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March for change: Here are three organizations protesting the right way

As I rushed through Grand Central’s main hall yesterday to catch a 5:50 train out of the city, I stumbled right into a protest. It was a modest gathering. Predominantly white members of the Trump opposition group Rise and Resist raised signs labeled “Abolish I.C.E.” and “Close the Camps,” amongst other slogans.

But, among the small crowd, I was struck by the sight of a child brandishing a poster that read “No Kids in Cages.”

According to the ACLU, there are at least 2,654 such children who have been separated from their families at the border as a result of the Trump administration’s policies. Around 416 of these were girls under 10; some of the children who are detained are as young as 5.

Immigrant children are also detained by the thousands in Homestead centers. Several presidential candidates visited one such center, before the first debate in Miami, though they were not granted entry.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) runs a network of these facilities, with about 170 operating nationally. And Trump wants to open more– and recently defended “beautifully run” detention centers, contrary to various reports of overcrowding and human rights abuses.

Seeing a child in the protest instantly had an impact on me. And for a venue like Grand Central, where people are hurrying to make their trains home (and, in this case, encouraged to keep walking by the couple of police officers nearby), one moment to make a statement is all the protest group might have. Rise and Resist made it count.

The most influential protest groups have to not only make small moments count but also keep the momentum going even after a protest or a march has concluded.

Here are some organizations that have been the most successful at rallying people to their cause, and sustaining their movement.

1. #BlackLivesMatter


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Founded in 2013, in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin, the group’s platform exploded following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014. By the way, prosecutors ultimately declined to charge Darren Wilson, the officer in question, setting off another wave of protests.

The protests in Ferguson, during which BLM emerged as a symbol of the movement, sparked national conversations on race, the criminal justice system, and police brutality.

Since then, the group has created networks across the country and now has a global reach. Of course, BLM has also prompted people to idiotically proclaim “#AllLivesMatter,” and to claim that those who kneel during the national anthem– inspired by the BLM movement are un-American.

BLM rallies around names– Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray– and protests non-violently (though the protests in Ferguson turned violent, thanks in no small part to the military equipment used by the National Guard).

Founded by three women, BLM’s inclusivity and skilled deployment of social media have changed the world.

2. Women’s Marches

The day after Trump’s inauguration, more than four million Americans took to the streets across the country, and over 600 marches took place worldwide. The event, which attracted numerous celebrities and future presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, was the largest single-day protest in American history.

But like much of the mainstream feminist movement, the Women’s March has been overly focused on white women– 53 percent of whom voted for Trump. (For reference, 94 percent of black women voted for Hillary.) And accusations of antisemitism on the part of the organizers threatened to derail this year’s march entirely.

The Baton Rouge chapter of the National Organization for Women, for instance, canceled the 2019 New Orleans march due to the controversy surrounding Women’s March, Inc.

The Women’s March stirs up complex feelings. One author argues, the word “intersectionality” made its first major appearance in mainstream news outlets following the 2017 march.

One Vox article was even titled, “To understand the Women’s March on Washington, you need to understand intersectional feminism.” A black author explains her mixed feelings stirred up by the march– and why she sat out the event entirely.

Ultimately, to keep up the movement’s massive energy, the Women’s March has to embrace the multi-faceted identities of its members.

3. March For Our Lives


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Organized by the high-school survivors of the Parkland mass shooting, with the help of gun-control advocacy group Everytown, the massive event took place in D.C. on March 2018.

Marches took place simultaneously across the country, with Mayor Bill de Blasio reporting over 150,000 marchers in New York. But their choice of the main venue was intentional, symbolizing their fight for stricter gun legislation in the capital. The goals of the march were also explicitly listed on a petition on the event’s website.

The cause also attracted a wide roster of celebrities– even Selena Gomez, who infamously proclaimed she didn’t “take sides” when asked on Twitter if she supported the BLM movement.

Like with BLM, March for Our Lives also sparked counter-protests, with a “gun rights” rally in Boston drawing hundreds of supporters.

Still, the overall massive success of the event demonstrates the power that anyone– even high-school students totally inexperienced in events organizing– has to effect change.

Why Lil Nas X coming out is another big step for LGBTQ in hip-hop

As Pride Month drew to a close, “Old Town Road” singer and expert meme creator Lil Nas X announced on Twitter that he is gay.

Leaving hints like little bread crumbs and tweeting his most recent EP’s cover art, that featured skyscrapers covered in rainbows, the 20-year-old trap-country singer stated late June, in his typically blunt fashion, “Deadass thought I made it obvious.”


In the official coming out announcement along with the visuals for “C7osure,” he acknowledged that he might lose some of his fans. Especially those in the country world who fought to keep the song off the country charts in the first place.

Also, in response to a deluge of sexual jokes about what the “Old Town Road” lyrics “ride til I cant no more” actually meant, Nas X, clarified that the hit song was really about horses.

