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Scrap Papers: Black Excellence

Photo courtesy of Book for Keeps

By Karima E. Rustin

Malcolm Mitchell, a 24-year-old rookie wide receiver for the New England Patriots, assisted New England in coming back from a 28-3 deficit to win the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons, and take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy. While his teammates are reveling in their shared victory, Malcolm achieved another victory most people don’t know about. A victory he is more proud of than a Super Bowl ring.


The Pickaninnies March on Washington

By Lydia Holt



Perhaps it was a subconscious act of self preservation, but in the months and weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election, I had convinced myself that America would elect Hillary Clinton as our 45th president--that we had no other viable option. If her opponent were elected it would be disastrous and to maintain my sanity, I firmly believed that we would come through the election with a capable and sane president. When I woke up to the reality of our now 45th, I damn near had a panic attack. Continue reading...

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The Mundanity of White Privilege

By Lydia Holt

As a black woman living in the US, I find that it is often easier to get through my day if I ignore the everyday incidences of misogyny and racism that abound in our society. If I didn’t, I fear I would lose my mind. I’m not talking street harassment or being called “nigger.” No, nothing as overt as that. I’m talking about the small things that could be easily explained away as a misunderstanding having nothing to do with race or gender. They are subtle and unconscious behaviors. Read more...


Scrap Papers: Karl Rove’s Post-Election Spin

By Sheryl Wright

Karl Rove, the Republican mastermind responsible for bringing us George W. Bush and the man behind $175 million in spending this year against President Obama and other Democratic candidates, is no stranger to making dubious claims about his own record or the record of the Obama administration. His willingness to stretch the truth on a host of issues has been documented. Read more...



Climate Change: One Disaster at a Time

By Lucinda Holt

Craig Ruttle/AP PhotoThe Pickaninnies in the Northeast weathered Hurricane Sandy—the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. When I say “weathered,” I mean some of us were hold up inside, while heavy rains and winds up to 80 miles per hour raged outside. We then spent days without power, Internet or other modern-day amenities. I feel lucky to have spent a few nights without power, having long conversations with my seven-year-old daughter and reading with her by candlelight. There was a pleasant simplicity to those days without power that we seldom experience in our modern lives. All in all, the storm could have been much worse for us, and I get that we were very fortunate, especially when I see and hear the stories of devastation caused by downed trees and flooding. Read more...


Scrap Papers: Junot Shows Our Girl Octavia Some Love

Photo by Beth Gwenn

By Lucinda Holt

I’ve recently developed an especially soft spot for Junot Diaz. In an interview withThe New York Times yesterday, he was asked which three writers he would invite to a dinner party of writers. Of course there are many, many writers he could have chosen, but I was delighted that one of the writers was Octavia Butler—a woman full of pickaninny spirit if there ever was one. Junot had this to say: Read more...


National: Military Weapons for All?

By Lucinda Holt

I grew up in Texas—a state proud of its gun culture and steeped in the belief that one is not truly free unless one has the right to protect him-or herself with a gun. But I’ve never fired a gun or even held one in my hand. I’ve heard family stories of my grandmother or great-aunt wielding a pistol after some man has done her wrong. These are stories of guns taken up in the heat of passion, which is probably not the time to be using a gun in my opinion. Read more...

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