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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…

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Photograph by Griffin Lotz / Rolling Stone / Shutterstock

In the early morning hours of February 19th, 2020, I had come back from a long session working at the library right by my dorm. It was around 1:30 AM, and I had struck up a conversation with my roommate about what we’d been listening to recently. At the time, Roddy Ricch was an omnipresent part of my daily routine, and I felt like for once, the number one song on Spotify’s US charts was something I agreed with (“The Box” of course). But what I had been also consuming that week was the recent release of Meet the Woo…

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I struggle to go back and forth with how I should approach watching films about Black people. I’ve spent so much of the better part of my life as a journalist looking to find the best portrayal in Hollywood of our people. I professed at one point how Black Panther was inspiring and a transformational moment right here on this blog almost exactly three years ago. I kept looking and seeking for my perspectives in products that I thought were meant for me…

That’s where I begin to realize my perspectives: “meant for me.” Is any of this stuff meant…

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In middle school, as the only Black student in my class, I thought it was a good idea to do one of my current events presentations on the white supremacist murders of both Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. All I sort of thought about was that if I could just share my pain, my anger, my frustration about the circumstances of the charges being dropped from both cases, folks would care. I thought that if they could see what it was, what happened, maybe we could change things.

Yesterday would have been Trayvon’s 26th birthday. Out of all the formative…

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I remember in fourth grade when my teacher had us do a poetry analysis exercise of the Katy Perry song “Firework” (an absolute CLASSIC). “Do you ever feel, like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?” This was my only music-related poetry analysis for the rest of my school career. From the ages of ten to twenty, any scholarship or breakdown of music lyrics has been done on my own. And it’s been my curiosity and love for bars that landed me right where I feel at home: battle rap.

I would like to think it’s…

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I spent my Thursday evening listening to a panel run by the fantastic organizers from Dissenters with Robin DG Kelley, Ajamu Baraka, Noura Erakat, and Adrian Bonifacio on US imperialism. Beyond just learning new insights from these folks who have devoted their lives to a liberatory future, without understanding the US’s role in destabilizing states across the globe, the next four years will be a setup for yet another overt fascist to win in 2024.

Two facts have fundamentally changed how I view the world, and as we proceed to enter another presidency, I feel like just sharing those once…

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Ethiopian and Eritrean students at a protest in the 1970s against the emperor

In the light of the recent widespread conflicts throughout Ethiopia and Eritrea this past fall, I recognized that I knew next to nothing about the countries my family is from. I understood on a very surface level the rise of the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front) and EPRDF (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front), but I didn’t know what information to trust about the history. I didn’t know what or how Ethiopia’s politics were impacted by US neo-colonial efforts as well. All of my questioning and curiosity led me to learn about AFRICOM.

AFRICOM, or the United States Africa Command, is…

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Image: Leah Millis/Reuters

What occurred on Wednesday, January 6th, 2020, was always a possibility. Amongst those I learn from and listen to regularly, it was Mariame Kaba who perhaps most prominently always foresaw at least an attempt at a coup taking form even before the November election. Other Black radicals also saw there is a chance that the fascist brigade could make at least one forceful attempt to end the steal or pressure enough Republicans to not certify the election results. With repeated social media announcements and alerts, these fascists told the world what they had planned to barge into the Capitol. …

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For as much as I oftentimes stray from having firm resolutions for the new year, I think that given the circumstances of this past year, it’s worth at least taking time to thoroughly reflect on what is up next. 2020 was the most important year for my political education journey, largely prompted by the unconscionable amount of grief and violence folks faced. 345,000+ people died here in the US from COVID-19, and thousands of others lost their lives for related reasons tied to the stress and isolation from the past nine months. …

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2020.

I’ve spent much of today and the better part of this week trying to figure out how I’d write something along the lines of a reflection on what this year has been like. It’s the last blog post of the year, and when it would seem like I would have some plan or even a hint of what to say, I have nothing. So I went back and read what I had written at the end of last year, as we all were ready to embark on a new decade. …

Noah Tesfaye

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

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