Guest Post: GROWING UP A BOYGIRL – Part 1 by Marcus T. Graham

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of being a teenager? An awkward transition phase, outfits you wish you didn’t wear, decisions that now to this day you even question. “What were you thinking?” I definitely had all of the above, with dashes of anxiety and excitement. For a time, I lived with my mum, it wasn’t perfect but it was necessary & a moment in time I’ll always remember as a window to a deeply repressed part of myself coming to light that needed to be out.

I was scared of everything as a child. Highly sensitive because I believed in everything – to me, anything outside of ‘my world’ was frightening, which meant my mum wearing make-up & nail polish. For a time it was a real challenge, it frightened me because I wasn’t used to it, it seemed really fierce & overwhelming but overtime I started meeting people who opened me up way further into that realm and it excited and intrigued me entirely. 

In truth, I grew up kind of sheltered, very early on I was super quiet, I lived in my own little planet: my world consisted of songs I loved, video games, drawings, home movies, my friends, and books I’d write. This would carry on into my early secondary years but deep inside, I longed for something more. I decided to take on drama as an introverted kid, I was around fifteen and regretted not taking it sooner, threatened by the what-ifs but finally, I had to make a decision and I followed through.

My years in drama taught me that I was crazier than I thought and it also taught me a powerful lesson: not to care, it felt like a family, everybody was learning at the same time and suddenly my world got brighter, I was introduced to my feminine side, it was there I’d meet my best friend and be exposed to a world I didn’t know existed and had no idea I was naturally a part of. It was the first time I felt truly seen. So much so I came out in the Summer of 2018.

From there on out, my attention would quickly switch onto pop artists like Britney Spears, Rina Sawayama & Tierra Whack. They made me feel seen and heard: they were unapologetic, fearless & were rooted in self-assurance, it was like a playground for self-expression in its rawest form, one where three were no rules and you could just be unapologetically with no restrictions or barriers. To me this was freedom.  

My biggest takeaway from them was that it’s okay to be who you truly are unfiltered as scary as it seems & that freedom is the ultimate goal, I feel like I’m learning with all these new artists continuously, as we’ve all been given so much time to self-analyse in quarantine, I’ve begun to come to terms that this is an ongoing process. I used to believe there was an endpoint and a final destination but self-acceptance is a lifelong journey, my biggest takeaway is that we’re all figuring it out together day by day and I’m deeply excited to see where this stage of life takes me.And that’s where I’m at now, in an experimental phase of my life, learning and growing as I go. Painting my nails & wearing a purse when I want. Being willing to make honest mistakes, try things for size asks embrace the mystery and complex beauty of being a young person in the 2020s as the world is continuously changing I am too. 

Featured post by Marcus T. Graham (@marcustgraham)

9 Black Horror Movies to Watch This Halloween

1. Candyman

Helen, a graduate student, researches superstitions in a Chicago housing project. She learns about the Candyman, an urban legend, who neighbors believe is responsible for a recent murder.

2. Bones

Jimmy Bones protects and serves his neighborhood with the respect of his peers. His spirit lives on after he is betrayed.

3. The Tokoloshe

A young woman named Busi moves from the country to the big city of Johannesburg. She takes a janitor position in a hospital to earn enough money to bring her younger sister to live with her.

4. Transfiguration

Milo, a troubled teen faces death and bullying by his classmates. He searches for for victims to bleed dry.

5. Tales From the Hood

Mr. Simms, a mortician, knows that even the dead have tales to tell. His funeral parlor is a place where your worst fears can come to life.

6. His House

A young refugee couple escape a war-torn South Sudan and struggle to adjust to a small English town with hidden evil.

7. Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

Spike Lee remakes the 1973 horror film Ganja & Hess (1973) directed by Bill Gunn. Dr. Hess Green navigates life and love with a thirst for blood.

8. Black Box

A single father faces memory loss and confusion causing him to question who he really is.

9. US

Adelaide Wilson and her family return to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Their fun is interrupted by unexpected visitors.

Woman Wednesday: U4U Podcast by Kedesha Campbell

A podcast for you, about you, to make a better you.

In the first episode of U4U Podcast, Kedesha Campbell answers the title question, “How Do You Do It?”. Kedesha created U4U Podcast while on her self care journey. She decided to work on herself after realizing the effects of her new environment. She talks about avoiding a copy and paste approach to self-care and personal growth. She emphasizes individualized personal growth, mental health care, body positivity, self-care, and mindfulness. She also discusses being mindful of other people’s energy and being aware of the self. To study for the big test of “Who am I?” each person should study the good and bad. After all, it’s what makes us human.

You can listen to the podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Soundcloud, and Anchor FM.

Contact U4U Podcast via email: u4upod@gmail.com and on Instagram: @u4upod

#girlpower 

Art Basel Guide 2018

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Artwork via Ron English. Edit by aafleur.

