The 99% Isn’t Me: Being the Minority in the 99%

~Part of the Black in the Revolution Series~

As the first post of my series, Black in the Revolution, I figured it would be good to start with the most obvious and most visible political moment and space we have today which would be the Occupy Movement. This movement was birth as an American manifestation of the spirit that gave rise to the Arab Spring that overthrew the Egyptian and Tunisian dictatorships (I still have questions about Syria and Libya…ya’ll already know my stance on that one)  that sought to bring the pro-democracy spirit to America in its own way. The main slogans of the Occupy Movement are things like “Occupy Everything” and “We are the 99%”. These slogans manifested themselves quite literally in the hundreds of occupations of public parks, buildings, and central spaces across America, the rest of the western hemisphere, and even in parts of Europe and Asia that are going on as we speak.  They organize without leaders, using consensus democratic processes in most places, and seek to create the basis for equalizing the wealth of this nation between ALL its citizens. Continue reading “The 99% Isn’t Me: Being the Minority in the 99%”

Snarky but Informed Answers to Buzzfeed’s “27 Questions Black People Have For Black People”

Recently the Black people of Buzzfeed published this video which consisted of Black folks asking Black folks questions about our mannerisms, ideologies, histories, and perceptions. I’ll let you watch it below:

I think (some) of their questions deserve answers if only to show how shitty they really are in the first place. So below is a selection of questions from the video (paraphrased) and my answers to them. Take a gander and feel free, after reading this list, to NEVER ask any of these again. Continue reading “Snarky but Informed Answers to Buzzfeed’s “27 Questions Black People Have For Black People””

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Rebel Researchers: VENT Mag

When we talk about rebel researchers we are referring to individuals or groups who have chosen to use their professional skills whether its in sociology, graphic design, law, social work, or dance to contribute to the furthering of justice in our society. They are rebels because they go against the grain of what society expects them to use their education and skills for, which is often power and profit. Today I … Continue reading Rebel Researchers: VENT Mag

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Death by a Million Papercuts: Are Prestigious Degrees Really Worth the Trouble?

Allyssa Metzger’s June 2014 blog post in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Why I Don’t Drop the ‘H-Bomb’,” chronicles her experience attending Harvard and the responses she receives when others learn of her alma mater.  She discusses how she manages their expectations and how she handles disappointing people when she actually doesn’t know the answer about something.  In some ways, her experience mirrors mine and others who … Continue reading Death by a Million Papercuts: Are Prestigious Degrees Really Worth the Trouble?


[Hood Sociology] Lagos Lullabye: A Perspective on City Life

Singer and Lagos native Siji recently premiered the video for his single “Lagos Lullabye” off of his upcoming album “Home Grown.” Check out his video below and if you suck at following song lyrics like I do check them out here The video depicts Siji being driven through Lagos in a taxi. In the video and his song you get a snapshot of life in … Continue reading [Hood Sociology] Lagos Lullabye: A Perspective on City Life


The Hood Sociology Series

I am currently finishing up my MA Thesis on how residents of segregated communities define the border of their communities in relation to others around them. One of the big findings was that respondents used personal experiences as well as “taken-for-granted” knowledge about the city to define their borders. Because this project is taking place in my home community it got me thinking about all the little bits of social knowledge that black folks in Buffalo use everyday to navigate their lives and each other. Much of this knowledge comes out in conversations where we jokingly generalize the people living in our community. Contrary to the origin stories of many sociologists these conversations are what helped me develop much of my sociological imagination before I even knew what sociology was. In my mind I refer to this body of knowledge as hood sociology. Continue reading “The Hood Sociology Series”