But otherwise, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, both from fans and creatives. Miley Cyrus, a member of the LGBTQ community herself, and daughter of “Old Town Road” collaborator and country legend Billy Ray tweeted her indefinite support for her “baby brother.”

Other members of the rap community expressed their encouragement to Lil Nas X, including Jackboy, his producer Boi-1da, and record exec Irv Gotti. Rapper Zé Taylor tweeted his response in meme format.

Though it might be hard to remember a time before “Old Town Road” hadn’t overtaken the airwaves, blasting at parties, exploding on TikTok, and clogging up Twitter timelines everywhere, the rapper really has only been around for six months.

For a career so new and so precarious — resting on the smash success of one song and the endless memes, it has spawned — a few years ago it might have seemed unthinkable for an aspiring artist to come out this early or at all.

When Frank Ocean came out in 2012, rapping about relationships he’d had with men on his debut album Channel Orange, simultaneously releasing a letter addressed to a male friend and unreciprocated object of desire, it was a big deal.

At the time, an NPR article called it “nearly unprecedented” in the R&B world neck deep in homophobia.

Tyler the Creator, Frank’s close friend, presents a more complicated case. His own debut album, Goblin, released in 2011, was filled with homophobic slurs. One reviewer counted that Tyler said “f*g” a whopping total of 213 times in the album, and pointed to the rapper’s response to the backlash in a 2011 interview:

“I’m not homophobic. I just think ‘f****t’ hits and hurts people. It hits. And ‘gay’ just means you’re stupid. I don’t know, we don’t think about it, we’re just kids.”

In the interview, the rapper further brushed off the criticism, saying his gay fans “weren’t offended.” But over the years, Tyler began to allude to his own identity as a gay man — sometimes bluntly, sometimes lyrically.

In 2015, he tweeted, “I tried to come out the damn closet like four days ago and no one cared hahahhahaha.”

On 2017’s Flower Boy, Tyler rapped, “This next line will have them going like whoa/ I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004.”

His latest offering, IGORtraces a love story with a male object of desire, with songs like “Running Out of Time” finding Tyler urging the man, who’s in a relationship with a woman, to acknowledge his sexuality.  There’s also “Boy With a Gun” making it clear to everyone that his love interest is a man.

But maybe today, coming out for a queer Black male artist doesn’t have to be so fraught.

Maybe today, a black man, fresh into his career and owner of a No. 1 hit on Billboard for 13 consecutive weeks, can come out with a meme. And we keep moving forward.

Real friends: 12 prolific duos that taught us how to secure the bag

They say not to go into business with friends. The relationship could suffer; tough conversations might have to be had; the emotional stakes are higher.

It’s hard to separate the business from the personal. There’s even an expert from Forbes who strongly advised against it.

Still, sometimes, friends in business prove to be extremely fruitful partnerships. Here are some friends, creatives and long-term collaborators who have proven the old advice wrong.

1. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

In 2011, Rogen and Goldberg launched the production company Point Grey Pictures, a nod to Vancouver’s Point Grey Secondary School where they met. Together, they’ve produced numerous successful films, including This is The End, Sausage Party, and Neighbors. 

The Disaster Artist, their exploration of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, widely known as one of the worst movies ever made, was one of the pair’s best, garnering an Oscar nom. We can also thank them for the character of McLovin: they wrote the screenplay to Superbad back in 2007. They’ve also written for TV, creating the show Preacher together on AMC.

Now, the creative duo– perhaps building off of Rogen’s image as a huge stoner– are dipping into the cannabis industry, launching the Canada- based company Houseplant.

2. Desus and Mero

The childhood friends, who call themselves the Bodega Boys, launched their eponymous late-night talk show in Feb. 2019.

Since then, the comedians have hosted AOC, Spike Lee, Ava Duvernay, Seth Rogen and Wu-Tang — just to name a few. Their show has also become an important spot for presidential candidates to make their pitch. Senators like Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker have made guest appearances.

3. Kanye and Kid Cudi

These two have a lot of history that dates back to 2008. After Cudi released A Kid Named Cudi, Kanye shortly thereafter signed him to his G.O.O.D Music label. They co-wrote several songs on Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreak, most notably “Heartless,” and Kanye executive produced Cudi’s debut album Kid on the Moon. 

In 2010, Kanye called Cudi his “favorite artist” and Cudi was quoted saying, “Always fuckin with Yeezy, for life. Period. A true friend.” He also appeared on a song off of Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Still, 2016 proved to be a tough year for their friendship, as Cudi went on a Twitter rant calling out Kanye and his label. However, Ye soon forgave Cudi, telling the crowd at his concert:

“I just want to take this time out to say Kid Cudi is my brother…The most influential artist of the past 10 years.”

And the two– following extremely public breakdowns and subsequent hospitalizations– released their joint album Kids See Ghosts in 2018.

4. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer

The comedic and creative duo met in New York City in 2007 as members of the improv team Secret Promise Circle. They were also both taking improv classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade, founded in part by Amy Poehler– who would go on to produce their show Broad City. 

Before Broad City made its way to TV, they first debuted it as a web series– and got Poehler to star on their Season 2 finale. In an interview, Poehler called Jacobson and Glazer “partners in all the best ways. Young women figuring out the world and having each other’s backs as they do it.”

The two are now producing partners, and have their names attached to many of the upcoming offerings on Comedy Central, including Mall Town USA and Young Professionals. Many former Broad City cast members and writers are also starting new shows on Comedy Central, and look to the two as mentors.

Of their new roles, Glazer said, “Not only can we make double the content, but we can usher in more people…I want us both to bang out business, get shows and movies going that have other voices. I want to get the next generation of talent going…”

 “Women need to be in more decision-making positions, and now we are.” 

5. Rich Paul and Lebron

In a meeting Paul calls “fate,” the high schooler LeBron spotted Paul’s Warren Moon jersey and asked where he had gotten it, learning that Paul was selling jerseys out of his car trunk.

The two became friends, and Lebron hired him as a personal assistant of sorts after getting drafted in 2003. But Paul didn’t just want to be a member of his squad, and instead learned more and more about the sports industry. Of that decision, he said, “LeBron had no obligation to me. I was not entitled to anything. I wanted to be valuable.”

Paul now represents Lebron as his agent and helped orchestrate his move back to Cleveland in 2014. He also founded Klutch Sports Group, where he’s added Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, and Draymond Green to his roster.

6. Kali Uchis and Jorja Smith

The young R&B stars both lived outside of the US for extended periods of time. Uchis is Colombian-American and was partially raised in Pereira, Colombia, and Smith was born in England to a Jamaican father and British mother.

Uchis featured Smith on her song “Tyrant” from her debut album Isolation. The duo recently co-headlined an 18-show tour, which kicked off in April and concluded on May 30.

7. Dapper Dan and A$AP Rocky

Both Harlem natives, the two, star in the short film “Kings of Style,” telling the story of Dapper Dan’s contributions to the fashion world — specifically in the realm of street style.

It chronicles his rise from selling goods out of his trunk, becoming known as the “tailor of Harlem” and collaborating with Gucci. It documents the low points as well, including when he was raided by the police for allegedly copying other labels, and luxury lines sued him, putting his boutique out of business.

A$AP Rocky, who has come to be known for his style, is the perfect collaborator for the project.

8. Nipsey Hussle and Dave Gross

The rapper met his future business partner at a Lakers game, only a few years before he was murdered. The two became friendly chatting about Vector 90, Gross’s plan for an inner-city co-working space.

They would ultimately go on to create Vector 90, linking kids from impoverished neighborhoods to potential opportunities in Silicon Valley.

They also teamed up to purchase a plaza in Crenshaw, which Gross called, “the quintessential Opportunity Zone investment. The law is supposed to support ground-up entrepreneurship, giving opportunities and jobs to all communities and improving the neighborhood.”

The plan was to create jobs and encouraging local entrepreneurs, bringing money to Crenshaw. In the spirit of Nipsey, the Marathon continues.

9. Chicklet and Maleni Cruz

The Brooklyn-based YouTube comedy couple detail the origins of their relationship, which started off as a friendship, in Brooklyn Magazine.

Their videos hilariously show the side of a relationship that often isn’t put out there, including the arguments, the fighting, and roasts. In one of their videos, Chicklet is trying to flex for the gram and pretend he’s drinking Jay-Z’s cognac Dusse; Maleni calls him out for it being ice tea.

Cardi B reposted the video, and after that, the two really took off. Chicklet says he just “stopped showing up” to work, not even bothering to say he quit.

Their combined Instagram accounts have more than 5 million followers– Drake is one of them– and they’re starting a live show series called Love at First Fight.

10. Serena Williams and Virgil Abloh


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These trailblazers are recent collaborators for Williams’ statement-making ATP tour outfits. For Williams’ latest French Open appearance, Abloh created a black-and-white outfit for her that contained the words “Mother, Champion, Queen, Goddess” in French.

Abloh, Louis Vuitton’s first black artistic director menswear designer, founder of Off-White, and longtime create director for Kanye (the two cried together at the end of his LV show), also worked with Williams on her US Open outfit.

11. Oprah and Ava Duvernay

Winfrey and Duvernay have collaborated on the films Selma and A Wrinkle in Time. In both films, Duvernay directed while Winfrey starred (she also produced Selma).

It’s clear that they support each other beyond their joint projects. Winfrey moderated an emotional interview with the cast and producers, as well as the real-life subjects, of Duvernay’s latest, powerful offering When They See Us. 

12. Steve Stoute and Jay-Z


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Steve Stoute, the CEO of Translation and member of the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Achievement, has had a huge impact on the landscape of American advertising and branding.

