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My Single Story (Part 1): Snowstorms and an Awareness of the Colour Black

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'I’m done with this town! I’m done with this school! I’m done with this toxic environment. I cannot stand the negativity or the racism.' This was my closing argument when I decided to transfer universities after two years in the middle of nowhere, USA. I was tired of people commenting on what “good English” I spoke, especially because “good English” is not proper English. Every time they said it the editor within me cringed a little more. I was tired of being reduced to a colour - black. I was also tired of them asking me...

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The Audition for a New Life

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Natasha was nervous. This was unusual for her. Her palms were sweaty, her make-up felt like it was caking and her armpits were prickly. She had given countless presentations to boardrooms full of corporate execs. She had commanded the room and convinced those of the worth of what she was saying. She could accredit her extreme career rise from intern to junior associate in record time to the fact that they bought into almost every pitch and presentation she made. The company recognized Natasha's talent, increasingly gave her more responsibility and as she succeeded and progressed...

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A Prayer for Our Daughters

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Dear Daughter You are not defined By man-kind You are you Every inch precious Every pound profound Every bit beautiful Ever so sound . . You are perfect Every stretch a story Every mark glory Every scar perfectly placed Every mole and dimple Irreplaceable . . As you rise And take your place On the Throne custom made Just for your frame Sound activated By the song of your soul Feet firmly placed Toe to sole Sat on your throne Pursuing your goals While all in all, wholly whole I pray that you will do one thing...

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A New Year Mantra

A photo by Leo Rivas-Micoud. unsplash.com/photos/R_BLOGXpsOg

You are barely a week old You have so much more to grow So much further to go So much more to show You can still rise up fearless Still stand tall and bold . . You are barely a week old And I already know That you will be beautiful You will be strong You will do a lot right And maybe a few things wrong . . And this is okay too For every day is new It is a chance to prove That it is not about the battles you lose . . For even after a loss You are still uniquely you . . It is about standing tall And giving it your all About rising up After every fall . . It...

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The F Word

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Event after event Opportunities after another And so the story went From one decision to another   I wish the knocking would stop Every time I get up I wish the confidence remained Then I would be willing to try again   But I find the curious case Of when I set about a new endeavor The knocking gets louder Once I move outside the known perimeter   Then my temperature rises As I leave my comfort zone It's so uncomfortable I'd much rather be left alone   The application lay before me I entered the first few fields But then began to calculate The odds and the yield I heard my other colleagues say The application was competitive Those planning...

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It’s Your Party – DJ If You Want To!

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I had lost control over my own body. My limbs were betraying my initial intentions. It seemed I no longer had a say over an activity I had scheduled myself. Without realizing it my right hand reached out and impatiently tapped the speed button. What had begun as a run at the speed of '8' was down to a ‘5.4’ and getting lower every few seconds. I silently encouraged myself, “You can do it girl. You’re strong. You’re fast. Tired? What’s that?”   Yet body betrayed me further. My heart pounded in my chest and my legs...

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A Mile in Her Shoes

A photo by William Stitt. unsplash.com/photos/wprpxSC-3WI

Navigating to the Finish Line I was practically sprinting down the street. I was in a hurry. Dodging puddles left behind from the morning rain I weaved through passersby and tourists who didn’t really seem to have a particular destination in mind. I on the other hand did. It was graduation season. Everywhere I looked there were purple robes hung carelessly over the shoulders of carefree students, stuffed into their handbags, slung over their arms. The mood was carefree and celebratory. Individuals called out to one another and strangers wished anyone with the purple cape ‘congratulations!’   The...

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Patience My Dear: Your Bus is Coming

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It was 6:35 p.m. on Market Street in Manchester. I was sat at the bus stop waiting for the 62 that would drop me a quarter mile from Granny’s house. I had a lot of bags and very little patience. I had been out all day and just wanted to get home, have a bowl of rib and dumpling soup, and relax. The West Indies was playing India that evening and I had promised Grandad I would watch the cricket with him. I had things to do and the bus was already 7 minutes later...

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Square Dancin’ My Way to the Top

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I don’t remember what class it was, but somewhere during my pre-teen days we were taught to square dance. You must understand that my middle school class consisted of 26 students, with about 18 countries of origin between us all. We were a diverse and spirited young group, with teachers who introduced us to all sorts of off the wall things – including square dancing. I liked excitedly screaming out the “do-si-do” (pronounced 'dough-see-dough') part, but generally disliked square dancing.   Besides the fact that I abhor organized dance, I think I particularly disliked this one because...

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Menstrual Cycle State of Mind

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It’s a searing pain in a place you don’t really know exists till it begins. It happens in organs and spaces you can never really feel until you do feel them. Then it is hard to be aware of much else. It’s a push, a pull, and a contracting pressure that doesn’t let up for 24 – 48 hours if you’re one of the luckier ones. It is like a miniature orchestra with sharp instruments rented out the lowest part of your stomach to play an unending symphony that sets you on edge. It is...

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