Culture

The Word You May Be Looking For is “Stalking”

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From “Bad Art Friend” to the Miya Marcano murder to reports of femicide, writers shy away from a crucial word: stalking.

Woman being stalked by man
On October 8, 2021

Alone Together: Navigating Online Therapy During COVID-19

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For Nigerians seeking therapy, two options exist: IRL and URL. Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu describes her experiences with both.

On September 23, 2021

Sagradas: A Texas Story

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I was lost. Although I had never imagined myself as a mother at the time, I knew it couldn't happen the way it was going to. I was despondent and caught in a physically, emotionally and sexually abusive relationship. I didn't need a child. I needed help. During this terrible time, I experienced a clear realization that if I went forth with this pregnancy, my baby would suffer.

el paso church
On September 9, 2021

Crybabies and Sugardaddies (From The Impossible People)

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Raffy’s was the bodega directly across the street from our Brooklyn apartment, and up through high school, I was certain that it had everything I could ever need in life, from candy and laundry starch to the latest neighborhood gossip. Raffy’s was where, on a Saturday afternoon, I heard that the Guyanese girl in 4C got pregnant.

African-American men play chess on a community chess table at Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta on October 8, 2016 in Atlanta, GA
On August 5, 2021

To Evil Women: May We Know Them, May We Be Them

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Each evil woman’s origin story is seemingly unique, but Maleficients and Medusas all too often begin as victims. These characters struggle to obey, to fit in, to be respected and taken seriously, though their efforts are for nought. Their foes point to some physical attribute, an aspect of their temperament, or a pariah status to justify keeping them down.

Batman 66 Vol 1 Issue 26
On July 27, 2021

Nigeria’s Twitter Ban Hurts

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Nigerian President Buhari's banning of Twitter terrifies populace, disrupts activism, impacts the economy, and indicates a dangerous future. Disregard for such consequences is characteristic of Buhari's administration.

Sunday Oladokun / Shutterstock.com
On July 6, 2021

Bankrupt: An Excerpt From Driven: A Kunstlerroman

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In this excerpt from Chris Rice’s hardboiled memoir, an artist dumps her boozehound bankrupt boyfriend, steals what is rightfully hers, herself, and retreats to Venice, California

Hand, cigarette, & empty beer glass
On June 15, 2021

I Know You Want It

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I was embarrassed to admit I'd been sexually assaulted. It hadn’t really been anything, but it had been giving me nightmares, his lips forming the words, “Your mouth is saying no, but your body is saying yes.” I was someone who was very comfortable, very open, about her sexuality and having sex. Why would the way he acted make my skin crawl for so long after he did it?

Blurred Lines video still
On June 11, 2021

Pocas Pero Locas, Episode 3: “Wassup, M’ija?”

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After a gang unit stopped my 14 year old cousin for driving in a stolen hoopty, they took her to Eastlake Juvenile Hall and handed her over to a new abuser: a cop.

Desiree Gurba
On June 1, 2021

Pocas Pero Locas, Episode 2: Chicken Soup for the Homies’ Soul

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An older homegirl, a hood mom whom Desiree considered her mentor, announced, "I'm jumping you in."

Desiree Gurba
On May 27, 2021

The Girl and the Nappy Halo

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As I settle into my pregnancy, I fantasize about the human I’m going to bring into the world. I picture a girl. Beautiful. Black. Freckled like her father. Myopic like me. When she is thirteen we will sit down and have the talk. Not about periods. Or boys. Or girls. Or bodies. Or pets. Or HBCUs. Or sex. But about getting a perm.

Little girl with nappy hair
On May 21, 2021

Pocas Pero Locas: An Interpersonal Chicana Essay Where Two Primas Make Sure Shit Gets Told Right

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Myriam Gurba writes about her cousin Desiree, female gangsters, cholas, Mexican bad asses with big hair, and the criminalization of survivors.

Myriam and Desiree Gurba, 1988
On May 18, 2021

For Better or Worse

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When my uncle Claude eventually passes away, he'll leave behind an estate of remarkable wealth. He's the only one of my father's siblings that was able to retire before becoming eligible for AARP citizenship. It's remarkable for me to think that for most of my life I've known my uncle as a shady real estate investor rather than the cheerful supervisor at the Palo Alto Main Post Office.

wedding in oakland
On May 13, 2021

My Life at the Dildo Factory

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A story of workplace abuse: “Saftey words are for Pussies!” read the misspelled Roy-Lichtenstein-does-BDSM faux pop art painting displayed in the office of the Anonymous Sex Toy Company. "Safe, Sane, and Consensual" was the company motto. None of the men running the company understood those slogans were incompatible.

Saftey Words Are For Pussies!
On April 29, 2021

Crying in H-Mart: Grief, Hunger, and Healing

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In rock musician Michelle Zauner's memoir "Crying in H-Mart", food is not just a vessel to memorialize her mother but a touchstone for accessing her Korean heritage.

Crying in H-Mart book cover
On April 22, 2021