He also recently launched UnitedMasters, and secured an exclusive deal with the NBA, allowing his platform to showcase up-and-coming artists on NBA highlight reels. As part of the deal, the NBA will tag all artists in each post.

Stoute counts Jay-Z as a friend, and they have a decade’s long relationship. He secured an exclusive deal with Reebok for the rap mogul, and back in the day, got Hov to name-drop the Motorola Two Way phone on the song “I Just Wanna Love U” (Give it to Me) way back in 2000, exploding the sales for the brand.

He also helped Jay-Z create and launch his annual “Made in America” festival, and counted the rapper among his guests to his 2015 wedding to Lauren Branche.

Now, do you really have to ask yourself what are friends for?

Rihanna gives her approval but will a Lizzo collab bless us until ‘R9’ drops?

Newly minted superstar Lizzo performed her hit “Truth Hurts” at the BET Awards on Sunday, complete with a giant wedding cake, bridal attire, and a mid-song flute solo, and the Internet couldn’t help but notice one very enthusiastic fan in the crowd: Rihanna.

That’s right. Rihanna, whose boredom at award shows has been well-documented over the years — the “Needed Me” singer brought a flask to the 2017 Grammy Awards just to get through the thing, and was this bored at the 2013 VMA’s — jumped out of her seat mid-performance and enthusiastically clapped and nodded along.

And you can be sure that Lizzo took note of the superstar’s support.

The mutual respect has fans clamoring for a Rihanna-Lizzo collab.

Even though Rihanna hasn’t released any new music since 2016’s ANTI, and has focused on her extremely popular Fenty makeup, fashion and lingerie lines, her fans still haven’t given up hope.

Rih even jokingly acknowledged her fans’ ceaseless request for more music.


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But on a more serious note in a recent interview with the NYT, she noted that her fans have “haunted” her about releasing new music, stamping “R9” (a reference to what would be her ninth studio album) into her brain.

Luckily for her ravenous navy of music fans, Rihanna has promised the new album in 2019.

Lizzo, meanwhile, has been making music for the last 10 years, but 2019 has proven to be her breakout.

Finally, her exuberant songs, containing messages of body positivity, self-love and confidence– her most famous line is probably “I just took a DNA Test/ Turns out I’m 100% that bitch”– have connected with a mass audience.

Rihanna herself has recently emerged as a figure preaching body positivity, embracing her new “thicc” figure in a history-making British Vogue cover story.

Ahead of her BET Awards performance, Lizzo expressed her excitement about making it to the stage, at a venue that holds a special significance for her.

“This is a big deal to me because I’ve been doing music for a long ass time… But to play for black people, my people… I’ve been making music as a big black woman for big black women. And so now this just shows that my music is finally reaching the black community and I’m just so excited to just share with my people today.”

Similar to Rihanna’s navy, Lizzo’s fans are already demanding new music. She jokingly responded, “I just put out an album! Damn!” However, she did admit, “I’ve been doing something strange for a little piece of change, aka going in the studio and making music.”

Plus, now, we know that Rihanna’s also been in the studio working on R9, judging from this post from her close friend and project manager Jennifer Rosales.


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When tia @badgalriri gives you the first listen 😎. #newmusic

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In the same, wide-ranging NYT interview, Rihanna shot down rumors of collaborating with Lady Gaga and Drake for R9, although she said she’s “not against” working with Gaga.

But she forcefully asserted that she would not be releasing a song with her on-and-off love Drake “anytime soon.”

She’s also been tight-lipped about her progress, the album’s genre (is it reggae?) and even its title. But one thing’s for sure, we need to hear Rihanna and Lizzo on a song together.

If not on R9, maybe on R10 — or maybe on Lizzo’s next smash.

These women in sports are blazing the trail for aspiring reporters

Growing up with a brother, I’ve always been into keeping up with sports. I cheered on a weird roster of teams, including the NY Giants, the NY Rangers, the Red Sox, and the Celtics, though I do also feel for the perennially awful Knicks.

My dad went to high school in Boston, while I grew up in New York, which partially explains my weird split in fandom between New York and Boston teams.

For me, part of being a sports fan, other than going to MSG since the days David Lee sported a Knicks uniform, or Metlife stadium when Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs were the running backs– Eli was throwing just as many interceptions then– is reading the NYTimes sports section, or any number of SI, ESPN and Bleacher Report articles online.

But the sad fact is that I’m pretty much exclusively reading stories written by men. Stats from 2012 show that 90 percent of sports editors are male. Ninety percent of them are also white.

This scarcity of female sportswriters underscores the obstacles women in the profession face that their male colleagues just don’t have to deal with. Women are subject to sexism and harassment online and by the players in a way that their male counterparts simply are not.

We also have a much harder time being taken seriously in the industry. But there are some who’ve broken down the barriers. One female reporter who stands out to me is the Bleacher Report’s, Taylor Rooks.

