Three hundred comments deep into a TikTok video, I began to hang onto words.

“Sis!”

“Yassss!”

“Fleek.”

Each scroll sparked more confusion and shock as I counted five, six, eventually twenty comments encapsuling everything wrong with the internet. Unfortunately, it’s expected under a TikTok of a Black creator condemning the use of AAVE by non Black creators— except, right before I was ready to swipe out, I read,

“Why do Blacks think they own everything?”

It was a dagger as I tried to unpack each word’s connotation. Suddenly, I was reminded that I was just another anonymous TikTok, caught in…


We’d just finished eating a hearty breakfast when the cashier gawked at my boyfriend and I.

I waited for him to ask if we were siblings (as most people do) but instead, his face contorts into confusion as he asks, “Is it real?”

I can see the same curiosity people get at the zoo — his eyes take in every coil and kink on our heads.

Technically, it’s a simple question that some would urge us to brush off. …


Growing up, my dad was the black sheep of the family. Unlike his Catholic siblings, he had accumulated crystals, a certification as a Qigong Master, and a bold perspective on what it meant to preserve physical and mental health.

Deeper than an absurd identity, my dad, Dr. James Carter, swears by his holistic health style after witnessing disease as a child.

“All my aunts had breast cancer, my father passed from pancreatic cancer, and there was a lot of heart disease,” he tells me when thinking back to his early life. …


The lack of intimacy during COVID pushed touched-deprived people into the arms of Pornography and Camming’s lovechild: OnlyFans.

The online subscription service created a new form of intimacy that Pornography lacked, as creators interacted directly with their lonely subscribers. With the mirage of fast money and trendy celebrities on board, it’s no wonder that women under 25 were reeled in.

However, the newbies falling into sex work mid-COVID would soon realize the money and notietry are temporary with significant backlash.

Whitney Ken experienced it firsthand.

“One of my favorite Instagramers posted her link and I thought it was a sign…


An electric blue guitar stands idly next to a thrifted collection of old school r&b records. Following the trail of cracks in the wall, there’s faded pictures printed offline of famed, sweaty singers next to a polaroid of a beaming woman — a bittersweet mural for an artist confined to his apartment.

“My mom was the one who made me take music lessons,” Ayodeji Oduwole, an electronic musician turned guitar teacher, explained proudly as he circled his laptop camera around his studio.

To the untrained eye, Oduwole’s studio is the disoriented cove of a millennial artist clinging to a past…

Adia Ayanna

Freelance ghostwriter with a knack for pop culture

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