It’s that time of year again. Companies have joined in on the hype of Art Week by creating different art fairs, parties, concerts, and exhibitions. Many events are now available in Wynwood, Miami Beach, Overtown, and Downtown Miami. Check out the events below:

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Prizm Art FairDec 3rd-9th -Alfred I. DuPont Building – 169 E Flagler St Miami, FL 33131 – 10AM-6PM (Admission is $15)


art7.pngJuxtapoz ClubhouseDecember 5th-9th- 32-60 SE 1st Avenue, 48 E Flagler Street, 200 E Flagler – 10AM-10PM (Admission is free)


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Art Africa Dec 5th-9th – 920 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL – 12PM-8PM (Admission is $20)


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Frida Kahlo House at Satellite Art Show Dec 6th-9th – 18 NW 14th ST, Miami, FL, 33136 – 3PM-11PM (Admission is $25)


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Boom Basel with Flying Lotus & Virgil Abloh Dec 6th – RC Cola Factory – 550 NW 24th St., Miami, FL (Admission is $35)


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Youth Concept Gallery Art Tour 


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Highsnobiety BTS Afterparty December 6 – Rudolf Budja Gallery – 1330 18th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139 – 9PM-2AM (Admission is free)


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Basel House Mural FestivalDecember 7th-9th – RC Cola Plant – 550 NW 24th St., Miami, FL – 3PM (Admission is free)


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1 AM Basel Block PartyDec 7th – RC Cola Plant – 550 NW 24th St., Miami, FL – 9PM-1AM (Admission is free)


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Dallas Austin at Wood TavernDec 7th – 2531 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL, 33127 – 4PM-4AM (Admission is free)


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Hyper Speed December 7 – X Miami 230 NE 4th ST Miami, FL – 7 PM (Admission is $10)


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Now That Sounds Like FunDecember 7th – 1-800 Lucky – 143 NW 23rd ST, Miami, FL 33127 – 12PM – 9PM (Admission is free)


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Paradise December 8th – 2020 NW Miami CT, Miami, FL – 2PM-2AM (Admission is free)


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40 oz Bounce December 9th – 1306 Miami – 1306 N Miami Ave Miami, FL – 10PM-3AM (Admission is $10)


Guest Post: How The Internet Made Me See My Autism As A Superpower 

Marcus Graham marcustgraham • Instagram photos and videos

I’m Marcus Graham and I was born with Asperger’s syndrome.

I do not suffer from it, I strive. I’ve lived with it my whole life and I have always struggled with admitting it. I had always been embarrassed about it due to the social climate I grew up in until one encounter with 5 of the greatest people you’ll ever meet.

This past month was Autism Acceptance Month and I was left thinking back to last April where I met The Internet, the Avengers to black kids as I like to see them.

In late 2013/2014, I discovered the Internet after trying to find people who represented me in this generation. What I didn’t know was how much of a monumental part they’d have in my own self-discovery and the belief I had in myself. I’ve always been self-conscious and viewed my own existence as a burden to others and still struggle with it to this day. On April 11, 2017, it almost reassured me of my own worth and part to play in this world.

I was 15 years old when Matt Martians, one of my dearest friends and heroes, introduced me to the band backstage at London’s Scala. I got to see how down to earth and human they were, even from a fan perspective. They were all humble and the type of people you’d want to be friends with. It felt like a dream but the craziest part was that it was reality.

I’d always heard stories of celebrity encounters with greats like Michael [Jackson] or Prince and never thought I’d be able to say I met one of my heroes. Most people are not able to get an experience like that. I feel privileged to say I have been in their presence especially considering how much of a big impact they had on my life.

As someone who previously never talked in class or would just observe people because they couldn’t hear me over the noise of people around them, I felt empowered by this interaction. I was sitting and talking to Steve Lacy, and it wasn’t looked over, half the time I’d just observe and absorb everything around me. This made me feel like the most valued person ever, as small as it seems from an outsider’s perspective.

One of the biggest takeaways from that encounter was Matt pulling me aside and telling me to use what made me different and flip it on its head. Syd agreed with me when I said I felt I could change the general perception of autistic people, this led me to have more faith in myself and how far I could take something so close to my heart.

Three months later in June, I spoke out in support of fellow autistic children and their capabilities, which I’d never have dreamed of doing and then I did the same thing last November at a Men’s Mental Awareness event.

I’m usually making, creating or writing something each Autism Acceptance Month but this time I decided that I would take a step back and acknowledge who ultimately lead me to be so open about a part of my identity I would’ve shed otherwise. To anyone who idolizes The Internet the way I do, please know that you are looking up to the greatest, most genuine and caring people you could ever meet. Thank you, Matt, first and foremost, Syd… Steve, Chris & Pat for making me feel like I haven’t in damn near 7 years… I wouldn’t be so open about my autism if it wasn’t for those 5 powerful black legends.

