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Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

2020 has been exhausting, to say the least. The current state of society, pandemic, politics, and social justice issues have made this year one of the most difficult to deal with. We lived through a halt in our routine with the start of the pandemic. We lived through a stressful election season. We also lived through an economy that depressed and then slowly climbed uphill again. You may have faced other hardships and personal issues that made 2020 feel unbearable thus far. The good thing is 2021 is just less than two months away. But rather than complain and tweet endlessly about how raggedy 2020 is, how about looking forward to something new? Each new day is a chance to have a different thought and do a new thing. …


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Kamala D. Harris (AFP/Getty Images)

Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-California) is the new Vice President elect of the United States. The 2020 Presidential election results were called earlier this week by a number of verifiable news outlets. Harris, an HBCU graduate is the first woman and first Black woman to be elected Vice President. It is an historic position to be in. She and President Barack H. Obama have the position of “first” in common. Unfortunately, what they also have in common is America’s obsessive focus on their ethnic background and parentage. But why is this? Isn’t it enough that Kamala Harris is American? …


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Jack’s typwriter. “The Shining”

I was an English major in undergrad. I briefly wrote for my college newspaper. After graduation I wrote an essay for an anthology and a few articles for local publications. I also landed an editorial internship / reporter gig. I wrote essays for a few internet magazines. It was all leading up to something: my journey as a writer. But it’s been many years since. I’ve taught students. Performed poetry. Been a featured author or poet at venues. Had poetry featured in journals and magazines. Lived. Laughed. Traveled a lot.

One thing I have continued to hear over the years from various writers is that there are periods where they have “writer’s block.” I always listened attentively about it. There was usually some stressful circumstance surrounding. A bad job. An even worse relationship. Falling out of love with the genre one is writing in. …


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Salt-N-Pepa with DJ Spinderella

My mic sound nice, check one
My mic sound nice, check two
My mic sound nice, check three

Lifetime TV aired the biopic of one of rap’s most famous groups, Salt-N-Pepa on Saturday, January 23rd. According to Variety, the film was executive produced by Robert Teitel along with Queen Latifah, Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and Shakim Compere. The film was co-executive produced by James “Jimmy” Maynes and Hurby Azor. The film’s director was Mario Van Peebles with screenplay written by Abdul Williams.


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Radha Blank in “The 40-Year Old Version”

YO! Where my period at? These are the lyrics Radha Blank spits in the new Netflix film “The 40-Year Old Version.” Enter Radha. A Black female playwright, budding lyricist, poet, womanist, and arts teacher. She’s been writing for a long time and yearns to be acknowledged for her artistic genius. But she also wants to stay true to herself and her Harlem roots. Radha’s signature gold, door knocker earrings, African headwrap, and no nonsense attitude create the artist’s swag in the film.

The film is an ode to every Black girl artists’ dreams of making it in the Big City. It’s also an ode to New York City and Harlem itself, known for making and breaking dreams of those who dare. …


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Photo: Amy Tipton amy-tipton.com

Many writers are grabbing at straws when it comes to book publishing. What is a book synopsis? How do I write a query letter? Do I really need my manuscript professionally edited? These are questions that writers may struggle with.

The industry can feel like an elite club that only lets in a chosen few good writers. For the writers who took their dreams into their own hands, self publishing has been the way to go. But if you’re planning to go the traditional route and you haven’t networked your way into a book deal, you’re going to need some pointers from those who have been on the inside. …


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Photo: CDC — library

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos is on her way out, and many educators are glad about it. According to a March 2020 article published by the National Education Association, despite widespread concerns among parents and educators, it was Devos who pressured the nation’s public schools to fully open in Fall 2020. Devos threatened to “cut off funds to public schools that don’t fully open in the fall” and suggested those funds would be routed to “private and religious” schools instead. We know that public schools, particularly in urban and low income areas are highly populated by Black and brown children. What Devos’ decision suggested is that the nation’s most vulnerable students and their teachers were not her concern, money was. Where was the national plan for student and teacher safety in the face of COVID-19? …


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Photo: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

On Sunday night, November 8th HBO aired the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction. The 2020 class of inductees in the performer category are: Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T. Rex. With the passing of Whitney Houston eight years ago, it’s a bittersweet feeling as a longtime fan of hers that she was not inducted while she was alive. But better late, than never. Houston’s hits such as “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” (1987), “Greatest Love of All” (1985), “So Emotional” (1987), and “How Will I Know” (1985) are the love songs that 80s kids grew up on. I still remember Whitney’s videos, so fun and full of girly energy. Like in the “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” video Whitney’s wearing form fitting bodycon dresses in bright colors, long stresses, jumping up and down in heels while her boy dancers move around her. I remember Whitney’s iconic album covers, her face was beautiful, her skin was always glowing. …


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Taught By Women: Poems as Resistance Language New and Selected by Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti

I recently interviewed the legendary poet, author, educator, editor, founder & president of Third World Press Foundation, Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti on my podcast. Madhubuti is the bestselling author of poetry and non-fiction titles such as Don’t Cry, Scream! (1969), Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The African American Family in Transition (1990), Tough Notes: A Healing Call For Creating Exceptional Black Men (2002), YellowBlack: The First Twenty-One Years of a Poet’s Life, A Memoir (2006), and Liberation Narratives: New and Collected Poems 1966–2009 (2009).

His critical and inspirational writings have served as guidebooks in Black literature and cultural consciousness primers for generations of poets, scholars, students, and educators. Madhubuti, known as an institution builder, is the founder of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University. He and his wife, Dr. Carol D. Lee founded the Institute of Positive Education, New Concept Development Center, and the Betty Shabazz International Charter Schools which serves over 600 Chicago children. …


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(l) 50 Cent, Ice Cube (r)

Several rappers have been in the news for their political endorsements and campaign to encourage people to vote in the 2020 election. Back in April, Sean Diddy Combs tweeted that quote “The Black vote will not be free this year.” A Black Enterprise article quoted Diddy as saying, “We’re gonna have to see some promises. We’re gonna have to understand what kind of deal we’re getting out of — what are we getting in return for our vote? Nothing has changed in America for Black America.”

Since then, according to PRNewswire, Combs and Revolt TV has relaunched Sean “Diddy” Combs’ VOTE or DIE! initiative, to “rally the next generation of leaders to exercise their right to vote in this critical election.” …

About

DuEwa Frazier

Writer, podcaster, and TEDx speaker. Author of 7 books. #writing #culture #diversity #edchat #selfcare Visit www.duewaworld.com. Tweet me @duewafrazier1.

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