In her new show, Take It There With Taylor Rooks, the host talks with everyone from DeMar DeRozan, the former star of the Raptors, who was traded to the Spurs as part of acquiring Kahwi, to Saquon Barkley, the NFL’s rookie of the year in 2018. She also highlights female athletes, like WNBA star Elena Delle Donne.

Out of the controlled, highly impersonal setting of the post-game interview, Rooks gets every athlete she interviews to open up by traveling to their homes. The goal, she says, is to have “deep, introspective and personal conversations with these athletes.

“It’s more of a people show than a sports show and after watching you get a better idea of who the athletes are.”

Rooks wants to show her viewers the human beneath the superstar athlete, to afford these players the chance to be “real people and give answers that we never see them give anymore.” She gets her guests to open up and be vulnerable– no “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.”

Rooks also discusses the importance of having women’s voices heard in sports media. Especially the voices of women of color.

She has backed up her words with action: the entire staff of her show (save for her field producer, a white dude named Jonathan) is female– something that Rooks is “really, really proud of.”

Another female reporter I’ve watched for years is ESPN’s, Doris Burke and it’s not just me. She’s won the admiration of many celebrities, including Drake, who sported a “Women Crush Everyday” shirt with her face on it, and KD, who once called her “the greatest.”

At games, fans line up to get her autograph. Analyst Jeff Van Gundy, who has known Burke for more than thirty years, argued that “there’s no better basketball analyst in the world,” and Deadspin published an article entitled “How Doris Burke Became the Best Damn Broadcaster There Is.”

Rooks herself admitted that she “totally fan-girled” over Burke when she saw her and, given the chance to name 2-3 people in the sports world she’d like to interview, selected the trailblazer.

Burke is the first female broadcaster to win the basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award, given each year to reporters who have made outstanding contributions to basketball.

In 2017, she became the first woman to be a full-season NBA analyst on the national level. Previously, Burke had worked about 10 games a year as an analyst, and also as a sideline reporter.

Stephanie Ready had been selected to be an analyst at the regional level for the Charlotte Hornets in 2015, but despite being told she was doing a good job, was once again relegated to the sidelines– a decision Burke said was “difficult” to watch.

In receiving the huge promotion, Burke said,

“This is exciting to me because I think the perception of what a woman can do, should do…how we are looked upon is absolutely changing.”

In the same interview, she also painted a different picture of her career in sports journalism than the dispiriting statistics would suggest.

She praised the forward-thinking NBA and its commissioner, and also noted, “Going back as far as I do covering men’s college basketball, the objections to me being an analyst never came from inside the game. The players and coaches have always showed me the utmost respect and quite frankly my gender has never felt like an issue inside the game.”

But Burke also knows that being a woman means that her time in the league is limited:

“The reality is that I’m fifty-two years old. And how many fifty-five to sixty-year-old women do you see in sports broadcasting? How many? I see a lot of sixty-year-old men broadcasting.”

She’s also been subject to dismissive treatment by coaches, including by the Spur’s Gregg Popovich. When she asked him to describe the problems the team was facing in the game, he responded with one word, “turnovers.”

Popovich gave Burke the same answer to her second question. Several years later, when Pop again tried to give her a blunt answer, Burke responded, “Happy Mother’s Day to me, I’m taking the reprieve, sir,” and cut off their interview. (Yes!!!!)


More women are breaking the glass ceiling in the sports world. In 2017, Beth Mowins was the first woman to call a “Monday Night Football” game, and in 2015, Jessica Mendoza became the first female commentator for an MLB game.

Maybe these watershed moments are a result of Burke’s trailblazing, or due to female networks of support and mentorship in the industry. Rooks pointed to Cari Champion and Maria Taylor as hugely influential forces in her career.

Still, it’s also clear that we have a long way to go.

Don’t put the pen down: 5 ways for Gen-Z writers to stay motivated

Let’s face it, the landscape of journalism looks bleak. With the entry-level salary for journalism set at around $37,000 a year and the profession itself under constant attack from the most powerful man in the country and his allies, going into the field may seem like a tough sell.

Still, the deteriorating political landscape is a reason Gen Z writers should take up the pen. As Gen Z’ers, we know we’ve inherited a lot of problems from previous generations.

Our planet is burning. Mass shootings occur at, practically, a regular rate. The government is ineffectual at best, and at worst, takes away women’s reproductive rights and separates families at the border.

But thanks to us, hope isn’t lost. Research shows that Gen-Z is gearing up to save the world. In this arena, journalists are invaluable players.

Here are 5 other reasons to get into writing– and stay in it:

1. Know that you’re doing important work

You’re not just crunching numbers in service of some high-powered exec. Sure, news organizations are also concerned about the bottom line– but it doesn’t end there.

Writers also serve a purpose to society: we inform. Writers can expose corruption and misdeeds at any level; though it may seem idealistic, we can bring down those abusing their power.

