Five self-guided methods to protect your mental & emotional energy while also engaging in social justice

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Image Credit: Resist by Taylor Alarcon.

Right now, black people, more than any other minority group, are under stress. At work, at home, online or otherwise, black people are, for the most part, just trying to keep it together.

This makes taking care of ourselves more important than ever. Why? Well, I’m a big believer that we can’t take care of anything externally until we make sure we are taken care of internally — eating good, resting, taking care of our bodies. Once we are taken care of, we then have the energy and capacity to adequately care for the world around us.

And it’s very clear that there’s a lot to be taken care of. …


A poem on relationships, evolution & sustainability.

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Image Credit: Taylor Alarcon

aye bruh, remember

we used to cruise in the summer / gym, beach, park, beach

feeling like a non-white Jersey Shore cast

plus you had that actual cast / we all signed it

wrote raunchy shit / dumbass illustrations

lack of complications

the teenage years

aye bruh, remember

that Logic concert / before he was trash

that Logic torrent / you found online so we could make beats

that Logic puzzle / we tried to do when we were blazed as shit

aye bruh, remember

we first learned to draw “A’s”

… me neither / but you were there

the “breh” meme first came out / we said that shit for…


White people have the privilege of ignoring the videos; how do we get them to care?

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Image Credit: CBS News

As a black man, I can’t watch the videos anymore, as important as they might be.

My heart hurts. My brain hurts. It’s nothing but unfair.

Within the black community across the country, we’re seeing with time: you can try to avoid it, but there is no way to escape being black in American society. Clearly, it doesn’t matter if you’re poor or rich, uneducated or college graduated, mixed or full. If you’re black, you’re black, and you’re going to see it, if not in your day-to-day life then surely on your timeline.

As this continues to happen, I continue to see an increasing influx of people of color having their “wake up” moment, treating their Twitter feeds how James Baldwin treated his notebook. I can’t help but think of the raw, dark humor I often see on ‘black Twitter’ in…


A case against productivity. Or for. It’s up to you.

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Image Credit: Fandom

I quit my Fortune 500 job right before COVID-19.

What timing.

But everyone wants to live the dream, right? Quit your 9–5, travel, experience different cultures and cuisines, find scrappy ways to freelance and make money online, become an artist if you want, see the world and “find yourself.”

That was our plan.

My girlfriend and I had been planning exactly that for a little over 6 months, saving the bulk of our income from our corporate jobs, eating out and going out less while continuing to cherish the time(s) we were spending with our friends and family. Everything was falling into place: we were going to move to South America, starting off in Chile and spending about a month hiking, camping and traversing the Patagonia region before bouncing to either Buenos Aires, Argentina or Santiago, Chile to set up shop and begin diving into a new culture, region and lifestyle. …


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Photo by Taylor Alarcon (@scenebytay)

As a musician, DJ, producer and general audiophile, it’s safe to say that music has become the predominant way I’ve connected with people in my short twenty-three years of life. Yes, I consider myself to have a diversity of other interests such as, professionally, user experience design, and recreationally, photography, rock climbing or writing poetry, but talking about, discovering, composing and consuming all different types of music [admittedly except country — I’ve tried, and just can’t get into it] has always been the first, most frequent and easiest way I connect with other people.

Given this affinity for pretty much all things musical I’ve evidently found myself as the dude in the corner of the party manning the AUX cord, both in high school and college, often times a go-to for friends looking for new hip-hop, jazz or reggae tunes, as well as, more recently, an actual turntable DJ here in my newly adopted home city of San Francisco. Now all of this is not to say I’m a know-all be-all when it comes to music or music-related topics, but I did find this background to be helpful context as I go into detail about some of the discussions and experiences I’ve had when consuming or sharing music throughout the years, either informally over text or formally through many of my DJ sets, either live or recorded to SoundCloud (shameless plug: @soundbytay on SoundCloud). …


Imagine that, for the longest time, you were asleep.

The entire time you were sleeping, you had an amalgam of different dreams, ranging from euphoric to stressful, or from carefree to outright terrifying. Although these dreams range in perspectives, objectives, emotions and experiences, they are all at the end of the day inherently tied to a single experience where you, an individual who seeks to explore uncharted realms of possibility, can focus on yourself and those closest to you without worry of paying taxes or utility bills, grocery shopping, or even worry necessarily about the question of safety on your way to grab a bite to eat. All these dreams, although different in nature, all tie to an experience in which many of your closest friends, peers and inspirations are within a walk or a bus ride away, the gym is within close enough proximity to not really have any excuse for not exercising, the bars, parties and events are all similarly accessible, as well as computer labs, libraries and other resources to provide, or at least give some direction to, answers to all your greatest intellectual inquiries. …


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Photo by Taylor Alarcon (@scenebytay)

Humbling. Diverse. Loud. Breathtaking and undoubtedly memorable. This year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. march in downtown San Francisco, in addition to these aforementioned words, was nothing short of astonishing. People of all colors, orientations, shapes and sizes marching throughout what is often regarded as one of the most liberal, open-minded and progressive cities in the world. This being said, for one to be surprised during these events, or to in general ever be surprised by anything deemed out of the ordinary when living in this city, usually means that you simply haven’t been here long enough. …


Thoughts on intersectionality and alliance among oppressed communities.

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Race, as our generation knows it, has been at the forefront of any and all cultural, political, even sports and entertainment, or otherwise societal conversations. Under the current political climate, one of the most common complaints, among many, is that everyone seems to feel attacked at all times: under white fear, white people, rightfully so, do not want to lose many of the things they’re worked so long and tirelessly to attain (nor do they or anyone want to lose even the things that they didn’t necessarily work for). …

About

Taylor Alarcón

Writer, researcher, documentary photographer & multi-disciplinary creative. See my work at tayloralarcon.com

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