Featured post by Marcus T. Graham (@marcustgraham)

Listen to Kansas Girl by Marcus below:

Art Basel Guide 2017

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Photo via timeout.com

Art Basel Miami Beach began in 2002. 15 years later, it’s a 2 week-long holiday. Art exhibitions slowly diffused out of the Miami Convention Center to Wynwood, Little Haiti, Liberty City, Overtown, and Hialeah. The South Beach art scene is exclusive. Local creatives made their own platforms outside of SoBe to display what they define as art. Of course, art week comes with a lot of parties but that’s beside the point. If you’re bored or like art as much as I do, read my mini Art Basel Week guide below:

Events are in chronological order Continue reading “Art Basel Guide 2017”

Brief Photo History of Racial Protests in Sports

This stand wasn’t for me. This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and effect change. So I’m in the position where I can do that and I’m going to do that for people that can’t. – Colin Kaepernick

Racial protests within sports have occurred as early as 1968. 49 years later, minorities continue to face racial inequality and injustices due to skin color.

Sports professionals have a powerful platform with many viewers. With their popularity and easy reach to over 200 million Americans, any small gesture or movement can influence and inform. Colin Kaepernick used this to his advantage. On August 28, 2016, Kaepernick explained why he sat during the national anthem 2 days prior to. He sat to protest the oppression of people of color and the ongoing issues with police brutality. Kaepernick was ridiculed by the media and conservative viewers who believed that he disrespected America’s values. 1 year later, more NFL players join in solidarity by kneeling, staying in their locker rooms or linking arms with other teammates. These forms of protest are usually avoided due to fear of losing endorsements and advertisements. The ignorant remarks made by 45 ignited the flame of empathy from the athletes causing a pattern of protests throughout the NFL world.

70% of NFL players are black men. The fear of losing money was placed before any form of empathy for working-class minorities who are more susceptible to police brutality and racial inequities. Due to the timing, Trump’s comments will out-shadow the protests. Instead of focusing on the original message, the protests are now solely associated with the national anthem. An anthem that was written by Francis Scott Key, a slave owner.

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U.S. athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their gloved fists at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 to express their opposition to racism in the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

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Members of the St. Louis Rams raise their arms in a “hands up, don’t shoot” pose as they walk onto the field before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders.
L.G. Patterson/AP

 

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Kenny Britt, a member of the Rams, wore this as a Ferguson tribute.

 

 

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In this image posted to Miami Heat basketball player LeBron James’ Twitter page, Miami Heat players wear team hoodies.
LeBron James via Twitter/AP

 

 

Eric Reid #35 and Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 18, 2016. Michael Zagaris—Getty Images

 

 

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While players in other sports leagues have increased their voices, WNBA players have advocated for social change for at least 15 months. SB Nation

 

 

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Dolphins players Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas, Arian Foster and Jelani Jenkins took a knee during the national anthem.

 

 

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Buffalo Bills players kneel during the American national anthem before an NFL game on Sunday.

 

 

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The Oakland Raiders’ offensive line sits out the US national anthem on Sunday.

 

 

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Bengals players lock arms during the national anthem before a game against Packers. Courtesy of Enquirer

 

 

Hurricane Irma – Tips & Guides

Feel better prepared for hurricane season with the following guides and articles.

MDC
Miami-Dade Hurricane Guide

PROTECT
Protect your cars, boats during a storm

 

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Download Firechat – The app that lets you text without Wifi/A data plan

CSL
Make Your Own Customized Hurricane Supplies List

 

Short Film: Valley of a Thousand Hills

This short documentary by Jess Colquhoun follows Andile Msomi and his friends to their first competition, where the most important thing is not to win but to enjoy the ride.

Skateboarding evolved from surfing and it continues to expand, develop, and affect different lives. Throughout the years it has spread to different neighborhoods, ethnicities, and continents.  This short film directed by Jessica Colquhoun follows the rural skateboard movement located in Durban, South Africa. Local Zulu villagers in the Indigo Skate Camp immerse themselves in the skateboarding culture.

New Month: Try Something New

Setting an intention is like drawing a map of where you wish to go — it becomes the driving force of your higher consciousness. Without an intention there is no map, and you’re just driving down a road with no destination in mind. – Chandresh Bhardwaj

Start off September the right way.

An intention is defined as an aim or plan. With this new month upon us, what are your intentions? 

Setting a goal isn’t enough, daily intentions allow the goal to be achieved. Intentions allow you to be present with yourself, your values and your emotional state within each day of the month. With a strategy used to live out each day, you better yourself for general life and for the goal that is to be achieved.