Rating My First Semester at Harvard University out of 5 Stars

Before my second semester gets a little TOO crazy, I want to rate my first semester at Harvard. Spoiler alert: I LOVED it.

First things first, getting into Harvard was the happiest moment of my life. Period.

Even though it was a struggle to even live on Harvard’s campus last year, I learned so much about the college lifestyle while I was there. On-campus life was restricted to first-year students only; and quite frankly, the very necessary COVID restrictions made it so I barely left my dorm. When I did though, I was surrounded by some really great people. And when I didn’t, sixteen seasons of Grey’s Anatomy got me TOGETHER!

Let’s get to the categories, shall we?

Continue reading “Rating My First Semester at Harvard University out of 5 Stars”

Rating Harvard Students’ Response to Black Women’s Trauma: Breonna Taylor.

This week, I’m calling people out for their failure to listen to, understand, and believe the traumatic accounts of Black women. Why did Breonna Taylor not receive proper justice? And why did Harvard students address it better than the administration itself?

On March 13, 2020 local Louisville police officers Brett Hankison, Jon Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove executed a no-knock warrant search warrant that landed them on Breonna Taylor’s doorstep, where she was asleep in bed with her long-term boyfriend (would-have-been fiancé) Kenneth Walker. Upon forcibly entering the home, Kenneth Walker and the three Louisville police officers engaged in gunfire. Breonna was shot eight times and killed. 

Assumptions and misinformation quickly spread since March until now, in an attempt to justify the unjust murder of Breonna Taylor. Let’s unpack that. First, Louisville police officers did not announce themselves before entering Breonna Taylor’s apartment, despite going on record stating that they did so. In fact, all of Breonna’s interviewed neighbors stated that they heard no such announcement. It’s likely that Kenneth didn’t either. Second, Kenneth Walker is not a criminal. The no-knock warrant was for the search of alleged drugs in Breonna Taylor’s ex-boyfriend’s ownership. Those drugs were never found. Third, Kenneth Walker did not willingly fire at known police officers. In fact, Kenneth Walker’s 911 call reveals that he had no idea who was entering his girlfriend’s home. He only knew that they intended to cause harm. Additionally, Kenneth Walker’s firearm was licensed. Louisville authorities knew this. As a result, his inital charges of attempted murder of a police officer were dismissed on May 26th by Judge Olu Stevens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Courts. 

This shrewd attempt to villainize both Breonna and Kenneth speak to bigger issues at hand: systemic racism and the over-reliance on law enforcement. The flawed protocol of the Louisville Metro Police Department has consistently and disproportionately endangered Black civilians. So much so, that Breonna Taylor has a law named after how now. Breonna’s Law bans no-knock warrants for the LMPD. Sadly, Breonna’s Law is not just for Breonna. Breonna was only the tip of the iceberg in the conflict between brutal police forces and oppressed Black Americans. According to the ACLU, the death of Breonna Taylor adds onto a list of failed no-knock warrants that ended in violence, and only further militarized American police. 

Although there is so much misinformation being spread about Breonna Taylor’s life and death, one thing remains crystal clear. She deserved to live. Instead, Hankison was charged with first degree wanton endangerment. According to Kentucky statute 508.060, wanton endangerment applies “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, [a person] wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.” In other words, Hankison was charged for endangering Breonna Taylor’s neighbors, but not for killing her. When news hit that Breonna Taylor did not receive proper justice after 190 days of waiting, Kentucky protests spread nationwide. Harvard students got the memo. 

Continue reading “Rating Harvard Students’ Response to Black Women’s Trauma: Breonna Taylor.”

Chadwick Boseman, A Real Life King: Celebrating Boseman’s Films & Legacy

This week, I’m mourning the loss of Chadwick Boseman and celebrating his illustrious acting career.

When you think of Chadwick Boseman, you probably think of Black Panther. As you should.

The release of Black Panther in 2018 changed not only the Hollywood movie-making industry, but it changed the way in which the world viewed Black power, Black life, and Black history. Along with Black Panther, came the kingdom of Wakanda, the realest fictional place to ever exist. Wakanda is a stark contrast to the popular perception of Africa. It is highly industrialized and contains the most up-to-date technology. When the world was calling Africans “barbaric” and “uncivilized”, this 2018 groundbreaking film was humanizing them in a beautiful way. Black women were the King’s strongest warriors, Black men led individual armies, and Black love was respected.

The film also explored a dangerously sensitive conversation; the cultural gap between African people and African-American people.

Today, though, I want to talk about his other famous films. The ones you may not think of immediately. Boseman played historical roles that helped uplift Black people and share an underrepresented history.

Continue reading “Chadwick Boseman, A Real Life King: Celebrating Boseman’s Films & Legacy”

Black Lives Matter: Black Transgender Lives Matter, Too.

This week, I’m calling my community out on their shit. The homophobia and transphobia that exists within the Black Community is toxic. Here’s how to scream “Black Lives Matter” and include Black trans people.

I saw a disturbing video on Instagram today. It was an unnecessary, evil act of violence that is difficult to even articulate. A group of transgender women were robbed and brutally beaten by six men. These men then had the audacity to post a video of them committing this hate crime. One of the survivors, Eden, posted the video here.

