ZORA
Celebrating and centering the experiences of women of color.

Language

In ZORA. More on Medium.

I haven’t always capitalized the ‘W’ in my own writing, but I do now

A photo illustration that has “Black” with three lines under B, and “White” with three lines under W, for capitalization.

In recent days, multiple well-respected journalistic outlets have announced to much fanfare that, having reflected on the rapidly shifting American racial landscape, they will be capitalizing “Black” as designations for people and cultures. Some have also clarified why they’re not capitalizing “white.”

“Black is an ethnic designation; white merely describes…

ZORA Explains

Low ·​ Key [ loh — kee ] adj./adv. slang. quiet and restrained; not very forceful, emotional or noticeable; secretly.

Illustration: Alexandra Bowman

Excited about something or someone and don’t want to make a big deal out of it? Want to downplay an event or gathering? Hoping to not draw attention to yourself? Then you’re trying to keep things “low-key” which can mean quiet, restrained, lacking emotion, or secret.

“Low-key” has been in…

Choctaw was not taught to me, but now I need it to live authentically

A black and white vintage photo of Choctaw women weaving baskets in the early to mid 20th century.
A group of Choctaw Indian women weave baskets at St Matthews Church in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, early to mid 20th century. Photo: Visual Studies Workshop/Getty Images

Language has been on my mind a lot lately. Growing up in Oklahoma City as a Native child, I was surrounded by other Native folks and we all spoke English. I never had the opportunity to listen to or interact with fluent Choctaw speakers. My dad taught me words and…

Accepting the way I look, walk, and talk is the ultimate self-care

Photo: Maskot/Getty Images

Code-switching is designed to help people of color attempt to assimilate in professional spaces, but I have been doing it since preschool. I learned early. Now, as of January 1, 2020, I decided to stop.

Why? I blame the family dog.

When I was five years old, I was one…

I realize now that it’s my responsibility to present my authentic self to others

Illustration: Vrinda Zaveri
While I was home for Thanksgiving break, I wanted to ask the most important woman in my life: how do you pronounce my name?

My name is Shruti; it’s pronounced [shru-thī], not [shroo-tee]. As a Sanskrit word, “Shruti” originates from the Vedas found in Hinduism meaning “lyrics” or “that which…

Dangerous’ or anti-American posts cannot be screened through translation services, which do not provide the full context

Photo of a man holding  his mobile phone that says “We left Syria because of war and we want safety” on Google Translate.
Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Recently, ProPublica reported that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been using Google Translate in order to screen refugee and asylum seekers’ social media posts for “dangerous” content. We’ve already seen one example of someone being barred from the country for social media posts — although not even his…

ZORA

Celebrating and centering the experiences of women of color.

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