For example, reporters at the Washington Post changed the Alabama Senate race between Judge Roy Moore and Doug Jones by revealing Moore’s repeated sexual harassment of underage girls. In a state that Hillary Clinton lost to Trump by 28 points in the 2016 election, Jones, a Democratic candidate, prevailed only one year later.

2. With social media, your message can reach a wide audience

We are privy to huge social media platforms, and we know how to use them better than any generation before us.

We are adept at crafting viral content and creating personal brands. The thought of going viral, or growing an audience, should keep you in the game.

3. Anyone can write

Social media platforms also mean that anyone can create content. You don’t have to hold a 9-5 job in journalism to be able to get your message out. Unlike most other professions, you don’t need an office to write.

4. Get your networking skills up

Being a writer means interviewing people you admire. (They want to get their message out too!) What other profession offers you that opportunity?

Working in the profession also means making contacts, and carving a spot out for yourself in an artistic space. Whether you’re interested in music, movies, TV, or any other medium, writing allows you to plant roots in this community.

5. Prepare for a poppin’ life Gen-Z writers


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Journalists are invited to attend movie premieres, album release parties, concerts, exclusive art installations, or political conventions. You name it. Often, writers get to see and hear things first– and a lot of the time for free!

Being a journalist can take you to exciting places; to effect actual change, and to grow your brand.

Don’t lose hope Gen Z’ers. Write.

Killer Mike

Killer Mike tries living off only Black-owned businesses but it’s damn near impossible

The Salamander Resort and Spa, located on a sprawling 340-acre slice of land in Middleburg Virginia, is the only Black-owned five-star hotel in the US. Essence describes this luxury spot as the “perfect place for your grown woman bachelorette party.”

Instead of embarking on the typical wild bachelorette weekend, The Salamander offers guests a more sophisticated experience: complimentary service to nearby wineries, a spa (replete with two fire pits, with S’mores Kits costing a hefty $40 apiece), and fine dining.

But beneath the opulence, and the ad featuring a white girl stroking a horse, the fact that The Salamander is only Black-owned five-star hotel in America is deeply troubling.

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Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend, obviously never met a horse. #equestrianwedding #weddingwednesday

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Looking at broader businesses stats, there are over 2.6 million Black-owned companies in the U.S., with a 34.5% jump between the years of 2007-2012. But the 2.6 million doesn’t tell the whole story: in a survey, 46% of Black business owners said their business was “just me”; 41% answered they employed 2-5 people.

Additionally, according to ProjectDiane, only 0.2% of venture capital went to startups run by Black women in 2016. As a result, many Black business owners must raise capital themselves to start their businesses or receive funding from their friends and family.

Run the Jewels’ M.C. Killer Mike dives into the scarcity of Black-owned businesses in his home state of Georgia. On his Netflix show Trigger Warning With Killer Mike, released earlier this year, the Grammy-winning rapper and activist decides to conduct a social experiment, and “live Black” for three days.

By this, he means that he will only purchase and consume Black-owned products, sleep in Black-owned establishments, and take Black-owned transportation. He provides historical background for this experiment, discussing the Black community’s economic self-sustainability– out of necessity– during segregation.

He describes conversations he had with his grandfather, who told him that before desegregation, Black people “had to deal with each other.” If you were Black, you went to a Black dentist, a Black doctor, a Black-owned super-market.

Additionally, during the episode’s breezy 25-minute run time, Mike asks Mrs. Ethel, an 83-year-old Black woman, and proprietor of a farm and owner of Soul Food With a Twist, if she’s old enough to remember a time when Black people grew their own food. Not only was she old enough to remember it, Mrs. Ethel responds, she was “right there.”

But today, Mike notes that Black people do not keep their dollars in the community. He compares the stats with Asian, Jewish and white communities: Asian people can keep their dollar for 28 days before releasing it; white people 23 and Jewish people 21. The Black community can hold onto their dollar for six hours.

Unsurprisingly, “living Black” soon becomes a problem for Mike.

His fridge, dubbed the “whitest fridge I’ve ever seen” by his director Vikram Gandhi, is off-limits for the 72 hours. In one moment, the morning after going to a Black-owned strip club — hilariously, Mike declines to tip an Asian stripper — he picks up a Poland Spring water bottle from the fridge, and sadly places it back down.

He can’t watch TV or listen to music; he gets a new phone, from the Black-owned “Figgers Company” (named after founder Freddie Figgers, and not, as Mike assumes, a play on the n-word) from Shareef Abdul Malik, founder of We Buy Black. He has to buy a bike to get around, since there are no Black-owned car companies, and take a church bus from Atlanta to Athens.

Throughout the episode, Mike must also consider the chain of supply when considering consuming products he assumes are Black-owned.

Though one of his weed dealers is Black (the other is a white woman with a Black husband), Mike’s director reminds him that the product, from Northern California, is most likely from a white-owned business. (Unable to find any Jamaican suppliers, and unwilling to smoke “Mexican weed,” Mike complains that he’s the most sober he’s been in his adult life.)

