Critical Race Theory

Courtesy of Andre Hunter | Unsplash

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter demonstrations of 2020, many Americans wondered what we could do to heal our country. So, as anti-racism book recommendations circled the daily news, it was off to the bookstores to purchase Black literature. With our newly gained understanding of anti-racism, we could implement new policies, or that’s how I imagine the lexicon of these awakened folks went.

For example, California became the first state to move forward with ethnic studies additions to the K-12 curriculum. As a result, students will be able to engage in a “breadth of experiences” detailing the history, contributions, and…

Just Another California Girl

As a curator of stories, I find it’s always best to start at the beginning… My parents kinda sorta met at a KFC, and I wondered, in one of the largest metropolitan locales in the world, how did two Black people meet at a KFC for me to be here? But, that isn’t the beginning, now is it? My dad is from the South, the originator of the Civil War was his backyard, and my mom was a California wanderer. Then again, I’m avoiding the subject, and that’s unfair for me to do this to you.

A Poem for Black Graduates

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Ever wonder why we exist?

Blinded by brutality. Beaten black bodies. Bemused bursts of beautiful blackness. At some point in time, we need to remember that we are here.

But I was taught not to forget my history, for it will be repeated. And it is with these brown eyes of mine that everything looks to run congruent with one another.

For black skin is whipped with the denial of the severity of enslavement, and brown eyes have been blinded to accept our inadequacies and midnight minds molded to meaningless vocabulary crowned by the word…

The Whiteness of Oli London’s Korean Appropriation Racism

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In the remaining days of Pride Month, Oli London came out as non-binary Korean. After spending over $240,000 on plastic surgery to look like Korean pop star Jimin of the group BTS, London excitedly proclaims in their British accent that they are Korean. Amongst their standard pronouns of they/them, London attempts to educate us that their other pronouns include Korean/Jimin as well as kor/ean. I continue to scratch my head at the idea that one’s name and ethnicity are being classified as pronouns in their beliefs.

Courtesy of Oli London | Twitter

Courtesy of Zoltan Tasi | Unsplash

The second time I attempted to watch Michaela Coel’s groundbreaking HBO show I May Destroy You, was the day they announced Bill Cosby’s release. Sexual assault trauma has this way of finding me in television shows, my Twitter feed, the tension that starts to become more prominent between my shoulder blades. I’m still recoiling from my assailant’s touch years later. I curl inwards to avoid the leering photos of Bill Cosby and the biting words of Phylicia Rashad. The Cosby Show is still one of my favorite shows, but I don’t know what to do with it anymore.

Despite being…

Why did they remove Latinx Family Diversity?

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There are many conversations surrounding colorism and anti-blackness in In the Heights. For those of us who loved the original source material, it is also severely lacking in the diversity of the Latinx family. It’s a poor creative decision to not showcase the levels of Latinx familial relations in a film of this magnitude.

I will not be the reason that my family can’t succeed
I will do what it takes
They’ll have everything they need

“Inutil” lyrics from “In the Heights”

What’s telling is that in the original source material for In…

Courtesy of Diana Simumpande | Unsplash

Somehow we survived the racial turmoil of 2020 and honestly, I’m tired of “white allies.” I’m tired of the “I’m listening” as they grab the microphone and somehow make the problems experienced by the Black community about them. I’m talking about the ones that have to assert that they’re an ally in every conversation as if it makes their ignorant comments less hurtful. These are the ones who posted a black square on social media and never said anything else. The ones who said “Black Lives Matter” on their social media profiles and then never did anything else because “it’s…

Maya L, M.A.

I explore the intersectionality of race and culture from a humanistic lens. Host of The Renegade Professor Podcast.

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