New Harlem

New Harlem

“Niggas got PTSD,” my best friend says to me through my earbuds in a tone that is somewhat facetious but still pretty blunt. She has just finished recounting a fight she’d witnessed at the gym earlier in the day between two personal trainers that ended with one whipping out a machete. 

“Can you believe that shit?” she asks, her voice inflecting as if she, herself, is having a hard time believing that shit. I assume her question is rhetorical, but I respond anyway, “Abso- fucking- lutely.” 

In my experience a simple difference of opinion between two members of the lesser sex almost always manifested into a dick-measuring contest where someone inevitably got hurt. That said, I am not so much surprised by the outcome of the altercation as I am intrigued by my friend’s analysis of it. 

“Niggas got PTSD.” 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a pathology often applied to victims of some physical or psychological trauma: former military service members, survivors of violent crimes, etcetera, etcetera. Very rarely is the term used to describe the reality of being alive and aware in pre-apocalyptic America. Granted, the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency has left even the bravest of Americans scared shitless and, as we all know, fear often provokes irrational and unpredictable behavior. The natural human response to fear is to fight or to flee and, in this instance, with no escape from their inflated male egos, these men decide to fight to the death. Still, I tell myself, perhaps my friend is being a little dramatic.
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‘That’s Why You’ll Never Be President’: Shamecca Harris on Being Black & Female in America

This post is part of a series called ” Real Women Real Stories ,”a social project designed to promote awareness of the often unseen hardships women face in different professions and places around the world. The project highlights women who fight their battles and are persistent on achieving what they have set out for. Check out the full post featured an original essay by Shamecca Harris at Global Citizen. Click here to read more.

What James Baldwin Taught Me About Racist Trolls

What James Baldwin Taught Me About Racist Trolls

I love James Baldwin.

As a fellow writer and Harlem native, he is my literary muse. When I first discovered his work, I felt as if he snatched the words off the tip of my tongue and splattered them on the page. He revealed me to myself, reaffirming my humanity in a country where blacks were offered a subpar education, fed subpar food, and left to rot in subpar housing.

Baldwin was and, perhaps, still remains America’s black revolutionary voice.

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