At one of the few Black-owned restaurants in Athens, a starving Mike is about to chow down on some BBQ before he realizes that the food isn’t Black produce.

In perhaps the most dispiriting moment of the episode, Mike, unable to find a Black-owned hotel in Athens, is forced to sleep on a park bench, with the can of beans he bought from a Black-owned supermarket as a pillow.

At the end of the episode, he speaks to allies and says that while Instagram posts and tweets are nice (the camera flashes to a bland Justin Bieber post promising to “shine a light on racism”), they should “put their money where their tweets are” and support Black local businesses.

And he encourages his viewers to make their Fridays “Black Friday” — not meaning, he quips, the “bullshit” one where you wait on-line at Walmart at 5 a.m. to save $50 off an iPad.

Is Drake the real MVP of the Finals? Breaking down his troll tactics vs. the Warriors

Drake has been a fixture court-side throughout the NBA post-season, often acting outrageously — and sometimes even inappropriately — in support of his Raptors (he is their “global ambassador”).

He has also gleefully trolled the stars of the Warriors, wearing referential outfits; exchanging words with players and posting incessantly on social media.

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For example, after Game 1, he posted on Instagram that he was offering “Steph Curry Hair Lint” on e-bay with the username “DraymondShouldntWear23.” His latest victim was Green again, with the rapper Instagramming a picture of a past questionable fashion choice by Green after a Game 4 Raptors win.

Not to be outdone, the Warriors have responded with some shade of their own.

With so much back-and-forth pettiness, it’s hard to keep up. Here is a definitive account of Drake’s feuds with the Warriors throughout this NBA Finals.

1. Drake calls Draymond Green “Trash” after Game 1

Sporting a Dell Curry Raptors jersey, Drake seemed to yell “trash” at Green following the Raptor’s 118-109 win in Game 1.

In a post-game conference, Green seemed irritated with a question about Drake and clarified that their interaction was not a “scuffle,” since that would require them actually getting physical.

Draymond later came to Drake’s defense, calling the hype around their exchange an “overreaction.” Green pointed to Drake’s superstar status as the reason for the heightened attention surrounding their beef.

“I think so many people make a big deal out of it. It is what it is… He’s a fan. He talks, and it gets more attention because he’s Drake. So many people are complaining about it, like, ‘You don’t let any other fan do that.’ Yeah, any other fan is just not Drake, so they probably shouldn’t be able to do that. That’s just kind of how the cookie crumbles.”

He added, “He’s worked his ass off to be who he is. I think we all know when you do that, you get more leash than others. I think there’s so much talk, and the NBA needs to — no, they don’t. He worked to be who he is. You should get more leash. But I don’t mind it. It’s fun for me,” brushing off their exchange.

2. Draymond then trolls Drake by tearing an OVO sweatshirt in the streets of Toronto

Two can play at this game, Drake.

3. Drake wears a “Where’s Kevin?” t-shirt to Game 2

Drake, of course, has been making petty fashion statements throughout the post-season, and Game 2 was no different.

He sported a t-shirt featuring Home Alone‘s Kevin McAllister, with the word “Kevin?!?” on the back, a reference to KD’s absence throughout the playoffs due to injury.

In a fun twist, Macaulay Culkin, who played Kevin in the 1990 classic, responded to the outfit.

It should be noted that during these finals, Drake, the ultimate bandwagon fan, has had to wear an armband throughout the finals to cover up his “30 gifted” and “35 snipe” tattoos dedicated to Steph Curry and KD.

His beef with KD dates back to at least 2016, when Drake bumped into the small forward during a post-game interview, following a 127-121 Warriors win over the Raptors. KD subsequently told reporters “I don’t give a damn about no Drake night.”

4. Klay Thompson said he wouldn’t be listening to some of Drake’s music

In a press conference before the start of the Finals, the small forward said he would be skipping “Hotline Bling.” Thompson said he was in ‘kill mode’ before the games, and seemed to imply that “Hotline Bling” was too slow or “soft” to get him hyped.

He noted that not all Drake songs were banned: “if it’s a bad song I’ll skip it. But if it’s one of his hits, I’ll play it.” Ouch!

When Thompson got a tech in Game 1, Drake smirked and made a gesture of talking on the phone, a clear reference to “Hotline Bling.”

5. The Warriors play “Story of Adidon” before Game 3

While Steph Curry warmed up, the Warriors played Pusha T’s Drake diss track — the one that revealed that Drake had secretly fathered a son, named Adonis, with Sophie Brussaux, a French painter and former “adult movie” star.

Drake would later confirm the rumors with his own song, “March 14,” where he lamented not having a “family unit” with the mother of his child.

Mallory Edens, the daughter of Bucks’ owner Wes Edens, had previously worn a Pusha T t-shirt to Game 5 between the Raptors and the Bucks. Drake responded by posting this Instagram story of her and making her face his profile picture.

