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extraterrestrial mermaid. lover of music, writing, and words. Just trying to get free. || @mermaid_in_blaq on Twitter

Last summer, I sat down with my summer school students to do a read aloud. Our combined ELA and Social Studies summer unit was focused on communities, specifically, what makes a community and used our community as our case study. After examining New York City subway maps, going on a community walk around our community, listing what we noticed and wondered, and comparing what it means to live in a city compared to other community structures, we were well versed on the tangible structures that made up our community.

Now, it was time to start talking about the most important…

I posted a question on Instagram using the new questions feature, asking people to complete the sentence “Love is-”

The few responses that I got were from friends in my close circle, saying that it was just a word, fleeting and unsustainable. I got a couple of replies from friends agreeing with the responses that I had posted. …

To start off, this title is kind of a lie. I’ve spent the past 12 months in a teaching residency, combing grad school, constant professional development, and real-life experience. My teaching residency is different than most because not only did I spend the mornings in a classroom with a mentor teacher (what would traditionally be known as student teaching), I also led my own classroom in an academic-based after school in the afternoon. So it wasn’t a real first year but 12 hour days are telling me that I can count it as such; fight me.

Over the course of…

This weekend I sat around with my family eating breakfast sandwiches from the bodega and laughing about life. We were gathered to talk about final wishes and life insurance plans- the untimely death of a family friend lit us with urgency to make sure we were all on the same page of what everyone’s definition of casket sharp is (Gina wants all blue everything, Neisha wants pink, Mommy wants her headwrapped). As per usual, everyone laughed at me- top two reasons were veganism and wanting to be planted as a tree when I die. A sad and serious conversation soon…

One of the wildest justifications that I heard for Adele’s winning over Beyoncé for Album of the Year at this year’s Grammy’s came from Carlos Santana. He said:

“With all respect to our sister Beyoncé, Beyoncé is very beautiful to look at and it’s more like modeling kind of music — music to model a dress — she’s not a singer, singer, with all respect to her.”

While the idea that Beyoncé cannot ‘sing, sing’ is a lie, there’s also so much more going on here. He goes on to say that the proof that Adele is a better singer…

Over a year ago I wrote a poem in which I have the stanza:

But we know the truth,

that we contain the secrets of the Universe.

That we have the power to arrange and rearrange the

constellations to fit our order.

That we come from the women who birthed humanity

and they won’t give us a seat at the table

But we have the magic to create our own.

I would have never thought that a year later, Solange would release an album that spoke directly to the point of my poem, and that sonically (and visually) validates my…

What gets lost when hood style is co-opted for Instagram likes

A photo of a young black woman wearing hoop earrings blowing a bubble with bubblegum.
A photo of a young black woman wearing hoop earrings blowing a bubble with bubblegum.
Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Walking into a beauty supply store in the hood is like walking into a parallel universe. Cheap, bright lipsticks grab your eye immediately. Hair hangs from the ceiling. There is an abundance of dyes, cheap gold jewelry, and every hair accessory known to man. It is a familiar home to Black and Brown women struggling to make themselves beautiful in a world that pays them no mind. If you look past the owners — who are often not of the community and who follow patrons around as if they are going to steal something — and past the lasting effects…

Last week one of my bosses at my summer internship tasked me with finding out graduation rates of various New York City high schools in order to compare them to the schools that they (an art organization) typically work to get their kids into. While searching, I constantly came across schools with fancy and specialized names including: business/sports management, peace, diversity, arts (lots of arts), hospitality, craftsmanship, aerospace, and technology. They sound, frankly, like schools that are preparing their students to enter the world that they live in with the skills and tools to make a difference.

During the research…

A sampling of the Disney Channel’s pantheon of Original Movies

Representations of my experiences: NOT FOUND

This weekend I sat down like many millenials to watch the marathon of Disney Channel original movies and reminisce on my childhood. Breaks for naps and a fiasco in a bar not included, I watched many of the movies on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, forgetting to watch Monday’s movies until it was already nightfall. I’ll be watching as many of the rest of the movies until work starts.

Over the course of this marathon watch, I’ve been trying to watch these movies purely for fun and entertainment, but coming fresh off a a semester where I took all credits toward…

Antonia George

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