You’re quiet out there now that your leader is gone. Don’t expect us to lower the volume while celebrating this victory.

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

It’s funny how an election changes situations.

Many of you have been uncharacteristically quiet over the last couple of days, or maybe Facebook’s algorithm gods are just sparing my sanity. Either way, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the silence right now. Crickets all over.

Unfortunately, posts from some of you popped up all through Election Day/ week, when President-elect Joe Biden pulled ahead of Donald Trump in those crucial swing states. You started to plead with everyone to suddenly get along and sing “Kumbaya.” …

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It’s just another way to strip away Black individuality.

Photo: Dan Niculescu

“Youth is wasted on the young,” someone once said. Thank God, a little of it was left over for me. I’ll never get tired of being reminded I look younger than my middle age. If only that flattering observation didn’t sometimes come with a certain less-than-flattering racial qualifier:

“Black don’t crack.”

Of all the hackneyed, ridiculous things to say, why do so many people still insist on saying this?

Aside from being annoyingly ungrammatical, it isn’t even true. Black does crack, as any Black person who has suffered from ashy skin with no soothing moisturizer on hand would tell you.


Stop asking if it’s necessary for us to call ourselves what we are.

Photo: Wild Bobby

I knew she meant well, but something about the copy editor’s question bothered me. She had doubts about a word I’d used in a story I’d written for the magazine she worked for to describe a Grammy-nominated music producer, a rising star who was not yet a household name — or even a familiar one. I called him “gay.”

“Do you really think it’s necessary to identify him as ‘gay’?” the well-meaning copy editor asked. “Does it matter? I mean, would we identify a straight person as ‘straight’?”

Does it matter?

I thought about her question for a few minutes…


With “Montero,” his ode to the joy of being gay, the rapper scores a No. 1 smash and hits the religious right where it hurts.

Lil Nas X dances with the devil in “Montero” (Photo: Sony Music)

Back in 2019 when Lil Nas X’s single “Old Town Road” started cresting Billboard’s Hot 100 for what would go on to be a record-setting 19 weeks, the rapper looked a lot like a future poster child for one-hit wonders.

But before the single reached the end of its nearly five-month stretch atop the chart, Nas X’s career was already demonstrating a stubborn persistence. On June 30, 2019, the last day of Gay Pride Month, the then-20-year-old came out as gay on social media and neither the song nor his rising star slipped. Then at the top of 2020, Nas…


Fighting is futile.

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

For someone who spends such a considerable chunk of time laying out arguments, I’m terrible at arguing. I get excited. I raise my voice, and, according to my husband, I start talking like a journalist.

He doesn’t mean it as a compliment, but I secretly take it as one. From where I’m listening, I’m a rambling, flustered, stuttering mess trying to put my thoughts into words and failing to make them land effectively. That might be partly why I raise my voice. It’s not just because I’m passionate. …


Despite more racially diverse nominees than ever in 2021, the Academy Awards— and movies — remain largely segregated.

Clockwise from top left: Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal (Photo: Amazon Studios), Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Photo: Netflix), the cast of Minari (Photo: A24)

I know I should be applauding.

The ratio of White-to-BIPOC Academy Award nominees in the acting categories has never been tipped more in favor of diversity and inclusion than it is this year. When the ceremony takes place on April 25, the Oscars will be anything but #SoWhite.

Six of the 20 acting contenders are Black (including two Black Best Actress nominees for the first time since 1973), tying a record set in 2017 when Moonlight was named Best Picture. Last year, none of the Korean actors in the foreign-language Best Picture winner Parasite were nominated. …


Dream on, right? The icon turns 79 this month, and she still doesn’t get the musical respect she’s earned.

Barbra Streisand (and Sally Kirkland) in the 1976 movie A Star Is Born (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Something got me started, and this time, it was Tina Turner. With all the recent talk about Tina, the new HBO documentary about the Queen of Rock and Roll, vintage music divas of a certain age have been on my mind. We need to appreciate them while we can.

I like to think I devoted an appropriate level of appreciation to Aretha Franklin before and after her passing in 2018. I’ve been revisiting her legend over the last few days through Genius: Aretha on Hulu, and it’s making me even more impatient for Jennifer Hudson-as-Aretha in the big-screen biopic Respect…


Rule No. 1: Don’t shoot the messenger — or beat them unconscious.

Photo: Photo by Talen de St. Croix on Unsplash

I just watched a video that will likely be on my mind for the rest of the day. The violence in it makes my stomach churn and so does the certainty that certain White people will use it to absolve themselves of their own racism because of a Black antagonist who gave as good as he got, only much worse.

In the clip documenting a March 29 encounter on a New York City subway, a Black man pummels an Asian man until he’s unconscious, allegedly for calling him the N word. …


What our response to Meghan and Harry and ‘Allen v. Farrow’ reveal about how we process race and sex allegations.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in Oprah with Meghan and Harry (Photo: CBS) and Woody Allen with Dylan and Ronan Farrow in Allen v. Farrow (Photo: HBO)

In the weeks since Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex’s TV interview with Oprah Winfrey first aired on March 7, the former actress known as Meghan Markle has faced criticism from two primary angles. After revealing the racism she endured while she and Harry were still senior members of the British royal family living in Kensington Palace, some doubters, like Piers Morgan, branded her a liar.

The other dominant doubter take — expressed by the likes of Megyn Kelly and, until she actually watched the interview, former The Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel


The View cohost who owes her TV career to her DNA is worried diversity will fill workplaces with unqualified minorities.

Meghan McCain on The View (Photo: ABC)

Years ago during one of my mother’s trips to visit me in New York City, I surprised her with a ticket to sit in the audience for a live taping of The View. As I dropped her off at the midtown ABC studios to see a show I’d never bothered to watch, I felt a twinge of guilt. …

Jeremy Helligar

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj

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