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Still from Leon Bridges’ “River” music video (2016).

“No one leaves home unless / Home is the mouth of a shark…/You have to understand,/ That no one puts their children in a boat/ Unless the water is safer than the land… — “Home”, Warsan Shire

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds be exposed. — John 3:20, KJV

Earlier this week my friend sent me a screenshot of a conversation between him and his Spanish tutor, who was cancelling their lesson for the week. He could not conduct the lesson, he explained, because he was in the hospital…


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© UC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

The year 2020 seemed to start off marked by misfortune — a freak helicopter accident killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and four others, knocking the collective wind out of the nation, Los Angeles, especially. An impeached president narrowly avoided removal after a Senate vote was crudely split down party lines. Australia was cloaked in the smell of singed Earth wildfires raged and burned, killing billions of animals and burning millions of acres of land. Homes were evacuated, then destroyed. People died. And this was just the first few weeks of January.

By February, it appeared our bad luck would continue…


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Police K-9 units were deployed to manage crowds of protesters during the Birmingham Campaign of the civil rights movement in May 1963. Such actions brought massive negative publicity to the city in the national media. © Birmingham News

“If we don’t have it, you aint gonna have it either, ‘cause we gonna tear it up…I don’t see why they don’t understand that. This flag is drenched in our blood — they know what they’ve done to us…” — Fannie Lou Hamer

“Lock us behind gates, but can’t tame us. Used to be stay safe, now stay dangerous.” — Nipsey Hussle

A great crowd snaked from Pan Pacific Park through Beverly Grove toward Santa Monica, the westernmost bound of West Los Angeles. At a stop in front of the Grove, an organizer from the Los Angeles chapter of Black…


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Protesters outside of Ohio State Building, 2020. © Joshua A. Bickel, Columbus Dispatch via USA Today Network

“Omulu sent the black pox in the city. But the rich people up above got vaccinated and the smallpox descended to the poor people’s city and made people sick, laid black people full of sores onto their beds. Then the men from public health came, put the sick people into bags, carried them off to the distant pesthouse. There the families couldn’t visit them, they had nobody, only the visits from the doctor. The women stayed behind weeping because they knew they would never see them again.”

Jorge Amado in “Captains of the Sands”

“Enough is Enough” began with the…


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© Twitter.com / Bernie Sanders. Presidential hopeful and billionaire, Mike Bloomberg chats with Billionaire hopeful and President, Donald Trump.

“I object to people who are rich in politics. I don’t think they should be allowed to be in politics. It is bad that rich people are in politics, it is bad for everybody but rich people. Whenever people say, “Oh, he earned his money himself,” I always say the same thing: “No one earns a billion dollars. People earn $10 an hour, people steal a billion dollars.” — Fran Lebowitz in Paper Magazine, September 2014

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of…


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The making of Cidade de Deus (2002)

This fall I purchased my first car. It was a gorgeous, rugged, perfectly Californian little truck, and sadly, a piece of shit. After a handful of late-summer drives up the PCH to and from Malibu, it was revealed to be wrought with mechanical issues and constantly pegged with parking tickets. To add insult to the perennial injury of being sold a lemon, one weekend, my car was towed from its spot on a residential street, after temporary no parking signs were erected overnight. …


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Coco (1993) © Dana Lixenberg

Every year, the World Economic Forum produces their Global Gender Gap Report, which analyzes and ranks 149 countries on the basis of four dimensions critical to equality: economic participation and opportunity (earned-income and labor-force rates, gender ratios in professional work), educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. A “global index” of gender equality is calculated by averaging the gender gaps in the four dimensions. In the year 2019, the global index was an impressive 68 percent, but this figure is misleading.The overall global gender gap index is bolstered by health & survival (95%) and educational attainment (96%) while women’s…


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“The Mulatta from Cartagena”, 1940. Enrique Erau Araujo. Oil on canvas.

Hasta el 21 de octubre, una selección de 450 obras de más de 200 artistas se exhibieron en el Museo de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), desde el siglo XVI hasta nuestros días, en una exposición llamada: “Afroatlantic Histories”. La exposición se centra en la experiencia de la diáspora africana desde el continente africano hasta el Caribe, las Américas, Europa y viceversa, a través de la lente de sus experiencias individuales y la mirada de los extraños. …


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Pablo Escobar in front of the White House with his son, 1981.

When I was young I didn’t know much about drugs save for what I saw. Cute boys sold weed. People who did crack stole the change from your car and danced in the street. I applied the word “crackhead” only in the most literal sense. I was in middle school the first time I recall someone using it casually, and I repeated loudly, in disbelief: “Mrs. Fanelli’s on crack?”*

It wasn’t until much later that I learned that “cocaine” was the main ingredient in the reformulation of what I knew as “crack”. Cocaine was derived from the coca plant indigenous…


What should have been a carefree road trip turned ugly in an instant

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Photo: Rawpixel/Getty

While gearing up for my college graduation, my friends and I were struck with the idea of taking the Great American Road Trip. For the months prior, we began a planning spreadsheet. We would begin in Arizona and from there, cover much of the American West: Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico, before winding up back in Arizona. Our plan was ambitious, expensive, and to many of our friends and family, rife with potential dangers. So, with a grain of salt, we heeded their warnings and set off with our backpacks and degrees.

“Yeah, that…

Jasmin Joseph

NY-born, LA-based writer. Allegedly writing an essay collection called Black Cowgirl. Allegedly. Twitter:@jazzyhuncho.

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