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The intricacies of DMX and what he meant to survivors of institutional violence

I remember vividly when Earl “DMX” Simmons came onto the mainstream music scene. My friends and I enthusiastically chanted: “…stop, drop, shut ’em down, open up shop…oh, no, that’s how Ruff Ryders roll.”

By then, I was in my second foster home and many placements inside of the foster care system would follow soon after. DMX and his fellow Ruff Ryders served as a musical backdrop in my turbulent young life. …

Society needs to value marginalized Black women while alive and not valorize them when they’re gone

I learned about the death of Eleanor Bumpurs as a teenager, and this was when I found out that Black women are killed by the police. She resided in the Sedgwick Houses, which is walking distance from where I grew up. The shooting happened before I was born, but hearing about a mentally ill woman being blasted by a 12-gauge shotgun sent chills up my spine.

In the early 2000s, as I sat restriction in a dining room at Pleasantville Cottage School, I saw a lanky, pretty, dark-skinned girl standing by the front door with bags. She had a pensive…

For once I need to write without the constraints of respectability

Last night I realized that it was my three-month anniversary since I published my first article on Medium. The objective of doing it was to finally unload a period of my life that weighed me down. I remember I explained it to my mother as, “dumping an anvil off of a small rowboat.”

Since then, I’ve published four articles to An Injustice! magazine on Medium, one on my own, and all were curated. Life comes at you fast, huh? Life dealt me an unfavorable hand, and it seems the universe is reshuffling the deck in my favor. …

How white music artists use Hip-Hop as a backdoor to mainstream success

Despite COVID-19 and the world’s new normal, the 2020 Video Music Awards took place. Fans and watchers discussed their favorite fashion ensembles, moments, and winners on social media. Some expressed excitement about Machine Gun Kelly’s win in the Best Alternative category and praised his pink suit.

How is Machine Gun Kelly considered an alternative artist? When did his switch from Hip-Hop to “alternative” occur? He’s signed to Bad Boy Records and entered the music industry as a rapper. After some internet searches, the inquiry had an answer and a clear timeline became visible.

In 2019, he collaborated with Yungblud and…

Acquiring the means for Gaza to cultivate a strong skating community is a taxing endeavor, due to constraints

The popularity of rollerblading in Gaza and the West Bank planted the seed for skater culture to grow in a region, where its citizens are born into conflict and often caught in the crossfire. In 2013, Khan Younis erected its first skateboarding ramp, and this led the way for Gaza’s youth to find an outlet through skating.

Parallels are seen with the Zephyr Skate Team — the Z-Boys — and Palestinian skateboarders. These newcomers to the contemporary skateboarding scene face challenges that mirror their predecessors. The Z-Boys were made up of marginalized youth from Venice Beach, California. They were considered…

A family in turmoil compels us to ask if disposability exists in activism

On a rainy New Years' Eve, the family of Nicholas Heyward, Sr. assembled at a Brooklyn nursing home. The mood was somber, as the shock of his death didn’t set in. Facing the prospect of no longer having him around was something no one wanted to accept.

Nicholas Heyward, Sr. was a pillar in the New York City activist community. It was a position he didn’t expect but willingly embraced after the murder of his 13-year-old son in 1994, by a housing officer, at the Gowanus Houses. Nicholas Heyward Jr. was a diligent student and basketball player. The love he…

The murder of Tessa Majors uncovered true feelings about Harlem and the people I grew up with

*Tessa Majors used they/their/them pronouns

December 11th, 2019 unfolded as an inconspicuous day at Columbia University. We were in the throes of “finals season”. I was at my favorite place on campus —Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. As I was feverishly typing on my laptop, I was interrupted by the chirping sound of a Citizen app notification. Someone in Morningside Park was stabbed and pronounced dead. I felt awful but continued my work. Growing up around violence is something I’m eerily accustomed to.

Around 7:20am the following morning, University President Lee Bollinger, sent an email to the Columbia community…

Remembering my short-lived friendship with Paris Hilton and the problem with This is Paris

My mother was born into a New York high society family, and she didn’t fit in. She never met the high expectations of a young woman of her pedigree. She eventually moved us to the Bronx, and my mother became involved with our school. She normalized our presence in the mostly Black student demographic. This caused trouble, as the school called child welfare services under fraudulent pretenses. My mother’s side of the family backed out from taking us in, until my mother sorted things out. …


A boogie-down Bronx girl who knows the importance of reciprocity. An aspiring writer, humanitarian, and reluctant academic, striving for self-improvement.

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