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Reclaiming Black Beauty through the Power of Braids

The author in the braids that took over 36 hours, 2020

Summer. Remember her? The sun sets at 9pm and outdoor dining is safe-ish. The air is light and the breeze is oh so welcome as the sun not-so-gently roasts your skin (please everyone be wearing sunscreen). Sundresses and those little shorts the thick thigh men are wearing again are everywhere. We are all well versed on the sights and sounds of summer. Except, one tradition is hiding in plain sight and only the initiated know what’s up.

For those of you out of the loop, I’m going to clue you in. The…


The author on the nth hour of Zoom and her “resting bitch face”, 2021

Video chats are our overlords. Without their benevolence, we can do nothing in the age of COVID or probably in the post-era. The ease and availability of video conferencing is revolutionizing the way we work and socialize. What does this mean for the black, femme, and expressive among us?

I’ve been controlling my face for as long as I can remember. Usually, I’m good at it. Sometimes, my theater training inspires my very prominent eyebrows to emote for me. Either way, as a Black woman, people are so interested in decoding what I’m not saying instead of actually listening to…


The author fresh from the polls, 2020

2020 is the year that keeps on giving. Rancorous discussions of when the new decade *actually* begins, how to protect the integrity of your documents by not abbreviating the date lest a scammer invalidates the year it was signed, and some other stuff. In the swirling mist that is the shared American zeitgeist, we also get to elect a President.

The President we currently have is very bad. Both as a person and at his job. The worst, some may say. For over a year now, the people have been vying for the one job that is guaranteed “in these…


Why Does My Voice Matter Now?

The author being black and outside, 2020

I was nervous to publish my first Medium article. I asked my loved ones to read it before submitting because I wanted to be careful and sure my words were accurate and respectful and effective. I never do that. Maybe it was the potential to have the story distributed through multiple channels that gave me pause. Maybe it was the lifetime of silencing politics I have been subjected to and consciously work to overcome?

One of my earliest memories is of loving school. An only child, I relished the opportunity to be with my…


The author overlooking sunflower fields at Clemson University in Clemson, SC, 2018

A few days ago (maybe weeks, who knows at this point), the New York Times published a powerful opinion essay entitled “You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument.” The author, Caroline Randall Williams, eloquently shared a painful history shared by so many Black Americans. I retweeted the essay to my modest following. As a Black Southern woman I agreed. My Black body would not be here all these years later had it not been for the actions of those who fought for the Confederacy. I am history. However, in the misty light of a rainy quarantine…

A. Allen

Approximate Knower of Many Things • Creatrix • Communications Scholar • Netizen

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