

If there’s one thing the internet does well, it’s obsess over pay homage to kitty cats and #NationalCatDay proved no different.[/dropcap]

What Happened to OFFline Dating?

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Does anyone meet anyone in real life these days? Offline? For dating purposes, that is. You know like:

Guy sees cute girl at bus stop.

Guy makes joke about the horrid stench wafting from a black trash bag near the bus shelter.

“Ah, the sweet smell of street funk and human waste,” he cracks.

Girl giggles. She relaxes her street defenses.

They discover they share a preference for puffy Cheetos over crunchy. “This is awesome,” they both think. [/dropcap]

Scenes from the 2014 Treasure Island Music Festival

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]When my friend asked if I’d go with her to the Treasure Island Music Festival, I surprised myself when I said, “Yes.” After my one and only experience at the Coachella Music Festival a few years ago, I all but swore off large-scale music festivals. Between the heat, the parades of douchery, the posers (people who literally seem as though they are just there to pose), the flower headbands, the Native headdresses on non-Natives, the spilled beer, sloppy drunken fools, the long lines to get just about anything and my general dislike of unruly crowds, I must have temporarily lost my memory to agree to this. Of course, it didn’t hurt that my friend’s face lit up as she gushed about how much she loves André 3000 of Outkast, one of the headliners of the two-day concert.[/dropcap]

Is Everyone Saying “N***a” Now?

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]”If you having a good time, I want you to say, ‘Hell yeah, niggaaaaaaaaaa!”

“Hell yeah, niggaaaaaaaaaa!” the crowd screamed back at Lil Wayne.

I scanned the stadium of concert goers: a sea of young, white and light faces surrounded me, bopping their heads to the beat, hip-hop hands swaying in the air, phone cameras recording and repeating at Lil Wayne’s command,

Helllllll yeah, niggaaaaaaaaa!!

I looked over at my friend, who, like me, hadn’t joined the crowd.[/dropcap]

What Halloween Taught Me About Economics

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]This is the third year that Jimmy Kimmel encouraged parents to torment their unsuspecting, innocent, cherub-faced children by pretending the parents ate all the kids’ Halloween candy. These candy-nappers film the interaction as they break the news to their presumed beloved spawn, and we, as adults, are expected to laugh at the pain these helpless tykes feel at the sudden, shocking and unexpected loss of their sugar prizes. “That’s not a very kind thing to doooooo,” one sweet boy wailed at his candy-napping parent.[/dropcap]