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NaPoWriMo 2018

I think I conquered this challenge. It helps that I do 2 free-writes every day Monday to Thursday with my kids, but hey, I still did it! And I actually got to poem 36, not 34 like the picture says. I just can’t believe that I did so well.

This is not to say that every poem I wrote last month is the best poem out there — not in the least!

BUT I am writing and experimenting and exploring different things in my writing. That is the most important thing to me right now in my writing journey. A lot of the work I’ve produced makes me think about books. Not chapbooks but actual books. Full-lengths. Several of the poems feature the same theme or can link together in some way, so over the next few months, I’ll be doing just that.

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update

I have so missed updating everybody with my work and life, so I have a lot of updates for you!

I graduated from undergrad May 2015. I taught for a year and a half, leaving the classroom in order to focus more on myself and my writing. However, I do substitute and work as a freelance editor now, so I feel lucky enough to be able to do so.

From summer 2016 until now, the following sites have published my work:

In addition to poetry, I have also been working on a nonfiction project/future book of sorts about a previous mostly platonic relationship I have had that stemmed from a project I was originally working on during undergrad but nixed it. I will keep you updated on that too.

Take care y’all & please share!

– A. Elizabeth

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The N-Word

Rose Water Magazine

There are many conflicting views about the N-Word, and by N-Word, I mean both the words “nigga” and “nigger.” Although the word is rooted in history and originally only meant the color black, it quickly became a very derogative term for those of African descent living in the Americas through slavery and discrimination. Even more quickly, the N-word has become something of a controversy in the United States. Since the reclamation of the N-word by African American people, others have wanted to use it, despite its racist history and are offended when told they should not say it. The reasoning goes a lot deeper than “because I said so.”

The word “nigger”  is derived from the Spanish word “negro,” which ultimately comes from the Latin word “niger,” meaning “the color black,” as mentioned earlier. The word was used in reference to a group of Africans brought to what is now the United States…

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Toya Graham is Not Your Hero

Rose Water Magazine

Toya Graham, the woman all over the media for slapping her 16 year old son on camera in order to stop him from rioting in Baltimore, is not your hero. She was not trying to embarrass him. She was trying to save his life; she didn’t want him to be another hashtag, another Freddie Gray. However, most of the world is looking at this video and laughing despite the fact that it wasn’t funny. There is no understanding of the black mothers plight.

For those that are unaware, April 12, 2015, Freddie Carlos Gray of Baltimore, MD was illegally arrested and detained, and died on April 19th from a severed spinal cord after numerous cries for medical services during his arrest and the hours that followed. On April 27th, the same day as Gray’s funeral, several protests and riots occurred in the streets of west Baltimore. Some peaceful, others not…

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No, Not “Pretty for a Black Girl”

This is something that I’ve been wanting to write for a long time and finally have.

Rose Water Magazine

I’m not pretty for a black girl; I am simply pretty. When approached with the line “You’re pretty for a black girl,” what I actually  hear is, “You are too pretty to be black,” especially when followed with the question, “What are you mixed with?”

Whether or not I have multiple races that make up my genetic code is irrelevant. I want to scream from the top of my lungs that my black is beautiful and that one drop of white does not make me pretty. On the contrary, I am beautiful despite this backwards “one drop” rule.

When this “compliment” is thrown around, it is hard to believe that the person saying it is aware of exactly what they’re saying. The perfect response to this is, “You’re beautiful for a (insert whatever race the speaker is here).” Not only does this turn the tables onto the original speaker, but also…

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Why I am Not Here for Kylie Jenner

My thoughts about a certain someone’s constant cultural appropriation

Rose Water Magazine

kylie-jenner-blackface-controversy-photo-instagram

Recently Kylie Jenner, half-sister to Kim Kardashian, was spotted on Instagram with darker skin. She captioned the image, “What I wish I looked like all the time.”  While some people have claimed that she looked more like an avatar with metallic looking skin, I interpreted the picture as a wanting to be black. When I think of Kylie, I cannot help but to think she is disrespecting and appropriating black culture and black bodies.

Her Instagram is a mix of images, ranging from a normal Kylie to a Kylie full of enhancements. Though she is still quite young, nobody’s body changes that drastically overnight. She has gone from having thin lips and a flat butt in pictures to having curves that could rival any 17-year-old black girl. Her chest has also doubled in size, something that is impossible to do overnight without the help of surgeries or digital enhancements. Her lips are…

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