A brief update on my journey and why PRIDE has new meaning

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2021 is only halfway through and it has already brought about much change in our lives, the country, and much more. Think about it, we saw democracy threatened on January 6th, we got a new President, we saw justice for once with the conviction of Derek Chauvin, we are in the midst of a gradual re-opening of society, and we recently gained a new national holiday. And, that’s only some of the highlights.

Personally, I’ve experienced changes as well such as getting some new piercings, getting my COVID-19 vaccine, starting a new job, and I started investing. …


The role of white sports media in telling the stories of Black athletes today

Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash

In a span of a week, we’ve seen a series of incidents where sports, dominated by Black athletes; race; and the predominantly white sports media converge. Now, this is something that I’ve written about before on Blavity; but, this past week we’ve witnessed arguably the best women’s tennis play in the world drop out of a Grand Slam tournament (French Open), the greatest gymnast in the world get docked points for successfully completing a move once thought impossible perform, an NBA player get spat on, another have a bottle thrown at them, another popcorn thrown on them, and another have…


A war story

Day or night, the Blue-Eyed Damsel gets her way

With ivory skin and golden mane, her nature demure,

Is able to influence men – white & Black – with much sway

Tracing her lineage deep, we’ve encountered her kind before

Potiphar’s Wife, Delilah, Helen of Troy, they’re one and the same

Known to fell men – Black – mere pawns of their game

The Blue-Eyed Damsel, meek and low,

Conceals an arsenal of weapons end Black men, numbers in tow

More lethal and efficient than any army

Lies the ability to destroy one’s mind, soul, and body

A cry, a…


The Exhaustion of Being Social During a Pandemic

Earlier today, I was texting a close friend — a typical check-in — to see how each other was doing, when she asked me, “do you feel like relationships or friendships are exhausting this season?” She added that they no longer liked being the first to text or reply first to texts because people’s responses can be unpredictable.

At that moment, I felt seen. I felt that I was no longer alone in how I’ve come to feel that this pandemic has shaped my socialization with family, friends, and others.

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As someone who is highly introverted with social anxiety, throughout…


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A story of how early childhood foundations shape one’s perspective — and journey — with race

As I prepare to embark on a career in diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI), I’ve been thinking a lot about my roots — my origins — in terms of genealogy, sexuality, spirituality, race, and more. Most pronounced have been my roots related to race, especially following the recent spate of Black unarmed killings. As I reflected, I came to realize that the most important roots were my family and how they raised me which was proudly Black, if not tinged with a bit of colorism. But, aside from my family, I thought about external socialization with race and how those…


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After holding our collective breath during the Trump administration, what does it feel like to breathe again?

It is Inauguration Day as I begin writing this piece. It is supposed to be a day of national pride, patriotism, and optimism. We are ushering in a new administration, led by Joe Biden & Kamala Harris, to steer the nation back on course, what some call “a more perfect union.”

“A more perfect union” is what the Framers had in mind prior to January 20, 2017 — a country that could elect a populist outsider, non-politician, entertainment figure to the highest office in the land. …


Black merit has been a constant threat to America, exacted by white rage

NBC News

Today’s events have been all of the possible descriptors of terror and anarchy available in our lexicon. We have been gripped by sensations of angst, panic, confusion, and anger. We have tried to find solace in memes and gifs, only to manically refresh news updates and compulsively watch the news. Today has been a day.

As I sit down and reflect a bit on what this day has meant and what it has become, I am saddened. I am saddened, of course, for the violence and domestic terrorism; but, I am saddened because today was supposed to be a day…


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The weight of it all

Grandma was right when she said that secrets, lies, and the truth all carry weight. Unfortunately, it took me 30 years of carrying the weight of secrets and lies to realize that they were wear you down differently than the truth. Where one keeps you grounded the others keep you from flying — weightless like a feather in Spring.

Grandma was right when she said that secrets, lies, and the truth all carry weight. Weight that pulverizes confidence, hope, and dreams. Weight that, when lifted, makes you wonder how words can can bring you so low — unrecognizable and jaded…


An examination of my appreciation for my name and why names signify more than just what people call you

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Recently, my friend and talented blogger Dion Hudnall wrote about his name and the origins of his first name and why he goes by his middle name. It was a story that clearly inspired me to write about my own experience with my name, but also was resonant because I believe that it is a story in which many Black folks can relate. Many of us have an older sounding family first name or a nickname that escapes the clutches of family into the public sphere. Some of us have names that we may feel needs to be hidden for…


Examining the lies that make America

Photo by Ludovic Gauthier on Unsplash

Welcome class to a new semester where this course, Mythology 101, will test your knowledge of what’s fact and what’s fiction.

We’ll have discussions that galvanize and create friction, depending on the subject. But, this course will test your currently held belief of truth and myths while researching the rest.

As you look upon the syllabus, you may be wondering where’s Achilles? Where’s Hercules? And, where’s Damocles and other warring figures? Instead, you see familiar tropes, not characters, because myths — past and present — are remembered for their scope and resonant messaging. The characters are interchangeable vessels who drive…

Karlton Laster

Cleveland | 30 | Seeking to make small change with my words and thoughts. More material available on The East by West https://www.theeastbywest.com

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