The Unpopular Opinion. 

Black people. We need to stop encouraging the violent protestors in Baltimore. Now don’t get all uppity right now. We’ve all seen what can happen to one of us when the violence turns fatal. 

We need to be peaceful for us. For our safety. 

THE POLICE ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE US JUSTICE. 

We have to fight for our justice. We have to centralize our voice. We have to be on one accord in order to actually do anything. 

Now let me say this; I do understand why people are choosing to riot. I do not think it should have happened, but it did. Yes we shouldn’t have to defend ourselves, but we’re black, guys. Olivia Pope was not the first or last to hear the “you have to work twice as hard to be just as good,” lecture. 

Now white people, if you haven’t noticed this hasn’t really been about you. But I’m going to include you for a moment because I know deep down if I don’t you’ll complain about it and ask why I refuse to accept you and see you as a real person and that we’re all the same and shouldn’t see color but you still don’t understand why black people are upset. 

Other persons of color, I include you in my charge.  While our struggles aren’t the same you can replace “black” with “[insert race here]” because we share a past of oppression. We need to find the unity in our struggles and use that to change the world. 

She and Him. 

It hits you like a roaring fire. It is all consuming and effortless. The most pure pulse of addictions. It twirled her round and round its fingers sending her spinning into space. She could feel her blood thickening from its existence in her. It got her high. It made her see the stars much more closely than they appeared. She was her best in it. She could see past herself in it. She was able to untwine the knots decorating her soul. It made her question herself; it forced a change in her. She knew she had played a chilish game, but there was something about this that triggered her. Something that shot through the aftermath and flung itself onto her. It was the draw of something so much more; something that would change all of them forever. 

He could see how her body seemed to tense around him. He saw the flicker in her eyes when she stared at him too long. He noticed how relieved she would be when he would smirk and ask how she was doing. He loved watching her stumble through saying goodbye. He’d taunt her every time, teetering in and out constantly, watching her battle her desire to be wrapped in his arms for a moment or wave it off. He could see how she itched with nervousness at the idea of feeling the sting of electricity from his skin. He loved the way she nervously fiddled with her hair. She would make a horrible poker player. Her laugh turned into the soft moan she would let out when he overcame her. It was hard for him, harder than he had expected,but she was like jumping into a waterfall. She was too new a theory; logic told him the safe bet is the formula at home. New had to be tried and tested and worked on, and he was too afraid. He longed to unlock her secrets, to find the truth she kept hidden beneath her waterfall. He stood at the edge of the cliff, skipping stones, longing to let go. 

Home. 

There’s a moment you experience when you love. It’s a feeling of complete and utter joy. It consumes you, almost from the inside out. It’s the rush of sweet tender memories that flood your heart and encourage that smile. It’s the smile you get when you see something you’ve loved and lost, the smile reserved for those closest to your heart. It was like jazz man. There was a build up so intense it consumed me. I could feel my heart pounding like sums in Caravan. Quick, fast and steady. The countdown was overwhelming.  Ladies and gentlemen please fasten your seatbelt a as we prepare for our final decent into New York JFK. I trembled at the thought of being home. The cold couldn’t keep me away. I longed for the scent of trash and the deadly windchill. I couldn’t get to a subway fast enough. As much as I missed being in Los Angeles, nothing felt like New York. They say home is where the heart is and New York has stolen mine. 

“Stop trying to be white.”: the ugly truth about Black Nerdom. 

being a black nerd is difficult. 

now let me tell you, that I have been a nerd my entire life. In third grade I was a part of a select few that respresemted my school in a series of academic and creative games call Odyessy of the Mind. In sixth grade I won a trip to the NASA space center in Huntsville, Alabama. As an adult, I am an avid player of dungeons and dragons, Magic the gathering, and countless board games that you can’t find at traditional stores. Hell, I work freelance in a game store. 

my nerdiness immediately placed me in a different social stratosphere. In sixth grade I attended a math and science magnet school in Watts, CA. I remember my first day, we had to talk about our summer vacations, and midway through my tale of visiting cousins in British Columbia, Canada, a girl said “if you weren’t so dark I would swear you were white.”

It wasn’t just my proper English that pegged me as the Oreo. It was my rolling backpack, my awkward shyness, and my performance in school. It was the beginning of the ugly truth. 

Within the black community, especially in lower income areas, being a nerd or being smart is a detriment. But why? 

You can blame it on parenting; that black parents don’t encourage their children enough to succeed academically. However I might argue that it can be extremely difficult for parents who work over 40 hours a week in order to keep their children housed, clothed, and fed to remember to wake their children in order to get an extra lesson in. I could also argue that slave conditioning hasn’t been eradicated yet, as black mothers often were forced to suppress their child’s achievements in order to keep their families together.    

“A smart nigger is a dead nigger.”

You can blame it on the media. In recent years there has been a heavy decline of movies and tv shows that depict smart, academically successful black people, especially in leading roles. You could argue however that it’s not the media’s job to show diverse representations of the population. Oh and Urkle is like the most famous black nerd of all time. 

You can blame it on schools. The lack of black history taught in schools can force children to think all good ideas and innovations come from Europe and people that look like them have nothing to do with it. Then again, we learn about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. every February until we reach high school. Learning about other cultures isn’t important then. 

The truth is, the blame falls on everyone’s shoulders. By equating nerdiness with whiteness is to limit and put blackness in a box. All too often we [black people] are so quick to limit ourselves. Black people don’t do this, black people don’t do that. Well black people have done this and we will do that. 

There is no such thing as being an “Oreo.” Only finding yourself a different flavor in a big box of candy. 

Nerd on.

-L

Who is Her?

I figure you may want to know who exactly is behind the keyboard.

well, I’m Loris. I’m a midtwenties, recent masters graduate looking to find her place in the world.

I like classical music and know the best songs for twerking. I don’t like being labeled or put into a box. I have a lot of friends but very little missed calls. I am the Bermuda Triangle of people. Too outside the box for some.

Im a romantic who values casual sex. (For the time being. I find myself longing for more in recent months.)

I am a dark skinned black woman.

I’m a nerd.

I find myself wondering if I will ever live up to my potential. I’m not sure I know what I’m doing and being underemployed only keeps me buried in doubt and fear.

I have so much student loan debt… Sometimes I wonder if it was worth it.

But I will survive. That’s who I am. A survivor.

-L

The Dawn of Her.

Here I sit; over educated, under employed, sleep deprived and possibly overly stimulated. 

I’m sure you feel that way too. It’s why you drink a little too much wine and watch girls on repeat. (I personally hate girls but that’s awholenother post entirely). 

Here, I will develop thoughts and ideas. I will divulge dark secrets and share vivid dreams. I just hope you’re along for the ride. Whoever you are. 

-L.