Yesterday, my mom was going through a bunch of old papers and finding out what things she needed to shred and get rid of. There were documents from all parts of our lives, from Duncan (my lab who passed away almost three years ago) and his many medical procedures to old school worksheets. While I was working on something else, my mom gave me a long envelope with a packet that she told me she wanted to read. In that packet? A psychological evaluation from when I was eleven years old in 6th grade. And in that packet, I had…


I think laughing has been one of the most frequently used coping mechanisms in my life.

I’m always thinking about how things are funny whenever they’re not. I catch myself laughing about how ridiculous the recent events in my life have been. I’ll laugh while I’m in pain. I’ll laugh while I’m feeling numb. Okay, maybe it’s not a complete laugh. Sometimes it’s a weird chuckle or maybe it sounds like some bizarre coughs. But it is something that just has become a means towards trying to just sit with where I am with things. …


I try to live with the self-awareness that nothing is forever, that everything you may have planned or had been prepared for can be gone at a moment’s notice.

I’ve been playing in my head how I’d write about what the last few days have been like. You’d think that nearly four years of writing here would give me the perspective or capacity to explain how being effectively resigned to taking a quarter away from school for a serious knee injury. But I don’t. All I know is how I feel about all of this. …


A few days ago, through some random convos with friends, I remembered I had a journal.

I think I got the journal itself as a random birthday or graduation gift back in 2019, and I sporadically would write in it whenever I thought about it. I started writing a few weeks earlier via my laptop, but I was realizing how little it allowed me to think things through as I was typing in a way that writing with a pen (preferably Muji) is on paper. And for that first month in July, I was consistent in writing around like six of them.

I took an overly extended break after those first few and wrote three entries…


I don’t know at what age it clicked for me, but for as long as I could remember, I recognized how the world marked me. I was a Black boy, sure, but I was dehumanized and treated as less than throughout my time in schools. I live my life with my head on a constant swivel, in fear of not just police violence but of the ways my existence as a Black male uniquely exacerbates my likeliness of experiencing violence in the US.

It was a few months ago that I wanted to really begin to try to understand how…


I’ve got five weeks left of this summer. And by all things considered, I have made decent headways into my political study. Granted, I have spent most of my time working on a project focused on the RNA. That being said, it is no surprise that the person I consistently think about, revisit, and write with him in mind is George. George Jackson.

If you’ve read George, you would know exactly what I mean when I say that he leaves you with a sense of deep self-criticism. I’m not saying the obvious truth that almost none of us have ever…


A week from today will be the 50th anniversary of the state assassination of George Jackson, which took place on August 21st, 1971. Exactly one week ago was the 51st anniversary of the state murder of Jonathan Jackson, which took place on August 7th, 1970.

Black August was first celebrated in 1979 to center the struggle to free political prisoners engaged in revolutionary activities related to Black liberation. I can link a few sources here and here about the historical tradition of this month, but that’s not solely why Black August has been on my mind.

I’m thinking a lot about the recent episode of Millennials are Killing Capitalism with Dr. Joy James and the discussion of the conscious exiling but also the simultaneous reintroduction of revolutionary figures being taught within the academy. Dr. James spent some time discussing how she was being mocked in…


I told myself that this summer would be the one where I could do a dry run of studying for a Ph.D. It’d be a chance to work with major deadlines spaced sporadically, and every single day would be up to me to decide how I could structure my time.

But I think that even more than simply deciding whether I would want to jump into a Ph.D., there’s something far more significant in finding something you’re passionate about, then structuring a schedule to find out how I could learn the most about it. I would attempt to find some…


How do I know when I’m being idealistic?

And no, I don’t just mean in terms of setting goals; I mean being idealistic about my relationships with people, with my worldview, idealistic about wanting a specific experience coming out of college.

I don’t necessarily think that idealism can be bad. But I do interchange being idealistic with being optimistic. With optimism, there’s a sort of a pragmatic approach being taken. We recognize that irrespective of how the world is, or how we may feel about a circumstance, hope needs to persist. Similar to how I always try to live by Mariame Kaba’s idea belief that “hope is a…


This summer has been one of the best I’ve ever enjoyed for music in a long time.

In this weird limbo of places being open but also closed, with delta out here going on a rampage, we all are all now getting the chance to hear music outside again. I’ve been bouncing from Mereba to Remble, from IDK to Still Woozy, sort of with no pattern or real desire to fit one mood. I’ll be listening to Vince Staples on the BART, blasting ALLBLACK in the car, and study to Cautious Clay. It’s an incoherent medley of music to fit the varying developments going on in my life.

Much of my constant juggling of different genres and…

Noah Tesfaye

Just someone trying to share my story and find who I am, one post at a time

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