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I be wanting to skip the intros of books so bad. Like, nigga, if I wanted to read your thoughts and your commentary, I would have bought your book! Arghhh!!!!

But after my temper tantrums are over and I get into the first few pages of lowercase roman numerals, I’m always glad I took the time to do so. It pays off.

In this case it was the intro to the Bhagavad Gita — the ancient Hindu scripture — and the payoff came from this sentence: “Since Gandhi was introduced to the Gita by the Theosophists, he learned to read…


I understand separation and individualism to be two defining ideologies of Western culture. Here — and everywhere that the West has forced its ways of being — we are trained to think of things in isolation. As if one thing has no effect on the other. As if things somehow come into being all by themselves. As if all of the small and medium things that were necessary for the big things to exist are irrelevant and unimportant; unworthy of mention or appreciation.

For example: we love bouquets of flowers but would be aghast to receive them with the roots…


Hakeem’s story illuminates how the Mitchells turn a blind eye to the root of systemic poverty and racism

Photo of the cast of “Moesha” on set.
The cast of “Moesha.” Photo: UPN

In the weeks since Netflix released all six seasons of Moesha, there has been a collective reckoning of sorts with how certain characters were treated, and how their depictions worked to reinforce or perpetuate harm in the real world. This includes a critical reassessment of the fatphobia, desexualization, and depictions of low intelligence that hounded Countess Vaughn during — and after — her run as Kim Parker on Moesha, as well as the frighteningly patriarchal and controlling approach that Moesha’s father, Frank Mitchell, took to parenting. …


What does awareness of Egypt and Mansa Musa do for a Black person living in 2020?

Grandy Nanny of the Windward Maroons

Dear Fellow Black People,

Have you ever delivered one of the following admonitions to another Black person? “See, [xyz bleak or oppressive situation] is happening because Black people don’t know their history”? Have you ever said, “if Black people just knew their history, we wouldn’t be in [xyz bleak or oppressive situation]”? Or something of the sort?

If so, do you usually follow that statement with something about Egypt? Or Mansa Musa? Or the alleged multitudes of “kings and queens” that lived in pre-colonial Africa?

Or, if you don’t go the Egypt/Mansa Musa/kings and queens route, do you say something…

J.F.S.

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