Paris for the 99 and 2015

Happy New Year y’all!

I got a few tweets and messages about my absence – which was due to my work with organizing, writing and some time spent overseas. Here.

paris at night

Paris at night

champs elysee paris

Bonne Année from the Champs Élysées

accidental selfie

accidental selfie; rookie mistakes

It was wonderful to get out of the States, not just because I love Paris, but because of the continued fight for Black humanity and Black lives. Before I left, I just felt like, “Why are Black people fighting for a country that seems to not want them, not value them?” It’s a worthwhile fight, a necessary fight, but it can be emotionally draining and tough. It’s been a fight that I’ve been in very deeply since March 10, 2013. And while I was away, I was still working and will have some upcoming articles in Elle and elsewhere about racism in Paris and a more lighthearted topic, beauty products for women of color in Paris and affordable beauty products in Paris. (Because balling on a budget is a true story.) And being away really brought me back to a pivotal time in my life, when I spent 4.5 months studying post-colonialism, mixed-race communities and how they’re changing the definition and face of modern day France. That project really taught me how to combine the exploration of people’s humanity with history, respect and the truth in their experiences.

the trans and gay pride parade in Paris, summer 2006

the trans and gay pride parade in Paris, summer 2006

even the handicap come out to support

I’m excited about this new year and the projects that I’m working on and can’t wait to share with you all, here on this blog and elsewhere. The next few weeks will be crazy busy – I’m headed back to my alma mater, Williams College, with my mother to talk about police brutality and lead a write-in. I’m so excited about this! I’m also headed to Toronto to research and cover a really cool story that I can’t wait to share.

And I’ve been working on stories to cover here, that aren’t provocative for the sake of being, but so that it pushes dialogue and expands the humanity of those marginalized. It’s about having the space, grace, compassion and privilege to be flawed, to be normal, to figure it out and be messy – to be human without being penalized.

I hope everyone’s holidays were rejuvenating and awesome. I’ll post more about my time in Paris and the stories I worked on while there.

Chatalet selfie.

Chatalet selfie.

C

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