Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

I overheard a conversation on the train a while ago. Two men, sitting in the row across from me, discussing New Year’s Resolutions.

“I think this next year, I’m going to start waking up earlier and going to gym in the mornings before work.”

Look, this back-and-forth is ever-to common and it’s time to dissect its implications.

We all know around this time of year, the talks of resolutions and goal-setting meander…

Picture from The Fader

I first joined Twitter in April of 2011. I was a Kelly Rowland fan account.


I learned quickly what it meant to be a member of a community of people who shared a common love for Ms. Kelendria Rowland. Like many stan communities on Twitter, we bonded and worked towards the common goal of uplifting our fave — by promoting her singles, albums, music videos, and appearances.

In 2012, I remember distinctively following an account at the time, named MadBlackThot, a Twitter icon that found a way to be relatable, despite its anonymity. Followers believed to know MadBlackThot as…

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It’s July 6th, just after 3pm, and I’m in the passenger’s seat of my friend’s Uhaul, helping her make the after-college move from Philadelphia to her new apartment in New York City. We’re two 21-year old Black women who just graduated from our Ivy League university. We’re making the two-or-so hour drive after packing up a truck without her parent’s assistance. I had no plans this weekend, but we help each other with everything, and I’m getting a free trip to the city out of it.

In typing Black “women,” it dawned on me — no, we aren’t little girls…

Photo of Reverend Jasper Williams, from BCNN

I’ll go right to the point.

We need to address the disconnect between the perspectives of those that frequent Black churches across the country and the perspectives of the younger, Black generation growing up in the now. We need to talk about why more and more young people are not going to church, regardless of their religious affiliation. We don’t discuss the people who have felt ostracized, not welcome, or frankly disrespected in these spaces intended for eternal love. Like every other generational difference, especially among Black people, it’s a hush-hush thing that is never brought up.

For many young…

Picture by the LA Times

This past Saturday, the legendary Serena Williams competed against 20-year old Naomi Osaka in this year’s U.S. Open Championships in New York. Osaka, who was born to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, prevailed in an emotional, gut-wrenching 6–2 6-4 defeat over Williams, thus becoming the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam single title. But this historic final between two women of color proved to be the visual representation of what happens when Black women have the audacity stand up for themselves.

During the second set, the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, of whom has had a history of…

Picture from New York Post

Omarosa Manigault Newman might have been the smartest, most capable person in the Trump Administration, ironically.

After making a mononymous name for herself back in 2004 as a reality TV star, she has since then spun the White House on its head, garnering national media attention with her comments, accusations, and (hundreds of) tapes outlining her time as the Trump Administration’s token Black woman. The way in which she pulls this off — dare I say it — proves to be impressive.

Make no mistake, she still isn’t invited to the cookout. But…

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When I took the time…

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Dear Tyler Perry,

Growing up, I watched almost all of your plays, movies, and TV shows — so this is not a letter penned by someone late to your success as a director, producer, writer, and actor. In fact, I distinctly remember, one Christmas morning, happily being gifted several DVD’s, including the screenplays I Know I’ve Changed, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Class Reunion, and I Can Do Bad All By Myself. I am conscious of your triumphant story, from being homeless to a multi-millionaire in ten short years. I respect the advice you have given to writers…

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When I finally had a moment to breathe after completing [read: bombing] the last final of my junior year of college, I rushed to my apartment while glancing back and forth at my phone screen. I wasn’t responding to a text, or even reading a tweet. I was signing up for a free HBO trial, purely to binge-watch the award-winning, Twitter-war-inducing TV show Insecure. I’m not one to watch shows continuously throughout the semester because I know myself. I know I am the prime target of Hulu and Netflix’s “Continue Watching” feature. I binge watched Issa’s Awkward Black Girl on…

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On an unexpected Saturday afternoon, Beyonce graced Instagram with a snippets featuring her new single APESHIT and album cover for her joint album with Jay Z, Everything Is Love. Filmed in an empty Louvre museum, Beyonce and Jay Z balance wide-shots of cinematographic Black artistry with famous cameos of Mona Lisa and other world-renowned paintings. …

If you’re anything like me, it’s difficult to study to music that has words.

If anything, I prefer to study in complete silence or instrumental music, which usually comes in the form of movie soundtracks, old classical music, and youtube videos. One day, the night before — or honestly, 3:00am the morning of — a final, I was buried in stray pieces of study guides and open textbooks, with overheating computers and ramen noodles balancing on top.

My friend claimed she had “ran out of music to play.” (Yeah, I don’t know either). While I processed this astonishing statement, I…

Ashley E. Barrett

University of Pennsylvania '19, The Unseasoned Podcast, Follow me on twitter

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