2014’s Most Popular Posts

Without even realizing it, the last half of the year gave room for four completely different posts to become the most popular in 2014. The only repeat (this time around coming in at number five) from the most popular inaugural posts is Lupita Nyong’o Broke My Heart. I hope you all enjoy rereading or discovering these posts for the first time!

5.)  Lupita Nyong’o Broke My Heart

This blog post is my unofficial ode to an actress who addresses not only Hollywood’s Eurocentric beauty standards but colorism in the Black community too. I love Nyong’o something fierce.

4.) Who Gets to Graduate?

This piece was inspired by a New York Times article of the same name. Access to quality education is a passion of mine. After all, I am a teacher. I loved this article because it moved beyond the trite “all kids need to go to college” to actually looking at what helps students graduate four or five years down the road. The answer to the latter is a lot more complex than one would expect.

3.) Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and How My US Passport Makes Everything OK

This blog post–including the title–was inspired by a Vassar college professor’s Gawker piece. It’s painful for me to re-read my writing because my emotions were rubbed raw. Black lives–all lives–need to matter in the United States. Our history already shows what happens to us as a country when we choose to value one person over another.

2.) 36 Hours in Curacao

Modeled after the “36 Hours” New York Times series, I had a lot of fun writing about my trip to this Caribbean nation.

1.) J’Ouvert in Brooklyn

The Caribbean fun rounded out my most popular post concerning a very-Caribbean tradition: playing J’Ouvert. A part of the Carnival holiday that is celebrated across the Caribbean, I couldn’t help but get willingly dragged into the festivities since I lived in a Caribbean neighborhood for five years.



Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and How My US Passport Makes Everything OK

I’ve been less than productive this past week. Listless. Angry. Annoyed. Lacking focus.

And I’ve been eating and drinking the most random assortment of food that I can get my hands on:

  • a liter of orange juice in one day
  • slices of some damn good cheesecake
  • whole containers of dates, almonds, peanuts and other nuts (with a caterpillar or something crawling in one container to boot!)
  • an entire package of bacon in 12 hours

Now, half the package of bacon I burned when trying out a bacon-wrapped dates recipe because I was distracted.

Yet again.

Though I wanted to ignore it, I knew this familiar feeling. I’d been here before, felt this before.

When my great-grandmother died my senior year of college at Duke.

When I lost my job unexpectedly.

When I ended a toxic relationship.

Despair and I have a seven-year long relationship.

But the reason despair has wrapped me in its guise stronger than I have felt in years is not because of the death of a job, a loved one, or a crazy relationship.

It’s because of the death of two strangers: Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

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Top 5 Posts of the Past Year: #4 Lupita Nyong’o Broke My Heart

My fourth most popular post from the past year, Lupita Nyong’o Broke My Heart, honors the talented and radiant Lupita Nyong’o. When I saw that she was named People Magazine’s Most Beautiful person I immediately jumped on Skype to ask my mom to purchase the magazine. My mom willingly complied, and my eyes pricked with tears when I finally read the article months later. I didn’t want to read a digital edition. I needed to hold the print copy right in my hands.

I can’t wait to see how Lupita’s career unfolds. She’s an icon and an inspiration. I also love that she speaks Spanish! That’s another goal of mine.

Top 5 Posts of the Past Year: #4 Lupita Nyong’o Broke My Heart

J’ouvert in Brooklyn, NY

I wanted to get more sleep, but my fifty-something year old Guyanese neighbor was tapping my shoulder and telling me that it was time to get up and head to the parade route.

Three years prior to “playing J’ouvert,” as my neighbor called it, I had moved to Flatbush, Brooklyn from the American South. Unbeknownst to me at the time, moving into an apartment I adored in Flatbush meant moving directly into the heart of a Caribbean neighborhood that wasn’t Crown Heights.

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Who Gets to Graduate?

Who Gets to Graduate?

Oh, the college experience: meeting friends that will be with you until your dying days, all-nighters, parties, and The Good Life. But what about doubt, thoughts of dropping out, depression, and even suicide? Unfortunately, those are all very real parts of the college experience too.

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36 Hours in Curaçao

Clockwise from top left: a scene from Mambo Beach; inside Cato Caves; a bird at breakfast on Porto Marie Beach; Porto Marie Beach; a torture instrument from slavery; Dutch pancakes at Porto Marie Beach

In honor of one of my favorite columns, 36 Hours from the NYT, I have decided to try my hand at my own 36 hours piece. I was in Curaçao for six days, but I’ll cull it down to my favorites.

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