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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

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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

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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

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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…


The fight has begun and we all need to be a part of it. This cannot not be for naught or some interregnum of Trumpism.

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https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/live-blog/2020-11-07-trump-biden-election-results-n1246882

Congratulations Mr. President-Elect Joe Biden & Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris!

You’re election to the highest offices in our great nation is historic and ushers in a bee era for the nation and the world.

We rallied around your calls for the restoration of truth, decency, and respect from our leaders. To respect all who call America home — citizen or refugee. To lead with morality and compassion domestically, and with consistency and collaboration abroad.

We believed that it was time to elevate the standing of women, particularly Black women who have supported the Democratic Party, exceedingly and abundantly time and…


The current relativity of Audre Lorde’s work

Audre told us that

The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house

the tools that were given

money

power

phobias

patriarchy

hierarchy

technology

war

These tools form modern — white — society

These tools institute “order” and reinforce station

These tools preach unity yet act on divisiveness

The master’s tools, made in America, made America

The master’s tools beget war only to be destroyed by it

The master’s tools creates money only to be run by it

The master’s tools marries policy & patriarchy only to be failed by it

The masters used these tool, to seize and infect…


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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Black trauma, its connectedness to the Bible, and creative blockage

For a month now, I have not been able to write. I have written down over 10 topics that I would like to write about yet I have not felt the energy, mental clarity or focus, creativity, or passion to write. I have had writer’s block before but this feels different, I feel disconnected from writing.

Because I haven’t felt like writing, I haven’t stated my thoughts or how the Jacob Blake shooting has affected me. …


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My story of colorism, bleaching creams, and facing past trauma

The title of this piece comes from a Pharrell Williams song called “Freq,” which goes “[y]ou gotta go inward | To experience the outer space | That was built for you | You gotta go inward.” In going inward, I realized that I would need to write about topics related to lifestyle and race that I struggle with or am working on, otherwise I’d be doing readers and myself a disservice. With that in mind, one of my most persistent, though subconscious, struggles has been with colorism. Colorism is a prominent racialized topic within many ethnic groups including Asians, Native…

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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