6. Drake Posts a meme of Klay Thompson after Game 3

After the Raptor’s Game 3 win over the Warriors, which Thompson sat out due to injury, Drake posted on his Instagram story.

It’s an old picture Klay with multiple women, which honestly doesn’t really seem like too much of a roast.

7. The Six God loves watching Green getting T’d up in Game 5

In the last game, Drake seemed to delight in the 2016-2017 Defensive Player of the Year getting a technical foul for arguing a call in the second quarter, jumping out of his seat and fist-pumping wildly in Green’s direction.

His sixth technical foul of the post-season, Green is now just one away from being suspended from the finals.

With Game 6 back at Oracle Arena, will Drake make an appearance (and another pointed fashion statement)? Or will he sit this one out?

We almost lost a legend, thank God we still have David Ortiz

After suffering a gunshot wound in the back at point-blank range, multiple outlets have reported that legendary Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, also known as “Big Papi,” is now in “stable” condition.

Arrangements are being made to airlift him from his native Dominican Republic, the site of the incident, and where Papi spends at least several months a year, to the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

According to doctors, Papi said, “Please don’t let me die. I’m a good man.” When he opened his eyes following a six-hour surgery, he first asked to see his family.

One suspect, Eddy Vladimir Féliz García, was named, while the other remained at large. The shooting, which took place outside the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo, was determined to be not a robbery. Further, Ortiz’s assistant, Leo Lopez, said the DH did not know the suspect.

Many MLB players, including A-Rod, Mike Trout of the Angels, Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, and Papi’s former teammate Pedro Martinez, tweeted their prayers for Big Papi on Sunday.

Among the well-wishers were Tom Brady and President Obama, who noted how Papi had helped “heal” the city of Boston following the devastating Boston Marathon shootings.

The Red Sox released a statement on Sunday:

“We have offered David’s family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts.”

As a lifetime fan of the Red Sox — an anomaly among New Yorkers, and a result of my dad’s upbringing — I’ve spent many years rooting for Papi. He was my brother’s favorite player, and his first jersey was Papi’s #34. It was always thrilling to see Papi smash a home run, and always come through in clutch moments.

After an 80-year championship drought, Papi, a 10-year All-Star, was instrumental in breaking the “Curse of the Bambino” in 2004. Titles in 2007, 2011, and 2013 followed, with Papi winning MVP for the last one. Big Papi helped turn a once-cursed team into a quasi-dynasty.

The Yankees even honored him with a ceremony in his last game at Yankee Stadium. He retired in 2016.

In retirement, Papi continued to cheer on his team, offering advice to the players during their 2018 Championship season (which also marked the franchise’s win record, with 108).

He remains the face of the team; of the city and the Dominican Republic; and of baseball.

So, are the Warriors completely f*cked without KD and Klay Thompson?

The Warriors were without Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant for Game 3 Thursday — the former missing the first playoff game of his career, following 120 consecutive appearances. (KD has been out since he strained his right calf in Game 5 against the Rockets on May 8th.)

In a heroic but ultimately vain effort, Steph Curry scored 47 points, making him just the second player in NBA history to score at least that many points in Finals game loss — following LeBron’s 51 points in last year’s Game 1 against the Warriors.

But while the Cavs went on to get swept in that series, the Warriors are facing significantly less daunting odds, with the hard-fought series set at 2-1 Raptors. Besides, on a roster full of nobodies and has-beens (looking at you, J.R. Smith), it was a shock that Bron could propel his team to the Finals.

Steph, meanwhile, is on one of the most stacked rosters in the league, with all-time great Kevin Durant — who had been averaging 34.2 points a game during the playoffs before his injury — and All-stars in Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.

The latter two didn’t produce much in Game 3, scoring 17 points and 11, respectively, and the Warriors were sorely missing KD and Klay Thompson’s defense. That left Steph in the strange position of putting the team on his back.

Comparatively, the big scorers on the Raptors were more evenly spread, with Kawhi putting up 30 points; Kyle Lowry posting 23 (in a game where he got shoved by a fan, who turned out to be Mark Stevens, billionaire and part owner of the Warriors); and Pascal Siakam and Danny Green both scoring 18.

Green credited Shaq with game-changing shooting advice. Shaq told him to “leave it,” or leave his hand up; hold his follow-through and be confident in his shot. In Game 3, Green ended up going 6-for-10, all of them 3-pointers.

Coach Steve Kerr announced that KD will be out for Game 4 on Friday, but that Thompson will be in.

This begs the question: could Thompson have played Game 3? After Game 3, Kerr said, “Never would have forgiven myself if I played him tonight and he had gotten hurt.”

Kerr wanted to play it safe, but did he play it too safe? Or was sitting Thompson out the most rational choice? Wherever you fall in this debate, one thing is undisputed: Game 4 is a must-win for the Warriors.

At this point, they might need to just unleash their secret weapon!


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