True to its origins, this year’s Juneteenth combines incremental victory and continued struggle.

Juneteenth is now an official federal holiday, with legislation creating “Juneteenth National Independence Day” having passed in the House and Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden. This victory is hard-won, the fruit of decades of activism from people like 94-year-old Opal Lee, who once walked from Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, D.C., (at 89!) to push for federal recognition.

So finally, the U.S. is getting a national holiday dedicated to the emancipation of our enslaved ancestors. But it’s happening amid a concerted right-wing effort…


“It seems like we as a country have yet to figure out what it means to celebrate Black people.”

Like many Black folks, I am perpetually exhausted by seeing the unexciting trend of a White person doing things that Black folks do every day and getting applause, clout, and cookout invitations for paying attention to Black culture. More egregious recent events have given way to popular discourse about gatekeeping Black culture, but it seems like we as a country have yet to figure out what it means to celebrate Black people.

In the present moment, many organizations are attempting to pay their just due from last summers’ racial reckonings with calls to buy Black, support Black businesses, and commemorate…


“All For You” evokes the sexiness of summer and the thrill of new beginnings.

The year was 2001, and the airwaves thrummed with a sample of the familiar funk groove of Change’s “Glow of Love,” only instead of Luther Vandross’ velvety voice, it was Janet Jackson’s whisper enticing a man with a “nice package.”

With the debut of her album All for You, Jackson entered the new millennium with a midriff, highlights, and a whole new vibe. Following the dissolution of her low-profile marriage to long-time companion Rene Elizondo Jr., Jackson’s seventh studio album cemented her next chapter as an artist and as a newly single woman. Her new sound was dreamier, bright, and…


Zorascope

June-July transits bring us the energy we need to get things started and to get our way.

On June 11, the planet of action, passion, and heat enters Leo. If “Hot Girl Summer” needed an official start date, this is it.

Mars in Leo is unapologetically embodied, inspired by brave action, and thrives on creative expression. (The “Hot Girl” herself, Megan Thee Stallion, actually has this placement in her natal chart, muah). Where Mars in Cancer may have made us sleepy, sentimental, and tender, Mars in Leo urges us all to show up courageously, to funnel our spirits into the people and activities that light us on fire!

In your chart, look to the house that contains…


My family’s method of making collards may not be the best way…

It gives me no pleasure to make this admission. In fact, it is with great sadness that I share this with you. If put on the witness stand to testify, as I most surely expect that I would be, just like Lieutenant Colonel Markinson in “A Few Good Men,” I would say: I don’t want a deal and I don’t want immunity. I want you to know that I am proud neither of what I have done nor of what I am doing.

Like most kids, I feel like my mom is the best cook of every type of food…


How one test enforces unfair academic gatekeeping

Some time ago, a world-famous White male economist did something unprecedented: He shared his GRE scores publicly — scores that, in his words, would have resulted in him being screened out by the top programs that now swear by his textbooks and resources today. (In the field of economics, the quantitative score must be nearly perfect for competitive programs that yield the best academic career outcomes.) In the tweets that followed, he shared that while he didn’t know if the GRE was useful and that it could be a nontrivial predictor, he ultimately wanted to normalize the fact that not…


There is power in vulnerability and setting boundaries

I always heard that being a strong Black woman was something to be proud of, and I am proud of it; however, the way that strength had been shown to me was always through suffering in some capacity. The constant experience of trials and tribulations, wrongdoings from others, and the compromise of one’s own happiness had found its way into my subconsciousness. I internalized it in a way that led me to struggle with vulnerability, affection or connection during intimate moments, and being too stubborn (I’m a Capricorn woman, I can’t completely help it).

To me, having a tough exterior…


The seductive—and scary—sides of winning big on a game show

I won nearly $40,000 on the Price is Right in 2018. Unexpectedly, the experience was almost tantric in its sensuality. The hours-long, anticipatory wait in line, furtive glances at strangers nearby, and sweat (so, so much sweat) as we stood in handmade shirts waiting for the chance to caress Drew Carey in a public forum… it was almost too much.

Interestingly, we weren’t all there for the same reason. Not all of us planned to actually ‘come on down.’ Sure, the vast majority of the hundreds of us who gathered for one of two tapings per day at CBS…


Was the summer of 2020 a wake-up call, a reckoning or a revolution?

With six months under our belts in 2021, many have begun to refer to 2020 as the “lost year.” Twenty-twenty was the year that brought us so much — trauma, a reset, inner peace, anxiety. Essentially, it was a basket case of a year. If you are Black, however, it brought with it the persistent reminder that even in the midst of a global pandemic, where a trip to the grocery store could land you in the hospital or worse, being Black in America was still just as deadly as contracting Covid-19. …


SPIRIT MEDICINE

Amber the Alchemist pulls a tarot and an oracle card just for you

As Mercury in haterade and eclipse season has us battling with revelations, miscommunications, delays, and unexpected mixups, we are tasked by Spirit to keep our cool.

Baba Cutlass’s energetic influence on the collective this week stresses the importance of mind over matter. The key to this week is our receptiveness to informational downloads, healing a relationship, extending forgiveness, releasing a situation, or preparing for the next chapter.

ZORA

Bold, yet refined. A publication from Medium for Black women.

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