This instance of violence against a transgender person does not exist in a vacuum. This is not the first time this has happened. We’ve seen this with Dominique Fells in June. We’ve seen this with Bree Black. And so many more instances that society has ignored and forgotten about.

So this isn’t new. Shock and disbelief are not the only feelings you should have when you hear about violent act against transgender people. People, in general, need to seek accountability and change.

Continue reading “Black Lives Matter: Black Transgender Lives Matter, Too.”

Rating The Political Impact of Kanye West’s Anti-Black Rhetoric.

This week, I am talking about Kanye West, and his many, many, many anti-Black slip-ups. Here’s why his words are both racially and politically dangerous.

We all know what’s happening in November.

The upcoming election hasn’t revealed ideal candidates for either party. Even though this will be my first time voting in an election ever, I can guarantee you I’m not wasting my vote on Kanye West.

Kanye West’s ability to enter the presidential race without the proper prior background (a.k.a. any degree from any institution in literally any field) alongside his disregard for deadlines has exposed the ugly truth surrounding politics recently. Celebrity Culture has made true intellect and political capacity rare characteristics in popular presidential candidates.

I mean, our current president is known more for his talk-show appearances than for his political prowess.

I could go on about how Kanye West’s massive fan base blindly support his political campaign, putting our country’s international reputation at risk.

But today, I want to focus on a different aspect on Kanye West’s political campaign. It’s the anti-black rhetoric he continues to spread and fail to atone for.

Continue reading “Rating The Political Impact of Kanye West’s Anti-Black Rhetoric.”

Black Lives Matter: Rating the NBA and NFL’s Responses to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

This week, I am rating the sad excuses for the restart of the NBA and NFL seasons. Why are people so eager to return to a “normal” when most Black athletes were condemned for supporting the BLM? Here’s why normal is long gone.

The NFL

Earlier this week, my professor asked me if I’d heard about the Washington Redskins’ name change. In the face of the Black Lives Matter Movement, this Washington NFL team has decided to change its name from the Washington Redskins to the Washington Football Team.

Washington's NFL team changes name, for now, to 'Washington ...

Apparently, it took the NFL nearly nine decades to realize they harbored such a racist name. (Just kidding. Of course they knew it was racist.)

If you’re reading this, then you probably already understand the dire need to humanize Black athletes in entertainment. From statements as painful as “shut up and dribble” to fining players for kneeing during the National Anthem, it is quite clear where the National Football League stands in regards to the Black Lives Matter Movement. So why am I writing this?

Because, something has changed.

No, the NFL didn’t just start caring about Black lives out of the blue. Instead, Black players have been forced to realize their identity outside of their athletic achievement and talent. The covid-19 pandemic has stripped every single athlete in America of their in-stadium, on-the-field experience. So they’ve been forced to wonder: who am I when I’m not playing football or basketball on live television?

Some of you may be wondering how Black players didn’t realize they were Black before. If you are, stop. Because your thinking is flawed. Their Blackness itself is not being called into question here. However, the reason for a shift in political standing is.

Continue reading “Black Lives Matter: Rating the NBA and NFL’s Responses to the Black Lives Matter Movement.”

Black Lives Matter: Rating Makeup Companies’ Responses to the Black Lives Matter Movement. #PullUporShutUp

This week, I am rating how large companies and networks have responded to the Black Lives Matter Movement. I’m also your new plug for Black-owned beauty brands…you’re welcome.

Did you know that only 8% of people employed in white-collar jobs are Black? Did you know that only 3% of those Black employees hold executive roles?

White-collar jobs pay the highest average salary in the United States. People who work in these professions are usually privileged groups of Americans, who don’t have to get their hands dirty by doing actual manual labor. The majority of white-collar jobs consist of white men. For that reason, it is especially important to recognize when minority groups are present in these roles.

Today, I am highlighting the amount of Black people employed by beauty brands’ executive boards, to inform you how large makeup companies may hinder Black excellence.

Continue reading “Black Lives Matter: Rating Makeup Companies’ Responses to the Black Lives Matter Movement. #PullUporShutUp”

Black Lives Matter: Rating Predominantly White Institutions’ Responses to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

This week, with the help of my friends, I analyze PWI’s responses to the Black Lives Matter Movement. I’m looking at you, Harvard.

As most of you know, I am an incoming freshman at Harvard University. To this day, it’s the best thing to happen to me. I could spend this time explaining how the college application process was the most stressful time of my life, but I would rather celebrate my future at Harvard. In doing so, I must be both open and willing to criticize the very institution that encouraged my outspokenness to begin with, and therefore; accepted me.

So, here’s my disclaimer…

The content of this post is not to invalidate the prestige of these institutions. And it certainly does not serve to discourage Black students from attending PWI’s. An education is an education, period.

Today, I’m not rating these institutions alone. You, the readers, are. I’ve personally reached out to students attending PWI’s for the 2020-2021 school year. Its important for students to rate their respective institutions, to ensure that all opinions are rooted in personal experience and credibility.

Continue reading “Black Lives Matter: Rating Predominantly White Institutions’ Responses to the Black Lives Matter Movement.”